Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #253

Mitch JoelPosted by

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:

  • Getting out of my Skinner Box – LIMN This. “My friend Jim Stogdill writes good screed. Here’s his lament about a life lived interrupted, and how he found his way out of it.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The Bot Bubble – New Republic. “I have bot followers. They seem to follow me to make themselves look legitimate. When I see them I report them; but I can’t handle the flood. This surprisingly candid exposé goes inside a bot farm. You won’t believe what happens next. ;-)” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Mouse Utopia Experiment. “I’m shocked that I hadn’t heard about this before. I guess that it was the kind of sensational research that spawned all sorts of dystopian sci-fi, and some real policy thinking as well, back in the 50s, 60s and 70s when the experiments were going on. Dr. John Calhoun wanted to study growth in mouse colonies, where the normal stresses are removed: unlimited access to food and water, no predators. But, limited space. The colony grows exponentially, then plateaus, and then all sorts of bad things happen (random violence, infertility, cannibalism, self-inflicted solitary withdrawal, etc…). The population then plummets, and never recovers. The implications – to the degree they are transferrable – to human organization are wide ranging: from thinking about designing better spaces for large populations, to the problems of generous welfare systems. But, if you are sitting down to write some dystopian sci-fi, I suggest you watch this first.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Swiss Postal Service Will Start Using Delivery Drones in Pilot Program This Summer – Slate. “When word came through the transom of Amazon‘s plans for drone delivery services, I first thought it was a kind of marketing ploy. But, the reality of drones doing real work (other than killing people) is coming soon. The tech will get better and cheaper. The applications will be far ranging. I guess if you are in the bike courier business, anyway, your job is going to be changing soon.” (Hugh for Mitch).  
  • Why can’t we read anymore? – Hugh McGuire. “Our buddy, Hugh, used to write a whole lot more. I miss his style and rantings. Don’t get me wrong, I’m blessed that he makes the time to contribute his links and thoughts here weekly, but I do miss his writing. I’m thrilled that he decided to take another run at a topic that we all know is near and dear to his heart. In this fascinating piece, Hugh looks at reading and what happens when we move from books to screens… and if it’s such a big deal.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • 50 Years of ‘Avengers’ Comic Book Covers Through Color – Wall Street Journal. “It doesn’t matter whether you appreciate comic books or not. This is a prime example of how digital publishing can (and should!) do things that print cannot do (well). My main gripe with the vast majority of traditional media websites, is that it doesn’t do much beyond ’ copy and paste’ their written content to the Web, or they subject us to these awkward videos being created by people who are much more adept with a keyboard than a camera. Good on the Wall Street Journal for doing something original, digital and compelling with a topic that is already over-played in the media.” (Mitch for Hugh).

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