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“Off the Deep End: A Look at the Decline of Dubai” Slideshow | Fast Company
"Deserts have a way of reclaiming whatever is built upon them. In the case of Dubai, the global financial implosion has sent that process into overdrive. After six years of frenzied expansion, during which the emirate's population grew at 7% annually and nearly $600 billion went into construction (the world's tallest building! the world's largest shopping mall! the biggest man-made island! an indoor ski resort!), reality has come rushing into view." [via: http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2009/08/dubai-as-detroit/]
dubai  detroit  decay  decline  cities  oil  energy  desert 
august 2009
Christopher D. Sessums :: Blog :: Substitute Students and Learning for Customers and What Do you Get?
"I enjoyed listening to Jeff Bezos, founder, chairman of the board, and CEO of Amazon (who recently acquired Zappos), talk about his philosophy for a successful business. While I am not insisting on a one to one correlation here, I think educators can learn a lot from thinking about what Mr. Bezos says in relation to students, learning, and the community of stakeholders associated with schooling. If educators were as dedicated to students and learning as Amazon and Zappos are to customers, imagine the level of learning and understanding that could be possible for everyone involved. This formula requires us to reimagine schooling from the ground up (i.e., please erase the current industrial model immediately).
jeffbezos  amazon  zappos  business  education  learning  teaching  tcsnmy  change  reform  students  community  longterm  criticism  focus  competition  gamechanging  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling 
august 2009
Net Gen Skeptic: Evidence Doesn't Support Generational Distinction
"There is very little consensus of opinion and scholarship about whether generational differences exist that are worth taking into consideration in the workplace, colleges, and universities, and other contexts. The gross generalizations based on weak survey research and the speculation of profit-oriented consultants should be treated with extreme caution in a research and development context."
education  learning  science  digitalnatives  millennials  generations  netgen  marcprensky  dontapscott  strauss&howe  tcsnmy  lcproject 
august 2009
Learning is social, computational, supported by neural systems linking people
""Social interaction is more important than we previously thought and underpins early learning. Research has shown that humans learn best from other humans, and a large part of this is timing, sensitive timing between a parent or a tutor and the child," said Meltzoff, who is a developmental psychologist.
education  learning  technology  children  science  psychology  language  brain  socialmedia  social  neuroscience  research  robots  tcsnmy 
august 2009
The Habits of Mind of Creative Engagement
"Overview of Four Habits of Mind "Systems": 1) Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, Habits of Mind Developmental Series 2) Ted Sizer and Debbie Meier CPESS (Central Park East Secondary School’s) Habits of Mind from the Coalition of Essential Schools 3) Studio Habits of Mind (copyright 2004 The President and Fellows of Harvard College on Behalf of Project Zero) From the VALUES Project, a network of schools and educators led by The Center for Art and Public Life, the Alameda County Office of Education, and Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 4) Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools, Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein. The shared mental processes reported by highly creative people in very different fields. (Houghton Mifflin, 1999)" + "The Habits of Mind of Creative Engagement from Eric Booth"
ericbooth  habitsofmind  tcsnmy  creativity  learning  education  teaching  tedsizer  deborahmeier  lcproject  unschooling  homeschool 
august 2009
Urban L.A.
"This is a city of clearly defined ethnic enclaves where homogeneous groups find comfort and support in their countrymen, where affluent populations encage themselves behind suburban walls, and where politicians struggle to mediate these differences. The result is a fragmented built environment marked by spaces of collision and social difference. The study of the informal, the marginal, the subversive, and the in-between brings into light the potential of the improvised space as a viable and necessary allowance in the city."
losangeles  research  diversity  culture  architecture  cities  segregation  fragmentation  improvisation 
august 2009
The Importance of Restlessness and Jagged Edges « Kay Redfield Jamison | This I Believe
"I believe that curiosity, wonder, and passion are defining qualities of imaginative minds and great teachers; that restlessness and discontent are vital things; and that intense experience and suffering instruct us in ways less intense emotions can never do. I believe, in short, we are equally beholden to heart and mind, and that those who have particularly passionate temperaments and questioning minds leave the world a different place for their having been there.

It is important to value intellect and discipline, of course, but it is also important to recognize the power of irrationality, enthusiasm, and vast energy. Intensity has its costs, of course—in pain, in hastily and poorly reckoned plans, in impetuousness—but it has its advantages as well."
psychology  health  thisibelieve  curiosity  wonder  passion  imagination  learning  experience  kayredfieldjamison 
august 2009
“Willing to Be Disturbed” Margeret Wheatly [.pdf]
"As we work together to restore hope to the future, we need to include a new and strange ally—our willingness to be disturbed. Our willingness to have our beliefs and ideas challenged by what others think. No one person or perspective can give us the answers we need to the problems of today. Paradoxically, we can only find those answers by admitting we don’t know. We have to be willing to let go of our certainty and expect ourselves to be confused for a time. We weren’t trained to admit we don’t know. Most of us were taught to sound certain and confident, to state our opinion as if it were true. We haven’t been rewarded for being confused. Or for asking more questions rather than giving quick answers. We’ve also spent many years listening to others mainly to determine whether we agree with them or not. We don’t have time or interest to sit and listen to those who think differently than we do."

