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About Sensemaking Approaches

George Siemens:

The future of systems such as business, government, and education will be data centric. Historically, humanity has made sense of the world through discourse, dialogue, artifacts, myth, story, and metaphor. While those sensemaking approaches won’t disappear, they will be augmented by data and analytics.

True, and I'll sure do my best to promote that development. Not in the educational sector though, I lost my 30+ year battle to transform the school I have been married to since 1980, won't wait another 30.

 

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First snow in biking city Uppsala

Winter arriving in Eastern Sweden.

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Casino Beach, Hanko

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Cat in food shop in Kingisepp, Russia

Cats always find a warm place – someone just left this chair.

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We can’t continue to meet like this

Another good checklist on how to conduct meetings.

 

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iPadding

A little less than two years ago I bought my first iPad. It was relatively cheap, because iPad 2 had just come out and I bought an iPad 1 Wi-Fi, 16 Gb for 370 €, just to see if the tool suited me. Since then I have used it a lot at home and while travelling.

For writing, however, I find it a little awkward. So now when I got myself an iPad 4 with all the goodies including 64 Gb memory and mobile data I thought I'd start ”ipadding” more seriously, but for that I needed a keyboard. I tested the old iPad with my standard iMac Bluetooth keyboard a year ago and it worked (after jailbraking), but it's cumbersome to carry the keyboard around, so I started to look for a lighter one, and the Logitech Ultrathin keyboard/cover which you can buy from the Apple Store for 100 € seemed to be a good alternative. I thought the price was a little high so I searched for a better bargain and found it at Markantalo's webshop, 75 €.

This is the first text I write with this tool and it works surprisingly well. And it's not only a keyboard, but also a beautiful and sturdy cover which makes the whole solution even more clever. Thanks, Logitech!

 

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Building biodiversity

It’s already too late for almost anyone in the 21st century to live or spend much time in a pristine environment; we have thoroughly broken most of them, and the few which remain cannot be isolated from widespread climate change. It’s time to accept that if we want ecological beauty and biodiversity we are going to have to build it ourselves — an extraordinarily complex scientific, technological, and political challenge that nonetheless we cannot afford to ignore.

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

 

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How to make work work again

Anyone (=both of you Blinkar) who has followed my blog knows that I’m very skeptic to 20th century management. I realize that my skepticism to some extent is due to my personal traits, but during the 25 years or so during which I have been interested in the dynamics of organizations, more and more really clever people have been pointing at the brokenness of the dominating management paradigms and putting forward theories and examples of how work can be organized in a better way. That is, in a way that makes “workers” flourish and society prosper.

During the last decade, many of the suggestions put forward in this realm have, at least to some extent, been based on complexity thinking/theory, which gives a solid basis to understand the principles for how things (people and nature) really work, and ideas of how to design a setting where productive work can be done.

My favourite theorist/practician when it comes to adding complexity thinking into the management (or non-management) toolbox is Dave Snowden of Cognitive Edge. Reading his blog and articles and participating in an accreditiation workshop in 2006 was a grat leap in my understanding and gave structure to my intuitive thoughts about these matters.

But there are lots of other inititatives around as well, and the most recent I have discovered is the Beta Codex Network. I have not yet dug more deeply into their site, but this presentation by Niels Pflaeging, which is more like a short course in post-modern organization theory, tells a lot about the thinking they represent:

The wording chosen in the presentation is for a typical business setting – I wonder how it could be adjusted to speak more to the higher education field?

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E-biking from now on

Yesterday I got myself an e-bike which I hope will change my work travel habits. For me, the distance between home and work is only 3 kilometers, which is quite a luxury. But mostly I use my car because I need to go shopping after work, the weather is bad or I need to take some equipment with me. Which are of course no real reasons why I couldn’t take my 20 year old bicycle. But when I look for deeper reasons, I find that the experience of getting sweaty when pedalling uphills is the main reason, I sweat very easily. And especially when the weather is bad I need to have thicker clothes, which make the sweating worse. Starting the working day that way is not nice.

So I thought an e-bike might be a solution, and after testing it today it seems as if it will be. I get some exercise and fresh air, but the bike takes care of more than half the work when I’m pedalling uphills. The motor is only 250 W but even that makes the bike go fast especially uphills – I’ll post a GPS track in a few weeks.

The bike I got (sponsored by my wife ) is a Crescent 973. It does not represent the state of the art nor masculinity nor sportiness, but it was reasonably cheap (1360 €) taking into account that Crescent is a good brand (or at least has been) and that other e-bikes often cost 2000 €.

 

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A book that doesn’t die, but just fades away

I wonder what a librarian would say about this?

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