Machines, Art Criticism, Dead Frogs

 

from wikimedia.org
from wikimedia.org

Should the Laborer Fear Machines? – The Atlantic

How Copyright Law Protects Art From Criticism – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society

Can frogs return from the dead? BBC.com via Nautilus Three Sentence Science

The first because it’s longform and Nicholas Carr.

The second because this is my week for geeking on copyright. (see added note)

The third because I couldn’t resist the headline and the frog pictures are wonderful.

(Michalko)

Note: I was poked a bit about the verb ‘geeking’. My colleagues at OCLC have popularized it in a widely-accepted library advocacy campaign. And the OED declares that the original meaning of geek – a carnival or circus performer of bizarre or grotesque acts – is now rare.

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His idea of cheap is not a library idea of cheap

original article
Search
The Innovator’s Hypothesis: Michael Schrage Tells Us How to Take the First Step
The discipline of innovation blog October 12, 2014

Tim Kastelle summarizes some of the principles in Michael Schrage’s book The Innovator’s Hypothesis: How Cheap Experiments Are Worth More than Good Ideas (find in library). For example, ” Experiments will help you bridge the gap between doing nothing and doing something.”

I’ve always found Schrage interesting and often enough provocative. I need to read more about this recent effort since the review isn’t capacious enough to be a RILR. (Michalko)

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If you can’t invoke authority for your idea then…

original article

Getting People to Believe in Something They Can’t Yet Imagine

HBR.org October 10, 2014

The Xerox 9700 in 1977 via www.digibarn.com
The Xerox 9700 in 1977
via www.digibarn.com

The authors summarize some techniques for socializing and selling a new idea or approach in the face of big company inertia, resistance to change, fear of failure, financial disincentives, and the tendency of people and organizations to favor what has worked in the past.

There’s a few good examples in this short piece. I liked the story about the Xerox 9700 laser printer and the way they created a pilot project. It’s always useful to acknowledge that you have the responsibility to successfully position your good idea. They rarely win on their own.

(Michalko)

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The Archimedean moment is overrated

original article

Breakthroughs Belong to No One
MISC Magazine (Will Novosedlik) via 99U

“It’s not the raw creativity or herculean intellect of an inspired individual that solves problems. It’s the interaction between that individual and others that leads to epiphany. Most scientific and artistic innovations or breakthroughs emerge from joint thinking…”

This is a brief but impassioned exhortation to work across silos. “Contextual juxtaposition’ is the fancy phrase for bringing together different disciplines around a common problem. If you’re organizing group work addressed to strategy or problem-solving it might be worth scanning the paper referenced in this essay – Social Creativity: Making All Voices Heard (pdf) (Michalko)

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Can you overreact in regard to copyright?

original article

Harvard Law Review Claims Copyright Over Legal Citations; Now Challenged By Public Domain Effort

TechDirt October 8, 2014

from publicphoto.org
from publicphoto.org

“If you’re not a copyright geek, you might not be aware of the copyright saga revolving around the Harvard “Bluebook.” The Bluebook is basically the standard for legal citations in the US. It’s technically owned by an organization that is effectively made up of four top law schools. For a variety of reasons, the idea that citations can be covered by copyright is troubling to a lot of folks, but the Harvard Law Review, in particular, has stood by the copyright in The Bluebook (for which it makes a pretty penny each year).”

I am not a copyright geek but I have moved among them including working with Harvard on the release of their bibliographic data. And this is pretty interesting. Well, it’s actually interesting and complicated and not quite as internally inconsistent as the author of this post represents. Existing revenue streams are a powerful shaper of perspective.(Michalko)

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Guessing, wearing, swearing

IEEE Computer Society 2022 Report – IEEECS

The Problem With Wearable Technology, According To “Blade Runner” Designer Syd Mead | Co.Design | business + design

Here’s What All Those Nonsensical Restaurant Terms Mean (via Mental Floss)

Restaurant kitchen  from wikimedia.org
Restaurant kitchen
from wikimedia.org

The first is longform (Really. 163 pages) and identifies  the 23 game-changing technologies that will have the biggest impact on our world by 2022. MOOCs are still on the list.

The second says what I wish I’d said about ‘wearables’. Check out the further list of links at the end of the article.

The third is full of NSFW language that reminded me of my brief stints as a short order cook and a server. Read the comments for some good anecdotes.(Michalko)

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Do you know when you should trust the boss?

original article

How Do Trustworthy Leaders Behave?
Stanford Business September 19, 2014

This is a short summary of signs that some signs that a boss has your — and the organization’s — best interests at heart. It’s based on the work of the Stanford social psychologist Roderick Kramer.

I was glad that these observations weren’t just another version of the personality cult view of business leadership. They stress that there have to be rules and processes that spread trust through the organization. It’s as important to trust sideways and down as it is up. (Michalko)

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Start-ups don’t fail because they run out of money

original article
Why startups fail, according to their founders
Fortune.com September 25, 2014

via Big Think

When your Silicon Valley start-up fails it has become customary to write a public postmortem. Medium, the publishing platform co-founded by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, is the preferred medium. An analysis of 101 of these produced a view of the reasons given for failure. An astonishing 42% were because consumers did not want the product.

Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley have burned through a lot of cash enroute to discovering the absence of a market need. I was glad to see the authors call out the Steve Jobs observation – “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” – as having enabled the ethos of frivolous product development enroute to consumer indifference. It was only one of his dangerous lessons.

(Michalko)

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Does your strategic story link to your past?

original article

Beyond Forecasting: Creating New Strategic Narratives
MIT Sloan Management Review September 16, 2014

How do you develop strategy in a business environment characterized by rapid change and considerable uncertainty about the future? The authors suggest that you must create a story that links a company’s past, present and future. They discovered that, to develop innovative new strategies  managers needed to craft narratives that linked elements of the company’s past and present with a new vision for the future — a process that Sarah Kaplan and Wanda Orlikowski describe as rethinking the past, reconsidering present concerns and reimagining the future.

This is one of those articles that require you to register in order to read a limited number of free articles. This is worth the hassle. If you are a library manager trying to negotiate the deep change necessary in our domain this will be very helpful. The authors are very sensible and know that an innovative future is not about forgetting the past. All of us know that is a non-starter in library change efforts. What you want rather is to “engage directly with the past to shape a narrative that connects a particular understanding of history to a new future direction.” (Michalko)

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These VCs have a Professor-in-Residence

original article

On ‘Dark Talent’, MOOCs, Universities, and Startups: An Interview with Our First Professor-In-Residence
Andreesen Horowitz blog September 25, 2014

"LifeWithPlayStation Folding" by Capture. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Folding@home via Wikipedia
“LifeWithPlayStation Folding” by Capture. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Folding@home via Wikipedia

Professor Vijay Pande of Stanford University is joining the venture firm as its liaison to academia because so many of the companies they fund have their roots in the academy.  He’s got some interesting things to say about how universities can support entrepreneurs, the role universities play in innovation ecosystems, MOOCs as the ‘newspapers’ of academia, and just what makes Stanford so special when it comes to startups.

 

Worth a quick scan. He has some interesting observations and the Stanford exceptionalism is present but manageable. You may know Professor Pande if you were in an office with geeks for any length of time because one of them would certainly have been running the Folding@home project software which attempted to understand protein (mis)folding through the use of distributed computing. And looked exceptionally cool. (Michalko)

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