7 Stories to read this weekend


It has been a tough week. The loss of one of technology industry’s icons has weighed heavily on me and as a result I am slow in sharing some posts and stories I found worth reading and thinking about. Hope you find time to read/enjoy them.

  • How global screen culture will affect us. Jan Chipchase writing in The Atlantic points to Seoul as a lab of our future of many screens and how it will impact everything we do.
  • The creative class is a lie, argues Scott Timberg in Salon. Provocative, to say the least.
  • The rocket ride of electronic dance music. Move over Lady Gaga, Snoop Dog. The real rock stars of a social/digital/Internet generation are DJs and there is none bigger than DJ Tiesto who made $28 million on his 175-city tour last year.
  • How Yelp ratings can transform a restaurant’s fortunes. Michael Luca of Harvard published a research paper that shows that even a one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to 5-9 percent increase in revenue. The good news is that Yelp is making us spend less on chain restaurants.
  • The end of future. Like him, hate him, but Peter Thiel is not going away. This is a pretty well reasoned piece in National Review. I don’t necessarily agree with him or his conclusions, but this piece did get me thinking.
  • Innovation Starvation: Neal Stephenson on why innovation has gone on hiatus in our society. This is one piece worth your time.
  • 23,343 days. A son’s goodbye to his father is perhaps the most perfect way to say goodbye to Steve Jobs. “Dad chose a bruised old watch — of course — to help me appreciate that our days are inevitably imperfect; they are, literally, numbered; and they tick away, each and every one, much too fast.”



My problem with Thiel is that he equates progress with energy, motion, and advancement in wealth. These are fantastic things, balanced with say advancements in health, happiness, and knowledge creation.

The latter of these require not more work, but less. As you know personally, if you ain’t there, there isn’t a point! So, we now have mobile devices that can enter a dialog. We have more information than necessary. And, now we have to slow down, and filter all of this effectively.

In particular, I am annoyed at Thiel’s right wing understanding of energy policy. We provided oil, coal, and nuclear energy with significant advantages, and he is shocked with the lack of progress? Rails are the past, only in a world where the glory of flying on short trips is a thrill, and saving money is balanced between the stress of cabs, two airports, and personal violations.

The sooner we get over his dismal view of the future, the better.


Ok, I read Timberg too! Sigh.

Frankly, the opportunities are huge. We are heading into an era where value is going to be gained by those who create it, be that a corporation or an individual. The question is going to become, who owns the value that a society creates. Yes, society. Do I believe that anybody can create their empire without the support of a solid infrastructure? Nope. Who is going to own the stuff that is created by machines and not people? Particularly, as it accelerates…

If the creative class wants to make money, than maybe they should stop buying products for daily living from halfway around the world. Every society has specialties for trade. great. But, the maker culture is a lot less finished, a lot more hand made, and a lot more valuable when everybody knows each other.

Perhaps the theme is, less energy, less stuff, better stuff, more personal stuff, and engagement.

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