robertogreco + stevenjohnson   68

The Game Worlds We Make: Why designing a simple board game with my son rivals anything he’s learning in school
"You will have already noticed the echo here: You design a complex system based on a hypothesis about how all its component parts will interact, then you test the system to see if it corresponds to your hypothesis. When it invariably deviates from your initial predictions, you refine your model and build a new hypothesis. The actual content you are analyzing is, literally, child’s play: imaginary baseball players; virtual crops. But the form of the cognition is the scientific method.

I wish I could tell you that this story ends with a Charles Darrow-style runaway hit game. (Though even that triumph turned out to be fiction.) After a few cycles of revisions, I made up a bunch of cards on the computer and color-printed the whole thing out to glossy paper. That alone was a meaningful threshold for Dean: We’d graduated into the world of color illustrations and proper typefaces, and left behind our magic-marker sketches. We played it start-to-finish in its final draft form probably a dozen times. We investigated a few services that self-publish board games, but somehow once we had figured out the rules, the possibility of sharing (or even selling) the game seemed less intriguing. (Though it didn’t stop Dean’s brothers from demanding a percentage of future royalties, thanks to their work as unpaid “consultants” on the project.) Blossom never became a hit. But as a creative project shared by parent and child, it was pure magic.

The kind of blended thinking you have to do in creating a playable game — particularly one that models some kind of real-world equivalent — is, by my measure at least, every bit as rich as the more conventional classroom experiences, and much more fun. I’m hardly the first person to make this observation; game design has already made its way onto many curricula around the world, and there are wonderful institutions dedicated to exploring the pedagogical opportunities that games present."



"That, of course, is the beauty of game design as a learning experience. It doesn’t feel like learning. It feels like the other side of play: not play in the sense of escape, the breaking of boundaries, but play in the sense of figuring out the rules, and figuring out the way the rules aren’t quite working yet and dreaming up better ones. You don’t do that kind of thinking when you memorize state capitals, or read novels, or solve quadratic equations, or write expository essays, as important as all those enterprises are. It’s one of those rare skills that happens to play well at both tables of general and vocational education. You’re learning the scientific method when you conjure up a game, but you’re also learning product design. If we’re lucky, more of our schools will come around to the power of game creation as a pedagogical tool. But in the meantime, parents can make their own luck — dice or no dice. Designing a game teaches your kid how to think. And it reminds you how much there is to learn from playing."
stevenjohnson  2017  games  boardgames  gamedesign  children  parenting  classideas  systems  systemsthinking  play  scientificmethod  learning  howwelearn  modeling  education  schools  productdesign  criticalthinking  thinking 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Small groups and consultancy and coffee mornings ( 7 Oct., 2015, at Interconnected)
"One permanent pattern in our workshop culture:
Best design consultancy tip I know: Don't criticise without offering something better. Called the Ahtisaari Manoeuvre after an early client


Always have something on the table.

Another: Always use fat pens.

Another: It's important to have the right people in the room -- representing knowledge of technical possibilities, business needs, and market insights. But at the same time, the ideal number of people to have in the room is five or six. Any more than that, you can't continue a single conversation without it turning into a presentation.

Another: The one who understands the client's business best is the client."



"There are a couple of things I'm investigating:

1. That a small group is a powerful way of thinking, and of creating action. That repetition matters, and informality.

2. It might be possible to help with strategy without providing original thought or even active facilitation: To consult without consulting. The answers and even ways of working are inherent in the group itself.

My hunch is this: To answer a business's strategic questions, which will intrinsically involve changing that business, a more permanent solution than a visiting consultant might be to convene a small group, and spend time with it, chatting informally."




"Once a week we get together -- a half dozen students, often Durrell, whoever is teaching the course with him which was Stuart before and Oscar now, plus a special guest.

It's just for coffee somewhere or other, on Friday mornings, and we chat. It's super casual, sharing ideas and references, talking about the brief and design in general.

I'm curious about informality.

The lunchtimes at BERG, everyone around the table with such a broad range of skills and interests... and after Friday Demos - part of the weekly rhythm - the sparked conversations and the on-topic but off-topic sharing... this is where ideas happen too. Between projects but not outside them.

And I think informality as part of the design process is under-communicated, at least where I've been listening. So much work is done like that. The students are great at speaking about their work, sure. But mainly I'm interesting in how we induct someone into a worldview, quickly; how we explain ideas and then listen carefully for feedback, accepting ideas back -- all conversationally, without (and this is the purpose of the special guest) it turning into a seminar or a crit.

I think the best way to communicate this "lunch table" work informality is to rehearse it, to experience it. Which is what the coffee mornings are about.

I try to make sure everyone speaks, and I ask questions to see if I can encourage the removal of lazy abstraction -- words that get in the way of thinking about what's really going on. I'm a participant-observer.

Tbh I'm not sure what to call this. Visiting convener? It's not an official role.

I think (I hope!) everyone is getting something out of the experience, and everyone is becoming more their own kind of designer because of it, and meanwhile I get to explore and experience a small group. A roughly consistent membership, a roughly regular meeting time, an absence of purpose, or rather a purpose that the group is allowed to negotiate at a place within itself.

~

These RCA coffee mornings grew out of my experiment with hardware-ish coffee mornings, a semi-irregular meetup in London having a vague "making things" skew... Internet of Things, hardware startups, knitting, the future of manufacturing and distribution, a morning off work. That sort of thing. People chat, people bring prototypes. There's no single conversation, and only rarely do we do introductions. This invite to a meet in January also lists my principles:

• Space beats structure
• Informality wins
• Convening not chairing
• Bonfires not fireworks

I've been trying to build a street corner, a place to cultivate serendipity and thoughts. Not an event with speakers, there are already several really good ones."



"My setup was that I believed the answer to the issue would come from the group, that they knew more about their business than me.

Which was true. But I also observed that the purpose of the business had recently changed, and while it could be seen by the CEO that the current approach to this design problem wasn't satisfying, there was no way for the group to come together to think about it, and answer it together. Previously they had represented different strands of development within the startup. Now the company was moving to having a new, singular, measurable goal.

So I started seeing the convened discussions as rehearsing a new constellation of the team members and how they used one-another for thinking, and conscious and unconscious decision making. The group meetings would incubate a new way to think together. Do it enough, point out what works, and habits might form.

~

Consulting without consulting."



"I'm not entirely sure where to take these experiments. I'm learning a lot from various coffee mornings, so I'll carry on with those.

I had some conversations earlier in the year about whether it would be possible to act as a creative director, only via regular breakfast conversations, and helping the group self-direct. Dunno. Or maybe there's a way to build a new division in a company. Maybe what I'm actually talking about is board meetings -- I've been a trustee to Startup Weekend Europe for a couple of years, and the quarterly meetings are light touch. But they don't have this small group aspect, it might be that they haven't been as effective as they could be.

There might be something with the street corners and serendipity pattern... When I was doing that three month gig with the government earlier this year, it felt like the people in the civil service - as a whole - had all the knowledge and skills to take advantage of Internet of Things technologies, to deliver services faster and better. But often the knowledge and opportunities weren't meeting up. Maybe an in-person, regular space could help with that.

At a minimum, if I'm learning how to help companies and friends with startups in a useful way that doesn't involve delivering more darn Powerpoint for the meat grinder: Job done.

