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“The Systems View of Life” (web video) |Fritjof Capra | Schumacher College | May 7, 2014 June 17, 2014

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Launch of textbook by Fritjof Capra, collecting 40 years of writings with additions by coauthor Pier Luigi Luisi.  The lecture shows precise language about the science of systems, with clear references tying together research strands.  Mature systems thinkers will be reminded of concepts that they know but may not be immediately salient to their current endeavours.  Novice systems thinkers may appreciate the easy pace of the speech, with linkages to other concepts and figures in the systems community.

The Systems View of Life (Cover)

My forthcoming book is the realization of a dream I have had for many years. It is a multidisciplinary textbook, coauthored with my friend and colleague Pier Luigi Luisi, Professor of Biology at the University of Rome, and to be published by Cambridge University Press in April 2014.

In this book, titled The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision, we present a coherent systemic framework that integrates four dimensions of life: the biological, the cognitive, the social, and the ecological dimension; and we discuss the philosophical, social, and political implications of this unifying vision.

To write this book, I went through all my previous books, collected the relevant passages, updated and modified them as appropriate for an undergraduate textbook, and added many new passages in collaboration with my coauthor. So, for me this book is a summary of my work as a writer over the past forty years.

We believe that it will be critical for present and future generations of young students and researchers to understand the new systemic conception of life and its implications for a broad range of professions — from economics, management, and politics, to medicine, psychology, and law. In addition, the book will be useful for undergraduate students in the life sciences and the humanities.

The book offers a broad sweep through the history of ideas and across scientific disciplines. Beginning with the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution, the historical account includes the evolution of Cartesian mechanism from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, the rise of systems thinking, the development of complexity theory, recent discoveries at the forefront of biology, the emergence of the systems view of life at the turn of this century, and its economic, ecological, political, and spiritual implications.

http://www.fritjofcapra.net/blog.html#textbook

A talk given at Schumacher College (UK), Dartington on May 7th 2014.

The great challenge of our time is to build and nurture sustainable communities, designed in such a manner that their ways of life, physical structures, and technologies do not interfere with nature’s inherent ability to sustain life. To do so, requires a new ecological understanding of life, as well as a new kind of “systemic” thinking.

In this lecture, Fritjof Capra describes that such a new understanding of life in terms of complexity, networks, and patterns of organization, has recently emerged at the forefront of science. He will emphasize, in particular, the new conception of the nature of mind and consciousness, which is one of the most radical philosophical implications of the systemic understanding of life; and the urgency of this new understanding for dealing with our global ecological crisis and protecting the continuation and flourishing of life on Earth.

Fritjof Capra was speaking as part of his short course running at Schumacher College.

I heard Fritjof Capra speak in person, at the ISSS 2006 Sonoma meeting.

Introduction to NodeJS (web video) | Ryan Dahl | May 5, 2010 | YUI Theater May 9, 2014

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Why node.js? Blocking and non-blocking input/output is explained for novices by the Ryan Dahl, the original node.js author. There’s a clear analogy of taking a sheet of paper out of your desk, versus having to go to Los Angeles for it.

Ryan Dahl: Introduction to Node.js at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-sc73Y-zQA.

Ryan describes his talk this way:

It is well known that event loops rather than threads are required for high-performance servers. Javascript is a language unencumbered of threads and designed specifically to be used with asynchronous evented I/O, making it an attractive means of programming server software. Node.js ties together the V8 Javascript compiler with an event loop, a thread pool for making blocking system calls, and a carefully designed HTTP parser to provide a browser-like interface to creating fast server-side software. This talk will explain Node’s design and how to get started with it.”

Cinco de NodeJS — May’s BayJax Celebrates Server-Side JavaScript with Ryan Dahl, Elijah Insua, and Dav Glass | April 27, 2010 | YUI Blog at http://www.yuiblog.com/blog/2010/04/27/cinco-de-nodejs/.

Internet users shouldn’t have to put up with slow user interfaces when the design of the application is blocked in an event loop.

YUI Theater — Ryan Dahl: “Introduction to NodeJS” (58 min.) – YUI Blog at http://www.yuiblog.com/blog/2010/05/20/video-dahl/.

Pounding Simplicity into Wiki (video) |Ward Cunningham | April 15, 2013 | MountainWest RubyConf 2013 February 8, 2014

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Ward Cunningham describes the features in federated wiki new to the original 1994 wiki technology at the Mountain West Ruby Conference 2013.

