Nicework Reads – Week 02: 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Happy 2020! Here’s what Nicework has been reading this week.

2020: What a Time To Be Alive

A new year brings dozens of articles analyzing what the past brought and what the future may hold. The problem with most these pieces is not their analysis; it’s their time frame. Analyzing 2020’s improvement over 2019 – or even a decade of progress – leaves you gasping for goofy things like “OLED screens will become more common this year” and “self-driving cars will see marginal improvements.”

Alain de Botton on Existential Maturity and What Emotional Intelligence Really Means

Yet what is distinctive is just how selective we are about the topics we deem it possible to educate ourselves in. Our energies are overwhelmingly directed toward material, scientific, and technical subjects and away from psychological and emotional ones. Much anxiety surrounds the question of how good the next generation will be at math; very little around their abilities at marriage or kindness.

The Best and Worst Identities of 2019, Part 1: The Most Notable Reviewed & Noted

This first installment — of seven total coming over the holidays — looks at the most notable projects, from both the Reviewed and Noted categories, in terms of notoriety and media attention received. These are neither the best nor the worst, although a few make repeat appearances in other lists, but simply the most visible. Listed in order.

Why your AI might be racist and what to do about it

The goodnews:

An AI has no political agenda of its own. It is only going to be deliberately racist if it has been trained to be racist.

The bad news:

It is very easy to train an AI to be racist by accident.

We’re not just reading, here’s a great podcast:

Jason Fried: Doing the Enough Thing [The Knowledge Project Ep. #54]

Basecamp CEO and co-founder Jason Fried gives us a peek behind the scenes of his company and discusses his philosophy on doing great work, making a positive difference, and learning to breathe in the fast paced culture of today’s workplace.

If you like what we’re reading, you may like the way we think, too. Tell us about a problem that you’d like to solve.

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