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2016/05/11 “Apache Open Tech is fueling tomorrow’s game changing innovations” | Todd Moore | ApacheCon North American 2016 (web video) August 7, 2016

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History of open source at IBM from 1998 @tmmoore_1 @ApacheCon NA 2016, and current IBM Open Cloud Architecture.

Todd Moore, VP of Open Technology at IBM will share a retrospective of IBMs deep roots ASF and then follow with some crystal ball gazing on some key projects that are poised to become engines of new innovation both within and in conjunction with ASF projects.

[00m30s] [slide: IBM has a long view of open source]

[00m57s] There are 62,000 IBMers who are trained up in open source contribution and participation. There’s about 400,000 of us in total. I run that program across IBM. Many of our open source committers, main contributors to the project, are part of my organization. [….]

[01m40s] About ’98, we started looking into Linux …

[02m35s] … at the time, Robert LeBlanc was in charge of software strategy. Robert, in his quote, basically as part of that press release, said we expect this to foster skills, to build communities, and to build markets. And that is exactly what that has done. [….]

[03m18s] These were bets. We didn’t know if open source would grow. We knew that there would be roadblocks and things that we would have to overcome along the way, but we thought that it would have promise and would be the way of the future. It was a strategic move.

[03m38s] [slide: Apache’s steady growth]

[04m26s] We started to build the fences around open source. We then also showed clients and customers, and all of the rest who might come out and develop in it, that it was a safe place to do that. By the fact that we were in these organizations, and the other businesses were in there with us, we were making a commitment that this was a safe place to go and work. And I think that’s what really turned the corner. Because, now, with that backing, people could come in, evaluate, play with, see the quality of the code that was being done — great code, done and being out in the open — and feel comfortable about it. That’s been part of the engineer of growth that has fuelled our success at Apache.

[05m13s] [slide: Community plus strong believers and supporters] Just doing some surfing using e-mail addresses to figure out where contributions are coming to, and who some of the backers really are. This is looking over the last year, it’s not any kind of completeness. Just to hit some of the key folks who are in here, contributing into these projects being part of it. Obviously IBM, about a third of the work in relative investment of company size, Google, HP, Microsoft, others, Twitter, Red Hat, etc., making large contributions into the community. [….]

[05:50] The companies are behind it. We’ve got really deep support in here.

[06:00] [slide: The next bets … in the Cognitive, Cloud Era]
[dw Open projects, now incubating at Apache]
[- SystemML]
[- Toree (Spark Kernel)]
[- Quarks]
[Existing Apache projects]
[- Mesos]
[- Spark]
[- Kafka]
[- CouchDB]

IBM has 936 projects, I looked out on Github this morning. Kinda hard to figure out what’s really important, what’s not important. We started an effort last year to cull that down to make something that is understandable. It’s a work we call developerWorks Open.

[07m20s] Two-thirds of our activity in Apache right now is SystemML.

[10m50s] [slide: IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture]
[IoT: MQTT, Node-RED, Quarks]
[Web and Mobile: jQuery, HTML5, Apache Cordova, Loopback, Activity Streams, JSON]
[Runtimes: node.js, Java, Swift, Go]
[Data and Analytics: Spark, CouchDB, Redis, TinkerPop, Titan, Hadoop, MongoDB, data.gov]
[Security: OAuth2, OpenID]
[Operating Environment: Cloud Foundry, Docker, OpenStack, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Open Container Project, OpenPower, Mesos, Linux, OpenVSwitch]
[DevOps: Ansible, Git, … Jenkins, Chef]

“Apache Open Tech is fueling tomorrow’s game changing innovations” | Todd Moore | May 11, 2016 | ApacheCon North American 2016 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG2iZBLz9g8&index=2&list=PLGeM09tlguZTvqV5g7KwFhxDlWi4njK6n

ApacheCon schedule archive at https://wiki.apache.org/apachecon/Past_Conference_Resources#ApacheCon_North_America_2016.2C_Vancouver.2C_BC.2C_Canada

Via “IBM’s Wager on Open Source Is Still Paying Off” | Ian Murphy | August 2, 2016 | Linux Foundation News at https://www.linux.com/news/ibms-wager-open-source-still-paying

Cognitive overload as business opportunity for IBM since 2005 | Ginni Rometty | June 1, 2016 | Code Conference (web video + audio) June 11, 2016

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Cognitive overload is a challenge IBM has worked since 2005, says @GinniRometty in @KaraSwisher interview @RecodeEvents. Thus, cognitive computing combining man and machine is more than artificial intelligence. Better decisions in open domains will lead to solving problems not solved before.

In T-shaped thinking, not just the jack-of-all-things of unstructured data + natural language + images, but the depth in domain knowledge to understand, reason and learn. If it’s digital, it will be cognitive. In education, reading and mechanical skills won’t be enough, will have to teach and learn data skills.

Blockchain could be even bigger than Watson, with opportunities in efficiencies in supply chains and capital flows. Open source will be important, the Hyperledger project gives transparency to regulators and institutions.

Ginni Rometty, IBM, at Code 2016

[The full video of 27m44s is online from recode.net.  A 4m19s excerpt is searchable on Youtube]

[5:00 Ginni Rometty] The reason we don’t call it artificial intelligence — which is much easier to say, by the way, and spell … I’ve heard this from everyone. It is a little bit of history. It’s really all about man and machine. And I know there are various views about this. And AI can have a loaded set of connotations with it.

[5:25 Kara Swisher]: About destroying the earth.

[5:26 Ginni Rometty]: More than that. Jobs, many other things that people bring up about that topic.

[5:31 Ginni Rometty]: The point was, it was man and machine. We got started on this, Kara, in 2005, when we started our work on this. We’ve been at this on for a good decade, now. And it started because we said, look, people are going to be overloaded. There’s so much information. It’s cognitive overload. You’ve got to do something about it. And that’s what started us down this path. And therefore, this really true belief that you will make better decisions, and you will in fact solve problems that haven’t been solved before.

[5:56 Ginni Rometty]: Which is why, good or bad, we picked the first thing with healthcare. It is the most … I would have to ask everyone … Does everyone think? There’s not even really a system around it, it’s so dysfunctional. There’s so much waste. 8 trillion, a third of it is waste.

[6:12 Kara Swisher] Let’s talk about the decision to go with AI. [….] How do you turn that into a business? [….] From being, ooh, isn’t it cool, to being able to beat the chess guy. Which is fun …

[6:51 Ginni Rometty] And then Jeopardy. Because chess is really such a long time ago. And chess has many more — yes, you were thinking Jeopardy — because chess has many more mathematically determined …. That’s just horsepower, when you’re doing chess. But that’s not true with Jeopardy. Jeopardy is open domain, so it’s infinite answers. It’s a very different set of issues that are there.

[7:08 Ginni Rometty] When you say why, and can it be a business? This goes back to thinking that it could be an everyday, impact. I would say that in 5 years, there is no doubt in my mind, that cognitive AI will impact every decision made. 5 years. In some way, in some sense. It can be everyday stuff. And when you say, to make it a business, just look at healthcare, education, I look at what we’ve done in financial services, and I can see what clients are doing. [….]

[7:58] One thing that is important for everything thinking in the future of AI … a couple things. It’s easy to think about, okay, you’ll have to deal with unstructured data. Mary talked about natural language. But it’s not just that, and it’s not just images. It’s going to have to be domain knowledge, and that this ability to understand, reason and learn. And if you can do that in a domain, you’re in a way different world. It’s not like being a jack-of-trades on a really thin thing.

[8:25] This is going down the path, if you’re an oncologist, how can you look at an EMR, look at x-rays, look at the knowledge that has been printed out there, form hypotheses, decide your level of confidence … What experts want — what you and I want, when we want to make a decision … You don’t want to be told the answer. You want to see, here’s the different reasons, here’s how I thought about it, here’s the evidence that proves it. When you’re being treated for cancer, you may not want your hair to fall out. That may mean a lot to you. So there is no right or wrong answer.

[8:54] So I see this world … This is where we’ll going to want to deal with the grey area. And that is really a different business. And I think most businesses are there.

[….]

[9:07 Kara Swisher] Right now, you put cognitive businesses at $4 billion, about 20% of your business.

[9:12 Ginni Rometty] Oh, no, no. [….] Analytics is $18 billion, and increasing. [….]

[9:25 Kara Swisher] You don’t break out how much the Watson is …

[9:30 Ginni Rometty] We don’t, for a reason. Anyone who’s building something … It’s going to be a silver thread …

[9:58 Ginni Rometty] If it’s digital, it’ll be cognitive. Anything you do digital, it will be cognitive. So, if you think that, you’re going to be a way that you really run your business. [….] We will solve things that haven’t been solved. [….]