[via: http://weblogg-ed.com/2009/willing-to-be-disturbed/ ]
change  disruption  innovation  learning  confidence  knowledge  society  future  opinions  perspective  tcsnmy  curiosity  comfort  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  filetype:pdf  media:document 
august 2009
Amusing Ourselves to Death by Stuart McMillen - cartoon Recombinant Records
"Orwell feared the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance."
aldoushuxley  georgeorwell  technology  society  culture  future  art  philosophy  government  literature  comics  entertainment  dystopia  books  history  politics  us  tcsnmy  social  media  world  neilpostman  via:kottke 
august 2009
Students Recall More Hollywood than History | LiveScience
""What we found is that there's something really special about watching a film that lets people retain information from that film, even when they had read a contradictory account in the textbook," said Andrew Butler, a psychology researcher at Washington University in St. Louis during the time he and his colleagues conducted the study. There's a positive flip-side to this memory for movies: Researchers also found that historically accurate films can actually boost student learning alongside the usual textbook reading. That represents the good news for history teachers who screen Hollywood fare such as "Elizabeth," "Marie Antoinette" or "U-571" in their classrooms, because films apparently stick in students' memories regardless of whether they are right or wrong."
education  learning  teaching  film  media  memory  research  books  history  pedagogy  movies  tcsnmy 
august 2009
How to make strong, easy-to-remember passwords | Safe and Secure - CNET News
"One of the best ways to protect your online security is to have strong passwords that you change periodically. But that's easier said than done. Coming up with hard-to-guess passwords is hard enough, but it's even harder to have separate passwords for different sites and to remember new ones after you change them."
passwords  security  tcsnmy 
august 2009
FT.com / Reportage - Why the Saab inspires intense feelings
"After studying 1.2 million postings on “Motor Talk”, ­Germany’s ­largest motoring web forum, Rüdiger Hossiep, a psychologist at the ­University of Ruhr in Bochum, concluded this summer that Saab drivers have the highest levels of “psychological involvement” with their cars: more than 10 times the passion of the average Volkswagen driver."
saab  emotion  cars  history  objects 
august 2009
BlockChalk
"BlockChalk is the voice of your neighborhood. Use it to talk to anyone, about anything.

It's anonymous, there's no sign-up and nothing to install (it runs entirely in your iPhone's browser). You can read more about it on our blog."
iphone  local  location  gps  hyperlocal  geolocation  digitalgraffiti  location-based  community  mobile  messaging  sandiego  ios  applications 
august 2009
The SHOCKING TRUTH about health care reform!!! | DeathPanels.org
"Why the US health care system is among the worst in the developed world. What Congress is trying to do about health care. Top ten myths about our health care." ... "In no other industrialized nation do citizens have to navigate this morass. That the richest nation on earth subjects its citizens to this rigmarole for something as basic and universal as health care astonishes me. This site is my tiny attempt to make these astonishing facts clearer and easier for anyone to obtain."
health  healthcare  death  insurance  medicine  reform  politics  policy  us 
august 2009
Edupunks : clusterflock
"...universities are now essentially trade schools, not institutions of higher learning. They function like guilds and if I wanted to join a guild, I’d go play WoW."
edupunk  colleges  universities  education  us  money  unschooling  deschooling  schooliness  schools 
august 2009
A Short Manifesto on the Future of Attention: Observatory: Design Observer
"I imagine attention festivals: week-long multimedia, cross-industry carnivals of readings, installations, and performances ... I imagine a retail sector for cultural products that's organized around the attention span: not around "books" or "music" but around short stories and pop songs in one aisle, poems and arias in the other. ... I imagine attention-based pricing, in which prices of information commodities are inversely adjusted to the cognitive investment of consuming them. ... I imagine an attention tax that aspiring cultural producers must pay. A barrier to entry. If you want people to read your book, then you have to read books; if you want people to buy your book, then you buy books. ... I imagine software, a smartphone app, perhaps, you can use to audit your attentional expenditures."