But perhaps what's happening is I'm teaching myself how to do something else entirely, and I haven't figured out what that is yet.

~

Some art. Some software."
mattwebb  small  groups  groupsize  2015  collaboration  consulting  vonnegut  kurtvonnegut  organization  howwewrite  writing  meaningmaking  patternrecognition  stevenjohnson  devonthink  groupdynamics  psychology  wilfredbion  dependency  pairing  serendipity  trickster  doublebinds  informality  informal  coffeemornings  meetings  crosspollination  conversation  facilitation  catalysts  scenius  experienceingroups 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Apocalyptic Schadenfreude — Matter — Medium
"In other words, even if this drought is a sign of climates to come, California has plenty of water to support its lifestyle. It just won’t have enough to support its crops, without significant changes to make those farms more water-efficient. It seems bizarre that a region like the Central Valley with just six million people — barely more than 10% of the state’s population — should use so much of the water. But then you realize that the vast majority of people benefiting from that water don’t live in California at all. The Central Valley takes up only 1% of the landmass of the United States, but it produces 25% of the food we eat, and almost half of the fruits or nuts we consume. California is running through its water supply because, for complicated historical and climatological reasons, it has taken on the burden of feeding the rest of the country. The average Times reader sneering at those desert lawns from the Upper West Side might want to think about the canned tomatoes, avocados, and almonds in his or her kitchen before denouncing the irresponsible lifestyles of the California emigres. Because the truth is California doesn’t have a water problem. We all do."
2015  california  drought  water  economics  farming  agriculture  stevenjohnson  efficiency  deserts  centralvalley  climate  climatechange  nytimes  food 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The End of Creativity — Medium
"People living in the twentieth century heard a lot of talk about “creativity.” People living in the twenty-first century will not. Creativity is not dead yet, but its end is in sight. Alfred North Whitehead invented the word in 1926."

75 years later, it was one in every 70,000 words published and had become the name of a popular hypothesis: that new things are created by “geniuses” who solve problems by deliberately not thinking about them — a step called “incubation” — until they receive answers in sudden, dramatic moments of “insight.” One of the most frequently cited examples is attributed to Mozart:
“When I am, as it were, completely myself, and of good cheer, my ideas flow best and most abundantly. My subject stands almost complete in my mind. When I write down my ideas everything is already finished; and it rarely differs from what was in my imagination.”

These words, which I have edited for length, first appeared in a letter to Germany’s General Music Journal in 1815, then in many other places, including Jacques Hadamard’s 1945 The Mathematician’s Mind; Creativity, edited by Philip Vernon in 1976; and Roger Penrose’s 1989 The Emperor’s New Mind. They remain popular: in 2015, they have already appeared in at least one book and one journal.

But Mozart did not write them, they do not describe how he composed, and we have known this since 1856, when Mozart biographer Otto Jahn showed that they were forged.

"Why do so many people writing about creativity keep citing them as if they were true? Because there is little else to cite. Psychologists have been trying to prove the creativity hypothesis for nearly a hundred years. Their results are, at best, mixed.

In the 1920s, Stanford’s Lewis Terman sought to prove the existence of the general, hereditary superiority called “genius” by testing 168,000 children and placing them on a scale “from idiocy on the one hand to genius on the other.” He identified 1,500 “geniuses,” then tracked their accomplishments for the rest of their lives. Some did creative work, like making movies, but many did not. And what of the “non-geniuses” Terman rejected? Two, William Shockley and Luis Alvarez, won Nobel Prizes. Terman’s results are typical: all other attempts to predict future accomplishments by measuring “genius” have also failed.

“Incubation,” or solving problems by not thinking about them, has been widely studied. Berkeley’s Robert Olton spent the 1970s looking for it. In one experiment, he asked 160 people to solve a brainteaser, giving some breaks, while making others work continuously. The breaks made no difference. Olton was forced to conclude that,
“No evidence of incubation was apparent,” and added, “No study reporting evidence of incubation has survived replication by an independent investigator.”

And “insight” — the fully formed solution in a flash? German Gestalt psychologist Karl Duncker was one of the first to study that. In his most famous experiment, he gave people a box of tacks and a book of matches, and asked them to fix a candle to a wall so that it could be used as a reading light. The solution is to tack the tack-box to the wall — to see it as a thing for holding the candle, not a thing for holding the tacks. The shift from “tack-box” to “candle-holder” is the supposed “insight.” By having people think aloud, Duncker showed that the solution came incrementally, not instantly: everyone who discovered it thought of making a platform out of tacks, then realized the tack-box would be a better platform.

These experiments, although a few of hundreds, are representative. There is probably no such thing as creativity. But Duncker’s work laid the foundation for an alternative hypothesis: that extraordinary solutions come from ordinary people doing ordinary thinking. Robert Weisberg, a psychologist at Temple University in Philadelphia, put it this way:
“Although the impact of creative ideas and products can sometimes be profound, the mechanisms through which an innovation comes about can be very ordinary.”




"This idea that extraordinary creations come from ordinary people and ordinary thinking has become more popular recently. Jon Gertner wrestled with the problem of “the great men versus the yeomen,” in The Idea Factory, his history of Bell Labs, and concluded that innovation needs both; Walter Isaacson found he had to tell the story of many lives, not one, to describe the invention of computing in his latest bestseller The Innovators; and Steven Johnson refutes the “non-explanation of genius” and argues that “innovation comes out of collaborative networks” in his new book and PBS television series, How We Got to Now.

It is an important change. We are rejecting the myths of “creativity” and developing a better understanding of how we create at a time when, because of the growing problems of our growing population, we need creation more than ever. We are not all equally creative, just as we are not all equally good at anything. But each of us is more like Mozart than not. We can all create, we can all contribute, and we all should."
via:anne  2015  creativity  incubation  ideas  ordinariness  kevinashton  jongertner  walterisaacson  stevenjohnson  innovation  robertburton  georgeherbert  diegodeestrella  johnofsalisbury  bernardofchartres  alberteinstein  ernstmach  carlfriedrichgauss  bernhardriemann  marcelgrossman  gregorioricci-curbastro  mozart  karldunker  ottojahn  alfrednorthwhitehead  lewisterman  genius  williamshockley  luisalvarez  psychology  robertolton  history  insight  ordinary 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Interface Critique | Words in Space
[Updated version [22 Jan 2014]: http://www.wordsinspace.net/wordpress/2014/01/22/interface-critique-revisited-thinking-about-archival-interfaces/ ]

"how do we critique an interface?"

… "We should attend to variables of basic composition (e.g. the size, shape, position, etc., of elements on the screen), as well as how they work together across time and space: how we read across panels and scenes, how we follow action sequences and narrative and thematic threads through the graphic interface."

… "Reading “beneath” those graphic frames provides insight into the data models structuring our interaction with the technology. ... The design of an interface thus isn’t simply about efficiently arranging elements and structuring users’ behavior; interface design also models – perhaps unwittingly – an epistemology and a method of interpretation."

… "In our interface critique, then, we might also consider what acts of interpretive translation or allegorization are taking place at those nodes or hinges between layers of interfaces."

… "We might consider how the interface enunciates – what language it uses to “frame” its content into fundamental categories, to whom it speaks and how, what point(s) of view are tacitly or explicitly adopted. ... How the interface addresses, or fails to address us – and how its underlying database categorizes us into what Galloway calls “cybertypes” – has the potential to shape how we understand our social roles and what behavior is expected of us."

