Fantastic media usage in Naturkundemuseum Berlin

The museum of natural history in Berlin has recently been renovated and now features an impressive amount of interactive use of multimedia stations: 3D-movies that take the environment into account, moving screens, touch sensitive information. It’s full of kids and they seem to have a lot of fun learning.
Here you’ll see an interactive projection about animal families.

Sex and violence are true drivers of technology

Fruit fly remote controlThat sex porn was one of the main drivers of the internet (and now its mobile derivatives) is a statement that surely can be discussed but still pops up here and then again and again.

And taking this story on BoingBoing about remote-controlled fruit flies into account, adding the fact that one of the scientist behind the fruit flies experiments is Dr Gero Miesenböck and funded by the us military brings us to one sad conclusion: Despite being humans, complexly developed creatures, sex and violence are still the main drivers of our progress.

A virtuos circle

Das Buch “A virtuos cirlce” von Pippa Norris ist ein Schlüsselwerk für alle, die sich mit politischen Kampagnen und ihrem Wandel in den letzten Jahrzehnten beschäftigen. Vor allem der Einfluss des Internets auf politische Arbeit wird von ihr detailliert dargestellt und ein schöner Vergleich zwischen verschiedenen Ländern gezogen. Dieses Werk ist nun auf der Homepage von Mrs Norris, die derzeit Direktorin für Democratic Governance beim UNDP ist, herunterladbar und sei hiermit dem interessierten Publikum wärmstens empfohlen:

Pippa Norris: A virtuos cirlce: Key literature for all interested in the change of political campaigns especially taking into account digital technologies and its influence on politics, including a comparison of different nations and their resprective approach to digital democracy.

[via Falk Lueke]


I got this hint via an sms, somebody believed having seen a blogpost about the Reactable here and wanted to inform me that this fascinating digital music-interface is in Berlin for Transmediale at M12. Actually, I did not know about this project by the Audiovisual Institute at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona but it is similar to the Multi touch interface I posted some weeks ago. Watch this demonstration and be amazed by the blend of the visual effects and the music controlling capacities.

“The reactable, is a state-of-the-art multi-user electro-acoustic music instrument with a tabletop tangible user interface. Several simultaneous performers share complete control over the instrument by moving physical artefacts on the table surface and constructing different audio topologies in a kind of tangible modular synthesizer or graspable flow-controlled programming language.”

What is organizational identity and what have blogs to do with this?

Spending my days in the library and reeling in between insight and confusion, I’d just like to use this as a little sketch of what organization identity might be, in science and in practice.


Ever since the ground-breaking article by Albert & Whetten, defining organizational identity as what is central, distinctive and enduring about an organization, a wide range of scholars have emerged, trying to theoretically describe and analyze this field. In their views, organizational identity serves as a cognitive frame for understanding reality, as shared assumptions about the world that lead to collective actions (just like in organizational culture), as a discourse about sense and reality (therefore there can be multiple identities to organizations), as collective claims about the contents of the organization and room for personal identification (e.g. “I am with Boston Consulting now, boy, I’m proud, we are so going to do a good job on this project!” social identity theory).

Continue reading

Survey for a new FU Berlin students portal

I just filled out a survey about the students’ expectations for a new portal and social network for all students of the Freie Universität Berlin. I have to admit, I was quite surprised about the quality of the questions, the whole approach seems very promising to me. Let alone the fact to actually ask the users and recruit them for beta testing through a survey before starting to develop a social network platform is a plus. It seems ironic because this should be the case for all user driven online platforms but sadly enough is seldom the case.

If you are a FU student, take part in the survey until january 15th! Continue reading

TED Talks

Hans Rosling on TEDtalks“TED was born in 1984 out of the observation by Richard Saul Wurman of a powerful convergence between Technology, Entertainment and Design. The first TED included the public unveiling of the Macintosh computer and the Sony compact disc, while mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrated how to map coastlines with his newly discovered fractals and AI guru Marvin Minsky outlined his powerful new model of the mind.”

Now TED Talks features many, many highly interesting speeches online that are really worth watching. I especially enjoyed Hans Rosling’s speech about Gapminder and data visualization (sounds boring but he is entertaining, educating AND funny) and Barry Schwartz, author of “The paradox of choice” who explains why more choice does NOT mean more freedom, on the contrary. A point, I am pretty sure, all of you have discussed with friends considering what you want to be in this world and how the many possibilities we have these days are more a burden than alleviation.

Multi-Touch Interaction Research

Rember “Minority Report”? The best thing in this movie were the fascinating interfaces the policemen used to gather information. Big touchscreens that react to the movements of several fingers or even several hands on interactive walls or table tops. Well, there is something like this in reality and of course, I liked the idea of the digital touchscreen turntable (as seen in the picture).

Jeff Hahn and his colleagues at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University are working on that and there’s an impressive movie clip to visualize their efforts. Mindblowing, music by Peter Kruder.

[via sounds.imnetz]