Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #704

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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: 

  • Losing The Plot: The “Leftists” Who Turn Right – In These Times“This article reminds me of one of those optical illusions that looks like a vase, or two faces, depending on whether you focus on the positive or negative space. A brain can ‘pop’ into both settings. So here’s the context: I’m not sharing this article because of the content (and frankly, explaining why I’m sharing it may make me a target). I’m sharing it because it’s a great example of something that can be taken two ways. The left is the party of the collective, so it’s natural that it relies on ostracism as punishment (the right, as the party of the individual, relies on the removal of agency through violence or incarceration). This post by an unabashedly left-leaning publication calls out ‘fallen heroes’ – formerly progressive personalities who have ‘lost the plot’ (whose plot?) and now espouse right-wing ideas: Glenn Greenwald, David Horowitz, Christopher Hitchens, and their ilk. So, like the illusion, you can read this as a righteous teardown of formerly progressive heroes who’ve lost their way – or a blacklisting of those who didn’t toe the party line (and warning to ‘those not quite yet there, such as Ana Kasparian‘). Both sides make accusations of thoughtcrime.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Cregfessions Of A Dangerous Mind – Fizz – YouTube. Kyle Prue is an interesting filmmaker. He’s started producing really well-written short fiction, which my partner showed me. But he’s also been making viral ads for brands. In this case, he’s made one for Fizz – it doesn’t have a lot of views yet, it’s weird, and part of me wonders if it’s the future of advertising. As TV viewers (let’s be honest) age out, adblockers hide display advertising, and our entire lives are product placement, getting brands in front of consumers’ attention is increasingly hard. But if the content is remarkable and shareable, it works. And with the barriers to entry so low, it’s cheap to roll the dice. Anyway, enjoy.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Mystery Of The Quantum Lentils: Are Legumes Exchanging Secret Signals? – New Scientist. “For more than 100 years scientists have known that plants and animals emit weak pulses of light, called biophotons. At one of Italy’s premier nuclear physics labs outside Rome, physicist Catalina Curceanu, is examining these emissions from lentils and investigating whether they form a mechanism for quantum communication among organisms.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Who Are Ready To Rouse Up Leviathan? – The Baffler. “The big mistake of rational liberalism, says Ed Simon, himself a left-leaning liberal, is not realizing that politics is in fact religious, that rational thinking is not any more natural to humans than the belief in the transmutation of the body, that reason does not inevitably improve the human condition, and that the arc of history does not necessarily bends towards justice. Religion, says Simon, generates meaning and community, and this is central to all human cultures. ‘Everything is a religion,’ he says, and so the war between liberalism and illiberalism is in fact a religious war, and if liberalism is to win, reasoned debate will not be enough.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • What Do We Want From Comedy? – The New Yorker. “Is comedy under persecution? Cancel culture, polarized audiences, lots of hecklers, gatekeepers willing to book certain comedians? There is a litany of content these days about how challenging it is for comedians to become successful (and not going from a regular slot of SNL to being fired/cancel before your first day at the office – just ask Shane Gillis). In fact, the title of this article from the always articulate Adam Gopnik poses a simple and complex question: What do we want from comedy? To laugh… someone to point out something that is (somewhat) universally true, but we believe is unique to us, as individuals. Top point out the absurdity of the human condition while giving us all a break from all things heavy in our lives. And yet… we seem (‘we’ being the collective ‘us’) are looking for every angle to point at someone else and declare what is wrong with the world (and us)? If we allow cancel culture to hit comedy, there won’t be much left for us, I am afraid. So, a few chuckles may be more important for our society than we might believe.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Live From Daryl’s House – Howard Jones – YouTube. “In the mid-eighties, the music of Howard Jones wasn’t hugely important to me. There were classic eighties hits like ‘What Is Love?’, ’No One Is To Blame’, ’’Life In One Day’, ‘Like To Get To Know You Well’, ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ and more. I never believed him to be a ‘one-hit wonder’, but his music never ’stuck’ to my ribs. Fast forward to 1996, and I am neck-deep in my work as a music writer and music magazine publisher. One day, in the mail, I get a CD copy of Jones’ latest album, Live Acoustic America. The nostalgia and curiosity got the best of me. I was full-on ready to trash this album, wondering what over-produced synth pop eighties music would sound like in its acoustic form. I was wrong. To this day, it is one of my ‘go to’ albums. It made me wake up and realize just how great of a songwriter (singer and musician) Howard Jones was… and still is. So, imagine my joy to come across this episode of Daryl Hall’s always excellent TV show. It’s all here online (thanks, YouTube!)… and even if you have never thought twice about Howard Jones, give this a serious chance. You will thank me (and check out Live Acoustic America too).” (Mitch for Hugh).

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

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