Tag Archive for social value

US Rio+2.0 Speed Geeking Session

FrontLine SMS Screen Shot

So I’ve learned a new word: Speed Geeking. It’s like speed dating but for geeks to quickly present their ideas to a small group. You have five minutes strict, and then move on to the next presenting geek. It was a very interesting format, but it clearly had accessibility issue: I walk with a cane and I found it very hard. It would have been impossible in a wheelchair. And others with disabilities clearly had issues with this format. But that said, I’ve learned a lot. Below are my notes on the Speed Geeking event at US Rio +2.0. Noel Dickover — Senior New Media Advisor, Office of eDiplomacy, U.S. Department of State — introduced Speed Geeking and ran the event with an iron fist! FrontlineSMS Demoed by Sean Martin McDonald, Director of Operations http://www.frontlinesms.com Main Point: SMS is cheap data that is easy to structure and moves over cell networks (without Internet) Yahoo Demoed by Gil Yehuda, Director of Open Source Product Management at Yahoo! Gil talk about the use of Flickr for journalism, human rights, and keeping people safe. He raised the issue of copyright. KIVA Demoed by Beth Kuenstler, VP of Marketing & Communications If you haven’t…

US Rio+2.0 Breakout Session on Environmental & Conservation Education

Below are the notes from the US Rio+2.0 conference hosted at Stanford last week. The notes are from the Education: Environment and Conservation breakout session. US Rio+2.0 Breakout Session Education: Environment and Conservation Attendees: Prof. Anthony D. Barnosky: Professor and Curator, Department of Integrative Biology at University of California Berkeley Wali Modaqiq: Deputy Director General (DDG), National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Dr. Khalid Naseemi: Chief of Staff & Spokes Person for National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Julie Noblitt: The Green Ninja — Climate-action Superhero Prof. Robert Siegel, M.D., Ph.D.: Associate Professor, Microbiology & Immunology Human Biology/African Studies at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences Dr. Beth Stevens: Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship Environment and Conservation at Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. Madam Anyaa Vohiri, M.A., J.D.: Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia Olga Werby, Ed.D.: President, Pipsqueak Productions, LLC. Mostapha Zaher: Director General (DG), National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Our breakout group was partly the result of the conversation started the day before in the Environment session. Some of the members of our breakout group were present in that session as well. The main discussion…

Cultural Differences through Time

Bottle of Heroin (1890-1910) by Bayer, sold as a non-addictive substitute for morphine

There’s been a shift in our culture (at least in US) towards seeing medication as a sign of weakness from one of alleviation of suffering that predominated out society some 100 years ago. Some people I know are even proud of the fact that they’ve never taken a painkiller or were treated for cough. Stoicism became a virtue all in itself — “I’m a good person because I don’t take medicine, preferring to suffer the illness and/or the symptoms of the disease.” And it’s not just the patients that feel this way. Medical professionals routinely prescribe to the “complain 3 times” rule: their patients have to mention being in pain on multiple visits prior to getting a prescription that would deal with it. A friend told a story of a doctor visit during which he was told that “he didn’t want to appear to be complainer.” Several weeks later, he was having back surgery and remains in a wheelchair to this day, a decade later! How did we get here? This is a very complicated question, but it might help to examine how things use to be. Below are medications as they were packaged and sold all over America in the…

Creativity, Perception, and Public Art

Coming Unzipped

Art or craft? Creativity or public nuisance? Sometimes, the line between these is so fine, so complex, so fractal, that it’s simply doesn’t matter. The images below span thousands of years in dates of creation. The artists used light and shadow, perspective, and clever geometry of space to add meaning to their work. All showed an amazing amount of imagination, all provide commentary on current events or a point of view. Happy holidays to all! Enjoy! [flagallery gid=3 name=”Gallery”]

End-User Development (EUD) Educational Preview

This is an interesting collection of videos and background materials on End-User Development — situations when end users design and develop software for their own use. If you’re old enough, you would remember BASIC and HyperCard — tools that let anyone develop simple games and applications. A great example is “Spelunking” game totally developed in HyperCard (these guys when on to develop “Myst”!). I’ve made a few games like this myself. And of course FileMaker is another system that allows application development by the end users — we have one for time tracking. There have been many many others, and unfortunately, many of them are now gone. The discussion on what happens when end users develop for themselves is fascinating. Most times, these users are experts in their own fields and are not software developers (some have no and some have little formal training). Thus there are cultural differences between “real” programmers and end users that take up programming to achieve their own goals, often because they can’t find what they need out in the world. These end-user designed products have strengths and they also have many weakness. In particular, these products are tightly focused on the needs of those…

Using Positive Emotion to Change Behavior

Games can be used to change our behavior — make something fun, and we are likely to do it again and again. Psychologists call is positive reinforcement. Pleasure triggers our amygdalas — makes us make strong neural connections between the activity and positive emotion. Thrills are memorable and we seeks them out in our daily lives. Here are two examples of using fun to change people’s behavior, to make us do something we ordinarily don’t particularly want to: climb stairs and recycle. November 17th Update A fellow member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), David Watts, recommended the following: