- z2008-10-20- Godin Tribes
Seth Godin's Tribes book 9781591842330 is out. The next frontier of Market Ing is in leading (Leader Ship, not Manage Ment) groups of people who are working together to get somewhere. Go down the list of online success stories. The big winners are organizations that give tribes of people a PlatForm to connect. Hugh Train, Tribal Ism, BrandYou, TrueFan, Subvers Ive, Engage Ment.
He notes importance of changing from within organizations (BigWorld) - cf z2008-06-18-HaqueWorldviewDisruption
Rick Burnes live-blogged the launch/release event.
Hugh Mac Leod did an email interview with Seth, covering the arc of his thinking. Story Telling, etc.
argh, no index, no Table Of Contents, no chapters! Even a ThinBook needs some organization.
- name-dropping without context - often an individual is named without reference to their organization of sphere of action. Keep Google handy.
I guess the key message of the book is: The InterNet makes it easier to start/lead a Tribe, and you have no excuse not to. Seems like that ThinBook could have been even Thinner.
Mar'2011: Gregory Rader says: The critical link that is ignored in nearly all discussion of tribes and MoveMent-s is the proposed solution. This omission is predictable because it deemphasizes the role of the tribe. A tribe with no productive solutions is just a mob. The “organize first, think later” formula is a recipe for extremism, not productive solutions... Hundreds of years of accumulated political history have skewed our cultural understanding of what it means to create change. Political culture loves movements because the only way to get anything done in politics is to organize a mob of voters (or campaign contributers). If you admire politicians (or creepy cult leaders) then starting a movement or leading a tribe might be for you. If you are sane then I offer you two alternatives: EmPower (free individuals).... Connect (bring people together so that they may empower each other).... Superior offers will require fewer contrivances to encourage adoption by others. Leading a movement may appeal to self-indulgent vanity but it restricts the available solution space. Empowering and connecting provides improved perspective. Tribes cloud perspective with social loyalties (Tribal Ism).
- z2013-08-11- Brown Killed By Ferguson Police
The shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson Mo, a suburb of St. Louis. Brown, a young black man, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, a white PolIce officer. The disputed circumstances of the shooting of an unarmed man and the resultant protests and civil disorder received considerable attention in the United States and abroad.
The day after the shooting, local and national leadership planned a vigil and other responses. On the evening of August 10, police tried to break up the crowd, and some protesters responded violently, looting various stores in the neighborhood, including a QuikTrip.
Protests and rioting lasted for over 2 weeks. As the details of the original shooting event emerged from investigators, police established curfews and deployed riot squads to maintain order... On August 13, while police were clearing a McDonald's restaurant, The Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and The Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilley were arrested... Al Jazeera America Journal Ist-s covering the protests in Ferguson on Wednesday night were also tear-gassed and shot at with rubber bullets by a police SWAT team. Along with peaceful protests, there was looting and violent unrest in the vicinity of the original shooting. Widespread media coverage examined the post-9/11 trend of police militarization (SWAT) when dealing with protests... The Justice Department will investigate Ferguson police force for possible misconduct or discrimination.
But a revealing vote this past June shows just how uphill the battle is to stop the trend of turning police into soldiers. On June 19, progressive House Democrat Alan Grayson (FL) offered an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that would block the “transfer” of “aircraft (including unmanned aerial vehicles), armored vehicles, grenade launchers, silencers, toxicological agents, launch vehicles, guided missiles, ballistic missiles” from the Department of Defense to state and local police forces. The amendment attracted the support of only 62 members, while 355 voted against it (14 didn’t vote). Included among those voting against it was Rep. William Lacy Clay (D), who represents Ferguson. Clay was joined by every senior member of the Democratic Party leadership team, including Reps. Nancy Pelosi (CA), Steny Hoyer (MD), and Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (SC).
Sept05: Rep. Hank Johnson has set his sights on reforming the Department of Defense’s 1033 Program, the mechanism through which local law enforcement agencies can request and obtain military surplus equipment.