[11:10] The other parts of the business, I say, they’re not growing, they’re declining. But, my, good, we run the railroads, the airlines, the banks of the world. Those are systems, by the way, that are to be changed. I hope we do do talk a little about systems like blockchain, which, I believe, as much as discussion as we have about AI, the blockchain will have as much as an influence on many different ways that businesses are run.

[ … story about Jill Watson ….]

[16:40 Kara Swisher] That is the friendly view of AI. […] Your thing is not so much doing the why, you’re showing the path of decision-making. But at some point, two things could go wrong. One is replacing jobs. Completely replacing jobs. [….] The other one is evil in taking over the planet.

[17:30 Ginni Rometty] I think there are a couple points that you should think about. When you think about … I’ll keep using the word cognitive, because AI is a subset. For me as an engineer, technically, AI is a subset of cognitive. There are many more statistical engines in here, and what it does. But what really matters is who teaches these things. Watson is taught. When you come in, it’s both the data you use to teach, and who does the teaching. So, as an example …. This is why verticals become really important. So, when you’re in healthcare, IBM has been taught by the world’s greatest oncologists right now. [….]

[18:20] This idea of knowing which data to use for what …. If you are going to diagnose someone, would you go to the journals, and all of the literature of medicine, or would you go to Twitter? [….]

[18:34] … if you were trying to predict the pandemic, you might also have to go there. But there’s the idea of knowing which way to go is really important. And who does the training is important. So when you’re in verticals, you will be trained by experts. [….] For one of the most important business decisions, who does the training is important.

[18:57] Your other point though, is what about job? I think that is is inevitable. Things that are repetitive, they will have a job impact. That is foolish to say it won’t. We’re doing the work on radiology today. [….]

[19:29] The radiologist can do what he really should be doing, and that’s what he’s going to be putting the premium on. But this will circle back …. The root of this is going to go back to education. Because, you aren’t going to stop it. Mary had that chart up on transportation. The trend is going to keep moving, right?

[19:45] The chart on transportation …. If you go back to farming, people had to read. The industrial age, then they had to teach mechanical skills. I think what ever we’ll end up calling this age, people will have had to learn all of these data skills, right? [….] I do think that there will be tons more of jobs that will open up. But there will be this discontinuity period. They don’t always line up. That’s the thing about transitions.

[….]

[20:25 Kara Swisher] Last question, blockchain. Why do you think it’s going to be important?

[20:30 Ginni Rometty] How many people are familiar with blockchain? [….] How many of you think it’s going to have a profound impact on some of the biggest business processes in the world? I would say, maybe 60-70%.

[20:45] We have about 200 projects going. But, we did something else. And ghis is probably the most instructive. Cause blockchain for me …. Anything that is a supply chain, you can improve its efficiency. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a people supply chain, numbers ….

[21:08] IBM Global Financing is $40 billion, one of the world’s largest. So we’ve put up our own ledger on a shadow blockchain already. Very interesting. I place a lot of commercial paper. I start to place my own commercial paper. Some people don’t fit in that flow. The flow goes down, money’s shortened. I can see it happening already. I have a big services business. There’s lots of supply chain. People parts moving around. You have tons of people on both sides that are reconciling. Blockchain addresses it. I have banks, reconciliation, stock exchanges, not very liquid assets, trading. Big shippers, to big retailers. So, I can see the the efficiency. This is another area. It will be efficiency. Efficiency of capital flows, and efficiency ….

[21:55] It’s a great opportunity. You need two things to do it. You need transaction flows, and cryptography. And I also believe, it’s going to be important to be out in open source. We actually put the fabric for it, in Hyperledger. Because you will need visibility in the world. The regulators, the federal banks we worked with, you have to have it. I think — and we didn’t talk about it at all — I think that the opportunities are super-great around this. I see tons of little companies popping up, taking all different applications. I think it’s almost limitless what the ideas will be, what the people will do with this. In the good way that you’ll need to have transparency with this, and we’ll go through some learning. Again, some of the vehicles out there are not transparent, they’re opaque, you won’t be able to do that with financial transactions.

[… audience questions and answer follow ….]

“Full video: IBM CEO Ginni Rometty at Code 2016” (27m44s) | Recode at http://www.recode.net/2016/6/8/11829636/ginni-rometty-ibm-full-video-code

Excerpt 4m19s “Using AI to combat cognitive overload | Ginni Rometty, CEO IBM | Code Conference 2016” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy3lZhQ5Cb8

“Conversation about Cybernetics” | Joi Ito, Paul Pangaro | MIT Media Lab | Mar 17, 2016 (web video) April 7, 2016

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Conversation at the MIT Media Lab about cybernetics with Paul Pangaro, Nathan Felde, Mike Bove, Iyad Rahwan, Edith Ackermann, Joi Ito and Lorrie LeJeune. A few background posts: http://jods.mitpress.mit.edu/pub/designandscience / http://www.dubberly.com/articles/cybernetics-and-counterculture.html

Chat posted live on Facebook Mentions at https://www.facebook.com/joiito/videos/961545600598042/

Conversation at the MIT Media Lab about cybernetics with Paul Pangaro | Joi Ito | March 18, 2016 at http://joi.ito.com/weblog/2016/03/18/conversation-at.html

[Warning: the audio recording level on Youtube is low. An audio amplifier will be helpful for listening]

[00:00 Introductions]

[….]

[09:45 As we started to think about the future of Media Lab … and the Media Lab has recently been getting into machine learning, synthetic biology, and other complex adaptive systems. If we go back to the roots of Media Lab, there were some roots of cybernetics there, but for a while a lot of our focus is on computer-human interface and things that were a little more objects. And then we started to get into networks, and systems. But now, we’re shifting into a lot of the hard sciences in self-adaptive complex systems.

[10:30] And then, as I looked at people like Kevin Esvelt who has been doing CRISPR gene drive, he thinks much more about how do we think about who should decide, and how should that enter the system, and less about what is the specific technology that is in the gene drive. And there he can see the design across scales, where at each scale you have a complex system that interacts with other systems across scales.

[10:55] As we start to put all of the science together, what we’re realizing is that the traditional disciplinary science rewards a very focused, single object, rather than systems connected. Now, there is systems thinking going on. But also multiple systems across scales. If you look at Ed Boyden’s lab, he’s got about 50 people working — at very interdisciplinary and antidisciplinary — we touch multiple systems, we create tools that look at multiple systems, and we perturb multiple systems.

[11:30] And then we’ve got people like Kevin Slavin who have come in, sort of talking about participatory design. You’re not stuck in traffic, you are traffic. You put that together. We had a conference last year called Knotty Objects, which is about design. We brought Paolo Antonelli and they talked about critical design. One of the things I realized is that there’s critical design, which was a lot about people not doing it, but critiquing it. And then we had the Media Lab kids who tend to do things, but not being as self-critical as you might want. And they thought more in objects, than systems.

[12:05] So, we were grappling with how do we think about what we were all doing, and how could science be more responsible. We launched this Journal of Design Science, which was to try to break design into science, which means thinking about all of the systems, thinking about things as iterative interventions in an unpredictable complex system, rather than how do I make those predictable things more efficient. Then, how can we change design so it’s less focused on the customer, and more on nature, or the system, across scales.

[12:35] So, as I was searching for the right word to describe what we were doing, I found I was repeating on second order cybernetics.

[12:50] We were having a discussion at the faculty meeting about being interdisciplinary / antidisciplinary. The Media Lab was where all disciplines were brought to work together. Well, there actually was a thing called cybernetics where all of the discipline had come together in the Macy Conference, where was this wonderful moment where it felt like we were going to go transdisciplinary. But, sort of in retrospect, somehow it disappeared.

[13:12] So, how did it disappear, where did it go? Stewart Brand would say “it got bored to death”. Some people said it got too academic, some people said the Macy Conferences ended and disappeared. Some people said the applications got so compelling that it ended up being applied. Theoretical. So there were a lot of reasons why it disappeared.

[13:40] So, I traced someone holding a torch. So now, what I want to explore is a couple things. One is, is there a way to connect cybernetics into what we’re doing in research? Now that I’m turning 50 this year, as an old-timer, I hear the crypto-currency people saying the same things that I was saying back in the 90’s, and making the same mistakes we made when we were building the Internet. I don’t like to repeat mistakes. I don’t like to rehash stuff that’s already been done. So, what can we can learn from cybernetics’ successes? But there are also learning from its failures. What could you or we have done better?

[14:15] We can look at the met-catalyst(?) movement in architecture, which was about bringing biology and architecture together. It was Tungay in Japan that did it. But it kind of died. I think it was because we didn’t have the tools to bring biology into architecture. Today, we do. There are a lot of things, like machine learning, and other things, where the technology has caught up to the theory, so we can apply it.

[14:40] So is it possible that maybe some of the things that we thought about in second-order cybernetics are more relevant and more possible now? [….]

