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Archive for July, 2008

Recommended Reading

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Top Billing! Information Dissemination Renaissance Men Are Evolving Into Renaissance Networks

Love the term. Wish I’d thought of it!

Coming Anarchy –  No Terrorism in Dubai? Just you wait!

Thomas P.M. BarnettThe chicken (happiness) gets you the egg (democracy)

In Harmonium Building theories that make sense

The Strategist –  Weekend Reading: Mary Beard on the Emperor Hadrian

New book by Maj. Don Vandergriff –  Finding and Preparing Future Soldiers  (hat tip Shloky)

New search engine – Cuil

New Web 2.0 app – Socialmedian

That’s it!

The Wizard goes to the Mountain(Runner)

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Shane Deichman leaves his usual perch at Wizards of Oz for a special guest post at Matt Armstrong’s excellent public diplomacy and IO blog MountainRunner:

Openness & Government: a guest post by Shane Deichman

….In the early 1960s, President Kennedy charged his Science Advisory Committee (chaired by Dr. Jerome Wiesner, Special Assistant to the President on Science and Technology) to charter a panel to review federal information management policies and practices. The “Panel on Science Information” was chaired by Dr. Alvin M. Weinberg, Director of Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL). ORNL is the site of the world’s first operational nuclear reactor (the Graphite Reactor, where the “pile” from the University of Chicago was moved during World War II to validate the “breeder reactor” concept) and a key national laboratory.

….NASA and the Atomic Energy Commission were acknowledged by Dr. Weinberg as excelling in this area, interpreting their responsibilities quite broadly, and being proactive in providing full-fledged information services (not just a “document repository”) for enabling access to information. The AEC’s culture of openly sharing information is still evident today in the Department of Energy’s “Office of Scientific and Technical Information” (OSTI) in Oak Ridge – the nation’s central repository of scientific information stored in easily searchable databases (including Science.gov, ScienceAccelerator.gov and WorldWideScience.org). [BTW: OSTI is located on the first street in the nation named after a website, “Science.Gov Way”, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.]

At the other extreme, the Department of Defense was singled out in the Weinberg Report for having an information agency (Armed Services Technical Information Agency [ASTIA], predecessor of today’s Defense Technical Information Center [DTIC]) that only handled internal reports and internal information retrieval requests.

Read the rest here.

Special note: Matt Armstrong writes:

In the spirit of engaging and informing the American public of what the government does and why, Shane Deichman of Wizard of Oz and deep thinker on S&T sent along this post on Openness & Government. He is also the blogger increasingly pictured drinking with fellow bloggers.

So true, so true. 🙂

Is Twitter Dead ?

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Anyone else having bizarre problems with the log in ?

On a related Web 2.0 note, I just joined Socialmedian where I have just created a news network for “COIN and 4GW” for any readers who are interested in signing up and helping me build that network. Socialmedian needs some time to crawl for potential feeds ( though several obviously come to mind).

In Praise of the Leatherman

Friday, July 25th, 2008

About two years ago, I stood up in a wedding for a friend and received as a groomsman’s gift a Leatherman Surge. Not being familiar with Leatherman at the time, I threw it in a drawer where it sat for at least six months, gathering dust.

An error. I have found the Surge to be a marvelously handy multipurpose knife that I use almost every day. Despite that, the blade is still razor sharp and the Surge performs as well as it did the first time I used it. If I travel, the Leatherman travels with me. In an era where we are accustomed to buying high priced junk with a definite shelf life, it’s a pleasure to have something ruggedly made to last. I recommend it highly to anyone but for the Gents, a Leatherman is a must-have for your dude arsenal.

A useful tool ( much like Zenpundit himself).

New Post up at CTLab – Complexity & Simplicity

Friday, July 25th, 2008

After some tech issues were ironed out, I was able to get this “think” piece up at CTLab tonight:

Complexity and Simplicity in Thought and Message

….A greater flow of information at ever higher speed increases the level of complexity as ever more variables are recognized, understood (hopefully), and considered ( possibly). Institutions that cannot process the flow of information and accurately distill the signals from the noise will become less effective in their core missions, less “fit” as organizations and at a disadvantage to those that can.

A useful approach to dealing with vast quantities of information and resultant complexity is to make judicious use of simplification to allow at least the fundamental premises or understandings of complicated subjects to be effectively communicated through the mass media or social media networks. Simplification will be a vital tool in any society that is increasingly organized according to the paradigm of a global complex system of systems.

….Unfortunately, clarity is not the only outcome of simplification wrought by complex thinkers. The reverse is also possible when oversimplification not only creates gross distortions of comprehension but actively slides towards the construction of powerfully emotive and destructive myths….

Read the rest here.

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