Friday, June 20, 2008

100 Million For The Millenium Goals

I have written before that I would stop mixing content regarding the various subjects I blog about with updates about the ongoing activities of this blog. This post demonstrates that does not work. It is this blog that connects me in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe.

Fellow Blogspot Blogger Aditi (who unfortunately does not have a Blogger profile) left a comment on my post "Best Intentions Unintended Consequences" which I did back in December of last year. A quick check of Google got me to Wikipedia where I learned that Aditi is an Indian Goddess.

I truly agree with consciousness awakening part of the post.!
People rating poverty as poor from their hearts is the first step towards any revolution to be taking place..

The Millennium Development goals of the this principle..!
They wants people to think..question themselves and then come forward to their bit in the cause..!
It has being doing enormous efforts on these lines….
This year UN will be shifting its focus on India, with Stand Up and Take action event and getting many hands together to fulfill the 8 goals…
Be updated….with the latest happeningss..

I was interested to find out who was reaching out 6 months after I wrote the post and why beyond what was written. Feedburner told me that I had a visitor from Bombay, India. Feedburner also let me know that somebody searched for "child health end poverty" on Google. My blog was nowhere to be found that I could discover but the top choice from Google was Child Health End Poverty 2015. Hittail let me know that Aditi likely found me through Google Blog Search.

I was still interested in finding out who it was that was reaching out so I followed the link and ended up joining Orkut. The link took me to the Orkut group for End POVERTY by 2015 United Nations Millennium Campaign Stand UP Take ACTION 17-19 Oct 2008.

The group has 1,415 members, the majority seem to be from India. I joined the group to help take a small step in their goal to cross the 100 Million mark this time. I figured that if they were nice enough to reach out to me I should do the same.

I might be overstepping some bounds but I decided to take what follows straight from their site.

Be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.

1. End Hunger
2. Universal Education
3. Gender Equity
4. Child Health
5. Maternal Health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS
7. Environmental Sustainability
8. Global Partnership

In 2007, Over 43.7 million people, in 127 countries broke the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people to “STAND UP AGAINST POVERTY” in 24 hours

SMS JOIN ENDPOVERTY2015 to 567673434 for mobile updates.

language: English (US)

category: Activities

type: public

content privacy: members only

forum: non-anonymous

location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, 40005, India

created: March 25, 2008 4:12 AM

members: 1,415

It is still worthwhile to join Orkut as there are other resources available at the site. There may be similar groups from other countries. There is a similar group on Facebook. This is what is so amazing about the Internet and Web 2.o. Even though this weblog does not reach millions it does reach people around the world. Somebody from Pakistan or Thailand may read this and also take part. They in turn can be read by somebody in Germany or Argentina. Like the video below, this can go around the world.

Make this video go around the world

Listen to this 12 year old girl in her speech to the United Nations. It's going and your world. Listen and please act !
Added: Jun 14(6 days ago)
Duration: 06:42

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Social Tagging For The Not So Social

It is not that I really like ideas better than people, it just that I like people with ideas better than people with no ideas. It seems easier collecting the ideas and then finding the people than the other way around. The Web has an abundance of people with ideas. The favorites of this weblog and many others are provided in the left hand column. There are many more to be found through Google Reader and other web 2.o tools. Organizations such as TED and MIT are filled with people with ideas.

What is especially cool is that sometimes people with ideas will coming looking for you. One of the components of this ongoing blogging experiment is learning social tagging systems. Right now three are being used, , diigo and StumbleUpon. I have been fortunate enough to get connected through social tagging with smart people who are very good at having ideas. Now as a matter of mostly my personality, the connections are more through the tags rather than the social. What we are talking about is folksonomy or what seems to me to be crowd-semantics. Once somebody networks with this weblog, all their tags and the links and ideas represented by those tags are available for exploration.

The result has been literally global in nature. The weblog networks with people in Scotland, Finland, Russia, Italy, Nigeria, Denmark as well as the United States (not to mention the European Union). My horizons are being expanded in other ways as well.

One particularly notable connection and the most recent is with George Clark of Portsoy, Banff, United Kingdom.

George responded to an e-mail I sent him with a kindly worded response.

Thanks for getting in touch. I was impressed (overwhelmed even) with the amount of good stuff you have pulled together on your blog. I reckon I will learn much more from you than you will from me.

The truth is that George is way beyond me. I just gather links like picking fruit off of the ground. George has worked on creating some impressive social activist sites and networked them with a good number of organizations working for social causes. I have stumbled one of them so far Caledonia Centre for Social Development. He has also been instrumental in the creation of the Seafield Research and Development Services site and Let it begin with me. He also blogs at existential soft rock at which his current post is particularly noteworthy.