[15:05] So one thing right now that is an argument — a disagreement — at the faculty level is about whether we should grab cybernetics, or not. Shouldn’t we just use the word “design”? Cybernetics comes with a lot of baggage. There a lot of people who are practitioners of cybernetics. When I wrote a little bit about cybernetics, I found some very enlightening comments coming in. But some people who had done stacks of work that seemed a little bit too … like the tools they were using to think about it, they weren’t using the new tools. I didn’t want to diminish what they were doing, and get on their turf, but I didn’t think I could grab the whole lot. [….]

[15:50] Since all of you are in touch with where we are with the Media Lab, or at least you know the DNA of the Media Lab, and you also know the history of cybernetics, I’d love to find — talk about the history of cybernetics, and talk about the forensics of it, and where it is today, and then maybe talk with about how you think it might apply to the future. [….]

[19:00 Paul Pangaro starts the discussion with “what does cybernetics offer”?]

[….]

[59:25] So where is this discussion, now, around, what is the terminology?

[59:30] This has been a useful conversation. We’re launching this idea around — we’re using the words “extended intelligence”, to be what we’re using instead of AI, to talk about this environment. We’re also going to be doing this meeting around AI and governance. And we’ll be launching what it means to put society into the loop.

[1:00:00] In terms of doing, we’re doing. I think a lot of the idea and the words you’re talking about resonate with what we’re thinking. We launched this Journal of Design Science, and are now working on how we describe it. We’re trying very hard — and Stewart has been helpful in thinking about this — to keep it a conversation, rather than be a series of peer-reviewed papers. The way we’re trying to do it is to have a conversation; have the online — we’re using a platform called PubPub that allows versioning and commenting — for the output to also be a reflection of the conversation. […]

[1:00:55] So, we’re moving forward. What would be interesting — talking about cybernetics — would be to learn from cybernetics, and also to see, if you and other people working in cybernetics can take some of the things that we’re working on — like say, machine learning, or evolutionary biology [….]

[1:01:50] The tricky part for me is, how do we have this conversation? I do think that kids don’t read books any more. It’s an ongoing conversation. The words are very fluid. Some of them mean different things to different people. [….]

[1:02:25] The world is much more global, now. Macy was kind of confined, in the cultural context. You talked about the influence of the Austrians. But now we have the impact of everyone. How do we have this conversation across languages?

[1:02:40] To me, that may be the harder thing.

[….]

[1:10:35] So that’s my personal meta place. What is the institution? I look at Bauhaus, I look at Black Mountain, I look at RLE, and all of the other institutions. And for some reason, the Media Lab has sustained over 30 years. I think a lot of it is the approach. [….]

[1:11:00] That could be what we learn about the forensics of cybernetics. [….] Some people had a tremendous amount of impact, but not sustainability. The Media Lab has a weird thing. We like orthogonality and disagreement, we build tools, we’re not obsessed about theory, although we have it, not as a primary output. And then, we’re happy to move along, as new tools come, and new technologies come.

[….]

[1:14:00] I feel like the best designer designs themselves, as the intervention. And, so, it’s me personally, and then the institution. The journal is for us, but I don’t want to create the church. So you have to make the membrane permeable, but humble in that I want to affect myself. In affecting myself, I may affect the environment, in a responsible way … but not to be evangelical about it.

[….]

Ian Mitroff | “Dirty Rotten Strategies: How We Trick Ourselves and Others into Solving the Wrong Problems Precisely” | Feb. 24, 2010 | Commonwealth Club (web video, MP3 audio) April 3, 2016

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Don’t solve the wrong problems precisely.  Type 3 Errors and Type 4 Errors, by Ian Mitroff, extending the Design of Inquiring Systems.

Abstract, from http://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2010-02-24/dirty-rotten-strategies-how-we-trick-ourselves-and-others-solving-wrong-problems-p

How can people or groups tell whether others are deliberately steering us down faulty paths? Mitroff delves into how organizations and interest groups lure us into solving the “wrong problems” with intricate but inaccurate solutions that are based on faulty and erroneous assumptions – and offers strategies and solutions.

Video of 9m57s (with slides) on “Book TV: Ian Mitroff & Abraham Silvers, Dirty Rotten Strategies” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjgJVp9f_1k

Video of 59m47s (with slides) on “Book Discussion on Dirty Rotten Strategies” at http://www.c-span.org/video/?292366-1/book-discussion-dirty-rotten-strategies

Audio podcast 1h41s downloadable at http://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/archive/podcast/ian-mitroff-dirty-rotten-strategies-how-we-trick-ourselves-and-others-solving

Preview of book at books.google.com/books?id=9Iol_cctGHkC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false


[This digest started with the Youtube transcript, and therefore initially uses that time code to 09m57s.  The version on c-span.org has a 14 second header and then runs to 59m47s.]

[00:00] If I had to sum up the the book in a single statement, it would be:  don’t solve the wrong problems precisely, because if you do, it not only a waste of precious resources, time and energy, but it leads to cynicism and despair and puts off the true problem such that they build up into a crisis.

[00:19] Also, if I had to summarize in a in a single saying, it would be from the celebrated author Thomas Pynchon:   if they can get you asking the wrong questions, then they don’t have to worry about the answers.

[….]

[00:40] What’s worse, the wrong solution to the right problem, or, the right solution to the wrong problem?

[00:50] Well, the right solution to the wrong problem is worse, because if you get the “right solution to the wrong problem” you convince yourself that you’ve solved the right problem, and you don’t go back up to the start of the tunnel coming into all of the different branches where you can branch off.

[01:07] You say, I’ve gone down the right path.  But if you keep getting the wrong solution to the right problem you say ok, I’ve made an error and hopefully the error will be self-correcting or I will eventually come to the right solution.

[01:20] Why solve the wrong problem precisely, as I said, a waste of time?

[01:25] In every case, whether you solve the right or wrong problem, it’s due to a set of assumptions.   Solving the wrong problem precisely is due to faulty assumptions, which leads to having to know your assumptions.

[Ally Bank, “Pony”, see http://www.adweek.com/video/ally-bank-pony-121402]

[….]

[03:16] Let me give you an overview of the talk and what’s in the book.   So, we’re gonna talk about something called E3 and E4: Error of the Third Kind, Error of the Fourth Kind.  They’re central to solving the right or the wrong problem.

E3: Trick ourselves; E4: Trick Others

[slide:

E3: Trick Ourselves

E4: Trick Others

]

[….]

[03:54] Let me start with E3 and E4.

[03:56] If you take a course in statistics, just about every courses talks about two types of error, type 1 and type 2 error. Everybody whose taken a course knows about that.

[04:07] And the easiest way to understand it is: you’re a drugmaker.   You have a new drug, and an old drug.   And what you you do you is to go out and test on a sample and hopefully the new drug is better than your old drug.

[04:17] But there are two types of errors you can make.

[04:19] One error is to say the new drug is better than the old drug when it really isn’t.

[04:24] And vice versa, the old drug is better the new drug when it really isn’t.

[04:27] And those are type 1 and type 2 errors.

[04:29] And those have to do with the bell-shaped curve and when you got the right samples.

[04:36] E3 is very different.  Have I tested the right hypothesis to begin with?  Am I asking the right question?

[04:43] So whether it’s the cost or the efficacy of a drug or of health care, it’s how E3 has to do with how we define a problem in the first place.

[04:52] And so E3 is when we trick ourselves.  Not necessarily anybody else, but, we tricked ourselves.  Okay, we fall in love with your pet hypothesis.

[05:00] E4 is more deceptive and potentially more harmful

[05:04]  It’s when I try to convince you, that the formulation that I and my company, my organization or industry has come up [with] is the right formulation of the problem.  And that you ought to accept it.  And there is no other way to formulate the problem.

[05:18] So it’s large fundamentally with miseducation.

[05:22] … in the book …

[slide:

Starts with Mis-education

X + 6 = 11 is an exercise.

Exercises ≠ Problems

Problems ≠ Messes

]

[05:25]  I’m not a proponent of textbooks.  Most of us start learning things from textbooks.  So the first thing we learned was X + 6, for example, equals 11.  What’s X?  That’s not a problem.  It’s an exercise.  The reason why it’s not a problem:  it’s already preformulated  There’s one and only one right answer, but you can usually convert it into a problem.

[05:46] Billy has six dollars and needs eleven dollars to buy a video game.   But Billy is in a poor family.  He has to give his money to help his mother and father.  Then it becomes a problem.

[05:55] Because the context is all-important.  Exercises remove all the context, descriptions.

[06:01] Now the problem with exercises, you give students, you know, 20 or 12 years, whatever it is, and education with exercises.  You turn them into certainty junkies and they balk like mad if you give them a real problem where they have to formulate the problem.

[06:15] In real problems, they have more than one way to formulate.   There’s not just one formulation.

[06:19] So you get into problem negotiation.  But you don’t get that, as you go through typical education.  Exercises don’t equal problems.  And problems don’t equal messes.

