Running slow and short

    There are books that have changed my life, but there are also podcast episodes. One example of this is Episode #787 of the Art of Manliness podcast, entitled Run Like a Pro (Even If You’re Slow). In it, Brett McKay talks with Matt Fitzgerald, a sports writer, a running coach, and the co-author of the book with the same name as the podcast episode.

    The gist of the episode is that even shorter, slower runs help build fitness. And, in fact, this is what elite-level runners do. So these days I deliberately go for runs where my heart rate stays well below 140bpm. The upside for me is that it increases my ability to do my longer runs, faster.

    This article in The New York Times backs this up with research showing the physiological and psychological benefits of runs of any length. See also this recent interview with Matt Fitzgerald.

    Woman running
    Numerous long-term studies — some involving thousands of participants — have shown that running benefits people physically and mentally. Research has also found that runners tend to live longer and have a lower risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer than nonrunners.

    One might assume that in order to reap the biggest rewards, you need to regularly run long distances, but there’s strong evidence linking even very short, occasional runs to significant health benefits, particularly when it comes to longevity and mental well-being.

    […]

    The physiological benefits of running may be attributable to a group of molecules known as exerkines, so named because several of the body’s organ systems release them in response to exercise. While research on exerkines is relatively new, studies have linked them to reductions in harmful inflammation, the generation of new blood vessels and the regeneration of cellular mitochondria, said Dr. Lisa Chow, a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota who has published research on exerkines.

    Source: Short Distance Runs Have Major Health Benefits | The New York Times

    Image: Unsplash

    More on why billionaires should not exist

    This article frames ultra-rich people owning and using superyachts and private jets as ‘theft’ because it reduces the amount of time we’ve got to avert climate disaster.

    Yes, it is.

    But it’s also theft because the purchase of these yachts and jets are only possible because of the enormous sums of money stolen from workers to fund their extravagant lifestyles.

    Owning or operating a superyacht is probably the most harmful thing an individual can do to the climate. If we’re serious about avoiding climate chaos, we need to tax, or at the very least shame, these resource-hoarding behemoths out of existence. In fact, taking on the carbon aristocracy, and their most emissions-intensive modes of travel and leisure, may be the best chance we have to improve our collective climate morale and increase our appetite for personal sacrifice, from individual behavior changes to sweeping policy mandates.

    On an individual basis, the superrich pollute far more than the rest of us, and travel is one of the biggest parts of that footprint. Take, for instance, Rising Sun, the 454-foot, 82-room megaship owned by the DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen. According to a 2021 analysis in the journal Sustainability, the diesel fuel powering Mr. Geffen’s boating habit spews an estimated 16,320 tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent gases into the atmosphere annually, almost 800 times what the average American generates in a year.

    And that’s just a single ship. Worldwide, more than 5,500 private vessels clock in about 100 feet or longer, the size at which a yacht becomes a superyacht. This fleet pollutes as much as entire nations: The 300 biggest boats alone emit 315,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year, based on their likely usage — about as much as Burundi’s more than 10 million inhabitants. Indeed, a 200-foot vessel burns 132 gallons of diesel fuel an hour standing still and can guzzle 2,200 gallons just to travel 100 nautical miles.

    Source: The Superyachts of Billionaires Are Starting to Look a Lot Like Theft | The New York Times

    Hiring people without degrees

    This is my commentary on Bryan Alexander’s commentary of an Op-Ed in The New York Times. You’d think I’d be wholeheartedly in favour of fewer jobs requiring a degree and, I am, broadly speaking.

    However, and I suppose I should write a more lengthy piece on this somewhere, I am a little concerned about jobs becoming credential-free and experience-free experiences. Anecdotally, I’ve found that far from CVs and resumes being on the decline, they’re being used more than ever — along with rounds and rounds of interviews that seem to favour, well… bullshitters.

    At a broader level, I find the Times piece fitting into my peak higher education model in a quiet way.  The editorial doesn’t explicitly call for fewer people to enroll in college, but does recommend that a chunk of the population pursue careers without post-secondary experience (or credentials).  In other words, should public and private institutions heed the editorial, we shouldn’t expect an uptick in enrollment, but more of the opposite.

    Which brings me to a final point. I’ve previously written about a huge change in how Americans think about higher ed. For a generation we thought that the more people get more college experience, the better. Since 2012 or so there have been signs of that national consensus breaking down. Now if the New York Times no longer shares that inherited model, is that shared view truly broken?

    Source: Employers, hire more people without college degrees, says the New York Times | Bryan Alexander

    Testing a 4-day work week

    I already work what most people would call ‘part-time’, doing no more than 25 paid hours of work per week, on average. I’m glad that employers are experimenting with a shorter workweek (for the same pay) but inevitably one of the metrics will be ‘productivity’ which I think is a ridiculously difficult thing to actually measure…

    “After the pandemic, people want a work-life balance,” Joe Ryle, the campaign director for the 4 Day Week Campaign, said in an interview. “They want to be working less.”

    More than 3,300 workers in banks, marketing, health care, financial services, retail, hospitality and other industries in Britain are taking part in the pilot, the organizers said. Mr. Ryle said the data would be collected through interviews and staff surveys, and through the measures each company uses to assess its productivity.

    “We’ll be analyzing how employees respond to having an extra day off, in terms of stress and burnout, job and life satisfaction, health, sleep, energy use, travel and many other aspects of life,” Juliet Schor, a sociology professor at Boston College and the lead researcher on the project, said.

    Source: Britain Tests a 4-Day Workweek | The New York Times

    The rise of first-party online tracking

    In a startling example of the Matthew effect of accumulated advantage, the incumbent advertising giants are actually being strengthened by legislation aimed to curb their influence. Because, of course.

    For years, digital businesses relied on what is known as “third party” tracking. Companies such as Facebook and Google deployed technology to trail people everywhere they went online. If someone scrolled through Instagram and then browsed an online shoe store, marketers could use that information to target footwear ads to that person and reap a sale.

    [...]

    Now tracking has shifted to what is known as “first party” tracking. With this method, people are not being trailed from app to app or site to site. But companies are still gathering information on what people are doing on their specific site or app, with users’ consent. This kind of tracking, which companies have practiced for years, is growing.

    [...]

