Archive for the ‘Persona prime’ Category

another suggestion to the Cloud

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

So if you want to supply really SECURE cloud services…

make the data multihomed so that it doesn’t really exist on any one server. Put it on servers in different countries etc. This way a subpoena many not include all areas.

It also makes it very difficult to hack.

tada – secure – ahem Microsoft are you listening? you could charge for this too! hello AZURE peeps?

oh well back to work


Relative Reputation

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

firstoff – Reputation what is it?  and how do we as computer geeks – replicate it?

Wikipedia says basically – “Social evaluation of the public towards something used for social control”

What does this mean?  Well the main part that most in the tech industry seem to forget is that the “public” decides what your reputation is.  It is not a statistical average but instead a matrix of social interactions on a one to one level…  it is relative to your own set of criteria.  For example a cynic may have a very different base rating as an optimist.

I decide if you are “good at” dancing.  Now you might be an overall “okay” dancer but with me something special happens and you become a “better than okay” dancer.  I have a reputations as a “very good” follow.  So when I say that you are “good” rather than “okay” several follows will reevaluate your skills but in context of ME saying it.

If I regularly find leads to be better or if I have a different dancing style,  the other follower or followers may discount my rating.

So social does not simply mean an mathematical average.

It is specific to an instance in time with many factors.

I suppose to go back farther into what is reputation we have to look at trust

1) how one feels that day

2) your expertise on a specific topic

3) mine expertise on a specific topic

4) my belief in your expertise

oh and remember you do not OWN your reputation – the community does.  And the Community owns the data that creates your reputation too.  So you have an advantage in being transparent… but you give up ownership.

I find these days it is pretty rare when anyone actually “OWNS” their data.  Most things are built on work of others…  Sometimes I don’t even realize I am doing or thinking something emergent or derivative.

And friendship and reputation are created from the interactions btn at least 2 people.  Both of those people own that “child” that is the relationship or statement of friendship.  Facebook doesn’t…  Facebook owns the behaviors it monitors (oh and trust me they are monitoring else de be fools.)

oh well noodle noodle…


in DC and pondering the HOW and the WHY

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

So I was having this conversation last night with Alan Rosenblatt…

I was trying to figure out why I was so impatient with many people’s language in DC.

And I realized what it is…  You see a major failing of mine is what I call the “WHY.”  I often automatically see so many “WHY”s that are so interconnected and complex.  I have a hard time describing them all to people and so I can’t even think about writing about them.  I can only hope to create diagrams that show flow and interoperability. So instead I focus on the “HOW”  and look at “HOW”s that could support many many “WHY”s

But the “WHY”s are crucial to getting people to do things… in DC that is all anyone says.  The funny thing about it, is they like to argue about “WHY”s  it is very difficult to change someone’s perspective.  So I don’t understand why it is always so crucial to them to change my “WHY”?

I prefer people that focus on changing and discussing “HOW”s… the funny thing about “HOW”‘s is sometimes that can help multiple “WHY” if done correctly.  The difficult thing is “HOW”s are concrete and people like to grade or dismiss “HOW”  So I suppose it is not politic for that reason – the concrete dissent… Of course as a scientist, I simply think “Hm ok didn’t see that, I’ll change it.” Or I think “That makes my model too complex you can do it to solve your own “WHY””  If I discount it completely I tell them why it doesn’t work for my model.  Soooo many times is ends up being not that anyone is wrong on the HOW but typically that some miscommunication occurred.

So my newest project – is really about solving many WHYs  In fact I know without a doubt it will solve WHYs I haven’t even thought of yet.  The main WHYs I am stating are

1) Putting things on the web it makes it more accessible to normal people.

2) On a paragraph level is becomes issue based and more usable by normal people.

3) If you make it a humanreadable URL is easy to copy and paste for normal people and can be googled and aggregated

There are so many other advanced reasons such as creating the semantic web.  All the ways Transparent Federal Budget could use it in documenting topics.  How it would help all the documentation tools out there like wikipedia, reframeit, apture etc etc

But really… it is the simplicity of it that to me makes it beautiful


for websites themselves…

So simple to cut and paste and post and search…  several WHYs taken care of by a simple HOW

with me I so prefer the discussion of HOW…


quantifying evil

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Can you quantify evil or corruption?  is it an absolute number?  can it be a singular metric?

ummm no it can’t

we all have different values and perspectives.

What we might be able to do is quantify based on information given the chance or percentage you might think something or someone is corrupt or evil.

But really… this all come down to time and transparency.  If we give all the information and if you have the time/intellect does our stuff seem right to you?

or you could trust “experts” and perhaps also be “corrupted” by influence…

The reality of that transparency without “expertise” is actually useless and a form of overload.  For it to be useful, it must be interpreted… that means bias.  I prefer to know where my bias comes from.  I trust in bias :-)

I find it interesting in so many groups currently the end goal is transparency.  And for me transparency is simply a neccessary description of a process.  I do not find it to be good or evil simply necessary.

Why I decided to do Open Source code was not a question of morality.  It is a practical question.  If you want me to trust your code, I want to see it.  I want to know I have the ability to fix your mistake (even if honestly I might not be smart enough.)

