Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #262

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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:

  • The Wetsuitman – Dagbladet. “Leave it to the Scandinavians to start a crime mystery right. But this story, which starts as crime fiction, quickly becomes a hard reality that nobody’s willing to confront. I won’t spoil the twist for you here, but this isn’t what you think it is. It’s also amazing journalism.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Where does language come from? – Salon. “As if on cue, this morning my five-year-old daughter Riley asked Siri, ‘why did other animals survive the meteors that killed the dinosaurs?’ It made me rethink how kids will interact with devices, as did the HUD on my rental upgrade today. But Riley’s questions — how did we make hammers before we had hammers; where did language come from — were tough, exactly the kinds of things that require context, and that machines struggle with. Which is why I learned where language came from.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • What This Cruel War Was Over – The Atlantic. “The scars of racial history are still so present in the US. If all the events of this year weren’t enough to remind you of that fact, than the Charleston shooting, and subsequent furor over the Confederate flag still flying atop the South Carolina Capitol made that abundantly clear. I’m not a student of American history, and though I have always known that the US Civil war was, in part about slavery, I didn’t realize how completely central slavery and its abolition were to the war. Given that, and the fact that the Confederate flags started flying on State Capitols not way back in the 1800s, but rather in the 1960s in opposition to the civil rights movement… well, it’s just astounding that those flags are still flying. (Two additional notes: smug Canadians should go read the recent, and sure-to-be-ignored, report from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, about the cultural genocide inflicted on native populations here; and a confession: I had a Dukes of Hazard toy car as a kid, named the General Lee, with a Confederate flag on its roof. I can’t believe it. I think it might be in a box at my mother’s house, and it’s possible that my daughters play with it now… I will have to do something about that).” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Our Universities: The Outrageous Reality – The New York Review of Books. “The cost of post-secondary education has been skyrocketing in the US, along with student debt. I have to think that in the long run, making education less accessible, and then saddling graduates with crushing debts… can’t be a good thing.” (Hugh for Mitch). 
  • Scientists Discover a New Part of the Human Body – Mental Floss. “I challenge you to read this article and not marvel at things like science, innovation, technology and the basic human desire to explore. We live in such a complex world, where we think that we know everything that there is to know. We know so little. There is still so much further for us to go as human beings. There is a system running through your body. It’s important for life. We knew nothing about it… until now.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • A World Without Work – The Atlantic. “If you think Alistair’s daughter, Riley, asks some great questions (see his Salon section above), I often wonder why we all work? And, perhaps more importantly, why do we pursue it for money and not general interest? I’m lucky, I love what I do and I’m both driven and passionate about it (more today than I have ever been). Most people are so head-down in their day-to-day life, that they don’t really understand how work is one of the great distractions of life. It keeps our minds off of our most ultimate fear… dying. Beyond that, we live in a financially-driven economy that is based on the exchange of goods and service for money. What if people decided that they don’t care about those things anymore? What if people changed their work? What if people checked out from work?” (Mitch for Hugh).  

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