    The rise of this tracking has implications for digital advertising, which has depended on user data to know where to aim promotions. It tilts the playing field toward large digital ecosystems such as Google, Snap, TikTok, Amazon and Pinterest, which have millions of their own users and have amassed information on them. Smaller brands have to turn to those platforms if they want to advertise to find new customers.

    Source: How You’re Still Being Tracked on the Internet | The New York Times

    Unsolicited advice might not be so bad after all?

    I’ve followed Tressie McMillan Cottom on Twitter ever since she did a keynote for ALT a few years ago. In this article for The New York Times, she talks about ‘advice culture’.

    Cottom is wonderfully forthright in her interactions on Twitter, so I was expecting her to rail against advice culture. Instead, she talks about it as a form of small talk, and (I suppose) a form of necessary social glue.

    In the social media era, advice culture feels bigger and more pervasive than ever. After all, what is social media if not the gamification of advice? Every time we post something on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, we are implicitly asking others to make a judgment of us. And we find ourselves unable to understand why someone would post or share an experience if not to solicit our evaluation. That is what “likes” and comments and “friending” has done to our brains...

    Advice culture is so pervasive that it must serve some other function, do something more than assuage insecurities or performing status. Sociologists generally agree that advice is up there with small talk for how it facilitates human connection between strangers. But I recently began thinking advice is no longer a mere subset of small talk but has become our culture’s default common language. Advice is small talk. The decline of social associations like the Rotary Club and the bowling leagues not only weakened our connections to community; it also atrophied our linguistic tool kit.

    Source: Why Everyone Is Always Giving Unsolicited Advice | The New York Times

    Leisure is what we do for its own sake. It serves no higher end.

    Yes, yes, and yes. I agree wholeheartedly with this view that places human flourishing above work.

    To limit work’s negative moral effects on people, we should set harder limits on working hours. Dr. Weeks calls for a six-hour work day with no pay reduction. And we who demand labor from others ought to expect a bit less of people whose jobs grind them down.

    In recent years, the public has become more aware of conditions in warehouses and the gig economy. Yet we have relied on inventory pickers and delivery drivers ever more during the pandemic. Maybe compassion can lead us to realize we don’t need instant delivery of everything and that workers bear the often-invisible cost of our cheap meat and oil.

    The vision of less work must also encompass more leisure. For a time the pandemic took away countless activities, from dinner parties and concerts to in-person civic meetings and religious worship. Once they can be enjoyed safely, we ought to reclaim them as what life is primarily about, where we are fully ourselves and aspire to transcendence.

    Leisure is what we do for its own sake. It serves no higher end.

    Source: Returning to the Office and the Future of Work | The New York Times

    Opting out of capitalism

    One of the huge benefits of the pandemic has been that it’s allowed people to reflect on their lives. And many people, it seems, realised that their jobs (or work in general) makes them unhappy.

    The lying flat movement, or tangping as it’s known in Mandarin, is just one expression of this global unraveling. Another is the current worker shortage in the United States. As of June, there were more than 10 million job openings in the United States, according to the most recent figures from the Labor Department — the highest number since the government began tracking the data two decades ago. While conservatives blame juiced-up pandemic unemployment benefits, liberals counter that people do want to work, just not for the paltry wages they were making before the pandemic.

    Both might be true. But if low wages were all that’s at play, we would expect to see reluctant workers at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, and content workers at the top. Instead, there are murmurs of dissent at every rung, including from the inner sanctums of Goldman Sachs, where salaries for investment bankers start at $150,000. According to a leaked internal survey, entry-level analysts at the investment bank report they’re facing “inhumane” conditions, working an average of 98 hours a week, forgoing showers and sleep. “I’ve been through foster care,” said one respondent. “This is arguably worse.”

    Source: Lying Flat': Tired Workers Are Opting Out of Careers and Capitalism | The New York Times

    The end of the Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy

    What goes up must come down. In this case with prices of services backed by VC firms, the reverse is true…

    For years, these subsidies allowed us to live Balenciaga lifestyles on Banana Republic budgets. Collectively, we took millions of cheap Uber and Lyft rides, shuttling ourselves around like bourgeois royalty while splitting the bill with those companies’ investors. We plunged MoviePass into bankruptcy by taking advantage of its $9.95-a-month, all-you-can-watch movie ticket deal, and took so many subsidized spin classes that ClassPass was forced to cancel its $99-a-month unlimited plan. We filled graveyards with the carcasses of food delivery start-ups — Maple, Sprig, SpoonRocket, Munchery — just by accepting their offers of underpriced gourmet meals.

    These companies’ investors didn’t set out to bankroll our decadence. They were just trying to get traction for their start-ups, all of which needed to attract customers quickly to establish a dominant market position, elbow out competitors and justify their soaring valuations. So they flooded these companies with cash, which often got passed on to users in the form of artificially low prices and generous incentives.

    Now, users are noticing that for the first time — whether because of disappearing subsidies or merely an end-of-pandemic demand surge — their luxury habits actually carry luxury price tags.

    Source: Farewell, Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy | The New York Times

    Taking breaks to be more human

    I have to say that I’m a bit sick of the narrative that we need time off / to recharge so we can be better workers. Instead, I’d prefer framing it as Jocelyn K. Glei does as asking yourself the question “who are you without the doing?”

    The point isn’t just that it’s nice to goof off every so often — it’s that it’s necessary. And that’s true even if your ultimate goal is doing better work: Downtime allows the brain to make new connections and better decisions. Multiple studies have found that sustained mental attention without breaks is depleting, leading to inferior performance and decision-making.

    In short, the prefrontal cortex — where goal-oriented and executive-function thinking goes on — can get worn down, potentially resulting in “decision fatigue.” A variety of research finds that even simple remedies like a walk in nature or a nap can replenish the brain and ultimately improve mental performance.

    Source: How to Take a Break | The New York Times

    A world without apps?

    Steve Jobs standing next to a huge screen that shows the original iPhone. The words on the screen read "Your life in your pocket. The ultimate digital device."

    When Steve Jobs demonstrated the iPhone in 2007, he didn't show off the App Store. That's because it didn't exist.

    The full Safari engine is inside of iPhone. And so, you can write amazing Web 2.0 and Ajax apps that look exactly and behave exactly like apps on the iPhone. And these apps can integrate perfectly with iPhone services. They can make a call, they can send an email, they can look up a location on Google Maps.

