Graduating Back To The Real World

I’ve been on a semi-sabbatical for a while, doing some good, studying for a master’s degree, and sorting out some plans for the next fifty years. In business, when a discussion starts straying off topic, we say, “Well, that may be a good topic for a graduate seminar, but we need practical solutions here.” I’ve just spent a couple of years in graduate seminars, rarely getting to the point,  wandering up and down rhetorical byways, never calling the question. I’ve been reading and writing up a storm, but not for publication.

It’s been a lot of fun, I’ve learned a lot, but it’s time to get back to work. Stay tuned.

 

Un-neighborly: Ad Blocking in Park Slope

UnneighborlyGrumpy laminated signs are uglifying the gorgeous architecture of Brownstone Brooklyn. “Do not deface my property with your disgusting advertising,” they seem to say. “Let me deface my own property with this churlish plastic billboard.” The most subtle sign is postcard-sized with a giant NO! — flyers, ads, menus — but you can get a lawyer-worded 5″ x 7″ placard that is “technically compliant with the new Anti-Flier Law” with each letter 1 inch tall. Continue Reading →

Champion of Education

GSCFny.org

Graphics Scholarship Awards

The terrific people at the Graphic Communications Scholarship Foundation have graced me with the designation Champion of Education with a celebration scheduled for the  2014 scholarship awards ceremony in June. It’s a great feeling to be honored by your colleagues for doing work you’re proud of, but it’s also a bit daunting to think of all the work that still needs to be done. All of us, from pre-school to K-12 to college and grown-up life, need to learn more faster and better.

Every June, the  Graphic Communication Scholarship, Award and Career Advancement Foundation, a lean 501(c)3 non-profit, provides money for college to dozens of  New York metro area students pursuing careers in graphic communications:

The GCSF Champion of Education Award honors exceptional individuals in the graphic communications field who have contributed their time, resources and talents to advance the industry’s understanding and to prepare its next generation.

It’s an important industry event raising money for a great cause.

Trends in Career & Technical Education

PDF

PDF of Jack's slides

For a session at the United Federation of Teachers, here are my slides with: a quick update on NYC CTE partners’ activities; a recap of an excellent job market briefing we got from the New York State Department of Labor; some stats about college completion; and a look at the increasing dissatisfaction with the way higher education has been churning out degrees that go nowhere.

In addition, I use stats and art from several studies:  From Wall Street to Wall Mart, Diplomas and Droputs and the just-released Harvard report Pathways to Prosperity.

Cruel Expectations: College for All

Now that I’m a graduate student, I’ve been looking at the troubling results of the nation’s push towards college-for-all.

Beautiful Nightmare: Matsuda’s Augmented Reality Visualization

London architecture student Keiichi Matsuda has posted a brilliant and scary visualization of the near future of augmented reality.

Saletan’s Stat-Packed 2010 State of the Digital World

Saletan on the state of the world as we live it through technology.

Augmented Reality Still Too Jumpy

Today’s AR apps don’t offer a solid user experience.

EMRs: Don’t Wait for the Government

A new study urges physicians to use stimulus spending to install electronic medical records.

Taming social media in the new decade

I sign up for everything: GeoCities, Classmates, Ryze, Orkut, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, Yahoo, Flickr, LibraryThing, Plurk, Lifeblob, Meme, various Ning sites, Technorati, RSS feeds and God knows what else. Partly it’s to learn what they’re all about, partly to link to the folks who are there, partly for the sheer info-glut geekiness of it all. Continue Reading →

Dan Bricklin and the Cold Comfort of Experience

I saw Dan Bricklin, inventor of the first PC spreadsheet program VisiCalc, at the NY Tech Meetup last night. The opening acts were some machine vision and robotics researchers from NYU and Columbia showing their new work to a big but under-charmed crowd. Things ran late, and then proto-blogger Anil Dash gave some admiring introductory remarks and brought out Dan.

 

Dan brought out his new book, Bricklin on Technology, a compilation of his blogs, podcasts and essays over the last decade.

He read from the book — from his old blog posts — and illustrated his talk with pictures from the East Coast birthplace of computing around Route 128 near Boston back in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Dan unrolled ancient scrolls from the before-time: DEC minicomputers, dumb terminals, the Apple II, the revolutionary Harris 2200 page layout machine, the first IBM PC and some promo videos for spreadsheet programs that eclipsed VisiCalc, Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Excel. The audience roared at the 1980s dweebs in three piece suits dancing to a pre-Windows jingle as Dan told about inventing the spreadsheet in a wet basement in Massachusetts. In the background were Gates and Jobs but also the armies of hopeful start-ups, brilliant programmers, careful CFOs, lucky salesmen and visionary inventors who drove computing onto every desk and into every home in those years.

Continue Reading →