What we read this week (5 Oct)

In this week’s reads: music that “thinks for itself,” economics and video games, the somewhat disturbing use of data in presidential campaigning, digitizing a personal library, and time-creation strategies.

Quotes of the week

Kill Your Business Model Before It Kills You

Ron Ashkenas

Here’s the thing: Glass doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of living up to its futuristic hype, but I understand why so many people want to believe it might. Somewhere deep down, you want to be a cyborg. We all do. In fact, most of us already are.

Ryan Block

Articles of the week

  • Wired UK: Brian Eno on music that thinks for itself
    An interview detailing the ideas behind a recent generative music project by Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers, called Scape. It’s an app-album designed to never sound the same twice, and is part of a growing trend in interactive music apps.
  • Washington Post: The economics of video games
    A fascinating tale about the world of economics inside a game. The fact that two game companies hired full-fledged economist to help them build better games provides a clue as to the complexity of those game worlds and what could be learned from them.
  • FT: Inside Obama’s HQ
    FT provides an in-depth look into the Obama campaign’s use of data. It’s impressive and scary at the same time. Definitely worth a read even if it’s unlikely that those kind of mechanics will be ever applicable outside of the US. Nevertheless, all of this will dominate social media / big data decks for the next two years.
  • The Literary Platform: Building a digital library
    Rachel Coldicutt explains in great detail how she and her partner performed the painstaking, time-consuming task of digitizing the large collection of books they have at home, and what they learned in the process.
  • Caterina Fake: How to Create Time
    The serial entrepreneur outlines briefly how she makes more time for herself so that she can use her days less frantically and more productively. One interesting strategy of hers: sleeping in two shifts. (Also read the NYT article on the same topic.)