|||

people

All sections →
The internet has given billions of people a way to amplify their voices, but the trade-offs have become tangible. Jul 12, 2019 highlights & people & social


Mastodon’s conundrum is a microcosm of a much larger conflict online. The internet has given billions of people a way to amplify their voices, but the trade-offs have become tangible. Abolishing gatekeepers can allow misinformation and hate to flourish. Uncensored online forums can become co-opted by bigots and harassers, silencing their less powerful targets. And in the face of violent supremacist movements targeting real people, openness—once an uncontroversial pillar of internet culture—can seem like a hopelessly abstract principle.”

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/12/20691957/mastodon-decentralized-social-network-gab-migration-fediverse-app-blocking
These companies are trying to usurp the word podcast for one simple reason: people love podcasts. Apr 26, 2019 highlights & people These companies are trying to usurp the word podcast for one simple reason: people love podcasts. What I think and hope they are missing is that part of what people love about podcasts is the openness. It’s one of the last remaining areas of the internet that works exactly as the internet was intended to work. — https://daringfireball.net/2019/04/not_all_shows_are_podcasts
HIATT: By all accounts, Square runs more smoothly than Twitter Jan 24, 2019 highlights & people HIATT: By all accounts, Square runs more smoothly than Twitter.
DORSEY: It has to, though. Yeah, you’re dealing with people’s money. I mean, it’s extremely emotional. If you lose 140 characters, people are like, “Eh.” If you lose $140 or even $1.40, it’s important. We knew the severity, and we knew how emotional this was to people. We’re impacting their livelihoods, so we had to get every single thing right. There’s a lot of regulation around payments. If you do something wrong, you go to jail. — https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/24/18195245/jack-dorsey-twitter-media-tour-2019
Facebook built Watch Party after finding that live videos encouraged more social interactions than prerecorded ones Nov 27, 2018 highlights & people & social Facebook built Watch Party after finding that live videos encouraged more social interactions than prerecorded ones. At the time of launch, Fidji Simo, vice president of product at Facebook, wrote: “As we think about video on Facebook, we’re focused on creating experiences that bring people closer together and inspire human connection instead of passive consumption.”
Encouraging people to tune into live viewing events could help people enjoy the platform more, or at least encourage positive interactions. The “creating experiences” idea also comes up with the company’s goal to get people to comment more on other peoples’ posts because it’s a healthier form of social networking. — https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/27/18113462/facebook-watch-party-roll-out-page-profile-group
the biggest problem here about this lack of process around management, around data engineering, the communication between data engineering and data science, this lack of management, if you want to specialize, you want to have a data liaison…do you want to have a data engineer specialist, because the earliest data science project, like the smallest one, data scientist is doing the data engineering work too Nov 23, 2018 highlights & people & science the biggest problem here about this lack of process around management, around data engineering, the communication between data engineering and data science, this lack of management, if you want to specialize, you want to have a data liaison…do you want to have a data engineer specialist, because the earliest data science project, like the smallest one, data scientist is doing the data engineering work too. And probably the platform architecture work too, and the application development.
Once you start specializing, which is why we have data engineers and data scientists now, these two people need to have a process to communicate.
When you have an application developer, now they need a process to communicate and work together.
You have the platform architecture, you got management, you got the advisory liaison person, you got the rest of the business, all is about process and, honestly, I don’t think anybody really knows what they’re doing. I think the number one thing that’s holding us back in this industry, is building large data science teams and organization. The most successful data science teams I see right now are like three people… it could be a massive organization, but those three people are getting a lot of work done, and if they wanted to scale up to 20 people, 40 people, it’s not going to work. — https://blog.dominodatalab.com/collaboration-data-science-data-engineering-true-false/
What struck me was the language Zuckerberg used to discuss this issue — it’s different than anything he has said before. Nov 16, 2018 highlights & people & social

What struck me was the language Zuckerberg used to discuss this issue — it’s different than anything he has said before. And it goes to the heart of social networks’ role in creating a polarized, destabilized electorate:

