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New Year's resolutions for architecture and design in 2017 by Will Wiles
"With 2016 coming to an end, Will Wiles doses out his New Year's resolutions for architecture and design in 2017, which include resisting the hygge trend and finally taking responsibility for the climate.

I suggested New Year's Resolutions for architecture and design at the end of 2015, and the response was great. So, one year later, I've made some more:

1. An end to TED's glib solutionism

Consider president-elect Donald Trump's proposed wall to keep out Mexico. It was the most consistent pledge he made during his precedent-smashing election campaign. Trump admitted that it was his secret rhetorical weapon for when he sensed a crowd was getting bored: "I just say, 'We will build the wall!' and they go nuts," he told the New York Times.

The wall is a strong pledge to make: it's a simple, easy-to-understand design solution to a perceived problem. It's also crass, offensive and impractical in the extreme, but that didn't matter to the target audience. They got it. They went nuts.

There was a lot of this in 2016, the year zealots of various stripes promised to sweep away the knotted, stifling problems of globalisation with no more than a wave of the tiny hand. Build the wall, make America great again, drain the swamp, vote leave, take back control.

Architecture and design, which is well populated with experts and systems-thinkers, might regard itself as being apart from all this. But, in fact, one of the throbbing nerve centres of the post-expert, hand-wave era lies closer than you might think: TED, the wildly popular talks series.

TED, of course, presents itself as a hub of expertise and intelligence. And in criticising TED, I don't mean to denigrate the vast majority of its speakers, or to imply that TED equals Trump, or anything so dim. It's the format that's the problem, and the kind of intellectual legerdemain it encourages.

TED is the golden cap of the yaddering pyramid of hackism: that every wicked problem has a nifty workaround or backdoor, that it's all got a glib little design solution that'll bypass all the waffle and the smoke, and make everything OK. Ted Everyman, outsider genius, has cracked the problem that has the eggheads stumped, and it was so simple.

Trump's wall is very TED. So is his insistence that generic "smartness" on his part means that he can do without the expert advice previous presidents have relied upon, such as intelligence briefings.

The trouble for democratic opposition to these forces is that complexity and intractability make for very unenticing messages. Even more problematic is the fact that "it's complicated, let us experts handle it" is the way the globalist managerial class has ushered in many of the problems that Trump and others now claim to have solved.

Where architecture and design might be able to make a difference in the coming months is by shunning hackism and solutionism, and demonstrating instead its remarkable ability to research, explore and expose.

2. Take personal responsibility for the climate

With Trump's administration stuffed full of climate-change deniers and oil men, concerted international state action to address the warming planet looks unlikely. Worse, existing measures, such as the Paris Agreement that came into force this year, might be in peril. American leadership isn't essential for progress on the climate, but its active obstruction and wrecking of vital research could be a disastrous setback when renewed effort is needed.

The abdication of governments from climate action serves, at least, as a reminder that they can't be relied upon to enforce change. The long-awaited economic breakthrough of renewable energy has at last arrived: solar is now the word's cheapest form of energy. Simple economic forces might now drive down carbon emissions while national governments are preoccupied. Texas, a place strongly associated with oil and gas, now gets as much as half of its electricity from wind, and is anticipating a solar boom. China may also be a source of surprises.

These are changes that may yet halt the incipient climate catastrophe: not grandiose treaty-signing, but aggregated individual decisions. Be part of it in what you make and build.

3. Health warnings for the whimsy

Another Trump-related one, sadly. Trump's victory has also sparked a debate over so-called "fake news": the growing welter of misinformation, disinformation and scurrilous falsehood online. This risks crowding out more reliable sources of information and overwhelming civil society's already overtaxed critical faculties.

Again, you might wonder what that has to do with architecture and design. But of course architecture and design has a long history of generating its own "fake news" in the form of the more fanciful speculative proposals and vapourware.

There's nothing wrong with speculation, paper architecture and design fictions, of course – they're all useful endeavours and we'd be hugely poorer without them. It suits architecture and design to propose their own forms, as well as to simply deliver the proposals of others.

Even the grubbier end of that kind of activity isn't inherently bad. Here I'm talking about the completely senseless floating lilypad cities or vertical farms that get pitched out as blog-fodder for no practical purpose than showing off a designer's rendering skills and get their name about. They probably belong on Deviantart rather than Dezeen, but no one's harmed.

Really what's needed is appropriate labelling: making it clear what is speculation for the purposes of debate, what's a real proposal that's seeking backers, what might actually have a chance of actually appearing, and what's just a bit of hey-look-at-me fun. That's where the ethics get murky. Remember that Chinese straddling bus concept that turned out to be little more than a scam? Or that kooky London Garden Bridge concept that also turned out to be little more than a scam. Whimsy can be costly, people!

But seriously, knock it off with the floating cities and the vertical farms.

4. Leave "hygge" in 2016

Financial Times critic Edwin Heathcote has already done a sterling job of debunking hygge, the ubiquitous pseudo-Scandinavian lifestyle craze. Like many ubiquitous lifestyle crazes, it's a subtle blend of total common sense (fires are nice in winter) and complete balderdash.

Anyway, it's upon us now and resistance is futile – the tie-in books have already been given as presents, and they already sit amid the Christmas wreckage of many, many living rooms. And I'm sure they look harmless enough. So it's time for a word of warning.

The Guardian's Charlotte Higgins has already shown how hygge was confected within the publishing industry. I think the part played by architecture and design has been understated, though. For a start, the sector has done much to import interest in Scandinavian lifestyles by importing lots of Scandinavian people. No one in their right mind would think this was anything other than a tremendous boon, and I can only apologise to my Scandinavian friends and colleagues for the way Britain is presently making a travesty of their culture. That, and Brexit.

Let's not do hygge urbanism. The temptation will be strong, and you must resist
It truly has been a terrible year. Architecture – specifically, architecture publishing – was also making something of a fetish of things hygge before hygge was a thing, with its recent boom in cabins and log piles. I attribute this more to an interest in consumer survivalism, rather than Danish culture, but nevertheless "cabin porn" was very much the gateway.

Anyway, here's the warning. Already, thoughts will be turning to next year's endeavours, and fun ways to present them to the public. The eye will blearily cast around the living room for ideas. Thanks to architects from Jan Gehl to Bjarke Ingels, the Danish way of making cities is already rightly praised and emulated. But let's not do hygge urbanism. The temptation will be strong, and you must resist. No hygge placemaking. I beg of you. Just don't."

[via "These resolutions from @WillWiles are all worth considering, especially the one that equates Speculative Design and Fake News."
https://twitter.com/sevensixfive/status/815242847095951361

"There's a subtle but not so subtle difference between projects that are intended as critique, click bait, or outright hoax.

The hoax, as @bruces says, is in the territory of the Black Arts, and almost always maliciously and dangerously deployed.

I say this as someone whose proposal to launch manatees into space was reposted w/ straight seriousness by the Daily Mail & their commenters

The project, intended as critique (&, to be honest, clickbait!) was weaponized by DM, in the genre of "goofy eggheads wasting tax dollars""
ted  tedtalks  solutionism  climatechange  2016  2017  willwiles  architecture  design  hackism  government  governance  policy  economics  energy  renewableenergy  fakenews  news  media  specualtivedesign  fredscharmen  brucesterling  hoaxes  clickbait  critique  hygge  responsibility  speculation  whimsy  edwinheathcote  charlottehiggins  scandinavia  fetishes  publishing  cabinporn  bjarkeingels  jangehl  hyggeurbanism  urban  urbanism  placemaking 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Translation and the news—crossing languages in the age of networked journalism - FOLD
[See site for references relating to each of the different notes.]

"As my time as a Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow winds down, I wanted to reflect a bit on what I’ve learned about journalism, translation and the importance of the network in contemporary digital journalism. Much of this applies more broadly—language is going to be and already is a critical issue for technologists concerned about supporting the increased range of people online—, but I’ll focus on the specifics of journalism in this post.

It’s been an incredible few weeks of interviews, conversations, seminars, workshops, historical research (especially at the beautiful Widener Library), Hacks/Hackers, a conference on comments and going beyond them. We also managed to squeeze in a few pilot projects with Bridge, our platform for translating social media. I’ll be writing a longer, more thoughtful version of my time for Nieman Lab in coming weeks, so I’ll not try to craft too much of a logical narrative in this post.

Instead, some notes to jot down:

We’re moving toward a majority internet population. With 3.3 billion online and a 832% growth rate, the internet is incredibly diverse.

The “next billIon” have arrived, and already, language diversity is steadily increasing. I’ve written before about how ostensibly “offline”communities like in rural northern Uganda, North Korea and Cuba are impacted by the internet, and it’s important to keep in mind that the internet has ripple effects far beyond those who are formally online. As we crossed into a majority urban population, even rural areas have now oriented toward cities, providing raw and manufactured materials and serving as dumping grounds.

A similar effect will no doubt take place with the internet—even if not everyone is officially connected with a single user account, they will be pressured to find creative solutions to get connected. (Zachary Hyman and I have a piece coming out soon in Makeshift to this effect, and you can read what Julia Ticona and I discussed in the US context for Civicist.)

With regards to language, the sheer diversity of speakers online is stunning. From 2000 to 2015, we’ve seen 6592% growth amongst Arabic speakers, 2080% amongst Chinese speakers and 3227% amongst Russian speakers, to name a few. Even more striking is the fact that English speakers will soon be the minority online, and the growth of non-Top Ten language continues apace. If the news is breaking, it’s almost always going to happen online too. And more importantly, it will be happening in many more languages than English.

Multilingual content hasn’t caught up with multilingual users.

This is both a challenge and an opportunity. According to the IDN World Report, English content is vastly overrepresented on the web. Part of this, of course, can be explained by the fact that many people speak English as a second language. But other languages, like Arabic, Chinese and Spanish, are severely underrepresented.

This sounds like an opportunity for content creators to make relevant content for language speakers, whose experience of the internet is much more limited than that of English speakers. At the same time, adapting the current business models—advertising and pay to read—for these new markets will be a challenge. As Buzzfeed’s Greg Coleman pointed out, global advertising presents unique challenges. If so many people speak English, why bother with other languages?

As came through in many interviews I’ve done, readers tend to prefer their own language, even if they do speak English. I’d like to dive into this with more rigorous research, but it generally makes sense. As digital journalist and Nieman Fellow Tim de Gier described it to me, the internet is full of road bumps. Our job as journalists is to reduce those road bumps and point people to our articles. If it’s in another language, even one we speak, that’s just one more bump in access.

Networked journalism is here to stay. And it’s an opportunity for more diverse stories.

In 2006, Jeff Jarvis defined networked journalism as a field where "the public can get involved in a story before it is reported, contributing facts, questions, and suggestions. The journalists can rely on the public to help report the story; we’ll see more and more of that, I trust. The journalists can and should link to other work on the same story, to source material, and perhaps blog posts from the sources.... After the story is published — online, in print, wherever — the public can continue to contribute corrections, questions, facts, and perspective … not to mention promotion via links."

He added that he hoped it would be a sort of self-fulling prophecy, as more newsrooms turned to networks to both source and distribute the news. Journalists are shifting from simply manufacturers of news to moderators of conversations.

This month, at the Beyond Comments conference hosted by MIT Media Lab and the Coral Project, it became increasingly clear that major news outlets are striving for an alternative. In a terrific panel moderated by Anika Gupta, journalists like Amanda Zamora, Joseph Reagle, Monica Guzmán and Emily Goligoski pointed out that we need to make a shift from thinking of the audience as an audience to thinking of them more as a community.

