Patrick Meier: Advice to Future PhDs from 2 Unusual Graduating PhDs – Blog Twitter Hybrid Teach-Consult Dissertation Focus

Advanced Cyber/IO, Blog Wisdom, Collective Intelligence, Communities of Practice, Cultural Intelligence, Ethics, Intelligence (government), Methods & Process, Officers Call
Patrick Meier

Advice to Future PhDs from 2 Unusual Graduating PhDs

Next week I will be attending my official graduation from The Fletcher School to receive my PhD diploma. It is—in a word—surreal. I’ve been working on my PhD for almost as long as I’ve known my good friend and colleague Chris Albon, which is to say, a long time. Chris is also a newly minted political science PhD and recently joined the FrontlineSMS team as the director of their Governance Project. Needless to say, our paths have crossed on many occasions over the years and we’ve had many long conversations about the scholar-practitioner path that we’ve taken. With graduation just a few days away, we thought we’d write-up this joint post to share our pearls of wisdom with future PhDs.

First: blog, blog, blog! The blog is the new CV. If you don’t exist dynamically online, then you’re not indexable on the web. And if you’re not indexable, then you’re not searchable or discoverable. You don’t exist! Blog-ergo-sum, simple as that. Chris and I have been blogging for years and this has enabled us to further our knowledge and credibility, not to mention our of network of contacts. The blog allows you to build your own independent brand, not your advisor’s and not your program’s. This is critical. We’ve received consulting gigs and keynote invitations based on blog posts that we’ve published over the years. Do not underestimate the power of blogging for your professional (and yes, academic) career. In many ways, blogging is about getting credit for your ideas and to signal to others what you know and what your interests are.

Second: get on Twitter! Malcolm Gladwell is wrong: social media can build strong-tie bonds. Heck, social media is how I originally met Chris. If the blog is the new CV, then consider your Twitter account the new business card. Use Twitter to meet everyone, everywhere. Let people know you’ll be in London for a conference and don’t underestimate the synergies and serendipity that is the twittersphere. Chris currently follows around 1,200 people on Twitter, and he estimates that over the years he has met around half of them in person. That is a lot of contacts and, frankly, potential employers. Moreover, like blogging, tweeting enables you to connect to others and stay abreast of interesting new developments. Once upon a time, people used to email you interesting articles, conferences, etc. I personally got on Twitter several years ago when I realized that said emails were no longer making it to my inbox. This information was now being shared via Twitter instead. Like the blog, Twitter allows you to create and manage your own personal brand.

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Tom Atlee: Wholesome Capitalism

03 Economy, 09 Justice, 11 Society, Blog Wisdom, Civil Society, Commerce, Ethics
Tom Atlee

Wholesome capitalism?

What would wholesome capitalism look like?

“Wholesome” means healthy, in the sense of something that promotes physical and moral well-being. Wholesome capitalism would take into account the wholeness of people and the social and natural world we live in, and it would enhance that wholeness.

Some people think capitalism already does this. They note how good it has been at generating wealth. The word wealth, meaning abundance, derives from roots meaning well-being and wholeness. Many of capitalism’s advocates feel it should be freed from constraints so it can generate more wealth.

Others note that capitalism – while generating wealth for some – many or few, depending on its form in a particular time and place – nevertheless generates much suffering and destruction in the process. It reduces everything to money and maximizes financial return even if it has to degrade and destroy human and natural life to do it. Many of capitalism’s critics feel it should be undermined or overthrown.

Still others note both the blessings and problems with capitalism. They think we can have the wealth without so much suffering and destruction. Most of these people promote freeing capitalism’s creativity and productivity while restraining its rapaciousness in various ways – using everything from laws, regulations and taxes to moral suasion and consumer-shareholder activism.

In this article I advocate all three positions – odd as that may sound – but only after reframing “capital” and “wealth” to better reflect wholeness.


The special gift of capitalism is its ability to create MORE – more products and services, more self-organized economic activity, more wealth. In systems science, this tendency to create more-ness is called a positive or reinforcing feedback dynamic.

Continue reading “Tom Atlee: Wholesome Capitalism”

John Robb: Techcrunch Interview on Resilient Communities (Be Happy)

Articles & Chapters, Blog Wisdom, Civil Society, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Cultural Intelligence, Earth Intelligence, Ethics, Future-Oriented, Methods & Process, Policies, Resilience
John Robb

Techcrunch Interview

Posted: 28 Apr 2012 10:15 AM PDT

I did an interview the Jon Evans at Techcrunch (the social technology hub) earlier this week.  Here it is.

