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Hmm, the thing I can't get comfortable with is that a lot of these characters are subjectively evil, from our point of view. To me a lot of what these characters do is probably what they think is good, what they think needs to be done, and that makes them want to strive to achieve their goals. All from their perspective and independent of how perverse or evil we deem them to be.


If you play along with the above premise, then Dante's Inferno makes sense. Within the 9 layers of Hell, each becoming more intense in relation to the crime committed by the soul residing there, you find that "Traitors" land in the worst spot: the 9th circle. They furthest away from the light of God and tormented endlessly.


It is with that in mind that I submit to you all "Brutus" from Julius Caesar by Shakespeare.

10 months, 1 week ago on Fourteen Greatest Villains in Literature

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Great article! I think online has the same feeling as the 'what would a person do if they knew they wouldn't get caught' idea. I usually judge someone based upon their positive or negative posts and responses and how kindly they treat others within a realm of almost no reprecussions.

I'm glad your gut/instincts didn't lead you astray, gives me hope for my own chioces online. :-)

1 year, 4 months ago on I’m OK, You’re OK: Social Friendship and Gut Instincts

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Great article @Kelly Dietrich !  I think Big Data is just being discovered, but it's very promising. Something to keep in mind is that Big Data doesn't necessarily mean the volume of the data, more so with regards to how much influence the data can have*.

 

If a big data strategy is supplying a real time system with enough information for the system to alter its strategy moment to moment, then we can build systems that don't waste time or money by continuing to execute inefficient paths. These systems are more suited to delivering products and services customers want even when those needs change.

 

*Keep in mind that to conduct a poll of the adult population in the US, you only need ~1000 random samples.

1 year, 9 months ago on Political Campaign Trends for 2013

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From the software side of the house, I can see how a software company could actually gain a lot of efficiency from shifting from the term 'user' to a more appropriate term. In the case of designing a system where the central concept of the system is a 'user', you end up having to have this 'user' do everything. Because there are no further distinctions between the people who actually use the system, there is really no limit to what is possible for each 'user' and that has to be represented by code.

This leads to software that does everything, that has routines that act as a blanket for _anything_ that could happen, and the person's intent is lost in a flurry of anonymity and thoughtlessness. Not only that, but systems where the user does everything are pretty hard to test ... how do you even plan that?

 

In building a 'user-centric' system, many developers focus on what the user would _want_ to do, but not _why_ they would want to do that. Addressing the 'why' first actually gives you a great deal of insight into the people that use your system and if you actually spend the time to go ask real people 'why' they would use your system, you can even begin to figure out how to sell your product well before you build it.

 

This means: you only build what sells, you know to whom you're selling, you know they will buy it ... and you certainly don't call those people 'users'.

2 years ago on Users, Stakeholders, Target Audiences…Or Just People

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 @ginidietrich Hey @ginidietrich, this seems a little weird to me: "The whole point of Twitter is to have freedom of speech."

I think you've maybe mixed two things up.

 

The whole point of _the US Constitution_ is to have freedom of speech.

 

The whole point of Twitter is to _make money for Twitter_; no matter what its mission statement says.

 

People are able to post on Twitter if they follow Twitter's policies, terms, and conditions (to which they've already agreed by virtue of using Twitter's services). The actions between NBC and Twitter are shocking and egregious, but they are well within their own rights as an operating entity.

 

If anything, this should be a lesson that all of our current methods of sharing information are owned by corporations. They are in control of the media, no matter in which mode it's transmitted. If you want to use a media company that is truly about the freedom of speech, I suggest you start it (you have my phone number).

2 years, 2 months ago on Reporter’s Twitter Account Suspended for Critiquing Olympics Coverage

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