Jan 11, 2018

Stillness in a mobile world

Bissell, David, and Gillian Fuller (2013). Stillness in a mobile world. London New York: Routledge. 

Stillness:"an ethical choice between stillness as first aid for an overactive world, and stillness as a real slowing down"

Oct 20, 2017

European atlas of forest Tree species

San-Miguel-Ayanz, J., de Rigo, D., Caudullo, G., Houston Durrant, T., Mauri, A. (Eds.), 2016. European Atlas of Forest Tree Species. Publication Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.
European Commission, 2016
"The European Atlas of Forest Tree Species is both a scientific publication, in which researchers and forest specialists can find rigorous and up-to-date information on the many tree species of our forests, and a publication suited for education and the dissemination of information about the richness of our forests to our generation and future generations. (...) Each chapter of the Atlas presents, in addition to the description of each tree species, high quality graphics and photographs showing the climatic preferences and singularities of the different species of trees."

Oct 14, 2017

Passaram 11 anos

... sobre a Resolução do Conselho de Ministros n.º 124/2006 (Diário da República, Série I, de 2006-10-03) onde se anunciava a reviravolta do sistema dos laboratórios do Estado. Entre outras entidades científicas a extinguir, lia-se no ponto 5, do anexo:
"É extinto o Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e Inovação (INETI), sendo os seus recursos científicos e tecnológicos, humanos e materiais reorganizados e integrados noutros laboratórios, centros tecnológicos, instituições de ensino superior e consórcios a criar. Em particular, as infra-estruturas do INETI transformam-se em parque de ciência e tecnologia com a participação e gestão de universidades, laboratórios associados e laboratórios do Estado e alargam-se a parcerias com empresas, no quadro de projectos definidos, organizando-se ainda como espaço de acolhimento de programas europeus de I&D."
Para onde foram o que apelidam de "recursos científicos"? E os "recursos tecnológicos e materiais"? E os «recursos humanos»? Onde está o «parque de ciência e tecnologia com a participação e gestão de universidades, laboratórios associados e laboratórios do Estado»? 

Pelo meio, no decurso destes 11 longos anos, foram-se perdendo unidades, recursos científicos, tecnológicos e materiais. As cerca de 1000 pessoas na altura? Umas foram resistindo, outras cedendo, sucumbindo, caindo ou tombando... foram reconvertendo horizontes científicos em reformas antecipadas, em trabalho administrativo, em fragmentos profissionais, em alternativas à ciência. Foram-se esvaziando as competências, as capacidades. As equipas que outrora alimentavam e captavam recursos da UE para o país, foram extintas por uma resolução de quem nos governava. Ao mesmo tempo, acabavam com novas admissões ou valorização dos que ficaram.

O que ganhou o país com esta resolução? que tenha justificado a perda cientifica e tecnologica que existia no INETI, a perda de dezenas de unidades e mais de 750 pessoas? Quais os reflexos e impactos que provocaram (ou ainda provocam)? E na vida dessas pessoas que trabalhavam (trabalham) no INETI (actual LNEG, com cerca de 250 trabalhadores dos 1000 existentes aquando da resolução de extinção)? Quem beneficiou com o desmantelamento do INETI?

Sep 12, 2017

Aug 29, 2017

increasing diversity

photo in flickr

Increasing plants diversity helps to attract other animals, including arthropods that seem to favour genetics-based interactions among plants, pathogens, and herbivores.

See results from global synthesis of the effects of diversified farming systems on arthropod diversity within fields and across agricultural landscapes (2017, Global Change Biology). 

Jul 31, 2017


my Star...
photo by Pinetree

"What if I fall?
Oh but my Darling, what if you fly?"

May 28, 2017

Aviation disruptions

"British Airways: Thousands disrupted as flights axed amid IT crash" in BBC news

"With a lack of technology, staff were using whiteboards in Heathrow" in BBC news

Apr 24, 2017

Apr 9, 2017

Technologies' hindrances

"1/3 of blank pixels makes operating and writing hindrances. Technology failures. Unfit tool for production. Unable to afford new one. Finantial access layer determines infrastructures for getting work done. Access to this layer can not be taken for granted given the huge asymmetries in disposable income (see income distribution stats). Also think about new metrics for calculating access: percentage of income needed to access tool... in general, percentage of income that access to something (anything?) costs, to an individual beeing, in a given time and context." (March 12, 2015)

hindrances: artifact failure/monitor

"hindrance ˈhɪndr(ə)ns/Submit noun plural noun: hindrances a thing that provides resistance, delay, or obstruction to something or someone. "a hindrance to the development process" synonyms: impediment, obstacle, barrier, bar, obstruction, handicap, block, check, curb, brake, hurdle, restraint, restriction, limitation, encumbrance, deterrent, complication (...)" in define hindrances

Feb 2, 2017

(im)mobility systems

Anthony Elliott & John Urry (2010). Mobile Lives. Routledge.
"(...) interdependent systems of 'immobile' material worlds, and especially exceptionally immobile platforms (transmitters, roads, garages, stations, aerials, airports, docks) structure mobility experiences. The complex character of such systems stems from their multiple fixities or moorings, often on a substantial physical scale. Thus 'mobile machines', such as mobile phones, cars, boats, aircraft, trains and computer connections, all presume overlapping and varied time-space immobilities. There is no linear increase in fluidity without extensive systems of immobility." (Elliott & Urry, 2010, 20)

image by Monica Pinheiro,October 16, 2009)

