The Terrorists’ Epitaph

You must be so brave to
Shoot unarmed civilians

You must be so brave to
Use a sub-machine gun to
Shoot unarmed civilians

You must be so brave to
Wear a mask when you
Use a sub-machine gun to
Shoot unarmed civilians

You must be so scared
That you dare not show your face
And wear a mask when you
Use a sub-machine gun to
Shoot unarmed civilians

You must be so scared of
The pen and the pencil
That you dare not show your face
And wear a mask when you
Use a sub-machine gun to
Shoot unarmed civilians


You must be so brave to
Occupy land you don’t own

You must be so brave to
Use a bulldozer to flatten someone’s home and;
Occupy land you don’t own

You must be so brave to
Use an army and
A bulldozer to flatten someone’s home and
Occupy land you don’t own

You must be so scared to
Build a wall between you & your neighbours
And use an army and bulldozers to flatten someone’s home and
Occupy land you don’t own


Whether strong or scared
Can you MAKE peace?

Whether strong or scared
What will you do?
Can you MAKE peace?

Whether strong or scared
What will you do?
Can you MAKE peace?

=================

2 Problems with writing this:

It took the attack on Charlie Ebdo in Paris to kick me into writing this, when it should have been done well before that, e.g. after the attack on the school in Pakistan.

The words continue the negative feelings that caused the attacks in the first place. The response to events such as these should be to identify root causes & their solutions, that is to improve the quality of something, not to expand or intensify controls.

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Gingko editor

https://gingkoapp.com/login

An example of IT enabling the doing of things differently. As ever it requires that you get your head around a new structure. But well worth it.
As its hierarchical, it can be used for many purposes – text, a diary, organiser, etc. that has that sort of data structure behind it.

From the developer’s web page:
"Writing is hard because we have no tools to easily focus on the content and the structure at the same time".
Thus Gingko allows work on the form & the function, & immediately displays the change as WYSIWYG.
Products such as Mind Maps might provide prettier images, & I am all for making things as visually appealing as possible, but for getting text written down & in the right place then use Gingko.

Alternative project management Point055 – over the threshold

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Foldscope – proposal for development

Foldscope & camera-phone

As the Foldscope provides ready access to a world of which most users are unaware, interpretation of the images may be a challenge. Further, if used in the developing world, access to text books etc. may be limited – due to distance or funding.

There are 2 proposals to explore how to assist with this problem :

=================================

Structure 1
A folded card design (a frame) to integrate a mobile phone with camera into the Foldscope. Thus the image is immediately available on a larger screen which may be captured & transmitted.
However based on my initial understanding of the geometry of the Foldscope & camera phones, this may not be possible – e.g. the focal length of the camera is fixed & is probably too long.

To be explored:
1. geometry of the frame
2. material of the frame
3. degree of rigidity required for stable picture taking (is folding sufficient or does it need to be glued?)
4. size – to allow for the fixed focal length of the camera lens
5. is the resolution of the most basic camera phone sufficient, minimum recommended pixel density
6. to design a means to hold the phone firmly in place – needs to be generic
================================
Structure 2 – a black box.
Folded cardboard, rectangular, placed on a table as stability is needed.
At one end a slot for the fold scope – to be used in projection mode facing into the box a slot or some means of securing a mobile phone with camera facing into the box.
At the opposing end a screen for the projected image – which may be reflective or translucent.

2 ideas to be developed
1. With a reflective screen, can the image be captured by the phone with sufficient clarity? If so then the image may be sent (subject to signal) to anywhere in the world for analysis. This then provides the user with access to global expertise & diagnosis, e.g. for plant pathology, medicine.
2. With a translucent screen several people can access the image simultaneously. Thus providing a training medium. This set up would be best used in the dark so that the contrast of the image is as good as possible.
To be explored:
1. geometry of the box
2. material of the box
3. degree of rigidity required for stable picture taking (is folding sufficient or does it need to be glued?)
4. size – to allow for the fixed focal length of the camera lens
5. is the resolution of the most basic camera phone sufficient, minimum recommended pixel density
6. to design a means to hold the phone firmly in place – needs to be generic
7. the degree of permitted light leakage into the box before the picture is degraded (i.e. once constructed should all corners, edges etc. be taped?)
8. nature of the translucent material/paper for optimum transmission in projection mode
9. whether one box with interchangeable ends (reflective or translucent) can suffice or whether changing the ends introduces too many points where light may enter, in which case 2 boxes would be needed.

Advantages
The design is flat-pack & cheap.
Increases the access to the image – both locally & nationally/internationally. Thus changes the social impact of the Foldscope.

Costs
Phone – but as many parts of the world are by-passing conventional land line based connections this should be a decreasing problem. If the user is really remote then a satellite phone may be needed.

Alternates
If the phone has a good enough screen then that may be used as the medium for display & dispensing with the translucent end of the box. i.e. user & viewers are all at one end of the box.

(This proposal was sent to foldscope sign-up on 20140319, registered for the beta program in April 2014)

 

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Foldscope – essential science

See this TED talk to see a fusion of leading edge science from 300 years ago with modern technology.

The detailed science is at http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1403/1403.1211.pdf

 

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Two minor questions

Why is the universe based on maths?

Why is it based on maths that we can understand? Or at least that we have been able to invent?

The human brain has evolved as a general purpose device with billions of variations, but even so why does it have the ability to think of things that have zero evolutionary value?

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Workflowy – on the upcoming features list – dates & reminders

IMHO May I suggest: Horses for courses.
The lack of calendar integration & reminders recognises that very few things stay still (so #now & #soon are all that’s needed), & enables focus on the work in hand. (I presume it also keeps the application fast – which is a big plus point.)

Definite events should be in the diary, not in workflowy. The prep & follow-up actions to a meeting will be in workflowy. This is in line with GTD.

If I wanted to use a diary view of my work then I’d use a diary & move tasks around using that interface, not try to squeeze it into workflowy.

point055 logo

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What’s in a name?

Quiescent mammalian neurons have a membrane potential of about -70mV, under various stimuli they may be depolarised but nothing happens until the stimuli cause enough depolarisation to reach about -55mV (= -0.055 Volts). But once that threshold has been reached then the neuron ‘fires’ (‘the penny drops’, ‘the light comes on’) & further connections from that neuron are then stimulated. That’s the point of this blog – the things that make those neurons fire!

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