Tag Archives: future

Trust in Numbers

we feel fine

A recent NYT article about the rising field of sentiment analysis – translating human emotion into hard data –  underscores the importance of sophisticated algorithms to analyze and understand the growing amount of information created by individuals online. Whether these new services and applications are tracking emotions or quantifying behavior, the consumer is taking center stage. I thought I’d list some that have captured my attention:

Sense Networks, recognizes patterns in behavior by tracking the path of mobile phone users and analyzes what those behaviors reveal about the user.

Wakoopa, a downloadable service that tracks the programs and applications running on a user’s computer, and other pertinent information such as the frequency and duration of use. From this, Wakoopa distills user habits about when and how they use certain programs and web services.

We Feel Fine, pictured above, explores human emotions by scouring blogs for the phrases ‘I feel’ or ‘I am feeling’ and presents these feelings as an online collaborative art project. While it’s not really quantifying its findings, it’s so beautiful.

Jodange, a service that filters traditional and social media to gauge the influences on consumer thought and opinion.

Newssift, a project by the Financial Times Group, that incorporates meaning, relationships, and sentiment into news with a business slant.

Dreams of Flying

The Balloon Flyer

A few months ago, I worked on a client report researching expectations for technology in the future. One of my favorite findings was that the childhood dream to fly still lives in so many adults. When respondents envisioned life in the future, amongst the more realistic hopes for future technology, were many wistful responses from people who wished they were able to soar through the air. I think a great depiction of this dormant desire is the series of photographs by the German artist Jan von Holleben entitled Dreams of Flying.

The Pirates

The Future of Reading

reading workshop

A New York Times article explores a new approach to classroom literature and the Catch 22 that it creates. Inspire a love of reading by letting students choose their own books to read and assess? Or ensure a common body of literature and ease the weight of standardized testing by having all students read and analyze the classics together?

Most experts say that teachers do not have to choose between one approach or the other and that they can incorporate the best of both methods: reading some novels as a group while also giving students opportunities to select their own books. But literacy specialists also say that instilling a habit is as important as creating a shared canon.