Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #712

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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: 

    • Eight Numbers To Understand China – The Documentary – BBC. “It’s a big year for China – the only one of twelve with a fantastical beast (the dragon). Lots is going on, and this BBC podcast was an interesting look at the country, debunking and confirming several things I’ve heard about elsewhere. Happy New Year!” (Alistair for Hugh).
    • AI, And Everything Else – Benedict Evans. Benedict Evans‘ annual decks are fascinating. Here’s a link to his latest one, plus a talk he gave at Slush. Very worth your time.” (Alistair for Mitch).
    • Brains Are Not Required When It Comes To Thinking And Solving Problems—Simple Cells Can Do It – Scientific American. “We keep discovering unexpected ways that the natural world ‘thinks’, which continues to challenge our still-foggy understanding of what consciousness means. Trees, for instance, seem to communicate and plan ahead together through root systems. Even simpler systems, like clumps of cells, sometimes seem to have a mind of their own.” (Hugh for Alistair).
    • The Era Of The AI-Generated Internet Is Already Here – Mashable. “What happens when you start feeding ChatGPT generated content into the ChatGPT training model and then keep rinsing and repeating? Large language models (LLMs) collapse into total nonsense. And, if the Internet is starting to get filled with ChatGPT-generated text, which is then used to train ChatGPT, well, things might be about to get very gooey.” (Hugh for Mitch).
    • Is The Media Prepared For An Extinction Level Event? – The New Yorker. “Things have been scaring me lately. Wars? Yep. Climate? Yep. Trust in each other? Yep. Many of things that I wholly believed the Internet would do to bring us all together as a shared humanity have (two decades on) done almost the exact opposite. I used to scoff at people who did not believe that the truth is… the truth. Now, depending on which prism with which you see the world, we hold many truths to be true. The media landscape has changed dramatically. And, while I still believe in the power of real journalism not corrupted by opinion, we are in a dark state of affairs, and it only seems to be getting worse. Sure, we have more and more people pointing their phones at our reality and exposing things live in the moment, but the context is important too. (and often lost in these short vids). This piece terrified me, mostly because it makes a lot sense…” (Mitch for Alistair).
    • Jon Ronson’s Guide To The Culture Wars – The New Yorker. “I’ve had the pleasure (and spent some time talking to) Jon Ronson over the years at the TED conference. Putting that aside, I have always been fascinated with the topics he takes on and how he sheds light, opinion and stories around a subject. If you’ve had your head in the sand when it comes to cancel culture and the culture wars (and, yes, these are times of culture wars), here is a quick and easy way to arm yourself. Jon has defined the culture wars as both, ‘almost everything that people yell at each other about on social media’ and then, ‘the battle for dominance between conflicting values’. And when it comes to values, we humans are quite different from geography to politics to religion to media and beyond. I’ve spent a lot of time burrowing deep on this topic via podcasts, books and articles. There has been a lot of ‘busting’ of my own beliefs in this process. Please check this out and start paying a different kind of attention to your own experiences…” (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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