The other business models out there are not “evil.”  They are what they are.  I just think with today’s online toolset and ability to crowdsource; they are outdated.  They require a different kind of trust.  That trust is “I paid you money I expect your software to work. ”  There is no evil there.  There is no evil in bartering.  You can walk away from a deal.  You can choose not to use a product.

evil I believe lies in purposeful deception…  and then um yea…



Saturday, April 4th, 2009

It is pretty rare that I honestly find a person to be evil.

Most people doing “evil” things are just stupidly oblivious and self absorbed. Sometimes they have an excuse for their behavior like upraising or not having eaten that day… but typically I find it more revealing about a person if they rarely take time to reflect upon their life and its effects on others.

I am evil – I drive and fly about often. I’m sure in a world perspective I am one of the large contributors to global warming in the world. I could just move to Hallettsville and start growing organic veggies. Then to some eyes or metrics I would be “good.” But instead I fly around trying to make the world a better place.

I try to remember that perspective when judging others… since you know… there might be some other variable I am not seeing.


Agent of change

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Wow this job hunting thing means I am constantly looking at my resume. It is a bit frustrating having been a hiring manager. I see too many jobs and accomplishments listed there. I am not sure I would hire me… at least I wouldn’t for some of the more boring jobs I have hired people for.

At one point someone highly placed in a well regarded company ( if I said who you would know who it is – so I won’t!) thought that my resume made me looked like I was a liar. Later we became friends and the person confessed. This is all odd to me. See I don’t see it as bragging. I look at it and ask myself why haven’t you gone further and done more. What flaw is holding you back? (and as a hiring manger I think – and how will that effect this company since this flaw could be dangerous.)

I can see my ADD persona screaming from the pages. I can see it saying “I can do so much for you if you let me.” So many of those groups/companies are happy I worked for them. But jobs are like relationships, and it is hard to eat double chocolate fudge cake every day. I am a serial monogamist there too. And not every company needs me for the long term. On some level, I think I should work for a large company that can afford to have me as a floater. But of course that exact openness is something a large company never allows.

It is tough… I could write a resume a hiring manager would love. You know make it task based. Skip over all the jobs and the fact I have been working for 24 years (ouch.) Do all of these things to make the document more friendly and super targeted. But is that fair? I think they should know I am double chocolate fudge cake w ganache frosting. That way I get more done. They want and are interested in change. So they hire me…  That is the preferred scenario.

I have been a consultant but that hurts on the health care and the stability issue. And I have been pondering the kids question (ooo dangerous topic.) I have to admit that is why I was thinking about Microsoft. Say what you will my OS advocate friends but MS takes care of people and allows them to have families. (I could rant here about MS outdated business model makes them do dumb things not MS itself. Ask me sometime how I think MS could fix its model…)

I am an agent of change. I do not deny this. But do not think for a moment I am not someone that gets things done.  I’ll get things done job or not… I’d just like to get paid for it :-)


Lifecamp Mar 09

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

My productivity has gone up since being laid off. But man do I need to figure out how to make more money off of my projects in a more immediate fashion.  Many of them are possible revenue streams just not yet…

I thought I should just list them here and follow up with individual posts on each of them:

1) Make the government web citable thru advanced permalinks w versioning
2) C-wiki – a set of wiki tools that can for example be setup to do “Robert’s Rule of Order” async wiki style
3) Open Gov CA conference
4) LBJ Transparent Govt conference
5) my plan to take over the world w Open Business
6) Best Practices in Open Government workshop
7) Job hunting


Lady Ada Day – a woman in tech that I admire

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Wow how to limit it to one…

The very first that springs to mind is my past mentor, Ellen Guon Beeman. She taught me everything I know in regards to project management. She’s the only gal I know that can consistently bring in complex gaming projects in on time and on budget.  She wrangles cats like no one else.

But somehow that didn’t seem techie enough… So second to mind is Limor Fried,, but that is because she is also known as “ladyada” and we met when I was dressed as the famous picture of Lady Ada As a steampunk party at SXSW.  Limor is also a faboo technologist and as a Open Source Hardware designer and manufacturer also qualifies as a serious geek!  but many are going to profile her…

So then I thought of circuit girl, Jeri Ellsworth ,who is doing some amazing projects with the Fatman ( a long time friend of mine.) But don’t know her as well and hasn’t had a huge impact on my life though her program is fun and she does many nifty things.

So I thought harder… I wanted something more fundamental.  Then I realized the woman that has influenced me the most in this arena by far is my mom, Dr Lynda Bonewald. She is a true scientist in every sense of the world. I often get so lost in my technological niches that I forget the basics. My mother taught me good science long before I knew who Feynman was. And her integrity is an amazing example to women everywhere.

Moms aren’t always shiny to us and often can be taken for granted… But I will never forget when I was 6yrs old and hanging out in her lab at Scripps in San Diego and she placed 6 test tubes filled w mysterious substances and had me figure out what they might be w my little notebook and a barrage of tests.  I learned the scientific process at a very early age.  Thanks for believing I would understand at such a young age and teaching me Mom.  Most parents wouldn’t give that much that early but you did and I forever am grateful for how much you challenged me.  Challenge in the true scientific meaning as in looking for possible truths and testing them (not a negative thing as others might see it.)