Feb 1, 2017

Human-Built World

Hughes, T. P. (2004). Human-Built World: How to Think about Technology and Culture. University Of Chicago Press.
"Technology is messy and complex. It is difficult to define and to understand. In its variety, it is full of contradictions, laden with human folly, saved by occasional benign deeds, and rich with unintended consequences."
image by Monica Pinheiro, November 17, 2009

Jan 21, 2017


What if success was measured by the number of beings living better? What if the purpose of life was making meaningful things like taking care of the world that sustains our lives? What if we defined impact indicators that measured the number of people that can access technology? What if our paths could lead to a better world instead of leading to more technology for the few? What if our policies could lay the foundations for more organic infrastructures that require less energy? What if our time was spent in meaningful activities? What if public service meant working for the betterment of the vast population? What if government listened to the majority of workers and what they say about the individuals that are nominated to run public organisms? What if ... 

Sep 30, 2016

Carry on

"Remember that your strength is also built on what you lost."

Sep 24, 2016


Sketch, September 2016
"Instead of generic perfection all at once you would want to make a particular structure that started as a sketch, capable of evolving." Richard Sennette, 2009. The Craftsman.

Aug 15, 2016

Visualizing energy data

 Chart from USA energy data ( http://energyliteracy.com ):

onsite interactive map shows energy wasted in different sectors
"By clicking through the chart, you can see exactly how much energy is used for every activity. (...) Almost 1% is used just to pump natural gas around pipelines; 2% goes to making cardboard and other paper products. Around 16% is used to grow, distribute, and cook food. Looking at the total picture helps make the point that some of the ways that we think about energy aren't quite right. Refining petroleum uses about 6% of total energy in the country, but isn't considered when we think about fuel economy in cars. (...) Mining oil and gas uses even more energy." (in link)

Nov 12, 2015


Boyer, Dominic. "Anthropology Electric." Cultural Anthropology 30, no. 4 (2015) 531–539:
"These days, beyond spectacular weather events or spectacular failures like blackouts, electricity hides in plain sight, whether stored in batteries or flowing in the electrical wires that festoon our social landscapes. We conveniently ignore whole electroscapes until something goes awry."

Nov 10, 2015

technology non-use

Eric P.S. Baumer, Morgan G. Ames, Jenna Burrell, Jed R. Brubaker, and Paul Dourish (2015). Why study technology non-use? First Monday, Volume 20 (11), November 2nd:
"Technology non-use offers a fascinating sociotechnical phenomenon worthy of study per se. However, it also provides an opportunity to rethink how we approach, study, and conceptualize human relationships with, and through, technology."

Oct 8, 2015

information fragmentation

M. Kljun, “The information fragmentation problem through dimensions of software, time and personal projects,” Ph.D. dissertation, Lancaster University, 2013.
"The findings show (i) the extensive information fragmentation in each individual PIM tool besides cross-tool fragmentation, (ii) the information overload preventing focusing on the subset of fragmented project related information and changing focus over time, and (iii) the importance of support information (information scraps) and its integration into project flow." [pdf]

Aug 25, 2015

ICT2015 conference

ICT 2015 - Innovate, Connect, Transform, on 20-22 October 2015 in Lisbon, Portugal, parallel activities: 
  • A policy conference presenting the new Commission's policies and initiatives on Research & Innovation in ICT (Horizon 2020 Programme); 
  • An interactive exhibition showcasing the best results and impact of most recent EU ICT Research & Innovation; 
  • Many networking opportunities to enhance quality partnerships, help participants find partners, connect Research and Innovation and trigger collaboration; 
  • Funding opportunities: ICT 2015 will also be the place to gather information on the 2016-17 Work Programme of Horizon 2020
  • The Startup Europe Forum, offering a set of activities profiling EU policy actions for startups and SMEs, innovators, private and public investors.

Jul 20, 2015

Paper selling (still) growing in digital era

«Ainda é possível vender mais papel na era do digital»: «Não deixa de ser curioso que uma empresa que vende papel esteja a crescer em paralelo com o avanço da digitalização. Ou seja, a Portucel está a vender mais folhas de papel mesmo com a desmaterialização de ficheiros e documentos. “No ano passado até na Europa conseguimos crescer”, nota Diogo da Silveira, “mas é óbvio para nós a grande importância que tem (e vai continuar a ter) o mercado asiático, com especial destaque para a China”» in http://expresso.sapo.pt/economia/2015-07-19-Portucel-quer-quinta-fabrica-em-Portugal

May 8, 2015

interpreting, changing

7 e 8 de Maio de 2015 | Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Interpreting the World, Changing the World | Noam Chomsky
Can experiencing art lead to better scientists? Reflections and discussions | Samuel Meyler

May 1, 2015

Image as Method

From the Heyman Center:

"Image as Method: Ethnography – Photography – Film – Sensation – Perception" is a two-day symposium presented by the Society of Fellows in the Humanities. The symposium is organized by Fellow Brian Goldstone, Lecturer in Anthropology.

