Best of the Moment
Felix Salmon | Reuters | 6th August 2013
Jeff Bezos is a great businessman. His acquisition of the Washington Post is logical and promising. But he's going to need a management style there very different from the one that's worked so well at at Amazon. "At a large newspaper, the default mode cannot be hyper-efficient. Greatness emerges mysteriously from the slack in the system, from source lunches and newsroom cross-pollination and expensive editorial whims"
Cal Flyn | New Statesman | 6th August 2013
Bots own the internet. They're bidding for restaurant reservations, buying up concert tickets, mining virtual gold, even writing poetry (https://medium.com/editors-picks/7e3b7130f131) . "In the US, bots are thought to account for 90 per cent of traffic to the Ticketmaster website, and 60 per cent of ticket sales to some of the most desirable events". You can't beat them, so why not join them? Buy your own bot designed to jump Ticketmaster's queue for £645
Ian Leslie | Medium | 6th August 2013
"Certain innovations have the power to reset reality. Cubism, like Darwin’s theory of evolution, Edison’s lightbulb, or Apple’s iPhone, was an idea that made everything around it seem instantly obsolete." But genius is no guarantee of success. The market must be receptive. It must be primed for change by other events. "The moment has to be moving towards the innovator. But the innovator must still reach out and seize the moment"
Steven Pinker | The New Republic | 6th August 2013
The triumph of science, the disarray of the humanities. "The worldview that guides the moral and spiritual values of an educated person today is given by science. Though scientific facts do not by themselves dictate values, they hem in the possibilities. The facts of science, by exposing the absence of purpose in the laws governing the universe, force us to take responsibility for the welfare of ourselves, our species, and our planet."
Ben Marks | Collectors' Weekly | 6th August 2013
Absolutely everything about harmonicas. Especially the Hohner Marine Band, de rigeur for blues players since Little Walter. Diatonics have ten holes; you shape half-notes by the way you blow. Jazz players prefer chromatic harmonicas, with 12 to 16 holes and a button for half-notes. Hohner let standards slip in 1970s, but has pulled up since, spurred by customers, and its Marine Band is better than ever
Thought for the day:
"To explain something is to subsume it under more general principles, which always entails a degree of simplification" — Steven Pinker