- z2010-08-31- Convertible Debt Startup Funding
On Aug27, Paul Graham tweeted Convertible notes have won. Every investment so far in this YC batch (and there have been a lot) has been done on a convertible note. (Y Combinator, Convertible Debt)
Seth Levine examined various aspects of this: 1) it’s not at all clear that this trend is as definitive as Graham suggests; 2) it’s a mixed bag for entrepreneurs (more positive in the short run, potentially negative in the long term); and 3) it’s clearly not a positive trend for early-stage investors.
Fred Wilson doesn't use debt do far.
Sept'2012: Mark Suster warns founders about doing this. Convertible debt with no cap is stupid for investors. Convertible debt WITH a cap is stupid for founders.
Dec'2013: Years ago, Y Combinator helped popularize the convertible note as a way for startups that go through its accelerator to easily raise seed money. That gave companies the flexibility to get cash quickly without having to worry about hiring lawyers and pricing early funding rounds. Now the accelerator is moving to a new convertible equity model with an investment instrument that it’s calling “SAFE,” which stands for “simple agreement for future equity.”
Sept'2014: Mark Suster hates them even more. But do you want to start a relationship with your most important supplier – that of capital to fuel your business – by avoiding talking about his or her expectations in terms of rights or privileges? What if when you have that conversation you don’t agree? It’s like punting on discussing with your future husband or wife what religion you’re going to raise the kids. If it’s important to you wouldn’t you discuss it up front?
- z2014-09-19- Moin Cache Crash
I ran my MoinMoin-file-purge script to keep my file-count down at BlueHost. Then MoinMoin wouldn't run anymore!
Every request: get page back with An unhandled exception was thrown by the application.
Static pages still run fine.
Checking /tmp/moin.log always shows the error as:
INFO 2014-09-19 07:38:26,836 MoinMoin.web.contexts:128 http://webseitz.fluxent.com/cgi-bin/moin.fcgi/wiki/RepublicanNationalConventionInNyc/RK%3D0/RS%3DGeq9MV2w9mZfUqVBiNIu4xwGeV4-
ERROR 2014-09-19 07:38:26,837 MoinMoin.wsgiapp:292 An exception has occurred [http://webseitz.fluxent.com/cgi-bin/moin.fcgi/wiki/RepublicanNationalConventionInNyc/RK%3D0/RS%3DGeq9MV2w9mZfUqVBiNIu4xwGeV4-].
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/home/teamflux/moin-1.9.2/MoinMoin/wsgiapp.py", line 281, in __call__
response = run(context)
File "/home/teamflux/moin-1.9.2/MoinMoin/wsgiapp.py", line 78, in run
File "/home/teamflux/moin-1.9.2/MoinMoin/web/utils.py", line 74, in check_surge_protect
data = cache.content()
File "/home/teamflux/moin-1.9.2/MoinMoin/caching.py", line 285, in content
CacheError: 'utf8' codec can't decode byte 0x80 in position 0: unexpected code byte
Went into ~/moin-1.9.2/wiki/wiki/data/cache/wiki/surgeprotect - found a bunch of surge-log* files - deleted them all.
Now all good!
- z2010-05-15- Rader Knowhow Coaching
Gregory Rader on the gap in the InterNet's offering: CoachIng for KnowHow. The internet currently provides two things very well. At one extreme all the information ever created is at your fingertips. Anything you might hope to research or learn about is a Google search away... At the other extreme is WisDom. This also is very easy to find on the internet. Web portals feature quick tips on how to achieve this or that goal. Myriad blogs provide motivational material and all other manner of advice (SelfHelp)... In between these two extremes something is lacking. I am going to refer to this middle ground simply as knowledge. It is the stuff that enables you to apply information... if you are seeking the knowledge necessary to achieve a complex goal then you are likely to be frustrated by the lack of Action Able knowledge available... We need to stop looking for teachers (people who disseminate information) and start looking for coaches (people who accelerate the discovery and MastEry of knowledge).
