Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #715

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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: 

    • Indirect Prompt Injection Threats“I hadn’t really thought about how a third party could hack a chatbot, but then I read this. If you ask an AI a question, it might read a web page to find an answer. If that page contains ‘poisoned’ text that’s hidden to humans but read by the AI, then that page might be able to do nefarious things. Interesting thought experiment that’s already been demonstrated in controlled environments.” (Alistair for Hugh).
    • Cops Called To ‘Willy Wonka Experience’ As Crying Children Realize AI Ads Were Lies – Gizmodo. “What I got from this was: Can the real world possibly compete with a generated promise? If the default reality is much less fun than the augmented, virtual ones, will we spend less time here?” (Alistair for Mitch).
    • Canada Is No Longer One Of The Richest Nations On Earth. Country After Country Is Passing Us By – The Globe & Mail. “Canada is in real trouble, and I can’t understand why catastrophic implications haven’t reached a fever pitch in the political discourse of this country. Our economy is anemic (gowing at 1.7% over the past 10 years), productivity terrible (US productivity has increased at 3x the rate of Canad’s since 2000), we are getting poorer compared to our neighbours (our GDP per capita is now 73% of the USA). Our five poorest provinces are in the six poorest in North America. What does this mean? It means that Canada as a country is going to find it harder and harder to pay for the things we pride ourselves on: Our universal healthcare, our university system, our social safety net. And the country becomes less and less attractive to skilled immigrants, needed to massage our otherwise terrible demographics (another discussion altogether). I cannot understand (well, I suppose I can) why every political party in Canada isn’t making solving these economic problems their top priority.” (Hugh for Alistair).
    • How Universities Killed The Academic – UnHerd. “As our political discourse has become increasingly combative, the academy is slowly purging itself of the brilliant cranks. I love brilliant cranks.” (Hugh for Mitch).
    • Words Of Radiance Leatherbound By Brandon Sanderson – BackerKit. “I’m always surprised when my writer friends haven’t heard of Brandon Sanderson. He is extremely prolific in the Fantasy genre (especially known for his world-building skills). What makes him even more impressive, is how he publishes books. This is an example of that. In a world where most people think there is no money to be made in the writing of books, Sanderson always proves everyone wrong. His latest adventure, is the re-issuing of his classic, Words of Radiance, book via crowdfunding. Now, it’s available in an exclusive, leather bound format. This campaign went live only a few weeks ago, and is clipping very close to $20 million in sales (with 20 days left in the campaign). Super impressive. It also speaks to a broader theme: Authors who find their audience and consistently deliver quality to them, will have a reader for life. Where else in the world can you see somebody re-issuing a book and selling at this scale, without the need of a publisher? My understanding is that Sanderson’s team now consists of over 50 full-time employees, who are helping him to continually build his business and brand. If you’re in the writing game, this deserves a standing ovation. He’s also managed to bill quite the following on TikTok … not that this makes a good reason to read his books, but if you’ve never had the chance… You really should.” (Mitch for Alistair). 
    • The Clutter Of A Used Bookshop Forms An Evocative Metaphor For Memory – Psyche. “I love simple and slow documentaries like this. I also love the feeling of rummaging through book (or comic book) stores that look like this. Finding hidden gems… uncovering books from my childhood… just experiencing something new from something old. With that, the only true thought that ran through my head was: I’d like to be found dead under a pile of books in a store like this when my time has come (hoping for that to be when I am much much older)…” (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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