George strikes me as a one-man EUFORIC. Now I am not sure how he will like the comparison and it is pretty safe that he will take issue with the one-man designation, but through George's links and the others connected to through this weblog, I have been learning that the world is far more faceted than we usually appreciate in the United States.

Trunk's Take On Twitter and Traffic And Being Truthful to One's Self

Penelope Trunk, the Brazen Careerist provided her take on Twitter, social media, and unmashing the mashable back on June 4th.

Because mashing our social media together for the purpose of marketing one feed to another dilutes the value of social media. If you express yourself in the same way on a blog and on Twitter, then you don't need both.

Now despite my attempts to pass myself off as being fully able to integrate into the world of Web 2.0, I am not the Twitter-type. So the rest of this post won’t be mentioning Twitter again, but Ms Trunk makes a number of good points about social media that this weblog will take to heart.

It's clear to me that blogging is best for expressing big ideas. If you can't convey new ideas on your blog, then you probably won't get a lot of traffic. And most blogs that do well have a single theme and the audience can depend on the theme dictating the content of the blog.

The blogging format is the best means of both articulating ideas in order to work through them and express them to others. This weblog focuses more on the working through them. It does not have a single theme or brand so that and the 10 reasons from Hugh MacLeod explains not getting a lot of traffic. That is not going to change. Maybe I’ll try something different in the future.

What is social media for, really? If traffic is your holy grail, then you need to point all your social media to one spot, in a sort of exercise in cross-pollination. If it's not to build traffic, then it's to build connections. And those connections can improve your life.

So I’ll accept the reality that this weblog won’t be breaking the 100,000-subscriber threshold, or the 1,000 for that matter (or the 100 if we are going to be honest).

So give yourself permission to use social media to explore all the aspects of your personality, rather than just the one you picked for your "official personal brand". It makes sense that you should give yourself some leeway to be inconsistent in who you are—and thereby consistent with who are completely are—in social media. Explore your full identity as you explore the media.

This is the part that I can get behind. The primary reason for this weblog is to explore and that means looking at my personality, my philosophy to create new paradigms for myself and to participate in the new paradigms that I believe are arising. I intend to give myself ample leeway, pardon in advance inconsistencies and fully explore and create an identity in this medium.

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

Walt Whitman,

"Song of Myself"
US poet (1819 - 1892)

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Closer Look At Fluid Intelligence

My recent post on 12 Hacks 6 Myths And Other Ways On Amping Your Brainpower, received a comment from Soak Your Head creator Erik Mork of Silver Bay Labs who said...
I think the significance of the Martin Buschkuehl research is that actual intelligence may be increased with daily training on dual-n-back. Which kind of sets it apart from the other approaches mentioned (12 Hacks that Will Amp...). Though, it does have some mutual benefits with them (for instance, working memory is generally increased with these types of training).

My wife and I have built an open source web application that implements the dual-n-back training. If you're curious to try. It's at: .

I'm not sure if keeping a blog make s you smarter, but it sure can't hurt ;) Thanks for this interesting post.

His point is definitely valid. My throwing the 12 hacks and 6 myths into the same post was for a more psych-lite article. Not that I am an expert, but I was leaning towards the "keeping busy and cognizant after they lock me out of the office at work" approach. As far as the viability of keeping a blog, it may not make me more intelligent but I am learning new things and keeping connected so hopefully it is doing some good. I did omit the section of the Wired article, intended perhaps to provide some balance, which cited:

David Geary, a professor at the University of Missouri and author of The Origin of Mind, who was not involved with the study, said training in one test generally doesn’t generate gains on a different test.

"Transfer is tough to get," Geary said. "Training in task A doesn’t typically improve performance on task B."

But in this case, subjects trained on a complex version of the so-called "n-back task" -- a difficult visual/auditory memory test -- improved their scores on a set of IQ questions drawn from a German intelligence measure called the Bochumer Matrizen-Test. (The Bochumer Matrizen-Test is a harder version of the
well known Ravens Progressive Matrices).

I am impressed with the site that Erik and is wife have created. I don't get the sense that either of them are trained in this scientific field, but their site is informative and seems well balanced. It also does not seem to be connected to any particular research facility. Which seems unfortunate as this appears to be a great opportunity to gather a good deal of "crowd-sourced" data, which is one potential motivation for running this post.

Another motivation is that I find the concept of fluid intelligence interesting from both the biological and cognitive perspective, and it gives me a reason to feature this article from TEDBlog on the amazing intelligence of crows: Joshua Klein on

Hacker and writer Joshua Klein is fascinated by crows. (Notice the gleam of intelligence in their little black eyes?) After a long amateur study of corvid behavior, he's come up with an elegant machine that may form a new bond between animal and human. (Recorded March 2008 in Monterey, California. Duration: 10:16.)