Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

1st June 2018

John Stuart Mill was 212 years old last week. Whilst the views of the venerated author of On Liberty have received strong criticism in the ‘era of fake news’, perhaps some of this criticism has been misguided. ‘Mill acknowledged that there was nothing certain about the process through which the “truth” would emerge as the winner following an intellectual contest. He knew that bad ideas can hold sway over good ones, often for a very long time…and ideas don’t exist somehow apart from social context.

‘Interesting’ times with the GDPR recently. By way of some light-hearted distraction, I found this piece from Russell Davies in Wired, most amusing – ‘To my friends, acquaintances, former colleagues, suppliers of plumbing services, players of Walking Football, supporters of Nottingham Forest, Chinese oil painting suppliers, let it be known; I have your email addresses….’  You might also enjoy this  ‘I Love GDPR’  playlist on Spotify, including ‘What’s Your Name and Number’, ‘Call Me’ and ‘Don’t Go’. Finally, courtesy of @itsjimmyb, a GDPR joke – Q.  Do you know a specialist on the GDPR? A.  Yes.  Q.  Can you give me her email address? A.  No.

Why Childish Gambino is a Shakespearean character for a modern (dystopian?) world. ‘A key aspect of Shakespeare’s works is the lack of easy answers; his “problem plays” with morally unsatisfying endings have confounded scholars and audiences for centuries, and he sometimes grotesquely breaks up intermittent murders and violence with comic relief. Likewise, Childish Gambino and (filmmaker) Hiro Murairefuse to provide cheap moralism or pie-in-the-sky comfort. “This is America,” perhaps like the real America, has a fluid morality and no heroes.’

Forget millennials, according to Adweek we should be focusing on ‘Transformists’. “Transformists” are tech-savvy individuals who don’t just use technology for fun, but to better their own lives and supplement the values and causes they believe in, from social issues to work goals. Driven, curious and connected, transformists are exactly the group that brands should be striving to reach.’

Mark Ritson on the 10 LinkedIn profiles to avoid.

‘Repeat addiction and the potency of doing something only once’. An interesting perspective from friend of the Filter – Can Scorpions Smoke – ‘There is something bitter-sweet about doing something for the first time. The sweetness comes from fully experiencing the vibrant edge of not-knowing…and at the same time, the bitterness comes from knowing that having done it once, I can never do it for the first time ever again.’

The Economist on how heavy use of social media is linked to mental illness. ‘Youngsters report problems with anxiety, depression, sleep and “FoMO”, and Instagram is the main culprit.

From Adweek. ‘How did we reach this point where otherwise good people call other otherwise good people the worst human being ever; where a teen survivor of a school mass shooting is called out as a “crisis actor” and where “don’t read the comments” is yet another awkward conversation parents have with their teens. Here is a story of hubris and greed; of capitalism taken to an extreme; of representing humanity writ large.’ This is Why The Internet Sucks. 

‘For now, however, there remains no AI that has demonstrated an ability to abstractly solve tasks. AI works because it can see millions of nearly identical examples and then make educated recommendations based on what it has already seen—only humans can imagine something that has not yet been seen’. The CEO of IDEO explains how your “creative capacity” is the key to surviving automation.

Flipstarter is Kickstarter for really, really, really bad ideas.