I ended up talking about knowledge management quite a bit at Agile Games 2018 and Mob Programming 2018.  I don’t have a lot of formal training in this area, but it’s something that I’ve focused on a lot, and I’ve learned a lot from people who have studied it a great deal.  Rather than respond directly, I decided to add a blog post about it, to benefit more people.  This is an unordered list of these tips.  I would love to hear your additions or feedback on it.

Push vs Pull Communication Channels

There are two different general ways of communicating information: Push and Pull.  Push is when you send information out to recipients and they get notified (email, Twitter, Slack, etc) and Pull is when the recipient seeks out that information that was published earlier (Website, wiki, CMS, documentation).  Using the wrong type can prevent the recipients from having the most recent information in a timely manner.  The main deciding factor is, is it more important that people know about this information as soon as possible (changes to policy, status/availability updates, issues), or that people have the information when they need it (requirements, specifications, resources, environment details).  Many tools can do both, like wikis, which allow people to get notified of updates).  Email doesn’t work nearly as well as you would think at either push or pull, because most people in technical fields get so many emails that they find it hard to both notice and respond to timely emails and categorize those emails so they can find them later.Continue reading

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I’ve actually felt this way for a very long time.  If I died and got to come back as something else besides a human, my (presumably non-traditional) choice would be to come back as an octopus.

  • They are very well adapted to their environment, and do pretty well in some other environments
  • They have ample appendages to manipulate their environment
  • They have the ability to live in many places and eat a variety of foods, which makes them resilient to hard times.
  • They have turbo boost!  And [some have] camoflage!

This article I found on Wired’s website talks about new examples of some species of octopus which have shown real tool use!  Not just real tool use, but carrying around tools for later use.  And that’s the part that distinguishes intelligent tool use from instinctive behavior.  I’ve seen documentaries on them solving various physical puzzles, but this is even cooler.  They even have a Beatles song about them.

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From Slashdot: Scientists Learn To Fabricate DNA Evidence.  This article covers two techniques that can now be used to falsify a crime scene with planted DNA.

On the one hand, this was probably inevitable.  There’s very little man can understand but not control.  On the other hand, this is truly a shame, as DNA evidence has been used frequently in the past few years to free wrongly-accued long-term inmates who were convicted before DNA tests were common.

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This is a subject very important to me right now.  I recently spend some time in a rainy part of Maine, and came back with at least two dozen mosquito bites.  They’re finally starting to ease up a little, but I’ve lost a lot of sleep from waking up scratching myself.

I found this article on Slashdot: Neuron Path Discovery May Change Our Conception of Itching.  It turns out that itching isn’t really just another form of mild pain.  There are separate circuits of nerve cells to convey itchiness and pain, and their studies suggest that itch and pain signals are transmitted along different pathways in the spinal cord.

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From Slashdot: Sticky Tape Found To Emit Terahertz Radiation.  Reading through the comments, this is more of an interesting curiosity than a practical discovery, but I find the explanation fascinating.  Terahertz-range radiation can be used for imaging, like C-rays.  Denser objects absorb more of the energy, so looking at the “shadow” from the other side of the object can show hidden weapons, etc.  Unlike C-rays, though, terahertz-range radiation does not harm the body.

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