July 15, 2019

Interesting Things on the Internet: July 15th 2019

This week's RSS additions:

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July 01, 2019

Interesting Things on the Internet: July 1st 2019

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June 23, 2019


I'm much enjoying the recently-launched Liverpool Long-reads blog. The latest article digs into the state of the city's theatres, which made me ponder why I don't go to the theatre more often.

Living in the Georgian Quarter, I walk past most of them pretty often, but I think the last time I ventured inside was in early 2017.

I think the main problem is that I don't know what's on. I seem to manage to generally hear a bit about all of the exhibitions in the various galleries around the city, but I'm not hooked into the theatre scene in the same way. I'm also not as sure of what I might like, or what I should avoid, than I am with art. I suppose it's harder to bail on some theatre production that's not of interest than it is to just cut a gallery visit short.

All that said, the last time I went to the theatre was to one of the Everyman's Scratch Studio mornings. That was a thoroughly enjoyable sampling-menu sort of event, where we got to watch a single scene of a range of different in-development pieces.

I'd never have signed up for a play which (if memory serves) showed a dystopian future where the population was a cult trapped on an island by its religious beliefs, all played out (including the waves of the sea) by interpretive dance, but it was really engaging. I'm not sure I'd sign up for an entire play of that just yet, but it opened my mind to experiencing more of it.

There were some other pieces that I would have happily gone to see in full, but I didn't. Partly because I don't know if they made it to production. There's maybe a loop there for the team at the Everyman to look at closing.

All that said, that article prompted this blog post which prompted me to dig out a link to the Scratch Studio programme which made me realise that it's still running. So I'm going to go along again. Anyone fancy joining me?

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June 17, 2019

Interesting Things on the Internet: June 17th 2019

  • Uber’s Path of Destruction. In-depth dismantling of Uber as a company of any value. I disagree that they haven't managed any useful innovation, they did bring a nice user-experience to smartphone-owners-who-want-a-cab, but some service design for a cab firm would've found that sooner or later. Sadly their big innovation is in persuading VCs and the press that they're a tech firm rather than a taxi firm that gets digital; WeWork is doing the same for real estate, and we'll have similar problems to cope with when it becomes apparent that they aren't going to generate the same multiple returns for its investors.
  • Stock and flow. Just a lovely explanation of how to manage step 1 (stock) and step 2 (flow). I also think about opportunity cost a lot, but hadn't made the connection back to my D-grade A-level economics until just now.
  • Sidewalk Toronto: The Recklessness of Novelty. The recklessness of novelty is a wonderful phrase, and sadly it's everywhere. 'There is a local approach to Quayside supportive of global innovation and respectful of Toronto knowledge. And, most importantly, as Shannon Mattern writes, about maintenance over disruption, the work of already here places and people. In her words, “What we really need to study is how the world gets put back together.”'
  • Five Lessons from History. An interesting oblique look at some history that we all know.

Inspired by Giles' recent promotion of RSS and the fact that I've just added two new RSS feeds to my RSS reader, I figured it might be interesting to surface that information here. It's kind of like when Twitter start showing you tweets that your friend's next-door neighbour's cat's distant uncle liked. Only hopefully not quite as annoying. And it's at the end of the blog post, so it's easy to skip. I don't know if it'll become a regular fixture, I guess we'll see.

This week's RSS additions:

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June 03, 2019

Interesting Things on the Internet: June 3rd 2019

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May 27, 2019

Interesting Things on the Internet: May 27th 2019

  • Putting the Soul in Console. "maybe things like our gaming devices or the websites we visit should be created by people we know and like, instead of giant faceless companies, seems more essential than ever. We would never settle for replacing all of our made-with-love, locally-grown, mom's recipe home cooking with factory-farmed fast food, even if sometimes convenience demands we consume the latter."
  • Council Estate Academics: Take Pride in Your Roots. Not just academics. I didn't grow up on a council estate, but lots of this rings true. The class system in this country has been finely honed over centuries to ensure there's always another level into which you don't fit. Sod that for a game of soldiers.
  • “Like millions of others, I was fed the myth…It’s bollocks, mate.”. A good exploration of another perspective on the last link.
  • Kolyma - Birthplace of Our Fear. Long, but really interesting documentary about the Russian Gulag, that era of Stalinist Russia and its legacy.
  • Russell Keith-Magee - Keynote - PyCon 2019. Interesting arguments about how and why we should be funding open source projects (focused on Python, but it all applies elsewhere too). The section about Ostrom's work in how we successfully manage a commons and how that conflicts with open source licensing was especially interesting. Given that a commons, or a community, needs ways to protect itself from bad actors; how do we reconcile that with the four freedoms? Maybe we need to change the four freedoms.
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May 20, 2019

Interesting Things on the Internet: May 20th 2019

  • Why I (Still) Love Tech: In Defense of a Difficult Industry. Yep. Pretty much all of this. I do think that some of this is a response to the geeks gaining power. Some of us remember what it was like to be the outsider, and want to help others up onto our platform; others remember what it was like to be the outsider, and enjoy getting to be the school bully. So much work to do.
  • Lets talk about Extinction Rebellion. I wanted to write more about Extinction Rebellion here, particularly when I visited the protests on Waterloo Bridge when I was down in London. Given that hasn't happened, this good write-up will have to suffice for now.
  • Senate testimony on privacy and surveillance capitalism. Not as entertaining as his usual talks against the big tech companies, but important, considered arguments about the risks and how we should regulate tech from Maciej. Happy that I pay him for my pinboard.in account. "For sixty years, we have called the threat of totalitarian surveillance ‘Orwellian’, but the word no longer fits the threat. The better word now may be ‘Californian’."
  • Freezing Executive Salaries to Pay Entry-Level Workers a Better Wage. "The conversation with our executives was straightforward. We were in the midst of a turnaround. We were demanding much from every corner of the company. Small financial sacrifices from those at the top could be life changing for those at the bottom of our wage scale."
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May 13, 2019

Interesting Things on the Internet: May 13th 2019

  • Tukey, Design Thinking, and Better Questions. Excellent thoughts on data science (I need to read the original paper too, written in 1962!). "Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise."
  • Finance for non-accountants. Excellent primer on how to read a company's accounts, for non-accountants like myself (and most people).
  • Radically Open Security: Non-profit Ventures. Interesting set of rules for setting up non-profit businesses. Good to see more examples like this knocking around.
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April 29, 2019

Interesting Things on the Internet: April 29th 2019

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April 15, 2019

Interesting Things on the Internet: April 15th 2019

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