We bring you the latest Best of Web links: we go deeper inside the envy age we are living in, the awfully sad story of Joe Murphy NHL star to becoming homeless sleeping in a cardboard, how companies have gamified work, the best ever obituary ever written for a dude named Rick Stein and laugh with a ridiculous video from a karaoke bar and a dude singing Tequila!
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Every Sunday I pick the best reads that blew my mind in the previous week. It can be…anything! I like to be eclectic and despise salesy/clickbait/sameold content you read…everywhere else!
As always, click on the headline to be taken to the original source. Sometimes I insert my incendiary comments on article excerpts between [brackets].
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Well, are we at peak narcissism yet or what?
You know what this is about…You know, those few Facebook “friends” who just can’t stop taking selfies and showing everyone the “amazing life” they are living…Lol
We live in the age of envy. Career envy, kitchen envy, children envy, food envy, upper arm envy, holiday envy. You name it, there’s an envy for it. Human beings have always felt what Aristotle defined in the fourth century BC as pain at the sight of another’s good fortune, stirred by “those who have what we ought to have” – though it would be another thousand years before it would make it on to Pope Gregory’s list of the seven deadly sins.
But with the advent of social media, says Ethan Kross, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan who studies the impact of Facebook on our wellbeing, “envy is being taken to an extreme”. We are constantly bombarded by “Photoshopped lives”, he says, “and that exerts a toll on us the likes of which we have never experienced in the history of our species. And it is not particularly pleasant.”
I found the article fascinating…and it ends like this:
…we do not know how to answer the question: “What would be good enough?” That is something I am still working on. [Aren’t we all?]
Okay, I am no hockey fan. But I do remember seeing this guy skate around…
What an unbelievable fall! I feel so sorry for him. Felt so sad after reading this…
You are not going to like this. But it is a reality now…
Consequentially, gamification is everywhere. It’s in coupon-dispensing loyalty programmes at supermarkets. Big Y, my local supermarket chain in Boston, employs digital slot machines at the checkout for its members. Winning dispenses ‘coins’ that can be redeemed for deals. Gamification is in the driver interfaces of Lyft and Uber, which give badges for miles driven. Gamification is the premise of fitness games such as Zombies, Run!, where users push themselves to exercise by outrunning digital zombies, and of language-learning apps such as Duolingo, where scoring prompts one to master more. The playground offices of Silicon Valley, complete with slides and ball pits, have been gamified. Your credit score is one big game, too.
Then the author takes on a trip through history…and then:
By the end of the 20th century, video and then computers became more ubiquitous and user-friendly, and digital games rose in scale and scope. To make computers more accessible, human-computer interface designers borrowed elements from early video games. Graphical user interfaces replaced code. Games and gamers became distinct subsets of the computer software and computer hobbyist landscapes. Because the first computer games were experiments in software design, computer and hobby magazines regularly printed and distributed lines of code. Programs, including games, were freely available to remix and experiment on. Importantly, this hobbyist culture, while not a utopia of gender equality, was not strictly male-coded initially.
By 2008, the gamification of work felt absolutely natural to a generation of people raised on ubiquitous digital technology and computer games…
By 2010, interest in gamification intensified with the success of the social network game FarmVille, which seemed to have solved the problem of user retention and engagement. Marketers and consultants were quick to seize on gamification as a tool to create customer loyalty and manage human desire. They sought to capitalise on the ‘addictive fun’ of gambling and games by introducing ‘pseudo-goals’ unrelated to the primary goals of either the consumer or the business in question. Game design elements such as badges, points, scoreboards and progress-tracking proliferated across different platforms, apps and workspaces.
And then specific examples by certain corporations follow…
The problem isn’t limited to work. Social platforms all employ some form of gamification in their stats, figures, points, likes and badges. Dating apps gamify our romantic life; Facebook gamifies friendship. Even war has been gamified: drone pilots operate in a highly gamified environment.
The expansion of game-like elements into nongame spaces is a global phenomenon. We are all living in expanding, overlapping magic circles, with some places moving faster than others. China is introducing a national gamified social credit score called Sesame Credit.
Article ends with the sad example of Go365…maybe there is hope!
Obviously, with the previous link for Rick Stein, this Sunday Best of Web edition made a sharp turn to…entertainment!
Soooooo, why stop there?
I have watched this clip a few times and it makes me smile EVERY time!
This dude goes up on the stage in this dive bar to do Karaoke. And the song is…Tequila! You know, the one with the distinctive music and…the singer saying Tequila a few times. Watch him! He appears so…I feel kind of sorry for him. No sense of rhythm AT ALL! So…self conscious. So nervous! A rare mix of shyness and geekiness! Looking around constantly. Barely moving an inch! The anticipation to say…Tequila,,,three times! Woohoo! No one paying attention to him. And then the lights go out…the ordeal is over! It is one of those rare clips that captures the spirit of TBB! Quirky, don’t take yourself too seriously, have fun and, did I say it already not to take yourself too seriously?
You all enjoy the rest of your weekend, next post from Philadelphia!
And I leave you with this…And you thought your own family was dysfunctional lol!
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