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Sophie Wrobel has been at 2 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Eric Enge20,512+David Amerland +Mark Traphagen and I are looking forward to discussing the rapid advances in semantic search. Google, Siri, and Cortana are all making advances, but Google is the clear leader in this space.Here is the YouTube link: Scaling the Semantic Web +Stone Temple Consulting has documented that in a study that will publish in the Digital Marketing Excellence Blog on Tuesday morning.  David is about to publish a post on a "reconciliation of identities across different social networks".Join us on Tuesday October 7th at 1 PM ET to talk about these new papers and more.  Say YES to get access to the video for live or later viewing.  I will also share the YouTube link here for mobile viewers.Please reshare the event or invite others.  Thanks for your help!Scaling the Semantic Web2014-10-07 19:00:00295 
Yifat Cohen71,340How Do You Rise To The Top?In 2008, at the age of 24, +David Garland took all of the Bar Mitzvah money he'd saved up and started a television show in St. Louis, Missouri on ABC with literally zero experience writing, producing or hosting a television show. The Rise To The Top TV show focused on entrepreneurship and aired for 36 episodes.HOW DID HE DO IT, AND HOW CAN YOU DO IT TOO?How did a kid with no experience managed to interview The Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger, Two-time New York Times Best Selling Author +Tim Ferriss and creator of Wine Library TV +Gary Vaynerchuk, among others?YOUR 30 MIN. WITH DAVIDIn the tradition of my What's Your Story? Entrepreneurial Interviews, you get the last 30 minutes to engage in conversation with David and fill in your own gaps so that you get the answers you need to reach the same level of success.RSVP FOR EARLY INVITATIONSAnd to make sure I get your questions answered - start typing them here.FUN FACTS ABOUT DAVIDDavid is the Creator/Host of The Rise To The Top: The #1 Badass Show, Resource & Community For Mediapreneurs.Author of Smarter, Faster, Cheaper and super passionate about helping mediaprenuers (entrepreneurs who create media) grow their biz like a weed and dominate online. (Grab it here: http://amzn.to/P5g11D)David's interviews have been viewed over 6,000,000 times in over 100 countries.Creator of Create Awesome Interviews the #1 program to help folks create their own interview-based web show with hundreds of graduates creating shows on everything from NASCAR to healthy living.How to create and profit from your own interview-based web show?2012-09-13 18:00:00106 

Sophie Wrobel has been shared in 180 public circles

You can see here the 50 latest shared circles.
If this is your profile, you can check your dashboard to see all shared circles you have been included.

AuthorFollowersDateUsers in CircleCommentsReshares+1Links
Jason Ryckman0 Hey this is jason I'm a follower of your page, I think you might really enjoy my #health    #fitness   and  #weightloss    #review     page, Please head over and check it out, I just added you to one of my circles could you please add me to your circles in returnThese followers are currently active and many will add you back when you add this circle to your circles.#circleshare #circlesharing   #circleshares  SIMPLE STEPS1. Please add me to one of your circles2. Please comment and reshare this post to public3. please comment on the original post or i may miss it4. If you would rather not receive these posts or be in my circle shares please shoot me a message and i will remove you from the List2014-12-12 01:49:47466000
Jason Ryckman0 Hey this is jason I'm a follower of your page, I think you might really enjoy my #health    #fitness   and  #weightloss    #review     page, Please head over and check it out, I just added you to one of my circles could you please add me to your circles in returnThese followers are currently active and many will add you back when you add this circle to your circles.#circleshare  #circlesharing   #circleshares  SIMPLE STEPS1. Please add me to one of your circles2. Please comment and reshare this post to public3. please comment on the original post or i may miss it4. If you would rather not receive these posts or be in my circle shares please shoot me a message and i will remove you from the List2014-12-09 20:12:54467000
Webtasarim Gardentr104Web design #seo #circle #bosmol #BosmolCircle   #GrowthCIrcle     #GooglePlus   #CircleShare   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircles   #circlesharing   #circleshared   #publiccirclesproject   #publicsharedcircles   #circleoftheday   #google  #circle #circles #publiccircle #sharedcircles   #sharedcircle #morefollowers #sharingcircles #circleshare #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles  #sharedcircle #AddCircle #FindCircles #addcircle  #circlemeup #circlesdiscovery #circleshare #circlesharing  #publiccircle   #publicsharedcircles #SharedCircles   #circlesharing   #circl2014-11-07 10:04:23485000
Becky Collins18,305Project Management Interest Circle :Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-10-29 05:09:31430002
Adel de Meyer2,802This #googlepluscircleshare  is a great group of people I love to have a part of my community. They are active engagers, share fun and interesting posts and can help to make your #googleplus  experience better :)I want to thank them all for being so awesome - thanks peeps! Please feel free to add them all to your circles too.Please +1 this post and share and comment - I will be sharing #elitecircles  with my community regularly, so if you want to be in it get sharing! :) #circleshare   #topsharedcircle   #socialmedia  2014-09-17 12:27:01380153102143
Jack Humphrey21,216Here's a great little circle of Engagers shared by +martin shervington.  It's always a great service to share your best engaging followers and I appreciate Martin's continual sharing -  we should all do it often to help each other have an optimal experience here at G+! #sharedcircles  2014-08-22 17:38:5064003
Mike Elgan3,464,700Follow the Blogs of August!1. Click "Add people" then circle this shared circle (even if you did it before)2. Share with your circlesThe Blogs of August are bloggers who are either trying or have already decided to blog on Google+ exclusively for the month of August (or permanently). 2014-08-06 12:34:462215525
Mike Elgan3,437,756Behold! The new League of Extraordinary Circle Friends!My League of Extraordinary Circle Friends is my hand-picked group of super charming super-sharers! I want you to do three things: 1. Click the "Add people" button below and circle this group (especially if you've circle this group previously -- doing this will update the group without duplicates). 2. Share this post with all your circles. 3. Share this post with people who are looking for awesome people to circle on G+. I've added four new people to the League.+Amira Elgan! Yes: She's my wife. And I've been trying to avoid adding her for a year. But her stream is perfect for the League so I've added her. +Noble Ackerson is a super nice and interesting guy, a super nerd and consummate glasshole -- he uses Google Glass to great effect to bring you into his world. In fact, the only bigger glasshole I know is... +Cecilia Abadie and Noble work at the same company, and Ceclia is another Glass user with a wonderful Google+ stream. +Andreas Katifes gives you a window into Greek scenes and Greek food that's so compelling you might accidentally quit your job and move to Greece. Welcome to the League, everyone! 2014-07-27 23:39:2625111240
Aman Singh2,014Circle of the dayYour re-share is appreciatedPlease re-share this circle in your stream.To be added:1- Add +Circles Circles Circles to your circles2- Write the URL of your blog in the comments section below3- Your blog must be an active blog (posts must be current)2014-07-16 12:15:324990718
Ryan Johnson9,485Hi friends! This is a great circle created with an important selection from all circles. The most important engagers are reshared because only that way can we grow our circle and have the people of google circle us.To get in, and to ensure you stay in this circle you need to do the following:1. Add me to your circles, if you haven't done so already!2. +1 this circle!3. Publicly share this circle to public, your circles and extended circles.4. If possible, leave a comment on this circle so I know you have done the three steps above!#circleshare #circlesharing #circleoftheday #wanttobecircled #addmetoyourcircles #public #publiccircle #sharedcircles #Britain #sharedcircle #morefollowers #sharingcircles #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles #sharedcircle #photography #uk  #nottingham #Holland #Netherlands #Duch2014-07-16 10:40:014918812
Lose Those Poundz1,283Health and Weight loss Circle V 1.0This is a super circle and in it I have put together a group of really interesting and active friends on Google Plus to add in your circles.I'm talking about the *top Google+ users who share and reshare unique and original contents regarding weight loss and healthy eating.Follow this advice and grow your G+ community with like minded people who share marvelous content:Boost your visibility on Google+ - Share the circle!If you want to be circled and added  to the next circle, do these simple steps:1 - Add this circle2 - Share the circle (Publicly) 3 - Plus 1 the post 4 - CommentIf you already have me in circle and want to be included in the next circle to be shared, don't be sad, just  leave a comment. Saying you wish to be included. More you share, more you get sharedHave fun! #circles     #circleshare     #circlesharing     #sharedpubliccircles     #addpeople     #addcircle       #weightloss   #healthyeating  2014-07-11 04:13:23483206
Becky Collins12,812Small Business Circle:Circle of very #social #engagerspeople and companiesTo be included in my shares (#sharedcircle), be so kind to:1 - Do +1 t the post2 - Comment the post and specify your "category" (job or interest) Ex: Fashion, SEO, Companies, Social Media Marketing, Sailing, Photography, Bloggers/Writers, Web graphics and design, Italy, Artists, Sport, Finance/Economy ...3 - include the circle among your circles4 - share the circle (include yourself)Improve your popularity, be social be cool !Keep yourself updated, enjoy the Shared Circles Hellenic Alliance, you can share your shared circles inside the upcoming Community:https://plus.google.com/communities/112552559573595396104  #socialmedia  #media  #circles   #circleshare   #circlesharing  #circlecircle   #beckyscircle   #sharedcircles   #sharedpubliccircles  #sharedcircleoftheday  +Becky Collins ?2014-07-08 05:12:1542311513
Doug Hyatt3,412(DH4)  HERE IS THE LATEST CIRCLE - 6/30/2014CIRCLE SHARING IS THE FASTEST WAY TO GROW YOUR FOLLOWING ON GOOGLE+  SIMPLY ADD THE CIRCLE, THEN ADD YOURSELF, THEN RE-SHARE USING THE HASHTAGS PROVIDED HERE.  WATCH HOW FAST YOU GROW! ENJOY  #DOUGHYATTCIRCLESHARING #CircleSharing #Circle #CircleOfTheDay #Share #SharedPublicCircles #SharedCircles #Google+ #GooglePlusTips #Google #ShareCircle #SocialMedia #AddCircle #ADD #Marketing #Engagers #SocialMediaMarketing #EliteInnerCircle #Friends #PublicCircle #buy_GooglePlus_followers2014-06-30 16:34:05401014
Doug Hyatt3,234Part 4  MANY NEW PEOPLE WHO WILL PLUS 1 and RESHARESimply ADD yourself to this circle, copy the #HASHTAGS, and REPOST#circles   #circlemania   #circletoday   #circleplus   #circleshare   #circlesharing   #CircleSharing   #sharecircle   #sharecirclethis   #worldsharecircle   #pleasecircleaddme   #circleoftheday   #newgenerationcircle  #monstercircle   #usacircle   #bestofthecircle   #shareofthecircle   #pleasecircle   #newbestcircl  add circle add circle * best share circle * share please pleaseplease add circle * best share circle * share please please#add #circle   #addcircle   #pleasecircle   #bestcircle   #mostcircle  #bestsharecircle   #newcircle   #top100circle   #best500circle   #top500circle   #circleoftheday   #circledaily   #nicecircle   #photography   2014-06-29 13:03:00400104
John Nuntiatio38,202#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #bestcircle #news #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport #small #smallcircle #photography #health2014-06-15 06:01:32319368
Robert Connor8,877public circle share1. Add me to your circles, if you haven't done so already2. +1 this circle3. Publicly share this circle to public, your circles and extended circles.4. Leave a comment on this circle so I know you have done the three steps above #circle #circles #public #publiccircle #circleshare #circlesharing #sharedcircles  #sharedcircle  #morefollowers  #sharingcircles #circleshare #sharedpubliccircles #sharedpublicircles #sharedcircle   #photography #photographer #bestphotographer #topphotographer2014-05-28 11:24:43490171335
Harry Day305Google Friends! - You're in this Circle - Share the circle·         +1 this circle·         Share this circle·         Add this circle to your circles·         Comment on this post#SpecialNew #circles #sharedcircles #addcircle #veryimpcircle #circle #circleshare #circlesharing #circles #fashoncircle #fashion #model #pinterest #women #sharedcircles #share2014-05-16 11:29:50433337
Анна Красота0very cool circle!#круги   #обмен  #кругляши #круглим   #круги #Google+   #SharedCircles   #circles   #circleshare   #sharedcircle   #circlesharing   #followers   #social  2014-05-14 16:49:29401107
rudi firmansyah442please add me my profile in your circle,Reshare if you like! Please plus to tell me you have seen it! *There is no need to thank me, this is me thanking you! *1. Plus The Post2. Comment3. Add People To Circles4. share the circle (include yourself)#circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circle #googleplustips #googleplus #indonesia #artists #artist #artistphotographeramateurorprofessional2014-05-12 18:26:34501001
fendy syahputra409please add me my profile in your circle,Reshare if you like! Please plus to tell me you have seen it! *There is no need to thank me, this is me thanking you! *1. Plus The Post2. Comment3. Add People To Circles4. share the circle (include yourself)#circlesharing #circleshare #circles #circle #googleplustips #googleplus #indonesia #artists #artist #artistphotographeramateurorprofessional2014-05-12 05:34:44501114
John Nuntiatio36,016#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #bestcircle #news   #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport #small   #smallcircle 2014-05-09 20:16:39311233
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:27:36393014
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:26:50393033
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:26:17393011
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:25:52393011
John Nuntiatio29,767#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport2014-03-14 06:25:16393203
John Nuntiatio28,623#circles #sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #newcircle #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share #tech #business #sport #health   #entertainment  #news  2014-03-01 15:15:34459271929
Scott Lewis119,839*The Amazing Women Circle*So as today's Hangout from +STEM Women on G+ w/ +Jonathan Eisen started, I decided to go back through my "Amazing Women's Circle" and feature the fantastic people that enrich my life, particularly in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These brilliant women contribute regularly here on +Google+ and are a shining example of how it doesn't matter what sex or gender you are, everyone can do remarkable things.Please feel free to share this about and let me know in the comments if there are more Amazing Women I should add to this group! #STEMWomen   #GenderEquality   #Equality   #ScienceEveryday   #ScienceSunday  2014-02-16 21:06:57103251529
Mike Elgan3,022,401Drafting +Renata Sherwin into the League!Click "Add people" below to circle my League of Extraordinary Circle Friends!" (And please SHARE with all your circles!)My Google+ charm offensive continues with the addition of one +Renata Sherwin into the League. Renata was an early Google+ superstar, then mysteriously vanished for awhile. Now she's back, bigger than life, and sharing her world and discoveries. Welcome to the League, Renata!!2014-01-26 18:46:493220625
John Nuntiatio19,970#sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share 2013-11-26 17:06:3046713517
Lo Sauer2,493This is a great circle combined of active engagers, creative folks and  some of the best and brightest people on google+. A thank you in this circle-inclusion-shoutout to: +Peter Terren +Michael Műller +Carlos Esteban +Justin Chung +Malthus John +Marta Rauch +Rajini Rao +Katherine Vucicevic +Jonathan Eisen +Mike Allton +Scott Buehler +Mario Falcetti +Zvonimir Fras +Krithika Rangarajan +sridhar krishnan +Joanna Ortynska +Seamus Smyth +Chuck Croll +Michael Schobel +2013-11-19 18:19:4843218317
John Nuntiatio19,329#sharedcircles #circlesharing #circle #circleoftheday #bestofcircles #bestcircleshare #share 2013-11-17 16:29:574667310
Francesco Zambelli527#circlesharing   #circleshare   #topengagers   #sharedpubliccircles   #sharedcircles   #sharedcircle   a very good circle is being built... to be included you have to1) share this circle2) +1 to this post3) comment it.2013-11-07 19:36:45198117
Johnny Huntington0#webdesign #sharedcircles #webdevelopment  Here is a great shared circle of Professional Web Designers.2013-11-04 13:45:45501003
Rank Kemeng0This is a group of individuals that has personally shared four of my best circle sharing circles in the last month (or so).  They also include a mix of new circle sharers and some that are just trying to learn it for the first time. :) :) :0)They are individuals, to a large degree, that are very interested in not just circle sharing (which is great), but also engaging with you in a meaningful way (which is awesome)!!!Guidelines for Core Multipliers- Share the circle to stay in the circle- Have some fun!- If you are new and want in the circle, share the circle.This is a great group.  Enjoy this circle and have an awesome Thursday!*if you were somehow missed/ not included in the circle, please let me know and it will be corrected on the next share. My apologies ahead of time! :)**For those coming from multiplying circle, we are not inviting new folks here, you can privately message them or ping them when you share the circle on your public feed. Thanks!#corecircle #multiplyingcircle #coremultipliers #sharedcircles #circleshare #bestsharedcircle   #circleshare   #sharedcircles   #circleoftheday   #CircleQueen   #CircleMaster   #GPlusList   #Circle   #Circleshare   #Circlesharing   #PublicSharedCircles2013-11-01 15:53:38426115
Coyeb Sundel02013-10-24 10:04:35425202
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:30:23414103
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:29:39414003
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:29:27414002
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:29:04414002
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:27:59414004
James Steward1,112These are awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:27:16414002
James Steward1,112These are my awesome scientist friends who comment my posts#scientistcirle #circle #circleshared #sharedcircle #circleoftheday #followfriday2013-10-10 16:25:57414103
Kathryn Nokony7,394Here is a circle of dynamic Women from all walks of life #circleshare  2013-10-08 17:50:17422815
Fraser Cain824,747Super Science Circle for October, 2013I know it's been a while, so it's time for a new Super Science Circle - the October 2013 edition.In case you weren't aware, the Super Science Circle is a list of more than 400 people who are actively engaged on Google+ and regularly post about science and education. We've got journalists, scientists, even a few astronauts. The Super Science Circle should be your best response to anyone who tells you that Google+ is just a ghost town. If you love science, this circle will deliver the goods.If you know anyone who actively posts about science, please let me know and I'll add them to the list.2013-10-04 20:14:53415304682
Laura Milani1,520Topengagers Laura CircleHappy Saturday People !  May you have a great shopping day !This #sharedcircle has my top engagers for great ripples !Laura2013-09-07 15:57:562946214
Fabian Weiland145#sharedcircles #science #health2013-09-05 07:24:12497214
Mike Elgan2,555,670Please click 'Add people' below!It's still August. And that means the Blogs of August experiment is still picking up steam. We've got 166 dedicated bloggers now blogging primarily on Google+. Please click Add people to add this circle (even if you've already added it in the past) then share this post to "Public!*2013-08-28 04:19:0216515629
Fabian Weiland0#sharedcircle #health #science #medicine  2013-08-26 11:59:11426000
Science on Google+69,339Applied and Mathematical SciencesThis circle will give you exposure to Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics. Science on Google+ Database: http://goo.gl/Yz8KRScience on Google+ Community: http://goo.gl/uhJCNIf you have a science related degree, you are a science journalist, you are a K-12 science teacher, or you curate a science page, then add your profile/page to the database by filling out this form (http://goo.gl/yEg7M). Active profiles and pages will be included in the next shared circle.2013-08-15 23:58:07292202753

Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

9
comments per post
14
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 32

posted image

2014-07-02 19:15:24 (32 comments, 6 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

Don't have boring passwords! Check out this gif on how to create fun passwords that are hard to crack. #PasswordDay. Learn more at passwordday.org

Most reshares: 139

posted image

2014-12-01 08:01:13 (28 comments, 139 reshares, 135 +1s)Open 

The question game!
Teaching kids to ask smart questions

Think about it: A four-year-old asks on average about 400 questions per day, and an adult hardly asks any. Our school system is structured around rewards for regurgitating the right answer, and not asking smart questions - in fact, it discourages asking questions. With the result that as we grow older, we stop asking questions. Yet asking good questions is essential to find and develop solutions, and important skill in innovation, strategy, and leadership. So why do we stop asking questions - and more importantly, why don't we train each other, and our future leaders, to ask the right questions starting from early on?

I've been just reading Die Kunst des klugen Fragens by Warren Berger who suggests that there are three main questions which help in problem solving: why questions, what-happens-if... more »

Most plusones: 135

posted image

2014-12-01 08:01:13 (28 comments, 139 reshares, 135 +1s)Open 

The question game!
Teaching kids to ask smart questions

Think about it: A four-year-old asks on average about 400 questions per day, and an adult hardly asks any. Our school system is structured around rewards for regurgitating the right answer, and not asking smart questions - in fact, it discourages asking questions. With the result that as we grow older, we stop asking questions. Yet asking good questions is essential to find and develop solutions, and important skill in innovation, strategy, and leadership. So why do we stop asking questions - and more importantly, why don't we train each other, and our future leaders, to ask the right questions starting from early on?

I've been just reading Die Kunst des klugen Fragens by Warren Berger who suggests that there are three main questions which help in problem solving: why questions, what-happens-if... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2014-12-24 04:25:57 (19 comments, 0 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

Merry Christmas!

Or technically, Christmas Eve, but because Christmas tradition starts today, I'll define it as Christmas. And Christmas comes complete with the Christmas story. Only, with a twist: in our home, asking questions during storytime is encouraged, as is questioning everything and every command. My kindergarden-aged son's questions this year are, in my opinion, worth sharing - here's a selection:

1. If God is in heaven and Angels are made of light then who gave Mary a sperm?

2. What does holy mean?

3. Why do we give each other presents? If it's Jesus' birthday then doesn't everyone have to give him presents instead?

4. Why are we celebrating Jesus' birthday if he's not coming (to the party)?

5. Why are we still celebrating his birthday if people killed him a long time ago for telling a lie?... more »

Merry Christmas!

Or technically, Christmas Eve, but because Christmas tradition starts today, I'll define it as Christmas. And Christmas comes complete with the Christmas story. Only, with a twist: in our home, asking questions during storytime is encouraged, as is questioning everything and every command. My kindergarden-aged son's questions this year are, in my opinion, worth sharing - here's a selection:

1. If God is in heaven and Angels are made of light then who gave Mary a sperm?

2. What does holy mean?

3. Why do we give each other presents? If it's Jesus' birthday then doesn't everyone have to give him presents instead?

4. Why are we celebrating Jesus' birthday if he's not coming (to the party)?

5. Why are we still celebrating his birthday if people killed him a long time ago for telling a lie?

... I gave him a bunch of 'opinions', but no answers, and told him to be careful about who he asks such questions to. I explained to him the brutality through which Christianity spread and how that's why we still celebrate Christmas as tradition today, how pagan traditions like the Christmas tree mixed into the tradition, and how despite all of the past, there still are both good and bad Christians - just like every religion has good and bad followers. He's at a phase where he's learning to differentiate between fact and fiction (he asks the same sort of questions about illogical statements in books where animals talk, for example). It'll probably be some time before he finally sorts things out.

Whatever you believe, wish you a thoughtful and reflective start to the season!

___

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2014-12-23 05:13:47 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

The star's life cycle

My daughter cant stop singing twinkle twinkle now... +Max Huijgen​'s fault!

Seriously, very nice little video. ;)

#Learning #geist

I'm SUPER EXCITED to announce my new video and first Children's Book, Astronomically Correct Twinkle Twinkle, a collaboration with +Zach Weiner of SMBC Comics and illustrator +Chris Jones .

Please watch and share with all science-minded parents you know!___The star's life cycle

My daughter cant stop singing twinkle twinkle now... +Max Huijgen​'s fault!

Seriously, very nice little video. ;)

#Learning #geist

posted image

2014-12-22 09:00:34 (18 comments, 1 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

Digital relationships: A long-needed breaking down of capitalist consequences

A few days ago, +Guy Kawasaki made an insightful post highlighting how being selfish brings more status, job promotions, and 'good' things in some countries - namely the more capitalistic ones. At the same time, it highlights how other countries - namely the more socialist ones - tend to link kindness with those same 'good' rewards of status, job promotions, etc. And this systematic reward scheme creates a system that we live in, which over time has been pushed to extremes - and as a result, many have come to passionately love or hate it. Link to Guy's post: https://plus.google.com/112374836634096795698/posts/XbqrRnJp6PF

But something interesting is happening in the digital world of interaction, where these international barriers no longer exist, and where people are free to make... more »

Digital relationships: A long-needed breaking down of capitalist consequences

A few days ago, +Guy Kawasaki made an insightful post highlighting how being selfish brings more status, job promotions, and 'good' things in some countries - namely the more capitalistic ones. At the same time, it highlights how other countries - namely the more socialist ones - tend to link kindness with those same 'good' rewards of status, job promotions, etc. And this systematic reward scheme creates a system that we live in, which over time has been pushed to extremes - and as a result, many have come to passionately love or hate it. Link to Guy's post: https://plus.google.com/112374836634096795698/posts/XbqrRnJp6PF

But something interesting is happening in the digital world of interaction, where these international barriers no longer exist, and where people are free to make behavioral choices that determine their digital reputation status independent of whether or not it helps them get on with their career: even in 'selfish' countries, people begin to break away from the selfish stereotype and base decisions on kindness instead.

Here's one recent perfect example of this in practice: +Carrie Canup, who lives in what is rated as an extremely selfish country but happens to also be one of those 'kind souls' whose kindness touches people worldwide through her presence on Google+, makes a post requesting for financial help - and is overwhelmed by how her request has funded her medical needs for next year within the first 24 hours. I doubt she'd have gotten the same response if she wasn't the 'kind soul' that she is: kindness pays off and leads to reciprocacy in status, just as it does in the 'kind' countries in Guy's article. Link to Carrie's post: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114849831678812551299/posts/2pKVZMacpbA

The result, which we see repeated over and over again across social media: successful digital relationships are not triggered by capitalist, economic incentives. They are instead triggered by meaningful, reciprocal relationships.

So what are the incentives that make create status, and thus success, online? Nothing that we don't intuitively already know: being kind, being sympathetic, having a human personality, having strengths and weaknesses without hiding them, being a positive motivator, and... oh, I'll bet there are people in some of those 'kind' countries who have put effort into figuring out how to climb the ladder of career success, who may be much better positioned than anyone in the 'selfish' world to teach the art of positive influence!

And what's more: I'd expect that this shift to a world, or at least a media channel, where social aptitude and kindness are crucial in reputation building, should bring a lot more happiness into the 'selfish' world as people, and businesses, are forced to become more aware of what humanity actually means instead of cocooning away in ramping up economic success.

As we mix the two opposing directions of kindness and selfishness, I'd hope to see a new flourish of businesses that are, also, kind - not just the few token examples that you read about now and then, but every single corporation, from small to large, resulting in a more sustainable socioeconomic system, more friendly and more human relationships, and ultimately a happier world population.___

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2014-12-21 16:26:09 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

Escher revisited

Not all of Escher's illusions are impossible from a topological standpoint... so we took one of his famous pictures and turned it into a greeting card, which of course also folds flat for envelope storage. Though I must admit that my artistic assistants have a few more years to go before their people reach Escher quality!

#illusion #popup

Escher revisited

Not all of Escher's illusions are impossible from a topological standpoint... so we took one of his famous pictures and turned it into a greeting card, which of course also folds flat for envelope storage. Though I must admit that my artistic assistants have a few more years to go before their people reach Escher quality!

#illusion #popup___

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2014-12-20 20:00:03 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

My daughter surprises me again...

I find that children's art is sometimes quite amazing - I gave her four small buckets of paint (primary colors and green), and this was the result. Actually, a row of three paintings, before she got bored and went off to play lego instead. Color and composition seem to be a second nature, even if the picture is otherwise not what he said it was. (Her narration while painting was something like this: here is a bear, now i made the bear dissappear, now a line, another line, and dots).

She's two-and-a-half - the age where paintings are still more abstract accidents than intentional forms, though she does manage simple forms (her name, potato-head-people, etc).

Note: The background is actually white, but photography under electric lighting didn't go too well.

#Geist

My daughter surprises me again...

I find that children's art is sometimes quite amazing - I gave her four small buckets of paint (primary colors and green), and this was the result. Actually, a row of three paintings, before she got bored and went off to play lego instead. Color and composition seem to be a second nature, even if the picture is otherwise not what he said it was. (Her narration while painting was something like this: here is a bear, now i made the bear dissappear, now a line, another line, and dots).

She's two-and-a-half - the age where paintings are still more abstract accidents than intentional forms, though she does manage simple forms (her name, potato-head-people, etc).

Note: The background is actually white, but photography under electric lighting didn't go too well.