[06:30] A mess is a whole system.  A set of problems that are dynamically interconnected and change all the time. This is Russ Ackoff, who died recently, one of my mentors.

[06:40] But managers don’t solve problems, they manage messes.

[06:44] And that’s what President Obama certainly has to do.  It’s not a single well-defined problem, but how all these things are interconnected so the health care problem is not separate from the financial recovery and jobs recovery and all the rest.

[06:57] In fact, if you have a mess, and I’ll show you an example, and you take any the elements or problems out of the mass that constitute it, you distort the problem.   You distort the mess, because you have to look at the interactions.  Problems are not separable.

[07:13]  Health care.  Let me give an example of how we get off and solve the wrong problem.

[slide:

Health Care

Technically, the US has the best Medical System.

But, Technology ≠ Best Health Care System.

US has a poor Sick Care System.

Solves which problem?

]

[07:17] Technically, the U.S. has the best medical system in the world.  No question about that, from a technical standpoint.

[07:24] But technology does not actually equal the best delivery of health care as we want it.

[07:29] They’re not the same.  So solving the medical problem is not the same as solving the health care problem.

[07:36] In fact, the U.S. has a poor sick care system …

[….]

[08:04]  The health care system — and we’ll talk about the current health care bill — is founded on three primary assumptions.  (1) Government is the problem.  (2) Healthcare is a business like any other business.  And (3) cost-cutting is the primary aim.

[slide:

Three Wrong Assumptions

1. Government is the problem

2. Health care is a business

3. Cost-cutting is the primary aim]

[….]

[09:29] Now, it’s not that you have to accept my formulation or my statements.  That’s not the point. But I put my new things, my assertions, strongly as possible, so you know what I’m saying.  If if you disagree, therefore you have hopefully a better clarity on what you agree.

[….]

[Switch to c-span.org timecode]

[10:40 slide] The Critical Role of Critical Assumptions

[10:42] Everything is dependent upon assumptions.

[….]

[10:55] What happens in a crisis in principally this:  It’s not, yteah, that people die, which they do, it costs a lot of money, the organization loses money.

[11:06] One the primary things that happens that most people aren’t aware of:  a crisis literally demolishes all, or nearly all, of the principal assumptions that we use to give meaning to our life, to our reality.  That’s why I give an existential definition to a crisis.

[….]

[11:40 slide

Fort Hood.

1. Enemy

1. Location

1. Mental health professionals

1. One of our own

]

[….]

[11:50] When I listen to crises, I take them in a different way, because I’ve been so tuned to crises for 25 years.  In virtually every case, a crisis  undermines a primary set of beliefs that we use to make sense of reality.  And that’s why they’re existential crises.

[….]

[13:00 slide

Unreality

What's real?

Infotainment

Twittering in Operations

Normalization of the bizarre

]

[…]

[14:40 slide

Knowledge

How can we determine if we are committing an E3 or E4 error?

Inquiry systems]

[….]

[14:50 slide

Way Out

1. Expert Consensus Most Common
2. Scientific Modeling Most Common
3. Multiple Models E3 Assessed
4. Conflict E3 Assessed
5. Systemic E3 Rare

]

[16:40] You can’t really determine whether you’re committing a Type 3 or Type 4 Error, if you’re only using models 1 and 2, the first two ways.  Because they typically only produce one view of a problem, what they take as a “correct one”.

[16:55] It’s only when you get to multiple ways of defining the problem that you can begin to get an handle on “what is truth” or “what is false”.  Otherwise you can’t do it.  Not that it’s perfect.  I’m not saying that.  It’s only when you get to, then, 4 or 5.

[17:10] When you get down to 5, it’s the rarest type of knowledge system of all.  We don’t train people how to think systemically.  And that’s really the only way out of these horrific problems we face.  They can’t be defined by one discipline, one profession.  In fact, when I hear people come up with — boom — one definition of any problem, I want to run like mad, because I know you’ll have to accept their assumption.  It’s very rarely that people make their assumptions clear.

[17:50 Slide

Religion

Solutions to the social problems of 2000-5000 years ago

Rational reasons for God

Not he wrong solution to the wrong problem

]

[….]

[Karen Armstrong, The Case for God; contrary to Richard Dawkins]

[….]

[18:50] In fact, one of the first books I did was, The Subjective Side of Science.  I studied the Apollo moon scientists, not the astronauts.  And if you think a scientist worth his or her salt is going to give up his or her pet hypothesis, particularly for the origin of the moon, just because the first round of rocks are  returned from the moon, you’ve got to be crazy.  They’re going to do everything they can in the world to defend it.  Ultimately, they’re going to give it up.  But only after they’ve defended it to the death.  When I interviewed 42 of the most prestigious scientists, they said that was rational, that a scientist shouldn’t give up his or her pet hypothesis, too soon, lest they give up something worth exploring.

[….]

[20:20 Slide

Way Out?

Messes cannot be managed by the mindsets that created them.

]

[A paraphrase of Albert Einstein]

[….]

[20:50] The fundamental purpose of a university, to me, is to teach critical thinking. Yes, teach technology, and theories, and all the rest of that.  Knowledge.  Of course, all of that is important. But the fundamental job is critical thinking.  And critical thinking involves knowledge of assumptions, to be able to criticize your assumptions, to be able to replace them, to think about alternate assumptions, and to be able to appreciate complex messes, not simple-minded problems, in their entirety.  And to bring to bear on them, multiple ways of looking at them, from multiple disciplines, from multiple points of view.  To say, by looking at the mess, maybe now I have a better idea of which parts of mess I want to concentrate on for the time being.  But in order to know that, I have to see the entire mess.

[21:40] Is there any way to definitely say that you understand the mess fully?  Of course not, it’s a starter.  [….]

[22:10 Slide modified from George Patton

In conclusion:

If everybody is thinking alike, then NOBODY IS thinking"

Mitroff & Silvers

]

[23:25 Questions]

[….]

[24:25 Los Angeles Police Department]

[25:20 Ford Firestone]

[26:10 Toyota]

[26:45 Bill Clinton]

[27:10] What I’ve said to my clients, the people I’ve consulted with, is that if you have only one thing to do in a crisis, my recommendation is: hire an ex-investigative reporter to dig around all of the dirt of the corporation, and make a mock newspaper or a mock tv interview, to show your corporation in the worst light.  Because I can guarantee you that’s what will happen.  Now why doesn’t that happen?  Denial is so powerful.

[28:00 Defence mechanisms]

[29:00 We don’t have learning organizations]

[30:00 Environmental organization.  False choices, that lead to false policies]

[31:00 Five inquiry methods are abstract.  Have turned them into planning methods.  An example: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Put all of the people of one personality type into the same group.  When you do that, it intensifies the way of looking.  Ask them to define the problem.  List the major stakeholders that affect or are affected by the solutions, and what assumptions they make.  A systematic way to get a constructive debate]

[32:30  If you can’t get a Myers-Briggs, here’s another way to do it.  One group to argue status quo, whether they believe it or not.  Put people who are in moderate opposition, then more, then radical.  Then list the major stakeholders.]

[33:20 The biggest problem on which I’ve worked.  The U.S. Census Bureau, 1980, 1990.  Undercount.  We set up a week-long debate.]

[34:30 If you have a small organization, could be hard.  Professional management.]

[35:10 More systemic methods.  Where are we cultivating?]

[35:45 Book, in chapter on religion.  Ken Wilbur.  The power of human development.  Once an idea is unleashed, it gains currency, and can take off]

[36:50]  That’s one of the Type 3 errors that I talk about on the chapter on religion.  Here it is: confusing one state of development for the lack thereof in another state.  And that’s one of our principles.  We try to solve problems at one level, by a level one or two steps down, and they can’t be solved.  That’s the whole point.  And that’s why I’m talking about systemic.  Because the problems that we have cannot really be solved, unless, there’s a systemic perspective.  [….]

[37:40] I have to thank my editor at Stanford University Press for taking a radical manuscript, like this, with this kind of a message, to say: the ability to challenge our assumptions, to rethink our assumptions, to think expansively, to think beyond the confines of a single narrow discipline or profession.  That’s the way out.  If we’re mired in one set of assumptions, or one organization, we can’t do it.  [….]

[38:20 15% of organizations can thing proactively, systemically.  85% can’t.]

[38:50 Global warming]

[39:15 Comment. Set up 20% of the time up front, defining the problem.  Then we can work on solving the problem.]

[40.00 Agree.  John Dewey said problems don’t start in disinterest, they start in moral outrage. Wellpoint.]

[40:50 Four steps of scientific problem solving.  1.  Defining the problem.  Conceptual model of the problems.  Broad variables.  Single explanation, no!  Each profession will define differently.  Advanced medical students, psychological students.

[41:50 2.  Build a scientific model.  The first stage is semantic.  The second stage is syntactic].

[42:00 The third stage is to derive a solution, not to the solution, but to the model.]

