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Daniel Durrant
Works at Funk/Levis & Associates
Attended Queensland University of Technology
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Daniel Durrant

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The evolution of our curious minds

"Neoteny is a short-cut taken by evolution – a route that brings about a whole bundle of changes in one go, rather than selecting for them one by one. Evolution, by making us a more juvenile species, has made us weaker than our primate cousins, but it has also given us our child's curiosity, our capacity to learn and our deep sense of attachment to each other."
. . .
"Obviously it would be best if we knew what we needed to know, and just concentrated on that. Fortunately, in a complex world it is impossible to know what might be useful in the future. And thank goodness – otherwise we would have evolved to be a deadly-boring species which never wanted to get lost, never tried things to just see what happened or did things for the hell of it."

#learning #evolution #complexity #curiosity

Thanks to random.co for the find.
Evolution made us the ultimate learning machines, and the ultimate learning machines need to be oiled by curiosity.
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+Daniel Durrant
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Daniel Durrant

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What the heck is Nemetics anyway?
Big thanks to Ana Cristina Pratas for giving the opportunity for we Nemeticians to share what  #Nemetics  is about. "Leadership, dealing with uncertainties, engaging with the flow, learning through interactions. Approaches for understanding and adaptation. ...
Big thanks to Ana Cristina Pratas for giving the opportunity for we Nemeticians to share what #Nemetics is about. "Leadership, dealing with uncertainties, engaging with the flow, learning through interactions. Approaches fo...
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Daniel Durrant

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Nachas...
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Daniel Durrant

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You Might Be A Narcissist If....

Phew, I'm not a narcissistic jerk. Are you? This article appears to cover all the traits of a classic narcissist, in case you'd prefer not to encounter them.
You're more likely to find a narcissist in the...
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I like to swear at people, but every other item on the list falls short by some degree (entertaining is a grey area I'd prefer to think of as performing).
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Daniel Durrant

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The 2€ T-Shirt Social Experiment

"[T]he Fashion Revolution movement aims to create public dialogue and educate consumers on the real cost of cheap clothes. Now, using interactive technology and an irresistible call to action, they’ve done just that." - http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2015/05/04/good-campaign-of-the-week-fashion-revolution/

Fashion Revolution's mission, in their own words, "is to achieve more transparency in global textile supply chains and work to improve working conditions in the manufacturing countries. We believe in a fashion industry that values people, the environment and creativity in equal measure.

"We DO NOT want you to stop buying clothes made in Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, etc. but ask brands who sell clothing produced in these countries to take responsibility for the people and communities on which their business depends."

#marketing   #transparency #CSR   #whomademyclothesplus
HT +Funk/Levis & Associates 
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Daniel Durrant

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Freedom to Learn

"These two essays are from a book Freedom to Learn published in 1969, that contains the basic ideas on learning of a very creative and original psychologist like Carl Rogers."

Rogers bemoans teaching in favor of learning and facilitating. I love this bit in which he describes his experience of learning.

"The sensation is that of floating with a complex stream of experience, with the fascinating possibility of trying to comprehend its ever-changing complexity."

#learning #complexity


Personal Thoughts on Teaching and Learning (1952). I wish to present some very brief remarks, in the hope that if they bring forth any reaction from you, I may get some new light on my own ideas. a) My experience is that I cannot teach another person how to teach. To attempt it is for me, ...
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Daniel Durrant

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A language that visualizes and synthesizes

Interdisciplinary researcher Bonnie DeVarco predicts that humans will fuse with their tools and that a new science of design and data mining will lead to a new generation of synthesizers. They will capture streams of "collective emotional intelligence" and wrap them "with color and shape, in silky tendrils of light, letting them speak a new language – whispering visually the subtext of our species." She sees how visualization technologies have begun to allow us to peek at crowdsourcing phenomena, "offering us a way to view its power and scope."

#CollectiveIntelligence #DataVisualization #Nemetics
New Vistas of the Community Self “We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely." E.O. Wilson, Consilience Aggregation, Integration, Synthesis....
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Daniel Durrant

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Can Google be taught poetry?

I love the creative merger of collective and artificial forms of intelligence.