#Geist___

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2014-12-18 08:06:44 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Know your audience: an unwritten, but necessary, online literacy

This is an interesting perspective on Gamergate: perhaps all the anger isn't about some gamers being digital idiots. Perhaps it is just about subcultures clashing and not understanding each other's rules and ettiquette, resulting in some rather nasty results. 

While I would argue that Gamergate has crossed the lines in several respects, I do think that this perspective does have some validity: the digital world has brought together a mix of cultures, regions, languages, and opened up the door for misunderstanding to a larger extent than many of us are acquainted with. And this is something that we need to constantly keep in the back of our minds in every digital conversation.

This was an interesting essay on Gamergate as a clash of cultural discussion norms:

> The Man In Black points out that there is a certain sociology going on [in Chan culture]. Anonymity leads to rude, mob behaviour. But much of this is good-natured ribbing: since participants do not have stable personas nobody ever loses (unlike in fora where you have at least a pseudonymous identity whose reputation you might wish to protect). That is not to say there is no real sexism or malice there, just that it is mixed up with far more uses of its terminology where the actual meaning is different.

> There is also an identification with the mob and its chaotic, dynamic nature – consider the delight Anonymous took in being an inchoate, implacable enemy of whoever aroused its ire (“Because none of us are as cruel as all of us”). As the MIB says, “Chan culture considers personal reputation meaningless but collective identity sacrosanct”. Deliberately trying to stand out is in the eyes of this subculture and in the rules of its discourse uncouth. To claim that the consensus is wrong and that one’s personal experiences can refute a point breaks the rules of discourse. To have a mass of people respond with rude invective to any statement (including statements they actually agree with) is how you have an argument: if you do not want a wave of hostility, why did you invite it by making a claim?

> These rules of discourse are of course radically different from in other subcultures. And this nicely explains part of the gamergate explosion: when the Chan culture touches other cultures of discourse there will be fundamental misunderstandings about the very nature of what a discourse is supposed to be.

[...]

> ...the Internet means that every culture of discourse can potentially encounter every other. Normally this does not happen since people network with people like themselves, and instead the properties of Internet communities lead to rapid evolution of local cultures of discourse. Sometimes they are borrowed: this blog, for example, tends to stick close to academic philosophical discourse styles much of the time (for example, people often responding with objections even though they are meant in a friendly way – the ideal is honest truth-seeking rather than status gams). However, occasionally a post here touches on a topic of interest to other communities and we get an infusion of commenters from elsewhere. Often this leads to a bit of friction since people don’t follow the assumed and unspoken rules. How can they know that when a philosopher suggests that mulching children could be good he does not actually promote baby-mulching, but trying to make a fine point about some metaethical issue? Normally when somebody says somethingb they mean it.

> Blowups seem to happen more and more often thanks to the nonlocal nature of the Internet. I write something that makes sense as bioethics, and find myself vilified (and subject to satirical poetry) by people who didn’t get the context. Somebody makes a joke that is innocuous in their home culture but vile blasphemy elsewhere. There is also a network effect: since messages are transmitted not from central hubs but as branching trees between participants, there is both potential for accumulating bias and misunderstanding, but also that comments on comments become relevant – and they also have blowup potential. As a blowup gets larger more people become involved, each with a certain probability of adding a secondary detonation through some comment or action (I bet that the eventual size distribution of such reactions has a power-law probability distribution). Conversely, when something causes interest thousands or million eyes can focus on a single individual, sometimes with disastrous consequences.___Know your audience: an unwritten, but necessary, online literacy

This is an interesting perspective on Gamergate: perhaps all the anger isn't about some gamers being digital idiots. Perhaps it is just about subcultures clashing and not understanding each other's rules and ettiquette, resulting in some rather nasty results. 

While I would argue that Gamergate has crossed the lines in several respects, I do think that this perspective does have some validity: the digital world has brought together a mix of cultures, regions, languages, and opened up the door for misunderstanding to a larger extent than many of us are acquainted with. And this is something that we need to constantly keep in the back of our minds in every digital conversation.

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2014-12-11 18:44:05 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

Fasting: Getting your body to clean itself up from within

IF is intermittent fasting. The above says that IF improves cognitive function, reduces resting heart rate, reduces blood pressure, reduces inflammation, increases muscle efficiency and increases stress resistance.

Well, what exactly does fasting do? There's a bunch of links in the article, but in a nutshell, fasting about self-cleaning. Not just spiritual self-cleaning (which is, in my opinion, overemphasized in the article), but more importantly also physical and biological self-cleaning.

A period of fasting is a period in which the body doesn't get all the nutrients it needs. That forces it to reduce vital functions to a bare minimum, and eliminate non-vital functions. With perhaps surprising results: it makes you healthier than before!

Example: Fasting combined with a particular... more »

Fasting: Getting your body to clean itself up from within

IF is intermittent fasting. The above says that IF improves cognitive function, reduces resting heart rate, reduces blood pressure, reduces inflammation, increases muscle efficiency and increases stress resistance.

Well, what exactly does fasting do? There's a bunch of links in the article, but in a nutshell, fasting about self-cleaning. Not just spiritual self-cleaning (which is, in my opinion, overemphasized in the article), but more importantly also physical and biological self-cleaning.

A period of fasting is a period in which the body doesn't get all the nutrients it needs. That forces it to reduce vital functions to a bare minimum, and eliminate non-vital functions. With perhaps surprising results: it makes you healthier than before!

Example: Fasting combined with a particular diet (hard-bread-evenings-only-for-a-week) will kill off all unnecessary intestinal flora, allowing you to regenerate the 'good' intestinal bacterial flora and kill all the 'bad' bacteria. That results in more efficient nutrient uptake and leaves you energized, even if you eat less.

Example: "When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged," Dr Longo says. Prolonged fasting reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to aging and a hormone which increases cancer risk and tumor growth. It promotes stem cell-based regeneration.

Example: "What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. So we started thinking, well, where does it come from?" So, fasting causes an immune system boost, and the red blood cells needed to transport blood return after you are done fasting, to restore oxygen transport to your previous levels.

/via +Irreverent Monk ___

2014-12-06 13:37:07 (4 comments, 6 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

The Debate Game
Teaching children how to argue constructively

One of my favorite games as I was a teenager was the spontaneous debate. And in retrospect, it is one of the most valuable games that I've played - because it taught me several skills that have proven to be invaluable over the course of my career so far. In particular, because it taught me - at that point a timid introvert - how to deal with public speaking successfully. Other skills that the game develop include: self-confidence, spontaneity, humor, presentation style, rhetoric, and logical argumentation - skills that are valuable because they make working with other people, and influencing teams, easier... and in general humor and spontaneous, positive reactions help to make you a more likable person.

True, this game sounds challenging when you read it - and the first time you try it out, it is challenging.... more »

The Debate Game
Teaching children how to argue constructively

One of my favorite games as I was a teenager was the spontaneous debate. And in retrospect, it is one of the most valuable games that I've played - because it taught me several skills that have proven to be invaluable over the course of my career so far. In particular, because it taught me - at that point a timid introvert - how to deal with public speaking successfully. Other skills that the game develop include: self-confidence, spontaneity, humor, presentation style, rhetoric, and logical argumentation - skills that are valuable because they make working with other people, and influencing teams, easier... and in general humor and spontaneous, positive reactions help to make you a more likable person.

True, this game sounds challenging when you read it - and the first time you try it out, it is challenging. But give it a few rounds, and you will begin to love it because of all the craziness that results. OK, maybe not you, but if you have children who are at that age where defiance is a magical attraction, then they will love it!

This post is dedicated to +Frank Nestel, who I promised in my last parenting post to share a learning game directed more towards teenagers.

How it works

Materials: pen and paper, a stopwatch, a coin, a die, and two to five people. 

1. Divide yourselves into two teams of two. If you are an odd number of people, one person sits to the side as the jury.

2. Flip the coin to determine which team forms the House and which the Opposition. 

3. Make two lists of six items: a list of subjects (try to get a good mix and not a homogenous list), and a list of controversial issues (current issues are better, but older topics work too). For example:

(1) Subjects:
 - Superman
 - Mickey Mouse
 - Nemo
 - black people
 - janitors
 - super-rich

(2) Controversial issues:
 - slavery
 - genetic modified foods
 - digital privacy
 - Catalonia declaring independence
 - abortion
 - climate change tax

4. Next, the house begins the debate by delivering the resolution: "Be it resolved that __(a)__ __(b)__ __(c)____."
(a) To fill in the first blank, roll the die and announce the corresponding subject from (1).
(b) The second blank is a coin flip: Heads for supports, Tails for rejects.
(c) The third blank is another die roll, and gives the corresponding subject form (2).

Following the example above: If I rolled 1, Heads, and 4 then I would have, "Be it resolved that Superman supports Catalonia declaring independence."

5. No time to prepare, sorry! No matter how outrageous the statement may sound, you, the house, have just delivered your opening statement and have the next three minutes to deliver your opening arguments. Good luck.

6. This is followed by a three-minute defense from the opposition. No pauses.

7. Next, the house delivers a three-minute counterargument.

8. Next, the opposition delivers a five-minute conclusion.

9. Finally, the house delivers a two-minute conclusion.

Usually, the teams work such that each member delivers one speech, and alternates between the members. If you have an additional person sitting around, that person can be the jury and judge the debate based on style, argument, and content.

Have fun!

#Geist #Learning #Education #SoftSkills #Parenting___

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2014-12-04 21:04:40 (8 comments, 3 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

How different are online and offline relationships?

It's not too often that someone whom I know only virtually passes away, and leaves enough of an impact to make it actually worth dedicating a post to it. And here is one such person: +Dieter Mueller, known for his provocative obsession with genitalia, cynicism, and irony. But what makes his death unique is not just a personal virtual connection: it is notable that a community of virtual acquaintances - and a damn intelligent one at that - respond precisely as one might respond to an actual, in-person relationship, only on a digital medium.

If you take a look at the attached post and the comment discussion contained within, you'll see elements of relationship and reaction that are, perhaps, unusual for an online environment:
 - personal concern, to the point of checking in with the police as to what's going on
 -g... more »

Yes, it is possible to have genuine online friends, we miss you Dieter
Two years ago, +Dieter Mueller  played an experiment where he deleted his G+ account in order to show the superficial nature of online friendships and what he called the ‘big data cow’. His experiment failed miserably when scores and scores of people contacted him to know was he okay and to come back and join us again. 
Sadly, Dieter has departed for good this time. In true Dieter style, and in his own words he has stage managed his own death. I’ve no doubt he is above there now looking down at us all and smiling, but I’m sad we didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. I hope Dieter has finally found the rest he desired. ___How different are online and offline relationships?

It's not too often that someone whom I know only virtually passes away, and leaves enough of an impact to make it actually worth dedicating a post to it. And here is one such person: +Dieter Mueller, known for his provocative obsession with genitalia, cynicism, and irony. But what makes his death unique is not just a personal virtual connection: it is notable that a community of virtual acquaintances - and a damn intelligent one at that - respond precisely as one might respond to an actual, in-person relationship, only on a digital medium.

If you take a look at the attached post and the comment discussion contained within, you'll see elements of relationship and reaction that are, perhaps, unusual for an online environment:
 - personal concern, to the point of checking in with the police as to what's going on
 - group collaboration to figure out what happened
 - reflection on that person's life and of each other's experiences and encounters with the deceased 
 - people who have not heard from each other for some time congregate together again - as an old saying goes, there are three events when people gather: birth, marriage, and death.

... really, except for the distances and media, there are quite a few elements that make online relationships just as intense as offline ones.

Yet at the same time, there are immense differences: without the in-person touch, tone, gesture, and expression experiences, limited communication heightens the potential for misunderstandings and misinterpretations. The digital environment makes communication even more ambiguous than ever before. But is ambiguity really a difference? We have enough ambiguity in daily language, and misunderstand each other often enough even before the additional challenges of the digital medium.

Surely, there are differences. And surely, many people take online and offline relationships differently. Yet, as the linked post demonstrates, true relationships still remain the same at their essence - regardless of whether they are online, offline, or both.

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2014-12-03 09:27:22 (27 comments, 29 reshares, 102 +1s)Open 

NSA Whistleblower wins Swedish Human Rights Award

Whistleblower Edward Snowden received several standing ovations in the Swedish parliament after being given the Right Livelihood award for his revelations of the scale of state surveillance.

Snowden, who is in exile in Russia, addressed the parliament by video from Moscow. In a symbolic gesture, his family and supporters said no one picked up the award on his behalf in the hope that one day he might be free to travel to Sweden to receive it in person.

If anything, this highlights the true significance of data privacy invasion and the gradual shift towards a society where total digital surveillance is becoming a rapid reality.

And while digital data integration and homogenization does bring superior advantages and conveniences with it, the potential for data abuse grows too. Finding a balance, and providing... more »

NSA Whistleblower wins Swedish Human Rights Award

Whistleblower Edward Snowden received several standing ovations in the Swedish parliament after being given the Right Livelihood award for his revelations of the scale of state surveillance.

Snowden, who is in exile in Russia, addressed the parliament by video from Moscow. In a symbolic gesture, his family and supporters said no one picked up the award on his behalf in the hope that one day he might be free to travel to Sweden to receive it in person.

If anything, this highlights the true significance of data privacy invasion and the gradual shift towards a society where total digital surveillance is becoming a rapid reality.

And while digital data integration and homogenization does bring superior advantages and conveniences with it, the potential for data abuse grows too. Finding a balance, and providing the technical and legal basis to protect liberty, morality, and ethics while continuing to enable technological integration and advancement - for example by constructing and upholding a data use permission system. But this is so contrary to the goals of total surveillance... and, as the award recognizes, the problems associated with total surveillance are quite massive indeed, that standing up to protect our right to privacy is an act of heroism and a necessary step in ensuring the protection of basic human rights, more fundamental and crucial to prevent large-scale corruption and abuse than you might want to believe.

I recommend that you watch his acceptance speech - and hope, that the speech delivery via Google Hangouts does not give away sufficient information for US foreign agents to dispose of Snowden during his exile. After all, total digital surveillance leaves very little space to hide.

