Monday, 29 April 2013

Judgment NOT Included

A lot has gone into print about the Boston Marathon bombings.

Recently, Thomas Friedman - renowned author with a couple of treatises on the middle East and also the "World is Flat" and "Flat Hot and Crowded" wrote an article which appeared in the NY times on last Sunday.

Link is here -

It is well worth reading.  It has appeared around the world in a few other newspapers too, but read it.

It does offer some ideas that all can pursue in chasing peace.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Reading Options - What Works Best?

Evidence from laboratory experiments, polls and consumer reports indicates that modern screens and e-readers fail to adequately recreate certain tactile experiences of reading on paper that many people miss and, more importantly, prevent people from navigating long texts in an intuitive and satisfying way.

In turn, such navigational difficulties may subtly inhibit reading comprehension. Compared with paper, screens may also drain more of our mental resources while we are reading and make it a little harder to remember what we read when we are done.

A parallel line of research focuses on people's attitudes toward different kinds of media.

Whether they realize it or not, many people approach computers and tablets with a state of mind less conducive to learning than the one they bring to paper.

There are a lot more studies on line, and many comments.

What do you use and why?


Thursday, 18 April 2013

An Educated Person

“ What is an educated person? ”

Maybe there should be an e-reader or computer here too

 Michigan State University has answered the question well:

An educated person is someone who has learned how to acquire, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, understand, and communicate knowledge and information. An educated person has to develop skills that respond to changing professional requirements and new challenges in society and the world at large. He or she must be able to take skills previously gained from serious study of one set of problems and apply them to another. He or she must be able to locate, understand, interpret, evaluate, and use information in an appropriate way and ultimately communicate his or her synthesis and understanding of that information in a clear and accurate manner.

 Source: Linda Mikels, “The Apprentice Model” The New York Times, 17 August 2009

There are some other similar quotes online, but this is appropriate.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Irregular War

A great and informative article has recently appeared in the press on irregular war, essentially a history of guerilla warfare with emphasis on more current activities.

Written by Max Boots it is an essay excerpt from the recent book, and has been published in Foreign Affairs.  That is pay walled, but as always with impressive articles it has mysteriously appeared elsewhere.  It was also reproduced in last Friday's AFR Review section [ Friday April 12], along with some photos. 

See -

The article is titled -

The Evolution of Irregular War
Insurgents and Guerrillas From Akkadia to Afghanistan
By Max Boot
February 5, 2013 edition of  Foregin Affairs

It does not say much about Australia, yet there is some recognition that Australian troops seem to do well at dealing with this particular aspect of modern warfare.

The article is well worth reading.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Dry Season? Maybe?

Nice to have a weekend with sunshine, clear cloudless blue skies, low humidity and no rain, after the past few were wet.

It might be the start of our wonderful dry season - maybe.

Temperatures are still high in the day, but there have been a few locations with below 20C nights around the outskirts of Darwin over the past two mornings.  Has to be a good sign.

Then late today, some clouds developed to the SE - often a sign of showers to come.

Enjoying the weather while I can........but not to be surprised if there are a few more showers to come.  Hey.......might not be too bad if it waters the garden though.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Self Confidence or Death Wish?

Sometimes a cartoon says a lot in very little.


Thursday, 4 April 2013

Forty Year Anniversary of First Mobile [Cell] Phone Call

Forty years ago today [actually April 3 US time] - the first mobile phone call was made.  Remember the large bricks that were the first mobile phones?

Amazing, to see what has happened over the past forty years, with Google Glasses the current smallest phone I would guess.

There is a great story here, along with an infographic outlining the development timeline over that period.
See -

What is to be expected over the next 40 years?

Has a mobile phone been a useful tool for you?  We still have areas in our local city and surrounds where coverage is not all that good, due to low population density not being serviced with coverage, but now we have coverage along most of the main 1500km highway connection between Darwin and Alice Springs, which is an excellent development on safety issues alone, in case of accidents.

But leaving home without it can be useful too - cut the tether, enjoy some freedom, as I am sure 24/7 connections are not absolutely necessary.