… "We also, finally, must consider what is not made visible or otherwise perceptible. What is simply not representable through a graphic or gestural user interface, on a zoomable map, via data visualization?"

… "Yet we should also consider the possibility that some aspects of our cities are simply not, and will never be, machine-readable. In our interface critique, then, we might imagine what dimensions of human experience and the world we inhabit simply cannot be translated or interfaced."
toread  shannonmattern  interface  ubicomp  design  2014  johannadrucker  stevenjohnson  criticism  scottmccloud  cities  alexandergalloway  adamgreenfield  materiality  scale  location  urban  urbanism  time  space  orientation  frameanalysis  minorityreport 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Lonely, but united: Sherry Turkle and Steven Johnson on technology's pain and promise | The Verge
"As the authors were offering their final points at the end of the Q&A;, Johnson hit on a metaphor that, for once, everyone could agree on: the city.

The city, like the internet, is noisy, distracting, overwhelming, and potentially isolating. But people choose the city for its stimulus and connection, says Johnson, "and for me technology is like that: I know the cost, but I choose it."

Turkle jotted down the metaphor on her notepad before responding:

"The best artists learned to find solitude in the middle of the metropolitan space," she said. And "we need to learn to find solitude in the technological space.""
paulmiller  etiquette  attention  tradeoffs  connection  stimulus  boredom  distraction  internet  cities  2012  stevenjohnson  sherryturkle  from delicious
october 2012 by robertogreco
Research As You Go — The Writer’s Room — Medium
"Your number one nemesis in trying to write is, inevitably, the siren song of procrastination. There is no more effective way to remind yourself of all the errands or side projects that you really should be doing than by staring at a blank page. Computers have only amplified this threat. Hemingway had plenty of distractions to pull him away from his work, but at least when he sat down at his Royal DeLuxe, it didn’t tantalize him with Pinterest or Angry Birds.

But of course, email and social media and games are obvious distractions. In my experience, the more subtle threat -- particularly for non-fiction writers -- comes via the eminently reasonable belief that you’re not ready to start writing, because you haven’t finished your research yet."
process  howwework  howwewrite  research  procrastination  stevenjohnson  2012  writing  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
How to Build a Time Machine | r4isstatic.com
"Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed that time, as a concept, is becoming one of these whirlpools that people are being drawn to. And personally, I think there’s something really exciting that hooks them all together… perhaps time travel really is possible – but not quite how we’d imagined it."

"One of the most interesting applications of this, in my opinion, has been the ‘Momento‘ app. Nothing revolutionary, you might think – it’s a system that brings together your activity on various social networks, and allows you to annotate ‘moments’. But the important bit for me is the elegant way in which tweets and so on are organised – by date. There’s very few applications (that I’ve encountered) that do this."

"What’s missing, I feel, is the idea of time as the central organising concept on the Web.

"Of course, as I’ve said to anyone who’ll listen, the Web is all about pointing-at-things. And those things, I feel, can be conceptual as well as physical – this isn’t just the Internet of Things, it’s the Internet of Conceptual Things. And screens aren’t a given, either. So, why not make time addressable, point-at-able?"

"Make time addressable – give packets (i.e. spans of time) URIs, and then we can link to them, we can build services, applications, imaginative creations on top. Web Standard Time."
webstandardtime  stevenjohnson  memolane  personalinformatics  ashipadrift  momento  history  place  placesivebeen  markhurrell  atemporality  perception  mattsheret  internetofthings  internet  eternalism  2012  storytelling  timemachines  jamesbridle  jonathantweed  robstyles  metadata  web  timetravel  time  paulrissen  instagram  iot 
august 2012 by robertogreco
The Spark File — The Writer’s Room — Medium
"for the past eight years or so I've been maintaining a single document where I keep all my hunches: ideas for articles, speeches, software features, startups, ways of framing a chapter I know I'm going to write, even whole books. I now keep it as a Google document so I can update it from wherever I happen to be. There's no organizing principle to it, no taxonomy--just a chronological list of semi-random ideas that I've managed to capture before I forgot them. I call it the spark file.…

…the spark file itself is not all that unusual: that's why Moleskins or Evernote are so useful to so many people. But the key habit that I've tried to cultivate is this: every three or four months, I go back and re-read the entire spark file. And it's not an inconsequential document: it's almost fifty pages of hunches at this point, the length of several book chapters. But what happens when I re-read the document that I end up seeing new connections that hadn't occurred to me the first (or fifth) time around … it feels a bit like you are brainstorming with past versions of yourself. … The key is to capture as many hunches as possible, and to spend as little time as possible organizing or filtering or prioritizing them. (Keeping a single, chronological file is central to the process, because it forces you to scroll through the whole list each time you want to add something new.)"
stevenjohnson  2012  writing  hunches  sparkfiles  notetaking  notes  commonplacebooks  rereading  moleskines  evernote  habits  via:Preoccupations  ideas  memory  cv  scrolling  pagination 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Steven Berlin Johnson: Instead of building cathedrals in learning, we need to learn to build cathedrals | Creativity, Imagination, and Innovation in Education Symposium
"“Collaboration between different intelligences is the hallmark of innovative spaces,” he remarked. But it wasn’t always easy for Johnson, who has an undergraduate degree in semiotics from Brown University and a graduate degree in English Literature from Columbia, to see how science and the humanities could be entwined. It wasn’t until he was exposed to the work of former Columbia Professor Franco Moretti that he realized bridges could be built joining the two.

Moretti gained fame for controversially applying quantitative scientific methods to the humanities. Johnson mentioned reading Moretti’s Signs Taken for Wonders, and the mind-blowing impact the professor’s use of Darwinian techniques to analyze literature had on him. It was the first time he saw scientific procedures being employed to evaluate literature.

From that moment on, Johnson began researching iconic innovators."
cathedralsoflearning  everythingbadisgoodforyou  gaming  games  multidisciplinarythinking  connectivesyntheticintelligence  connectiveintelligence  multidisciplinary  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  generalists  specialization  interconnectivity  patterns  conenctions  innovation  multipleintelligences  diversity  problemsolving  systemsthinking  parenting  videogames  teaching  schools  collaboration  gutenberg  crosspollination  feathers  exaptation  devonthink  evolution  stephenjaygould  commonplacebooks  creativity  darwin  francomoretti  semiotics  hunches  learning  2011  stevenjohnson  charlesdarwin  interconnected  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
The Speculist » Blog Archive » In the Future Everything Will Be A Coffee Shop
"Eventually you could have local campuses becoming places where MITx students seek tutoring, network, & socialize—reclaiming some of the college experience they’d otherwise have lost.

Phil thought this sounded like college as a giant coffee shop. I agree. Every education would be ad hoc. It would be student-directed toward the job market she’s aiming for.

This trend toward…coffeeshopification…is changing more than just colleges:

Book Stores Will Shrink to Coffee Shops…

The Coffee Shop Will Displace Most Retail Shops…

Offices Become Coffee Shops…Again…

What Doesn’t Become a Coffee Shop?…

…houses of worship…

What will remain other than coffee shops? Upscale retail will remain…[for] experience…Restaurants remain. Grocery stores remain.

