Category Archives: Technology

Free Marketplace of Bad Ideas

Most people usually lament and fear the fact that technology is now making it easier than ever to spread hurtful ideas. From shaming someone into suicide on Facebook to recruiting jihadists on Youtube, there are certainly plenty of examples of the negative implications of social media. But is it possible that in another sense, this will prove to be the ultimate test, and hopefully vindication, of a free Marketplace of Ideas.

Continue reading Free Marketplace of Bad Ideas

The Pop Up Ad

Anyone who uses the internet today hates pop up ads. From simple beginnings, traditional pop up ads have today been replaced by myriads of ad types, often making it impossible to figure out the 13 crazy facts you wont believe about childhood movies.

There is a lot more to this story and I would recommend you listen to the full podcast which you can get from Gimlet Media’s website or iTunes. You can also read the story in The Atlantic by Ethan Zuckerman to find out more background about The Internet’s Original Sin as he calls it.

As I mentioned yesterday, this is an example of an accident completely changing the world. Would these ads have been created eventually, maybe, but who knows. One thing that we do know is that these ads paved the way for the internet we know today, brought to you by (place random company name here).

Sum Up the Courage

I couldn’t agree more with Ben Saunders in this clip.

Ben is actually a prolific TEDster. He has given three talks on his experiences “dragging heavy things around cold places.” These experiences include skiing to both the North Pole and the South Pole. He offers tremendous insight into the importance of reaching out and seeking more. You can find his most recent TED talk here.

This episode of the TED Radio Hour came at a great time for me because I had just finished watching Wanderers, a new short film floating around the internet. No doubt Sagan would count these individuals among his “restless few.”

The other speakers on this episode continued with the high standard of exploration set by Ben. One near to my heart is Bill Stone. Bill has explored some of the deepest caves on Earth and is now trying to use that knowledge to set up an exploration mission to the moon.

Roz Savage decided it would be a good idea to try and cross the Atlantic in a row boat and after completing the journey thought, why not the Pacific?

Finally, Philippe Petit tells of the day in 1974 when he walked between the twin towers on a tight rope.


App Psychology

I had never heard of the Somebody app until I listened to Reply All today. Replay All is the first podcast from Gimlet Media, that’s the company the StartUp podcast is about. I know, this is getting a little regressive.

Anyway, here is a little introduction to the Somebody app.

The first two episodes of Reply All were great, and though they are on very different subjects, in a way, they are about the same thing. The hosts went and talked to Arial, the one who sent the message via the app, and it turns out there is a lot more psychology going on in the Somebody app than you would expect, at least for her. The app is apparently very glitchy and messages often don’t get delivered. This made the app a kind of release for Arial, she could say something that she wanted to say, but wasn’t really ready to deal with the consequences of saying it. It was kind of like leaving it up to fate. It is just one of the many examples how technology has changed the way we deal with our everyday feelings.

The second episode was about an app called Figure One. This is an app where doctors can post images of the really weird conditions they see while they are at work. Though the images sound sometimes gruesome, the psychology part is in the comments of these pictures. If you know someone in the medical profession, you quickly learn about the completely ridiculous everyday occurrences. If there is an average chance you will see someone die at work, than seeing someone die isn’t a big deal. The comments on Figure One, if read by someone who isn’t in the medical community, probably seem heartless. But the truth is, it is just a coping mechanism. Every community has it, the military, the police, probably bus drivers. Normal things to you are not normal to most people. What is unique is now, everyone can see into those worlds. What used to be locker room chatter is now being broadcast over the PA, and both sides of the conversation are having to change in order to deal with this new information.

You can check out Reply All at Gimlet’s website or on iTunes.