25 June 2006

Readers Digest Civility Survey - or - How rude is your city?

There's been a lot of discussion and controversy since Reader's Digest released its issue for July 2006. It heralds the results of research they did on civil behavior in the world major cities.

The Survey on the World of Courtesy was quite a surprise for the Dutch population here in Amsterdam. (ahem...ahem...throat clearing...But, not for us!) They could not believe it, so the local TV station AT5 ran its own survey. No surprise there, the results were no different. They had no idea that people in Amsterdam could be so rude to visitors just asking for directions (ignoring them) or completely ignore someone who had dropped papers on the street (walking around them). The filmed results were hilarious and shameful.

Thanks to Timothy Evans for this photo.

World of Courtesy: Ranking of 35 Cities
"Below is a ranking of the most courteous to the least courteous -- 35 major cities included in RD's Global Courtesy Test. Figures reflect the percentage of people who passed in each city. When multiple cities had identical scores, they are listed in alphabetical order.

1. New York USA 80%
2. Zurich Switzerland 77
3. Toronto Canada 70
4. Berlin Germany 68
5. São Paulo Brazil 68
6. Zagreb Croatia 68
7. Auckland New Zealand 67
8. Warsaw Poland 67
9. Mexico City Mexico 65
10. Stockholm Sweden 63
11. Budapest Hungary 60
12. Madrid Spain 60
13. Prague Czech Republic 60
14. Vienna Austria 60
15. Buenos Aires Argentina 57
16. Johannesburg South Africa 57
17. Lisbon Portugal 57
18. London United Kingdom 57
19. Paris France 57
20. Amsterdam Netherlands 52
22. Helsinki Finland 48
23. Manila Philippines 48
24. Milan Italy 47
25. Sydney Australia 47
26. Bangkok Thailand 45
27. Hong Kong 45
28. Ljubljana Slovenia 45
29. Jakarta Indonesia 43
30. Taipei Taiwan 43
31. Moscow Russia 42
32. Singapore 42
33. Seoul South Korea 40
34. Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 37
35. Bucharest Romania 35
36. Mumbai India 32

There's a nice article in the English Times online with a bit of discussion.

Tags: culture, behavior, survey, cities

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Quantum Man by Julian Voss-Andreae

Quantum Man

Julian Voss-Andreae has created another stunning sculpture. Quantum Man stands 2 and a half meters tall. When seen from different perspectives, it gives new meaning to “slice of life”!

He also created another piece from 2004 that I really enjoy.

Julian is based in Portland, Oregon. He did his graduate research in Quantum Physics in Anton Zeilinger's lab in Vienna, Austria. He moved to America and studied sculpture. His art offers an insight into a world generally accessible only through the intellect.

20 June 2006

The Algorithmic Alchemy of Physics

Check out these digital expositions from Levitated Design & Code in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Below is a selection of some of the computational models in their inventory. They're all generated through open source Flash modules.

click on one of the modules on Levitated | Everything and experience the algorithmic alchemy of physics.

algorithmic alchemy

18 June 2006

Investing in your Values through SRI & CSR

SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) are terms that get thrown about in lots of conversation. Who is really acting on them? How are they doing that? What is the role that values play?

I have a new client - Economie - who is addressing these issues through education and certification. On October 9th and 10th, they are going to hold the eco6 conference in Zurich, Switzerland.

What attracted me to Economie was their deep belief that values are key to innovating how we look at investment. Of course, money plays a role. Generally, that is at the expense of our values. It's where we turn a blind eye. And...it is here that opportunities abound to change that. There's nothing wrong with earning a profit, but not at the expense of what we believe goes against our norms of behavior.

Economie is trying to change that. During eco6, Economie will introduce the role of values in investment in the Muslim culture. They want to create the opportunity for the western world to see the advantages and impact of family values in the world of business and investment.

Working Session on Networks of Meaning

It has been a whirlwind of events, meetings and working sessions over the past couple of weeks. I'm trying to catch up with my emails, reading, writing and posting notes to the wikis and blogs and forums. There are so many great clients and projects right now. My decision over the winter to put a project evaluation process into place has really worked out for the best.

Some of our IFCCC projects are beginning to take shape. On June 10th, Ton, Valeri, Alex and I met at Ton's & Elmine's place in Enschede to map out how we were going to address building a prototype for the Networks of Meaning project.
Valeri Elmine Alex Ton.JPG

Our collective vision is to create an application that allows people to visually describe concepts - getting them past the limitations of languages and words - to create understanding. We know that one of the most difficult hurdles we'll have to cross is developing a cultural filter algorithm. We're collecting samplings of images now and tagging them to play with during the next session.

7 June 2006

Download The Free iPod Book 2.0

Download The Free iPod Book 2.0 and learn how to get the most out of your iPod.

I downloaded this a few days ago and immediately sent the link to Elmine for her sweet little NanoPod.

If you've got an iPod, this is for you!

6 June 2006

We Feel Fine

Jonathan Harris and Sepandar Kamvar have cultivated an online space - We Feel Fine - that that is a garden of human emotion pulled into in six creative movements titled: Madness, Murmurs, Montage, Mobs, Metrics, and Mounds.

It is actually a series of interfaces that cull and sort through “feelings” posted by people in words and images. Just click on Madness, a swarming mass of colorful particles, each one holding the key to a particular moment. In one mad moment, you click on one of those dots and “voila!” - a peek inside someone’s feelings. You can even check out the weather in your own city - or somewhere else.

With all the work, the stress, the traffic, the noise, isn’t it charming to find something like this once in awhile?

Jonathan Harris and Sepandar Kamvar have also partnered on other web applications like Love-lines. Jonathan Harris has been on my radar ever since he developed 10x10 and created the Yahoo Netrospective of 10 Years 100 Moments of the Web for Yahoo's 10th anniversary in March 2005.

3 June 2006

Two New Business Books on Blogging

There are two new business books on blogging that were published in January this year. At this point in time - where we are trying to educate clients at the same time we are developing and executing social media strategies - these two books offer a wonderfully rich scope of detail on blogging. They are definitely worth a read.

Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers offers an inside look at what Robert Scoble from Microsoft experienced and learned during his years of blogging. Robert Scoble and Shel Israel have really collected a work of best practices here that can inspire companies who are new to the realities of social media.

In their book Blogging for Business : Everything You Need to Know and Why You Should Care, Shel Holtz and Ted Demopoulos have created a working manual for those in the business of communication and marketing. I paid attention to this book because Shel Holtz hosts the podcast "For Immediate Release" with one of our IFCCC fellows, Neville Hobson.

I would love to hear what you think about these two books. Has anyone borrowed any great ideas and put them into practice?