[42:10 The fourth stage is pragmatic.  Take the solution and see if it solves the problem.]

[42:20 The Type 3, Type 4 errors primarily happen in the first stage, defining the problem wrongly.  If don’t see all of the stages, have defined the problem incorrectly.  Different people focus on different branches.  They don’t see the scientific problem systemically].

[43:20 Initially, doing dialectic doubles the time.  In reality, the more you do it, it doesn’t double the time.  You can’t define one, without the other].

[44:10 Government, messes everywhere.]

[44:25 Broader than that.  Type 3, Type 4 in many areas.  Governments.  Corporations.  Point of strategic planning is not thinking about isolated problems, and to anticipate problems.  Don’t see one as better than others.  General Motors bureaucracy rivals federal government.]

[46:30 Los Angeles Police Department]

[46:40 Salt Lake Winter Olympics.  Problem was Russian ice dancers downgraded.  Didn’t think of all of the crises that could hurt the Olympic committee.  Could show families and grouping of crises.  Not the case that there are not good organizations to learn from.]

[48:30 Ken Wilbur.  Ability to think more complexly.  Challenges are greater.  Hope.]

[49:00 International news 15 minutes every evening, now 24 hour news.  Exacerbates problems?]

[49:40 More is not better.  May not lead to more insightful.  PBS 6 or 10 minutes more insightful.  Facebook and social media hasn’t led to better coverage.  Can now manipulate and merge images.  People can’t tell the difference, don’t care about the difference.  Ally Bank commercial]

[51:10 Michael Vick, football player.  Moral devaluation.  Someone auctioned off notes.  Expect more from the human society.]

[52:30 Media, merging images, real and non-real.  Young people hooked on texting while driving, a problem.  Technologically advanced is not the same as socially advanced.  An engineer, but not solely an engineer.]

[53:50 Tiger Woods.  Got so big, the rules didn’t pertain to him.  The first billion dollar athlete.  Shows had rapidly an icon can crash.  No secrets.  Horrible stitched together videos.  That’s what will happen.  Who will hire someone who will put them in the worst light. Primary thing in crisis:  you don’t own the clock.  The only way to gain control is to fess up, and hopefully the American public will accept it.]

[56:40 Toyota.]

[57:00 Betrayal]

[57:20 Crisis.  You can’t solve the right problem.  Assumptions have a half life, and decay over time.  As circumstances change, your assumptions have to change.   As Ackoff said, plan or be planned for.  Have a real learning organization and a real learning society].

 

“Thank you for being late” | Thomas Friedman | Jan. 2016 | Stockholm Resilience Centre (web video) February 8, 2016

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Directly after the World Economic Forum, @tomfriedman described his upcoming book “Thank you for being late” in conversation with Johan Rockström at the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

[05:45]  I was deeply influenced a year and a half ago by a book I read called The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andy McAfee.  What they argued was that the first machine age was built on the steam engine which doubled in power every seventy years.   But we’re now in the second machine age.  And the second machine age is built on the microchip which, according to Moore’s Law, doubles in power every 24 months.

[7:10] So what I told them was, you guys, I  love your theory, but it’s incomplete as an explanation of the world, because there are two other forces that just entered the second half there of their chessboard at the same time.  They are the other two largest forces on the planet.

[7:26] One is the market — that’s my shorthand for globalization — and the other is mother nature — that’s climate and biodiversity loss.

[17:08] I have three chapters that are interrelated.  The first is about mother nature as mentors and model, which comes out out of biomimicry.   I believe that what we’ve created with our hands now is a system of systems, a network of networks and network of data telecommunications that is more interconnected — hyper-connected — interdependent and complex that it mirrors only one other thing in our experience.   And that’s the natural world.

[41:08] So we actually started the story about Egypt, in Salina, Kansas, in the heart of the wheat belt in America.   I did an interview with Wes Jackson, who is an amazing bioscientist trying to develop a perennial form — a sustainable form — of wheat. And he was explaining to me the prairie.  And said, Tom, you need to understand that the prairie was a natural permaculture.  It was a system that naturally fertilized and pollinated and created its own natural pesticide.  What we did is when we came out here — the white Europeans — we plowed up the prairie and we’ve planted monoculture crops: wheat, corn and sorghum.   And to be sustained they needed massive amounts of high-density fossil fuels in the form of tractors, pesticides and fertilizers.  When the dust bowl happened, all the monoculture crops died.  And all of the prairie survived — the main parts of the prairie — because they’re naturally polycultural resilient, a healthy and good dependent system.

[42:22] And when he said that, I said that’s really interesting, what do think Al Qaeda is doing?  Al Qaeda, in the Middle East, is trying to wipe out the polyculture of the Islamic world.    And the Islamic world was at its most economic and greatest political power, when?  When, Moorish Spain, between the 8th and 13th century, when it was the world’s greatest culture of good, ideas and trade. They’re trying to wipe out Islamist as polyculture and instead — and by the way they’re leveraging high-density fossil fuels from oil states — to wipe out the culture of the Muslim world and replace it with a monoculture that’s enormously susceptible to diseased ideas.

“A conversation with Thomas Friedman” | January 2016 | Stockholm Resilience Center Slow Talk at http://www.stockholmresilience.org/21/research/research-news/1-28-2016-a-conversation-with-thomas-friedman.html

“Why Societies Collapse” | Joseph Tainter | 2010 | Local Future (web video) February 8, 2016

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Updating from The Collapse of Complex Societies (1988), Joseph Tainter describes sociopolitical complexity, and “what it means for us”.

The talk mentions colleague Timothy F. H. Allen, but doesn’t surface the idea of complicatedness that appears in their joint publications.

“Why Societies Collapse — and What It Means for Us” | Joseph A. Tainter | November 2010 | Local Future 2010 International Conference on Sustainability (Prince Conference Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan), described at http://localfuture.org/conferences.htm .

“I hate Karl Marx” | Rainer Ganahl | 2010 (web video) February 6, 2016

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I laughed out loud @KiasmaMuseum at @rainerganahl 2010 video “I hate Karl Marx”, but the humour didn’t seem to be appreciated by others.

Here’s a description from the artist:

For this video playing in the year 2045 Karl Marx has reincarnated as Chinese. He controls the world and the entire world is Chinese, speaks Chinese, dresses and eats Chinese (the same way it is today English/American). Marx’s specter to haunt the world could not be stopped by any capitalist alliance. The young German lady speaking and screaming entirely in Chinese suffers a melt down in front of Marx’ statue on Karl Marx Allee expressing her discontent and opposition.

The appreciation of Karl Marx is described by Rainer Ganahl more fully at http://www.ganahl.info/karlmarx.html:

I see Marx as an socio-economic thinker who came up with the best analysis of his generation. He was the first one to properly grasp the full impact of industrialization and its consequences on people in relationship to the entire economic system.

He did do that with an ethical eye, a drive for social and economic justice and a good portion of wishful teleological thinking one can share or not

This work of art could be described by Stuart Candy as “Journalism from the Future“.

I hate Karl Marx

“I hate Karl Marx” | Rainer Ganahl | 2010 (web video) at http://www.ganahl.info/Ihatekarlmarx.html

John E. Kelly III | “The Future of Cognitive Computing” | Oct. 13, 2015 | IBM (web video) January 25, 2016

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From the 2015 Cognitive_ColloquiumSF, at http://research.ibm.com/cognitive-computing/#sf, there’s a video:

  • Kelly, John E., III. 2015. The Future of Cognitive Computing. Web Video. Third Annual IBM Research Cognitive Colloquium: Augmenting Human Intelligence. Mission Bay Conference Center at USCF. research.ibm.com/cognitive-computing/#sf.

Watching the video, here are some personal notes, with timecodes:

[10:35] The first era of computing:  1900-1940s Tabulating Systems Era; second 1950s Programmable Systems Era (but will run out of programmers); 2011 — ? Cognitive Computing Era, will be as different as Programmable from Tabulating

[16:20] Man and machine will beat man or machine

[16:25] Human capabilities: Compassion, intuition, design, value judgments (moral value), common sense (unless they can ever be quantified)

[16:55] Machine capabilities:  Deep learning (instant recall of everything, source to all knowledge), discovery (capability to start to reason), large-scale math, fact checking

[17:20] Human + machine: human beings have a normal distribution of capabilities, but with human + machine, can move the distribution

[18:30] How do we get the synergy between man and machine?

[18:40] Since Jeopardy, this field has lit up: image processing, optimizing buying behavior, signal processing of voice.  But they’re all point solutions

[19:25] IBM trying to build a while toolkit, like the System/360 in 1964.

[20:10] Watson capability, put into cloud (so could scale), decomposed the Question & Answering system into five technologies:  machine learning, question analysis, natural language processing, feature engineering, ontology analysis

[20:40] Build out a suite of services on the Watson cloud that are composable assets.

[22:50] Essence of cognitive capability: first is learning at scale, reasoning or developing insights with the data, with a goal, interacting with humans.

