Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #76

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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:

  • It’s Not China; It’s Efficiency That Is Killing Our Jobs – Dyske. "The huge gains of the first half of the twentieth century came from several things, chief among them the entry of women into the workforce and the availability of cheap consumer credit. We were supposed to get a second boost from automation, and an information-driven society. And it looks like that may be happening — unfortunately. In this post, designer and cultural critic Dyske Suematsu argues that the depressed job market may simply be the result of all that hard-won efficiency." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The Stroop Effect: Not as automatic as was once thought – Cognitive Daily. "Your brain plays tricks on you. One of these is the Stroop Effect: It’s hard to read a list of colors properly when the color they’re printed in conflicts with the color they name. But it turns out that if you hypnotize people so that the name of the color is unreadable, they pass the test faster. This is a cool mind hack, but it also begs the question: is reading somehow involuntary? What does that mean for broadcast advertising and sponsored ads?" (Alistair for Mitch).
  • How Apple Disrupted Its Markets On A Shoe-String R&D Budget – Seeking Alpha. "I think it’s safe to say that Apple is the most innovative tech company we’ve seen in the last decade. In addition to their former core business (growing nicely, thank you) of making ‘computers’, they utterly changed the face of two (formerly) unrelated sectors: music (with the iPod/iTunes), and mobile (with the iPhone); and invented a third new market, for tablets (iPad). According to this data, Apple spends a fraction of what other big tech companies (Cisco, RIM, Microsoft) spend on R&D, both relative to their net income, and in real dollars. The comments section on the article adds some cautionary context, but still the numbers are striking. My interpretation is that for Apple, R&D is baked right into the design process, that their product vision IS the ‘blue sky thinking’ that most other companies shunt off to the skunkworks basement. Whether you are building the iPhone (remember what came before it?), or the iTunes music marketplace, you’re entire design process is focused on building the things that other companies would have let die in the R&D lab, because they were too ‘out there’." (Hugh for Alistair).
  • The Era Of Corporate Profit – The Daily Beast. "Does it make me an anti-capitalist that stories like this enrage me so? Does it make me some kind of communist to say that the data shows that countries where tax receipts decline a certain amount relative to GDP, are countries that become less stable, and crucially, less prosperous overall? Does it make me a hater of the market to suggest that policies that pour an ever-increasing share of the wealth of our nations into the hands of fewer people is bad for *business* in the long run? Here is what I wish: I wish we had more voices from the ‘left’ and from the ‘right’ that proposed reasonable taxation levels not (just) for reasons of justice, but because is makes for a better economy. What ‘justice’ is, is a kind of moral judgment. But there is hard data that correlates tax levels and prosperity, and lower taxes does not always mean more prosperous." (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Magazines Pull Back on Tablet Bells and Whistles – AdWeek. "This is the exact kind of content that makes my blood boil. Tablets open up a whole new opportunity for publishers. The trouble is that they’re thinking (and acting) like traditional publishers. Instead of trying to re-invent publishing, they’re just doing the old CTRL-C CTRL-V move (copy and paste). When I read articles like this, all I can think to myself is that this is the exact same thing that happened when TV first went live. They had people doing radio programming in front of a TV camera instead of creating the type of programming you see today. Tablet publishing is a new beast. It’s text, images, audio, video and it has a social layer that lies underneath it all. Why waste this opportunity by simply copying and pasting text? It seems like such a shame… and sham." (Mitch for Alistair).
  • The Branding of the Occupy Movement – The New York Times. "When we recorded the last episode of Media Hacks (you can hear it right here: SPOS #281 – Media Hacks #40 – Occupy Media), the discussion went deep on the marketing and communications behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. I’m not sure if my message was clear on the Podcast, but I think what the mass media defines as ‘no clear message,’ is the way of the world for those who love the whole unconference movement (like me). This is a great peek behind the curtain and the perfect collision of modern-day marketing and a movement that’s trying to change how we think about success, money and the future of our world." (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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