- z2010-11-02- Presentation Creation
I have to give a Presentat Ion this weekend, so wanted to figure out to do this without going crazy.
As usual, start in FreeMind to author.
Since I'll be doing this remotely (SkyPe Screen Sharing), I could even give the presentation in FreeMind (since I won't be visible myself nor stuck holding a simple remote). On the other hand, having to close bits as you finish them to limit distraction is kinda annoying.
Played with script to generate S5-ready HTML file from FreeMind, but it only makes 1 slide per top-level node, so a very deep/bushy MindMap results in a small number of too-long slides. (I could re-arrange my FreeMind file to fit that model, but it seems to defeat the purpose.)
Played with PreZi a bit, but have to retype each bit over again, plus deal with all that zooming and text-resizing. And I suspect I won't have that many visual elements. Seems not worth the trouble.
Feh, after refining my notes, I basically retyped into Open Office-Impress, just so that less clicking would be involved...
Renamed from 'LassPass'. derp misspelling
- z2012-12-04- American Spelling Reform
Dmitry Orlov has gotten frustrated with the insanity of American spelling and its cost in terms of level of LiterAcy (Reading And Writing).
The idea came to me as I was thinking of a good demonstration project for an exercise in practical anarchy, where a few individuals acting autonomously can make a big difference and provide an alternative to a vast, entrenched, dominant, horribly flawed system... I believe I can solve it because I happen to be a trained linguist, and although I haven't delved too deeply into English phonology (until now) I know the principles. I also happen to be a software engineer, and, as it happens, the task of making this project work is 1% linguistic analysis and 99% software engineering. I think that it is realistic to make the 40,000 or so books available through Project Gutenberg also available in this new form by piping them all through a piece of software, which is yet to be written.
Wiki Pedia has a nice review of past attempts at this. As one of Orlov's commenters notes, sticking with the current alphabet will maintain support for the ASCII used in computers. (Spelling Reform Movement)
The task at hand is not to create a new way of writing English using the Latin alphabet, since that's already been done, in spots and in stripes. It's called Lolcat. I'm not sure I buy that, but he defines some requirements that are interesting. And ends up with: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JFURa6tXmrM/UMZbDNpprEI/AAAAAAAADcc/qb1OTIOSY94/s1600/GlyphTable.png
- z2007-05-02- Pollan Farm Bill
Michael Pollan on the FarmBill. Like most Processed Food-s, the Twinkie (ObesIty) is basically a clever arrangement of carbohydrates and fats teased out of corn, soybeans and wheat - three of the five commodity crops that the farm bill supports, to the tune of some $25 billion a year. (Rice and cotton are the others.).. The current farm bill helps commodity farmers by cutting them a check based on how many bushels they can grow... By making it possible for American farmers to sell their crops abroad for considerably less than it costs to grow them, the farm bill helps determine the price of corn in MexIco and the price of cotton in Nigeria and therefore whether farmers in those places will survive or be forced off the land, to migrate to the cities (Rural Development) - or to the United States (Immigrat Ion)... Today the problem is overnutrition, but a School Lunch lady (Educating Kids) trying to prepare healthful fresh food is apt to get dinged by USDA inspectors for failing to serve enough calories; if she dishes up a lunch that includes Chicken Nuggets and Tater Tots, however, the inspector smiles and the reimbursements flow.
- z2011-04-27- Optimistic Near Future Vision
Is there a novel, other book, or other resource out there that paints a near-future (10-20yrs) Small World/Network Economy picture that's not overly-darked by PeakOil or other CollApse factors (or Singular Ity wishful-thinking)?
Is Science Fiction the only place to look?
DaeMon/Freedom Tm have bits of that, surrounded by transitional violence. And a bit too much Deus Ex Machina (DeusEx dead-guys-machina).
Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom has a little too much material-abundance wishful-thinking.
Acceler Ando is a utopia only for the roughly 1% of humanity who don't get exterminated by the ab-human products of the singularity. Do pay attention, please?... You missed the bit with the Vile Offspring in the last third of the novel, did you? They're dismantled and recycled as computronium. And the upload minds the Vile Offspring are firing at the survivors on Saturn are actually a denial-of-service attack using fakes (literally: false consciousness). (Also a bit too far-tech, after the early lobster part.) z2010-12-06-StrossSeekingUtopias
Mar'2012: I guess I'll settle for some inspirational Non Fiction.
Jul'2014: Kevin Kelly sought short descriptions of a plausible but attractive future from the crowd.
