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Category Archives: Emergence

The Pirate Bay 4 Convicted: who does that make safer?

The conviction last Friday, 18 April 2009, of four young men who are part of the team that runs The Pirate Bay is an important signal. But of what?
For the MPAA and RIAA, along with the publishers and producers and other copyright owners they represent, the signal is that the battle against those who would [...]

Thinking about Design Thinking: an emerging literature?

For all the talk about design thinking, it is more than a little bit difficult to pin down just what it actually is. Who would be the definitive authority on the matter? Where is design thinking’s authoritative publication, its approved reading list, the schools which teach its tenets, organizations that instantiate its practice, or the [...]

Designing for the Cognitive Surplus

Designing for the Cognitive Surplus
Clay Shirky has suggested a term for a newly visible natural resource: he calls it the cognitive surplus. This surplus is created when we turn our attention away from television and allow ourselves apply our minds to anything else. Just as we are reckoning with other parts of the digital economy [...]

A 3-minute conference on irrational exuberance

For those who recall, Alan Greenspan used this phrase to describe the
activity in the financial markets almost 10 years ago and into the
period that followed. It is a convenient piece of poetic poignancy and
oh so familiar in design discussions today.
Clearly, design has been liberated from its former life, in part due
to a climate that hungers [...]

Who Needs Unfinished Business?

Umair Haque made a bold post on his Edge Economy blog on the Harvard Business Publishing site this week. In it he calls for the development of next generation businesses that will challenge the rot he sees at the heart of the institutions of business, most lately indicted by the fall-out of the Sub-Prime crisis.
Haque [...]

We Have Never Been Social

For the last decade, we have been hearing about the profound changes that are either implied, occurring or foretold by the advent of the Internet. Ten years later we still continue the job of separating the wheat from the chaff of this chatter. What has changed in the intervening ten years? What was once grounds [...]

Island Overlap08

The Toronto Overlap community spent a Saturday on one of the Toronto islands playing with ideas about how to “map” Overlap.
Tom Mulhern (Overlap06) put it well when trying to describe what we have in common:
“The people you meet here are inquisitive, intelligent, innovative, and sometimes indignant. And not one of them can give you [...]

Genuis vs. Intelligence: The difference between individual and social smartness and the search for intelligent life

Malcolm Gladwell is if not a bellweather then certainly a harbinger. In any case, the question of whether he is a cause of trends or simply a pattern recognizer may well be beside the point in his case. Where you find Gladwell’s attention is usually a spot where either something important is happening or [...]

Wisdom of Many Eyes, Part 2

There are two things I omitted in my first post on Many Eyes: one is the, perhaps obvious, reference to the idea of the “wisdom of crowds”; the other is a more oblique reference to Eric Raymond’s statement of what he called Linus’s Law, that one the core virtues of the collaborative model of open [...]

Wisdom of Many Eyes

In my last post I mentioned, in passing, the visualization project called Many Eyes, which emerged last year from IBM’s Collaborative User Experience research group. Many Eyes is an “open laboratory” for exploring the intersection of data visualization and user generated content. The folks at CUE have made available an application (or set of applications) [...]