Brick and mortar retail stores will be converted to public spaces. Multi-use space will be in increasing demand as connectivity tools allow easy coordination of impromptu events…"
restaurants  multipurpose  multi-usespace  impromptuevents  events  coffeeshopification  thirdspaces  thirdplaces  howwelearn  howwework  work  enlightenment  stevenjohnson  amazonprime  amazon  shopping  espressobookmachine  coffeehouses  coffeeshops  coffee  on-demandprinting  highereducation  higheredbubble  highered  information  reading  ebooks  stephengordon  future  retail  deschooling  unschooling  sociallearning  self-directedlearning  mitx  mit  learning  srg  glvo  2011  universities  colleges  education  opencoffeeclubdresden  3dprinting  ondemand  ondemandprinting  bookfuturism  books  cafes  openstudioproject 
february 2012 by robertogreco
The Genius of Steve Jobs: Marrying Tech and Art - WSJ.com
"But one look at the Mac & you could tell something was different. The white screen alone seemed revolutionary, after years of reading green text on a black background. And there were typefaces! I had been obsessed with typography since my grade-school years; here was a computer that treated fonts as an art, not just a clump of pixels. The then-revolutionary graphic interface made the screen feel like a space you wanted to inhabit, to make your own. To paraphrase Le Corbusier, the Mac was a machine you wanted to live in.

Before long I was creating page layouts for student-run philosophy journals; I designed research tools using the visionary Hypercard application…

Looking back now, I realize that beneath all those surface obsessions, a theme was running through my interests like an underground river, & it didn't fully surface until my mid-20s: the sense that the most fertile and engaging space in our culture lay at the intersection between new technology and the humanities."
design  technology  art  apple  history  2011  stevejobs  stevenjohnson  mac  humanities  digitalhumanities  liberalarts  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  memories  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
A Big Little Idea Called Legibility
"The Authoritarian High-Modernist Recipe for Failure…

• Look at a complex and confusing reality, such as the social dynamics of an old city
• Fail to understand all the subtleties of how the complex reality works
• Attribute that failure to the irrationality of what you are looking at, rather than your own limitations
• Come up with an idealized blank-slate vision of what that reality ought to look like
• Argue that the relative simplicity and platonic orderliness of the vision represents rationality
• Use authoritarian power to impose that vision, by demolishing the old reality if necessary
• Watch your rational Utopia fail horribly

Central to Scott’s thesis is the idea of legibility. He explains how he stumbled across the idea while researching efforts by nation states to settle or “sedentarize” nomads, pastoralists, gypsies and other peoples living non-mainstream lives…"
politics  history  philosophy  problemsolving  imperialism  colonialism  jamescscott  design  architecture  urbanplanning  urbanism  nomads  nomadism  gypsies  pastoralists  mainstream  radicals  radicalism  2011  venkateshrao  legibility  illegiblepeople  illegibles  stevenjohnson  patternmaking  patterns  patternrecognition  complexity  unschooling  deschooling  utopianthinking  india  high-modenism  lecorbusier  forests  brasilia  bauhaus  control  decolonization  power  nicholasdirks  rome  edwardgibbon  civilization  authoritarianism  authoritarianhigh-modernism  elephantpaths  desirelines  anarchism  organizations  illegibility  highmodernism  utopia  governance  simplification  measurement  quantification  brasília  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity | Brain Pickings
"In May, I had the pleasure of speaking at the wonderful Creative Mornings free lecture series masterminded by my studiomate Tina of Swiss Miss fame. I spoke about Networked Knowledge and Combinatorial Creativity, something at the heart of Brain Pickings and of increasing importance as we face our present information reality. The talk is now available online — full (approximate) transcript below, enhanced with images and links to all materials referenced in the talk."

"This is what I want to talk about today, networked knowledge, like dot-connecting of the florilegium, and combinatorial creativity, which is the essence of what Picasso and Paula Scher describe. The idea that in order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these pieces and build new castles."

"How can it be that you talk to someone and it’s done in a second? But it IS done in a second — it’s done in a second and 34 years. It’s done in a second and every experience, and every movie, and every thing in my life that’s in my head.” —Paula Scher
creativity  behavior  planning  process  combinatorialcreativity  combinations  lego  networkedknowledge  networks  mariapopova  florilegium  picasso  paulascher  pentagram  alberteinstein  breakthroughs  stevenjohnson  ideas  alvinlustig  rogersperry  jacquesmonod  biology  richarddawkins  science  art  design  wheregoodideascomefrom  books  designthinking  insight  information  ninapaley  oliverlaric  similarities  proximity  adjacentpossible  everythingisaremix  curiosity  choice  jimcoudal  claychristensen  intention  attention  philosophy  buddhism  work  labor  kevinkelly  gandhi  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Are Smart People Getting Smarter? | Wired Science | Wired.com
"That said, environmental stimulation remains an incomplete explanation. Even for those on the right side of the curve, intelligence gains probably have many distinct causes, from the complexity of The Wire to the social multiplier effect, which is the tendency of smart people to hang out with other smart people. (In this sense, gifted programs in schools might help drive IQ gains among the top five percent. The Internet probably helps, too.) The question, of course, is whether such factors have really changed over time. Has it gotten easier for smart people to interact with each other? Are those on the right side of the IQ distribution now more likely to have children together? Would the Flynn effect be even larger if we did more of [fill in the blank]? These questions have no easy answers, but at least we now know that they need to be answered."
flynneffect  intelligence  iq  psychology  brain  jonahlehrer  education  society  history  everythingbadisgoodforyou  stevenjohnson  jamesflynn  multiplicity  multiplicityhypothesis  gifted  giftedprograms  grouping  peergroups  peers  2011  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Vivek Haldar : Stallman's Dystopia
"It sounded like a ridiculous, unbelievable dystopia. It was even written like sci-fi. Of course that would never happen! Nobody would stand for this, ever, right?

But exactly what Stallman described has come to pass, with very little protest.

For example, here are the terms under which you can lend your Kindle books: books where lending is enabled by the seller, “can be loaned once for a period of 14 days.” Most other ebook stores and audio book stores have similarly restrictive policies."

[Refers to this Richard Stallman piece from 1997: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html ]
technology  books  information  activism  2011  vivekhaldar  richardstallman  sharing  law  dystopia  bookfuturism  stevenjohnson  ipad  ebooks  copying  copyright  drm  1997  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » What Innovation
"best part of book is last sentence…

"Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses & other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle, reinvent. Build a tangled bank."

Had Johnson followed the walks of those innovators he was curious about, followed them along their mistakes & noted the ways they borrowed, recycled, reinvented he could have done away with the silly biology analogies. It’s all right there in the hands-on work that’s going on — there’s no need for a big, grand, one-size-fits-all theory about how ideas come to be and how they circulate, or don’t circulate and how they inflect and influence and change the way we understand and act and behave in the world. That’s the “innovation” story — or the way that *change-in-the-way-we-understand-the-world* comes about story."