For the video, there’s a slide-by-slide breakdown as “The Future of Cognitive Computing” | Andrew Trice | November 23, 2015 | IBM Bluemix Dev at https://developer.ibm.com/bluemix/2015/11/23/future-of-cognitive-computing/

The dawn of the Cognitive Era

The Future of Cognitive Computing (transcript by Andrew Trice)

 

The associated white paper is at:

On “The technical path forward and the science of what’s possible”:

Programmable systems are based on rules that shepherd data through a series of predetermined processes to arrive at outcomes. While they are powerful and complex, they are deterministic — ­ thriving on structured data, but incapable of processing qualitative or unpredictable input. This rigidity limits their usefulness in addressing many aspects of a complex, emergent world, where ambiguity and uncertainty abound.

Cognitive systems are probabilistic, meaning they are designed to adapt and make sense of the complexity and unpredictability of unstructured information. They can “read” text, “see” images and “hear” natural speech. And they interpret that information, organize it and offer explanations of what it means, along with the rationale for their conclusions. They do not offer definitive answers. In fact, they do not “know” the answer. Rather, they are designed to weigh information and ideas from multiple sources, to reason, and then offer hypotheses for consideration. A cognitive system assigns a confidence level to each potential insight or answer.  [p. 6]

A comparison to AI:

… a critical distinction between the technical approach to cognitive computing and other current approaches to Artificial Intelligence. Cognitive computing is not a single discipline of computer science. It is the combination of multiple academic fields, from hardware architecture to algorithmic strategy to process design to industry expertise.  [p. 7]

As compared to purpose-built, narrowly-focused applications:

Cognitive systems, in contrast, combine five core capabilities:

1. They create deeper human engagement: [….] They reason through the sum total of all this structured and unstructured data to find what reallymatters in engaging a person [….]

2. They scale and elevate expertise:  […]  these systems are taught by leading practitioners — whether in customer service, oncology diagnosis, case law or any other field — they make available to broad populations the know-how of the best.

3. They infuse products and services with cognition:  Cognition enables new classes of products and services to sense, reason and learn about their users and the world around them. This allows for continuous improvement and adaptation, and for augmentation of their capabilities to deliver uses not previously imagined. [….]

4. They enable cognitive processes and operations:  [….]  Business processes infused with cognitive capabilities capitalize on the phenomenon of data, from internal and external sources. This gives them heightened awareness of workflows, context and environment, leading to continuous learning, better forecasting and increased operational effectiveness — along with decision-making at the speed of today’s data.  [….]

5. They enhance exploration and discovery:  [….]  far better “headlights” into an increasingly volatile and complex future.  [….]  By applying cognitive technologies to vast amounts of data, leaders can uncover patterns, opportunities and actionable hypotheses that would be virtually impossible to discover using traditional research or programmable systems alone.  [p. 8]

Jim Spohrer | “Empowering Makers in the Cognitive Era” |Aug. 10 2015 |ICER (web video + slides) January 23, 2016

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Keynote August 2015 @JimSpohrer ACM International Computing Education Research (ICER) Conference, Omaha, Nebraska

Slides available at http://www.slideshare.net/spohrer/spohrer-icer-20150810-v1.

[00:00 slide 1] Doug Englebart, Augmentation theory

[12:35 slide 10] Albert Einstein: I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction.  We will have a generation of idiots.

[13:55 slide 11] Intelligent Personal Assistant (in wikipedia)

[27:30 slide 26] Intelligence Augmentation (Englebart’s Vision)

[31:20 slide 28] T-Shaped Makers

[33:00 slide 30] By 2035, no one drives.  Cars drive themselves.

[38:00 slide 31]  Responsibility:  Can people drive today without getting a driver’s license?  Shouldn’t they understand some of the science behind it?

[38:45 slides 32-35] Natural systems (explain external phenomena), cognitive systems (explain internal phenomena), service systems (describe people interacting in win-win ways — value co-creation phenomena)

[40:15 slide 37] Cognitive Mediators, Smart Service System

“The difference between a service system and a cognitive system?  My dog is a cognitive system, by the way.  I love my dog.  But my dog has no rights and responsibilities.  Young children, elderly people with dementia, they’re cognitive systems, but they don’t have as many rights and responsibilities, as us mature and responsible people.  The way a cognitive system becomes a service system is when it sets up the rights and responsibilities that go along with being a member of a very productive society”.

Here’s the original abstract from http://icer.hosting.acm.org/icer-2015/icer-2015-keynote/.

After briefly surveying the history of knowledge, computing, programming, and software engineering, computing education will be reframed as empowering makers in the cognitive era. The makers’ movement is about the democratization of the tools of self-expression and production. From global cloud-based deployment of apps on smart phones to nano-manipulation of advanced materials in custom jewelry and clothing with open designs downloadable for 3D printers, software empowers makers to co-create value in smart service systems. Smart service systems are based on provider platforms that enable customer to interact and co-create value together. In addition, cognitive assistants for all business occupations and societal roles are beginning to appear democratizing access to knowledge and expertise in smart service systems.

Teaching about the elegance, not just correctness, of solutions and how they serve customers wants, needs, and aspiration will be of increasing importance. The implications for a next generation of students who “make a job, not just take a job” even before graduation will be explored. Also, issues of sustainability and resilience of smart service systems with empowered makers in the cognitive era will be explored. Rethinking the rights and responsibilities of empowered makers at all ages will require an especially close examination of the way teamwork is encouraged and rewarded in families, neighborhoods, and educational institutions.

Hajo Neis, “Battle for Life and Beauty of the Earth: Urban Architecture and (Re)Generative Process” (web video) | April 14, 2014 | U. Oregon July 1, 2015

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Hajo Neis, co-author with Christopher Alexander on his 2012 book, lectured on experiences not only with the Eishin Campus in Japan in 1985, but also other works.
Hajo Neis

In this lecture Neis will report about the recently published book ‘Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth’ by Christopher Alexander, Hans Joachim Neis and Maggie Alexander, in which the authors present “a revolutionary vision for the human environment: in coming eras, the environment will be conceived, designed, made, and widely understood as a necessary part of our emotional and social life.” But the book also addresses a major problem in the production of today’s human environment, or the kind of problems you can encounter when you try to implement essential principles for a human and beautiful architecture in large-scale projects. The book can best be understood as an excellent example of the fascinating interplay between theory and practice, between thinking and making, with a deep concern for human life and the environment, and a battle worth fighting. Neis will show several more projects closely related to the book and its main topic and theme and the University of Oregon.

Below is some of the text from the slides.

[06:40] “Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth”, Urban Architecture and Re(Generative) Process, by Hajo Neis, Ph.D., Contents

  • Part A
    • 1. Urban Architecture – Portland
    • 2. BOOK: Battle for Life and Beauty of the Earth
    • 3. (Urban) Theory Part 1:  Generative Design Patterns and Pattern Language
    • 4. Project 1:  Eugene Campus (Agate and Amazon)
    • 5. Project 2:  Portland Campus – White Stag
    • 6. Project 3:  Eishin Campus – Tokyo
    • 7. Project 4:  Frankfurt Hoechst I
    • 8. Project 5:  Julian Inn – San Jose
  • Part B
    • (Urban) Theory Part II:  Dynamic Generative Process
    • 10. San Francisco Waterfront Project – Transbay Terminal
    • 11 Project 6:  Frankfurt Hoescht II
    • 12. Project 7: New University of Oregon Portland
    • 13. Project 8: Guasare New Town, Venezuela
    • 14. Project 9: Emoto Apartment Building – Tokyo
    • 15. Conclusion-Outlook:  Theory Part III Generative Code
    • Thank you

[9:33] Architect Prof. Christopher Alexander, Winner of the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2014

[10:46] Beauty, Sustainability, Social Justice, Urban Life

[11:21] Battle, p. 2

  • “The purpose of all architecture, the purpose of its spatial-geometric organization, is to provide opportunities for life-giving situations. The central issue of architecture, and its central purpose, is to create those configurations and social situations, which provide encouragement and support for life-giving comfort and profound satisfaction — sometimes excitement — so that one experiences life as worth living.  When this purpose is forgotten or abandoned, then there is indeed no architecture to speak of.”

[13:31] Battle cover jacket

  • “Achieving this vision will require an intensive lengthy global Battle between two production systems, System-B, the dominant production system today, seeks to profit from development and produce structures, through unfeeling mechanical procedures that destroy opportunities for joy and human satisfaction.  System-A, the alternative, allows meaning to be built-up progressively by benign, modest steps in the careful nurturing of our physical world.”

[14:40] Review – A Pattern of Abuse

[17:42] Why did it take so many years to finish the book Battle?

