The Longest Now


Chile 8.8 : Soluciones modernas a la destruccion
Saturday July 31st 2010, 7:33 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,Glory, glory, glory,international,metrics,popular demand,SJ

One of my brother’s latest projects, Chile 8.8, is a reflection on the act and goals of architectural reconstruction of cities, for this year’s Architecture Biennale. If you are near Venice while the 2010 Biennale is on, stop by the Chilean Pavillion and take a look.

17 soluciones arquitectónicas fueron seleccionadas para participar del encuentro titulado “La gente se encuentra en la arquitectura”… Los proyectos, que ya fueron construidos o lo serán en el corto plazo y se expondrán en un gran biombo de 130 metros, siguen tres pilares de reconstrucción: patrimonio, prefabricación y organización social.

17 architectural solutions (to destruction) were chosen to participate in the Biennale, where this year’s subject is  “People Meet Architecture”.  The projects, which have been or will shortly be built, and displayed on a 130 meter screen, focus on one of three pillars of reconstruction:  heritage, prefabrication, and social structure.



Afghanistan memos
Monday July 26th 2010, 6:37 pm
Filed under: fly-by-wire,indescribable,international

Not papers, but still: Wow. (The Guardian on Wikileaks; later picked up by most major media) Wikileaks is now a bona fide cultural phenomenon, discussed seriously by political, military, and academic leaders.

And to think I made fun of the logo when it came out.



Perseverance, integrity, and a pinch of tact
Saturday July 24th 2010, 11:53 pm
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory,international,Uncategorized

We Schorr miss you, Daniel.



Citizendium: failure to thrive, in search of peace
Friday July 23rd 2010, 8:59 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,fly-by-wire,metrics,wikipedia

After early months of interest and glory — peaking in a spike in mailing list traffic that was moderated for being too active — Citizendium’s growth all but shut down levelled off and has declined steadily since 2008.   Now it is looking for a long-term home.

I have mixed feelings about Citizendium.  I was excited about it in 2006 — at first blush, it offers a serious alternative for expert editors who want to contribute to free knowledge but feel unappreciated or unwelcome at Wikipedia.  And in general, compatibly-licensed alternatives to Wikipedia are a very good thing – the whole point of using free licenses is to encourage reuse.   But to succeed on the scale of its original dreams, Citizendium must overcome its insularity and make good on its core promise of quality.  Not unlike Wikipedia, it is currently known as much for its humorous highlights as for its best work.  And it faces the same problems with difficult and misguided editors — some who have quite solid credentials — only with a much smaller community to handle that workload.

I still hope for a proliferation of cousin projects, all competing to find the best way to spur collaboration around free knowledge.  There is so much to explore in the way of how to create welcoming communities for different audiences of writers and creators.  Community atmosphere, and a limitation in the types of knowledge that can be easily shared, are among Wikipedia’s major bottlenecks.   It is welcoming to a narrow[ing?] audience, and if this does not change it may face its own dramatic slowdown in participation – more joyful models are welcome.  (My recent favorite, in style, tools, and atmosphere: fotopedia.)

The questions that inspire Citizendium remain:  How can we expand collaborative production of educational works to topics that require rare expertise in a field?  How can we verify new works as quickly as they are produced, and how much does this speed depend on the commonality of the knowledge involved?  
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Hamming on doing great work, in any field
Monday July 19th 2010, 7:43 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,Glory, glory, glory,metrics

Read this transcript of a great public speech about how to do great science, by R. W. Hamming. This sort of good advice is timeless… as are many of his works.



Zuck Strikes Back at Systemic Bias
Thursday July 15th 2010, 3:38 pm
Filed under: indescribable,international,metrics

At TED Global. (The original Zuck, of course.)



Remembering Helgard Mittwoch
Wednesday July 14th 2010, 7:27 pm
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory

A beautiful soul and person; and source of strength in our family. Advocate for peace in life, may she rest in peace.




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