It is difficult not to just fill the reading list with articles about the Newtown massacre as it has brought out some fantastic writers making seemingly in arguable points about America’s unbelievably stupid gun laws. Thankfully Jason Kottke is doing a marvellous job of collating all the best pieces on his blog. Go and read them. I will stay a bit more ‘on brand’ and focus on the less important technology and innovation stuff. Here are the links in a handy cut out and keep tablet/reading device friendly format. Merry Xmas etc.
‘We were both curious about how it would feel to have Google in the world with us, rather than on a screen.
If Google wasn’t trapped behind glass, what would it do?
What would it behave like?
How would we react to it?’
‘Our current economy, however, has gone off of the rails in large part because we are focused almost entirely on efficiency innovations—on streamlining and wringing bottom line savings and additional profits out of our existing organizations.’
‘We took it as a self-evident and obvious goal that people would even want to participate in this medium, instead of doing the hard work necessary to make it a welcoming and rewarding place for the rest of the world.’
‘…all desks at Amazon.com for all time would be built by buying cheap doors from The Home Depot and nailing legs to them. These door desks are not great ergonomically nor do they fit with Amazon.com’s $100+ billion market capitalization, but when a shocked new employee asks why she must work on a makeshift desk constructed out of random Home Depot parts, the answer comes back with withering consistency: “We look for every opportunity to save money so that we can deliver the best products for the lowest cost.” If you don’t like sitting at a door, then you won’t last long at Amazon.’
‘But over time, I have become suspicious and bitter about these perfectly casted people. In many organisations I have seen how cheer-“leaders” joyfully smile in the face of their subordinates and at the same time put a knife in the back of the same human beings.’
‘Tumblr Analytics does exist, but not for ordinary users […] This leaves Tumblr a kind of “here be dragons” among social networks, which is unusual in an age so obsessed with them. That is, its social norms are not known; there isn’t any data about how its users behave and use the network. ‘
‘I think one of the most human tendencies is to want to have a concrete answer and a quantifiable measure of everything. And when we deal with degrees of abstraction, which is what any new technology in essence compels us to do, it can be very uncomfortable.’
And seeing as it is Xmas…
‘Assuming Harry doesn’t lose the hand completely, he will almost certainly have other serious complications, including a high risk for infection and ‘contracture’ in which resulting scar tissue seriously limits the flexibility and movement of the hand, rendering it less than 100 percent useful. Kevin has moved from ‘defending his house’ into sheer malice, in my opinion.’