Agile Software Development As Action Research

The heyday of Action Research may have come and gone.  Add it to the list of 60s enthusiasms that faded with time—alongside psychedelics, self-actualization movement, and free love.  Action research has had its lasting effects but it’s faded from our contemporary moment.  Indeed, intellectual history hasn’t quite known what to do with Kurt Lewin, action … Continue reading Agile Software Development As Action Research

Why CyborgOrg: From Systems Psychodynamics to Network Cyberdynamics

CyborgOrg is a blog exploring the ways that the human and the technological interact in contemporary organizational life.  The cyborg organization is emerging at a time when categories like the individual, groups and systems can no longer make sense of the experience of collectives.  Our experience of ourselves and others is mediated by our experiences … Continue reading Why CyborgOrg: From Systems Psychodynamics to Network Cyberdynamics

CyborgEDU Manifesto

The idea for this blog was born in a moment of frustration.  It came when I was reading a piece that I mostly agreed with, by a writer I admired. The piece, “The Futile Resistance Against Classroom Tech” by David Perry appeared in the December 2017 issue of The Atlantic. Its melodramatic title belied banal speculation about … Continue reading CyborgEDU Manifesto

Introduction to the CyborgCOM: A History Lesson

30 Years of Technological Transformation It’s easy to look at the ways we’ve networked organizational life over the last forty years and see only a constant stream of endless changes.  In retrospect, however, it’s possible to see three discreet phases to the way information and services have flowed through networks of individuals, technologies and organizations … Continue reading Introduction to the CyborgCOM: A History Lesson

The Socio-Technics and Systems Psychodynamics of Sales

A. K. Rice and Eric Miller authored one of the books at the origin of what we now call Organizational Development (OD). Their work at the Tavistock Institute usually merits a chapter in business school textbooks, as it pioneered a way of thinking about organizational life that considered the whole of an organization in an integrated way.  … Continue reading The Socio-Technics and Systems Psychodynamics of Sales

Digital Marketing and the Personally Identifiable Information

Part I: Marketing and Psychoanalysis It’s well known that Freud’s nephew, Edward Barnays, was a pioneering PR man, who traded freely on his family relations to claim a special knowledge of the other’s desire.  History hasn’t been kind to Barneys—his clumsy advice about how to manipulate the masses and his association with some of the CIA’s … Continue reading Digital Marketing and the Personally Identifiable Information

A Sales Literature Review

There’s no shortage of salesmen in literature.  Death of a Salesman and Glengarry, Glen Ross come to mind, as do dozens of movies about Wall Street, and my favorite: Mathilda. But it’s not just popular fiction and media.  There’s an entire industry of books that tell you how to sell.  At last count, I heard there were 35,000 titles … Continue reading A Sales Literature Review

The Cyborg Willy Loman

The salesman is one of the most enduring stereotypes in business.  His dress, his personality, even his mindset, are seemingly eternal.  His strengths—superficial likability, power of persuasion, unrelenting energy—and his weaknesses—manipulative, mercenary, ultimately empty—are the stuff of legend.  He comes and goes, does things no one else wants to do, and puts himself out there for our derision … Continue reading The Cyborg Willy Loman

Dynamics of Lifelong Learning, Part III: Creating and Caring

If you’ll excuse the long quotations, I’d like to share two authors’ accounts of the same history.  It’s a history I’d never given much thought to before reading these descriptions, but we can draw powerful conclusions from it. In The Atlantic, Jeffrey Selingo writes: In the early 1900s, the “high-school movement” turned secondary schools into a nationwide system … Continue reading Dynamics of Lifelong Learning, Part III: Creating and Caring

Dynamics of Lifelong Learning, Part II: Human and Machine

In a recent article in The Atlantic, Jeffrey Selingo outlines the reality that of today’s workforce like this: Previous shifts in how people work have typically been accompanied in the United States by an expansion in the amount of education required by employers to get a good job … Now a third wave in education and training has … Continue reading Dynamics of Lifelong Learning, Part II: Human and Machine

