technology, change, and us

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

Innovation vs. (social) copying [without innovators to copy, none of us can learn socially]

Another attribute of the most successful strategies is that they are parasitic. This is the essence of social learning – somebody has to do the hard graft to find out how to do things before other people can copy them, so it only pays to learn socially when there are some innovators around. Indeed, in contests where (the winning) agents were able to invade the entire population, they actually ended up with a lower average pay-off than they did in contests where the conditions allowed some agents with more innovative strategies to survive, so providing new behaviours to copy – New Scientist

@shackletonjonesGamification can kill the ‘why’

Gamification provides an artificial ‘why’ – activity which was meaningless becomes significant by virtue of a system of tokens and reinforcements that links it to things that do mean something to you: like money, or prizes, or status. This is rats & levers – this is operant conditioning.

@DonaldClarkDeficit model in education: a dangerous conceit?

The conceit of education is that the answer to bad schooling is always more schooling … When education is seen as a cure and cognitive deficiency a disease, we need to worry.

Reflections on Working without Managers at Buffer – via @timkastelle [life in perpetual beta]

Another emotion I picked up in myself and in others is what feels like we’re floating in space a bit. Since the change is so fundamental and a lot of things aren’t figured out, it’s quite hard to navigate yourself within Buffer currently, since nothing feels “fixed” and ever changing these last few months.

Nasdaq to introduce blockchain for private equities –  via @dermotcasey

Nasdaq’s use of the blockchain represents what many industry observers see as the biggest legacy of Bitcoin – not so much the currency itself, but instead the digital blockchain concept behind it. As Z/Yen put it earlier this year: “For many people the big story is not Bitcoin, rather it’s the blockchain technology that makes tens of crypto currencies work. Working since 2009, forged in a global furnace of libertarian money, trade, avarice, criminality, espionage and law enforcement, Bitcoin and other crypto currency experiments provide increasing confidence that blockchains are robust in harsh environments and have a bright future.”

Wired: Why the Blockchain Matters

In the end, it’s the possibilities of pervasive, global, high-volume cryptocapitalism, not Bitcoin’s current market valuation, that makes it so interesting. Soon, a technology like Bitcoin will be creating value that may exceed what the internet has created to date. Of course, pioneers often disappear. Sometimes that idea that has venture capitalists reaching for their wallets and others taking a pass ends up being AltaVista. Sometimes, it ends up being Google.

The Irony of Happiness at Work in the Age of Automation – via @jajbelshaw

Accept the inevitability of absolute automation.  If it’s unrealistic to think companies around the world will reject the philosophy of growth-at-all-costs, assume automation is inevitable.  Deep Learning and AI are not being designed to only replace certain societal roles.  It’s being designed to fully replicate humanity.  This choice has been made.  Fight it or accept the fact you’re letting it happen.

NPR: The most common jobs in every US state [why self-driving vehicles will change the economy]

Image: NPR

Image: NPR

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