Cravat = Croat

Preparatory to going to Croatia for the LIDA conference & vacation, I’m reading a book on the history of Croatia, titled, cleverly, Croatia: A History. A bit dry, but really quite fascinating. I learned that the word “cravat” comes from Croatian soldiers’ dress in the Thirty Years War. The OED says: cravat, n. 1. a. An article of dress worn round the neck, chiefly by men. It came into vogue.. Read More

Transactive memory

I just finished The Tipping Point. You know I think it’s a good book if I keep a page of notes tucked into it while I’m reading it. (I think there has only ever been one work of fiction that I’ve done this with, & that was Snow Crash.) Anyway, my Tipping Points notes will keep me in blog entries for a while. Gladwell writes in chapter 5, the chapter.. Read More

Connectors = Boundary Objects?

I’m reading The Tipping Point & I just finished the chapter on Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen. A couple of ideas occurred to me, & here’s where I hope that some poor PhD student in search of a dissertation topic is reading this. Question: In what ways are Connectors like Boundary Objects? What can we learn about Connectors by treating them like Boundary Objects, and vice versa? Question, inspired by my.. Read More

Hacking NASA

I’m a little behind in my reading of Nature News, so I only just read this article from mid-January: Amateurs beat space agencies to Titan pictures. A group of enthusiastic amateurs managed to process raw images of Titan from the Huygens probe faster that any of the giant space agencies in charge of the mission. This is remarkably timely, since just a couple of days ago I read chapter 3.. Read More