Open Thinkering


Things I Learned This Week – #29

Offline this week I learned that our two man tent is very waterproof (thankfully!) that the PS3 game Heavy Rain is all kinds of awesome, and that after three months I’m still just as likely to get on the wrong Metro


Technology is therefore no mere means. Technology is a way of revealing. If we give heed to this, then another whole realm for the essence of technology will open itself up to us. It is the realm of revealing, i.e., of truth.

What is modern technology? It too is a revealing. Only when we allow our attention to rest on this fundamental characteristic does that which is new in modern technology show itself to us.

Productivity & Inspiration

Education & Academic

  • I’m doing more and more academic reading on my Amazon Kindle. However, there’s a problem. The Kindle doesn’t report page numbers, only ‘position’, so how do you go about citations? Divide by 16.69, apparently!
  • Another useful thing for citations is referencing a static version of a webpage in case in changes. I believe there’s many of these, but I’ve seen some people using FreezePage this week.
  • A spot-on assessment of how BSF cutbacks and the Academy system, coupled with what we’ve already got in England, will lead to increased segregation in schools. ๐Ÿ™
  • If you have to use Powerpoint in lectures, at least makes the slides available beforehand! (research shows it works better…)
  • Is state-funded education (in the US at least) a conspiracy?

Data, Design & Infographics

  • Here’s 100 free GPL’d icons for webdesign. I was going to use them to replace those in the sidebar of this blog until I realised that there’s not one to represent ‘search’!
  • Well-designed, simple-to-use stuff is a pleasure. Check out the Water Pebble: put it in your shower and it helps you to reduce the amount of water to use. Easy. Effective. Ordered!
  • Given the way I live my life – ‘hyperconnected’ I once heard someone describe it as – I’m staggered by the data provided by Martha Lane Fox in this Guardian article. It’s shocking that some children are growing up in a world where they’re effectively being disadvantaged by not gaining the skills they need (nor access to some of the social world their peers have) for the future:

Ten million of us in the UK have never used the internet.

Try to picture it: it’s the equivalent of the entire populations of our five biggest cities combined – London, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Sheffield – all being left without the tool that we now heavily rely on every day.

Four million of those who are offline are society’s most disadvantaged: 39% are over 65.38% are unemployed – 19% are adults in families with children.

  • I’ve been going through the recent Horizon Reports that talk about trends in technology for the JISC mobile and wireless technology review I’m undertaking. Which is why it’s more than handy that Ian Guest has put the data into a really useful timeline using Timeglider!
  • Most people reading this at some point in the near future are going to have to make sure a website is viewable on a range of mobile devices. Here’s some great advice for doing that!


What’s important to take away is that caffeine is not as simple in effect as a direct stimulant, such as amphetamines or cocaine; its effect on your alertness is far more subtle.

  • This perhaps should go in ‘Technology’, but Analogue looks like an awesome different way to communicate semi-publicly. And it’s Open Source too! ๐Ÿ˜€
  • Karl Fisch doesn’t think there’s any such thing as an ‘echo chamber’ in social interactions online. He’s got a point:

Not only do I think there is no echo chamber, I think there is also tremendous power in having discussions with people who do think in a similar (although not exact) way to you. Communities of similarly-minded people, passionate people, working in concert, can accomplish amazing things. We shouldn’t denigrate that, we should celebrate it.

  • Now here’s a good idea (necessary because Twitter doesn’t do it) – create a Twitter list of some folks in a particular field, use Twitter Lists 2 RSS and subscribe to the feed! ๐Ÿ™‚


Sometimes me think, “what is friend?” and sometimes me say, “friend is someone you share last cookie with.” (The Cookie Monster)

It’s just as sure a recipe for failure to have the right idea fifty years too soon as five years too late. (J. R. Platt)

Expecting something for nothing is the most popular form of hope. (Arnold Glasgow)

If he’s so smart, how come he’s dead? (Homer Simpson)

The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.ย (Napoleon Hill)

Main image CC BY-NC-SA robpatrick

2 thoughts on “Things I Learned This Week – #29

  1. Thanks for the link across to the Horizon Reports timeline Doug; hope it was useful. Struggled to find precisely the right tool for the job, so it ended up being a bit of a compromise.

    Looking forward to seeing your review, assuming it’s able to be shown in the public domain.

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