October, 2008

Need help with blog domain name

I’d like to find a domain name for this blog so that it’s not “rafefurst.wordpress.com” but rather is more inclusive of Kevin’s posting as well as potential future additional authors.  I’ve tried procuring the obvious things like complexsystems.com, but the owners want too much money for them.  So I’m asking you guys to get creative, find an available domain name (not one that is being squatted), and suggest it here.  The domain doesn’t necessarily have to do with “Complex Adaptive Systems”, but it should make sense for the content of the blog, however you interpret that.…

Crowdsourcing Truthiness

Google Labs has a new service called “In Quotes” which might be tweakable to do a truth market of sorts.  Here’s the suggestion I just emailed them on this topic:

I would love to use Google “In Quotes” to crowdsource measures of truth.

For instance, I just saw this:

“In a world of hostile and unstable suppliers of oil, this nation will achieve strategic independence by 2025,” said Mr. McCain during a campaign speech. [ Wed, 29 Oct 2008 Washington Times ]

Favorite Pop!Tech Talks, part 1

One of the best speakers of Pop!Tech this year was also one of the best of TED.  But if you’ve seen Ben Zander‘s TED talk, you still need to see this one, it’s not the same!

Here are a few more favorites, hot off the presses……

Out of Poverty

One of the more inspiring talks at Pop!Tech this year was Paul Polak’s talk about serving the “other 90%” with life-saving and transformative products using a for-profit micro-franchise model that scales.  Paul’s vision and track-record speaks for itself, check it out.…

Want to Influence Financial Crisis Policy Debate?

One of the talks at Pop!Tech this year sparked intense emotions regardless of whether people agreed with the premise or not:

Juan Enriquez (2008) Pop!Tech Pop!Cast from PopTech on Vimeo.

To address these intense feelings and the demand for public discussion, a wiki was created, in which you are invited to join the discussion.  This forum was designed as “a place for a rich, lively, respectful and facts-based dialog on what’s necessary to address the serious economic challenges confronting America today.”  Hope to see you there.

Click here to go to the policy debate.

Pop!Tech Notes, part 3

  • Sustainable ecocities (Dickson Despommier)
    • One shed of hydroponic barley = 200 acres of land
    • No new tech required
    • VerticalFarm.com

Pop!Tech Notes, part 2

This session of 3 speakers has been the best so far.  All three were great speakers and must-watches on poptech.org.

Chris Anderson – attention and reputation are also economic markets; google is world’s largest reputation market (via pagerank); larry page and will wright are central bankers, like bernake; so is phil rosedale of second life; check out Maple Story (korean game coming to US); games enable time/money fungability…

Pop!Tech Notes, part 1

The conference is being streamed live via video on live.poptech.org

Theme of the conference is Scarcity and Abundance.

BarefootCollege.org (Bunker Roy)

  • training poor, illiterate rural, older women from around the world to engineers, take knowledge back to their village and transform it
  • decentralizing and spreading technical knowhow (women, no written word)
  • rainwater collection
  • solar electricity
  • teaching done only by illiterates (don’t even speak same language) because literates can’t teach illiterates
  • children’s parliment

Two Paths to Empathy

By all accounts, the ability to empathize with others is the hallmark of social behavior.  Indeed, when we come across those rare individuals whom we view as anti-social, or those even more rare individuals that we label as sociopaths, the diminished or missing feature of their personality is empathy.

There are two paths to empathetic behavior, one innate, and one constructed.  …

Go Forth and Reify, part II

In this video talk by Richard Darkins he gives some good food for thought on reification when he talks about Steve Grand’s views on things like whirlpools, electromagnetic fluctuations and walking sand dunes.  The most powerful example is this one (quoting Grand):

Think of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you weren’t there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that took place…Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that doesn’t make your hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it is important.

Encoding Life's Complexity

Will Wright’s demo of Spore illustrates some key concepts of complex systems, including the notion of simple rules generating complex behaviors, and also the power of recursively applied (i.e. fractal) computation at different levels.  Living systems leverage these same principles.…