22 May 2017

Canals ~ Early Disruptive & -ted Infrastructure!

Bill Warner spotlights how Before the Internet, There Was the Middlesex Canal...
"When you take a look at the history of the Middlesex Canal, built from 1794 to 1802, you’ll find a surprising similarity between the issues facing technology investors today, with those over 200 years ago. [...] The technology of moving goods at great scale and at low cost started with the Middlesex Canal. Then the railroads took over. Now containerization [...] Like all technology change, those in control of the current technology fight hard to hold on [...] But the march of technology is relentless when new approaches cut costs and increase speed."
https://medium.com/@billwarner/before-the-internet-there-was-the-middlesex-canal-cb853cc80891 Be especially sure as you read Bill's story to check out his MapJunction tool to visualize the historic pathway overlaid over contemporary photo-map!

09 May 2017

R.I.P. Peter Spier ~ Epic Dutch Inspiring Illustrator

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/05/books/peter-spier-dead-childrens-book-author.html?_r=0Richard Sandomir in the NYTimes shares the sad news that inspirational illustrator Peter Spier has passed away at 89 from congestive heart failure. My very earliest favorite book -- i.e. when I was a toddler and my parents read to me -- was about Hendrika the Cow Who Fell in the Canal but as a teen I really spent endless hours on Of Dikes and Windmills. Amazing stuff about Dutch history, epic civil engineering, and the power of nature!
https://www.amazon.com/Dikes-Windmills-Peter-Spier/dp/0385083874

25 April 2017

Making of Metropolis ~ Silent-Era Urban SF Epic!

The Making of Metropolis -- and its painstaking restoration story! Incredible special effects! Changing our futurevision!

15 April 2017

R.I.P. Eugene Lang ~ Financed "Dream" Tuition!

James Hagerty in the WSJ writes of Eugene Lang's passing at 98 and his spontaneous philanthropic promise at a Harlem elementary school graduation to underwrite college tuition for all who finished high school. This begat the "I Have A Dream" Foundation which to-date has supported thousands of collegiates. R.I.P.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/eugene-lang-found-giving-money-wasnt-enough-1492178400?mod=e2fb

04 March 2017

R.I.P. Paul Kangas ~ "The Best of Good Buys!"

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/02/business/paul-kangas-dead.html?_r=0
Alas, Paul Kangas, the Walter Cronkite of business broadcasting has passed away. He started the broadcasting of business info. Indeed, others, like CNBC, “all started mimicking us.” “But as my wife, who is an artist, says,” he added, “the original is always the best.” I personally loved his panache and his epic and memorable signature signoff...
“Wishing all of you the best of good buys”

25 February 2017

Global Pie ~ $74T Economy in One Chart...

Jeff Desjardins at Visual Capitalist shares The $74 Trillion Global Economy in One Chart...
"The full circle, known as a Voronoi Diagram, represents the entirety of the $74 trillion global economy in nominal terms. Meanwhile, each country’s segment is sized accordingly to their percentage of global GDP output. Continents are also grouped together and sorted by color."
http://www.visualcapitalist.com/74-trillion-global-economy-one-chart/ P.S. The actual graphing was done by HowMuch.net

20 February 2017

R.I.P. Hans Rosling ~ Edutainer Extraordinaire

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38900572 Pancreatic cancer has laid low Hans Rosling, the Gapminder co-founder and my favorite public health statistician and data edutainer extraordinaire.  He has many remarkable TED talks and other videos online, but I personally favor his appearance at TEDIndia speaking on Asia's Rise where he compares global growth over 200 years and predicts exactly when India and China converge with the rich!

07 February 2017

MIT Media Ventures ~ Thurs 10a-12n Spring '17

UPDATE: Due to MIT's snow closing, our kickoff class was Thursday morning 10a-12n February 16th, 2017 in Media Lab E14-633.

Our MIT Media Ventures ~ Media Lab Entrepreneurship & Digital Innovations class surveys a broad landscape of emerging media technologies interwoven with live- and historic-cases of intre- and entrepreneurship-based on new media ideas, culminating in a term project. The core goal of this Action Lab offering is for students to gain increased understanding of how emergent media and digital innovations translate into commercial reality and transform society.
http://stellar.mit.edu/S/course/15/sp17/15.376/
We survey case examples of both successful and failed businesses and generally grapple with the difficulties of deploying and diffusing products and as a means of exploring a range of business models and opportunities enabled by emerging Media Lab and related innovations. This year we will be especially emphasizing urban innovations, personal data rights, health, civic engagement, financial service innovations, mobile transactions, and social media generally with special focus on social networks, quantified self and society, AI, robotics, automation, and data analytics. Join us at first class Thursday morning 10a-12n February 9th, 2017 in Media Lab E14-633.

CityScope Kendall ~ Model Innovation District

http://stellar.mit.edu/S/course/MAS/sp17/MAS.552/
I'm co-teaching CityScope Kendall Square class this Spring 2017 together with MIT Media Lab colleague Kent Larson and team, starting Wednesday, 8 February at 2pm, as part of our MIT Cities Initiative. Kendall Square is considered by many to be an ideal innovation district -- but it is dysfunctional as a community due to an extreme lack of amenities, housing, cultural venues, and after-work activity. MIT’s selection as the developer for the 14-acre Volpe Center creates one last opportunity to transform the district into a vibrant and creative center for entrepreneurship. Students will explore an evidence-based, data-driven process that makes use of the CityScope augmented reality platform to design, iterate, and reimagine Kendall Square. Join us at first class Wed afternoon 2pm February 8th, 2017 in Media Lab E15-359.

