16310: Bicoastal Innovation

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The podcast moves to our Washington offices in order to explore technology policy and how the Federal government can possibly be considered agile & innovative. Evelyn packs the office. Rohit adjusts the systems, Anna but Maddie is told that she has to stay home and go to school. All of this while we start to explore the basic principles of how a democratic government deals with technology and how it might be an agent of innovation while not being particularly innovative itself.

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Background:

vannevar bushIn this episode, we start exploring the ideas of Vannevar Bush, who articulated the basic principles that the U. S. Government follows when it deals with the scientific community. They are not perfect. They may not always work. But they have been fairly successful for the past 70 years.

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16305: It Makes You Feel Smarter

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Rohit explains why and how you should listen to “How We Manage Stuff.” “It you feel smarter,” he says, “And it also makes you feel at home.” This is a quick summery before we start the next series. The hosts are out of the office. Anna the Intern is at PANIC, the Professional Assistants, Networkers, and Interns Conference. Next week, a new series that looks at how government policy shapes software develops

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16275: A Binge for My Baby and a Binge for the Road

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A Binge episode for the end of April. Three combined podcasts. The first talks about context, how we think about development questions and whether our office manager has offended the host. The second: Position, Status & Function. The three elements of human organization. The last is a discussion of open source development and how open source affects our organizations.

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16265: Evelyn Hosts a Binge

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Time for a Binge. Need something as background for your workout? Or as something to fill a long commute? We have three pieces pulled together in this podcast, all hosted by Evelyn, our Business Manager.

We begin with a visit to the Consumer Technology Show in Las Vegas. Drones were big then. Little did we know.

Next, we attend an all hands office staff meeting. We discuss the themes for the podcast and Anna makes a plea to Elon Musk.

Finally, in something new, we have an essay on Disruptive Technologies from IEEE Computer.

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16260: Disrupting the Schumpethon

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Skill or Habit? What belongs to the first category and what belongs to the second? And how can technology better promote skill? That is the primary question of this week’s podcast and we take a long time to answer it. Our trip takes us through the writings of Adam Smith, an app that can calculate net wealth from a business card and an eight year old disruptive innovator who will never move to Brooklyn “because everyone knows that the best startups aren’t in Brooklyn.”

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UnknownThe Schumpethon is business pitch contest of the Lillian Moller Gilbreth School for Disruptive Innovation, the fictional school that is next to our fictional office in Silicon Valley. It is, of course, named for Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1960) the Austrian economist who studied business cycles and argued that recessions helped move capital from less efficient industries to more efficient industries. This episode introduces Maddie, one of the competitors in this year’s contest. This is not her first Scumpethon but as she is only eight, she will have many more opportunities to disrupt.

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16250: Getting the Right People

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What kinds of qualities do you want on your team? We start discussing skills and the qualities of our personnel with guest George Dyson while our intern and our IT guy go in search of John Von Neumann’s early computer. Dyson identifies some useful lessons from Julian Bigelow, who served as the engineer on von Neumann’s computer.
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This episode deals with personnel lessons learned from an important early computer, the one built by John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study.  Unlike some of its antecedents, this machine followed a basic pattern that has been replicated in modern processors.  That pattern is called the “von Neumann architecture.”

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The von Neumann architecture was first described,  in an incomplete way, in a paper called “The Draft Report on the EDVAC.”  Most scholars accept that this paper was conceived and organized by von Neumann, though it was probably drafted by von Neumann’s assistant and contains contributions, perhaps substantial contributions, from others. Beyond dispute is the claim, as Anna notes, that it was written in Courier Font.

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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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