Apr 30, 2015

Aviation security issues with paperless option

Travelers scramble after iPad issues delay American Airlines flights, in USA Today:
Paper does not need an occasional reboot, however. (...) "He said, 'My copilot's iPad went black. Exactly 24 minutes after that, mine went black. We were informed it looks like a problem with all the iPads on 737s,' " Jacaruso, 54, recalled. (...) The crew explained that flight plans are transmitted on the iPads, which make them crucial to navigation, said McRell, 43. (...) The glitch came two weeks after the U.S. Government Accountability Office warned that i on-board wifi conceivably could be used to bring down a plane. "Modern aircraft are increasingly connected to the internet. This interconnectedness can potentially provide unauthorized remote access to aircraft avionics systems."
Dezenas de voos da American Airlines em terra devido a falha nos iPad, in jornal Expresso: 
Uma falha numa aplicação de iPad usada pelos pilotos da American Airlines levou a que cerca de duas dezenas de aviões da empresa não descolassem terça-feira à noite. (...) A responsável de comunicações da companhia, Andrea Huguely, indicou ao "USA Today" que, "em alguns casos, os aparelhos tiveram de regressar até à zona de entrada para acederem a uma rede de wi-fi e resolverem o incidente". "Nós pedimos desculpa aos nossos clientes pelos inconvenientes e nós conseguimos levá-los para os seus destinos passado pouco tempo", afirmou. (...) A American Airlines tornou-se em 2013 a primeira companhia a substituir os planos de voo em papel, de modo a evitar o peso extra que isso representava, passando a transmitir essa informação às tripulações através de iPad.

Nov 12, 2014

Every Age

"Every age has its turn

Every branch of the tree has to learn
Learn to grow find its way
Make the best of this short-lived stay

Take this seed, take this spade
Take this dream of a better day
Take your time, build a home
Build a place where we all can belong

Some things change, some remain
Some will pass us a notice by
What to focus on to improve upon
In the face of our ancient tribes

Feels so clear, feels so obvious
To each one of their own
But we all live together
Keeping what tide and what we have sown

We don't choose where we're born
We don't choose in what pocket or form
But we can learn to know
Ourselves on this glowing lil void

Take this mind, take this pen
Take this dream of a better land
Take your time, build a home
Build a place where we all
can belong."

Jul 12, 2014

ECIS conference

Will still need a lot of time to digest everything i've experienced in this last week at the DC and the ECIS 2014 in Israel. The settings for the doctoral consortium, previous to the conference, couldn't have been more inspiring: Midreshet Sde Boker, a "place for research, education and inspiration. (…) a Kibbutz located in the Negev desert, south to Tel Aviv.” 

Nov 19, 2013

Reconfiguring working spaces

Pinheiro, M., Barrulas, M. J., and Carvalho, J. A. (2013). Role of artifacts for reconfiguring working spaces and information systems. In Conferência Associação Portuguesa Sistemas de Informação. CAPSI:
"Individuals, like organizations, need to manage information for work (and non-work) related activities, on a daily basis. In order to extend their communication and fulfill information needs, people use artifacts (man made objects), that became increasingly technological, and in turn, these very technological artifacts are increasingly more dependent upon other supporting technologies, widely referred as infrastructures. In order to design information systems that support workers’needs, what do we know about their use of artifacts? Across time? Inside and outside their organizations? And on the move?"

Sep 15, 2013


«We are pleased to inform you that your submission to the Internet Technologies & Society 2013 Conference (ITS 2013) has been accepted as a "Full Paper"»:

Pinheiro, M., Cardoso, M., Barrulas, M. J., and Carvalho, J. A. (2013). Some things I tend to overlap even if not necessary. A discussion on PIM artifacts between researcher and research agent. In International Conference on Internet Technologies & Society.

Jun 11, 2013

information overload ca. 1550-1700

Blair, Ann (2003). Reading Strategies for Coping with Information Overload ca. 1550-1700Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. ?(?), pp. 11-28:
"The perception of an overabundance of books led to more books being used in a great variety ways. Alongside the well-established methods of thorough reading and note-taking, which engaged the personal judgment and effort of the reader, early modern scholars also relied on shortcuts to “process” books so as to retrieve items of use with less investment of time and self. (...) The proliferation of inventive methods of and aids to study, whether unique to individuals or spread more widely through official or unofficial teaching, can help us understand better not only the conditions of production of early modern scholarly and pedagogical works, but also the deep roots of the ways in which we, too, cope with what we now call information overload."

Oct 30, 2012

information artefacts on the move

Ciclo de Seminários sobre Estudos de Informação
Ciclo de Seminários sobre Estudos de Informação (June 14, 2009), exINETI, Lumiar. 
The "social life of information": displays of information artefacts in a small event. From personal workspace to event workspace and back. «Memory of the event» created and shared between participants: web object with embedded information used in the event, meta data about used information, summary of talk, and visual memory.