attention  media  manifesto  slow  information  design  designobserver  time  manifestos 
august 2009
The China Bubble's Coming -- But Not the One You Think | Foreign Policy
"All in all, this spells trouble -- a big, big Chinese bubble. Identifying such bubbles is a lot easier than timing their collapse. But as we've recently learned, you can defy the laws of financial gravity for only so long. Put simply, mean reversion is a bitch. And the longer excesses persist, the harder the financial gravity will bring China's economy back to Earth." [via: http://varnelis.net/microblog/reasons_to_be_wary]
china  economics  bubbles  finance  world  crisis  meltdown  recession 
august 2009
Healthcare Blue Book
"The Healthcare Blue Book is a free consumer guide to help you determine fair prices in your area for healthcare services. If you pay for your own healthcare, have a high deductible or need a service your insurance does not fully cover, we can help. The Blue Book will help you find fair prices for surgery, hospital stays, doctor visits, medical tests and much more."
healthcare  medicine  shopping  consumer  comparison  money  health  budget  insurance  costs  pricing  medical  dental 
august 2009
Op-Ed Contributor - Dreams From His Mother [Ann Dunham Soetoro] - NYTimes.com
"There is a final lesson from her work that is worth remembering: No nation — even if it is our bitterest enemy — is incomprehensible. Anthropology shows that people who seem very different from us behave according to systems of logic, and that these systems can be grasped if we approach them with the sort of patience and respect that Dr. Soetoro practiced in her work.
anthropology  human  barackobama  values  patience  listening  respect  tcsnmy  logic  systems  observation 
august 2009
Final words on Generations X and Y - Brainiac - The Boston Globe
"Were you born between 1954 and 1993? Confused about what generation you belong to? Read on. Everything will be explained. And there's a handy chart at the end of this post!"

[And see also the revised guide to America's recent generations: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/brainiac/2008/01/pc_generation.html ]
generations  genx  generationx  geny  generationy  babyboomers  millennials  boomers 
august 2009
Schrödinger's Kitten: The Fruit Is A Lie
"Strawberries, you will be glad to know, are a ‘false fruit’. Which seems reasonable enough. But at this point a small doubt started to grow in my mind... what, actually, then, was a real fruit? Oranges? No, they’re a modified berry. Bananas? Leathery berry. Plums? Drupe — fleshy bit with one stone inside. Peaches, nectarines and mangos, similar. Pineapple? Forget it — multiple fruit, incorporating the support that the original flowers all grow on, making it a pseudo-multiple-carp. Although interestingly and cutely, they are pollinated by hummingbirds and bats.2 (Not usually simultaneously.)
fruit  science  biology  humor  food  vegetables  language  via:kottke 
august 2009
flickr for busy people
"It is a simple web application that displays a list of your Flickr contacts who have uploaded photos in the last 30 minutes, two hours, four hours and eight hours

If you click on a buddyicon, the application will display thumbnails of the photos that user has uploaded recently. Like this:"

[explained here: http://www.aaronland.info/weblog/2009/08/10/icecream/#ffbp ]
flickr  streaming  photography  contacts  webapp 
august 2009
O’DonnellWeb - A People’s History of the US – I
"As you know if you follow my Twitter stream, I’ve been reading A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. I got interested in the book when there was a flurry of letters to the editor in the local paper about a local high school using it in AP history. Apparently the “America First” crowd around here can’t take any viewpoint that deviates from the whitewashed version of history that we got in school.
howardzinn  us  history  textbooks  education  politics  tcsnmy 
august 2009
The lost art of reading -- latimes.com
"The relentless cacophony that is life in the 21st century can make settling in with a book difficult even for lifelong readers and those who are paid to do it." ... "In Gallagher's analysis, attention is a lens through which to consider not just identity but desire. Who do we want to be, she asks, and how do we go about that process of becoming in a world of endless options, distractions, possibilities?"
distraction  books  reading  attention  slow  reflection  decisionmaking  literature  time  technology  via:kazys  slowreading 
august 2009
Brain Rules: The brain cannot multitask
"Multitasking, when it comes to paying attention, is a myth. The brain naturally focuses on concepts sequentially, one at a time. At first that might sound confusing; at one level the brain does multitask. You can walk and talk at the same time. Your brain controls your heartbeat while you read a book. Pianists can play a piece with left hand and right hand simultaneously. Surely this is multitasking. But I am talking about the brain’s ability to pay attention. It is the resource you forcibly deploy while trying to listen to a boring lecture at school. It is the activity that collapses as your brain wanders during a tedious presentation at work. This attentional ability is not capable of multitasking."
multitasking  brain  attention  productivity  brainrules  concentration  science  research  cognition  concepts  continuouspartialattention  distraction  myths  single 
august 2009
Reviving the Lost Art of Naming the World - NYTimes.com
"We are, all of us, abandoning taxonomy, the ordering and naming of life. We are willfully becoming poor J.B.R., losing the ability to order and name and therefore losing a connection to and a place in the living world.

