Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #248

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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:

  • Can Predictive Technology Make Us Less Predictable? – Forbes“It’s an interesting paradox: the more machines know us, the more algorithms identify what’s optimal, and the more the optimal path gets crowded. I spent some time on the road in the past two weeks, talking about what it means to have a prosthetic brain, and this post on optimization got me thinking: to help us find serendipity, an algorithm needs to know what predictable would be in the first place.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Your life at your fingertips — courtesy of the Pentagon – USA Today. “Fire up the Wayback Machine to 2003, when DARPA announced a life-log project. I came across this story when I was working on background for the life-logging talk. It was soon scrapped due to privacy concerns. But in a Facebook era, I can’t help thinking it’d be easy to get approved – and that it’s already here.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Technology should be used to create social mobility – not to spy on citizens – The Guardian. “I’m pretty sure I saw this link posted by Alistair on Twitter, but I am going to send it back to him anyway, since it’s something I’d like to discuss with him one of these days, and we should both re-read it beforehand. It’s an economic argument about two glaring and hugely significant trends – and their relationship to technology. First, the growing divide between rich and poor, and second, the inexorable rise of the pervasive security/spy state. The argument goes like this: ‘guard labour’ is the amount of resources a society needs to commit to protecting rich/powerful people from poor/powerless people. The more inequitable the society, the more guard labour is required. So, dictatorships require huge investments in a police state, to maintain the huge inequalities in their populations. The trend in Western society for the past century or so has been to address this issue by reducing inequality, thereby reducing the need to spend on guard labour. However, recent technological advances enable cheaper pervasive spying, which makes guard labour far more efficient and cheaper. And the result is that it becomes cheaper to maintain inequality than it used to be. So, more spying on citizens is directly related to growing inequality.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • When Exponential Progress Becomes Reality – Niv Dror. “An article about Moore’s Law (computing power doubles every two years), and how progress is going to continue to grow exponentially. The article is worth reading, if for no other reason than the ‘Moore’s Law visualized through the evolution of Lara Croft’ picture, which will now forevermore be lodged in my mind as the Platonic/ideal representation of Moore’s Law… and what it means.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • The huge implications of Google’s idea to rank sites based on their accuracy – The Washington Post. “I spent the week at the TED conference in Vancouver. I’m spent. I call it ‘yoga for the mind,’ but it’s exhausting physically as well. It’s true. I have a physical reaction to all of the learning and interactions. On my way to the airport, I noticed someone looking for a cab. I offered to share my ride to the airport. It turns out that this person is one of the founding members of the Singularity University and has an illustrious past that includes being the person responsible for getting several audio formats on to the Internet. That’s another TED moment. As the cab zipped through traffic, we discussed this exact topic: how will Google define accuracy? Seems obvious from an anti-vax standpoint. Seems much more complex, when you bring stuff like politics and opinions into the fray.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Your Late-Night Emails Are Hurting Your Team – Harvard Business Review. “A senior member of our team at Mirum sent me this article (thanks, Jon ;). I have terrible email habits. I tend to attack email very early in the morning or late at night. I always fall behind, so I try to catch up over the weekend. Is this making the people I work with hate me? It could be, if you read this article. I try to always let everyone know that it’s never an emergency, unless it’s clearly an emergency. Otherwise, getting back to me when they’re most comfortable is perfectly fine. I think it’s time for me to send a refresher about my email philosophy to the team again.” (Mitch for Hugh).

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