"The Poetry for Robots project has created an online image bank of 120 pictures, which anyone can access in order to write poetry inspired by what they see. By feeding poems to the robots, the researchers want to 'teach the database the metaphors' that humans associate with pictures, 'and see what happens,' explains Corey Pressman from Neologic Labs, who are behind the project, along with Webvisions and Arizona State University.

[http://poetry4robots.com/about/]

"The project also poses the question: 'Can an algorithm, informed by our poetic input, generate compelling works of its own?' The answers will start coming in September, when they perform initial searches at the Web-visions technology conference in Chicago."

#artificialintelligence #collective #robots #FutureTechnologies

Thanks to random.co for the find.
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Daniel Durrant

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Iterations of the digital, "dashboard self"

Our selfhood is at the center of all of this social media stuff. We're learning to be seen and to see ourselves in an experiment that we monitor and adjust from behind the screen, like Wizards of Oz (the author's analogy).

"[W]e never stop revising the picture we have of ourselves. We sense that our identities are fixed in place – rock-solid and immovable – but we’re wrong about that. Each time we see ourselves represented in, for example, our Twitter profile or judged with a flurry of comments on our Facebook status, we recalibrate. Yes, these are tiny, iterative acts of self-adjustment; no one fancies himself dashing and mysterious after 150 likes on his filtered Instagram selfie. But the self is, as the sociologist George Herbert Mead observed 80 years ago, “an eddy in the social current and so still a part of the current.” Our lot is continual adjustment, based on what we see in all these glowing LED rectangles."
. . .
"[W]e're getting used to seeing ourselves as detached and distributed – as something external to our bodies and inner experience. It’s true that we have been thinking about ourselves as objects to be managed (and promoted) for a long time. “Possessive individualism” is a major strand in the history of the Western self, one that political scientist CB Macpherson has traced back to the 17th century. Certainly the injunction to “sell” oneself predates Mark Zuckerberg. But the self-likeness deluge can’t help but amplify the point: you’re the product and its chief marketer. "
. . .
"If the self, as sociologist Erving Goffman famously argued, is a performance, the online enactments are dispersed and disembodied."

#identity #self #Social #LifeLogging 

Thanks to random.co for the find.
As social media slices and dices us into profile view rankings, numbers of likes and retweets, and follower engagement data, we constantly reflect on and recalibrate our digital selves.
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Daniel Durrant

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In a world of attention-seekers

"Without indulging into the theories developed by radical sociobiologists, we can reasonably hypothesize that the development of the ego, vanity, and a sense of self-importance were more or less the result of evolutionary adaptations needed for our species’ survival.
. . .
In modern times the problem of immediate survival has been replaced by another hazard: the necessity to stand out from the crowd. Thus, people need a more refined skill set that is beyond basic communicative intelligence.
. . .
"Our lifestyles are becoming increasingly urbanized. Human activity is focused on industrialization, which geographically constrains individuals to the city life. We are constantly surrounded by a sea of other people.
. . . 
"In the last few decades we have created new information technologies such as web 2.0 and social networking sites, leading to an explosion of global interactions. These new technologies are becoming a significant tool with our need to distinguish ourselves in economic, political, and sexual competitions.
. . . 
With every Facebook status update and every blog post, we are expressing that we are different and unique. We are proving we have value as an object of social and cultural consumption.
. . . 
"When having a conversation in everyday life, it is crucial that we are 'interesting,' 'funny,' or 'original.' However, maintaining this level of uniqueness requires a significant amount of energy. We must become more and more cultured so we don’t run out of things to say. We visit museums, go to the movies, makes crafts and home repairs to cultivate our creativity. The reality is that we must retain the the attention of others, but this social paradigm makes it increasingly difficult to gauge other people’s attention.
. . . 
Driven by our need for social recognition, we are compelled towards constant action. There must always be something to do: work, read, watch TV, eat, sleep. The fleeting thought of non-action is immediately dismissed (contrary to other cultures, notably Buddhism). 
. . . 
"The new credo is no longer 'know how,' but rather just 'know.' The Christian values of humility are no longer effective traits in social society. Instead we must keep pushing ourselves above the crowd to have a chance of snatching valuable attention."

