Interesting elsewhere – 11 February 2013

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

World building 201: Heuristics – Charlie’s Diary
The ratio of the near future is: 90% of it is just like today, 9% is stuff that is on the drawing boards, and 1% is unutterably strange and alien and unexpected.

Creativity at the heart of government – Nesta
Behaviour changes because of changes to habits, structures, processes and cultures – not because of one off events or speeches or guidelines. If you want a civil service to become more creative and innovative you have to change the wiring. But governments continue to resist the most basic lessons on how to manage innovation. Holding one day events is arguably a displacement activity – a symptom not a solution.

Seth’s Blog: Paracosms, loyalty and reality in the pursuit of creative problem solving
The most effective, powerful way to envision the future is to envision it, all of it, including a future that doesn’t include your sacred cows. Only then can you try it on for size, imagine what the forces at work might be and then work to either prevent (or even better, improve on) that future and your role in it.

Schneier on Security: Power and the Internet
What we forgot is that technology magnifies power in both directions. When the powerless found the Internet, suddenly they had power. But while the unorganized and nimble were the first to make use of the new technologies, eventually the powerful behemoths woke up to the potential — and they have more power to magnify. And not only does the Internet change power balances, but the powerful can also change the Internet.

Girl talk | From small seeds
So maybe, in 2013, we could talk less about IT and more about digital products, less about coding and more about understanding the needs of real people, less about “geeks” and more about creativity. And perhaps if we did that we might do better at attracting the full spectrum of people who will show us where digital technology can really take us… regardless of their gender.

Seth’s Blog: Eleven things organizations can learn from airports
By removing slack, airlines create failure. In order to increase profit, airlines work hard to get the maximum number of flights out of each plane, each day. As a result, there are no spares, no downtime and no resilience. By assuming that their customer base prefers to save money, not anxiety, they create an anxiety-filled system.

Institutionalising Serendipity via Productive Coffee Breaks – Nesta
Randomised Coffee Trials create an institutionalized space for serendipity.  The randomised coffee breaks allow people to break with their daily routine, make new connections and strengthen existing ones.

The Proper Use Of The Library | Terence Eden has a Blog
The proper use of a library is a space where people can feel safe and enjoy free access to culture.

Saying goodbye to pen and paper – Alexandra Samuel
These are the losses that accumulate through our transition to a new world, a new set of tools, new ways of working and new ways of remembering. At any time I could choose to pick up pen and paper once again, to forego legibility and searchability in favor of the serendipity of what gets recalled and what becomes indecipherable. But I have no romantic fantasies about sitting at a sidewalk café in Paris, sipping coffee and writing in longhand; that world is gone, or going, and my paper notebook isn’t going to reveal Paris or the world as they are today.