Links For November 15, 2014

Dan Hill on the positives and negatives of using data to manage cities

An excited Harvard Business Review notes that “It’s still pretty amazing that we can use analytics to predict the future. All we have to do is gather the right data, do the right type of statistical model, and be careful of our assumptions.” Be careful of our assumptions, indeed. Whilst the notion of “path dependency” obsesses urbanists, a city is more than just the sum of its previous behaviours… the sheer unpredictability of cities is not only part of their charm, but a vital lesson about the possibility of change.


The strategy is delivery: Russell Davies and gov.uk

If one of the most traditional organisations – the UK government – can focus its efforts on products and services fit for a digital world, what does it mean for, say, FMCGs? What if a biscuit brand shifted a proportion of its annual TV marketing budget to remodelling product, service and distribution design based purely on digital needs?


An Art of Air and Fire: Brazil’s Renegade Balloonists

Thousands of these balloons roam the skies of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro every year. Yet there is one thing these balloons do not carry: people. They certainly could—many of them are powerful enough to lift ten adults up and away. But that’s not the point. These balloons are not made for transportation. They are a folk art. They are meant to display the craft of their makers to their community, and beyond.


Games For Humanity: Part 1, Part 2

So many people do not play games, or revile games because they think they are supposed to, or because they believe that games are only one thing. These are the games, both paid and free, to show to those people.


That skinny motherfucker with the high voice

Everyone knows the song. Play the first few chords and you’ll have everyone around you singing along. But in 1983 that wasn’t the case. Instead you had a capacity crowd silenced by the song’s first performance. This is one of only a handful of bootlegs of this track that does not have the crowd going nuts; instead they listen to the song and literally see history in the making.