Updated: 3/27/08; 6:14:37 PM.
A Man with a Ph.D. - Richard Gayle's Blog
Thoughts on biotech, knowledge creation and Web 2.0

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Peter Schwartz.  GBN's top scenario maker, recently made an interesting point in an interview (thanks Mohan) with the Centre of Future Studies' "in Focus" e-zine.

Q: Do different sets of people come up with the same scenarios given the same information?

A: We just tried that experiment a few weeks ago for the first time. We had two back-to-backscenario groups both looking at political scenarios for the world. One was all non-Americans the other was all Americans to see if they came up with different views of the world and they did - quite strikingly so. We did the non-Americans first and then the Americans and about two-thirds of the way through we showed them the non-American results, and had them react to that as well.

Q: What were the big differences?

A: The overwhelming message was the antipathy non-Americans now feel towards the US. And Americans just weren't seeing that at all. There was no war on terrorism anywhere outside the US. In fact, there was a clear perception that the US was the problem. The scenario that everyone else was talking about was how could you constrain the US, not how could you defeat terrorism. So there are completely different perceptions of the world.

[John Robb's Radio Weblog]

As we continue to go our own way, there will be a greater and greater disonnect between us and our allies. Eventually, we will come to percieve them as obstacles in the way if not outright enemies. There already are news reports about Iran and ITS weapons of mass destruction. I am sure we will hear more in the next few months. It and Korea will be next. And we won't care what our allies say.  10:02:23 PM    

60 Minutes interviewed Bob Woodward last night on his new book:  Bush at War.  It included snippets from an amazing recorded interview between Bob and George Bush.  It changed the way I am looking at the future in the following ways.
  1. Bush has a long-term agenda to eliminate the three major "named" sponsors of terrorism (Iraq, Iran, and North Korea).  He will not stop until all three regimes are "changed."  Invasion of North Korea is on the table.  This agenda is based on the idea that technology and geo-politics have changed in a way that makes the continued existance of nations that support terrorism and the development of weapons of mass destruction untenable.  This agenda will direct every aspect of his presidency.
  2. These conflicts, and potentially additional conflicts with unnammed regimes (Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Palestine), will drive global politics and economics for the next decade.  The global economy will likely suck during this period.  This series of conflicts will consume all of our attention span.
  3. We are in the process of re-allocating how we deploy our forces world-wide.  It is very likely that after an invasion of Iraq, that most of the forces currently in Europe will be permanently re-based in Iraq.  The same holds true with North Korea and the troops we currently station in Japan and South Korea.  Long-term pacification of rogue states and regional hotspots is the goal.
[John Robb's Radio Weblog]

As long as those Europeans ( and Russians)stay in their places, we would be able to redeploy all those troops to the Middle East. But being stationed in Riyadh will not be as nice as Europe. Probably make it a lot harder to advertise those Army of One messages.  9:59:33 PM    

Berkeley Labs.  Discovery may yield full spectrum solar cell.  Extremely interesting if it pans out.  Basically, some new work in materials technology for LEDs has led to the development of a low cost compound that works across the full spectrum of visible light.  ~70% efficiency vs. ~15-20% currently.   I did a little work on what it would cost to power my home, and I found that a $14k system would supply about 1/3 of my needs using existing solar cell technology.  If similar price points are in place (based on the size of the panels) with a more efficient system, I could buy a system that supplies all of my needs and provide a recoupment of 100% of the investment in 4 years (and that's in New England!).  [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

This will be how we power other things that fuel cells can't. Eventually.  9:57:29 PM    

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Investor.  Great source of news on the topic. [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

The best source of energy after we drain the Middle East of Oil. In a proper world, we would be doing what we could to speed the adoption of this sort of technology.  9:56:31 PM    

More on the death of PubScience....Dan Gillmor int .... More on the death of PubScience....Dan Gillmor inteprets the news in SiliconValley.com. "The correct word for what has happened here is 'theft' --because the government has allowed private interests to steal from the public domain....Now, anyone who wants access to information collected and/or catalogued using our tax dollars will have to pay for it. Pay again, that is." [FOS News]

This is a meme that it really reverberating through the web. WOnder how it will turn out?  9:40:41 PM    

Nigerian Mobs Alerted By Texting. Ironically, the blasphemous story published against the prophet has tended to unite the nation's muslims who have not only been unanimous in their condemnation of the story, but have also been sending solidarity text messages on their GSM phones to alert one another on the blasphemy since last Sunday.