Oct 3, 2012

search for meaning

"If you don't recognize a young man's will to meaning, a men's search for meaning, you'll make him worse, you'll make him doll, you'll make him frustrated." (video below)

"Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast." (wishlist)

"Viktor Emil Frankl, M.D., PhD (26 March 1905, Leopoldstadt, Vienna – 2 September 1997, Vienna) was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy, which is a form of existential Analysis, the "Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy". His best-selling book, Man's Search for Meaning (published under a different title in 1959: From Death-Camp to Existentialism, and originally published in 1946 as Trotzdem Ja Zum Leben Sagen: Ein Psychologe erlebt das Konzentrationslager), chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate which led him to discover the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Frankl became one of the key figures in existential therapy and a prominent source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists." (link)

Jun 15, 2012

plain paper artefact

Scrapings by a participant to register important temporary information as an auxiliary to perform a future task. Different types of registered information include: words, numbers, drawings, ideas, standards, to-buy-list and instruction details and measures for performing the future task.
Junho2011 001
Registering in plain paper artefact, June 2011

Apr 5, 2012

traces of change

"A brand new pro account for keeping all the conversations. Hurrai :-) Thank you, i can't wait to explore all the new stuff" (WC / 2006 / social networks / keeping / exclusiveness / social ties / explorations / novelty / use / trial / ICT / social layers / technology in making traces visible).

Mar 21, 2012

fronteiras nos espaços de transição

"Toda a mobilidade reverencia uma mesma ordem, para onde convergem (porque nela vivem) os desequilíbrios, as desigualdades, a suposta desordem, a insalubridade, a pobreza. (...) A fronteira é o sinal da mobilidade. A fronteira, zona de contacto, é o espaço da instabilidade, do desassossego, do que se acostumou chamar de crise, de transição." in:

Jan 16, 2012

Beyond borders

European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), ECIS 2013, June 5-8, Utrecht University, Utrecht Science Park 'de Uithof': 

"The transition to a more inter-dependent and connected world is ongoing, and offers up a range of new complex research challenges. A further challenge is that the way research is conducted is changing and requires greater collaboration between researchers, as well as between researchers and industry, to integrate capabilities to face today’s challenges.
 “Beyond Borders”. It suggests having an open mind towards new ways of doing research and establishing novel partnerships for conducting research. It also refers to the multi-disciplinary nature of the field of Information Systems where we often work outside IS and collaborate with researchers in diverse disciplines."

Nov 21, 2011

infrastructure of experience

P. Dourish & G. Bell (2007). The infrastructure of experience and the experience of infrastructure: meaning and structure in everyday encounters with space. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, vol. 34(3), pp.414-430:
"By 'the experience of infrastructure', we point to the ways in which infrastructure, rather than being hidden from view, becomes visible through our increasing dependence upon it for the practice of everyday life. By 'the infrastructure of experience', we want to draw attention to the ways in which, in turn, the embedding of a range of infrastructures into everyday space shapes our experience of that space and provides a framework through which our encounters with space take on meaning. (...) The first, and most fundamental, conclusion is that space is organized not just physically but culturally; cultural understandings provide a frame for encountering space as meaningful and coherent, and for relating it to human activities. (...) The second conclusion is that architecture is all about boundaries and transitions, and their intersection with human and social practice. (...) The third conclusion is that new technologies inherently cause people to reencounter spaces. This is not a question of mediation, but rather one of simultaneous layering. (...) Finally, there is already a complex interaction between space, infrastructure, culture, and experience. The spaces into which new technologies are deployed are not stable, not uniform, and not given."

Nov 17, 2011


Star, S. L., Bowker, G., (2007). Enacting silence: Residual categories as a challenge for ethics, information systems, and communication. Ethics and Information Technology, vol.9, pp. 273-280:
"Experience doesn't come raw, but it comes in real time, in wildness, and not in anyone s direct control. Responding to experience means letting generalization and specificity be in dialectic in our writings and in our biographies. And this in turn means resistance – to pressures for conformity and towards the uniform voice (although there are sometimes ethical reasons for presenting a united front )."

Nov 9, 2011


Há dias mais pesados,
but in the middle,
I'm allowed to laugh.


Oct 25, 2011


While watching the video shared by a friend, which shows motion trough stillness [timelapse using pixelization], recalled the work of Kakihara's, and his conceptualization of mobility...

Back to writing, thinking on the duality of the mobility concept [fluidity needs stability, Pica & Kakihara (2003)], and going trough the visual timelines of information collected from participants since 2007. Building an argument for showing the relation between transitions and the dance of artefacts used by the actors for articulation work [Star], in situated actions [Suchman] across time, and persistent myths/asumptions about the information society. Unfolding layers of slow methods [methods assemblage / ethnography of infrastructure] across time [images/descriptions/fieldnotes/reflexivity], and confronting with accessible and available encountered research work... and all things that come to me and that are dificult to ignore [serendipity, Merton & Barber].

