petermeme Archives

June 01 - June 09, 2001
May 01 - May 31, 2001
April 01 - April 30, 2001
March 01 - March 31, 2001
February 01 - February 28, 2001
January 01 - January 31, 2001
December 01 - December 31, 2000
November 01 - November 30, 2000
October 01 - October 31, 2000
September 01 - September 30, 2000
August 01 - August 30, 2000
July 01 - July 27, 2000
June 01 - June 30, 2000
May 24 - May 31, 2000
May 1 - May 23, 2000
April 1 - April 30, 2000
March 1 - March 31, 2000
February 1 - February 29, 2000
January 1 - January 31, 2000
December 1 - December 31, 1999
November 1 - November 30, 1999
October 16 - October 31, 1999
October 1 - October 15, 1999
September 8 - September 30, 1999
August 29 - September 7, 1999
August 13 - August 27, 1999
August 6 - August 12, 1999
July 25 - August 5, 1999
July 17 - July 24, 1999

July 11 - July 16, 1999
July 01 - July 10 1999
June 09 - June 30 1999
June 01 - June 08 1999

May 1999

April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
All of 1998

past petermemes
June 9, 2001

EXTRA EXTRA! If your organization needs a kick-ass information architect with excellent management skills, an ability to communicate throughout the org chart, and a great personality, you really ought to hire this person, who lead the consulting operations at Argus. The organization that gets ahold of her will have a remarkable competitive advantage when it comes to smart Web site development, in the form of a really pleasant person to work with.

Something About Harry. After reading an article in ComputerWorld about the information visualization tool TimeFinder, I Googled Harry Hochheiser, and found his home page. Harry's work is likely of interest to peterme readers, with research in visualization and usability, and a bibliography on social navigation.

June 6, 2001
I have no time to write, so go read this. Phil Agre posted a draft essay titled "Hierarchy and History in Simon's 'Architecture of Complexity'" a deep read covering organizational dynamics, the 'inevitability' of hierarchical structures, systems theory, and much more. I appreciate Phil's historical approach, providing a foundation for thinking about these important concepts. Consider the studies mentioned here as a forerunner to the Cluetrain. (Does this stuff count as "intellectual," dad?)
June 2, 2001

On The Pile. A number of tasty-sounding links I need the time to pursue:
Growing the Adaptive Enterprise (via Gary)
InCA issue on Design Research, (via Chad)
All of the nifty interactive artworks for MW2MW (via MW1)
VisIT, a search visualization (via Sean)
"Why a Diagram is (Sometimes) Worth a Thousand Words" (via Andy)...

Alan Cooper Doesn't Get It. Now, I know that Alan is a smart guy, which made his latest article in the Cooper Interaction Design newsletter particularly surprising. In it, he criticizes SMS technology, saying "the innovation of being able to send alphabetic characters from one cell phone to another is largely useless, and far too difficult to be practical." His basis for this criticism? A television advertisement showcasing the technology. But just because the ad is terrible (which it is--it demonstrates SMS in a way it would never be used) is not a reason to diss the technology. SMS is great--I used it today in fact to relay a brief message to a colleague far away, whom I didn't want to hassle with a phone call. Thanks to T9, typing a message is relatively painless, and nowhere near the onerous task Alan suggests.

I'm surprised and a bit upset that Alan would display such ignorance. He should have been around the product block enough times to know how a technology is marketed often has little to do with the merits of the product. The only worthwhile subject of criticism is the marketing department at Nokia. By thoughtlessly criticizing a worthwhile technology, he makes himself and the discipline he represents (interaction design) that much easier to dismiss.

Additionally, I found that the other essay in the newsletter, "Innovating for Humans," spends many paragraphs saying nothing. Both this and Alan's piece seem to exist simply to utilize the term "Goal-Directed"... er I mean, "Goal-Directed®." Feh.

June 1, 2001

Funny, I don't have much to say. I've just been reading, mostly. I really enjoyed Imperial San Francisco, a history of my city of residence, focusing on how the development of San Francisco was performed at the expense of the landscape within 100 miles radius. Lots of stories of political corruption and media manipulation at the highest levels... Sounds like it set a pattern we still see today!

That book made me interested in social histories of the city. I'm particularly keen on learning how SF made the transition from hateful anti-immigrant Republican town in the 20s to being the most liberal city in America with more than 500,000 people in it.

Last week, I engaged on an excursion new to me. I went to a place called a "library," where you can get books, for free. And then, when you're done with them, you give them back, and they're not cluttering your apartment. Fascinating! I'm reading Strange Beauty, the biography of Murray Gell-Mann. Good stuff.