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Reimagining Work: Collaborative Authorship, Coordination, and Version Control

New Tool Paradoxes

One of the paradoxes of technological change is that as new tools are introduced, people often remain tethered to their existing tools and practices. It's a paradox because new technologies can be significantly beneficial, yet we are loath to incorporate them into our daily routines. As people, we don't tolerate losses too well. If we lose a technology we've come to rely on, even to replace it with a better version, that can feel like a big source of pain. 

 

Reimagining the Future of Higher Education: From STEM to SEAD

Design and art have long been viewed as distinct fields of inquiry from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), but the contemporary perspective is that these modernist institutional distinctions are rapidly eroding now more than ever. For more than a decade, new residencies, institutions, collaborations, and projects have pushed the expectations and outcomes of working across both the sciences and the arts. Today, it's almost a given that science, design, engineering, and art are closely linked in product as well as practice.

Measuring How Well We Work Together

During the recent Breakthroughs to Cures game, which we ran in collaboration with the Myelin Repair Foundation, one of the key themes that emerged was that basic science research would be aided by a lot more collaboration. While this sounds nice in theory, one of the challenges is that it's easy to evaluate researchers by the number of papers they have published, but it's much harder to measure collaboration, much less base tenure and promotions and the like on how well on works with others.

On Volcanoes, Telecommunications and Travel Substitution

Over the last week, as the sudden eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano disrupted air travel throughout Europe, many people and organizations fell back to the dense and multi-functional communications web that has grown up between cities and continents over the last 20 years. Cisco and other companies with a big commercial stake in a rapid expansion of videoconferencing heralded the arrival of a new paradigm in business "travel".

Knowledge Tools of the Future

It's a truism that we live in a knowledge economy. For the last decade, being competitive in the knowledge economy has required developing systems to manage information-- information like consumer data, logistics, organizational practices. But the tools of the next decade will be very different. The growing accessibility of knowledge management systems have greatly reduced the competitive advantage that companies can draw from adopting them: KM is business as usual.

Labmeeting.com - Distributed Lab Management

Interesting new startup that is building tools for managing lab documents in a distributed fashion via the web. One of their pitches is "manage your lab", that is - sharing protocols and data.

Massively Multi-Sensor Earthquake Detection

After discovering a free application that let her Mac laptop display movement like a seismograph, seismologist Elizabeth Cochran of UC Riverside was struck by a pretty good idea: let's turn our laptops into real earthquake sensors.

Clay Shirky Talks About Online Community on the Colbert Report

Last night I saw Clay Shirky, Jimmy Wales, Tim Wu and Jonathan Zittrain on a panel at the NYU Law School. Apparently I missed Clay's appearance 2 weeks ago on the Colbert Report, talking about his new book.

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