To meet both speed and accuracy, translators need better tech and better processes.

In a breaking news environment, both speed and accuracy are critical. Indeed, translation and technology have always worked closely together. There are two examples that stick in my mind. The first is the Filene-Finlay simultaneous translator, developed at IBM and used in the Nuremberg trials. The second is the printing press: in Western Europe, it wasn't until books were translated from Latin to vernacular languages that they started to have an impact.

What does this look like in the digital context? It's something we're exploring at Meedan with Bridge, our platform for social media translation. Other great examples include Yeeyan, a Chinese platform for crowdsourcing news translation; Amara, for subtitling videos on platforms like TED; and Wikipedia.

But just as importantly as the tech, we need better systems and processes. The rigorous training of UN interpreters has made simultaneous interpretation at scale possible today. Glossaries, keeping up to date with the news, pairing interpreters together--this is the stuff that makes the tech powerful, because the humans behind it are more effective.

These processes can be supplemented with new tools in the digital context. Machine translation, translation memories, dynamic and shared glossaries can all help, as can fostering a collaborative mindset. What's most striking to me is the fact that interpretation at the UN is collaborative, with at least two interpreters per language pair. As we do away with the myth that translation is a one-to-one matter (i.e., one translator to one text), we can generate a stronger body of translations made possible through collaboration.

....And that's it for now - I'll be working on a much longer report, complete with case studies and examples, for the Nieman Lab in coming weeks. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!"
journalism  translation  socialmedia  anxiaomina  2016  networkedjournalism  netowrks  diversity  world  languages  inclusion  inclusivity  news  meedan  yeeyan  amara  wikipedia  ted  anikagupta  amandazamora  josephreagle  monicaguzmán  emilygoligoski  jeffjarvis  timdegier  internet  web  online  gregcoleman  spanish  español  chinese  arabic  russian  zacharyhyman  juliaticona 
march 2016 by robertogreco
The Sound of TED: A Case for Distaste | The American Reader
"There seems to be an important lesson for educators in Mitra’s experiment. It stirs real emotions in people. Like a lot of what makes it onto the TED stage, it seems to inspire something in the viewer. Mitra’s talk is played and replayed in education courses across the world as an inspiration for… well, it’s not clear for exactly what. Mitra implies that the time for traditional education is over (something that was declared by many people as early as a hundred-and-fifty years ago, when the first “traditional” public school systems were being set up) and that technology can now allow for different, more autonomous and distributed structures of learning. Nevermind that his experiment was conducted in slums where children had no cellphones, no movies, no parties, no alcohol, no swim-lessons in the afternoon, no books, barely a real school, and, yes, no computers; we are to assume that the results there somehow have something to do with European or American public schools as well. Mitra ends the talk with a shameless plug for his project of putting a computer before every child. The lesson of his experiment, the role of play and autonomy in effective education, is in one stroke turned into icing for a project that has very little to do with what got his audience excited about the first few minutes of his talk.

This is obfuscation. A nice little experiment is used to give the impression that a large, systemic problem like schooling can be solved easily. That, however, cannot be the real issue with TED—because what I have just described applies to most of what is funded and performed as social research across the world. It is positivist thought with a twist of sleek camera-work. The debate over what this type of thinking means for practice and research stretches back into the 19th century. Whatever TED’s critics have suggested, there is nothing that TED does to ideas or science that has not been done before. The particular problem with TED is elsewhere."



"I will be crass: the most interesting thing about Bratton’s talk is that in the early minutes of the lecture, just as he has delivered his main thesis, he suddenly forgets what he is supposed to say. There is a pause. It would be perfectly natural in another format to wait and gather one’s thoughts, but the pause is strangely disturbing in this context. He loses his place, then his nerve, and for the rest of the talk he struggles under an invisible weight. He has to heave a breath into each sentence, trying to propel himself into a rhythm that he doesn’t regain until the very end. What he is struggling under is the pressure of the TED style."



"But even Adichie’s presentation caters to the format by not acknowledging the shameful absurdity of the situation. The only exception is Sarah Silverman’s talk—which TED refuses to publish on its website. In the unofficial video that somehow made it to YouTube, Silverman is called on to deliver a comedy routine. She is a practiced stand-up and knows her craft—but here she abandons it completely. She pauses inordinately. She drags out her jokes until they are excruciating, then repeats them for good measure. She points her clicker, needlessly and awkwardly, toward the PowerPoint screen behind her which displays nothing but single-sentence TEDisms: ‘Communication is important’ (she talks about discussing a hand-shaped bruise on her ass with her mother); ‘What the world needs now’ (“I am 39 years old,” she says “and I still wake up every morning so thankful that I don’t have to go to school,”); and ‘TED is fancy’ (she discusses how the number 3000 can be seen as a pair of breasts defecating). Finally she picks up her guitar and informs the audience that her next song is dedicated to the porn-stars in the audience, “and you are all stars” she informs them. The moment her song—about how all the cocks in the universe cannot fill the hole in the aforementioned star’s heart—comes to an end, she bails, taking the microphone with her and depriving the audience of the chance to applaud her. On walks one of the largest shit-eating grins in the history of recorded entertainment—a presenter— who repeatedly begs Silverman to come back, until Silverman, who unlike the others in the room does have a sense of shame, obliges. The audience now push to their feet for a standing ovation that is nothing but an attempt to deny their own humiliation. “This can’t be right,” mutters Silverman, bewildered.

For various reasons, I find myself forced to sit through a TED-talk now and then. I squirm in my seat—feeling humiliated for myself and the speaker. This is a distinctly un-adult feeling. Adults have lost their capacity for disgust—which is partly why Silverman often jokes about her own unending adolescence. Unwavering critical open-mindedness has, for a very long time, become the correct intellectual posture, and it’s never clear if at any point one can allow oneself to have a visceral reaction against a genre, an industry, or a situation without feeling either childish or curmudgeonly. Teenagers are half-better than adults in this respect: in high doses, tackiness puts them off. They collectively begin to step back from a thing, and they are generally aware that what’s bothering them is not content, but style. So they turn away from Facebook in droves, without having read a single line of cultural criticism on social media. They look back at their own participation in whatever style they dropped with mild horror. That they are then lured in by the next shiny thing is a different story. The point is that the average adult avoids the horror of disgust, which means consciously sticking to what’s most bland and middle-of-the-road: HBO, pants, college, Obama, and, for a few years now, TED.

A decent strategy with TED might be to reclaim our teenage capacities and treat these videos as hopelessly passé—ignore them to death. Critiquing them, even as I have done, will do what criticism has done for television: creating an added enjoyment as you go on consuming the crap you despise. I know what I am watching is disgraceful, but aren’t I great at seeing why it’s disgraceful? I only watch it to keep up-to-date with the unwashed masses."
ted  houmanharouni  2014  tedtalks  benjaminbratton  nathanheller  sugatamitra  sarahsilverman  holeinthewall  chimamandaadichie  presentations 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Solarpunk: Notes toward a manifesto | Project Hieroglyph
"It’s hard out here for futurists under 30.

As we percolated through our respective nations’ education systems, we were exposed to WorldChanging and TED talks, to artfully-designed green consumerism and sustainable development NGOs. Yet we also grew up with doomsday predictions slated to hit before our expected retirement ages, with the slow but inexorable militarization of metropolitan police departments, with the failure of the existing political order to deal with the existential-but-not-yet-urgent threat of climate change. Many of us feel it’s unethical to bring children into a world like ours. We have grown up under a shadow, and if we sometimes resemble fungus it should be taken as a credit to our adaptability.

We’re solarpunks because the only other options are denial or despair.

The promises offered by most Singulatarians and Transhumanists are individualist and unsustainable: How many of them are scoped for a world where energy is not cheap and plentiful, to say nothing of rare earth elements?

Solarpunk is about finding ways to make life more wonderful for us right now, and more importantly for the generations that follow us – i.e., extending human life at the species level, rather than individually. Our future must involve repurposing and creating new things from what we already have (instead of 20th century “destroy it all and build something completely different” modernism). Our futurism is not nihilistic like cyberpunk and it avoids steampunk’s potentially quasi-reactionary tendencies: it is about ingenuity, generativity, independence, and community.

And yes, there’s a -punk there, and not just because it’s become a trendy suffix. There’s an oppositional quality to solarpunk, but it’s an opposition that begins with infrastructure as a form of resistance. We’re already seeing it in the struggles of public utilities to deal with the explosion in rooftop solar. “Dealing with infrastructure is a protection against being robbed of one’s self-determination,” said Chokwe Lumumba, the late mayor of Jackson, MS, and he was right. Certainly there are good reasons to have a grid, and we don’t want it to rot away, but one of the healthy things about local resilience is that it puts you in a much better bargaining position against the people who might want to shut you off (We’re looking at you, Detroit).

Solarpunk punkSolarpunk draws on the ideal of Jefferson’s yeoman farmer, Ghandi’s ideal of swadeshi and subsequent Salt March, and countless other traditions of innovative dissent. (FWIW, both Ghandi and Jefferson were inventors.)

The visual aesthetics of Solarpunk are open and evolving. As it stands, it’s a mash-up of the following:

• 1800s age-of-sail/frontier living (but with more bicycles)
• Creative reuse of existing infrastructure (sometimes post-apocalyptic, sometimes present-weird)
• Jugaad-style innovation from the developing world
• High-tech backends with simple, elegant outputs

Obviously, the further you get into the future, the more ambitious you can get. In the long-term, solarpunk takes the images we’ve been fed by bright-green blogs and draws them out further, longer, and deeper. Imagine permaculturists thinking in cathedral time. Consider terraced irrigation systems that also act as fluidic computers. Contemplate the life of a Department of Reclamation officer managing a sparsely populated American southwest given over to solar collection and pump storage. Imagine “smart cities” being junked in favor of smart citizenry.

Tumblr lit up within the last week from this post envisioning a form of solar punk with an art nouveau Edwardian-garden aesthetic, which is gorgeous and reminds me of Miyazaki. There’s something lovely in the way it reacts against the mainstream visions of overly smooth, clean, white modernist iPod futures. Solarpunk is a future with a human face and dirt behind its ears."

[via: https://twitter.com/jqtrde/status/519152576797745153 ]
solarpunk  future  futures  jugaad  green  frontier  bikes  biking  technology  imagination  nearfuture  detroit  worldchanging  ted  ngos  sustainability  singularitarianism  individuality  cyberpunk  steampunk  ingenuity  generativity  independence  community  punk  infrastucture  resistance  solar  chokwelumumba  resilience  thomasjefferson  yeomen  ghandi  swadeshi  invention  hacking  making  makers  hackers  reuse  repurposing  permaculture  adamflynn  denial  despair  optimism  cando  posthumanism  transhumanism  chokweantarlumumba 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Unstoppable Learning : TED Radio Hour : NPR
"Why do we put so much effort in making kids think and act like us? In this hour, TED speakers explore the different ways babies and children learn — from the womb, to the playground, to the web."
children  learning  education  sugatamitra  holeinthewall  anniemurphypaul  howwelearn  howweteach  unschooling  deschooling  alisongopnik  ritapierson  relationships  2013  ted 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Animals And Us : TED Radio Hour : NPR
"Our relationship with animals is complicated: we love and fear them; hunt, consume and protect them. In this hour, TED speakers explore what happens when humans and animals interact."
animals  jonmooallem  iandunbar  billycollins  laurabraitman  psychology  fransdewaal  morality  mentalhealth  relationships  animalhumanrelationships  2014  ted 
september 2014 by robertogreco
DE$IGN | Soulellis
"I’ve been thinking a lot about value and values.

