Five Links #045
Harrier Jet Empathy; Metaverse on the LapBooks
I found 10,000 automated feeding systems that didn’t work..
(via Abandoned Jerks)
Introducing, the LapBook..
I’ve seen this a few places now. People are buying damaged MacBooks second hand and, instead of faffing about trying to fix the damage (usually cracked screens and the like) they are simply removing the screens and using the bottom-shells with either Airplay or plugged-in external displays.
And I think that’s really smart. The bottom half of the MacBook is where all the important internals go, and the recent M1 devices are pretty impressive!
The Roblox Generation..
I enjoyed this long-read on the parallels between massively multiplayer online platforms and the Metaverse, NFTs, Cryptocurrencies and Web 3.0 generally.
In particular, it supports a view I’ve been pushing for a little while, which is that people aren’t going to (read: shouldn’t) invest significant sums in your crypto platform, because history has shown it’s just a matter of time until the new platform comes along that’s better and that makes your tokens irrelevant.
But beyond that, it’s just a really interesting article with some great snippets on how people interact and behave in virtual (meta) platforms.
if you give a user community powerful enough creator tools, what they create in these worlds will be far more interesting than anything a major company can officially create.
I’ve learned that, as humans, we take all of the big challenges of real life and the complex social structures of the physical world and they get re-created in weird ways in a digital, social space. Racism, for example, is an enduring issue and an interesting one in these worlds. There are very basic questions: If you can change your avatar to anything at all, what race would you choose? And are there any rules governing representation? Then there are issues of discrimination and harassment. In Second Life these issues create ongoing controversy, and Meta will have to deal with it in whatever they’re building.
With the Web3 would-be metaverses, I think they put the cart before the horse. If you put out a speculative offering, like a new coin that gains people entry into a digital world, people might show up, but I don’t know why they’d necessarily keep coming back. On a basic philosophical, human level, a thing is only valuable if a group decides it is. These crypto metaverses put the speculation before the community. Meta is sort of doing the same thing by openly saying they want to give people Oculus headsets and scrape their user data, including what people are looking at, in order to do advertising. Right there, once again, they’re putting the monetization right up front, before the community.
(via The Sunday Digest)
Merely an invitation to VTOL ..
I remember reading about this a few years ago. The short version is, some clever marketing executive creates a promotion whereby consumers can buy cans of Pepsi, earn make believe ‘Pepsi points’ and redeem them for knick-knacks. A bit like most cryptocurrencies today. Ok, I’ll get off the
Then, some even cleverer advertising executive puts together an advertising campaign for the promotion and throws a Harrier fighter jet into the list of things that can be redeemed for Pepsi points. You know, just to get peoples attention and give the advertisement a zany military-industrial-complex vibe.
But their maths were off. A Harriet jet costs millions of dollars to build. And Pepsi were offering it for a mere $700,000 and 15 Pepsi points.
So some bloke raised the money and asked for his Harrier jet. It’s a bit like the episode of the Simpsons, when Bart wins a radio competition and demands Stampy-the-elephant as his prize.
What is your biggest struggle right now? ..
Another long-read to finish. I really enjoyed this profile on Brandon Stanton, the founder of Humans of New York.
Stanton is the creator of Humans of New York, the popular publication that has given him more wealth, freedom, and influence than he, a man whose dreams have always been outsize, ever imagined. What started in 2010 as a quirky street-photography project has morphed into an uplifting social-media empire with nearly 30 million followers on Facebook and Instagram combined who visit to affirm, relate to, and weep for the ordinary people on display.
His new objective is to bestow upon his subjects sufficient funds to obtain what he calls “escape velocity,” an astronomy term that he has adapted to mean “liberation from the gravity of their own circumstances.”
He had started HONY the year Instagram launched and Apple introduced its first phone with a front-facing camera. In the intervening years, though, social media had learned HONY’s moves. Across the internet, authentic stories of real people had become commodities, used to correct the record, boost a brand, or persuade followers to adopt a cause.