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Colin Dodds – Debit Credit Theory (Accounting Rap Song)

October 17, 2012

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

July 18, 2012

The Potential and Promise of Open-Source Judaism

June 20, 2012

Jun 12 2012, 12:03 PM ET 14

One community’s pioneering effort to make its materials of worship more widely available and remixable.

jericho_615.jpgMap of Jericho in the Farhi Bible by Elisha ben Avraham Crescas, circa 14th century (Public Domain).

New technologies are naturally and generally controversial, but perhaps nowhere more so than in religious communities. For many religious leaders (and their followers), recent digital technologies are corrosive solvents of community life: the old ways are surely best. For others, new technologies offer opportunities to extend the reach of religious bodies, to draw more people into the fold.

One might think that a highly traditional religion like Judaism — whose core practices are so ancient and burnished by custom — would be inclined to techno-suspicion. But Aharon Varady doesn’t see it that way: for him, digital technologies can come to the aid of traditional practices. Varady is a man of wide-ranging gifts who, among other things, runs the Open Siddur Project. A siddur is a Jewish prayer book containing the daily prayers, and the Open Siddur Project is working to create the first comprehensive database of Jewish liturgy and liturgy-related work — and to provide an online platform for anyone to craft their own siddur. In this way Varady hopes “to liberate the creative content of Jewish spiritual practice as a commonly held resource for adoption, adaptation, and redistribution by individuals and groups.” For him, openness is key to the success of the project.

The Open Siddur Project strikes me as a deeply thoughtful, innovative way of trying to make new technologies and modern religious life reinforce each other, instead of being inimical or at cross-purposes. So I proposed that Aharon answer a few questions about the ideas behind his work, and he readily agreed. Here’s our conversation.

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ReCivilization with Don Tapscott

February 13, 2012

Tuesday February 7, 2012

Episode Four: Re-Industrializing the planet

In episode four of ReCivilization, Don examines how the digital revolution has cut transaction costs and changed the notion of the firm, and how business needs to operate collaboratively and transparently — to meet the needs of increasingly savvy consumers concerned about sustainability and ethical behaviour. As Don says, the level of scrutiny made possible by the web means businesses operate nakedly. And if you’re going to be naked, you’d better be buff.

Join the ongoing conversation on Twitter at #recivilization! And you can follow us @recivilization.


Featured guests: 

Reid Hoffman, founder and CEO of LinkedIn
Hannah Jones, Vice President of Sustainable Business and Innovation at Nike Inc.
Robin Chase, founder of car-sharing companies ZipCar and BuzzCar
Dara O’Rourke, director of GoodGuide, which evaluates companies based on a scale of corporate responsibility
Gord and Susan Fraser, homeowners in Toronto who operate the Ravina Project, an ongoing, well-documented green-energy experiment that allows them reduce their home’s reliance on the electrical grid.
Read more »

Samsung’s Transparent Smart Window at CES 2012 [Official]

January 16, 2012

NASA Launches Open Source Portal

January 9, 2012

From the Space is the Place dept.:
Today we are launching, the latest member of the open NASA web family. Through this website, we will continue, unify, and expand NASA’s open source activities. The site will serve to surface existing projects, provide a forum for discussing projects and processes, and guide internal and external groups in open development, release, and contribution.

In our initial release, we are focusing on providing a home for the current state of open source at the Agency. This includes guidance on how to engage the open source process, points of contact, and a directory of existing projects. By elucidating the process, we hope to lower the barriers to building open technology in partnership with the public.


Global Village Construction Set – TED Talk

December 19, 2011

Global Village Construction Set – TED Talk from Open Source Ecology on Vimeo.