Design Humility and Counterpractice were first attempts to build a conversation around the value of design and our values as designers. They’re highly personal accounts where I try to articulate my own struggle with the dominant paradigm in design culture today, which I characterize as —

speed
the relentlessness of branding
the spirit of the sell
the focus on product
the focus on perfection

and they include some techniques of resistance that I’ve explored in my recent work, like —

thingness
longevity
slowness (patience)
chance (nature, humility, serendipity)
giving away (generosity echo)

I’ve been calling them techniques, but they’re really more like values, available to any designer or artist. Work produced with these criteria runs cross-grain to the belief that we must produce instantly, broadcast widely and perform perfectly.

Hence, counterpractice. Cross-grain to common assumptions. Questioning.

And as I consider my options (what to do next), I’m seriously contemplating going back to this counterpractice talk as a place to reboot. Could these be seen as principles — as a platform for a new kind of design studio?

I’m not sure. Counterpractice probably need further translation. An idea like ”slowness” certainly won’t resonate for many, outside of an art context. And how does a love for print-on-demand and the web fit in here? Perhaps it’s more about “variable speed” and the “balanced interface” rather than slow vs fast. Slow and fast. Modulated experience. The beauty of a printed book is that it can be scanned quickly or savored forever. These aren’t accidental qualities; they’re built into the design.

[image by John Maeda: "DE$IGN"]

I’m thinking about all of this right now as I re-launch Soulellis Studio as Counterpractice. But if there’s anything that most characterizes my reluctance to get back to client-based work, it’s DE$IGN.

John Maeda, who departed RISD in December, where I am currently teaching, recently delivered a 4-minute TED talk, where he made this statement:

“From Design to DE$IGN.”

He expands that statement with a visual wordmark that is itself designed. What does it mean? I haven’t seen the talk yet so I can only presume, out of context. These articles and Maeda’s blog post at Design and Venture begin to get at it.

Maeda’s three principles for using design in business as stated in the WSJ article are fine. But they don’t need a logo. Designing DE$IGN is a misleading gesture; it’s token branding to sell an idea (in four minutes—the fast read). So what’s the idea behind this visual equation? As a logo, it says so many things:

All caps: DE$IGN is BIG.
It’s not £ or ¥ or 元: DE$IGN is American.
Dollar sign: DE$IGN is money.

DE$IGN is Big American Money.

and in the context of a four-minute TED talk…

DE$IGN is speed (four minutes!)
DE$IGN is the spirit of selling (selling an idea on a stage to a TED audience)
DE$IGN is Helvetica Neue Ultra Light and a soft gradient (Apple)
DE$IGN is a neatly resolved and sellable word-idea. It’s a branded product (and it’s perfect).

In other words, DE$IGN is Silicon Valley. DE$IGN is the perfect embodiment of start-up culture and the ultimate tech dream. Of course it is — this is Maeda’s audience, and it’s his new position. It works within the closed-off reality of $2 billion acquisitions, IPOs, 600-person design teams and Next Big Thing thinking. It’s a crass, aggressive statement that resonates perfectly for its audience.

[Image of stenciled "CAPITALISM IS THE CRI$IS"]

DE$IGN makes me uneasy. The post-OWS dollar sign is loaded with negative associations. It’s a quick trick that borrows from the speed-read language of texting (lol) to turn design into something unsustainable, inward-looking and out-of-touch. But what bothers me most is that it comes from one of our design leaders, someone I follow and respect. Am I missing something?

I can’t help but think of Milton Glaser’s 1977 I<3NY logo here.

[Milton Glaser I<3NY]

Glaser uses a similar trick, but to different effect. By inserting a heart symbol into a plain typographic treatment, he too transformed something ordinary (referencing the typewriter) into a strong visual message. Glaser’s logo says that “heart is at the center of NYC” (and it suggests that love and soul and passion are there too). Or “my love for NYC is authentic” (it comes from the heart). It gives us permission to play with all kinds of associations and visual translations: my heart is in NYC, I am NYC, NYC is the heart of America, the heart of the world, etc. .

Glaser’s mark is old-school, east coast and expansive; it symbolizes ideas and feelings that can be characterized as full and overflowing. And human (the heart). It’s personal (“I”), but all about business: his client was a bankrupt city in crisis, eager to attract tourists against all odds.

Maeda’s mark is new money, west coast and exclusive. It was created for and presented to a small club of privileged innovators who are focused on creating new ways to generate wealth ($) by selling more product.

Clever design tricks aside, here’s my question, which I seem to have been asking for a few years now. Is design humility possible today? Can we build a relevant design practice that produces meaningful, rich work — in a business context — without playing to visions of excess?

I honestly don’t know. I’m grappling with this. I’m not naive and I don’t want to paint myself into a corner. I’d like to think that there’s room to resist DE$IGN. I do this as an artist making books and as an experimental publisher (even Library of the Printed Web is a kind of resistance). But what kind of design practice comes out of this? Certainly one that’s different from the kind of business I built with Soulellis Studio."
paulsoulellis  2014  conterpractice  design  humility  capitalism  resistance  branding  speed  slow  consumerism  sales  salesmanship  perfection  wabi-sabi  thingness  longevity  slowness  patience  nature  chance  serendipity  generosity  potlatch  johnmaeda  questioning  process  approach  philosophy  art  print  balance  thisandthat  modulation  selling  ted  tedtalks  apple  siliconvalley  startups  culture  technology  technosolutionsism  crisis  miltonglaser  1977  love 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Good Intentions and Big Ideas: Feel Good Grants That Exploit Artists and Reduce Arts Funding
"Needless to say, all that money and privilege leaves some big and largely unanswered questions around access, inclusion, politics and turning ideas into marketable products that these organizations and companies try to claim ownership over."



"What I want to do here is channel that growing skepticism around the fact that it is often the wealthiest and most powerful people who dictate the terms of the good acts that our society commits and who decide which ideas will underpin them. And it’s absolutely true that sometimes they get it right and great things are accomplished, I’m never going to deny that, but sometimes what I would call boutique charities arise that are often ego-driven and compete with other organizations with less capital or cache which ultimately diminishes resources and ends up with populations in need being very poorly served."



"Of course, it’s true, as Slayton and I concurred, that any time an artist receives funding there are going to be compromises made or limitations placed on the work that the artists create. These fellowships are a small part of a much larger system. And all an artist needs to do to avoid such conflicts is not apply when they see problematic programs. But the thing is, as with many of those organization like TED that I mentioned at the outset, because of the popularity of these brains-in-a-room programs with a lot of people in power right now, there has been a noticeable shift over the past decade or so toward thinking that artists’ new job is to answer society’s most urgent needs in short periods of time for little to no money. Lately this has led to giving people desperate to cut money in their budgets big ideas like “let’s just get rid of our trained aides in the senior programs and offer the space for free to a bunch of artists who will come in and fingerpaint and play music” or “instead of having actual teachers who understand lesson plans and childhood developmental stages, let’s bring in some theater people without education experience to make plays with the kids about the history those teachers would have been teaching.” This is where what seemed like a good intention turns into something deeply problematic when made manifest in the actual, daily lives of the people the programs are intended to help — the artists are exploited, the people with immediate needs are no longer having those needs met by competent and trained workers, and governments hide behind out-of-the-box thinking when laying waste to programs and services."
art  artists  ted  2012  alexisclements  exploitation  power  money  economics  charitableindustrialcomplex  zero1  labor  charities  chrisanderson  bigthink  ideas4all  aspenideasfestival  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  charity  capitalism  control 
march 2014 by robertogreco
BRATTON.INFO - talks - "we need to talk about ted"
"So what is TED exactly?

Perhaps it's the proposition that if we talk about world-changing ideas enough then the world will change. But this is not true, and that's the second problem.

TED of course stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and I’ll talk a bit about all three. I Think TED actually stands for: middlebrow megachurch infotainment.

The key rhetorical device for TED talks is a combination of epiphany and personal testimony (an “epiphimony” if you like ) through which the speaker shares a personal journey of insight and realization, its triumphs and tribulations.

What is it that the TED audience hopes to get from this? A vicarious insight, a fleeting moment of wonder, an inkling that maybe it’s all going to work out after all? A spiritual buzz?

I'm sorry but this fails to meet the challenges that we are supposedly here to confront. These are very complicated are not given to tidy just-so solutions. They don’t care about anyone’s experience of optimism. Given the stakes, making our best and brightest waste their time –and the audience’s time— dancing like infomercial hosts is too high a price. It is cynical.

Also, it just doesn’t work.

Recently there was a bit of a dust up when TED Global sent out a note to TEDx organizers to not book speakers whose work spans the paranormal, the conspiratorial, New Age, quantum neuroenergy, etc: what is called Woo. Instead of these placebos, TEDx should instead curate talks that are imaginative but grounded in reality. In fairness, they took some heat, so their gesture should be acknowledged. A lot of people take TED very seriously, and might lend credence to specious ideas if stamped with TED credentials. "No" to placebo science and medicine.

But the corollaries of placebo science and placebo medicine are placebo politics and placebo innovation. On this point, TED has a long ways to go.

Perhaps the pinnacle of placebo politics and innovation was featured at TEDx San Diego in 2011. You’re familiar I assume with Kony2012, the social media campaign to stop war crimes in central Africa? What happened here? Evangelical Christian surfer Bro goes to help kids in Africa. He makes a campy video explaining genocide to the cast of Glee. The world finds his public epiphany to be shallow to the point of self-delusion. The complex geopolitics of Central Africa are left undisturbed. Kony’s still there. The end.

You see, when inspiration becomes manipulation, inspiration becomes obfuscation. If you are not cynical you should be skeptical. You should be as skeptical of placebo politics as you are placebo medicine."



"E and Economics

A better 'E' in TED would stand for Economics, and the need for, yes imagining and designing, different systems of valuation, exchange, accounting of transaction externalites, financing of coordinated planning, etc. Because States plus Markets, States versus Markets, these are insufficient models, and our conversation is still stuck in Cold War gear.

Worse is when economics is debated like metaphysics, as if the reality of a system is merely a bad example of the ideal.

Communism in theory is an egalitarian utopia

Actually existing Communism meant ecological devastation, government spying, crappy cars and gulags

Capitalism in theory is rocket ships, nanomedicine, and Bono saving Africa.

Actually existing Capitalism means Walmart jobs, people living in sewers under Las Vegas, McMansions, Ryan Seacrest…plus —ecological devastation, government spying, crappy public transportation and for-profit prisons.

Our options for change range from basically what we have plus a little more Hayek, to what we have plus a little more Keynes. Why?

The most recent centuries have seen extraordinary accomplishments in improving quality of life. But the paradox is that the system we have now --whatever you want to call it-- is in the short term what makes the amazing new technologies possible, but in the long run it is also what suppresses their full flowering. Another economic architecture is prerequisite."



"As for one simple take away... I don't have one simple take away, one magic idea. That’s kind of the point. I will say that when and if the key problems facing our species were to be solved, then perhaps many of us in this room would be out of work (and perhaps in jail).

But it’s not as though there is a shortage of topics for serious discussion. We need a deeper conversation about the difference between digital cosmopolitanism and Cloud Feudalism (toward that, a queer history of computer science and Alan Turing’s birthday as holiday!)

I would like new maps of the world, ones not based on settler colonialism, legacy genomics and bronze age myths, but instead on something more… scalable.

