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Benjamin Degenhart
Worked at IDEO
Attended University of Applied Sciences, Munich
Lives in Munich, Germany
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Benjamin Degenhart

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Creating Lego-instructions with a 5yr-old

Conversation with Samuel (5) during uncle-duty today:

S: We have so many Lego bricks but no building-instructions :(
Me: That's true. Well, what do you think about making instructions ourselves based on those amazing vehicles you created there?
S: Mmh, how do you mean?
Me: You could use drawings and writing to explain every step of your building-process.
S: But I can't write that well yet.
Me: I can write for you, no problem.
S: (thinks long...) Uncle Beni?
Me: Yes?
S: Can you please go and get some paper?

And the next hour we spent immersed in creating Lego-instructions for vehicles and creatures Samuel invented on the spot.
Quickly he understood the concept of drawing a graphical model from the three basic angles (front, side, top) step by step and labeling the parts precisely. It is important to think which perspective to choose and how many new pieces to add in one instruction step. We must think ahead how well we, or someone else, might comprehend these instructions when reversing the process at some point; building based on instructions instead of creating instructions based on a building.
We drew both and I wrote. I was so enjoying how he really got a handle on this abstract idea of representing something in a way it can be reproduced later. After we finished the first set of instructions (for a dragon... sort of) I told him that we could now deconstruct (=smash) the real model because we can reproduce infinitely many based on these instructions - he was clearly amazed at this point.
I think if I ever become a dad I would not only document these situations thoroughly if they emerge, but actually map out crucial cognitive patterns and strategically create learning spaces for them.
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Hey, remember that picture you used to have with that swimmer splashing his arms to looking like wings? Do you remember where did that pic come from?
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morning fog condensing on spider webs on the bridge over the Lech in Landsberg
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I sat in a Café next to a middle-aged man & woman who apparently connected on a dating site and met now for the 1st time in person. It strikes me as a fundamentally awkward situation and I felt both amused and embarrassed listening to their shallow meanderings. A purely human-need driven conversation - all content is by predefinition reduced to a means of checking each other out.
It's said that a societies level of moral maturity shows in how they treat prisoners at war. What would listening to 100 first-date-conversations across cultures show one about humans?
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Thought provoking.
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an experiment of mine in sequence-analysis: http://beyondconsensus.de/seq/sequences.html
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If my salience storage is empty - how about choosing the pattern that maximizes dissipation? But to judge that in a "simulation" (i know you don't favour that term) lots of knowledge about the system in question is required, isn't it?
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I love this idea Benjamin....its like there is a beautiful energy woven into the basic structure of the idea.
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oh dear Lion, why do you make my MacBook look like an iPad-toy? it can do so much more...
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+Randall Lee Reetz I think you are spot on when you say "the device simply wasn't designed for the creative act." at least at a high level of creativity for professionals. I hope that Apple doesn't sacrifice what they have as "computing" moves into interactive viewing appliances. Not happy with what I've heard so far about Lion. Feels to me that the game is a single operating system across all devices. Important to keep in mind that creative use is a teeny tiny niche compared to the mass market for interactive viewing or reading.

it's worth watching this very closely. As for me I'm not going install Lion on the laptop until the smoke clears.
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double-rainbow between Waal and Landsberg yesterday evening...
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wunderschöne Aufnahmen
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My favourite spot in Berlin; a radio-tower-ruin hidden in the forest.
(and testing sharing from within Google Earth)
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Schade...
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"No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it." -Einstein

There is an interesting side to this well quoted line - namely by applying it's very logic to the group (dynamics) of people quoting it.

The sharers and likers of this (or similar) quote use it mostly to build or nurture a level of shared consciousness within the narrative/emotional context into which it is being (re-)introduced as agreeable and affirmative.

Any problem that will occur in the thereby created level of shared consciousness will of course also not be able to be solved from the level that created it.

So the quote animates us to nod our heads in agreement and by doing so we lock ourselves out of all possible solutions to problems that might occur while we're nodding our heads?
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I recommend this book from Niklas Luhmann, a "German sociologist, and a prominent thinker in sociological systems theory". [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niklas_Luhmann] The original German version was written in 1986. However, the sharpness in his "challenging analysis of the relationship between society and the environment" couldn't be more timely. It's not an entertaining read and requires mental discipline and ego-sacrifice (!) but it's a very straight forward injection of systemic clarity into an ungrounded battle of opinions about opinions (which is my opinion, hah!).
Go find it (hopefully) in your local library :)
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Hi Ben. Thanks for connecting. I just saw you on my window now and was curious about sharing this google circle. I am trying to recall if we are connected via AOH. I am interested in this material as I develop a way of communicating and translating new languages and systematic processes using the mandala in an ecovillage setting. I wonder if you have any suggestions on applications of Luhmann's work? Thank you
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Work
Employment
  • IDEO
    Working Student, 2012 - 2013
  • The World Café Foundation
    Host of the Online Community, 2010 - 2012
  • The Hub
    Host, 2008 - 2009
  • Institute for Participatory Design
    Team Member, 2009 - 2010
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Munich, Germany
Previously
Landsberg am Lech, DE - Waal, DE - Aarhus, DK - Buchloe, DE - Berlin, DE - Emmenhausen, DE - Türkheim, DE - Buchloe, DE - Starnberg, DE - Ökodorf Sieben Linden - Bogotá, CO - Starnberg, DE - Regensburg, DE
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Tagline
Studying Scientific Computing & working as IT Working Student at IDEO Munich
Introduction

I am 27 and currently living near Munich, Germany. Travels and longer stays include USA, Colombia, Tunisia and most of Western Europe. I briefly studied Bioinformatics and spent 3 years at the KaosPilot school in Denmark. 

Currently i work as an IT Working Student at IDEO Munich and am enrolled in the Bachelor-study 'Scientific Computing' at University of Applied Sciences in Munich.

Education
  • University of Applied Sciences, Munich
    Scientific Computing, 2012 - 2015
  • KaosPilots
    Project Management, Business & Process Design, Leadership, 2009 - 2012
  • Fachhochschule Weihenstephan
    Bioinformatics, 2007 - 2008
  • Fachoberschule Landsberg
    Technics, 2004 - 2006
  • Realschule Buchloe
  • Joseph-Bernhart-Gymnasium Türkheim
  • Maristenkolleg Mindelheim Gymnasium
  • Grundschule Buchloe
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
September 4, 1986
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