Saturday, January 12, 2008

Looking Again To Happiness

All of this philosophical musings is all to the good but I am not enough of a martyr or a proselyte to give up on the goal of Happiness.

Cognitive Daily asks the question: Is it possible to be too happy?

  • A team led by Shigehiro Oishi conducted what they claim is the first study of the idea that there may be an optimal happiness level. There is a wealth of data available that includes some measure of happiness along with other possible measures of well-being, so rather than conducting a new survey, the researchers re-analyzed several different data sets with an eye to learning if the optimal level of happiness might be something less than "perfectly content."

Cognitive Daily: If short-term happiness isn't always best, what about long-term?

  • Earlier this week we discussed the relationship between life satisfaction and other measures of well-being, finding that for measures such as relative income, the happiest people weren't always the best-off. For relationships, however, the happiest individuals also seem to do better.

    But these measures were only taken at an instant in time. What about over longer periods? The College and Beyond study questioned incoming college freshmen in 1976, and included a self-rating of "cheerfulness," among many other measures. Then those same individuals were surveyed in 1995. How did cheerfulness affect income nearly two decades later? Here are the results:

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Asking The Big Questions

Beside Edge with "What have you changed your mind about? Why?" and YouTube with the Davos Question, TED and the TEDBlog are also asking "The Big Questions"

Many people come to TED -- and visit -- seeking something out of the ordinary. A chance to mentally recharge. A chance to step back and consider the really big stuff that's happening. A chance to understand life in a richer way.

  • Who are we?
      • What is our place in the universe?
        • What is life?
          • Is beauty truth?
            • Will evil prevail?
              • How can we change the world?
                • How do we create?
                  • What's out there?
                    • What will tomorrow bring?
                      • What stirs us?
                        • How dare we be optimistic?
                          • And the point?

The TED | TEDBlog provides a number of Web-based ways to make a difference

+ Share Ron Eglash's cool math tools, for studying math via breakdancing, Latin beats and cornrow braids
+ Dive into Richard Baraniuk's Connexions, a massive repository of open-source class materials
+ Visit Phil Borges' Bridges to Understanding site, which rounds up student films from all over the world
+ Browse Erin McKean's booklist "So You Want to Be a Lexicographer?"
+ Check out the beta of Gapminder World, powered by Hans Rosling's Trendalyzer software
+ Watch video and take action at The Hub, a platform for human rights media and action -- presented by Peter Gabriel's WITNESS
+ Discuss sustainable design and materials on the Cradle to Cradle forums, inspired by the work of William McDonough
+ Learn more about Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop per Child
+ Catch up with Majora Carter's Sustainable South Bronx -- or make a specific gift to SSBx via Changing the Present
+ Calculate your personal CO2 production -- and start helping the planet -- at the website for Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, produced by Jeff Skoll

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Attempting To Update Videos

My favorite means of learning on the web is watching educational videos like Professor Lewin's physics lectures, MIT World, Econ 100B Macroeconomic Analysis with Professor Steven Wood , TED videos and many others.

I have finally updated the video tag of this weblog so that it includes all embedded videos or slide shows. Also updated to FireFox 3 beta which I learned about from the Wired article. The problem is that all video players are not created equal, at least not on my regular computer. For some reason embedded TED videos using Flash 9.0 have a hard time usually stopping and flashing a continuous 'loading video'. This despite having had enlarged the storage capacity that may be needed by the videos. I don't know if its just my computer, my wife's works fine, but I hope that not too many others are suffering from this. One can always go to the TED talk site itself but having the video handy was nice. It use to work better I don't know what changed. Another video on the blink now, at least for my computer, is Like Trying to Milk a Fish which featured Sam Davidson. Now it stops after about 1 minute.

For the good, the video at the The Fine Print Of Good Design post did not even load up before I upgraded my Firefox. Now it works fine.

All of the YouTube Videos also work fine, but then its Google. Besides updating the video tag, I have also added a diigo sticky note to the video tag link as an explanation and link back to this post. Of course, you need diigo to make it work.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Davos Question

Official Google Blog: The Davos Question

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Re-Designing Yet Again

This weblog has gone through yet another re-design. My recent discover that people were actually visiting my weblog rather than going through feeders prompted me to highlight the on-line folders, despite not being sure that they are all that functional. They were created prior to learning more about tagging. What they offer is ability to take a collection of websites and establish a focus.

