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The (actual) future of the Big Idea. The critics are right: Neal Gabler’s essay in yesterday’s New York Times — the one proclaiming the death of the big idea at the hands of Twitter and Facebook and the Internet in general — is wrong.

The (actual) future of the Big Idea

And we should probably, after giving the thing a slow clap for its bold attempt to transform the Death of the Big Idea into a Big Idea of its own, just dismiss it as so much linkbaitery, and then get on with our (ever more trivial, ever more egotistical, ever more tweet-addled) lives. But the essay’s wrong, actually, in an interesting way.

Gabler is making a big assumption: that the Big Idea is Big precisely because it is, actually, big — largely acknowledged, largely apprehended, largely accepted. “Once upon a time,” Gabler writes, ideas “could ignite fires of debate, stimulate other thoughts, incite revolutions and fundamentally change the ways we look at and think about the world.” Foundation uses gaming to inspire rad R&D thinking. Could the aggressive strategies used in gaming come to the rescue of the biomedical research community?

Foundation uses gaming to inspire rad R&D thinking

The Myelin Repair Foundation thinks so. The non-profit medical research organization is hosting a special "gaming event" this fall for R&D experts and biotech players designed to get them to shed their carefully laid plans in favor of forging a breakthrough approach to drug research. "Those who play games have a sense of urgency and abandon when they are engaged in a game scenario," says Jane McGonigal, game designer and producer of the BreakthroughstoCures events.

"We have seen these behaviors in corporate strategic game play where there are real stakes. The game we are building for the MRF is designed to generate that sort of urgency and unleash creative ideas for finding ways to speed medical research. " Environmental Disasters. Network Visualization. Immersion by the MIT Media Lab is a view into your inbox that shows who you interact with via email over the years.

Network Visualization

Immersion is an invitation to dive into the history of your email life in a platform that offers you the safety of knowing that you can always delete your data.Just like a cubist painting, Immersion presents users with a number of different perspectives of their email data. It provides a tool for self-reflection at a time where the zeitgeist is one of self-promotion. It provides an artistic representation that exists only in the presence of the visitor. It helps explore privacy by showing users data that they have already shared with others. Finally, it presents users wanting to be more strategic with their professional interactions, with a map to plan more effectively who they connect with. The base view is a network diagram where each node represents someone you've exchanged email with. All Videos. RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us‬‎ TED: Ideas worth spreading.

John Cleese on creativity. Mind - Research Upends Traditional Thinking on Study Habits. And check out the classroom.

Mind - Research Upends Traditional Thinking on Study Habits

Does Junior’s learning style match the new teacher’s approach? Or the school’s philosophy? Maybe the child isn’t “a good fit” for the school. Such theories have developed in part because of sketchy education research that doesn’t offer clear guidance. Student traits and teaching styles surely interact; so do personalities and at-home rules. Yet there are effective approaches to learning, at least for those who are motivated. The findings can help anyone, from a fourth grader doing long division to a retiree taking on a new language.

For instance, instead of sticking to one study location, simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention. “We have known these principles for some time, and it’s intriguing that schools don’t pick them up, or that people don’t learn them by trial and error,” said Robert A. Ditto for teaching styles, researchers say. September 15-16, 2010. The Semantic Web for Life Sciences. Cognitive Surplus by Clay Shirky. Following up from my post last week , below is a suggested list of features that should be supported in documents written in scholarly markdown. Please provide feedback via the comments, or by editing the Wiki version I have set up here . Listed are features that go beyond the standard markdown syntax . The goals of scholarly markdown are to support writing of complete scholarly articles, don’t make the syntax more complicated than it is today, and don’t rely on HTML as the fallback mechanism.

In practice this means that scholarly markdown should support most, but not all scholarly texts – documents that are heavy in math formulas, have complicated tables, etc. may be better written with LaTeX or Microsoft Word. Cover Page Optional metadata about a document. Typography Scholarly markdown should support superscript and subscript text, and provide an easy way to enter greek letters. Tables.

Nice to meet your big idea – Prospect Magazine « Prospect Magazine. How useful are global gatherings that invite great minds to share ideas and innovations in person?

Nice to meet your big idea – Prospect Magazine « Prospect Magazine

Google’s US headquarters, which hosted the SciFoo technology camp in July. Attendees create the conference schedule on the spot In Oxford, it was shaking hands with legendary videogame designer Peter Molyneux.