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Tim O'Reilly
4,088,275 followers -
Founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media
Founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media

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I’ve been eagerly awaiting the public release of Steve Ballmer’s USAFacts project, and now it’s here. Andrew Ross Sorkin gives a great overview, but also be sure to check out the site itself (which is linked in Sorkin's NYT profile of the project below).

I particularly like the way the project aligns government spending with the "mission statement" of the country as expressed in the preamble to the constitution. I also like the way that it combines Federal, State, and Local, based on the insight that we should be looking at government services from a user-centered point of view, not from the structure of who provides them.



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This sequence of tweets from Dan Hon about the algorithmic fiasco at United is hilarious and insightful. Read the whole thread. 

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This is an excellent piece on continuous delivery and business transformation at IBM, and the relationship between tools, vision, and culture. "The magic is in the new, better practices that the tools enable. A tool is a vehicle for practices. Practices directly shape habits and tacit assumptions. Habits and tacit assumptions are the foundations of culture." (Also nice for the shoutout to O'Reilly's Safari online learning platform along with tools like Github and Slack.) 

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This is the best piece I've read yet on the post-truth world, tongue-in-cheek yet full of truths to be teased out. Its central argument reminds me a bit of both Carlota Perez's book Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital crossed with Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens. For more of Andrew Odlyzko's writing on the history of bubbles in technological and social advancement, see http://www.dtc.umn.edu/~odlyzko/doc/bubbles.html.

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Mark Cuban's tweet about data science in the NBA, featuring the image of his screen and an O'Reilly Media book, is on our home page. Mark has a data science team at the Mavs, but he still likes to get his own hands dirty! He's using Data Science with Python to do better with basketball.A leader from the front. https://www.oreilly.com

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This is truly shameful. The DRM world has truly gone wild when a farmer is unable to fix his own equipment. This is where "Do It Yourself" is about as core to the American ethos as you get. As the Make: magazine slogan say, "If you can't open it, you don't own it."



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Predictive policing has enormous risks of introducing algorithmic bias. As a way of countering that, CivicScape has put its source code on GitHub and is looking for transparency as an ally in improving what it already does well. With Brett Goldstein and Anne Milgram on board, I know they are working very hard to get this right.



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This 1993 essay by Robert Putnam (who later wrote the classic book Bowling Alone) on social capital, civic engagement, and prosperity is completely relevant to today's politics.


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As I discover old articles from +Hal Varian and interviews with him like this one, I'm always delighted (but not surprised) by how forward-thinking they have always been. Consider this gem from 2008: "Back in the early days of the Web, every document had at the bottom, “Copyright 1997. Do not redistribute.” Now every document has at the bottom, “Copyright 2008. Click here to send to your friends.” That was not as obvious in 2008 as it sounds today!

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This is an excellent speech by the former US ambassador to Australia about the world today, ending with insights on how education needs to change. "If the students we are training today are going to live to be 120 years old, and their careers are likely to span 90 years, but their training will only make them competitive for 10 years, then we have a problem." 
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