#Privacy   #Policy   #HumanRights  ___

2014-12-01 09:06:53 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Giving is about enablement

+Visnja Zeljeznjak makes a very strong point in her post (linked): true presents aren't things - not even things that someone could use, or food that someone not-so-well-off could consume. It's about enablement. It's about using your creative prowess to enable someone else to succeed - reflected strongly in her gift examples:

 - A moment of togetherness.
 - A bundle of knowledge.
 - A kind conversation.
 - A product that solves human problems.
 - A service that makes people smile and thrive.

And as I sit there, thinking about what to give to a dear friend of mine who barely scrapes by on social assistance, I think of how she reacts to presents as well: a reaction that very closely illustrates what Visnja is saying. My friend is quite put off by gifts of money, food, etc. But give her a home-made, educational toy for herkids (... more »

Imagine a world based on giving, rather than on taking. Scarcity is a product manufactured by man's decision to base his civilization on taking rather than on giving. (source: mind-sets.com)

Scarcity is manufactured. Scarcity is artificial. Can you believe this?

Nature is abundant. Human-made creations are scarce. It is a choice we made, and continue to make every day.

And can you believe that the only, only way to reverse that reality is to stop being part of it, to ignore it, and live in your own reality distortion field, where giving is the default?

It all starts with one single human. Enter my reality distortion field.

What would your world of giving look like? What would be different?

Maybe you would look to give first and take second.
Maybe you would be grateful for the abundance you already have.
Maybe you would smile at people more.
Maybe you would not look at other people as your competitors.
Maybe you would donate more to the needy, without expecting rewards.
Maybe you would be less cynical for just one day.
Maybe you would start noticing the abundance of beauty in this world.

Today is December the 1st 2014. It's a month where we're accustomed to giving to others. How about for a change, we give more of everything to those who really need it?

Your mom probably does not need another Christmas present. She doesn't need stuff. Think about what she needs more.

Your partner does not need you to go to the mall and buy her/him a present. There could be something else he/she needs from you more.

Stuff, stuff, stuff. We don't need more stuff. Why not give the most precious asset a human has: time? Convert that time into energy that is useful to others?

Create something:
A moment of togetherness.
A bundle of knowledge.
A kind conversation.
A product that solves human problems.
A service that makes people smile and thrive.

What does your world of giving look like?___Giving is about enablement

+Visnja Zeljeznjak makes a very strong point in her post (linked): true presents aren't things - not even things that someone could use, or food that someone not-so-well-off could consume. It's about enablement. It's about using your creative prowess to enable someone else to succeed - reflected strongly in her gift examples:

 - A moment of togetherness.
 - A bundle of knowledge.
 - A kind conversation.
 - A product that solves human problems.
 - A service that makes people smile and thrive.

And as I sit there, thinking about what to give to a dear friend of mine who barely scrapes by on social assistance, I think of how she reacts to presents as well: a reaction that very closely illustrates what Visnja is saying. My friend is quite put off by gifts of money, food, etc. But give her a home-made, educational toy for her kids (she is planning to be an educator when her newest child is a bit older), give her information about natural preventative medicine (one of her personal interests), or something else that enables and empowers her and she'll be thrilled beyond imagination - the value of such gifts have a long-lasting impact, not just on her but also on those around her, and can never be depleted but only multiply.

At the risk of coming across as self-promotional, I'll link here two of my contributions this season, if you're looking for something for young children: after seeing how my kindergarten has taught my kids how to stop asking questions and start accepting everything the teacher says as fact, I think it's time to take action and start developing those skills at home instead, as those are skills that the education system diminishes, but are highly valued and required by pretty much every well-paying job today.

- A (completely free) 'Question Game' designed to reinforce creative thinking and problem solving: https://plus.google.com/112842631531364722564/posts/EASGYXrtAyU
- A book with a year's worth of DIY kid's experiments, designed to encourage open exploration and to challenge common assumptions: https://plus.google.com/112842631531364722564/posts/d6bUdwqm6TB

Giving isn't about material wealth transfer. True giving about enablement. Let's enable each other every day!

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2014-12-01 08:42:00 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Automated publishing: Let's shake up the public research game

I can't wait for a project like Narrative Science to be combined with a bot that goes around scraping abstracts and research projects, and turning them into pop-sci news on a (not yet existing) automated news outlet. Because that would do something that open journals - and other open research approaches - have failed to do: raising knowledge accessibility by turning complex research into understandable articles.

And if such a portal does become one of the critical criteria in determining how effective publicly funded research is, then perhaps we would also see increased monitoring of these portals to consider comments that average folk like you and me have on all those complex projects and implications - and finally help to bridge the communications gap between the academic world, industry applications,... more »

Automated publishing: Let's shake up the public research game

I can't wait for a project like Narrative Science to be combined with a bot that goes around scraping abstracts and research projects, and turning them into pop-sci news on a (not yet existing) automated news outlet. Because that would do something that open journals - and other open research approaches - have failed to do: raising knowledge accessibility by turning complex research into understandable articles.

And if such a portal does become one of the critical criteria in determining how effective publicly funded research is, then perhaps we would also see increased monitoring of these portals to consider comments that average folk like you and me have on all those complex projects and implications - and finally help to bridge the communications gap between the academic world, industry applications, and the general public.
 
/via +Wayne Radinsky ___

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2014-12-01 08:01:13 (28 comments, 139 reshares, 135 +1s)Open 

The question game!
Teaching kids to ask smart questions

Think about it: A four-year-old asks on average about 400 questions per day, and an adult hardly asks any. Our school system is structured around rewards for regurgitating the right answer, and not asking smart questions - in fact, it discourages asking questions. With the result that as we grow older, we stop asking questions. Yet asking good questions is essential to find and develop solutions, and important skill in innovation, strategy, and leadership. So why do we stop asking questions - and more importantly, why don't we train each other, and our future leaders, to ask the right questions starting from early on?

I've been just reading Die Kunst des klugen Fragens by Warren Berger who suggests that there are three main questions which help in problem solving: why questions, what-happens-if... more »

The question game!
Teaching kids to ask smart questions

Think about it: A four-year-old asks on average about 400 questions per day, and an adult hardly asks any. Our school system is structured around rewards for regurgitating the right answer, and not asking smart questions - in fact, it discourages asking questions. With the result that as we grow older, we stop asking questions. Yet asking good questions is essential to find and develop solutions, and important skill in innovation, strategy, and leadership. So why do we stop asking questions - and more importantly, why don't we train each other, and our future leaders, to ask the right questions starting from early on?

I've been just reading Die Kunst des klugen Fragens by Warren Berger who suggests that there are three main questions which help in problem solving: why questions, what-happens-if questions, and how questions.

Regardless of the question, the question needs to be phrased openly and positively in order to achieve positive results - a closed or negative question only raises bad feelings against each other.
 - Why questions help to find the root of a problem.
 - What-if questions open up the floor for creative solutions.
 - How questions focus on developing practical solutions.
 
So, perhaps, this lesson can be adapted to help trigger young children to start solve problems early too and stop accepting whatever the kindergarten teacher says to be fact? And perhaps, continue to keep up these inquiring and probing abilities later on in life? Well, here goes, let's give it a try...

Introducing the Question Game
Preparation: print out the figure in the illustration, cut it out and glue the tabs together to form a cube.

Pick up your favorite illustrated fairy tale book - the kind of book you'd read a two-year-old for bedtime stories. On each page, roll the cube and answer the question together. I'll bet you'd be surprised by what turns Little Red Riding Hood can take... and more importantly, I'll bet that after a while, you and your child will both start asking these questions more often than not!

#Geist   #Education   #Learning   #Questions   #ProblemSolving  ___

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2014-11-17 19:30:59 (26 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Personalized, informed dieting recommendations made simple!

Concerned about your weight? Well, it should be more than just weight. It should be about maintaining a healthy body. And that means putting all of the puzzle pieces together: nutrition, weight, body fat, body muscle mass, bone mass, vitamin and mineral deficiencies...

Most DIY-estimates of these factors are very approximate - you can estimate body fat, body muscle mass, but these measurements are tedious and are often tracked together with weight loss apps as opposed to combined with nutritional recommendations. But from what I hear, it looks like this company has made accurate measurements easy with their multi-frequency bio-electric impedance analysis device - complete with bluetooth integration between their measuring device and your user profile - and that means my dream application might actually become real: I... more »

Personalized, informed dieting recommendations made simple!

Concerned about your weight? Well, it should be more than just weight. It should be about maintaining a healthy body. And that means putting all of the puzzle pieces together: nutrition, weight, body fat, body muscle mass, bone mass, vitamin and mineral deficiencies...

Most DIY-estimates of these factors are very approximate - you can estimate body fat, body muscle mass, but these measurements are tedious and are often tracked together with weight loss apps as opposed to combined with nutritional recommendations. But from what I hear, it looks like this company has made accurate measurements easy with their multi-frequency bio-electric impedance analysis device - complete with bluetooth integration between their measuring device and your user profile - and that means my dream application might actually become real: I want a holistic app that covers nutritional recommendations, monitoring of dietary intakes, weight, body fat, muscle mass, in order to reach my fitness goals, and on top of that is not very cumbersome to use. I'll be looking for some screenshots or integration about this device to see if it does meet up to that expectation - it would certainly be a welcome switch from the three different apps I currently switch between and scratch my head about.

And even better, I'll bet service is going to be excellent - their new community manager is an active and lovely G+ resident,+Laura Manach! Their Google+ Page is soon, I hear.... ;)

Original post with more details on what this little device does: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114096099683887759200/posts/Bcz4RB4nkMT___

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2014-11-17 15:38:37 (4 comments, 19 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

How to get a child to think critically

This article contains illustrative examples which resonate to my personal educational experience throughout school - I remember how much I would detest all the test questions that I got wrong because I answered 'What word means .....' with a synonym of the vocabulary list word instead of that word itself, or because I had written out a fraction instead whereas the answer key rounded to two decimals, or because my experimental measured lab value was not close enough to the expected experimental value, and so on.

But the bigger and more immediate question remains unanswered by the article, if the current system doesn't teach children how to think critically, how do we teach those children critical thinking? 

For starters, I'd humbly propose a few suggestions:

1) Do misuse everything you can.more »

How to get a child to think critically

This article contains illustrative examples which resonate to my personal educational experience throughout school - I remember how much I would detest all the test questions that I got wrong because I answered 'What word means .....' with a synonym of the vocabulary list word instead of that word itself, or because I had written out a fraction instead whereas the answer key rounded to two decimals, or because my experimental measured lab value was not close enough to the expected experimental value, and so on.

But the bigger and more immediate question remains unanswered by the article, if the current system doesn't teach children how to think critically, how do we teach those children critical thinking? 

For starters, I'd humbly propose a few suggestions:

1) Do misuse everything you can.
Learning goal: Do not take anything for granted.
Why can't a bed be an ironing board? Why can't a cardboard box turn into a toy bridge? Or a diaper be an emergency sunshade? All is well, until the kids reach kindergarten and start getting told off by the teachers on what is and isn't acceptable, and now they tell me what I should be doing and are continually astounded that whatever alternative I'm doing actually works. Yes, Mama is crazy... and not a bit ashamed of it.

2) Do try out stupid things.
Learning goal: Test things out yourself.
Why not eat a lemon together? Go out in the rain without a raincoat? Stick a balloon on a needle? Microwave a CD? Try to fix a broken radio with Google's help instead of taking it to the repair shop? The result is sudden, golden insights bringing very diverse topics together: 'Mama, going out in the rain is just like taking a shower, so I don't have to wash my hair tonight!' (No, Mama did not teach that!)

3) Do make silly excuses.
Learning goal: Create inventive and fluent arguments.
Yes, my son does roll his eyes when I offer completely outrageous reasons. And laughs when I challenge him to test the reasons himself (he knows better than to believe everything I say). But he also started answering commands such as 'Time to go to bed' as tactfully as any politician asked to give a spontaneous statement on a controversial topic.

#Geist   #Learning   #Creativity   #CriticalThinking   #Education  
/via +O'Neil Godfrey ___

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2014-11-17 14:01:38 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

What do you think about open data as an internet-disarming measure?

How did the cold war end? With a massive arms dismantlement program. Why wouldn't a massive disarming be a solution to end Facebookistan?

By disarming, I do not mean throwing out stacks of artillery. Rather, I mean opening up information: make statistical user data analysis available via an open API, and build tools allowing people to analyze data. And that would empower anyone, anywhere to draw the types of conclusions that currently are only available to marketers with sufficiently deep pockets, giant social media networks, or other cloud giants. People can help one another determine what is evil and what is not.

Is this a realistic dream? I'd hope so. After all, open source didn't just die out, even though it was ridiculed at its birth as well. Sure, opening data does not mean opening up your... more »

'Ask an internet platform spokesperson why his or her firm made nearly any decision, and you’ll hear some variation on “to improve user experience.” But we all know that it’s only a certain kind of user experience that is really valued, and promoted. For Facebook to continue to meet Wall Street’s demands for growth, its user base must grow and/or individual users must become more “productive.” Predictive analytics demands standardization: forecastable estimates of revenue-per-user. The more a person clicks on ads and buys products, the better. Secondarily, the more a person draws other potential ad-clickers in–via clicked-on content, catalyzing discussions, crying for help, whatever–the more valuable they become to the platform. The “model users” gain visibility, subtly instructing by example how to act on the network. They’ll probably never attain the notoriety of a Lei Feng, but the Republic of Facebookistan gladly pays them the currency of attention, as long as the investment pays off for top managers and shareholders.

As more people understand the implications of enjoying Facebook “for free“–i.e., that they are the product of the service–they also see that its real paying customers are advertisers. As N. Katherine Hayles has stated, the critical question here is: “will ubiquitous computing be coopted as a stalking horse for predatory capitalism, or can we seize the opportunity” to deploy more emancipatory uses of it?  I have expressed faith in the latter possibility, but Facebook continually validates Julie Cohen’s critique of a surveillance-innovation complex. The experiment fiasco is just the latest in a long history of ethically troubling decisions at that firm, and several others like it.