TED today is not that.

Problems are not “puzzles” to be solved. That metaphor assumes that all the necessary pieces are already on the table, they just need to be re-arranged and re-programmed. It’s not true.

“Innovation” that moves the pieces around and adds more processing power is not some Big Idea that will disrupt a broken status quo: that precisely is the broken status quo.

One TED speaker said recently, “If you remove this boundary, ...the only boundary left is our imagination.” Wrong.

If we really want transformation we have to slog through the hard stuff (history, economics, philosophy, art, ambiguities, contradictions). Bracketing it off to the side to focus just on technology, or just on innovation, actually prevents transformation.

Instead of dumbing down the future we need to raise the level of general understanding to the level of complexity of the systems in which we are embedded and which are embedded in us. This is not about “personal stories of inspiration," it's about the difficult and uncertain work of de-mystification and re-conceptualization: the hard stuff that really changes how we think. More Copernicus, less Tony Robbins

At a societal level, the bottom line is if we invest things that make us feel good but which don’t work, and don’t invest things that don’t make us feel good but which may solve problems, then our fate is that it will just get harder and harder to feel good about not solving any problems.

In this case the placebo is worse than ineffective, it's harmful. It's diverts your interest, enthusiasm and outrage until it's absorbed into this black hole of affectation

Keep calm and carry on "innovating"... is that the real message of TED? To me that’s not inspirational, it’s cynical.

In the U.S. the right-wing has certain media channels that allow it to bracket reality... other constituencies have TED."

[Now posted at the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/30/we-need-to-talk-about-ted ]
benjaminbratton  ted  tedxsandiego  2013  politics  technology  sandiego  lajolla  communism  capitalism  kony2012  geopolitics  drones  nsa  surveillance  innovation  ambiguity  contradiction  demystification  cynicism  skepticism  cloudfeudalism  digitalcosmopolitanism  via:javierarbona 
december 2013 by robertogreco
TED talks are lying to you - Salon.com
"What our correspondent also understood, sitting there in his basement bathtub, was that the literature of creativity was a genre of surpassing banality. Every book he read seemed to boast the same shopworn anecdotes and the same canonical heroes. If the authors are presenting themselves as experts on innovation, they will tell us about Einstein, Gandhi, Picasso, Dylan, Warhol, the Beatles. If they are celebrating their own innovations, they will compare them to the oft-rejected masterpieces of Impressionism — that ultimate combination of rebellion and placid pastel bullshit that decorates the walls of hotel lobbies from Pittsburgh to Pyongyang.

Those who urge us to “think different,” in other words, almost never do so themselves. Year after year, new installments in this unchanging genre are produced and consumed. Creativity, they all tell us, is too important to be left to the creative. Our prosperity depends on it. And by dint of careful study and the hardest science — by, say, sliding a jazz pianist’s head into an MRI machine — we can crack the code of creativity and unleash its moneymaking power.

That was the ultimate lesson. That’s where the music, the theology, the physics and the ethereal water lilies were meant to direct us. Our correspondent could think of no books that tried to work the equation the other way around — holding up the invention of air conditioning or Velcro as a model for a jazz trumpeter trying to work out his solo.

And why was this worth noticing? Well, for one thing, because we’re talking about the literature of creativity, for Pete’s sake. If there is a non-fiction genre from which you have a right to expect clever prose and uncanny insight, it should be this one. So why is it so utterly consumed by formula and repetition?"



"Using Vincent van Gogh as an example, the author declares that the artist’s “creativity came into being when a sufficient number of art experts felt that his paintings had something important to contribute to the domain of art.” Innovation, that is, exists only when the correctly credentialed hivemind agrees that it does. And “without such a response,” the author continues, “van Gogh would have remained what he was, a disturbed man who painted strange canvases.” What determines “creativity,” in other words, is the very faction it’s supposedly rebelling against: established expertise.

Consider, then, the narrative daisy chain that makes up the literature of creativity. It is the story of brilliant people, often in the arts or humanities, who are studied by other brilliant people, often in the sciences, finance, or marketing. The readership is made up of us — members of the professional-managerial class — each of whom harbors a powerful suspicion that he or she is pretty brilliant as well. What your correspondent realized, relaxing there in his tub one day, was that the real subject of this literature was the professional-managerial audience itself, whose members hear clear, sweet reason when they listen to NPR and think they’re in the presence of something profound when they watch some billionaire give a TED talk. And what this complacent literature purrs into their ears is that creativity is their property, their competitive advantage, their class virtue. Creativity is what they bring to the national economic effort, these books reassure them — and it’s also the benevolent doctrine under which they rightly rule the world."

[Update: Alan Jacobs, in response to the first passage above: http://text-patterns.thenewatlantis.com/2013/10/one-weird-trick-to-unleash-your.html ]

"I’d like to suggest an answer to this question: the problem is that there’s actually no such thing as “creativity.” It’s a made-up concept bearing no relation to anything that exists. It’s a classic case of what the Marxists used to call “false reification.” Let’s never speak of it again."
creativity  class  ted  tedtalks  2013  elitism  gatekeepers  hypocrisy  alanjacobs  marxism  hivemind  innovation 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Was America’s Economic Prosperity Just a Historical Accident?
"What if everything we’ve come to think of as American is predicated on a freak coincidence of economic history? And what if that coincidence has run its course?"



“There are many ways in which you can interpret this economic model, but the most lasting—the reason, perhaps, for the public notoriety it has brought its author—has little to do with economics at all. It is the suggestion that we have not understood how lucky we have been. The whole of American cultural memory, the period since World War II, has taken place within the greatest expansion of opportunity in the history of human civilization. Perhaps it isn’t that our success is a product of the way we structured our society. The shape of our society may be far more conditional, a consequence of our success. Embedded in Gordon’s data is an inquiry into entitlement: How much do we owe, culturally and politically, to this singular experience of economic growth, and what will happen if it goes away?”



“TED’s audience is so primed for optimism about the future that Gordon… knew before he began that he’d [Gordon] lost the room.”



“Brynjolfsson let a long beat elapse. “Growth is not dead,” he said casually, and then he grinned a little bit, and the audience laughed, and the tension that had lingered after Gordon’s pessimism dissipated. Brynjolfsson had the aspirational TED inflection down cold: “Technology is not destiny,” he said. “We shape our destiny.””



"In 2007, Mexicans stopped emigrating to the United States. The change was not very big at first, and so for a few years it seemed like it might be a blip. But it wasn’t. In 2000, 770,000 Mexicans had come across the Rio Grande, but by 2007 less than 300,000 did, and by 2010, even though violence in Mexico seemed ceaseless, there were fewer than 150,000 migrants. Some think that more Mexicans are now leaving the United States than are coming to it. “We’re never going to get back to the numbers we had in the late nineties,” says Wayne Cornelius, a political scientist at UC–San Diego who has spent the past 40 years studying this cross-border movement. A small part of this story is the increase in border protection, but the dominant engine has been the economic shifts on both sides of the border—it has become easier for poor Mexicans to improve their quality of life in Mexico and harder to do so in the United States. Because migrants from a particular Mexican village often settle in the same American place, they provide a fast conduit of economic information back home: There are no jobs in construction or housing. Don’t come. The Pew Hispanic Center has traced the migration patterns to economic performance in real time: a spike of migration during 1999 and 2000, at the height of the boom; a brief downturn in border crossing after the 2001 stock-market crash followed by a plateau; then the dramatic emptying out after the housing industry gave way in 2006. We think of the desire to be American as a form of idealism, and sometimes it is. But it also has something to do with economic growth. We are a nation of immigrants to the extent that we can make immigrants rich."
cyborgs  economics  humanity  jobs  progress  sustainability  history  technosolutionism  benjaminwallace-wells  2013  robertgordon  ted  tedtalsk  optimism  pessimism  erikbrynjolfsson  labor  prosperity  wealthdistribution  industrialrevolution  capitalism  growth  demographics  immigration  migration  us  mexico  society  socialchange  upwardmobility  classmobility  future 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Donald Clark Plan B: Sugata Mitra: Slum chic? 7 reasons for doubt
"Conclusion - a little learning is indeed a dangerous thing

Based on scanty evidence, funded by parties who have a lot to gain then shifted away from hole-in-the-wall to computers-in-schools. Like Slumdog Millionaire, the movie inspired by Mitra’s work, it beggars belief. There’s no silver bullet here and we shouldn’t be lulled into thinking this is the answer. The real danger is that we get carried away by under-researched ‘feelgood’ initiatives. Slumdog Millionaire is typical of the utopian nonsense that can emerge. An overly romanticised, rags to riches, Bollywood Cinderella story that is an assault on probability. Is Mitra’s story also one of ‘Slum chic’? Perhaps the most disgustingly contrived moment of the film is when Jamal says 'You wanted to see the real India' and the US tourist, hands him a $100 note saying ‘Now we'll show you the real America'. This, for me, was reminiscent of the TED Prize."
sugatamitra  holeinthewall  education  criticism  research  2013  funding  learning  ted  tedtalks  donaldclark 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Hacking at Education: TED, Technology Entrepreneurship, Uncollege, and the Hole in the Wall
"I have questions about community support. I have questions about what happens when we dismantle public institutions like schools — questions about social justice, questions about community, questions about care. I have questions about the promise of a liberation via a “child-driven education,” questions about this particular brand of neo-liberalism, techno-humanitarianism, and techno-individualism."

"Now don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty that education institutions do — from K–12 onward — that doesn’t help learners at all. Cost. Curriculum. Control. Assessments. Standardization. Debt. Unemployment. Existential Malaise."

"So despite their claims to be liberatory — with the focus on “the learner” and “the child” — this hacking of education by Mitra and Stephens is politically regressive. It is however likely to be good business for the legions of tech entrepreneurs in the audience."
education  schools  schooling  ted  tedtalks  sugatamitra  holeinthewall  community  publicgood  dalastephens  uncollege  unschooling  deschooling  criticism  audreywatters  techno-humanitarianism  neoliberalism  liberation  criticalthinking  groupthinking  dalestephens  evgenymorozov  highereducation  highered  funding  sole  capitalism  coursera  salmankhan  khanacademy  daphnekoller  privilege  techno-individualism  individualism  libertarians  libertarianism  californianideology  niit  salkhan 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Beyond televangelism: inside TED's new gospel | The Verge
"My dad called yesterday to shoot the shit and I told him I was at the TED conference in Palm Springs, but that’s actually not true: I’m at some sort of weird kidult summer camp / workshop thing called TEDActive…"

"TEDActive is the overflow chapel to TED’s Long Beach Cathedral, but the production quality is stunning…"

"TED talks are sermons, and the “ideas worth spreading” held therein are the gospel. Going to Long Beach (which costs $7500) is an exclusive trip to Mecca; TEDActive is the first tier of secondhand appreciation akin to viewing a religious relic in a glass case. And those videos, cherished by intellectuals and sometimes catchy enough to go viral in the general populace, are the updated version of The 700 Club, Pat Robertson’s hugely-influential television broadcast that is a cornerstone of televangelism."

"This was the new type of religion I’ve often envisioned: the exuberant dedication of emotional and physical resources to a proven force of good, not to an irrational faith-based deity. This was a church without a god. Well maybe Bono is its god but that is a story for a different day."

"I still have my issues with TED, no matter how succinctly its concepts are executed. The Long Beach auditorium seems like some sort of not-so-secret New World Order, a future alternative UN that lays all its cards out on the table: the people in that room are rich, successful, and brilliant (don’t let this go to your head, Topolsky). Its public face is so flawlessly produced that even its failures are gracefully integrated into its mission, something you can’t say about Catholicism or Scientology. But the whole thing does still have that Diet Cult feeling I got from the Scientology Center."

