Recycling before restoring

A new warship. the USS New York, is being built in New Orleans with 24 tons of steel taken from 9/11’s World Trade Center.

There is no shortage of scrap metal in New Orleans these days, but the girders taken from Ground Zero have been treated with a reverence usually accorded to religious relics.

War is never justice

More than 250 foreigners have been abducted since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. At least 44 have been killed; 135 were released, three escaped, six were rescued and the fate of the others remains unknown. Documents seen by The Times show three countries paid ransoms in spite of denying it in public – sums from $2.5 million to $10 million per person have been paid over the past 21 months.

Surfacing revenue

WorldChanging posts, “What if every window was a solar panel?”

Blaine Brownell explains: XsunX has developed very thin translucent coatings and films that create large area monolithic solar cell structures. This semi-transparency makes their so-called Power Glass glazing desirable for placing over glass, plastics, and other see-through structures. Using patented processes, such as reel-to-reel manufacturing techniques and multi-terminal cell structure designs, XsunX is working to commercialize large area cell manufacturing processes for thin film flexible plastics.

One Stop Not

We have acquired our potential.

We are a forward people.

We labor potency.

We sell promise.

Little to keep.

Less to give.




Ojibwa saying hello

Sometimes I go about in pity for myself,
all the while a great wind is carrying me across the sky.

Ojibwa chant via JackZen

Wealth from the dying

Eighty per cent of America’s health care dollar is spent in the last two years of life. Think about that.

“We must fundamentally redesign the way we care for chronically ill Americans,” said the authors of this report.

“We must reward, rather than penalize provider organizations that successfully reduce excessive care and develop broader strategies for patients with chronic illness.”

Hooked on less

Each single drink hits a woman like a double. This study documents how women, pound-for-pound, not only get more drunk or higher faster then men, but also become addicted more easily. The risk of addiction to alcohol and drugs, including nicotine, is approximately doubled.

network weaving

Your work describing networks is also work discovering networks, wherein we make decisions, thus democracy.

Certainly we will see progress as interaction is enhanced. Effect. Studies in group process seem to show that raw interaction is often all that change & benefit require.

Didn’t Plato warn that city states should be constrained to about 5,000 people? If larger, he thought the human eye could not visualize each adjacent citizen as an individual. Thus not ‘seeing’ his neighbor, he could not sensibly accomodate his neighbor. I’ve often thought democracy, any government, fails after a certain scale. It’s somewhat absurd to ask a smidgeon of leadership to steer this boat.

Finally, again admiring your ingenious and diligent effort,

Network from matrix
And matrix from node,
to coin a modern ode,

Among the Last Posts

The Dead Poet
Al Purdy

I was altered in the placenta
by the dead brother before me
who built a place in the womb
knowing I was coming:
he wrote words on the walls of flesh
painting a woman inside a woman
whispering a faint lullaby
that sings in my blind heart still

The others were lumberjacks
backwoods wrestlers and farmers
their women were meek and mild
nothing of them survives
but an image inside an image
of a cookstove and the kettle boiling
– how else explain myself to myself
where does the song come from?

Now on my wanderings:
at the Alhambra’s lyric dazzle
where the Moors built stone poems
a wan white face peering out
– and the shadow in Plato’s cave
remembers the small dead one
– at Samarkand in pale blue light
the words came slowly from him
– I recall the music of blood
on the Street of the Silversmiths

Sleep softly spirit of earth
as the days and nights join hands
when everything becomes one thing
wait softly brother
but do not expect it to happen
that great whoop announcing resurrection
expect only a small whisper
of birds nesting and green things growing
and a brief saying of them
and know where the words came from

Not complacent we

How many countries are there in the world? The question is not as simple as it seems.

The United Nations claims 191 members, the United States Department of State supposes 192 independent countries, while the C.I.A. World Factbook spreads its net even further by suggesting 268 nations, dependent areas, and other entities.

But leaving aside whether territories or colonies such as Puerto Rico or Bermuda should be included (not to mention the political status of such “non-countries” as Palestine, Tibet, and Taiwan) there are a vast number of claims from other, less well-known nations asserting their independent status.