I’m spending most of my time writing and editing the Resilient Communities letter (it’s free to subscribe).

As I said in the interview, the reason I started the letter was because I strongly believe that the most successful, happiest people on the planet in twenty years will be living in resilient communities.

Lots of good stuff in the RC letter —  from DiY sewage systems to how to power an entire neighborhood with solar energy.

Phi Beta Iota:  Creating resilient communities from the bottom up is what the federal government should be but is not facilitating.  We’re on our own.

See Also:

Paul and Percival Goodman, Communitas: Means of Livelihood and Ways of Life (Columbia University Press, 1990)

Kirkpatrick Sale, Human Scale (New Catalyst Books, 2007)

E. F. Schumaker, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered (Hartley and Marks Publishers, 2000)

David Swanson: What Bradley Manning Means to Us All…

07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, Blog Wisdom, IO Secrets
David Swanson

What Bradley Manning Means to Us

By David Swanson

Chase Madar’s new book, The Passion of Bradley Manning, pulls together the essential facts that we should try to somehow deliver to television viewers and victims of our education system.  The subtitle is “The Story of the Suspect Behind the Largest Security Breach in U.S. History.”

The book looks at Manning’s life story, his alleged action (leaking voluminous materials to Wikileaks), the value of the material he made available to us, the status of whistleblowers in our country, the torture inflicted on Manning during his imprisonment, the similar treatment routinely inflicted on hundreds of thousands of U.S. prisoners without the same scandal resulting, and the value of running a society in accordance with written laws.

The table of contents sounds predictable, but the most valuable parts of Madar’s book are the tangents, the riffs, the expansions on questions such as whether knowing the truth does or does not tend to set us free.  Does learning what our government is up to help to improve our government’s behavior?  Has the rule of law become an empty phrase or worse?  Who is standing up for Bradley Manning, and who should be?

Read full essay. 

Jon Lebkowsky: 21st Century New Sources & Methods for Journalism

11 Society, Advanced Cyber/IO, Blog Wisdom, Media, Methods & Process, Mobile
Jon Lebkowsky

International Symposium on Online Journalism: New approaches in engaging with the news community

ISOJ Program

Angela Lee: Audience preference and editorial judgment: a study of time-lagged influence in online news

To what extent are audiences influencing editors and journalists, and vice versa? Editorial judgement measured based on placement on paper; audience preference measured by clicks, looking at a 3-hour interval. Audience preference influences editorial decisions three hours later (which suggests editors are watching behavior and responding). However not seeing a reciprocal effect of editorial judgement on audiences.

I’m wondering if the results are influenced by assumptions embedded in the structure of the methodology for the report.

Some popular stories get pushed down on the home page, not sure why? Could be relevance of speed and immediacy – stories might be pushed down to make room for fresh content. Lee calls for input from journalists at the conference.

Alfred Hermida (who’s also been live blogging the conference, and who wrote the book on Participatory Journalism).

Sourcing the Arab Spring: A case study of Andy Carvin’s sources during the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. How is sourcing evolving in the networked social sphere?

“We looked at sourcing, because sourcing matters.” Who we talk to as journalists affects not just what we report, but the meaning we derive from the reporting. When journalists cite non-elite sources or alternative voices, we treat them as deviant, as the others. Powerful and privileged dominate sourcing.

Carvin was doing a very different type of reporting, messaging and retweeting on Twitter. Carvin was like a “must-read newswire” (per Columbia Journalism Review). 162 sources in Tunisia, 185 sources in Egypt. Coded into categories: mainstream media, institutional elites, alternative voices, and other. Alternative voices included people involved in the protests.

Continue reading “Jon Lebkowsky: 21st Century New Sources & Methods for Journalism”

Theophillis Goodyear: Reflections on Anarchy versus Open Source

Blog Wisdom, Cultural Intelligence
Theophillis Goodyear

The term anarchy is antithetical to Open Source, because anarchy, by strict definition at least, sees all forms of state organization as structures that need to be eliminated. Open Source, on the other hand, is about spreading control of these systems of organization to the general population, rather than leaving them concentrated in the hands of the few at the top. It’s not about eliminating systems of organization. That can have disastrous and unforeseeable social consequences.

