Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Mindful Navigation of Complexity and Social Media

by • July 4th, 2012

Meditation 1

If we are to mindfully design our social media ecology and do it in a manner that promotes empathy and connection, rather than overwhelms us; engenders learning and insight over simple content absorption; and promotes creativity and innovation rather than just talks about it, we need to answer the question more intently and act accordingly.

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Can Twitter help build programs not prisons?

by • November 27th, 2011

"No one gets rich on their own."

Kalle Lasn, one of the creators of the Occupy Wall Street meme (and founder of the Canadian magazine, Adbusters) has described the police raid to clear Zuccotti Park as “the latest in a series of crisis-driven opportunities.” In his interview with Mattathias Schwartz, Lasn asserts, “World wars, revolutions—from time to time, big things actually happen . . . When the moment is right, all it takes is a spark.” Lasn is calling the evictions the end of Phase I and is now calling for Phase II… What if the focus group dimension of Twitter described by Adam Green could be extended as a platform for aggregating collective intelligence? #KeepSpreadingTheMeme

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Now Reading: Jose Antonio Vargas on “[His] Life As an Undocumented Immigrant”

by • June 27th, 2011

Jose Antonio Vargas

by Latoya Peterson

Jose Antonio VargasLast year, at a Poynter function, I had the privilege of meeting Jose Antonio Vargas in person. Both charming and interesting, with a huge drive to make journalism a true tool of democracy, he seemed like someone I wanted to get to know.

Last week, Vargas wanted the world to get to know exactly who he…

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The Wrong Side of The Law

by • August 11th, 2009

FCC announcement1.jpg

Federal Investigation (ongoing)

Before I get all dreamy-eyed about the potential for the Deaf community and sign language interpreters to make a significant contribution to global linguistic equality and transnational social justice (see yesterday’s entry), we have some business to clean up.

Nothing written here should be taken as legal advice. I am not a lawyer – not even a legal interpreter. What I write is only my attempt to make sense of this messy situation for myself.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Officer Jay Keithley told a room crammed full of interpreters, “you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the issue.” It was the second information meeting he held during the conference of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The room was inadequate for the 100 or so interested interpreters. Squeezing the chairs together, lining the walls, and sitting on all available floor space still left people overflowing into the hallway. Some were repeats, they had attended the first session (two days previous) and returned again, hoping for more clarity concerning liability and the definition of fraudulent behavior.

“This is huge,” one interpreter explained,
“We want this cleaned up way more than you do.”

My motivation to attend was

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parallel science and other illusions

by • March 7th, 2008

I’m excused from interpreting this talk, Nanometers, Femtoseconds, and Yoctomoles: Molecular-Dynamics Simulations of Diffusion in Garnet, which means I can take notes and play!
The professor is highly billed: Dr. Bill Carlson from UT at Austin. You think I’m kidding about “play”? No way, Jose!
Scale: plates, rocks in the field, mineral grains, atoms….
Geologic Time:
Sizes from macro to nano…..
Diffusion gives direct qualitative information on rates and duration of metamorphic processes. Garnet is present in a wide range of bulk compositions, is stable, and has a wide array of diffusive behaviors that can be monitored to help us understand rates of diffusion and the mechanisms behind them. You know my parallel? Groups (of people) and knowledge/understanding (disseminated via language).
Main topic: Molecular dynamics simulations…. (microdynamic intergroup relations?)
Problem: existing theories for diffusion at atomic scale don’t explain the phenomena we observe…(sounds like social science to me!)
Novel systematics emerge from recent synthesis…
Elastic Strain Theory (EST) – diffusion by vacancy mechanism: work is required to move atoms apart and squeeze this atom in-between them….larger atom = more strain which slows down diffusion. Like all theory (!) “sometimes it works…sometimes it doesn’t.”
There’s a “misfit parameter” (!) = “how badly an atom

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Just like fingerspelling?!

by • December 5th, 2007

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

Ok – so “new research” is apparently untrue, although there is something to be said for “the role of letter order on reading.” Matt Davis has compiled an impressive corpus of equivalents in at least thirty languages, along with references and commentary from original and follow-up research in this area of word-form research. The number of letters in the word has quite a lot to do with whether the mind can

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Catalan, not French

by • October 8th, 2007

I made a faux paux the other day, responding to Martí Cabré. S/he (as I plunge headlong into another one!) copied a photo I took of an art installation in Istanbul last summer. I was curious. The photo is evocative and in fact reminded me of the struggle some of my juniors are having letting go of being told in order to risk reaching out on their own terms. When I clicked through to see Martí’s post, I discovered text in a foreign language and – for some reason – assumed the language was French. I am not sure why, as I do have a passing familiarity with Spanish; had I looked I would probably have made that (just as egregious an) error. At least, my good friend the Wanokip tells me, French and Catalan are both Latin languages.
What I realized, heart-in-mouth, was that I did not “look.” My eyes glanced over the unfamiliar script and bounced off, catching no friction. What would have held me was not (in this instance) any quality inherent to the language or the medium (internet computer screen). I was in a hurry. My mind

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by • January 8th, 2007

As I’m going about formulating a frame for my dissertation research, it becomes clearer that it matters where I draw the line between what will be “in” the project and what must remain “outside” of it. I always knew this, but the difference now, perhaps, is a better sense (?) of what is do-able, particularly in terms of promising an outcome. I don’t mean predicting a particular or specific result, because I do not know, now, the answers to my research problem. I do mean guaranteeing with some assurance that the problem is significant and the results of rigorous examination will be worthwhile and beneficial to the narrow field of language and interpretation studies as well as to (I hope) a broader social science. But I cannot say how the leap from the subfield of interpretation to larger fields will occur. Probably there are several possibilities. I don’t want to foreclose some by too close an interest in others. I cannot see any of them; I only intuit that the connections will become evident.
That penultimate goal must wait. I have been learning a different kind of trust the past few years and I

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RID gets spammed

by • November 27th, 2006

This email is going around, strategically targeting interpreters by their town of residence.
The first one I received (November 18) read “I am Ben Woods . I saw your contact on ( Anyway, I am an English speaking man from Madagascar .” A few days ago, I received another. Besides the first line, the rest of the text is the same. What’s the scam, I wonder? (But not enough to respond.)
I am Tobbie Smith . I saw your contact on ( Anyway, I am an English speaking man from Malta . I will be coming over to the USA(WDummerston) precisely, from 30th of Nov to 12th of Dec with my wife.
Susan my wife understands American sign language. She has never been to the USA before and so she will require the services of an Interpreter who can assist her in the course of our stay, for 10 days ( with the exception of weekends in between) and probably about 8 hours everyday because I will not always be with her on most occasions due to other functions which I must attend to.
I will want to know if you can offer your services

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same name, different person?

by • October 30th, 2005

Funny – googled myself (as if I have nothing better to do this morning), and found this poem by another “Stephanie Kent”. Reinforces the importance of that middle “Jo”!
there’s also an alias making loads of bucks (listed by Forbes). envy?
Here’s one I hadn’t come across before, about the disableism workshop Shemaya and I did at Mt Holyoke a few years back.

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