    Steve Jobs

    Jobs' vision was for a world where web apps worked as well as native apps. Unfortunately, at the time, web technologies weren't quite ready for his vision, so, almost as a temporary workaround, Apple invented a billion-dollar industry.

    Writing in The New York Times, Shira Ovide reflects on the recent controversy around Epic Games and Apple, among other things, and wonders whether we actually need apps?

    Apple and Google dictate much of what is allowed on the world’s phones. There are good outcomes from this, including those companies weeding out bad or dangerous apps and giving us one place to find them.

    But this comes with unhappy side effects. Apple and Google charge a significant fee on many in-app purchases, and they’ve forced app makers into awkward workarounds. (Ever try to buy a Kindle e-book on an iPhone app? You can’t.) The growing complaints from app makers show that the downsides of app control may be starting to outweigh the benefits.

    You know what’s free from Apple and Google’s iron grip? The web. Smartphones could lean on the web instead.

    Shira Ovide, Imagine a World Without Apps (The new York Times)

    It's almost impossible for a small developer to get discovered in the Apple and Google app stores these days. As VentureBeat put it three years ago, "you have a better chance of making the NBA than making your app viral."

    Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, make an alternative, web-centric world a reality. When Google launched its gaming service, Stadia, on iOS, it used a PWA to bypass the Apple App Store.

    Screenshots showing Pinterest PWA being installed on a smartphone.
    Image via Tigren

    Organisations from Twitter and Tinder to the Financial Times have PWAs. Pinterest used it to increase the number of people installing their app by 45%.

    This is about imagining an alternate reality where companies don’t need to devote money to creating apps that are tailored to iPhones and Android phones, can’t work on any other devices and obligate app makers to hand over a cut of each sale.

    Maybe more smaller digital companies could thrive. Maybe our digital services would be cheaper and better. Maybe we’d have more than two dominant smartphone systems. Or maybe it would be terrible. We don’t know because we’ve mostly lived with unquestioned smartphone app dominance.

    Shira Ovide, Imagine a World Without Apps (The new York Times)

    Initiatives such as Mozilla's Firefox OS were cursed with being too early to the market. Had they kept going, or if it were launching now, I think we'd see very different adoption rates.

    As it is, and as Todd Weaver, CEO of Purism points out, it's going to require a combination of both market dynamics and regulation to fix the current situation. Let's get back to that original vision of the web as the platform for human flourishing.

    Saturday shakings

    Whew, so many useful bookmarks to re-read for this week’s roundup! It took me a while, so let’s get on with it…


    Cartoon picture of someone working from home

    What is the future of distributed work?

    To Bharat Mediratta, chief technology officer at Dropbox, the quarantine experience has highlighted a huge gap in the market. “What we have right now is a bunch of different productivity and collaboration tools that are stitched together. So I will do my product design in Figma, and then I will submit the code change on GitHub, I will push the product out live on AWS, and then I will communicate with my team using Gmail and Slack and Zoom,” he says. “We have all that technology now, but we don't yet have the ‘digital knowledge worker operating system’ to bring it all together.”

    WIRED

    OK, so this is a sponsored post by Dropbox on the WIRED website, but what it highlights is interesting. For example, Monday.com (which our co-op uses) rebranded itself a few months ago as a 'Work OS'. There's definitely a lot of money to be made for whoever manages to build an integrated solution, although I think we're a long way off something which is flexible enough for every use case.


    The Definition of Success Is Autonomy

    Today, I don’t define success the way that I did when I was younger. I don’t measure it in copies sold or dollars earned. I measure it in what my days look like and the quality of my creative expression: Do I have time to write? Can I say what I think? Do I direct my schedule or does my schedule direct me? Is my life enjoyable or is it a chore?

    Ryan Holiday

    Tim Ferriss has this question he asks podcast guests: "If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it what would it say and why?" I feel like the title of this blog post is one of the answers I would give to that question.


    Do The Work

    We are a small group of volunteers who met as members of the Higher Ed Learning Collective. We were inspired by the initial demand, and the idea of self-study, interracial groups. The initial decision to form this initiative is based on the myriad calls from people of color for white-bodied people to do internal work. To do the work, we are developing a space for all individuals to read, share, discuss, and interrogate perspectives on race, racism, anti-racism, identity in an educational setting. To ensure that the fight continues for justice, we need to participate in our own ongoing reflection of self and biases. We need to examine ourselves, ask questions, and learn to examine our own perspectives. We need to get uncomfortable in asking ourselves tough questions, with an understanding that this is a lifelong, ongoing process of learning.

    Ian O'Byrne

    This is a fantastic resource for people who, like me, are going on a learning journey at the moment. I've found the podcast Seeing White by Scene on Radio particularly enlightening, and at times mind-blowing. Also, the Netflix documentary 13th is excellent, and available on YouTube.


    Welding a motherboard

    How to Make Your Tech Last Longer

    If we put a small amount of time into caring for our gadgets, they can last indefinitely. We’d also be doing the world a favor. By elongating the life of our gadgets, we put more use into the energy, materials and human labor invested in creating the product.

    Brian X. Chen (The new York times)

    This is a pretty surface-level article that basically suggests people take their smartphone to a repair shop instead of buying a new one. What it doesn't mention is that aftermarket operating systems such as the Android-based LineageOS can extend the lifetime of smartphones by providing security updates long beyond those provided by vendors.


    Law enforcement arrests hundreds after compromising encrypted chat system

    EncroChat sold customized Android handsets with GPS, camera, and microphone functionality removed. They were loaded with encrypted messaging apps as well as a secure secondary operating system (in addition to Android). The phones also came with a self-destruct feature that wiped the device if you entered a PIN.

    The service had customers in 140 countries. While it was billed as a legitimate platform, anonymous sources told Motherboard that it was widely used among criminal groups, including drug trafficking organizations, cartels, and gangs, as well as hitmen and assassins.

    EncroChat didn’t become aware that its devices had been breached until May after some users noticed that the wipe function wasn’t working. After trying and failing to restore the features and monitor the malware, EncroChat cut its SIM service and shut down the network, advising customers to dispose of their devices.

    Monica Chin (The Verge)

    It goes without saying that I don't want assassins, drug traffickers, and mafia types to be successful in life. However, I'm always a little concerned when there are attacks on encryption, as they're compromising systems also potentially used by protesters, activists, and those who oppose the status quo.


