SOPA, Job Innovation, and Creativity in Isolation

by Jon Follett

Here’s what we’re reading online, this week at Involution, on design, tech, and the digital life, in our links round up.

SOPA: Anatomy of a Public Uprising
As most of us of are aware, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill in the US House of Representatives, while purported to protect content providers, in fact hides within its depths the chilling ability to freeze online businesses and tech innovation through a set of draconian provisions, that would, for instance, force search engines to filter their search results.

Last week, as the technorati voiced their dissent and decorated their avatars with black bands reading "Stop SOPA", Representatives began taking notice. In the open forum of the Internet, people circumvented the Washington lobbying of pro-SOPA industries, and voiced their extreme displeasure.

The political situation reached an inflection point on Thursday, when legislators began to backpedal on their support for the bill as they saw public opposition rising.

Then the White House weighed in with a statement against the bill in its current form. In response, the House of Representatives shelved the bill, at least for the time being.

Talk about the bill's demise is greatly exaggerated however, as it could be reopened again. Adding to the fear of a zombie SOPA resurrecting itself is the fact that its equally malformed Senate twin PIPA is still lurching forward.

Leave Me Alone, I'm Being Creative
Is the future of creative work a collective endeavor? The New York Times featured an interesting piece in their SundayReview opinion pages on "The Rise of Groupthink" and how open office plans, constant collaboration, and group brainstorming may not be the everything it's cracked up to be when it comes to drawing out creativity and innovative thinking in a business environment. In addition to dissecting the current trends towards a more collaborative work environment, the article also explores explores the introverted nature of creative types, and asks whether the new focus on the group is supportive of the lone genius. In a related article, Business Insider takes a look at "How Larry Page Changed Meetings At Google …" to align them with better decision making. Not surprisingly, Larry limited the number of people in the group, and required a decision maker to be at all meetings.

Where the Wild Things Are
As our cities grow bigger and bigger, natural wildlife is getting squeezed out at every turn. One architecture firm from the Netherlands thinks it has a solution to providing sanctuary for the displaced plants and animals: Sea Trees, or floating wildlife oases.

Job Innovation at Lightspeed
There's no question that the days of the long-term job are long past. In today's volatile, technology injected, rapidly shifting economy, how can we expect to know what jobs will be around in the next five years, let alone the next ten? Fast Company takes a look at the new skill sets required for the new world of "quicksilver" work.

FTC Fires Back at Google+
As Google attempts to leverage its massive search traffic to give Google+ an edge in the burgeoning social network wars, the FTC is firing back, by expanding its antitrust investigation to include Google+. With such a juicy prize as social network dominance at stake, it's no wonder we're seeing a no holds barred approach from the search giant.

Topics: facebook, social networks, search, job innovation, ftc, creativity, SOPA, Analysis, Blog, google, innovation