Or maybe just Out Sourcing makes more sense? Certainly it has the potential to dramatically reduce the barriers faced by first time product designers. Unfortunately that process doesn't seem to provide much LearnIng to give you future independence/options. In my previous post I posed several questions as examples of knowledge problems that are not easily answered by the abundant information on the internet... The answer to those questions perhaps need to come from the platform or service that inventors graduate to after finding initial success on Quirky.
Apr'2011: now he frames that missing-middle being about helping people search for a PurPose. (Maybe there are 4 areas, and PurPose comes between KnowHow and WisDom?) This gap explains the preponderance of people who want to start a business but haven’t yet found that perfect idea... They are like the people who say they want a boyfriend/girlfriend but can’t in any way describe the person they are looking for... Any achievement opens up an Adjacent Possible, that compels continued striving. As applied to this discussion, it should be noted that the word “purpose” is carefully chosen. Purpose does not mean “individual Business Model (Making A Living)”. It means a consistent mode of action justified by individually accepted MeanIng or ValUe. Meaning and value are context dependent. As our environment changes so too will our sense of meaning and value. The argument above cannot suggest that finding purpose is the endgame…a discovered purpose by definition implies striving to achieve it…and an achieved purpose implies a new search... In our current environment anxiety results from the recognition that the space is now open…that we could be achieving so much more if we only knew better where to direct our efforts.
- z2006-11-03- Hagel Brown Push To Pull
A summary of the "From Push to Pull" paper by John Hagel and John Seely Brown. Network Economy. From Push to Pull identifies and explains the core differences between traditional business practices established and fine-tuned during the command-and-control industrial era of the 20th Century and the new world of business being created in the connected information-centric era of the 21st Century. The following table provides some of the examples and additional observations...
- z2008-04-30- Memory Algorithm
Piotr Wozniak's Super Memo program helps you practice/retain information you want to remember/learn at the optimal interval. Users can seal huge quantities of vocabulary into their brains. But for Wozniak, 46, helping people learn a foreign language fast is just the tiniest part of his goal. As we plan the days, weeks, even years of our lives, he would have us rely not merely on our traditional sources of self-knowledge - introspection, intuition, and conscious thought - but also on something new: predictions about ourselves encoded in machines... Given the chance to observe our behaviors (Life Streaming), computers can run Simulat Ion-s, modeling different versions of our path through the world. By tuning these models for top performance, computers will give us rules to live by. They will be able to tell us when to wake, sleep, learn, and exercise; they will cue us to remember what we've read, help us track whom we've met, and remind us of our goals. Computers, in Wozniak's scheme, will increase our intellectual capacity and enhance our rational Self Control... "The people who criticize memorization - how happy would they be to spell out every letter of every word they read?" asks Robert Bjork, chair of UCLA's psychology department and one of the most eminent memory researchers. After all, Bjork notes, children learn to read whole words through intense practice, and every time we enter a new field we become children again. "You can't escape memorization," he says. "There is an initial process of learning the names of things. That's a stage we all go through. It's all the more important to go through it rapidly." The human brain is a marvel of Associat Ive processing, but in order to make associations, data must be loaded into memory. Personal Development
Wozniak has also invented a way to apply his LearnIng system to his intake of unstructured information from books and articles, winnowing written material down to the type of discrete chunks (CardDeck) that can be memorized, and then scheduling them for efficient learning. He selects a short section of what he's reading and copies it into the Super Memo application, which predicts when he'll want to read it again so it sticks in his mind. He cuts and pastes completely unread material into the system, assigning it a priority. Super Memo shuffles all his potential knowledge into a queue and presents it to him on a study screen when the time is right. (Personal Web Archive)
The failure of Super Memo to transform learning uncannily repeats the earlier failures of cognitive psychology to influence teachers and students. Our capacity to learn is amazingly large. But optimal learning demands a kind of rational control over ourselves that does not come easily. Even the basic demand for regularity can be daunting. If you skip a few days, the spacing effect, with its steady march of sealing knowledge in memory, begins to lose its force. Progress limps. When it comes to increasing intelligence, our brain is up to the task and our technology is up to the task. The problem lies in our temperament. (SlAck, Self Control)
Wozniak's days are blocked into distinct periods: a CreatIve period, a reading and studying period, an exercise period, an eating period, a resting period, and then a second creative period. He doesn't get up at a regular hour and is passionate against alarm clocks. If excitement over his research leads him to work into the night, he simply shifts to sleeping in the day. When he sits down for a session of incremental reading, he attends to whatever automatically appears on his computer screen, stopping the instant his mind begins to drift or his comprehension falls too low and then moving on to the next item in the queue. Super Memo graphs a distribution of priorities that he can adjust as he goes.
