Six Links That Make You Think #722

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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:

  • TSMC’s debacle in the American desert – Rest Of World“The tech industry runs on computer chips. In that regard, Taiwan is Arrakis: The source of spice that makes our economy possible. With increasing tensions between the NATO countries and the rest of the world, the US wants to shore up chip production. Part of the plan is bringing the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to Arizona. To say things are not going well is an understatement. Work culture between the US and Taiwan could not be further apart. For example, American employees expect access to Instagram during working hours, and don’t respond well to criticism. Taiwanese employees surrender their personal phones for 12-hour days and are very direct with their feedback. I’d watch this reality show; it’s also an object lesson in organizational change.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The 4 Biggest Ideas In Philosophy, With Legend Daniel Dennett For Big Think – Big Think – YouTube. “We’ve lost a great philosophical mind, one that wasn’t happy with a simple answer and preferred to get into the weeds to truly understand the mechanics of things. This is one of  Daniel Dennett’s last interviews for Big Think, in which he details four of his big philosophical concerns in his sunset years.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Sean Carroll: General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Black Holes & Aliens – Lex Fridman Podcast. Sean Carroll is one of my favorite podcasters – a theoretical physicist who is deeply engaged in both fundamental science and the big philosophical questions of our time. He’s thoughtful, generous and deeply curious. Lex Fridman is great too – though I am much more interested in his science interviews compared to the political ones. In any case, Sean does the best job I’ve ever heard/read of explaining Einstein‘s genius (and exactly what the fuss is about the Theory of Relativity – special and general).” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Why You Can’t Afford A Home, Explained In 10 Charts – Globe & Mail. “Canada, in my opinion, has two existential-scale problems that must be tackled right now: cratering productivity (which means every year we get poorer as a country, and have a harder time paying for all the things we like – such as health care and education), and housing costs (which means that a larger portion of income is going to housing, so that in addition to getting poorer as a country because of low productivity, we are also feeling poorer as individuals because we have less money left over after we’ve paid for housing). Any political party that doesn’t put those two problems at the top of their policy priorities is, in my opinion, criminally negligent. This article presents ten charts that show how complex the housing problem is. Among other things: it’s 107% more expensive to build a house in Toronto than it was in 2017. In 2022 demographic demand doubled, so there are now twice as many people needing housing than there is house construction. It now takes twice as long to build a house than it did in 1995. And monthly average mortgage payments have doubled since 2020. How do you fix all of this? I don’t know, but I sure hope every party is working hard to sort it all out, and putting this problem front and centre in their policy proposals. So far I am excruciatingly underwhelmed by the Liberals.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Generative Ai Is Still A Solution In Search Of A Problem – Axios. “Just because I am used to articles questioning the value (and potential) of a disruptive new technology, it doesn’t mean that I have to like it. This article really frustrated me. Here’s just a taste from the article: ‘I consistently sort of wander up to the A.I., ask it a question, find myself somewhat impressed or unimpressed at the answer. But it doesn’t stick for me. It is not a sticky habit… it’s not really clear how to make A.I. part of your life.’ These kind of statements are so misguided that it scares me (especially coming from a journalist). My hot take? Generative AI tools that we see right now, are extremely impressive. To say otherwise, is a natural human reaction to the fact that when we see technology that can do tasks comparable (and often more effectively) than us humans, it’s a natural impulse to be protective. We want to protect our knowledge. We want to protect our experience. We want to protect all these skills that we have acquired. I would argue that in the near-future, the results from Generative AI will force us humans to re-define and push the boundaries of who we assumed we are. And that’s a very uncomfortable place to be (for me and you). As a reminder: It’s all about the inputs. Very good inputs already get pretty great outputs. And, yes, I believe that we’re avoiding all of his, because confronting it is going to very challenging.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • What Is An Ai Anyway? – Mustafa Suleyman – TED – YouTube. “I was not able to make my annual pilgrimage to the TED conference this year. As they start to publish some of the TED Talks, I was thrilled to see that Mustafa Suleyman’s presentation was already available. In contrast to Ezra Klein asking generative AI questions (like it’s just a Google replacement), take a listen to what the CEO of Microsoft AI (and the co-founder and former head of applied AI at DeepMind – an AI company acquired by Google) has to stay about where we’re at with AI… and where it’s going. His logic and insight (especially the notion of a new digital species) is, exactly, aligned with where my mind wanders as I both think about AI and integrate it into almost all of my current workflow.” (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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