And although many anarchists may agree with this basic component of Open Source systems, the term anarchy is a relic that needs to be discarded. It can only confuse things and hold back the Open Source movement from reaching it’s ultimate potential. People have been talking about the information age for decades. But the true information age hasn’t even arrived yet. It will arrive when it has become commonplace for humans to link their brains through computer systems and thereby increase human intelligence exponentially. The true age of information means intelligence squared.
Prematurely killing “the state” could kill the very systems of organization required to make Open Source a reality. And once open source becomes a reality, what anarchists currently call “the state,” as we know it, will no longer exist anyway. Anarchists need to catch up with the times and stop getting so hung up on worn out terminologies and ideologies. Often the greatest obstacles to human progress are our antiquated intellectual models and habitual mindsets. Just as the founding fathers of America could never have envisioned the complexities and potentials of contemporary society, neither could the original anarchists. Strict constitutionalists often use the ideas of the founding fathers to block reasonable progress. At times it looks to like anarchists are doing the same thing. They need to let go of the past and start looking toward the future.

Mini-Me: Myths of US Government Shattered – JFK Assassination by USG Cabal Set to Unravel Along with 9/11 Related Lies and Cover-Ups

07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 10 Security, 11 Society, Blog Wisdom, Book Lists, Corruption, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Government, IO Deeds of War, IO Impotency
Who? Mini-Me?


The Murder of [CIA Spouse] Mary Pinchot Meyer

Jacob G. Hornberger
Future of Freedom Foundation

Recently by Jacob G. Hornberger: The Kennedy Assassination

In early 1976 the National Enquirer published a story that shocked the elite political class in Washington, D.C. The story disclosed that a woman named Mary Pinchot Meyer, who was a divorced spouse of a high CIA official named Cord Meyer, had been engaged in a two-year sexual affair with President John F. Kennedy. By the time the article was published, JFK had been assassinated, and Mary Pinchot Meyer herself was dead, a victim of a murder that took place in Washington on October 12, 1964.<

The murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer is the subject of a fascinating and gripping new book by Peter Janney, who was childhood friends with Mary Meyer’s three sons and whose father himself was a high CIA official. Janney’s father and mother socialized in the 1950s with the Meyers and other high-level CIA officials.

Amazon Page

Janney’s book, Mary’s Mosaic, is one of those books that you just can’t put down once you start reading it. It has everything a reader could ever want in a work of nonfiction – politics, love, sex, war, intrigue, history, culture, murder, spies, racism, and perhaps the biggest criminal trial in the history of our nation’s capital.

Just past noon on the day of the murder, Mary Meyer was on her daily walk on the C&O Canal Trail near the Key Bridge in Washington, D.C. Someone grabbed her and shot a .38-caliber bullet into the left side of her head. Meyer continued struggling despite the almost certainly fatal wound, so the murderer shot her again, this time downward through her right shoulder. The second bullet struck directly into her heart, killing her instantly.

A 21-year-old black man named Raymond Crump Jr., who lived in one of the poorest sections of D.C., was arrested near the site of the crime and charged with the murder. Crump denied committing the crime.

There were two eyewitnesses, neither of whom, however, personally identified Crump. One witness, Henry Wiggins Jr., said that he saw a black man standing over the body and that the man wore a beige jacket, a dark cap, dark pants, and dark shoes. Another witness, William L. Mitchell, said that prior to the murder, he had been jogging on the trail when he saw a black man dressed in the same manner following Meyer a short time before she was killed.

Continue reading “Mini-Me: Myths of US Government Shattered – JFK Assassination by USG Cabal Set to Unravel Along with 9/11 Related Lies and Cover-Ups”

Ayesha Khanna: Our Intelligent Future

Blog Wisdom, IO Impotency, Mobile
Ayesha Khanna

Our Intelligent Future

Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies, 9 April 2012

In just three decades between 1990 and 2020, the internet will have grown from linking just a few experts in labs to connecting the entire human species through computers and mobile phones as well as billions of objects into an “Internet of Things,” a seamless web of infinite data. As a result, we have transitioned from the familiar Information Age into the uncertain Hybrid Age, an era in which technology is rapidly becoming ubiquitous, intelligent, and social, radically transforming our societies, markets, and governance.

