Leaves of knowledge

Taxonomies and Tags: From Trees to Piles of Leaves is an insightful investigation of classification systems by David Weinberger.

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The tree of knowledge was a useful metaphor from Adam’s fateful bite until the advent of the computer. It’s the structure of Aristotle, Linnaeus, Darwin, Descartes, and Dewey the decimal guy.

This set-up is too rigid to explain today’s world. Instead of trees, look Continue reading

Training 2005, New Orleans

I fly to New Orleans on Sunday to attend Training 2005.

I’ll be staying at the Avenue Garden Hotel in the Garden District. Price through Quickbook is $90/night. It’s on the St. Charles streetcar line, about a mile and a half from the Quarter. Built 1897.

The weather will be brisk: 65 high, 43 low.

Most popular restaurants in N’Awlins:

COMMANDER’S PALACE 1403 Washington Ave. (Coliseum Continue reading

Parting shots from Abu Dhabi

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Paul Mace demonstrates a modular wired
classroom at the Higher College of Technology.

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A plaque on the wall shows alternative
furniture configurations. Everything is on wheels.

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Entertainment break! Hungarian girls playing
electronic violins at the college.
I told the girl on the left her intensity reminded me
of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. She hadn’t seen it.

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This is the Marina Mall, seen Continue reading

Learning from the dunes

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Our super-size four-wheel drive
skids and lurches,
following vague tracks
in the endless sand.

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Bump! Slide. Spinning wheels.
The giddy feeling of being momentarily out of control.
Moving ahead by sliding right, then left, forever in mid-course correction.

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Our LandCruiser, more sure-footed than a dromedary, whisks us right up the side of an immense dune, all the way to the sharp edge of sand Continue reading

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

Recovering from surgery in the mid-sixties by taking daily sitz-baths in my neighbor’s tub, I read a book Linda had checked out of the library: Hell’s Angels by Hunter S. Thompson. I remember thinking to myself, “This guy is dangerously crazy.”

I forgot about HST for five years. Until the publication of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a book so immediate, stream-of-consciousness, unfettered, wigged-out, Continue reading

E-ducation without Borders

P7300069Sheikh Nahayan Ben Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister for Higher Education and Chancellor of Higher Colleges of Technology, welcomed hundreds of college students from around the world to the third E-ducation without Borders conference in Abu Dhabi earlier this week. Speakers included Nobel laureates Murray Gell-Mann and Carlo Rubbia, Boeing chairman Lew Platt, the BBC’s Tim Sebastian, Frank Fahey, Gilly Continue reading

Meta-Lessons from the Net

The Feburary issue of Chief Learning Officer is out. Here’s my column on Effectiveness. If you’re not impressed with what’s transpired in the last ten years on the internet, you’re either slow or under 20.


Ten years ago, most business executives saw no value in the Internet beyond possibly cheaper communications. CIO magazine’s December 1994 issue sheepishly proposed “not to laud the future of Continue reading

Workflow Learning Gets Real

I got a great Valentine’s gift today.

My wife Uta gave me a replacement for a purple shirt I loved but destroyed last week. My fountain pen had leaked during a flight to Washington and, once again mistaking myself for MacGiver, I tried to rescue the situation with pure Clorox: the shirt now sports an oddly tie-died collar and breast pocket, okay for Berkeley, but unwearable elsewhere. Great gift, Continue reading

New White Paper Format

Here’s my latest attempt at an improved format for white papers. It’s in Flashpaper. Size is okay but functionality is missing. My system doesn’t want to install Flashpaper with the features it’s supposed to come with.

Flashpaper also generates pdf files on demand. Just for kicks, I saved the save PowerPoint as an Acrobat file via Flashpaper. It was only about a quarter larger than the Flash file, Continue reading

The Roots of Workflow Learning


Defense Acquisition University

Last week, Gary Dickelman and I conducted a workshop on Workflow Learning for Defense Acquition University.

P7180010DAU is a big operation. They train the DoD Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics community to make smart business decisions and deliver timely and affordable capabilities to the military. DAU was established fourteen years ago, long after the military procurement Continue reading