Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #555

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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: 

  • Vintage Jim Henson Commercials – Wilkins Coffee – KermiClown – YouTube. “Before he was Kermit The Frog, Jim Henson made commercials. I went down a Muppet rabbit-hole recently after John Oliver mentioned that there’s a Muppet Movie screen test video of Henson and Frank Oz improvising existential crises about being a sentient puppet, and that brought me… here. Please enjoy proto-Kermit, shilling coffee.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • SorryWatch. “Apologies have taken on a new meaning in the modern world. They’re picked apart by pundits, scrutinized for sincerity, run through the mill of talk shows. But are they any good? There’s a site for that! From food critics to crossword writers, it’s amazing how much we have to apologize for, and how badly we do it.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Posthaste: ‘Alarming’ numbers show Canadian business investment has plunged to just 58 cents for every dollar spent in the U.S. – Financial Post. “We’re not supposed to talk politics in these links, but I’m really worried about Canada. While I track left I still like my governments to make sure that Canada’s economic/fiscal footing is solid, while also addressing other important issues. Given the challenges that we will be presented with trying to pull ourselves out of the Covid hole, it’s data like that presented in these articles that makes me very worried indeed about the next couple of decades — more so when I think these two decades will see China and the USA battling for power. Canada is not in good shape to navigate such choppy waters.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Trudeau has presided over worst business investment growth of past five prime ministers – Financial Post. “More bad news about Canada.” (Hugh for Mitch). 
  • N.Y.’s Vaccine Websites Weren’t Working. He Built a New One for $50. – The New York Times. “I’ve spent decades – since the early nineties – building websites. Thinking about websites. Listening to what people would like their company’s website to do. And, time and time again, when the developers believe that the build needs to be custom, I find myself saying: ‘Hasn’t someone already solved for this? Can’t we get this off-the-shelf?’ It’s a naive question (maybe), but that’s how I am wired. So, when I wind up seeing the sticker price for many website builds, I am usually a little dizzy from the price. I love the way Squarespace works (my website is built on it), and the flow makes sense to. But, it is limited (there is only so much that you do with the templates and functionality). This story makes me rethink everything. Especially, when we live in a world where websites do cost millions of dollars…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Why Computers Will Never Write Good Novels – Nautilus. “Hey Siri, grab all of my blog posts/articles and write me a book about the intersection of brands, consumers and technology. It seems to me, like this may not be an unrealistic request for the machine learning systems that are being developed and improved upon. ‘Machines can’t be creative’ may be an erroneous way of looking at things. This article goes deep into what it means to be creative and, in the end, I am not sure that I agree with the sentiment expressed so plainly in the title of this article. Machines can and do learn. If machines can make decisions and review creative endeavors in ways that human beings could never capture, it may be way too early in the game to think that computers will never write good novels. In the end, it could be that computers will write the best novels? Time and technology will tell…” (Mitch for Hugh).

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

Are you interested in what’s next? How to decode the future? I publish between 2-3 times per week and then the Six Pixels of Separation Podcast comes out every Sunday. Feel free to subscribe (and tell your friends ;):