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Links 1 through 10 of 19 by Chad Orzel tagged zuckerman

I heard Matt speak at TED in 2009, and it was clear that something still wasn’t quite working for him with the dancing videos. Performing a goofy dance in front of people who’ve got rich and sophisticated dance traditions is a bit like backpacking around the world while eating only McDonalds. At TED, Matt told us that his next video would feature dances from around the world, and he proceeded to try and teach us the short snippet of Indian dance that graces the third video. It didn’t work very well – the TED crowd was insufficiently graceful or silly to pull the moment off – and I found myself wondering whether Matt’s effort to turn a silly project into a genuine attempt at connection would fall short.

It didn’t. Matt’s fourth video was released today, and it’s beautiful.

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"In a developing world city, the schools and hospitals tend to be far better than what’s available in rural areas. Even with high rates of unemployment, the economic opportunities in cities vastly outpace what’s available in rural areas. But there’s a more basic reason – cities are exciting. They offer options: where to go, what to do, what to see. It’s easy to dismiss this idea – that people would move to cities to avoid rural boredom – as trivial. It’s not. As Amartya Sen argued in his seminal book, “Development as Freedom“, people don’t just want to be less poor, they want more opportunities, more freedoms. Cities promise options and opportunities, and they often deliver.

What’s harder to understand, for me, at least, is why anyone would have moved to London in the years from 1500 – 1800, the years in which it experienced rapid, continuous growth and became the greatest metropolis of the 19th century."

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"Protocol.by is a first pass at defining and sharing these rules of engagement. Coming out of a closed alpha test shortly, it lets you register an account and compactly state the ways in which you’d prefer to be contacted. Greg explains that he dislikes spontaneous phonecalls – his protocol tells people not to call him before noon, and not to expect an answer to unscheduled calls. For emails, he urges correspondents to avoid polite niceties and get to the point. For people unsure of how to contact him, these protocols can make it easier for people to contact him in a way that’s minimally intrusive and maximally effective. (I have a protocol, if you’re interested…)

The goal for the site, Hugo offers, is for the site to become a “social anchor” to help bridge across multiple identities and online presences. In the long term, it could plug into location-based services and offer richer, more targeted information on how to contact people politely. "

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"Virtually every object suggests a time and place. The Monobloc is one of the few objects I can think of that is free of any specific context. Seeing a white plastic chair in a photograph offers you no clues about where or when you are. I have a hard time thinking of other objects that are equally independent of context. Asking friends to propose a similar object, most people suggest a Coke can… but I can tell you that Coke is presented very differently in different colors, in glass bottles as well as cans, with labels in local languages. The Monobloc offers no linguistic cues, no obvious signs that it’s been localized. Wherever you are, it’s at home."

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"The bravery and persistence of Tunisians inspired subjugated people around the world to rise up. The bravery and persistence of Egyptians will inspire people to rise up, and not give up, even when dictators prove difficult to dislodge. This is an exciting and wonderful thing. It’s also potentially very dangerous.

I don’t mean dangerous in terms of “threatening regional stability”, or the other nonsense that’s dominated much of American television news regarding Egypt. I mean dangerous for the people brave enough to take to the streets.

When people take to the streets and the army is called out to stop them, at least two things can happen: Tunis, or Tiananmen. When the world is watching, a peaceful outcome is more likely. A threatened regime, when they think they’re immune to scrutiny, is a very dangerous thing."

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"To use Maersk’s calculator, you need to register with the site, download a client browser certificate and accept three server certificates from Maersk before you can access their secure site. But once you do, it’s just a few short clicks before you can calculate the cost of shipping a 20′ container of “umbrellas, sun umbrellas, walking-sticks, seat-sticks, whips, riding-crops and parts thereof” (yes, that’s one of the available categories, along with “bone and meal”, “ores, slag and ash” and “straw, esparto, other plaiting materials and articles of straw, esparto, other plaiting materials) from Auckland to Dubai: $2451.02"

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"Tools like twitter – tools that give us a view of the world through our friends – can trap us within what my friend Eli Pariser calls “filter bubbles” – the internet is too big to understand as a whole, so we get a picture of it’s that’s similar to what our friends see. If our friends are Brazilian, or know some Brazilians, perhaps we got the joke about Cala Boca Galvao very quickly – if not, we miss it. The wider world is a click away, but whether we mean to or not, we’re usually filtering it out.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to work."

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"As Raphael Tsavkko Garcia explains on Global Voices, Galvão Bueno’s style of announcing is deeply unpopular in Brazil, and Brazilian twitterers have been posting their dissatisfaction: “Cala boca, Galvão” translates as “Shut up, Galvão”, and the phrase has been heavily in use since the global tournament started.

But that’s not obvious to non-Portuguese speakers, and, as Garcia reports, Twitter users started asking each other, “What’s Cala Boca Galvao about?” Brazilian users have been quick – and mischievous – in their responses. Some have spread the rumor that the phrase is the title of Lady Gaga’s newest single. But the really fun response plays on the wired world’s willingness to participate in meaningless online activism."

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"I think the comparison between ideological isolation in media and in face to face encounters is more like comparing apples and hedgehogs. They’re thoroughly different types of interactions and we should have very different expectations for diversity and ideological isolation in each set. The media I consume damn well better be more diverse than the community I live in. That’s what media is supposed to do – give me a broader view than I’m able to get from friends, family and coworkers. It’s okay that there aren’t any Thai people in my rural American town of 3,000, but if there are no Thai protests in my newspaper, there’s something wrong."

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"Herkko Hietanen of the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology tells his audience at the Berkman Center that “television is really broken.” The medium isn’t rising to its full potential, isn’t providing consumers with programs when and where they want them. To set the scheduled for what you want to watch, you need to be at your television. And there are frustrating geographic restrictions on programming – Herkko wonders why it’s hard to watch Finnish TV in the US. Television was created to be consumed – it lacks interactivity with broadcasters and other viewers. It forces consumers to sit through irrelavent commercials.

It could be so much better, he tells us. And it would be very hard to pitch a VC on a model of ad supported, broadcast over the air television today. "

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