This last year I set out to do for numbers what I had done for words, give them depth and meaning that ordinary people can depend on every day.  [....] My quest has been to make knowing and using data an everyday thing. This means the study of data must be an everyday thing too. To this end I’ve pushed visualization, I’ve pushed domain specific markups, I’ve pushed streaming measurements. But through this I’ve retained wiki’s greatest strength: the ability to create with those who we have just met and don’t yet have reason to trust. Finding trust on the modern web may be this year’s biggest accomplishment.

The Mountain West Ruby Conference 2013 was attended by Mike Farmer, who wrote a digest at http://blog.endpoint.com/2013/04/pounding-simplicity-into-wiki.html , including:

Promise

[....]. The promise of this new kind of wiki is to give numbers depth and meaning that ordinary people can depend on every day.

This means data visualization intermixed with context. For example, a weather map can show you numbers on a map to tell you temperatures. A meteorologist doesn’t just see a number, he sees the actual weather, the hot and cold, the wind or the rain, etc. Data visualizations like a wind map excel at helping users to visually see the wind in region.

To accomplish this promise, Cunningham implemented a new kind of wiki. The main difference in this new wiki is that the data is federated among several different locations on the web and then assembled in the browser. You can think of it as a traditional mashup. The wiki content is both self generated and programatically generated from data on the web or attached to the web via some device.

Process

  • 0 Story: Pages with datasets, images and paragraphs with history (versions).
  • 1 Binding: Attaches the data to different versions of the page revisions.
  • 2 Attribution: Source is dynamically generated so that it can be tracked back.
  • 3 Link Context: Links to other pages on other servers give hints to tell you where the data originates.
  • 4 Neighborhood: Click on a page that doesn’t exist (red link) server looks for similar page on other wikis in the federated network.
  • 5 Search: Global search looks in all the wikis in the federated network.

Principle

The principle behind this project is one of discovery. As the development continues, the possibilities for it increase and new thoughts and ideas are discovered. This was talked about in a talk by Bret Victor called Inventing on Principle. If you were to compare this to agile, it might look like this:

Agile Principle
velocity smallest
customer curiosity
confidence wonder

Downloadable versions are available from confreaks.

Pounding Simplicity into Wiki |Ward Cunningham | April 15, 2013 | MountainWest RubyConf 2013 at via http://www.confreaks.com/videos/2342-mwrc2013-pounding-simplicity-into-wiki.

Learning how to learn | Rodrigo Arboleda | Apr. 10 2013 | TEDxCMU November 3, 2013

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Computer programming is a way of learning to learn, says @rarboleda2, with @OLPC now releasing the XO Tablet putting Sugar on top of Android.

Rodrigo Arboleda is Chairman and CEO of One Laptop Per Child Association (OLPCA), a not-for-profit entity seeking to provide equal opportunity of access to knowledge to small children in Developing Nations and in some communities within the USA.

OLPCA’s mission focuses on socio-economic and cultural change via education, with primary interest in children of 3 years and up.

Arboleda is in charge of worldwide operational issues related to the project. More than 2,700,000 laptops have been distributed so far to children in 41 countries and in 21 languages including many indigenous languages.

Arboleda has been also a Visiting Scholar at the Media Lab of MIT, where he worked on the Digital Nations Consortium project and on the Education for Peace initiative, E4P. He has served also as a Board Member of the 2B1 Foundation, which made possible some of the projects developed at the Media Lab.

He was born in Medellin, Colombia and completed his Bachelor Degree in Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in 1965.

Learning how to learn | Rodrigo Arboleda | Apr. 10 2013 | TEDxCMU at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhEFEyD7Pc8.

An slightly longer extended talk, with a little more technology, was presented shortly afterwards at Google.

GoogleTalks features Rodrigo Arboleda | May 8, 2013 | OLPC | laptop.org at http://blog.laptop.org/2013/05/08/googletalks-features-rodrigo-arboleda

GoogleTalks features Rodrigo Arboleda

Mike Cohn | Prioritizing Your Product Backlog (slides + web video) October 1, 2013

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After agile estimate and agile planning, prioritizing the product backlog has a few more techniques worth watching.  Mike Cohn has a variety of techniques described in prior years, but this set of slides hasn’t been as popular as the ones on planning and estimating.  The content tends to run:

Approaches to prioritizing include:

  • Kano analysis
  • Expert opinion
  • Theme screening
  • Theme scoring
  • Relative weighting
  • Financial analysis

Kano analysis maps the presence of features against satisfaction, as:

  • Mandatory / Baseline:  must be present for users to be satisfied
  • Linear:  the more of it, the better
  • Exciters / Delighters:  Features a user doesn’t know she wants, until she sees it

The other approaches are more typical scorecarding approaches.