I find myself thinking of a checklist Wozniak wrote a few years ago describing how to become a GenIus. His advice was straightforward yet strangely terrible: You must clarify your goals, gain knowledge through spaced repetition (SRS), preserve health, work steadily, minimize stress, refuse interruption, and never resist sleep when tired. This should lead to radically improved intelligence and creativity. The only cost: turning your back on every convention of social life. It is a severe prescription. And yet now, as I grin broadly and wave to the gawkers, it occurs to me that the cold rationality of his approach may be only a surface feature and that, when linked to genuine rewards, even the chilliest of systems can have a certain visceral appeal.
Jan'2013 update: Derek Sivers is using the free (and PyThon-based) AnKi software to do the same thing, currently to beef up his Java Script understanding. I think I'll wait for Anki's new version to reach its AnDroid version, then experiment with improving my PyThon skills: actually I don't think I'd be focused on memorizing details so much as making myself more familiar with the libraries that are available.
related: earlier this year I ran across this Alex Krupp post using a FreeMind MindMap to manage his notes about PyThon. Hmm, render from AnKi to FreeMind?
Jan09: Jack Kinsella has an AnKi-based process to learn a Programming Language deeply. It works because you can recall code in an instant: "Knowing thousands of commands saves time otherwise spent looking up reference materials. You instantly recall previous solutions when faced with a problem, and dozen of possibilities spring to mind when architecting a system."
- z2007-03-13- Caruso Sarewitz Know How
Denise Caruso on on Daniel Sarewitz's (and Richard Nelson's) research on the effectiveness of Human Action. KnowHow is more than knowledge. It puts knowledge to work in the real world... In a yet-unpublished essay, they contrast the know-how behind vaccinating children for measles and the know-how behind teaching first graders to read... In that case, today's know-how on vaccination is far more robust than that on teaching a child to read. When know-how is robust, it has a quality that the two men have called the "go" - or a core of reliable action. In their theory, any technology, object or practice that can be reliably standardized and improved over time, like vaccines or software or automobile emissions, has a "go".... But the "go" enables more than just the right tool for the job. It can provide a vital Converg Ence point for Stake Holder-s with very diverse agendas. Once they find common cause in a reliable technological solution, they have something to rally around so that all their interests can be advanced.... Can the "go" teach us something about those problems where there is "no go?" After all, the fact remains that "it's really hard to make progress where you don't have a "go" or a technology" to solve the problem at hand, Professor Sarewitz said... The professors stress that their work is still in progress. But they hope that their work may reframe how we think about our "no go" problems and help us find new ways to deploy human know-how and effectiveness beyond the comparatively low-hanging fruit that technological solutions provide (Technological Determinism). This ability would signal an important change in how societies approach and address their most pressing issues.
- z2007-01-23- Charan Knowhow Leadership
Ram Charan's book KnowHow defines 8 skills needed for effective Leader Ship. How often have you heard someone with a commanding presence deliver a bold vision that turned out to be nothing more than rhetoric and hot air? All too often we mistake the appearance of leadership for the real deal. Without a doubt, intelligence, vision, and the ability to communicate are important. But something big is missing: the know-how of running a business—the capacity to take it in the right direction, do the right things, make the right decisions, deliver results, and leave the people and the business better off than they were before.
- z2003-10-07- Thackera Cooperation
John Thackara on "The Thermo Dynamics of Cooperation". How do we design work that enhances Tacit Knowledge and embodied knowledge, rather than pretending that they do not exist, or do not matter?... How do we improve the capacity of situations to support these kinds of inter-personal interactions?... Are we sure that the design attention we give to tools for community and collaboration - the "we-ware" - is in balance? Or do we need to think more about the "why?" issues of collaboration? (Collaboration Ware, Knowledge Management)
re Educating Kids: Antoine Saint Exupery put this simple point more memorably. "Don't teach men how to build a boat. Teach them to yearn for the wide and open sea."
