Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #608

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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: 

  • How to explain Jacob Rees-Mogg? Start with his father’s books – The Guardian“I’ve had several friends, who I love dearly but disagree with politically, point me at a weird pre-millennium prognostication called, The Sovereign Individual. It’s required reading for techno-libertarians, and much of it – from dismissal of climate change to worries about Y2K bugs – can be dismissed with hindsight. But it gets a lot right about the destabilizing power of widespread technology. I opined on Twitter recently that a truck is the closest thing to a tank that a civilian can buy, and while a single truck is just a truck, a battalion of trucks connected via the Internet are a force that modern democracy has not figured out how to reckon with (predictably, this resulted in replies suggesting I buy bed-wetting alarms. Such is Twitter). This Guardian piece has some choice snippets: ‘The economy’s ‘losers’, as Rees-Mogg and Davidson called them, who ‘do not excel in problem-solving or possess globally marketable skills’, would turn to nationalism and bitter nostalgia. They would ‘seek to thwart the movement of capital and people across borders’.’ Sounds familiar.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • We Need More Maps – Ed Conway’s Website. “The world is complicated, and maps make it understandable. While a map is no substitute for the real thing, and can be dangerous if it oversimplifies, maps aren’t just about land. They’re also a way to understand processes that shape our lives – including things like how something gets made. With fewer and fewer people truly aware of stuff like how food gets to our mouths, or how a message gets to Twitter, or how fuel gets to our cars, we need maps more than ever. This great post by Ed Conway looks at some examples – such as the effect of coal on bacon and semiconductors.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Where We Are in the Big Cycle of Money, Credit, Debt, and Economic Activity and the Changing Value of Money – Ray Dalio – LinkedIn. “We haven’t had to worry much about inflation since the 1980s, which means inflation has been wiped from our collective memory. We even have a new macroeconomic theory, Modern Monetary Theory, which proposes that countries that can tax, borrow and spend in their own currencies can print as much money as they need to undertake whatever initiatives they like, without fear of bad things like inflation. At least some of the past couple of years of pandemic spending has been influenced by this theory. Well, it turns out that inflation is back, possibly with a vengeance, we’ll see. Read what hedge fund gazillionaire, and lately global monetary historian, Ray Dalio, has to say about it all.” (Hugh for Alistair). 
  • Here’s what actually happens to all your online shopping returns – Rest of World. “What happens to those online items you bought, then returned? Many of them just get destroyed.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • The Great Resignation Should be No Surprise – Roger Martin – Medium. “Earlier this week, I had a long conversation with one of my favorite thinkers, Roger Martin. I’ve had him on my podcast before, and I’m always struck at how optimistic and strategic he can be about business and the economy. Everyone seems so shocked that so many people have decided to make a grand change in their occupation during this pandemic. Roger explains just how predictable this moment in time is… and provides both context and insights to help all of us think just a little bit differently. Here’s a refreshing read during strange times…” (Mitch for Alistair). 
  • An incomplete history of as a platform for scams, grift, and bad journalism – NiemanLab. “Over the years, I’ve seen countless ways that individuals have use a well-established brand to create the allure that they, themselves, are ‘established’ because of the connection. A personal favorite (sarcasm engaged) is when someone claims they are a ’TED speaker’ when they have spoken at a TEDx event. This isn’t to diminish the value of TEDx or getting an opportunity to speak on those stages, but it’s not the same as the actual TED event (to get on that stage requires a whole other world of experience, skill, etc…). Many people claim to be contributors to big brand media companies (like Forbes and Rolling Stone). What the readers don’t know is that publications like Forbes and Rolling Stone sell the ability to write on their platforms. These publishers claim curation, editing, etc… but it is, a pay-to-play endeavor with a low bar for entry. Other big-brand sites simply want more links, traffic and attention, so they’ll let just about anyone post an article as well. As you can imagine, we go well beyond the challenge of ‘quantity over quality’ and straight into ethical issues (and beyond). Here’s a fascinating (and long) look at how some very esteemed media brands are willing to let their reputations be tossed about…” (Mitch for Hugh).  

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

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