Seven things I came across this week that are worth reading


Inspired by my friend Om’s regular series of “Seven stories to read this weekend” posts, I thought I would collect some of the pieces of writing that have impressed me and/or made me think this week, in case some of you are also looking for things to read. And if you’ve come across any this week that impressed you or made you think, please leave them in the comments!

“The Dark Side Of Facebook, Where People Lie, Steal, And Make Millions” — Alyson Shontell looks at some of the denizens of the shady side of Facebook, including Jason Fyk, a multimillionaire whose Facebook pages generate $250K per month in ad revenue, and the hackers who keep trying to hijack his pages.

“Selling Out Is Meaningless” — The sociologist and Microsoft researcher danah boyd, who specializes in the behavior of teens online (and spells her name in lower-case letters), describes how many teens are forced to build their online lives in commercial spaces because they have nowhere else to go.

“Important Kitty Litter Questions Answered” — Paul Ford manages to tie together a history of the development of kitty litter (a specific type of clay that is strip-mined), the storage of nuclear waste, and how the modern domestication of cats is connected to the rise of the social internet.

“I Don’t Believe Robots Will Eat All The Jobs” — Netscape creator and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen published a “tweetstorm” recently about how robots will change society for the better, and here he expands on this idea. Worth a read even if you disagree.

“A Defense (Sort Of) Of Twitter” — This essay from Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic magazine, is subtitled: “I don’t tweet, but I see why some of you do.” It’s a response to one from author Alain de Botton that criticized the ephemerality of Twitter, and while Wieseltier isn’t much more complimentary he describes why he thinks it is not a complete loss.

“Women Inmates: Why the Male Model Doesn’t Work” — The most interesting thing about this New York Times feature isn’t the subject matter (although that is quite good), but the fact that it’s a “Paid Post,” a piece of sponsored content created by the paper’s in-house Brand Studio for Netflix. Some are calling it the “Snowfall of native content.”

“The Nightmare on Connected Home Street” — Everyone seems excited about the idea of the “internet of things,” but in this piece Mat Honan imagines a near future where hackers have broken into his alarm clock program and his coffee maker is part of a botnet.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Thomas Life


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