Ten Stories We’ve Enjoyed This Week

5th July 2019

From The Economist. ‘When batches of images leap onto their screens, they must instantly sort them into categories, such as violence, hate speech and “dare” videos, in which people offer to do whatever a stranger asks.’ A new book Behind The Screen, looks at the world of content moderators, who often work for outsourced companies and for a pittance in the developing world. This quote from a separate book, on the same subject – Custodians Of The Internet, really strikes a chord – ‘Part of the problem, is that both users and (big tech) companies have got it wrong: content moderation is not a peripheral inconvenience, but in many ways, the commodity that platforms offer’.

From The New Yorker. ‘For better or for worse, we all live in Jony Ive’s World.‘..and from The Guardian, eight hits and misses, from his 20 years at Apple.

In this talk and tech demo, software researcher Doug Roble debuts “DigiDoug”: a real-time, 3-D, digital rendering of his likeness that’s accurate down to the scale of pores and wrinkles. Digital humans that look just like us….

From @Tortoise. ‘The man who founded 8chan – one of the dark corners where internet hate speech flourishes – it’s troubling and fascinating in equal measure. If you think you know why someone would set up a site like that, it’ll make you think again.’ Destroyer of Worlds – How a childhood of anger led to the creation of one of the darkest corners of the internet.

The Monday Note is not a fan of Libra – ‘Handing a large chunk of the global transaction system over to Facebook would be dangerous for the entire society and regulators must act swiftly to freeze the project.

In what might be the worst news imaginable: cockroaches are developing resistance to insecticides. As Science puts it: “because cockroaches live only for about 100 days, that resistance can evolve quickly, with genes from the most resistant cockroaches being passed to the next generation”. I, for one, hail our new insect overlords….

The world’s best sonic brands, courtesy of Forbes. (HT @here_forth)

Cabeza Patata’s vibrant campaign for Spotify Premium, on the ever-changing moods of music.

Wonderful. ‘There is nothing more revealing than to see a thinking person walking, just as there is nothing more revealing than to see a walking person thinking… Walking and thinking are in a perpetual relationship that is based on trust.‘ Thomas Bernhard on walking, thinking, and the paradox of self-reflection. (HT Kevin Harris).

Love this short piece from the always engaging Seth Godin. Absolutism is a form of hiding. Perfect is the enemy of good. Everything is a compromise.

Good to see two airlines talking about sustainability. KLM, encourages travellers to fly responsibly, and airline Edelweiss (owned by Lufthansa) lets you offset your carbon when you buy a ticket.

The Red Dwarf crew are reunited in this ‘Stellar Rescue’ campaign for The AA and here, 2 people crash at the ‘Mountain Of Hell’ Bike Race and the mother of all pile-ups ensues…

Finally, just love this Economist piece in their Bartleby column. Has this ever rung true for you? Oh boy, this certainly reminds me of an experience working out Wapping way. The Promotion Curse – ‘People get promoted until they reach a level when they stop enjoying their jobs. At this point, it is not just their competence that is affected; it is their happiness as well.’