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Don’t Mind the Fire - Issue #8

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I'm writing this issue a little earlier than usual since I'll be gone for most of the week, hiking in
 
April 29 · Issue #8 · View online
Don’t Mind the Fire
I’m writing this issue a little earlier than usual since I’ll be gone for most of the week, hiking in Utah’s Escalante area. I’ll probably feel the need to share a couple of photos of the trip in an upcoming issue, even though I’ll have to perform some extraordinary mental gymnastics to make that somehow fit the “living online” focus we’ve got going here.
This week we look at a some “quantified self” developments — a new kind of hearing aid, as well as our complicated relationship with fitness trackers. There are also some interesting stories about the rise of influencers online. How the whole thing came about, the amazing niches people find to “influence” others, and the ultimate Don’t Mind the Fire story so far (hint: it’s about a hedgehog).
Enjoy this week’s issue, and stay safe.
Rian

⌚️ How we live online
The Future of Wearable Tech Is Called a Hearing Aid The Future of Wearable Tech Is Called a Hearing Aid
The Dark Side of Fitness Tracking
A History of the Influencer, from Shakespeare to Instagram
The Kids Use TikTok Now Because Data-Mined Videos Are So Much Fun
Accelerating dynamics of collective attention
🙅‍♀️ How we work online
Is Blogging For Profit A Scam, Or A Stay-At-Home Mom’s Dream? Is Blogging For Profit A Scam, Or A Stay-At-Home Mom’s Dream?
When Workers Control the Code
The Instagram trap: Social influence is helping women build brands—as long as they follow the rules
We’ve been warned about AI and music for over 50 years, but no one’s prepared
How Hedgehogs Became Instagram’s Most Miserable Celebrities
📖 Quote of the week
The takeaway here is worth repeating: Getting the team right is the necessary precursor to getting the ideas right. It is easy to say you want talented people, and you do, but the way those people interact with one another is the real key. Even the smartest people can form an ineffective team if they are mismatched. That means it is better to focus on how a team is performing, not on the talents of the individuals within it. A good team is made up of people who complement each other. There is an important principle here that may seem obvious, yet—in my experience—is not obvious at all. Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting the right idea.
📷 Photo of the week
Miles Davis recording Kind of Blue, 1959 (Don Hunstein)
This photo came from one of my favorite blogs, The 1959 Project. Every day this year, they post something about what happened in the jazz world exactly 60 years ago. 1959 was an incredible year for jazz, so there’s a lot to talk about.
🎺 If you’re a fan of Kind of Blue, I highly recommend Ashley Kahn’s excellent book Kind Of Blue: The Making Of The Miles Davis Masterpiece.
🎻 Album of the week
the tidal pool tapes by Barbarossa
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Rian van der Merwe, SE 64th Ave, Portland, OR 97206