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The100: Trends, lists & the Namib Desert

Welcome back! Anyone else relate to this?


An AI experiment from the Bali tourist board

Whilst machines like ChatGPT are learning to be human, Ian Leslie argues that the problem is humans are becoming like machines. It’s a marvellous piece, stuffed full of examples. He says:

We should refuse, in whatever game we’re playing, to make thoughtless and predictable moves just because they’re the moves we’ve been taught or conditioned to believe are the correct ones. We should strive to be difficult to model

No short-cuts are available

Edward Appleton of Happy Thinking People has called for the industry to put the human back into market research.

“[…] in the case of video, researchers still have to look and listen to everything to make sense of it. No short-cuts are available”

Whilst technology has enabled the industry to gather data much more efficiently and effectively, without people actually watching those videos you miss the nuance. You miss the gold. Someone once said they were a TAPAS (not SAAS) company. Technology & People as a service. I like that.

The Noble Art

Something must be in the water at Barnes & Noble. Whilst the tech companies are stuck on buffer, the 100 year old store is thriving and recently announced plans to open 30 new book stores. I repeat. Real. Paper. Book. Stores.

Ted Gioia has been looking into how they’ve done so. 


There were a heap of trend summaries, both looking back and looking forward, doled out over the break. In case you missed them:

I must admit, Pinterest’s ‘Back gardens are great, but your front door is ready for some love‘ makes me feel a little queasy. 

Life doesn’t change that fast

But, hold your horses, Tom Goodwin argues that we should focus on shifts, not trends: 

“[…] it would be easy to write about Generative AI or Nuclear Fusion or TikTok now, but the truth is that the trends that matter are movements that build over time. The latest trends are weather forecasts, but what matters is climate change. That’s where you make money”


As well as trend summaries, the end of the year also served up some superb lists:

And finally…

A live stream from a watering hole in the Namib Desert. Looks just like Basingstoke. Because who doesn’t want to watch a family of warthogs?