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Beyond Gamification. Designing up Maslow’s Pyramid.

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@Paul Keith:
...That is what modern social curation tools are aiming for.
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I have read and reread what you wrote above, and am unable to wrap my mind around what you are saying - at least, not to the extent that it makes sense to me as much as it apparently makes sense to  you. Sorry if I seem to be missing something obvious. And if you were making a joke, then I apologise for treating it seriously!

My take on it so far:
Here's a thing called "curation", and it means whatever I say it means, but it means kinda everything. This "everything" is the objective that the designers of "modern social curation tools" are aiming for. Yet those designers seem to be unable to define what curation is any more clearly than they can define what the objective of using them is.

--- End quote ---

From pragmatic experience, this looks to be potentially even less useful in practice than the idea of an enterprise architecture model has apparently shown itself to be for the enterprise.
It seems to me that curation does not yet exist except as a vague Tweedledum-Tweedledee-ish concept with a Will O'the Wisp definition.
(Is it God?)
Are you "self actualizing" (as Maslow might have put it) in your last post above?     ;)
Is this a "gamification" of "curation"? (Eheh. Sorry, a weak joke)

My brain hurts still.

On another but possibly related topic, I came across this today:
Out to Lunch: A Bad Start for Apple on Black Friday.
I found this definition of "Routinization of charisma":
SpoilerThe "routinization of charisma" is an expression dating from German sociologist Max Weber's classic sociology of religion. A prophetic leader attracts followers to his anti-traditional message by his personal magnetism or force of personality, in short, his "charisma." To keep a movement going after the death of the original founder, however, that charisma must be "routinized," or redirected to the continuing leadership and meaning of the organization. The path of routinization is fraught with danger since it by definition results in a formalization of the meanings of the original movement, involving institutionalization, and the formation of a new "tradition" and the potential for schism and new "charismatic leaders" to emerge. As institutionalized religions spread the teachings of their founders, there is a danger that more energy will go into preserving the outer form of the traditions than into maintaining their original inner spirit. A recent example of the difficulty of routinization can be seen in the troubles experienced by the Robert H. Schuller televangelism empire as it has attempted to "routinize" the original charisma of the elder Schuller and transfer its continuing authority to his son. See for example

I thought this was interesting in the context of the apparent "deification" of Steve Jobs, who was of course just a man like any other great prophet (e.g., including Jesus Christ and Mohammed).
Looks like Apple may have a FAIL on that (the routinization of Jobs charisma), anyway.

Where are those aspirins?

Here we go:
Easily Publish
Gorgeous Magazines
Leverage Curation to increase your visibility.
Give persistence to your social media presence.
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I think I'm beginning to get it now. "Curation" seems to be publishing eye-catching pictures as a substitute for knowledge/information for people who may have limited reading ability and/or a low reading age. So you can "leverage curation" in such a way as you can imagine that you are somehow "increasing your visibility ... and ... giving persistence to your social media presence".

Yeah, right.

Paul Keith:
I think judging on it's own as a singular representative of social curation services would be just as unfair as say judging 4chan as a blog or judging Tumblr's main culture as what the blogosphere is all about.

On top of this, it ignores the fact that is not the most unique among the social curation services. A simple google search could show that in fact it's the opposite: it is the most generic. (though generic here is not necessarily bad)

From the very beginning never hid itself as Tumblr but focusing on topics. (Though the direction they took doesn't really show that as there's no way to be anonymous and focus completely on a topic but nonetheless everything about it is still more topic based than Tumblr.)

To top it off, it would be one thing to say, "Hey I registered to and it seems to be...[...]" but forgive me if I accuse you of not even doing this to prejudge a service. I'm not saying so with the intent of being defensive towards the service it's just that if I was being critical of curation or a service like, I would at least expect someone to point out the less efficient in-built Google Alert/RSS type slow as molasses recommendation engine or even the small text space but to go as far as curation seems to be publishing eye catching pictures I think it begs one to be skeptical about whether one truly even attempted to know about a service or simply copy pasted several texts.

Even without registering, it would baffle me that such a comment could be considered serious at face value when several Scoop.its essentially mimic the lay-outs of many blogs. At the very least I would hope that a critic even at face value would at least prejudge it like a blog...but publishing eye-catching pictures and then referring to limited reading ability and or low reading age??? It's a comment unbecoming of you.