[19:39] “The Ordinary Way” – Early book title, 1983

  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • 1. The contact
  • 2. The pattern language
  • 3. The site plan
  • 4. The << handwriting illegible >>
  • 5. Materials of construction
  • 6. Design of buildings
  • 7. Breaking ground
  • 8. The construction process
  • 9. First years in use

[20:14]  First pages of the book “The Ordinary Way”, 1983

  • The new Eishin university is a university entirely dedicated to the problem of the community and local autonomy.
  • It is founded on the simple belief that one great period of human society just ended, and that another is just beginning.
  • What they may call the modern age began at about the end of the fifteenth century.  We believe that is has ended about 1980, and that the last part of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, an entirely new age will be created.
  • A new age, in which new methods of production, and new human relationships will form the basis of society, is now about to begin.  One of the central ideas in the formation of this new age is the idea of local autonomy and local control.
  • This idea may be summarized in the German work “Gemeinschaft“.  It is also summarized by the old meaning of the Russian “soviet” even though this word even though this word has been entirely destroyed by its connection with 20th century Russian communism, and is described by some degree by the English word community.  All these concepts refer to a type of human group, in which personal relations and personal identification of people within the society form the basic interaction and also most important for the definition of the individual self.
  • However, the concept of Gemeinschaft is defined more succinctly by the inner idea of the world which people carry with them, and by the fundamental motive which guides these actions.
  • In brief, a Gemeinschaft is formed by a group of people whose actions large or small are guided by one simple principle: the idea that every act must somehow increase wholeness.
  • This single idea, applied to ethics, architecture, personal acts, family relations, political economy.  In short, to absolutely all actions and event which take place in a human society.
  • When this principle does form the basis for personal actions, this is entirely different from the situation which existed for the last five hundred years in the so called modern age.  In this recent period, actions have instead been guided by a variety of other motives, including money, efficiency, social justice and military power.  Even democracy, powerful as it may be as an idea, with its fundamental search for justice and equality, actually it fails entirely to provide the underlying motive which we may call wholeness.
  • In the same way, all forms of modern socialism, though searching for something better, have so far failed to grasp this need to see motives and human life, in an entirely different framework.

[22:58] CES List of Books since 1965

[24:24] The Eishin Highschool and College Campus in Tokyo – Japan 1984- Present

[25:46] Unpublished Chapter:  24.  Large Scale Building Production, Unification of the Human System and the Physical System

  • Published Chapter
  • 23. Elements are Being Created at the Same Time that the Whole is Being Created
  • 24. Following the Golden Glow

[28:59] Organic Tradition California – West Coast CES and HNA

  • With small and medium size buildings and projects we can create the kind of timeless quality of beauty and life relatively easily.
  • When it comes to larger projects, we can encounter a lot of problems and also opposition to the production of life and beauty.
  • We started a research project with the question:  Kinds of Production that can generate life and beauty in the world

[30:22]  PUARL

  • Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory http://puarl.uoregon.edu/, Hajo Neis, Director
  • Pattern Urban Architecture Research Laboratory

[32:17] Principles of Overall Pattern Language Approach

  • Meta-Principles
    • Wholeness
    • Growing Whiole
    • Wholeness and Sustainability
    • Wholeness in the Structure of the City
    • The City as a Growing Whole
    • Generative and Regenerative Processes
  • Primary Principles
    • Organic Order
    • Piecemeal Growth
    • Participation
    • Patterns and Pattern Languages
    • Structure Preserving Transformations
    • Adaptation
    • Formations of Centers and Fields of Centers
    • Formation of Larger Wholes
    • Formation of Positive Urban Open Space
    • Application of Geometric Properties
    • Application of Color Properties
    • Generative Design and Building Sequences
    • Integrated Design and Construction (Creative Production)
  • Other Principles and Techniques
    • Diagnosis and Coordination
    • Working Directly with the Building or Urban Area
    • Starting out with the Site
    • Primary Responsibility to the Building
    • Innovation through Building
    • etc.

[34.04] Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory PUARL:

  • PUARL Fields of Research and Investigation: Wholeness and Sustainability
    • BATTLE for the Life and Beauty of the Earth
  • Urban Morpholoogy and Urban Patterns
    • Portland Urban Atlas Project
    • Innovation City – Ruhr/Essen
  • Urban Building Typologies and Building Patterns
    • City of Tigard Downtown Vision and Improvement Project
    • Green Urban Campus – Essen
  • Design, Urban Process and Generative Process
    • University of Oregon Portland User and Pattern Design Process
  • Urban Ecology and Urban Landscapes, Patterns
    • City of Tigard Urban Corridor Project
    • Eco-Pattern Districts and Neighborhoods
  • Sustainable Downtown Growth
    • The Dalles
    • OT/CT/JT (with CIU)
  • (Re)generative Process and Design
    • Tsunami Evacuation and Wayfinding, Coastal Oregon
    • Workshop in Fukushima, Japan
    • Arthur Hotel Portland
  • Quality of Structure and Process
    • Wellness Project
  • Next Projects
    • Patterns and Sustainability/Streets
    • Creation Production for a Living World (with CES)

[37:49] Generative and Regenerative Urban Architecture and Urban Design

  • Theory, Part 1, Generative Design
  • Design Process at the University of Oregon, Pattern Language

[38:05]Regenerative Design and (Re)Generative Design

  • Regenerative Design
    • Regenerative design is a process oriented systems theory based approach to design. The term “regenerative” describes processes that restore, renew, or revitalize their own sources of energy and materials, creating sustainable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature.  The basis is derived from systems ecology.
    • Source:  1. Jon Tilman Lyle: Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development.
  • (Re)Generative Design
    • Generative or (re)generative design is an applied for of generative science that tries to understand and conceptualize the world and its complex structure as a generative or (re)generative process.
    • Generative design attempts to formulate limited parameters, principles, and rules that interact with each other to create richness of life and behavior, and endless variation of form, shape and place.  Here generative and (re)generative design are closely related in terms of rules and principles.
    • Source:  2. Christopher Alexander: The Nature of Order (Wholeness Extending Transformation)
    • Source:  3. William McDonough and Michael Baumgart: From Cradle to Cradle.  Walter R. Stahel (From Cradle to Cradle).  Key words:  Permaculture, Biophilia, Sustainability, Environmentalism, Resilience, Complexity.

[40:54] Re(Generative Process: Generative Architecture and Urban Design

  • 1. Pattern Languages (since ~1970)
  • 2. Generative (Design and Building) Processes and Sequences (since ~1990)
  • 3. Generative Urban Code (since ~2005)
  • Interdisciplinary Process

[41:42] 10 Large Scale Regional/Urban Patterns

  • World
    • 1. Independent Regions
  • Region
    • 2. The Distribution of Towns
    • 3. City Country Fingers
    • 4. Agricultural Valleys
    • 5. Lace of Country Streets
    • 6. Country Towns
    • 7. The Countryside
  • City
    • 8. Mosaic of Subcultures
    • 9. Scattered Work
    • 10. Magic of the City

[45:14] Composition of a Pattern from the Book:  A Pattern Language (Looped Local Roads)

  • Archetypes – Phenotypes
  • **
  • Pattern Title
  • An Illustration
  • Hyperlinks
  • Definition of the Problem
  • Main Text
  • Solution Proposals
  • Solution Sketch
  • Hyperlinks

[47:58]  [network map around 40. Old People Everywhere]

[48:43] Pattern Languages as Generative Systems and Processes

[49:30] Application of Patterns and Pattern Languages

  • Three Examples of University Campi
  • 1. The University of Oregon Eugene Campus Plan 1974-Present
  • 2. The University of Oregon Portland Urban Campus 2008-Present
  • 3. The Eishin Highschool and College Campus in Tokyo – Japan 1984 – Present

[50:58] University of Oregon – Design Procedures

  • Patterns from the book A Pattern Language
  • Patterns specifically developed for the Oregon Campus Plan

[51:57] University of Oregon, Campus Plan, May 31, 2005

[52:24] University Science Complex, Charles Moore

[52:30] Matthew Knight Arena

[52:33] John E Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes

[52:38] Erb Memorial Union, Creating a New Center of Campus

[53:17] Eugene Kiln Shelter – University of Oregon, Stephen Duff

[54:16] Agate Housing Project Eugene – CES + T&E

[56:56] Three apartment Archetypes – twenty Phenotypes

[1:01:20] The Amazon Village – 340 housing units

[1:01:31] White Stag Urban Facilities – University of Oregon, Project 2

[1:02:28] University of Oregon, Portland: Current, New and Considered sites

[1:02:42] University of Oregon – Desing Procedures

  • New Portland Patterns:
  • Abundant Natural Light
  • An Atrium for Architecture and Allied Arts
  • Prominent Main Entry
  • A Street Presence
  • Galleries, Event Rooms, and a Cafe
  • Studios as Social Classrooms
  • Generous Hallways and Lobbies

[1:05:41] WSB – LEED Gold Certified http://design.uoregon.edu/wsb/stories.html

[1:06:16] Revitalizing a historical urban neighborhood with catalyst projects: OCOM Oregon College of Medicine as latest development 2013