[Note to self: discuss interoperability and information mobility; connecting layers of IS, IT, ICT, artefacts' use and the social life of information]

Oct 17, 2011

Distance (still) matters! a)

Follow up on the related myth that «distance is dead», in a paper by Petra Sonderegger (2009) in R&D working context across disperse teams in project work. Creating Shared Understanding in Research Across Distance: Distance Collaboratiion across Cultures in R&D. In e-Research: Transformation in Scholarly Practice:
"In summary, shared understanding and the flow of tacit knowledge are key elements of innovative collaboration; and trust, shared context, and frequent interactions (both formal and informal) are central to establishing these elements. Despite proclamations of the “death of distance” (Cairncross, 1997), physical presence and shared space are still important in today’s world, especially for people who are highly interdependent and faced with ambiguous situations. This study was designed to explore the potential and the limitations of distance collaboration in R&D, given the communication tools available. (...) For the researchers in this study, in-person meetings led to a higher level of comfort in collaboration. They trusted their counterparts more and moved the relationship from a purely professional level to a more personal level; they made fewer negative attributions in situations of uncertainty. An increase in spontaneity and a decrease in formality helped overcome some difficulties in distance communication."
a) Note to self: see another post with same title, and follow tag «distance».

Sep 29, 2011

About «completion suggestions»

Trying out the new feature «completion suggestions» from blogger. Strange feeling of having a ghost shadow trying to guess what I'm going to type next. Don't know what's behind this feature but some thoughts on using it come to mind.

What if I was to choose not a word editor to write down the narrative of my thesis, but instead choose to use blogger compose? Would the shadow adapt to my writing style? Wouldn't it be great if it could also relate to all the stuff I've previously wrote/mention/annotate in here? Things like suggesting to cite a paper that I've read back in 2003 and somehow left it buried in my cite.u.like/librarything/post?

All in all it's quicker to write cause, since English is not my mother tongue, it becomes easier to get the next word in place. Think a lot of people might be using this already but : ) It can even improve my writing skills. For once, I can have the right spelling before I finish the word, instead of writing the word to realize that the red line beneath it means I have to go back to click on it, see suggestions and then choose the one I think I want, and then click again enter or go back and re-write the word in : )

Yes, think I'll be using it a little more to see how I feel.

Aug 8, 2011

[Notes to self] past seen in present

This image was taken on January 30, 2006. It depicts 2 notebooks, still unwritten at that time. The larger one (on the bottom) was to be my research «Notebook 1» that was used between March 24, 2006 and July 30, 2007. The smaller one (closed and on top of the other) came to be my «Notebook 2.1» and it was used between October 2007 and June 2008.

The first notebook was my choice and followed my requisites of notebooks (plain pages where I can make scrapnotes, anywhere). The second was a gift from someone who knew I used notebooks. At the time I took the picture, besides loving the gift, I taught it was to small to take my notes. Also it had lines, instead of plain white pages like the one's all my notebooks previously had.

At that same time, I was not able to understand how it was going to play a part in a future that was yet to came. By the time I start using it, I was going through a life disruption. Being so small allowed me to have it among the few things I carried in a time where I had no permanent place to settle. During that time, this small notebook was mainly used as a «place» to collect housing possibilities, names of people and phone numbers, notes of houses for sale, notes of visits to houses, to-do lists, on going negotiations with lawyer, job searches, notes of contacts with banks, and a few notes on trying to get back to research work amidst a faulty infrastructure for working on the move [relate stability for mobility from the work of Kakihara]. 

Notebook 2_1 - artefacts crossing spaces - Mobility
The small notebook details pieces with clues to find «infrastructure» needed for getting a shelter and doing work. Rare exceptions in this notebook describe research design, like the entry on November 5, 2007, where I found the sketch drawing attention to the need of finding information artefacts crossing information spaces, by describing my own practices and behaviours, aka bias. This would call for slow methods. The kind of methods that would allow «seeing» what's not present [absent artefacts]. And that requires time. A long time collecting and long time going through it over and over again, «listening» to what the recordings tell us. 
On TheBrain page they say: "With PersonalBrain you're never more than a few seconds away from any piece of digital information. Web pages, documents, images, notes... From people and projects to ideas and task lists, it's all there in an instant." What are the assumptions behind this declaration?
  1. You always have with you the hardware needed for access;
  2. You have the software installed in all the hardware you carry with you, when you need to access;
  3. You always have internet access, to use the software installed in all the hardware you have with you, when you need to access; 
  4. You will have time to edit all your pieces of digital information with «PersonalBrain» and send always the last version of that «brain» to all the hardware gadgets you use when you need to access it;
  5. You will never run out of battery/energy when you need to access!
Even without discussing and going into «Knowledge Management Software» (*), there's a lot of «layers» one needs to have in order to use that metaphoric «digital brain». With paper mind maps, even a paper restaurant towel or napkin will do. This to say, like many other surrogate IT tools we find, sometimes the number of layers needed for using them, make them far more expensive and time consuming, then their counter more traditional tools.

Forgot to mention, I'm a user of mind maps. Read about radial thinking (Buzan & Buzan), started mind mapping in 1999, using paper, pen and colors, and around 2002 also started using software. In 2005 even gave workshops for people interested in mind maps in my working place. So I guess I can be considered a fan of mind maps. The immediacy you get with paper and pen is not substituted with digital equivalent canvas for mind mapping. But the ease you get when in need of changes and the added value of incorporating digital files and links, it's very easy to do. Any how, they complement but do not substitute each other.

