Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #684

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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:

  • A beautiful, broken America: what I learned on a 2,800-mile bus ride from Detroit to LA – The Guardian. “This is a heartbreaking article about traveling across America by bus in 2023. I absolutely love our neighbors to the South for many things, but somehow, public infrastructure and runaway growth have created two parallel nations. Reading this, I couldn’t help compare it to some of the bus and train stations I’ve visited in Northern Europe that are models of efficiency and clarity.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • General Magic. “At Startupfest this summer, we were lucky to have a screening of the Blackberry movie, and a Q&A with the co-author of Losing The Signal, the book by tech reporter, Sean Silcoff, on whose work the film was based. It was a great movie, a weird mashup of Halt And Catch Fire, The Big Short, and maybe Schitt’s Creek. But I now want to watch this documentary on General Magic, a company whose vision exceeded its grasp, but which envisioned the modern smartphone long before even the Internet was widespread. And its founding team (in 1990!) went on to build much of what we take for granted today.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • How old coal mines can help the climate – Future Planet – BBC. “Using abandoned coal mines as a giant geothermal heat pump, to heat homes and offices with no CO2 emissions.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • How to Help Students Resist Their Phones and Develop Better Digital Habits – Edutopia. “My family includes a tween daughter who would spend 26 hours a day with her screen, if given the opportunity. Her love of screens comes naturally: I myself have engaged in a many-years-long effort to reduce my phone addiction (here’s my solution: delete Facebook and X from your phone, and if you’re not ready to ditch your accounts completely, make sure you don’t know your passwords). A teacher contemplates how to help his students concentrate.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Does Sam Altman Know What He’s Creating? – The Atlantic. “There is a saying – which I will paraphrase here: Often the inventor does not know what the invention will be used for. In the case of creating an alien intelligence (aka, artificial intelligence), this takes on a much more cerebral experience. It’s hard to think and imagine the ways in which any technology might be used. You could use the Internet as a reference point here, but I would still consider that way too pedantic as a comparison. This article questions OpenAI’s Sam Altman. And, while he is very public and often in the media discussing the work, it still all feels a little too… surreal… and science fiction-y. I’m still not settled on how I feel about AI. I’m generally good with the generative tools… but the real AI stuff? I dunno…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Scandinavian heavy metal: Why Earth’s happiest place makes the darkest music – Big Think. “I love article likes this. It has a lot of my favorite tropes: Heavy metal music that most people can’t stand (and I can’t stop listening to). A country that lives a culture for a better humanity… there’s so much in here to unpack and savor. It’s a great read and it shows you how the darkest of music can come from the happiest of places. Enjoy it!.” (Mitch for Hugh).

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

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