Complexity, Chaos and Creativity: A Journey beyond System Thinking

System thinking is goal-oriented: there are always pre-defined goals and objectives, which system must achieve, and there are always prescribed requirements and criteria, which system must satisfy. As the achievement of any goal happens always in the future, system thinking is obsessed with prediction and generating plans, blueprints, time-schedules and scenarios. … Complexity and chaos […]

Thinking in bits (not atoms)

I first came across the idea of thinking in bits in Nicholas Negroponte’s 1995 book Being Digital, in which he talks about the limitations, the cost, of moving information around as atoms and how information would soon be converted from atoms to bits. The immediately obvious implication is that it now becomes essentially free to move and share information as bits.

50 books in 52 weeks – not this year

I enjoy reading, so like many people I have set a goal for myself to read at least 50 books a year for the last couple of years. I read 45 last year, you can see my list on GoodReads.  As I was getting ready to publicly commit to another year of 50-in-52, though, I […]

Permission and forgiveness

“Do you really think George bothered to ask for f***ing permission?” This was Kevin Spacey’s response to a question from the audience during the Q&A following the St. Louis premiere of George Hickenlooper’s movie “Casino Jack” at the St. Louis Film Festival. This specific question was related to getting legal clearance for the music used […]

On the path of knowledge creation

In his foreword to Marc Prensky‘s book Digital Game-Based Learning, Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan (@thiagi) recounts the following (emphasis is mine): Early in my life, my mentor explained to me the three paths that lead to the creation of knowledge. The analytical path, where philosophers reflect, meditate, and make sense of objects and events; the empirical path, […]

Safe? No. Awesome? YES! My review of Strange Loop 2010

When I first learned about the Strange Loop developers conference here in St. Louis, I had a strong – you might say strange – urge to attend. Strange because I am not a software developer; it’s been a long time since I’ve done any serious coding. What caught my eye was how conference organizer Alex Miller (@puredanger) […]