Openness (and transparency), as used in the humanities, implies openness, communication, and accountability. It is a metaphorical extension of the meaning used in the physical sciences: a “transparent

Transforming Philanthropy with a New World Map

Giving Philanthropists the Power to See the World They Want to Create

The Problem: We live in a world which is literally awash in data and information that has swamped our systems of representing and understanding it, precisely at a moment in Human history when we most need to understand this information. The World Wide Web is a vast and remarkable resource, but viewing web pages a page at a time through a web browser fails to satisfy our need to get the “big picture” and takes waaaaaay too long to grok the fullness.

Similarly, we can gain access to enormous relational databases full of information – such as the databases of nonprofits who seek funding, and their financial characteristics and missions – but most of our views of this data take the form of incremental pages, spreadsheets or limited graphs which do not reveal the complexity of those rich relationships.

Gregory Heller Profile Photo

Drupal Guild (A Prelude)

Today I am going to begin (again) to work on the Drupal Guild proposal. I'd love folks to take a little time to look at what is on the wiki and let me know if you have anything to add at this point (just edit the wiki if you have access) or send me comments if you don't.

Drupal Guild


We are in a housing crisis and there are not enough skilled laborers to meet demand.

Henry Poole Profile Photo

Are we Reality Machines?

Thanks to a tip from Kaliya, I've just read an amazing book Power vs. Force by David Hawkins. In the book, Hawkins presents a "Map of Consciousness" as well as a process for calibrating the truthfullness of statements. It has made me ponder deeply how I see people and the world. Here is an exceptional excerpt: Let's attempt to better understand all of this through a concrete example. Imagine a "bum" on a street corner: In an upscale neighborhood stands an old man in tattered clothes, alone and leaning against the corner of an elegant Brownstone. Look at him from the perspective of various levels of consciousness, and note the inconsistency in how he appears to different people and viewpoints.
  • From the bottom of the scale, at a level of Shame, the bum is seen to be dirty, disgusting, and digraceful. From level Guilt, he'd be blamed for his condition: He deserves what he gets; he's probably a lazy welfare cheat. At Hoplessness, his plight would appear desparate, a damning piece of evident to prove that society can't do anything about homelessness. At Grief, the old man looks tragic, friendless, and forlorn.
Aaron Pava Profile Photo

Diebold CEO Resigns and Admits Rigging Election

Well no confession, but the Diebold CEO did resign under pressure, at least. "This has been a very challenging year for the company," said replacement CEO Thomas W. Swidarski. "Getting caught red-handed is bad business and hurts like a slap on the wrist," he could have added. Perhaps the demonstration that the memory cards can be hacked prior to entering the machine played a small role in this resignation?
Gregory Heller Profile Photo

Washington Post makes Congressional voting records available via RSS

Props to Scott Trudeau for IMing me this blog post on 37Signals about a new service of the Washington Post. The US Congress Votes Database allows users to search votes by member, by congress, by margin and more! Then you can subscribe to an RSS feed. So an organization that wants to spread the word about how congressmen in their area are voting could aggregate the vote feeds for their congressmen on their website!
Gregory Heller Profile Photo

A New Battelfield: Ownership of Ideas

Noel pointed me toward this article in the Internaltion Herald Tribune about intellectual property. I have pulled out just a few quotes below: "In certain cases," said Elsa Lion, an analyst at the London research firm Ovum, "technology companies are beginning to realize they have more to gain by releasing patents to the general public than by hoarding licensing income." Companies, even those the size of Intel, could one day be blocked from marketing a particular product whose design is made up of hundreds of thousands of patents just because an opportunist has claimed ownership of a single patent, said Adam Jaffe, dean of arts and sciences at Brandeis University in Massachusetts and a patent expert.
Aaron Pava Profile Photo

Banking Your Attention

Is it debasement of your "attention data" or is this the beginning of a new open trust market between the consumer and advertisers? In either case, control of your own digital identity = good.
Gregory Heller Profile Photo

Sony / BMG shoot own foot with DRM

Just saw a snip on the Black Friday Morning News about the Sony / BMG DRM fiasco (apparently Sony wasn't sure that installing spyware on their cusomters machines was a bad thing). Anyway, some "industry analyst" made a comment that I hadn't thought of: "Sony just gave kids another reason not to buy CDs and to download music instead" I guess because I have never really been an [illegal] downloader of music, I hadn't thought about this impact. But why should kids today buy music when the music companies are going to mess up you machine?
Aaron Pava Profile Photo

Black Box Voting to Hack Diebold Machines for California

Browsing Slashdot I just read the California Secretary of State has invited Black Box Voting to hack away at some Diebold voting systems. This evening, I also just watched Buster Douglas knockout "Iron" Mike Tyson on ESPN Classics. (thank you, TIVO!) Is a reminder of the greatest sports upset of all time, foretelling the story of the biggest political upset of all time? We'll find out November 30th.
Aaron Pava Profile Photo

Now That's Some Crazy Ship

Google merges the glorious magic of the shipping container with the everyday ordinariness of fiber-optic cable. The result: owning the Internet.
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