24 January 2017

MIT Nuts & Bolts of New Ventures ~ IAP 2017

On Tuesday night, 24 January 2017, Joe Hadzima and I kick off the latest incarnation -- the 28th year (!!) -- of our MIT Nuts & Bolts of New Ventures course over the MIT Independent Activities Period (IAP 2017). Joe starts with the essence of business planning as a process of iterative imagination and special guest speaker Bob Jones shares how to present venture essentials. My primary topic is Team & Organizational issues, our special guest speakers (mostly MIT alums, all entrepreneurs) cover the essentials everyone ought to know about new venturing, including how to identify customers, pitch a concept, raise money, model financials, deal with legalities, negotiate with people, and holistically integrate this all together.

Sessions are evenings over the next two weeks Tue, Wed, and Thurs nights 1/24-2/2 from 6-9p in 10-250 -- i.e. in our prime MIT lecture hall under the iconic Great Dome. Folks can choose whether to attend all sessions, plus doing the (useful) written homework assignment, and registering For Credit (3 Units, Pass/Fail for 15.S21 online via Websis) or to come for any (or all) nights and simply participate as a Listener. All MIT affiliates and colleagues -- including students, faculty, staff, post-docs, alums, spouses, relatives, and friends -- are welcome on a space-available basis with priority for registered full-time undergrad and grad students. We also continue to welcome students from our sister schools in Boston-metro (e.g. Wellesley, Harvard, BU, Tufts, etc) as well as Members of the MIT Enterprise Forum network. Those interested, please simply join us at 6pm in our MIT 10-250 classroom.

03 January 2017

Bird Migration ~ Seasonal Flight in Americas!

Audubon spotlights a full season of bird migrations visualized!
"A new animation from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology tracks 118 species along their journeys across the Americas."

03 December 2016

Quakelapse ~ Decade of Tectonic Data Worldmap

NOAA's worldmap of global earthquakes timelapse of decade... You can view (and interact with) this mapped onto an Earth globe at Science on a Sphere!

02 December 2016

Mega Commutes ~ US Regional Movements...

Data from 130 million commuters reveal US ‘megaregions’...
"Previously megaregions have been typically identified by an interpretative method that links large metropolitan regions through similar environmental and infrastructure systems, economic links and cultural similarities. These approaches are often based on a ‘best guess’ kind of approach, and do not rely on the analysis of large datasets. Now Dr Alasdair Rae and his co-author Dr Garrett Nelson have developed an empirical approach to identify megaregions using a dataset of more than 4 million ‘commuter flows’ involving the travel to work patterns of 130 million Americans."
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/usp/news/commuter-data-reveals-us-megaregions-1.665740 https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/usp/news/commuter-data-reveals-us-megaregions-1.665740 https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/usp/news/commuter-data-reveals-us-megaregions-1.665740

Metro Voting ~ Patterns of American Electorate...

In Mapping How America's Metro Areas Voted, Richard Florida writes...
"The geography of the 2016 election is spiky."
http://www.citylab.com/politics/2016/12/mapping-how-americas-metro-areas-voted/508313/

26 November 2016

Urban vs Rural ~ US Economy vs Electorate...

Interesting to compare economic weight vs US voting pattern...
"The 2016 election was a virtual tie, with Hillary Clinton narrowly winning the popular vote, while Donald Trump won just enough states for a majority in the Electoral College. But if elections were based on economic output instead of population, the 2016 election would have been a blowout for Clinton. That’s the takeaway from this graphic produced by the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. Brookings researchers looked at county-level election returns and compared it with data on economic output for those same counties. It found that the counties Clinton won accounted for 64 percent of the nation’s economic output, while Trump’s counties produced only 36 percent. The reason is simple: Clinton won almost every significant urban county in the US."
http://www.vox.com/new-money/2016/11/23/13715276/clinton-trump-booming-economy

18 November 2016

R.I.P. Jay W Forrester ~ Sociodynamics Pioneer...

Alas, RIP, Jay W Forrester. Through his panache, presence, and personal feedback (to me!) and through his inventing core memory & CNC machines, the Whirlwind real-time digital computer, Sage air defense network, Lincoln Labs, building up the MIT Sloan School, teaching Professors Ed Roberts, John Sterman, Donella Meadows, Jurgen Randers, etc, et al, founding the System Dynamics discipline, and providing essential inspiration to dozens of MIT alumcos -- i.e. his students were founders of Digital Equipment Corp (DEC), MITRE, 3Com, Pugh-Roberts, Patni Computer Systems (birth of Indian offshoring), Ventana, and many, many more -- plus inspirational role in creating SimCity, pioneering management flight simulators, e.g. creating the Beer Game, writing Industrial Dynamics, Urban Dynamics, World Dynamics and provoking LImits to Growth, C-ROADS simulators, etc, etc, Jay Forrester remains an awesome and iconoclastic inventor, a personal inspiration to me and thousands more, and one of MIT's most epic and innovative heroes. I'm so sad at losing him but so happy to have had him too...