Here’s a slide deck dated June 8, 2010.

The Agile 2008 presentation is unfortunately not embeddable in this blog post, but viewable in a browser at http://www.infoq.com/presentations/prioritizing-your-product-backlog-mike-cohn .

A June 19, 2009 presentation from the Norwegian Developers Conference can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfcTORR2dBM

A variety of slides over many years is available on Mike Cohn’s web site at http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/presentations/prioritizing-your-product-backlog .

Chinese Dining Etiquette | Sept. 18, 2013 | Off the Great Wall September 22, 2013

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Chinese Dining Etiquette by @ntdOTGW explains practices commonly adopted by children regularly attending parents’ dinners, which may be unknown by others.  Entertaining 5-minute video describes how Chinese parents should have taught their children:

1. Where to sit?

  • Seat of guest of honour faces the door.
  • Next most important to right of guest of honour, and to the left of guest of honour.
  • Person paying the bill faces the guest.

2. How to order?

  • One person orders for table, sometimes with host ordering a few dishes and then asking others for additional dishes
  • Even number of dishes

3 and 4.  How to Pour Tea and Show Gratitude

  • Tea handle with right hand, top with left hand
  • Teapot top partially off signals for more water, teapot top entirely off is bad luck.
  • Verbal thank you, or tap the table with two fingers.

5. Chopsticks handling

  • Chopstick is extension to fingers, so don’t point
  • Don’t stand chopsticks upright in rice, which looks like incense in dishes left to honour the dead

6. How to Eat Your Food

  • On the lazy susan, the most senior person selects first
  • Take a small portion to ensure everyone gets some

7. How to Eat Fish

  • When whole fish is served, once one side is eaten, never flip the fish over; lift out the backbone of the fish

8.  How to Pay the Bill

  • Guests should never split the bill, as that would be ingracious, saying that the host could not afford the bill, or that the hospitality is not appreciated.
  • Guest should offer to pay the bill a few times

Chinese Dining Etiquette | Sept. 18, 2013 | Off the Great Wall at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkyE2rPac3s.

Chinese Dining Etiquette | Off the Great Wall | Youtube

Cantonese Vs. Mandarin | Aug. 25, 2013 | Off the Great Wall September 14, 2013

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On our family visit back to our ancestral village at Lougang (or Lowkong), the members of the collective group mostly spoke no more than two of four dialects, from the heritage Toisanese, to local standard Cantonese, the modern Mandarin, and the new world English.  This meant conversations with multiple translations from the 92-year-old grandfather down to the pre-school great grand-daughter.

“Why Use Traditional Characters? | April 23, 2013 | Learn Chinese Now September 14, 2013

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The shift from traditional Chinese characters to simplified is compared to Orwell’s 1984 newspeak. Our sons who studied in Mandarin language classes at university in Beijing may have missed the deeper cultural understanding of the original ideograms.

Mike Cohn | Advanced Agile Planning (web video + MP4) | June 6, 2012 | Norwegian Developers Conference July 27, 2013

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Release and iteration planning described in a 57-minute video, is better as a third in series, following the video on Agile Estimating.  Mike Cohn presents:

  • after the user stories have been created, and duration (as story points) have been estimated …
  • velocity is the amount of the work completed per iteration;
  • planning in five scenarios:
    • 1. a team with historical data;
      • where confidence intervals can be calculated from historical data
    • 2. fixed-date plans;
      • with partitions of “will have”, “might have” and “won’t have”;
    • 3. fixed-scope plans;
      • where a date range can be provided;
    • 4. a team with no velocity data;
      • where a first iteration breaks features (backlog items) into tasks, and hours are estimated for each task; and then
      • the second iteration may be estimated as a range, and/or compared with other teams; and
    • 5. a team changing size
      • where the average velocity change can be tracked.

Mike Cohn – Advanced Topics in Agile Planning from NDCOslo on Vimeo.