No wonder so few of us can really see what is out there. Even when scads of insistent wildlife appear with a flourish right in front of us, and there is such life always — hawks migrating over the parking lot, great colorful moths banging up against the window at night — we barely seem to notice. We are so disconnected from the living world that we can live in the midst of a mass extinction, of the rapid invasion everywhere of new and noxious species, entirely unaware that anything is happening. Happily, changing all this turns out to be easy. Just find an organism, any organism, small, large, gaudy, subtle — anywhere, and they are everywhere — and get a sense of it, its shape, color, size, feel, smell, sound. Give a nod to Professor Franclemont and meditate, luxuriate in its beetle-ness, its daffodility. Then find a name for it. Learn science’s name, one of countless folk names, or make up your own. To do so is to change everything, including yourself. Because once you start noticing organisms, once you have a name for particular beasts, birds and flowers, you can’t help seeing life and the order in it, just where it has always been, all around you."
via:preoccupations  taxonomy  language  observation  words  naming  names  nature  life  order  sustainability  earth  living  awareness  curiosity  engagement  learning  biology  science  tcsnmy  glvo  edg  srg  invention  meaning  connections  understanding  animals  plants  carolkaesukyoon 
august 2009
Free Digital Textbook Initiative
"From government to non-profit organizations, teachers to textbook publishers, we all have a role to play in leveraging 21st century technology to expand learning and better serve California's students, parents, teachers and schools. This initiative will ensure our schools know which digital textbooks stand up to California's academic content standards - so these cost-effective resources can be used in our schools to help ensure each and every student has access to a world-class education." - Governor Schwarzenegger
california  free  textbooks  tcsnmy  education  open  learning  technology  teaching  government  books  ebooks  2009  math  science 
august 2009
Snarkmarket: Airships!
"But how could you not care about airships?
blimps  airships  snarkmarket  comments  dirigibles 
august 2009
Edge: Economics is not Natural Science: Douglas Rushkoff
"We must stop perpetuating the fiction that existence itself is dictated by the immutable laws of economics. These so-called laws are, in actuality, the economic mechanisms of 13th Century monarchs. Some of us analyzing digital culture and its impact on business must reveal economics as the artificial construction it really is. Although it may be subjected to the scientific method and mathematical scrutiny, it is not a natural science; it is game theory, with a set of underlying assumptions that have little to do with anything resembling genetics, neurology, evolution, or natural systems."
economics  douglasrushkoff  science  crowdsourcing  change  reform  markets  local  debt  gametheory  stevenjohnson  sustainability  human  physics  power  networks  history  edge  renaissance  middleages  medieval  systems  crisis  theory 
august 2009
Always Innovating: Introducing the Touch Book
"The world's first netbook with a detachable keyboard. More than 10 hours of battery life*. Touchscreen with 3D user interface. Internal USB slots."
hardware  computing  opensource  linux  touch  mobile  netbooks  laptops  technology  touchscreen 
august 2009
Ambassador of Fruit | Orion Magazine
"An Iranian pomologist transforms an Idaho landscape and helps its growers stay in business"
fruit  agriculture  farming  idaho  grapes  apples  iran 
august 2009
Ten things we don't understand about humans - New Scientist
"1. Blushing 2. Laughter 3. Pubic hair 4. Teenagers Even our closest relatives, the great apes, move smoothly from their juvenile to adult life phases – so why do humans spend an agonising decade skulking around in hoodies? 5. Dreams 6. Altruism 7. Art 8. Superstition 9. Kissing 10. Nose-picking"
art  science  humanity  humans  psychology  humor  health  biology  mysteries  superstition  altruism  laugter  kissing  teenagers  teens  adolescence  blushing  dreams 
august 2009
How to Design a Flat Organization : The World : Idea Hub :: American Express OPEN Forum
"CEO Jean-Francois Zobrist eliminated the personnel department immediately upon taking the helm of the company in 1983. But that wasn’t all he got rid of. Says Zobrist: “I came in the day after I became CEO, and gathered the people. I told them tomorrow when you come to work, you do not work for me or for a boss. You work for your customer. I don’t pay you. They do. Every customer has its own factory now. You do what is needed for the customer.” And with that single stroke, he eliminated the central control: personnel, product development, purchasing…all gone. The company formed twenty teams based on knowledge of customers like Fiat, Volvo, Volkswagen, etc. Each team was responsible not only for the customer, but for its own human resources, purchasing, and product development. There are two job designations in the team: leader and compagnon—or companion—which is an operator able to perform several different jobs."
management  administrativebloat  leadership  organizations  hierarchy  structure  entrepreneurship  business  collaboration  culture  humanresources 
august 2009
Narrating the work (II) - Preoccupations
David Smith presents a collection of Jon Udell and Dave Winer quotes from throughout the past decade illustrating the power of the web when used for "narrating the work." A similar collection from 2007 is here: http://www.preoccupations.org/2007/07/narrating-the-w.html
storytelling  understanding  publishing  thinking  criticalthinking  projectmanagement  learning  web  davidsmith  davewiner  jonudell  narration  news  writing  tcsnmy  readwriteweb 
august 2009
The Health Care Debate Is Making Me Sick : NPR "Let's pay people to stay healthy, instead of only paying for them when they get sick. Then maybe our nation will find its compassion, the one true antidote for its health care identity crisis."
