October 23, 2012

Tools for Change, Social Change Conference 1995 notes

Posted in Behaviour at 05:31 by graham

In these months of American politicians trying to influence you, I thought it interesting to look at ways of using the same tools for positive change.

In May 1995, Canadian academic, broadcaster and environmental activist David Suzuki invited marketers, scientists, media educators, and activists to Vancouver for a Social Change Conference. The goal was for social change organisations to learn about effective marketing and behaviour change from professionals and each other.

The proceedings were published in Tools for Change, which is available at the Vancouver Pubic Library, and AFAIK basically nowhere else. Here’s what I found interesting:

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David Suzuki on television

Posted in Behaviour at 02:11 by graham

David Suzuki tells of making television science programs. He thought people would turn on TV to watch his program, then turn it off and discuss.

Of course people don’t watch television that way at all. They come home, they turn it on, and it’s there. And they tune in and out, assaulted by a barrage of images. By the time they go to bed at night, their brains are mush. They retain bits and pieces with no idea where it came from.

(From the highlights of Social Change Conference, 1995).

When confronted with the negative effects of television, people often claim “I only watch the Discovery / History / Nature channel”. Your brain still turns to mush. Put the TV in a cupboard.

October 3, 2012

Resident and Virtual memory on Linux: A short example

Posted in Software at 06:29 by graham

Tools like top show processes using two kinds of memory:

  • Resident memory, labelled RES: How much physical memory, how much RAM, your process is using. RES is the important number.
  • Virtual memory, labelled VIRT: How much memory your process thinks it’s using. Usually much bigger than RES, thanks to the Linux kernel’s clever memory management.

Here’s a short C program to illustrate the difference:

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