Unfortunately, many in Silicon Valley still barely get what the fuss is about. For them, A/B testing is simply a way of life. There are some revealing similarities between casinos and major internet platforms. As Rob Horning observes, Social media platforms are engineered to be sticky . . . Like video slots, which incite extended periods of “time-on-machine” to assure “continuous gaming productivity” (i.e. money extraction from players), social-media sites are designed to maximize time-on-site, to make their users more valuable to advertisers . . . and to ratchet up user productivity in the form of data sharing and processing that social-media sites reserve the rights to.” That’s one reason we get headlines like “Teens Can’t Stop Using Facebook Even Though They Hate It.” There are sociobiological routes to conditioning action. The platforms are constantly shaping us, based on sophisticated psychological profiles.

The characteristics of Facebook’s model (i.e., exemplary) users in many ways reflect the constraints on the model users in the company–i.e., the data scientists who try to build stylized versions of reality (models) based on certain data points and theories. The Facebook emotion experiment is part of a much larger reshaping of social science. To what extent will academics study data driven firms like Facebook, and to what extent will they try to join forces with its own researchers to study others?

Present incentives are clear: collaborate with (rather than develop a critical theory of) big data firms.  As Zeynep Tufekci puts it, “the most valuable datasets have become corporate and proprietary [and] top journals love publishing from them.”  “Big data” has an aura of scientific validity simply because of the velocity, volume, and variety of the phenomena it encompasses. Psychologists certainly must have learned something from looking at over 600,000 accounts’ activity, right?

The problem, though is that the corporate “science” of manipulation is a far cry from academic science’s ethics of openness and reproducibility. That’s already led to some embarrassments in the crossover from corporate to academic modeling (such as Google’s flu trends failures). Researchers within Facebook worried about multiple experiments being performed at once on individual users, which might compromise the results of any one study. Standardized review could have prevented that. But, true to the Silicon Valley ethic of “move fast and break things,” speed was paramount: “There’s no review process. Anyone…could run a test…trying to alter peoples’ behavior,” said one former Facebook data scientist.

Why are journals so interested in this form of research? Why are academics jumping on board? Fortunately, social science has matured to the point that we now have a robust, insightful literature about the nature of social science itself[...] One of Isaac’s major contributions in that piece is to interpret the social science coming out of the academy (and entities like RAND) as acultural practice: “Insofar as theories involve certain forms of practice, they are caught up in worldly, quotidian matters: performances, comportments, training regimes, and so on.” Government leveraged funding to mobilize research to specific ends. To maintain university patronage systems and research centers, leaders had to be on good terms with the grantors. The common goal of strengthening the US economy (and defeating the communist threat) cemented an ideological alliance.

Government still exerts influence in American social and behavioral sciences. But private industry controls critical data sets for the most glamorous, data-driven research. In the Cold War era, “grant getting” may have been the key to economic security, and to securing one’s voice in the university. Today, “exit” options are more important than voice, and what better place to exit to than an internet platform? Thus academic/corporate “flexians” shuttle between the two worlds. Their research cannot be too venal, lest the academy disdain it. But neither can it indulge in, say, critical theory (what would nonprofit social networks look like), just as Cold War social scientists were ill-advised to, say, develop Myrdal’s or Leontief’s theories. There was a lot more money available for the Friedmanite direction economics would, eventually, take.

It is very hard to develop categories and kinds for internet firms, because they are so secretive about most of their operations. (And make no mistake about the current PR kerfuffle for Facebook: it will lead the company to become ever more secretive about its data science, just as Target started camouflaging its pregnancy-related ads and not talking to reporters after people appeared creeped out by the uncanny accuracy of its natal predictions.) But the data collection of the firms is creating whole new kinds of people—for marketers, for the NSA, and for anyone with the money or connections to access the information.'___What do you think about open data as an internet-disarming measure?

How did the cold war end? With a massive arms dismantlement program. Why wouldn't a massive disarming be a solution to end Facebookistan?

By disarming, I do not mean throwing out stacks of artillery. Rather, I mean opening up information: make statistical user data analysis available via an open API, and build tools allowing people to analyze data. And that would empower anyone, anywhere to draw the types of conclusions that currently are only available to marketers with sufficiently deep pockets, giant social media networks, or other cloud giants. People can help one another determine what is evil and what is not.

Is this a realistic dream? I'd hope so. After all, open source didn't just die out, even though it was ridiculed at its birth as well. Sure, opening data does not mean opening up your entire company strategy. Convenience of access, guaranteed availability of data access, and so on are features that corporations will still pay for. But the core business changes slightly, the same way that open source and closed source businesses are slightly different: rather than building a business around selling other people's data, give the data away for free and instead build a business around selling services and access to other people's data.

In this digital age where privacy is commodity where theoretical demands for privacy and practices against privacy do not coincide, and where anonymized statistical analysis are becoming more rampant than ever, is open data really that far away?

/via +Gregory Esau 

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2014-11-10 07:57:44 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Want to know how effective those esoteric 'electrosmog protectors' are?

There are a number of esoteric companies offering stickers that they claim can reduce the effect of unwanted electromagnetic fields (so-called electrosmog) on biological organisms in the near proximity of the electronic device (e.g. mobile phone). Backed up with scanty, if any, scientific evidence. And by scientific evidence, I mean a clear hypothesis, tests designed to isolate a single variable, and statistical results as opposed to pretty pictures. Well... here's one company which has published some scientific findings regarding the effectivity of their products - and I commend them for doing so! Ignoring the fact that the leading scientist seems to have no credible research papers published to his name, let's take a look at the results.

Test in 2011: this actually looks like they... more »

Want to know how effective those esoteric 'electrosmog protectors' are?

There are a number of esoteric companies offering stickers that they claim can reduce the effect of unwanted electromagnetic fields (so-called electrosmog) on biological organisms in the near proximity of the electronic device (e.g. mobile phone). Backed up with scanty, if any, scientific evidence. And by scientific evidence, I mean a clear hypothesis, tests designed to isolate a single variable, and statistical results as opposed to pretty pictures. Well... here's one company which has published some scientific findings regarding the effectivity of their products - and I commend them for doing so! Ignoring the fact that the leading scientist seems to have no credible research papers published to his name, let's take a look at the results.

Test in 2011: this actually looks like they might be onto something. Not only a clear description of the test methodology, but also astounding results in section 4.3. To quote the conclusion: "The compensation potential is up to 100% for disruptions of up to 0,4 Microtesla, and beyond that 50%." So there you have it: measured effectiveness of 50% for the claimed capabilities of electromagnetic field restoration.  http://waveex.at/uploads/page_Gutachten_Medinger.pdf

Repeated test in 2014 (no idea if there were any 'research developments' on how to make that sticker 'better' between 2011 and 2014): forget that previous result. This repeated test shows that can nice results can only be achieved by selectively choosing measurement points to create a 'positive' conclusion. (More concretely: the sticker does have a minimal effect, which starts to be effective at a distance of 20 cm from your mobile phone, and not at the typical 1cm distance you'd hold a phone at when you talk on it.)
http://waveex.at/uploads/page_20140130BVMedinger.pdf

Surprise, surprise, it looks like the sticker makes very little difference after all!___

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2014-11-10 05:25:06 (2 comments, 11 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

Look: an anti-alzheimer and learning enhancer drug in one!

Okay, it's not yet for humans, but this drug does have potential - if scientists can figure out which of the five human variants of their proposed drug have the desired effect on humans, they may have a sci-fi dream drug in their hands.

This drug allows the brain to rapidly grow new neural connections, giving the patient the power to learn quickly, the way children do. Want to learn a new language overnight? Become an engineering genius? This drug may be one key to those dreams. Simultaneously, enabling new connections blocks the onset of alzheimers, which is caused by this same pathway being blocked by a 'no-grow' protein.

Of course, fast learning isn't without its downsides: it means less sability in your thought pathways. The kind of stability that prevents you from forgetting to look for... more »

Look: an anti-alzheimer and learning enhancer drug in one!

Okay, it's not yet for humans, but this drug does have potential - if scientists can figure out which of the five human variants of their proposed drug have the desired effect on humans, they may have a sci-fi dream drug in their hands.

This drug allows the brain to rapidly grow new neural connections, giving the patient the power to learn quickly, the way children do. Want to learn a new language overnight? Become an engineering genius? This drug may be one key to those dreams. Simultaneously, enabling new connections blocks the onset of alzheimers, which is caused by this same pathway being blocked by a 'no-grow' protein.

Of course, fast learning isn't without its downsides: it means less sability in your thought pathways. The kind of stability that prevents you from forgetting to look for cars before crossing the road. Then again, not everything can be perfect!

/via +Wayne Radinsky___

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2014-10-25 10:31:02 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Paper-strips for testing infections

This is an amazing invention if it can be commercialized and easier to use: a paper strip that changes color if an igfectious disease is present. The researchers demonstrated that they can use the paper to build in sensitivity for ebola: smear ebola on the paper, and it turns purple within an hour. At 4 cents a strip, these paper tests could make a real difference reducing the need and cost for 24 hour genetic tests.

On the other side, these tests need a minimum amount of lab skills to carry out - you first have to extract the viral dna or rna. That isn't exactly as easy as dipping the stripinto a urine sample. But who knows, maybe this problem can also be eliminated to create cheap, universal genetic tests?

/via +Jack Mason

Paper-strips for testing infections

This is an amazing invention if it can be commercialized and easier to use: a paper strip that changes color if an igfectious disease is present. The researchers demonstrated that they can use the paper to build in sensitivity for ebola: smear ebola on the paper, and it turns purple within an hour. At 4 cents a strip, these paper tests could make a real difference reducing the need and cost for 24 hour genetic tests.

On the other side, these tests need a minimum amount of lab skills to carry out - you first have to extract the viral dna or rna. That isn't exactly as easy as dipping the stripinto a urine sample. But who knows, maybe this problem can also be eliminated to create cheap, universal genetic tests?

/via +Jack Mason___

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2014-10-23 09:28:26 (13 comments, 1 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Not fun: My house just short-circuited.

A break from the usual news, with something more personal that hopefully doesn't happen every day: Kabel-BW was supposed to show up and install a cable for a high-speed internet connection on my property. They showed up fairly late towards the evening, installed the cable, and... surprise, no more electricity in the house! The installer called me in and seemed not to understand how a fuse works - he told me that the fuse looked okay, the plastic coating was still hard and there was no switch to flip. He claimed he only bored one hole in the wall, didn't hit any power mains, and that maybe something else was wrong in the house, and then left.

I asked my neighbor (who is an electrician) to have a look. My neighbor came by and tried swapping out the fuse - the old fuse was burnt through, and the new fuse blew right away as well. I... more »

Not fun: My house just short-circuited.

A break from the usual news, with something more personal that hopefully doesn't happen every day: Kabel-BW was supposed to show up and install a cable for a high-speed internet connection on my property. They showed up fairly late towards the evening, installed the cable, and... surprise, no more electricity in the house! The installer called me in and seemed not to understand how a fuse works - he told me that the fuse looked okay, the plastic coating was still hard and there was no switch to flip. He claimed he only bored one hole in the wall, didn't hit any power mains, and that maybe something else was wrong in the house, and then left.

I asked my neighbor (who is an electrician) to have a look. My neighbor came by and tried swapping out the fuse - the old fuse was burnt through, and the new fuse blew right away as well. I interpreted that as somewhere, there was a short circuit.

After talking to customer service, who refused to do anything until an electrician had demonstrated that they were at fault, I commissioned an electrician in to look at the matter. After about an hour, he found the cause: The cable was mounted to the wall with several screws, and in mounting the screws, the installer had drilled through the main power supply for the house and inserted the screws into the power mains, causing a short circuit. The electrician removed the offending screws, and put up preliminary safety measures in place to secure the site and restore power.

So much for high-speed internet installation! But, that raises a few questions:

1) Why does a technical installer who works with cables containing electricity not know what a fuse is? I know that few houses actually have fuses these days (newer houses have circuit breakers, but older houses don't).

2) How can you short out the power main and not realize it? Usually a spark flies, and I'll bet one flew when the first screw hit the power main...

Image source: „Kurzschluss 12V20A“ von MdE (de) - Eigenes Foto. Lizenziert unter Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 über Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kurzschluss_12V20A.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Kurzschluss_12V20A.jpg

#kabelbw  ___

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2014-10-17 13:53:04 (21 comments, 8 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

Declining creativity: a worrying educational trend

Let me highlight a worrying quote from the linked article:
"... the creativity scores had also been going up in the same way as their IQ equivalents until the 1990s, upon which these scores have consistently dropped in American children."

What happened in the 1990s, and why has creativity fallen consistently since? What kind of society do we want, and what kind of children do we need to solve the world's problems and build a decent future for themselves? With routine work being increasingly replaced by technology, the future is going to need creative, analytical people who can solve problems. Why has this been neglected, and what do we need to bring this back on the rise?

Is it now the onus of parents to teach children to rediscover how to ask questions? To teach them that it is okay to not conform... more »

Declining creativity: a worrying educational trend

Let me highlight a worrying quote from the linked article:
"... the creativity scores had also been going up in the same way as their IQ equivalents until the 1990s, upon which these scores have consistently dropped in American children."

What happened in the 1990s, and why has creativity fallen consistently since? What kind of society do we want, and what kind of children do we need to solve the world's problems and build a decent future for themselves? With routine work being increasingly replaced by technology, the future is going to need creative, analytical people who can solve problems. Why has this been neglected, and what do we need to bring this back on the rise?

Is it now the onus of parents to teach children to rediscover how to ask questions? To teach them that it is okay to not conform to the masses? To teach them to not be afraid to sow the seeds of discussion, to speak up and question (teacher) authorities, and to teach them to deal with injustice and inequality early on in life?

Destroying a system and rebuilding a new one is never easy. And while I think that there is great value in learning those lessons of diplomacy, tact, inequality, and injustice early on in life, I am not so sure that children are emotionally ready to take on those burdens when the first year of school arrives. Is there a better model around?

#Geist #Learning #Creativity  #Education

/via +O'Neil Godfrey ___

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2014-10-15 06:07:21 (7 comments, 16 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

Have you updated your browser security settings?

The attached article contains a great explanation on how the latest disclosed attack on SSL v3, POODLE, works. The POODLE attack was discovered by a team of engineers at Google, and abuses the SSL handshake protocol to allow an attacker to decrypt targeted stored cookies, for example your Google authentication cookie, and thus steal your identity. This attack is nowhere near as critical as Heartbleed, but it is a good reminder that you should keep your browsing habits safe!