His favorite of the submissions: Physical and Virtual Reality-s are meshed together with no distinction. Ideas are given sovereignty with their creators rewarded fairly and directly. The world itself does the drudgery of assembling itself across all sectors that information science has been applied, which is limited only by the quantum information underpinnings of the universe. Humans have taken up their primary purpose of creativity and now work with other intelligences of any kind to ask questions and achieve answers, with an eye toward more questions. “Human” has taken on flourishing new meanings. Imagination has been unleashed upon the world in a literal sense. — John Hanacek
His own pastiche: 2121: Population 4 billion; 85% UrbAn. Cities boom, empty suburbs struggle. Agriculture acreage reduced with GMO-s. Nature monitored quantitatively; green lands expand with genetic engineering. Solar, fusion, mini nukes generate cheap power. Climate Change adapted. Creative Class Middle Class the new majority, globally mobile. Computer pilots make travel common internationally. Eco and heritage tourism primary income for poorest. RoBot-s takeover remaining Blue Collar jobs in Asia and Africa. Internet of everything physical (Internet Of Things) continued. Universal library, and universal lifelong education for free. All humans AlwaysOn the net anywhere. Brain interface, wearables. Co-veillent tracking (Transparent Society) ubiquitous. Quantified Self for personalized medicine. Techno-literacy (managing) skills mandatory.
Semi-related, a couple days later, he noted that it's not too late to Change The World via the InterNet StartUp. The internet is still at the beginning of its beginning. If we could climb into a time machine and journey 30 years into the future, and from that vantage look back to today, we’d realize that most of the greatest products running the lives of citizens in 2044 were not invented until after 2014. People in the future will look at their holodecks, and wearable virtual reality contact lenses, and downloadable avatars, and AI interfaces, and say, oh, you didn’t really have the internet (or whatever they’ll call it) back then. (phases of Technological Revolution)
- z2011-10-20- Fastco Platform War Apple Facebook Google Amazon
Farhad Manjoo (in Fast Company) describes the growing Platform War. Over the next two years, AmaZon, Apple Computer, FaceBook, and GooGle will increasingly collide in the markets for MobIle phones and TabLet-s, mobile AppStore-s, Social Networking, and more.
Everyone reading this article is a customer of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, or Google, and most probably count on all four. But will it stay this way, or will such a pattern become increasingly irritating as each platform becomes more hostile to the others?
So who could derail these best-laid plans? Well, let's start with the lawyers, of course. (PatEnt, Anti Trust)
Dec'2012: Bruce Sterling suggests calling these players (plus Micro Soft) "The Stacks". People assume that Stacks want to break the Internet into Balkanized pieces, but that's not what's going on. Basically, "Stacks" want to corral the Internet's anonymous "users" --"nobody knew they were dogs" -- and turn users into tagged, branded and privatized livestock. A Stack doesn't have to "break the Internet" to do this; it just has to set up the digital equivalent of a comprehensive family farm, so that the free-range cowboys of the Electronic Frontier (EFF) are left with crickets chirping and nothing much to do. A modern Stack will leverage stuff that has never been "Internet," such as MobIle devices, cell coverage and Operating System-s.
- z2004-09-21- Long Lodge Healthcare
Roderick T Long on the cheap Health Care provided by Mutual Aid associations before they were outlawed by Big Government and Trade Guild-s like the AMA. "Lodge practice" refers to an arrangement, reminiscent of today's HMO-s, whereby a particular society or lodge would contract with a doctor to provide medical care to its members... Most remarkable was the low cost at which these medical services were provided. At the turn of the century, the average cost of "lodge practice" to an individual member was between one and two dollars a year. A day's wage would pay for a year's worth of medical care. By contrast, the average cost of medical service on the regular market was between one and two dollars per visit. Yet licensed physicians, particularly those who did not come from "big name" medical schools, competed vigorously for lodge contracts, perhaps because of the security they offered; and this competition continued to keep costs low... Medical societies like the AMA imposed sanctions on doctors who dared to sign lodge practice contracts. This might have been less effective if such medical societies had not had access to government power; but in fact, thanks to governmental grants of privilege, they controlled the medical licensure procedure, thus ensuring that those in their disfavor would be denied the right to practice medicine.
- z2013-08-08- Bjarnason Ebook Cognitive Mapping
Baldur Bjarnason, inspired by some Kathy Sierra tweets, contemplates EBook Mental Model needs, as we leave the physical cues of a Printed Book... I read a book and a part of how I remember what I remember is spatial mapping. I remember roughly how far into the book the passage was and where on the page. Hmm, is that just because that's all you've got with a Printed Book?