    Uncovered: 1,000 phrases that incorrectly trigger Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant

    The findings demonstrate how common it is for dialog in TV shows and other sources to produce false triggers that cause the devices to turn on, sometimes sending nearby sounds to Amazon, Apple, Google, or other manufacturers. In all, researchers uncovered more than 1,000 word sequences—including those from Game of Thrones, Modern Family, House of Cards, and news broadcasts—that incorrectly trigger the devices.

    “The devices are intentionally programmed in a somewhat forgiving manner, because they are supposed to be able to understand their humans,” one of the researchers, Dorothea Kolossa, said. “Therefore, they are more likely to start up once too often rather than not at all.”

    Dan Goodin (Ars Technica)

    As anyone with voice assistant-enabled devices in their home will testify, the number of times they accidentally spin up, or misunderstand what you're saying can be amusing. But we can and should be wary of what's being listened to, and why.


    The Five Levels of Remote Work

    The Five Levels of Remote Work — and why you’re probably at Level 2

    Effective written communication becomes critical the more companies embrace remote work. With an aversion to ‘jumping on calls’ at a whim, and a preference for asynchronous communication... [most] communications [are] text-based, and so articulate and timely articulation becomes key.

    Steve Glaveski (The Startup)

    This is from March and pretty clickbait-y, but everyone wants to know how they can improve - especially if didn't work remotely before the pandemic. My experience is that actually most people are at Level 3 and, of course, I'd say that I and my co-op colleagues are at Level 5 given our experience...


    Why Birds Can Fly Over Mount Everest

    All mammals, including us, breathe in through the same opening that we breathe out. Can you imagine if our digestive system worked the same way? What if the food we put in our mouths, after digestion, came out the same way? It doesn’t bear thinking about! Luckily, for digestion, we have a separate in and out. And that’s what the birds have with their lungs: an in point and an out point. They also have air sacs and hollow spaces in their bones. When they breathe in, half of the good air (with oxygen) goes into these hollow spaces, and the other half goes into their lungs through the rear entrance. When they breathe out, the good air that has been stored in the hollow places now also goes into their lungs through that rear entrance, and the bad air (carbon dioxide and water vapor) is pushed out the front exit. So it doesn’t matter whether birds are breathing in or out: Good air is always going in one direction through their lungs, pushing all the bad air out ahead of it.

    Walter Murch (Nautilus)

    Incredible. Birds are badass (and also basically dinosaurs).


    Montaigne Fled the Plague, and Found Himself

    In the many essays of his life he discovered the importance of the moderate life. In his final essay, “On Experience,” Montaigne reveals that “greatness of soul is not so much pressing upward and forward as knowing how to circumscribe and set oneself in order.” What he finds, quite simply, is the importance of the moderate life. We must then, he writes, “compose our character, not compose books.” There is nothing paradoxical about this because his literary essays helped him better essay his life. The lesson he takes from this trial might be relevant for our own trial: “Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live properly.”

    Robert Zaresky (The New York Times)

    Every week, Bryan Alexander replies to the weekly Thought Shrapnel newsletter. Last week, he sent this article to both me and Chris Lott (who produces the excellent Notabilia).

    We had a bit of a chat, with us sharing our love of How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at An Answer by Sarah Bakewell, and well as the useful tidbits it's possible glean from Stefan Zweig's short biography simply entitled Montaigne.


    Header image by Nicolas Comte

    Saturday scrubbings

    This week on Thought Shrapnel I've been focused on messing about with using OBS to create videos. So much, in fact, that this weekend I'm building a new PC to improve the experience.

    Sometimes in these link roundups I try and group similar kinds of things together. But this week, much as I did last week, I've just thrown them all in a pot like Gumbo.

    Tell me which links you find interesting, either in the comments, or on Twitter or the Fediverse (feel free to use the hashtag #thoughtshrapnel)


    Melting Ice Reveals a “Lost” Viking-Era Pass in Norway’s Mountains

    About 60 artifacts have been radiocarbon dated, showing the Lendbreen pass was widely used from at least A.D. 300. “It probably served as both an artery for long-distance travel and for local travel between permanent farms in the valleys to summer farms higher in the mountains, where livestock grazed for part of the year,” says University of Cambridge archaeologist James Barrett, a co-author of the research.

    Tom Metcalfe (Scientific American)

    I love it when the scientific and history communities come together to find out new things about our past. Especially about the Vikings, who were straight-up amazing.


    University proposes online-only degrees as part of radical restructuring

    Confidential documents seen by Palatinate show that the University is planning “a radical restructure” of the Durham curriculum in order to permanently put online resources at the core of its educational offer, in response to the Covid-19 crisis and other ongoing changes in both national and international Higher Education.

    The proposals seek to “invert Durham’s traditional educational model”, which revolves around residential study, replacing it with one that puts “online resources at the core enabling us to provide education at a distance.” 

    Jack Taylor & Tom Mitchell (Palatinate)

    I'm paying attention to this as Durham University is one of my alma maters* but I think this is going to be a common story across a lot of UK institutions. They've relied for too long on the inflated fees brought in by overseas students and now, in the wake of the pandemic, need to rapidly find a different approach.

    *I have a teaching qualification and two postgraduate degrees from Durham, despite a snooty professor telling me when I was 17 years old that I'd never get in to the institution 😅


    Abolish Silicon Valley: memoir of a driven startup founder who became an anti-capitalist activist

    Liu grew up a true believer in "meritocracy" and its corollaries: that success implies worth, and thus failure is a moral judgment about the intellect, commitment and value of the failed.

    Her tale -- starting in her girlhood bedroom and stretching all the way to protests outside of tech giants in San Francisco -- traces a journey of maturity and discovery, as Liu confronts the mounting evidence that her life's philosophy is little more than the self-serving rhetoric of rich people defending their privilege, the chasm between her lived experience and her guiding philosophy widens until she can no longer straddle it.

    Cory Doctorow (Boing Boing)

    This book is next on my non-fiction reading list. If your library is closed and doesn't have an online service, try this.


    Cup, er, drying itself...