Anyway, as far as usefulness in practice, that's up to debate but it seems enough people find use in the idea and I leave those people to silence or prove right the critics. Example (it was reading this that in fact reminded me of this topic):

Why Financial Literacy Fails

 “Actually,” I told the interviewer, “I don’t think this country needs more financial literacy education. Time and again, financial literacy efforts have failed. They don’t make any noticeable difference in the way we spend and save.”

I gave an example from my own life. “When I was in high school, all seniors were required to take a financial literacy class. It covered topics like compound interest, the Federal Reserve, how to write a check, and the dangers of credit cards. I took that class. I aced every test. And five years later, I had the beginnings of a debt habit.”

I wasn’t the only one. From what I can tell, the kids from my high school grew up to be no different than the rest of Americans. We learned the basics of financial literacy, but it had no perceivable impact on the way we saved and spent and earned. We still made stupid mistakes. We still spent more than we earned? Why? Because financial literacy isn’t the answer!

If you’ve been following Get Rich Slowly for any length of time, you can probably guess what I believe is a better solution. It’s not to feed people more facts and figures. It’s not to teach them how bonds work or to explain the sheer awesomeness of a Roth IRA. I believe what we really need in this country is some sort of behavioral education.

I’m just not sure how to do it.

Behavioral Finance

 Personal finance is simple. Fundamentally, you only need to one thing: To build wealth, you must spend less than you earn. The end. That’s it. We can all go home now. Everything else simply builds on this. Why, then, is it so hard for everyone to get ahead?

For some people, it’s systemic. There’s no doubt that some people are trapped in a cycle of poverty, and they truly need outside help to overcome the obstacles they face. But for most of us, the issue is internal: The problem is us. In other words, I am the reason that I can’t get ahead. And you are the reason that you can’t get ahead. It’s not a lack of financial literacy that holds us back, but a chain of bad behavior.

One of the key tenets of this site is that money is more about mind than it is about math. That is, our financial success isn’t determined by how smart we are with numbers, but how well we’re able to control our emotions — our wants and desires.

There’s actually a branch of economics called behavioral finance devoted exclusively to this phenomenon, exploring the interplay between economic theory and psychological reality. And in August, I wrote about a new wave of folks who are exploring the gamification of personal finance; they’re trying to turn money management into a game. More and more, experts are seeing that our economic decisions aren’t based on logic, but on emotion and desire.

“For years, I struggled with money,” I told my interviewer today. “I knew the math, but I still couldn’t seem to defeat debt. It wasn’t until I started applying psychology to the situation that I was able to make changes. For instance, I used the debt snowball to pay down my debt in an illogical yet psychologically satisfying way. It worked. And I’ve learned that by having financial goals — such as travel — I’m much more inclined to save than if I have no goals at all.”
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Just wanted to drop by and say how glad I am you two found each other.  ;D

I doubt you'd find many other DC members with the focus, love of definition, and gluteal stamina to get into a topic like the two of you sometimes do.

I think the DC forum is a more interesting read because of it. Trot on! :Thmbsup:

@Paul Keith:
SpoilerI apologise if I seemed a bit harsh on "curation" and its derivatives, but it's difficult for me to see clearly after my eyes go all red on seeing so much BS/buzzwords and then glaze over with hate for the spin merchants or whoever exposes us to such seemingly anti-rational gobbledegook. And maybe as a a result I did only make a cursory review of the Scoop-it thing - but hey, I could probably be forgiven for that, because  my patience had already been sorely tested by that stage.

In any event, it seems to me that the emperor still has no clothes despite my having spent some considerable cognitive surplus on the subject and consuming a lot of aspirins in the process. Maybe it's just me or my eyesight that can't see/understand it, but it seems that you have not yet been able to provide sufficiently coherent definition or fact to be able to establish whether the term "curation" and its derivatives are anything more than undefined hyped-up BS buzzwords that an implied 97% of scientists bloggers believe to be true.(A logical fallacy - an appeal to the consensus.)
That latter bit is in reference to your: seems enough people find use in the idea...
--- End quote ---
- which is an implicit appeal to the consensus.

Maybe the earth is still flat, and maybe Hitler was grossly misunderstood, and maybe eugenics/Communism/Fascism/[insert religio-political ideology or pseudoscience here] is the way ahead, and maybe there is anthropogenic global warming, and maybe there are fairies at the bottom of the garden, but I remain incredulous regarding these things until they are able to be substantiated as unequivocally true.
Oh, and Jim Slater or the Enron guys weren't really all such con-men as history makes out to be.
And don't get me started again on Maslow's apparently disproven theories or his concept of "self-actualisation"
Or the pseudoscience of phrenology.

