stoweboyd

stoweboyd comments on an article by Kevin Kelly:

as information technology advances over the next 100 years, it will push people increasingly into the role of artists, and out of the factories. An evolution of society, not just a speeding up. […]  Of course, the trick isn’t just convincing everyone that idleness should still come with a paycheck. The big hitch is managing to survive all the messes we’ve created in the name of global productivity and growth at all costs. There might be a techno-utopia in the out years, but in the meantime we have to learn to weather the postnormal, first.   […]  One of Kelly’s paragraphs jumps out as perhaps the most challenging for those with the deepest identification with modern business ideology:  

"Civilization is not just about saving labor but also about “wasting” labor to make art, to make beautiful things, to “waste” time playing, like sports. Nobody ever suggested that Picasso should spend fewer hours painting per picture in order to boost his wealth or improve the economy. The value he added to the economy could not be optimized for productivity. It’s hard to shoehorn some of the most important things we do in life into the category of “being productive.” Generally any task that can be measured by the metrics of productivity — output per hour — is a task we want automation to do. In short, productivity is for robots. Humans excel at wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating, and exploring. None of these fare well under the scrutiny of productivity. That is why science and art are so hard to fund. But they are also the foundation of long-term growth. Yet our notions of jobs, of work, of the economy don’t include a lot of space for wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating, and exploring."

As Linus Torvalds describes in the prologue to “The Hacker Ethic”, Linus’ Law states that there are 3 powerful motivators to do everything we do: survival, social ties & Entertainment (with capital “E”). The kind that stimulates your brain and drives you to spend long hours trying to explain how everything works.   Not because you must, but because you can.  

technoccult

technoccult:

Klint Finley

The conversation is slow moving again this year, but that’s actually pretty nice. A few highlights:

  • Jon Lebkowsky: “There’s a real crisis of authority, a question whether we know what we know.”
  • Bruce Sterling: “2012 was all about K-pop and Samsung. Who can’t admire these two…
fabrication-spaces

Introducing “Wired Cubes”, a technology workshop for kids.   Using the ancient art of Origami and a few cool hacks to create a simple, yet functioning Turing machine made out of paper, kids learn programming logic without ever sitting in front of a computer.  Well, except for the one they will be making out of paper.  

My incursion into the Maker Movement has rendered some surprisingly simple ideas about how we can use fabrication techniques to deliver a high-dose of educational content.  On the surface, this workshop is about folding paper and adding a few electronic components, but as we progress, kids are given the opportunity to discover basic principles about how circuits work and investigate how to use those rules to solve specific challenges, as if they were programming the core of a microprocessor.  How cool is that?  

And here is Cassie and Ryan’s TEDxToronto talk.   And again, the best lines from the talk:

because they are facing a future that is filled with knowledge work, our goal should be to help kids become creators, not just consumers.

The aim is to program or be programmed.  But we are not teaching programming.

We call them digital natives. Folks, these devices have a touch control interface and one button. if we are amazed our kids can use these devices, we are not expecting enough of our kids. 

The future demands mastery not just participation. 
We should be teaching kids to be creators, not consumers
Watch as THIS talk becomes a classic TED Talk.  
One of the most powerful ideas at TEDxToronto this year was that if our kids are going to be true digital natives, we should be teaching them technology so they can be creators, not  just consumers.
The image above is a sketchnote by Sacha Chua summarizing the talk and here are some of the great quotes from Ryan Creighton (@UntoldEnt) that I was able to pick up at the event:

because they are facing a future that is filled with knowledge work, our goal should be to help kids become creators, not just consumers.
The aim is to program or be programmed.  But we are not teaching programming.
We call them digital natives. Folks, these devices have a touch control interface and one button. if we are amazed our kids can use these devices, we are not expecting enough of our kids. 

The future demands mastery not just participation. 



We should be teaching kids to be creators, not consumers



But I highly recommend you watch him and his adorable daughter deliver a performance that goes a long way to prove that his method is working.  

One of the most powerful ideas at TEDxToronto this year was that if our kids are going to be true digital natives, we should be teaching them technology so they can be creators, not  just consumers.

The image above is a sketchnote by Sacha Chua summarizing the talk and here are some of the great quotes from Ryan Creighton (@UntoldEnt) that I was able to pick up at the event:

because they are facing a future that is filled with knowledge work, our goal should be to help kids become creators, not just consumers.

The aim is to program or be programmed.  But we are not teaching programming.

We call them digital natives. Folks, these devices have a touch control interface and one button. if we are amazed our kids can use these devices, we are not expecting enough of our kids. 