    7 things ease the switch to remote-only workplaces

    You want workers to post work as it’s underway—even when it’s rough, incomplete, imperfect. That requires a different mindset, though one that’s increasingly common in asynchronous companies. In traditional companies, people often hesitate to circulate projects or proposals that aren’t polished, pretty, and bullet-proofed. It’s a natural reflex, especially when people are disconnected from each other and don’t communicate casually. But it can lead to long delays, especially on projects in which each participant’s progress depends on the progress and feedback of others. Location-independent companies need a culture in which people recognize that a work-in-progress is likely to have gaps and flaws and don’t criticize each other for them. This is an issue of norms, not tools.

    Edmund L. Andrews-Stanford (Futurity)

    I discovered this via Stephen Downes, who highlights the fifth point in this article ('single source of truth'). I've actually highlighted the sixth one ('breaking down the barriers to sharing work') as I've also seen that as an important thing to check for when hiring.


    How the 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory tore through the internet

    The level of interest in the coronavirus pandemic – and the fear and uncertainty that comes with it – has caused tired, fringe conspiracy theories to be pulled into the mainstream. From obscure YouTube channels and Facebook pages, to national news headlines, baseless claims that 5G causes or exacerbates coronavirus are now having real-world consequences. People are burning down 5G masts in protest. Government ministers and public health experts are now being forced to confront this dangerous balderdash head-on, giving further oxygen and airtime to views that, were it not for the major technology platforms, would remain on the fringe of the fringe. “Like anti-vax content, this messaging is spreading via platforms which have been designed explicitly to help propagate the content which people find most compelling; most irresistible to click on,” says Smith from Demos.

    James temperton (wired)

    The disinformation and plain bonkers-ness around this 'theory' of linking 5G and the coronavirus is a particularly difficult thing to deal with. I've avoided talking about it on social media as well as here on Thought Shrapnel, but I'm sharing this as it's a great overview of how these things spread — and who's fanning the flames.


    A Manifesto Against EdTech© During an Emergency Online Pivot

    The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented moment in the history of social structures such as education. After all of the time spent creating emergency plans and three- or five-year road maps that include fail safe options, we find ourselves in the actual emergency. Yet not even a month into global orders of shelter in place, there are many education narratives attempting to frame the pandemic as an opportunity. Extreme situations can certainly create space for extraordinary opportunities, but that viewpoint is severely limited considering this moment in time. Perhaps if the move to distance/online/remote education had happened in a vacuum that did not involve a global pandemic, millions sick, tens of thousands dead, tens of millions unemployed, hundreds of millions hungry, billions anxious and uncertain of society’s next step…perhaps then this would be that opportunity moment. Instead, we have a global emergency where the stress is felt everywhere but it certainly is not evenly distributed, so learning/aligning/deploying/assessing new technology for the classroom is not universally feasible. You can’t teach someone to swim while they’re drowning.

    Rolin Moe

    Rolin Moe is a thoughtful commentator on educational technology. This post was obviously written quickly (note the typo in the URL when you click through, as well as some slightly awkward language) and I'm not a fan of the title Moe has settled on. That being said, the point about this not being an 'opportunity' for edtech is a good one.


    Dishes washing themselves

    NHS coronavirus app: memo discussed giving ministers power to 'de-anonymise' users

    Produced in March, the memo explained how an NHS app could work, using Bluetooth LE, a standard feature that runs constantly and automatically on all mobile devices, to take “soundings” from other nearby phones through the day. People who have been in sustained proximity with someone who may have Covid-19 could then be warned and advised to self–isolate, without revealing the identity of the infected individual.

    However, the memo stated that “more controversially” the app could use device IDs, which are unique to all smartphones, “to enable de-anonymisation if ministers judge that to be proportionate at some stage”. It did not say why ministers might want to identify app users, or under what circumstances doing so would be proportionate.

    David Pegg & Paul Lewis (The Guardian)

    This all really concerns me, as not only is this kind of technology only going be of marginal use in fighting the coronavirus, once this is out of the box, what else is it going to be used for? Also check out Vice's coverage, including an interview with Edward Snowden, and this discussion at Edgeryders.


    Is This the Most Virus-Proof Job in the World?

    It’s hard to think of a job title more pandemic-proof than “superstar live streamer.” While the coronavirus has upended the working lives of hundreds of millions of people, Dr. Lupo, as he’s known to acolytes, has a basically unaltered routine. He has the same seven-second commute down a flight of stairs. He sits in the same seat, before the same configuration of lights, cameras and monitors. He keeps the same marathon hours, starting every morning at 8.

    Social distancing? He’s been doing that since he went pro, three years ago.

    For 11 hours a day, six days a week, he sits alone, hunting and being hunted on games like Call of Duty and Fortnite. With offline spectator sports canceled, he and other well-known gamers currently offer one of the only live contests that meet the standards of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    David Segal (The New York Times)

    It's hard to argue with my son these days when he says he wants to be a 'pro gamer'.

    (a quick tip for those who want to avoid 'free registration' and some paywalls — use a service like Pocket to save the article and read it there)


    Capitalists or Cronyists?

    To be clear, socialism may be a better way to go, as evidenced by the study showing 4 of the 5 happiest nations are socialist democracies. However, unless we’re going to provide universal healthcare and universal pre-K, let’s not embrace The Hunger Games for the working class on the way up, and the Hallmark Channel for the shareholder class on the way down. The current administration, the wealthy, and the media have embraced policies that bless the caching of power and wealth, creating a nation of brittle companies and government agencies.

    Scott Galloway

    A somewhat rambling post, but which explains the difference between a form of capitalism that (theoretically) allows everyone to flourish, and crony capitalism, which doesn't.


    Header image by Stephen Collins at The Guardian

    Friday forebodings

    I think it's alright to say that this was a week when my spirits dropped a little. Apologies if that's not what you wanted to hear right now, and if it's reflected in what follows.

    For there to be good things there must also be bad. For there to be joy there must also be sorrow. And for there to be hope there must be despair. All of this will pass.


    We’re Finding Out How Small Our Lives Really Are

    But there’s no reason to put too sunny a spin on what’s happening. Research has shown that anticipation can be a linchpin of well-being and that looking ahead produces more intense emotions than retrospection. In a 2012 New York Times article on why people thirst for new experiences, one psychologist told the paper, “Novelty-seeking is one of the traits that keeps you healthy and happy and fosters personality growth as you age,” and another referred to human beings as a “neophilic species.” Of course, the current blankness in the place of what comes next is supposed to be temporary. Even so, lacking an ability to confidently say “see you later” is going to have its effects. Have you noticed the way in which conversations in this era can quickly become recursive? You talk about the virus. Or you talk about what you did together long ago. The interactions don’t always spark and generate as easily as they once did.

