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Archive for August, 2013

Why Pusheen the Cat is Significant

by on Aug.28, 2013, under - Favorites, - Show All Posts

When Facebook, one of the biggest companies on the web, partnered with Pusheen to integrate Pusheen emoticons into chat, I was initially slightly surprised. Why would a giant like them make a random cartoon cat part of their official product?
But then I realized that this was not a level-crossing, a heavyweight partnering with a lightweight, at all.
The unofficial symbol of the Internet is the lolcat. Cats are adorable. Cats are a tremendous aesthetic force. They physically move people’s hands to share pictures of them more than any other creature. Until now, what the Internet did not have was an ideal stylized cartoon cat to capture the essence of that sentiment. That cat is Pusheen.
Moreover, I frequently comment that most of the worlds problems aren’t hard like rocket science, but hard like herding cats. And I’m so optimistic about the Internet because it’s the best tool ever created for herding cats. Then Eric Smalls remarked that this was literally the case! Suddenly I was enlightened!
Long live Pusheen!

Art is great because it shows you  not the real thing with all its imperfection as does photography, but the essence of the thing, why it is awesome, through the rose-colored eyes of the artist. LOOK AT THE HUGGABLENESS

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HackerCasting: Tested

by on Aug.26, 2013, under - Show All Posts

I can see that it is as William Gibson wrote: the future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet. Many, perhaps most, of the largest challenges in the world today – such as building societal frameworks that inspire and empower people to get involved in, for instance, doing science and creating things as a way of life — are already solved in specific subcultures. We don’t need to create new cultural paradigms, we just need to expand the ones that are already there! In fact, I think that the largest as-of-yet untapped power of the Internet is to enable this sort of transmission of people’s ways of being that are productive and happy at the same time.

This fascination arose from a recurring experience at MIT. I often find myself in a room with such amazing people working together with such fleetness of mind that I reflect: if everybody in the world could have an experience like the one I’m having right now, it would permanently change the courses of many people’s lives and perhaps even the course of society itself, from the root! So last year, I thought to myself, “Why don’t I enable this?  There are probably 10,000 kids in India who would love to see what a bunch of MIT students working on advanced programming projects are like!” So friends and I organized the HP Vertica “Hackathon 2.0” last semester to try out what I called “codercasting”: having everyone broadcast their screens and audio on the web while animatedly coding together. With the help of a friend’s cousin, we actually got a group of kids in India who were aspiring programmers to join us virtually, some coding along with us, some observing. They were exuberant to have the opportunity and inspired all of us as well! This was terrific!

This was followed up by a larger telehackathon in Tanzania this summer! Article:

Tanzanian Standard
Article titled “Untapped Internet Potential”
http://allafrica.com/stories/201308190100.html
Published on Sunday, 18 August 2013 01:13
Written by JAFFAR MJASIRI
Hits: 314
Mr Cole.
The visiting student from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Mr Jacob Cole who was a
facilitator at the telehackathon held here recently says that, by working together “we are going to
make it so nobody has to suffer going at them alone; in fact we are going to knock them all out and
solve them all.”
He granted this interview to Our Staff Writer, JAFFAR MJASIRI. Excerpts…
QUESTION: Please make a short introduction here about Hackathon and your visit to Tanzania.
ANSWER: The mission: “We believe that there’s no better way to learn something than hanging out
with people who are doing it for fun and we think one of the Internet’s untapped potentials is to
include people everywhere in the world in social communities as wonderful as our own.
If we can develop a model workflow by which to run tele-hackathons, that is, programming get-
togethers attended by people virtually across continents at the same time, between the USA and
Tanzania, then we believe we can port the model to anywhere.” (continue reading…)

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