"most of us can't describe accurately the details of health care reform now under debate...makes us look stupid or too busy to care...can't describe accurately health care or insurance we currently have...makes us look kind of stupid, too, or lazy...Some of us don't care about people who don't have health insurance...makes us seem unsympathetic or super lucky. Most of us don't understand that we're already paying for people who don't have health care...makes us too busy to care, in denial or merely rich...a lot of us already receive health care under some form of government plan, but don't believe in health care under some form of government plan...makes us hypocritical or selfish. In some camps, I hear that makes us patriotic. A lot of us are a combination of these things...We're having an identity crisis when it comes to caring about the nation's health, which makes me think what we really need is psychotherapy. But, sadly, that's not covered under most health plans"
healthinsurance  healthcare  reform  governnet  policy  politics  us  health 
august 2009
Nau: The Thought Kitchen
"After 14 days...surrounded by a population for whom riding everywhere is just a matter of course, returning home meant breaking some new-and cherished-habits...helmets...defensive posturing in traffic...streets of Portland, whose bike-friendly reputation we were happy to crow about just a few weeks ago, seemed to belong more in L.A...quickly becomes clear is that while Portland has a vibrant bike culture, The Netherlands is a country in which bikes are just a part of the culture...real differences in how we approach buying bikes, riding bikes & building bike infrastructure...conversations about bicycling often revolve around sport’s many sub-divisions: road vs. mountain, custom vs. mass produced, fixie vs. commuter. & while these cliques create a lot of texture for American cycling, they’re limiting in their conception of what cycling can be. What’s more, it can be intimidating when fitting in requires spandex or elbow pads, skinny jeans or a team jersey."
bikes  portland  netherlands  culture  society  biking 
august 2009
ben wilson: wooden scooters
"UK designer ben wilson recently designed a wooden scooter and plans
design  scooters  classideas  projectideas  edg  srg  tcsnmy  make  diy 
august 2009
Why group norms kill creativity - elearnspace [quote from: http://www.spring.org.uk/2009/06/why-group-norms-kill-creativity.php]
"Unfortunately groups only rarely foment great ideas because people in them are powerfully shaped by group norms: the unwritten rules which describe how individuals in a group ‘are’ and how they ‘ought’ to behave. Norms influence what people believe is right and wrong just as surely as real laws, but with none of the permanence or transparency of written regulations…the unwritten rules of the group, therefore, determined what its members considered creative. In effect groups had redefined creativity as conformity."
creativity  collaboration  pedagogy  psychology  management  innovation  conformity  groupthink  trends  genius  groups  diversity  teamwork  teams 
august 2009
RE<ORDS Discography
"A Japanese independent+ record label +ha+ jus+ exis+s in iPhone/iPodTouch."
applications  iphone  music  interface  sound  records  visual  ios 
august 2009
CK-12.org
"CK-12 Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to reduce the cost of textbook materials for the K-12 market both in the U.S. and worldwide. Using an open-content, web-based collaborative model termed the "FlexBook," CK-12 intends to pioneer the generation and distribution of high quality educational content that will serve both as core text as well as provide an adaptive environment for learning."
education  learning  e-learning  physics  science  math  textbooks  opensource  free  curriculum  elearning  books  teaching  resources  openaccess  flexbook  ebooks  opencontent  tcsnmy 
august 2009
Should I Be Offended? (How Do We Teach Our Kids to Deal With Ignorance) | GeekDad | Wired.com
"When we talk about something being deserving of outrage, what’s the scale? What do we measure it against? So that’s my big question, & it’s not really anything new: how do we pick our fights? To some degree, holding a grudge, insisting that an offender offer some type of apology, only makes us more bitter. A moral victory tastes sweet, but is it always worth the effort? Is our outrage simply a way to vent (and if so, does speaking out make us more or less outraged)? Is it meant to change bad behavior (and is it likely to work)? Or is it simply, a la FailBlog, a form of schadenfreude, a way to say “Hey, you screwed up and I noticed”? Are we teaching our kids to better the world? Or just to be angry at it? What I hope for myself is that I teach my kids how to evaluate things that make them upset, how to know when to stick to their guns and when to just let things slide. Sometimes kids are being mean-spirited about race, or gender, or whatever. And sometimes they’re just being curious."
