This week in things you should bookmark for the 2017 trends report your agency will be releasing in November:

From a wonderful post on robotic farming by Randall Parker on Future Pundit this week:

“I suspect we are going to see fully autonomous vehicles roaming around farms before we see them on the roads. Farm fields pose much fewer safety risks. Plus, some farm robots, such as for de-weeding, can be pretty small. We are also going to witness a shift of some farming indoors in very intensive, stacked trays that grow fruits and vegetables all year round.”

This is absolutely wonderful: computer-generated choreography using deep neural networks, that is approaching something like recognizable, cohesive movements. If you want to see a brilliant example of machine learning taking place, take a look at the evolution that takes place in the accompanying videos.    Pigeons with backpacks are being cleverly used in London for mobile data capture of air pollution. And we thought it was just AT&T’s cellular coverage strategy in Boston…   Those of you working on product or service innovation would do well to read Neil Perkin’s eminently readable discourse on S-curves and the Dilemma Zone:

“As NOBL point out jumping to the next S-curve before the existing one plateaus is challenging because companies may well find themselves in the ‘dilemma zone’ – the period of time when a new product or technology may be showing promise but has yet to realise it’s full potential and may even be disruptive to the existing high performing product.”

Blockchains, in two minutes. You don’t even have to read. Again, this is important.

* * *

This week in everyone was being ironic when they endorsed you for ‘storytelling’ on LinkedIn:

Rob Campbell, on the reduction of ‘luxury’ to a pricing strategy:

“They’re selling these people the chance to feel successful … the chance to be given the momentary illusion they’re doing well, despite the fact the purchase of some of these items can lead to a lifetime of debt and even more despondency.”

Martin Weigel vs. the advertising industry’s insistence that we’re all ‘storytellers’ (the essay is spectacular):

“Conflict? Pfft. Mild inconvenience at best is the stuff of most of adland’s so-called storytelling.”

Nike and ten designers walk into Milan Design Week   Jay Livingston, in The Society Pages, on the empirical decline in ‘image’ and the rise in ‘brand’:

Image sounds too deceptive and manipulative; you can change it quickly according to the needs of the moment. Brand implies permanence and substance (not to mention Marlboro-man-like rugged independence and integrity.) No wonder people in the biz prefer brand.

* * *

This week in the Internet will eventually look like a text editor again:

Scott Brinker has a fascinating post this week asking whether a seemingly innocuous presentation on technology vendors reveals that Morgan Stanley is pushing a “Big Martech” agenda. Read the comments.   Read Gerry McGovern on load speed, scale, and the idea that ‘impatience is the defining characteristic of online behavior’. He’s probably right.   Max Read has a terrific post in NY Magazine on the tyranny of content management systems, and the dangers of ‘lost formatting’.

“It’s rare that an italicized or bolded word will have a vastly different meaning than its roman equivalent. But formatting can matter a lot when it’s being used to convey actual meaning to a reader, and not just design cues to the browser.”