Velocity is perhaps the most useful metric available to agile teams. In this session we will look at advanced uses of velocity for planning under special but common circumstances. We will see how to forecast velocity in the complete absence of any historical data. We will look at how a new team can forecast velocity by looking at other teams. We will see how to predict the velocity of a team that will grow or shrink in size. Most importantly we will look at the use of confidence intervals to create plans we can be 90% confident in, even on fixed-price or fixed-date contracts.

The slides for this presentation are also available at http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/presentations/advanced-topics-in-agile-planning .

There’s a velocity range estimator available at http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/tools/velocity-range-calculator .

Mike Cohn | Agile Estimating (web video + MP4) | June 6, 2012 | Norwegian Developers Conference July 27, 2013

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This 59-minute video on Agile Estimating is better sequenced for viewing secondly, following the video on User Stories.  Mike Cohn presents:

  • estimating size (before) deriving duration (with a range);
  • story points as relative effort for a user story in a product backlog;
  • ideal time (to complete) as compared to elapsed time (with interruptions);
  • “Planning Poker” as an iterative approach to estimating (collaboratively).

Mike Cohn – Agile Estimating from NDCOslo on Vimeo.

The first step in creating a useful plan is the ability to estimate reliably. In this session we will discuss how to do this. We will look at various approaches to estimating including unit-less points and ideal time. The class will present four specific techniques for deriving reliable estimates, including how to use the popular Planning Poker® technique and other techniques that dramatically improve a project’s chances of on-time completion.

The slides for this presentation are also available at http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/presentations/agile-estimating .

Planning Poker is a free (no-charge) collaborative estimation tool at http://www.planningpoker.com/

Mike Cohn | User Stories (web video + MP4) | Norwegian Developers Conference | June 6, 2012 July 27, 2013

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This 52-minute video is a comprehensive introduction to User Stories, as practiced in Agile Development.  Mike Cohn presents:

  • resource allocation under imperfect schedules as a shared problem between developers and business people;
  • user stories as 3 C’s:  the Card supporting Conversations with Confirmation (of conditions of satisfaction);
  • story details as (i) conditions of satisfaction, or (ii) sub-stories;
  • epics as large stories, and user stories clustered into themes;
  • story-writing workshops as supporting participative design.

While this talk was the last for the day, it’s better as the first for viewing as an easy introduction to the agile way.


Mike Cohn – User Stories for Agile Requirements from NDCOslo on Vimeo.

The technique of expressing requirements as user stories is one of the most broadly applicable techniques introduced by the agile processes. User stories are an effective approach on all time constrained projects and are a great way to begin introducing a bit of agility to your projects.In this session, we will look at how to identify and write good user stories. The class will describe the six attributes that good stories should exhibit and present thirteen guidelines for writing better stories. We will explore how user role modeling can help when gathering a project’s initial stories.

Because requirements touch all job functions on a development project, this tutorial will be equally suited for analysts, customers, testers, programmers, managers, or anyone involved in a software development project. By the end of this tutorial, you will leave knowing the six attributes of a good story, learn a good format for writing most user stories, learn practical techniques for gathering user stories, know how much work to do up-front and how much to do just-in-time.

The slides are also available at http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/presentations/introduction-to-user-stories

Sustainable Development Goals must sustain people and planet, experts say | March 20, 2013 | sciencedaily.com March 24, 2013

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Six Sustainable Development goals from U.N. to supersede Millennium Development Goals that expire 2015, based on new appreciation of anthropocene.

In the wake of last week’s meetings at the UN on the definition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a group of international scientists have published a call in the journal Nature today, arguing for a set of six SDGs that link poverty eradication to protection of Earth’s life support. The researchers argue that in the face of increasing pressure on the planet’s ability to support life, adherence to out-dated definitions of sustainable development threaten to reverse progress made in developing countries over past decades. [....]

The team asserts that the classic model of sustainable development, of three integrated pillars — economic, social and environmental — that has served nations and the UN for over a decade, is flawed because it does not reflect reality. “As the global population increases towards nine billion people sustainable development should be seen as an economy serving society within Earth’s life support system, not as three pillars,” says co-author Dr. Priya Shyamsundar from the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics, Nepal.

