4th Feb 2018
“Discussions of decentralisation may seem esoteric, but anyone interested in the future of cryptocurrency should try to follow along. Part of the vision sold by the technology’s biggest promoters is that it can help solve problems of financial inequality created in part by traditional, centralised institutions. If digital currency allows wealth and power to pool in the hands of a few, that’s not so revolutionary.’ This is the hidden power of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
From Digiday. The Facebook algorithm change that has publishers panicking may be good news for a certain group inside the industry: influencers and their followers. ‘As Facebook decides to favour content from friends and family over posts from (certain) publishers, agency buyers are telling clients to focus more on influencer content.’
‘In October of last year, Alphabet, announced it was taking its data-hoovering powers out of purely digital realm and into 3-D space. Sidewalk Labs, its urban innovation venture, officially launched a partnership with the city of Toronto, where it would experiment in improving—nay, optimising—city streets by observing and measuring how people live.’ This is how they are planning on creating the city of tomorrow.
‘In Automating Inequality, author Virginia Eubanks argues that the poor are the testing ground for new technology that increases inequality. The book, out this week, starts with a history of American poorhouses, which dotted the landscape starting in the 1660s and were around into the 20th century. From there, Eubanks catalogues how the poor have been treated over the last hundred years, before coming to today’s system of social services that increasingly relies on algorithms.’ Algorithms are making American inequality worse.
Podcast listeners may be the holy grail advertisers hoped they would be. ‘It’s likely that… high engagement rates and low levels of ad skipping will see a flood of new advertisers who have until now been reticent to enter the Wild West of podcasting‘.
Why you cannot quit Amazon Prime. ‘And this is how they get you. Maybe skipping my trip to the store was worth spending a few bucks more. But when it succeeds, Prime becomes a habit. And as with all habits, it’s worth asking yourself every once in a while whether keeping it is really in your best interest.’ Prime has mastered something much more valuable: the psychology of being a consumer in an era of too many choices.
From @econsultancy. Six of the best travel brands on YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest & LinkedIn. These are – Soho House, Booking.com, Lonely Planet, KLM, Delta Airlines and Aer Lingus.
From Aeon – ‘Local Links Run The World.’ ‘Networks in nature (for example ant colonies) show how, for the networks that we engineer and those that tie us to each other, the pattern of links at the local scale sets the options for stability and transformation. Almost everything that happens in life is the result of a network. Making, or breaking local links is the way to change.
Field of Vision. A short film made with footage of every reported concussion in the NFL this season. This is the film the NFL does not want you to see.
‘Vitaliy Raskalov overcame his fear of heights by scaling the world’s tallest buildings, ignoring any need for safety. But now that he’s reached the top of his game, the 24-year-old adventurer wonders if the real goal has been right in front of him all along.’ This clip shows the illegal ascent of The Central Park Tower, in New York. Climbing starts at around 1.27 in.