Archive for the ‘social’ Category

How Creativity Works, and How the Patent System Thinks it Works

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Oh look! I was interviewed on Radio National’s Future Tense.

Apparently I said something like this:

“Edward Jung described creativity as this process where there is a person sitting alone in a room and an idea comes to them and they send it out to the world. Now, that’s a very outmoded idea of creativity and it’s very odd, but it is a lot like the way the patent system sees creativity.

As other speakers on your show mentioned, creativity is actually a social process, it happens within and among people. Every idea is built upon the huge substructure of other ideas. As Newton said, he stood on the shoulders of giants. As do we all.

So there’s this social process going on, and when something is invented somewhere in the world it’s very likely that it is being simultaneously invented by other people.”

Edward Jung described creativity as this process where there is a person sitting alone in a room and an idea comes to them and they send it out to the world, and that’s a very outmoded idea of creativity and it’s very odd, but it is a lot like the way the patent system sees creativity. As other speakers on your show mentioned, creativity is a social process, it happens within and among people, every idea is to build upon the huge substructure of other ideas. As Newton said, he stood on the shoulders of giants, as do we all.
So there’s this social process going on, and when something is invented somewhere in the world it’s very likely that it is being simultaneously invented by other people.

The Patient Spammer and the Cloud

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Whenever I sign up to an online service, I use a unique email address. That way when spam starts coming in I can see whose fault it is. I’m suddenly getting rather a lot of spam, sent from disposable email accounts (e.g. Yahoo) and directing me to various scam websites registered in Russia. All at once, from multiple vectors. That’s the part that worries me; here’s why.

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Email and Trust

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

DISCLAIMER: This email message and any accompanying attachments may contain confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient, do not read, use, disseminate, distribute or copy this message or attachments.

Translation: We don’t trust you.

If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete this message.

Translation: We don’t trust email.

Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, except where the sender expressly, and with authority, states them to be the views of the University of Technology Sydney.

Translation: We don’t trust our staff.

Before opening any attachments, please check them for viruses and defects.

Translation: You should not trust this message.

Emergency Services

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

OK, I just have to point this out. We seem to be experiencing a mini moral panic, because two girls trapped in a drain called for help on Facebook instead of dialing 000. Now, I have kids and I would want them to dial 000 in that situation. But I’d also want them to try facebook, twitter, or whatever other social networks they were connected to.
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