Monthly Archives: February 2008

“Six Degrees”

This is a post I wrote elsewhere in February 2008.

I recently read a book called Six Degrees: The New Science of Networks, by Duncan Watts. Whilst he might be describing his educational successes, the book is actually about networks: the name comes from the idea that everyone can be linked to anyone else in the world in just six steps – “six degrees of freedom”. (Watts actually demonstrates how this theory is actually very poor indeed – the idea stems from an experiment by controversial psychologist Stanley Milgram, and a very poor experiment it appears to have been.)

I found it a fascinating book, particularly since we are now all part of an online, connected world. It was full of lots of interesting stuff – true, not a great deal of it seems to have stuck in my brain, but it was interesting whilst I was reading it…
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A View on the Demutualisation of Standard Life

This is a copy of a post I wrote elsewhere in February 2008. It seems relevant in the current economic conditions. At the end of the lecture, the chair announced that the talk had been given under the Chatham House Rule – since everyone had been sitting there for an hour and a half, making notes on their laptops, that seemed to be more than a little hopeful. I have however tried to remove details of the speaker.

There was a lecture at the management school about the Standard Life demutualisation and share offer (IPO) of September 2006, and what had lead up to it. It was a fascinating account of the machinations of a large organisation going through a period of change and turmoil, and the effect this had on the firm, its staff and its customers.
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BarCampScotland 2008

(I went to BarCampScotland in February 2008; and this is a summary of what I wrote about it elsewhere – because I intend to refer to some of the topics here in a couple of other posts.)

I hadn’t been to BarCamp before, and I didn’t really know what to expect. There was a fair bit of interesting stuff going on, some interesting people there, and, best of all, some interesting conversations.
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