Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #320

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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 Beagle Brothers. “This isn’t really a link. It’s reminiscence. As a young boy, I programmed on my Apple II. There was a software company called Beagle Brothers that broke all the rules — funny hipster artwork; train games made entirely in ASCII art; a font designer you could pretty much only design fonts with; weird peeks/pokes/tips charts to make your Apple do things it shouldn’t; and more. To me, they were the original indie game developer breakout success. Steven Frank has a museum to them, and their catalogs are hilarious — the Trader Joe’s Fearless Flier channels them. They also made their games listable (you could read the code) and copyable (no DRM.) I don’t really have a link, but spend an hour scanning these sites, and taste what it was like at the start of a revolution, before economies of scale showed up. (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Drones will cause an upheaval of society like we haven’t seen in 700 years – Quartz“If this is a curated list of interesting links, it’s hardly worth talking about how Trump literally fired someone for being white trash, or the fact that the self-styled redneck Duck Decoy speaker at the RNC had frosted tips and a country-club membership before A&E paid him to grow a beard and cuss a lot. So, I won’t do that. Instead, let’s talk about how the move from guns to autonomous drones might bring about a social upheaval comparable to the switch from longbowmen to guns. For your consideration.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Why Growth Will Fall – The New York Review of Books“In his new book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The US Standard of Living Since the Civil War, Robert J. Gordon claims that the century from 1870 to 1970 – and particularly the fifty year period from 1920-1970 – brought a series of one-time technical innovations (railways, electricity, the automobile, and telegraph/radio/tv) that spurred huge, never-before-seen economic growth. This was a time of rapidly growing prosperity. So far so good. The problem, according to Gordon, is that growth has sputtered since 1970, and even starry-eyed techno dreamers can’t replicate the kind of system-wide growth we saw in that fading century. If the future promises less economic growth than we expected, combined with rapidly growing global populations and rapidly advancing automation … well … things don’t look so rosy.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • If You’re Not Paranoid, You’re Crazy – The Atlantic. “Ever get the feeling you’re phone is listening to you talk – and somehow Google, or some other service, shows you a recommendation that is just too creepily coincidental? You’re not alone.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • How to write Medium stories people will actually read – Quincy Larson – Medium. “Put aside the clickbait headline, and what you have here is a really smart list of how to pull a story together in the digital age of TL;DR. The truth is that this is a good guide for modern writing, whether you’re posting your stuff to Medium or somewhere else. As a writer (someone who was doing it long before there was this thing called, The Internet, it’s even more interesting to think about the dynamics of how much writing has changed.” (Mitch for Alistair).  
  • Neil Gaiman on Why We Read and What Books Do for the Human Experience – Brain Pickings. “This is simply a beautiful read. An important one. For those with children. And those without. I can’t image a life without reading… especially books. For me, it’s oxygen. For many, they’d rather not. We have many choices of what we can do with our free time. I’m often saddened by how far down the list reading has become for most. Think it’s just the nerds like me, who think reading books needs to be a higher priority in our culture? Well, check this out. Then, go out, buy a book, find a corner and get on with it!” (Mitch for Hugh).

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