Archives For Jerry

For 12+ years, I’ve been pouring data into a concept mapping app called PersonalBrain — into the same, single data file. So when I add a bookmark or a concept, I’m adding it to a rich context.

I’ve been able to publish my Brain online for a while, but I haven’t done much with it or blogged much about it. I just keep adding “thoughts” to it, and it keeps getting more and more useful.

So I’ll be using screencasting software to start telling stories while showing things in my Brain. Call them “braincasts.”

That said, here’s REXcast #3, the debut braincast. I recorded at the highest resolution I could for YouTube, so you’ll want to play it full-screen, at the highest resolution setting.

You can find my Brain online, at Here’s a link to the Brain Function thought I showed in the braincast.

Nokia has invited a series of geeks and gurus to ask questions as part of its Ideas Project. The questions stay up for a week; this is my week (woo!).

Here’s the question I asked:

How might mobile devices help people know and trust one another more deeply?

What do I mean?

The world of mobile app and device design is full of Pollyanna visions of how the devices will help us set up a date with our beloveds, complete with roses and limos (and fallback plans in case Cats is sold out). This vision was in General Magic‘s launch documents back in 1992.  Nobody’s yet fielded that app, but some are getting close, like Siri (which Apple just bought).

But I’m less interested in those use cases than in the ways our new, magical devices can help us tackle life’s raspier problems — like how we might all get along. Like making peace. That’s where I’m coming from in this question.

This may sound strange, but I’m inspired a bit by the Lovegety. LovegetyRemember it? Kind of a social Tamagotchi, without the high maintenance. You would code your preferences into your Lovegety and when it was close to a compatibly coded Lovegety, both would alert you that you should meet.

Ok, that’s a little weird, but what if our devices, when near each other, could sort out what we had in common? or not so much in common? And what if they could help us address those issues in a reasonable way?

How might we express what we care about?

Over the next days I’ll dive a little deeper into this topic, showing you an example of what I wish my device could declare on my behalf. Meanwhile, though, I invite you to comment on my question at the Ideas Project site (requires registration, but no tissue sample).

The stream of nuggets, narratives and points of view that I’ll start issuing from here are all the public part of REX, the Relationship Economy eXpedition.

The private side of REX is a collaborative inquiry into the next economy, which I’m guiding. If you’re interested, I’d love to tell you more about it live.

These REXcasts are a way of developing the notion of a Relationship Economy in public, in a fun, accessible, re-usable way. I’ll try to keep each episode under the magical four-minute mark, as in this one:

This REXcast mentions:

I’ll be using a variety of media in the REXcasts, including talking-head videos (like this episode), sketchcasts (my voice plus my hands and whatever I draw, as I did last episode), screencasts (my voice plus a recording of what’s on my PC screen) and Braincasts (my voice plus a traversal of my Brain; coming soon).

Gratitude: again, special thanks to Loraine Bjorendahl for her help and inspiration in creating this REXcast.

This sketchcast is the first nugget in a series of nuggets comprising the REXcast. (I’ll explain REXcasts in the next video.) Nuggets should make more sense to you once you’ve watched the video:

As you might imagine, in these REXcasts I will occasionally string nuggets together to form narratives, assembling a broader point of view. (For a sneak peek at my point of view, check out this thought in my online Brain — and yes, I’ll be doing some Braincasting, as well.)

I encourage you to join me.

In this sketchcast, I mention:

An afterthought: Nuggets and narratives aren’t mutually exclusive. You may treat a full narrative as a nugget. Longer works like books and documentaries represent entire points of view, but you might refer to one as a nugget. If it were easier to point directly to a particular paragraph in a book or clip in a video, that might better define the actual nugget you mean. For now, we’ll work with what we have on hand.

Gratitude: special thanks to Loraine Bjorendahl for her help and inspiration in creating this sketchcast.

Scales of change

Jerry —  April 3, 2010 — Leave a comment

You can get a degree in futurism, social ecology, psychology and strategic planning, i want changeall of which are about change at different levels, but I don’t think anyone offers a degree in change itself.

I’ve long been fascinated by change, at all scales. Here are some examples, ranging from the intimate to the galactic:

  • What causes an individual to shift a strongly held belief? What causes someone, sometime, to soften up enough to consider the possibility of trying to imagine giving up that belief? What role do social dynamics play in individual change?
  • How can two people resolve a conflict? What forms of dispute resolution work best? How does that inform two companies, or two countries in conflict?
  • What are the dynamics of small groups?
  • How do you create successful teams inside organizations? How do you change their mission or direction? What are the most productive leadership dynamics?
  • Do large organizations inevitably resist change? Which have shifted successfully?
  • Why are we often blind to change? Why are leaders so often unethical?
  • How does technology change society? How does society change technology? We went from the parlor piano to three TV stations to a vast (exciting) wasteland. What makes some technologies propagate lightning-fast (mobiles, IM, email, Facebook) and others chug along? Are we finding new ways to get together to change things that matter? Is it collective intelligence?
  • More importantly, how does technology change social structures and governance systems? From the printing press to the fax and the Internet, right to recent “Twitter Revolutions,” whom do we hear from? (and not?) Whom can we trust?
  • Should one culture change another? Can it? What kinds of “development” projects work? Which don’t?
  • Does the truth help cultures get over trauma? Can we apply those models at other scales?
  • Why are all cultures so afraid of anarchy? Isn’t there a big shift toward self-governance?
  • Is there a global consciousness shift afoot? Wouldn’t you want to be part of it?

Of course, I have my own theories about all of these, which I’ll dive into in subsequent posts. one-way signsAnd if we were doing the full “Powers of Ten” zoom here, we would go inside the individual to the physical system, the organ, the cell, then back out to the Big Bang (or not)…. But let’s hold off on that.

One tangent that does interest me a lot is more metaphysical: what are the emotional, spiritual, energetic (and often unmeasurable) forces at work during change?

+20 is about identifying change, being prepared for change, helping others change, leading change (if that’s indeed not impossible). We’d love to hear about your own models of change, as well as your opinions about these various scales of change.

Launch inspiration

Jerry —  April 1, 2010 — 2 Comments

We’re starting something here with REX. It may be significant. Let’s take a moment, draw a deep breath, and ponder a few pieces of Net-based miraculousness as a form of meditation. Herewith, four pieces of inspiration:

An easy, commercial lift. Cheesy, but heartwarming.

A miracle of sorts. How did Kutiman find the time to blend all these?

Pay close attention. Wesch is chronicling the change of our times.

Back to earth. One tune, many players. Beautiful.