What we read this week (11 October)

Silicon Valley’s quest to make the rich live forever, the need to stop segmenting people and ebooks as malware and more.

Quotes of the week

Society is mostly built away from power, by the politically distant and ideologically vague.

Quinn Norton

Books are the best way to pay smart people for sharing their thoughts.

Sascha Lobo

Articles of the week

  • Medium: Age-ism, Transhumanism, and Silicon Valley’s Cognitive Dissonance
    A poignant and well argued critique of the life extension narrative that Silicon Valley tells itself and the rest of the world. While scenarios in which significant life extension is realistic, it’ll be only available to the super-rich and in no way scalable even to tech industries populous.
  • New Yorker: Freedom of Information
    Ken Auletta set out, in a classic New Yorker style, to compile a comprehensive look into the Guardian and its editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger. He highlights both the Guardian’s ambition to become the worlds prime source for investigative journalism as well as its struggle to finance the newspaper independently.
  • activities not audiences
    Russell Davies reflects about the differences between thinking in target groups and learning from user needs. As he’s leaving the marketing world farer behind himself, he recommends to stop segmenting people.
  • The attention economy
    In this thoughtful essay on Aeon Magazine, Tom Chatfield digs into the current hype around ‘attention’ and looks for the real costs behind the buzzword.
  • Polemic: how readers will discover books in future
    SF-author Charlie Stross is at the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, participating in the [Sprint Beyond The Book][8]. In this text coming out of the sprint, he describes a future in which ebooks will basically becoming malware, spamming the readers’ libraries and sending fake recommendations to friends etc. It’s a fun read that leaves you thinking “Wait a minute …”

Author: Johannes

Johannes is a strategist and consultant for digital communications. His work is informed by his experience of working with brands like Deutsche Telekom, MTV, Postbank, Maggi and Nike and by his insatiable appetite for finding the bigger patterns behind current developments in technology and science. Holding a diploma in Media System Design, Johannes is a regular speaker at web and marketing conferences like Republica and the Social Media Summit.