Interesting Links December 22nd, 2018

I was hoping for a non-Facebook week this time, but they’re doing their best to stay in the news for all the bad reasons. I’m getting tired of it all. Not the reporting, Facebook. With a little luck it will get some serious adult supervision (regulation) in the very near future. I’d like to see it disappear entirely, but I don’t think that will happen any time soon.

  1. My Dad’s Friendship With Charles Barkley : NY Times — This is a heart-warming story and something we should all aspire to be like with the random people we meet, in hotels, at conferences. There is plenty of good in the world right under our noses. But we’ve conditioned ourselves to ignore it.
  2. Apple Computes Used to Be Built in the U.S. It Was a Mess. : NY Times — I like these historical articles that give a little perspective on how we got where we did, specifically the ever-increasingly coomplex global supply chains of today. Where I think this falls down is if we try to use this as an example of what could happen now — Something the article doesn’t specifically do, but provocatively tries in its title. The world of manufacturing and sourcing is totally different today, we can’t judge something on the values and systems of yesterday, that’s just ridiculous.
  3. Targeting Black Americans, Russia’s IRA Exploited Racial Wounds : Wired — Worth reading, taking your time to understand what’s going on. Frightening. We all have a duty to develop the necessary skills to understand the (mis)information campaigns that are targeting us constantly. I’d suggest starting with the book entitled “The Death of Expertise”. Chapter 5, goes in to some details about our own lack of skills that render these sorts of campaigns easier to achieve.
  4. How Instagram Became the Russian IRA’s Go-To Social Network : Wired — More on the same topic from Wired. Again, totally worth the read. This sort of journalism should be discussed in schools and analysed to help young students for the future. In France, there is a little known program (too small in my view, but that might change) where students learn hands-on to spot fake news and other unsavoury Social Media vomit.
  5. As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved and Opening for Tech Giants : NY Times — 🤷‍♂️ Facebook. See above.
  6. The Killing Field : Next Draft — If you don’t subscribe to the Next Draft Newsletter, I highly recommend you do. Dave Pell opens hundreds of browser tabs so you don’t have to. This snippet is about Journalists being murdered for doing their job… and the U.S. turning a blind eye.
  7. People with Depression are more likely to say certain words : Quartz — Fascinating article and is really well explained. One complaint, I’d have liked to see — either included in the article, or as a separate article — the possibilities of misuse of this technology. Insurance companies, I’m looking at you.
  8. How YouTube Built a Radicalization Machine for the Far-Right : The Daily Beast — I’ve long suspected that once Facebook is cooked, the next target is Google. Rightly so. I think Google get away with a lot, simply because there’s a bigger fish to catch at the moment. Personal experience. Watching silly UK comedy game shows through YouTube on my AppleTV, not signed in to Google, YouTube proposes Area 51 conspiracy theories for me to watch. TFW??
  9. One smart guy’s Franck take on working in some of the major tech companies : Marginal Revolution — Long. Depressing. Will make you squirm. Must read.
  10. Does AI make strong tech companies stronger? : Benedict Evans — Ever wanted to have a little bit of knowledge on what AI really is? This is the article for you. Ben does and excellent job of explaining in practical terms what AI is and isn’t.
  11. WhatsApp fails to curb sharing of child sex abuse videos : Financial Times — I’m not sure what I make of this article. On the one hand of course, I’m revolted and condemn Facebook for doing nothing, but on the other, this is nothing more than a modern day method of doing what has always been done.The difference, and here I agree that Facebook should be held accountable, is that what was once very difficult and expensive to circulate, has had its marginal costs reduced to zero with the potential to rayon a larger audience more quickly. I don’t know what the answer is yet, but it sure isn’t doing nothing, Facebook!

22 December 2018

Photo by Brent Gorwin on Unsplash