And please don't ad hominem me for referring to people with limited reading ability and/or low reading age. That's just a plain wrong thing to do, and another logical fallacy. What I referred to was quite valid, and I can substantiate it.
My training in written marketing communications taught me to always aim for a reading age of preferably 11, but 14 at most for media communications (using the Flesch–Kincaid readability test). This is not cynical, it is based on pragmatic research:
(From Wikipedia Flesch–Kincaid readability test)
The F-K formula was first used by the US Army for assessing the difficulty of technical manuals in 1978 and soon after became the Department of Defense military standard. The commonwealth of Pennsylvania was the first state in the US to require that automobile insurance policies be written at no higher than a ninth grade level of reading difficulty, as measure by the F-K formula. This is now a common requirement in many other states and for other legal documents such as insurance policies.

Flesch Reading Ease scores:

* 90.0–100.0: easily understandable by an average 11-year-old student.
* 60.0–70.0: easily understandable by 13- to 15-year-old students.
* 0.0–30.0: best understood by university graduates.
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(Mind you, I have come across not a few university graduates who seemed to have been particularly challenged in this regard.)

My training is to use the F-K Readibility Scoring method in most of my writing/documentation. For example, this post/comment of mine is approx 39%, so it's not likely to be fully understood by a number of readers and who may well even have lost interest and stopped reading before this point. I have already had one person in the DCF comment that I am "...the man who writes the longest and most convoluted posts in the entire forum". I think this was from the same person as used a logical fallacy without realising it and, when I mentioned it, seemed to think it was a matter of opinion as to whether it was a fallacy.(!)
It's always likely to be much easier to read some sharp and simple notes than it is to read someone's articulated thinking. Articulating your thinking (as opposed to an opinion) or reading someone's articulated thinking requires thinking and work. But that didn't stop me from at least trying to understand what it was that you were writing about in this thread, however difficult I found it. I figured you would not have made the effort to write what you did if you had been uninterested in communicating your articulated thinking on the subject. I really appreciate that you did that.

SpoilerThe quote re Why Financial Literacy Fails (from made interesting reading.
The trouble I had was that it was a relatively facile article. There seemed to be too much fuzzy thinking and opinionating in the article (which is actually the sort of thing that made me stop reading that blog site a short while after starting to read it a couple of years ago). For example, when a statement is constructed with "I think/believe that such-and-such is the case", what is usually being described is an irrational opinion/belief - where "irrational" means not having any substantiation as to the truth of the statement.

Thus, just as my ears prick up when I hear someone using BS buzzwords, I become cautious when people say "I think..." or "I believe...", because what seems to invariably tend to follow is a stream of unsubstantiated opinion masquerading as "thinking" - which it often categorically isn't.
If I find myself using these same expressions, I watch myself carefully.

The article provides no definition for:

* Financial Literacy
* behavioral education
* Behavioral Finance
* Personal finance- and yet these terms are used and bandied around in the article as though they actually mean something.

There's nothing wrong with the article that couldn't be fixed by a complete rewrite.
However, for me the article was like the parson's egg - "good in parts".
The good bit was where it said:
And in August, I wrote about a new wave of folks who are exploring the gamification of personal finance; they’re trying to turn money management into a game.
--- End quote ---

That could lead to a useful definition:
Gamification: The process of turning an aspect of, or a process in our lives into a game, in order to enable us to manage these aspects of our lives more effectively and efficiently.
--- End quote ---

Of course, there is no "new wave of folks who are exploring the gamification of personal finance". I have been involved in creating such games for students to play (on a mainframe computer) as learning games since the early '70s. Things have moved on a bit since then - e.g., I can practice placing buys and sells on the stock market through an online game system run by my New Zealand bank, which is similar to a game sponsored by the Wider Share Ownership Council in the UK in the mid-'70s.

Despite all this, it tends to be the case that the operation of accounting systems - and especially banking/insurance systems and processes - are a closed book to the majority of the population (who have not studied the theory of accounting and national payments transaction processing). I have a very cynical view that this state of affairs is maintained by the banks and insurance companies because they can only really maximise their profits by maintaining an impenetrable transparency of their operations. The last thing they want is a theoretically perfect Keynesian market where all consumers know what products and services are on offer at what prices, and from which financial institutions. That means that it is very difficult for the typical consumer to know/understand what the heck is going on with their money in the financial market.


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