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November 2009
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by not having "contol" of brand maybe we become better brands rather than better at spin.

This is an interesting. I like the riff on transparency and the clash that transparency will inspire us to be better as reviewers, readers and brands.  This transparency vs. control and history and trends vs. spin is interesting. 

Echo Creator Khris Loux on the Ties That Bind the Real-Time Web from ReadWriteWeb on Vimeo.

Individuals Cannot Avoid Jumping to Conclusions

Here is a good article unpacking the fallout of group think. It is also a nice set of questions for any campaign planning and campaign strategists. The original article is about CIA and failures of intelligence. Our allies often get what we ask for but not what we want. My sense is that the failure of many of our investments and strategies is because we don’t do enough of the following….

1. Challenge Authority. Challenge Tradition.

2. Probe the Assumptions

3. Look for Indicators. What details could change your mind?

4. Brainstorm the likely responses from opponents.


Here is the section from the original article that hit me…

What our intelligence system really needs is ways to avoid becoming trapped by the natural tendency to leap to conclusions and stick with them. This is true in other fields as well, which is why so much of professional and scientific training is designed to reduce the errors made by fallible people using weak information.

If individuals cannot avoid jumping to conclusions, there are ways for organizations to make up for this. They can systematically solicit the views of people with different perspectives, for example, or use devil’s advocates who will challenge established views.

To compensate for the tendency to rely on implicit understandings, intelligence analysts can be pushed to fully explain their reasoning, allowing others if not themselves to probe the assumptions that often play a large and unacknowledged role in their conclusions.

To better recognize the significance of absences, analysts can learn to think explicitly about what evidence should be appearing if their beliefs are correct. Gaps do not automatically mean that the established ideas are wrong, but they may signal a flaw in the prevailing thesis. Analysts can also be trained to consider, explicitly, what evidence could lead them to change their minds - not only alerting themselves to the possibility that the necessary information might be missing, but also providing an avenue for others to find evidence that might overturn established views.

Analysts should think more broadly and imaginatively about how adversaries are likely to respond, especially when it appears as though they have few alternatives and may be pushed into tactically surprising acts.

Think different, CIA - The Boston Globe

Because of You Google Maps Show Live Traffic Reports for Back Roads

The thinking behind the Google Map service is the way every allied organizer should be thinking. Once you are not stuck at the ground level, we need strategists to step back and look at the 30,000 how can we make this happen.

The basic concept behind the way they build information on the map is exactly the way distributed advocacy and social change movements MUST be organizing. 

How do movements build up the capacity to enable collaboration with “almost zero effort” on the part of the organizers and groups?  What transactions of everyone else in the movement you work in would be most relevant to your work? What are the traffic jams of social change?

The people with cell phone are collaborating. They benefit from the collaboration. They have accepted the bargain of giving back peeks into data about them in order to see the big picture.

When you choose to enable Google Maps with My Location, your phone sends anonymous bits of data back to Google describing how fast you're moving. When we combine your speed with the speed of other phones on the road, across thousands of phones moving around a city at any given time, we can get a pretty good picture of live traffic conditions. We continuously combine this data and send it back to you for free in the Google Maps traffic layers. It takes almost zero effort on your part -- just turn on Google Maps for mobile before starting your car -- and the more people that participate, the better the resulting traffic reports get for everybody.

Google Watch - Google Maps - Google Maps Now Shows Live Traffic Reports for Back Roads

Human Nature Doesn't Change: Human Behavior Does.

This is a good presentation. Great line and introduction to the shifts in technology producing changes in behavior.  The goal of human nature is hard wired in people.  Somewhere in our bipedal mammalian evolution, we picked up socializing and connecting with each other as a species characteristic. 

The real evolution of the internet is not about the content, marketing, philanthropy, product placement, etc. etc.  The core of the network is connecting people to learn and share with each other, to collaborate, to evolve and to be.   Our survival in the ecosystem is dependent on communication and collaboration, it always has been and now it is just scaling with the people on the planet.

People increasingly turn online to find people who know, people to care, and people to accompany them while they are experiencing life. Those connections are evolving human behavior to a scale and tempo that is not comfortable for many.   What if people do get more value and reward from 5000 friendsters than 5 close friends?  What if "fame" online is as self-rewarding as fame offline?

The buzz about the collapse of social fabric is wrong. The "wisdom of the crowd", "wisdom of the market"  suggests that people are making daily choices all the time to connect via phone, email, FB, etc. about every topic and covering the entire range of human experience.  The experiences are all different but also very much the same. 

How does technology scale the best and worst of human nature?