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

Trending Sources

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.

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.

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


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Signposts for the Week Ending May 22

Adaptive Path

Many of us do work that feels more surreal than real. Working in an office, you often find it difficult to see any tangible result from your efforts. What exactly have you accomplished at the end of any given day? Where the chain of cause and effect is opaque and responsibility diffuse, the experience of individual agency can be elusive. 450 words individually synced and animated to the famous monologue from the 1977 movie The Network.

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

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.

One among any

Doc Searls

On the ProjectVRM blog : A Declaration of Customer Independence.

New Chuck Norris jokes

David Weinberger

After reading Chuck Norris’ two columns against hate crimes legislation ( 1 2 ) —the “Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act…could not only criminalize opinions (an unconstitutional act) but also provide elevated protection to pedophiles&# — and Media Matters’ response , I think it’s time for a new round of Chuck Norris jokes : Chuck Norris can crush facts with his bare opinions. Chuck Norris doesn’t have to leap to conclusions.


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.

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.

The one about “look and feel”

Adaptive Path

I propose that we never use the phrase “look and feel&# again. Visual design is often subjective and can be difficult to describe or judge. Often, people lack the language or understanding of the work to accurately express their opinions. Consequently, we use simple terms of the way an object “looks&# or how it “feels&#. Speaking in terms of these qualities does a disservice to the design. We cheapen the value of the work by paying attention only to the superficial aspects. 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.


Digital Identity Workbook for NPO/NGO Folks | Full Circle Associates

Nancy White

My friend and colleague, Shirley Williams, pointed me to a great resource on digital identity (DI) that she and her colleagues created for their students at

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

Mobile Literacy Panel Discussion May 28th

Adaptive Path

Earlier this week we announced our latest R&D project: Mobile Literacy , a design and research project created to understand how people in emerging markets use mobile phone technology, and how it could be significantly improved. Our findings from the Mobile Literacy project indicate that what mobile phone manufacturers currently sell to people in rural emerging markets is dead wrong. An estimated 40% of this population can’t read or write.

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

Digital Identity Workbook for NPO/NGO Folks

Nancy White

My friend and colleague, Shirley Williams, pointed me to a great resource on digital identity (DI) that she and her colleagues created for their students at Reading University in the UK. It is called “ This Is Me.&#.


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.

Save Local What Now?

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Editor, Times & Transcript, CTV might have a case to make in some of the communities it serves, but it has a lot of gall asking people in Moncton to join in its "save local television" campaign. The network has a minimal presence in New Brunswick and offers 'local' news only from its station in Halifax, 300 kilometers away and in another province. Its political commentators know little about the New Brunswick environment and appear to care less.

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.

Webheads in Action Online unConvergence

Nancy White

Webheads in Action announces their WiAOC 2009: Webheads in Action Online unConvergence, May 22-24, 2009. I’m not sure what an unConvergence is… I was kind of hopeing we’d have moments of convergence, but divergence is also good, eh? I’ll be on (via Elluminate) tomorrow, Friday, May 22 at 15:00 GMT (that’s 8am PDT) talking about technology stewardship. (I’ll I’ll put the slides up a bit later.)

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.

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

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.

Tools for Catalyzing Collaboration

Nancy White

Eugene Eric Kim of Blue Oxen Associates pinged me today about an offering coming up that looks really juicy. It resonates a bit with some of the workshops I’ve been doing with clients. I love that he is mixing tools with process and fundamental views about participation. I’m really interested in learning more about the “conceptual framework.&# Sounds like technology stewardship !!

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.

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.

“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.

Steampunk: A Mobile Device Concept for Rural India

Adaptive Path

Over fifty percent of the world’s population resides in rural areas of developing countries. Adaptive Path’s Mobile Literacy project is an design and research project created to understand how mobile phone technology is being used by people in emerging markets. In August and September 2008, Adaptive Path sent two design researchers to the Kutch district in western India investigating the impact of mobile phones and mobile infrastructure on people in rural areas.

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.

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


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.