Need more Genghis Khan in your inbox?

Tim LeRoy
on 17 March 2017

Our monthly newsletters are a treasure trove of the most interesting articles you may have missed. We’re designers and engineers so we look for stories that cover the most intelligent and thought-provoking angles in the world of tech, science, art and culture. There’s always a small dash of us, but never any hard sell. If the March taster below is to your liking, sign up at the bottom.

We’re very excited to announce that Dootrix now has a new home in the Northern Powerhouse, slap bang in the middle of Manchester.

We’ve been looking for the right place to open a new office for a while and the right people and the right place arrived shortly after the New Year, so we’re delighted to welcome Charlie Allen as our Delivery Director and lead man in the North.

That’s the big news of course, but here’s our monthly pick of thought-provoking and enlightening reads.

In the cloud or on your watch? 
Running neural networks on the device will be a big deal, but the machine learning systems that power conversational understanding and image recognition, are computationally intensive so mainly run in the cloud. What if you want machine intelligence to run on your personal phone or smartwatch, or on IoT devices, regardless of whether they are connected to the cloud? Of course Google is thinking about this.

“Disruption is about creating chinks of opportunity in a wall of uniformity.”
Innovation and its mischievous little brother Disruption are two of the most horribly misused words in the tech industry, so it’s good to hear what they really mean from man who does them both brilliantly, the ridiculously quotable Mark Shayler.  In this interview he not only explains why we should “Be more Genghis Khan. Just without the death”, but also why innovation is “the only game in town”. [link]

Unprisoning your think Rhino
A new game from Jason Hazeley on Twitter. How to play: before leaving any office, write a load of absurd twaddle on the whiteboard/flipchart for the next lot to puzzle at. See how long it takes for ‘Improvulence’ to become a company strategy.

“Social media should encourage chance encounters, not customised experiences.”
Harvard professor Cass Sunstein is no fan of Facebook’s algorithms and the internet’s filter bubbles. In his book #Republic he suggests that citizens should be exposed to a wide range of ideas and perspectives—even, and especially, those they would not choose to see or hear. More from The Economist.

Do video games make you happier than real life?
“More than 40 percent of Americans play at least three hours a week, 34 million play on average 22 hours each week, 5 million hit 40 hours”

Is it an addiction? Of course. But one’s addiction is always more than a private affair: It speaks to the health and the logic of society at large.
A very interesting read with a surprising conclusion.

“I was just following orders….”  
Coding is a superpower. With it, you can bend reality to your will. You can make the world a better place. Or you can destroy it. The developer’s moral maze.

We’re just sentient meat, alone in the universe.

“Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing.”
In 1990 Terry Bisson imagined what visitors would make of us. 

Jan Fröjdman’s gorgeous, hypnotic, labour of love imagines an overflight of Mars, pieced together from real NASA photography. You don’t need to know much about geology to make a safe bet that there was (is?) water on Mars. And where there’s water there can be ….life?

Va va Vim
System design, design systems, the serverless stack, CSS, a little thing called Vim and of course React. It must be March’s round up of the most useful tools for devs.

Sideways dictionary
It’s like a dictionary, but using analogies instead of definitions to explain technology jargon and acronyms. Better yet, you can suggest your own, improved, analogies. A good-looking project from Google’s Jigsaw project and The Washington Post.

Life in the fast LAN
We can’t decide on a favourite, but the IT team at the British Library clearly have a great sense of humour.

What if you could redesign everything?

In these times of limitless possibilities is that a hypothetical question?

Ideo and The Ellen MacArthur Foundation think that ‘Now is the most exhilarating time to be an innovator.’ So they created an impressive toolbox to help with the small task of totally changing the way the world works.

At Dootrix we know that while the possibilities are limitless, we want you to end up with the right solution, so we do everything we can to help you figure out what that really is.

Come and meet us, on the Farm or in the Mill – North or South – we’ll get a brew on and put your slice of the world to right.  Coffee or tea? Milk and sugar?


If you would like a collection of well-chosen reading (with zero hard-sell), delivered to your inbox every month, you can sign up here.



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