Worries Over Defense Department Money For “Hackespaces” ~ This fall, 16 high schools in California started experimental workshops, billed as a kind of “shop class for the 21st century,” that were financed by the federal government. And over the next three years, the $10 million program plans to expand to 1,000 high schools, modeled on the growing phenomenon of “hackerspaces” — community clubhouses where hackers gather to build, invent or take things apart in their spare time. But the money has stirred some controversy. The financing for the schools program is one of several recent grants that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, has made to build closer ties to hackers. via The New York Times, published October 5, 2012.
Einstein At the Beach: The Hidden Relationship Between Risk and Creativity~ Simply put, in an effort to save our own butts, the brain’s pattern recognition system starts hunting through every possible database to hunt up a solution. Risk, therefore, causes the mind to stretch its muscles. It creates mandatory conditions for innovation. It trains the brain to think in unusual ways. It trains the brain to be more creative. via Forbes, published October 11, 2012.
A Reliable Environment Fosters Child’s Capacity for Self-Control ~ Rethinking…* the marshmallow test. With the trust issues uncovered by this new study, Kidd said there’s no point in parents trying to do the marshmallow test on their kids. “Don’t do the marshmallow test on your kitchen table and conclude something about your child. It especially would not work with a parent, because your child has all sorts of strong expectations about what a person who loves them very much is likely to do,” she said. Via The Globe and Mail, published Oct. 14 2012.
Worker-Owned Cooperatives Offer A Vision Of A Different Kind Of Capitalism ~ a lot of people are very concerned about high unemployment and growing inequality and are looking around to see if maybe there are better business models. One of them that we have come across is the worker-owned and -run business model. It’s one in which you as a worker buy into a business, have a stake and a say in what happens in the business. These types of businesses are not nearly as likely to move overseas or change location because the people who work there actually own it and are making business decisions. via FastCo.Exist, published October 12, 2012.
Writer Andy Greenberg Takes Us Into the Hidden World of “Wikileakers, Cypherpunks & Hacktivists” In New Book ~ Forbes reporter Andy Greenberg went looking for a story and nailed it. This Machine Kills Secrets: How Wikileakers, Cypherpunks and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World’s Information is a globe trotting exploration into the heart of the contentious world of brilliant, eccentric and erratic game changers who have taken the tools at hand and turned them into powerful weapons that can — and have in some cases — altered the course of history. Julian Assange, Anonymous, Blacknet, Cryptome.org, Openwatch, Lulzsec are just some of the players in this book, essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the thinking of some of the most important (and least known) people making news today. We talked with the author about his new book, his thoughts on Julian Assange and why he thinks Wikileaks has done more good than harm. via PaperMag, published October 17, 2012.
Maker Movement Inspires Students and Teachers ~ For all the hand-wringing that Americans have done over education, much of the concern especially for middle and high school students comes down to this: How do you help kids build the skills they will need to solve real problems? Via San Francisco Gate, published May 6, 2012.
From Pop Music to Blogging, Everyone’s a Curator ~ At a private salon event at the Museum of Modern Art this past Monday night, Paola Antonelli, a famed design curator and MoMA’s newly named director of research and development, convened an interdisciplinary panel to discuss the present and future of that much-debated term in the art world and beyond, “curator.” via Hyperallergic, published October 17, 2012.
TALKS & VIDEOS
John Kao Discusses the Deep Structure of Jazz in Davos ~ This clip is drawn from a presentation at the World Economic Forum annual meeting on 1/28/2012 on how jazz can help us understand innovation and mastery. John explains that jazz, playing new notes freely in the moment, at the same time depends on discipline and the fundamental acoustic properties of sound. via John Kao on Vimeo, published 8 months ago.
The Onion Spoofs TED Talks in Hilarious New Video Series ~ For a few years, we all sat around in awe of TED Talks, forwarding the videos to our friends and just generally worshiping the smart people who took the time to entertain us with their ingenious, outside-the-box ideas. But the backlash is definitely on, with a slew of recent articles taking a closer look at the conference, its limitations, and its ambiguous effects on American culture. So it’s about time for The Onion stepped in to draw out the absurdity inherent in TED and events like it. Their new weekly video series is called Onion Talks, and the first episode — “Compost-Fueled Cars: Wouldn’t That Be Great?” — takes aim at the lack of practicality and specificity in many of these free-thinking speeches. via Flavorwire, published October 17, 2012.
Nina Simone Sings of Social Injustice in a 1965 Dutch Television Broadcast ~ The Dutch program reveals Simone as an artist of deep feeling who challenged audiences to think. Via OpenCulture, published October 17th, 2012.
Shigeru Ban: Onagawa Temporary Container Housing & Community Center ~ Following the earthquake in March 2011, Japanese practice Shigeru Ban Architects conceived and implemented ‘Onagawa Temporary Container Housing’ along with a community center and atelier within the town of Onagawa in the Miyagi prefecture of Japan. Offering families privacy during the recovery, the firm initially embarked upon installing 1800 units of their 2 meter x 2 meter emergency partition system within 50 evacuation facilities. During the process, they learned about the state of the town of Onagawa and their difficulties to provide temporary shelter due to the lack of flat land. Via Design Boom, published September 27, 2012.
Artist Finds and Develops Ancient Photo Paper, Some Older Than a Century ~ For her project “Lost and Found”, Alison Rossiter collected hundreds of sheets of expired photo paper from decades past — some more than 100 years older than the expiration date found on their packages — and then developed them to uncover abstract images. via PetaPixel, published Oct 11, 2012.
A Restaurant Made Entirely Out Of Cardboard ~ True to its name, everything in ‘Carton’ restaurant in Taichung City, Taiwan is made from corrugated cardboard—from its furnishing to its plates. Designed to illustrate the power and potential of paper and cardboard, all the elements of the restaurant can be easily recycled when they break or are damaged. via DesignTaxi, published October 11, 2012.
Brooklyn Installation Transforms Blaring Traffic Noise Into Animated Light Art ~ Using a local nuisance for good, artists turn the din of cars into a set of arches that illuminate based on the volume of the highway above them. via PSFK, published October 12, 2012.
Artistic Robots Solve the Travelling Salesman’s Problem ~ The Travelling Salesman’s Problem describes trying to find the shortest route possible to a given destination. Nature’s top solvers of said problem are bees, who always manage to take the shortest route from flower to flower in their pursuit of nectar. Based on these flight patterns, artist Mattias Jones and psychologist Dr. Tom Stafford have teamed up with computer coder and Berlin-based record producer Tom Whiston to create a mathematical formula that will allow two robots to behave in the same way for the Mind Out project. via Design Week, published October 11, 2012.
An Art Table Designed For A Family Of Creatives ~ Called the ‘Growth Table’, it features a tiered seating arrangement that encourages the entire family to draw or study together. When the form of the Table is multiplied or expanded, it creates a community scaled [art-palette] or transforms a public interior into a literal ‘drawing room’. Via DesignTaxi, published October 12, 2012.