• Trying to understand COP26?

    UN Secretary General Antonio Gutierres shared a concise summary after the climate conference wrapped up last night:

    “It is an important step but is not enough. We must accelerate climate action to keep alive the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees”, said António Guterres in a video statement released at the close of the two-week meeting.

    The UN chief added that it is time to go “into emergency mode”, ending fossil fuel subsidies, phasing out coal, putting a price on carbon, protecting vulnerable communities, and delivering the $100 billion climate finance commitment.

    Briefly put: the work continues and we must be relentless until we reach the goal of 1.5 degrees. There is simply too much at stake.

    Also, faith leaders are ready, disappointed but undeterred. The work continues.

  • Real, augmented, virtual?

    Reality is in the news these days. Earlier this month Facebook announced its rebranding and gave a sneak-peek of their vision of virtual reality. This led to a smart spoof from the people marketing Iceland as a tourist destination: Introducing the Icelandverse, where reality is real and tangible.

    Then there are those who believe the future isn’t virtual but augmented reality. Like John Hanke who founded Niantic labs and had many of us chasing Pokemons around town. His approach is not to replace reality with the virtual but to augment it, show how there can be more than meets the eye.

    We’re at a fork in the road. The future that I am describing is the one that’s going to win. It’s one where computing stays with us, disappearing into the background and supporting what we’re doing. It is ubiquitous computing, which goes back to the early work at Xerox PARC. I feel like that vision of the future has gotten somehow lost temporarily as people have become fascinated with these online 3D worlds.

    It’s going to be fascinating to see how this develops.

  • “Keep hope alive”

    Melissa Fleming is spot on when she calls for hope based communication:

    As for the doomism, I’m convinced us communicators need a shift of tone. Few people now deny the planet is warming (though shocking numbers apparently still reject the link to human activity). The time for focusing solely on the problems is over. Now is the time to galvanize audiences for change.

    The only way to do this is by offering hope. Storytelling focused on solutions, that highlights and celebrates people and places doing the right thing can empower audiences to look beyond messages of impending doom and see we have the tools and knowledge to secure a livable future.

  • Minecraft as the metaverse

    Clive Thompson:

    The truth is, a thriving metaverse already exists. It’s incredibly high-functioning, with millions of people immersed in it for hours a day. In this metaverse, people have built uncountable custom worlds, and generated god knows how many profitable businesses and six-figure careers. Yet this terrain looks absolutely nothing the like one Zuckerberg showed off.

    It’s Minecraft, of course.

  • A digital diet low in cookies

    Informative article from Nieman Labs about tricks used by websites to get users to consent to cookies that enable tracking across websites.

    Dark design has proven to be an incredibly effective way of encouraging web users to part with their time, money and privacy. This in turn has established “dark patterns,” or sets of practices designers know they can use to manipulate web users. They’re difficult to spot, but they’re increasingly prevalent in the websites and apps we use every day, creating products that are manipulative by design, much like the persistent, ever-present pop-ups we’re forced to close when we visit a new website.

    Ideally, no cookies, but if needed only those absolutely necessary.

  • Mme Butterfly

    A hike is an opportunity to observe. Mme Butterfly was close to Col de Marchairuz in the Jura mountains.

    This was her domain. We were guests, passing by on an afternoon. Grateful to be there and experience the beauty of nature.