Cam Pegg Pocket Articles

April 6, 2020

The infinite scroll

For the sake of this exercise, please imagine it’s another gray midday in winter, months after the end of the World Series and still weeks from the beginning of spring training. The afternoon is sunless but somehow also hangover-bright, and your brain has decided to make it worse.

Columbia Journalism Review • 1,682 words • 8 minute read

April 5, 2020

Perhaps China's centralised supply chain won't last forever

If I was in charge of industrial policy, I'd be betting against the hegemony of the centralised supply chain. That is: no more getting everything manufactured in China; instead, move to local manufacture and many more, smaller, networked factories. I'm talking over a couple of decades.

Interconnected • 997 words • 5 minute read

April 5, 2020

This Is Not the Apocalypse You Were Looking For

The shock itself is shocking. Shouldn’t we have been more prepared? Hasn’t culture been drenched in catastrophe porn for decades? The bomb. The breakdown. The fallout. The senseless armies of shambling corpses, all the nightmares of dead generations sliding out of our screens.

WIRED • 1,933 words • 9 minute read

April 3, 2020

3 Tips to Avoid WFH Burnout

Millions around the globe have made a sudden transition to remote work amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Not surprisingly, this has some employers concerned about maintaining employee productivity. But what they really should be concerned about in this unprecedented situation is a longer-term risk: employee burnout.

Harvard Business Review • 1,142 words • 5 minute read

April 3, 2020

The call for pandemic productivity is class warfare in disguise

I remember hearing an old Duchess say: “What do the poor want with holidays? They ought to work.” People nowadays are less frank, but the sentiment persists, and is the source of much of our economic confusion.

Input • 1,209 words • 5 minute read

April 3, 2020

Why Do Smart People Do Foolish Things?

We all probably know someone who is intelligent but does surprisingly stupid things. My family delights in pointing out times when I (a professor) make really dumb mistakes.

Scientific American • 722 words • 3 minute read

April 1, 2020

Stop Trying to Be Productive

The internet wants you to believe you aren’t doing enough with all that “extra time” you have now. But staying inside and attending to basic needs is plenty.

The New York Times • 1,059 words • 5 minute read

March 30, 2020

Why Don’t We Just Ban Targeted Advertising?

You probably remember this moment. It was April 2018, the peak of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and Mark Zuckerberg was testifying before an angry Congress. Republican senator Orrin Hatch, then 84 years old, asked how Facebook could make any money by offering a free service.

WIRED • 3,620 words • 16 minute read

March 29, 2020

Everything Is Innovative When You Ignore the Past

Anthony Levandowski is a very smart man who has said and done a lot of dumb things. Once a brilliant young engineer, Levandowski established himself as a pioneer in the area of self-driving cars, long thought to be the next big thing. In the mid-2000s, he helped build a self-balancing motorcycle that could drive itself (poorly) and spent close to a decade at Google working on Street View and the self-driving-car teams.

VICE • 2,877 words • 13 minute read

March 27, 2020

Working remotely builds organizational resiliency

For many, moving from everyone’s-working-from-the-office to everyone’s-working-at-home isn’t so much a transition as it is a scramble. A very how the fuck? moment. That’s natural. And people need time to figure it out. So if you’re in a leadership position, bake in time.

Basecamp • 304 words • 2 minute read

March 26, 2020

How Do You Know If You’re Living Through the Death of an Empire?

The fall of an empire is supposed to be a dramatic thing. It’s right there in the name. “Fall” conjures up images of fluted temple columns toppling to the ground, pulled down by fur-clad barbarians straining to destroy something beautiful.

Mother Jones • 2,311 words • 11 minute read

March 23, 2020

48 – The Post Corona World

At the moment I am often asked when Corona „will be over“ and when everything will return to normal. My answer is: never. There are historical moments when the future changes direction. We call them bifurcations. Or deep crises. These times are now. The world as we know it is dissolving.

Matthias Horx • 2,110 words • 10 minute read

February 26, 2020

The New Business of AI (and How It’s Different From Traditional Software)

At a technical level, artificial intelligence seems to be the future of software. AI is showing remarkable progress on a range of difficult computer science problems, and the job of software developers – who now work with data as much as source code – is changing fundamentally in the process.

Andreessen Horowitz • 3,796 words • 17 minute read

February 24, 2020

Narrative Strategy

It’s no surprise that a single narrative can shape a company’s fate. But it’s just as obvious, though perhaps less talked about, that narrative can also dominate an individuals career path, or a project’s fate.

Tom Critchlow • 1,765 words • 8 minute read

February 22, 2020

#ComplexityExplained

What is Complexity Science? "I think the next [21st] century will be the century of complexity" – Stephen HawkingComplexity science, also called complex systems science, studies how a large collection of components – locally interacting with each other at small scales – can spontaneously self-

Complexity Explained • 2,595 words • 12 minute read

February 21, 2020

Garbage Language

This article was featured in One Great Story, New York’s reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it nightly. I worked at various start-ups for eight years beginning in 2010, when I was in my early 20s. Then I quit and went freelance for a while.

Vulture • 4,150 words • 19 minute read

February 14, 2020

#15: Maintenance by design

I’m an author, organizational sociologist, strategy professor, unsuccessful furniture maker, and Xoogler—this is yet another of my attempts to make sense of the state of not-knowing. The ideas below are only partially baked.

The Uncertainty Mindset • 2,196 words • 10 minute read

January 21, 2020

💭🔮 The psychology of Silicon Valley

I’m here with a special Sunday essay for this week’s Exponential View. Katy Cook, a long-time reader, recently published a book, The Psychology of Silicon Valley. As I am busy kicking off the new podcast series, I asked her to step in this week.

Exponential View • 1,937 words • 9 minute read

December 31, 2019

Adversarial Interoperability

“Interoperability” is the act of making a new product or service work with an existing product or service: modern civilization depends on the standards and practices that allow you to put any dish into a dishwasher or any USB charger into any car’s cigarette lighter.

Electronic Frontier Foundation • 836 words • 4 minute read