[See also: http://www.quora.com/TED/Why-do-some-people-hate-TED/answer/Micah-Boswell ]

"TED, to me, has become to humanists what church is to baptists."
ted  trentwoble  2013  religion  conferences  micahboswell  church 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Kirby Ferguson: Creating is Stealing - The Takeaway
"And it’s not just in music and movies that artists steal from other artists. It’s already happened in design during the war of smartphones. What did Apple steal from Samsung and what did Samsung steal from Apple? If we’re ever going to stop clogging up our legal pipes with endless patent lawsuits, Ferguson says we have to accept the ugly truth that creativity is stealing."

[See also: http://www.ted.com/talks/kirby_ferguson_embrace_the_remix.html ]
unfinished  nothingnewunderthesun  making  legal  law  creativity  stealing  ted  2012  copyright  patents  everythingisaremix  kirbyferguson 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Evgeny Morozov: The Naked And The TED | The New Republic
"I take no pleasure in declaring what has been obvious for some time: that TED is no longer a responsible curator of ideas “worth spreading.” Instead it has become something ludicrous, and a little sinister. Today TED is an insatiable kingpin of international meme laundering—a place where ideas, regardless of their quality, go to seek celebrity, to live in the form of videos, tweets, and now e-books. In the world of TED—or, to use their argot, in the TED “ecosystem”—books become talks, talks become memes, memes become projects, projects become talks, talks become books—and so it goes ad infinitum in the sizzling Stakhanovite cycle of memetics, until any shade of depth or nuance disappears into the virtual void. Richard Dawkins, the father of memetics, should be very proud. Perhaps he can explain how “ideas worth spreading” become “ideas no footnotes can support.”"
evgenymorozov  ted  memes  2012 memelaundering  memetics  via:Preoccupations 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Jonah Lehrer, TED, and the narrative dark arts | Felix Salmon
"TED-think isn’t merely vapid, it’s downright dangerous in the way that it devalues intellectual rigor at the expense of tricksy emotional and narrative devices. TED is a hugely successful franchise; its stars, like Jonah Lehrer, are going to continue to percolate into the world of journalism. And when they get there, they’ll be deeply versed in the dark arts of manipulating facts in order to create something perfectly self-contained and compelling. … TED isn’t going away: indeed, it’s so successful that it is spawning dozens of competitors, even as many publications, including the New Yorker as well as Wired, the NYT Magazine, the Atlantic, and many others, move aggressively into the “ideas” space. The cross-pollination between the conferences and the publications will continue, as will everybody’s desire to draw as big an audience as possible. Which says to me that Jonah Lehrer will not be the last person to trip up in this manner. In fact, he might turn out to be one of the first."
ted  jonahlehrer  2012  science  journalism  ideas  narrative  deception  via:Preoccupations 
august 2012 by robertogreco
The American Crawl : Lunchtime Intellectuals and Backseat Driving in Education
"All too often, we tend to try to simplify the really (really) complex challenges that teachers are in. At the DML conference last week, I took issue with John Seely Brown’s keynote talk that tended to idealize the Montessori school system. Meryl Alper helps complicate this as well as point to an early-education blind spot in the DML community. This stuff is much more complicated than can be covered in an 18 minute ohhs-and-ahhs-filled video. This stuff is about our future and it’s about the youth in our schools and it–thus–deserves for us to try untangling it as a complicated mess.

It’s not that TED-Ed is a bad idea. I’m more concerned with the continued trend of non-educators being able to get high profile coverage for creating faux quick-fix solutions (or worse: another community to work on solutions) for deep-rooted inequity that’s been decades in the works."
2012  complexity  inequity  silverbullets  quick-fixes  non-educators  idealization  messiness  montessori  johnseelybrown  learning  education  ted  anterogarcia 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Making smart on Env
"Smart people can take something complex and express it faithfully in different, especially simpler, terms. They can interpret and reinterpret. If you want to make something smart, it’s tempting to do smartness to your topic until you’ve condensed it into some admirably lucid interpretation, then hand that to the audience and wait for the applause. Sometimes this is what’s needed. But it isn’t how to make smart things. A smart thing is something for a smart person. However many interpretations you put in it, however fertile they are, you leave room for more.

You do this because you respect what you are interpreting and you do it because you respect your audience. It’s a lot like being considerate. And that’s how you make smart things."
making  writing  subjectivities  balance  interpretation  dryness  comments  audience  clever  cleverness  criticism  superiority  disdain  milankundera  kitsch  storytelling  airs  malcolmgladwell  ted  smartness  authenticity  entertainment  art  nervio  thomaskincade  beauty  humor  neilgaiman  2012  consideration  smarts  smart  charlieloyd 
may 2012 by robertogreco
How TED Makes Ideas Smaller - Megan Garber - Technology - The Atlantic
"But: We live in a world of increasingly networked knowledge. And it's a world that allows us to appreciate what has always been true: that new ideas are never sprung, fully formed, from the heads of the inventors who articulate them, but are always -- always -- the result of discourse and interaction and, in the broadest sense, conversation. The author-ized idea, claimed and owned and bought and sold, has been, it's worth remembering, an accident of technology…

A TED talk, at this point, is the cultural equivalent of a patent: a private claim to a public concept. With the speaker, himself, becoming the manifestation of the idea…what TED has done so elegantly, though, is to replace narrative in that equation with personality. The relatable idea, TED insists, is the personal idea. It is the performative idea. It is the idea that strides onstage and into a spotlight, ready to become a star."
bylines  copyright  print  conversation  chrisanderson  sethgodin  elipariser  creativity  ownership  ideas  stardom  personality  conferences  interaction  discourse  2012  networkedknowledge  sinclairlewis  chautauqua  megangarber  ted  innovation 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Those Fabulous Confabs
"For a certain prosperous tier of the citizenry, the conferences serve as a higher-brow Learning Annex. But most simply, these events are about establishing and reinforcing new hierarchies. In a culture where social rank is ever more fluid, an entrepreneur who overnight goes from sleeping under his desk to IPO-ing into a billionaire needs a way to express his new status, stat. “We don’t have castles and noble titles, so how do you indicate you’re part of the elite?” as Andrew Zolli, PopTech’s executive director, puts it.

Thus the rise of a cohort of speakers and attendees who migrate along the same elite social-intellectual trade routes. Throw in Sundance and SXSW and Burning Man, and you get what Michael Hirschorn has called “the clusterfuckoisie,” tweeting at each other as they shuttle between events."
via:litherland  saulwurman  chrisanderson  class  socialrank  elite  davidbrooks  sundance  lift  sxsw  dolectures  andrewzolli  elitism  status  hierarchy  society  culture  tedx  2012  conferences  poptech  ted 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Against TED – The New Inquiry
"TED is not simply “engaging” & “entertaining” but a specific type of entertainment that is increasingly out of touch & exclusionary.

…appears that whole TED brand induces laughter from many of those skeptical of corporate speak & techno-jargon. At first, I thought I was laughing alone; however, it turns out that lots of other people are equally unimpressed by the current state of TED…I’m not the only one who does not take TED very seriously or worse, views the whole project as suspect…

Perhaps the biggest complaint I heard was that TED smells of corporatism…

So many of the TED talks take on the form of those famous patent medicine tonic cure-all pitches of previous centuries, as though they must convince you not through the content of what’s being said but through the hyper-engaging style of the delivery…

As Mike Bulajewski pointed out in a Tweet, “TED’s ‘revolutionary ideas’ mask capitalism as usual, giving it a narrative of progress and change.”"
technology  alexismadrigal  popularity  exclusionary  exclusivity  bias  ideology  paulcurrion  mikebulajewski  evangelism  delivery  snakeoilsalesmen  2012  epistemology  corporatism  nathanjurgenson  criticism  ted 
february 2012 by robertogreco
The Creator Of TED Aims To Reinvent Conferences Once Again | Co. Design
"The format may or may not work -- most likely it will depend on the delicate chemistry between the pairing -- but in some ways, Wurman’s “conversation-over-presentation” approach seems in keeping with a current trend toward applying collaborative inquiry and discussion to today’s big issues and challenges. Of late, various types of innovation salons and conversational events have been popping up: Recently, Seth Goldenberg (a Bruce Mau Design alumni) launched the “IDEAS Salon,” initially in Rhode Island in April with a follow-up Silicon Valley event this fall. Instead of giving presentations, the high-level guests joined together to grapple with weighty questions; Goldenberg wanted to get away from what he dubs “the sage on stage” model used at TED and other conferences, in favor of a more conversational format. Similarly, the design firm Method has been hosting a series of salons in New York to explore big ideas in a more open and freewheeling manner."
education  ted  conferences  dialogue  saulwurman  2011  www.www  improvisation  vulnerability  sageonthestage  conversation  collaboration  collaborativeinquiry  discussion  tedtalks  tcsnmy  classideas  dialog 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world | Video on TED.com
"Kevin Slavin argues that we're living in a world designed for -- and increasingly controlled by -- algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can't understand, with implications we can't control."
kevinslavin  algorithms  complexity  coding  ted  data  finance  art  architecture  math  mathematics  control  2011  netflix  markets  bots 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles" | Video on TED.com
"As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy."
elipariser  echochambers  serendipity  internet  online  web  media  relevance  search  google  facebook  exposure  2011  ted  via:jessebrand  politics  crosspollination  dialogue  walledgardens  algorithms  censorship  personalization  advertising  yahoonews  huffingtonpost  nytimes  washingtonpost  impulse  aspirationalselves  filterbubble  dialog 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Q&A: Cesar Harada on the Promise of an Open-Source Oil Skimming Robot - Environment - GOOD [See also: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cesarminoru/protei-open-hardware-oil-spill-cleaning-sailing-ro ]
"Cesar Harada is a Renaissance Man of the old school. But with some very new school skills. He's probably best described now as an open-source environmental engineer, but even a convoluted label like that doesn't do his work justice. Harada was a construction manager in Kenya for Ushahidi, the open-source crisis mapping organization (which we've covered), building their offices, but also building their network and some of their websites. Construction & engineering are in his half-Japanese, half-French blood. His father is a sculptor, & the Japanese side of his family has long worked in the structural engineering field, earthquake-proofing buildings.<br />
<br />
Harada got his first masters in animation film, & then another in design interaction. He's also a pretty accomplished glassblower and a TED Senior Fellow. These days, Harada is focusing on Protei, an open-source ocean skimming robot that he believes could revolutionize oil spill cleanup. (raising money for prototype on Kickstarter)"
cesarharada  renaissancemen  good  ted  tedfellows  environment  environmentalism  design  engineering  kenya  ushahidi  opensource  construction  glvo  animation  film  interactiondesign  protei  oilspills  cleanup 
april 2011 by robertogreco
World Peace...and other 4th-grade achievements - About the Film and the Game
"World Peace...and other 4th-grade achievements interweaves the story of John Hunter, a teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his students' participation in an exercise called the World Peace Game. The game triggers an eight-week transformation of the children from students of a neighborhood public school to citizens of the world. The film reveals how a wise, loving teacher can unleash students' full potential."

"The World Peace Game is a hands-on political simulation that gives players the opportunity to explore the connectedness of the global community through the lens of the economic, social, and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war. The goal of the game is to extricate each country from dangerous circumstances and achieve global prosperity with the least amount of military intervention. As "nation teams," students will gain greater understanding of the critical impact of information and how it is used."

