Stories From This Week

22nd Augist 2020

How Covid-19 is De-stigmatising Virtual Life. ‘What’s exciting is that Collective Virtual Experiences (CVE’s) could make up what author Neal Stephenson called the ‘Metaverse’ in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. The Metaverse refers to a post-internet era where the lines between digital and physical worlds are blurred and where… everybody can contribute and nobody is in control….,One of the attributes of the Metaverse is that it’s “populated by ‘content’ and ‘experiences’ created and operated by a wide range of contributors, some of whom are independent individuals while others might be informally organised groups or commercially-focused enterprises’.

Funny, clever and deadly serious. Filmed in May during lockdown, ‘Bat Sh*t’, gives a voice to some of the animal species who have fallen victim to human behaviour over the years including pangolins, rats, pigs, birds, rabbits and of course, bats (7′ 30″)

Director Ridley Scott, weighs in on Fortnite’s parody of his seminal ‘1984’ Ad for Apple.

Research company Gartner recently announced that CMO’s now rank ‘brand strategy’ as their top priority. In relation to this, here is a nice piece on strategy from @Faris : ‘Turning abstract adjectives into specific behavioural guidelines for employees, aligning incentives and responsibilities, brand becomes a generative idea that helps people make decisions on the ground and makes companies more equitable to boot, since a value is only a value if universally applied.’ Brand is a Strategy.

Copying Tik-Tok, Instagram rolls out suggested posts to keep you glued to your feed.

Jim Carroll looks at ‘A Face in the Crowd‘, a 1957 satirical drama that considered the power of modern media to create celebrities, and the influence that those celebrities can wield. Sound familiar? – ‘This whole country’s just like my flock of sheep!… Rednecks, crackers, hillbillies, hausfraus, shut-ins, pea-pickers – everybody that’s got to jump when somebody else blows the whistle… They’re mine! I own ’em! They think like I do. Only they’re even more stupid than I am, so I gotta think for ’em.

Thread on why the UK hasn’t seen Covid cases rise on the same scale as many other countries. ‘Has the government actually got something right? Probably not. Instead looks like Brits have decided – of their own accord – to change their behaviour. 

From Wired. ‘The algorithm calculated the difference between the predicted distribution for current students and previous students, and used this to adjust the actual distribution for previous students to give a distribution for current students…’. – here is everything that went wrong with the botched A-Levels algorithm. And this thread (on the same subject) makes a good point about trust vs ‘accuracy’ :  ‘Whether it is trust in the system, resignation, or suppression, most people are content to live with that. But this same level of acceptance can’t just be transferred to a newly designed automated system. Especially not one that can allegedly be so finely modelled and refined.’

A couple of pieces on travel and tourism – The travel industry is betting big on insurance as the primary assurance needed to win back the confidence of tourists; and (from Google) – what travel marketers need to know to navigate the path forward. 

How to get a husband in 1958′. Numbers 17, 24, 30 and 40 are simply incredible.

In a computer analysis of nearly 40,000 fictional narratives, including novels and movie dialogues, researchers tracked authors’ use of pronouns (she, they), articles (a, the), and other short words, unveiling a consistent “narrative curve:” – staging, plot progression and cognitive tension. This is how invisible words provide a blueprint for all stories.

adam&eveDDB immerse into different worlds to explore the latest features of the Playstation 5.

Muze is a different kind of messaging app. Each conversation takes place on a free-form canvas where you can zoom, draw, layer, edit, and collaborate.

A study confirms that painting eyes on cow butts helps ward off predators. 

Life needs truth: A chaotic NY Times ad via Droga5. ‘How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.’

Have you (like me) been wondering why weather forecasts have been less accurate recently? Here is why.

Impressive. From @RAF_Luton. ‘To celebrate the last flight of the 747 (and to show @Qantas how it should be done, and to show @British_Airways what they should have done) we sent up a Eurovision Typhoon to draw a giant Jumbo Jet over the UK.’

Ha.What do you see? Batman twerking?