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, Rednod, 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, Media Hacks) and I decided that every week or so the three of us are going to share one link for each other (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 Hazards of Nerd Supremacy: The Case of WikiLeaks - The Atlantic. "In this somewhat unexpected essay, shaggy-haired renaissance wunderkund Jaron Lanier offers a cautionary look at what happens when the nerds win, and at the Wikileaks story in particular. Lanier gets that Wikileaks wants to upset a 'conspiracy of bastards,' but as he points out, the Internet has turned the tables on who's powerful - and 'how can you tell when you are the underdog versus when you are powerful?'" (Alistair for Hugh).
- The Two Things - Glen Whitman. "Sometimes, constraints can be good. Twitter limited users to 140 characters, and that produced a whole new set of communication conventions. Glen Whitman's Two Things list asks people to distill everything about a particular discipline into just two things. It's an old list, which Glen blogged about back in 2004, but it's an idea I think should be revived: ask enough smart people to distill something into two nuggets of information, and you'll find some truisms." (Alistair for Mitch).
- Qur'an etched in Saddam Hussein's blood poses dilemma for Iraq leaders - The Guardian. "Continuing from terrifying and depressing, to... terrifying and so
bizarre that it's hard to quite get my mind around it: Over the course of two years in the 1990s, while Saddam Hussein was still running Iraq, a nurse extracted 27 litres of his blood, which was used as ink by an Islamic calligrapher to transcribe a complete Qur'an." (Hugh for Alistair).
- Out of Lehman's Ashes Wall Street Gets Most of What It Wants - Bloomberg. "I should probably select more cheerful links for New Year's Day, but, well... I won't. So: remember how the global economy almost fell apart due to a confluence of massive consumer/corporate debt and complex financial instruments, driven in large part by the collapse in the crazy US real estate market? The fall-out has been massive unemployment, unprecedented housing foreclosures, and an astronomical shift of debt from private parties (banks and corporations), to the public balance sheet. Behind all of this was Wall Street (well, the global Wall Street), which - for the last 30 years or so - has been extracting greater and greater amounts of wealth from the economy, by encouraging more debt and risk. When the cards came down, starting with Lehman Brothers, and swiftly taking AIG and then the whole global financial system with it, some of us thought: 'OK, so this is bad enough that something major will have to change.' What changed was who gets caught holding the bag (taxpayers). What didn't change was how much wealth Wall Street continues to extract from the economy: 'The last two years have been the best ever for combined investment-banking and trading revenue at Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.'" (Hugh for Mitch).
- In Pursuit of the Perfect Brainstorm - The New York Times Magazine. "Sticky notes, games with toilet paper rolls, whiteboards, squishy balls, crayons, tinkertoys, Lego... is there anything that hasn't been done as a way to open up the minds of a group of people to get them to brainstorm better? Is there a science to it? Does brainstorming actually work? Well... you'll have to read the article to find out..." (Mitch for Alistair).
- Up Front: Why Criticism Matters - The New York Times - Sunday Book Review. "There is a trove of great content in and around this feature. In the top left corner there are links to six critics who each discuss the importance of what they do. Further down you'll find a great audio Podcast on the subject. I'm currently finishing up the autobiography, Mustaine, all about Megadeth founder and frontman, Dave Mustaine. This guy (and his band) took a ton of criticism from the media, the public and their peers. While Mustaine has a thick skin, you don't have to read too far between the lines to see how hurtful it still is to him when the mass media critiques his music. Nobody likes to be critiqued, yet well all do it (at some level or another)." (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.