That's why I talk about thermodynamics. Human System-s need inputs of human energy to do well. Everything else - the internet, agents, wireless, knowledge-mining - is contingent. They're support, not the thing itself. So, when designing systems, services, infrastructures - and work itself - we should ask whether our design actions will enable or disable Human AgenCy.
Unfortunately, the mainstream of Architecture - including most of the big-name designers - has lost the plot. They're designing spaces as spectacles, not spaces that foster interaction and encounter.
For me, the best description of the destination is by Ivan Illich. Illich said, 35 years ago, that we need to: "Give back to people the capacity to resolve their problems within the NetWork of their own relationships (Voluntary Association)."... "Re-frame institutions (such as medicine, or work, or education) as a support service in this transition - not its substitute."... "Recover the ability for mutual SelfCare (Mutual Ism) and learning, helped by - but not centered on - the use of modern technology."
- z2012-04-19- Rao Ubihacking Non Disposable Planet
Venkatesh Rao has come to recognize the ubiquitous applicability of HackIng (Reality Hacker). I now believe that the term hacking is not over-extended; it is actually under-extended. It should be applied to a much bigger range of activities, and to human endeavors on much larger scales, all the way up to human Civilizat Ion.
HackIng is a pattern of local, opportunistic manipulation of a Non Disposable Complex System that causes a lowering of its Conceptual Integrity (Coher Ence), creates Systemic Debt (Technical Debt) and moves intelligence from systems into human brains (cf SlAck).
Urban Planning is a better prototypical example to think about when talking about hacking than software itself, since it is so visual. Even programmers and UX designers themselves resort to urban planning MetaPhor-s to talk about complicated software ideas. If you want to ponder examples for some of the abstractions I am talking about here, I suggest you think in terms of city-hacking rather than software hacking, even if you are a programmer.
For the overall vision of Hack Stability, think about any major urban region with its never-ending construction and infrastructure projects ranging from emergency repairs to new mass-transit or water/sewage projects. If a large city is thriving and persisting, it is likely hackstable. Increasingly, the entire planet is hackstable. The atomic prototype of hacking is the ShortCut. (hmm, Anti Fragility?)
Joel Spolsky offers practical reasons why this (major software rewrite) is a bad idea, but what I took away from the post was a broader idea: that it is increasingly a mistake to treat any technology as disposable. Technology is fundamentally not a do-over game today. It is a cumulative game. This has been especially true in the last century, as all technology infrastructure has gotten increasingly inter-connected and temporally LayEr-ed into techno-geological strata of varying levels of antiquity.
Non Disposability along with global functional and temporal connectedness (Tightly Coupled) means technology IsA (ahem, "can for some purposes be thought of like a"...) single evolving entity with a memory. For such systems the notion of Technical Debt, due to Ward Cunningham, becomes important... How ubiquitous is non-disposability? I am tempted to conclude that almost nothing of significance is disposable... The new information revealed by the hack is, by definition, not properly codified and embedded in the system itself, so most of it must live in a human brain as tacit design intelligence (the rest lives in the hack itself, representing the value that Spolsky argues should not be throw away). When you have a complex and heavily-used, but slowly-evolving technology, this Tacit Knowledge accumulating in the heads of hackers constitutes what James Scott (Legibil Ity) calls MetIs. (This reminds me of z2007-01-20-YeggeGreatSoftwareSystems. Also Big Ball Of Mud, also note this is a FractAl system of systems.)
Beyond a certain critical scale, you can never throw a system away because there is no hope of ever finding the wealth to pay off the accumulated technical debt via a new design. The redesign itself experiences scope creep and spirals out of the realm of human capability.
All you can hope for is to keep hacking and extending its life in increasingly brittle ways, and hope to avoid a big random event that triggers collapse. This is technological deficit economics.
