Sat.May 16, 2009 - Fri.May 22, 2009

The occult insignificance of meaningless numbers

Dave Snowden

I've been in Belgium and Luxembourg for the last two days delivering two half day seminars for the EU. All journeys by train which allowed me to catch up a lot of work, although I will confess that on the journey from Brussels to Luxembourg I dozed and watched the unfolding scenery remembering past trips to the Grand Duchy. Many moons ago when I was setting up a logistics software business one of our important early clients was NAMSA, the supply agency of NATO.

Spatial Thinkers - Not Visual and Not Verbal

Eide Neurolearning

Although learning styles experts often mention "visual-spatial"together, a closer look at many of these people reveals distinctions - some who are both visual and spatial, but also other who seem nearly exclusively spatial, but not visual or vice-versa.

Study 11

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The psychology of being scammed

Mind Hacks

I'm just reading a fascinating report on the psychology of why people fall for scams, commissioned by the UK government's Office of Fair Trading and created by Exeter University's psychology department. It's a 260 page monster, so is not exactly bed time reading, but was drawn from in-depth interviews from scam victims, examination of scam material, two questionnaire studies and a behavioural experiment. Here's some of the punchlines grabbed from the executive summary.

Friday’s Finds #1

Harold Jarche

In an attempt to make my finds on Twitter more explicit, this may be the start of regular post on some of the things I learned this past week. Numbers & Measurement. From Charles Green at The Trusted Advisor : If you can measure it, you can manage it; if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it; if you can’t manage it, it’s because you can’t measure it; and if you managed it, it’s because you measured it. Every one of those statements is wrong. But business eats it up.

New male role model an improvement?

Nine Shift

NineShift is suggesting that a new male role model is evolving in the 21st century. For the last 20 years, the most recognized male in society has been Homer Simpson, the stupid, tasteless, clueless man incapable of simple achievements. Now we're thinking this is changing.

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Cars: How to save auto worker jobs

Nine Shift

I'm visiting my mother at Easter, staying in the historic wonderful Retlaw Hotel. Sitting in a hot tub. Start a conversation with another guy.

What's Coming Out of the Wall?

Andy McAfee

I've spent the past three days drinking from the geek (remember, that's a term of praise) firehose at MIT. Monday was a Center for Digital Business workshop on IT-fueled business experimentation organized by Michael Schrage and Erik


Tony Karrer

I just got through reading Jay's post and article (with Clark Quinn) around Become a chief meta-learning officer – one of the hot list items from two weeks ago. It's a great article, definitely worth a read. It discusses the needed transition in focus of a CLO The scope of the job of the CLO is mushrooming. CLOs will neither prosper nor even survive if they fail to take responsibility for the overall learning process within their organizations. vs. Wired.mag, out loud

David Weinberger

There’s a really interesting discussion going on at BoingBoing gadgets about the relationship between Wired Magazine and Chris Anderson, the editor of the mag, who turned it off its path of Rich Nerd Fetishism, and has made it interesting and important again, is diving in. It’s great to see this sort of discussion done in public.


Is Obama a Socialist?

Nine Shift

There's been a lot of talk about socialism recently. A recent poll said that only 53% of Americans favored capitalism over socialism (47%). Here's why.

Open day on Narrative

Dave Snowden

An opportunity for all on the 2nd June. I am going to run two half day sessions at the RIBA in London which will provide a prequel of the new version ofSenseMaker™ and will focus on describing current projects. The plan is to take a practice focused approach, demonstrating those projects and then talking about how they were created.

Twitter TechSmith LinkedIn Learning Strategy

Tony Karrer

Hot List - May 8, 2009 to May 15, 2009 Once again, used eLearning Learning to generate a list of the best from last week. The following are the top posts from featured sources based on social signals. The Truth About Twitter - Social Enterprise Blog , May 11, 2009 Twitter Tips: for Teachers & Educators - Don't Waste Your Time , May 9, 2009 Twitter and Webinars - eLearning Technology , May 14, 2009 Developing a PLE Using Web 2.0 Tools - Don't Waste Your Time , May 10, 2009

Timegliding the Rosenberg case

David Weinberger

The Rosenberg spy case, which was a touchstone for the left and the right — or the pinkos and the McCarthyites, as it’s thought of in the Culture Wars — has been made more understandable by the Cold War International History Project by the creation of a Timeglide time line. It’s useful as a supplement to a narrative and as a way to drill down, although by itself it’s not the optimal way of telling the story, nor is it intended to be. (It

Education: Solution to boys' bad grades works!

Nine Shift

We are excited to announce we have the first evidence that the solution to boys' bad grades works. LERN Board member David Reilly had a high school teacher who does not penalize students for late work send us the GPAs for her students. The data proves that when there is no penalty for late work, the gender gap disappears. Male students had the same overall GPA as the female students! The GPA for the male students was 3.02 and for female students 3.08, no significant difference.

Wolfram Alpha goes live!

David Gurteen

By David Gurteen If you do one thing this week - take a look at Wolfram Alpha but before you do read this article Wolfram Alpha Computes Answers To Factual Questions. This Is Going To Be Big in TechCrunch. Basically, Wolfram Alpha is a “computational knowledge engine” for the web - an online service for computing factual answers. You can ask it factual questions and it computes answers for you.

Kind of like nuclear power

Doc Searls

TwitSeeker lets you search for a subject on Twitter, find who tweets on that subject, and then selectively or gang-follow everybody you find. Look at the stats — especially the search tem collection at the bottom. Or search for a subject to see what comes up. What you’ll see is a picture that equally interesting to both the curious and the promotional. So, you might say, it can be used for good or evil.