Dynamics of Lifelong Learning, Part I: “Reinventing Corporate Education” @ SXSW EDU

On the “Reinventing Corporate Education” panel were representatives of a tripartite team offering MIT-based systems engineering training to Boeing engineers on the EdX platform.  Anant Agarwal – CEO of EdX,  TC Haldi – Sr Director of MIT xPRO, and Mark Cousino – Boeing’s Director of Learning Design and Technology each gave their perspective on the program that they had recently rolled out. There’s a … Continue reading Dynamics of Lifelong Learning, Part I: “Reinventing Corporate Education” @ SXSW EDU

American Creed @ SXSW EDU

In many ways, the most powerful emotional, political and civic experience of SXSW EDU was a screening of American Creed, followed by a discussion with Sam Ball, the film’s director, as well as Deidre Prevett and Tegan Griffith, two of the people it profiles, and moderated by Anne Burt from Facing History and Ourselves.  It’s a PBS documentary … Continue reading American Creed @ SXSW EDU

Black Gotham AR @ SXSW EDU

While there were dozens of panels about augmented reality (AR) at SXSW EDU, there were far fewer that actually showed real AR in action.  “Black Gotham: Immersive Storytelling & Technology” was in the latter category, and offered many participants their first glimpse beyond the theory of AR storytelling and into its practice. The panel was led by Kamau … Continue reading Black Gotham AR @ SXSW EDU

MindCET @ SXSW EDU: Who Wants to Outsource Relationships? AI, Chatbots, VR

There were dozens of panels on VR & AI at SXSW EDU, and I had a hard time choosing between them.  There were several things that drew my attention to this one, but most were things that made me think I would hate it. First among the reasons I thought I’d hate it was that it … Continue reading MindCET @ SXSW EDU: Who Wants to Outsource Relationships? AI, Chatbots, VR

SXSW EDU Panel: The Future of Learning: Convergence of VR, AR, & AI

MAYA GEORGIEVA (@MAYAIG): DIRECTOR, DIGITAL LEARNING —THE NEW SCHOOL/DIGITAL BODIES — IMMERSIVE LEARNING. Maya Georgieva framed her presentation as an update on the state of VR, AR and AI.  Given the dozens of other panels at SXSW EDU on these topics, it seemed like a tall order for half an hour, but she was clearly experienced … Continue reading SXSW EDU Panel: The Future of Learning: Convergence of VR, AR, & AI

SXSW EDU Panel: Students Can Build the VR/AR Worlds of the Future

Left to Right: Jessica Lindl, Unity’s Global Head of Education; Mark Suter, Elida Public High School, Director of Rockettech.org; Rafranz Davis: Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning for Lufkin, ISD, in Lufkin, TX; Jordan Budisantoso, Washington Leadership Academy, Washington, D.C.; Unity  is a leading VR platform from Unity Technologies.  Unity’s Jessica Linda moderated a panel on VR.  I’m skeptical of sessions … Continue reading SXSW EDU Panel: Students Can Build the VR/AR Worlds of the Future

The Dream of Everything: GAFA and the Gesamptkunstwerk

What if the truest antecedents of today’s all-encompassing mega-platforms aren’t the monopolies of industrial capitalism, but rather the Gesamtkunstwerk of Modernist art movements? This could be important because we come to understand new phenomenon by mapping them to the familiar, and we stand to miss important aspects of GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) if we focus solely … Continue reading The Dream of Everything: GAFA and the Gesamptkunstwerk

Resistance, Futile or Inevitable? Saving Our Children From Assimilation

My cultural reference point for the robot uprising/singularity/becoming-data of our age is still Star Trek’s Borg .  Long before The Matrix, Star Trekpresented humans as captive cells in a cyborg totality.  The Borg offer both the seductive vision of perfection and the rational arguments for homogenization at scale.  If these aren’t persuasive, though, no matter: resistance is futile.  Most of … Continue reading Resistance, Futile or Inevitable? Saving Our Children From Assimilation