Welcome to the 62nd edition of The Three Things, the weekly update of three links, podcasts, videos, or books you can’t miss – from Howie Goldfarb (Blue Star Strategic Marketing), Joe Cardillo (Visual.ly), and yours truly.
For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t subscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.
Today we explore cloning your mind, The Data Journalism Handbook, and the freedom to change your life – and what your life would be like if you didn’t have that freedom.
Google Patents a Way to Clone Your Mind
Howie on Going on Vacation Forever, Thanks to the Google. I have many thoughts on this development. Not sure any are good. I wonder if the Google really can one day handle everything on our behalf…just like if it was us doing it ourselves. Imagine going to the pub just before a major conference call, and using your smart phone to activate the Google to stand in for you.
Could you say after a glitch agrees for you to sell your family into hard labor on the moon in exchange for a case of Mars Moonshine, ‘I was drunk, this Google agreement isn’t binding’. Or maybe the Moonshine is so good you wake from your stupor to kiss your family and say ‘The Google thought it was a good idea. Now I can sleep in. Goodbye and Work Hard. Make me proud!’
Understanding Data – Data Journalism Handbook
Joe on Becoming Data Literate, and Finding/Using Insights. One of the most common queries I get goes something along the lines of “do you have a visualization tool or program that I can run my numbers through to visualize what they mean?”
This is a telling question, because the answer is no, and it reveals the degree to which someone has actually explored data and storytelling. It also underscores a serious point: When you’re trying to understand data sets, the framework matters.
Think of it like this, if you start looking at data with no framework or questions in mind (“I want to know everything!”) you’ll end up with too many possibilities to be useful (“I am getting a ton of answers, but which ones are important?”)
The Data Journalism Handbook is one of my favorite open source resources, and although it’s designed for data journalists who want to learn the tools of the niche, it’s accessible and easily digested by just about anyone. It’s also a pretty good primer for spotting shoddy, careless, and even dishonest use of statistics.
Lindsay on Freedom. “What do we care about five minutes?” A prisoner said those words. And really, when you think about it, in our world of instants and minutes and immediate access, those words are powerful. Imagine being shut away for more than half your life. Imagine not having the power to change your life, even for an instant.
This article touched me – because as much as it spoke to earth shattering life changes, and how life slows down to a crawl when you are immersed in pain and heartache – it also made me stop and think about freedom. Freedom to recover from those life changes which are out of your control. Freedom to remake your life, when you are sad and miserable. Freedom that most of us take for granted.
As the author of the article stated, “When the battery in my watch died, I still wore it. There was something about the watch that said: It doesn’t matter what time it is. Think in months. Years. Someone loves you. Where are you going? There are some things you will never do. It doesn’t matter. There is no rush. Be the best prisoner you can be.”
Indeed. Be the best prisoner you can be. But never forget that change is at your fingertips. If you just reach out and grab it.
Now it’s your turn. Is there a book, podcast, article, TV show, blog post, or story we should read?