The short version of the confusion between SSL and TSL
SSL v3 was introduced in 1995 by Netscape. Do you remember Netscape? That was, in terms of internet development, a very long time ago... and internet security has come a long way since. Most modern security handshakes work via TLS, which has been improved several times since its introduction.... more »

Have you updated your browser security settings?

The attached article contains a great explanation on how the latest disclosed attack on SSL v3, POODLE, works. The POODLE attack was discovered by a team of engineers at Google, and abuses the SSL handshake protocol to allow an attacker to decrypt targeted stored cookies, for example your Google authentication cookie, and thus steal your identity. This attack is nowhere near as critical as Heartbleed, but it is a good reminder that you should keep your browsing habits safe!

The short version of the confusion between SSL and TSL
SSL v3 was introduced in 1995 by Netscape. Do you remember Netscape? That was, in terms of internet development, a very long time ago... and internet security has come a long way since. Most modern security handshakes work via TLS, which has been improved several times since its introduction. TLS was, like SSL v3, also first introduced in 1994 / 1995 by Mozilla, but Mozilla has survived and continued to improve it over the years.

To add to the confusion and myth that SSL makes things secure, there are some interesting naming conventions: TLS v1 has also identified itself as SSL v3.1, due to its similarities and large cross-compatibility with SSL v3. Also, many popular TLS implementations contain SSL in their names, notably OpenSSL, LibreSSL or PolarSSL.

So how do I protect myself?
The solution to the problem should be relatively simple: Disable SSLv3. Most servers support TLS. Any server administrator can do this, but not many have been willing to, as certain browsers (in particular Internet Explorer 6, which is also quite old and insecure!) do not support TLS. All other major browsers do support TLS, and even if server administrators don't want to turn off SSL support, you can protect yourself by turning this off in your browser, or by upgrading if you are one of those evil surfers using IE6.

You can test whether you are vulnerable with one of these tests:
 - Test your server: https://ssltest.com
 - Test your browser: https://www.poodletest.com

Some 'quick fix' instructions for selected popular browsers:

Firefox will disable SSL v3 starting from version 34, which should be released on November 25. If you're not an early adopter, you'll have to wait a while before getting the update - or you can do it yourself. Open up Firefox and go to the URL about:config . Then, find the security.tls.version.min Preference and change its value to 1. All done!

For Chrome, you'll need to modify the launcher. In Linux, you'll need to edit the /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop file. Edit all lines starting with Exec= to include --ssl-version-min=tls In Windows, right-click on the shortcut you use to start Chrome and choose Properties. In the exec parameter box, add --ssl-version-min=tls All done!

In Internet Explorer versions higher than 6, choose Settings > Internet Options > Advanced tab > Uncheck the SSLv3 box under Security . All done!

I have not been able to find any solution so far for Safari on OSX.

/via +Kristian Köhntopp and elaborated with information from various other net sources___

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2014-10-15 00:50:54 (11 comments, 0 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Coal vs. nuclear showdown: weighing out radioactive impact of coal

Coal power plants produce radioactive ash - which is released into the environment. This ash releases more radioactivity into the surrounding environment than a nuclear power plant - meaning if you live next to a coal plant, you are exposed to more radioactive particles and have likely ingested more radioactivity than if you lived next to a nuclear power plant. The same applies if you live near a landfill that receives coal ash, or get your tap water from the drainage basin which that landfill feeds.

Certainly, this does not cover the 'what if' situation around a nuclear meltdown. But it does raise the question, what is the environmental and human health impact costs of the two technologies? Could a shift to green technology meet our growing energy demands with a guaranteed minimum power consumption... more »

Coal vs. nuclear showdown: weighing out radioactive impact of coal

Coal power plants produce radioactive ash - which is released into the environment. This ash releases more radioactivity into the surrounding environment than a nuclear power plant - meaning if you live next to a coal plant, you are exposed to more radioactive particles and have likely ingested more radioactivity than if you lived next to a nuclear power plant. The same applies if you live near a landfill that receives coal ash, or get your tap water from the drainage basin which that landfill feeds.

Certainly, this does not cover the 'what if' situation around a nuclear meltdown. But it does raise the question, what is the environmental and human health impact costs of the two technologies? Could a shift to green technology meet our growing energy demands with a guaranteed minimum power consumption condition?

/via +Vlad Markov___

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2014-10-14 20:28:24 (24 comments, 6 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

anonabox: Surfing anonymously just got easier

This is a very interesting kickstarter project - because it solves one of the things that many geeks forget about: making secure and anonymous internet access accessible to your average idiot.

The anonabox is an open-hardware, open-source box that contains, more or less, a pre-configured Tor access point. That means, connect the anonabox between your router and your computer, (or for wireless users, connect to the anonabox wireless network and turn off your router's wireless network) and you be surfing the internet over a secure, encrypted connection being sent over Tor.

Previously, using Tor involved installing and configuring some rather nerdy software, and blindly trusting that you didn't forget some configuration option along the way. For an average internet user, that's a world of difference in usability.... more »

anonabox: Surfing anonymously just got easier

This is a very interesting kickstarter project - because it solves one of the things that many geeks forget about: making secure and anonymous internet access accessible to your average idiot.

The anonabox is an open-hardware, open-source box that contains, more or less, a pre-configured Tor access point. That means, connect the anonabox between your router and your computer, (or for wireless users, connect to the anonabox wireless network and turn off your router's wireless network) and you be surfing the internet over a secure, encrypted connection being sent over Tor.

Previously, using Tor involved installing and configuring some rather nerdy software, and blindly trusting that you didn't forget some configuration option along the way. For an average internet user, that's a world of difference in usability. Kudos to the anonabox team for solving their installation hurdle! Now, let's see how much market entry will cost, and whether this will help to promote smarter, more secure internet usage.

/via +Danial Hallock ___

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2014-10-10 06:01:30 (5 comments, 8 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

Look! The TTIP is public!

Do you wonder what exactly is going on in the TTIP Agreement, which rumors have taking all sorts of tangents in closed-door discussions? Those days are at an end - the document is now declassified and available for everyone to look at.

The TTIP itself is based on the CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), another closed-doors-negotiation document that hasn't made it to public scrutiny in the last five-or-so years in which it has been under negotiation. There have been a lot of rumors concerning how demands in negotiation could affect consumers, including:

 - The right to privacy and the 'liberalization' of European laws
 - Loosening of food labeling restrictions, e.g. regional protection for names on certain foods or labeling requirements for meats containing hormone injections
 - Loosening of production standardre... more »

TTIP document declassified - negotiating mandate for talks on EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnerships is now public

EU governments have chosen today to make the TTIP negotiating mandate public – something We've been encouraging them to do for a long time.

You can find the document here http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-11103-2013-DCL-1/en/pdf

More about TTIP http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/

#transparency #ttip #classifieds
#trade___Look! The TTIP is public!

Do you wonder what exactly is going on in the TTIP Agreement, which rumors have taking all sorts of tangents in closed-door discussions? Those days are at an end - the document is now declassified and available for everyone to look at.

The TTIP itself is based on the CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), another closed-doors-negotiation document that hasn't made it to public scrutiny in the last five-or-so years in which it has been under negotiation. There have been a lot of rumors concerning how demands in negotiation could affect consumers, including:

 - The right to privacy and the 'liberalization' of European laws
 - Loosening of food labeling restrictions, e.g. regional protection for names on certain foods or labeling requirements for meats containing hormone injections
 - Loosening of production standard restrictions and consumer protection standards
 - Impact on worker wages and working conditions

The document is now up for criticism, and I'd expect that some more detailed analysis on major topical blogs, and possibly an increased amount of electronic communications headed towards Brussels, to take place within the next 24 hours.

2014-10-09 19:32:01 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

How does a malware-driven botnet operate?

Wayne Huang, a Proofpoint security researcher, has been able to peer at how a (Russian) cybercrime group has built and used a large network of 500,000 infected computers. And the results are quite interesting.

There isn't anything particularly novel in the attack approach: "Modern threats frequently use an integrated system of legitimate but compromised websites, obfuscated redirects, “traffic redirection system” (TDS) filters, exploit kit hosting sites, and malware hosting sites." This combination is quite effective and extremely flexible, and ensures that infected hosts can be abused in multiple ways.

Perhaps most interesting is that the cybercrime group did actually use infected hosts in several ways, among others:
- financial identity theft
- selling internet traffic routing through affectedmac... more »

How does a malware-driven botnet operate?

Wayne Huang, a Proofpoint security researcher, has been able to peer at how a (Russian) cybercrime group has built and used a large network of 500,000 infected computers. And the results are quite interesting.

There isn't anything particularly novel in the attack approach: "Modern threats frequently use an integrated system of legitimate but compromised websites, obfuscated redirects, “traffic redirection system” (TDS) filters, exploit kit hosting sites, and malware hosting sites." This combination is quite effective and extremely flexible, and ensures that infected hosts can be abused in multiple ways.

Perhaps most interesting is that the cybercrime group did actually use infected hosts in several ways, among others:
- financial identity theft
- selling internet traffic routing through affected machines
- renting out the botnet

That's quite a lot of commercialization possibilities. And with that scale, quite a lot of potential income on the dark web. The kind of income that makes you stop and think: is this a situation that you created to willingly live in? Surely there must be a more incentivized way to reduce cash and keep everyone out of trouble!

Get all the details from the Report here:
http://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2340876/proofpoint-analysis-cybercrime-infrastructure-20141007.0.pdf___

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2014-10-07 06:33:31 (0 comments, 6 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Containing Ebola: a spark of success, where Governments have failed

Of course, it is difficult to blame governments for mismanaging the Ebola outbreak. The outbreak is a combination of many things, among others: fragile infrastructure, cultural and educational limitations, limited resources, and fear.

Yet this inspirational story suggests that not all hope is lost. It seems that at least one company has succeeded in successfully quarantining Ebola as it showed up in their community through a combination of determination, innovation, and investment. Granted, they have resources and cooperation which most governments and communities did not, but their relentless methodology and handling of the Ebola cases which did show up is considerably different than in other treatment cases. Take, for instance, the first US Ebola case, who was 'accidentally' sent home, and recalled for... more »

Containing Ebola: a spark of success, where Governments have failed

Of course, it is difficult to blame governments for mismanaging the Ebola outbreak. The outbreak is a combination of many things, among others: fragile infrastructure, cultural and educational limitations, limited resources, and fear.

Yet this inspirational story suggests that not all hope is lost. It seems that at least one company has succeeded in successfully quarantining Ebola as it showed up in their community through a combination of determination, innovation, and investment. Granted, they have resources and cooperation which most governments and communities did not, but their relentless methodology and handling of the Ebola cases which did show up is considerably different than in other treatment cases. Take, for instance, the first US Ebola case, who was 'accidentally' sent home, and recalled for treatment as things started going from bad to worse - a drastic contrast to immediate quarantine of the patient and family involved, with the effect of containing the virus before an outbreak could spread.

Perhaps we need to turn the order of handling the Ebola outbreak upside down. Instead of putting investment first and wondering why the invested money seems to be falling into a black hole, why not open up policies surrounding how foreign aid can be disbursed and channel some of it into following through with such innovative suggestions?

/via +Charles An-y-man ___

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2014-09-30 12:11:09 (17 comments, 28 reshares, 69 +1s)Open 

Introducing my new book containing a year's worth of kid's experiments!
Available in English and German

I'm proud to announce that I've now published my first book - a book filled with illustrated experiments for preschoolers, one experiment for each week of the year. For the past two years, I've been doing weekly experiments with my kids, and compiled their favorite experiments into this book.

The book is divided into 12 chapters, each of which focuses on a particular theme and lasts for a month. The experiments are designed to inspire the kids to start asking questions, try out the impossible, and most of all have fun exploring natural phenomena! Some of the all-time favorites for inspiration:

- Homemade ice cream to explore how salt affects the melting point of water
- Racing toys to explore friction
- Homemade microscope to... more »

Introducing my new book containing a year's worth of kid's experiments!
Available in English and German

I'm proud to announce that I've now published my first book - a book filled with illustrated experiments for preschoolers, one experiment for each week of the year. For the past two years, I've been doing weekly experiments with my kids, and compiled their favorite experiments into this book.

The book is divided into 12 chapters, each of which focuses on a particular theme and lasts for a month. The experiments are designed to inspire the kids to start asking questions, try out the impossible, and most of all have fun exploring natural phenomena! Some of the all-time favorites for inspiration:

- Homemade ice cream to explore how salt affects the melting point of water
- Racing toys to explore friction
- Homemade microscope to see what a cell is

The book is available in English and German on amazon.de or directly from the publisher:

http://bit.ly/experimentsw___

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2014-09-29 09:04:10 (3 comments, 3 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

How intelligent is Artificial Intelligence?

Quite a hilarious, and at times disjointed, conversation - these cleverbots seem to have limited memory and thus a limited capacity to construct a flowing conversation. However at times they do seem to have deeper moments, as demonstrated in this video.

Suppose, now, that artificial intelligence does have a bit more memory and a bit more thinking capacity than cleverbot - for example, by powering it with Watson, or some other supercomputer thinking machine. How would the conversation sound like then, and more importantly, would it still be distinguishable from a human conversation?

I think we are getting close to being able to build comparable conversation partners. Though perhaps an actual intelligent philosophical conversation is probably still some way off...

/via +Gideon Rosenblatt

How intelligent is Artificial Intelligence?

Quite a hilarious, and at times disjointed, conversation - these cleverbots seem to have limited memory and thus a limited capacity to construct a flowing conversation. However at times they do seem to have deeper moments, as demonstrated in this video.

Suppose, now, that artificial intelligence does have a bit more memory and a bit more thinking capacity than cleverbot - for example, by powering it with Watson, or some other supercomputer thinking machine. How would the conversation sound like then, and more importantly, would it still be distinguishable from a human conversation?

I think we are getting close to being able to build comparable conversation partners. Though perhaps an actual intelligent philosophical conversation is probably still some way off...

/via +Gideon Rosenblatt___

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2014-09-21 08:21:42 (6 comments, 1 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Clean nuclear energy: should we rethink our nuclear policy?

