My 2016 sum up

My top of the year 2016

Intox: a fact of life: new media, new businesses, same old game!

  There is no escape to critical thinking and doubts, because there is no true source of true or relevant source of relevance. (Might be God, but then faith apply, not trust.)  
  Do you trust the social media? the "wisdom of the crowd"? the scientist in white coat? the traditional media? the big data and its algorithms? even yourself? Because none of these are free of biases. And Social Networks are not worse than traditional media, papers and books. They have different characteristics, at least, they have been an eye opener. This ability to quickly reveal the "intox issue" IS a good feature compared to encyclopedias that feature no updates.  
  The solution is not to reject everything, but to cope with it. 
  You will make mistakes, you will doubt, you will live in uncertainty, but there is no escape to critically thinking. At least avoid to spread "information", in social network or in coffee corners, just because you "like" it. And again Social Networks are just another form of the old "lynch mob".  
  We don't have time to check all the news, especially as we read so (too) much news. But you know the source, or you know the source is unknown, you have an idea of the biases, how much credits you give it ... so be aware. Information does not comes for free, you are buying it one way or another, watching advertising, giving your personal information, curating information or even explicitly paying traditional money.  
  Be conscious that you are part of the information, you are concerned, responsible and as much prone to error as the one who produced the information.
  • Balance doubts. Scientists are confronted with "marketing spreading doubts". It hurts both ways! NN Taleb in "The Black Swan" cites the work of Simon Foucher about the Art of Doubting and how to position ourselves between doubting and believing "One needs to exit doubt in order to produce science".
  • "Attention economy": information is a business.
    • "L'information c'est vous qui la vivez, c'est nous qui en vivons" https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/CANAL_International 
    • Again Nassim Nicholas Taleb exited all news reading activities and only felt better.
    • As a Facebook user/client, the more you play, the more money they make.
    • Wearing a white coat is not enough anymore, doubts and hoaxes have to be fight at a large scale.
  • User trust in Facebook is also surprisingly high. Social Media exacerbated the fact that you can trust no one, not even you or the traditional media (cf. Noam Chomsky). Just be critical of everything, and think before retweeting!
  • Don't even trust yourself: Linda Rising "Who do you trust? Beware of Your Brain" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGHhCmdIvuI
  • Worse, we avoid thinking critically! We blindly trust any solution that release us from thinking: "Weapons of Math Destruction" by Cathy O'Neil http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2016/10/cathy_oneil_on_1.html
    • Notice also that AI is used in security applications (facial recognition typically, but also logs monitoring ...) but was not designed to withstand security attack and can be fooled in unexpected ways.

Drawing, Handwriting, Sketching are fundamental skills

Blockchain is still hot

  • BitCoin is the new Gold, winning the cryptocurrency competition.
  • Blockchain still needs to get down the hype, but its features as a distributed ledger technology (DLT) will find real world applications.
  • I expect some serious bashing and debunking in 2017 or 2018 ...

API slowly and pervasively being a thing.

No buzzword here, but an important trend nonetheless.


  • YouTube Artists: Leo Morachiolli ; Mateus Asato (from Brasil, like Sergio and odair Assad!) ; Adam Neely (Not only on YouTube!)
  • Tal Wilkenfeld (and her baritone guitar) - Corner Painter

Trends & rewards

  • RadioLab seems to be almost gone, also many good people passed away
  • Rewards: in the end, asking myself what brings reward? A silent hoover? A good book? A good song, making music,  but certainly not reading tons of news!
  • I use mostly Twitter, but I am also on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn ...
  • I use https://workflowy.com/ a lot!


January summary - 2017-01

01 January






Sound banks

"Conserve the sound" http://www.conservethesound.de/  online museum for vanishing and endangered sounds. The sound of a dial tel...