twittering on 2008-02-22

  • coffee + laptop = disassembled laptop #
  • whatever, @linuxpoet. u want one. #
  • 15 teeny screws later, that keyboard is off and the air compressor blew another 8 oz of coffee out. #
  • considering purchasing a new keyboard. #
  • @notbenh u still coming to pdxpug? #
  • @notbenh if you’d be willing to be laptop provider, that’d be awesome. we were going to use my robot. not anymore. #
  • @kanejo gonna have to check out peter’s 19th hole. sounds awesome. #
  • @notbenh not really, probably just ability to go to web and look things up. #
  • stuff white people like: #
  • laptop fully functional! #
  • josh drake came to PDXPUG last night. that was fun 🙂 #
  • @andeezy when i have kids, i want to have twins. unfortunately, it is not in the cards. #
  • just finished rearranging office. qi flowing auspiciously. #
  • @adamd yay for bikes! #
  • mmmm. sushi. #
  • i love getting emails from the waffle cart about them having apple crisp this weekend. #

twittering on 2008-02-21

  • exporting a "medium sized" movie #
  • took 200+ photos of the eclipse. made a slideshow. uploading to pownce. #
  • xo my D40 #
  • my dad gave me a few nikon lenses a couple years ago. i finally am able to use them with the D40. my main film camera was my mom’s, a fujica #
  • ugh, now i’m hungry for cupcakes AND bacon. #
  • @petdance: no. #
  • funny tweets together: @ahockley- "exchange is down", @slashdot – "gates explains microsoft’s need for yahoo" #
  • social web != women in science/technology. more like blogging is replacing print. #
  • really cool that girls are into blogging, but it’s not translating directly into women in leadership positions in tech, especially in edu #
  • @petdance SHELLAC. yay. #
  • @spinnerin you’re rad! #
  • @spinnerin anytime 🙂 #
  • hungry already. still want bacon and cupcakes. #
  • @notbenh that sounds really good right now. #
  • @metafluence yeah, you should fix that because i thought you were maybe my creepy uncle when i got the msg. #
  • working out a tricky issue among italians. #
  • @geekygirldawn hope you feel better soon. the sun is beautiful today! #
  • @kanejo which trivia night do you go to? #
  • @geekygirldawn i haven’t figured it out yet. #
  • @linuxpoet yay for sponsors! #
  • so, if you are organizing something with someone, do you say that you are an organizer, or a co-organizer? #
  • @notbenh different responsibilities, but still lots of time for both people #
  • @notbenh no hierarchy, essentially. yeah, i think just ‘organizer’ is better. #
  • @linuxpoet: right, but i was referring to myself as co-organizer 🙂 because i thought it was "respectful". now i see that is silly 🙂 #

PeaceMaker and indie educational software

I played this game PeaceMaker for the first time this week. The goal of the game is to establish peace in Israel by finding a two-state solution to the conflict. Here’s the NPR story. They have a list of assumptions the game adheres to with this telling bullet point:

  • Small concrete steps, not grandiose plans

I was completely immersed in the game. You choose to be the leader of Israel or the Palestinian people, and then you are given a palette of possible actions. The Palestinian leader has nearly a third less options than the Israeli leader, and must focus on cooperation to win.

I was the Israeli leader and played for more than an hour before I won. The close of the game presents you with a “violence” rating – I got a 63 (the scale went to over 250, I believe), and an admonishment to try for less violent means of solving the conflict the next time I played.

The social studies teachers are planning on getting the game for all the lab computers in the high school and designing curriculum for their Middle East module that includes PeaceMaker.

That sparked a discussion about other educational games and their impact with a generation of kids who grew up with amazing interactive games. I did a little searching and found Democracy through The Independent gaming source. I’m looking for other games though! The PeaceMaker blog was a great resource for a few moments of research.

I’m curious about games that are available for open source operating systems. I’ve only ever played Doom and Nethack with Linux. Most friends say that they keep a windows machine around to play games, so I imagine the gaming world hasn’t really leaped into using Linux.

end of an era

Having read this article, I’m now looking forward, come this December, to your front-page exposé on the real identity of Santa wherein you attempt to ruin Christmas for millions of children everywhere.

