Monday, March 28, 2011

Kevin Kelly at TEDxAmsterdam

Continuing the lunch-time video habit, I ended up watching a speech by Kevin Kelly about "technology's story."  As a one-time Whole Earth Catalog editor, you might expect him to think outside the proverbial box -- he doesn't disappoint, dismissing how engineers see these tools, and talking about how we might consider our technology (without which we'd be toast) a seventh kingdom of life, with an evolution and urges of its own.

The talk is a very nice redux of his book, What Technology Wants, which I read a couple of months ago.  I found most of his written arguments compelling, peppered with a couple pies in the sky.  If Amazon auto-generated per-book hash-tags, I'd aim you at the comments my Kindle tweeted about the book.

In another intersection, I've been following the Quantified Self movement, another of his brain children.  I find the most interesting thing about "self quantifiers" is how easily we humans graft technology right onto our bodies.  (Nike+, GPS, bluetools, eyeglasses)  I guess we'll know what technology wants, once we're all cyborgs.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mark Masterson (CSC) at OSCON

I'm continuing the trend on my lunch-time videos, watching more O'Reilly stuff, and today was Mark Masterson's presentation at OSCON.  He does a really interesting job of breaking down how enterprises balance the adoption of new technologies with risk avoidance.  The upshot, to me, was that risk calculations are based on the probability of failure, times the cost of failure -- so if you can't reduce the probability of failure, virtualization can certainly reduce the cost of failure.  I hadn't seen it put so simply, before.  Very interesting!  (BTW, here is Shanley Kane's post, that he references which I enjoyed.)