The researchers say that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), set to expire in 2015, have helped focus international efforts on eight poverty-related goals. However, despite successes in some areas — the number of people living on less than one dollar a day has been more than halved — many MDGs have not been met, and some remain in conflict with one another. Economic gains, for example, have come at the expense of environmental protection. Politicians are struggling to link global environmental concerns with addressing poverty.

The new set of goals — thriving lives and livelihoods, food security, water security, clean energy, healthy and productive ecosystems, and governance for sustainable societies — aim to resolve this conflict. The targets beneath each goal include updates and expanded targets under the MDGs, including ending poverty and hunger, combating HIV/aids, and improving maternal and child health. But they also define a set of planetary “must haves”: climate stability, the reduction biodiversity loss, protection of ecosystem services, a healthy water cycle and oceans, sustainable nitrogen and phosphorus use, clean air and sustainable material use.

Sustainable Development Goals must sustain people and planet, experts say | March 20, 2013 | sciencedaily.com at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320155228.htm.  The full article is Griggs, David, Mark Stafford-Smith, Owen Gaffney, Johan Rockström, Marcus C. Öhman, Priya Shyamsundar, Will Steffen, Gisbert Glaser, Norichika Kanie, and Ian Noble. 2013. “Policy: Sustainable Development Goals for People and Planet.” Nature 495 (7441) (March 21): 305–307. doi:10.1038/495305a. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/495305a.

The new graphic has earth’s support system with society inside, and the economy inside of that.
Redefining sustainable development

“Ending poverty and safeguarding Earth’s life support system must be the twin priorities for the Sustainable Development Goals, says Johan Rockström, centre director and a co-author of the Nature article.

Together with the international team he identified six goals that, if met, would contribute to global sustainability while helping to alleviate poverty. [....]

The new set of goals — thriving lives and livelihoods, food security, water security, clean energy, healthy and productive ecosystems, and governance for sustainable societies — aim to resolve this conflict. The targets beneath each goal include updates and expanded targets under the MDGs, including ending poverty and hunger, combating HIV/aids, and improving maternal and child health.

But also a set of planetary “must haves”: climate stability, reducing biodiversity loss, protection of ecosystem services, a healthy water cycle and oceans, sustainable nitrogen and phosphorus use, clean air and sustainable material use.

From “Redefining sustainable development” | March 20, 2013 | Stockholm Resilience Centre at http://www.stockholmresilience.org/21/research/research-news/3-20-2013-redefining-sustainable-development.html

The sidebar at the Stockholm Resilience Centre has a pointer to “Future Earth” as a 10-year international research initiative at the ICSU International Council for Science.

Johan Rockström introduces Future Earth | February 2013 | at http://vimeo.com/5720929 from http://vimeo.com/futureearth.

What Most Schools Don’t Teach (web video) | Feb. 26, 2013 | code.org March 10, 2013

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“Over the next 10 years, there will be 1.4 million jobs in computer science, and only about 400,000 grads qualified for those job”.

Learn about a new “superpower” that isn’t being taught in 90% of US schools.

Starring Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, will.i.am, Chris Bosh, Jack Dorsey, Tony Hsieh, Drew Houston, Gabe Newell, Ruchi Sanghvi, Elena Silenok, Vanessa Hurst, and Hadi Partovi.

Directed by Leslie Chilcott. Executive producers Hadi and Ali Partovi

What Most Schools Don’t Teach (web video) | Feb. 26, 2013 | code.org at http://youtu.be/dU1xS07N-FA

code.org

Dr. Lorelei Lingard | Collective Competence (web video) | September 13, 2012 | TedX Bayfield March 7, 2013

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Not infrequently, competent individuals come together to form an incompetent team, says Lorelei Lingard.

Joe got competent care in hospital. He recovered from his pneumonia. He got competent care from his family doctor, his diabetes specialist, his homecare nurses and the pharmacist. Each of those individuals, within their scope of practice, and acting on the information at hand, did the right thing for Joe. But the sum total of those care events is not overall competent care for Joe. [around 4:50]

Now this is a very complex problem, and it’s being tackled from a number of different angles. Systems engineers are trying to understand it better, to improve the situation. Organizational scientists are trying to work on it. Sociologists are working on it. Tonight, I’m going to shed some light on this problem from my perspective of a communications researcher trying to improve medical education. [around 5:20]

There are significant barriers that make it difficult for individual competence to translate into collective competence. I’m going to focus on three. [around 5:45]

The first is scientific reductionism. This refers to the way that we tackle complex scientific phenomena, by breaking them down into their component parts. [....] [around 6:00]

The second barrier between individual and collective competence is specialization. [....] [around 6:20]

The third barrier between individual and collective competence is the very concept of individual competence itself. The goal of producing an individually competent healthcare provider, with their own specific tightly-bounded expertise drives everything: in health profession education generally, and medical education specifically. [around 7:00]

[....]

