A recording of Michael Shuman’s talk to kick off New Economy Week. (“[M]any people think the key to prosperity is to occupy Wall Street.”
NYT Profile of Employed & Homeless New Yorkers Is a Warning for America
DAVID HARRIS-GERSHON – Tikkun Daily
And here is a second waypoint on the course of our decline. It is all the more tragic being entirely self-inflicted.
Abandoned Homes Are the Future: Imaginative Ideas Turn Blight Into Beauty
HENRY GRABAR – Salon
Filtering—or the lack thereof—presented the single biggest challenge when we tested MicroMappers last week in response to the Pakistan Earthquake. As my colleague Clay Shirky notes, the challenge with “Big Data” is not information overload but rather filter failure. We need to make damned sure that we don’t experience filter failure again in future deployments. To ensure this, I’ve decided to launch a stand-alone and fully interoperable platform called MicroFilters. My colleague Andrew Ilyas will lead the technical development of the platform with support from Ji Lucas. Our plan is to launch the first version of MicroFilters before the CrisisMappers conference (ICCM 2013) in November.
A web-based solution, MicroFilters will allow users to upload their own Twitter data for automatic filtering purposes. Users will have the option of uploading this data using three different formats: text, CSV and JSON. Once uploaded, users can elect to perform one or more automatic filtering tasks from this menu of options:
Games run September 11-21 worldwide—anyone can play
“We behave ourselves into new ways of thinking,as distinct from thinking ourselves into new ways of behaving.” —from the Hoʻoponopono practice of forgiveness
SEATTLE, September 9, 2013—Announcing the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest, a worldwide “co-opetition” running September 11 through 21, 2013. To date, 18 communities in four countries have signed on, and the number of teams and local activities is growing daily.
Opening ceremonies and local festivities will kick off the Games September 11 in communities around the world. Over the following 10 days, neighborhoods, organizations, businesses, and individuals will organize and participate in games of their choice. Scores will be tallied and displayed online, so the progress of teams and individuals can be tracked across the globe. Closing ceremonies will take place worldwide on September 21, coinciding with the International Day of Peace, established by the United Nations in 1981.
Organized by the nonprofit Compassion Games International (CGI), the Compassion Games are designed to help and inspire individuals to make their communities safer, kinder, more just, and better places to live. The Games provide a network through which individuals, organizations, and businesses can actively participate in and lead societal change—being empowered and caring citizens, while putting kindness at the center of fun, good-natured, competitive play. CGI offers tools and an active online community to help organizers form teams and participate.
Phi Beta Iota: But we still do not have 1:50,000 combat charts for everywhere (Somalia, for example) and we still cannot put a geospatial display with all-source data fusion at machine speed on ANY analyst’s desk.
Phi Beta Iota: War profits the few, peace the many — the single fastest way to create a prosperous world at peace is to distribute free cell phones and free Internet access (i.e. free education one cell call at a time via call centers for the first couple of years) to the five billion poor. Earth Intelligence Network figured that out in 2006. Still no takers.
The field of “Humanitarian Computing” applies Human Computing and Machine Computing to address major information-based challengers in the humanitarian space. Human Computing refers to crowdsourcing and microtasking, which is also referred to as crowd computing. In contrast, Machine Computing draws on natural language processing and machine learning, amongst other disciplines. The Next Generation Humanitarian Technologies we are prototyping at QCRI are powered by Humanitarian Computing research and development (R&D).
My QCRI colleagues and I just launched the first ever Humanitarian Computing Library which is publicly available here. The purpose of this library, or wiki, is to consolidate existing and future research that relate to Humanitarian Computing in order to support the development of next generation humanitarian tech. The repository currently holds over 500 publications that span topics such as Crisis Management, Trust and Security, Software and Tools, Geographical Analysis and Crowdsourcing. These publications are largely drawn from (but not limited to) peer-reviewed papers submitted at leading conferences around the world. We invite you to add your own research on humanitarian computing to this growing collection of resources.
Many thanks to my colleague ChaTo (project lead) and QCRI interns Rahma and Nada from Qatar University for spearheading this important project. And a special mention to student Rachid who also helped.
A new generation of cash-strapped ‘millennials’ have very different expectations about jobs, credit and money. As Michelle Fleury reports, they are using the internet for a new ‘sharing economy’.
The ‘millennials’ are the generation that came of age after the 2008 financial crisis.
Cash-strapped and internet-savvy, they have very different expectations about jobs, credit and money.
Part of the new ‘sharing economy’, they have taken to the idea of sharing rather than buying with a vengeance.
Michelle Fleury reports from New York.
OHM2013 – Observe. Hack. Make. is a 5-day international outdoor technology and security conference. OHM2013 is currently requesting proposals for content.
A motley bunch of around 3000 hackers, free-thinkers, philosophers, activists, geeks, scientists, artists, creative minds and others will convene from all over the world for this informal meeting of minds to contemplate, reflect, share, criticize, look ahead, code, build, and more.
