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The idea of looking behind blogging came from the reading … but did I reference it???
i.e that innovations never occur in isolation, there was always something else beforehand.
The mistake we all make is to assume that innovations land on a pristine landscape and we react with typically human surprise at this new marvel that will either revolutionise or destroy everything. I need to remember where I read that!
Something on innovations … eeek.
It does matter though, with blogs there is clearly a history of
a) keeping a diary
b) citizen journalism in the form of leaflets and ‘letters to the editor’
c) authors keeping a writer’s journal and
b) scientists and explorers keeping a formal ‘log’.
That and human nature to write stuff down – well, at least 1% of the population do, which gives the other 99% something to read.
Sense Cam came out of the efforts of Gordon Bell, now 81, and for the last 10 years head of research at Microsoft.
He got it into his head to digitise everything and then wear a gadget around his neck to capture even more. This seems moronic and his own writing isn’t academic, more a memoir, but others, Microsoft and University of Southampton, have pressed on. The Sense Cam is a fag-packet sized device you hang around your neck – a camera with a light and sound sensor, then triggers the taking of a picture as you go about your daily business (could be awkward). At the end of the day these pictures are downloaded and software filters the stuff.
Southampton (WebSciences) have examples of this.
You can now buy a SenseCam made by Microsoft and various Microsoft Research Labs are trying them out. The hope is that in time such a device will help support those with dementia or any kind of memory fade … the evidence from Southampton illustrate Ebbinghaus’s ‘Forgetting Curve’ – how we forget stuff pretty fast over days/weeks against use of various methods, including a Sense Cam. It does appear, naturally, that looking back regularly at a set of carefully selected pictures (I think there has be human intervention for obvious reasons) the patient/student subject is far better able to recall, retain, and therefore I presume to restore and ‘fix’ memories better.
I am starting to wonder if a person is indicating for Alzheimer’s or some such that they might use such a device ?
Or the Google Glass device to do the same thing. If I were a first year medical student doing my disection I’d like to use a sense cam to personalise a record of the activity, for example.
If I go down the blogging route ‘is blogging a valid activity for student assessment’ is far too broad while ‘Can blogging by students of journalism writing in English in Hong Kong be used as a formal part of assessment’ might be doable. Off the top of my head here, but let’s say there are 4 to 6 colleges where such a course is offered in Hong Kong …
So what about a geographically defined study?
China might be problematic due to restrictions on use of the Internet (and its vast size). Perhaps Poland!? Somewhere where the numbers aren’t huge. Then again, doesn’t it depend on the methods and tools you use? I am struck by this stuff they call ‘Big Data’ where a cohort of 10,000 on an Open Course (this at Stanford using Coursera) can reveal the nuances of ‘poor teaching’ – where in the past 1 or 2 students made the same mistake it goes unnoticed, but when 2000 students make the very same mistake then there’s clearly something wrong with the course.
To use Diana Laurillard’s apt phrase ‘it depends’. (don’t ask me where or when she said it, if you know, please tell me so that I can reference it correctly).
Automatically Augmenting Lifelog Events Using Pervasively Generated Content from Millions of People
In the pursuit of pervasive user-generated content (ugc) based on senors, by augmenting visual lifelogs with ‘Web 2.0’ content collected by millions of other individuals.
We present a system that realises the aim of using visual content and sensor readings passively captured by an individual and then augmenting that with web content collected by other individuals. Doherty and Smeaton (2009)
- Lifelogging, like keeping a diary, is a private and exclusive form of reverse surveillance. Doherty and Smeaton (2009)
- Using SenseCam from Microsoft. Zacks (2006)
- human memory operates by associating linked items together. Baddley (2004)
- supportive of those patients suffering from early stage memory impairment. Berry e al (2009)
- enhancing SenseCam gathered images by data mining from ugc sites such as Flickr and YouTube. Doherty and Smeaton (2009)
- See also MyLifeBits. Bell and Gemmel (2007)
- A commercial lifelogging product ViconRevue. OMG
- Flickr has over 95 million geo-tagged images. (2010)
- YouTube has 100 million video views per day (2010) YouTube fact_sheet
It has a camera and a range of other sensors for monitoring the wearer’s environment by detecting movement, temperature, light intensity, and the possible presence of other people in front of the device via body heat.