[1:07:29[ Mercy Corps, OT CT JT

[1:08:05] Julian Inn Shelter for the Homeless, SF Bay Area, San Jose

  • Project 5:  Generative design and Creative Production
  • The Real Meaning of Construction

[1:08:39] Patterns

  • 1. Entrance Transition
  • 2. Living Courtyard
  • 3. Communal Dining
  • 4. Private Sleeping stall
  • 5. Entrance Fountain
  • 6. Thick walls and benches at bottom of buildings

[1:10:41] CES Builder’s yard, Martinez

[1:16:55] Battle, p. 476  END


Full abstract

A lecture by Hajo Neis, Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Oregon

“The purpose of all architecture, the purpose of its spatial-geometric organization, is to provide opportunities for life-giving situations. The central issue of architecture, and its central purpose, is to create those configurations and social situations, which provide encouragement and support for life-giving comfort and profound satisfaction — sometimes excitement — so that one experiences life as worth living. When this purpose is forgotten or abandoned, then there is indeed no architecture to speak of.” C. Alexander, H. Neis, M. Alexander. Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth. Oxford University Press. N.Y. November 2012, p. 2

Dr. Hajo Neis is an architect and urban designer with more than 35 years of professional experience and projects internationally. From his early days in the Frankfurt School of Philosophy and, at the same time, working in his father’s modernist architecture office, Neis was intrigued by the critical relationship between theory and practice. This focus sharpened considerably in his still ongoing cooperation with Chris Alexander, in theoretical practical projects, and educational work from 1990-2000 at the University of California, the Center for Environmental Structure (CES) in Berkeley, and his own office HNA. In 2006, Neis founded the Portland Architecture Research Laboratory (PUARL), at the UO, where he continues to explore and expand this work though urban research as well as practical and experimental projects.

In this lecture Neis will report about the recently published book ‘Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth’ by Christopher Alexander, Hans Joachim Neis and Maggie Alexander, in which the authors present “a revolutionary vision for the human environment: in coming eras, the environment will be conceived, designed, made, and widely understood as a necessary part of our emotional and social life.” But the book also addresses a major problem in the production of today’s human environment, or the kind of problems you can encounter when you try to implement essential principles for a human and beautiful architecture in large-scale projects. The book can best be understood as an excellent example of the fascinating interplay between theory and practice, between thinking and making, with a deep concern for human life and the environment, and a battle worth fighting. Neis will show several more projects closely related to the book and its main topic and theme and the University of Oregon.

The Long Now, now (MP3 audio) | Brian Eno, Danny Hillis | January 21, 2014 | Long Now Foundation February 3, 2015

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The difference between long term thinking and long term planning was articulated by Danny Hillis, with Brian Eno and Stewart Brand.

Brian Eno, Danny Hillis

[61:40 Danny Hillis] Maybe the one thing I’ve learned about long term thinking is the difference between long term planning and long term thinking.

[Stewart Brand] Yeah, say more about that. My sense is that we learned that at Yucca Mountain.

[Danny Hillis] Yeah. Yucca Mountain is a good example. I guess that I really don’t believe in long term planning, which is trying to take a long distance out and control the future for a while. Many of our attempts to look at, nuclear waste, for example, are things where we try to control the future for 10,000 years. In some sense, Yucca Mountain is sold as that. But Yucca Mountain, I actually think, is a pretty good idea, because everything is just sitting there in a can, and within a 100 years, people will go in to get them, to mine for …. It’s reversible. So, it’s really just a 100 year solution that gives you a lot of options for what to do in 100 years.

[Stewart Brand] By the way, it’s a lot more politically tractable, to say we’re just going to park it here for 100 years.

[Danny Hillis] Indeed, where we’re heading, by default, of less-good idea [and dear] solutions is the idea of options is much more valuable than making real long term plans.

[Brian Eno] The resistance there, is that people feel less secure with long term plans. And people don’t feel we’ll always be improvising, which is something that we’ve come to accept, more and more.

[Stewart Brand] The hacker ethic was to trying to make everyone into a hacker.

[On Soundcloud, downloadable MP3 audio] [Video on fora.tv]

[Intro at Seminars about Long Term Thinking]

Brian Eno delivered the first SALT talk exactly ten years ago. He gave The Long Now Foundation its name, contributed in no end of artistic and financial ways, and designed the chimes for the 10,000-year Clock. Danny Hillis instigated and co-founded Long Now and designed its series of Clocks, culminating currently in the 500-foot one being built inside a west Texas mountain. In the course of their collaboration, Eno and Hillis became fast friends.

Thousands of years pass a decade at a time. The idea and works of Long Now have been active for two decades (1/500th of 10,000 years). Between the conception and initial delivery of a deep idea, much transpires. If the idea resonates with people, it gains a life of its own. Allies assemble, and shape things. Public engagement shapes things. Funding or its absence shapes things. Refinements of the idea emerge, branch off, and thrive or don’t. Initial questions metastasize into potent new questions.

Over time, the promotion of “long-term thinking” begins to acquire a bit of its own long term to conjure with. Eno and Hillis have spent 20 years thinking about long-term thinking and building art for it, with ever increasing fascination. What gets them about it?

[Summary at Seminars about Long Term Thinking]

“Journalism as a service” (web video) | Jeff Jarvis | Dec. 11, 2014 | David Weinberger interview December 17, 2014

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Journalism is not manufacturing content, says @jeffjarvis, but instead is a service. Social journalism then becomes a new degree program in the age of the Internet. Interviewed by @dweinberger.

[00:00 Jeff Jarvis] When I started writing — I look at new relationships, new forms and new models for news — I started with forms. That’s what we do. We are encased in this form, and we know the formula is just to tap that. And I quickly realized — well, not so quickly — that that was all wrong

[00:25] In fact, what the Internet changes is our relationship with the public we serve. And then this forced me to think about what the proper relationship is, for journalists to the public. And we tend to think that it’s manufacturing a product called content, that we think you should honor and buy, and encases all of our value. That’s a legacy of mass media. Treating everyone the same because we had to make a product to serve everyone and everyone the same.

[00:50] The Internet obviously changes that. We now see the opportunity to serve people as individuals. That’s what made me think journalism, properly conceived, is a service. A service, properly defined, accomplishes things for people. If I’m going to accomplish something for you, then I’m going to have to know what your needs are, before I can pretend that I can meet them. This means I have to know you as an individual, or as a member of a community, and no longer a mass. Quoting Raymond Williams: “there are no masses, only ways of seeing people as masses”.

[01:20] If I see you as an individual, if I want to serve you as an individual, I have to know you as an individual, before I can get to know your needs. Once I got there, that changed … that tore it all apart.

[…]

[03:25 David Weinberger] Would you recommend that a newspaper first look at the services that we have traditionally wanted from them, and/or look at the services that are part of their capabilities of things they can do … or is that just the wrong way of fighting it?

[03:40] We have to deconstruct more than that. It forces us to deconstruct journalism school as well. When I gave this relationship schpiel, my dean — Sarah Barlett — called my bluff, and said … “Okay, what if you’re right, that journalism becomes about relationships. Are we teaching those skills in depth in a journalism school?” I thought about it, and said, “no”. She said, “how about a new degree?”, in some strange degree we’ll call social journalism.

[04:00] The first skill of this degree is to listen to communities. It is to understanding the community, what binds the community. What needs and interests bind this community? How do they define themselves, and then how do they define their needs? Only when you know that, can you start to believe that you can help them meet their needs. Then you say, what can I bring to meet those needs? That may be a wide range of different things. Will articles, and stories and news and information meet those needs? In some cases they will. But in some cases, it will be tools, it will be bringing people together to meet each other, it will be organizing like a community (pace Barack Obama). It will be educating them. It will be convening them. There’s all kinds of things that we can do or have done, that we can indeed bring to bear again, but probably not in the form that we have.

See also “Content vs. service”, What now for News? Part II | Jeff Jarvis | Medium at http://medium.com/whither-news/content-vs-service-ddbb432ab77

… if we are not in the content business, what business are we in? Consider journalism as a service. Content is that which fills something. Service is that which accomplishes something. To be a service, news must be concerned with outcomes rather than products. What should journalism’s result be? That seems obvious: better informed individuals and a better-informed society. But who’s to define “informed” and who’s to measure success: journalists or citizens? Journalists believe informing the public is their job and that it is the role of editors to decide what the public ought to know. Let’s put aside that rather paternalistic attitude toward the public we serve, for if we do not believe in the will of the public to be informed, then we might as well give up on democracy, free markets, and the ideals of education, not to mention journalism. I am confident that there will continue to be a market demand for the information a society needs to function. That must be an article of faith if we are to hold out hope to sustain journalism.

Jeff Jarvis

“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

Posted by daviding in Talk Video Streaming, Uncategorized.
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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.

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