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Archive for the ‘Nature & Ecology’ Category

The Superorganism, Superorganization, and The Global Brain

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Stanford Torus Space Colony

I finally had time this morning to read Gideon Rosenblatt’s latest thought piece, Are Organizations Alive? A Different Take on the Evolution of Technology on his The Vital Edge blog.

It is another wonderful piece and an excellent read. It is not long, so please read it before continuing with my post.

So as not to thread jack his post announcing his article, I’ve written this post as my ideas might be considered tangential to his concept. But I believe they are actually a different way to approach the same issue. Read more »

Coders Of The Future Will Not Be Engineers

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

When most people who read my blog see the word engineer they immediately think of those who write code for a living. In other words, computer programmers who may or may not have actual degrees in computer engineering. This is the definition of engineer that you should be thinking of in the title to this post.

Two-years ago this Saturday, Peter Thiel made a still-controversial announcement that kids are better off dropping out of college — or not going in the first place — and instead starting a company. To help motivate his quarry, and entice (grab) young talent twenty-years old and younger, Thiel offers a two-year mentorship and $100k. However, the thumbing of a college education may be a short-lived trend. Why? Because the next version of hacker will not be the computer whiz kid who is touted as the up and coming coding guru.* The next celebrated hackers will not be able to safely learn how to cut complex code in their bedroom. Read more »

Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of the Midwest

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

MacroTurtle
Most of you know me as someone who thinks and writes about, and works and lives in, the Social Web and Future Space. Some of you have noticed my mysterious absence from the various social channels I used to participate in on a daily basis. In fact, since posting my last article on my blog more than four months ago, I seem to have derezzed from the metaverse.

In my previous two blog articles I shared with you another side of me — that of naturalist and ecologist. What I did not share at the time was that I was embarking on a new short-term two-year project. This post describes that project in detail. Read more »

A Migration Celebration

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Some of you have undoubtably noticed my lack of presence over the past several weeks on the various Stream channels I participate in throughout the day. Whereas my cessation of postings on Google Plus and Twitter might be a relief to some of you, there is a logical reason that I’ve gone missing — I have turned my thoughts and gaze outwards to the physical world, shifting my focus away from the virtual world of tech startups and online social connections.

Why on Earth would I do this? It is spring migration!

Jeff in the field birding

The past several weeks, my wife April and I have been taking in the spectacle of animal migration — primarily birds. We’ve done this together each year for more than two decades. We are birders and proud of it! Read more »

The Wilder Side of Me

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

From the title you may assume that this post will wax ineloquently about my party lifestyle (which I don’t have), possibly sharing some links to Facebook photos that I probably should have never set free into the InterWebs. You would be mistaken.

This post is a celebration of life — literally. It is a celebration of the wonders of the natural world and my seemingly innate connection to it from an early age. It is an autobiographical essay about how I become a naturalist and ecologist.

Jeff photographing a Tree Frog on a Mayapple leaf

Although the vast majority of readers of my blog know me as an InterWeb technologist and technological futurist, I am as much a naturalist as I am a technologist. To me, the study of the natural world, the drive to understand the intimate connections of the Web of Life, and my fascination with the complex adaptive systems that power our ecosphere, provide me with unique insights into the technological challenges our species faces. Thus, being a naturalist makes me a better technologist and futurist. Read more »

The Ecosphere And the Economy

Friday, December 9th, 2011

One of the many joys I periodically experience is that aha moment of seeing connections within and between systems. As a trained scientist with a graduate degree in business, my insights often transcend the myopic blinders of those who remain oblivious to the larger connections on Earth. One such aha moment I had almost 20-years ago was that of the relationship between the economy and the ecosphere.

Life Is About Complex Adaptive Systems

What was the impetus behind this aha moment? In 1995 I read the first edition of the book, Complexity: Life at the Edge of Chaos by Roger Lewin. It changed my perspective on humanity’s relationship to the ecosphere. Read more »

The Answer is Ebooks

Monday, June 7th, 2010

One of numerous variables that are often overlooked in calculating the environmental impacts of any product replacement is ecosystem services. It is an exceedingly difficult variable to include as it encompasses additional subvariables, many of which are difficult to fully quantify. Read more »

Big Snow Equals Global Cooling, What?

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Record lake effect snowstorm (36.6″) in South Bend, Indiana. January 7 -8, 2011. Credit: Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog

With the recent record-setting snowstorms in the Mid-Atlantic states, global climate change deniers are once again crying foul with global warming and ringing the global cooling bell. People need a heaping helping of science literacy to weather this storm, to rationally understand the overall processes that can cause massive winter storms like this even when the average global temperature is increasing. Read more »

It’s Chemical Free and Not Tested on Animals!

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

As a trained scientist, there are two phrases that stir up my ire every time I see them in marketing copy: “chemical free” and “not tested on animals.” I know that may seem odd, but with our woefully-gullible and science-challenged populace, this is a real issue to me.

I was planning to post an article this morning about the Semantic Web and Web 3.0 but this gnawed at me as I just ran into these phrases once again. So, I decided to write a quick rant. I’ll post the more serious stuff in a week or two.

Okay, my rant is now officially beginning… Read more »

The Hot Air About Global Climate Change

Monday, January 4th, 2010

When it comes to science, the scientific process, and specifically the climate issue, most people are unfortunately ignorant. Case in point. The proper term is global climate change—not global warming. Read more »

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