Social media: A silent killer of innovation


FOMO – Fear of Missing Out

Psychology Today states, ‘Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger — if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are far from life-or-death, and thus hang back for no good reason.’

Hang back for no good reason? Isn’t that the same as ‘sticking to what you know’ or ‘playing it safe’?

Fear, and the fight-or-flight response have been around forever. However, if early humans missed out on information and, as a result, were rejected by their fellow tribes people, they would be alone. Properly alone and likely to die. It was then humans developed a paralysing fear of being disliked.

The complete article

Adam Slawson — Fluxx

It is far from clear that requiring payments for data makes sense


Should we get paid for our data?

Herein lies the insight: to the extent that having consumers not be paid for their data is an indication that they value the use of their data by the network, by forcing the network to pay for that data, the consumer can be made worse off because they can no longer just give the data to the network. Thus, the whole analogy with slavery or the supply of pure labour breaks down because the consumer may want to encourage the network to make use of more of its data. Requiring the network to pay subverts that process.

In order for the notion of regulating payments for data makes sense, you have to believe that consumers do not gain utility by giving additional data to networks. Some (and perhaps many) consumers do give their data freely to networks now. Thus, it is entirely possible that they will be made worse off it networks are required to pay them for that data because those networks may structure themselves to no longer make use of the data rather than pay for it.

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Joshua Gans — Digitopoly

FACEBOOK AND FRIENDSHIP


Thoughts of some of my Facebook friendships came to mind recently as I read an essay by William Hazlitt. In “The Pleasures of Hating,” Hazlitt talks about the many things we come to hate, especially as we age. “We hate old friends: we hate old books: we hate old opinions; and at last we come to hate ourselves.” He continues:

Old friendships are like meats served up repeatedly, cold, comfortless, and distasteful. The stomach turns against them. Either constant intercourse and familiarity breed weariness and contempt; or, if we meet again after an interval of absence, we appear no longer the same. One is too wise, another too foolish for us; and we wonder we did not find this out before. We are disconcerted and kept in a state of continual alarm by the wit of one, or tired to death of the dullness of another.

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K. E. Colombini — First Things

 

WHY I AM RESIGNING FROM MY TECHNOLOGY COMPANY AND KEEPING ALL THE MONEY


Funny!

When I first got hired to work as DMM at Zikkler, I did so with two simple goals in mind: to make the world a better place and to purchase a house near Lake Tahoe that was bigger than my brother-in-law’s. I have definitely accomplished the second goal, as you can see from the many photos I passed out comparing the two homes from multiple different angles. However, it is time to admit that I have not accomplished the first.

This job simply turned into something I did not expect, starting with my title. I was under the impression that I would be the Digital Media Mastermind, but after about two weeks, I learned that DMM actually stood for Data Monetization Manager. I probably should have figured out what it stood for before I accepted the job, but my contract just had so many zeroes in it, making it hard to focus on the details.

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Eddie Small — McSweeney’s

Does Alexa Know I’m Gay?


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How much does Alexa know about you based on your data?

NICOLE: Alexa, am I gay?

ALEXA: If you are, you’ll find that you’re primarily attracted to people of your own sex. You might consider connecting with a resource like PFLAG, which offers multiple resources and programs for LGBTQ individuals and their families. Their website is pflag.org.

So either PFLAG is an Amazon sponsor or the people at Amazon have figured out how to avoid questions about sexuality (a skill I learned when I was 14).

The complete article

Nicole Boyce — NYMag

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How GPS tracking is changing football


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One for the football season. Will sports remain sports?

The Brazilian fitness staff claims that since their players started using GPS wearable devices in 2015, soft-tissue injuries have been rare. Ramos, the physiologist, recalls that during the Rio Olympics in 2016 he needed to have a word with Neymar because of the exceptional number of high-intensity sprints registered by his GPS device during training. “We had to tell him to slow down or else he would get injured.” If he had, he wouldn’t have been on the pitch to score the winning goal in the final against Germany. Whoever strikes the decisive shot at this year’s World Cup will probably have done so with a computer at his back.

The complete article

Joao Medeiros — 1843

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Elon Musk’s Fall from Grace


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Will Musk come out of this?

The conflicts of interest certainly seem problematic—and not just for the shareholders. Consider the following: as the two companies, SolarCity and Tesla, were delaying operations and refusing to bargain with workers, Brad W. Buss received $4.95 million as a Tesla director in 2015 alone, on top of his $32 million as the Chief Financial Officer at the insolvent SolarCity. Antonio J. Gracias, founder and CEO of the private equity firm Valor Management, sits on Tesla’s board and owned 211,854 SolarCity shares at the time of the merger. Steve Jurvenston, another Silicon Valley venture capitalist, earned over $6 million as a Tesla board member in 2016 and owned over 417,450 shares of SolarCity during the merger. His investing firm, Draper Fisher Jurveston, put $18.9 million in SolarCity. Nancy Pfund, a venture capitalist at DBL investors, another equity firm, owned over 1.5 million shares of SolarCity at the time of the merger, and Pfund’s partner at DBL is Ira Ehrenpreis, who owns the map software firm MapBox and is also a Tesla director. (In 2015, he secured an agreement with the auto company to use his software, at a $5 million fee on top of sales.)

The complete article

Andrew Elrod — Boston Review

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