February 2009

“The future will always surprise us, but we must not let it dumbfound us.” – Kenneth Boulding

“The vice president began to tremble with rage. He shouted, ‘The telephone system was destroyed last night and you had better believe it. If you don’t by noon, you’ll be fired.’” – Idealized Design: How Bell Labs Imagined — and Created — the Telephone System of the Future. Great example of prototyping future experiences to […]

Google finally solves the age-old question of the ideal crank length: 87 minutes

“In his first week in office, President Obama requested that he see 10 letters a day ‘representative of people’s concerns, from people writing into the president,’ recalls Gibbs, ‘to help get him outside of the bubble, to get more than just the information you get as an elected official.” – ABC News. Very cool way […]

Coolest commute ever – kids in Colombia riding a zip line over a 1200-foot valley to get to school.

“If called, I will certainly serve,” he said. “But if not called, I will probably serve anyway.” – Carl Malamud, who works to make government documents easily available. Love the attitude.

Notes from Influencing Strategy with Design

Ok, so these aren’t my notes–in fact, I didn’t even attend the event–but they’re probably the best description I’ve seen on how to increase the strategic impact of design work within a company. Treat strategic influence like a design problem – Who is the “user” in your situation–who do you need to influence, and what […]

For all those times you’ve said “I wish I could invest in that person”: Swayam: Education Funding, people investing in people – “We offer ordinary people the opportunity to become angel investors in the education of talented students, in exchange for a share of their future income.”

Informing Ourselves To Death – a good counterpoint to the “inforevolution”: “I believe you will have to concede that what ails us, what causes us the most misery and pain — at both cultural and personal levels — has nothing to do with the sort of information made accessible by computers. The computer and its […]

Christopher Columbus @ All About Explorers – Librarians sabotage the internet to teach kids that you can’t trust online information. Great.