[Now here: http://nearfuturelaboratory.com/2010/12/23/what-innovation/ ]
stevenjohnson  julianbleecker  innovation  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  serendipity  learning  wheregoodideascomefrom  books  criticism  biology  walking  thinking  cv  analogies  analogy  adjacentpossible  stuartkauffman  science  robertkrulwich  kevinkelly  radiolab  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
stevenberlinjohnson.com: Can We Please Kill This Meme Now
"Serendipity is not randomness, not noise. It's stumbling across something accidentally that is nonetheless of interest to you. The web is much better at capturing that mix of surprise and relevance than book stacks or print encyclopedias. Does everyone use the web this way? Of course not. But it's much more of a mainstream pursuit than randomly exploring encyclopedias or library stacks ever was. That's the irony of the debate: the thing that is being mourned has actually gone from a fringe experience to a much more commonplace one in the culture."
2006  newspapers  stevenjohnson  serendipity  browsing  books  journalism  culture  web  randomness  internet  blogging  blogs  discovery  media  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
What a Hundred Million Calls to 311 Reveal About New York | Magazine | Wired.com
"Whether it happens through government services such as 311, private-sector startups, open source initiatives, or, most likely, a combination of all three, it’s clear that the 21st-century city is going to be immensely more efficient at solving clear, definable problems like graffiti and transportation routes. The question is whether these platforms can also address the more subtle problems of big-city neighborhoods—the sins of omission, the holes in the urban fabric where some crucial thread is missing. After all, when people gripe about their neighborhood, it’s usually not the potholes or clogged storm drains they have in mind; it’s the fact that there isn’t a dog run nearby or a playground or a good preschool with space available. “We’re really interested in tackling things that are problems not because they’re broken but because they don’t exist,” Ashlock says."
stevenjohnson  infographics  crowdsourcing  government  mapping  maps  nyc  opendata  statistics  datavisualization  information  visualization  urbanism  urban  infographic  community  cities  data  open311  311  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Innovation Isn’t a Matter of Left or Right - NYTimes.com
"BUT the problem is that we don’t have a word that does justice to those of us who believe in the generative power of the fourth quadrant. My hope is that the blurriness is only temporary, the strange disorientation one finds when new social and economic values are being formed.

The choice shouldn’t be between decentralized markets and command-and-control states. Over these last centuries, much of the history of innovation has lived in a less formal space between those two regimes: in the grad seminar and the coffeehouse and the hobbyist’s home lab and the digital bulletin board. The wonders of modern life did not emerge exclusively from the proprietary clash between private firms. They also emerged from open networks."
communism  politics  stevenjohnson  innovation  left  right  capitalism  collectivism  collaboration  fourthquadrant  wheregoodideascomefrom  wikipedia  sharing  nonmarketenvironments  rewards  problemsolving  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
The Ecology of Thought: Steven Johnson's Where Good Ideas Come From - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"Johnson devotes three chapters to serendipity, error, and “slow hunches,” each of which can be a source of creativity and which, according to Johnson, can be harnessed by individual researchers. Countering the usual curmudgeonly complaint that the Web kills serendipity, Johnson argues that the ubiquity of mobile computing makes new forms of serendipity possible: “If the commonplace book tradition tells us that the best way to nurture hunches is to write everything down, the serendipity engine of the Web suggests a parallel directive: look everything up.”"

[via: http://lukescommonplacebook.tumblr.com/post/1322255880/if-the-commonplace-book-tradition-tells-us-that ]
stevenjohnson  serensipity  commonplacebooks  search  memory  slowhunches  mobile  phones  ubicomp  web  internet  cv  learning  ideas  error  serendipity  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Steven Johnson's Where Good Ideas Come From: multidisciplinary hymn to diversity, openness and creativity - Boing Boing
"if you want to be innovative, you need to put yourself into innovative environments: places where lots of contradictory ideas from many disciplines are crossing paths, where institutions and governments don't over-regulate or conspire to crush new ideas; where existing platforms stand ready to have new platforms built atop them, as TCP/IP, SGML and various noodling experiments over many decades let Tim Berners-Lee invent the Web (itself a platform that many others invent atop of).

This is stirring stuff: a strong defense of open networks, shared ideas, serendipity (he even cites Boing Boing as a counter to doomsayers who say that the net's directed search creates a serendipity-free echo chamber) and minimal control over ideas so that they can migrate to those who would use them in ways their "creators" can't conceive of. These are axioms for many of us who grew up with the Internet and the Web…"
innovation  ideas  stevenjohnson  corydoctorow  invention  crosspollination  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  web  internet  boingboing  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson on Where Ideas Come From | Magazine
"Kelly: It’s amazing that the myth of the lone genius has persisted for so long, since simultaneous invention has always been the norm, not the exception. Anthropologists have shown that the same inventions tended to crop up in prehistory at roughly similar times, in roughly the same order, among cultures on different continents that couldn’t possibly have contacted one another.

Johnson: Also, there’s a related myth—that innovation comes primarily from the profit motive, from the competitive pressures of a market society. If you look at history, innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect.

Kelly: The musician Brian Eno invented a wonderful word to describe this phenomenon: scenius. We normally think of innovators as independent geniuses, but Eno’s point is that innovation comes from social scenes,from passionate and connected groups of people."
stevenjohnson  kevinkelly  innovation  ideas  history  technology  creativity  scenius  brianeno  networks  books  crosspollination  evolution  life  from delicious
october 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  from delicious
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  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Everything is fizzling and bobbling about « Snarkmarket
"Thatcher’s study sug­gests a coun­ter­in­tu­itive notion: the more dis­or­ga­nized your brain is, the smarter you are...It’s coun­ter­in­tu­itive in part because we tend to attribute grow­ing intel­li­gence of tech­nol­ogy world w/ increas­ingly pre­cise electro­mechan­i­cal chore­og­ra­phy...

Instead of thoughts of con­crete things patiently fol­low­ing one another, we have the most abrupt cross-cuts and tran­si­tions from one idea to another, the most rarei­fied abstrac­tions and dis­crim­i­na­tions, the most unheard-of com­bi­na­tions of ele­ments… a seething caul­dron of ideas, where every­thing is fiz­zling and bob­bling about in a state of bewil­der­ing activ­ity, where part­ner­ships can be joined or loos­ened in an instant, tread­mill rou­tine is unknown, and the unex­pected seems the only law.

He’s describ­ing “the high­est order of minds”—but he could just as eas­ily be describ­ing a startup, or a city. Which is exactly, I think, the point."
cognition  ideas  robinsloan  mind  brain  stevenjohnson  books  cities  startups  cv  howwethink  disorder  noise  disorganization  messiness  intelligence  crosspollination 
july 2010 by robertogreco
WNYC - Radiolab: Memory and Forgetting (June 08, 2007)
"According to the latest research, remembering is an unstable and profoundly unreliable process. It’s easy come, easy go as we learn how true memories can be obliterated and false ones added. And Oliver Sacks joins us to tell the story of an amnesiac whose love for his wife and music transcend his 7 second memory."
memory  radiolab  forgetting  neuroscience  music  brain  culture  psychology  science  oliversacks  stevenjohnson  jonahlehrer  joeledoux  karimnader  andrecodrescu  elizabethloftus  joeandoe  deborahwearing  clivewearing 
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
stevenberlinjohnson.com: Where Good Ideas Come From
"book tries to grapple with question of why certain environments seem to be disproportionately skilled at generating & sharing good ideas...about space of creativity. Part of the fun of it is that I look at both cultural & natural systems in the book. So I look at human environments that have been unusually generative: architecture of successful science labs, information networks of Web or Enlightenment-era postal system, public spaces of metropolitan cities, even notebooks of great thinkers. But I also look at natural environments that have been biologically innovative: the coral reef and the rain forest, or the chemical soups that first gave birth to life’s good idea.

