Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 22, 2011 2:06 PM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #31

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, 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:

  1. Horoscoped - Information Is Beautiful. "This Information is Beautiful visualization of the most common words in horoscopes shows what folks like Derren Brown have elegantly demonstrated: Horoscopes are bunko. On the other hand, the resulting 'meta horoscope' that uses all of the most common words is a strangely serene poem about how to live a good life." (Alistair for Hugh).
  2. The Truth Wears Off - The New Yorker. "I've cited a lot of research over the past few months. And apparently, it's becoming wrong. For a variety of reasons -- from human psychology and frail egoes, to self-selection, to bad stats, there's a lot of evidence that things we believe are true are gradually become untrue. Is the universe resisting our efforts to understand it? Why does Alberta make coked-up mice run farther? This great piece from The New Yorker will tell you." (Alistair for Mitch).
  3. Idea to Market in 5 Months: Making the Glif - The Russians Used A Pencil. "We've all heard about some web start-up that was a little idea that just hit the right nerve - and after a few weeks or months of coding... poof! something explodes online. While it's not easy to make a successful webapp, the costs can be minimal: a smart person and a computer can get a lot done. But when you're trying to build a physical product, well... you need capital - for prototypes, manufacturing, and distribution. Until now: driven by tools like the community-funding site Kickstarter, and cheap 3D printing - some physical projects are starting to look a lot like web startups. Here's a story of a couple of guys who decided to build an iPhone tripod mount and stand, and have shipped a whole bunch of them." (Hugh for Alistair).
  4. Tracking down my online haters - CNN. "Online sportswriters, apparently, get heaps of abusive comments on their articles. Jeff Pearlman, a columnist at SI.com, started tracking down some of these commenters, and telephoning them to talk to them about why they felt the need to call him names. It turns out these online loudmouth jerks are often polite and apologetic on the phone. So it's not some innate rudeness, it appears, but something about (some) online communications themselves that encourages otherwise polite, normal people, to behave like morons. I've been deeply engaged in online life for about six years, and my online communities and interactions tend to be filled with reasoned thoughtful discourse, and very little rudeness. I like this article because it suggest that decency is as much a structural issue as it is a personal one. And a bit more decency would be nice." (Hugh for Mitch).
  5. Me and My Algorithm - The New York Times. "Computers can do the most amazing things. Computers can do the stupidest things too (anyone up for a TV show called, Computers Do The Darndest Things?). In this New York Times opinion piece, Seth Freeman, looks at how human programmed but computer generated algorithms often get it embarrassingly (and funnily) wrong. It's to be expected, but let's not get too focused on what computer programs can do today. Instead, I'm more interested in where this all going. Artificial intelligence is not just a science fiction movie anymore. We're getting closer and closer to that moment in time where an algorithm will be less about the programming behind it and much more about understanding the semantics and intent of our everyday language." (Mitch for Alistair).
  6. All-Star Thinkers on Wikipedia's 10th Anniversary - The Atlantic. "If there's one thing Hugh and I both love talking about, it's Wikipedia. Last week, the amazing online encyclopedia that anyone can add to and edit celebrated its tenth birthday (more on that here: Ten Years of Wikipedia). This incredible piece from The Atlantic offers thinkers like Jay Rosen, Clay Shirky, Craig Newmark and many others a platform to 'comment on the site's texture and community. We asked them a simple question - what do you think about Wikipedia? '. This is a great read. Enjoy it." (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.

By Mitch Joel


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