AbdulHameed Daramola, a Lagos Muslim told Weekly Trust that he alone alerted over seventy Muslims across the country about the blasphemy through text messages on his GSM since last Sunday when he became aware of the issue. [Smart Mobs]

Picture Islamic fundamentalists using their cell phones to help coordinate their riots and murders. Somehow I don't think this is something the religious leaders would really like. Technology is not supposed to be helping the fundamentalists.  9:29:30 PM    

Epidemic ideas. How does an idea originate? At one point, or at several points simultaneously? The Tipping Blog is an article by John Hiler about "How Weblogs Can Turn an Idea into an Epidemic". In weblogs, you can reconstruct later how an idea spead, mutated, and generated an avalance of repercussions. Here is an extract from the article:

Understanding how Link Mavens and Connectors work transformed my thoughts of how ideas spread. You can literally see the process take place online in a way that is virtually impossible in real life. [...] It's generally a five-step process:

  1. An Expert (one might call her a Content Maven) Writes or Creates something interesting and puts it online (creating the critical component of any online ideavirus: the link)
  2. A Link Maven comes across the link, and blogs it to their site
  3. A Connector finds the link and blogs it to their site (or the aforementioned Link Maven has Connector-like traffic levels)
  4. The link starts to Tip within the weblog community
  5. The link Tips beyond the weblog community, as the rest of us find out about it
[Universal Rule]

This is right on. I loved the Tipping Point. It would be interesting to see how it fits on the Web.  9:20:36 PM    

Enbrel(R) is first therapy shown to inhibit bone and joint damage in PsA [EurekAlert!]

Enbrel only TNF receptor with five years sustained data in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis [EurekAlert!]

Lots of stuff for Immune...I mean, Amgen.  9:06:57 PM    

No more arguing with the referee. Credit-card sized microwave transmitters are fitted in players' shin-pads. A peanut-sized transmitter goes inside the ball. Each produces a signature pattern several hundred times a second. Up to 10 antennas around the pitch relay the information to a central computer, which pools the data to reconstruct the game. Within milliseconds referees receive information via a wrist receiver.

"The system can give information before the referee understands what's going on," says Sylvia Couronné of makers Cairos Technologies based in Karlsruhe, Germany. The computer sounding the alarm also collects statistics for coaches, pundits and fans. It can even recreate the game online, or control television cameras.

This winter, a full test will begin at a stadium in Nuremberg, Germany. Cairos hope to persuade FIFA, football's governing body, to use the technology in the next World Cup, to be held in Germany in 2006. [Smart Mobs]

Now we will really know when they are offsides. And being able to replay the games will be really invaluable for training.  9:04:19 PM    

No Cases of HIV Transmission from Receptive Oral Sex [Science Blog]

Of course, there are ALL sorts of venereal diseases that ARE transmitted. So you don't get HIV but herpes, gonnorhea, etc. are all still possible.  9:01:03 PM    

Scientists Glimpse Cellular Machines at Work Inside Living Cells [Science Blog]

Great new technology.  8:56:50 PM    

Gene Scavenging Between Bacteria is Major Evolutionary Driver [GenomeWeb]

Luckily this only works in bacteria but probably explains why things anti-biotic genes move around so fast.  8:44:06 PM    

Microsoft, Apple and other prominent high tech com .... Microsoft, Apple and other prominent high tech companies have sent a letter to the FCC warning that broadband cable ISPs such as Comcast may intend to promote or suppress certain types of online content by speeding or hampering subscriber access. Reports here and here. This kind of action would presumably favor commercial partners of the ISPs and therefore disfavor free online content. (Thanks to Paul Szynol at Lawmeme.) [FOS News]

A dead end approach. I stopped using search engines that allowed companies to pay for placement. If possible I will not purchase from companies that purchase ISP speed.  8:41:40 PM    

More on the death of PubScience....Stefanie Olsen .... More on the death of PubScience....Stefanie Olsen tells the story in News.com. Quoting James Love, director of the Consumer Project on Technology: "You have a great public service being destroyed by commercial interests, and it's an attack on the public domain. It's something that wouldn't happen if we had limits on campaign spending. It's a case of corruption of U.S. Congress." Quoting Paul Uhlir, director of international scientific and technical information programs at the National Academy of Sciences: "Since the information was all publicly funded in the first place, the question from a public policy standpoint is, was this in the public interest?"

