Welcome to issue #215 of meshedsociety one-and-a-half-weekly.
In last issue, the article about AirPods etiquette received 63 clicks, which is a new record. Not entirely unexpected maybe.
Let's get to this week's reads!
Note: Some of the publications may use “soft” paywalls. If you are denied access, open the URL in your browser’s incognito/private mode (or subscribe if you find yourself reading a lot of the content on a specific site and want to support it).
Last issue's top 3 most clicked articles:
- Software, the Tough Tomato Principle, and the Great Weirdening of the World
(florentcrivello.com, 12 minutes)
Florent Crivello invents the “Tough Tomato Principle” as an iteration of Marshall McLuhan’s famous “The medium is the message”: We make tools so they accommodate the world; until the world remolds itself so it accommodates our tools. Currently our world is remolding itself to software.
- Microsoft, currently the most valuable company, is having a Nadellaissance
(bloomberg.com, 15 minutes)
Microsoft survived an innovator’s dilemma as well as an identity crisis, thanks to its CEO Satya Nadella. How did he do it? One important thing was radically de-emphasizing the Windows brand and massively focusing on the cloud. According to the text, he also has “no swagger”.
- Jack Dorsey Is Gwyneth Paltrow for Silicon Valley
(nytimes.com, 6 minutes)
Besides his jobs as CEO of Twitter and Square, Jack Dorsey has become a lifestyle guru with a loyal following.
- What I learned moving from my smart home to an apartment
(staceyoniot.com, 6 minutes)
For those who are embracing the smart home, moving may become a bit more of a mentally complicated task
- Google Is Eating Our Mail
(tablix.org, 5 minutes)
The problem with one email client being so dominant like Gmail: If it rejects emails (like in this case from a private email server) for illegitimate reasons, it undermines a lot of the technology’s traditional strengths and open philosophy.
- How to Write Email with Military Precision
(hbr.org, 4 minutes)
Writing an email like described in this piece from 2016 might be efficient, but how would recipients feel about the robotic tone?
- The Efficiency Delusion
(onezero.medium.com, 9 minutes)
On the technology industry’s obsession with removing friction and seeing everything as an efficiency problem, and the wider implications: “Some human or civic interactions thrive when they’re deliberate and erode when they’re sped up.“
- 22 Things I Learned as a Tech Entrepreneur (The Hard Way)
(innospective.net, 14 minutes)
Great collection of startup wisdom.
- This Estonian Start-Up Has Become a Thorn in Uber’s Side
(nytimes.com, 6 minutes)
Might Bolt have the potential to become a serious European Uber rival?
- Estonia’s e-revolution rolls on: Now it’s first in Europe with cross-border e-prescriptions
(zdnet.com, 4 minutes)
While we are at the topic of Estonia: The country has implemented Europe’s first cross-border digital prescription service for residents of Finland. Finns can now buy their medicine prescribed by doctors in Finland at pharmacies in Estonia.
- The gig economy is quietly undermining a century of worker protections
(qz.com, 6 minutes)
Apart from the flexibility in regards to the schedule, it’s hard to argue against that gig workers’ overall have a more vulnerable position in comparison to employed workers. On the other hand, gig work is most likely better than being unemployed, which some of the gig workers would have been.
- A Coming Crisis of Cognition
(medium.com, 15 minutes)
Jeff Jarvis ponders the implications of journalism being obsessed with stories and narratives to try to explain human motivation, while growing evidence from neuroscience shows that human behaviors aren’t necessarily driven by clear purposes, ends, or goals.
- How Twitter Users Compare to the General Public
(pewinternet.org, 9 minutes)
“The 10% of users who are most active in terms of tweeting are responsible for 80% of all tweets created by U.S. users.“
- The Instagram Aesthetic Is Over
(theatlantic.com, 8 minutes)
According to Taylor Lorenz (probably the best journalist right now when it comes to stories about youth culture-related social media trends), a year ago an influencer could post a shot with manicured hands on a coffee cup and rake in the likes, while now people will unfollow.
- Apple employs an in-house philosopher
(qz.com, 3 minutes)
… but he is not allowed to talk about it to the press. Of course not.
- I Can’t Do Anything for Fun Anymore; Every Hobby Is an Attempt to Make Money
(bennettnotes.com, 2 minutes)
I have kind of the opposite "problem"sometimes: There is an urge in me to protect hobbies (= activities that deliver happiness) from becoming business opportunities (out of worry that this might kill the joy). Related: David Kadavy on why it is important to create for yourself first, not for success.
- Gallup Global Emotions Report
(bbc.com, 2 minutes)
I find this report fascinating. It doesn’t look at overall happiness but at the presence of positive and negative emotions. The countries where most people report daily positive emotions are all in Latin America.
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