Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #66

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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, the author of Complete Web Monitoring and Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks), Hugh McGuire (The Book Oven, LibriVox, iambik, PressBooks, Media Hacks) and I decided that every week or so 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 special trick that helps identify dodgy stats – The Guardian. "I’m at O’Reilly’s Strata conference this week, which looks at the advent of Big Data, new interfaces, and ubiquitous computing. Plenty of speakers talk about the utopian possibilities of data transparency. But if tomorrow runs on data, how do we know when it’s wrong? Turns out that statisticians have a few tricks up their sleeves; one is Benford’s Law." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Seven Little Men Help A Girl – Letters of Note. "Feel like Hollywood is sucking the life out of movies? That’s nothing new, as this 1986 Disney memo prank shows. While it’s important to make things clear and self-explanatory, sometimes we sacrifice inspiration in the pursuit of parsimony." (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Scientists on trial: At fault? – Nature News. "When, in 2009, scientists were asked of the risk of a catastrophic earthquake in the Italian city of L’Aquila, they said the tremors were not likely signs of significant risk. On April 5, 2009 an earthquake struck the city, killing 300 people. Local citizens were outraged, and six government scientists and one government official will go to trial for manslaughter. While the case has drawn global condemnation from scientists, the case is more complex than it appears from the outside, and it brings into question how governments and scientists go about communicating risk to their populations." (Hugh for Alistair).
  • The Ghost Sport – City Journal. "My father was a sports writer in his younger days, and grew up when boxing was a still a sport that mattered. When I was little, I used to watch boxing with him on TV. I remember watching, on our little black & white Zenith TV (we had a color TV but it was upstairs), Sugar Ray Leonard boxing against Roberto Duran. Whenever there was sports on television, I asked where the teams (or in this case men) were from, and whoever’s city was closer to Montreal was the one I cheered for. (Sugar Ray became my favorite of course). Boxing – from that era and before – has a mythical black & white aura about it, a nostalgic and literary history, inflected with the hovering ghosts of Hemmingway, Mailer, Plimpton and other manly men of letters from the pre and post war eras. Boxing has lost its sheen and its relevance, but there is something about its black & white past I still find compelling." (Hugh for Mitch).
  • What if the Secret to Success Is Failure? – The New York Times. "When you think about education and the school system, we tend to think about marks and how we – as individuals – ranked against our peers. Do we actually teach kids about failure? I don’t know about you, but my most important life lessons never came out of the successes that I’ve had. They’ve come out of my failures. When I was into boxing, I would be able to deconstruct an entire person’s personality just by seeing how they reacted to getting either knocked down or knocked out. True success comes after lots of failure (some big, some small). It makes you wonder why we don’t spend more time teaching kids about failure… and what comes after it." (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Now it’s illegal to write down prices in a Tesco supermarket – The Guardian. "Price comparison, consumer reviews and being able to get competitive pricing via your mobile device at retail is not only the new reality of the new consumer, but it’s a fact of life. As more and more brands and companies start opening up and leveraging technology to empower their consumers, there are still those who live with their heads in the collective sand. Imagine getting booted out of a store because you were writing down prices with a pencil and a notebook? Seriously? WTF?" (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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