Art makes you smarter. Kind of.

original article

from ja.wikipedia.org
from ja.wikipedia.org

The Impact of Museum Field Trips on Students
Createquity.com October 27, 2014

This article reports on a large-scale, randomized-control study about the impact of museum visits on children that was conducted at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (the result of Walmart fortune patronage). These are rare things in the arts field given restrictions on experimenting on kids and the subjectivity of so much related to the arts that this one is a big deal.

Fascinating but not unexpected stuff. Spoiler alert.
A visit boosts attentiveness to detail along with a bunch of other things like critical thinking. Scan this easy to take on article.Check out the paintings by Bo Bartlett used in the study. (Michalko)

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Let’s get some innovation in here quick

original article

Successful Innovators Don’t Care About Innovating
HBR blog October 22, 2014 via American Press Institute

Doug Sunnheim says successful innovators care about solving interesting and important problems — innovation is merely a byproduct. If this distinction seems like hair-splitting, it isn’t. The two focuses create vastly different realities.

This is a short piece with a good Sherwin Williams anecdote to animate the point. (Michalko)

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What does open source mean for biology?

original article

O’Reilly Radar October 23, 2014
Avoiding the tragedy of the anticommons

Mike Loukides reflects here in an essay from BioCoder on the potential for a bio-commons that holds biological intellectual property in trust for the good of all. Also reflected on is the tragedy of the anticommons, the nightmarish opposite of a bio-commons in which progress is difficult or impossible because “ambiguous and competing intellectual property claims…deter sharing and weaken investment incentives.”

This is worth your review because it is really about where and at what scale open source is impactful and even essential. It takes reflections about the patterns of open source software development and propagation and applies them to biological research. There’s interesting commentary about the tools supporting this research. We should care about this because we will have to steward these work products. (Michalko)

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Poets, products and porn

Billy Collins on life, death and poetry – The Washington Post On Leadership

Announcing The Winners Of The 2014 Innovation By Design Awards | Co.Design | business + design

Google and Combinatorial Innovation | Farnam Street

The first because he’s a charming man. Here inexplicably chosen to be part of a leadership series.

The second because they delight particularly the winner of the ‘Spaces’ award.

The last because it’s a good anecdote and a powerful illustration of the concept.

(Michalko)

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Fingerprints for (not on) a cookie

original article

photo via https://www.flickr.com/photos/jam_project/
photo via https://www.flickr.com/photos/jam_project/

How Much of Your Data Would You Trade for a Free Cookie?
ProPublica October 1, 2014

How Much of Your Data Would You Trade for a Free Cookie?In a highly unscientific but delicious experiment not long ago, 380 New Yorkers gave up sensitive personal information — from fingerprints to partial Social Security numbers — for a cookie.

OMG. “Cookies decorated with the Instagram logo were so popular among photographers that Puno required “purchasers” to give their fingerprints, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers and their driver’s license information. Many still agreed.”  (Michalko)

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You are probably WIERD like me

original article

Mechanical Turk: The New Face of Behavioral Science?

Pricenomics October 15, 2014

By Falk, New York (photographer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons uploaded from the Harvard Theater Collection
By Falk, New York (photographer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons uploaded from the Harvard Theater Collection
Cognitive and behavioral sciences have a big problem with sampling bias. An extraordinary number of experiment participants are drawn from the US undergraduate population. This essay outlines the problem and says why Amazon’s Mechanical Turk Service (online labor market with mini-tasks and micro-rewards) might be an effective and economic way to get a more representative sample of humanity at large.

This was fascinating. Why didn’t it ever occur to me that all those undergrads who need beer money are distorting experimental results? Because I’m not a behavioral scientist and did not know the acronym WIERD. That stands for Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. An article about this group – The weirdest people in the world? (pdf) – concludes “… that members of WEIRD societies, including young children, are among the least representative populations one could find for generalizing about humans.” The extent to which the Mechanical Turk workforce has been analyzed was remarkable to me. (Michalko)

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It shouldn’t always be you in the mirror

original article

A Pattern for User-Centric Organizational Change
By Kimberly Dunwoody  UXMatters October 6, 2014

truemirror
“Comparison ordinary true mirrors” by Cmglee – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org

In this article Dunwoody on her research on how to help non-user experience employees develop a deeper understanding of user needs. She makes the case that a three-step framework—Listen, Learn, Act— can support more systematic user connectedness. She argues that it can be the basis for broader organizational change.

Anybody who has run planning, design or organizational strategy sessions is familiar with the syndrome that opens this article. Staff members assert that they are the voice of the customer when in fact they are representing their own needs and preferences. I was surprised that Dunwoody dismissed the video evidence of users asserting their own needs as inadequate to change these incorrect staff perceptions. Some years ago when we had librarians sitting behind the one-way mirror watching users struggle with designs they had insisted on I found they took it as an occasion for profound self-reflection. Although some of them took it as evidence that their users were dolts. (Michalko)

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You can have a brand preference at what age?

original article

How Millennials Think Differently about Brands
Knowledge@Wharton October 6, 2014

According to Professor Americus Reed, the millennial generation (which runs roughly from the early 1980s to the early 2000s) thinks differently about brands than its Generation X predecessors (people born between the 1960s and the 1980s) and the Baby Boomers before them.

Lego Party at Rockaway Township Library September 24, 2011 - Parents and kids working together to build with Legos and have fun! via flickr.com
Lego Party at Rockaway Township Library
September 24, 2011 – Parents and kids working together to build with Legos and have fun! via flickr.com

“Millennials tend to be very socially aware, are prone to be more public about it, and they are simply more thoughtful and forward looking…”

This summary article of the featured podcast squares with my personal experience. I think Millennials do have an ‘identity loyalty’ where the brand becomes part of who a person is, no matter what the product. And all of us with children in this cohort will affirm his observation about the very early age at which they expressed a brand preference. My daughter rejected the generic plastic building blocks that could be bought cheaply by the bagful asserting they were “definitely not Legos”.  According to the company Lego is an adjective and the phrase “Lego brick(s)” is preferred. Good luck with that. Furthermore the bloody things only get more expensive. See this disturbingly thorough analysis by an MBA Lego enthusiast.  (Michalko)

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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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