Six Links That Make You Think #721

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Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for Interesting, Tilt the Windmill, Interesting Bits, HBS, chair of Strata, Startupfest, FWD50, and Scaletechconf; author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (Rebus Foundation, PressBooks, LibriVox) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see.”

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another: 

  • The Race To Make Humans Obsolete – Pointers Gone WildMaxime Chevallier-Boisvert is one of the smartest people I know. She built parts of the compiler on which your computer runs. Her work on optimizing programming languages makes Shopify, Github, and much of the Internet 20% faster. She built a modular synth that runs entirely in a browser, for fun. She’s also a fellow Montrealer. So when Max publishes something with a title this bleak, I tend to pay attention.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • I Challenged AI To Create A Better YouTube Channel Than Me… Here’s What Happened – adumb – YouTube. “The video you didn’t know you were waiting for. It’s not just you: Content started getting dumber long ago, with creators kowtowing to the whims of the algorithm. So why not take it full circle? @Adumb is quickly becoming one of my favorite online thinkers, and here he sets up a controlled experiment that pits an AI against a human. The results, and his conclusions, are spot on.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • I’ve Been At NPR For 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust – The Free Press. “I’m a pretty lefty kind of guy, but I have been sadly disappointed over the past 5-6 years about how a transformation of the left to something I don’t quite recognize on a number of issues. Particularly the orthodoxy of some kinds of opinions that are tolerated within the (largely left-leaning) media. I was a Covid policy hardliner, but I was shocked by the absence of space for debate and discussion in media, for instance, about the relative negative impacts of school closures on overall health, versus impacts of Covid. Anyway, an NPR editor wrote a piece arguing that newsrooms are now made up almost exclusively of people educated at elite colleges with political views significantly out of step – much farther to the left – with mainstream America. And this is a problem.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • An NPR Editor Who Wrote A Critical Essay On The Company Has Resigned After Being Suspended – AP News. “Cue the irony bell – ding ding ding. The editor from NPR above got suspended and then resigned.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Politics, Religion And Cancel Culture – Jimmy Carr – Triggernometry – YouTube. “Forever a fan of smart conversation with clever comedians. What you think might be an over-analysis of how to write a joke or what makes for a successful career in comedy, we’ve got something completely different here… and it’s captivating. As an aside, I did a keynote in London several years back for Salesforce. After my presentation, the emcee came on stage and dismantled what I had done in a flurry of brilliant and funny jokes. I had no idea who Jimmy Carr was at that moment in time, but became an instant fan of his. You may not agree with everything that Jimmy has to say here, but that (for me) makes it even more compelling.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • The Internet’s New Favorite Philosopher – The New Yorker. “One of the aspects of Internet culture that keeps me on my toes is articles like this. I subscribe to countless newsletters and listen to podcasts forever and still find out about individuals doing amazing things in and around my domain of interest that I have never encountered before. The real beauty is that we all get to share these people and stories in places like this (which I always love to do). Meet Byung-Chul Han – a South Korean-born philosopher and cultural theorist living in Germany. From Wikipedia: ‘Han is the author of more than twenty books (none of which I had heard of), the most well known are treatises on what he terms a ‘society of tiredness’ (Müdigkeitsgesellschaft), a ‘society of transparency’ (Transparenzgesellschaft), and the concept of shanzhai, a style of imitative variation, whose roots are, he argues, intrinsic to Chinese culture, undermine the distinction often drawn between original and fake, and pre-exist practices which in Western philosophy are called deconstructive. Han’s current work focuses on transparency as a cultural norm created by neoliberal market forces, which he understands as the insatiable drive toward voluntary disclosure bordering on the pornographic. According to Han, the dictates of transparency enforce a totalitarian system of openness at the expense of other social values such as shame, secrecy, and trust.’ I know… I won’t pretend to understand that description of his work either. This article inspired to dig in (which included purchasing his latest book, The Crisis of Narration).” (Mitch for Hugh).

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on XFacebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

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