Saturday Links for the Week – Dec. 3/05

bodytentIt’s the Teaching, not the Technology: Ross Mayfield talks about the $100 laptop, and, as usual, immediately makes the critical connection: As important as this price breakthrough is in crossing the digital divide (especially in struggling nations), it’s more important consequence is enabling people in areas with poor, non-existent or overburdened teachers to teach themselves.

Art Prompts Science Prompts Business (if Anyone is Paying Attention): Parisienne Lucy Orta uses the survival ‘refuge wear’ of struggling people to make dramatic artistic statements (example pictured above). Now, if people who understand anthropology (the Inuits’ parkas-as-homes) put their heads together with people who understand disruptive innovation, and draw on this artistic inspiration, I believe there is a fortune to be made in ‘urban clothing’ that could make home heating and cooling unnecessary before the End of Oil makes it impossible. Thanks to Kal for the link.

The ‘Exploding’ Cost of Not Knowing: I’ve repeatedly said that the real issue in KM isn’t the cost v. benefit of knowledge, it’s the cost of not knowing. My colleagues Tom Davenport & Larry Prusak’s new KM blog has an article by Don Cohen that illustrates this perfectly: A mistake in connecting gas lines improperly in Massachusetts caused an explosion, and catastrophic effects throughout the community. Another example of course is Katrina. Thanks to Tom for acknowledging my work in PKM and to Jon Husband (who’s also ruminating on the meme in KM circles on ‘the end of process‘) for the link.

Urban Sustainability: This summer, an accord was reached by mayors around the world on a set of standards for urban sustainability. It’s not enough, but it’s a very practical start, and an impressive read. In a similar vein, a Scandinavian proposal outlines a wheel-and-spoke type urban transportation system that makes a lot more sense than our ‘grid’ systems.

Action Heroes List: Dave Smith, a colleague of entrepreneurial environmentalist Paul Hawken, has written a book called To Be of Use, which I’ve just ordered (based on recommendations from readers) and which includes this amazing list (scroll down from the link page) of extraordinary people. The Nobel committee would be well advised to scour this list for ‘action heroes’, people who have devoted their lives to sustaining and defending the things we too often take for granted.

The Brain is Not a Computer: More on the ongoing meme about the differences between mental processes and computer algorithms: Edward Vogel in Nature demonstrates that our memory is not just ‘storage space’, supporting my intuitive thesis that man-made machines may soon be faster than the brain, and able to process more data, but they will never replicate the brain’s really important functions (and why would we want them to?) Thanks to Dale Asberry (who is also exploring the potential for PKM these days) for the link.

Wizards of Winter: If you didn’t catch this last Christmas, or already have it e-mailed to you, here’s a link to a video of a fascinating computer-programmed Christmas light display, to the music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, followed by instructions on how to offer the same with your own lights. Great fun.

Quotes for the Week:

“You do not merely want to be the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do.”  — Jerry Garcia

“You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend, or not.” — Isabel Allende

“In an NBC-WSJ poll 57% of those surveyed agreed that ‘President Bush deliberately misled people to make the case for war with Iraq’. The war of occupation — dubious in origin, incompetent in execution, opaque but ominous in ultimate consequences — continues. Congressman Murtha is deeply worried. And many Americans are becoming deeply angry.” — Hendrik Hertzberg, commenting in this week’s New Yorker, inspired by wingnut Republican Jean Schmidt’s disgraceful trashing of Murtha, and by Sy Hersh’s revelations that Bush plans to deal with US opposition to the war by replacing ground troops with aerial bombardments (instructed by Iraqi ground troops). Yikes!

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1 Response to Saturday Links for the Week – Dec. 3/05

  1. Bruce Winter says:

    Dave RE quotes of the week tought you might enjoy this from Atlanta Journal Constitution via New Media Mussings

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