Saturday, December 24, 2005

(Thanks, Bill Daul!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

HUMAN COGNOME...Dr. Robert Horn, scholarly father of visual language, maps out the future of what he calls the "Human Cognome" project using visual language for innovation and communication: COGNOME

Friday, December 09, 2005

GNARLY REALITY THROUGH A KEYHOLE, REVISITED. This link was forwarded by Bruce Kent of Vitesse Learning demonstrating optimum use of graphics for depicting complexity: VisualComplexity

Friday, November 25, 2005

WHAT ABOUT BLOGS? People disagree about their use: What are blogs for?
In May, a Business Week Article said blogs are imperative, but for what? People use them as:
- An "open" personal journal
- Personal Knowledge Management
- "Column" for others to read
- Source of paid advertising
- Obligatory activity if you are in business (ref: Business Week)
The concept of blogging first came to my attention in 2002 at the Creating a Learning Culture conference at Unversity of Virginia's Darden Business School in June, 2002. (Here a link to the site, scroll down to see mural about blogs, wikis, etc Darden ) These photos were taken and immediately posted by Jay Cross who already had a blog back in 2002 -- the longest-running blog of anyone I know: He writes about what he learns, does and thinks about in a day especially while traveling (with photos). Exhaustive. Jay's Blog A simpler idea came up about a year ago at the KM Cluster meetings in Cambridge. Bill Ives talked about blogs as a personal knowledge management tool. You write to keep track of your own activities and thoughts, and others are welcome to visit. One friend, Jerry Mikalski actually has his "brain" online -- a map of everything he has read, discovered, thought about and links connecting them. Jerry's Brain Cool (but exhausting!) I decided I encounter one new piece of knowledge every day. The challenge is to write it down. It's a discipline. The root of the word discipline is learning. I am trying to learn to keep it short!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

HOW MANY WORDS DOES IT TAKE TO DESCRIBE YOUR JOB? We did an exercise at the Future of Talent workshop asking people to say what they were doing 10 years ago, what they were doing now, and what they expected to do 2015. The result? One word jobs in 1995 (e.g., "journalist"). Job descriptions today require at least a sentence and often a paragraph (e.g., storytelling on giant murals using words and images for thought leaders in leadership and learning while doing future-oriented research on symbols, technology and human resilience) and a lot of people wanting to "simplify" in the next 10 years (e.g., "writing" or "painting"). Mostly it looks like most of us want to be wise enough to get back to one-word jobs.

Monday, November 21, 2005

IS GOSSIP GOOD? Word origins sometimes deliver startling messages. The term "gossip" turns out to be related to the word "God" and originally had to do with "God'sSibs" (referring to religious caretakers, Godparents, for example). Historically, perhaps, it was thought that people talked about you because they cared and wanted the best for you. When I grew up, gossip was considered both bad and declasse. We had an embroidered piece on the wall from my Aunt Garnet "There's so much bad in the worst of us and so much good in the best of us, it hardly behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us." Another saying was "Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about events, dull people talk about people." But lately organizations and relationships are so complicated especially with virtual teams. We don't see people every day or even once a year, and it's hard to really know them. You can work more easily with people if you know what's happening in their daily lives, what they're struggling with. Is it OK to talk about people if we're really trying to understand them better in the interest of cooperation?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Click here for mural:

Today there is an argument including from David Weinberger that people may not need a traditional library catalogue system but will co-evolve a new way to share all knowledge Wikipedia-style. (Weinberger is Harvard adjunct faculty, coauthor of Cluetrain Manifesto. Link above to the mural from his talk at COFES 2005) One result of "everything is miscellaneous," is that many people will look only to like-minded colleagues and friends for information. What happens to objectivity? Could we see a time when there are no shared norms for trustworthy information? Sorting information according to credible sources has been the role of librarians back to ancient Greece. Five years ago on an Intitute for the Future project on e-learning, my secret subtitle was "Librarians rule." I dream about a new role of journalist/librarian that would be similar to Dr. Doug Engelbart's idea of the "certified public logician." Like a CPA, the CPL would have to follow specific rules for auditing information, making sure no one can lie about fact vs. opinion. Perhaps the practicalities are a bit daunting, but it's a comforting concept. Meanwhile, we do have journalists and librarians trying to keep integrity while their institutions are changing radically. (This entry was inspired by Barbara Kelly of the Wisconsin Public Libraries Association's campaign to increase support for funding. Their headline is "Librarians' shouting!" They're trying to get past the old idea that libraries should be supported because they are "good," and to get people to realize they are essential.

Monday, November 07, 2005

GNARLY REALITY THROUGH A KEYHOLE - What do good writing, good instructional design and good conferences have in common? I like Rudy Rucker's phrase, "putting gnarly reality through a keyhole." Rudy, mathemetician, computer scientist and philosopher (who believes and is close to proving that very nearly everything can be reduced to an algorhythm) spoke at a recent Institute for the Future meeting. At dinner afterward we chatted about his new book "The Lifebox, the Seashell and the Soul" (a great read) and commiserated about the challenge of turning messy complexity into a narrative with a through story. During "Extreme Learning" conference, I talked to instructors and leaders who are experiencing the same challenge. We agree that what makes us crazy is when we finally succeed in the step-by-step of putting gnarly reality through a keyhole, the result looks so simple, people figure they could have done it themselves.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

CHALLENGE TO WOMEN IN TIME OF WAR - Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, daughter of Robert Kennedy and niece of John F Kennedy JR talked with Elliott Masie about leadership, women, and courage on stage at Learning 2005. An attorney who followed her father's footsteps, she observed that leadership is challenging right now for women. "In times of war, people tend to think of leaders as men." She called for women to show courage, to have a stronger voice for two pending crises in America: the decline of public school and the decline of the middle class.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

MALCOLM GLADWELL PREDICTS A TIPPING POINT. Malcolm Gladwell's talk was a highpoint of Learning 2005. He's as brilliant in person as in his writings (including in the New Yorker, and his two books "Blink" And "Tipping Point".) Elliott asked participants and speakers Tuesday morning to identify the next tipping point. Malcolm's was: The changing social contract between people and their employers.

Monday, October 31, 2005

EVERYONE WIRED. We could be closer to a year 2020 future sscenario we envisioned five years ago in an Institute for the Future report "The Future of Global e-Education" for Vivendi Prospective: A world of unlimited bandwidth with everyone online. Now, Adam Roux tells me, with Apple's forthcoming $100 "Internet only" computer and Google's free wireless, the unlimited bandwidth scenario could be a reality US wide easily within five years and internationally only constrained by electricity. In 10 years it will be easier to have Internet than a phone, said Adam, of Cornerstone OnDemand. "The Digital Divide" would be eliminated.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Starting a blog was one of my goals for Learning 2005, Elliott Masie's event in Orlando Florida. Uusally I create images - today they are on butcher paper all around Learning Land as invitations to everyone to join in the "visual journalism". But this blog (at least so far) is just words. Here are some new ones:
CLASSROOM IN A BAG. Murray Christensen and I were talking about a new lightweight portable easel for the 4 b 8 foot murals, called "Classroom in a Bag". Murray thought this was a great concept in general. Instead of you going to the classroom; the classroom goes to you. What would you put in your classroom in a bag?