“An Inconvenient Truth” on DVD Today

The documentary about Al Gore’s travelling climate change slideshow “An Inconvenient Truth” is out on DVD today.  A must see for every citizen, please see it if you haven’t already.  For those familiar with the science there won’t be much new, but the way Gore presents the cold hard facts is really amazing in its clarity and the film puts his story into some perspective.
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He couldn’t have done it without Duarte Design, who produced the visuals to help Gore’s visual storytelling.  No Powerpoint bullets here, this Keynote presentation is full of animations and great visualization techniques – very cinematic.  Fantastic work.

DemoCamp11: Mixed Reviews and a Retooling

Another month, another DemoCamp. It was good to see some friends I haven’t seen in far too long. Here are some reviews: Rohan, Greg, Martin, Ryan McKegney, Craig Borysowitch, James.  Jennifer McCarthy remarks on the skewed gender balance.  (When are we going to fix that?)
Democamp

I’m giving DemoCamp11 a thumbs-up overall. My reviews, thoughts on Powerpoint, on DemoCamp as JobFair and Retooling after the jump…

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Neocon Grand Strategy, Part Deux?

Here we go again? Sy Hersh’s latest in The New Yorker is worth a read.

THE NEXT ACT by SEYMOUR M. HERSH

The Administration’s planning for a military attack on Iran was made far more complicated earlier this fall by a highly classified draft assessment by the C.I.A. challenging the White House’s assumptions about how close Iran might be to building a nuclear bomb. The C.I.A. found no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program running parallel to the civilian operations that Iran has declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency. (The C.I.A. declined to comment on this story.)

But some in the White House, including in Cheney’s office, had made just such an assumption—that “the lack of evidence means they must have it,� the former official said.

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StartupCamp: Bigger Success Through Better Failures

Two really excellent posts that hit the nail on the head for me about startups and the ironies of success and failure. For anyone who has been there, they resonate in cringe-inducing ways. Read them:

Dharmesh Shah’s cautionary Startup Suicide: Five Ways To Kill Your Startup, Which Will You Pick?

Chris Campbell takes a more positive spin with 5 Reasons to Create Your First Startup

Nobody goes into a new venture intending to fail, but going into a startup knowing that failure is not only possible but statistically likely (especially for the first-time startup entrepreneur) should inform how you approach the experience.

I like Chris Campbell’s point: failure is common, even likely, but the lessons learned are good reasons to do your first startup. The lessons you’re going to learn can really be learned no other way. Campbell argues for taking the longer-term view. My message to young first-time entrepreneurs is to better understand the true risks and rewards and treat the experience first and foremost as the best MBA that money and foregone wages can buy, not as a ticket to the venture-capital or Google-buyout lottery.

The new attitude, particularly for small and cheap web startups, is this: Go in with eyes open. Try something small first. Learn by doing. Trial and error. Iterate quickly and be flexible. Make lots of small corrections. Know when to kill it, cut bait and move on to the next thing so you can redeploy all that new knowledge you just gained.

These posts should be required reading for a session on the topic at the upcoming StartupCampToronto. Aspiring entrepreneurs are characteristically confident (and stubborn) and resist conceiving of, or admitting to, failure. If passing on some wisdom to aspiring entrepreneurs is a good thing, we should be talking about the lessons and precautions of failure.

So let’s talk about it.

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My American “Cousin”

Okay, the Blogosphere is Officially Too Crowded:

There’s another gay guy named “Kuznicki� who blogs.

Bah.

Jason Kuznicki is a well-regarded libertarian blogger, who now works as a research analyst for the Cato Institute(!) Andrew Sullivan recently gave him mad props for his critique of part of Sullivan’s most recent book. If you’re into political philosophy and libertarian thought, go check him out.

Richard Florida: The New Megalopolis

Growth and innovation come from new urban corridors. China isn’t the world’s most ferocious new economic competitor—the exploding east-coast corridor, from Beijing to Shanghai, is. India as a whole is not developing high-tech industries and attracting jobs, but the booming mega-region stretching from Bangalore to Hyderabad is.

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Concerned Moms Reject the Enlightenment?

Gay penguin book shakes up Illinois school

“A picture book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin is getting a chilly reception among some parents in this village who worry about the book’s availability to elementary students — and the reluctance of administrators to restrict access to it. “

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GTA Transport Strategy: A Demand for Meta-Innovation

A new report from Richard Soberman, Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at University of Toronto, points to the coming crisis in Toronto’s regional transit system:

Think traffic is bad now? Just wait till 2031, a new report warns, when morning rush hours will see 100,000 extra cars jam Toronto’s roads and 50,000 new riders crowd onto its public transit system as the region’s population swells to eight million.

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