[See also: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/web/Media/Darden-News-Articles/2010/Founder-of-World-Peace-Game-Named-Fellow-of-Dardens-Center-for-Global-Initiatives/ ]
film  johnhunter  worldpeace  fourthgrade  education  teaching  simulations  classideas  economics  society  politics  tcsnmy  ted  global  perspective  projectbasedlearning  via:cervus  pbl 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Deb Roy: The birth of a word | Video on TED.com
"MIT researcher Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language -- so he wired up his house with videocameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son's life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch "gaaaa" slowly turn into "water." Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn."
debroy  language  science  ted  languageacquisition  learning  infants  children  childhood  environment  visualization  video  mit  neuroscience  social  spacetimeworms  naturenurture  speech  words  memorymachines  memory  lifelogging  tracking  audio  recording  classideas  patternrecognition  patterns  vocabulary  media  television  tv  socialmedia  eventstucture  conversation  semanticanalysis  wordscapes  communication  communicationdynamics  engagement  data  socialgraph  contentgraph  coviewing  behavior  socialstructures 
march 2011 by robertogreco
John Francis walks the Earth | Video on TED.com
"And so I realized that I had a responsibility to more than just me, and that I was going to have to change. You know, we can do it. I was going to have to change. And I was afraid to change, because I was so used to the guy who only just walked. I was so used to that person that I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t know who I would be if I changed. But I know I needed to. I know I needed to change, because it would be the only way that I could be here today. And I know that a lot of times we find ourselves in this wonderful place where we’ve gotten to, but there’s another place for us to go. And we kind of have to leave behind the security of who we’ve become, and go to the place of who we are becoming. And so, I want to encourage you to go to that next place, to let yourself out of any prison that you might find yourself in, as comfortable as it may be, because we have to do something now."
environment  walking  sustainability  ted  change  johnfrancis  yearoff  growth  self  identity  gamechanging  cv  earthday  responsibility  earth  communication  listening  talking  thinking  reflection  learning  conversation  perspective  banjo  music  ashland  oregon  cascadia  porttownsend  washingtonstate  storytelling  writing  classideas  education  pedagogy  teaching  tcsnmy  discussion  socraticmethod 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work | Video on TED.com
"Certain job and career choices are fundamentally  incompatible with being meaningfully engaged on a day to day basis with a young family…

The first step in solving any problem is acknowledging the reality of the situation you are in.

And the reality that we are in is that there are thousands and thousands of people out there living lives of quiet screaming desperation where they work long hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.

It is my contention that going to work on Friday in jeans and a t-shirt isn’t really getting to the nub of the issue."

[via: http://onthespiral.com/liberate-rat-race-dont-get-educated ]
ted  work  life  balance  yearoff  play  nigelmarsh  careers  ratrace  families  society  livetowork  unschooling  deschooling  schools  schooling  well-being  racetonowhere  education  debt  finance  neweconomy  economics  schooliness  glvo  wageslavery  meaning  passion  postmaterialism  relationships  postconsumerism  money  work-lifebalance 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability | Video on TED.com
"Brene Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share."
psychology  ted  vulnerability  purpose  meaning  behavior  human  measurement  connectedness  shame  connection  empathy  humanity  brenebrown  insecurity  love  research  belonging  worthiness  imperfection  courage  wabi-sabi  authenticity  identity  self  compassion  certainty  uncertainty  joy  perfectionism  obesity  depression  emotions  drugs  alcohol  children  struggle  numbness  apologies  transparency  living  wisdom  gratitude  listening  kindness  gentleness  parenting 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Noreena Hertz: How to use experts -- and when not to | Video on TED.com
"We make important decisions every day -- and we often rely on experts to help us decide. But, says economist Noreena Hertz, relying too much on experts can be limiting and even dangerous. She calls for us to start democratizing expertise -- to listen not only to "surgeons and CEOs, but also to shop staff.""
experts  specialization  specialists  tunnelvision  generalists  listening  patternrecognition  decisionmaking  ted  noreenahertz  economics  infooverload  confusion  certainty  uncertainty  democratization  blackswans  influence  blindlyfollowing  confidence  unschooling  deschooling  trust  openminded  echochambers  complexity  nuance  truth  persuasion  carelessness  paradigmshifts  change  gamechanging  criticalthinking  learning  problemsolving  independence  risktaking  persistence  self-advocacy  education  progress  manageddissent  divergentthinking  dissent  democracy  disagreement  discord  difference  espertise 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Behind the TEDTalk 2010 on Vimeo
"Behind the TEDTalk is the touching story of two extraordinary people [Raghava KK and Ken Robinson] who shared the stage at the 2010 TED Conference."
presenting  presentations  ted  howto  howwework  performance  kenrobinson  2010  raghavakk  speaking 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Bachelor Of Science » 50 Awesome & Inspiring TED Talks for Homeschoolers
"TED talks are addicting for folks of every age. Once you start listening, it opens your mind and you begin thinking beyond your immediate bubble of home life, work and school. It’s proof that thinking outside the box is a must for every subject. The list of TED talks compiled here will make students put their thinking caps and notice that the world around them and it’s an interesting place to be."
homeschool  unschooling  education  ted  tedtalks  learning  arts  art  glvo 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story | Video on TED.com
"Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding."
storytelling  culture  africa  culturalbias  bias  media  generalizations  writing  literature  ted  chimamandaadichie  truth  complexity  voice  experience  classideas  stereotypes  partialview  perception  nigeria  dignity  preconception  misunderstanding  chinuaachebe  books  chimamandangoziadichie 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Emily Pilloton: Teaching design for change | Video on TED.com
"Designer Emily Pilloton moved to rural Bertie County, in North Carolina, to engage in a bold experiment of design-led community transformation. She's teaching a design-build class called Studio H that engages high schoolers' minds and bodies while bringing smart design and new opportunities to the poorest county in the state."
design  ted  education  change  teaching  lcproject  schooldesign  studioh  projecthdesign  projecth  emilypilloton  northcarolina  rural  designthinking  tcsnmy  classsize  vocational  systems  systemsthinking  humanitariandesign  cv  braindrain  criticalthinking  meaning  purpose 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Andy Plesser: Video: TED's Chris Anderson: Video is a "Reinvention of the Spoken Word"
"The emergence of Web video is a "bigger deal than people realize" and it is a "reinvention of the spoken word" in profound ways, says Chris Anderson, "Curator" of the TED conferences and hugely successful Web series TED Talks."
chrisanderson  ted  video  spokenword  storytelling  classideas  teaching  communication  print  scale  learning  gamechanging  youtube  online  internet  presentations  lectures 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Nic Marks: The Happy Planet Index | Video on TED.com
"Statistician Nic Marks asks why we measure a nation's success by its productivity -- instead of by the happiness and well-being of its people. He introduces the Happy Planet Index, which tracks national well-being against resource use (because a happy life doesn't have to cost the earth). Which countries rank highest in the HPI? You might be surprised."
economics  environment  happiness  statistics  sustainability  ted  nicmarks  fear  well-being  productivity  latinamerica  future  progress  finance  growth  metrics  gdp  measurement  greed  robertfkennedy  shrequest1 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from | Video on TED.com
"People often credit their ideas to individual "Eureka!" moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the "liquid networks" of London's coffee houses to Charles Darwin's long, slow hunch to today's high-velocity web."
stevenjohnson  art  creativity  ideas  innovation  thinking  connectivity  hunches  interconnectivity  youtube  philosophy  cafeculture  incubation  timberners-lee  web  online  internet  lcproject  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  generalists  coffeehouses  ted  enlightenment  networks  space  place  thirdspaces  patterns  behavior  evolution  systems  systemsthinking  liquidnetowork  collaboration  tcsnmy  learning  theslowhunch  slowhunches  slow  darwin  eurekamoments  google20%  openstudio  cv  gps  sputnik  thirdplaces  charlesdarwin  interconnected 
september 2010 by robertogreco
YouTube - WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM by Steven Johnson
"Where Good Ideas Come From…pairs insight of Everything Bad Is Good for You & dazzling erudition of The Ghost Map & The Invention of Air to address an urgent & universal question: What sparks the flash of brilliance? How does groundbreaking innovation happen? Answering in his infectious, culturally omnivorous style, using fluency in fields from neurobiology to popular culture, Johnson provides complete, exciting, & encouraging story of how we generate ideas that push our careers, lives, society, & culture forward.

Beginning w/ Darwin's first encounter w/ teeming ecosystem of coral reef & drawing connections to intellectual hyperproductivity of modern megacities & to instant success of YouTube, Johnson shows us that the question we need to ask is, What kind of environment fosters the development of good ideas? His answers are never less than revelatory, convincing, & inspiring…identifies 7 key principles to genesis of such ideas, & traces them across time & disciplines."
stevenjohnson  art  creativity  ideas  innovation  thinking  connectivity  hunches  interconnectivity  youtube  philosophy  cafeculture  incubation  timberners-lee  web  online  internet  lcproject  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  generalists  coffeehouses  ted  enlightenment  networks  space  place  thirdspaces  patterns  behavior  evolution  systems  systemsthinking  liquidnetowork  collaboration  tcsnmy  learning  theslowhunch  slowhunches  slow  darwin  eurekamoments  thirdplaces  coral  charlesdarwin  interconnected 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education | Video on TED.com
"Education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education -- the best teachers and schools don't exist where they're needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching."
holeinthewall  outdoctrination  sugatamitra  unschooling  deschooling  education  teaching  learning  engagement  ted  technology  computers  india  africa  italy  autodidacts  self-directedlearning  motivation  intrinsicmotivation  interestdriven  interests  collaboration  internet  hyderabad  curiosity  speech  english  accents  speech2text  arthurcclarke  computing  cambodia  southafrica  games  play  gaming 
september 2010 by robertogreco
How TED Connects the Idea-Hungry Elite | Fast Company
"if you were starting a top university today, what would it look like? You would start by gathering very best minds from around world, from every discipline. Since we're living in an age of abundant, not scarce, information, you'd curate lectures carefully, with focus on new & original, rather than offer a course on every possible topic. You'd create a sustainable economic model by focusing on technological rather than physical infrastructure, & by getting people of means to pay for a specialized experience. You'd also construct a robust network so people could access resources whenever & from wherever they like, & you'd give them the tools to collaborate beyond the lecture hall. Why not fulfill the university's millennium-old mission by sharing ideas as freely and as widely as possible?

If you did all that, well, you'd have TED. …

unlike fearful old-school colleges, TED is finding that the more open it is, the more it becomes the global education brand of the 21st century"
chrisanderson  ted  tedx  conferences  education  creativity  learning  sharing  open  elite  ideas  curation  networks  colleges  universities  media  harvard 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Charter for Compassion
"The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves…

We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies."
activism  charter  collaboration  community  ethics  empathy  compassion  life  humanity  global  religion  faith  philosophy  ted  karenarmstrong  classideas 
august 2010 by robertogreco
The generative web event « Snarkmarket [Important post stitching together two other important posts on the future of media]
"One new kind of media that’s start­ing to func­tion as a work is a blog. Not, in most cases, a blog post—but a blog. If NYTimes decides, “hey, we’re going to start & host a blog all about par­ent­ing” that blog becomes a Work. It pro­duces ongo­ing cul­tural focus, & not just because it’s in NYT. Some posts get more atten­tion than oth­ers, espe­cially if they cross over into long-form venue, but writ­ing that blog, stick­ing with it, being its author, cre­ates focus, read­er­ship & long accu­mu­la­tion of con­tent. & I’m sure Lisa Belkin (already wrote a book about par­ent­ing) will get another book out of it.