    Spencer Kornhaber (The Atlantic)

    Part of the problem with all of this is that we don't know how long it's going to last, so we can't really make plans. It's like an extended limbo where you're supposed to just get on with it, whatever 'it' is...


    Career Moats in a Recession

    If you're going after a career moat now, remember that the best skills to go after are the ones that the market will value after the recession ends. You can’t necessarily predict this — the world is complex and the future is uncertain, but you should certainly keep the general idea in mind.

    A simpler version of this is to go after complementary skills to your current role. If you've been working for a bit, it's likely that you'll have a better understanding of your industry than most. So ask yourself: what complementary skills would make you more valuable to the employers in your job market?

    Cedric James (Commonplace)

    I'm fortunate to have switched from education to edtech at the right time. Elsewhere, James says that "job security is the ability to get your next job, not keep your current one" and that this depends on your network, luck, and having "rare and valuable skills". Indeed.


    Everything Is Innovative When You Ignore the Past

    This is hard stuff, and acknowledging it comes with a corollary: We, as a society, are not particularly special. Vinsel, the historian at Virginia Tech, cautioned against “digital exceptionalism,” or the idea that everything is different now that the silicon chip has been harnessed for the controlled movement of electrons.

    It’s a difficult thing for people to accept, especially those who have spent their lives building those chips or the software they run. “Just on a psychological level,” Vinsel said, “people want to live in an exciting moment. Students want to believe they’re part of a generation that’s going to change the world through digital technology or whatever.”

    Aaron Gordon (VICE)

    Everyone thinks they live in 'unprecedented' times, especially if they work in tech.


    ‘We can’t go back to normal’: how will coronavirus change the world?

    But disasters and emergencies do not just throw light on the world as it is. They also rip open the fabric of normality. Through the hole that opens up, we glimpse possibilities of other worlds. Some thinkers who study disasters focus more on all that might go wrong. Others are more optimistic, framing crises not just in terms of what is lost but also what might be gained. Every disaster is different, of course, and it’s never just one or the other: loss and gain always coexist. Only in hindsight will the contours of the new world we’re entering become clear.

    Peter C Baker (the Guardian)

    An interesting read, outlining the optimistic and pessimistic scenarios. The coronavirus pandemic is a crisis, but of course what comes next (CLIMATE CHANGE) is even bigger.


    The Terrible Impulse To Rally Around Bad Leaders In A Crisis

    This tendency to rally around even incompetent leaders makes one despair for humanity. The correct response in all cases is contempt and an attempt, if possible, at removal of the corrupt and venal people in charge. Certainly no one should be approving of the terrible jobs they [Cuomo, Trump, Johnson] have done.

    All three have or will use their increased power to do horrible things. The Coronavirus bailout bill passed by Congress and approved by Trump is a huge bailout of the rich, with crumbs for the poor and middle class. So little, in fact, that there may be widespread hunger soon. Cuomo is pushing forward with his cuts, and I’m sure Johnson will live down to expectations.

    Ian Welsh

    I'm genuinely shocked that the current UK government's approval ratings are so high. Yes, they're covering 80% of the salary of those laid-off, but the TUC was pushing for an even higher figure. It's like we're congratulating neoliberal idiots for destroying our collectively ability to be able to respond to this crisis effectively.


    As Coronavirus Surveillance Escalates, Personal Privacy Plummets

    Yet ratcheting up surveillance to combat the pandemic now could permanently open the doors to more invasive forms of snooping later. It is a lesson Americans learned after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, civil liberties experts say.

    Nearly two decades later, law enforcement agencies have access to higher-powered surveillance systems, like fine-grained location tracking and facial recognition — technologies that may be repurposed to further political agendas like anti-immigration policies. Civil liberties experts warn that the public has little recourse to challenge these digital exercises of state power.

    Natasha Singer and Choe Sang-Hun (The New York Times)

    I've seen a lot of suggestions around smarpthone tracking to help with the pandemic response. How, exactly, when it's trivial to spoof your location? It's just more surveillance by the back door.


    How to Resolve Any Conflict in Your Team

    Have you ever noticed that when you argue with someone smart, if you manage to debunk their initial reasoning, they just shift to a new, logical-sounding reason?

    Reasons are like a salamander’s legs — if you cut one off, another grows in its place.

    When you’re dealing with a salamander, you need to get to the heart. Forget about reasoning and focus on what’s causing the emotions. According to [non-violent communication], every negative emotion is the result of an unmet, universal need.

    Dave bailey

    Great advice here, especially for those who work in organisations (or who have clients) who lack emotional intelligence.


    2026 – the year of the face to face pivot

    When the current crisis is over in terms of infection, the social and economic impact will be felt for a long time. One such hangover is likely to be the shift to online for so much of work and interaction. As the cartoon goes “these meetings could’ve been emails all along”. So let’s jump forward then a few years when online is the norm.

    Martin Weller (The Ed Techie)

    Some of the examples given in this post gave me a much-needed chuckle.


    Now's the time – 15 epic video games for the socially isolated

    However, now that many of us are finding we have time on our hands, it could be the opportunity we need to attempt some of the more chronologically demanding narrative video game masterpieces of the last decade.

    Keith Stuart (The Guardian)

    Well, yes, but what we probably need even more is multiplayer mode. Red Dead Redemption II is on this list, and it's one of the best games ever made. However, it's tinged with huge sadness for me as it's a game I greatly enjoyed playing with the late, great, Dai Barnes.


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    Header image by Alex Fu

    Friday fluidity

    I wasn't sure whether to share links about the Coronavirus this week, but obviously, like everyone else, I've been reading about it.

    Next week, my wife and I are heading to Belgium as I'm speaking at an event, and then we're spending the weekend in Bruges. I think we'll be OK. But even if we do contract the virus, the chances of us dying, or even being seriously ill, are vanishingly small. It's all very well being pragmatic, but you can't live your life in fear.

    Anyway, if you've heard enough about potential global pandemics, feel free to skip straight onto the second and third sections, where I share some really interesting links about organisations, productivtiy, security, and more!