Call them micro-nations, model countries, ephemeral states, or new country projects, the world is surprisingly full of entities that display all the trappings of established independent states, yet garner none of the respect.

Be Here Now with Zazen

Zazen is a subtle practice. You and I are hardly ever just being here and experiencing. We’re usually thinking about what we’re going to do in the future, or trying to think of something clever to say, or remembering something that happened once, or wishing we were someplace else, or resisting something, reacting to something, pretending to be something, and so on. It’s very rare we think this moment is worth experiencing.

This reminds me of building the “Be Here Now Cafe” in Marin’s Mill Valley during the 1970s. Way a ‘head’ of its time.

And this reminds me of a book I built for a photography degree in Alberta called, “The Moment is Infinity”. Think about that.

just a link to an old friend

Jeremy Raikes. This is how he starts a tribute to the little friend he describes as the “quintessential” boy:

“Now he can be laid to rest,
this boy who bore with life so brief,
and left the world to be impressed
by more than sorrow’s stifling grief.”

Jeremy also wrote:

I’ll always roll a seven,
Choosing heaven ‘stead of hell.
I am the watchman,
And the watchman cries, “All’s well.”

Science Cafe

How are busy, curious people supposed to keep up with all the latest information? Even if you read Scientific American and watch Nova faithfully, you still probably wind up with more questions than answers.

Ask a Scientist is an informative, entertaining, monthly event for adults, held at a San Francisco cafe. Each event features a speaker on a current topic, a short presentation, and the opportunity to ask all those burning questions that have been keeping you up at night. No tests, grades, or pressure…just food, drinks, socializing, and conversation about the universe’s most fascinating mysteries!

The True Believer

Eric Hoffer wrote in his study of the fanatical believer, The True Believer:

“The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause…

A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business….”

Powerful Questions

Here is a good list of questions designed to elicit information that can be used creatively in a variety of situations that involve conflict resolution or negotiation:

1. How important is this?
2. Where do you feel stuck?
3. What is the intent of what you’re saying?
4. What can we do for you?
5. What do you think the problem is?
6. What’s your role in this issue?
7. What have you tried so far? What worked? What didn’t?
8. Have you experienced anything like this before? (If so, what did you do?)
9. What can you do for yourself?
10. What do you hope for?
11. What’s preventing you from …”
12. What would you be willing to give up for that?
13. If you could change one thing, what would it be?
14. Imagine a point in the future where your issue is resolved.
How did you get there?
15. What would you like us to ask?
16. What have you learned?”

From Carter McNamara.

Negotiating Mistakes

Avoid These Negotiating Mistakes
By Anthony Cerminaro

“Negotiation is a difficult art as it requires managing, in real-time, both the other person’s mind and your own. Here are a number of mistakes that negotiators can make…

*Accepting positions: Assuming the other person won’t change their position.
*Accepting statements: Assuming what the other person says is wholly true.
*Hurrying: Negotiating in haste (and repenting at leisure).
*Hurting the relationship: Getting what you want but making an enemy.
*Issue fixation: Getting stuck on one issue and missing greater possibilities.
*Missing strengths: Not realizing the strengths that you actually have.
*Misunderstanding authority: Assuming that authority and power are synonymous.
*Misunderstanding power: Thinking one person has all the power.
*One solution: Thinking there is only one possible solution.
*Over-wanting: Wanting something too much.
*Squeezing too much: Trying to gain every last advantage.
*Talking too much: Not gaining the power of information from others.
*Win-lose: Assuming a fixed-pie, win-lose scenario.”

Read more, including steps you can take to avoid making the foregoing mistakes in this webpage from

Where did we go wrong?

Open Source Models

[via Anish] Jeffrey Phillips writes:

The web paradigm is changing the way we think about work. Now I can work from anywhere, with anyone through web-based collaboration. The web paradigm should also change the way we compute and use data, systems and information, and bend these to our way of working, rather than us continually working to the computer’s existing shortcomings. Right now, the computer and the network and the software it contains is an idiot box. I do as much for it as it does for me.