One of the biggest issues social networks face is that, when left unchecked, people will engage disproportionately with more sensationalist and provocative content. This is not a new phenomenon. It is widespread on cable news today and has been a staple of tabloids for more than a century. At scale it can undermine the quality of public discourse and lead to polarization. In our case, it can also degrade the quality of our services.
Our research suggests that no matter where we draw the lines for what is allowed, as a piece of content gets close to that line, people will engage with it more on average — even when they tell us afterwards they don’t like the content.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/16/18097833/facebook-definers-scandal-washington-recap
The whole point of posting is to find other people like you, and the promise of the internet is that you’ll come to know the people who understand you better than anyone else Oct 31, 2018 highlights & people The whole point of posting is to find other people like you, and the promise of the internet is that you’ll come to know the people who understand you better than anyone else. What’s funny about the whole relatability thing is that nobody mentions it’s a racket; nothing does worse online than naked need. The gulf between what you feel and what you can safely post is itself alienating. — https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/27/18000792/alienation-is-the-most-powerful-online-brand
To find out what one of our region’s universities thoughts are on innovation training, I spoke with Angel Cabrera, president of George Mason University Oct 29, 2018 highlights & innovation & people To find out what one of our region’s universities thoughts are on innovation training, I spoke with Angel Cabrera, president of George Mason University. He shared with me an emerging vision of putting innovation skill development on the learning path for all Mason students and to more actively use simulations to do that. He pointed to PatriotHacks, a weekend technology challenge held last weekend at Mason sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton, Accenture, CACI and Verizon as one example how the vision is coming together. The PatriotHacks innovation simulation involved 250 students, many of whom worked an entire weekend without sleep, to come up with solutions to specific challenges set by the sponsors. — https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2018/10/25/jonathan-aberman-can-you-teach-people-be.html
American leaders have always been mythologized; throughout the country’s history, there’s been a concerted effort by supporters to whitewash political leaders — presidents especially — and minimize the worst actions they took in the course of their stewardship of the country Oct 27, 2018 highlights & leadership & people American leaders have always been mythologized; throughout the country’s history, there’s been a concerted effort by supporters to whitewash political leaders — presidents especially — and minimize the worst actions they took in the course of their stewardship of the country.
This goes back as far as George Washington, who is lionized more for winning the Revolutionary War than for his ownership of human beings, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose leadership through the Second World War overshadows his creation of internment camps for Japanese people living in America. Today, George W. Bush, the architect of the disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which claimed the lives of millions of innocent people, is a jolly, elderly painter. On social media, he’s retweeted by liberals when he poses for pictures with Michelle Obama. — https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/26/18029700/cesar-sayoc-democrat-bombs-trump-tank-meme-joke
Such initiatives are welcome supplements in the diet of a poorly nourished political body Oct 8, 2018 highlights & people Such initiatives are welcome supplements in the diet of a poorly nourished political body. The good news is that by bringing people together, they strengthen civic education, engagement, and public conversation. But even as these efforts grow in importance, they remain relatively marginal. The conversation is too often unbalanced and ill informed, and the resulting decisions remain (or at least are perceived as) sub-optimal. Such initiatives are also insufficient in the face of growing challenges and opportunities: Demagogues prosper while people become more frustrated; new digital tools enhance citizens’ expectation to have more say but also unleash disinformation; and new social movements and innovative experiments continue to grow in number and impact.
To ensure more legitimate and effective policies, we need a structurally healthy diet of democracy that incorporates sustained dialogue. As Hélène Landemore comments, “For most political problems and under conditions conducive to proper deliberation and proper use of majority rule, a democratic decision procedure is likely to be a better decision procedure than any nondemocratic decision procedures.”
Fortunately, we know from many experiments the conditions that allow a group of diverse people to solve societal issues with creative, efficient, effective, and timely solutions. Building on such practices and insights, now is the time for what I call “Augmented Democracy.” — http://reospartners.com/augmented-democracy/
The good news is that by bringing people together, they strengthen civic education, engagement, and public conversation Oct 7, 2018 highlights & people The good news is that by bringing people together, they strengthen civic education, engagement, and public conversation. But even as these efforts grow in importance, they remain relatively marginal. The conversation is too often unbalanced and ill informed, and the resulting decisions remain (or at least are perceived as) sub-optimal. Such initiatives are also insufficient in the face of growing challenges and opportunities: Demagogues prosper while people become more frustrated; new digital tools enhance citizens’ expectation to have more say but also unleash disinformation; and new social movements and innovative experiments continue to grow in number and impact.
To ensure more legitimate and effective policies, we need a structurally healthy diet of democracy that incorporates sustained dialogue. As Hélène Landemore comments, “For most political problems and under conditions conducive to proper deliberation and proper use of majority rule, a democratic decision procedure is likely to be a better decision procedure than any nondemocratic decision procedures.” — http://reospartners.com/augmented-democracy/
Yet, in the past few years, deliberate experiments in new forms of public collaboration around the world have proven that such skepticism may be overblown Oct 7, 2018 highlights & people Yet, in the past few years, deliberate experiments in new forms of public collaboration around the world have proven that such skepticism may be overblown. National issues forums, democracy festivals, consensus conferences, participatory budgeting, and unusual approaches such as the Forum Theater are building a more fruitful relationship between citizens and public authorities. For example, in India, following the jan sunwai public hearings approach, officials and people that have been affected by a particular action or decision of the administration settle legal disputes in front of a public that laughs, applauds, or boos. In Grenoble and Charleroi in France, through Parlons-en events, people who are homeless are invited to discuss their difficulties with their fellow citizens. In Chile, the Consensus Table offers indigenous peoples a unique opportunity to talk with government agents. — http://reospartners.com/augmented-democracy/
Your key argument on the neuroscience side seems to be that we’re hardwired to have theory of mind — basically trying to read and guess other people’s emotions — and that makes narratives enjoyable even if they’re wrong or impossible to prove Oct 5, 2018 highlights & people
Your key argument on the neuroscience side seems to be that we’re hardwired to have theory of mind — basically trying to read and guess other people’s emotions — and that makes narratives enjoyable even if they’re wrong or impossible to prove. Can you tell us a little about theory of mind and how it works?

