A polymath in an age of specialists

A fascinating post and a fascinating new blog for me to read. Personally, I subscribe to Heinlein’s observation that “specialization is for insects.” We live in a world that demands flexibility and adaptability. Specializing has become a much riskier strategy than it once was.

A polymath in an age of specialists. Earlier this month, Suw Charman wrote a great essay on her struggles as a polymath. Don’t miss the comments and trackbacks, especially this connect-the-dots entry on the unpredictable emergence of learning by Julian Elv .
[Seb’s Open Research]

Window seat

I’m back to spending a lot more time in the air recently, so this looks like a fun read. One of my personal favorite window seat experiences is when I come back to Chicago from the East Coast. On the right flight path, I can usually get a glimpse of my house and the boys’ schools as the flight crosses the western shore of Lake Michigan.

Window Seat. 40_lgGregory Dicum’s book “Window Seat: Reading the Landscape from the Air” sounds like a brilliant idea:

“Broken down by region, this unusual guide features 70 aerial photographs; a fold-out map of North America showing major flight paths; profiles of each region covering its landforms, waterways, and cities; tips on spotting major sights, such as the Northern Lights, the Grand Canyon, and Disney World; tips on spotting not-so-major sights such as prisons, mines, and Interstates; and straightforward, friendly text on cloud shapes, weather patterns, the continent’s history, and more.”

Did you know that the patterns of the streets in subdivisions lets you know when they were built? Or that the round ponds all over Florida are sinkholes? With Window Seat at your side, you’ll learn these things. Keep it to yourself though–the person sitting next to you doesn’t want to hear it. Link (Thanks, Eric!)
[Boing Boing]

Tales Of Future Past

More in the lighter vein. I grew up with these images and I suspect they shaped my worldview more than I might suspect

Tales Of Future Past. Here’s an interesting review that covers tales of future past — a website dedicated to collecting images of distant worlds and futures, as predicted by old magazines and science fiction. And there’s also RetroFuture to help you remember flying cars and smell-o-vision. Ah, yes, remember when computers were predicted to beat us all at chess? Oh wait. [Techdirt]

Personal knowledge management in KM Magazine

I’m convinced that Lilia never sleeps. She had this posted within minutes of the material being available and there’s no way I can possible keep up with the wealth of great material she’s been posting lately.

Anyway, this was a fun exercise and the result contains some useful nuggest and insights. Now that it’s out, I’ll try to dig up some of my original responses to Sandra’s interview questions and post them. I realize that making this promise now sets a clock running that will demonstrate the continuing deficiencies in my own personal knowledge management processes and strategies.

Personal knowledge management in KM Magazine.

Just to let you know – April issue of KM Magazine features personal knowledge management. While most articles are subscribers only, this one you can check for free – Your say: Personal knowledge management by Sandra Higgison with contributions of Mick Cope, Tom Davenport, Jim McGee, David Skyrme and me (delighted to be in such a great company 🙂

While it may be not much new in this article for KM bloggers it is a good sign that personal KM is getting mainstream. And of course I’m very proud :)))


Rubik's cube solver done in Lego

How cool is this?

Rubik’s cube solver done in Lego.



This robot solves the 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube .

I started to think about this problem in about August of 2000. In Jan 2001 fellow Mindstorms forums user ‘agiecco’ announced his intention to work on a robotic solution and, simultaneously, I saw that Rubik’s Cubes were on sale at www.target.com. So I bought a couple of cubes and started getting down to business…

I produced a ‘late beta’ version in mid-April 2001 that was a little clunky. The final version (presented here) is smooth and fairly reliable.


via Brian

By Joichi Ito joi_nospam_@nospam_ito.com. [Joi Ito’s Web]

Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver novel’s wiki.

Stephenson’s new novels are near the top of my read pile so this is for later reference.

Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver novel’s wiki. Reading Neal Stephenson’s novel Quicksilver and need some help in interpreting it or want to contribute your two cents to other readers’ understanding of his work? Try Neal’s Metaweb, a wiki for the novel. By David (mailto:10kyearblog@davidmattison.ca). [The Ten Thousand Year Blog (June 02003-)]