Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #620

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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: 

  • Without Sky – Natan Dubovitsky – Bewildering Stories“Dubovitsky is the pseudonym of Vladimir Surkov, a close advisor to Putin. The FT describes him as, ‘a founding father of Putinism.’ Sanctioned by Obama, he appears to have parted ways with Russia’s leader in 2020, and is now under house arrest. He also writes science fiction. This short story, published in 2014, is definitely weird, and dark, and, if you read between the lines, telling.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • He Planned a Treasure Hunt for the Ages — Until He Went Missing – Rolling Stone. “I love treasure hunts. Love them. I don’t make them nearly as much as I should, and keeping up with the advances in clues that escape rooms have given us can be exhausting. But I once created a multi-day, online/offline hunt for my partner that included notes inside obscure movie cassettes at Blockbuster, a combination lock decoded by playing an audio file backwards, a jigsaw puzzle map, and a cipher based on the liner notes for a Pat Metheny album. Heck, I’ve even written a book on how to run them (if you want a fun rabbithole, look up Elsa Maxwell, the inventor of the scavenger hunt). So, this story struck home, because it’s a devastating loss for humans.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • North Sentinel Island – Wikipedia. “The podcast from my other link (the next one below…) this week had a brief section on North Sentinel Island, a protected 56km2 island in the Sea of Bengal with an uncontacted population. The Indian government forbids any interaction with the native population, estimated to be between 50 and 400 people, and once in a while someone tries to visit and gets killed by the island’s inhabitants.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • State of the Universe with Eric Weinstein: Part 1 of 2 – Elon Musk and Roe vs. Wade – Into The Impossible with Brian Keating. “I first learned of Mitch through our shared interest in the early days of podcasting, back around 2005 or 2006. I was working on LibriVox at the time, publishing free public domain audiobooks via podcast; Mitch was doing his Six Pixels of Separation Podcast. We might have met before this, but the first time I recall having a long conversation with Mitch was when he drove me to Kingston, Ontario to an early podcasting conference, Podcasters Across Borders. Maybe that was 2007, I don’t know. Anyway, I remember talking to Mitch then about ‘what podcasting would become,’ and it was clear to both of us that, eventually, it would become filled with everything under the sun, from the weird and strange amateurs of those early days, to professional media output, and — what I was most excited about — experts and interesting people of all stripes who would have an easy way to publish audio with none of the constraints of radio. It took a while, but the range of great and challenging stuff out there now is breathtaking, and some of my favourites are the physicists and scientists who do deep dives into their areas of expertise. A new discovery for me is Into the Impossible with Brian Keating, hosted by the eponymous cosmologist. Another character who comes up in podcastlandia is Eric Weinstein, managing director of Peter Theil’s VC company, amateur physicist with a grand unifying theory, and ‘Intellectual Dark Web‘ founding member. There’s lots from Eric I don’t agree with, but Eric and his ilk rightly (I think) defend the value of listening to people you don’t agree with (though I’m not sure how much they practice what they preach). Anyway, this was a maybe awful, fun, terrifying, frustrating, conversation between two smart people about the state of the world, and I’m thankful that Mitch and I were right about where podcasting, eventually, would get to.” (Hugh for Mitch). 
  • What Happened to Montreal’s Legendary Melon? – Atlas Obscura. “I had never heard of this ‘Montreal Melon’ have you? Apparently, this fruit was straight from the NDG area of Montreal and was considered quite the delicacy! ‘A century ago, Manhattan residents with a hankering for dessert might flick on their finest frock coat, get a table at a white-tablecloth restaurant, and order a juicy slice of Montreal melon. It didn’t come cheap, though. A slice of the green-fleshed melon sold for a steak’s price of $1, or around $30 in today’s currency.’ And… it may be making a comeback! Yummy!” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Life As a Book Publisher in Wartime Ukraine – Literary Hub. “Over the years, we’ve watched the publishing industry go through many dramatic changes. From digital books to self-publishing and beyond. It continues to evolve and – there is no doubt – that with everything from supply chain issues to the questions of producing paper and climate change, that the industry is under tremendous pressure. With that, here’s a story that will reframe all of our business and economic woes. The Ukraine publisher, Vivat, used to publish more than four hundred new books each year. With close to 120 employees that also sell rights to more than twenty countries in the world, the Kharkiv-based company has been facing military strikes since the first day of the invasion. Now, 95% of the employees have been evacuated, but the company continues to publish books from bomb shelters and beyond. Prepare to be inspired with a sense of optimism about the future of the publishing (and fingers crossed that these employees stay safe and healthy)…” (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)