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May. 22nd, 2013


Just a little note to Thomas

The sort of mind-blurt I email myself from time to time. (Quite a collection, over the years.)

Innovation and Collaboration
How do institutions and corporate entities enable innovation?

I'm looking to a consortium of strategic partners to support an information initiative.

Say someone in a university setting who's had experience facilitating use of online learning sees a substantial improvement. How would they proceed?

Say someone in a setting where the distinction of help desk / support desk is meaningful and significant, and they see the possibility of developing yet another aspect of this. How would they proceed?

May. 14th, 2013


Full spectrum: Inter-disciplinary branching / pedagogy

(A note I emailed myself a little while back.)

While at Dalhousie as a mature student studying cognitive and social psychology I had a conversation with the chair of the history department, who's introductory course I had taken in second year.
I suggested that some aspects of cog-psych (What we might now call "social cognition") might shed some light on matters of historiography.

I suggest today that this approach can be enabled by our best information practices i.e. studying a topic in one discipline brings up points that might be best treated by another. Say, in Poli Sci, studying the war in Iraq, we would touch on the cultural aspects of policy, on matters of macro- and micro-economics ... in short, psychology, economics, sociology and anthropology would come into play.
Conventional techniques strive to focus, quite appropriately. But student engagement, I suggest, would be best nurtured by a more full-spectrum approach.

Apr. 10th, 2013


When is "spiked up over 200" the same as "levelled at 150"?




I dunno ... the two don't seem to track. See the spike over/above 200 in weekly? I don't see that in monthly.
Almost as though monthly is using data that's slightly older than weekly.

All this from Ceph eqiad Cluster Report for Wed, 10 Apr 2013 23:42:43 +0000.

#Cloud #Monitoring #Ganglia

p.s. haven't used LiveJournal for many months ... years? It's just so plop.fizz effective! This was dead easy.

Mar. 21st, 2013


Herb ... these are universals.

You select a piece of text. You click B or I, which marks up the text.
Or you select a piece of text, then click the Link button, and enter a URL (, which marks up a bit of text to make it an active link.
You can say you don't need easy/effective/efficient. But it's silly for you to say easy/effective/efficient doesn't exist.

Sep. 8th, 2010


If GTD is anti-social, then what does "social" mean?

Sidebar: An 8yr old (older?) issue was finally settled: "Gnu/Linux: Finally, it's really free software A Red Hat hacker's tenacity frees Gnu/Linux once and for all".

I left a big project y'day ... on the verge of leaving another today ... so was reading back into that stuff, just chillin', relaxing from one too many arguments in dev circles. I'm just sick of it.

Shows how folk can actually GTD if they choose to do that instead of just bickering.
So they dug through the crates and found the paper-trail

In the end they just did the legal paperwork and Sun re-licenced, is all. Just work ... just solutions to problems ...

Actually recoding with gpl code was considered at some points, but NFS ... problematic as it is ... who wants to take /that/ on?
And maybe debian is killing itself with their rigid all-free agenda ... but I still think there's a valid argument to be had.

But what's burning me up background is this: In my experience? people act as though they're allergic to straight questions. bug=181493 ... shows how nasty devs can be.

This is the first time in 2wks I'm not sitting in the xxxxxxx IRC channel. Just too ignorant ... self-satisfied / complacent ... the state of tech today.

We decided to talk about how xxxxxxx relates to general *nix community. A kind of free-swinging biatch session. Fine. Someone went on at length about how branches were killing the root.

I asked how what happens at branch propagates back to root ... up stream ... again and again ... no answer.
Replies? Oh sure, lots of replies, and energetic too ...
... shutup (just joking of course ... hilarious)
... poke with cattleprod ... repeatedly ... just joking, of course ... hilarious
"Stop and think" was nearly the best reply.

And answers? 0

Replies? many ... about 1/2 being "chill" and "time-out" ... because when asked what I was talking about I would repeat, "How does what happens at branch poison/kill the root?" as they were saying.

0 Answers

NB: just another day ... nothing special or unique here, entirely typical, and that's my point. Might be worse than '06 or '96 or '86 or '76, but only "typical".

So really their points wasn't GTD ... it was more "social". Does "snarf" ring bells? That used to be used to lable someone who was always digging at things to cause / widen splits.

And that's the social agenda: a sloppy sort of sneering good.old.boy self-congratulatory back-slapping that generates all sorts of heat but no light at all. Plain, simple, to the point questions are just not appropriate in that context.

State of tech today. Business? Business is "social". YR/YW

p.s. I reported a rather substantial failure to this group's forum, including a raft of details. The rather snotty / condescending / patronizing reply ignored the details, asked a totally irrelevant question (passive-aggresive sophistry is SOP) then requested a specific detail. I.e. the precise version of one module. "The most recent build" wasn't specific enough? Okie dokie. When I answered with the precise version (3 digits? 4?) the response was ... you ready for this? The response was total silence. Not even ACK. Just silence. So you can understand why I so often make reference to snotty yuppies' snotty kidz. Good simple questions don't get good simple Answers, and good simple Answers don't get replies. It's pathological, is whott. It ferr shurr ain't got shit to do with GTD.

Addendum: talking about different ways to share our work (someone wanted to kinda publish ideas in IRC; I suggested starting a wiki page) I again said I thought forums just ended up piles of out-dated stuff but that wikis aggregated ... chaotic and dynamic, but not random. The reply? "Goggledegook". That's what set the stage for "shutup" and cattle-prod.

