What we read this week (11 Jan)

On gradual change in job descriptions, not-yet-smart parking, Valve’s Steam Box and more.

Quote of the week

[…] Most tech companies use the rhetoric of inclusiveness, openness, progress, etc. to hide their actual aim, which is simple financial speculation pursued for the potentially immense gain of the very few at the cost of the many.

Ian Bogost

Articles of the week

  • Changeist: Third Economy
    Scott Smith talks about how job ads have been changing over the past few years, and what these changes indicate about the state of society and the economy. The Third Economy he speaks of here is “sensemaking,” which has increasing market value.
  • The Verge: Valve’s Gabe Newell on Steam Box, biometrics, and the future of gaming
    Gabe Newell describes what the company’s new gaming hardware will be able to do and where it finds its place in the market. Key to the success of the Box, which is still in the prototype phase of its development, will be its user-centric design and customizability.
  • Smart Parking Has a Learning Curve, Too
    From Smart Cities to Smart Parking. Some say that the future of cars in a city can only be solved by someone who can first solve the problem of parking. Whether or not this is true, these are some valuable insights into the current state of innovation in parking, and what hurdles will have to be overcome to make serious progress on this front.
  • Ian Bogost: Educational Hucksterism
    The debates over whether MOOCs (massive open online courses) are great or terrible, helpful or ethically questionable, educational or superficial are all raging louder and louder over the last few months. In this piece, Ian Bogost objects to the concept on the grounds that the corporate structure behind many MOOCs encourages profit rather than good education, and that the corporate goals are not compatible with those of the learners.
  • Seth Godin: Four reasons your version of better might not be enough
    Here Seth Godin describes insightfully and incredibly succinctly much of what gives new companies a great deal of trouble: convincing customers that their new, better way of doing things is the one to go with. These are good points to keep in mind when building upon already-existing structures.

Author: Maddie

Maddie is a strategist and researcher. She spends much of her time on the think tank side of Third Wave, and enjoys getting into the details of many different topics at once. Through this foraging for information, she finds ways to apply knowledge from one field in new, seemingly disparate ones, both in client work and other research. She holds an interdisciplinary BA in Computer Science, Linguistics and German, and has previously worked at VCCP and at the Science Gallery in Dublin.