Paul Stamets on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world | Video on TED.com
Fungi as gateway species – fascinating.
David Karp of Tumblr interviewed by Technology Review: Videos
Tumblr founder David Karp explains short-form blogging and how Tumblr competes with Facebook and Twitter.
John Cleese on Creativity
Video of a presentation by John Cleese on the role of one’s subconscious mind in creativity, and the importance of being able to structure boundaries of time and space in order to tap into creative imagination.
The end of online privacy – The Globe and Mail
Excellent summary of some of the issues around online privacy, transparency, and – lately – re-anonymization. Interesting roadblocks ahead, too:
However, there are powerful opponents to this kind of anonymity software, and they aren’t online advertisers; they’re security agencies. Simply put, the same technology that allows people to maintain their privacy online also makes criminals tougher to catch. As such, there is a push to limit anonymity on the Web.
A perfect example is Research In Motion’s BlackBerry. For years, big businesses have purchased the devices in droves because of their strong encryption, which makes messages sent from BlackBerrys much more difficult for outside parties to monitor. But now, a host of countries are threatening to ban BlackBerry services precisely because RIM keeps the data too private.
Design Thinking vs. Data Thinking, on FarukAteş
Can’t remember how/why I came across this article, but Faruk Ates has an interesting perspective:
Google’s design process—if you can call it that—revolves entirely around engineering-driven solutions and something I will call “data thinking”: present the problem as a mathematical formula like any other, come up with systematic solutions that attempt to solve the problem and its various “problem components” (think individual UI buttons, copy text, visual design and so forth), then employ testing until a final result is produced. We know this is their process from their own words, but the point was long made clear by Doug Bowman when explaining his departure from Google.
What’s pointedly missing from Google’s approach is the human factor: there is no empathy in the process. It lives or dies entirely by the “sword of data” (Doug’s beautifully apt words, not mine), and while that can be a recipe for success—Google is doing quite well in the market—it is rarely a recipe for beauty, taste or comfort. It’s a cold process, almost entirely devoid of any humanity, precisely because it produces results that lack a human touch. There is no personal identity in the end result, because “data” is not a person.