Fast breeder (NPP) nuclear reactors are set to go into commercial production: Russia plans to go into production in 2015, while every other nation has plans to eliminate nuclear power plants.

But what fascinates me most is that the fuel for these plants is not radioactive when it leaves the plant, and furthermore can be manufactured from nuclear waste. With nuclear waste disposal already a problem, why not commission a few more of these plants to get rid of the current nuclear waste stockpiles that no one wants to bury? And with increasing energy demands, perhaps this could be a new source of clean energy?

/via +Charles An-y-man

Clean nuclear energy: should we rethink our nuclear policy?

Fast breeder (NPP) nuclear reactors are set to go into commercial production: Russia plans to go into production in 2015, while every other nation has plans to eliminate nuclear power plants.

But what fascinates me most is that the fuel for these plants is not radioactive when it leaves the plant, and furthermore can be manufactured from nuclear waste. With nuclear waste disposal already a problem, why not commission a few more of these plants to get rid of the current nuclear waste stockpiles that no one wants to bury? And with increasing energy demands, perhaps this could be a new source of clean energy?

/via +Charles An-y-man___

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2014-09-07 06:15:02 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 


Just how universal is the helix?

Here is a very interesting discovery: under certain conditions, mini 'iron filings' (or more accurately, magnetite nanocrystals) line up to form helix shaped structures.

Perhaps the most well known helix is the double helix of DNA. But a helix also emerges when you take a strand and keep twisting one end until a spiral appears. This same shape strengthens twine, common thread, yarns, steel cables, and almost every sort of rope available - a rather sturdy structure that provides strength.

I wonder what sort of applications may arise from being able to cause helical nanostructure formations on demand. It is certainly an interesting discovery and the follow up results and applications will be interesting to watch.


/Via +Betsy McCall


Just how universal is the helix?

Here is a very interesting discovery: under certain conditions, mini 'iron filings' (or more accurately, magnetite nanocrystals) line up to form helix shaped structures.

Perhaps the most well known helix is the double helix of DNA. But a helix also emerges when you take a strand and keep twisting one end until a spiral appears. This same shape strengthens twine, common thread, yarns, steel cables, and almost every sort of rope available - a rather sturdy structure that provides strength.

I wonder what sort of applications may arise from being able to cause helical nanostructure formations on demand. It is certainly an interesting discovery and the follow up results and applications will be interesting to watch.


/Via +Betsy McCall___

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2014-08-30 18:16:53 (21 comments, 14 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

The latest side effect of antibiotics: food allergies

Antibiotics are without a doubt good: imagine where we would be if not for the discovery of penicillin. But they are not only brutal to unwanted bacteria - the good bacteria in your digestive track is destroyed as well. And it seems that one side effect turns out to be the inability to break down certain foods - a food allergy.

With that reason in mind, a cure may be around the corner: build back your stock of good bacteria. It seems to work for mice; will it next work for primates and humans too?

#Geist #health

/via +Daniel Ely Rankin

The latest side effect of antibiotics: food allergies

Antibiotics are without a doubt good: imagine where we would be if not for the discovery of penicillin. But they are not only brutal to unwanted bacteria - the good bacteria in your digestive track is destroyed as well. And it seems that one side effect turns out to be the inability to break down certain foods - a food allergy.

With that reason in mind, a cure may be around the corner: build back your stock of good bacteria. It seems to work for mice; will it next work for primates and humans too?

#Geist #health

/via +Daniel Ely Rankin___

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2014-08-25 07:07:04 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Dissecting love

Love is certainly one of the most intricate emotions we have. A beautiful division of five stages of love and how they progress.

#Geist

A nice piece from +YES! Magazine on love. 

A visitor from another planet might think that we earthlings—and Americans in particular—were obsessed with chasing love. If you asked the sages of ancient India, however, they’d probably say that love is not what we’re actually chasing. Instead, we pursue the intense but fleeting emotional high of “falling in love,” which generally doesn’t last very long.

So how do we keep the life-giving flame of love alive? The ancient thinkers of India, who devoted a great deal of attention to this problem, recognized and honored the power of sex and romance to jump-start our flagging emotions. But the important question for them was, where do we go from there? How do we harness the intoxicating power of falling in love to create a happiness that endures even after the initial flame dies away?

#love  ___Dissecting love

Love is certainly one of the most intricate emotions we have. A beautiful division of five stages of love and how they progress.

#Geist

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2014-08-18 03:44:09 (3 comments, 4 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Robotic waiters: no longer a sci-fi dream

Although you can't tell these waiters stories, you can expect them to bring you yqur order with speed and accuracy. Robots have been capable of doing many interactive tasks for quite a while now, so it's nice to see them finally take a step in finding applications, and not just a sci-fi dream.

This is the beginning of a new era, in which numerous mundane jobs will be replaced, and we need to earnestly start thinking about how to design our society to give humans a value contribution to society too - and a support and economic system that works together with very different sector distribution. We need to be able to manage digital expectations too as individuals, in order to survive in our changing society.

Think about that when you order your burger from a robot, or when a drone delivers your post, or when your car... more »

Robotic waiters: no longer a sci-fi dream

Although you can't tell these waiters stories, you can expect them to bring you yqur order with speed and accuracy. Robots have been capable of doing many interactive tasks for quite a while now, so it's nice to see them finally take a step in finding applications, and not just a sci-fi dream.

This is the beginning of a new era, in which numerous mundane jobs will be replaced, and we need to earnestly start thinking about how to design our society to give humans a value contribution to society too - and a support and economic system that works together with very different sector distribution. We need to be able to manage digital expectations too as individuals, in order to survive in our changing society.

Think about that when you order your burger from a robot, or when a drone delivers your post, or when your car drives you to work. Once legislators step out of the way, it's doing to be a very interestind and radically different world.

/via +Larry press___

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2014-08-17 03:45:12 (13 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Something which I think the great minds in this community might have some great ideas about. Is anyone here familiar with the Market Basket story?

Putting people first: a new model for market differentiation

I'm hopeful that, as markets become more saturated, we are going to see more of this type of company. Companies where the key strategic differentiator is putting people first.

I haven't fully analysed the Market Basket case, but it looks at first glance that the former CEO did something rare: he engaged workers, employees, and customers in dialogue to understand and follow through on answering their needs before competitors become aware of them. As a result, the whole community rallies behind its leader. This is how community leadership works, one of the cornerstones of successful digital media channel engagement. I'd say that with digital platforms on the rise, we are looking at a future where community leadership will increasingly become a market differentiator and channel for advance market research and hopefully one day also a status quo.

/via +Gideon Rosenblatt ___Something which I think the great minds in this community might have some great ideas about. Is anyone here familiar with the Market Basket story?

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2014-08-17 03:21:53 (8 comments, 4 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Putting people first: a new model for market differentiation

I'm hopeful that, as markets become more saturated, we are going to see more of this type of company. Companies where the key strategic differentiator is putting people first.

I haven't fully analysed the Market Basket case, but it looks at first glance that the former CEO did something rare: he engaged workers, employees, and customers in dialogue to understand and follow through on answering their needs before competitors become aware of them. As a result, the whole community rallies behind its leader. This is how community leadership works, one of the cornerstones of successful digital media channel engagement. I'd say that with digital platforms on the rise, we are looking at a future where community leadership will increasingly become a market differentiator and channel for advance market research and... more »

Putting people first: a new model for market differentiation

I'm hopeful that, as markets become more saturated, we are going to see more of this type of company. Companies where the key strategic differentiator is putting people first.

I haven't fully analysed the Market Basket case, but it looks at first glance that the former CEO did something rare: he engaged workers, employees, and customers in dialogue to understand and follow through on answering their needs before competitors become aware of them. As a result, the whole community rallies behind its leader. This is how community leadership works, one of the cornerstones of successful digital media channel engagement. I'd say that with digital platforms on the rise, we are looking at a future where community leadership will increasingly become a market differentiator and channel for advance market research and hopefully one day also a status quo.

/via +Gideon Rosenblatt ___

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2014-08-08 08:55:04 (1 comments, 6 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

When will computers be able to think?

IBM's TrueNorth chip looks quite interesting: it's a neural network chip that operates at a fraction of the power that conventional chips use.

While it is by no means a human brain, and while chips with this sort of circuitry can't run your typical (deterministic!) apps and consumer goodies efficiently, it should lead to some fascinating applications in prediction models, simulations, weather forecasting, and perhaps even teaching computers emotional intelligence one day.

/via +Laston Kirkland 

When will computers be able to think?

IBM's TrueNorth chip looks quite interesting: it's a neural network chip that operates at a fraction of the power that conventional chips use.

While it is by no means a human brain, and while chips with this sort of circuitry can't run your typical (deterministic!) apps and consumer goodies efficiently, it should lead to some fascinating applications in prediction models, simulations, weather forecasting, and perhaps even teaching computers emotional intelligence one day.

/via +Laston Kirkland ___

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2014-08-07 10:28:52 (6 comments, 7 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

Looking for more SEO? Turn on HTTPS

This is an interesting little tip: Google is planning to increase the weight of websites running HTTPS in their search ranking algorithm.

The reason they cite is security. Even if a website is not hosting any personal or private data, HTTPS makes it harder for attackers to take down the site. 

At the same time, it raises another question: who would you pick as a certificate issuing authority? Who is going to pick up the role of the 'free, validated, good-guy certificates that are widely-accepted'? Hm.. maybe a new business idea!

/via +John Hardy 

Looking for more SEO? Turn on HTTPS

This is an interesting little tip: Google is planning to increase the weight of websites running HTTPS in their search ranking algorithm.

The reason they cite is security. Even if a website is not hosting any personal or private data, HTTPS makes it harder for attackers to take down the site. 

At the same time, it raises another question: who would you pick as a certificate issuing authority? Who is going to pick up the role of the 'free, validated, good-guy certificates that are widely-accepted'? Hm.. maybe a new business idea!

/via +John Hardy ___

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2014-07-30 17:10:10 (5 comments, 3 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

Metadata: intelligence agencies goldmine

This article is a great eye opener - to exactly how invasive metadata is. Metadata is the unseen header information that accompnies every digital transmission, whether internet browsing, email sending, or even making a phone call from a normal telephone.

Supposedly, this is non-invasive because the content of the email, website, or phone call is not included. But... you'll be surprised just how much can be inferred from metadata, such as when you are at home, your probable religious and political affiliations, and so on.

English version of the article: https://www.bof.nl/2014/07/30/how-your-innocent-smartphone-passes-on-almost-your-entire-life-to-the-secret-service/

Metadata: intelligence agencies goldmine

This article is a great eye opener - to exactly how invasive metadata is. Metadata is the unseen header information that accompnies every digital transmission, whether internet browsing, email sending, or even making a phone call from a normal telephone.

Supposedly, this is non-invasive because the content of the email, website, or phone call is not included. But... you'll be surprised just how much can be inferred from metadata, such as when you are at home, your probable religious and political affiliations, and so on.

English version of the article: https://www.bof.nl/2014/07/30/how-your-innocent-smartphone-passes-on-almost-your-entire-life-to-the-secret-service/___

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2014-07-29 08:02:36 (18 comments, 2 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

Cause for worry: dual standards in remote transaction security

A comment by +Carmelyne Thompson triggered an interesting thought: remote banking holds security to dual standards. Actually, it isn't just banking, but also most business and most official transactions. And given that we live in an increasingly digital world, that is quite worrying.

Let me give you a simple, harmless example: You want to perform a remote transaction, say changing your address at a bank. You have three options:

(1) Online banking: it runs over an encrypted connection, with full mandatory activity logging, and is authenticated  with an online password, and authorized with the security measure of the bank (multiple passphrases, single-use hardware-generated transaction access number, etc).

(2) Telephone banking: it runs over an unencrypted connection, recording is optional,a... more »

Cause for worry: dual standards in remote transaction security

A comment by +Carmelyne Thompson triggered an interesting thought: remote banking holds security to dual standards. Actually, it isn't just banking, but also most business and most official transactions. And given that we live in an increasingly digital world, that is quite worrying.

Let me give you a simple, harmless example: You want to perform a remote transaction, say changing your address at a bank. You have three options:

(1) Online banking: it runs over an encrypted connection, with full mandatory activity logging, and is authenticated  with an online password, and authorized with the security measure of the bank (multiple passphrases, single-use hardware-generated transaction access number, etc).

(2) Telephone banking: it runs over an unencrypted connection, recording is optional, and it authenticated and authorized with a single 4-digit passcode.

(3) Fax banking: it runs over an unencrypted connection, and requires merely that the sender has a photocopy of your signature handy to affix to the correct location on a letter. Fax quality is so high, that even a photocopy or printout of a such letter with pixellized signature copy would suffice.

... The same applies for other official requests, often with even more lenient acceptance standards, such as submitting tax documents, or issuing business purchase orders.

Perhaps - if security is really a concern - it is time to put the axe to some of these alternate transaction methods, or at least to bring authorization and authentication up to par with digital standards?

(Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/arabani/4297542257/sizes/m/in/photostream/ )___

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2014-07-28 13:17:42 (15 comments, 5 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

Small, high-charge, long-life rechargeable batteries

Perhaps this sounds too good to be true: Batteries that are even more compact than ever, with a higher charge capacity than ever possible before. At least, given current mobile device batteries, it would seem that this is just a dream.

But according to this article, that could change: their latest research shows that this may be possible by putting a pure lithium anode into a protective carbon sheath, which protects it from instabilities. They're not quite there - they only retain 99% capacity after 150 charge cycles, as opposed to 99.9% that commercialization would need - but their research looks quite promising.

Full journal article: http://www.nature.com/nnano/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nnano.2014.152.html

/via +Susan Stone 

Small, high-charge, long-life rechargeable batteries

Perhaps this sounds too good to be true: Batteries that are even more compact than ever, with a higher charge capacity than ever possible before. At least, given current mobile device batteries, it would seem that this is just a dream.

But according to this article, that could change: their latest research shows that this may be possible by putting a pure lithium anode into a protective carbon sheath, which protects it from instabilities. They're not quite there - they only retain 99% capacity after 150 charge cycles, as opposed to 99.9% that commercialization would need - but their research looks quite promising.

