Fun Friday Links: Mr. Computer Face, Costly Collaboration, and a Taxonomy of Shakespearean Insults

Filed Under Mindjet

Arwen Heredia

October 11, 2013

Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to for consideration.

Thad Starner and the “High-Tech Man-Purse”

Tech and biology become more and more interwoven every hour, and though we haven’t quite gotten to the era of mind-operated machines and cyborgs, that doesn’t mean we’re not trying. Thad Starner, a GIT computer science professor and employee at Google, has been contributing to “wearable” technology research for the last twenty years. It’s the byproduct of wanting to, if not improve his memory and recall, be able to supplement it with lightning-fast, hands-off digital recollection.

Despite the idea that we Google ‘everything’ on our smartphones, in reality it’s still a tiny hassle to pull it out of our pockets, so we do it only when we really feel a hankering, as when settling an argument or checking a train schedule. The same thing goes with taking notes. We almost never do it, because it’s awkward, not just physically but socially; you don’t want to interrupt the flow of a conversation by jotting something down. By putting a screen right in his eyesight and a keyboard in his hand, Starner has effectively moved the mobile-phone factoid out of his pocket — where he’ll rarely consult it–and into his peripheral vision, where he almost always will

“This is about creating a higher level of intellect — an augmented intellect,” he says.
Source: Huffington Post

For Collaboration’s Sake

As purveyors of collaboration software, it’s a hard pill to swallow that there are common business practices and beliefs out there that not only render true collaboration impossible, but that undercut its purpose and cost companies time, resources, and even people. From GigaOM’s Stowe Boyd:

“The one two punch is this:

  1. We believe that collaboration is good, and more of it is better, so we spend precious time on it even when the participants would be better off sticking to their own knitting.
  2. We are ensnared in a network of commitments that will suck the life out of our work: meetings, responding to unnecessary email, administrivia. If we simply said no to those petty corporate annoyances and dedicated that time on our actual work we’d be both more productive and happier.

In general it seems that the nature of corporations is to pull us into a quagmire of corporativity instead of freeing us to increase our productivity.”

Read the full article for Boyd’s assessment and suggestions for changing this unfortunate status quo.
Source: GigaOM

Finch Eggs and Fat-Kidneyed Rascals

There’s no doubt that Mr. William Shakespeare had quite a way with words, but the many colorful insults mapped out in this detailed taxonomy of medieval snubs probably aren’t the first things that come to mind when reading The Scottish Play. Many thanks to Charley Chartwell for this delightfully impudent resource.