Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #659

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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:

  • The Toronto Dreams Project“Some of this is true. For years, a historian has been recounting—and sometimes imagining—Toronto’s history. From the Imperial Airship Scheme, to pet dissections at the Toronto Exhibition, to the Toronto Circus Riot of 1855, there’s a lot here. Adam Bunch, a local historian and journalist, pours his imagination and some incredibly old photos into his city.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The Job Decision Matrix – Kindel. “A lot of people are changing jobs right now. Some of them are part of the Google/Facebook/Meta/Amazon/Microsoft wave. It’s a rough time, and like the pandemic, a chance to reflect on the life you want to lead. Our obsession with productivity means many of us spend our lives working to save for a day that may never come. The journey is the point, and this tool (written in 2012) is a simple, but obvious, tool. Too often we take a job and build our lives around it; what if, instead, we applied the same kind of strategic planning to life that we do in our day jobs?” (Alistair for Mitch, but only because he’s such a good example of how to embody a career that creates the life he wants).
  • The Powerful Role of Magical Beliefs in Our Everyday Thinking – The MIT Press Reader“How much of your time is spent thinking: ‘How could [group X] possibly believe [crazy idea Y]?’ My guess is, a lot. For me I think that often about, say, Flat Earthers, QAnonists, anti-vaccine folk, and that’s just this morning. Often my feelings are based on very specific knowledge. For instance, mid-Covid panic, I asked a friend who is an expert in designing large-scale medical trials what he thought of the papers/studies and evidence suggesting that Ivermectin was the miracle cure for Covid. He explained, sensibly, why the data in those studies was just not good enough (he was in favor of more study, fwiw), and explained why. But sometimes, my beliefs are indeed just a kind of ‘faith’ in a certain way of seeing the world. I’m a believe-the-science guy through and through, and yet, I’ve lived the foxhole experience countless times when something really bad might happen: I’ve made all sorts of deals with the cosmos over the years (‘If outcome A happens, I promise to do B’). I don’t believe in God, nor do I believe the cosmos cares what I do, and yet. And yet. I still make these deals on occasion. New research explains (maybe not so new?) that even the most non-magicy among us will use magical thinking to fill the void when there is high levels of uncertainty and stress. You do it and I do it. Not just [group X] with [crazy belief Y].” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • That ’70s Show – Texas Monthly“I’ve been listening to a lot of ‘outlaw country’ these days, a country music scene that emerged in (Austin) Texas in the 70s as an alternative to the strict rules of music coming out of Nashville in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Greats like John Prine, Townes Van Zandt, and of course, Willie Nelson. Here’s the story of the outlaws.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Become a ChatGPT Pro – Business Breakthrough – Medium. “I am using ChatGPT (and other AI writing and editing tools, like Lex) much more than I would have believed, even a month ago. They have, without a doubt, become a personal assistant, Junior Copywriter, and brainstorming buddy for my work. If I am being honest, I am also using it this much because I am scared. I’ve had this feeling of being scared before. I recognize it. I had the same feeling when I logged on to another computer using a modem, the first time I saw a web browser, ecommerce, social media, smartphones, cryptocurrency, and a handful of other moments in time, when technology made me see the world in a way that I had not seen it before. I still believe that everything is ‘with’ and not ‘instead of’, so you can argue about whether or not tools like ChatGPT are going to change the world, I’m more interested in how they have already changed how I work… and how much more that is going to change with every passing day. Here are some tools if you start getting scared like me…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • The Future of Marketing is People – The Future Does Not Fit In The Containers Of The Past. “When ‘marketing experts’ talk about creating content as a way to build community, and how community is one of the highest forms of marketing, it makes me squirm (just a little). I think community – like going viral – is an outcome of things that a brand does (very well). Because a community is a group of like-minded individuals with a kindness towards a common denominator. When a brand is pushing content, it’s not (necessarily) building community, it’s getting attention (and, not just any kind of attention, but quality attention). What got me most excited about social media was not the connectedness of technology. It was also not the ability for an individual to have an idea, produce it and distribute it across a large network. Ultimately, it was one thing: real interactions between real human beings. No more corporate talk. No more mumbo-jumbo press releases. A human voice speaking, writing, communicating in a real way. This is not a new concept. I was wiring about this back in 2003, and there were countless others screaming about it before me (see: The Cluetrain Manifesto). Rishad Tobaccowala is one of the smartest people I have ever met in the marketing and business world. His latest newsletter (which can subscribe to for free right here) is always filled with wise words and reminders. The future of marketing is not about technology or community… it’s about people… I also (selfishly) love the fact that Rishad is one of the many Thinkers on my new platform, ThinkersOne. (Mitch for Hugh).

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