Together, and kind of paradoxically, these three factors combine, to produce one of healthcare’s greatest weaknesses. That is, that providers work in isolation from one other, each person focused on the particular issue about which they are an expert. When that happens, patients can fall into the cracks between the individually competent healthcare providers. [around 8:00]

[....]

What do we need to adapt from? I would argue that we need to adapt from our exclusive focus on the goal of individual competence. Individual competence is a set of pervasive, and rarely challenged assumptions. It’s not unique to medical education, it’s true of education everywhere.

I would like to touch on three ways in which we are, right now, moving towards collective competence. [around 12:20]

[....]

Joe travels through the healthcare system more quickly than his healthcare information does. We have the technology to address this problem, to move information more efficiently. One example … is the global medication electronic record. [around 13:40]

[....]

The shift to delivery primary care through family health teams. [....]

The third way in which we’re moving toward collective competence is a more strategic way. [....] Take a look at the healthcare system, find those points in the system where a failure of collective competence can have dire consequences, and build initiatives to support collective competence in those moments.

Dr. Lorelei Lingard | Collective Competence | September 13, 2012 | TedX Bayfield at http://www.ted.com/tedx/events/4674, video at http://youtu.be/vI-hifp4u40

Lorelei Lingard is founding director and senior scienist at the Centre for Education Research and Innovation, at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, at the Western University.  Here’s her bio:

Dr. Lorelei Lingard is a leading researcher in the study of communication and collaboration on healthcare teams. She is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) and the inaugural Director of the Centre for Education Research & Innovation at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. Dr. Lingard obtained her Ph.D. in Rhetoric from the English Department at Simon Fraser University, specializing in rhetorical theory, genre theory, medical discourse, and qualitative methodology. As a rhetorician, she investigates ‘language as social action’: that is, how social groups use language to get things done, and how that language acts on them, their identities, their purposes, their situations, and their relationships. Her research program has investigated the nature of communication on inter-professional healthcare teams in a variety of clinical settings, including the operating room, the intensive care unit, the internal medicine ward, the adult rehabilitation unit, and the family health centre.

Via TedX Bayfield, Theme: Adaptation at http://www.ted.com/tedx/events/4674.

Lorelei Lingard, Western University

The Complicated Chinese Family Tree (streaming video) | Feb. 26, 2013 | Off the Great Wall March 7, 2013

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Addressing Chinese extended family members is complicated, as it’s about each individual’s relation to the other.  Relatives are called not by their given names, but by the social tie.  The complicatedness is further confused as as person older than yourself (e.g. younger cousin) gets address differently from an person younger than yourself … and the gender factors in, too.

Did you know that every member of a Chinese family is called something different? Depending on whether it’s from your mom’s side or your dad’s side and their seniority? It gets quite confusing, so we will draw it out for you in a family tree and hope you can learn some Chinese along the way! :) Please don’t mind our terrible handwriting!

Watch the behind the scenes on how we created the family tree:http://e.ntd.tv/WefUsf

Note: There are still many more ways to call the same person, for example husband’s mother can be called 家姑,家婆,婆婆 or 奶奶. This all depends on where you are from. To keep it simple, we just chose the more generic terms.

Subscribe for more Off the Great Wall:http://e.ntd.tv/SubscribeOTGW

Another reason for trepidation in visiting the ancestral village this summer!

Video at The Complicated Chinese Family Tree (streaming video) | Feb. 26, 2013 | Off the Great Wall http://youtu.be/nCFRoILS1jY

John Hagel | Rethinking Race Against the Machines (web video) | Dec. 17, 2012 | Big Think (on Youtube) February 23, 2013

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Innovate by Racing WITH the Machine, says @jhagel, extending @erikbryn and @amcafee Racing Against the Machine where technology is an engine of change, leading to automation taking away jobs.  Counter with new work practices and institutions.

The traditional industrial push model of right people, right place, right time, following tightly activities to respond to demand where creativity not required can more easily be taken over by machines that are more predictable and reliable than human beings.

