Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #124

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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 (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, the author of Complete Web Monitoring and Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks), Hugh McGuire (The Book Oven, LibriVox, iambik, PressBooks, Media Hacks) and I decided that every week or so 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:

  • As We May Think – The Atlantic. "In 1945, an extraordinarily forward-thinking professor wrote an article for The Atlantic entitled, As We May Think. It’s frightening how accurately he foresaw many of today’s biggest trends — and if he was right about today, why not tomorrow? It was the end of World War Two, and thousands of scientists had to turn their minds from war to peace. Vannevar Bush talks about digital imagery (‘dry photography’), the Internet (‘the common record’), ubiquitous computing (‘modern keyboard accounting machine’) and of course his most famous moniker, the Memex (‘… a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.’) This is a long read, but seeing him grapple with complex concepts and the constraints of his time–and still anticipate a world seventy years later with amazing accuracy–is astonishing." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Some Advice From Authors on Avoiding Online Distractions – The New York Times. "Ben Yoskovitz and I have two weeks to finish the first draft of Lean Analytics. There’s a lot to do, even though we’ve been grinding away at it since April. So this was a timely piece of writing: how do prominent authors manage to produce content in an increasingly interrupted world?" (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Amazon Is a Black Hole Threatening To Devour Corporate America – Slate. "Amazon is an amazing company in many respects, and perhaps most amazing for its relationship with Wall Street. Price to earnings ratio (P/E) is a number used in financial analysis of stocks that compares the price of a single share of a company to the profits per share made by the company. Companies with low P/E ratios are generally not expected to become significantly more profitable in the future. Banks for instance, are relatively conservative investments, typically with lowish P/E ratios (eg. Wells Fargo has a P/E of 10.66). Big, mature tech companies usually have higher P/E ratios (eg. Google‘s P/E is 21.15). Smaller pharma companies typically have big P/E ratios (eg Alexion, with a P/E of 69.1) since they don’t make much money now, but Wall Street is betting they will in the future. But Amazon. Amazon. Amazon. …. Amazon has a P/E ratio of an incredible, truly incredible 3,403. This means that Wall Street expects Amazon to mature into a business whose profits are 348 times their current numbers just to *equal* Apple‘s P/E ratio/valuation (13.6). This is nuts, and basically means that if you are in a business that competes with Amazon, Wall Street is willing to give AMZN as much capital as it wants to put you out of business, no matter how much money it loses in the process." (Hugh for Alistair).
  • What’s Wrong With Online Reading – Randy Connolly. "A must-read slide deck on the problems with online reading. Research seems to show that our interaction with online text is radically different than our interaction with paper text. Whether or not this is ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ it almost definitely ‘is.’ What should we, as readers, and those of us who teach, do about it?" (Hugh for Mitch).
  • The Future of Higher Education: Massive Online Open Disruption – Big Think. "I never got a degree from university. At the time, I was already neck-deep in my first business (publishing music magazines). I had to drop out to keep up with the business. I always figured I could make my way back to university if business didn’t work out for me. I haven’t been back. That being said, I would still love to get a degree… at some point. It’s less about the piece of paper and much more about the chance to learn with others. Education is an area that keeps drawing me back in. I often wonder why you can’t acquire a degree much in the same way you buy songs on iTunes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to take a business class at Harvard and one on innovation from Stanford? After building a program and running through the courses, individuals could be awarded their build-your-own diploma degree. I’m not the only one who thinks this way. In fact, the future of America’s prosperity probably lies in how quickly they can reform education and help their young people get a degree that’s worth something more than a lifelong of debt to repay it." (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Jack Kerouac’s List of 30 Beliefs and Techniques for Prose and Life – Brain Pickings. "Need some motivation? Not just to write and to create, but to live? Jack Kerouac offers thirty tips for writers that winds up being a list of sage life advice. When I think about Kerouac, I think about the fact that he died when was only 47. I think about the impact he had on the world and the imprint he left on the literary world is such a short period of time. HIs list is great, but I gotta hustle if I want to leave any semblance of a legacy." (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.