Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #658

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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: 

  • You now can earn college credit through YouTube videos – MashableHank and John Green have helped millions of people graduate from high school. Amidst an ailing educational system and the trainwrecks of YouTube and TikTok, Crash Course—a channel filled with amazing online classes—has been a bright light. YouTube, Crash Course, and Arizona State University just launched Study Hall, as an onramp to university. As Hank said on Twitter, ‘there’s $1.75 trillion of student debt in America held by around 43 million Americans. This seems like a… kinda bad thing, but it is actually worse than it sounds… 40% of those 43 million people do not have, and will not get, a degree.’ Is this finally the rebuild of higher education we need?” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Police Squad Epilogues – Ash Bowie – YouTube. Police Squad was a high bar for subversive TV. In its short life—later reprised by Leslie Nielsen in the Police Squad movies—it broke a lot of ground. But perhaps the funniest part was how they lampooned the ‘freeze on credits’ trope of seventies sitcoms. This cliché was pretty common: The show ended on a high moment, then froze, and the credits rolled. In true Police Squad style they… modified this. Figured I’d introduce some lightness into these links.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Your gut is directly connected to your brain, by a newly discovered neuron circuit – Science. “I suppose I’ve known this for a while, in some kind of background sense, but I’m not sure I ever realized the extent to which your gut/stomach/intestines are brainlike: they contain 100 million nerve cells. A new study shows the gut can actually communicate with the brain through a neurocircuit in seconds. So, a gut feeling really means something.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • The ‘Enshittification’ of TikTok – Cory Doctorow – Wired. “Been a while since I read or posted a good Cory Doctorow screed against rapacious tech companies. This one outlines something we’ve seen over and over: new social platform is awesome by creating a new/easier way for people to connect. Grows like wildfire, with uncertain revenue model, benefitting users. Builds in revenues through advertising and promotion of stuff. Promises growth to investors. Starts privileging ads and promoted content — stuff that generally users don’t want to see — and eventually drives users away. There’s a missing part of this process somehow in the scale of the network (small networks seem to work well, but as they get bigger, the early value starts to fade, as noise starts taking over signal).” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Crushed – The Atavist. “Being an ‘influencer’ or a ‘YouTuber’ seems as viable of a career path for young people as accounting, law or science. In a sense, this makes me shudder. I wonder if we’ve completely contaminated the idea that great work gets noticed and when it gets noticed, it’s possible to become famous for this work. I feel like the world of influencers and YouTubers almost inverts this concept… as if the reason for doing something is the likes, follows, subscribes, etc… As if fame is the job… and then, again, maybe I am The Olds. This is a deep dive into the craziness that can be this chase for attention at all costs. Now, we can zoom out and see this type of behavior in any industry. Long before YouTube, we had many professionals burning out at work… chasing the dragon… and so on. In this instance, we’re talking about tweens… and maybe that is what makes this constant push for more (and the fame of it all) so disturbing?” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • The People Who Don’t Read Books – The Atlantic. “I feel like this share needs me to state that some may see reading books as a kind of privilege. I could argue that your local library might disagree. Some might be right in saying that we should look at how public libraries and school libraries are funded in areas that have more marginalized groups. This is all fair, but reading books (to me) is a strong judge of someone’s character. Patently stating that ‘I don’t read books’ might point to how busy you are, but one could argue that it does (as this article states) point to a ‘larger deficiency of character’. I am a big believer in time spent between the spine of a book. And, it goes well beyond it being good for you. Books, unlike any other form of art, really do help you to grow in ways that are unimaginable. I can only relate it to the way that many people describe the powers of a regular meditation routine. You don’t have to read many books to get over the hurdle of not reading… just one… one book… start there…” (Mitch for Hugh).

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