Opinion expressed by John Hagel | Rethinking Race Against the Machines (web video) | Dec. 17, 2012 | Big Think at http://youtu.be/XPHwzJS8mRY

Russell Ackoff’s 87th Birthday Celebration (video) | UNAM, Mexico City | February 2006 February 17, 2013

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What’s the difference between a forecast and an assumption?  Ackoff illustrates through the metaphor of preparing for a flat tire.  What’s the difference between development and charity?  Teaching a man to fish, versus giving a man a fish.

Ackoff at UNAM — The National Autonomous University of Mexico

Javier Livas kindly shared the video that he took from the talk given by late Russell Ackoff at the conference on “Participation and Development: The Mexico of the Future.” The conference was in Mexico City: Celebrating Russell L. Ackoff’s 87th Anniversary, February 14 – 15, 2006.

Russ Ackoff had a long history of collaboration with Mexican scholars and professionals since the early 60’s. His planning methodology has been put into practice in several instances along a variety of institutions and corporations. All of the projects he has been involved in are unmistakably geared towards development with emphasis in stakeholder participation. His books in systems thinking, organizational design, development and other topics are widely used in Mexican universities. Many Mexican students as well as professionals have benefited from his thought by directly interacting with him as graduate students, in seminars, consulting or through personal communication.

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) through the Institutes of Applied Mathematics and Systems (IIMAS), Engineering (II) and The School of Engineering (FI) organized the Symposium honoring Dr. Ackoff, focused on participation, development and the Mexico of the future.

To watch the video, click on the following link: ACKOFF AT UNAM

Video surfaced at “Ackoff at UNAM — The National Autonomous University of Mexico” | February 8, 2013 | Ackoff Collaboratory for Advancement fo the Systems Approach at http://ackoffcenter.blogs.com/ackoff_center_weblog/2013/02/ackoff-at-unam-the-national-autonomous-university-of-mexico.html.

[The video is supplemented with a photographic montage at the outset, and then settles in to a hand-held lecture]

2006_Ackoff_UNAM

“How to design breakthrough inventions” (David Kelley and IDEO profiled by Charlie Rose) | 60 Minutes | January 6, 2013 January 7, 2013

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Design thinking profile by 60 Minutes (via @jp2consult) of David Kelley at Ideo and Stanford U.  Includes history with Steve Jobs and Apple, and ties with Stanford D-School.

“How to design breakthrough inventions” (David Kelley and IDEO profiled by Charlie Rose) | 60 Minutes | January 6, 2013 at http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50138327n (where “web extras” are available).

Ward Cunningham | “Federation” | Oct. 24, 2012 | Realtime Conference December 13, 2012

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@WardCunningham suggests the feedback loop is faster with a publish-and-review strategy, rather than a review-and-publish strategy.  The Wikipedia Neutral-Point-of-View works for history, but for future-oriented or individually-oriented content, there needs to be room for a chorus of voices.

[0:45] What does open data really need, especially in corporate environment, to be able to be share, and not be afraid of sharing?

[0:55] I’ve developed a new wiki, and it’s called the Federated Wiki.

[1:00] The project, which started before this application, was called the Smallest Federated Wiki, and did that at the Indie Web Camp.

[1:15]It reminded me that I was always guiltly that the everybody was bringing content to my site. When they finally said “why I am making Ward famous, I ought to start a blog”, I said yeah, you should. A lot of the real talent that was authoring on wiki — which was about patterns, and then design, and then extreme programming, and then agile — it was all hammered out on that site.

[1:50] Wikis have settled in, and made me famous.

7:15 Instead of having a review and publish strategy, I had a publish and then review strategy. [....] The feedback loop is 10 times faster, in some cases 100 times faster than on a traditional publication. [...] It had good signal-to-noise ratio, because I had a good feedback loop.

[9:00] Another thing that happened was the notion of recent changes. you could always find out about what people were talking about now. [....] That meant that you go away for a week, and come back, and catch up in an hour.

[10:30] This brings me to federation. [....]

[10:50] Let’s not all have our own wikis and just write to our own and read everybody else’s. It’s kind of like the blogosphere, except that we put enough affordance in there that it really does feel like a wiki. [...]

[11:10] There’s so much that we do with distributed computers, so that that distributed computer feels like one computer. Making that distributed computer feel like a bunch of computers is going to be good way to be for a number of things.

