What we read this week (22 November)

Our favorite articles of this week. Have a great weekend.

Articles of the week

  • What Screens Want
    Brilliant web essay by Frank Chimero, and not only because he features James Burke and The West Wing. I bet that this one will come up in a lot of conversations in the next months.
  • Prada Revolutionaries
    “Bright Green has become the left's version of right-wing transhumanism: an excuse to not solve today's problems, because tomorrow's technology will fix them for us.”
  • Tom Armitage » Driftwood
    “Driftwood is a talk I gave at Playark 2013. It was meant to be a talk about leftovers (the theme of the conference being ‘reclaim’), and about Hello Lamp Post. In the writing, it turned into a broader overview of my own work – on six years of projects around cities and play.”
  • Meet The ‘Assassination Market’ Creator Who’s Crowdfunding Murder With Bitcoins – Forbes
    “Assassination Market, a crowdfunding service that lets anyone anonymously contribute bitcoins towards a bounty on the head of any government official–a kind of Kickstarter for political assassinations.”
  • Ross Andersen – Humanity’s deep future
    "When we peer into the fog of the deep future what do we see – human extinction or a future among the stars?"
  • Bitcoin As Protocol | Union Square Ventures
    “There is no other widely used protocol in the world today that accomplishes this: with bitcoin anyone can make a statement (a transaction) and have this be recorded in a globally visible and fixed ledger.”
  • Content economics, part 4: scale | Felix Salmon
    "It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of the CMS when it comes to the question of who’s going to win the online-publishing wars."
  • InMoov » Project
    "Here is “InMoov”, the first life size humanoid robot you can 3D print and animate. You have a 3D printer, some building skills, This project is for you!!"
  • Apple and Google Maps, and Defaults | Matt Mullenweg
    “If Microsoft did this a decade ago we’d call for the DoJ to reopen their investigation. Apple has the best phone, best tablet, and in many ways the best operating system — we should not give them a pass for this blatantly self-interested and user-hostile stance.”
  • Instagram and Youtube — Benedict Evans
    "WhatsApp and Instagram are not in different categories – they're direct competitors for time and attention." – This spot on.

What we read this week (14 Sep)

This week’s reads dig into the human work behind Google Maps, a new tool for online education (also by Google), what makes Firefox OS special, a program that recognizes the objects in sketches, and a diplomat’s legacy in his gaming community.

Quotes of the week

The future’s kind of funny-looking, but it’s probably the future you deserve.

Warren Ellis

Where you’re searching from has become almost as important as what you’re searching for.

Alexis Madrigal

Articles of the week

What we read this week (29 Jun)

Computers recognizing cats, Bruce Sterling on the New Aesthetic, a primer on networked cities, the inner workings of Anonymous, and the Manufactured Normalcy Field.

Quotes of the week

Great collaborations don’t start in boardrooms.
They start in restaurants.


Articles of the week

  • Ideas for Dozens: Designing for and against the manufactured normalcy field
    Based on a Ribbonfarm article, which we featured a couple of weeks ago, NYU’s Greg Borenstein and BERG London’s Matt Webb ran a Foo Camp session, which Peter attended, on the so-called Manufactured Normalcy Field, and how it relates to designing everyday products. The post is a rough writeup, capturing the essence of the group brainstorm. Good stuff indeed.
  • David Albert Cox: Playfulness and Processuality
    Two and a half months ago, Bruce Sterling published his essay on the New Aesthetic and propelled it onto the big stage. Now, David Albert Cox catches up with Sterling to get his latest thoughts on the movement and James Bridle.
  • The Economist: The laws of the city
    Based on data collected about cities and the behavioral patterns of their inhabitants in broad terms, we’re able to learn about the way cities grow and change. This article offers a good general introduction to the theme of networked cities, and shows us some ways in which the increasing abundance of urban data is being put to use.
  • Wired: How Anonymous Picks Targets, Launches Attacks, and Takes Powerful Organizations Down
    This fascinating article by Quinn Norton on the inner workings of Anonymous and its involvement in politics offers insight into the evolution of both the movement and the internet culture. Should you like to read more on the subject, there is also an interesting writeup on the TED blog of observations made by Gabriella Coleman, an anthropologist who studied the group for years.
  • New York Times: How Many Computers to Identify a Cat? 16,000
    A network of 16,000 computer processors was fed 10 million random image thumbnails from YouTube videos. In an impressive feat of machine learning, the network “basically invented the concept of a cat,” says Dr Jeff Dean of Google’s X lab. One step close of computers emulating the human brain.