Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #570

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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: 

  • Beware the Copyleft Trolls – OneZero. “The idea of copyleft was to put things in the public domain, while still providing attribution and giving people a way to control their work. And of course, someone’s figured out how to take advantage of this: Use an outdated license, wait until people use your ‘ ree’ art, and then retroactively revoke the license and sue. This is why we can’t have nice things.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The Nonmachinables – Logic. “The US postal service has a huge job, mandated by constitution. It’s the biggest Federal employer, and the third largest consumer of IT in the world. But what to do about unintelligible letters when the post absolutely, positively, has to get there? Here’s a fascinating look behind the scenes at how the postal service handles things that simply can’t be automated.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • A new oil-cryptocurrency alliance takes shape in North America – Financial Post. “Here is a plot to a William Gibson novel that I don’t think has been written yet: a band of hardscrabble bitcoin miners follow around oil rigs in rural America, with pickups towing trailers full of servers and a generator built to run on flared methane gas that’s a side-product of oil drilling, in a ‘ in’ for the environment? And a further hint that bitcoin is way weirder than you already thought it was.” (Hugh for Alistair). 
  • If Apple is the only organisation capable of defending our privacy, it really is time to worry – The Guardian. Apple has carved out an interesting market position as the consumer tech company that is (we hope?) not interested in knowing everything about your private life in order to sell to/manipulate you better. How long this lasts? I don’t know, but when you compare Apple’s business model (sell you hardware and software services that you like) to Facebook and Google (give you free stuff, and sell access to you based on all of your private activity), I sure feel more comfortable with Apple. Apple is using its business model as a (welcomed) cudgel against the companies that want to know everything about you, with its latest iOS update that lets you opt out of Facebook and others from tracking everything that you do on your phone. Seems like just about every iPhone user is happy about that, and Facebook isn’t. But, it’s a bit weird that there isn’t more regulation about all of this privacy stuff. Oh, well, Apple will save us forever?” (Hugh for Mitch). 
  • The World Economy Is Suddenly Running Low on Everything – Bloomberg BusinessWeek. “If we could go back in time (pre-pandemic), and you would have told me that certain business would do well in the pandemic (selling swimming pools?) and certain businesses would not (selling beer?), I’m not sure that I would have believed you. If this pandemic proved anything to me, it would be this: consumer behavior is much more complicated than what seems to be ‘obvious.’ How does that scale? This article demonstrates that the bigger picture could be much scarier than any of us could have imagined. Especially, when there is this sentiment (in certain parts of the world) that things are getting back to normal, and that it’s all going to come raging back. That could all be stifled if this article is accurate.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • How to stop overthinking – Psyche. “Should I? Shouldn’t I? How much of our lives is a well thought out strategy? How much of our lives do we spend overthinking things? I can overthink with the best of ‘em. We all have to learn when grappling with our thoughts is positive, and when it can become corrosive. Is there a way to break free from overthinking everything? Let me think about it (I kid). Apparently, so…” (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 ;):