(I’d like the sensecam to be smaller still and include a microchip in a swimmer’s cap, or goggle or swimsuit to monitor various other factors, including heart rate, blood sugar levels and carbon dioxide).
How the mind disects, stores and correlates the information if gathers is somewhat different to the linear recording or cataloguing of current systems though.
After her first stroke a patient found engagement when otherwise unable to communicate by looking at family photographs on an iPad. After a second stroke the same patient, deemed incapable of comprehension or communication, responded to hundreds of images of paintings she had known in her lifetime – in particular responding to the question posed when looking at one painting. Where is it? Ans; Louvre. What is it? Mona Lisa. (Vernon, 2012)
As sensing technologies become more ubiquitous and wearable a new trend of lifelogging and passive image capture is starting to take place and early clinical studies have shown much promise in aiding human memory. Doherty and Smeaton (2009)
Fig.1. A game of pairs – our minds are far more interprative, chaotic and illogical when it comes to visual associations based on what we see around us.
However, it is presumptious, prescritpive and even manipulative to assume that a person recalls ‘more of the same’ when visualing sensing or surveying a place. The foibles of the human mind and system is that noises and smell, the temperature and weather, and the time of day have a part to play. I visit Trafalgar Square and smell pigeons even though they are long gone. I visit Buckingham Palace and recall finding a woman dead on the pavement one late evening. I see snow and think of the broken leg I got from skiing in my teens – not snowmen. I see any icecream van and think specifically of Beadnell Bay, Northumberland.
The mind is far, far more complex than a fancy game of ‘pairs’. I have perhaps 30,000 of my own images online, so why support, replace or supplement these with those taken by others? What if during my lifetime I tag, link and assocaite these images? How might these be linked to another personal log – a diary of some 2.5 million written over a 30 year period?
There are research challenges involved in further improving the quality of the lifelog augmentation process, especially with regard to “event-specific” lifelog events, e.g., football matches, rock concerts, etc. Other research challenges include investigations into selecting initial seed images based on adaptive radii, more sophisticated tag selection techniques, and also considering how interface design and varying methods of visualisation affect users’ acceptance of augmented data.
Baddeley, A., Ed. Your Memory: A User’s Guide; Carlton Books: New York, NY, USA, 2004.
Bell, G.; Gemmell, J. A digital life. Scientific American Magazine, March 2007.
Berry, E.; Hampshire, A.; Rowe, J.; Hodges, S.; Kapur, N.; Watson, P.; Smyth, G.B.G.; Wood, K.;
Owen, A.M. The neural basis of effective memory therapy in a patient with limbic encephalitis. J.
Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry 2009, 80, 582–601.
Doherty,.R. and Smeaton.A.F. (2009) Automatically Augmenting Lifelog Events Using Pervasively Generated Content from Millions of People
Vernon, J.F. (2012) Use of hundreds of image grabs of contempary artists, Leonardo da Vinci and Van Gogh to communicate with an elderly patient after a series of catastrophic and ultimately fatal strokes.
Zacks, J.M.; Speer, N.K.; Vettel, J.M.; Jacoby, L.L. Event understanding and memory in healthy
aging and dementia of the alzheimer type. Psychol. Aging 2006, 21, 466–482.
- Can Lifelogging Devices Augment Our Memories? (techonomy.com)
- Magical mystery machine: How Memoto’s lifelogging camera could change our memories (pandodaily.com)
- With Memoto, Affordable Passive Lifelogging Has Arrived (refer.ly)
- Our Digital Selves (nytimes.com)
- Memoto life-logging camera delayed (but gains digital compass) (slashgear.com)
A SenseCam browser (Microsoft). A wearable device that takes a picture every 22 seconds. Hodges et al (2006)
- Tools for lifelogging
- Hundreds of thousands of images grabbed and presented to aid memory … and memory rehabilitation.