The White House wants comments on open government

David Weinberger

The White House is looking for help formulating a directive on open government: Executive Office of the President. Office of Science and Technology Policy. Transparency and Open Government.

Learning, Extended Brain and Topic Hubs

Tony Karrer

I hope you will bear with me on this post. There's a bit of a back story, but I think it helps to paint the picture of a learning pattern that I'm finding myself using and the resulting topics hub and how they act as an extended brain. A few weeks ago, I was asked about presenting to the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the National Speakers Association. One of their members had seen me present and thought that my presentation around the use of Social Media would be a good topic for their group.

Work on Stuff that Matters

David Gurteen

By David Gurteen Some interesting thoughts on Working on Stuff that Matters from Tim OReilly. Work on something that matters to you more than money. Create more value than you capture. Take the long view. But to me this is key: We need to build an economy in which the important things are paid for in self-sustaining ways rather than as charities to be funded out of the goodness of our hearts. Credit: Tim OReilly


The Mass Customization of Services

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A recurring theme in the world of technology over the past few decades has been the potential convergence of the IT and telecommunication industries. This all started in the 1980s, when the telecommunications industry began to seriously transition from analog to digital technologies in all their voice equipment, from central office and private switches to the phones themselves.

Vegetarian whine

David Weinberger

A fancy restaurant that assures a diner that it can take care of vegetarians and then serves a plate of side-dish vegetables as the main course: 1. Has an incompetent chef. Ought to be ashamed of its lack of imagination. Is as embarrassingly ignorant about vegetarianism as they would be if they reassured a diabetic that they don’t cook with diabetes.

Unemployment, Job Creation and Education

Kevin Wheeler

Unemployment is an ugly thing. It not only injures people financially, but socially and emotionally. I was reading a fascinating article by Arthur Brooks entitled “I Love My Work.” He chronicles what happened to a small town in Austria


What Do We Get From Conversation That We Can't Get Any Other Way?

David Gurteen

By David Gurteen I love the power of conversation - its the driving force behind my Knowledge Cafes. Another person who loves conversation is Nancy Dixon and she has taken to blogging about it recently. This is what she had to say about conversation in a recent post What Do We Get From Conversation That We Cant Get Any Other Way?

Facilitating Online Curriculum

Nancy White

I’m thrilled to learn that the great work of Tony Carr and his colleagues at the Centre for Educational Technology, University of Cape Town in South Africa have completed the Facilitating Online: a course leaders guide ( PDF here.).

“The Daily Show”: a fanboy’s notes from the audience

David Weinberger

Our thoughtful and inventive children gave us tickets to “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart&# for Chanukah. Yesterday was the day. We had an easy ride from Boston to NYC on the MegaBus , which was clean and on time. But, although they promised free wifi, it was actually wifi-free once we left Boston. Word order makes such a difference!) Nevertheless, for $15 each way per person, it’s hard to muster a good head of complaint.

My Fair Lady in Sackville

Harold Jarche

The production will feature student actors ranging from Grades 9 to 12, lavish costumes and a spectacular set. This year’s production is being directed by a student sister duo, Charlotte and Marilla Steuter-Martin.

Three reasons not to aim for shared values

David Gurteen

By David Gurteen I originally tweeted this post of Stephen Billing's Three reasons not to aim for shared values a little while back. Stephen tells me that it resulted in a large number of people visiting his blog and as you can see from the comments it kicked of an interesting discussion. Shared values are a complete fallacy and the pursuit of them will not help your organisation one bit. Credit: Stephen Billing.

My Spring Online Reading | Full Circle Associates

Nancy White

This spring I decided to try and get back into a regular blogging practice. You may have noticed this in February, March and part of April. Then I fell back off

Brewster Kahle on Google Books

David Weinberger

Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive , and the instigator of an open access effort to scan books, has a good op-ed in the Washington Post about the Google Books settlement (some links ). Brewster focuses on the monopolistic concerns about the proposed settlement. He concludes: This settlement should not be approved. The promise of a rich and democratic digital future will be hindered by monopolies.

A landscape of influences

Harold Jarche

More exciting pattern and sense-making from Ross Dawson, this time with the Influence Landscape Framework Beta v. 1 : This adds to other conceptual frameworks to inform us on how we can look at learning, work and especially communication in this era.

Google Chrome

David Gurteen

By David Gurteen I have been using the new Google Chrome browser ever since it was released towards the end of last year, There are two versions you can downloa - a stable version and a more recent beta version. I have been running the beta version for the last few weeks with no problems at all. What I enjoy about Chrome is its minimal user interface design and the fact that is blindingly fast and has some cool features. If you have not got around to checking it out yet I suggest you do

My Spring Online Reading

Nancy White

This spring I decided to try and get back into a regular blogging practice. You may have noticed this in February, March and part of April. Then I fell back off the wagon when sunny spring weather lured me outdoors for garden projects. I have no regrets.

South Carolina investigates sending Craig to the big house

David Weinberger

Craig of the List blogs that South Carolina’s Attorney General General Henry McMaster feels he has “no alternative&# but to investigate criminally prosecuting craigslist for continuing to run sex ads, even though (as Craig explains), craigslist has complied with the AG’s requests, and the ads that are running there are far more tame than what you can get in more mainstream locales. Yes, Mr. McMaster, I’m sure your hands are tied in this matter.

Podcasts on Tomorrow Learning

Jay Cross's Informal Learning

Earlier this year in London, I sat down with the editor of Learning Technologies magazine, Ben Chai, to share my views on natural learning, the credit crunch, slam-dunk ROI, social networking, closing the training departments, and more. Tomorrow Learning, part 1 and part 2. Rumor has it that the podcasts are homework for some instructional design classes. If you want to discuss any of this, leave a comment below. I’ll do my best to answer you.