Research Publications Newsletters Above the Fold Above the Fold - 17 June 2014

As we mentioned in last week’s issue, we’re shifting our publishing practices to give you more options for receiving, consuming and engaging with Above the Fold. We’re now posting each individual article and commentary on the Above the Fold blog, then tweeting each post from @ATFOCLC. This issue represents a digest of our first five ATF article and commentary blog posts. We invite you to share your feedback and commentary on these posts, and also share ATF with others. Thanks for reading.


#IoTH: The Internet of Things and Humans

O'Reilly Radar • 16 April 2014

Why wait? Tim O'Reilly says adding human capabilities to the Internet of Things (IoTH) offers "halfway house" applications that are possible today. O'Reilly notes that smartphones offer the perfect opportunity to put some of these possibilities into practice—check out his Makespace description for a creative example.

The Internet of Things hype is cresting. O'Reilly's insertion of humans into the mix is necessary as the revolution hasn't happened as quickly or exactly as imagined. If you want to get the basics try Tim O'Reilly Explains the Internet of Things or Explained: The ABCs of the Internet of Things. And if you want a dose of that British skepticism read this The internet of nothings. Finally if you are going to ALA 2014 you might want to register for the OCLC Symposium on The Internet of Things. (Michalko)



Why Tech's Best Minds Are Very Worried About the Internet of Things

Wired • 19 May 2014

Second-guessing. As visions of ubiquitous computing morph into reality, some of its earliest proponents are having second thoughts about the potential impact on privacy, security and social equality. A recent Pew Research Center survey of digital elites reveals confidence in the IoT's ability to improve healthcare and environmental monitoring, but increasing concerns over security issues and the deepening chasm between technology haves and have-nots.

A useful antidote to some of the euphoria featured in earlier articles we recommended. I had not thought about the ways in which the realization of the IoTs might just dig the digital divide deeper. Here's the original Pew report cited in this Wired article. Thanks Pew. (Michalko)



This Is How Bureaucracy Dies

Fortune • 16 April 2014

Shift happens. Management expert Gary Hamel says proliferation of social media within organizations will turn top-down management on its head: "The web has delivered a dramatic shift in bargaining power from producers to consumers. What's coming next is an equally dramatic and irreversible shift in power from institutions to individuals." Read on for Hamel's predictions on the ramifications of decentralized power.

Hamel's enthusiasm for the transforming power of IT in the workplace is near the top and in some places over it. No managers! Strategy to the edges! Design your own job! Most of us however are in those big organizations that have accreted bureaucracies and they will come apart in small steps. I like the continuing conversation on his blog Busting Bureaucracy. The comments and contributions are a wild mix. Minimum viable company, indeed. (Michalko)



Why the Mona Lisa stands out

Intelligent Life • May/June 2014

Great expectations. Author Ian Leslie explores what constitutes "great" art and concludes there's more behind people's preferences than "mere-exposure effect." Read on for Leslie's speculations on how popular consensus develops and why "[o]ver time, exposure favours the greater artist."

This is a terrific anecdote and it may explain the convergence of opinions that we interpret as the consequence of informed reflection. Watch for the great quote from one of my heroes—Brian Eno—who also said "Culture is everything that you don't have to do." And further to "mere-exposure" I recall talking to a young work colleague about the Botticelli "Birth of Venus." I had to show him an image to which he responded "Oh, you mean the Adobe woman." (Michalko)



How to Have an Honest Data Driven Debate

HBR Blog Network • 17 April 2014

Detox. Asking dissenters to first accurately state their opponents' positions can do wonders for elevating the level of discourse, says columnist Michael Schrage: "If there's a single pathological behavior I consistently see undermining the real and potential value of data and analytics, it's the rampant intellectual dishonesty and argument I hear in project reviews and board rooms worldwide." Read on for Schrage's suggestions on detoxifying disagreements.

As noted this is a standard issue rhetorical device whose effectiveness comes from its very limited use (I have seen it only once in a business setting.) Be sure to click the To Tell Your Story, Take a Page from Kurt Vonnegut link at the bottom of the article if you've never seen Vonnegut explain data-driven story telling. And for befuddled intellectual dishonesty watch this hilarious clip from Sky's the Limit of Robert Benchley doing an after-dinner talk with unlabeled charts and graphs. P.S. Besides this gem the movie also includes the premiere of One for My Baby (And One More for the Road) sung by Fred Astaire and punctuated by his spectacular champagne stem smashing dance across the bar top. (Michalko)



Above the Fold Quiz

According to an item in this week's News and Views section, what are some of the technical requirements for landing a job as a digital archivist?

Get the answer.