Things that caught my eye this week

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Wieden + Kennedy put together this impressive tribute to Kobe Bryant and riffs on their pivot to individual sports performance rather than elite performers.

The craft in the video is self-evident. There are bigger questions to be asked about addressing legacy and what we tolerate in greatness. The tribute to Kobe Bryant is a difficult one to reconcile with his legacy. On the one side, he was a great basketball player. On the other side the legacy of Kobe Bryant is also a messy sexual assault claim that he managed to pay his way out of.

Is a tribute to Kobe Bryant appropriate in a ‘me-too’ world? Is it the right message for Nike to send? Having worked both agency-side and in-house, I would have balked at it.

Silicon Valley icon Carver Mead talks about the history of semiconductors and the related science behind it. Mead has a unique perspective given the role that he played in the development of Silicon Valley. He did foundational science that contributed to semiconductor development and a lot of the conceptual work on VLSI (very large scale integration). VLSI is the process of creating an integrated circuit by combining large numbers of transistors on a single chip. Over time this has gone from thousands, to millions and then billions of transistors. Mead co-wrote ‘the book’ Introduction to VLSI Systems. Although technology has moved past Meads work on VLSI; there couldn’t have been a smartphone without Mead.

The Oxford Union hosted a couple of interesting web chats on Hong Kong that shared the perspectives of some of the pro-democracy camp and a former US diplomat and American businessman.

Interviewees: Nathan Law: Hong Kong politician and activist. A student leader during the 2014 Umbrella Movement, he served on the Hong Kong Legislative Council until his disqualification in 2017. Eddie Chu Hoi-Dick: Social activist and politician. He founded the Land Justice League, a conservationist, pro-democracy group and was elected to the Legislative council of Hong Kong in 2016.

Both provide a bit more context. What is missing is the Chinese government perspective delivered in a calm logical way rather than a shrill dogmatic manner. More Hong Kong related content here.

Interviewee: Kurt Tong: American diplomat, serving as Consul General of the United States of America to Hong Kong and Macau between 2016 and 2019. He previously served as U.S. Ambassador for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

The Avalanches have produced a track with the International Space Orchestra. The International Space Orchestra are musicians who happen to work for NASA or SETI as engineers. The whole things was filmed in lock down which is obvious from the Zoom-like theme in the video.

The Avalanches – Wherever you go featuring the International Space Orchestra (live in Lockdown)