An otherwise unassuming stretch of land, just 30km (20mi) North of Amsterdam, will be transformed into a colourful oasis of light providing a backdrop for this unique event. It is an immersive experience, with an emphasis on interaction.
The four-yearly Dutch hacker camps provide a very open, friendly and relaxed atmosphere, with a high level of knowledge. The campsite is buzzing with energy, ideas and projects, not least because people from various backgrounds are interacting. It is a non-commercial community event where every visitor is also a volunteer.
ROBERT STEELE: This is legitimate hacking’s third wind (ham radio was the first, cyber and social engineering the second). This takes hacking to a new level, with an emphasis on “Do It Yourself” and thus fullfils the guidance from Buckminster Fuller: do not seek to repair a pathologically damaged system, instead create a new system to replace it, and route around the old system. I have proposed a lecture and a workshop (originally commissioned for the Wales Intelligence Conference in 2013), and am seeking donations to cover travel — estimated $1,500. I particularly solicit donations for pre-conference and post-conference sessions, in person or via Skype, anywhere in Europe including the UK that will help cover travel including side trips, and perhaps a bit more to support the work of our 501c3. I am on stand-by for Afghanistan and believe they won’t move on replacing the KIA/WIA until September for a 1 October start date.
2013 Robert Steele: $500 Million to Resettle 1 Million on a Moonscape with Sun, Dirt, & Salt Water….Exploring the Practical Edge of Intelligence with Integrity — Call for Substantive Ideas 2.0 Habitat Cost Sheet Posted
OUR OBJECTIVE: Figure out how to take one million people out of a virtual hell and resettle them into a virtual heaven, using only $500 million ($500 per person), and three ingredients available in plentitude: sunlight, barren earth, and salt water. Begin within 90 days and finish within two years. In so doing, create the playbook for addressing the needs of the two billion extreme poor so as to end the migration pressures on Australia, Europe, Russia, Turkey, and the USA.*
* Three hard things in one package: # of people, fixed low-cost per person, and zero base start — in the middle of a moonscape with no supporting foundation. This is about speed & scale combined, and open source and low cost per person plus assured sustainability combined. A non-trivial challenge no one else has addressed.
Both human understanding and critical technologies have advanced far beyond the understanding of most academics, civil organizations including labor unions and religions, corporations, governments, law enforcement, media, the military, and non-government/non-profit organizations.
Hybrid public governance rooted in open-source decision-support — legal ethical evidence-based decision-support — is the wave of the future that we must all ride if we are to prosper.
My email is robert.david.steele.vivas [at] gmail [dot] com. I seek to attract ideas from those who believe, as I do, that there is plenty of money to create a prosperous world at peace — we simply lack applied intelligence with integrity across all traditional organizations. There are new leaders in place who appear disposed to listen. The time for Alternative C2, Open Source Everything (technical), and M4IS2 (human factor) has arrived.
Three big things have changed:
Foreign Affairs, December 19, 2010
The current multibillion-dollar campaign to counter transnational terrorism, defeat insurgencies, and stabilize fragile states blends diplomacy, defense, and development. A principal tool in this vast effort is humanitarian and development assistance — what has come to be known as militarized aid. Flows of aid to fragile states have grown significantly over the past decade and are increasingly concentrated on a few frontline countries. The rhetoric of foreign assistance policymakers is infused with terminology derived from national security and counterterrorism doctrine. Defense ministries now control vast aid budgets.
Militarized aid is delivered by soldiers or private contractors at the behest of a political-military leadership. In Afghanistan, for example, the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) weld military, aid agency, and contractor components to multiply force where, in the words of U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, ”the U.S. military’s ability to kick down the door [must be] matched by its ability to clean up the mess and even rebuild the house afterward.” Yet it is unclear whether militarized aid is effective. In research carried out for the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, Andrew Wilder dubbed militarized aid ”a ‘weapons system’ based on wishful thinking.” And it appears increasingly evident that such aid actually damages the greater stabilization effort in three ways: it erodes humanitarian principles, spreads risk, and is often of poor quality.
Humanitarian principles are derived from the laws of war. These principles include, among others, humanity (aid must save lives and alleviate suffering), impartiality (aid is based solely on need), and independence (aid is not suborned to political or military objectives). These are not abstract, do-good notions. They are born of conflict, and there are hardheaded reasons why they define a civilian space for aid.
Adhering to these tenets assures those in war-torn communities that the primary interest of aid workers is helping civilians survive with dignity. As a result, they grant humanitarian organizations access and protect aid workers’ safety. They may even mediate with armed opposition groups on the aid organizations’ behalf. This is how relief agencies continue to operate in violent places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.
Even given the best intentions, massive budgets and pressure to spend almost always translate into ineffective use of funds.