Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #674

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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: 

  • Did Scientists Accidentally Invent an Anti-addiction Drug? – The Atlantic“We’re motivated by our needs. This served us well when lust and calories were scarce, but today, pleasures are only a click away, and our jungle-surplus hardware hasn’t had time to catch up. From refined sugar to opioids to screentime, the biggest human predicament seems to be addiction itself. Ozempic, originally a diabetes drug that’s been repurposed to stop obesity, has an interesting side effect: Beating back other compulsions. Patients report a drop in cravings—from cigarettes to nail-biting to shopping—altogether. The consequences are far-reaching: What happens when we stop wanting? If the risk of addiction goes down, how does our consumption of addictive substances change?” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Why The The’s Infected Is More Relevant Now Than Ever – The Quietus. “I had forgotten how great The The‘s 1983 album, Soul Mining, was. ‘This Is The Day’ came on at the climax of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 and reminded me of my teens, and the feeling of pouring this strangely cathartic, synth-and-guitar, post-punk darkness into my brain. The only flaw in an otherwise perfect album is that (ironically) the CD version of Perfect is a weirdly slow ballad; there was a different, faster version on the cassette. The The frontman, Matt Johnson, was an articulate critic of Thatcherism and Britain’s dysfunctional symbiosis with America. But while Soul Mining is one of my top albums, it’s the successor, Infected, that really got noticed. They even made a full-length movie. Going down the resulting rabbithole, I found this 2016 piece on the band’s history.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • The The – The Beat(en) Generation – YouTube. “Here’s my entry into The The fandom… maybe the straightest song from their intense 1989 album, Mind Bomb, but one of my favourite tracks nonetheless. (Hugh for Alistair and video below).
  • Bullshit Memes #8: An ancient Egyptian cucumber – Artistic licence or why i trust no one. “An archaeologist gets very annoyed (in a charming, self-aware way) with the Internet for slagging on archaeologists for (supposedly) not noticing that an ancient Egyptian ‘model cucumber’ was actually a dildo (when, in fact, it actually was not a dildo, due to archaeologists actually knowing what they are talking about).” (Hugh for Mitch). 
  • AI and the future of humanity – Yuval Noah Harari at the Frontiers Forum – YouTube. “I spent a few days this week in Montreal at the C2 conference. Beyond a brilliant keynote by famed Media Theorist, Douglas Rushkoff, it was great to hear from AI big brain (and local superstar), Yoshua Bengio, who discussed the present and near-future challenges and opportunities in AI with one of my favorite thinkers, Yuval Noah Harari (author of Sapiens, Homo Deus, etc…). Sadly, Yuval wasn’t at the event in person, but the conversation was absolutely engaging. They both argued for quicker government responses, checks and balances as we move closer to developing a system that will be smarter than humans. While humans may be the most intelligent species on earth, we also do the stupidness things… and their concerns are real. Without having access to that debate, here’s a deep-dive into why Professor Harari wants us to move faster to regulate AI.” (Mitch for Alistair and video below).
  • Sentiers – Patrick Tanguay. “My main source of information is: Newsletters. I subscribe to an unhealthy amount of newsletters. I just love them. Even as they clog my inbox, I feel like I am ‘in the know’ by glancing through headlines and saving certain articles to read later. Within that mountain of email, I find Sentiers to be one of the best (I will usually hold on to the latest edition for a moment that I can truly savor it – it’s that rich in context). So much so, that I am happy paying customer. I’ve known Patrick Tanguay from the early days of social media, and to watch his ascent has been something. We had a nice little catch-up at C2 Montreal this week, and it reminded me that I don’t amplify his Sentiers newsletter as much as I should. If you’re not a subscriber, it’s worth it… promise.” (Mitch for Hugh).

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