Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #451

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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, 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: 

  • How To Burn A Million Quid – BBC Radio 4. The KLF were an amazing pop phenomenon. Launched when one of their friends challenged their assertion that anyone could write a hit record, they made some incredible music—and then things got weird. You can spend a couple of evenings going down the KLF rathole, learning about their outrageous attempts to undermine pop culture. And the cherry on this weird cultural sundae is when they burned a million pounds. Now, the BBC has a comic radio series about it, if you’re into that kind of thing.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Bill Gates tweeted out a chart and sparked a huge debate about global poverty – Vox. “Is the world getting better? Look at the news and it feels like it’s falling apart. But look at the data, and things are improving dramatically. Or are they? When Bill Gates shared some charts suggesting the world is improving, folks pushed back. The results are a good start at what ‘ etter’ means for a human life.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The Internet of Dongs remains a security dumpster-fire – BoingBoing. “There was an old web meme that went something like: if you can imagine it, someone’s made porn about it. Well, we’re now in the age of the Internet of Things — connecting devices to the web — and we’ve got doorbells and toasters and lightbulbs and baby monitors and sundry other objects that are getting ‘smart.’ Problem is, those devices tend to open massive security problems, and some of those connected devices are sex toys, and whoo boy.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Did Capital Punishment Create Morality? – The New Yorker. “Fascinating new theory on the evolutionary source of human morality.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • We should treat algorithms like prescription drugs – Quartz. “How do we know that algorithms are being created, used and monitored in a safe and effective way? These algorithms are making increasingly more important decisions. Well, maybe the headline of this article is less absurd if you stop to think about it. How about we think about the control of these algorithms. If we look at previous models of how to ensure that these automated decisions are the right decisions (from the programming of them to the execution), prescription drugs may provide a powerful solution and path to success. I can’t wait for people to be pharmacists for algorithms.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction – The Paris Review. “Books are becoming the new meditation and mindfulness. Which sounds strange to write, but it feels true. If you truly do want to get away, be distraction-free, not be plugged in and constantly scrolling against a barrage of pings, grabbing a book may be one the best ways to heal yourself. There has been a ton of discourse on this topic. Here’s another one, but it is a thing of beauty and truth. If you want to get smart… and get better… do yourself a favour: Pick a book… and read. Don’t stop reading. From the article: ‘Horizontal reading rules the day. What I do when I look at Twitter is less akin to reading a book than to the encounter I have with a recipe’s instructions or the fine print of a receipt: I’m taking in information, not enlightenment. It’s a way to pass the time, not to live in it. Reading—real reading, the kind Birkerts makes his impassioned case for—draws on our vertical sensibility, however latent, and ‘where it does not assume depth, it creates it.’” (Mitch for Hugh).

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