...built around dozens of stories from the history of scientific, technological and cultural innovation...But I have also tried to distill some meaningful lessons out of all these stories, & so I’ve isolated seven distinct patterns that appear again & again in all these innovative environments."
2010  innovation  invention  stevenjohnson  creativity  history  ideas  lcproject  tcsnmy  toread  books  web  internet  coral 
june 2010 by robertogreco
In Praise of Oversharing - TIME
"But no doubt 5 yrs from now, when my children are teenagers, they will be comfortable living in public in ways that will astound & alarm their parents. I can already imagine how powerful instinct to worry about predators & compromising photos will be. But it will be our responsibility to keep that instinct in check & recognize their increasingly public existence brings more promise than peril. We have to learn how to break w/ that most elemental of parental commandments: Don't talk to strangers...strangers have a lot to give us that's worthwhile, & we to them.

Still, talking to strangers is different from handing over set of house keys. We're learning how to draw line btwn extremes...each of us will draw [it] in different ways. That we get to make these decisions for ourselves is step forward; valley is a much richer & more connected place than old divide between privacy & celebrity worship was. But it is going to take some time to learn how to live there."
blogs  culture  privacy  safety  strangers  parenting  public  stevenjohnson  web  online 
may 2010 by robertogreco
stevenberlinjohnson.com: The Glass Box And The Commonplace Book [If you are looking at this, you are looking at my commonpace book—Delicious.]
"“commonplacing,”...transcribing interesting/inspirational passages from reading, assembling personalized encyclopedia of quotes...central tension btwn order & chaos, btwn desire for methodical arrangement, & desire for surprising new links of association...rereading of commonplace book becomes new kind of revelation...holds promise that some long-forgotten hunch will connect in new way w/some emerging obsession...words could be copied, re-arranged, put to surprising new uses in surprising new contexts. By stitching together passages written by multiple authors, w/out explicit permission/consultation, new awareness could take shape...connective power of web is stronger than filtering...partisan blogs usually 1 click away from opposites...[in] print or f2f groups [leap to] opposing point of view...rarer...reason web works wonderfully...leads us...to common places, not glass boxes...journalists, educators, publishers, software devs, & readers—keep those connections alive."
hunches  stevenjohnson  ipad  books  print  web  google  search  connections  commonplacebooks  johnlocke  thomasjefferson  notetaking  quotations  quotecollections  cv  howwework  connectivism  recursion  history  creativity  copyright  context  connectivity  hypertext  internet  journalism  language  literature  media  reading  writing  technology  research  2010  drm  education  learning  patterns  patternrecognition  revelation 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Everybody’s Business - How Apple Has Rethought a Gospel of the Web - NYTimes.com
"Those of us who have championed open platforms cannot ignore these facts. It’s conceivable that, had Apple loosened the restrictions surrounding the App Store, the iPhone ecosystem would have been even more innovative, even more democratic. But I suspect that this view is too simplistic. The more complicated reality is that the closed architecture of the iPhone platform has contributed to its generativity in important ways. ... Apple could certainly quiet a lot of its critics by creating some kind of side door that enables developers to bypass the App Store if they wish. An overwhelming majority of developers and consumers would continue to use the store, retaining all the benefits of that closed system, but a secondary market could develop where more experimental ideas could flourish.

But whatever Apple chooses to do with its platform in the coming years, it has made one thing clear: sometimes, if you get the conditions right, a walled garden can turn into a rain forest."
stevenjohnson  ipad  iphone  apple  closedsystems  open  opensystems  itunes  appstore  2010  innovation  control 
april 2010 by robertogreco
How the Tablet Will Change the World | Magazine
"The fact is, the way we use computers is outmoded. The graphical user interface that’s still part of our daily existence was forged in the 1960s and ’70s, even before IBM got into the PC business. Most of the software we use today has its origins in the pre-Internet era, when storage was at a premium, machines ran thousands of times slower, and applications were sold in shrink-wrapped boxes for hundreds of dollars. With the iPad, Apple is making its play to become the center of a post-PC era. But to succeed, it will have to beat out the other familiar powerhouses that are working to define and dominate the future."

[Guest essays here: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/03/ff_tablet_essays/all/1 ]
apple  computers  computing  ebooks  edtech  future  gadgets  tablet  tablets  gui  innovation  interface  internet  ipad  media  mobile  technology  trends  stevenjohnson  kevinkelly  nicholasnegroponte  olpc  chrisanderson  marthastewart  bobstein  jamesfallows 
april 2010 by robertogreco
cityofsound: Emergent Urbanism, or ‘bottom-up planning’
"Cities are constantly in tension, and inherently unbalanced systems. That is how they enable change. For successful cities to emerge unscathed from the wheels of creative destruction, an informed, engaged and enabled urbanism needs to inhabit both professional circles and everyday people. While we might be drawn to emergent systems as the other ones are filed in the too-hard basket, it’s in the interlocking totality of this top-down/bottom-up system, suffuse with a positive sense of what a city is, that the answer lies. We have to do nothing less than redesign our culture in order to successfully redesign our cities."
cityofsound  cities  danhill  emergent  bottom-up  planning  urban  urbanism  infrastructure  reclamation  non-plan  urbanplanning  lowcost  bureaucracy  scale  possibility  australia  newcastle  sydney  stevenjohnson  development  renewal 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Tangled histories – Blog – BERG
"I don’t know why I write this. I’m interested in tangles and multi-actor histories, and how you tell stories in them. Books are for the linearisable. Hypertext is for hyperhistories. I’m curious about how simple patterns in behaviours or social relationships somehow persist, complexify and grow over decades and hundreds of thousands of people, and somehow don’t die away.

That’s one of the reasons I’m interested in cybernetics — surely it’s important, the weird individual relationships, the probes into the nature of being human, the mix of countercultural and military-industrial, the attitudes and ideas, all fermenting in the bottleneck population that contributed so much to modern culture? Surely those patterns persisted and weren’t diluted, and will throw light on the here and now? Beginnings matter."
berg  cybernetics  history  storytelling  stories  consilience  stevenjohnson  brianeno  mattjones  timelines  graphy  charts  1989  prague  brunolatour  longzoom  multi-actorhistories  hypertext  books  behavior  relationships  social  interactive 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Game Based Learning .:: Video Games, Social Media & Learning ::. - Public Pedagogy through Video Games:
"So our argument so far: today’s complex popular culture involves a characteristic form of teaching and constitutes a public pedagogy. That form of teaching involves good design (which makes meaning situated and language lucidly functional), resources, and affinity spaces. In fact, we see much popular culture today as a form of competition for schools and schooling. Much popular culture teaches 21st-century skills, like collaboration, producing and not just consuming knowledge, technology skills, innovation, design and system thinking, and so forth, while school often does not. And, further, we see no reason (other than institutional forces) why teaching in school ought not to be primarily about good design, resourcing learners, and creating efficacious affinity spaces."
education  learning  informallearning  jamespaulgee  simulations  videogames  games  gaming  schools  schooling  formal  stevenjohnson  television  tv  criticalthinking  yu-gi-oh  ageofmythology  thesims  unschooling  deschooling  collaboration  tcsnmy  edg  srg  glvo  consumption  production  content  technology  21stcenturyskills  popculture  innovation  design  systemsthinking  complexity  pedagogy 
october 2009 by robertogreco
We run videogames in our heads - Preoccupations
"At the heart of both talks, besides his zest for life, learning and a passionate engagement with his subject, is the critically important idea of situated meanings and their role in learning: ‘Comprehension is grounded in perceptual simulations [of experience] that prepare agents for situated action’ — Barsalou (1999). ... summarise here James’s six headline slides from his Handheld Learning talk about what characterises videogames: an experience of being simultaneously inside and outside a system; situated meanings; action orientated tasks; lucidly functional language; modding; passionate affinity groups ... Good games makes you feel smarter than you are. Play first, learn later (situated meanings). Where school fails is when it’s like a bunch of manuals without the games — and that’s also a very good way to make the poor look stupid."
davidsmith  jamespaulgee  games  gaming  videogames  schools  teaching  learning  simulations  education  stevenjohnson  perception  immersive  systems  affinitygroups  situatedmeanings 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Caterina.net: Eustress
"I found the word "eustress" on a page from an online book or workshop about Stress Management page by a professor named Wes Sime, whom I was reading about in Steven Johnson's book Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life. He distinguishes two kinds of stress:

• Eustress = Positive exhilarating challenging experiences of success followed by higher expectations

• Distress = Disappointment, failure, threat, embarrassment and other negative experiences"
words  distress  eustress  language  failure  success  caterinafake  stevenjohnson  stress  slow  balance  experience  expectations  embarrassment 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Edge: Economics is not Natural Science: Douglas Rushkoff
"We must stop perpetuating the fiction that existence itself is dictated by the immutable laws of economics. These so-called laws are, in actuality, the economic mechanisms of 13th Century monarchs. Some of us analyzing digital culture and its impact on business must reveal economics as the artificial construction it really is. Although it may be subjected to the scientific method and mathematical scrutiny, it is not a natural science; it is game theory, with a set of underlying assumptions that have little to do with anything resembling genetics, neurology, evolution, or natural systems."
economics  douglasrushkoff  science  crowdsourcing  change  reform  markets  local  debt  gametheory  stevenjohnson  sustainability  human  physics  power  networks  history  edge  renaissance  middleages  medieval  systems  crisis  theory 
august 2009 by robertogreco
How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live -- Printout -- TIME
"talk about innovation & global competitiveness...[using] metric of patents & PhDs...US share...steady decline since peaking in early 70s...what actually happened to American innovation during period?...[AOL], Netscape, Amazon, Google, Blogger, Wikipedia, Craigslist, TiVo, Netflix, eBay, iPod & iPhone, Xbox, Facebook...lifestyle-changing hit products, not just grad students, US has been lapping field...We are living through the worst economic crisis in generations, with apocalyptic headlines threatening the end of capitalism as we know it, and yet in the middle of this chaos, the engineers at Twitter headquarters are scrambling to keep the servers up, application developers are releasing their latest builds, & ordinary users are figuring out all the ingenious ways to put these tools to use...resilience here worth savoring. The weather reports keep announcing that the sky is falling, but here we are — millions of us — sitting around trying to invent new ways to talk to one another."
stevenjohnson  twitter  innovation  us  lifestylechangingproducts  evanwilliams  technology  culture  future  economics  gamechanging  end-userinnovation  consumergenerated 
june 2009 by robertogreco
BLDGBLOG: This Diseased Utopia: 10 Thoughts on Swine Flu and the City
"It's an important question. After all, it's incredibly easy, reading about sustainable cities, urban agriculture, and even the locavore movement, to conclude that chickens, pigs, cows, etc., have all been removed from the urban fabric as part of a profiteering move by Tyson and Perdue.

But there were very real epidemiological reasons for taking agriculture out of the city; finding a new place for urban agriculture will thus not only require very intense new spatial codes, it will demand constant vigilance in researching and developing inoculations"
disease  geography  cities  health  bldgblog  agriculture  farming  animals  locavore  sustainability  urbanagriculture  swineflu  history  epidemics  urban  urbanism  architecture  stevenjohnson  epidemiology  crisis 
april 2009 by robertogreco
russell davies: the invention of everybody / here comes air
"So much of the debate about new media, deaths of media, blah blah blah, is about what's the new model going to be? If it's not A, then what's B? when of course, there probably won't be a single dominant model, there'll be tons of different ones. Old ones, new ones, all mixed together, often within the same organisation. At the moment our organisational options are limited: there's Government, The Corporation, The Charity and The Cooperative. And that's about it. The internet means that (as Mr Shirky says) Group Action Just Got Easier but as anyone who tries to start a new sort of organisation will tell you, the legal niceties haven't caught up with that yet."

[Same can be said about schools.]
russelldavies  stevenjohnson  clayshirky  choice  innovation  options  schools  media  education  communities  networks  ideas  business  books  internet  web2.0  groups 
february 2009 by robertogreco
New tools for the street: outside.in Radar for the iPhone - Boing Boing
"There are a hundred iPhone apps that let you find a nearby Italian restaurant. And that's great -- finding a nearby restaurant is a useful function. But I think a lot of us want something more out of the geo-web; we want the grain and the serendipity of human conversations and gossip to help us explore physical space."
stevenjohnson  outside.in  applications  iphone  geolocation  location  community  local  hyperlocal  media  news  ios 
february 2009 by robertogreco
DIY: How to write a book - Boing Boing
"In part because my books have had a habit of weaving multiple disciplines together, and in part because I've written quite a bit about technology, I'm often asked about the tools I use to research and write my books. Given that Boingboing has its own wonderful multi-disciplinary sensibility, and of course a major obsession with DIY movements, I thought it might be fun to say a few words about the writing system I've developed over the past few books."
devonthink  stevenjohnson  writing  diy  multidisciplinary  howto  howwework  publishing  tips  organization  technology  productivity 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Handheld Learning 2008 - Steven Johnson, Author
Steven Johnson talks about Everything Bad Is Good for You adding references to technologies, games, and media that have appeared since publication of the book.
via:preoccupations  videogames  stevenjohnson  gaming  learning  culture  society  tv  television  systems  patterns  simulations  simcity  games  2008  lost  thewire  entertainment  tcsnmy  spore  attention  patience  schools  schooling  brianeno 
january 2009 by robertogreco
The case against Candy Land - Boing Boing
"Just as a thought experiment: "Imagine what the manual for Super Mario would read like were it structured like Candy Land: To explore Super Mario Galaxy, just hit the “action” button. At that point the game will randomly determine what action you have selected, and whether it was successful. When the action is over, hit the button again to see what’s next!" You think that game would have been a runaway hit? Even dressed up with accelerometers and adorable graphics? Of course not. But that’s what most of us who grew up before videogames accepted as normal when we were five."
stevenjohnson  videogames  mario  boardgames  games  play  gaming  parenting  learning  culture  children  candyland 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Game Based Learning .:: alpha version ::. - Public Pedagogy through Video Games:
"informal learning, at least of the sort we see in today’s popular culture, does involve teaching in a major way. It is just that the teaching it involves is not like what we see in school. Teaching in informal learning, in much of today’s popular culture, involves three things: design, resources & what we will call “affinity spaces.”" ... "When a word is associated with a verbal definition, we say it has a verbal meaning. When it is associated with an image, action, goal, experience, or dialogue, we say it has a situated meaning. Situated meanings are crucial for understandings that lead to being able to apply one's knowledge to problem solving." ... "Affinity spaces are well-designed spaces that resource and mentor learners, old and new, beginners and masters alike. They are the "learning system" built around a popular culture practice." ... "We believe that learning how to produce and not just consume in popular culture, as Jade did, is one good way to start the critical process."