I started this exercise off thinking about Kuhn's concept of paradigm shifts. However, I soon discovered that I did not see eye to eye with Kuhn and began seeing Paradigm Shifts from Other Perspectives. My reason was that I believed that the world could benefit from Paradigm Shifts Through Innovation. I made the optimistic presumption that Social and Economic Paradigms Shifting to a Better World were a possibility.

Truth though is that it is not well organized. I have not done a good enough job of identifying the sites that are in the folders and many of the websites are in the wrong folder. William McDonough: The wisdom of designing Cradle To Grave Design is in the Social and Economic Paradigms Shifting to a Better World folder and should be moved to a new folder on design, which I have and should make public but I haven't gone through and identified the individual websites yet.

I also wanted a quick and easy way to gather weblinks without worrying so much about organizing them so I created online folders with a variety of different websites under a particular topic that I could toss things into. Science Pathways , Web 2.0 Pathways , Social and Economic Pathways are Google Notebooks.

Finally I created Innovations, Insights, Integrity which is my shared Google Reader. Hugh MacLeod has a better one. I made the mistake of making mine inert, while Hugh MacLeod updates his.

His December 24, 2007 post asks to "please add me to your Google reader friend list"

I've recently started using the Google Reader quite avidly. Please add me to your friend list so I can see what you're reading, too. Rock on. His shared items are here.

I am going to take him up on his offer, but after I do a bit more housing cleaning. Then I need to figure out if the whole thing is worth keeping.

Who You Know And Who You Trust And Who Trusts You

From Seth Godin's Blog: Who you know

One of the mantras of networking (and the many social networking sites that people are flocking to) is that it matters who you know. The goal of having a thousand or more friends online is that you're well known. Connected. A click away.

I wonder if there's a more useful measure: who trusts you?

Which brings up my question. How do you establish virtual trust? It is not a question that I find necessary to ask in the day job/real world. It's mostly sensed whether I can or can't, but what establishes trust in the web 2.0 world. There are a number of bloggers that I trust. Seth being one of them, but what is it that makes them trustworthy? The fact that they are recognized as trustworthy by so many others? My readings tell me that there is more to it than just that and that,whatever it is, comes through their writings. Besides asking the question,Seth Godin also provides an answer, at least for longer relationships.

Seth's Blog: Making promises

Is that what marketing is all about? I think so. Make promises and keep them.

Some organizations work very hard to weasel in the promises they make. They imply great customer service or amazing results or spectacular quality, but don't deliver. No, they didn't actually lie, but they came awfully close. The result: angry customers and negative word of mouth.

It's very easy to overpromise. Tempting to shade the truth a little bit, deliver a little bit less to save a few bucks. Who will notice?

The consumer notices.

If you need to overpromise to make the sale, don't bother. It's not worth it.

The best way to generate word of mouth is simple: overdeliver.

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The Broad Stroke Of Good Design

I decided to break this in to two posts. For a more worldly view, below is a TED video on William McDonough: The wisdom of designing Cradle To Grave Design

Finally, does any of this work in the real world of business and entrepreneurship? Here is a link to The Value of Design Factfinder, which makes a strong case that it does.

The Fine Print Of Good Design

I am not a designer. Any glimmer of understanding I may have about design at this point is from working on this weblog. Regardless though, I have made a variety of comments concerning design which have for the most part been broad-based philosophical generalizations.

This weblog is designed as a learning tool. So I th0ught it proper to provide some links to websites on design that involved information that was more directly relevant to design itself. What is thinking as a designer? Not that there is any lack of philosophical insight from these designers.

Design Thinking... What is That? by Mark Dziersk From Fast Company Magazine

    The methodology commonly referred to as design thinking is a proven and repeatable problem-solving protocol that any business or profession can employ to achieve extraordinary results.

    Although Design is most often used to describe an object or end result, Design in its most effective form is a process, an action, a verb not a noun. A protocol for solving problems and discovering new opportunities. Techniques and tools differ and their effectiveness are arguable but the core of the process stays the same. It's taken years of slogging through Design = high style to bring us full circle to the simple truth about design thinking. That it is a most powerful tool and when used effectively, can be the foundation for driving a brand or business forward.

Fine Print A journey through the world of typography with graphic designer Michael Bierut

originally via :: home of fine hypertext products


Read Virginia Postrel's related story: Playing to Type from The Atlantic, January 2008

"Given its subject, Michael Bierut's Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design, published last May by Princeton Architectural Press, is remarkably plain. It has no pictures. It isn't oversized. It doesn't even have a dust jacket."

"Yet the book is a graphic extravaganza."

I decided to continue this in a second post.

