Why Use Several OpenMeta Applications?

The main point of this blog post is that if you’re going to use the OpenMeta tagging framework for OS X, you should consider purchasing more than one OpenMeta app. They are not expensive. But first, I describe some of the benefits of tagging. Then I present and respond to criticisms of OpenMeta.
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Why Managing One’s Reading is Challenging

Managing one’s reading today is more challenging than ever. In order to capitalize on knowledge, we need to understand and resolve these challenges to our cognitive productivity. Here are some of them.

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An Evening to Celebrate Camaraderie with the Zest of Brel

This evening, we are resurrecting the spirit of friendship of the Grand Jaques Brel, one day before his 83rd birthday anniversary (April 8, which falls on Easter Sunday this year).  I am hosting an intimate Celebration of Camaraderie with the “Zest of Brel”.
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How About a Round of Applause?

My ‘diversion’ today was to help a distant relative who yesterday,  in order to resolve an issue with her Mac, followed my suggestion to click the “Repair Disk” button in Disk Utility. When she phoned me today, it was to exclaim in horror “All my files have disappeared!”  She confessed to disregarding my request, “Call me back when it’s done repairing the disk and we’ll determine  what to do next”. After the repair she had impatiently proceeded to click some nearby buttons until she had … reinstalled her iMac’s operating system. More precisely (and less conveniently), she had installed a previous version of the OS (the extinct Tiger).

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How Dictation Benefits Cognitive Productivity

Whereas, in the past, the fruits of your ambulant mind dangled precariously on the dendritic branches of your memory organ, they can now be digitally harvested and processed. You can dictate while taking a stroll, running errands, jogging, working out, commuting, waiting for an event, or meditatively pacing in and around your home office. You can digitally capture your voice using a special-purpose recorder, a smartphone, or a computer. Nuance’s Dragon Dictate™ (Mac) and Dragon NaturallySpeaking™ (Windows) both do a great job of converting speech to text.
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A Zestful Response to Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar

And now for something different.

Have you recently looked back on a film and been amazed by how much thinking it provoked you to do? I recently attended a chef d’oeuvre by Philippe Falardeau, Monsieur Lazhar (based on a play by Evelyne de la Chenelière.) It has rightfully earned a nomination for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category (winners to be announced on Feb 26, 2012). After seeing the movie, you will know that, while it is a story through-and-through, it is woven with cognitive ‘pointers’ that get you thinking about important questions, issues and problems. In this post, I discuss some of them. 

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A Delphic Pronouncement Regarding Apple’s Upcoming Digital-Textbook Announcement

Over the last decade, I have been heavily involved in R&D to understand and address the requirements users should have when they attempt to learn from knowledge resources with technology. The major applications that are meant to support our reading and learning are still, for the most part, quite unsatisfactory. Yet users, young and old, in and out of academia, knowledge worker or not, specialist in e-learning or not, tend not to be very demanding of their cognitive productivity tools. Few seem to understand what we are all missing. I have disseminated some of the technical deficiencies publicly, some I have not. I have also of course been developing solutions to the core problems of learning with technology and cognitive science — workflows, documents, software, theories, etc. Continue reading A Delphic Pronouncement Regarding Apple’s Upcoming Digital-Textbook Announcement

7 + 1 tips for Learning in Order to Excel in 2012

Do your success and happiness depend on your reading and learning? If yes, then before you put the finishing touches on your goals and plan for 2012, you should ensure that you have satisfactorily considered your learning objectives. So please read on, as this post will help you develop Stephen Covey’s 7th habit, “Sharpen the Saw” (TM).
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Motive Generators in Major Innovators and Tweakers

Malcom Gladwell published an article titled “The tweaker: The real genius of Steve Jobs” in the  New Yorker (Nov. 2011).  He marshalled several examples from Isaacson’s book on Jobs to make the point that Jobs was more of a tweaker than grand inventor. Gladwell is close to the mark in saying that “Jobs’s sensibility was editorial, not inventive. His gift lay in taking what was in front of him—the tablet with stylus—and ruthlessly refining it.”  But Gladwell’s own paper needs a tweak in the form of a concept which gets to the heart of Steve Jobs as innovator: As I argued in a post in August, Steve Jobs, like most innovative knowledge workers, had particularly developed motive generators.
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