What is the Appropriate Reward for Excellence?

A question that’s been kicking around my head for the past few days. This is just the start of a rough outline. Determining what is excellent: Judgment based on history. The “time will tell” adage. What is good and beautiful is sieved by history and reveals itself over time. This is also the base for the quantitative approach that Charles Murray takes in “Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.

September Project in Minnesota??

Time for another mashup of ideas. I recently read about the September project, a group of good-hearted librarians who have been hosting discussions during the month of September around the themes of democracy, patriotism, and citizenship. So connecting this back to Harry Boyte, my ongoing interest in Open Space, and a nascent Citizen Media Camp, I start thinking that Minneapolis needs to have a September project event. Consider this post a marker for the idea.

An Intergenerational Shakespeare

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a classic literature reading group to meet somewhere out here in the Western burbs of Minneapolis. This post is a riff on that idea. What if the group were to meet at a local retirement community? Surely there is an audience of people who are retired and interested in reading Shakespeare. Perhaps they never had a chance to read it before, or maybe they are just lifelong learning junkies like myself.

Citizen Media Camp

The people that brought us MinneBar hosted a Public Radio Barcamp at the offices of Minnesota Public Radio today. Bob Collins, one of MPR’s star bloggers, liveblogged the conference on News Cut. I won’t duplicated his efforts by describing what happened but it was an exciting experiment in opening the black box of journalism up for the public, or at least for those interested enough to act. There was a lot of synergy between the two groups working on user-generated content and Nuevo Radio.

Elsewhere - a media idea

What I’d like to see in a half hour media news program, or even ten minute news program. First, if the story is being reported on by any other major news outlet than we ignore it, for the most part. Fighting in Israel, earthquake in China, cyclone in Myanmar, are all stories we leave to others. Second, focus on summarizing the international news for an American audience. What happened in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America today, each and every day.

Nominatr: a web idea

I want a web site that combines an online poll with an open-ended survey to collect the poll possibilities. Let me unpack that with an example. Suppose four friends and I want to meet for coffee on Thursday, but we don’t know where to meet. So we ask a question: “Where should we meet on Thusday?” The poll is open for a day and during that time each person sends in the name of a place where they want to meet.

A Privacy Experiment

First, create a questionnaire that asks increasingly private questions. Surely some social psychologist somewhere has developed an instrument or rubric that measures privacy or the perception of privacy. Make two versions of this questionnaire, one for individuals and another for organizations or businesses. Second, sample two groups of people. One group is given/asked questions about their personal private life. Ask people questions until they feel uncomfortable or refuse to answer further questions.

Tracking some interests

Here’s a list of interesting items that crossed my radar in the last week. I don’t have much to add to what’s said below, this is more a manner of keeping track of my interests at this point in time. The future of humanity Bruce Sterling dialoging at the WELL Joe Bageant laying into American complacency. More from an anti-consumerist point of view. James Howard Kuntsler laying into American energy complacency Some thoughts on interesting technology

A rough stab at an "interest web"

Knowledge maps are one of those knowledge management tools that seems perfect in theory but often ends up as a disappointment or a failure. The idea is to collect all of the experience and skills in an organization into a single map, which can be an online database, a directory, or some other repository. In most maps people rate themselves on the skills they posses. The maps usually take the form of a matrix or table listing skills along one dimension and people along the other.

Optimum Creative Networks

I’ve been trying to think of ways to test or experiment on creative networks in order to discover the optimum network topology to enhance creativity. So far I’ve borrowed two metaphors from technology to describe creative networks: the network topology model (star, mesh, ring) and the internet business model (many to many, few to many, etc) Is it possible to use the conclusions of computer networking studies to help answer this question?