Skip to content

{ Author Archives }

Knowledge is a sobering thing

I sometimes wonder whether the thing that scares people about knowledge and science is how it can make you feel small and insignificant. This image is a visualization of the newest knowledge about where we on Earth fit in the universe. They’re calling it “Laniakea.” It’s a very long way from when we thought that the Sun […]

Tagged , , ,

Connected Courses Course – An Experiment in Collaboration – #CCourses

I’m carving out time to participate in what I see as a worthy experiment in collaboration. It’s been organized by some of the most interesting people working on online learning and seems to be attracting an equally interesting collection of people interesting in participating. Here’s what they have to say: We invite you to participate […]

Tagged , , ,

Using Moore’s Law in Reverse: Alan Kay on Invention vs. Innovation

I’m an unapologetic fanboy of Alan Kay. This can be problematic given that the average person has no idea who Alan is even though they benefit from his work on a daily basis. Earlier this year, Alan presented at the Demo 2014 conference, offering his reflections and insights on the relationship between invention and innovation. It’s […]

Tagged , ,

Book Review – Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

  Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace,Random House, New York, 2014   This is an excellent case study of creativity and collaboration at scale. Ed Catmull was one of the co-founders of Pixar. With co-author/collaborator Amy Wallace, Catmull reflects on the lessons he […]

Tagged , , ,

Learning to see systems – wolves and rivers

Systems in the real world are messy and complex. There’s a reason that Aldo Leopold was so cautious about interventions: “The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant, “What good is it?” If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand […]

Tagged

Interested in being part of a unique problem solving team?

For the past several years we’ve been working to create the world’s largest high-performance team for problem-solving. This two-minute video captures the essence of what we are trying to accomplish: We’ve been actively recruiting for the next stage in our development, which will be a beta test that will run over the next six months. […]

Tagged , ,

How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists « Violent metaphors

I only wish I had been this organized and diligent when I was doing the research for my dissertation. Or that I had had this kind of excellent advice available when I did.  How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists « Violent metaphors: “What constitutes enough proof? Obviously everyone has […]

Tagged

Never let “being realistic” get in the way of real problem solving

The good folks at xkcd always have something useful to say. Too many problem solving efforts are sabotaged when someone decides to redirect the conversation towards “being realistic.”  xkcd: Realistic Criteria I’m planning on posting this little gem somewhere close by to remind me to view these requests more skeptically.  When is a request to […]

Tagged

Twelve years at McGee’s Musings

Still here. Not so many posts here over the past twelve months. Working on making that change. When I started this, blogs were pretty much the only way to share your thinking. A lot more choices today, although of late the emphasis seems to have shifted more toward ‘sharing’ than ‘thinking’. Both make the world a […]

Tagged

Wise advice—hard practice. Do the work—share it.

I discovered this in the usual way—by ignoring the advice and following a trail of breadcrumbs that started on Facebook. I’ve paired this talk by Neil Gaiman with a related one by Ira Glass below. I wanted to have both of them ready to hand when I needed some encouragement and a kick in the […]

Tagged , , ,