25 March 2013

Anything but water

  1. Highly recommended illustration of wealth inequality in the US, our perceptions of its non-existence and how equal we'd like to be. Remember this illustration when you do your taxes. Many of the rich won't be, because their accountants finish the job their lobbyists began: making sure they pay no taxes

  2. This insightful post on the internet has treasures like this:
    Johnson’s argument boils down to this: before the Internet, our institutions could not be as participatory, decentralized, and leaderless as Wikipedia and Kickstarter. Today they can be—and should be. “We didn’t have Kickstarter or Wikipedia before the Web came along because the organizational costs of connecting all those people were prohibitive,” he writes. Now that the costs have fallen, there are no good reasons for hierarchies to exist [...but that's also wrong...] If one assumes that political reform is long, slow, and painful, hierarchies and centralizing strategies can be productive. After all, they can keep the movement on target and give it some coherent shape. Ideas on their own do not change the world; ideas that are coupled with smart institutions might. “Not by memes alone” would be an apt slogan for any contemporary social movement. Alas, this basic insight—that political reform cannot be reduced to the wars of memes and aesthetics alone, even if the Internet offers an effective platform for waging them—has mostly been lost on the Occupy Wall Street crowd. Challenging power requires a strategy that in many circumstances might favor centralization. To reject the latter on philosophical grounds rather than strategic grounds—because it is anti-Internet or anti-Wikipedia—borders on the suicidal.
  3. A good example of malfunctioning pricing bots at war over online book prices that rose to $24 million

  4. TED talk: charity managers who underpay and minimize overhead create their own failure

  5. More on publishers failing to adapt to technology, letting down readers and authors

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