Theory of mind emerges from a much earlier mind-reading instinct that’s common to most mammals. It’s highly adaptive. It’s a quick and dirty solution to the problem we have of predicting the behavior of other Homo sapiens and potential predators and prey. It works well on the African savannah in environments of early adaptation, but only for people and other primates in our immediate vicinity in a very short space of time. It continues to work today in dealing with people face-to-face and hour-to-hour over limited periods. 

But when you start to generalize and apply theory of mind across time and the environmental space, it begins to be so crude and so imprecise that it becomes useless as a tool for controlling and collaborating with other people. But we’re still stuck with it as an explanation because it satisfies our curiosity. — https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/5/17940650/how-history-gets-things-wrong-alex-rosenberg-interview-neuroscience-stories
The problem is, these historical narratives seduce you into thinking you really understand what’s going on and why things happened, but most of it is guessing people’s motives and their inner thoughts Oct 5, 2018 highlights & people The problem is, these historical narratives seduce you into thinking you really understand what’s going on and why things happened, but most of it is guessing people’s motives and their inner thoughts. It allays your curiosity, and you’re satisfied psychologically by the narrative, and it connects the dots so you feel you’re in the shoes of the person whose narrative is being recorded. It has seduced you into a false account, and now you think you understand.
The second part is that it effectively prevents you from going on to try to find the right theory and correct account of events. And the third problem, which is the gravest, is that people use narratives because of their tremendous emotional impact to drive human actions, movements, political parties, religions, ideologies. And many movements, like nationalism and intolerant religions, are driven by narrative and are harmful and dangerous for humanity. — https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/5/17940650/how-history-gets-things-wrong-alex-rosenberg-interview-neuroscience-stories
Under the initiatives pillar, young people’s leadership, creativity and innovation skills will be harnessed to bolster their ability to be agents for positive change during the run-up to the fifth anniversary of the SDGs in 2020 Sep 27, 2018 highlights & people Under the initiatives pillar, young people’s leadership, creativity and innovation skills will be harnessed to bolster their ability to be agents for positive change during the run-up to the fifth anniversary of the SDGs in 2020.Adding to the existing “Young Leaders for the SDGs’ initiative, a “Youth Gateway” central knowledge hub on SDGs is planned, including a platform to map existing initiatives and provide opportunities for engagement, aimed at motivating more young people to take action. Tools will be developed to measure and track global indicators on youth development and well-being. — http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/article/544261/SAUDI-ARABIA/Misk-becomes-pioneering-partner-for-UN-youth-work
Accusations of conservative bias are not evaluated through evidence because reality doesn’t matter to them Sep 16, 2018 highlights & journalism & people Accusations of conservative bias are not evaluated through evidence because reality doesn’t matter to them. This is what makes this stunt so effective. News organizations and tech companies have no way to “prove” their innocence. What makes conspiratorial messages work is how they pervert evidence. The simplest technique is to conflate correlation and causation. Conspiracy makers point to the data that suggests that both journalists and Silicon Valley engineers are more likely to vote for candidates from the Democratic party. Or that they have higher levels of education than the average American and are more likely to live in Blue states.As my colleague Francesca Tripodi points out, accusing tech of conservative bias also leverages and reinforces a misunderstanding of how search engines and social media work. As she notes, “People believe Google is weighing facts instead of rank-ordering results that match the entered keywords.” When the goal is to drive a wedge among the public, it’s not hard to encourage people to see bias. — https://points.datasociety.net/media-manipulation-strategic-amplification-and-responsible-journalism-95f4d611f462?source=rss—-2488f66d2e39—4
We’ve seen that some careers have had huge positive effects, and some have vastly more than others Sep 15, 2018 highlights & people We’ve seen that some careers have had huge positive effects, and some have vastly more than others.Some component of this is due to luck – the people mentioned above were in the right place at the right time, affording them the opportunity to have an impact that they might not have otherwise received. You can’t guarantee you’ll make an important medical discovery.But it wasn’t all luck: Landsteiner and Nalin chose to use their medical knowledge to solve some of the most harmful health problems of their day, and it was foreseeable that someone high up in the Soviet military could have a large impact by preventing conflict during the Cold War. So, what does this mean for you?People often wonder how they can “make a difference”, but if some careers can result in thousands of times more impact than others, this isn’t the right question. Two career options can both “make a difference”, but one could be dramatically better than the other.Instead, the key question is, “how can I make the most difference?” In other words: what can you do to give yourself a chance of having one of the highest-impact careers? Because the highest-impact careers achieve so much, a small increase in your chances means a great deal. — https://80000hours.org/career-guide/how-much-difference-can-one-person-make/
This last point is illustrated by the chart below, which compares the impact of doctors in different countries Sep 15, 2018 highlights & people This last point is illustrated by the chart below, which compares the impact of doctors in different countries. The y-axis shows the amount of ill health in the population, measured in Disability-Adjusted Life Years (aka “DALYs”) per 100,000 people, where one DALY equals one year of life lost due to ill health. The x-axis shows the number of doctors per 100,000 people. DALYs per 100,000 people versus doctors per 100,000 people. We used WHO data from 2004. Line is the best fitting hyperbola determined by non-linear least square regression. Full explanation in this paper.You can see that the curve goes nearly flat once you have more than 150 doctors per 100,000 people. After this point (which almost all developed countries meet), additional doctors only achieve a small impact on average. — https://80000hours.org/career-guide/how-much-difference-can-one-person-make/
We are cyborgs. Sep 12, 2018 highlights & people


