Genius photographed

original article

Photographing Fearless Genius at NeXT, Apple, and Others
IEEE Spectrum

July 11, 2014

This is just fun to see.

I haven’t yet had a chance to visit the exhibit at the Computer History Museum but I loved reading some of the photographer’s anecdotes about Jobs at NeXT Computers ( the

Alan Tucker in a video demo of the Archives and Museums Information System (on NeXT computers)
Alan Tucker in a video demo of the Archives and Museums Information System (on NeXT computers)

 fanboy site). A mainframe in a dorm room. Indeed. And back in the day we had about half a dozen of them when we were trying to design a system to manage archive and museum information. They were really remarkable. And just too darn expensive. No system got built. But you can watch this video demonstration featuring my departed colleague and the chief designer, Alan Tucker (1995 obituary .pdf). Enterprise groupware for an archive or museum. Seems like a natural thing to build now but not back in 1994.

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How do you feel about what you do?

original article

Working, 40 Years After “Working”
Pacific Standard
July 10, 2014

This is a tribute and emotional summary of the seminal Studs Terkel volume - Working; people talk about what they do all day and how they feel about what they do – in which he interviewed American workers of all types about their jobs. They showed remarkable self-reflection and insight and the book was a best-seller. Given all the changes looming to the work in our domain this is worth revisiting.

I lived in Studs Terkel’s Chicago when this book came out. He was the voice of the working man that formed the backbone of Chicago’s self-image. Discontent runs through the ‘Working’ interviews. I wonder whether librarian job satisfaction has become more volatile over the recent past?

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Consider the underpants gnomes and libraries

original article

These little gnomes steal your underpants when you are asleep. www.southparkstudios.com
These little gnomes steal your underpants when you are asleep.
www.southparkstudios.com

Solving the Underpants Gnomes Problem: Towards an Evidence-Based Arts Policy

Createquity

July 10, 2014

This is a re-run of some thinking about arts policy and support that occurred during 2013 which just came to my attention. The video of the talk by Ian David Moss at the The University of Chicago is worth some of your time. Almost everything he has to say about research and policy efforts in the arts applies to libraries.

How could you not follow a link invoking the underpants gnomes? The very nice thing about this post is that the video is supplemented by new notes and observations from Moss summarizing the issues with ‘research’ in the arts. The description of the grant-making processes in which he’s been involved in Issue #6 Allocating Resources will make you cringe in its familiarity. (Michalko)

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I can run my business so I can run your school…

original article

How Business Leaders Can Strengthen American Education
Forbes Leadership
July 9, 2014

A short report on the work being done by the Harvard Business School’s U.S. Competitiveness Project reflecting on the $4 billion firms invest in US education (out of $600 billion). They are critical of checkbook philanthropy (‘have some computers, kids’) and think money spent on local coordination would have big payoffs.

So I went and looked at a few of their admirably crisp reports (they are, after all,  targeted at business leaders; brevity please). I searched for mentions of libraries. Not many and then in contexts like this:

“In interviewing many education and business leaders for this report, we noted an odd disconnect. Few educators want more school libraries or volunteer teachers from businesses, and many want support with strategic and systemic issues in their schools and districts. At the same time, business leaders want to see faster improvement in student outcomes. Yet many of them give philanthropic dollars for libraries and the like and encourage their employees to volunteer in schools. This disconnect reflects, in large part, poor communication and weak partnerships between business leaders and educators.”

Lasting Impact: A Business Leader’s Playbook for Supporting America’s Schools page 25  (Michalko)

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I was sure the CIA had a manual. Just not this kind.

original article

Writing tips from the CIA’s ruthless style manual
Quartz
July 8, 2014

Redacted - created by Meredith Atwater for Opensource.com
Redacted – created by Meredith Atwater for Opensource.com

So the CIA’s style manual got posted after being liberated in a Freedom on Information Act sweep. If you grew up with Strunk & White then you’ll have at least mild curiosity about what the CIA tells its writers. Turns out a lot of the same stuff. They want “crisp and pungent” language “devoid of jargon.” And they are remarkably clear-eyed about some charged words, c.f. regime.

