February 27th, 2013

Final Digital Artifact for #EDCMOOC

This blog post is my final assignment for eLearning and Digital Cultures. A  coursera course offered by the University of Edinburgh (http://bit.ly/ZBgihm).


The course for me has been an adventure in learning and a great path to discovery. Working with technology, I see both the current positive applications and the promise of future benefit. As an optimist, I am extremely hopeful that technology can positively change humanity.

I work with Silicon Valley companies and have spent quite a bit of time there and have grown to appreciate that it is more than place. I thought it would be interesting to create a presentation that helped understand some of its history, changes it is driving and potential impacts. Apologies in advance for the hyperbole and length. Clicking through all the links and reading each one will make it longer than the prescribed time but I wanted to make them available. 

Click here to find my Prezi.



Ultimately, I see technology changing the course of human evolution in the  relatively near term (i.e. maybe me, certainly my kids). I look forward to continuing to learn more about and take part in the shaping of our collective future. 


The Role of Journalism in Creating the Metaphor of Silicon Valley: Turo Uskali, http://bit.ly/XF2EYc













February 9th, 2013

The future of HUDs a dystopian journey. #edcmooc

February 4th, 2013
'We have to believe in free will. We've got no choice.' -Isaac Bashevis Singer
February 1st, 2013


@Minecraft made $237M (1.5B SK) in revenues & an amazing $91M in profits in 2012. This is after paying founder Notch $100M in licensing fees for his open world creation game. Here is the article in Swedish that talks about the company’s stellar financial year (http://bit.ly/11djSTy). Fantastic numbers for a company with only 32 employees. I recently heard a great description of Minecraft calling it legos without the messy blocks. 


Minecraft sold 15M units last year and as many parents have experienced is the talk of the school playground. Unit sales and gross revenues for 2012 breakdown as follows:

Pocket Edition (5.9M) - $42M

XBOX 360 (5M) - $100M

PC  (4.2M) - $117M

Minecraft is an absolute cultural phenomenon for kids. The pocket edition for ipad touches, ipads and other portable devices seem to have driven a lot of the uptake for the kids segment. Both my kids, aged 10 & 8, are absolutely addicted to the game as are most of their friends. The content extends well beyond the game as there is loads of game related UGC content on YouTube.


There was even a fantastic parody video of the PSY’s video called Minecraft Style. Unfortunately, this was taken down by YouTube but I found a link to a video that compares the Minecraft version to the original. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sr7El9A21o. 

With the huge success of Angry Birds and the now Minecraft we are definitely entering an age where an abundance of new brands will be created through interactive mediums. 


January 29th, 2013

I really enjoyed reading your reflections about the short movie, especially as, after watching it yesterday, my own thoughts about it stopped at “well, nice”.

Reading your post made me thinking: maybe the technology really is a little like magic for us these days? After all, how many of us know how a TV or a cell phone or even a book are produced nowadays? And there are even less people who could make one themselves. And then, when one of our little magic gadgets breaks, we just get ourselves a new one instead of trying to fix it as our parent and grandparent generations would’ve done.

January 29th, 2013
Nat nelson

Bendito Machine III - A Dystopian View of Technology #EDCMOOC

Well done on a well thought out and easy to read commentary. I like the way you laid out the argument and thought the introduction summed up what you were doing and the reason for this. I like the fact that you put forward your own opinion at the end. I started by disagreeing about the comment re using images. However, I was seeing it from the perspective of someone who had seen it. Images might be using for someone not going to view the video or just to break up the text.

January 29th, 2013

Bendito Machine III - A Dystopian View of Technology #EDCMOOC

I am taking a Coursera course from The University of Edinburg called “E-Learnings and Digital Cultures.” As part of the course students were asked to watch The Bendito Machine III (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiXOigfDb0U) and consider its viewpoint. My analysis is below. 

The Bendito Machine III is a cleverly animated and humorous short film  with a dystopian view on technology. The film centers on media as a technology causing disruption but I felt it was making a broader statement on all technology. 


The film reduces the relationship between technology and society into a  the following formula:

1. The Creation of New Technology - The delivery of the machine (the new technology) from a “divine source” which I interpreted as a technological deterministic view. So even though humans seek new tech, signified by the struggle up the hill, ultimately the tech controls and changes society. 


2. Discarding the Existing Tech - The arrival of the new tech results in the old tech being discarded into an ever growing heap. As part of this cycle a  few tribe members are casualties of this change. I saw this as a view of those unwilling/unable to adapt to the new tech effectively made irrelevant by the change. 

3. Deification/Mindless Consumption of New Tech - The tech starts as something innocuous but ultimately takes control of their lives. It shapes and conforms the tribes social/economic/political views and enslaves them. The mid-20th TV montages are quite effective as the video jumps from messages of hope and dispair into a neatly wrapped package with a pleasant sound track.  

4. Rinse/Repeat - Start over again with a new technology brought down from the proverbial mountaintop.


The film cleverly uses media tech as a metaphor for the new religion and opiate for the masses and as such strikes a chord. Where it misses is that it regards each new tech as simply a bigger/better replacement of the old one without recognizing any potential positive impact on society.

For example, television in the 20th century brought the world into each of our living rooms. Arguably, it helped galvanize support for social movement like civil rights, the end of the Vietnam War and the fall of Communism. Today’s technology enables the dissemination of information and knowledge without bounds. As it provides access to the world’s best educators, topples tyrants and brings us all closer.

I propose that rather than a dystopian view of a vicious cycle and a growing technological junkyards as suggested by the film, humanity instead is building a foundation where technology is a tool for human advancement. 

January 19th, 2013

Great quote from @cdixon: What would be the greatest technological leap you’d have to explain to someone who time traveled from the 1950’s?

I possess a device in my pocket that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man.

I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers.

January 9th, 2013
Reblogged from Sage VC
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Lifelong learner with interest and expertise in digital innovation.

President of Gunderia Advisors providing product management, business development, customer acquisition and financing consultation across Media, Education Technology, Advertising and Commerce. Companies include:
www.appshed.com, grafighters.com, techtalks.tv, happytoymachine.com, and pixowl.com.

Previously worked in the interactive group at Disney where I led mobile and web technology businesses. Started up Disney’s mobile/apps business that included co-managing a global business with over 300 staff.