(*) Mind maps, either paper and pencil or digital, are «tools» to help us visualize our ideias and connect them. They try to mirror the way our brains organize information, in what's is called radial thinking. Mind maps and concept maps are not the same thing. Mind maps are organized in branches, like a tree. Concept maps, do not follow a tree structure to organize information, but instead show connections between concepts. The effort you put into constructing them, according to your personal knowledge, is what makes them so powerful  to visualize all the connections in what can be just a page! But you'll have to do it, or else you'll have just a catalog or reference work that you still do not know what's inside. 

Jul 27, 2011

Paper demand response

For long I've been a subscriber of alerts from the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). Today I've received an email informing me of another service they are offering resulting from requests from both authors and readers:
"In response to requests from authors and readers to purchase printed and bound hard copies of papers on SSRN, we provide a 'Purchase Bound Hard Copy' service for most free PDF files in SSRN's eLibrary.FAQ
Clearly an(other) argument to build upon the affordances of paper beyond all the digital offerings available and being built that shows market demand for paper products. 

Just yesterday another argument crossed my information spaces. In short, Paula Simões compared the consumer costs associate with buying a paper Book versus buying an eBook with DRM (Digital Rights Management). Albeit the immediate cost of acquisition favouring the eBook, after the purchase the costs are much higher for the eBook then for the paper Book. Those costs, besides the need to have additional artefacts to actually decode and read the product (eReader, computer, etc), concern social factors and even use factors. While we can lend books to our friends, sell them in second hand markets, and even leave them to our family or donate them to libraries, eBooks with DRM do not allow such affordances. And this is no minor issue. The original post as receive a lot of other comments that are adding layers of costs associated with DRM (you can use the google translate if Portuguese is a barrier).

Thing is, most of us do not have the required time to undergo an exhaustive study of all our artefacts restrictions so things like DRM might go unnoticed for quiet a long time... until the day we realize by self experience or by reading about others' experiences, that DRM restricts the social behaviour of sharing information by restricting the product to a specific artefact and only for the person who acquire it.

Am I missing something or this is one more point in favour of good old paper? Since people are talking way beyond their geographic limitations, will people keep on paying for eBooks with DRM? Seems that in Portugal, two large national editors are going to have to rethink their product restrictions policies.

Jul 22, 2011

assembling Talk to Me

By Monica Pinheiro (2010)
Assembling narratives in research work are quiet extraordinary. A monumental task that very often is dismissed from the final thesis object. Encountering research work which accommodates the assembling stage of work is no easy task, yet we are surrounded by work-in-progress, messy processes, until we crystallize our deliverable products (aka, thesis). But like the fading boundaries between work and leisure, so are multidisciplinary boundaries. The interwoven net of objects and people gives the canvas for the playground where different actors' establish their agency, across time and (dis)place, allowing us to (de)construct (new) affordances for artefacts in interdependent layers of infrastructure.
"Talk to Me is an exhibition on the communication between people and objects that will open at The Museum of Modern Art [MoMa] on July 24th 2011. It will feature a wide range of objects from all over the world, from interfaces and products to diagrams, visualizations, perhaps even vehicles and furniture, by bona-fide designers, students, scientists, all designed in the past few years or currently under development. As you can tell, our net is cast very wide and the exhibition happens at the end of a long hunting and gathering exercise. This online journal will document the process and progress of Talk to MeThis is where we will share our findings, considerations, and explorations as we research, investigate, travel and hear from our networks of designers, artists, scientists and scholars."
Depending on one's own ability to read the surroundings, as much as to communicate a coherent chain of arguments, the thesis appears as a final product made to convince peers that we are ready for the passage. All the travelling reduced to words that account for a flow that's still moving beyond those words. A reality in motion which, as researchers, we have to accept we will no longer follow. At some point we freeze the arguments and the sequence of events becomes the ability to narrate the choosen facts in a discretionary way (structure), as long as we follow the rules. This rules are the methods, codes of conduct and trust agreements in use among the scientific community. 
"Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?", oath taken by witnesses [jurados] in USA court rooms.
But the rules do not account for what is left unsaid. If you look again to Talk to Me, journalling (or documenting, if you prefer), give a richer account of the journey that can better elucidate how we came from point A to point 2 and are an example of the need to document the process in as much as inscribing it in the account of the process, so as to admit debate, collection and reflection before closure [people shifting from observed objects, to participants, to actors in the research work].

Are we not to give such an account that other researchers can re-construct our journey so they in turn can de-construct the argument? Methods become an accepted legitimizing tool in which one as to frame convincing arguments that can be trusted in order to evaluate the merit of the narrative. If so, why is it so hard to find thesis describing all the dead ends, the failed routes, the bad choices, the fear, the anguish, the whereabouts of everything that did not work? Isn't that the correct and exempt description that would allow verifiability? Was it not the (after) journey (immersion) that one followed that led us to those conclusions? Had we taken a different turn (choice), would we still reach the same conclusions?

Hard time deciding on colliding rules that govern science... let alone my English skills (un) improvements [note to self: write narrative in language not native to self - translation/meaning/nuance errors; write in one's language - barriers to feedback/localization]! Any actions/ideas of what cold help me stick to writing my argument (aka thesis) bringing the spiral to an halt?