parenting  outrage  ethics  behavior  debate  argument  curiosity 
august 2009
Clive Thompson on Remembering Not to Remember in an Age of Unlimited Memory
"Mayer-Schönberger argues that we need to stop creating tools that automatically remember everything. Instead, we need to design them to forget...here's what makes Drop.io unique: When you upload a file, the service asks you to put an expiration date on it. It could be a month, a few hours, even "after five people have seen it." If you don't set a date, the default is one year. And when that time arrives, the file is deleted...Another case of intentional forgetting is the Guest Pass feature on Flickr...Being required to think about whether to retain or discard a digital memory will have another side benefit: It will make us pay closer attention—in real time!—to our experiences. If you decide a sunset or a conversation is going to live only in your mind instead of on your hard drive, you'll probably savor it more richly. Just ask Marcel Proust."
memory  forgetting  clivethompson  technology  socialmedia  history  future  privacy  flickr  drop.io  software  storage 
august 2009
Inhabitat » Ladonia: A Micronation Made of Driftwood and Nails
"Looking for a change of scenery? Consider moving to Ladonia, a micronation made up of driftwood, nails, and nine-story wooden “fortresses” located in the southwest corner of Sweden. Designed by Lars Vilks, the mock nation consists of two works of art: Nimis, a maze of 70 tons of driftwood and nails, and Arx, a stone and concrete sculpture that looks like a melting sandcastle." [see also: http://www.ladonia.net/]
art  ladonia  micronations  sweden  wood  sculpture  glvo 
august 2009
Inventing a New Paradigm: SugarLabs and the Sugar UI | GeekDad | Wired.com
"But with Sugar, suddenly there’s something truly different. At first, the experience was maddening. How do I save a file? How do I configure networking? The XO doesn’t ship with a manual, per se, as interacting with the laptop is part of the learning through experimentation ideas that are at the heart of Constructivism, the learning theory behind much of OLPC’s mission. But each time I solved the problem, the lightbulb would go off. I began to see a new paradigm for computing, one that didn’t require the methods those of us in the developed world have used for the past two decades."
olpc  sugar  xo  software  userinterface  ui 
august 2009
Clever Crows Prove Aesop’s Fable Is More Than Fiction | Wired Science | Wired.com
"“The results of these experiments provide the first empirical evidence that a species of corvid is capable of the remarkable problem-solving ability described more than two thousand years ago by Aesop,” wrote the researchers in the paper published Thursday in Current Biology. “What was once thought to be a fictional account of the solution by a bird appears to have been based on a cognitive reality.”"
crows  birds  intelligence  problemsolving  aesop  animals  behavior  science 
august 2009
Bueller? | MetaTalk
"My favorite thought-piece about Ferris Bueller is the "Fight Club" theory, in which Ferris Bueller, the person, is just a figment of Cameron's imagination, like Tyler Durden, and Sloane is the girl Cameron secretly loves.
ferrisbueller  film  80s  metafilter  culture  humor 
august 2009
Sacrificial virgins of the Mississippi | Salon Books
"Archaeologists are slowly unearthing the ghastly secrets of Cahokia, an ancient city under the American heartland"
archaeology  cahokia  us  history  ancientcivilization  cities  anthropology  civilization  culture 
august 2009
Worldchanging: Bright Green: Free Parking Isn't Free
"parking spaces can cost between $10,000 and $50,000 – typically more than the cost of the car that occupies it. High parking requirements can raise the price of homes and apartments by $50,000 to $100,000, a serious challenge to affordability." Not enough people complain about subsidized parking, not nearly as many as those that oppose subsidized mass transit, and thus we live in the cities that result.
transportation  cost  urbanplanning  urban  urbanism  price  subsidies  parking  policy  transit  cars  economics  planning  cities  zoning  development  society  environment  sustainability  regulation  sprawl  costs  us 
august 2009
Seven Lies About Lying (Part 2) - Errol Morris Blog - NYTimes.com
"RICKY JAY: When you’re talking about Kant and trust, it made me think of one of the ways I tell people about the con game. I say, “You wouldn’t want to live in a world where you can’t be conned, because if you were, you would be living in a world with no trust. That’s the price you pay for trust, is being conned.” And it’s very easy to substitute being lied to. Right?"
rickyjay  errolmorris  tryst  lying  truth  lies  morality  psychology  deception  society  religion  myth  illusion 
august 2009
Seattle Central Library: Civic Architecture in the Age of Media: Places: Design Observer
"not only traditional book & library that has become threatened by new digital & electronic media, but traditional forums of public life itself...current popular culture promotes this belief...suggest that city might no longer be something to escape, but something to which we should remain “connected.” Nevertheless...technology exists between ourselves & city, as if to suggest our bodies cannot be located there w/out it...Though Koolhaas’s initial training as screenwriter has often been noted, his Seattle project suggests connection to media culture in fact now transcends linear narratives & scenographic strategies of film structure alone, involving new references to the potentially more interactive strategies of the digital age. Most importantly, this engagement with contemporary visual culture has occurred not by reducing architecture to mere backdrop for the digital, but by once again employing the spatial & temporal tactics natural to it to engage us more fully in collective life."
