Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 21, 201212:55 PM

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #83

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:

  • Your body wasn't built to last: a lesson from human mortality rates - Gravity And Levity. "A sobering explanation of how likely we are to die, and how death stems from the accumulation of problems over time. With graphs, even. Just take solace in the fact that, on average, you'll have twice as many years as your great-great-ancestors to walk this mortal coil. If life's too short to read it, here's the TL;RD: you're twice as likely to die 8 years from now as you are today. Compound interest is a bitch: go update that will." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Lockdown - BoingBoing. "A week or so ago, it occurred to me that with tablets, we copy and share at the pleasure of the application. This seemed the germ of a powerful idea; as with most such things, I tweeted it, resolved to write it down, and went on to other things (like making anti-SOPA T-shirts.) Then I read this, and realized that I didn't have much to add. I've long been a fan of Cory Doctorow's writings. I met him briefly at an O'Reilly event last fall and was amazed that he's not just wide, but deep. He knows the ins and outs of protocols and legislation as well as he knows his characters' warts and wonderments. Lockdown is no exception. He takes a step back and offers a clear, crisp explanation of the real war we're facing -- a war on general-purpose computing -- of which DRM, SOPA, Bittorrent, and Napster are merely skirmishes. It's superb, meaty, and doesn't suffer fools." (Alistair for Mitch).
  • How Copyright Industries Con Congress - CATO@Library. "The big news this week was the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) blackout, a sweeping protest by thousands of websites over  proposed legislation in the US that the entertainment industry say is essential for protecting copyright, and the tech world says will break the Internet. You should inform yourself about these issues, and make your own decisions. But, in the mean time, you should read this article about the numbers bandied around about by proponents of the law, claiming $58 billion annual losses due to piracy, and hundreds of thousands of lost jobs. Turns out the numbers are bullshit. So says the General Accounting Office, the non-partisan government organization tasked with analyzing the numbers presented to congress. That doesn't stop every journalist writing about this issue from quoting the numbers though." (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Dodd Calls for Hollywood and Silicon Valley to Meet - The New York Times. "If you want to know what's wrong with how laws are made, read this article about former good-guy and ex-US Senator, Chris Dodd, who is now the chairman and chief lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association of America, and one of the main guys tasked with pushing SOPA through Congress. What's shocking about this article is how irrelevant the substantive concerns about this proposed law seem to be to Dodd. Instead, the failure was one of lobbying power: Dodd and company didn't move fast enough, or lobby hard enough. They say that if you like eating sausage, don't watch it being made.  Oh, and by the way: the bullshit $58 billion claimed in losses due to piracy? Yep, quoted without comment in this article." (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Introducing the i-Lab - Harvard Magazine. "I believe that the next five to ten years of business are going to be radically different from anything that we have seen before. While we'll still see a ton of disruption, I think the shift to the creative class powered by technology will push us into a new post-disruption world. More simply put, 'ok, we have online social networking, mobility, connectivity and new business models everywhere, but now what?' It's going to be a very telling time, and it pleases me to see more traditional institutions (like Harvard) making tangible attempts to keep education at pace with this brave new world. If we can foster the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship with those making serious life decisions in terms of professions and opportunities, there's a much higher chance that we'll all wind up being just a little bit better off." (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Quit Whining About SOPA and PIPA. Where's the Public Outrage Over Internet Piracy? - Seattle Weekly. "I wasn't going to pile-on another SOPA - PIPA piece (there's plenty of 'em to go around... just look above), but I could not resist. In this op-ed piece, former Guns n' Roses bassist, Duff McKagen, states his pro-SOPA case: 'The fury from the Internet class is that the broad language in the pieces of legislation will be bad for start-ups, might prevent the next YouTube, or give the government the ability to take down a whole site because of one link to copyrighted works. In short, they're opposed to the legislation because they think it will be bad for the Internet business. Bad for business. Anti-piracy legislation could be bad for the Internet business. It almost takes my breath away. Internet piracy has claimed half of the recorded music business, and made the prospect of making a living as a musician harder for artists of all rank and file. Why didn't Google, or Facebook, or Wikipedia ever stand in solidarity with musicians, actors, and writers - most of whom have never known fame and fortune - as their works were stolen with no recourse on their sites?' Remember folks, there are (at least) three sides to every story. What is the best part of this op-ed piece? Why, the 270+ comments, of course. Poor, Duff." (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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