Idiots, Networks and Patterns

Here are some interesting things that were shared via Twitter this past week.

@SebPaquet ~ “Make something idiot-proof and somebody will make a better idiot.”

@CharlesJennings ~ “we deliver milk. we facilitate learning. we transfer funds. we help build knowledge.” [on ‘learning transfer’]

@StevenBJohnson ~”you can’t have an epiphany with only three neurons” – Where Good Ideas Come From [innovation is about networks]

Marc Benioff [CEO]: We learned that the key to success with social collaboration is integrating social into workflow. Collaboration is not an island. – via @JayCross

The Physics of Finance: The more chaotic our environment & less control we have, the more we see non-existent simple patterns, or as Valdis Krebs pointed out, seeing fictitious patterns in random data is called “apophenia

This is interesting in this limited context of discrimination and how the orderliness of physical environments might influence it, but the effect described seems in fact to be far more general — it reflects a human longing for order and simplicity whenever faced with too much uncertainty.

People Are Close to Revolt (James Fallows, The Atlantic) via @SteveBrant

All of the people I know who are capable of rational thought also understand that the combination of (we’re rural so pretty much everyone gets climate change) climate change and energy issues, lack of jobs, and the refusal of government to provide us with basic services means that a new revolutionary social movement is needed. Food prices are soaring, gas prices are making it hard for people to get to low paying jobs, and the amount of suffering because of lack of access to medical care is dire. [US Midwest University Librarian]

Situated Technologies: interesting future-oriented reads HT @JonHusband

The Internet of People for a Post-Oil World [available as free PDF]
Spring 2011 – Christian Nold and Rob van Kranenburg

The authors articulate the foundations of a future manifesto for an Internet of Things in the public interest. Nold and Kranenburg propose tangible design interventions that challenge an internet dominated by commercial tools and systems, emphasizing that people from all walks of life have to be at the table when we talk about alternate possibilities for ubiquitous computing. Through horizontally scaling grass roots efforts along with establishing social standards for governments and companies to allow cooperation, Nold and Kranenberg argue for transforming the Internet of Things into an Internet of People.

Will you soon be able to make Amazon’s Kindle at Home? by @SteveDenning [reminds me of Cory Doctorow’s book, Makers]

Igoe and Mota point out that digital manufacturing is beginning to do to manufacturing what the Internet has done to information-based goods and services. Just as video went from a handful of broadcast networks to millions of producers on YouTube within a decade, a massive transition from centralized production to a “maker culture” of dispersed manufacturing innovation is under way today.


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