Flickr Commons Wandering

@twoodwar I can't shake this image of you at home, alone, eating cheese doodles and going down Flickr rabbit holes all weekend. — Jon Becker (@jonbecker) July 7, 2014 I’m working on a presentation and have been putting all sorts of words in the wonder machine that is the Flickr Commons. I’ve found not only great pictures but case after case of useful comments and associative trails that lead to more interesting things. If you’d like to do the same you can go to the search page but in the end I just would just change the word “YOU” in this URL string to whatever I wanted to search for but now on to some examples. This is not Father Guido Sarducci but French Anarchist Georges Cochon. The comments straightened out his name despite the fact that the picture was mislabeled. Aliases, violin, robberies, a straight razor, a fall to his death – it’s like a movie.Another beautiful example of the comments holding as much value as the image. Go there and read them. More solid commenting and I love the guy in the window. Both the mirror and the “access by bodily pressure” made this one stand out. Mocking the Coast Guard . . . Early release for good handwriting? This guy looks just like someone famous but […]

Little Trick, Big Numbers

I often want to know just a bit more about numbers I see in tables. As I was looking at some thing today, I stumbled on the Wikipedia page for “List of Most Viewed YouTube Videos“. After being more than a bit amazed at the utterly staggering numbers. I wanted to know what they translated to in terms of years because the numbers were just too big. I remembered that Google Spreadsheets will let you pull in a table from a website with no fuss. All I needed to do was put =IMPORTHTML(“”,”table”,1) in the first cell on the spreadsheet and viola the table is transcluded. I can now add a few more calculations to figure out the import stuff – like how many years worth of time have been spent watching Gangnam Style (16,274.24 years for the record1). You can go mess around with the data here. 1 Assuming I didn’t screw something up.

What’s in a #thoughtvectors name?

via Talky Tina #thoughtvectors is in full effect with 108 blogs and serving up 370+ posts. Not bad at all for 24hrs in. Here are a few of the more interestingly named blogs so far and the associations they triggered for me. Stop by and visit one or wander further astray with my associative trails. ~ – yep- just ~, it has to make Jim Groom happy. Anonymous Octopus – the malleable master of disguise working for anonymous? N30n Ra1nb0w – 1337 speak and gummy worms Fully Flared – all 37 pieces The Inner Workings of Flyzilla One – the clockwork love child of Jimmy Superfly Snuka and Godzilla? Thoughts from a Unicorn – chasers optional? uncharted smiles – strange maps abound, some smiles are charted

Voyant (Green) – it’s a peephole!

h/t the wily Alan Levine Seeing Cindy’s post which put “As We May Think” in a tag cloud, I started wondering about other text visualization options and understandings they might drive. ManyEyes was long my default for this type of thing but the hassles with Java security have driven me away. So I decided to give Voyant a try. Will Berry1 had used it so well with students, it seemed worth a more in depth exploration. You can play with the text of “As We May Think” in Voyant here. As you can see you get the typical tag cloud. You do have the additional ability to hide words using pre-constructed common word lists or custom lists you build yourself. That can be awfully useful. You also have the ability to select certain words from the corpus2 and they will be charted in relative or raw distribution rates across the corpus. Incidents of “as”, “we”, and “may” are depicted below. You can also view occurrences of selected words contextually. Below are “record” and “thought” as I was curious how closely they would parallel one another. I think the contextual piece is nice, not quite as nice as the branch stuff ManyEyes does but nice and space appropriate. It’s interesting to see that in combination with when the words appeared. Bush […]

What does it feel like when I think?

For #thoughtvectors (come play along) When ideas are rolling, the synapses are firing, I feel pretty much like this scene from The Program. Not much is more fun. I’ve yet to put my head through a window but I’ve come close. Now when I’m in a group with people who are feeding off one another’s thinking, it feels a bit more like the crowd getting hyphy in the video below. There’s spontaneous joy and even without planning things just work like they’re choreographed. It’s beautiful feeling to be thinking with a group. The fluidity and energy can’t be beat. Strange connections are made. Patterns emerge that you might not expect, even though they’re your own ideas. Grues are avoided and the right paths are taken without hesitation. It’s also strange how slippery thoughts can be. You think you’ve thought the thought and will be able to pull it back later (it is your head after all) but there’s nothing left but a vague feeling of lost opportunity. Thinking can keep me up. Time will slip and my head will keep churning away. This tends to be tied to doing some kind of actual work, something that needs to be improved just a bit or isn’t working quite right. Just one more little adjustment and I’ll go to sleep. Promise. There’s […]


As We May Think – Annotated

Below is my attempt to use Bush’s essay “As We May Think” as an associative trail. While the hyperlinks are good to go, I don’t think the comments will work all that well in the HTML published format so you can always join in on the actual Google Doc. It’s a mixture of the questions that came to mind as I read, hyperlinks out to additional information, and some other connections that occurred simply because of the way my mind is structured. It made for an interesting experiment and decent preparation for the upcoming #thoughtvectors course. A Google Doc is certainly an easy way to do a version of an associative trail. It allows for hyperlinking and commenting but leaves a bit to be desired in terms of embedding in the blog. I’d like to be able to trigger something like on the post level in blogs. I’ve tried a number of annotation tools but have yet to find one that really does quite what I want. I certainly use diigo’s highlight/notes function on a regular basis but I worry about the non-html elements on the long term side of things. It also falls short in that I can’t respond or extend note elements in the way I’d like.

Four Leaf Clovers, Question Paths, & Literal Names

Yesterday, I decided I’d look for four leaf clovers getting in and out of my car. Not hanging out searching, just opening my eyes and paying a bit more attention. Wikipedia tells me there’s one four leaf clover per 10,000 three leaf clovers. What surprises me is despite their relative rarity just how many four leaf clovers seem to be out there. It’s like interesting things. If you just start looking around, you end up amazed at how many interesting things surround you daily that you never noticed. One interesting thing leads to another. It gets to be harder to pay attention to more mundane things like crossing the road because there are so many interesting things to see and think about. Generating Questions I tried to take pictures representing each question I had walking to work the other day. I only decided to do it about halfway in but it was interesting to see it snowball because I made it intentional. The results are embedded below as a set. Additional questions are sometimes in the descriptions and won’t be visible in the embedded view. Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR. Literally Literal Dodge Caravan takes on a very odd feel if you read it literally. I decided to start capturing all the car/bike names I came across that were also actual […]

Like Fish in Water

This Ted Nelson quote seemed like a fun one to try to visualize. I was inspired by this set of minimalist quote posters and found this DS106 assignment that fit the topic pretty well. I used white circles over a blue square to make the waves. Not mind shattering, but a quick easy way to do it that might get some people to think differently. This allows me to adjust them easily after the fact which a number of other ways to do this would not have allowed. I drew the goldfish in Keynote. I really, really need to break myself of that habit but I’ve grown to like the vector drawing in that program despite the many, many shortfalls it has on other levels.