Intelligent Energy & Infrastructure

Sustainability has become the dominant theme of the early 21st century. To successfully transform societies toward lower consumption and greater productivity requires, first and foremost, increasing our urban intelligence through smart grids that connect offices, homes, and traffic lights into an energy saving and generating eco-system. “Smart cities” are emerging all over the world, from greenfield developments such as Songdo in Korea and Tianjin Eco-City in China to retrofit districts in Stockholm, Hamburg, and Rio de Janeiro.

Intelligent Markets & Consumers

Innovation is once again a buzzword among leading corporations, yet many have failed to realize that the future lies not just in innovating products but, more importantly, in innovating experiences. Based on growing online interaction, consumers now expect a real-time, personalized, and social experience as part of the every product offered. Augmented reality, collaborative consumption, game-ification, and sensors embedded in apparel are all examples of how products are being tailored to location, personality, and preferences, while also allowing consumers to share feedback through social networks.

Intelligent Work

Corporate management faces dramatic challenges today: an aging workforce, talent shortages, and rising competition from emerging markets. The only way to maximize the skills and ambitions of employees is to enable systems of collaboration called “virtual teams” irrespective of division or geography. The new “soft architecture” of the workplace includes Telepresence monitors, social robots, and software platforms which allow for virtual networked cooperation among globally mobile employees and contractors.

Intelligent Living

In an age of information overload, we now need interactive machines to help us analyze and extract maximum value from all the data we collect about ourselves. From the smart home to the smart car, we are moving beyond a one-way relationship with technology towards interacting with machines using natural gestures and voices, and even trusting them with personal information. The most significant impact of such machines will be felt in healthcare, where data collected from wearable devices will monitor everything from our blood pressure to our moods. In order to partake of the intelligent revolution, each of us must consciously fashion our daily lives and personal living spaces to accommodate and take advantage of new data streams and applications rapidly coming to market.

Intelligent Governance

Social networks have unleashed citizen revolutions from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign to the Arab Spring in the Middle East. Rather than succumb to waves of unforeseen pressure, clever mayors from New York and Paris to Dubai and Singapore are deploying elaborate digital strategies to streamline government services and create citizen engagement platforms. An entirely new kind of governance is emerging: through partnership with private sector entrepreneurs, software programmers, and bottom-up social movements, government increasingly operates through interactive dashboards that identify policy and investment needs and respond efficiently.

Ayesha Khanna is Managing Partner of Hybrid Realities, a consulting firm specializing in scenario analysis, technology trends, future cities, and geostrategy. She is also Founder and Principal of the Hybrid Reality Institute, which explores human/technology co-evolution and its implications for society, business and politics.

Phi Beta Iota:  Elegant and worthwhile but missing the larger point, that all of these applications of technology are still controlled by the status quo ante powers, doing the wrong things righter, not the right thing.  Absent an autonomous Internet and Open Everything, the Internet will be degraded the way Occupy was so quickly degraded.

See Also:


2012 PREPRINT FOR COMMENT: The Craft of Intelligence

Patrick Meier: Does the Humanitarian Industry Have a Future in The Digital Age?

Blog Wisdom, Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Cultural Intelligence, Earth Intelligence, Geospatial, Gift Intelligence, Government, info-graphics/data-visualization, InfoOps (IO), International Aid, IO Impotency, Methods & Process, microfinancing, Mobile, Non-Governmental, Peace Intelligence, Threats
Patrick Meier

Does the Humanitarian Industry Have a Future in The Digital Age?

I recently had the distinct honor of being on the opening plenary of the 2012 Skoll World Forum in Oxford. The panel, “Innovation in Times of Flux: Opportunities on the Heels of Crisis” was moderated by Judith Rodin, CEO of the Rockefeller Foundation. I’ve spent the past six years creating linkages between the humanitarian space and technology community, so the conversations we began during the panel prompted me to think more deeply about innovation in the humanitarian space. Clearly, humanitarian crises have catalyzed a number of important innovations in recent years. At the same time, however, these crises extend the cracks that ultimately reveal the inadequacies of existing humanita-rian organizations, particularly those resistant to change; and “any organization that is not changing is a battle-field monument” (While 1992).

