Six Links That Make You Think #730

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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: 

  • AI Safety Is A Narrative Problem – Rachel Coldicutt – HDSR“The US Surgeon General is calling for Social Media to be regulated like cigarettes: Addictive, easily accessible, and bad for your health. It took fifteen years for public sentiment to shift from ‘this is inevitable’ to ‘maybe we should think about how to use this.’ Jonathan Haidt has done a great job chronicling the dark consequences of social media, but if we get AI wrong they may be far worse — and may end our ability to function as a society. Rachel Coldicutt penned this excellent piece which made me step way back and ask: Maybe we’re talking about this wrong? Rachel’s a great writer, and I loved sentences like, ‘accompanied by a cavalcade of AI doomspeak.’ So Hugh, as a foil to Situational Awareness, have some Narrative Awareness.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The Age Of Recoupment – David Dayen – Lindsay Owens – Prospect. “You’re not imagining things: We’re in the gouging era. When I first heard Wendy’s plan to implement ‘flexible pricing’ my thoughts weren’t that they could entice shoppers in during slow periods with flash sales, but rather ‘here comes a meat surge.’ With fewer, bigger companies; digital pricing that’s easily changed, digital payment so we aren’t counting bills, and easy price collusion, what was once antitrust is now simply ‘charge them whatever we can get away with.’ A good reminder that the laws of supply and demand ignore the role of power, and the free market is anything but.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The Rush To Return Humans To The Moon And Build Lunar Bases Could Threaten Opportunities For Astronomy – Martin Elvis – The Conversation. “Things are heating up on the moon! China Chang’e-6 mission successfully landed an uncrewed vehicle on the moon this month. We’re starting to see a future, maybe not so far away, when we might have the incentive and capability to start doing things on the moon again. Real things like furthering our understanding of the universe through massive telescopes, or mining for hydrogen and helium.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Situational Awareness – The Decade Ahead – Leopold Aschenbrenner. Leopold Aschenbrenner, formerly part of the security and alignment team at OpenAI, proclaims what the world’s future looks like from deep inside the powerhouses that are building AI. Wild, is his answer. Unimaginable. He’s written a 162 page treatise about his thoughts, which you can read online, or as a PDF. If audio is your thing, here’s a 4 hour podcast interview with him.”  (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Steven Pinker – Why Smart People Believe Stupid Things – The Free Press. “In this storm of information, lies and opinions (masked as facts), I have a handful of intellectuals that I can always return to as a safe harbor of reason. Steven Pinker is one of those people. Steven is originally from Montreal (but he spent most of his professional life at Harvard in Massachusetts) and I’ve had the pleasure of attending events in person with him and getting to know him over the past few years, which only makes me appreciate his intellect and perspectives more. When it comes to the complexities of our human lives (something AI has yet to take) around cognition, language, social behavior and more, his research (and insights on that work) always fascinate. This conversation doesn’t disappoint.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • 100 Hours In Baghdad In 2024 – Thomas Brag – Yes Theory. “I know that Baghdad is (currently) not on my ‘must visit before I die’ travel list. With that, this vlog is a perfect avatar for why YouTube is such a disruption to the media landscape. I had not heard of this channel before getting this video in my algorithm, and now I am a true believer and subscriber. It’s hard not to feel the passion and love that Thomas Brag has for travel, people and a better tomorrow (plus, he lives in Montreal!). We often have a vision – in our mind’s eye – of what a country must look like. With videos like this, you can see how polluted our perspectives usually are from the mass media. What do you get at the end of this? People. People who want to live a good life, fall in love, build their community, enjoy the cultures of our world and more. This story of his recent trip to Baghdad really moved me.” (Mitch for Alistair).

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

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