In a LawMeme note on this story, Steven Wu dug up a 1999 statement by Bill Richardson (Bill Clinton's Secretary of Energy) from the inauguration of PubScience: "For science to rapidly advance at the frontiers, it must be open. And shared knowledge is the enabler of scientific progress." [FOS News]

More on the death of PubScience....Jonathan Krim t .... More on the death of PubScience....Jonathan Krim tells the story in today's Washington Post. Krim: "The decision alarmed researchers in and out of the federal government, who worry that services operated by other federal agencies might be forced to give way to private gatekeepers that would control access to information and research, much of which was created with public money." Chuck Hamaker, associate librarian at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, pointed out that the private sector alternatives provide free searching only as an inducement to buy full-text access. Quoting Martin Blume, editor in chief of the of the American Physical Society: "It's the heroin pusher's approach to marketing." Quoting Kent A. Smith, deputy director of the National Library of Medicine and chairman of an interagency group of federal providers of scientific and technical information: "We believe there is a need to ensure open access for the public to information created by taxpayer dollars. We think that's essential." [FOS News]

Let's take public research funded by public money amke make tax payers pay again to access it. These guys need to realize that IT WILL NOT WORK!!!. Scientists do not want to only be read by a smll group. They will publish in journals that allow the most people to read them. This will be journals published by Highwire Press and others, which will have searching and linking tools that databases do not.  8:37:43 PM    

Kinds of knowledge. Jim McGee has a discussion of four kinds of knowledge we might want to share: useful answers, useful questions, practices, and generative patterns of knowledge. (via Al) [Seb's Open Research]  8:18:51 PM    

Remaking the points.

Here's some nice blogback from Nick Richards, who liked what I said in my Linux Lunacy keynote, as well as what the four of us said in Cluetrain.

At one point Nick says This isn't your usual powerpoint slides put up on the web... Others have remarked positively about the way I use visuals in my talks. Here's an explanation of what I'm up to with that. It's old, but it still applies (even if you're not using PowerPoint, which I wasn't in this case).

[The Doc Searls Weblog]

Nice discussion of using Powerpoint for presentations. Iuse Deltagraph as much a possible.  8:18:30 PM    

The illusion of knowledge. This optical illusion is a great way to visualise one of the most common problems facing the sharing of knowledge. That is, depending on where we 'stand' we see different things - even if they are the same.
I've scrutinzed this optical illusion. I verified the hexadecimal values of the colors with Adobe Photoshop. I even cut both squares out of the original image and pasted them next to each other. And still I can't make my brain believe it. Very impressive. I need to read the explanation again...(from curious frog)
And just to be sure, I did it as well. [thought?horizon]

WHat a great illusion. I checked it out in Photoshop but my brain still refueses to believe it.  8:07:52 PM    

Get Lean with GoLive 6. Those who code by hand sometimes scoff at using tools such as Adobe GoLive because these HTML editors once added unnecessay tags and produced code that failed to validate. But times have changed, and now GoLive can actually make it easier to produce lean, mean code. Derry Thompson shows you how. [O'Reilly Network Articles]

I'm going to be using this a lot soon, so this will be a nice article.  8:06:00 PM    

Hoarding is for the weak. Xerox has apparently proven what all knowledge workers intrinsically knew anyway; that knowledge hoarding is detrimental. Via Column Two
A recent Xerox research report has found that high-performing employees don't tend to hoard information. According to the news summary: The idea that knowledge is power has been knocked on the head by researchers who claim that high-performing employees are more likely to be ones who proactively share information with their colleagues.

My own experience agrees 100%. I am personally more powerful in what I do when I collaborate and openly share with others. They provide essential critique, support and grounding for my thoughts. [thought?horizon]

Something to think about.  8:05:06 PM    

Boy Scouts - Private or Public Organization

I have no problem with the Boy Scouts deinfing their membership by any means they want, if they do it as a private organization. But they should not recieve subsidies or free berths for ships if they violate a city's civil rights rules. If an Aryan Nations group tried to get free berths while discriminating against minorities, they would be rightly prohibited. Trying to argue free speech would be laughed at. Yet this is what the Boy Scouts are saying in Berkeley. Now the Boy Scouts can include whomever they want but they should not be claiming free speech as a reason for doing so, in order to recieve public subsidies.  7:45:43 PM    

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Last update: 3/27/08; 6:14:37 PM.