March 10th, 2010

Free parking, a lunch errand, class, and dancing...

~Wednesday~  I used one of the ten or so free parking passes that users of public transportation are allowed each year by the university, as I had an errand to run during lunch.

My work day started off with a 9:00-10:00 meeting, which although is not my favorite way to start the day, this one wasn't bad.

At lunch time, I ran to the Coastal Federal Credit Union and then went home for lunch.

I took a Wolfline bus back to work, as I was going directly to class after work and there are more university bus options to get home at 7:15 than there are city buses.

Social Media and Technical Communication class was interesting enough tonight. We discussed Surowiecki's chapter about trust in The Wisdom of Crowds, throughout which I thought of Covey's posits about trust, of which there are a couple:

  • From The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Principle-Centered Leadership, this notion: "When trust is high, we communicate easily, effortlessly, instantaneously. We can make mistakes, and others will still capture our meaning. But when trust is low, communication is exhausting, time-consuming, ineffective, and inordinately difficult."

  • So key to communicating is trust in Covey's mind that I see he has another book now, The Speed of Trust, based on this notion: "When trust is high, speed goes up, and cost goes down. When trust is low, speed goes down, and costs go up."

I don't think Surowiecki did a good job of—okay I don't think he did it at all—explaining the part trust plays in contributing to the wisdom of crowds. He spent most of the time making the point that, although it might be counterintuitive, trust plays a large role in a capitalistic society.

Since he couldn't be bothered, I'll take a stab at it. It seems to me, particularly if you accept Covey's assertion that it facilitates communication, trust is key in the wisdom of the crowds, because it facilitates the communication necessary to meet one of the four critical criteria for a wise crowd—Aggregation: There must be a mechanism to change private judgments into a collective decision.

Chatham presented on virtual reality tonight, and did a good job with it. I would have liked to have heard her cover mixed reality a little, but in fairness to her, that really wasn't explicitly stated as part of her topic in the syllabus. I appreciated her calling on me at the end of her presentation to share my (very little) experience with virtual media.

Jen did two three generous things in class today, which I totally appreciated:

  1. She had two Starbursts waiting for me at my seat when I got to class. They were red, which was a signal that she'd moved on from her Orange Dinner of March 8th.

  2. She volunteered to switch our presentations during the week after spring break. I was supposed to be presenting on the Monday we get back and she was supposed to be presenting that Wednesday. She volunteered to go Monday, so I wouldn't have to worry about my presentation over spring break. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Jen!

  3. She volunteered to drive me to my car at the Park & Ride at the Food Lion instead of my having to take the bus home. Thanks, again!

Thank goodness dancing was better this week than last. We had about eight dancers there, with Joe (of Joe & Phil) back for the week, Chris (zinnian) making a surprise appearance, and a guest appearance by Joe (Judge) and his boyfriend.

With Joe & Phil wanting to take a lesson and two other bar patrons, Carl taught Cruising. And then he taught a dance. Badumpbump. We're here all week folks. Try the veal.