Fake Steve Jobs has been unmasked. (uh, yeah, spoiler to follow)

group cohesiveness

A couple days ago, I had my mind blown by this Clay Shirky talk from 2003. It was like someone was sitting in the room where we had the women’s BoF at OSCON. He lists three group patterns: sex talk, vilification of outsiders/enemies, religious veneration. We managed to skip over the sex talk (although I did make a joke about auctioning off tickets to the women-only conference to men). But we dove right in with the other two.

It got me thinking about another project we’re working on – a programming group whose goal is to get more women involved in open source, and allows men. I’m not in leading it, but I really want it to succeed. I want to avoid the negativity and baggage that seems to follow women-specific groups.

There’s a list of things at the end of the talk “to design for.” Shirky’s talking about social software, but I think that a couple of the ideas apply to RL as well.

Having barriers to entry for groups, for example, helps strengthen the group identity. You need an identity before opening up participation – so that the group can protect itself when the inevitable attack-on-identity comes. Either in the form of subversion of purpose, or “you suck and shouldn’t exist”.

Hey, there was lots of good stuff in there. If you haven’t read it already, take a few minutes and enjoy.

And more about the new group — something cool already happened in the discussion. A participant pointed out that we should really be thinking about projects in terms of 2-4 person teams. I love that someone piped up with that right away. Deep communication, particularly about code, won’t happen without breaking up into small subgroups.

sharing data

I’ve been watching the Nature Precedings feed..

The researchers studied re-used vs. original data in publications containing the word “microarray”. The Odds Ratio by Disease graph pointed toward greater reuse in Leukemia and Nutritional/Metabolic Diseases. Maybe because those diseases have been studied much longer? Or the scientists who study those diseases use the public resources more? I imagine there’s funding priorities and areas of research that are thought to be more promising than others. I’d love to see a follow up that explored the whys.

thoughts on seduce a woman today

What I know of Nat Torkington is that he’s generally funny, from Australia New Zealand and actively recruited women for talks for OSCON. A comment on a blog entry he made about “seducing a woman” highlights a long-running struggle in the tech community — how do women point out sexism or offense at humor in the tech community? This person chose to be anonymous, which is unfortunate. I think the way to change the tone of humor like this is to be direct and put your name on your objections.

I rolled my eyes when I read Nat’s blog entry, but I didn’t think of it as sexist — just a tortured analogy that wasn’t very funny (sorry, Nat). As with many gender-related issues, perception varies.

I’m glad that anonymous made their feelings known. And, Brenda probably gave the most effective (although not direct) critique – at least one that Nat responded to. It’s time that more of us ladies spoke up when we see something that’s subtly or overtly sexist being passed off as humor.

As Larry Gelbart, M*A*S*H producer, said “Most jokes state a bitter truth.” Let the people who are publishing know that we’re reading, and that we have senses of humor too.

world values survey

Here’s an interesting map. I like the layout and the x/y-axis. I’m not sure I agree with their categorizations (like labeling confusionism as a “secular-rational” group?) I’m certainly interested in the study. (by way of this blog post from the Oil Drum)

Values Map

quietly excellent

There was an article in the WSJ today about Toyota and Jim Press, their north american CEO.

Late last year in a New York conference room, Mr. Press quietly listened to a pitch from Japanese advertising agency Dentsu Inc. for a campaign that used Toyota’s growing American work force as a way to deflect potential criticism over the company’s strength in the U.S. Then he politely sent the Dentsu team back to the drawing board.

“I really appreciate your efforts,” he said. But “isn’t diversity something you don’t tout publicly but something you just carry out quietly inside the company?”

Toyota does not try to win awards as they believe the effort involved to apply for an award is also waste.  Instead of trying to win a Shingo Prize, they openly teach their methods to others.

Quiet excellence gives a sense of being deeply real and fundamentally true.  Because it usually is.