- Automatic content analysis techniques
(There is a reason why we forget. The quote from James on the need to spend as much time recalling the record if everything is remembered is like that of Lewis Carroll and a map the size of the real world – neither had the advantage of limitless digital storage capacity and the ability to zoom in and out or back and forth – to expand time, not simply record it.).
- A visual record of your day. Berry et al (2007)
- 2000 to 5000 images a day
- Only activate the device for significant events
Methods of review
- Clustered time view
- Geographical map (required GPS)
- Interactive story authoring
- Motion sensors identify events – typically 20-30 in a day.
- Cognitive overload
- Keyframe image selection a human endeavour
- An entusiastic lifelogger might expect to gather 100,000 images a month.
- Key frame selection only of note if it picked a poor image.
Berry, E., Kapur, N., Williams, L., Hodges, S., Watson, P., Smyth, G., et al. (2007). The use of a wearable camera, SenseCam, as a pictorial diary to improve autobiographical memory in a patient with limbic encephalitis. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 17(4), 582601.
Hodges, S., Williams, L., Berry, E., Izadi, S., Srinivasan, J., Butler, A. et al. (2006). SenseCam: A retrospective memory aid. In UbiComp: 8th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, Vol. 4602 LNCS (pp. 177193). New York, NY: Springer.
- Adafruit Gemma stuffs a wearable Arduino platform into a one-inch disc (engadget.com)
- The human face of big data – mindblowing images from the planet’s “digital nervous system” (venturevillage.eu)
- Devising Solutions for Traumatic Brain Injury: Interview with Dr. Michael Whalen, MD PhD (medgadget.com)
Life-Logging and the contents of my brain, your brain, easily accessed, shared and ameliorated (or just picked over?)
This fascinates me. When I started blogging in 1999 I called the blog ‘The Contents of My Brain’ as for a couple of years I’d been using an early version of Filemaker Pro offline (in Clarisworks) to assemble/catalogue everything I had read, all the films I had seen … and all the diary entries I had kept since March 1975. Then I read about this guy. I’d like to meet him. I’d like to work with him!
Microsoft Research Silicon Valley
Email: GBell At Microsoft.com is the most reliable communication link
Mobile phone & answering machine: (415) 640 8255 best voice link
Office & Computer LYNC Phone: (415) 972-6542; this rings on my PC
FAX only if you must: MS fax gateway(425) 936-7329 address to “gbell”
Microsoft Office: 835 Market Street, Suite 700, San Francisco, CA, 94103
Gordon Bell is a principal researcher in the Microsoft Research Silicon Valley Laboratory, working in the San Francisco Laboratory. His interests include extreme lifelogging, digital lives, preserving everything in cyberspace, and cloud computing as a new computer class and platform. He proselytizes Jim Gray’s Fourth Paradigm of Science.
Gordon has long evangelized scalable systems starting with his interest in multiprocessors (mP) beginning in 1965 with the design of Digital’s PDP-6, PDP-10’s antecedent, one of the first mPs and the first timesharing computer. He continues this interest with various talks about trends in future supercomputing (see Papers… presentations, etc.) and especially clustered systems formed from cost-effective “personal computers”. As Digital’s VP of R&D he was responsible for the VAX Computing Environment. In 1987, he led the cross-agency group as head of NSF’s Computing Directorate that made “the plan” for the National Research and Education Network (NREN)aka the Internet.
When joining Microsoft in 1995, Gordon had started focusing on the use of computers and the necessity of telepresence: being there without really being there, then. “There” can be a different place, right now, or a compressed and different time (a presentation or recording of an earlier event). In 1999 this project was extended to include multimedia in the home (visit Papers… presentations, etc.).
