Some Systems Go – Newsletter

I’ve started up newsletter to capture some of my longer form thoughts on systems in our world: political, biological, economic… you name it. I’m calling it Some Systems Go.

https _bucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com_public_images_2fa14c5e-e4a7-428e-8eff-ec40f2194081_492x319

My first post is on the Death of Context in social media and how we end up laundering the opinions of others through our own credibility when re-share content online.

Read: The Death of Context

If you like what you read, sign up for the newsletter to my next posts directly in your inbox.

Episode #11 – Should Apple Crack their own security? And VR goes big.

Its time for a fresh podcast as I can’t stay silent for too long!

Apple is challenged by the FBI to weaken the security of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhones, but it could set a dangerous precident for both privacy and security for all Apple customers going forward. And on the VR and AR front everyone throws the kitchen sink into changing your reality with big expensive goggles.

The FBI’s legal backing? A law written in 1789 before even the concept of computers existed.

Google, Microsoft, Facebook and a lot of other players prepare to square off and throw down with headsets and software of their own.

Subscribe and listen on iTunes

Or listen right here:

The Trust Gap

I spent the last week in Iceland the same idea kept cropping up:

Businesses and by extension products don’t trust people enough

I think this is a byproduct of the idea that every business should be able to capture every customer, if only things are spelled out plainly and loudly enough.  By assuming that you can reach everyone you fail to target your natural customers and end up diluting the effectiveness of your brand.

Nowhere was this more apparent to me than on Laugavegur in Reykjavík, Iceland.

A hyper concentrated cluster of over-marketed retail ‘opportunity’.

A street that has been utterly culturally carpet bombed by crass, loud and lowest common denominator messaging to the point that walking down said street is reductive to the whole idea of being a tourist in another country.

None of the businesses up and down this street trusted their potential customers to discern the value of their products.  All was spelled out, in English, and illustrated in large print photos and diagrams.

Restaurants loudly proclaimed: Italian Restaurant! Authentic Italian Food! Pasta – Meatballs – Bread! in both English and Icelandic.

Near the start of Laugavegur. Next door to this was an English Pub named… “English Pub”

In their effort to capture anyone who might want to visit an Italian restaurant, the ambiance one might want from an Italian dining experience is lessened.

A consequence of all the businesses on this street following the same methods means the draw of visiting Iceland’s main shopping street has evaporated outside of the simple gravitational pull of many businesses being in one central location.

Authenticity and trust have been exchanged for maximum value extraction.  But they’ve missed the forest for the trees and collectively lowered the value of the entire shopping district.

Building these same businesses: Bars, restaurants, tourist shops, with a sense of trust that visitors can gleam value for themselves would help raise the level of authenticity and sense of place of the street and in turn deliver real value to each business by customers that self select the experience they want.

I think this lesson applies more broadly everywhere, but the shock of seeing this in such a pronounced way in my once quaint home town forced me to put these thoughts to [digital] paper.

I trust you’ll gather my general intent.

Episode #10 – Star Wars, SpaceX, Netflix Algorithms… and more

I give my numerical review of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, discuss the implications of the FAA’s Drone Registration rules on privacy, Netflix rolls out new compression algorithms to deliver more entertainment with less bandwidth, Dating sites get hacked (no a different one this time), someone develops metal that is 99% air by volume and it has very cool commercial implications, and CISA comes back with a vengeance in the latest Congressional Budget Bill…

and someone develops something that looks a lot like a VR headset, but is in fact, just a regular screen.

All this and more on episode #10.

Subscribe on iTunes to get the latest podcasts delivered to you.

Follow me on Twitter for more regular shenanigans and pithy commentary.