Apr 7, 2011

maravilhosa inquietude

Atenta ao que se vai passando, não querendo saber mais sobre a pensão de alimentos que há 3 anos está em falta, é maravilhoso e inquietante ao mesmo tempo, ouvir uma filha falar em arranjar trabalho para poder prosseguir os seus estudos. Maravilhoso, porque escolheu ficar com quem lhe explicou que detinha menores rendimentos para lhe permitir algo mais que o básico. Inquietante, porque me revisito e sei a disciplina que é necessária para abarcar a vida profissional e os estudos ao mesmo tempo. Não tinha que ser assim mas a vida tem que ser construída, a cada dia, com o que se tem e não com o que se devia ter.

Mar 24, 2011


"Yet there are moments when the walls of the mind grow thin; when nothing is unabsorbed, and I could fancy that we might blow so vast a bubble that the sun might set and rise in it and we might take the blue of midday and the black of midnight and be cast off and escape from here and now." V. Woolf

Mar 16, 2011

Role of paper in disruptions

"People check a posted list of survivors at an evacuation center in Miyagi prefecture's Natori city on Monday, March 14." from CNN

We are well aware of the great uses that information technologies and social networks supported by internet connections have been playing in the last years. Yet, we tend to minimize the role played by paper in times of great disruptions, like the one Japan is going through.

Mar 15, 2011

Visions of ideal solutions to the management of personal information collections

Bruce, H., Wenning, A., Jones, E., Vinson, J., & Jones, W. (2011). Seeking an ideal solution to the management of personal information collections. Information Research, 16(1) paper 462: 
"(...) the researchers found that observing people over time as they find, select, collect, organize, and manage information for a personal project provides an excellent context for studying the challenges of personal information management."

Mar 3, 2011

Visions of single information space

Tom Heath and Christian Bizer (2011) Linked Data: Evolving the Web into a Global Data Space (HTML edition). Synthesis Lectures on the Semantic Web: Theory and Technology, 1:1, 1-136. Morgan & Claypool:
"The World Wide Web has enabled the creation of a global information space comprising linked documents. (...) Linked Data provides a publishing paradigm in which not only documents, but also data, can be a first class citizen of the Web, thereby enabling the extension of the Web with a global data space based on open standards - the Web of Data."

"Just as hyperlinks in the classic Web connect documents into a single global information space, Linked Data enables links to be set between items in different data sources and therefore connect these sources into a single global data space."

Mar 2, 2011

Indústria do Papel

from CEPI

Na Europa, CEPI (Confederation of European Paper Industries) nas Preliminary Stats for 2010 registam aumentos, comparativamente a 2009, apesar da situação macroeconómica. Para estatísticas específicas de papel destinado a impressão, ver CEPIPRINT (Association of European Publication Paper Producers) e CEPIFINE (Confederation of European Fine Paper Industries).

Em portugal, CELPA (Associação da Indústria Papeleira) Boletim Estatístico 2009 (Setembro, 2010) os dados reportados a 2009, registaram aumento da produção em Portugal:
"Em 2009 a produção europeia de pastas para papel desceu 13,5%, sendo Portugal o 4º maior produtor europeu de pasta – com 7,1% do total – e o 3º maior produtor de pastas químicas – com 8,9% de produção. Relativamente à produção de papel, também a Europa viu a sua produção baixar 10,4%, sendo Portugal o 11º maior produtor europeu de papel e cartão – com 1,8% do total - e o 2º maior produtor de papel fino não revestido (UWF) – com 11,6% da produção total." (p.18)
"Neste contexto, em 2009 as empresas portuguesas produtoras de pasta e de papel conseguiram registar um aumento da produção de pastas virgens de 7,9%. (...) Apesar das quebras sentidas, com impacte directo na Rendibilidade das Vendas, que diminuiu de 10,2%, em 2008, para 7,0%, em 2009, o sector está a adaptar-se às mudanças dos mercados e acredita no seu potencial de crescimento a médio/longo prazo." (p.18-19)
Pena que na PORDATA não tenham dados sobre a produção de papel. Faltam-me também aqui estatísticas em termos globais que permitam ter uma noção do consumo de papel ao longo dos anos.

Feb 28, 2011

Opening the source(s) with blogs in research practices

By the time I've started my PhD, I had already used blogs as a research tool for conducting research work, since 2003 [master's degree in Information Studies] not so much as a fieldwork tool, but as a way of registering trails of the research (ongoing information, readings, questions, doubts, ...) that allowed others to  find me and, in turn, due to explicit (comments in blog) or implicit (link back, web bookmarks, citations) conversations allowed me to find them.

Lorenz antropologi.info blog, for long, as been a way for me to feel connected to anthropology developments. Yesterday, while re-reading a recent post about using Comics to present research findings, I've recalled an older post that offered the link to the issues of Opening the source in fieldwork:
"When you do anthropological fieldwork, your main tool is yourself. You participate, you observe and you ask incredible amounts of questions."
I would think this would apply equally well for everyone conducting social science research, either for qualitative or quantitative studies. If for the qualitative paradigm one might not find hard to extend the above citation, it might not be so straight forward for the quantitative research. But it might become clear if one thinks that in quantitative survey instruments, the questions are framed by the researcher, hence the researcher becomes part of the design tool.

