09/15/14: Thinking about platforms.
A platform is...
a solid foundation for occupants.
a place to aggregate multiple, complex, functions into a single utility.
a natural point of social aggregation, connection, and interaction.
a multidisciplinary (transdisciplinary?) nexus.
an intellectual site.
the confluence of data and analytics.
Here is a post about platforms that I found pretty compelling, which elaborates on what a platform is... http://sarver.org/2013/09/26/what-is-a-platform/ .
05/10/13: Why corporate giants fail to change.
..."outdated or outmoded management approaches, poor metrics, disenfranchised front line, lack of diversity, intolerance [or inability to learn from] failure"
It's not just corporate giants that have trouble dealing with this. Any organization that has a "front line" should beware. Truthfully, it is difficult to balance the demand for organizations to change with the need to find consistency in their operations. It's interesting that this author (finally) identifies the person at the top as the person who bears the ultimate responsibility for this kind of failure.
03/17/13: Quantitative & Qualitative Differences
02/09/13: Maps: Observability for Online Retail
Other Categories: Innovation , Interfaces , Business , Information Visualization
Although it's not well implemented at all but I think it's the right idea. Sure - the graphics are clumsy, google maps integration is a mess, and a non-existant UI would be an improvement but its a smart idea for an online department store. Observability is an important tool for brick-and-mortar retail stores. Without it online retailers miss an important part of the sales game. I could imagine something like this nicely integrated into a product detail page.
11/13/11: OoOhhh the light!
This is why I love teaching. Particularly in the AMT MFADT Program at Parsons. WHat you have here is a group of students gathered around the beautiful consistency of an LCD display backlight that had been taken out of it's housing. The pure joy of discovery, fascination with technology, and excitement of what can be done with their confluence. Sweet joy!
02/01/11: Cities, Time, and Narratives AMPLIFIED
All are invited to attend this special panel discussion about cities and their stories at Parsons the New School for Design.
Cities, Time, and Narratives AMPLIFIED
Mediation and globalization have splintered the histories of cities. In their place we’ve received constantly changing, ever appearing, narratives with competing claims on the future. In Dubai Amplified Stephen Ramos reveals an opportunity to question, complicate, and interrogate these post-narratives. He portrays the unique relationship between cities and time through the story of one such place. This panel will expand this notion across three cities: Dubai, Las Vegas, and Bangkok and explore how competing narratives reveal a deeper understanding of the contemporary urban moment and can help shape its future.
Stephen Ramos, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Brian McGrath, Parsons the New School for Design
Aseem Inam, Parsons the New School for Design
Scott Pobiner, Parsons the New School for Design
Tuesday, February 8th - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center Arnhold Hall
55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor
No RSVP is necessary but space is limited, arrive early.
**click this thumbnail for full-size image**
So many one-liners here...
- A priest, a queen, and a despot tweet...
- "Twitter is awesome! We can speak on behalf of [people] we've never met and they can't talk back or correct us! ... Oh... right that's what we do..."
- Wouldn't it be great if they were actually neighbors?!
- Sometimes things just fall into place... and sometimes that's not really a good thing.
Time and time again it seems that people think that installing a large fence can solve a problem... time and again the fence fails to change anything.
On a recent visit to Cornell I saw the Campus' newest architectural addition. Not Rem's Big Box, which looks to be coming along nicely. What I saw were ribbons of chain-link fence throughout the campus - from the arboretum to collegetown.
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In many places the fences that are constructed seem to be designed and planned in an ad-hoc manner and they end abruptly - just beyond the view of passersby (and perhaps cameras) where they can project the image of a strong administrative response. Practically though - how can Cornell's administration expect to revoke access to every sharp change in elevation on campus, even in the short-term? The campus is built in a region known for deep gorges!
It's depressing to see a campus that I remember so fondly for its intense natural beauty to be walled in like a construction site and it's frustrating that the response wasn't more thoughtful. If this is a necessity then construct formal walls along the major thoroughfares - perhaps large wood or stone installations with windows or peek-holes to frame views. Anything but the hurried and flimsy construction that now obstructs the once renowned beauty of Cornell. Even the slightest bit of thought would vastly improve the brutal image that the campus now projects.
If the problem is cultural then work on changing the culture - a physical response to a cultural problem never works. Consider the Bastille, the Berlin Wall, Brutalism in New York and Boston, and the absurd idea of building a giant fence along the border of entire nations. All costly responses, all ultimate failures.