He puts nearly all of his atom- and electron-based bits in his local Cyberspace—the MyLifeBits project c1998-2007. This includes everything he has accumulated, written, photographed, presented, and owns (e.g. CDs). In February 2005 an epiphany occurred with the realization that MyLifeBits goes beyond Vannevar Bush’s “memex” and is a personal transaction processing database for everything described in June 14, 2005 SIGMOD Keynote. The MyLifeBits project with Jim Gemmell is described in an article by us in the March 2007 Scientific American. Alec Wilkinson described Gordon and the MyLifeBits effort in the 28 May 2007 issue of the New Yorker. By the publication of the book the final epiphany was that our e-memories are where the records reside and bio-memories are just URLs into these records.
He and Jim Gemmell have written a book entitled Total Recall: How the e-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything which was published in=n September 2009. You can order it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, orIndieBound. Please check out the Total Recall book website. Your Life, Uploaded: The Digital Way to Better Memory, Health, and Productivity is the paperback version published September 2010. It is available in Dutch, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese.
The remainder of the site includes these pages:
- Papers, books, PowerPoint presentations, videos since 1995, when joining Microsoft
- Extended Bio— education, work history, honors… Alaska fishing and France biking
- Vitae: Listing of books, computers, interviews, papers, patents, projects, and videos
- THE COMPUTER MUSEUM ARCHIVE An archive of The Computer Museum in Boston 1980-1998.
5. Gordon’s Cyber Museum that has Bell’s books, the Hollerith Patent, the CDC 8600 Manual, a talk about Seymour Cray, an album of supercomputer photos, posters about the history of computing, etc.
6. Gordon’s Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) Cyber Museum has artifacts, books, brochures, clippings, manuals, memos (e.g. The VAX Strategy), memorabilia, photos, posters, presentations, etc. relating to Digital Equipment Corporation a.k.a. DEC.
7. Supercomputing and the CyberInfrastructure lists articles, memos, talks, and testimony regarding the various aspects of high performance computing including funding, goals, and problems in reaching to the Teraflops in 1995 and Petaflops in 2010.
Bell’s Law of Computer Classes and Class formation was first described in 1972 with the emergence of a new, lower priced microcomputer class based on the microprocessor. Microsoft Technical Report MSR-TR-2007-146 describes the law and gives the implication for multiple cores per chip, etc. Established market class computers are introduced at a constant price with increasing functionality (or performance). Technology advances in semiconductors, storage, interfaces and networks enable a new computer class (platform) to form about every decade to serve a new need. Each new usually lower priced class is maintained as a quasi independent industry (market). Classes include: mainframes (60’s), minicomputers (70’s), networked workstations and personal computers (80’s), browser-web-server structure (90’s), web services (2000’s), palm computing (1995), convergence of cell phones and computers (2003), and Wireless Sensor Networks aka motes (2004). Beginning in the 1990s, a single class of scalable computers called clusters built from a few to tens of thousands of commodity microcomputer-storage-networked bricks began to cover and replace mainframes, minis, and workstation. Bell predicts home and body area networks will form by 2010. See also the description of several laws (e.g. Moore’s, Metcalfe’s, Bill’s, Nathan’s, Bell’s) that govern the computer industry is given in Laws, a talk by Jim Gray and Gordon Bell.
Gordon was with his Diamond Exchange colleagues at the Boulders, Carefree, AZ where the group tested the Segway, a dual-processor, two wheeled, computer and Human Transporter. Since the test in 2002, he has taken and recommended tours in the Pacificia near San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Yes, this is a product endorsement. Right is the Ford SUV version
- Automatically captured autobiographical metadata (mymindbursts.com)
- The human face of big data – mindblowing images from the planet’s “digital nervous system” (venturevillage.eu)
- ‘The Human Face of Big Data’ shows how tech changes lives (pcworld.com)
- BrainTrain Announces Cognitive Training Software Giveaway to Veterans Hospitals (prweb.com)
- Our Digital Selves (nytimes.com)
Illl-health has impacted on my activity online. This in itself is an insight. On the one hand we label people for analysis, putting them into groups that vary from ‘creator’ all the way through to ‘inactive’ in order to simply its complexity, but more importantly in order to be able to share and discuss.