This has been making the rounds and it is fun to see on what bits different commentators choose to focus. My favorite set of comments from Mental_floss 11 Grammar Lessons From the Leaked CIA Style Book | featured the redundancy list e.g. accidentally misfired. (Michalko)

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What’s on your stop doing list?

original article

Forget The “To-Do” List, You Need A ‘Stop Doing’ List
Farnum Street
July 9, 2014

This is a short essay reminding us about productivity and life choices and mindfulness. It draws from the business author, Jim Collins. Many of you will be familiar with his Good to great and the social sectors : why business thinking is not the answer as it has been widely used in higher ed planning retreats.

I’m glad that the author shines a light into the fracture between the ‘follow your passion’ and ‘what makes economic sense’ advice. The counter to the passion dictum is worth reading: Following your Passion is Horrible Advice. (Michalko)

P.S. One of the things that might stop (or at least be better controlled) is our interactions with devices. Here’s some discouraging evidence – Chances are you spend way too much time staring at screens every day.

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What is it about creative brains?

Original article

Secrets From The Brains Of 13 Creative Geniuses
Fast Company
July 10, 2014

http://www.laurajacobson.com/galleries/brainscapes_I.html
Resonance Punctuated by Laura Jacobson www.laurajacobson.com

In this brief post Jane Porter summarizes what the neuroscientist who studies the science of genius found when she scanned the brains of 13 of today’s brightest creative minds. It’s a quick read that features the unexpected like “There is a strong connection between mental illness and creativity.”

Actually there were sufficient provocations here that I wanted to read the  article in The Atlantic that prompted this summary. I recommend it to you for the nice introduction it gives to the evolution of our thinking about intelligence and creativity. And even if you are not creatively neurotic you might benefit from the daily rituals of creative geniuses as depicted in this well-done interactive infographic. (ᔥ  Co.Design) (Michalko)

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Piketty buries Hawking 2(.75) to 1

original article

The Summer’s Most Unread Book Is…
Wall Street Journal
July 3, 2014

This entertaining list is a tonic to all the talk about summer reading. Jordan Ellenberg (whose book we featured not long ago) uses the Amazon highlights to estimate how much of a book people actually read. He knows it is not scientific. But read it and your instincts will likely tell you he’s right.

image from http://www.andreabadgley.com who blogs at Butterfly Mind
image from http://www.andreabadgley.com who blogs at Butterfly Mind

You may have had this zoom by you from other sources. It prompted some interesting back and forth among OCLC Research colleagues. I thought Constance was on to something when she observed that it might be wrong to characterize “the failure to “complete” a book as a kind of reading/work stoppage. Isn’t it (sometimes) a new kind of reading, that is facilitated by e-formats?”  Certainly in non-fiction you skip around to the passages that are relevant without worrying about ‘completion’. Hat tip to Lorcan for sending this to me and to Gary Price at Infodocket for pointing out all these other interesting Kindle lists. (Michalko)

P.S. Blog Post: What Makes You Put Down a Book? 9 July 2014

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Kill your Linkedin Account? Really?

Original Article
HR Examiner
April 17, 2014

One-way street. After reading LinkedIn’s “draconian” indemnity clause and rigid terms of service, employment lawyer Heather Bussing says it’s a social resource she can live without. Check out the fine print that Bussing finds objectionable; many social media websites use similar terminology, but most users don’t pay attention to what they’re giving up when they click the “accept” button.

Well, I never read the fine print. I read the people who rant about the fine print. Good one. But I would land opposite the author who puts up with the same objectionable Facebook terms of service because she gets something useful from it. Bye bye Facebook, I’m going with LinkedIn. (Michalko)

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Is it knowledge? Is it experience?

original article

The Secret to Creativity, Intelligence, and Scientific Thinking: Being Able to Make Connections
bufferap.com
14 January 2014
(ᔥ Wired 18 June 2014)

This is a good reminder that making connections is the source of new insight, new directions and new approaches. I liked that it summarized the different ways creatives and scientists expressed the centrality of connections. A quick read that will prime you.

And I particularly liked the bookends to the piece – the starting reference to cartoonist and marketing guru, Hugh MacLeod of Gapingvoid fame and the closing reproduction of Benjamin Franklin’s daily log “What good shall I do this day?” . (Michalko)

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