design  architecture  remkoolhaas  media  libraries  seattle  creativity  information  collectivity  interactivity  digit  medialculturepublicspace  urban  cities  coexistence  culture  urbanism  publicspace  oma  seattlepubliclibrary 
august 2009
The Technium: Progression of the Inevitable
"The procession of technological discoveries is inevitable. When the conditions are right...the next adjacent technological step will emerge as if on cue...The recurring forms of simultaneous inventions in human history are dots on a long connected line that stretches from the big bang to the deep future. The parallel tracks of independent technological development on different continents trace & re-trace & re-trace again similar trajectory — of a semi-autonomous system headed somewhere...technium is not a random meandering...not an accident of human preferences, foibles & once-in-a-millennial genius...has a direction...leaning towards increasing complexity, sentience, consilience, specialization, possibilities & choices. As it flows in that direction it unfolds its inevitable progression. Yet at the micro scale, volition rules. Our choice is to align ourselves with this direction, to expand choice & possibilities for everyone & everything & to play out the details w/ grace & beauty."
progress  invention  technium  kevinkelly  technology 
august 2009
Global Hit: Guru | PRI's The World
"The World’s Emma Kwesiga Lydersen meets up with US hip-hop legend Guru. He’s been touring the world and bringing home some musical souvenirs."
music  hiphop  world  travel  culture 
august 2009
Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners | Design Glut
"People always ask, “What is your greatest failure?” I always have the same answer – We’re working on it right now, it’s gonna be awesome!"
jimcoudal  coudal  philosophy  risk  failure  inspiration  business  freelancing  work  careers  glvo  fieldnotes  design  creativity  independence  entrepreneurship 
august 2009
Cicadas mating
"Many potential predators have 2-5-year life cycles. Such cycles are not set by the availability of cicadas (for they peak too often in years of nonemergence), but cicadas might be eagerly harvested when the cycles coincide. Consider a predator with a life-cycle of five years: if cicadas emerged every 15 years, each bloom would be hit by the predator. By cycling at a large prime number, cicadas minimize the number of coincidences (every 5 x 17, or 85 years, in this case). Thirteen- and 17-year cycles cannot be tracked by any smaller number."
biology  evolution  cycles  mating  reproduction  insects  predation 
august 2009
t r u t h o u t | Obama's View of Education Is Stuck in Reverse
"The success of a market ideology that has produced shocking levels of inequality and impoverishment, along with a market morality that makes greed and corruption ubiquitous, should raise fundamental questions about how viable such a philosophy is for educational reform in the United States. Obama's vision of education is largely centered around an economic discourse and rationality tied to the past, to the world and business values of investment bankers, insurance companies, and various other institutions in a market-driven culture that viewed aiding society largely with contempt. What the Obama administration must understand is that the crisis in education is not only an economic problem that requires resuscitating the values of the Gilded Age, but a political and ethical crisis about the very nature of citizenship and democracy. Obama and Duncan, on the issue of educational reform, appear to be stuck in reverse."
barackobama  education  policy  economics  arneduncan  nclb  neoliberalism 
august 2009
Modern San Diego Dot Com - Rudolph Schindler
"Pueblo Ribera Courts
230-48 Gravilla, La Jolla, CA (1923-1930): The only example of Schindler’s work in San Diego, alludes to the master’s work in the Los Angeles area following his fellowship with Wright (his work on Wright’s “temple” concrete block houses brought him to Southern California). Appealing to the young modernists who came to California in the 1920s these dwellings work with the fascination with the mildness of the climate, life out of doors and the pueblo Spanish traditions of enclosed courtyards. Schindler arranged each living unit so that it had a courtyard and roof terrace above. The houses were built of slip-form concrete, and the roof pergola with its light wood detailing forms a strong contrast to the concrete walls below. Fortunately, the individual units are slowly being restored."
rudolphschindler  lajolla  sandiego  architecture  modernism 
august 2009
San Diego Modenism Historic Context Statement [.pdf]
"...describes the background of social and economic history, development patterns, and artistic and cultural trends that informed the years 1935-1970 when Modernism flowered in San Diego. This context statement also becomes an essential tool for the City Historical Resources Board (HRB), and the City staff to more accurately assess the value and relative significance of resources in this time period. It provides a foundation for future HRB efforts and consideration of historic designation of significant Modernist resources.

