Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
November 12, 2011 4:31 PM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #73

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:

  • Economic Treadmill: Why We Are Destined to Burn Out - Dyske. "'It would be interesting to see everyone suddenly stop their treadmills, turn off their iPods, stop watching the TV monitors mounted in front of them, stop chewing gums, and think, 'Hey, wait a minute, what the hell are we doing?' Sounds like many of our lives. A good essay that lines up with Alain de Botton's Status Anxiety." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • The Graphing Calculator Story - Pacific Tech. "Ron Avitzur built a graphic calculator for the Mac. He did this in secret, at Apple headquarters, without a contract or permission to be on site. This is the story of what happened -- in many ways, his project had merit and lacked politics, which may be why it succeeded. Reading this, I wonder how much it informed Apple's near-draconian focus on merit and ruthless internal competition. One thing may not have changed in Cupertino: 'when the engineers requested technical oversight, our manager hired a psychologist instead.'" (Alistair for Mitch).
  • A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design - Bret Victor. "Surely, the iPhone and iPad are the most significant advances in the technology of interaction design in the past decade. Put an iPad in front of a one-year old, or a previously technophobe, and you know that to be true. But really, what have we got with an iPad? Pretty stuff under glass. Brett Victor asks: is touching cold glass the best interaction we imagine? This is an impassioned plea to think about interaction that truly embraces these most amazingly designed things: our hands and fingers... that yearn for much more than cold glass." (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Greatest Copy Shot Ever Written - A List Apart Magazine. "I'm not quite sure if this is tongue in cheek or not, but here's a great article analyzing the characteristics of some of the most memorable advertising taglines (aka 'copy shots') in the past couple of decades ('Don't leave home without it'  American Express, 'Reach out and touch someone' - AT&T). Nick Padmore does some statistical analysis (complete with pie charts!) to determine what is the most perfect copy shot ever written. He looks at characteristics such as length, metaphor, wordplay, repetition and rhyme. So what's the best ever copy shot? 'Good to the last drop'? 'Reach out and touch someone'?  Follow the link to find out." (Hugh for Mitch).
  • The Tweaker - The New Yorker. "What was the true brilliance of Steve Jobs? Was it the Macintosh computer? The iPad? iPhone? iTunes? How he affected our culture and our society (changed it, moved it forward, etc...)? Leave it to Malcolm Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, etc...) to go in the complete opposite direction... and be right. In this article for The New Yorker, Gladwell asserts that Jobs' genius came in the minutia of the details. The constant tinkering and tweaking to get something exactly right (in his eyes). This obsession is what made Steve Jobs both a genius and a disaster to work for. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to cope with the maniacal details that Steve Jobs would obsess over. As Gladwell so delightfully demonstrates: that's why there are so few geniuses. More often than not, people like Steve Jobs are incompatible with the rest of us. Thankfully." (Mitch for Alistair).
  • The Truth About Amazon Publishing - paidcontent.org. "Amazon is one of the companies that has fascinated me for well over a decade now. They went from selling books online to becoming one of the most interesting retailers and technology companies in the world. This article looks - in depth - at what their book publishing business looks like. Amazon is both a threat and friend to the book publishing industry (a frenemy) and I'm not sure I've seen a better analysis of their book publishing offering to date."

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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