Category Archives: ideas

Chris Anderson on how “parenting gone wrong” turned into a multi million dollar company.

TechCrunch

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As the longtime editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, the author of The Long Tail, the proponent of the concept of “freemium,” to name just a few of the things that he’s known for, Chris Anderson is well-renowned for having his finger on the pulse of trends just as they’re starting to coalesce into movements.

So, inquiring minds want to know: What is he obsessed with right now?

The answer is “maker subculture,” which is where the latest in digital technology meets the classic do-it-yourself (DIY) world of crafting and small scale construction. Anderson is so engrossed in this world that he decided to write his latest book about it. Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, which hit shelves (and the world of e-books and e-booksellers) last week, makes the argument that what’s happening right now with makers is actually the third wave of…

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The TED talk linked to above is an enlightening and empowering testimonial on how parents can inspire self-study.

TED Blog

As computers have gotten more complex, even tech literate users have become detached from the basics of how they function. This is what Shimon Schocken and Noam Nisan noticed with their computer science students in Israel. As Schocken explains in this talk from TEDGlobal 2012, the pair decided to have their students build a working computer, from the ground up, so that they would “understand how computers work in the marrow of their bones.” They broke down the process into a series of bite-sized, stand-alone units. While students start with building “Nand,” a simple logic gate, and they end by writing games like Pong, Snake and Tetris.

“You can imagine the joy of playing with a Tetris game that you wrote in Jack, and then compiled into machine language in a compiler that you wrote also, and seeing the result running on a machine that you built,” says Schocken

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Further reading in GitHub

TED Blog

The open-source programming world has a lot to teach democracy, says Clay Shirky.

In this fascinating talk from TEDGlobal 2012, Shirky harkens back to the early days of the printing press. At the time, a group of “natural philosophers” (who would later adopt the term “scientists”) called the Invisible College realized that the press could offer a new way to share and debate their work. However, because printing books would be far too slow for this purpose, they came up with a new invention — the scientific journal.

So what does this mean for us today?

Shirky explains, “If I had to pick a group that I think is our Invisible College — our generation’s collection of people trying to take new tools and press them into the service of, not more arguments, but better arguments — I’d pick the open-source programmers.”

Shirky explains a fact that any programmer…

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