On one hand, especially after last year’s price increase for the flagship model, the iPhone is a luxury item. People save up to buy it, and they measure their social and economic standing with it. In a sea of smartphones that do roughly the same thing, Apple’s particular smartphone commands a prestige premium. This is a familiar description for fashion or jewelry brands and products, but it finds few parallels in the tech industry.
The other side of the iPhone coin is that we keep replacing it like it’s a basic consumption good. If I buy a luxury watch for $1,000, I’d expect to have it for a decade or longer, whereas Apple somehow keeps enticing people to buy a pricey new iPhone every two or three years. It’s like the company is selling sneakers but charging the price of dress shoes.”

Vlad Savov has written an excellent reflection on our relationship with iPhones.

We are cyborgs.

During the application stage, the intrapreneur fulfills 10 questions from an online file, and based on this file, we select some of them for what we call pre-coaching, where we help them to enrich their application. Sep 5, 2018 highlights & people

During the application stage, the intrapreneur fulfills 10 questions from an online file, and based on this file, we select some of them for what we call pre-coaching, where we help them to enrich their application. Basically we work with them on two aspects:

One is to help them to move from the solution to the user problem: identify who is their target, and how painful is the problem for the target;
And second element, we connect them with other entities within Orange. Orange is a huge company (150,000 employees over 30 countries), and very often there are people working on a similar aspect of the intrapreneur project or people who could be interested in commercializing, distributing the intrapreneurs idea. So we connect people and sometimes it’s a match, sometimes it doesn’t match, but it’s another way to make the application progress;

We start very often with online coaching where we connect by phone, and we exchange on the project: we share with them some contacts, and they make the appointments, meet the people, and enrich the project. For us it’s a very important way to test if the intrapreneur is able to be self-starter, to take initiative, and to iterate on his project . Iteration is really a key skill for the intrapreneur;
Besides, each intrapreneur has to find out a business unit sponsor for his project: this networking is a fine way to meet this sponsoring demand;
When the project goes to Qualification, and then to Incubation, he usually keeps the same coach.