Kathy’s perspective on this is trying to figure out how to make AweSome books and in that context she is absolutely right. New books intended to provoke skills development in the reader should be written to remove the need for techniques such as cognitive mapping. They should absolutely carry the context forward through writing and design... However... We can’t rewrite old books. You can’t rewrite John Gray and add sections at the start of every chapter that carries context forward. As a commenter points out, Critical editions serve a similar purpose for older texts, so I could imagine something similar for electronic content. I agree with that comment. There could be new editions (though the licensing could be tricky to pull off). Hmm, or could shared Annotat Ion-s do the job? If you're not looking for money, then Wiki Summaries might be the ideal place for this. You could "subscribe" to one "editor's" Annotations on the book. Plus, of course, the EBook reader should make it easy to add your own structural clues. (Active Reading)
- z2012-03-06- Watters Udell Web Maker Literacy Perspectives
Audrey Watters has gotten interested in the idea of a "ScrAtch for HTML-5" IDE, inspired by work like z2011-03-01-HtmlHackingTools. (I'm not sure how far beyond a Gui Html Editor this would go.)
But she had a conversation with JonUdell recently, which is nudging her more in the direction of his "thinking like the Web" perspective. z2010-11-17-UdellRecentWorkAndPatterns
Neither of them is really talking about Learning Programming. I think this is because they fear it's too high an initial hurdle.
What's relevant? Is it building a website? Or is it understanding the services that are out there? Is it learning to be a remixer of services? How do we help people understand the importance of controlling their data, controlling their domains, controlling their online identity? How do we help people bind their various Web presences to an identity, and not, say, cede all authority to Facebook? The problem of Web (il)literacy (Digital Literacy): How do we solve it? Is it about code? (Udell says no) It is about understanding the components of the Web and knowing how to tag and then manipulate them. By thinking and developing sets of named resources, you are a Web thinker. This isnt about programming but rather the creation of sets of resources and the identification of components that work with those resources and combining them to create a solution. How as you operate online can you do things intentionally and consciously create possibilities for other people to hack and remix?
Learning Programming is a worthy goal: Program Or Be Programmed.
- Some brief non-building intro to architecture layers may be helpful.
I think the MozIlla Hackasaurus model of starting with GUI-help for HTML/CSS editing makes a lot of sense, because
then I think making the next step being the inclusion of WidgEt-s on the page to include outputs of remote Web Services is a great next step of composition. (And show them how to use software/services that output that data, like Del Icio Us. That's the Web Literacy piece.)
then maybe it's time to do some real WebApp programming.
Mar13: She notes challenges that teachers like Laura Blankenship have hit, plus notes the horrible Advanced Placement Computer Science Curricul Um, which is driven by classic college CS and JaVa (two strikes).
Mar14: She interviews Jared Cosulich of Peanutty. The various puzzles are open-ended enough that there isn't just one solution. "You can step outside the instructions," Cosulich says, "but you do have a goal in mind" -- namely, solve the puzzle. I Commented: I just had an idea/nudge for you. It smells to me like you're stuck in "the middle", talking to existing developers. I think you need to spend more time at the 2 ends: (a) the values/attitudes (more than skills) we hope kids end up with, and (b) talking to the kids themselves about what they want to build - defining a few different segments (math/puzzle geeks, web-heads, gamers, craftsy types, etc.). Bonus points (badge) if you can get a sense of the relative size of the different groups. Then focus your design research efforts (the middle/bridge) on serving 1 of those groups. The same toolset may end up being able to serve all, but starting with 1 focus, and the real kids behind it to provide ongoing feedback, is more likely to get tangible results. (Kinda Lean Startup mentality.)
Apr03: found this piece from last monthby Al Sweigart (author of Invent Your Own Computer Games With Python book) about how "nobody wants to learn to program". For the casually interested or schoolchildren with several activities competing for their attention, programming concepts like variables and loops and data types aren’t interesting in themselves. They don’t want to learn how to program just for the sake of programming. They don’t want to learn about algorithm complexity or implicit casting. They want to make Super Mario or Twitter or Angry Birds... We need LeGo-s, not playsets. (I enthusiastically endorse ScrAtch for use by the pre-teen crowd.)... One thing that MIT’s ScrAtch programming environment gets right is that they have a way to share programs that students create built into the software directly. Nobody wants to learn programming, they want to make cool programs. Being able to easily share (SharIng) their programs with a community not only provides an incentive to learn and create, but it also provides a library of examples for other people to look at to inspire their own programs... Don’t Distract New Programmers with OOP: Enough said. Things you can also toss out for the new programmer syllabus: recursion, regular expressions, MVC, networking, and file I/O.
My Intro Blurb:
This is the publicly-readable WikiLog Thinking Space of Bill Seitz (a Product Manager and CTO).
My Calling: to accelerate Evolut Ion by increasing FreeDom and Opportunity and AgenCy for many people via DAndD of Thinking Tools (software and Games To Play) that increase the LeverAge of Free Agent-s and smaller groups (Small World).
See Intro Page for space-related goals, status, etc.; or WikiNode for more terse summary info.
Beware the War On The Net!
Seeking: Product Manager-type position in established organization with entrepreneurial culture, local to Barrington Il or remote. My value: accelerating business-changing product development.
My Recent Key Pages:
My Blog Roll:
Follow me on Twitter