June 9, 2017

Written by

Chris Gonzales


Patrick Göthe

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

Editor’s note: This week’s column is a bit shorter than usual — not for lack of trying, but because yours truly didn’t happen across enough links worth including. That’s just how some weeks go, unfortunately. If there’s anything you think is worth including for next week’s linkage, please hit me up on Twitter. I welcome all suggestions :)

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How to Design a Library that Makes Kids Want to Read »

Back in March, graphic designer Michael Bierut — perhaps most famous for leading the design of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 logo — gave a TED talk about The L!brary Initiative, a project he led during the 2000s that ostensibly had him designing a new logo for New York City libraries but turned into something bigger:

So when I started this whole thing, remember, it was just about designing that logo and being clever, come up with a new name? The unintended consequence here, which I would like to take credit for and like to think I can think through the experience to that extent, but I can’t. I was just focused on a foot ahead of me, as far as I could reach with my own hands. Instead, way off in the distance was a librarian who was going to find the chain of consequences that we had set in motion, a source of inspiration so that she in this case could do her work really well.

The bit featuring all the murals installed above the various libraries’ bookshelves is so great.

+ Want more library fanciness? Check out “A Look Inside Europe’s Most Enchanting Libraries by Photographer Thibaud Poirier” over at Colossal.



How to Lose $8K Worth of Bitcoin in 15 Minutes »

IRL founder Cody Brown was recently hit pretty hard by a social engineering attack:

Of all the things that went down in the factors that lead to this hack, Verizon Wireless is what I was massively unprepared for. After talking at length with customer service reps, I learned that the hacker did not need to give them my pin number or my social security number and was able to get approval to takeover my cell phone number with _simple billing information._ This blew my mind and seemed negligent beyond all possible reason but it’s what they do. The main thing that struck me by the hack was the extraction speed possible in the current cryptocurrency ecosystem. $8,000 in 15 minutes is faster and more lucrative than robbing a suburban bank.

In linking to this article on Twitter, Patrick McKenzie offered a useful tip:

This is your periodic reminder: disable SMS as a [two-factor authentication] mechanism; it essentially gives your cell carrier’s worst CS rep all your passwords.

Scary stuff.

How to Have a Good Conversation »

Continuing a theme from last week’s link to Celeste Headlee’s TED talk on ten ways to have a better conversation, the folks at The School of Life have a video of their own about the art of good conversation:

We too often imagine that ‘good conversations’ are things we fall into out of luck. Far from it, knowing how to have a good conversation is a skill that can be learnt – and here are the beginning of the rules.

Over at their sister site, The Book of Life, they’ve got an accompanying piece expanding on these ideas (bold emphasis mine):

Shyness takes a lot of the blame for poor conversations. We get scared of opening our souls because we falsely exaggerate the difference between ourselves and others. We display only our strengths, vaunt only our successes, lay out only our conventional proposals – and bore others as a result because it is in the revelation of our weaknesses, in the display of our fragilities, in the confession of our wilder fantasies that we grow interesting and likeable. It is almost impossible to be bored when a person tells you sincerely what they have failed at or who has humiliated them, what they long for and when they have been at their craziest.

The Rise of the Machines – Why Automation is Different This Time »

This video — made by the ever-amazing Kurzgesagt — In a Nutshell YouTube channel — shows that although automation has been a part of human life for a while now, we’re reaching a point where we won’t be able to innovate our way out of losing jobs anymore.

Something I often wonder is, what will a post-job society look like? How will we all find meaning and fulfillment throughout life, AND without having to worry about meeting a minimum standard of living? I expect that the real answers to these questions will hit us sooner than we’ll be ready for.

(Side note: I want to take a second to appreciate the animation quality in Kurzgesagt’s videos. It’s so smooth I often forget I’m watching something on YouTube rather than…I dunno, an app or a downloaded show.)

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Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.