Our dopamine driven present

Our dopamine driven present

Hans de Zwart has written a piece on how Al Wei Wei the Chinese artist is living in all our futures. The whole thing is well worth a read. There is a lot to unpack in it. The paragraph that points to the New Intermediaries (Google, Facebook, Netflix) that sit between us and everything else is worth a book on its own. As is Disney normalising surveillance and quantified self technology through MagicBands. I was once asked to help someone start a business that put trackers on kids.  I found it deeply creepy and still do. Though as a parent of kids a little piece at the back of your mind is going. “Well it’d be nice to be sure”. Which is why these things will probably sell despite them being creepy. The end of the piece points out another problem with constant monitoring We need failure to be able to learn, we need inefficiency to be able to recover from mistakes, we have to take risks to make progress and so it is imperative to find a way to celebrate imperfection. The bit that really resonated with me was on Casinos and Natasha Dow Schüll and her book  ‘Addiction by Design’. In it, she clearly shows how the slot machine industry has designed the complete process (the casinos, the machines themselves, the odds, etc.) to get people as quickly as possible into ‘the zone’. The player is seen as an ‘asset’ for which the ‘time on device’ has to be as long as possible, so that the ‘player productivity’ is as high as possible. The comments on the use of...
#RebootingIreland 2000AD, Metaphors and Messy problems

#RebootingIreland 2000AD, Metaphors and Messy problems

Lucinda Creighton has launched a new political party.  Or launched a #hashtag. I’m not quite sure which. As I tweeted yesterday “First thought on #RebootIreland When rebooting a computer you don’t get a different operating system” There was a lot of comment on Twitter. Dave Winer said recently Twitter can have a tendency towards “high fructose emotional rage medicine.” Mostly the comment was cynical rather than hate filled. My first thought was of a comic. There is a panel somewhere in my mothers attic from an episode of 2000AD. It’s from the story Strontium Dog. The storyline is set at the end of a war. A military police force is being disbanded and being replaced. Panel one has the old police force. And panel two has the new police force. Same group. Different uniforms. Same system. Plus ca change. I was reminded of that panel when thinking about #RebootIreland. When we exchanged Fianna Fail for Fine Gael and Labour a few years ago that was the transition. Mostly because the state was governed by the Troika and administered by the politicians we elected. I’m not sure that what’s intended here will be any different. I took a look at the #RebootIreland website. I’m not quite sure what to make of it. As Tommy Collison commented “This party will champion human inventiveness.” What does that even mean? #RebootIreland — Tommy Collison (@tommycollison) January 2, 2015 I have equal questions of what some of the other statements mean Fostering a spirit of entrepreneurism in our public sector that will reward those who work the hardest and deliver the best results for our public services. I’m not...
#Cong14 Thoughts and Reflections (Or Everything you wanted to know about Congregation but were afraid to ask)

#Cong14 Thoughts and Reflections (Or Everything you wanted to know about Congregation but were afraid to ask)

My mind is still buzzing from #Cong14. More ideas per square minute than most events would have in a week. It was a day and more of conversation and serendipity. People I’ve known online and off. Some of the connections have deep roots. Sean McGrath who’s blog I first paid attention to over a decade ago, but had never met and Bernie Goldbach who I first met when the crackle of dial up modems was how I got online. Initial plans to drive down to Galway on Friday morning were changed by Client meetings. There was a pitstop in Galway and the needful pilgrimage to Charlie Byrnes before a final fogbound trip out to Cong in the dark.  I met  Rurai Kavanagh  Gianno Catalfamo and the man behind Congregation Eoin Kennedy for a quick drink, and a brief tour of Cong. Later that evening I chatted with Fiona Ash and Amanda Webb with a roaring fire, the Late Late Toy Show and conversation flowing. Saturday was #Cong14 proper.  50 plus people registered in Ryans and were assigned to huddles for the the day.  This was where the key problem of Congregation presented itself. Too much good stuff across and too many good people. As chance would have it I spent three of my four huddles in ‘The Quite Cailin’. Each of the huddles needs a post in itself. The idea was that over an hour two people would present their papers and the group would discuss in an open unconference type format. Our first huddle started with Maryrose Lyons talk “We need to talk about porn” and that is all we did for for the next hour....
Build a #HouseforRudolph

Build a #HouseforRudolph

Homelessness is a huge and growing problem in Ireland. This year more than 800 children and their families have lost their homes, Focus are working to eliminate Homelessness.  This Christmas we want kids in Ireland to build a #HouseforRudolph and the parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, friends to donate to support. Its easy. Build a house in Lego or Minecraft or draw your house. Or make it any other way. Take a photo or a video. Upload it to  Facebook/Twitter/ Instagram/Youtube/Pinterest wherever  your friends will see it. Tag it #HouseforRudolph Then text HOMELESS to 50300 to give €4 to Focus Ireland this Christmas Here are three boys who’ve done their bit, and asked Michael D Higgins, Ryan Tubridy and their pal Hubert to build a house too. (Ff anyone can let the first two know we’d appreciate it) Post by Dermot Casey. Post by Dermot Casey. Post by Dermot Casey. Tell your friends. Have fun. And donate. Build a #HouseforRudolph  and help end homelessness....
From rec.humor.funny to Twitter

From rec.humor.funny to Twitter

Eoin Kennedy is running the second open conference Congregation in Mayo. This is the intro to the piece I wrote as price of entry. I can’t think of a worse way to spend time than to take most of a weekend, drive across the country and discuss techniques to use Social Media to market your business.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend than to engage with interesting people around how we share and shape the world we live in.  From a distance Congregation may be either or both of these things. A bit like Social Media itself. I first used Social Media in 1989. We called Usenet and there is a very small distance between it and social media we use today.   I used it to consume volumes of Star Trek parodies on rec.humor.funny and have serious discussions on Neural Networks with researchers from around the world. What is most interesting about Social Media isn’t its newness, it’s that we keep making and remaking similar tools to help us sense and share and shape our world. you can read the rest of it  here Photo Credit Ledelle Moe via...