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Ginny Holbert is a writer, editor, critic and scanner.
Interests: Change, disruption, optimism, pessimism, science, art, technology, humanity, the future.
Recent Activity
I have been MOOC-ing lately, taking online classes in urban planning, creativity and entrepreneurialism, and this MOOC mash-up has got me thinking about....mashed potatoes. If you are one of the many creative people around the world who dream of creating something fabulous and new, I have a question for you: Which do you use more often? A potato peeler or a paring knife? Unless you love mashed potatoes more than life itself, the winner is--hands down--the paring knife. With a simple paring knife you can slice apples, trim green beans, slice cheese, cut twine, debone a chicken breast, cut pizza,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2013 at Flux and Flummox
We had the Mok at Tamarind in Luang Prabang about a month ago. Now it's a snowy day in the Midwest and I got the urge to recreate it. Thank you for sharing this!
1 reply
One more thing to be paranoid about. Widely available information coupled with facial recognition software apparently means that anyone from a stalker to the government to Mark Zuckerberg could read your face like a book. Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
The recent debt ceiling disaster, which shaped up to be the battle of Dumb and Dumber vs. the Dumbest of All, was an embarrassing example of our dysfunctional democracy, in which our leaders "compromised" their way to a disastrous deal that made everyone unhappy. But there is another way. After their solvency crisis, the peaceful, well-educated and admittedly homogeneous citizens of Iceland took to the streets to defy an IMF-dictated solvency plan. Then they did something even more extraordinary. They crowd-sourced a new constitution. "To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Young people all over the globe are angsting over the future, but it seems that the professional futurists of the World Future Society are ignoring them. Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Korea says goodbye to heavy backpacks and anachronistic education. By 2015, students will be carrying digital textbooks in lieu of paperback books in all schools in South Korea, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Taking advantage of cloud technology, the ministry said that it will invest KRW 2.2 trillion (US $2 billion) to convert textbooks to digital with links to various multimedia content, establish massive servers and WiFi networks in schools, and provide free tablets for students from low-income families, reports The Cosunilbo. Meanwhile, the American Tea Party would like to kill the public education entirely. Republican... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
After the gloom and doom of the last few posts, here's something to make you marvel at human inventiveness, creativity and generosity. Bjork's latest project goes far beyond the "album" or "tour." Instead "Biophilia" is a sprawling, futuristic musical/conceptual constellation that will include a variety of interactive apps, music workshops for children, newly invented instruments and performances inspired by the nature and technology. “What Bjork is doing feels a lot like the birth of cinema or the birth of opera,” said Scott Snibbe, a media artist and leading app developer who managed the “Biophilia” project and whose studio created three... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Mix peak oil, climate change and population growth and you get war. That's how author and Hampshire College professor Michael T. Klare sees the next 30 years. Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
While politicians like Michelle Bachmann deny global warming, scientists are so worried about the slow response to climate change that they are turning to radical geo-engineering solutions. Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Although many a dog lover would argue otherwise, most people assume that the ability to feel emotion and respond to the emotions of others is a core attribute of being human. I feel, therefore I am. Yet these technologies are rapidly erasing that distinction between man and machine. Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Computers can out-calculate any human, but they can't do many things the average baby can do. One of those things is to reliably recognize human expression and emotion. Affectiva, a for-profit enterprise that grew out of facial recognition and affective computing research at MIT, is a company that is trying to make human emotion understandable to computers. One mode of research analyzes facial expressions, and is touted as a way to help marketers, movie makers and game designers analyze your second-by-second emotional response. In an example hosted by, site visitors are told they can help computers learn to understand... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
If drugs like Ritalin and Adderall can help students study, why don't we provide them to all students? Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
ginny is now following Elsa Mora
Mar 3, 2011
One of Postman's themes is that as traditional belief systems fade, technology has replaced them and information itself has taken on metaphysical status. But information per se does not solve problems. Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Facebook is experimenting with a new privacy statement, but I still don't trust it. And I'm not sure I want to be friends with my dentist--even Facebook friends. Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Transhumanism tends to be a comic book vision of the future, in which a compendium of technologically enabled "enhancements" will improve human beings so much that they evolve into a new species of transhumans. Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Things to be hopeful about this week: Egypt, a seed vault in the Arctic and a cool recycled lamp. Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Generate designs, titles and other fun stuff with random generators. More ways to waste time! Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
I agree, I think there may be dangers but we are all just so addicted. I think its always better to keep the phone away from your head.
Toggle Commented Feb 9, 2011 on Shiny Happy Friday Part II at Flux and Flummox
So are Internet tools such as Twitter, blogs and Facebook really revolutionary or is the whole discussion just a distraction from what is really important here? Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Mayan Woman on a cell phone in Guatemala/Ashabot Flickr photo TGIF, because it is time for another round of good news and Developments That Are Not Depressing! Here's a project that could bring the wealth of information on the web to people without computers--and even to those who are illiterate. From Fast Company: Tim Berners-Lee is best known as the father of the World Wide Web, but his latest side-project in Senegal and Mali--the World Wide Web Foundation's VOICES project--aims to give youth and families without typical computing abilities a way to access the Internet with voice-enabled apps. It is... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
In an amazing demonstration of the power of social networking, free-speech advocates around the world have galvanized to make sure that Egypt does not go entirely dark. Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Obama's State of the Union was a futurist's speech, intended to focus our minds on the accelerating change that we cannot avoid and that demands new ways of thinking. Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Unbeknownst to me, an army of bad little Sir Spam-a-Lots have been hurling random letters, nonsense phrases and vile URLs at my innocent blog. Meanwhile, a valiant army of Typepad defenderbots--housed somewhere in The Cloud I suppose--are tirelessly fighting back, shielding us from the barrage of mischief. Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2011 at Flux and Flummox
Steampunk musician Dr. Steel's PSA for The Singularity....sign up now! Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2011 at Flux and Flummox