#society   #identity   #values  #social
This post originally appeared on one of our favorite blogs, OWNI, 25 January, 2011. Without indulging into the theories developed by radical sociobiologists, we can reasonably hypothesize that the development of the ego, vanity, and a sense of self-importance were more or less the result of ...
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 _When having a conversation in everyday life, it is crucial that we are 'interesting,' 'funny,' or 'original.'_  

So many problems for so many people who do not know in their hearts they are in principle "original." Every person's history is in principle unique.  

For some reason it reminds me of the the Picasso quote "“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."  

Finding your gift is a life long journey. The lovely part is that you can keep finding gifts you didn't know you had. The good news is that we have social media that allows us to give away whatever we have found so far.

  
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Daniel Durrant

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Making sense of empathy before melding minds

I've noticed bundles of interesting bits here: how we read each others emotions; how the psycho-social constraints upon compassion. We ought to take into consideration some of the points outlined in this piece before we begin wiring our minds together via some sort of  "machine-assisted telepathy". Here are a few bits that stood out.

"Some data even indicates that people who sense others’ emotions most intensely tend to avoid situations that will expose them to deep suffering.
. . . 
"Perhaps machine-assisted telepathy could help, amplifying the faint signal of compassion into an intense blast.
. . .
"People generally feel more empathy toward members of their own racial, political or social ‘tribe’, and limit the amount they extend to outsider.
. . . 
"Empathy is too compromised, too complicated, and too subject to intentions and motivations to be a magic solution for our moral problems. It is far too human.
. . .
"If we know that empathy favours the specific and familiar over the foreign and abstract, we can seek out, as our inspiration, personal details about someone far away who needs help. If empathy is easily overwhelmed and blocked by intense suffering, we could compensate by regulating how much information about tragedy we consume. In this way, we could hijack it, redirecting it away from in-group bias and toward morally courageous acts. We would strategically harness the power of what nature gave us – the remarkable ability to see into someone else’s mind and to feel what they are feeling – for the service of moral good."

One of the techno-telepathic examples referenced in the article I've previously curated:
http://ddrrnt.com/techno-telepathy-over-internet-brain-to-brain-communication/

#empathy   #emotions   #cognition   #communication   #consciousness   #mind  
Will the next generation of telepathy machines make us closer, or are there unforeseen dangers in the melding of minds?
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Friends: Enhancing our digital intimacy

Deeper intersubjectivity between fewer online friends. Stranger, stronger emotional links. Is this the future?

"If social media so far has encouraged our shallow interpersonal tendencies, this new wave of technologies could force online friendships to more closely resemble the ones we cultivate in real life: more intense, less numerous, and open to a broader range of emotions. In other words, our online relationships might start to resemble actual friendships again.
...
"Right now, we are too connected to each other — and it's only making us unhappy. “The research seems to point that the more time we spend by ourselves on the internet the more unhappy we feel, the more disconnected,” says Niobe Way, a New York University professor of applied psychology who studies friendship in children. The more than 1.3 billion people on Facebook, bombarding their “friends” with status updates and baby photos, aren't helping."

#social #future #psychology #Lifelogging #emotions
As much as technology has encouraged our shallow interpersonal tendencies, in the future, it's likely to help us make better, deeper friendships.
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Your experience sounds a lot like my own, +Dorothy Deasy.
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Work
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Content Strategy
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Futurology, Research, Collaboration, Community Engagement, Web 2.0, Content Analysis and Strategy.
Employment
  • Funk/Levis & Associates
    Social Media Manager, 2014 - present
    Community Building & Engagement, Digital Analytics, Trend Analysis, Content Development & Search Engine Optimization, Integrated Campaigns.
  • Cause Analytics
    Cause Analyst, 2013 - 2014
    Content curation, blogging, and community engagement.
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Content Strategist
Introduction
Content Strategist at Cause Analytics - the essential Business Intelligence service.
Education
  • Queensland University of Technology
    Digital Environments, 2012 - 2013
    Web 2.0, Mobile Technology, Digital Literacy, Business Process Improvement, Project Management, Leadership, Organizational Identity, Sensemaking, Corporate Writing and Editing
  • University of Oregon
    International Communications, 2007 - 2011
    Globalization, Tribes and Identity, Journalism, Public Relations, Video Production, Ethics, Existentialism, Philosophy of Religion, Consumer Culture, French, Africa, Mind and Brain