68 of the best from Kevin Kelly

This is a fun list from KK celebrating his 68th birthday. Among them: • Being enthusiastic is worth 25 IQ points.…• Treating a person to a meal never fails, and is so easy to do. It’s powerful with old friends and a great way to make new friends.…• Don’t trust all-purpose glue.…• If you are looking for something in your…

Worse than this change

Change – especially change that feels beyond our control – is often unsettling. Will things ever be this good again? When people talk about change being the only constant,* it isn’t just change in the world around us and in the culture that we’re talking about: at an individual level, change is written into our DNA. The clock is ticking.…

William Slim on inheriting a mess

It is one thing to know what is wrong; it is another to put it right. I have no doubt whatever that Hutton, if he had been given even a few months in which to prepare, would have corrected much of this and a lot more too. But I was to find, as he had, that to retrieve the past…

It’s time you learnt (a bit about) how computers work (1)

If you know nothing about how computers work (and I know precious little), it’s probably time that you learnt. Consider: if software really does eat the world (and the signs are that it is rapidly doing so), huge swathes of your life – everything that is better off digital – will become digital. So it’s a good idea to have…

Podcast recommendation: Mark Andreessen on Software Eating the World (2019)

Here’s Mark Andreessen on the A16z podcast summarising what it means for software to eat the world: [In the original 2011 essay] I made three claims, which I would say increase as you go in audacity or arrogance, depending on your point of view. Or just flat out hubris, which is another possibility. … The first claim is that any…

Future partners

The next time you’re working a colleague or partner, ask yourself if it’s possible that you’ll still be working together in ten or twenty year’s time. If the answer is “I hope not,” think about why – and ask why it is you work with them now, and how you might stop. But if it’s even vaguely possible that you…

Motion sickness: change and stability

If you’ve ever suffered from motion sickness in a car or on a boat, you probably know that it helps to look at a fixed (or at least slower moving) point on the horizon. A stable reference point helps your body to make sense of the continual movement and to stay oriented and balanced. Rapid, continual change creates its own…

They’re (not quite) taking our jobs: Tim Harford on robots, spreadsheets and automation in the workplace

These are two great episodes from the BBC’s excellent 50 Things that Made the Modern Economy. Episode: Robot The robots are coming! Sort of. Featuring Baxter and the Jennifer headset.More on Baxter here at WIRED. Episode: Spreadsheet Fantastic discussion of how the humble spreadsheet destroyed over 400,000 American jobs… and helped to create 600,000 more.

Podcasts: starting points for learning about AI

Stuart Russell on After On with Rob Reid A thought provoking interview and excellent introduction that sounds a note of caution about AI and gives good reasons for doing so. Highlights include: some interesting stuff about how people and robots process goals and the huge number of actions and priorities that make up a single ‘simple’ action (around 32 minutes);…

Education for the future: Key tools

Here are some tools that don’t go out of date: Tools for thinking, learning and understanding (the tools that help you acquire new tools); Tools for communicating and teaching (the tools that help you find and enlist others in your work, and help them to learn new tools); Tools for planning, organising and leading (tools that enable you to work…