Things that have caught my eye

I have published a newsletter intermittently for a number of years now but the problem is – they have become increasingly intermittent!

So, I have decided to cancel the newsletter and in its place do a weekly post, every Sunday, here on my blog, of things that have caught my eye. These could be blog posts from other people, articles, Tweets or images.

I am hoping that at least some of the people who have been loyal subscribers to my newsletter will sign up to follow my blog posts, either by email or RSS, and certainly encourage everyone to pitch in on comments or contact me directly if you think of stories or news that would interest me and that I could share.

So, here are a few of the things that have caught my eye this week:

FROM ENLIGHTENMENT TO ENTANGLEMENT

I have often written about the scale of change that we are facing, in part driven by our networked technologies, and the fact that our institutions are not keeping up. This great post from my friend Harold Jarche lays out the challenges and some ideas of what to do about them.

STUDY SAYS YOUTUBE ‘ACTIVELY DISCOURAGES’ RADICALISM

In our post truth world it is all to easy to be buffeted from one extreme to another, and there is rightly a lot of concern about the place that our social media platforms play in that process. But often the stories about those platforms are themselves examples of “post truth” and push a particular angle on their roles. This research shows that, certainly in the case of YouTube, our assumptions may not always be correct.

CAN THE USAGE OF ARTICLE GENERATORS NULLIFY CONTENT WRITERS?

Artificial intelligence is another subject that I have written about in the past and again, it is easy to make assumptions about what it is and what it is capable of. What is clear is that the next wave of automation is likely to affect what have traditionally been seen as white collar, knowledge work roles – including writing. This article lists examples of where AI is already being used to create content but also goes into the reasons why it may never be as good as humans!

7 thoughts on “Things that have caught my eye”

  1. Re: The scale / pace of change

    I’m still trying to absorb the implications of “Pace Layer Thinking” (see link below) but the essence is that some things change quickly, some things change slowly, and there is a tension as the ‘layers that change at different paces’ become unaligned.

    For example, the electronics in your car by be out-of-date in a couple of years; but the engine might be good for 20 years. You hate to throw out a car with a perfectly good engine, but the car might be completely out-of-date in terms of software.

    http://longnow.org/seminars/02015/jan/27/pace-layers-thinking/

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  2. Hi Euan
    I purchased a copy of your book a few years back and have been something of fan since then. Fan isn’t quite the correct word, but since we don’t know one another, I’m not sure what to call myself.
    I was fascinated to read your post from way back in 2005 (the reference to wikis made me laugh – how things have changed) and I wondered if this blog had actually fulfilled the role of expanding your circle of friends and providing a space for the honest exchange of ideas? Do you think that’s true for you?
    I’m currently facing retirement and would very much like to expand my circle of online friends but I’m struggling with this a bit. Not sure how one does this really. I write semi-regularly on my two blogs but don’t seem to attract many people with whom I’d like to engage more meaningfully.
    I was thinking of starting a newsletter but your decision to stop writing your newsletter has left me wondering if this is a good strategy.
    cheers and all the best
    Marg

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    1. Hi Marg

      You are right, fan always feels awkward and follower isn’t much better. Both are wrong for me because reading and writing blogs has always felt more conversational. And yes, my blog has led, either directly or indirectly to most of my friendships over the years. (Which post from 2005 were you referring to btw?)

      In terms of building circles of friends from scratch I guess Facebook is going to work better these days, but what I have done for the last few years is to copy my blog posts into both Facebook and LinkedIn.

      Newsletters are seeing a resurgence and I am only stopping mine because I never got around to it and it was beginning to feel like a chore.

      I guess for me my online activities are more about quality of connections rather than quantity, and always have been. The fears you express in your “letter from a friend” post are still very much true for me, even after all these years, but I just keep noticing things, writing about them, getting into conversations like this, and the next thing you know a friendship has begun!

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Euan

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  3. The post that I was referring to was this one https://euansemple.blog/2005/01/04/2005-1-4-changing-blogging-context-html/
    It’s from 2005 but still resonated with me. Funnily enough I was tidying up my blog today and found this old post of mine about your podcast https://notreallythatcreative.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/i-am-not-a-brand/
    I’m also interested in quality not quantity, but have been hesitant to re-post on FB because a lot of my work colleagues are there and I know it sounds awful, but they aren’t really my target audience. There’s a lot of frippery there and I’m more interested in proper conversations. I’m not sure this is coming across as intended but I hope you understand.

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    1. Aha! Funny how the same things are still rattling around in my head all these years later.

      I agree about Facebook. It can be claustrophobic which is part of the reason I decided to refocus on my blog.

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