But the other new, emer­gent work, which might be more rad­i­cal, is the gen­er­a­tive web event. 48HrMag, One Week | One Tool, Robin’s novel­las & maybe even New Lib­eral Arts (espe­cially if we put together another edi­tion) are all ances­tral species of this new thing—chil­dren of TED, Phoot Camp, Long Now, Iron Chef, & par­ents of whatever’s going to come next."
events  ted  gamechanging  tcsnmy  lcproject  future  generative  generativeevents  newliberalarts  longnow  48hrmag  longshot  robinsloan  timcarmody  snarkmarket  collaboration  collaborative  classideas  media  blogs  blogging  longform  phootcamp  ironchef  oneweekonetool  writing  2010  education  weliveinamazingtimes  generativewebevents 
august 2010 by robertogreco
DSGN AGNC: Good News
"The theme of TEDGlobal 2010 was "And now the good news..." It was a nonstop week of intense ideas exchange -- listening to great talks and meeting dynamic people, especially the other TED Fellows and Senior Fellows. But for me the good news was that "the Future" has arrived.

Several TED talks this year reassured me that if not yet fully arrived, then "the Future" is under development and in beta.

[Some short talk summaries here.]

Major transformations of society and technology -- such as how we relate to nature, products and things that compute -- will reshape humanity through design. The good news is that the future is what we make it."
tedglobal  ted  future  design  selfdetermination  humanity  nature  productdesign  ubicomp  society  optimism  2010  ethanzuckerman 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Sheena Iyengar on the art of choosing | Video on TED.com
"Sheena Iyengar studies how we make choices -- and how we feel about the choices we make. At TEDGlobal, she talks about both trivial choices (Coke v. Pepsi) and profound ones, and shares her groundbreaking research that has uncovered some surprising attitudes about our decisions."
choices  choice  economics  culture  psychology  motivation  sheenaiyengar  via:carwaiseto  ted  social  preferences  research  self  success  independence  collaboration  interdependence  interdependency  tcsnmy  learning  options  identity 
july 2010 by robertogreco
YouTube - TEDxDenverEd- Brian Crosby - Back to the Future
"Brian Crosby, an upper elementary teacher for 29 years, guides the learning in a model technology classroom in Sparks, Nevada." [via: http://twitter.com/DianeRavitch/status/18883795791 ]
education  elementary  inquiry  ted  teaching  1to1  blogs  blogging  briancrosby  looping  tcsnmy  reflection  classideas  lcproject  1:1 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Why Old Spice matters « Snarkmarket
"blogs are actu­ally more related to live the­ater than they are to, say, news­pa­pers. The things that make a blog good are almost exactly the things that make a live per­for­mance good...most impor­tant...is inter­play w/ the audience...

...this cam­paign [also] made me think of 48 Hour Mag­a­zine...same sense of you-gotta-see-this...can-they-really-do-it. It was an event..."But [an event’s] urgency—its live­ness, human vital­ity, &, frankly, its risk & unpredictability—is what makes it more than just another link in the stream"...

one final rea­son to take this for­mat seriously:

...It’s tons of fun. Any­body who’s writ­ten a blog, got­ten deep into Twit­ter, run a Kick­starter project, pulled strings on an ARG will tell you...There’s a spe­cial sat­is­fac­tion to see­ing its impact on the world immediately—and adjust­ing based on what you see. It’s alive, it’s elec­tric, it’s addic­tive. It’s con­nected and communal."
robinsloan  socialmedia  storytelling  advertising  oldspice  2010  theater  analysis  marketing  media  digital  creative  casestudy  video  events  ted  realtime  twitter  blogs  blogging  feedback  interactive  interactivity 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Ethan Zuckerman: Listening to global voices | Video on TED.com
"Sure, the web connects the globe, but most of us end up hearing mainly from people just like ourselves. Blogger and technologist Ethan Zuckerman wants to help share the stories of the whole wide world. He talks about clever strategies to open up your Twitter world and read the news in languages you don't even know."

[script here: http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/2010/07/14/a-wider-world-a-wider-web-my-tedglobal-2010-talk/ ]
infrastructure  bilingualism  blogging  blogs  globalization  global  ted  world  curation  ethanzuckerman  filterbubble  tcsnmy  classideas  toshare  topost  news  media  language  socialmedia  translation  internet  xenophily  xenophiles  perspective  globalvoices  languages  googlechrome  nicholasnegroponte  imaginarycosmipolitans  education  learning  understanding  flocks  GDPbias  gdp  newscoverage  tedglobal  brazil  technology  globalvillage  listening  globalism  communication  knowledge  twitter  collaboration  brasil 
july 2010 by robertogreco
…My heart’s in Accra » A wider world, a wider web: my TEDGlobal 2010 talk
"world is much wider than we generally perceive it....Tools like twitter can trap us in...“filter bubbles”–internet is too big to understand, so we get picture of it that’s similar to what our friends see...wider world is click away, but we’re usually filtering it out...wasn’t how it was supposed to work...in 1970s, 35-40% of average nightly newscast focused on international stories...now 12-15%...same phenomenon in quality US newspapers...pays far closer attention to wealthy nations than poor ones...Most media show this GDP bias...internet isn’t flattening world as Nicholas Negroponte thought it would...making us “imaginary cosmopolitans”

[video here: http://blog.ted.com/2010/07/listening_to_gl.php ]
infrastructure  bilingualism  blogging  blogs  globalization  global  ted  world  curation  ethanzuckerman  filterbubble  tcsnmy  classideas  toshare  topost  news  media  language  socialmedia  translation  internet  xenophily  xenophiles  perspective  globalvoices  languages  googlechrome  nicholasnegroponte  imaginarycosmipolitans  education  learning  understanding  flocks  GDPbias  gdp  newscoverage  tedglobal  brazil  technology  globalvillage  listening  globalism  communication  knowledge  twitter  collaboration  brasil 
july 2010 by robertogreco
…My heart’s in Accra » TEDGlobal: Steve Johnson – Chance favors the connected mind
"Johnson has been thinking about coffeehouses because he’s interested in question, Where Do Good Ideas Come From? (more or less...his new book.) He tells us that we have shortcomings in our language in discussing ideas. Our language – flash of insight, stroke of genius, epiphany – focus on ideas as atomic & disconnected. But an idea is a network – it’s a new configuation w/in your brain. How do you get your brain into new places where ideas can form?...

Great ideas aren’t flashes of insights – they’re the cobbling together of diverse ideas into a new configuation. So we need to let go of the image of Netwon, the apple & discovery of gravity. It’s rarely about individual contemplation – it’s more about the sort of chaotic, free-flowing ideas that happen in the coffeehouse or around dinner table. We need to build spaces like this, including in their offices...

People tend to compress their stories of discovery into a Eureka moment. In truth, most great ideas a “slow hunches”."
stevenjohnson  ted  chance  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  connections  innovation  mind  hunches  coffeehouses  ideas  conversation  design  ethanzuckerman  brain  discovery  howwework  workplace  tcsnmy  lcproject  schooldesign  science 
july 2010 by robertogreco
…My heart’s in Accra » TEDGlobal: Sugata Mitra, beyond Hole in the Wall
"experiment in Hyderabad asked children who spoke English with a strong Telugu accent to use a voice recognition system on a computer. 2 months later, their accents had changed & were closer to the neutral British accent of the speech synthesizer.

Mitra had a conversation w/ Arthur C. Clarke [who] said, “If a teacher can be replaced with a machine, he should be.” & Clarke told him that student interest is the most important thing in education...

Maybe the most amazing experiment comes from Turin, where Mitra went to a primary school and started writing questions on the white board in English for students who speak only Italian. Using Google translate, students were answering questions like “Who was Pythagoras and what did he do?” in a few minutes.

Mitra tells us that he future of education is self-organized learning environments. They let students learn together, use resources and people they can access online & explore on their own, & he plans on testing this going forward."
sugatamitra  holeinthewall  outdoctrination  learning  education  unschooling  deschooling  turin  torino  testing  self-organizedlearning  autodidacts  colaboration  cheating  sharing  motivation  2010  pln  teaching  technology  ted  ict  edtech  biotech  math  google  ethanzuckerman  self-organizedlearningenvironment 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | Video on TED.com
"Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers -- and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling." [See the comment thread for mixed reactions.]
leadership  management  innovation  entrepreneurship  business  apple  culture  education  marketing  motivation  ted  strategy  tcsnmy  why  vision  purpose  lcproject  whyhowwhat  mission  howto  organizations 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Clay Shirky: How cognitive surplus will change the world | Video on TED.com
"Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" -- the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy editing Wikipedia, posting to Ushahidi (and yes, making LOLcats), we're building a better, more cooperative world."
clayshirky  cognitivesurplus  collaboration  knowledge  psychology  twitter  trends  ted  technology  socialmedia  surplus  community  change  sharing  cognitive  internet  culture  citizenjournalism  onebreakstheother  intrinsicmotivation  motivation  economics  goodwill 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Charles Leadbeater: Education innovation in the slums | Video on TED.com
"Charles Leadbeater went looking for radical new forms of education -- and found them in the slums of Rio and Kibera, where some of the world's poorest kids are finding transformative new ways to learn. And this informal, disruptive new kind of school, he says, is what all schools need to become."
charlesleadbeater  demos  education  future  innovation  pedagogy  poverty  learning  ted  technology  slums  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  riodejaneiro  brasil  kibera  kenya  informal  informallearning  disruptive  lcproject  futureoflearning  finland  leapfrogging  compulsory  india  development  transformation  newdelhi  sugatamitra  holeinthewall  socialentrepreneurship  literacy  pull  push  engagement  belohorizonte  sãopaulo  mobile  phones  cities  urban  hightechhigh  outdoctrination  brazil 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Don't treat schools like fast food joints - CNN.com
"Education reform movements are often based on the fast-food model of quality assurance: on standardization and conformity. What's needed is a much higher standard of provision based on the principles of personalized learning for every child and of schools customizing their cultures to meet local circumstances."
education  standards  ted  standardization  kenrobinson  learning  unschooling  reform  deschooling  lcproject  tcsnmy  change 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! | Video on TED.com
"In this poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning -- creating conditions where kids' natural talents can flourish."
kenrobinson  children  2010  learning  revolution  education  creativity  ted  future  teaching  schools  standardization  personalization  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  tcsnmy  gamechanging  human  experience  life  wisdom  gettingon  sufferingthrough  waitingfortheweekend  reform  startingover  evolution  evolutionarychange  revolutionarychange  change  innovation  transformation  commonsense  tyrannyofcommonsense 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Viktor Frankl: Why to believe in others | Video on TED.com
"In this rare clip from 1972, legendary psychiatrist and Holocaust-survivor Viktor Frankl delivers a powerful message about the human search for meaning -- and the most important gift we can give others."
psychology  idealism  life  meaning  philosophy  ted  education  tcsnmy  expectation  beliefinothers  optimism  viktorfrankl  humanity  human  existence  1972 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Tom Wujec: Build a tower, build a team | Video on TED.com
"Tom Wujec presents some surprisingly deep research into the "marshmallow problem" -- a simple team-building exercise that involves dry spaghetti, one yard of tape and a marshmallow. Who can build the tallest tower with these ingredients? And why does a surprising group always beat the average?"

