Originally posted on LightBox:
Black and white photographs often feel more genuine than color images — more truthful, somehow — especially those depicting historical events. Much of that perceived authenticity derives from the fact that black and white pictures seem to be, in the most positive way, far simpler than their color counterparts. The world itself (we like to tell ourselves) was simpler in the latter part of 19th century, and in the earliest decades of the 20th. It was only when human experience began to accelerate and grow profoundly more complicated — say, around the time of the Second World War — that color photography began to come into its own.
When Adolf Hitler, impressed by the color pictures made by his personal photographer, Hugo Jaeger, pronounced in the late 1930s that “the future belongs to color photography,” he might as easily have declared that “color photography belongs to the future.”
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Despite its quaint reputation, agriculture has always been an early adapter of technology. This is evident from the beginning of mechanization with the cotton gin, McCormick’s Reaper, tractors, hybrid seed, to genetically engineered plants that protect themselves and grow in arid environments. Yields have grown quickly, but demand from developing countries and population growth are growing faster
Originally posted on PandoDaily:
It was barely two years ago that things were starting to look absolutely awful for Facebook.
Its stock was hitting one new low after another, at one point falling to half of its IPO value. General Motors announced that Facebook ads were basically useless. The same people who named Mark Zuckerberg the Person of the Year began the calls for him to resign. And the whole “teens hate Facebook” line began to emerge, along with accusations that the company overpaid for Instagram.
The perception was that Facebook was sick, and the list of symptoms could have filled a Pepto Bismol commercial. What’s more, the company’s app and gaming platform, which at one point had seemed so promising, was falling apart as Zynga collapsed.
But the disease itself could not have been more clear — Facebook’s mission statement and core value proposition were not working. Maybe people didn’t…
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“Dammit, why is this happening to me? I mean, this shouldn’t happen to people like me.”
This desperate question from a beloved character Rose on a beloved show The Golden Girls is the defining moment in yet another landmark episode in the critically-acclaimed series. The show known as much for its hilarious comedy as for fearlessly venturing into taboo TV territory was tackling its next sensitive topic: AIDS.
In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers revived a debate I’d had with futurist Ray Kurzweil in 2012 about the jobless future.
He echoed the words of Peter Diamandis, who says that we are moving from a history of scarcity to an era of abundance. Then he noted that the technologies that make such abundance possible are allowing production of far more output using far fewer people.
On all this, Summers is right. Within two decades, we will have almost unlimited energy, food, and clean water; advances in medicine will allow us to live longer and healthier lives; robots will drive our cars, manufacture our goods, and do our chores.
There won’t be much work for human beings. …
Originally posted on Agile KM for me... and you?:
An interesting conversation is happening in KM4Dev – when is it not the case? – in relation with Dave Snowden‘s recent inputs to the conference on ‘Knowledge for Development (#DIEK4D see https://tagboard.com/diek4d) and his reflections on this post (full meeting wiki notes are available here).
Oh and close down those communities of practice which are now so hide bound as to be only of use to the avid naval-gazers. We need more disagreement, more passion, more argument, more engagement which is not conditional on not upsetting people. (Dave Snowden, reflections on #DIEK4D, 9 July 2014)
Two interesting take-homes from this:
a) Let CoPs die!
b) Nice is the new poison
Interesting and provocative statements of course – just wanted to rebound on these, but I highly encourage you to see all strings from that conversation on…
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WHERE does creativity come from? For centuries, we’ve had a clear answer: the lone genius. The idea of the solitary creator is such a common feature of our cultural landscape as with Newton and the falling apple that we easily forget it’s an idea in the first place.
But the lone genius is a myth that has outlived its usefulness. Fortunately, a more truthful model is emerging: the creative network, as with the crowd-sourced Wikipedia or the writer’s room at “The Daily Show” or — the real heart of creativity — the intimate exchange of the creative pair, such as John Lennon and Paul McCartney and myriad other examples with which we’ve yet to fully reckon.
Historically speaking, locating genius within individuals is a recent enterprise. Before the 16th century, one did not speak of people being geniuses but having geniuses. “Genius,” explains the Harvard scholar Marjorie Garber, meant “a tutelary god or spirit given to every person at birth.” Any value that emerged from within a person depended on a potent, unseen force coming from beyond that person.As late as the Renaissance, people we’d now consider quasi-divine creators were more likely to be seen as deft imitators, making compelling work from familiar materials. Shakespeare, for example, did not typically dream up new ideas for plays but rewrote, adapted and borrowed from the plots, characters and language of previous works. “Romeo and Juliet,” as Mark Rose, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, notes, is an episode-by-episode dramatization of a poem by Arthur Brooke.
On 24 August 1965 Gloria Placente, a 34-year-old resident of Queens, New York, was driving to Orchard Beach in the Bronx. Clad in shorts and sunglasses, the housewife was looking forward to quiet time at the beach. But the moment she crossed the Willis Avenue bridge in her Chevrolet Corvair, Placente was surrounded by a dozen patrolmen. There were also 125 reporters, eager to witness the launch of New York police department’s Operation Corral – an acronym for Computer Oriented Retrieval of Auto Larcenists.
Fifteen months earlier, Placente had driven through a red light and neglected to answer the summons, an offence that Corral was going to punish with a heavy dose of techno-Kafkaesque. It worked as follows: a police car stationed at one end of the bridge radioed the licence plates of oncoming cars to a teletypist miles away, who fed them to a Univac 490 computer, an expensive $500,000 toy $3.5m in today’s dollars on loan from the Sperry Rand Corporation. The computer checked the numbers against a database of 110,000 cars that were either stolen or belonged to known offenders. In case of a match the teletypist would alert a second patrol car at the bridge’s other exit. It took, on average, just seven seconds.