    How I track the coronavirus

    I’ve been tracking it carefully for weeks, and have built up an online search strategy. I’d like to share a description of it here, partly in case it’s useful for readers, and also to request additions in case it’s missing anything.

    Bryan Alexander

    What I like about this post by Bryan is that he's sharing both his methods and go-to resources, without simultaneously sharing his conclusions. That's the mark of an open mind, and that's why I support him on Patreon.


    Coronavirus and World After Capital

    The danger we are now finding ourselves in can be directly traced to our reliance on the market mechanism for allocating attention. A global pandemic is an example of the kind of tail risk for which prices cannot exist. This is a key theme of my book World After Capital and I have been using pandemics as an alternative example to the climate crisis (another, while we are at it, are asteroid strikes).

    Albert Wenger (Continuations)

    I really must sit down and read World After Capital. In this short post, the author (a Venture Capitalist) explains why we need to allocate attention to what he calls 'tail risks'.


    You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus

    Many countries have responded with containment attempts, despite the dubious efficacy and inherent harms of China’s historically unprecedented crackdown. Certain containment measures will be appropriate, but widely banning travel, closing down cities, and hoarding resources are not realistic solutions for an outbreak that lasts years. All of these measures come with risks of their own. Ultimately some pandemic responses will require opening borders, not closing them. At some point the expectation that any area will escape effects of COVID-19 must be abandoned: The disease must be seen as everyone’s problem.

    James Hamblin (The Atlantic)

    Will you get a cold at some point in your life? Yes, probably most winters in some form. Will you catch 'flu at some point in your life. Yes, probably, at some point. Will you get the Coronavirus. Almost certainly, but it's not going to kill you unless your very young, very old, or very weak.


    Image by Ivan Bandura
    Photo by Ivan Bandura

    Work Operating Systems? No, We Need Work Ecosystems.

    The principal limitation of the work OS concept is that companies do not operate independently: they are increasingly connected to other organizations. The model of work OS is too inwardly focused, when the real leverage may come from the interactions across company boundaries, or by lessening the barriers to cross-company cooperation. (In a sense, this is just the fullest expression of the ideal of cross-team and cross-department cooperation: if it’s good at the smallest scale, it is great at the largest scale.)

    Stowe Boyd (GigaOM)

    This post is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, I absolutely agree with the end game that Boyd describes here. Second, our co-op has just started using Monday.com and have found it... fine, and doing what we need, but I can't wait for some organisation to go beyond the 'work OS'.


    Career Moats 101

    A career moat is an individual’s ability to maintain competitive advantages over your competition (say, in the job market) in order to protect your long term prospects, your employability, and your ability to generate sufficient financial returns to support the life you want to live. Just like a medieval castle, the moat serves to protect those inside the fortress and their riches from outsiders.

    cedric chin (Commonplace)

    I came across links to two different posts on the same blog this week, which made me investigate it further. The central thesis of the blog is that we should aim to build 'career moats', which is certainly an interesting way of thinking about things, and this link has some practical advice.


    Daily life with the offline laptop

    Having access to the Internet is a gift, I can access anything or anyone. But this comes with a few drawbacks. I can waste my time on anything, which is not particularly helpful. There are so many content that I only scratch things, knowing it will still be there when I need it, and jump to something else. The amount of data is impressive, one human can’t absorb that much, we have to deal with it.

    Solène Rapenne

    I love this idea of having a machine that remains offline and which you use for music and writing. Especially the writing. In fact, I was talking to someone earlier this week about using my old 1080p monitor in portrait mode with a Raspberry Pi to create a 'writing machine'. I might just do it...


    Photo by Lauren McConachie

    Spilling over: How working openly with anxiety affects my team

    At a fundamental level, I believe work is never done, that there is always another challenge to explore, other ways to have a larger impact. Leaders need to inspire and motivate us to embrace that reality as an exciting opportunity rather than an endless drudge or a source of continual worry.

    Sam Knuth (Opensource.com)

    This is a great article. As a leader and someone who's only admitted to myself recently that I am, indeed an 'anxious person', I see similarities with my experiences here.


    5 tricks to make the internet less distracting, so you can get stuff done

    Maybe you want to be more productive at work. Maybe you want to spend more time being creative or learning new skills. Or maybe you just wish you spent more time communicating with the people you love and less time scrolling through websites that bring you brief moments of joy just frequently enough that you’re willing to tolerate the broader feeling of anxiety/jealousy/outrage.

    The internet can be an amazing tool for pursuing these goals, but it’s not necessarily designed to push you toward it. You’ve got to work to create the environment for yourself. Here are some ways you can do just that.

    Justin Pot (Fast Company)

    It's now over five years since I wrote Curate or Be Curated. The article, and the warning it contains, stands the test of time, I think. The 'tricks' shared in this Fast Company article, shared by Ian O'Byrne are a helpful place to start.


    How to Dox Yourself on the Internet

    To help our Times colleagues think like doxxers, we developed a formal program that consists of a series of repeatable steps that can be taken to clean up an online footprint. Our goal with this program is to empower people to control the information they share, and to provide them with tools and resources to have a better awareness around the information they intentionally and unintentionally share online.
    We are now publicly releasing the content of this program for anyone to access. We think it is important for freelancers, activists, other newsrooms or people who want to take control of their own security online.

    The NYT Open Team

    This is a great idea. 'Doxxing' is the digging-up and sharing of personal information (e.g. home addresses) for the purposes of harrassment. This approach, where you try to 'dox' yourself so that you can take protective steps, is a great idea.


    Header image by Adli Wahid who says "Rest in Peace Posters of Dr Li Wenliang, who warned authorities about the coronovirus outbreak seen at Hosier Lane in Melbourne, Australia. Hosier Lane is known for its street art. "

    Friday featherings

    Behold! The usual link round-up of interesting things I've read in the last week.

    Feel free to let me know if anything particularly resonated with you via the comments section below...


    Part I - What is a Weird Internet Career?

    Weird Internet Careers are the kinds of jobs that are impossible to explain to your parents, people who somehow make a living from the internet, generally involving a changing mix of revenue streams. Weird Internet Career is a term I made up (it had no google results in quotes before I started using it), but once you start noticing them, you’ll see them everywhere. 

    Gretchen McCulloch (All Things Linguistic)

    I love this phrase, which I came across via Dan Hon's newsletter. This is the first in a whole series of posts, which I am yet to explore in its entirety. My aim in life is now to make my career progressively more (internet) weird.


