Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #530

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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: 

  • s08e18: QAnon looks like an alternate reality game – Things That Have Caught My Attention. “I’ve been reading a few Substack newsletters lately. Several have really impressed me. First up is the extraordinary Dan Hon, who’s worked in tech and civic society for ages. He has a great take on QAnon, which sort of hit the mainstream media this week (though it’s hard not to have heard of it if you’re paying attention online.) His core thesis is simply: You’re playing a game that’s designed to be solved. And as he points out, whether playing a known fiction, or navigating the amorphous, self-reinforcing algorithms that pass for news in the modern world, ‘It’s still the same dopamine, at the end of the day.'” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The Unbundling of Udemy – Late Checkout – a Substack by Greg Isenberg.Greg Isenberg built a platform called Islands, which was basically reddit for the modern world (with constraints on what groups could do). It got traction around Bonnaroo, and was eventually acquired by Wework. Greg is one of the smartest people I know on startups in general and communities in particular (plus he’s got a Montreal past!) He once observed that every line on the original Craigslist—cars, rentals, pet-sitting, companions—is now an entire Internet category. Always one with a quick turn of phrase, he thinks niches and shared learning are the future, and that ‘vast has passed.’ Here are his thoughts on the unbundling of learning platform Udemy and, in some ways, the future of education itself.” (Alistair for Hugh). 
  • 400-year-old Greenland shark ‘longest-living vertebrate’ – BBC. “This shark has been swimming around Greenland since sometime around the year 1600. Oh, the stories she could tell.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • The User Always Loses – The Nation. “How humans have been converted into ‘users’, and what that means.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • The Computer Game That Led To The Enlightenment – The New Yorker. “New to Netflix this week is a really fun documentary on the advent and ascent of video games called, High Score. A little nostalgia is just what I needed. It took me right back to the early eighties (and beyond). I went from copying code in Compute! Magazine to hours (ad nauseam) on my Atari 2600, and it kept going (and growing) from there. I’ve been enjoying the Netflix documentary, and then came across this article about Ultima. There’s just something about hearing game titles like that… It brings me back to a simpler time. Great stuff here…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • What Does Boredom Do To Us – And For Us? – The New Yorker. “As a parent, how many times have you heard the phrase, ‘I’m bored!’ from your kids during this pandemic? I’ve had my fair share. I don’t like being bored. We mask it all now, by simply flicking on our iPhones for hours on end. It’s a distraction from being bored. What’s wrong with being bored? Shouldn’t our kids (and ourselves) get better at being bored? Do we always need to be busy (or entertained)? Is it good for us to be bored? I think it is. Let’s see what this article thinks…” (Mitch for Hugh). 

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