I’ve blogged about this before, the US census is an ongoing and fascinating categorization case study.
From the article: “By 1970 the government was collecting census data by mail-in survey. The shift to a survey had dramatic effects on at least one census category: race.”
- First, it resulted in a dramatic increase in the Native American population. Between 1980 and 2000, the U.S. Native American population magically grew 110 percent. People who had identified as American Indian had apparently been somewhat invisible to the government.
- Second, to the chagrin of the Census Bureau, 80 percent of Puerto Ricans choose white (only 40 percent of them had been identified as white in the previous census). The government wanted to categorize Puerto Ricans as predominantly black, but the Puerto Rican population saw things differently.
New and improved categorization of abuse and dependence just joins them, with this amazing quote in the article, where two students were trying to figure out the difference between abuse and dependence.
“Isn’t ‘abuse’ like when you get a DUI?” said the medical student.
“Yeah,” said the psychiatry resident, “and ‘dependence’ is when you get withdrawal, right?”
“I think ‘abuse’ leads to ‘dependence,’” said the neurology resident.
“Or maybe ‘abuse’ is not as bad as ‘dependence’?”
“So what about our patient? He’s pretty hard-core.”
“I see him all the time in the emergency room. Totally intoxicated.”
“I’ve seen him drunk on the train.”
That sealed the deal.
“Dependence it is!” they all agreed.
Zipcar is the first site I have ever seen options for the type of English: American, British, Canadian.
Urban decay tourism :) (great pictures)
Never too old to learn.
- I believe in fundamentals.
- Adaptation, evolution. Design = solve the problem. (So changeable design > unchangeable design.)
- Community = group that works together.
- Group -> social -> trust.
- Trust each other to get things done.
- Our environment is everyone else.
- You want to be unique but also fit in. You feel lonely.
- So you form an “identity”, so you can fit in but be apart. A representation of yourself.
- Create an outside world we can control. Collect. Music. Home. Friends we trust. World is not so scary then.
- Can also create inside world we control: yoga, music, meditation, learning, …
- EVERYONE is doing this.
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone” (Thoreau)
Social design = facilitate communication.
- People just need to talk.
- Need identity, trust.
- People need connection.
Social Graph (nodes & edges).
- If you write it out, forms a narrative. Story.
- Narrative leads to identity: this is me. This is what I did.
- The connections give things life.
- Graph is very valuable information.
- Don’t hide info, show it all in feed.
- Keeps going, like life.
- Pile of things that I like.
- When something happens, send feedback (like, pin, repin, tag, …).
“Virtuous cycle of sharing” -> enough stuff and connections so it grows.
Might as well build things that bring people together.
Saved via here (via a trippy duckduckgo search), I found this screenshot of a semantic tagging system that I built and then gave a talk about around 2005/6 or so. The idea was that tags were organized in facets, which gave them some level of meaning (ie. “sanfran” is a place), and from that meaning and from tags that were used together, you could infer more meaning (ie. “peter has been to sanfran”).