The Internet Age, so much information. It’s a struggle to keep the time we spend each day consuming it within reasonable limits. To that end, we offer this curated list of daily links of interest…
Covered this week; A little deeper examination of Andreessen’s ‘It’s Time to Build’… It would appear the legal weed experience in Illinois, sucks… Assessing climate risks associated with specific Earthly locals… The history of McDonald’s McRib Sandwich… What about facial recognition algorithms when the face being read is masked? What better time to communicate with you then when you’re on the toilet?
April 27, 2020
As a follow up to Marc Andreessen’s excellent thought piece titled ‘It’s Time to Build’ that I covered last week… This is a follow-up by Ben Thompson entitled ‘How Tech Can Build’. The basic premise of all this is that software has less overhead and fantastically greater margins than hardware. So it follows that software would be the prominent focus in investment and venture capital… which means as a country, we’ve stopped building things that aren’t based in code… when viewed through the lens of a pandemic when we need certain items such as ventilators, N95 masks and testing set-ups… we’re unable to produce them.
This leads to the core question about Silicon Valley and its relationship to Andreessen’s essay: has tech — specifically the software-centric tech that Andreessen has done more than anyone to proselytize — been the primary source of American innovation because it represented the future? Or has it been the future because it was the only space where innovation was possible, because of things like inertia and regulatory capture in the real world?
April 28, 2020
So today I had my first experience with a legal marijauna dispensary, a place called RISE in Mundelein Illinois. It was one of those times where you find the reality of a thing, so much different than the way you imagined it in your pre-event mind space. And unfortunately, this time things were worse in reality. The Covid-19 treatment may have played a larger part… in that perhaps the experience would be better in normal times… but the biggest kicker, and surely unrelated to the virus, would be the tax-laden cost of things. The State is clearly trying to generate too much revenue too quick. I purchased a single pre-rolled joint and a .5g Verano Vape cartridge with some hybrid purple punch… I was charged $125! These two items have a street value of about $40, and that’s being generous… so damn! That’s quite the mark-up. I’ll be investigating this further in the near future but for now, you may want to acclimate yourself to things by taking a gander at this video produced by ABC 7 here in Chicago. The way this Dispensary 33 comes off was very much the vibe of the RISE Dispensary I visited.
And then these investigative pieces by NBC 5’s Phil Rogers gives you a much deeper dive into dispensaries and the issues surrounding them.
April 29, 2020
It’s not usual that I would suggest a link that basically leads to a pay site, but this particular site offers function that appeals to me… and I imagine would appeal to many others as well. While there are many angles you could be approaching data aggregation like this, my interest lies in pondering what may be the safest places on the planet to ride out climate change, generationally speaking. Sadly, the answer to that would appear to be… nowhere is completely safe, but there are definitely safer places than others. So anyway, Adele Peters wrote a piece for Fast Company that alerted me to Augurisk, a tool to help you assess locations relative ‘safeness’.
If you want to move to avoid the impacts of climate change, you may be out of luck: Everywhere on Earth will be affected. But some places are safer than others. A new tool from a startup called Augurisk is designed to help homebuyers and business owners calculate the climate risks of any address in the U.S.—along with multiple other risks, from nuclear power plant radiation to the current spread of COVID-19 and the ability of local hospitals to handle the pandemic.
April 30, 2020
A lot of thought lately into personal process, allocation of time, how life was lived pre-Corona, how it will be lived during and eventually, after. Some food for thought in this quick read by Stephanie Vozza for Fast Company.
“If you eliminate things that are unimportant and then spend just enough time on the things that are necessary but not important you will have energy to do the things that are your greatness—the things that matter and where your passion lies.”
May 1, 2020
Some fun on the lighter side this Friday as with this video, we get into the long and winding history of the McRib… when I first came across this I thought, nah… but once I gave it a shot, it’s pleasingly done. If you’re any kind of fan of the McRib, there’s a good chance that watching this video will make you less so… so you’ve been warned.
May 2, 2020
The surveillance state isn’t the first thing you think about in times like these, but when I come across the posit of how faces are read even though covered in masks, it’s interesting to me. It seems US companies are scrambling to teach their algorithms to do this while China is already fully functioning on this front as they’ve been focused on it for a lot longer and with a lot more focus and depth. Seems a harbinger for what’s to come.
China’s facial-recognition vendors faced the challenge of identifying masked faces earlier, and more broadly, because the country is both the origin of the novel coronavirus and the world’s most developed market for facial recognition. Chinese citizens can use their faces to pay in stores or use ATMs, while government agencies tap the technology to pluck persons of interest from streets and crowds.
May 3, 2020
One of the biggest themes of the pandemic thus far has of course been toilet paper… strange, but true. So here’s checkin’ in with the TP companies.
The pandemic has obviously drawn plenty of new attention to toilet paper companies and supply chains, and the brands are rolling out their best efforts to calm, entertain, and engage with us while we’re paying attention. Perhaps, as agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners tapped into with “Got Milk?” decades ago, these brands will be able to tap into the notion of absence to illustrate our connection to this daily staple.