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The piece was published in Details Magazine in 2006. My only regret is that I didn't find this sooner.
As a parent -- and someone who tends to default to optimism -- the final paragraph really hit home:
"When I told my son about the Clock of the Long Now, he listened very carefully, and we looked at the pictures on the Long Now Foundation’s website. 'Will there really be people then, Dad?' he said. 'Yes,' I told him without hesitation, 'there will.' I don’t know if that’s true, any more than do Danny Hillis and his colleagues, with the beating clocks of their hopefulness and the orreries of their imaginations. But in having children — in engendering them, in loving them, in teaching them to love and care about the world — parents are betting, whether they know it or not, on the Clock of the Long Now. They are betting on their children, and their children after them, and theirs beyond them, all the way down the line from now to 12,006. If you don’t believe in the Future, unreservedly and dreamingly, if you aren’t willing to bet that somebody will be there to cry when the Clock finally, ten thousand years from now, runs down, then I don’t see how you can have children. If you have children, I don’t see how you can fail to do everything in your power to ensure that you win your bet, and that they, and their grandchildren, and their grandchildren’s grandchildren, will inherit a world whose perfection can never be accomplished by creatures whose imagination for perfecting it is limitless and free. And I don’t see how anybody can force me to pay up on my bet if I turn out, in the end, to be wrong."
The full essay is here:
From 's post on AVC:
"It has never been easier to tell your own story and talk about your company directly with the people you want to reach. Talking to the media is good, too, but traditional media outlets have their own publishing schedules, editing quirks, and editorial voices, so you should always keep a direct channel open.
"On a purely pragmatic level, communicating directly gives candidates a deeper sense of what your company is trying to do and they come into the process knowing what your company is all about, often self-selecting to your mission. I've found that this takes the recruiting process up a level."
Swap "candidates" for "the audience" and this advice still applies.
If you haven't read Steve Baer's short essay, "The Clothesline Paradox," you should (http://bit.ly/NaHzT9). I found it liberating.
The piece focuses on the hidden / untracked benefits of solar energy, but the core concepts have broad application.
Here's a couple parts that stood out to me:
"If you take down your clothes line and buy an electric clothes dryer the electric consumption of the nation rises slightly. If you go in the other direction and remove the electric clothes dryer and install a clothesline the consumption of electricity drops slightly, but there is no credit given anywhere on the charts and graphs to solar energy which is now drying the clothes.
"The poor old sun is badly mistreated by such graphs. In the first place the obvious should be pointed out; that coal, oil and natural gas are all solar energy products stored ages ago by photosynthesis, and hydroelectric power is solar energy no older than the weather patterns which dropped the precipitation flowing through the turbines.
The graphs which demonstrate a huge dependence on fossil fuels are fine in one respect. They are alarming. But they are very bad in another respect. They are misleading. Misleading to such an extent that they blind people to obvious answers and prime them to a frenzy of effort in poor directions. Attention given to such graphs and charts trains people to attempt to deliver what is shown in these accounting systems rather than what is needed." [Emphasis added]
I also love this phrase from later in the essay:
"narrow minded quantification"
built a system that lets him efficiently track GitHub projects. He worked with GitHub to archive public GitHub activity, and he then made that data available in raw form and through Google BigQuery. This is a fun project, no doubt, but it's also a big deal.
He discusses his project and its surprising results in this interview.
Related story: http://oreil.ly/RzxUVE
#bigdata #strataconf #github #dataproject
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Data Jujitsu combines clean data, strong user experience, and clever
and iterative testing to solve data problems that once seemed
intractable. explores the components and applications of Data Jujitsu in this report.
Download the free report (PDF, EPUB, Mobi):
Read it online:
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