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This week I got a little lost in Reface (A4) and became a mini celeb in my own head. It was addictive and fun for the free trial and I have a new profile picture as Jon Snow (Yes, Winter is here).
The real story of the week revolves around two stories. Firstly, it was both awesome and scary to see the control exerted and how over 24 hours Biggish Tech clamped down on Donald Trump (T4, A7). The other story that infiltrated multiple notifications on my phone is the move away from Whatsapp (A3). The reality is that if you had/have a Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp account you are probably already too late. I'll continue to use Whatsapp. The network effects and stickiness of Whatsapp for me mean that everyone would have to move to one single place and I just don't see that happening. For those of you actively thinking of moving across to other platforms, understand that Signal is good but still simple and snaggy, Telegram needs you to turn your encryption on. Depending on what you are using these comms channels, especially group, consider thinking about services like Discord, Slack or if you want something super-secure, try Threema (paid, but very privacy conscious)
Expect the conversation on Whatsapp to continue, especially after legal challenges in India and for Whatsapp to clarify and retreat. It might be too late for some, but it'll be too difficult for others to switch their life. My question is this: what did you expect? Maybe we'll be more selective on what and how we communicate.
Finally, T6 is a great overview of where tech is going. I'd read A1 if you want a long read. What a story!
Onward! - Rahim
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My Reading Recommendations (A)
1. 'Our souls are dead': how I survived a Chinese 're-education' camp for Uighurs Link
2. 'It's not a bad flu season' — Covid myths debunked with data Link 3. Millions Flock to Telegram and Signal as Fears Grow Over Big Tech Link
4. Synthetic Celebrity: Cloning A Billion Digital Selves For Fun And Profit Link
5. The 'megascale' structures that humans could one day build Link
6. Why parents should stop blaming themselves for how their kids turn out Link 7. After The Sacred Landslide Link
8. Trump Is on the Verge of Losing Everything Link
9. 36 Little Cooking Habits You Should Actually Ditch ASAP Link
10. What aren't we wearing better masks? Link
My Tech Recommendations (T)
1. Tech That Will Change Your Life in 2021 Link
2. Cyber ‘Deterrence’: A Brexit Analogy Link
3. CES 2021 Highlights: 79 Gadgets and Glimpses Into the Future Link 4. Insurrection as a Service Link
5. How to Save Democracy From Technology Link 6. Internet 3.0 and the Beginning of (Tech) History Link
7. CRISPR and the Splice to Survive Link
8. An Oral History of Wikipedia, the Web’s Encyclopedia Link
9. The Plan to Build a Global Network of Floating Power Stations Link
10. The Bitcoin Dream Is Dead Link
Box of Amazing is a personal project that I first started in 2017 to help curate quality articles for myself to fine-tune my reading around emerging technologies and the future. I now send this out by email every Sunday to whoever wants to receive it. The newsletter consists of ten great articles (topical recommended reading) and ten stories (what's amazing!). Box of Amazing now has thousands of readers spanning the globe from San Francisco to Tokyo and across multiple industries including strategy consultancy houses (McKinsey to Bain), from all the FAANG companies (Facebook to Alphabet), from startups to scaleups, from unicorns to brand new companies as well as people just interested in staying ahead of the game. If you enjoy it, please share it with your friends, family, co-workers, enemies, competitors, pets, potential love interests and others who are interested in learning about the emerging technology and trends that will affect us all in this lifetime. If you have been forwarded this email, you can sign up at boxofamazing.com - it's free.