Cirrus 120313

I found a cluster of posts this weekend that prompted this Cirrus post.
Reena Jana’s post on the exhibition Less is More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Reena points out that good design, according to Rams, is:

  • Innovative
  • Makes a product useful
  • Aesthetic
  • Makes a product understandable
  • Unobtrusive
  • Honest
  • Long-lasting
  • Thorough down to the last detail
  • Environmentally friendly
  • As little design as possible

I am particularly interested in the possibilities created by a less is more approach and think these guidelines can be applied to learning environments too.
An accidental visit to my Twitter account lead me to Chris Yiu’s research note A Right to Data in the UK. Chris observes that:

The business of government has always involved quantities of data. For centuries almost all of this public data has been closely guarded by the state. Governments provided access to data on a need-to-know basis and, for the most part, citizens didn’t need to know.
The balance is, however, starting to shift. Advances in information and communication technologies mean that, for the first time in human history, it is technologically feasible for every citizen to have access to every piece of data or content generated by their government. And as this same technology drives fundamental changes in our economy and society, it is becoming clear that, with the right protections, opening up public data will deliver considerable benefits.

I find Chris’s observations compelling.
From the same accidental visit to Twitter I found news of  Collective Intelligence 2012. A list of papers accepted for the conference can be found here.
I liked Deric Bownds’ post on patterns in music too. Deric linked to Daniel Levitan, Parag Chordia and Vinod Menan’s paper Musical rhythm spectra from Bach to Joplin obey a 1/f power law. They note that:

Our finding of the ubiquity of 1/f rhythm spectra in compositions spanning nearly four centuries demonstrates that, as with musical pitch, musical rhythms also exhibit a balance of predictability and surprise that could contribute in a fundamental way to our aesthetic experience of music.

I am looking forward to reading their full paper and to explore whether the game rhythms I observe have similar stability over time.
Photo Credit
Dieter Rams



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