Full journal article: http://www.nature.com/nnano/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nnano.2014.152.html

/via +Susan Stone ___

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2014-07-25 04:41:26 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Space debris isn't just a security threat, its a symbol of how we are still incapable of making peace.

It seems to me that the biggest obstacle to cleaning up Space debris is not going to be developing technology, which the USA and Switzerland among other nations have been on for some time, but rather preventing politicians from misconstrue the efforts as an excuse to attack each other. I wonder if we will ever grow up?

/via +Betsy McCall 

Space debris isn't just a security threat, its a symbol of how we are still incapable of making peace.

It seems to me that the biggest obstacle to cleaning up Space debris is not going to be developing technology, which the USA and Switzerland among other nations have been on for some time, but rather preventing politicians from misconstrue the efforts as an excuse to attack each other. I wonder if we will ever grow up?

/via +Betsy McCall ___

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2014-07-25 04:15:23 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Worth having a look at.

I was rather surprised by this presentation by Michael McCathren on loyalty marketing. I watched him tell his story all the way to the end of this 35 minute recording.
But here's the special part.  He played at the end. It moved me beyond words.  The story preceding that video established the base for the emotional impact, so please try not to skip ahead.
"Every life has a story."  ___Worth having a look at.

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2014-07-08 10:16:08 (3 comments, 1 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Self-driving trucks

Instead of just self-driving cars, why not self-driving trucks? Daimler is currently testing their self-driving vehicles, and this opens the door to a considerable distribution and logistic improvement.

The impact of self-driving trucks could be considerable in several respects:
1) faster delivery chains, with online purchases, and other goods delivery chains to be on the road 24/7 instead of with pauses and shifts
2) solving the problem of hiring drivers for this rather boring and poorly paid task
3) reducing truck accidents - which are not too unfrequent, as anyone who commutes regularly on the freeway knows!

Daimler's program, called 'highway pilot', hopes to bring their self-driving trucks to market in 2025. Their biggest hurdle, however, is not technology, but rather bureaucracy: how much effort will it take to get... more »

Self-driving trucks

Instead of just self-driving cars, why not self-driving trucks? Daimler is currently testing their self-driving vehicles, and this opens the door to a considerable distribution and logistic improvement.

The impact of self-driving trucks could be considerable in several respects:
1) faster delivery chains, with online purchases, and other goods delivery chains to be on the road 24/7 instead of with pauses and shifts
2) solving the problem of hiring drivers for this rather boring and poorly paid task
3) reducing truck accidents - which are not too unfrequent, as anyone who commutes regularly on the freeway knows!

Daimler's program, called 'highway pilot', hopes to bring their self-driving trucks to market in 2025. Their biggest hurdle, however, is not technology, but rather bureaucracy: how much effort will it take to get conservative governments to accept driverless trucks, and who takes the blame when something in the complex logistics chain goes wrong?

Official press release:
http://www.daimler.com/dccom/0-5-7171-49-1716137-1-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.html___

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2014-07-08 07:32:40 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

Put on your thinking cap, please: How can a cesarean birth cause epigenetic changes in DNA?

Catchy headline, sensational picture, and a big question of confusion on my brow: why should cesarian delivery be responsible for changes in genetic expression in the baby's DNA?

To be clear: the scientists claim that DNA methylation - which affects with what frequency genes are expressed - changes at a faster rate for babies delivered by cesarian section than for babies delivered naturally. The article suggests that this rate of methylation change may be responsible for further complications, in particular type-1 diabetes and immune system response - perhaps adding a bit more sensation and scare than necessary.

As a non-biologist and rational thinker, I'd suggest the more logical explanation to be: we know that babies are born on average after 9 months (10 if you count... more »

Put on your thinking cap, please: How can a cesarean birth cause epigenetic changes in DNA?

Catchy headline, sensational picture, and a big question of confusion on my brow: why should cesarian delivery be responsible for changes in genetic expression in the baby's DNA?

To be clear: the scientists claim that DNA methylation - which affects with what frequency genes are expressed - changes at a faster rate for babies delivered by cesarian section than for babies delivered naturally. The article suggests that this rate of methylation change may be responsible for further complications, in particular type-1 diabetes and immune system response - perhaps adding a bit more sensation and scare than necessary.

As a non-biologist and rational thinker, I'd suggest the more logical explanation to be: we know that babies are born on average after 9 months (10 if you count from impregnation), but variances of up to 3 weeks are considered 'normal'. Assuming babies are naturally born when they are 'ripe', a cesarean birth scheduled prior to the natural birth date would be an induced birth before the baby is fully mature, which would be a more likely cause for the higher rate of change than 'natural' births. And, if the baby in question should have been a latecomer, then one month of development time is a lot.

In other words: Maybe if hospitals changed their cesarean birth policy to 'cesarean birth will be performed when the birth pangs start' instead of 'cesarean birth will be performed upon appointment', the rate of DNA change would be identical to that in 'natural' births.

That said, I personally think that unnecessary cesarean complications are not beneficial, extremely costly, and I agree with +Matthew Strain that we should think twice before agreeing to a cesearian section.

#Geist #Health

/via +David Kokua ___

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2014-07-07 08:54:54 (3 comments, 5 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

Conquering your emotions

Stories play a large role in society - they are not only deeply intertwined bits of culture, history, and life, but they also shape our values and thoughts. So much so, that they can put you back in control over your emotions - and turn disheartenment back into inspiration. It seems, then, that the secret of shamanic 'medicine' is not mere ritual, superstition, and tradition: it is applied psychology with a different colored ribbon.

#Geist

/via +M Sinclair Stevens 

When did you stop dancing?
"In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions. When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence? Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence is where we have experience the loss of soul. Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves."
~ Gabrielle Roth ___Conquering your emotions

Stories play a large role in society - they are not only deeply intertwined bits of culture, history, and life, but they also shape our values and thoughts. So much so, that they can put you back in control over your emotions - and turn disheartenment back into inspiration. It seems, then, that the secret of shamanic 'medicine' is not mere ritual, superstition, and tradition: it is applied psychology with a different colored ribbon.

#Geist

/via +M Sinclair Stevens 

posted image

2014-07-02 19:15:24 (32 comments, 6 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

Easy-to-remember, secure passwords!

This is a brilliant animated GIF that should not only brighten your day, but also inspire your next password.

Passwords comprise an extremely notorious authentication mechanism. Let me explain why: you usually get a new password every time you 'forget' your password - thus making the password completely unnecessary, as you can just 'forget' it every time you need to log in, you don't actually need to remember your password anymore. You only need really need your email password.

That said, if you have to pick a password, at least have some fun doing so, and cuten up your passwords! Or, for the more geeky folk, you could try writing your favorite equations into that password field instead... the additional security comes from (1) more characters to brute-force, (2) multiple 'sets' of words, phrases, emoji, etc. to... more »

Don't have boring passwords! Check out this gif on how to create fun passwords that are hard to crack. #PasswordDay. Learn more at passwordday.org___Easy-to-remember, secure passwords!

This is a brilliant animated GIF that should not only brighten your day, but also inspire your next password.

Passwords comprise an extremely notorious authentication mechanism. Let me explain why: you usually get a new password every time you 'forget' your password - thus making the password completely unnecessary, as you can just 'forget' it every time you need to log in, you don't actually need to remember your password anymore. You only need really need your email password.

That said, if you have to pick a password, at least have some fun doing so, and cuten up your passwords! Or, for the more geeky folk, you could try writing your favorite equations into that password field instead... the additional security comes from (1) more characters to brute-force, (2) multiple 'sets' of words, phrases, emoji, etc. to combine, and (3) combining 'sets' increases the number of possible passwords attacking algorithms need to sift through. This still, however, does not help against phishing, data theft, or other such possible measures.

/via +John Foster

posted image

2014-06-24 07:31:18 (3 comments, 5 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Changing prices multiple times a day in a walk-in store?

Media Markt - a huge electronics chain in Germany - is going to change their prices multiple times per day to reflect market demand. This will get interesting - especially when they have paper advertisments running at the same time.

It's not as if the electronics branch is the first to adopt this model: we all know how gasoline stations adjust their prices on a regular basis. The only difference is that consumers won't have billboards outside of electronics outlets with the prices of all their products; they'll have to resort to mobile apps instead to stay on top of the pricewatch. 

Anyone in the Netherlands seen this? How does their trial work for you?

Changing prices multiple times a day in a walk-in store?

Media Markt - a huge electronics chain in Germany - is going to change their prices multiple times per day to reflect market demand. This will get interesting - especially when they have paper advertisments running at the same time.

It's not as if the electronics branch is the first to adopt this model: we all know how gasoline stations adjust their prices on a regular basis. The only difference is that consumers won't have billboards outside of electronics outlets with the prices of all their products; they'll have to resort to mobile apps instead to stay on top of the pricewatch. 

Anyone in the Netherlands seen this? How does their trial work for you?___

posted image

2014-06-23 11:36:48 (4 comments, 8 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Do you know the working environment around where you live?

I'd like to draw your attention to two things, that may be related, or independent:

1) Corruption. You may be surprised, but corruption is more widespread than you'd think. Check out Ernst & Young's full report at: http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/2012_TI_CPI/$FILE/2012%20TI%20CPI.pdf

2) Worker's rights. Do you know your rights? No? Maybe it's time to do some homework. And: knowing your rights is not the end of the story. There is a large gap between knowing your rights and enforcing your rights. I'm not sure how accurate this chart is in the latter, especially given how the corruption in many countries 'exceeds' the rights in those countries.

Have a look where your country stands - you may be surprised! And most importantly: do you know the worker's... more »

The Worst Places On The Planet To Be A Worker

A new report by the International Trade Union Confederation, an umbrella organization of unions around the world, sheds light on the state of workers' rights across 139 countries. goo.gl/3j6wuK

The ITUC Global Rights Index ranks 139 countries against 97 internationally recognised indicators to assess where workers’ rights are best protected, in law and in practice. goo.gl/kjjJrG

“Countries such as Denmark and Uruguay led the way through their strong labour laws, but perhaps surprisingly, the likes of Greece, the United States and Hong Kong, lagged behind,” said ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow. “A country’s level of development proved to be a poor indicator of whether it respected basic rights to bargain collectively, strike for decent conditions, or simply join a union at all.”

Key findings:

*In the past year, governments of at least 35 countries have arrested or imprisoned workers as a tactic to resist demands for democratic rights, decent wages, safer working conditions and secure jobs.

*In at least 9 countries murder and disappearance of workers were commonly used to intimidate workers.

*Workers in at least 53 countries have been dismissed or suspended for attempting to negotiate better working conditions.

*Laws and practices in at least 87 countries exclude certain type of workers from the right to strike.

goo.gl/kjjJrG International Trade Union Confederation
goo.gl/M1A0SW The Huffington Post  | By Kevin Short___Do you know the working environment around where you live?

I'd like to draw your attention to two things, that may be related, or independent:

1) Corruption. You may be surprised, but corruption is more widespread than you'd think. Check out Ernst & Young's full report at: http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/2012_TI_CPI/$FILE/2012%20TI%20CPI.pdf

2) Worker's rights. Do you know your rights? No? Maybe it's time to do some homework. And: knowing your rights is not the end of the story. There is a large gap between knowing your rights and enforcing your rights. I'm not sure how accurate this chart is in the latter, especially given how the corruption in many countries 'exceeds' the rights in those countries.

Have a look where your country stands - you may be surprised! And most importantly: do you know the worker's rights in your country? ... I'm proud to see that Germany ranks fairly well on both charts. 

#Geist   #workersrights   #corruption  

posted image

2014-06-20 07:08:50 (1 comments, 6 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

Explanation behind 'warm winters', and 'cold summers'

+John Baez has an written an excellent, easily-understandable article on why 'warm' and 'cold' weather patters cycle every frew years.

The one thing missing from his map: El Nino affects Europe too. It is what is responsible for the very cold winters in Germany - and I certainly don't look forward to a biting winter, should the El Nino prediction for 2014 hold true!

Have a look:

http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/el-nio-project-part-1/

El Niño Project

El Niño is the biggest unpredictable aspect of the Earth's weather system.  It causes floods here, droughts there, it happens roughly every 3 to 7 years, but it's very hard to predict more than 6 months before it happens.  The last really big one, in 1997, unleashed a blast of global warming as heat stored in the Pacific Ocean entered the atmosphere!   Now we're waiting for the next.

This February, a paper caused a stir by predicting that an El Niño will start in late 2014 with 75% probability.  It used ideas from 'network theory' - the math of systems made of many interacting parts.  It claims that before an El Niño, sea temperatures in a large patch of the Pacific become highly correlated, going up and down in synch.

It could be right, it could be wrong - but the cool part is, the ideas in this paper are pretty simple.   So the Azimuth Code Project wants to check the calculations, study the ideas, and maybe do better.   This is a little band of programmers and scientists working with me on network theory and global warming.   Right now the people taking the lead are David Tanzer, a software developer who works for financial firms in New York, and Graham Jones, a self-employed programmer who also works on genomics and Bayesian statistics.

I hope some of you will join in!  I'll be writing blog posts explaining what we do as we do it - and you can also read what we're doing, and help out, on the Azimuth Forum.  We're just getting started, we're not experts on this topic - so this will be a bit like a reality TV show, with science rather than sex as the main source of drama.

My first blog post:

http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/el-nio-project-part-1/

is a very basic intro to how El Niño works, why it's important, and what we want to do.  More details will follow, but if you can't wait, you can read our discussions on the Azimuth Forum:

http://azimuth.mathforge.org/discussion/1358/3/experiments-in-el-nino-detection-and-prediction/

To join these discussions, join the forum:

http://www.azimuthproject.org/azimuth/show/Forum+help

This is gonna be fun!___Explanation behind 'warm winters', and 'cold summers'

+John Baez has an written an excellent, easily-understandable article on why 'warm' and 'cold' weather patters cycle every frew years.

The one thing missing from his map: El Nino affects Europe too. It is what is responsible for the very cold winters in Germany - and I certainly don't look forward to a biting winter, should the El Nino prediction for 2014 hold true!

Have a look:

http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2014/06/20/el-nio-project-part-1/

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