Category Archives: Social Responsibility

‘Worlds Best Countries’ Verses ‘Vision Of Humanity’


These are two sets of interactive info-graphic maps that measure each country against each other using loads of indexes.

It is interesting how almost all of the indexes are mutually exclusive. It’s funny to imagine what would need to be different in our world for the the content to be reversed (a world where Newsweek media posts ‘Vision of Humanity’ and an Independent NGO posts something similar to the World’s Best Countries’).

1. The World’s Best Countries (According to Newsweek)

Newsweek recently unveiled a fascinating interactive info-graphic that enables users to click through a thorough study that ranks nations by health, education, economy, and politics across the globe. Finland came in first place, and Switzerland and Sweden trailed closely behind.

www.newsweek.com/the-worlds-best-countries

2. Vision Of Humanity

This interactive website focuses on the major issues facing us in the 21st century and tries to bring a balanced approach with factual information that is positive and solution based. They hope to help you make better choices to create the kind of future in which you wish to live.

This year 149 nations of the world have been ranked by their peacefulness and the results have stimulated some very interesting analysis.
www.visionofhumanity.org

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Filed under Big picture, Clear thinking, Connections, Infographic, Insight, Social Responsibility, Uncategorized

Back from Vacation? Don’t Waste a Precious Clear Mind


clear thinking

If you are back from vacation, in between jobs, or hammering away at the responsibility of four roles at once, then you probably need validation to turn off your mobile, email and social media tools from time-to-time.

“Seeing the big picture, the connections between information, is also more likely to activate the right hemisphere, which appears important for insight.

This research points to the idea of valuing a fresh mind more than we tend to, as this is the time we are more likely to be able to solve tough problems. Instead of valuing a quiet mind, we tend to automatically fill it up with emails or every day challenges, and waste a precious commodity.”

If you have no time to read this article then here is a ten second summary: 1) A rested mind isn’t stuck in the wrong answers. 2) A quiet mind notices subtle signals. 3) A happy mind is an open mind.

Source-train: My Facebook Home/Find Your Yang/99Percent/”Your Brain at Work” by David Rock.

[Click here to continue]

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Filed under Big picture, Clear thinking, Connections, Insight, Point Of View, Social Media, Social Responsibility

The lost craft of conversation


Comments on listening and speaking in the flesh (or on the phone)…

conversation in cuba

First post. Bit nervous. To cure nerves I will start with a quote to set the tone and theme.

“There is no greater mood enhancer than conversation with another person. It’s a holiday from yourself, richer and more dynamic than hearing a good song, reading a funny story, or blasting monsters to pixel smithereens on your computer” – Catherine Blyth, author of The Art Of Conversation.

Funny to imagine it, however sometimes I notice people either ask a bunch of questions in a row (forgetting to make statements) or make a bunch of statements in a row (forgetting to ask questions), or keep talking till breath runs out. This is not conversation. It is as dynamic as a pull-string-doll. I am probably one of these people at times.

Real dialogue between two or more people is more intriguing than one-way outward expressions from one person. Into context using tennis as an example: What is more interesting? a) Watching someone serve a ball without a receiver, or b) A skilful rally between two adept players. I assume most people choose the latter. Online examples of short rallies between two or more players can be found in forums, blog comments, facebook wall posts, or an email thread between two people. However you don’t really see examples of skilful dialogue between two people in the online world – if you do then it is in script format (which is not easy to digest). Generally if you want to experience this you watch a movie, listen to a radio show with 2+ hosts, or hang out with two good friends and listen to their conversation. Or obviously have a conversation in the flesh or on the phone.

I notice more connections between people are ending or breaking more often and the connections between people are looser than ever – especially in younger generations. I notice more disjointed levels of expectations between people and preconceptions that mislead one person to believe the connection with a significant other is something that it is not. These are common themes when breaking up or ending a connection, however I think the ‘end’ or ‘break’ can be polarised, exacerbated or expedited when social media tools are involved. Is there an antidote? Do we need one?

We trust recommendations and word of mouth more than anything else, including people we don’t know [strangers]. As pointed out a few weeks ago by Jonathan Carson, President of Online, International, for Nielsen Research – “The explosion in Consumer Generated Media over the last couple of years means consumers’ reliance on word of mouth in the decision-making process, either from people they know or online consumers they don’t, has increased”.

Not ground-breaking news for most technologists and online freaks, however it is helpful to get the facts direct from a reputable researcher – who I respect. It is an arduous task to set up and produce this kind of solid information. The point is, this makes me curious to probe and understand what is happening to people’s behaviour and conversations in the flesh (as a direct affect of this change in online activity).

“The digital age has changed the ways that we share our most important opinions and innermost secrets. The latter are usually reserved for our closest of acquaintances, but we don’t necessarily use the most personal approach to broach these delicate details.”-Josh Spear

Below you can see Ji Lee’s 10 Levels of Intimacy in Today’s Communication. It is both an interesting and absurd display of the redefinition and possible redistribution of how we continue on with our most cherished connections.

Ji Lee’s 10 Levels of Intimacy in Today’s Communication
Ji Lee’s 10 Levels of Intimacy in Today’s Communication
Lost Art of Conversation, Art Gallery of NSW, Sept08

Lost Art of Conversation, Art Gallery of NSW, Sept08

Speaking volumes on this topic is the installation on The Lost Art of Conversation – Art Gallery of NSW in September 2008. Jessie Smith investigated and commented “We are now able to do so many things from the comfort of our computer screen, that the majority of us now live in a genuine virtual reality. A genuine virtual reality that is so “Jetsons” like, that we can go bowling in our living rooms and our cars can give us driving directions. Basically this installation invited you to book a 45 minute chin wagging session in a public box with writer, artist, film maker, uni lecturer, magazine editor and social anthropologist Ross Gibson, as he attempted to revive the ‘lost art of the conversation’ and find some common ground with visitors.”

On the subject of social media, word of mouth and real life conversations, I thought of Cuba where there is no advertising other than political propaganda. One of the last places with a high-density of living with no consumer based advertising. The Internet is not available to everyone that lives there and therefore in order to find stuff, the most locals need to speak to each other to work out what, where, when, how, why etc, for almost everything. The result is a culture based on listening and speaking in the flesh. The craft of conversation is alive and well in this part of the world. No wonder everyone’s dancing in Cuba.

What do you think?

Do you notice less engagement in real life conversation? Do you notice connections breaking more often? Are looser connections better? On social media: Does it change the way we converse? Does it teach us quality or quantity? Does it make you unappreciative of real life bonds? Have your real life conversations changed as a result of it? Do you want to book a chin wagging session time in a conversation box? Do you need to go to Cuba?

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Filed under Connections, Conversations, Cuba, Exhibition, Original Craft, Point Of View, Social Media, Social Responsibility, Virtual Reality