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Big Revolution - Why you'll be surfing forever

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Hello and welcome to Tuesday's Big Revolution.  It's a little late into your inbox because a thing ca
 
May 1 · Issue #65 · View online
Big Revolution
Hello and welcome to Tuesday’s Big Revolution. 
It’s a little late into your inbox because a thing called ‘real life’ took priority this morning, but still, it’s a busy one today, so let’s get going…
Martin

Big things you need to know today
A Fitbit band. Credit: Adam Birkett on Unsplash
- Your doctor could one day keep tabs on your Fitbit activity, as the company has announced it will use Google’s Cloud Healthcare API to connect its data with healhcare providers. No timeline for when this might happen has been announced.
- WhatsApp cofounder Jan Koum is leaving the Facebook-owned company. It follows long-running disagreements with senior management over data privacy, encryption, and monetisation of the messaging service, the Washington Post reports. Koum says he’s going to take some time off to collect air-cooled Porsches (as you do). It remains to be seen what this means for the future of the app.
- Facebook’s f8 developer conference kicks off today in San Jose, California. The theme this year? Lowered expectations from developers, reports The Verge.
- “Oculus is inventing a new kind of VR experience,” CNET reports, “that brings a virtual play with live actors into your home.” It’s a compelling idea, and with the excitement over the current generation of VR’s potential long gone, could help get more people clicking ‘buy’ on a headset.
- UK startups are increasingly moving staff and resources outside their home country ahead of Brexit, the FT reports. I wonder if this is more a London thing than a nationwide phenomenon. I don’t see a lot of worry about Brexit from Northern tech companies. Whether that’s a wise stance or not is another question.
The big thought
Credit: Lance Anderson on Unsplash
Why you’ll be surfing forever
The late Tony Wilson used to say that there was a cultural revolution and explosion of youth activity every 13 years – be it Beatlemania in ‘63, punk in '76, or acid house in '89. 
His theory broke down in 2002 and 2015. That could be because the previous three examples were coincidences, but I reckon we’ve not seen that kind of cultural revolution again because (as I discussed yesterday) the internet has fragmented our interests and there’s a lot less in the way of mass culture.
Those cultural revolutions in '63, '76 and '89 weren’t just about music. They coincided with shifts in political and social trends. Nowadays it feels more like we’re experiencing a giant, ongoing 'big revolution.’ Technology, politics, society, culture, it’s shifting faster than ever, without any period of calm that lets us take stock and really understand what’s going on.
Will it ever slow down? Well, all empires fall eventually but for the time being all we can really do is surf.
Surf? A couple of weeks ago I gave a talk to some school students in their late teens, and I told them that the best way to approach their budding careers is to treat life like a surfer treats their sport. To keep going, a surfer has to continually adjust their position, balance, and direction of travel.
The days of coasting through life are over. Let’s go surfing.
One big read
'What the hell is that?' Self-driving delivery robots hit London
A good look at public reactions to delivery robots, as they hit the streets of London for the first time.
One big tweet
The big day is but weeks away.
Matt Burgess
Happy GDPR month everyone
8:26 AM - 1 May 2018
That’s all for today...
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