It has to be two, even three years since I did some long overdue ‘digital housekeeping’. It isn’t in my nature to go through my virtual pack of cards to put them in order; indeed, is order of any kind necessary so long as you have tagged thoroughly? It is, because such tags are no less valid just because you thoughts, ideas, assignments, references, quotes, pics, charts, grabs and so on are now collated. Indeed, these groups, chronologies and narratives are offering their own insights.
I’ve been inclined to equate ‘stuff’ (digital assets) as vegetation in a compost bin, however, this ‘stuff’ doesn’t simply rot, rather it replicates itself … then rots and transmogrifies in various ways. You think too hard and analogies fail because of the versatility, fluidity and complexity of the World Wide Web 2.0.
Creation is a part of what I do. There is considerable searching, grabbing, highlighting and note-taking too. Screen grabs and ‘Snips’ are treated like photographs and dealt with off-line in ‘Picasa’, online they are uploaded to Picasa Web and Dropbox. From here the url is shared in various ways in this blog and elsewhere. This 200GB album was looking like Wembley Stadium after a rock concert so I’ve gone in and begun to sort out and clean up my ‘digital litter’.
What I find is that a grab, chart or image can instantly induce recollection of why I chose the image in the first place; the thinking behind the choice is revived. On their own these images will mean very different things to others until I add the text.
Certain habits, such as titles, tags and references save you scrambling around later. Too often a great chart from a survey is rendered, in academic circles, useless, if I cannot locate the source. I can feel like riding a bicycle with square wheels ensuring that quotes and images are properly referenced at the time you highlight, note or grab, but it means that when you put them into an assignment, or simply a presentation or blog, this reference, usually with a URL is readily available.
This suits the kind of person who for a very short period (one month), not only kept a diary, but stuck the ephemera of the day into the folder/scrapbook too. Unsustainable, but extraordinary how a 3d bus ticket from the 1970s does more to remind me of the Yellow 45 bus I took along the ‘Great North Road’ to primary school then any words (that I couldn’t have written at the time) to explain it.
Intermittently, having come across him during H808, I think about the Microsoft programmer who uses a digital device to RECORD everything he does, all day (sound and vision). That’s the easy part. The hard part is creating the software to extract and store content of worth. The problem is that the mind, which must equate to how innovative we are, is anything but well ordered.
How often do we stop and think?
I may be an atheist but perhaps on the seventh day we should rest; we unplugged the router, put the phone on charge for the following week, turn off the TV and buy a paper? Or go to church … or the non-religious equivalent.
A search for ‘Microsoft’ in this diary brings me the name ‘Gordon Bell’, the entry I wrote in January and a link to the New Scientist article and its author. Gordon Bell wrote that he hoped eventually to uncover some patterns ‘you would never have gleaned unaided.’
I very rarely look at old diaries. Doing so I was in despair. Neither the chronology, nor the day of the week is relevant, rather it is the unlinked themes that run through it, but to get at those requires transcription and digitisation.
I’d prefer to live life than live about the life I lived.
What Microsoft may achieve, though Google are surely doing it, is to formulate a better way to manager knowledge.
Which brings me to my final though for now, and that is to go entirely Google.
I use Google tools extensively already.
I’ve never done much with ‘Blogger’ preferring ‘WordPress,’ but Google makes it seamless, indeed, collectively Google tools are half-way between a virtual learning environment (VLE) and that amorphous collection of tools we collectively give the term ‘personal learning environment’ (PLE).
The views of a panel of experts and 2,000 professionals from across the UK have voted the Open University Business School one of the top five super-brands for executive education, training and development.
The survey recognises brands that have established an exceptional reputation in their sectors and offer customers significant emotional and/or tangible advantages over their competitors.
The panel ranked the Open University Business School ahead of Manchester Business School, Cass Business School, Warwick Business School, Said Business School at Oxford University and Cambridge Judge Business School.
