Posts filed under ‘Leonardo’s Laptop’

More from Leonardo’s Laptop

Yet more comments from Leonardo’s Laptop, by Ben Schneiderman.

p.149 handshaking evolved from a practice showing the absence of weapons?  Clinking of glasses evolved from practice of pouring wine back and forth between glasses to prove it wasn’t poisoned?

p.159 mentions Merck Manual home edition a resource for medical information.

p.167 other health resources, WebMD, Koop’s websiteUS library of medicine.

p.209 types of creativity – inspirationalists = AHA!; brainstorming tools: ideafisher, mindmapper; structuralists = more orderly, study previous work, use methodical approach to exhaustively explore possible solutions…spreadsheets, simulations; situationalists = emphasize social context, peers, mentions Csikszentmihalyi who has studied working in the “zone.”

I found this presentation about e-Novationby Schneiderman, searching for collect, relate, create, donate

p.212 levels of creativity: everyday, evolutionary, revolutionary.

p.214 megacreativity – collect, relate, create, donate

p.215 peer review is more available to the everyman now.  It’s easier to contact experts, find consultants.

p.219 specific tasks to improve creativity: searching, visualizing data and processes, consulting, thinking, exploring solutions, composing, reviewing, dissemination.

p.223 discussing dissemination mentions emailing to few friends…a more gentle approach is to “install your work on a web page”  This is a 2002 book… avoiding the B-word (Blog).

p.230 “It seems necessary to address the…arrogance of proposing technology to aid human creativity….critics might say creativity is inherently human and no computer could or should be brought into the process.  But technology has always been part of the creative process….creative people often benefit from advance technology to raise their potential and explore new domains.”  In Rainbows End, Vinge’s central character Robert Gu often describes his compatriot as semi-literate…or metaliterate…or technoliterate?  In Gu’s ‘own time’ the boy would have been an abject failure, but within the technological magic of the story’s setting he can do marvelous things.

p.236 Schneiderman rails against Kurzweil’s comments in “The Age of Spiritual Machines”as preposterous.  Says he’s using old computing metrics and fails to grasp the centrality of human experience in the new computing.  Funny.  It’s reminiscent of how Kurzweil complains that his critics can’t see the exponential advance of technology but are stuck in a linear view.  Also, in “The Singularity is Near” (or here or here) I read much more of enhanced humans than replacements for humans.  Kurzweil’s vision is very much involved in technology as serving human needs.  So – this author is arguing where there’s no argument, in fact…p.239, I’m sure I could find these goals of technology in Kurzweil’s books: increase life expectancy, control population growth, reduce homelessness, reduce illiteracy worldwide, reduce automobile accident deaths, increase air quality in major cities, reduce threat of war.  And his whole discussion of Leonardo II or 2.0 sounds a lot like Kurzweil’s enhanced humans, with deft use of computers for collecting information…master[ing] a variety of creative support tools….

I found the book interesting but some of the arguments were not really valid and distracted from the flow of the book.  The diagrams, the Activity Relationship Tables (ART), were not completely clear to me and felt sort of superfluous, like yet-another-Gartner-Group-matrix-magic-quadrant….well, common to Richard Hunter’s book World without Secrets anyway…or the ubiquitous and oft-misused Venn Diagram.  In the end, invoking Leonardo repeatedly at the end of chapters felt like a gimmick and not as insightful as I was hoping it would be.


August 9, 2006 at 1:29 pm Leave a comment

Leonardo’s Laptop

Some comments from Leonardo’s Laptop, by Ben Schneiderman.  The premise of the book: how would Leonardo, the quintessential renaissance man, have used computers?

p.2 The old computing was about what computers could do; the new computing is about what users can do….[successful technologies] must support relationships and activities that enrich the users experiences.  Many of the pictures throughout the book are from “Planet art” and are license-free?

p.11 Computers are tools for doing and making.  The new computing will emphasize innovations.  Echoes of FAB here.

p.23 Peter Neumann and archive of computing failures mentioned.

p.47 How to train users, using a minimal manual, or short getting-started guides, get users active quickly even if they make mistakes.  Constructivists – get the user to carry out practical projects soon.  Or social construction – engaging pairs or groups in working together to learn.

p.87 Describes an Activities Relationship Table (ART) = activities you can accomplish within each circle of relationship.  The axes of the table are: Self, family and friends (2-50), colleagues and Neighbors (50-5000), Citizens and Markets (5000+) vs. Collect, relate, Create, Donate.

p.92 Mentions National Digital Library Program to produce American Memory, Picturequest, Corbis.

August 8, 2006 at 1:13 pm Leave a comment

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