September 12, 2012

What is WebRTC? Post on LincolnLoop’s blog

Posted in Software at 17:33 by graham

I blogged What is WebRTC over on Lincoln Loop’s blog:

WebRTC, short for Web Real Time Communications, is a specification and project adding JavaScript APIs in the browser to:

  1. Access a user’s webcam and microphone: getUserMedia.
  2. Connect directly to another browser: PeerConnection and DataChannel.

Being able to do video calling in the browser is exciting, but to me the most exciting part of WebRTC is the prospect of peer-to-peer apps in the browser, and server-less applications.

What is WebRTC – Read the full article

September 8, 2012

John Cleese – Take micro creativity retreats

Posted in Ideas, Society at 23:43 by graham

John Cleese gives a great talk on creativity (embedded below). Here’s the summary:

Creativity is a practice, not an ability. It is not correlated to IQ, but is strongly correlated to playfulness.

We have two modes of operation:

  • Closed mode: “get stuff done”.
  • Open mode: curious, exploratory, playful, open-ended.

We switch between the two modes during the day, both are essential. Creativity however only happens in open mode.

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September 4, 2012

Does success at high school predict success in life?

Posted in Society at 06:39 by graham

Lives of Promise, by Karen Arnold, is a 14 year study of achievement and life choices. It is based on the finding of the Illinois Valedictorian Project, which follows 81 high-school valedictorians who graduated in 1981. A valedictorian is the person with the highest average grade in their high-school year.

The study answers some interesting questions.

High school success predicts life success very well. Valedictorians continue succeeding at most everything they do, as long as they know the rules of the game. High school success is at best orthogonal and at worst opposed to becoming someone who changes the rules.

Does high school success predict college success?


95% of the project members graduated college, most of them doing extremely well. Of the four who didn’t, none of them left school for academic reasons.

A history of academic success, in sum, is an extrordinary powerful predictor of further educational attainment. What high school teachers measure by top grades apparently mirrors what college professors reward. High school valedictorians and salutatorians are as close as it gets to rock-solid bets for superb undergraduate grades and college graduation.

Does high school success predict life success?

Read the rest of this entry »