As part of our continued interest in flow, here is an interesting article in the new journal Nautilus on the spontaneous occurrence of traffic jams and their relation to the behaviors of shockwaves in fluids. And, as you depart into Friday afternoon traffic, here is an anxiety-inducing video modeling how traffic waves emerge within closed systems.
There are obvious differences between the sites, driven by their interfaces - Reddit is discursive in a way Pinterest generally isn’t. But similarities too - both are what anthropologist Mizuko Ito calls “communities of interest” rather than “communities of friendship” - online networks whose connective tissue is shared passions rather than real-world proximity or real-life networks.
We are all compromisers. Did you tweet vicious language about MakerBot from your iPhone or iPad? Are you reading this on a Dell, a Sony, an HP laptop, a Blackberry phone? Then you bought a closed source product. What kind of a fundamentalist are you? I know I’m a terrible one, because, as much as I disagree with Apple’s corporate strategy, you can have my MacBook Air when you pry it from — strike that. You can have it when the newer, shinier one comes out. When that happens, I’ll be even happier if Apple takes a step in the direction of openness. Probably won’t happen, but, like the dog that goes happily to the front door when the doorbell rings even though it’s never for him, I am an idealist.
One dynamic that happens in a lot of idealist communities: we praise our opponents who make even a small step in our direction, but we attack our own mercilessly when they make even a small step away from us. It’s counter-productive.
5 Things Every Presenter Should Know About People
In 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (public library), Dr. Susan Weinschenk unpacks the secrets of eliciting response from people — the core purpose of design, it’s been argued — through a combination of behavioral science, psychology, and practical examples to alleviate the misery and mystery of public speaking.This great short animated teaser offers five of the most essential secrets to a great presentation, whatever your discipline or topic.
FJP: If more people could keep these things in mind when explaining their work, we’d all be learning a lot more.
1. A person who uses or operates something, esp. a computer or other machine.
2. A person who takes illegal drugs; a drug user.
During a Square Board meeting, our newest Director Howard Schultz, pulled me aside and asked a simple question.
We’ve seen slime molds “chase” their dinner, and we’ve seen them recreate the Tokyo rail system (whoa!) by maximizing efficiency in growth … now the ability to “map” their surroundings without “mapping”?
Brainless Slime Molds Shed Light On The Evolution of Memory
“We have shown for the first time that a single-celled organism with no brain uses an external spatial memory to navigate through a complex environment,” said Christopher Reid from the University’s School of Biological Sciences.
…“Results from insect studies, for example ants leaving pheromone trails, have already challenged the assumption that navigation requires learning or a sophisticated spatial awareness. We’ve now gone one better and shown that even an organism without a nervous system can navigate a complex environment, with the help of externalized memory.”
The research method was inspired by robots designed to respond only to feedback from their immediate environment to navigate obstacles and avoid becoming trapped. This “reactive navigation” method allows robots to navigate without a programmed map or the ability to build one and slime molds use the same process.
When it is foraging, the slime mold avoids areas that it has already “slimed,” suggesting it can sense extracellular slime upon contact and will recognize and avoid areas it has already explored.
…“We then upped the ante for the slime molds by challenging them with the U-shaped trap problem to test their navigational ability in a more complex situation than foraging. We found that, as we had predicted, its success was greatly dependent on being able to apply its external spatial memory to navigate its way out of the trap.”
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
~Brené Brown from The Gifts of Imperfection
photo by Willem J. Pollen (Taken with Instagram)