Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #585

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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: 

  • Moiré no more – Revue“Ever look closely at a printed photo? It’s made of tiny dots whose size – when seen from afar – makes shades. That’s because the ink is one color, but the print needs to show various shades. These half-tone screens are the bane of anyone scanning printed material: Once you print something, you can’t get it back. Except you can, with the magic of math. This is a great look at Moiré patterns, and how to restore photos using a reverse Fast Fourier Transform. Author Marcin Wichary is posting updates from his forthcoming book on keyboards, and they’re all excellent—particularly for people who work with books.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Konstrui Pli Bonn Lingvon (To Build A Better Language) – The Verge. “I was explaining Esperanto to my daughter this weekend, and found this fascinating article about the language’s fans, who seem to have created a community long before the Internet. They say people come together around common knowledge, and a common language is no exception. From couch-surfing to meetups, Esperantists (as they’re called) bond over an artificial language designed in 1887 to promote world peace. This is a fascinating piece on language, geopolitics, and communities.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The Internet Country – Tigerfeathers! – Substack. “When I think about the risks to the west’s dominance in the world, I mostly think about China: China isn’t just growing their economy faster and bigger than anyone else, but they are also dominating what seem likely to be the technologies of the future – from green power to AI. But quietly behind the scenes, Asia’s other population behemoth, India, has put in place digital infrastructure that might just propel the country in ways we tired old economies of the west can only dream of. At a massive scale, India has rolled out a three layer ‘India Stack’ of digital infrastructure: An identity layer (which allows anyone to access a wide array of services), a payment layer (giving millions new access to banking), and a data layer (which allows users to define how their data can be used… then allows them to use it). Compare this to the USA, where millions don’t have ID that would allow them to vote; and Canada where the best cash transfer protocol we have is e-interac (limited, usually, to $3000). Whether India has it right, I am not sure, but these kinds of investments in civil (digital) infrastructure are unimaginable here, and that sure must make us all worry about getting left behind.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Why William Gibson Is a Literary Genius – The Walrus. William Gibson, seer of the internet age and beyond.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Henry Rollins – Broken Record Podcast. “There is no question that Henry Rollins is one of the most inspirational creators in my life. His punk music with Black Flag, Rollins Band and solo? Yup. His spoken word performances? Double yup! His books and writing style? Triple that yup! He has his own publishing imprint (2.13.61). He’s done his own record labels (including Infinite Zero with Rick Rubin, who interviews him in this podcast). He’s an actor, journalist and so much more. In this episode, Rollins reflects on his early days… as a kid who was scooping ice cream with no options to a future fronting Black Flag… and what that led to. Like I said… inspiring, influential and he’s the source of my favorite quote: ‘If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you.’ I was all over this conversation, and I hope that you will be too.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • The Surprisingly Big Business of Library E-books – The New Yorker. “Without exaggerating, Hugh has been asking the question ‘what is a book?’ (and building businesses and communities around this question) long before anyone ever really had these thoughts. Well, it’s close to two decades later, and we’re still discussing the concept of a book (it’s not just pages bound together). If you think that the pandemic didn’t force libraries and book stores to rethink the value of ebooks, you would be wrong. Libraries too. I happen to love libraries (so much so, that I sit on the executive committee for my local public library). This is a great look at how innovation, payments, and the complexity of going digital both opens many doors, while challenging many institutions and consumers. This is a great read about the world of libraries, ebooks, and the billions of dollars at play.” (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).