- All Sites Must Go Social – "Companies are integrating social media applications into their own site to add personalization and create a sense of community." Think of how this can be used to turn any e-learning site into a social learning site!
- Wasps Reveal Clues about the Evolution of Intelligence: Scientific American – Experts have long suspected that complex social interaction drove the evolution of large brains in humans. Now a study in wasps supports and refines that theory: it seems that dominant individuals have larger brain regions responsible for higher-order cog
- Web Strategy: The Three Spheres of Web Strategy (and the skills required) – A great graphic model from Jeremiah Owyang about the balance of community, business, and tech needed for successful websites. Like most three-legged stool models, it can be extrapolated to other things such as biz in general.
- Web 2.0 Executive Bootcamp – Applied Trends – I'm greatly looking forward to joining Scott Gavin for the first delivery of the Web 2.0 Executive Bootcamp in London on 30 September. If you will be in London that time, please join us for a great day of strategic learning.
Archive for May, 2008
- The Value of Believing in Free Will – I've never been a fan of predetermination theories/beliefs becuase I believe it undermines individual potential. It turns out it is not good for our society either…
- Corporate Policies on Web 2.0 (Enterprise 2.0) – Tony pulled together some policies from companies re: using Web 2.0 tools at work. As we cover in our Web 2.0 University courses, the processes and culture aspects of Enterprise 2.0 implementations is usually a bigger challenge than the tech.
Here is a very interesting research paper:
I added this to today’s links list, but wanted to highlight it. If you want the short version, here is the abstract from the article:
Does moral behavior draw on a belief in free will? Two experiments examined whether
inducing participants to believe that human behavior is predetermined would encourage cheating. In Experiment 1, participants read excerpts that encouraged a belief in determinism (i.e., behavior as the consequence of environmental and genetic factors) or neutral text. Exposure to the deterministic message increased immoral behavior on a passive cheating task that involved allowing a flawed computer program to reveal answers to mathematical problems that participants should have been solving themselves. Moreover, increased cheating behavior was mediated by decreased belief in free will. In Experiment 2, exposure to deterministic statements led participants to overpay themselves on a cognitive test relative to participants who were exposed to statements endorsing free will as well as participants in numerous control conditions. These findings suggest that the debate over free will has societal, as well as scientific and theoretical, implications.
Now, I have long been a proponent of free will theory and opposed to any concept of predetermination. I believe that it undermines individual potential. Predeterminism recuses you from personal accountability. Even those who believe in predetermination but profess “many paths to the predetermined result” makes them accountable are fooling only themselves. If you know in your heart of hearts that the outcome is already determined, you divest responsibility.
What I had never stopped to consider (because I’m not terribly bright) is the impact beyond the individual. This research discussed in the article illustrates the toll predeterminism can take on our society. Frankly stated, the research shows that predetermination is immoral. To strengthen our society, all institutions should be teaching the importance of free will. Now, this could become a discussion of whether free will exists or not, but instead I want to consider what we should be teaching people to strengthen our society. Whether you believe in free will or not, I leave you with a quote from the article:
It is also crucial to emphasize that the present findings do not speak to the larger issue of whether free will actually exists. It is possible that free will is an illusion that nevertheless offers some functionality. It may be that a necessary cost of public awareness regarding the science of human behavior will be the dampening of certain beliefs about personal agency (Wegner, 2002). Conversely, it may prove possible to integrate a genuine sense of free will into scientific accounts of human behavior (see Baumeister, in press; Dennett, 2004; Kane, 1996; Shariff et al., in press). Although the concept of free will remains scientifically in question, the present results point to a significant value in believing that free will exists.
- The Growth of Open APIs: More Evidence That Web Services Drive Network Effects [Dion Hinchcliffe’s Web 2.0 Blog] – Dion extrapolates the growth of Amazon Web Services to the Web as a whole. The question remains how to monetize this usage. Without the scale or intrinsic financial incentive of Amazon, how do other companies leverage APIs successfully?
- The Science of Irrationality: Why We Humans Behave So Strangely: Scientific American – MIT's Dan Ariely discusses his research in behavioral economics and explains how to deal with our brain's flawed decision-making process.
Ever since the first networked copier/scanner was installed in my office, I wondered how long it would be before the fax machine became obsolete. The copier/scanner makes it easy to scan any document to PDF and attach it to an e-mail – providing greater efficiency, privacy, and accountability than the old faxing process.
Today I received my fist “standardized corporate” business card that did not have a fax number. This was not from a techno-evangelist eschewing vestigial technology – it was from a salt-of-the-earth program manager. When I asked her about she said she wasn’t concerned that the number wasn’t there since she never uses the fax. Think about it. A program manager that coordinates scores of vendors, clients, events, contracts, etc. – and never uses a fax.
I take this as a sign that the fax machine has entered its golden years and will soon go the way of the telegram. My prediction is that we have about five more years before the need to scan paper-based transactions into digital form will become a relic as well.
- 7 Easy, Powerful Steps to Create a Personal Learning Environment – A nice step-by-step summary from Ahmir Ahmad on how to create a personal learning environment (PLE) since "Self-education is the ultimate form of personal-development …"
- Endless Conversation: The Unfolding Saga of Blogs, Twitter, Friendfeed, and Social Sites [Dion Hinchcliffe’s Web 2.0 Blog] – Dion's take on Twitter and it's possible use in in business. Just the title "Endless Conversation" speaks volumes to my concern that Twitter has a negative impact on productivity instead of a positive impact on collaboration communication.