The Three Things

By Lindsay Bell

Welcome to the 73rd 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 (, 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 the second amendment, ethical cheques and balances, and how the age-divide in Silicon Valley might be the downfall of us all.

Russia Moves Swiftly to Stifle Dissent Ahead of Secession Vote

Howie the Progressive Liberal on the Second Amendment. The second amendment is so important to uphold – sanely and rationally of course – and is needed to support our democracy. I read this article, and couldn’t stop thinking “How come the population is allowing this oppression?” Secret militias. Police with whips. Even if you are pro-Russia, surely you didn’t sign up for that. I think to myself “Where are the guns? Shoot that whip wielding cop! Don’t take this!!”

The fact many Americans have guns is why that wouldn’t happen here. Everyone having guns is why we won’t be invaded (and oceans separating us from attackers helps). Everyone having a gun means our government can spy on us, but if they started putting people in jai,l or if they took over the media….we would fight back with more than rocks.

Of course there is the down side to guns: Murder, deaths (accidental and otherwise), violence, etc., etc., but how big are those costs when we could prevent what’s happened in Crimea, or ‘life as usual’ in North Korea? If Russia invaded Poland, I’m pretty sure the rest of Europe couldn’t beat them back. Why? Small armies – and not enough ‘countrymen’ with guns.

Why Google Shouldn’t be the Copyright Court of Last Resort

Joe on New Technology Versus the Law. Google seems to operate on a more ethically than most companies. In large part it’s because they’re preaching the gospel of free information while at the same time gathering reams of data for ad targeting and other content personalization purposes, much of it commercial.

This is pretty common for the new tech giants. On the one hand they have an obligation to make money, but they also seem to want to be good citizens. I doubt there’ll ever be an easy line to draw, but cases like the one mentioned in this article make me more determined than ever to always argue for checks and balances – not just the market competition, but rule of law too.

Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem

Lindsay on a New, Scarier Agism. New companies sprouting, old companies dying. This has always been more or less the natural pattern in business. Sure some “old” companies stick around a long time, and some “young” ones go down like the Hindenburg, but, you know, the rhythm of life continues.

But what about in tech-land? What if valuable companies start dying off simply because they’re not cool enough to work for? As this article points out, “…the rapid consumer-ification of tech, led by Facebook and Google, has created a deep rift between old and new…” When it comes to the Silicon Valley crowd of today, young, hip, and cool are where it’s at. But wait. Not every thing can be cool. Right? And, um, is anyone looking after the un-cool stuff? Turns out, the answer might be, no.

“In pursuing the latest and the coolest, young engineers ignore opportunities in less-sexy areas of tech like semiconductors, data storage and networking, the products that form the foundation on which all of Web 2.0 rests. Without a good router to provide reliable Wi-Fi, your Dropbox file-sharing application is not going to sync; without Nvidia’s graphics processing unit, your BuzzFeed GIF is not going to make anyone laugh. The talent — and there’s a ton of it — flowing into Silicon Valley cares little about improving these infrastructural elements. What they care about is coming up with more web apps.” This is a fantastic look at a new side of “ageism” – and the very real ramifications we all might face because of it.

Now it’s your turn. Is there a book, podcast, article, TV show, blog post, or story we should read?

Lindsay Bell

Lindsay Bell is the content director at V3 Marketing, and works in Toronto. A former TV producer, she’s a strong advocate of three minutes or less of video content. She has a cool kid, a patient husband, two annoying cats, and Hank Dawge, a Vizsla/Foxhound/moose hybrid. Ok, maybe not moose.

View all posts by Lindsay Bell