Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #651

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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: 

  • Confronting Chaos: A New Concept For Information Advantage – War On The Rocks“A new concept for information advantage: It’s clear to anyone paying attention that information is warfare; that the more open a society the more vulnerable it is; and that by being connected to and reliant on the Internet, we’re all on the front lines. I’m not a fan of hawkish warmongering, but from time to time, it’s interesting to see how they think. This post from War on the Rocks was written over a year ago, but presages much of what’s happening in Ukraine and elsewhere right now. The links alone are pretty sobering.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The end of the system of the world – Noahpinion – Noah Smith. “The global economy was supposed to stop us from attacking one another. Interdependence, it was thought, would allow more cross-cultural understanding and make the cost of isolation so high nobody would attempt it. It would also give us ways to punish bad actors by cutting them off. But that system seems to be unravelling, according to this wide-ranging look at economic and political trends.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Best Songs of 2022 – Said The Gramophone. Said the Gramophone is a music blog that’s been at it since 2003, which is about when I got really involved in the Web. It was one of the world’s first ‘mp3 blogs’ (raise your hand, if you are old enough to even know what that means! mp3? blog?), and holds a special place in my heart as one of those quirky old websites that once upon a time made me so excited about the Web. It’s run by Montreal writer Sean Michaels, and to my delight it hasn’t changed at all (so much so, that the latest post is asking for help migrating from Movable Type (!!) to WordPress – they need help doing it, if you are in a giving mood). In any case, every December they put out a list of the best songs of the year — eclectic, ranging from commerical pop to obscure minimalist industrial to raging punk and beyond — something I’ve always looked forward to as I replenish my musical inputs. I’ve discovered some of my favourite artists from this yearly list. Note that you can find the playlist on Spotify.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • The Gamification of Everything Is No Fun – The New Republic. “The great Adrian Hon on the oppressive misery of gamification, and ‘digital Taylorism’ in the workplace.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Awesome ChatGPT Prompts – Github. “Over a lively Holiday Season lunch gathering, Alistair, Hugh, Julien Smith and myself found ourselves debating the future of tech (which was how these weekly ‘six links’ got started over 12 years ago). Naturally, the conversation was dominated by ChatGPT and what it means for creatives, technologists and humanity. Seth Godin wrote something very insightful about this AI’s ability to create content on the fly: ‘Now, with GPT and Stable Diffusion and other machine learning AI tools gaining widespread use, there’s a gap between people who are simply stumbling around with silly short prompts and folks who are figuring out how to engineer an excellent prompt. We’re all the boss. Giving better instructions gets better results.’ This is the same truism when it comes to search engines. Here’s a great (and curated) list of excellent prompts to think about, as more and more people use ChatGPT. One last, philosophical, thought: Should you use platforms like ChatGPT to replace you or make your work better and more thorough? I know how I am using it.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Three Reasons Creatives Should Embrace, Not Fear, The Role of AI – Tom Webster – Medium. “Over on Facebook, I posted this: Writing is easy. Great writing is almost impossible. It was in response to much of the excitement over ChapGPT replacing everyone from lawyers to copywriters and journalists to academics. That post generated over 85 comments and inspired (or so he tells me) Tom Webster to write this very thoughtful piece about why everyone (not just creatives) should use ChatGPT as way to make their work better… not as a replacement (see my last link above). ‘The semi-spicy take is that it will cost the jobs of mediocre writers, but the good writers will always be in demand. I don’t fully agree with either of those. AI won’t be the death of writers, or even of mediocre writers… but one thing I can say is that even before AI, we already have a word for people who are employed specifically as writers who are mediocre at writing: unemployed. No one currently creating ‘huge amounts of mediocre material’ or ‘bad Seinfeld scripts’ are at risk of redundancy, because those people aren’t currently employed now, or if they are, it’s never been a long-term prospect, Skynet or no.’ Preach!” (Mitch for Hugh).

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