Open Thinkering


Things I Learned This Week – #24

This week I learned that not being contactable is actually quite nice sometimes, to always back up the contacts on my SIM card, and too much stuff to list here from ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever. 🙂


  • Confused/annoyed with Apple’s recent decisions (e.g. about Flash)? Aza Raskin’s recent post about the history of Apple (and his dad’s role in it) is a must read.
  • LED-powered lights with built-in speakers for wireless music in every room? Yes please!
  • Boxcar has launched a free, ad-supported, version of its push notification service for iPhones and iPads. It allows you to get instant notifications of everything from Twitter replies to emails.
  • Been under a rock or on a different planet this week? Here’s a rundown of what’s new in Apple’s new iOS4 operating system (which is powering the new iPhone 4 and, presumably, future devices)
  • Again, if you’re not aware, the football World Cup has just started in South Africa. Google has made its Street View imagery available inside each stadium as well!

Productivity & Inspiration

The obsession with current events is relentless. We are made to feel that at any point, somewhere on the globe, something may occur to sweep away old certainties—something that, if we failed to learn about it instantaneously, could leave us wholly unable to comprehend ourselves or our fellows. We are continuously challenged to discover new works of culture—and, in the process, we don’t allow any one of them to assume a weight in our minds. We leave a movie theater vowing to reconsider our lives in the light of a film’s values. Yet by the following evening, our experience is well on the way to dissolution, like so much of what once impressed us: the ruins of Ephesus, the view from Mount Sinai, the feelings after finishing Tolstoy’s Death of Ivan Ilyich.

Education & Academic

  • I like the sound of Trebor Scholz. Not only has he got a sweet name (geddit?) but he rejects the ‘digital natives’ label and gets students even in large lecture classes to produce publication-quality books. Awesome.
  • Futurelab has a new resource called the Futures Thinking Teachers Pack:

Education is about the future. Educators aim to prepare young people for the future and to support them to fully participate in all aspects of civic, cultural, social, intellectual and economic life. It is therefore important for young people to be given opportunities to think carefully about that future and their role in it.

The Futures Thinking Teaching Pack supports teachers and learners to develop approaches to exploring the future that are not about making predictions, but about considering possible, probable and preferable futures in order to support action and decision making in the present.

The pack, which is closely linked to National Curriculum requirements, engages Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students in grounded inquiry into current trends and possible futures. The activities in the pack encourage students to critically examine their place in the world, the structures and features that bring about the societies they live in, their own beliefs and their agency in shaping their preferable future.

Data, Design & Infographics

Repairing the world is not about individual virtue; instead, it’s a design problem. Bacigalupi wouldn’t have to fly to the American Library Association meeting if America had decent, comprehensive high-speed rail (which is certainly not zero-net, but is less harmful than flying). People wouldn’t pour so much surplus income into goods if they could jaunt down to the Neighborhood Share Center for shareable tools or toys or camping equipment.

(Image Created by Insulation and Energy Audits)


  • My wife and I finished watching the last episodes of Lost this week. We’ve been watching it most of our married life and tend to like to watch it in a concentrated period of time after obtaining the whole series (we’ve done the same with 24, Prison Break, Flash Forward, etc.) I’m delighted, therefore, to find out that there’s going to be an epilogue on a forthcoming DVD about how Hurley deals with being the ‘chosen one’ on the island! 🙂
  • From the random-but-made-me-smile department comes The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. I liked this one in particular:

open source blindness
n. the tangerine-slice glow of summer sun through closed eyelids, which is your body’s way of telling you that the drawbridge obscuring your emotions from the world is about as effective as peekaboo.

  • Like the bar chart above, this is something that should probably go in the design/infographics section. Kayak have got an awesome mashup that shows you visually how much it costs to travel to various places:


We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. (Martin Luther King)

You know how many committees we have at Apple? Zero. We’re organized like a startup. We’re the biggest start up on the planet. (Steve Jobs)

The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work. (Michael Jackson)

The smaller the mind the greater the conceit. (Aesop)

Your life is what your thoughts make it. (Marcus Aurelius)


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