16240: When We Observe, What Do We See?

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Observing Technology and Technological Organizations. And while you’re at it, how do you explain a boating accident to your boss, who thought that you were going to meet George Dyson?

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16230: Scientific Observation with George Dyson

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We now live in the age of Big Data and believe that numbers hold the answers to all our problems.  But in dealing with technology, it is useful to return to first principles and start by asking what assumptions underly our data and whether or not those assumptions are true.

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UnknownOur guest this week is George Dyson, a historian of technology, a futurist and a kayak builder from Bellingham Washington.

 

 

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16220: A visit to Bucks of Woodside

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Negotiation. Negotiated Technology. How do we start to make the compromises that turn a technology into a product. We sit down with our CTO, Vinny and our Business Manager, Evelyn, in the famous Silicon Valley Restaurant, Bucks of Woodside, to discuss these issues. (And oddly, the waiter looks remarkably like Rohit.) This week, as we get ready for our visit with Historian George Dyson.

This episode introduces new cast member, Geoffrey Grier of San Francisco’s Recovery Theatre.

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Bucks of Woodside
Bucks of WoodsideBucks is a well-known Silicon Valley restaurant in the hills north and west of Palo Alto. In common with a certain class of business restaurants, it is decorated in a style that can only be described as “Eclectic junkyard”. Unlike many of these places, the decor has a certain authenticity because it doesn’t seem to have been carefully designed or arranged. The artifacts were acquired by the owner and simply fill the place.

Perhaps unique among such restaurants, the own of Bucks Slide3
apparently made an offer to purchase Lenin’s body after the disintegration of the U. S. S. R.  The exchange of letters between the restaurant owner and a mid-level Russian minister captures both the unconstrained deal making of Silicon Valley with the rapicious actions of Russia’s new oligarchs.   The restaurant offers a price in “the low six figures” and the Russian minister ducks the offer while suggesting that Russia might have some other cultural artifacts that could be purchased for that sum.”

 

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16210: The Omnipurpose Negotiator

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A crisis with Evelyn-the-Business-Manager leads to a discussion of organizational operations, negotiation in the work place and to a preview of the new podcast season – which includes interviews with the historian of technology, George Dyson.

This episode introduces new cast member, Margaux Amie.

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Janus Cones
evelyn coneJanus Cones are graphical tools for organizing events and activities in a way that allow you to see the trends and forces that are shaping people, or organizations, and businesses. They can deal with personal events, global themes and everything in between. Here we have the kind of cone that Evelyne would have done to reject her personal perspective.  It is one of the cones that Tamara asked her to do.

 

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16205: Holding up the House of Cards

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A letter to the editor. A change of staff. A new idea. A pitch to the CEO when the CTO would do. And a moment of chaos. The new series of How We Manage Stuff begins by asking how we handle changes in the technological environment.

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Note on Scrum Sessions & Letter to the Editor:

HWMS actually did receive an inquiry about the length of Scrum sessions. The answer came from a paper presented at the 2012 Agile conference by Shiohama et al. There is not a large literature on this question, which is perhaps why it came to our attention. For those of you who do not know Scrum methods, they are a variation of Lean production or Agile development. One of its features is that it divides the task into short term goals. The entire development team will work towards these goals in an intense activity that is often called a sprint. Usually, the term “scrum” refers to the morning meeting or “standup” that occurs during the sprint.

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