Links - August 22, 2016
- This is strictly a business decision Tim O'Reilly - Medium
Incentives rule all our decisions. If the mandate of fiduciary duty is to “maximize shareholder value,” that is what any board will do. Whether the “business decision” was correct or not is a question of short-term vs. long-term thinking, discount rates, and how much the company values its employees. When labor is interchangable, this is not a surprising decision. If the well-being of the employees were somehow baked in into the pricing model, there could be a different outcome.
- Imaging, Snapchat and mobile Benedict Evans
As usual, Evans gives us a lot to think about. Our phones aren’t really just phones, and our cameras aren’t really just cameras.
- It’s The Future Paul Biggar - CircleCI Blog
Overengineering is a real problem. I need to learn more about this new dev-ops world, and play with Docker et al, but the fact is that to get started, a monolith running on Heroku is more than enough. Scaling will be harder? Yes, but you might actually get something done and sell to real users. Good enough is good enough. Once again, short-term vs. long term incentives.
- All the Leaves are Brown and the Sky is Gray Cate Huston - Accidentally in Code
Perspective on software engineering impact: Somehow, the industry keeps moving forward as our projects die, 1 by 1. Stay motivated, and learn from your errors.
- The stuff we really need is getting more expensive. Other stuff is getting cheaper. Christopher Ingraham - The Washington Post
- The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Medium
A draft of a chapter of Taleb’s upcoming book. He argues that asymmetrical rules lead to minorities dictating choices when there are large benefits to a concentrated minority and small diffuse costs among the majority. All his examples are negative, but its not hard to think of how this same effect can affect us positively.
- The Night That Obama and Hillary Founded ISIS Liz Meriwether - New York Magazine
The world of politics is odd.
- Page dewarping Matt Zucker
Math lets us do some really interesting things. This post presents a relatively simple model that solves a real problem for a real person.
- Firms and Inequality Claudia Sahm
An analysis on the future of work, and labor compensation. I am not surprised that gains are concentrated in a set of firms, the real question, as Claudia points out, is “is rising worker segregation a sign of reduced competition, greater economic rents, or is it telling us about a change in the nature of production?” My guess? The latter.
- The meaning of trust in the age of Airbnb Tim Harford
The fact that we can walk into a store and exchange a piece of paper for a loaf of bread is a sign of trust. Our economies, and our lives, are all based on trust, and Tim’s article explains how important this is in an age where “reputation” becomes currency. Reminded me a lot of Seabright’s Company of Strangers.
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