Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #72

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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:

  • Hocus-Pocus, and a Beaker of Truffles – The New York Times. "On my last trip to New York, I was once again struck by the city’s desire for the authentic: every food needs a string of adjectives, a backstory, to make it worthwhile and interesting. And few of those adjectives has been so heavily used as ‘truffle.’ So imagine my surprise when my wife sent me this spoiler: Truffle Oil is basically chemicals. In 2003, Vogue food writer, Jeffrey Steingarten, revealed that it was basically a chemical (2/4-dithiapentane) — but restaurants have continued to feature it prominently. LA Weekly restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, blames this on American diners, who, he says, have lost their taste for subtlety, forcing chefs to amp up even real truffles with the chemical concoction." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Want to Remember Everything You’ll Ever Learn? Surrender to This Algorithm – Wired Magazine. "I first met Gary Wright when running a Strata online event on the quantified self. Gary spent some time in the Baltic recently, talking with Piotr Wozniak, an expert on how memory works. On its surface, it’s a story about optimizing recall through the use of cognitive science. But it’s more than that: Wozniak has decided to run his whole life by the math, and it makes him smart, happy, and weird. As I read this, I found myself wondering: when we live in a sensor-driven world where everything is based on real-time feedback, is a vacation the same thing as ignoring the feedback? Where today the wealthy have personal trainers and life coaches, tomorrow maybe privilege will be affording to do without them." (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Deep Intellect – Orion Magazine. "It’s always a little hard to get your mind around the idea that other beings might have intelligence that we can’t comprehend. The octopus, for instance, has more neurons in its tentacles than in its brain. And their skin appears to have the same gene sequences as those found in the light-sensing parts of the retina: octopi might be able to ‘see’ with their skin. Truly, we live in a wondrous world." (Hugh for Alistair).
  • The opportunity in abundance – Magellan Media. "This is perhaps the most thoughtful (and caring) article I have ever read about ‘the future of books and publishing’ by my friend, Brian O’Leary, who also happens to be my co-editor on ‘Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto.’" (Hugh for Mitch).
  • A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs – The New York Times. "When I first heard that Steve Jobs passed away, I was shocked, sad and felt an empty space for someone I had never met. He had this iconic persona – the kind of character you see portrayed in big-budget Hollywood movies. I started reading the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson the day it came out. I’m nearly half-way through it, and all I can say is that beyond him being a clear genius and master of innovation, he doesn’t come off as a good person at all. Far from it. In fact, as the book goes on and on, it’s easy to downplay the great work he did because his character becomes so overbearing. I found it very hard to like Steve Jobs. And that’s a tough thing to write, because I not only don’t like to speak ill of the dead, it’s not in my character to feel that way about anyone. Then, I read this eulogy from his sister, Mona Simpson, and it brought me to my knees. I know this link has been tossed around a lot, but do yourself a favor: take a break, find a quiet corner and read it again. Especially the last few paragraphs. Someone once said that ‘technology is too important to leave to the technologists.’ After reading this eulogy and re-reading it, I think that life is too important to leave to the people who are just going about their day, doing things that don’t really matter to them." (Mitch for Alistair).
  • The Importance of Mind-Wandering – Wired. "I wrote a Blog post on July 4th of this year titled, Bored. Often, I have an idea for a Blog post and as I start to write it, something else takes shape and form. Had I stuck to my initial concept: that being bored isn’t a bad thing and that it can often open up different doors of creativity, it might have read more like this article from Wired. I spent my days in High School math class (much to my teacher’s chagrin) mind-wandering: thinking of new ideas and things to do. I believe that putting myself in a place of boredom usually stimulates some interesting ideas. I’m hoping that this article is right." (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.


  1. Enjoyed every single link. Lots resonated. I do want to mention, re: truffles in NYC, it’s possible that what is seen as NYC trying to be authentic is simply the desire to be seasonal. I’m unsure of the timing of Alistair’s last trip, but we’re in the middle of truffle season (since early October), with many (real truffles) being imported from Italy. One positive reflection is that less and less “truffle oil” is being used in serious restaurants that aim for authenticity and seasonality.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the links — it’s interesting how different they are from each other. The mind wandering article was especially insightful.

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