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Re-Define For Yourself Before Re-Defining For Others

It took some time but I am finally getting around to make a few comments on the insights from Penelope Trunk of Brazen Careerist, and David Brooks of the New York Times from my Define Who You Are For Yourself Before Defining For Others post.

Starting with Mr. Brooks and his article the The Odyssey Years, I have to point out that the hero of Homer's Odyssey is Odysseus aka Ulysses was an older family man who held a senior management position and ust finished a successful career in a foreign market where he was particularly noted for his mētis, or "cunning intelligence", especially in terms of market penetration. His detour back home was a result of bad market conditions and public relations issues with the firm of Mt. Olympus Inc. He is not Generation X or Y, Jones at best. Of course my perspective is slanted as I would be far more interested in the other new category Mr. Brooks raises active retirement.

As far as Ms. Trunk goes, I am in basic agreement with what she said and have been. What I found more interesting was a later post by her.

Baby boomers are being forced out, in a non-disruptive way

And this is the exact same way that generation Y is telling baby boomers to get out of their way at work. Gen Y plays by the rules, meets expectations, and in the same step, pulls the rug out from under the people with power. How? By refusing to pay dues, by customizing their own career paths instead of lusting after a promotion, and by job hopping when learning curves get flat.

When USA Today wrote “Gen Y has already made its mark” the story was about entrepreneurship - Gen Y is ambitious, driven, and success-oriented, and since hierarchical structures of corporate life allow for so little mobility, young people are turning to entrepreneurship and are starting businesses at a blistering rate not seen among young people earlier.

This is not exactly the Civil Rights movement or grunge music. But Gen Y doesn’t need to rebel because, as I wrote in Time magazine, young people are already in the driver’s seat at the workplace. They can work within the established lines of business to get what they want, but they get it faster than we expect.

All of what she writes above and to what it links to actually sounds pretty good to me. So is it possible to make it work for me. Her latest post as of this writing gives me some guideposts.

Do you think you’re a strategist? You’re probably wrong.

I am not going to say I am a strategist but I did take the test and came out INTJ. My B.A. was in psychology with an emphasis on research cognition and memory so that fits. That and the fact that I am getting into this Web 2.0 stuff also seems to fit.

I once chided Mr. Brooks in this weblog for being in the "I for one welcome our new alien masters" club. Maybe I need to ask where to sign up for membership.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Navigating Turbulent Waters

NPR : Navigating Turbulent Waters From NPR This I Believe
  • Navigating Turbulent Waters

    by Jimmy Liao Listen Now

    Essayist Jimmy Liao Holds a Fish in a Boat
    Photo Courtesy of Jimmy Liao
    "I can take the energy of my father's violence and move through it, to surge past that turbulence. I could let my father be himself without giving up on myself."

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If You Can't Change Your Mind How Do You Change The World?

From the TEDBlog: The Edge question for 2008: What have you changed your mind about? Why?


Many TEDTalks speakers have answered the 2008 Edge Foundation question: What have you changed your mind about? Why?

Among the more than 160 essays from leading thinkers -- scientists, philosophers, artists -- look for Wired's Chris Anderson, Nick Bostrom, Stewart Brand, Richard Dawkins, Aubrey de Grey, Juan Enriquez, Helen Fisher, Neil Gershenfeld, Daniel Gilbert, Daniel Goleman, Kevin Kelly, Steven Pinker, Carolyn Porco, Martin Rees, Michael Shermer and Craig Venter. Block out some time to sample these -- it's an addictive read.

Sean from Cosmic Variance also blogs about the same question | What Have You Changed Your Mind About?

This year, the Edge World Question Center asks people what they have changed their minds about. Here are excerpts from some of the most interesting answers. (Not that I necessarily agree with them.)

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WHO Is The New Number One

I wrote about FeedBurner when IdeaBlob past the former first place site for most clips by a factor of two to one. Not that Google was going to have to change their algorithm or anything, but it was of interest, at least to me, to see the process unfold. Now a new site has moved into first place.

Total 262 786 0
WHO | What are the key health dangers for children 4 62 --
Listing all ideas - Ideablob: where ideas grow [delicious]… 4 55 --
Transcending Economic Castes 1 20

From Saturday, October 27, 2007 – Tuesday, January 8, 2008 that is
  • 4 views in feed readers and on the web
  • 62 clicks back to the original item What are the key health dangers for children? Which was part of the Best Intentions Unintended Consequences post. Except it is somewhat doubtful that they arrived there through my post, more likely my tags, so what serves as the attraction?
Below are the pages on my website that are being directly visited. The vast majority of the visits to Tech Bubble Burst and Blown Again are via MobusTV. The next was straight to my blog without any particular destination. Then there is a serious drop in visits so its a good thing this doesn't pay my bills.