http://innovationexcellence.com/blog/2018/09/02/the-importance-of-coaching-intrapreneurs/
“Body modification is a great avenue for empowering stories for groups routinely denied bodily autonomy: disabled people, trans people, women as a whole, etc Sep 3, 2018 highlights & people “Body modification is a great avenue for empowering stories for groups routinely denied bodily autonomy: disabled people, trans people, women as a whole, etc.,” says Yawns. “The problem is that utopianism clashes with the impoverished lives cyberpunk depicts, immediately raising the question of who can afford these freedoms.
“Enabling bodily autonomy, alteration and restored function is a great thing but as things stand, access for the majority means debt or servitude to malicious corporate monopolies,” says Yawns. “Anyone who’s experienced tech industry practices of planned obsolescence and covert data collection on their phone can imagine what these companies might do given access your cybernetic limbs, let alone your whole nervous system.
“Liberating tech is often made into a yoke by its social context.”
That last part is the biomechanically-enhanced heart of cyberpunk. William Gibson has often summed it up in interviews: “the future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Cyberpunk worlds are about the gap between those who have access to their futuristic technologies and those who don’t — a gap that’s often expressed literally, in the verticality of its mega-cities. — https://www.polygon.com/features/2018/8/30/17796680/cyberpunk-2077-history-blade-runner-neuromancer
Ethnography is now used across anthropology, sociology, marketing, strategy, design, and other fields, but regardless of where it’s used, the core is about understanding people’s beliefs and behaviors and how these change over time Aug 29, 2018 highlights & people & science & systems Ethnography is now used across anthropology, sociology, marketing, strategy, design, and other fields, but regardless of where it’s used, the core is about understanding people’s beliefs and behaviors and how these change over time. Ethnography is a research skill that makes it possible to see what the world looks like from inside a particular context. If “man [sic] is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun" (Geertz), this skill involves systematically tracing out the logic of those webs, and examining how those webs structure what people do and think. Depending on the domain of study, these webs can be large scale or small, and in applied work they are often about people’s multidimensional roles as customers, users, employees, or citizens. Ethnographers look at the social world as dynamically evolving, emergent systems. They are emergent systems because people reflexively respond to the present and past, and this response shapes what they do in the future. Years of building ethnography from this core has generated both analytical techniques and a body of knowledge about sociocultural realities. — https://www.epicpeople.org/data-science-and-ethnography/
In a 2015 paper, MIT professor of political science Adam Berinsky found that rather than debunking rumors or conspiracy theories, presenting people with facts or corrections sometimes entrenched those ideas further Aug 12, 2018 highlights & people In a 2015 paper, MIT professor of political science Adam Berinsky found that rather than debunking rumors or conspiracy theories, presenting people with facts or corrections sometimes entrenched those ideas further.
Another study by Dartmouth researchers found that “if people counter-argue unwelcome information vigorously enough, they may end up with ‘more attitudinally congruent information in mind than before the debate,’ which in turn leads them to report opinions that are more extreme than they otherwise would have had.” — https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/10/17675232/twitter-alex-jones-jack-dorsey-free-speech
Norman said for people who want to take steps to reconciliation, the acknowledgement should lead to more questions about who the people listed in the acknowledgement are and how their land came to be possessed by settlers. Jul 24, 2017 highlights & people

Norman said for people who want to take steps to reconciliation, the acknowledgement should lead to more questions about who the people listed in the acknowledgement are and how their land came to be possessed by settlers.

It also needs to be personal,” she said. We have to ask, How am I benefitting by living on this land that is a traditional territory of Indigenous people?’”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/territorial-acknowledgements-indigenous-1.4175136
A lot of people are unaware of Canada’s actual history and this gets people talking and conversations starting,“ he said Jul 23, 2017 highlights & people A lot of people are unaware of Canada’s actual history and this gets people talking and conversations starting,“ he said. "Personally I feel like I can have a conversation about who I am, where I’m from and what I’m doing in the city — http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/territorial-acknowledgements-indigenous-1.4175136
Laszlo Bock, Google’s Head of People Operations, on how to manage Google’s talent. Oct 16, 2015 people & highlights The keys are to hire amazing people, give them more freedom than you're comfortable with, provide targeted real-­time coaching, and forgive failure as long as people learn. —

Laszlo Bock, Google’s Head of People Operations, on how to manage Google’s talent.

Laszlo seems like a really really nice fella.