Off the Shelf (Links Edition) 9/15/17

My favorite reads from this week:


The Service Class Deserves Better (citylab) a paean to a group of people who are invisible

The city has a big, new toy to serve small businesses (crains) jobmobile

The Everything Simulator (medium). On using AI for training. For a while I’ve wanted to create an online multi-player game that teaches the essentials of retail customer service. Companies would sponsor it and employees and candidates could earn points / badges that make them more valuable to their (potential) employers. My geek friends haven’t taken me up on it yet – maybe if we make the customers zombies who bite your head if you don’t offer an upsell… Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Urban Change

Reimagining our roads (curbed) I’m reading Hunch, which includes exercises that encourage you to re-imagine the objects you use every day. This seems like a practical application of this technique.

And, on the other end of the scale, there’s this: 11 Billion-Dollar Mega-Projects That Will Transform the World’s Greatest Cities by 2035 (futurism)

Be careful what you wish for, Amazon suitors, a lot will change with the tech giant in your city (geekwire) Although most of the stories on this topic are Squirrels, this one brings up a good point: if your city is signing up for this, they’d do better to take notice of the challenges in Seattle and actively address them before they replicate locally.

Alternate Realities

How Dick Gregory Forced The FBI To Find The Bodies Of Three Civil Rights Workers Slain In Mississippi (stillcrew)

Just for Fun?

We Look Like Our Names (HBR) Researchers provided people (and AI routines) with photos of people and a list of names equally popular to the culture being surveyed, and people picked out the right name from the list most of the time. True even when they were just showed the person’s hair (without the face) and/or just the face (without the hair). Odd.

Flamingos In The Men’s Room: How Zoos And Aquariums Handle Hurricanes (NPR) Answers to questions I’ve often wondered.

Have you discovered The Cooper Review yet? If not, here’s a sample: Meeting Achievement Stickers.


Stories I’ve seen enough of…

  • Amazon’s second headquarters (cities scrambling to sell their souls to the devil)
  • Walmart takes on Amazon (two choices, both alike in ignominy)

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