The Centre of Brand Analysis compiled the The annual Business Superbrands on behalf of the Superbrands
The business school’s list runs like this:
- Cranfield School of Management
- London Business School
- Imperial College Business School
- The Open University Business School
- Manchester Business School
- Said Business School
- Warwick Business School
- Cambridge Judge Business School
- Cass Business School
A diary since 1975 to 1999 (with some notable gaps). A blog since 1999 to the present day. What’s its worth?
I gave up buying the Guardian on Saturday after a decade or more of doing so in favour of receiving the New Scientist every week; it is simple.
Too much that I read in the paper I know already and the Colour supplement’s target audience is the bottom of the bin.
I am rewarded this week with
- a) the news that Google have digitized 5 million books
- b) a piece on blogging ‘Dear e-diary … ‘
This ought to be how anyone who blog begins their entry, ‘dear diary;’ blogging sounds like something Morris Dancer’s do in slippers after hours behind the pub.
Alun Anderson passes through the history of the diary with some clumsy thoughts on such things becoming popular gifts in the 1820s and the number of diaries inviting us to buy them at this time of year on supermarket shelves – actually I find the Academic diary is more popular in late August.
In one respect he is right; along with New Year’s resolutions, keeping a diary from January 1st is up there.
Of course, we all decide to do this on the 5th or 6th so have to invent an entry or three or four for the previous days. I’ve just been looking on shelves where old diaries are stored … (this stuff gets an outing once or twice a decade). For reasons suggested above, some of the first few days of the New Year draw a blank, though I appear to have an unbroken record for the 5th and 6th of January since 1976. (I should add that the diary record over 34 years has about 13 years of blanks, so I’m not such an obsessive.
I have an unbroken run from 1983 to 1987 and 1978-1982 are complete, but largely little more than a five liner in a Five Year diary.
September 1979 is interesting though, short of the technology, I just about achieved what Gordon Bell, a senior researcher at Microsoft is up to … recording absolutely everything that ever happens to him with a digital camera strung around his neck. (I trust he’ll call it albatross).
We’ve seen how relentlessly dull TV manufactured life can be from Big Brother, why will Gordon’s life be any better, or will the presence of the digital recorder prompt him into doing something ‘worth recording,’ i.e. mucking up any science he may think is going on.
What I did, not knowing for how long I’d do it, was to open the parameters of my diary page entries, from five lines every day, to an A4 sheet (no more, never missed), to as much as it could take; it took a couple of hours to write every night, which would of course lead to that vital practice of reflecting on the process of writing itself. That and every bust ticket into town (Newcastlte), the Commodores ?! Tuxedo Junction. And the ‘swimming baths.’ (sic). A play at the Gulbenkien. Godspell at the Theatre Royal. A Mars Bar for 3p.
Totall Recall: How the e-memory revolution will change everything.
No it won’t.
All the years I Twittered into a Five Year diary (about 60 words), my aim was to put in something that would remind me what happend that exact day; I’m forever staggered how I’ve achieved this on very little indeed. It requires a key, not the detail, just an Alice in Wonderland key that opens up the rest of it.
This is what Microsoft should be thinking about, not oceans of everything, but the meaningful flotsam and jetsam, that and the person saying what they think and feel about what is going on. Find me the third-party device that can record thoughts, feelings and dreams – it’s a thing of fiction.
This item is written by the former editor-in-chief of the New Scientist, Alun Anderson.
It amuses me to see that the new New Scientist editor-in-chief is Roger Highfield. I don’t suppose he can tell me what we ate when I had dinner with him in November 1984 in Wood Green (give me a sec) … I can. And curiouser, and curiouser, though there’s not a jot recorded on what we spoke about that night, I’ve an inkling I could share.
It is empowering to know I can ferret around in an old diary for ten minutes to get these answers; doing the same with some 16000 blog entries saves me a few moments. Away from my desk, diaries or the Internet however, I’m sure that all this ferreting around in the past has kept these memories accessible.
Gordon Bell will eventually uncover some patterns ‘you would never have gleaned unaided;’ I feel I’m ahead of the Mircosoft game.