Net Geners…….


I am so done with all of the old ideas of the last eight years which, by the way, have lead to the multiple disasters we are now facing on so many fronts.

You know, little things like our continually shrinking global economy and the over heating atmosphere, just to name a few.

That’s why I’m absolutely giddy over the rise of the net geners.  Not only do these digital natives befuddle the boomers still in power, but this new generation also shares my impatience for rapid innovation and change.

The Economist has a great article on The Net Generation. This is where the engine of change will get its juice.

Mr Tapscott identifies eight norms that define Net Geners, which he believes everyone should take on board to avoid being swept away by the sort of generational tsunami that helped Barack Obama beat John McCain. Net Geners value freedom and choice in everything they do. They love to customise and personalise. They scrutinise everything. They demand integrity and openness, including when deciding what to buy and where to work. They want entertainment and play in their work and education, as well as their social life. They love to collaborate. They expect everything to happen fast. And they expect constant innovation.


Good-Bye Studs Terkel…….

Talk about a one-two punch.

First, we loose Kurt Vonnegut to a fall, and now, Studs Terkel.

Not only is this a tremendous blow to American literature, but we have lost two of our nation’s greatest dissenters.  You see, both Mr. Vonngegut and Terkel believed democracy was more than a marketing gimmick, able to survive scrutiny and other external challenges.

The ever feisty Mr. Terkel even sued the Bush Administration for it’s illegal wiretapping of American citizens.  Studs explained his motivation in the New York Times:

I have observed and written about American life for some time. In truth, nothing much surprises me anymore. But I always feel uplifted by this: Given the facts and an opportunity to act, the body politic generally does the right thing. By revealing the truth in a public forum, the American people will have the facts to play their historic, heroic role in putting our nation back on the path toward freedom. That is why we deserve our day in court.

This comes in stark contrast to Sarah Palin’s views of what Constitutional freedoms are all about.  Palin believes the First Amendment should be used to protect the powerful against criticism arguing:

“If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante, “then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”

Yeah, what ever you say Caribou Barbie.

You can learn more about the remarkable Stud Terkel by clicking here or here.

Open Obama…….

Obama Mosaic by Charis Tsevis
art by Charis Tsevis

In 2001, Linus Torvalds, with the help of David Diamond, wrote a delightfully irreverent book, detailing Torvalds’ accidental invention of the LINUX operating system while tinkering with Unix and exploring obscure machine languages.

A nerd from Helsinki, who preferred to spends days pouring over his obsession, Linus not only created a superior operating system, but in the process, unwittingly birthed the open source model.

What is the open source model?  Well….

Wikipedia defines the open source model as:

The open source model of operation and decision making allows concurrent input of different agendas, approaches and priorities, and differs from the more closed, centralized models of development.  The principles and practices are commonly applied to the development of source code for software that is made available for public collaboration, and it is usually released as open-source software.

In the chapter titled: Why Open Source Makes Sense, I have pulled a partial list of the perks Linus believes come from choosing an open source strategy:

  1. The open source model gives people the opportunity to live their passion.
  2. Imagine: Instead of a tiny cloistered development team working in secret, you have a monster on your side.  Potentially millions of the brightest minds are contributing to a project, and are supported by a peer-review process that has no, er, peer.
  3. By not controlling the technology, you are not limiting its uses.  You make it available and people make local decisions–to use it as a launching pad for their own products and services.
  4. Open source is the best way of leveraging outside talent.

Now, almost seven years since Linus Torvalds published his book, doesn’t this list easily describe the power of the Obama juggernaut?

Let’s break it down.

Without a doubt, Barack Obama possesses an overflowing, innate charisma. People passionately believe in his words and actions, and they want to do something with this energy.  They want an opportunity to "live this passion."

Through, Obama has given millions the chance to participate in his campaign and to make a difference on the local and national level.

As just one example, over the weekend the Obama Campaign kicked off its Vote For Change voter registration drive with over a hundred events scatter across the country.

How was this done?

The Obama campaign leveraged its million donors, many of whom give online, through the social networking capacity of

This website provides registered Obama supporters with a tool to locate events, such as the voter registration drive, in their own neighborhood.

Of course, if a supporter discovers there is no such event in their area, he or she can easily create their own using another tool provided by the website.

Later, after this Obama supporter has organized and participated in their voter registration event, they can go back to their MyBarackObama page and write about the experience on their blog, link to event photographs, or even check the status of the concurrent fund raiser they initiated.

As Linus Torvalds aptly sums up at the end of Why Open Source Makes Sense:

Open up anything, and the possibilities will follow.  I’ve been talking about open source for as long as journalists have been asking me about it, which is basically the last five years.  It used to be that you had to explain and explain what’s so great about it.  And, frankly, it felt like an endless trek.  It was like trudging in mud. 

People get it now.

Innovative Minds Do Not Think Alike | The New York Times…….


Great article on creativity, which offers some tip on how to maintain core competencies, and still be able to embrace ambiguity

The more knowledge you possess the less you think outside the box. Experts in a field can benefit from an outsider’s perspective. This is particularly relevant to the gadgets we make and the software we write. A telling sentence from the article: "It ’s why engineers design products ultimately useful only to other engineers."

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