These cracks, or gaps, are increasingly filled by disaster-affected communities themselves thanks in part to the rapid commercialization of communication technology. Question is: will the multi-billion dollar humanitarian industry change rapidly enough to avoid being left in the dustbin of history?

Crises often reveal that “existing routines are inadequate or even counter-productive [since] response will necessarily operate beyond the boundary of planned and resourced capabilities” (Leonard and Howitt 2007). More formally, “the ‘symmetry-breaking’ effects of disasters undermine linearly designed and centralized administrative activities” (Corbacioglu 2006). This may explain why “increasing attention is now paid to the capacity of disaster-affected communities to ‘bounce back’ or to recover with little or no external assistance following a disaster” (Manyena 2006).

Continue reading “Patrick Meier: Does the Humanitarian Industry Have a Future in The Digital Age?”

Reference: Stratfor Emails

Blog Wisdom, Commerce, Corruption, Government, IO Impotency, Officers Call

Global Intelligence Files: Stratfor Emails

On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.

View all emails sorted by year 2004-2011.

See Also:

Stratfor as Mentioned within Phi Beta Iota

Veterans Today: Dick Cheney Accepts Home Arrest, Avoids Canada

07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, Blog Wisdom, Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Cultural Intelligence, IO Deeds of Peace, Law Enforcement
Click on Image to Enlarge

To Avoid Being Locked Up in Canada Cheney Stays Locked Up At Home

Dick Cheney Opts for House Arrest Rather Than Face the Ire of Canada’s Citizen Jurists Who Insist That Domestic and International Laws Prohibiting Torture, Genocide, Aggressive Warfare, and 9/11 Fraud Must be Enforced on One of the World’s Most Notorious Criminals

by Anthony J. Hall

Earlier this week former US Vice-President Dick Cheney, the dominant, hands-on operative in the two-term presidency of George W. Bush, cancelled a speaking engagement in Toronto on April 24. Through a spokesperson Cheney indicated he was frightened to return to Canada after his experience last September 26 at the Vancouver Club. After promoting his book to a small local audience Cheney spent several hours hiding out in the posh venue trying to outwait several hundred citizen jurists, some of whom were planning to attempt a citizens’ arrest of the credibly-accused war criminal right on the spot.

I am proud to have played an active role in the fascinating teach-in last September of those of us who deputized ourselves at the Vancouver Club. Our goal in assembling outside one of British Columbia’s oldest and most notorious sites of political cronyism was to attempt to defend Canadian sovereignty and the rule of law in Canada against the criminal contempt of government officials for the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000). This sneering contempt for a law passed in the name of preventing Canada from becoming a haven for war criminals finds its most ardent embodiment in Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the thoroughly politicized Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The RCMP’s leadership backed the Conservative Party in a previous successful election campaign.

Read long article with several embedded videos.

Patrick Meier: Crisis Mapping Climate Change, Conflict, Aid in Africa

Advanced Cyber/IO, Blog Wisdom, Civil Society, Earth Intelligence, Geospatial, Peace Intelligence
Patrick Meier

Crisis Mapping Climate Change, Conflict and Aid in Africa

I recently gave a guest lecture at the University of Texas, Austin, and finally had the opportunity to catch up with my colleague Josh Busby who has been working on a promising crisis mapping project as part of the university’s Climate Change and African Political Stability Program (CCAPS).

Josh and team just released the pilot version of its dynamic mapping tool, which aims to provide the most comprehensive view yet of climate change and security in Africa. The platform, developed in partnership with AidData, enables users to “visualize data on climate change vulnerability, conflict, and aid, and to analyze how these issues intersect in Africa.” The tool is powered by ESRI technology and allows researchers as well as policymakers to “select and layer any combination of CCAPS data onto one map to assess how myriad climate change impacts and responses intersect. For example, mapping conflict data over climate vulnera-bility data can assess how local conflict patterns could exacerbate climate-induced insecurity in a region. It also shows how conflict dynamics are changing over time and space.”

The platform provides hyper-local data on climate change and aid-funded interventions, which can provide important insights on how development assistance might (or might not) be reducing vulnerability. For example, aid projects funded by 27 donors in Malawi (i.e., aid flows) can be layered on top of the climate change vulnerability data to “discern whether adaptation aid is effectively targeting the regions where climate change poses the most significant risk to the sustainable development and political stability of a country.”