The future demands mastery not just participation. 
We should be teaching kids to be creators, not consumers
But I highly recommend you watch him and his adorable daughter deliver a performance that goes a long way to prove that his method is working.  

fabrication-spaces

fabrication-spaces:

Why were we teaching kids to fold some Origami cubes?  Glad you asked, it is all about the Internet of Things and many other skills that it seems nobody else is teaching them.  

I spent this past Saturday afternoon at the #HiveWaterloo event teaching kids the principles of the “Internet of Things”. Kids as young as six came by the station and had fun learning how to create some very cool Origami cubes. The more

 advanced “students” got as far as learning how to wire them so they would light up. Some of them even hinted at “knowing” how to build a computer made out of paper! People, this is the kind of stuff that we are doing at http://fabspaces.cc/ lately. A lot more in the works as the reception has been amazing: kids have a lot of fun and parents just want to know when we are coming to their school.  Any educators out there that would like to get involved in other cities?
fabrication-spaces


540 folds. 60 sheets of paper. 10 origami cubes. 1 new way of teaching kids the skills they will need in the near future.

The origami structure in the photo is a metaphor.  Learn how to make the building blocks for more complex structures and master the various ways in which they can connect to each other.  Soon you’ll be applying these principles to other systems where instead of paper you are using electronic circuits and programmable rules to master a world where technology is pervasive, information abundant and bandwidth infinite.  

All we are doing with FabSpaces from now on has to do with rewiring education to teach our kids the skills they are not learning anywhere else.

I’m very excited about the way the FabSpaces project is evolving.  We were all over the map trying to create a tool for Makers and realized after the World Maker Faire in NY that those who have the most genuine interest in learning these projects are teams of parents/kids, teachers/students, looking for ways to revitalize their education.  So we are focusing on finding the projects that have the potential of delivering an important dose of DIY fun while teaching the kids the skills they will need “20 minutes into the future”.   

BTW, we’re heading to the Hive Pop-up in Waterloo this weekend to run our very first workshop.   If you have kids 8 and older, and live in the area, I highly recommend you come and spend some time with us and the many organizations involved.   

Watch as we talk with world renowned experts and educators about its potential to shift away from traditional methods of learning based on memorization and repetition to more holistic approaches that focus on individual students’ needs and self expression.

If the idea about revolutionizing education excites you, get in touch.  My project FabSpaces is now focusing on creating a curriculum that can teach kids the skills they will need in a society where technology is pervasive, information abundant and bandwidth infinite.   

tinywrld


Natural Phenomena is part symphony, part hyperlapse and part visual exploration of the tension between nature and the electric man.  It is so epic that all I want to do is dissect it into every scene, organize them into a map and wonder at the scope of this project: Alaska, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, US.

One of the projects I’ve been toying with for a while is a Popcorn-based interface that would allow us to crowd source the specific locations for each scene on a time-lapse video.  We’ve gathered almost 500 videos of most large cities around the world.   Then use a map to browse the video library by location.   Watching the variety of locations included in videos such as Natural Phenomena supports the notion that having such a library would perhaps inspire others to explore the world in a different way.

We’ve been talking about DIY Urbanism a lot over the last few weeks.  This conversation has been mostly fuelled by our recently acquired fabrication skills.  Here is one concrete project that we believe will be of interest to those sharing our passion for making cities better.  We call this project Bikes in Motion.  A very simple and cheap gadget that would allow people to gather data about the routes they follow and contribute them to an open repository that would encourage better policy making.  Do you know of any such projects in your city?

We’ve been talking about DIY Urbanism a lot over the last few weeks.  This conversation has been mostly fuelled by our recently acquired fabrication skills.  Here is one concrete project that we believe will be of interest to those sharing our passion for making cities better.  We call this project Bikes in Motion.  A very simple and cheap gadget that would allow people to gather data about the routes they follow and contribute them to an open repository that would encourage better policy making.  Do you know of any such projects in your city?

humanscalecities

humanscalecities:

@manufernandez

The complexity of cities (a diverse and always changing environment) produces a huge amount of data. The growing availability of tools to generate, capture, store, manage and analyze this data opens up a wide spectrum of possibilities around those big data. The opening up of public data (public transport, traffic flows, water, waste, use of space, business, etc.) offers the possibility of transforming them into far more useful information than just messy and purely statistical aggregation. The result of this in a context of wide spreading of mobile devices helps to understand the social value of creating new apps that use this data to give users greater ability to interact and experience the city from their own needs. Visualization has become a expanding tool in recent years.