21st Century Soup-Spilling

[post_intro]There’s a lot of talk about 21st century education. There are the skills that children need, the jobs that don’t exist yet, the access to learning anywhere and all the wonderful things the internet enables us to do. All of this is valuable, I think, but I wonder how much it is side-stepping the real issue?[/post_intro]…

Twitter vs. the Dunbar Number, and the Rise of Weak Ties

the fact that new social technology is allowing us to grow the ranks of our weak ties and passively tracked relationships should not be glossed over as an aside, or also-ran, or less than exciting and amazing development… It should be embossed, stuffed, mounted, lacquered, bronzed, and put up on a pedestal for all to admire in perpetuity.

Mainstream vs Underground

This made me think.

“The concepts of a ‘mainstream’ and an ‘underground’ are laid to rest by networked culture. There are only open and closed networks. Everything is flat.”
– via the very bright Anil Bawa

Hmm … instinctively like the idea, but I’m afraid I don’t believe it.…


“Nonlinear dynamics is central to the future of science. Chaos theory revealed that simple nonlinear systems could behave in extremely complicated ways, and showed us how to understand them with pictures instead of equations. Complexity theory taight us that many simple units interacting according to simple rules could generate unexpected order.

You say profession, I say passion

Missed this while on my travels. Anjo, Lilia and Stephanie have been doing some interesting things analysing blog communities through terminology rather than links. [Anjo writes it up here, here and here.]

One of the upshots of it all is a map of a number of blogs organised by terminological similarity rather than links.…

Diversity and Problem Solving

What if, as part of the human condition, we naturally underperform when trying to solve problems together?

There’s a fascinating paper by Lu Hong and Scott E. Page called “Diversity and optimality”[PDF]. As they say in the abstract,

In this paper, we construct a general model of cognitively diverse problem solvers.