Here is this week’s issue of meshedsociety.com weekly, loaded with interesting analyses and essays, significant yet under-reported information bits as well as thoughtful opinion pieces from the digital and technology world. Usually published every Wednesday/Thursday (CET), just in time so you have something good to read over the weekend.
Reading time indicator: 1 = up to 3 minutes, 2 = 4 to 9 minutes, 3 = 10 to 29 minutes , 3+ = 30 minutes or more
Note: Some of the publications may use “soft” paywalls. If you are denied access, open the URL in your browser’s incognito/private mode (or subscribe if you find yourself reading a lot of the content on a specific site and want to support it).
- Yuval Noah Harari extract: “Humans have always lived in the age of post-truth.” (theguardian.com, 3)
Captivating extract from the upcoming book of Yuval Noah Harari (author of Sapiens), “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”, which I am now extremely looking forward to.
- The Cosmetic Class (zandercutt.com, 3)
The critical perspective of someone belonging to a generation that has been conditioned for years “to emphasize the cosmetic” and to use “signals of reality as opposed to reality itself”, on the rise of Instagram.
- How Tech Billionaires Hack Their Taxes with a Philanthropic Loophole (nytimes.com, 3)
By donating huge sums of money to a special philanthropic vehicle, the tech elite can escape heavy taxing – without then actually having to use this money for philanthropy.
- How journalists should not cover an online conspiracy theory (theguardian.com, 2)
Too many journalists are responding “how high?” when media manipulators demand that they jump. In their defense though, it’s not easy to handle the dynamics of our new weird media world. But Whitney Phillips has some suggestions how not to do it.
- Facial Recognition Is the Perfect Tool for Oppression (medium.com, 3)
A plea for a total ban of facial recognition. Most likely unrealistic at least on a global level (China would never join an agreement to ban facial recognition) but it’s probably still a standpoint worth debating.
- What does a robot accountant look like? (timharford.com, 2)
The idea of robots literally taking over the job of humans is misleading. Instead, specific tasks are automated, rather than the broad bundle of tasks that together constitute a human “job”.
- See No Evil (logicmag.io, 3)
How software coordinates incredibly complex global supply chains and makes it so hard for anyone to know under which conditions certain components have been produced.
- WhatsApp is a black box of viral misinformation — but in Brazil, 24 newsrooms are teaming up to fact-check it (niemanlab.org, 1)
Because of WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption, figuring out what kind of information is popular on the service – which in many countries has become the de facto texting and communication app – requires a more unconventional, creative approach.
- Phone etiquette: How not to lose friends (bbc.co.uk, 2)
I learned a new word: “sodcasting”, which means listening loud to music from one’s smartphone on public transport. This is more a way to make enemies rather than just to lose friends.
- The 100 Ether Rooftop (9elements.com, 2)
How a German startup suddenly and unexpectedly found itself with crypto wealth after experimenting with Ether mining as a fun side project.
- Apple’s $1T Milestone Reflects Rise of Powerful Megacompanies (nytimes.com, 2)
It does. This is not something to be excited about, even though much of the press and tech blog coverage had a certain vibe of excitement.
- The Top 12 Social Companion Robots (medicalfuturist.com, 3)
Pepper is probably the only social companion robot from this list which – from a global perspective – is already a bit more well known.
- Patience: The Radical New Business Model (rafat.org, 2)
The business model of patience won’t work for everyone, but it’s a pleasant antithesis to “move fast and break things”.
- Why you should wait until your 40s to become an entrepreneur, according to a new study (weforum.org, 1)
The image of the twenty-something startup founder is a popular one, but highly unrepresentative.
- The Power User Curve: The Best Way to Understand Your Most Engaged Users (a16z.com, 2)
A smart strategic framework for those working with B2C services.
- The Decline and Fall of Diet Coke and the Power Generation That Loved It (newyorker.com, 2)
According to the text, Diet Coke is beloved by people such as Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein and Bill Clinton.
- How human communication fails in a complex world (medium.com, 1)
A post from yours truly.
Recently on meshedsociety.com:
Podcast episode of the week:
- Pessimists’ Archive: The Subway
When the first Subways were built, many people were scared to explore this new method of transportation – because at that time, underground for many was still associated with hell and other superstitious evilness, according to the latest enlightening episode of the Pessimists’ Archive.
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