[11:30] In decision making, there’s something called groupthink. You have a pretty good idea, but somebody else mentions his pretty good idea, and it just shuts you down. You say, his pretty good idea is actually better than my pretty good idea, I’m going to forget my pretty good idea. But if you’re in a small community, isolated from that other pretty good idea, you can bat your idea around with a few people near you, and get it to be a really excellent idea, and it might have more potential than the other one. So, keeping thought leaders separate for a little while actually improves the quality of thinking.

[12:10] This is something that doesn’t happen on Wikipedia. They have a different rule. They say, everyone is editing the same pages, but you’re required to have a Neutral Point of View. If you’re talking about history, where it is possible, with enough consulting and references to assert that you really do have a Neutral Point of View, you can get away with it. It works on Wikipedia.

[12:35] But if you’re talking about forward-looking things, where it’s not clear what the right way to go is — and my work recently has been in sustainability, and I know there’s going to be change in the future, and I just want to inform that with good data — anything that is future oriented or individually oriented, there needs to be room for a chorus of voices. There needs to be a lot of ideas where we can make them all possible to express.

[13:15] With the idea of federation, I’m thinking that everyone brings something to the conversation. If all you’re bringing is spam to the conversation, you’re not going to get much attention.

[13:35] You bring some of your own storage, you bring your own bandwidth, you bring some of your own value that you might find unique. You have the opportunity to make your voice heard.

[14:00] On the blog, every time you start, you start on a blank page. On a wiki, you found a conversation, and improved it just a little. You take that idea that no one starts from a blank slate.

[15:30] One person asked me once, he said wikis are pretty neat, but do they have to be so ugly? The answer is yes, basically they do. If you make it beautiful, then anyone who can’t match your beauty is closed out of the conversation.

[19.30] This [page] comes up, and looks for something useful to its left. I don’t look anywhere, I just look to my left. These came off different websites. One came off my home web site, but the graph came off of my laptop. This data doesn’t meet until it shows up in my browser.

[21:40] As I write on this, I’m making stuff for myself, and then just sharing it widely. If somebody finds value in it, that’s great. I don’t have to write carefully. I said does wiki have to be ugly? It helps to be able to write casually.

[22:00] I call it incremental paragraphs. I write fragments, just thoughts, and I want to type as fast as I can. [....] But then I evolve into more powerful words. Here, I’m taking this fragmented ideas, and saying “if I had to name that today, what would I name that”? What are the powerful words that I should use in a sentence. This is inching towards making a new page.

[23:20] I write paragraphs that are standalone. Sometimes they get a little bigger. But it they get much bigger than that, hyperlink. I already thought about those names, push it off onto names.

[23:35] Sociologically, I think this is profound. I don’t like writing, but I do like being in a community. This is wiki for the Twitter generation.

[32:30] I’ve been focused on three things. Federation, refactoring, and applying those two to open data.

More videos by Ward Cunningham on Federated Wiki can be found at http://wardcunningham.github.com/

Ward Cunningham | “Federated Wiki Mashes Data in Your Browser” | May 31, 2012 | Fluent 2012 December 13, 2012

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Ward Cunningham, inventor of wiki, rethinks wiki as a way of sharing data.

Our new wiki innovates three ways. It shares through federation, composes by refactoring and wraps data with visualization.

Returning to the pattern language research that predates the wiki, this rethinking supports the space as being alive, with computations on the page.  This Javascript-based wiki lives in the browser, with ties back to a server.  The Smallest Federated Wiki was demonstrated at Fluent 2012.

The result is computing where content can be copied and forked with personal points of view, learning from the distributed parallelism featured in Git technology.  Cunningham says (about about 11:15):

This is going to make a  kind of wiki where it isn’t a promise of a Neutral Point of View, but it’s a promise of attention to outcomes, attention to measurement.  You can have an opinion about how we should live our lives in the future, but you’ve got to tie that to realistic data.  In the blogosphere, you’ll have people off on one side yelling at people on the other side.  On Wikipedia, you have one place, and they all have to get along with this kind of Neutral Point of View.  I have something in between, where it’s kind of like the blogosphere where you get to be yourself, but it’s kind of like the wiki, where there’s a lot of incentive for understanding each other through all of this  the copying, and there’s data to be explained.

This is one of a series of videos on the Smallest Federated Wiki at http://wardcunningham.github.com/

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