Persian Lime

I ordered Myer Lemon trees and a year later realized that I was watering a Persian Lime tree- so much for making lemonade.

South Florida Beauty

Residents of South Florida are blessed with scenes like this one almost daily- I captured this training for one of my 1/2 marathons.

Reflective Self-Portrait

A quick self-portrait while photographing every day objects in a local North Miami Beach park. I love our local parks.

Fins Up!

Whether it's the marine life or American football, I love Miami's Dolphins. Go Fins!

Cool Water, Good Books and Fresh Air

One could argue that all is needed for a good life is warm sun near cool water in the fresh air with good book and perhaps some good company.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Running on Love (ran out of coffee)

Clay Shirky (Twitter link).  What a name. Clay- of the earth.  Shirky- if you try to look up the name definition or origin, good luck.  The old Shirkys spread over the world and the name definition is different based on the region.  However, HouseOfNames.com states that it's Gaelic from Ireland spelled O' Searcaigh and means- wait for it... "loving."

If you are familar with Clay Shirky's work, you'd know how apropos his name is, just how well it suits him.  He's known for the statement "the Internet runs on Love" so recap- America runs on Dunkin, the Internet runs on Love... and I never run (unless Zombies are involved).  What does that mean- the Internet runs on Love?  Definitely not a "prop" to Internet dating.

First, Clay Shirky is a writer and consultant, interested in the social & economic effects of the 'net.  He went to school for theater at Yale and honestly, he did a lot of other stuff.  Interesting stuff, don't get me wrong.  However, you can get all that filler information elsewhere (Wiki), even check out his blog or view his TED talks.  My friend after doing all this stuff (he hasn't really stopped doing stuff either), he writes a book "Here comes everybody".  In the book, he describes how people collaborate online through four key steps:
  • me-first collaboration, ie I share a link or hashtags etc.
  • conversation, ie we come together to talk about #GOT (very important!)
  • collaboration, ie we in a group come together to solve a problem with division of work (as if a group of rebels came together to figure out the best way to kill Geoffrey [the character we love to hate] and assigned tasks to get the job done)
  • collective action, in which Shirky states this is mostly for the future with emphasis on the fate of group as a whole is important.
The nature of such collab is the basis for Shirky's catchphrase "the Internet runs on Love."  Heavily reminds me of Stella saying, "I've always relied on the kindness of strangers." Basically through these steps listed above, individuals accomplish tasks that institutions used to do, for example media companies that provide journalism are now being upended by every John Doe with smartphone.  Even some news providing institutions now rely on social media updates from sources "on the ground".

Do you think "the Internet runs on Love"? Do you rely on the kindness of strangers, online (used Wiki? How do you think the "mass amateurization" of news affects journalism? 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hole in the Wall?

There's this very smart man named Sugata Mitra, who was interesting in complex computer stuff.  Then his interest moved on memory and learning.  He decided to see what would happen when he would put a computer in a "hole in a wall" unattended for children to use freely.  Turns out kids don't need a lot of training to learn something novel.  So awesome of an experiment, he won a TED prize- the first ever TED prize to be exact.  According to the word of Wikipedia, Vikas Swarup read about Mr. Mitra's experiments and influenced him to write Q&A, which became the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

In his latest blog post, he talks about education, physics and chaos theory connecting cells, flowers and learning.  Very academic, yet holds simplicity. Mr. Mitra is a professor of Educational Technology and his profile lists something of interest in his "informal interests": Science Fiction, Astronomy and Astrophysics, bio-informatics and genetics.  Must those who imagine a different future, love science fiction?  I do. This makes me think of Ender's Game (movie coming out later this year) by Orson Scott Card. Learning via playing computer games and situational role plays, a computer that learns from user's activities (see Mitra blog post about "Prime").

It makes me think about my iPod nano, my iPad, my smartphone, and my computer.  I feel like I should always be doing more with them.  Like my brain, I only use a fraction of their potential.  Is it that I don't need the power that the tech provides or is it that I don't know all the value my tech can provide to take advantage of it?