Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #654

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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: 

  • What of the national throat? – Internal Exile“Everyone I know is speculating on every channel or feed I’m on about ChatGPT, so much so that Mitch’s first suggestion was for me to go and read Johann Hari‘s Stolen Focus. Much of the chat chatter is about what jobs are obsolete, and what is now possible. There have been calls to ban, or regulate, this new genie. This isn’t the first time: As Rob Horning explains, this harkens back to John Philip Sousa‘s 1906 story, The Menace of Mechanical Music, which worried the phonograph would stop us all from making music. I think AI will have more impact than cognition, given that most of the world has a user interface in their pocket, but while history may not repeat itself, it definitely rhymes. Sometimes in song.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Excel Esports: All-Star Battle – Financial Modeling World Cup. “We’ve had links about Excel before, from Kat Norton‘s quest to be an Excel Influencer to Joel Spolsky telling us we suck at the spreadsheet. I know, because I thought I’d shared this link before, and went and looked. Excel is a pretty marketable skill, and it turns out it’s a competitive sport run by the Financial Modeling World Cup. Communities are everything.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Finding the First Americans -Aeon. “When did humans first arrive in the Americas? We still don’t know.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • The Takeover – Tablet. “The weird cultural shift from a fight for open ideas and tolerance to radical intolerance wielded in the name of radical tolerance has roots in the cloistered specialization required of academics these days. This has – to some degree – filtered down into the students who have come out of academia, making certain kinds of complex conversations — for instance conversations about gender altering medical interventions on teens — close to verboten on the nominal ‘left’.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • The End of High-School English – The Atlantic. “It’s true that ChatGPT is powerful. I’ve waxed poetic about it for some time. It’s also true that it lacks character. For writers, it’s a great way to prime the pump, whiteboard ideas or create some prompts. What about for high school students? I’m not sure that I fully agree with this article, but it poses an interesting thought: ‘… one big part of education has remained inescapable: writing. Barring outright plagiarism, students have always arrived at that moment when they’re on their own with a blank page, staring down a blinking cursor, the essay waiting to be written. Now that might be about to change. The arrival of OpenAI’s ChatGPT… may signal the end of writing assignments altogether—and maybe even the end of writing as a gatekeeper, a metric for intelligence, a teachable skill.’ I’m not sure ChatGPT can do all of that yet… but that ‘yet’ part may be the issue…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Is modern life ruining our powers of concentration? – The Guardian. “Here’s another angle on the book Stolen Focus, and it can be summed up in one word: Balance. Doom-scrolling may actually be a needed function to get us to focus? ‘The fact that flow is not only rare, but draining; and that taking a break to scroll a different screen or play a game on your phone can be restorative, is proof of the need for nuance. The moralising over productivity and screentime is unhelpful when it comes to finding solutions – but highly profitable as the boom in (useless) blue-light glasses and ‘distraction-free’ tech goes to show.’ This article highlights the nuances and plays into the more generally accepted trope that we all need a balanced diet if we want a more healthy lifestyle.” (Mitch for Hugh).

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