Now extend the argument to all of Civilizat Ion as a single massive technology that can never be thrown away, and you can make sense of the idea of Hack Stability as an alternative to CollApse.
At this point, it is useful to look for more examples that fit the definition of hacking I offered. The following seem to fit:... (9 examples)... The really interesting cases are the ones where one side is a human intelligence, and the other side is a non-human system that simply gets more complex and less disposable over time.
Hack Stability is the idea that we’ll get enough Autopoietic Lift through hacks and occasional advances in anti-fragile system design to just balance entropy gravity, but not enough to drive exponential Self Improvement (Singular Ity).
I am beginning to see the murky outlines of a clean evolutionary model that encompasses all three futures though. One with enough predictive power to allow coarse computation of the relative probabilities of the three futures. This is the idea I’ve labeled the Electric Leviathan, and chased for several years. But it remains ever elusive. Each time I think I’ve found the right way to model it, it turns out I’ve just missed my mark. Maybe the idea is my white whale and I’ll never manage a digital-age update to Thomas Hobbes.
DooDle-free-version no longer useful
stopped updating OS 1yr after launch - why would I buy HTC again?
- z2014-04-23- Browser Window Groups Or Spaces
I really want my Web Browser to have the concept of Window Group-s, kinda like MacOsX Spaces.
Tabs are nice to have a bunch of related pages together so you can hide/show them together. But that doesn't let you see windows side-by-side.
Smallest Federated Wiki lets you see a series of related pages Side By Side, but only side-by-side, without window-resizability and 2D placement.
Esp when working with a WiKi or other functional WebApp-s, I like having a bunch of smaller windows. (You can't do this with many content-sites because they have too much design-crap in sidebars.) But then when I want to put that aside for awhile, being able to hide all the windows in that group, and then re-show them all together later, makes a lot of sense.
You could think of a group almost like a MindMap. A CardDeck with a sticky arrangement.
The MacOsX Spaces focus on grouping apps is totally wrong for this, right?
The way that Smallest Federated Wiki puts pages in a sideways-series of tiles sub-windows is interesting, but (a) not really controllable enough, and (b) only include the pages in SFW-space.
The show-all your opened/recent tiddlers model in Tiddly Wiki/Tiddly Space is also interesting, but again they slide away, and you can't control the size/position of individual sub-windows.
Really, this shouldn't be within the browser, but groups of windows across app, so if you have an email in Thunder Bird and a PDF in Preview that relate to some browser windows, you should be able to group them together. But I'd compromise on this being a browser feature.
Does Google Chrome's TabSugar do this? It hasn't been touched in 3yrs because of some API issue...
What's the status of FireFox's Tab Groups add-on (which used to be Panorama) do the job?
- z2012-06-18- Stephenson Clang Sword Game Crowdfunding
Neal Stephenson wants to build a sword-fighting Computer Game engine called CLANG, picking up on his Mongol Iad ties to Western Martial Art-s. His group is seeking Kick Starter funding: they already have $300k+ of their $500k target. Looks like they aim to use UniTy.
Jul09: successfully funded.
Sept'2013: Subutai Corporation, the developer of the game, has said in an update to Kickstarter backers that it has “hit the pause button” on the game’s development “while we get the financing situation sorted out.” In other words, it has burned through the over half a million dollars that backers donated to get Clang made, and can’t finish the game without more money.
My Intro Blurb:
This is the publicly-readable WikiLog Thinking Space of Bill Seitz (a Product Manager and CTO).
My Calling: to accelerate Evolut Ion by increasing FreeDom and Opportunity and AgenCy for many people via DAndD of Thinking Tools (software and Games To Play) that increase the LeverAge of Free Agent-s and smaller groups (Small World).
See Intro Page for space-related goals, status, etc.; or WikiNode for more terse summary info.
Beware the War On The Net!
Seeking: Product Manager-type position in established organization with entrepreneurial culture, local to Barrington Il or remote. My value: accelerating business-changing product development.
My Recent Key Pages:
My Blog Roll:
Follow me on Twitter