I have never liked, but always understood, Cornell's policy not to invoke its faculty in questions of its own campus design. The potential for conflicts of interest to arise seem too great in the Ithaca area. But in a situation like this, the turbulent academic administration might actually show some resilience and thoughtfulness to a plague of the modern academic institution. Including the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning and the College of Engineering in a process for rethinking the gorge edges and overpasses would show praise for a remarkable and historically elite faculty and student body. It would cost a fraction of what it might to introduce an outside PDC to the campus, and it would produce better results because, after all, the product of design in this case if for their community, their their colleagues, their students, and their friends. What better way
On the other hand, if the problem of student mortality is really too intractable to resolve then perhaps Cornell should consider moving to lower ground - and setting its sites lower too.
After a year of ups and downs and a tough economic decade Cornell could use some healing. It's campus, now stapled together, should be attended to by its inhabitants. As the campus heals, perhaps the community and the culture would too.
05/25/10: Workshops at BEOC / New York Tech
Other Categories: Pedagogy , Thesis Points , Education Facilities , of course , Abstract
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Reframing Faculty and Technology
A common objective of all teachers is to train their students to achieve learning objectives. From the early education, to primary and secondary school, and through higher education, professional training, and graduate school, the learning objective is the main interface between the instructor and the student. With objectives, a course plan can be laid out, examination criteria can be prescribed, and students can be fairly assessed for their capacity to achieve a performance of understanding that validates their mastery of the course content. On a larger scale, learning objectives frame a curriculum of study and prescribe attributes of a successful graduate of a degree program. These objectives don’t replace the pedagogy of a given instructor but they provide a common framework where a group of instructors with similar skill sets can train a given student cohort. There is little doubt that instructors are masters of organizing domain-particular information in support of the acquisition of knowledge.
Paradoxically, a common problem in learning communities is the organization of information about themselves and how to approach technology. This tender subject is often made visible in times of transition and during discussions of technology use and adoption. It may be that instructors can rely on themselves for the focus and attention required to organize domain information but the kind of insight required for a community to “know” itself must be commonly understood, collaboratively developed, and irreverent of discipline. As this relates to the adoption of new technologies and their use – the 21st century institution needs everyone to have a common desire to share information and to learn from it. Once common desires are established, communities can begin developing practices that promote a healthy relationship with technology and build rapport in a growing learning community.
Support Services in Academia and Technology
21st Century learning communities must implement technology as a means to communicate information and balance a constantly evolving skill-set and knowledge base. Though faculty members often stand at the threshold to content-based experience, support staff, administrators, and advisors are a critical part of fulfilling the contemporary academic experience. The 21st Century learner has access to more raw information than can ever be coherently presented in a course of study. So much information, in fact, that it is often difficult to separate meaningful online activity from pointless wandering. Much like the impromptu meeting with a colleague, instructor, advisor, or friend however, the right information at the right time can significantly change a person’s outlook and the way in which they approach the trials of adult and post-secondary education.
The 21st Century institution can only take advantage of “just-in-time” information by having a proactive and innovative group of support and administrative stakeholders to create these opportunities. Rather than the support team that waits for relevance to arrive, institutions of 21st century caliber are able to help students to integrate informal learning with formal lessons by providing relevant information to each student when they need it. The challenge for learning support specialists is to understand what role they can play in the learning experience, what information they need from instructors, what information they can provide to students, when they can provide this information, and how they can best do these tasks. As this relates to the adoption of new technologies and their use ¬– the 21st century institution needs everyone to have a common desire to share information and to learn from it. Once common desires are established, communities can begin developing practices that promote a healthy relationship with technology and build rapport in a growing learning community.
Earlier this week Congressman Ed Markey won a pretty big victory when he was able to compel Beyond Parody to release live footage of the ocean floor oil fountain that, by some estimates, has been spewing 100,000 barrels of oil EVERY DAY into the mile deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
The spillcam is your front row seat to human produced environmental devastation. - but it's not working right now. (my guess after the jump)
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The video feed is down. I am not much of a conspiracy theorist but when a site goes down - it goes DOWN. Meaning you cannot see the site. In this case, the site is fine - its actually pretty quick to load - but there is no feed. So that tells us that the site, and the feed are hosted in different places. We can assume that the site is hosted on one of the US government's public servers. The video feed, however, is obviously not or the entire site would have crashed.
Why didn't anyone who manages the US Government's websites think to mirror the feed?!
If Congressman Markey had so much trouble getting access to BP's video then the "load", or the amount of data being requested from the server, couldn't have been that high. Releasing it on the .gov site seems to have opened it up to a much larger audience and the Commodore 64k computer that was serving the file must have given up the ghost.
... or someone over at Bad Portal kicked out the electrical cord.
It seems that BP can control the flow of information - it's the flow of oil that they have a tough time with.
So the TFA of the Day goes to the geniuses who trusted BP to give us a clear picture of what is going on at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.