Come to think in this terms, all of science is done this way. One of the big differences might be that in anthropological fieldwork the researcher explicitly exposes the self as part of the study (reflexivity) and in other paradigms the researcher is concealed from the reports/narratives of the research, but nevertheless, they are embedded in the research work... and I recall the work of Latour and Wolgar on Laboratory Life: the construction of scientific facts:
"The construction of scientific facts, in particular, is a process of generating texts whose fate (status, value, utility, facticity) depends on their subsequent interpretation."

Feb 16, 2011

Communication history in stamps

Image from Kees Graaff post
Historical narratives of information artefacts, in a collection curated by Kees de Graaff, Communication: a history in stamps.

Feb 14, 2011

Information as thing

In accordance with the view of information as thing by Buckland (1999), the article by Jones, W. (2010, No knowledge but through informationFirst Monday, vol. 15 (9-6), September) brings back the arguments of the need to operate/manage information items and not knowledge: "Knowledge is not a thing to be managed directly. Knowledge is managed only indirectly through information". His view is directed to show that Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) should be viewed as a subset o Personal Information Management (PIM) and not as a higher level approach. 
"The ways in which an item is manipulated will vary depending upon its form and the tools available for this form. The tools used for interaction with paper–based information items include, for example, paper clips, staplers, filing cabinets and the flat surfaces of a desktop. In interactions with digital information items, we depend upon the support of various computer–based tools and applications such as e–mail applications, file managers, Web browsers, and so on. (...) Knowledge as ‘no thing’ cannot be managed directly. If we think we have knowledge ‘at our fingertips’ we are most likely touching information in some form instead. This is not to say that knowledge management is not possible. But we do so through its expression in information. There is no management of knowledge except through the management of information."

In his paper he also evokes a pictorial representation of "[i]nformation management activities viewed as an effort to establish, use and maintain a mapping between needs and information. ["illustration was done by Elizabeth Boling and is a variation of a figure that first appeared in Jones (2008)."]

Could not help myself recalling the nonsense of 'knowledge management' by Tom Wilson (2002), which as always provoked great discussions and food for thought in my journey.

Feb 8, 2011

Common charger

Common charger for mobile phones in Europe:
"Europe's major mobile phone manufacturers have now agreed to adopt a universal charger for data-enabled mobile phones sold in the EU and as of 2011 you will only need one charger for all."
Now just imagine the even bigger relief (individuals, environment, and industry), if for all the technological artefacts that we have (and carry) there was an Universal Common Charger and what it would mean for personal information management (PIM)!

[Note to self: connect to cases accounts of recharging and electric power needs]

Feb 1, 2011

Technology interference in data collection, transcription and analysis

Another number of the Forum Qualitative Social Research is out, and although just gave a superficial reading to the table of contents and one of the contributions, the article by Jeanine Evers seem to answer some of my questions and issues when dealing with the huge amount of visual data (mainly photos) that I've collected for my research:
Evers, Jeanine C. (2011). From the Past into the Future. How Technological Developments Change Our Ways of Data Collection, Transcription and Analysis [94 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(1), Art. 38.
The whole issue is dedicated to «Discussions on Qualitative Data Analysis Software by Developers and Users», which should be of interest for many people doing qualitative research and/or developing technological tools for qualitative analysis, reporting «The KWALON Experiment»:
"The KWALON Experiment consisted of five developers of Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) software analysing a dataset regarding the financial crisis in the time period 2008-2009, provided by the conference organisers. Besides this experiment, researchers were invited to present their reflective papers on the use of QDA software. This introduction gives a description of the experiment, the "rules", research questions and reflective points, as well as a full description of the dataset and search rules used, and our reflection on the lessons learned."

Jan 21, 2011

Have you seen it? the truth.

We have become more aware of the power exercised on us, on the atrocities committed by the ones that are elected/enforced to represent us, and yet we are powerless to stop bad decisions. Sure we can move information around but can we undo what as been done? Can we reach a state of information openness that avoids inequalities/atrocities/wars... of power being exerted upon us?

Are we really able to handle all the information and come to a collective truth? If each one of us had the time and the knowledge to understand all the information would we be able to reach a «good» decision, for all of us? Will we keep delegating the decisions to the people chosen by some to run our lives, our resources, our freedoms? What will open truths do for the living conditions of all? Do we not know by now that an equal distribution is a condition operated/manufactured in our labs? Isn't truth like tic-tac-toe? Aren't truths serving power, religion and science? What can each one of us do with so many truths? Can we restore order? Can we put them all to jail? Can we make them undo the lives they took? Can we choose others that will not become «infected» with power?

Strange/dangerous times we are living when there is so much information, that we have to choose/trust the information we'll use among the growing fragment/information...

Can we turn all this information into food, shelters, health? Our do we want this information to reinforce what we know by know? Yes, the moment we all had access to dissemination networked tools we all could became Julian Assange. But can we all be like Julian Assange? Who is Julian Assange?

Are we ready to interpret the information in Wikileaks? Are we having the time to read all the information to reach out for the «truth(s)» (do we want the «truth's»)? Which new players will use this information for their benefit? When we do not know enough about a person where do we go to form our opinion(s)?... talk about trust in a fragmented, over abundant information world, where nothing lasts what it should to help us reach an informed opinion... cause we are not allowed the time it takes to gather/confront/reflect upon to information torrent...