[via:http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=47493 ]
jamespaulgee  games  gaming  stevenjohnson  informallearning  learning  schools  gamedesign  videogames  play  unschooling  deschooling  formal  informal  alternative  authenticity  mentoring  teaching  tcsnmy  pedagogy  affinityspaces  design  yu-gi-oh  education 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Daily Kos: Blogging in the 18th Century
"Priestley advocated the same choice as a school instructor, setting aside the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew that had constituted the bulk of most curricula in favor of English, math, science, and more recent history.

These choices didn't seem to be made with any intent on increasing his personal fame. In fact, Priestley made little from his discoveries and was quick to share with others who turned his ideas into commercial ventures. He was as content to talk about the discoveries that others had made as he was to put forward ideas of his own. He was a man who reveled in the openness of the science community of the Enlightenment, and the way in which ideas were readily passed from hand to hand. If he were alive today, I have little doubt he'd be writing at one of the science blogs, eager to relay the latest news.

Joseph Priestley simply loved ideas, loved learning, and loved passing ideas on to others. He communicated in every way he could..."
science  history  stevenjohnson  josephpriestley  blogging  communication  teaching  education  curriculum  sharing  ip  via:preoccupations 
january 2009 by robertogreco
stevenberlinjohnson.com: The System Worked
"So I look out at that landscape, and I think: yes, the country is in a terrible state, and it's going to take an immense amount of work and sacrifice and intelligence to turn things around. But the system that lets us choose our leaders seems to me to be as healthy as it has been in a long time. We get the leaders we deserve. For once, that's a good thing."
stevenjohnson  democracy  us  politics  culture  society  government  2008  elections  georgewbush  barackobama 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Steven Johnson on the Web as a city | Video on TED.com
"Outside.in's Steven Johnson says the Web is like a city: built by many people, completely controlled by no one, intricately interconnected and yet functioning as many independent parts. While disaster strikes in one place, elsewhere, life goes on."
ted  stevenjohnson  nyc  cities  janejacobs  technology  web  networking  density  internet  emergence 
october 2008 by robertogreco
George F. Will - Survival of the Sudsiest - washingtonpost.com
"gene pools of human settlements became progressively dominated by survivors...those genetically disposed to...drink beer. "Most of world's population today...made up of descendants of early beer drinkers...have largely inherited their genetic tolerance f
beer  history  georgewill  stevenjohnson  health  evolution  cities  alcohol 
july 2008 by robertogreco
stevenberlinjohnson.com: Brooks/Cheney
"whole concept of applying Jacobs' urban theories to way we think about web...now much more familiar connection to people, so much so that Brooks can made an offhand reference to it without even walking though the logic. That's pretty cool to see."
janejacobs  stevenjohnson  change  politics  davidbrooks  social  2008  barackobama  influence  audience  voice  writing  books  via:preoccupations 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Dawn of the digital natives - is reading declining? | Technology | The Guardian
"challenge NEA to track economic status of obsessive novel readers & obsessive computer programmers over next 10 yrs. Which group will have more professional success? more likely to found next Google/Facebook, go from college to $80K job?"
books  reading  stevenjohnson  children  programming  online  internet  technology  trends  research  culture  audience  digitalnatives  generations  literacy  media  teens  youth  publishing  statistics  education  coding  teaching 
february 2008 by robertogreco
AndrewBlum.net: Local Cities, Global Problems: Jane Jacobs in an Age of Global Change
"Jacobs wrote that “word does not move around where public characters and sidewalk life are lacking.” Now it does. There are the people paused at the top of the subway stairs, occupying two spaces at once, one physical, one virtual."
us  cities  urban  urbanism  stevenjohnson  outside.in  blogging  firstlife  virtual  janejacobs  future  environment  sustainability  density  society  development  planning  architecture  neighborhoods  policy  socialnetworking  community  culture  people  sociology  technology  via:cityofsound 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Steven Johnson - Urban Planet - Opinion - New York Times Blog
"I’ll explore many facets of our urban planet & its future, drawing upon themes that were visible, in embryo, 150 years ago in streets of London: peril & promise of density, local knowledge, importance of public health systems, and strength of neighborh
architecture  cities  books  stevenjohnson  urbanism  urban  nytimes  society  demographics  culture  development  isolation 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Geeks without borders. - By Steven Johnson - Slate Magazine
"Go colonizes an entire city for its playing field; L3 colonizes the entire Web. These are games without frontiers."
immersive  mmorpg  mobile  smartmobs  arg  howardrheingold  pervasive  play  phones  games  collaborative  community  wireless  urban  technology  stevenjohnson 
october 2007 by robertogreco
stevenberlinjohnson.com: Tool For Thought
"There's a longstanding assumption that the modern, web-enabled PC is the realization of the Memex, but if you go back and look at Bush's essay, he was describing something more specific -- a personal research tool that would learn as you interacted with
devonthink  applications  mac  osx  research  notetaking  search  study  methodology  informationmanagement  information  data  database  classification  stevenjohnson  memory  productivity 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Creative Generalist - BIF Conference summaries (see Eric Bonabaeu and Steven Johnson especially)
"most ideas start as hunches (not eureka moments)...hunches often take lotsa time to evolve...we need to build hunch-supportive environments...people care+most expert at local, hunches...particularly effective at a neighbourhood scale."
stevenjohnson  hunches  innovation  local  neighborhoods  scale  human  time  ideas  thinking 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Swarm Behavior - National Geographic Magazine
"A single ant or bee isn't smart, but their colonies are. The study of swarm intelligence is providing insights that can help humans manage complex systems, from truck routing to military robots."
ai  animals  bees  behavior  biology  bugs  business  chaos  cognition  collaboration  collective  collectivism  crowds  insects  intelligence  leadership  math  nanotechnology  nature  networks  psychology  politics  research  science  socialscience  sociology  stevenjohnson  technology  systems  structure  swarms 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Wired 15.03: Snacklash
"Yes, it sometimes seems as if we're living off a cultural diet of blog posts and instant messages - until we find ourselves losing an entire weekend watching season three of The Wire. The truth is, we have more snacks now only because the menu itself has
stevenjohnson  media  entertainment  culture  complexity  essays  time 
march 2007 by robertogreco
Preoccupations: Consilience
"Consilience is about breaking down boundaries between disciplines, but it's also about breaking down barriers between learners. Consilience and open, collaborative knowledge cultures are tightly intertwined."
ideas  knowledge  play  learning  education  future  thinking  problemsolving  consilience  collaborative  collaboration  stevenjohnson  brianeno  longnow  interdisciplinary 
january 2007 by robertogreco
cityofsound: Why Lost is genuinely new media
"I've been as impressed with the way that the creators of Lost have enabled interaction around the show as with the show itself. Perhaps 'enabled' could be replaced with 'coordinated' or even 'manipulated', but strategically, the call-and-response relatio
media  tv  lost  creative  culture  future  interactive  internet  television  marketing  wikipedia  art  visualization  web  connectivity  stevenjohnson  social  interaction  newmedia  transmedia  arg  cityofsound  storytelling  gamedesign  games  immersive  danhill 
march 2006 by robertogreco

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