May. 10th, 2010


Power corrupts?

I usually spider people who work on web tools like, a project by Eddie A Tejeda.

I found this as a recent post in his blog:
On Social Power Posted on January 23, 2009
"Power is a corrupting force. And politics – a process in which power is acquired – is no exception. So when I see power being amassed, even for good, I wince. To me, politics should always be engaged with a critical eye."

Here's my comment:
I'll use this comment as pretext for saying hello. Just now I registered for O'Reilly's "What is Gov 2.0? web seminar and happened onto the comments for O'Reilly's "Open Feedback Publishing where I saw someone pointing to (I've been following such as CommentPress for years ... many, many years.)

Power relations have always been important, of course. But in the age of "attention economy" ... some aspects of those relations are being amplified.

Sidebar / lateral: as an individual begins to expand their network the variety of nodes increases dramatically. As the network expands beyond a certain threshold the variety levels off and decreases, even if nodes are not dropped or trimmed. As the network is edited it becomes ever-more homogenous.

My primary concern with power qua power is simply this: whether a person is in a position of authority, or is charismatic, or is very well spoken, that individual's views are more likely to be adopted. That is, such an individual has the power to convince. Other individuals are more likely to adopt that person's opinions.
And what is true of the "powerful" person is also true of "powerful" situations i.e. others are likely to surrender their autonomy, even if only slightly.
I tuned into that in 1975, after having facilitated a set of workshops on social justice issues. Nothing mutes discussion and discourse faster and more effectively than plausible sophistry delivered in a compelling manner!

Now what folk are talking about how we can tap into not only the "wisdom of crowds" but "swarm behaviour", those dynamics are more and more likely to be gamed.

So I continue to work on what I call "DAV methods" (Distributed Authoring and Versioning, yes?) but I can't say that I've been optimistic. Such tools are bound to empower the Hitlers and Stalins of the world. And the Hitlers and Stalins are very, very likely to deploy them energetically.

What I've been chasing all these years (as though keeping an eye on the vampires while preparing a good stake) is a way to de-fuse jingoism. (I've wondered: if we could implement glasperlenspiel, would it be value neutral? Could we devise a system that mitigated against manipulation?) The best I've managed, so far, is a way to high-light real discourse, in the sense Habermas used the term in his "Ethics".

Mar. 5th, 2010


"Fake" participation

following up on my post, "The Obama WhiteHouse - Civility, OpenDemocracy and Web2.0":
slightly related:

Mar. 1st, 2010


And the beat goes on

Email from David Crane (his "Blog Home") brought me to the DebateWise on healthcare: "America Should Have Universal Healthcare. (Note 1: "America" here should read "The United States" ... Canada is in North America ... we have universal healthcare already, thanks very much. Note 2: UPPER CASE SUX, ALWAYS, ALL WAYS) I happen to appreciate David's project, a lot. But this presentation demonstrates everything about the methodology I rejected in the late 90s. (I was creating graphical hyper-linked documents in the late 80s, BTW ... and for that matter was working on collaborative authoring using computing systems in the late 70s ... "computer mediated communications" was daily for me early 70s. So, what's new with you? *grin*) My time with CMap and Compendium, and here with Debate Wise, confirm my dis-inclination.

But re-visiting this brought me again to ... their collection of public maps is very attractive; Best Online Collaboration Tools (Robin Good; 2009) recommends itself.

On a different tack, SpinScape. This YouTube video manifests ... what? Gilding a lily? Not quite ... though that's nice and gentle. What I'm thinking of is more in line with "beating a dead horse". I mean exhausting a limited concept ... bringing a tragically constrained conceptualization to it's logical conclusion.
"Oooh, look mommy! They let us color different items different colors!" *sigh*

And why does it matter? "Civil society" seems so abstract. How about "Participatory Budgeting"? No, don't tell me, let me guess; too boring ... was I close?

Feb. 25th, 2010


Participatory Budgeting

Josh Lerner sent a message to the members of Participatory Budgeting.

Subject: New PB email list
To complement the discussions on Facebook, the PB Facebook group and The Participatory Budgeting Project are (re)launching the PB email list. The email list existed from 2005 to 2008 at – you can see the archives at
Since there has been so much PB activity recently around the world, and since not everyone uses Facebook actively, we are upgrading to a google group to provide another (more private) forum for discussion and information sharing.

Please continue using the Facebook page, but we also invite you to join the google PB group (which is strictly about PB).
see also Participatory Budgeting hosted by

Feb. 5th, 2010


A not completely useless presentation for Haiti aid

Ushahidi, which means "testimony" in Swahili, is a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Ushahidi's roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen journalists during a time of crisis. The website was used to map incidents of violence & peace efforts throughout the country based on reports submitted via the web & mobile phone. This initial deployment of Ushahidi had 45,000 users in Kenya, & was the catalyst for us realizing there was a need for a platform based on it, which could be use by others around the world. Since then we have grown from an ad hoc group of volunteers to a focused organization. The team is comprised of individuals with a wide span of experience ranging from human rights work to software development. We have also built a strong team of volunteer developers in primarily in Africa, but also Europe & the U.S. ... their use of GoogleMaps ++

Also of interest: PearlTrees, a Flash concept mapping thingamabobble.

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