    Nearly half of Americans didn’t go outside to recreate in 2018. That has the outdoor industry worried.

    While the Outdoor Foundation’s 2019 Outdoor Participation Report showed that while a bit more than half of Americans went outside to play at least once in 2018, nearly half did not go outside for recreation at all. Americans went on 1 billion fewer outdoor outings in 2018 than they did in 2008. The number of adolescents ages 6 to 12 who recreate outdoors has fallen four years in a row, dropping more than 3% since 2007 

    The number of outings for kids has fallen 15% since 2012. The number of moderate outdoor recreation participants declined, and only 18% of Americans played outside at least once a week. 

    Jason Blevins (The Colorado Sun)

    One of Bruce Willis' lesser-known films is Surrogates (2009). It's a short, pretty average film with a really interesting central premise: most people stay at home and send their surrogates out into the world. Over a decade after the film was released, a combination of things (including virulent viruses, screen-focused leisure time, and safety fears) seem to suggest it might be a predictor of our medium-term future.


    I’ll Never Go Back to Life Before GDPR

    It’s also telling when you think about what lengths companies have had to go through to make the EU versions of their sites different. Complying with GDPR has not been cheap. Any online business could choose to follow GDPR by default across all regions and for all visitors. It would certainly simplify things. They don’t, though. The amount of money in data collection is too big.

    Jill Duffy (OneZero)

    This is a strangely-titled article, but a decent explainer on what the web looks and feels like to those outside the EU. The author is spot-on when she talks about how GDPR and the recent California Privacy Law could be applied everywhere, but they're not. Because surveillance capitalism.


    You Are Now Remotely Controlled

    The belief that privacy is private has left us careening toward a future that we did not choose, because it failed to reckon with the profound distinction between a society that insists upon sovereign individual rights and one that lives by the social relations of the one-way mirror. The lesson is that privacy is public — it is a collective good that is logically and morally inseparable from the values of human autonomy and self-determination upon which privacy depends and without which a democratic society is unimaginable.

    Shoshana Zuboff (The New York Times)

    I fear that the length of Zuboff's (excellent) book on surveillance capitalism, her use of terms in this article such as 'epistemic inequality, and the subtlety of her arguments, may mean that she's preaching to the choir here.


    How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids in the Digital Age

    The next time you snap a photo together at the park or a restaurant, try asking your child if it’s all right that you post it to social media. Use the opportunity to talk about who can see that photo and show them your privacy settings. Or if a news story about the algorithms on YouTube comes on television, ask them if they’ve ever been directed to a video they didn’t want to see.

    Meghan Herbst (WIRED)

    There's some useful advice in this WIRED article, especially that given by my friend Ian O'Byrne. The difficulty I've found is when one of your kids becomes a teenager and companies like Google contact them directly telling them they can have full control of their accounts, should they wish...


    Control-F and Building Resilient Information Networks

    One reason the best lack conviction, though, is time. They don’t have the time to get to the level of conviction they need, and it’s a knotty problem, because that level of care is precisely what makes their participation in the network beneficial. (In fact, when I ask people who have unintentionally spread misinformation why they did so, the most common answer I hear is that they were either pressed for time, or had a scarcity of attention to give to that moment)

    But what if — and hear me out here — what if there was a way for people to quickly check whether linked articles actually supported the points they claimed to? Actually quoted things correctly? Actually provided the context of the original from which they quoted

    And what if, by some miracle, that function was shipped with every laptop and tablet, and available in different versions for mobile devices?

    This super-feature actually exists already, and it’s called control-f.

    Roll the animated GIF!

    Mike Caulfield (Hapgood)

    I find it incredible, but absolutely believable, that only around 10% of internet users know how to use Ctrl-F to find something within a web page. On mobile, it's just as easy, as there's an option within most (all?) browsers to 'search within page'. I like Mike's work, as not only is it academic, it's incredibly practical.


    EdX launches for-credit credentials that stack into bachelor's degrees

    The MicroBachelors also mark a continued shift for EdX, which made its name as one of the first MOOC providers, to a wider variety of educational offerings 

    In 2018, EdX announced several online master's degrees with selective universities, including the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Texas at Austin.

    Two years prior, it rolled out MicroMasters programs. Students can complete the series of graduate-level courses as a standalone credential or roll them into one of EdX's master's degrees.

    That stackability was something EdX wanted to carry over into the MicroBachelors programs, Agarwal said. One key difference, however, is that the undergraduate programs will have an advising component, which the master's programs do not. 

    Natalie Schwartz (Education Dive)

    This is largely a rewritten press release with a few extra links, but I found it interesting as it's a concrete example of a couple of things. First, the ongoing shift in Higher Education towards students-as-customers. Second, the viability of microcredentials as a 'stackable' way to build a portfolio of skills.

    Note that, as a graduate of degrees in the Humanities, I'm not saying this approach can be used for everything, but for those using Higher Education as a means to an end, this is exactly what's required.


    How much longer will we trust Google’s search results?

    Today, I still trust Google to not allow business dealings to affect the rankings of its organic results, but how much does that matter if most people can’t visually tell the difference at first glance? And how much does that matter when certain sections of Google, like hotels and flights, do use paid inclusion? And how much does that matter when business dealings very likely do affect the outcome of what you get when you use the next generation of search, the Google Assistant?

    Dieter Bohn (The Verge)

    I've used DuckDuckGo as my go-to search engine for years now. It used to be that I'd have to switch to Google for around 10% of my searches. That's now down to zero.


    Coaching – Ethics

    One of the toughest situations for a product manager is when they spot a brewing ethical issue, but they’re not sure how they should handle the situation.  Clearly this is going to be sensitive, and potentially emotional. Our best answer is to discover a solution that does not have these ethical concerns, but in some cases you won’t be able to, or may not have the time.

    [...]

    I rarely encourage people to leave their company, however, when it comes to those companies that are clearly ignoring the ethical implications of their work, I have and will continue to encourage people to leave.

    Marty Cagan (SVPG)

    As someone with a sensitive radar for these things, I've chosen to work with ethical people and for ethical organisations. As Cagan says in this post, if you're working for a company that ignores the ethical implications of their work, then you should leave. End of story.


    Image via webcomic.name

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