Where did we go wrong? We introduced a product that was good at doing one task (computation) very quickly into a situation (the knowledge based office) that does many things once. So the power of computing, especially given the massive computing power available to most of us, is never used, and the real requirements we have in the way we work are not ones the computer was originally intended to support.

What can we do to change this? Look to the open source software models. That’s where change is likely to occur. Microsoft Office and the large transactional packages we use to run our businesses don’t really help knowledge workers with their requirements. That’s why blogs, wikis, tagging and other concepts and functions from the open source and web world are so intriguing right now to many knowledge workers.


Blue Ocean Strategy: Do’s and Don’ts
The authors explain it by comparing it to a red ocean strategy (traditional strategic thinking):

1. DO NOT compete in existing market space.
INSTEAD you should create uncontested market space.

2. DO NOT beat the competition.
INSTEAD you should make the competition irrelevant.

3. DO NOT exploit existing demand.
INSTEAD you should create and capture new demand.

4. DO NOT make the value/cost trade-off.
INSTEAD you should break the value/cost trade-off.

5. DO NOT align the whole system of a company’s activities with its strategic choice of differentiation or low cost.
INSTEAD you should align the whole system of a company’s activities in pursuit of both differentiation and low cost.

Examples of strategic moves that created blue oceans of new, untapped demand:
– NetJets (fractional Jet ownership)
– Cirque du Soleil (the circus reinvented for the entertainment market)
– Starbucks (coffee as low-cost luxury for high-end consumers)
– Ebay (online auctioning)
– Sony (the Walkman – personal portable stereos)
– Cars: Japanese fuel-efficient autos (mid-70s) and Chrysler minivan (1984)
– Computers: Apple PC (1978) and Dell’s built-to-order computers (mid-1990s).

$1 Billion in Sales? Here’s How to Do It By Anthony Cerminaro

1. Create and sustain a breakthrough value proposition…create an entirely new market…redefine an existing market…underprice the competition…
2. Exploit a high-growth market…
3. Focus relentlessly on cash flow…be profitable from a very early stage…finance growth at less cost than competitors…
4. Leverage big-brother alliances…
5. Pack your board with industry experts…

when winners are rejects

… the big reason why it’s so difficult for programmers to pick potential winners is due to the inefficiency and limitations of the broadcast medium itself.

Due to the scarcity of prime time slots that’s inherent in the linear programming format, programmers are forced to choose a very small percentage of available projects/shows. For every project that gets the green light, there are countless others that didn’t make the cut.

… the probability that potential winners were rejected is very high.

Robert Young writes via Internet TV

Google and the Enterprise

Are we moving into a new era of business computing?

“Modular utility services will eventually displace most of the complex, proprietary systems that companies and their IT vendors have painstakingly – and often painfully – constructed over the last fifty years. And business computing, as it slowly frees itself from its client-server shackles, will indeed become “easier, faster and cheaper.” I’ve called it “the end of corporate computing,” meaning that most of the computing assets traditionally owned and maintained by individual corporations will come to be owned and maintained by outside utility suppliers.”

abuse of legal drugs

Across America, there were more emergency room visits for abuse of legal drugs than for cocaine. via Science Blog

* 30% involved illicit drugs only,
* 25% involved pharmaceuticals only,
* 15% involved illicit drugs and alcohol,
* 8% involved illicit drugs with pharmaceuticals, and
* 14% involved illicit drugs with pharmaceuticals and alcohol.

emotion map

By combining a hand-held global positioning system with a galvanic skin response sensor (that measures the sweatiness of your fingers), London-based artist Christian Nold has created a gadget that measures your arousal as you walk around.

Superimposing the data onto your route, using something like Google Earth, allows you to see a kind of ’emotion map‘ for where you’ve been. Link to Bio-mapping website via Mind Hacks

Lowering OPEC

By 2020, wind power both on and offshore, together with small scale wind and marine renewables could contribute 21% of projected UK electricity supplies.

Name any goal in the USA that is similar.

fait accompli


Truth cloaks itself in paradox, lies in deception, poetry in obscurity, love in self-effacement. Everything important remains masked.

Nick Piombino
via wood s lot