Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #341

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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: 

  • Coal Is Dying – Coal Country Doesn’t Have To: Creating The Post-Coal Economy In Appalachia – Fast Company. “We need more reporting like this. Done by people who are from the communities in which they report, talking about the future and inevitable changes, and focused on making a transition rather than protesting the inevitable. A good, long, personal read into the heartbreaking circumstances in the Rural East.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Inside Amazon’s clickworker platform: How half a million people are being paid pennies to train AI – TechRepublic. “First, I love the gerrymandering of terminology right there in the title. Proponents call systems where computers put people to work ’ crowdsourcing’ or ’ urking’ or ‘the wisdom of the crowds’. Detractors probably use terms like ’clickworkers’ – what could be more dehumanizing? But the reality is that every time you help a computer, you’re hastening your own demise by teaching it. That’s true whether you’re playing a game with Google‘s AI (and teaching it to better recognize images) or doing clickwork for Amazon‘s Mechanical Turk. This is a fascinating, fact-packed piece that sounds right out of a William Gibson novel.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • What the Octopus Knows – The Atlantic. “The octopus is, I think, the most fascinating animal on the planet. I keep sending links about  octopi, and here is another one.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • ‘Profitable’ Washington Post adding more than five dozen journalists – Politico. “Good news in the world of journalism business models is hard to find, but since Jeff Bezos took over the Washington Post, things are looking up. Readership is growing. The paper is, apparently, profitable. And, it’s adding staff, a remarkable thing these days.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • The Argument Against Terraforming Mars – Nautilus. “These past few years, we’ve heard, read and seen a lot about the planet Mars. ‘We should go there,’ seems to be the general consensus. Everyone from NASA to private industry is trying to figure it out. Tesla‘s Elon Musk really wants us to be the first multi-planetary species (to our knowledge). We can go there and build a better… here, I guess. This is a smart look at why we should think twice about trying to populate Mars. TL;DR: we don’t do these things well and we don’t have the right, apparently.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • 5 Top Designers Own How To Create The Ultimate PowerPoint Presentation – Fast Company. “This article glances over some of the better/more in-depth thinking of people like Nancy Duarte, when it comes to presentations. It happens all too often: professionals pump up slides with everything they’re trying to say, while totally forgetting the whole point of a presentation, in the first place. You’re there – as a presenter – to share content. No one will be able to share this message, if it’s cluttered, unprofessional and not presented well. Seems basic enough, but strong presentation skills are still one of the more rare commodities in offices today.” (Mitch for Hugh).

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