Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #326

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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: 

  • WaveNet: A Generative Model for Raw Audio – Deepmind“The short version of this is: This is the voice of AI. Here’s a slightly longer explanation: Most artificially generated voices are either mash-ups of individual sounds (vowels, syllables, etc.) or made from a bunch of parameters (which sound weirdly artificial, but are more versatile). Well, as machine learning continues to knock down computing barriers, here’s a way of training a Deep Learning algorithm to make words. It’s surprisingly good. What’s more, it doesn’t care what you feed it — so you can ask it to make music with the same algorithm, training it on a composer instead of a human voice. Play the samples in the link and listen to your future life partner.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Labor Day: From the Job Loop to the Knowledge Loop – Continuations. Albert Wenger is a partner at Union Square Ventures who writes thoughtfully about economics and the future. Here, he argues that the current cycle of pay and consumption (the ’job loop’) is not the right state of things, and instead we need to move as a species to a ‘knowledge loop’ that’s now possible with automation and the rise of abundantly cheap production. It’s the best example of this argument I’ve seen made in recent months.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Vladimir Putin Just Wants to Be Friends – Bloomberg BusinessWeek“This week, I am featuring shirtless leaders of countries that have lots of tundra. Russia under Putin is a scary enigma. I’m not sure whether this interview with Bloomberg editor & chief, John Micklethwait, has been criticized for puffery or not, but even if Putin is putting on a good face here, it’s pretty fascinating to hear his side of the global story.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Why Trudeau Is Like Trump – Bloomberg BusinessWeek“Closer to home, we have our own shirtless Prime Minister dreamboat, Trudeau. I have not made up my mind about his policies yet, but this article makes the case that he is wielding his virality unlike any other politician, and to powerful effect. He sure seems to get photographed with his shirt off more often than any other global leader I know of. The case is made that his incredible viral popularity serves as ’cover’ for a technocratic approach: find the ’best’ experts, the ‘best’ solutions, and empower the bureaucrats to implement big changes. Of course, ’best’ is in the eye of the beholder, but one thing is clear: Trudeau is using (and milking) his popularity in ways we haven’t ever seen before.” (Hugh for Mitch).  
  • Complete Human and Rat Ex Vivo Spermatogenesis from Fresh or Frozen Testicular Tissue – Biology of Reproduction. “This will make your eyes bleed, unless you are a doctor/healthcare professional, so let me give you the TL;DR on this: human reproduction with sperm that was created in a lab. Synthetic sperm. Synthetic life. It creates ’real’ life (depending on how we will define ’real’ life from now on). You would think that this would make headlines all over the world. It hasn’t. We talk about silly things that politicians spew and whether or not wireless headphones make sense. This is real news. This is science and technology and evolution happening right before our eyes.” (Mitch for Alistair). 
  • The Timeless Link Between Writing and Running and Why It Makes for Better Work – Observer. “I used to run a lot. I would go for hours. No music. Just the sound of my body pounding the pavement. This article reminds me a well-worn saying about running that I loved: ‘I hate running. I just hate not running more.’ I know many people who feel the same way about writing. There is – no doubt – a direct correlation between exercise and the creative process. The most legendary writers were known to take long walks. Daily. My buddy, Ryan Holiday, writes beautifully about how the two worlds should be considered one.” (Mitch for Hugh).    

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