I love you Mom and thanks for making me into the geek that I am today even if I am no longer a traditional scientist I still use those most basic scientific tools you gave that little 6 yr old!


C-wiki or Robert’s Rule of Order wiki

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

or how to write a one pager.

I have been pondering this concept for the past 5 yrs.  LoTV did a survey of legislators on 2004 and the top features they wanted was 1) a rss feed of all commentary on their legislation 2) one pagers from organizations and 3) the demographic data behind those one pagers.

They were not interested in the pure voter opinion demographic data.  That surprised me as I had assumed the thing that would be forefront in their minds was getting elected and being representative of their people.  That was not true of the elected officials.  Instead they were more interested in tools that would help them become statesmen again.  They want to facilitate win/win solutions between divergent groups of people.

This makes sense if you think about it… after all who wants to be a pure voting tool?  This could eventually can be done by computer (I argue could be done today if people cared.)  Instead they brought up an important point.  They want to be like Solomon and help people as well as being a good leaders.

This in the larger sense is comforting to me. When I created the survey I was very focused on feature set not an agenda.  The fact that this evolved out the discussions in an indicator of something more ingrained to their personality types.

So to help with Number 1 requested feature, I came up with the idea of creating permalinks on a paragraph by paragraph basis.  I will outline this in another post esp when the video presentation from SXSW as done by my Design intern Adrian Parsons is posted.  I call it making Government Web Citable!

This post is about the #2 and #3 requested features.  The one pagers and the demographic data behind those groups.  I created the concept of the C-wiki or consensus or common ground wiki.

It is a wiki with special tools so that it could mimic Robert’s rules of order.  The difference is people could not just vote but also rate their levels of satisfaction.  This way we could not only have a whitepaper but the demographic data.

  1. Why certain decisions were made in the comments
  2. % of satisfaction in the voting nubmers
  3. Demographic data that participants choose to share

You could even target the tool towards Consensus of 80% satisfaction for close knit groups or 50% when you are simply looking for common group w diverse groups.

Hunter Ellinger has done different demos both in Drupal and Rails.  But I think truly we may need to look further than this.  I am instead looking at taking this open source code and providing a hosting service model that would be a revenue stream.

Some features I think would be necessary to make this work are

  1. Facilitator tools both virtual and RL
  2. Real life documentation features
  3. Basic Process templates with ability to vary percentages of satisfaction
  4. Ability to create your own process template
  5. Ability to give others your vote
  6. Ability to more heavily weight others votes like Board of directors (transparently of course)
  7. Mesh Real life (RL) voting with other virtual participants

I can imagine having RL fishbowl style meetings with virtual participants.  Imagine the board of directors getting together in RL and broadcasting this to the membership and allowing the membership to also participate virtually.  If the numbers are too large, the virtual membership with similar goals can pool resources to gain visibility.  Perhaps they can elect their own representatives or just vote up a concept they like regardless of the person.

We could create one pagers from these and have all the background discussion and demographics documented.  This would be some phenomenal information in regards to decision making.  Of course we will fine tune the toolset with transparent algorithms.  I think unlike DIGG and other groups.  The group of people themselves owns their own data (hence this being a paid service.)  So they would be responsible for creating balance themselves in a transparent fashion.  That is the beauty of this solution.  Unlike other sites everyone participating here honestly want to know the general consensus.

I think the first and most simple Template we would create of this is a

Robert’s Rule of Order Wiki

and to target NPO (NonProfit Organizations) creating their Bylaws and other such documentation.



Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

saw a post today about how CMS’s are evil

As to disliking the CMS and advising NPO’s and other to create their own…  I’m sorry I disagree.  They need it simple.  And simple means not creating something new.  (version, scope control etc etc)

Instead for my NPO’s (I’m on the board of directors of Texas Assoc of Nonprofit Orgs),  I recommend the cloud.  Yes, even as I protest the cloud’s use of users data and lack of protection.  It is a huge win for NPO’s to go with someone else hosting solution and setting up wordpress.  Their IT infrastructure is always lacking and it is simplier to outsource it all in a central location that does backups properly.  Most NPO’s know next to nothing in regards to properly hiring and managing an outside consulting firm for custom development.  And to be honest, can’t afford them.

The simpler the better and as a point of disclosure… I used to have a group called where we did drupal setups for NPO’s.   The educational process was huge.

at the same time I also got wind of a new structure of RDF and RSS feeds being required by the federal government to states receiving the stimulus package.

Now the hard thing about this post is I really like both of these guys.  And I think they are really good developers.


I do believe they are both going in the wrong direction.

In the data realm, I would like just to have access to the DB dumps.  Seriously, the govt needs to just scrub them of privacy data and put them in a data warehouse.  And then make that available w open API.  We will create our own RSS feeds and process it ourselves.  Requiring standards at that level always makes me nervous because of the resistance to changing them once set.  And you never know what data you are also going to want later.  I prefer those standards evolving organically – after we see what interesting programs others make.

i would like to see thinking moving in a more semantic direction.