[via: http://scudmissile.tumblr.com/post/554987122]
building  business  challenge  collaboration  creativity  design  prototyping  ted  teamwork  teams  leadership  management  motivation  inspiration  innovation  process  tcsnmy  learning  problemsolving  iteration  failure  administration  tomwujec  psychology  extrinsicmotivation  intrinsicmotivation  success  incentives 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Do blog - We used to gather around a fire to listen to...
"why are stories so important?...over time we have become comfortable with this way of getting information. We like the format. It works for us. We know how to decipher them. Indeed stories are how we used to learn but will also be very much how we learn in the future. In its simplest form they pass knowledge on. They explain things we don’t fully understand. They inspire us. With each great story comes life’s important lessons. About their determination, about what drove them, about trying to find a better way of doing something, about the struggles they met along the way. Stories are also important because they are about doing things. Stories need verbs. It’s the verb in the stories that gives it the action. The ‘Do’ bit. & importantly, people don’t forget stories, especially when told brilliantly. But they often forget facts, even if told in unique way. These stories in terms of learning are important; they show us the way. They demonstrate what is possible. They give us hope."
stories  verbs  action  do  doing  storytelling  learning  tcsnmy  ted  information 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids | Video on TED.com
"Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach."
adorasvitak  children  learning  creativity  life  ted  education  future  tcsnmy 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world | Video on TED.com
"Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how."
janemcgonigal  2010  arg  sustainability  innovation  mmorpg  videogames  wow  gamedesign  games  gaming  culture  education  marketing  ted 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Why teaching is 'not like making motorcars' - CNN.com [also: http://www.cnn.com/2009/OPINION/11/03/robinson.schools.stifle.creativity/index.html]
"Sir Ken Robinson says our education system works like a factory. It's based on models of mass production and conformity that actually prevent kids from finding their passions and succeeding, he said.
creativity  criticalthinking  schools  teaching  ted  education  philosophy  reform  kenrobinson  tcsnmy 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory | Video on TED.com
"Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our "experiencing selves" and our "remembering selves" perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy -- and our own self-awareness."
danielkahneman  memory  happiness  satisfaction  self-awareness  behavior  experience  ted  2010  psychology  money  goals  via:jessebrand  time  endings  well-being  policy  publicpolicy  economics  life  reflection  climate  california  education  design  learning  science  wealth  income  emotions  capitalism 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds | Video on TED.com
"Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, talks about how her mind works -- sharing her ability to "think in pictures," which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids."
autism  ted  templegrandin  learning  understanding  language  nonverbal  visual  patterns  verbal  neuroscience  tcsnmy 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Raghava KK: Five lives of an artist | Video on TED.com
"With endearing honesty and vulnerability, Raghava KK tells the colorful tale of how art has taken his life to new places, and how life experiences in turn have driven his multiple reincarnations as an artist -- from cartoonist to painter, media darling to social outcast, and son to father."
art  raghavakk  ted  creativity  reinvention  autodidacts  unschooling  autodidactism  learning  evolution  change  gamechanging  lifelonglearning  glvo  children  painting  caricatures  life  wisdom  belief  experience  autodidacticism 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Philip K. Howard: Four ways to fix a broken legal system | Video on TED.com
"The land of the free has become a legal minefield, says Philip K. Howard -- especially for teachers and doctors, whose work has been paralyzed by fear of suits. What's the answer? A lawyer himself, Howard has four propositions for simplifying US law."
broken  innovation  reform  health  law  simplicity  risk  authority  us  schools  medicine  teaching  learning  education  philiphoward  trust  constitution  values  principles  rules  ted  fear  freedom  lawsuits  gamechanging  fairness  playgrounds  passion  care  waste  money  productivity  decisionmaking  hiring  judgement  paralysis  dueprocess  rights  threats  government  litigation  recess  warnings  warninglabels  labels  psychology  society 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The very foundations « Snarkmarket
"I think these three domains are all espe­cially impor­tant and inter­est­ing because they’re all meta–domains. That is to say, they deter­mine the play­ing field for other domains, so changes here cause chain-reactions. There’s lever­age. Change any of these domains in a deep way and you change the econ­omy. You change tech­nol­ogy. You change fam­ily struc­tures and land-use patterns. But it’s true for energy most of all. Hop­ing for a mir­a­cle is not a real strat­egy, I know; but don’t for­get that the early days of steam power, oil and elec­tric­ity all had a bit of the mirac­u­lous to them. Some new energy-harvesting process, or some rad­i­cally more pow­er­ful kind of bat­tery: either could trans­form society—absolutely up-end it. And changes in energy end up chang­ing every­thing else—law and edu­ca­tion included. How excit­ing is that?"
energy  law  education  local  tcsnmy  comments  robinsloan  ted  snarkmarket  gamechanging  lcproject  future  problemsolving  meta  unschooling  deschooling  learning  distributed  simplicity  complexity 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Derek Sivers: Weird, or just different? | Video on TED.com
""There's a flip side to everything," the saying goes, and in 2 minutes, Derek Sivers shows this is true in a few ways you might not expect."
ted  dereksivers  maps  mapping  japan  india  health  medicine  culture  opposites  negativespace  streets  perspective  assumptions  inversion  music  africa  timing  westafrica  names  naming  wayfinding 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Ravin Agrawal: 10 young Indian artists to watch | Video on TED.com
"Collector Ravin Agrawal delivers a glowing introduction to 10 of India's most exciting young contemporary artists. Working in a variety of media, each draws on their local culture for inspiration." "The names of the artists, in order, are Bharti Kher, A. Balasubramaniam, Chitra Ganesh, Jitish Kallat, N.S. Harsha, Dhruvi Acharya, Raqib Shaw, Raqs Media Collective, Subodh Gupta, and Ranjani Shettar."
art  india  glvo  ted  artists 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Stefana Broadbent: How the Internet enables intimacy | Video on TED.com
"We worry that IM, texting, Facebook are spoiling human intimacy, but Stefana Broadbent's research shows how communication tech is capable of cultivating deeper relationships, bringing love across barriers like distance and workplace rules."
stefanabroadbent  technology  communication  socialnetworking  culture  internet  social  socialnetworks  twitter  sociology  facebook  community  media  research  ethnography  intimacy  ted  socialmedia  relationships  work  tcsnmy  history  society  deschooling  unschooling  socialcontact  schooling  schools 
december 2009 by robertogreco
TED Blog: The best of times, the worst of times
"Historically, American happiness nose-dives in tandem with economic downturns. But despite the recession, current indicators paradoxically show that Americans are, right now, quite happy indeed. Although happiness spiked downward with last fall’s market drop, by this summer, it was at an all-time high. Americans are more optimistic about their health, well-being, and finances than a year ago, and plan to have a merrier Christmas this year, though they will spend less money. Why?
2009  ted  economics  health  happiness  consumption  us  crisis  recession  greatrecession 
november 2009 by robertogreco
New School: How the Web Liberalized Liberal Arts Education | GOOD
"This is where neo-education steps in—not necessarily as a substitute for a university degree, at least not at this point, but as a necessary filler for the many gaps in today’s higher education, an essential exercise in flexing our inherent human curiosity about the world before it atrophies into the narrow scope of skill and vision that the original liberal arts model aimed to eradicate in the first place. In an age driven by the cross-pollination of ideas, viewpoints, and disciplines, it is only through such indiscriminate curiosity and exploration that we can truly liberalize our collective future."
education  academia  teaching  web  liberalarts  cyberculture  activism  ted  arts  socialmedia  technology  internet  free  change  autodidacts  unschooling  deschooling  curiosity  tcsnmy  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The future of media? Bet on events « Snarkmarket
"I like the idea of the event as a fun­da­men­tal unit of media, specif­i­cally because at its best, it can be gen­er­a­tive. And the media it generates—that grow­ing data shadow—is what builds the audi­ence over time. But its urgency—its live­ness, human vital­ity, and, frankly, its risk and unpredictability—is what makes it more than just another link in the stream.

Aww but mostly I just want TED mixed with Phoot Camp mixed with Iron Chef mixed with Long Now. I want to go to it, and I want to watch it online."
robinsloan  snarkmarket  media  newmedia  web  ted  culture  future  online  creativity  events  conferences  howto  tcsnmy  lcproject  glvo  phootcamp  generative  trends  zeitgeist  creation  community  entertainment  collaboration  unconferences  publishing  literature  music  albums  performance  serial  attention  innovation  audience  futureofmedia  socialmedia  cocreation  journalism  barcamp  inspiration  generativeevents  generativewebevents  conferenceplanning  eventplanning 
november 2009 by robertogreco
John Gerzema: The post-crisis consumer | Video on TED.com
"John Gerzema says there's an upside to the recent financial crisis -- the opportunity for positive change. Speaking at TEDxKC, he identifies four major cultural shifts driving new consumer behavior and shows how businesses are evolving to connect with thoughtful spending."
trends  johngerzema  community  volunteerism  crisis  ideas  consumer  ted  consumerism  values  savings  conspicuousconsumption  quality  transparency  business  travel  mobility  liquidity  value  libraries  cable  sharing  lending  learning  education  continuingeducation  diy  urbanfarming  sustainability  infrastructure  environment  creditcards  cooperation  trust  crowdsourcing  artisinal  glvo  localcurrency  green  consumption  kogi  carrotmobs  incentives  twitter  ethics  fairplay  empathy  respect 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off | Video on TED.com
"Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali."
stefansagmeister  sabbaticals  yearoff  sevenyears  cv  timeoff  lifehacks  gtd  creativity  work  projects  process  design  art  writing  innovation  productivity  life  ideas  bali  glvo  furniture  ted  time  management  google  3m  happiness  planning  tcsnmy  administration 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Tim Brown urges designers to think big | Video on TED.com
"Tim Brown says the design profession is preoccupied with creating nifty, fashionable objects -- even as pressing questions like clean water access show it has a bigger role to play. He calls for a shift to local, collaborative, participatory "design thinking.""
timbrown  ted  design  designthinking  problemsolving  creativity  ideo  2009  innovation  gamechanging  worldchanging  consumption  participatory  participation  collaboration  collaborative  local  experience  intangibles  objects  economics 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Bjarke Ingels: 3 warp-speed architecture tales | Video on TED.com
"Danish architect Bjarke Ingels rockets through photo/video-mingled stories of his eco-flashy designs. His buildings not only look like nature -- they act like nature: blocking the wind, collecting solar energy -- and creating stunning views."

[interview here: http://blog.ted.com/2009/10/qa_with_bjarke.php]
denmark  sustainability  architecture  design  ted  innovation  bjarkeingels  big 
september 2009 by robertogreco
The design genius of Charles + Ray Eames | Video on TED.com - “Beyond the age of information is the age of choices.” - Chales Eames
"The legendary design team Charles and Ray Eames made films, houses and classic midcentury modern furniture. Eames Demetrios, their grandson, shows rarely seen films and archival footage in a lively, loving tribute to their creative process."
eames  design  children  creativity  innovation  choice  furniture  film  video  vision  ted  eamesdemetrios  process  glvo  iterative  tcsnmy  learning  learningbydoing  organic  handson 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Arthur Benjamin's formula for changing math education | Video on TED.com
"Someone always asks the math teacher, "Am I going to use calculus in real life?" And for most of us, says Arthur Benjamin, the answer is no. He offers a bold proposal on how to make math education relevant in the digital age."
math  education  learning  teaching  schools  statistics  economics  mathematics  probability  tcsnmy  calculus  change  reform  curriculum  ted  analytics 
june 2009 by robertogreco
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