Berkman Buzz: December 13, 2012

December 13, 2012

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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metaLAB's library data visualization work featured in The Atlantic

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Harvard's metaLAB is "dedicated to exploring and expanding the frontiers of networked culture in the arts and humanities," pursuing interdisciplinary research like this fascinating look at the spread of printing across Europe in the 1400s. Drawing on data from the university's library collections, the animation below maps the number and location of printed works by year. Watch it full screen in HD to see cities light up as the years scroll by in the lower left corner. Matthew Battles, a principal and senior researcher at metaLAB and past Atlantic contributor, describes the research and technology that went into the visualization in an interview below.

From Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's interview with Matthew Battles in The Atlantic, Matter launches: new name, new space, new partner, applications open
About metaLAB | @metalabharvard

Ethan Zuckerman reflects on Paul Salopek's 7-year reporting trip around the world

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“It’s either that or find another war”. From a note from Paul Salopek to his editor at National Geographic, proposing a 5 year walk around the world, retracing the steps of human migration from Ethiopia to Patagonia.

Paul’s walk is now planned to take at least seven years. Speaking to a packed room at Harvard at the launch of his project, Out of Eden, Paul shows us a thin, red line that meanders across a blue globe from Ethiopia, through the Middle East, India, China, Russia, down the length of North America and down through Chile and into Patagonia. It’s a retracing of the journey we made as a species, between 50,000 and 75,000 years ago. It’s a journey that made us fully human as we overcame predators, droughts, famine and learned how to work together and survive. It’s “the long walk into our becoming.”

From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post, Paul Salopek: reporting the world at a walking pace
About Ethan Zuckerman | @ethanz

Alison Head emphasizes the need for "old-school job skills" among the digital generation

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In October, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made headlines with his pronouncement for fast-forwarding learning in America’s classrooms.

By putting a keyboard in every student’s hands and replacing printed textbooks with digital ones, Duncan predicted that U.S. graduates would become formidable competitors against their digital-savvy counterparts from countries like South Korea.

But what really happens when the Google Generation joins the workplace? While we agree much stands to be gained, what may be lost as education goes digital?

From Alison Head's op-ed in The Seattle Times, Op-ed: Old-school job skills you won’t find on Google
About Alison Head | @alisonjhead

Kendra Albert proposes learning how to problem-solve from the theater

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At the best of times, a problem-solving team is the equivalent of the crooks in The Italian Job – there’s one person who cracks safes, one person who drives cars, etc, and they all make up a killer team that allows them to steal lots of money. At the worst of times, it is a gigantic waste of energy for everyone involved. Unfortunately, in my experience, the latter is far more common than the former.

Let me put a theory on the table: theater is the field that has figured this method of working out. Interdisciplinary collaboration is expected on every single show a theater person works on. Usually, there’s a lighting designer, a set designer, a costume designer, and a director, and they all have to work together to create a cohesive vision and implement a plan. Often they have never met before the first phone call. Sometimes they don’t mean in person at all.

From Kendra Albert's blog post, "How to Team Problem Solve Right: Advice from the Theater"
About Kendra Albert | @kendraserra

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The pop-up, over-the-top library | Harvard Gazette = nice write up on the LABrary and student projects
Jeffrey Schnapp (@jaytiesse)

Justin Reich ponders how to build educational technology that "teaches the village"

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When you look at technology-based informal learning through this lens, one of the problems that becomes apparent is that technology-mediated learning systems often only work with two pillars: learners and materials. Developers create an educational website, software, app, or game, and they focus on how the materials engage with the learner without necessarily thinking about the materials could engage mentors.

From Justin Reich's post for Education Week, "The Informal Instructional Core and Teaching the Village"
About Justin Reich | @bjfr

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How the heritage brand Burberry uses digital to reach a new generation of customers
John Deighton (@HBSmktg)

‘The Economist' Accused of Hacking by Bangladesh's War Crimes Tribunal

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The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) is an ongoing tribunal in Bangladesh that was set up to investigate and provide justice regarding the war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.

On 6 December, 2012 the war crimes tribunal accused The Economist magazine of hacking and asked it to explain how it got emails and heard Skype conversations between Presiding Judge Mohammed Nizamul Huq and Mr. Ahmed Ziauddin, a war crimes expert of Bangladeshi origin living in Brussels, Belgium. The two individuals have known each other for 25 years. The court ruling accused the Economist of “interfering into the work of the tribunal and violating the privacy of its presiding judge” as the magazine contacted the judge directly about the conversations.

From Rezwan's blog post for Global Voices, "‘The Economist' Accused of Hacking by Bangladesh's War Crimes Tribunal"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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Last updated

December 13, 2012