What I read in summer 2015

 I've delayed long enough in getting this one up, so I'll skip the intro and go right to the good stuff.  Here's your fall-almost-winter recap of the best of what I read this summer.

So You've Been Publicly Shamed: You can't even really classify shame as an emotion.  It's not anywhere near temporary enough. It eclipses everything. In this book, Jon Ronson digs into shame and the act of shaming. He talks about the social media as an accelerant to shaming and interviews those who have been through it.  There are no heroes in this story.  No protagonists. Only bruised and bruising humans. The most common population on earth.  A really good read. (Bonus, met the author at Inbound15 and managed to not go all fan-girl on him.)  

Getting the Big Picture in Boston, Number by Number: Can you take something as complex as the workings of a major city and try to boil it down to one number - a batting average of sorts - to answer the core question: How we doin'? Daniel Koh and Mayor Walsh are giving it a shot.  Critics call it an over-simplification. Koh and Walsh see it as an important start for a more data-driven city. 

 

How Tweets Can Predict the Death of an App:  An interesting piece on how “Social decay” can be a leading indicator to the decline and failure of products.

One of the more magical tech features I've seen in awhile: Google has added automatic charts and insights into Google Spreadsheets: It's not perfect, but it's  one of the most magical tech features I've seen rolled out in awhile. It reminded me of how important it is to build a little awe into your product.  It was the same feeling I got when I first saw shazaam all those years ago.

Speaking of Magic... Iceland is going to start erecting giant iron statues in the place of transponders all across its countryside. I saw this article and could only think of how much better the imagination of Iceland's kids are going to be than ours.

The Reason Why: This is the sort of story that is so exceptional it seems made up.  It's a reminder how single moments of inflection in your life can determine entire new courses -- really entire new lives. It's also a story about how important organizations like United Way are and how all those community investments come together.  

Floating Above London, This Invisible Pool Lets You Swim Laps In The Sky: Sometimes you have to mess with physics just to keep it on its toes.  I love how inventive we can be. How we can take something hair-brained, give it dimensions and fill it with 6000 cubic feet of water. Of course, you need $32 billion to pull it off, but at least it's possible, right?

 

Topics: Curriculum