Furthermore, this Statement reinforces the City’s commitment to all aspects and periods of its history, particularly the most recent period leading into our current 45 year window of review. San Diego is blessed with a wealth of Modernist resources created by bold, accomplished and nationally recognized practitioners. As interest and respect for Modernism grows, San Diego offers its distinctive contributors to this legacy."
2007  sandiego  modernism  history  design  architecture  culture  filetype:pdf  media:document 
august 2009
How Different Groups Spend Their Day - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com
"The American Time Use Survey asks thousands of American residents to recall every minute of a day. Here is how people over age 15 spent their time in 2008." [compare with people in Tokyo: http://infosthetics.com/archives/2008/10/tokyos_statistics_right_now.html ]
time  us  datavisualization  nytimes  infographics  demographics  visualization  work  life  statistics  society  culture  data  interactive  timelines 
august 2009
Fake Rocks, Salami Commanders, and Just Enough to Start | 43 Folders
"*Fear of Apathy. “I can’t start this until I’m positive the work will never become dull or difficult.” *Fear of Ambiguity. “I can’t start this until I know exactly how it will turn out (as well as the precise method by which I’ll do it).” *Fear of Disconnection. “I can’t start this until I’m totally up-to-date and current on everything.” *Fear of Imperfection. “I can’t start this until I know the end product will be flawless.” *Fear of Incompletion. “I can’t start this until I’m already done with it.” *Fear of Isolation. “I can’t start this until I know making it will never be lonely.” *Fear of Sucking. “I can’t start this until I’m already awesome at it (and know that even horrible people whom I dislike will hail me as a genius).” *Fear of Fear itself. “I can’t start this until I’m guaranteed that making it will never be scary.”"
art  creativity  procrastination  fear  productivity  merlinmann  inspiration  motivation  excusemaking  excuses  process  work  writing  humor  gtd  making  doing  glvo  barriers  failure  starting  learning  tcsnmy  diggingin  cv  iteration 
august 2009
Half an Hour: Dumb Money or Dumb Coverage?
Stephen Downes takes down Newsweek's "Dumb Money" [http://www.newsweek.com/id/209962 ] analysis of education reform. Some great reference links in there too.
stephendownes  education  reform  newsweek  finland  toronto  canada  policy  us  germany  comparison  money  salaries  teaching  learning  schools  achievementgap  testing  assessment  classsize  technology  politics 
august 2009
The Critical Years - A Series About Middle School Education - The New York Times
"Articles in this series will look at changing theories of how middle school should be taught."
tcsnmy  education  learning  schools  middleschool  schooldesign  teaching  parenting  pedagogy  adolescence 
august 2009
Urbia Furniture System for Small Apartments in Big Cities is an awesome idea. So what the heck happened to it? - Core77
"Obra Architects have answered my psychic pleas with their awesome Furniture Expansion System for Small Apartments in Big Cities, designed for "lifestyles of minimal materiality:""
furniture  design  homes  mobilty  neo-nomads  nomads 
august 2009
Cacao Mexicatessen Deli ~ Eagle Rock, CA - a set on Flickr
"Cacao Mexicatessen, is a new Mexican Restaurant and Deli in Eagle Rock, CA.
food  losangeles  via:britta  restaurants  mexican 
august 2009
C. Scott Ananian - OLPC kerfuffle
"With the exception of the display (one of the few unalloyed successes of the XO hardware), most of our hardware and software partners were working at cross purposes. Red Hat didn't really want to build an embedded OS product, "mesh networking" to Marvel meant household networks between your TV and your stereo with maybe 10 participants, the Geode was an orphaned offering from AMD, the display and flash NAND controller was a unloved one-off, etc. Success is found by aligning your partners' interests with your own."
olpc 
august 2009
Half an Hour: Your Pension Awaits...
"Don't plan on retiring, even if it is only a few years away. Take these last few years you have of something like secure employment and develop some marketable skills. Learn programming. Learn carpentry. Auto repair. Something."
retirement  work  socialsecurity  pensions  stephendownes  economics  finance  collapse 
august 2009
MIT's Independent Activities Period: IAP 2010
"For close to four decades, IAP has provided members of the MIT community (students, faculty, staff, and alums) with a unique opportunity to organize, sponsor and participate in a wide variety of activities, including how-to sessions, forums, athletic endeavors, lecture series, films, tours, recitals and contests.
plp  mit  iap  education  learning  lcproject  tcsnmy 
august 2009
WORDOID - Creative Naming Service
"Wordoid.com is a webapp that strives to help you invent a good name. It makes up new words. Automagically. It knows how to create words in English or Spanish. It even knows how to create words in an imaginary language, constructed by blending two or more real languages together."
names  naming  branding  brainstorming  domainnames  domains  words  generator  marketing  language  english  spanish  español  french 
august 2009
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