Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #197

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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, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) 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:

  • I’ve tracked one year of sex and masturbation between [M]yself and my wi[F]e: activity tags, a look at the role of the menstrual cycle, and other trends – Reddit. "Add this to the list of things I didn’t know I’d share with you guys when we started this. Since we’re talking health data, well, in for a penny, in for a pound. One of the most common uses of new tech – whether it’s the printing press, the VHS, or the Web – is adult content. So, it’s no surprise that life-logging enthusiasts are turning their all-seeing eye to data. Here, a husband tracks sex patterns, and draws some interesting conclusions. I’ll let you decide whether you want to click or not." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The Parable of Google Flu: Traps in Big Data Analysis – Science. "Since you asked about big data on Facebook, here’s a nugget. Last year, Google made big news by predicting the outbreak of flu. Or did they? One of the problems with a reliance on data for decision-making is that the data shapes our behavior, which changes the data. It’s like a big data version of the observer effect (or, as some have less politely described it, ‘algorithms dumping where they eat.’) In this case, changes to algorithms and media hype around flu outbreaks caused Google to overstate the number of cases of the flu. ‘Big data hubris’ is the often implicit assumption that big data are a substitute for, rather than a supplement to, traditional data collection and analysis." (Alistair for Mitch).
  • When one New Zealand school tossed its playground rules and let students risk injury, the results were surprising – National Post. "I love stories about unintended consequences. For instance, what if bending over backwards to make things (playgrounds, classrooms, etc…) safe for our kids actually raises the incidence of injury? Maybe what our kids need to stay safe is a pile of broken glass, some rusty barbed-wire, and some broken up 2 by 4s." (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Bitcoin’s Future – Hidden Flipside – The Economist. "Here’s an old tech innovator’s saw: ‘If you were to ask a group of smart people to create X with the technology of today, what would it look like? Nothing like the X we all know.’ We take many things for granted as facts of the universe, but if you think in depth about some things, they just don’t make much sense. Money is one of them. And, while Bitcoin itself might not win the day, Bitcoin as’"platform for financial innovation’ is a pretty exciting possibility." (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Harvard’s Free Computer Science Course Teaches You to Code in 12 Weeks – Open Culture. "There was one thing that really stood out in my mind from TED 2014 in Vancouver. Something new and interesting was brought to my attention. It’s something called University of the People and its founder, Shai Reshef, explained it. Basically, anyone can apply to get a university degree. It’s online. It’s tuition-free. It’s got real profs. It’s accredited. Students pay $100 per exam. That’s it. Pretty cool. Pretty mind blowing. I don’t have a university degree… so yeah, I’m now considering it. Of course, you can study all kinds of courses online for free (have you checked out iTunes U yet?). How about a free computer science course that will teach you to code in twelve week from Harvard? Well…" (Mitch for Alistair). 
  • What are some great mind-blowing books? Why? – Quora. "Sick of lists online about what to read? I’m not only sick of them… I am guilty of creating them. I kind of rolled my eyes when I saw this question posted on Quora. Then, I checked it out (still a sucker for some good linkbait) and it did not disappoint. As much as you read, and as much as you may think that you are well-read, this list will show you otherwise. Some amazing books that I have never read, that I think that I should read. I’m sure you will find a few gems for yourself as well." (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.

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