Pathways to New Paradigms: Tech Bubble Burst and Blown Again 30
Pathways to New Paradigms 26
Pathways to New Paradigms: design 3
Pathways to New Paradigms: IdeaBlob Best Idea Yet 2
Pathways to New Paradigms: A Question of Nets Malaria and Social Aid 2 2
Pathways to New Paradigms: Best Intentions Unintended Consequences 1
Pathways to New Paradigms 1
Pathways to New Paradigms: digging diigo 1
Pathways to New Paradigms: Professor Walter Lewin, Web Star Rocks 1
Pathways to New Paradigms: Firing Up FeedBurner 1

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Authenticity Accessed Or Acquired? Re-write

It should be our intention to strive for authenticity when defining and presenting ourselves or our life's endeavors . The writings of Finn McKenty, who blogs at Lightheavyweight inform us that design also has authenticity as a purpose.

Finn McKenty extends the concern regarding authenticity to endeavors of social-engagement. Specifically using the example of the Greener Grass project, which is about connecting people with ideas designed to have a positive impact.

The source of insight that he sought was John Moore from Brand Autopsy , who provided the original link for this post on Authenticity .

Finn asks John asks a few questions in a short interview about the of role "authenticity" in branding which you can read here ...snippets below.

Greener Grass: Can authenticity be created? If so, how can companies build a culture that values authenticity, transparency and honesty?

John Moore:

"This belief that authenticity can be created is what gets companies in trouble. Authenticity comes from evolution, not from creation. No magic pill exists and no big bang will cause a company to become authentic. The honor of being authentic is earned only over time and through consistent, deliberate actions. Same goes for building a corporate culture. A company that respects its employees and treats its employees like family will be rewarded with being viewed by insiders and outsiders as an authentic company."

*** READ MORE ***

New Hits From An Unforeseen Direction

All of a sudden I am getting actual visits to my weblog. One of the premises of the web-trekking has been the concept of serendipity. I thought of it in terms of my searching for interesting website finding surprising jewels when not expecting it. Seems its can also be applied to having one's self discovered.

I am not sure as to why I am getting hits now and not before. I did add some Feedburner features to the weblog, but you have to get here before you see them so that didn't bring anybody. It would seem to be based mostly on two recent posts. IdeaBlob Best Idea Yet and International Web Star Is 15 Seconds Of Fame Off And On. My 15 seconds seems to have been extended.

There have been visits in other areas as well in the last 12 hours. This is still an ongoing experiment and trial for me but to protect others privacy I have removed an apparent identifying information.

VisitorLast VisitDurationClient
US image Rockville Centre, NY
17 hours ago 0:01
To Pathways to New Paradigms
US image Los Angeles, CA
17 hours ago 0:01
To Pathways to New Paradigms: Fair Use Is Fair To Whom?
From Google Search
US image Los Angeles, CA
18 hours ago 11:01
To Pathways to New Paradigms: IdeaBlob Best Idea Yet

19 hours ago 0:01
To Pathways to New Paradigms: IdeaBlob Best Idea Yet
From Google Blog Search
US image Los Angeles, CA
yesterday 23:02
To Pathways to New Paradigms: marketing
From delicious
US image Woodbridge, VA
yesterday 0:08
To Pathways to New Paradigms
ES image Madrid
1 hour ago 0:01
To Pathways to New Paradigms: Tech Bubble Burst and Blown Again
ES image Valle De Santullán
1 hour ago 0:01
To Pathways to New Paradigms: Tech Bubble Burst and Blown Again
PE image Lima
yesterday 0:22
To Pathways to New Paradigms: Tech Bubble Burst and Blown Again
ES image Madrid
yesterday 0:01
To Pathways to New Paradigms: Tech Bubble Burst and Blown Again
ES image Sant Just Desvern
2 hours ago 0:01
To Pathways to New Paradigms: Tech Bubble Burst and Blown Again
US image Los Angeles, CA
2 hours ago 4:17
To Pathways to New Paradigms
GT image Guatemala
yesterday 0:01
To Pathways to New Paradigms: Tech Bubble Burst and Blown Again
US image Los Angeles, CA
yesterday 10:53
To Pathways to New Paradigms
US image Philadelphia, PA
yesterday 0:01
To Pathways to New Paradigms
US image La Grange Park, IL
9 hours ago 0:01
To Pathways to New Paradigms: A Question of Nets Malaria and Social Aid 2
From Google Search