Contracting

Following an interesting thread on careers in Max/MSP, I came across a link to Joshs Rules of Database Contracting. I particularly like these ones:

  • Ask Not Whats Possible: the question is not what you can do, the question is how much the client is willing to pay for it and how long they will wait.
  • Time Substitutes for Money on a Logarithmic Scale: e.g cutting the time by 20% will require doubling the budget. Cutting the budget by 30% will quadruple the amount of time.
  • All Estimates are Optimistic: new application development will take three times as long as you expect, and cost twice as much. Or vice-versa.

Careers After Music Psychology

Richard Parncutt is asking for response from ex-music psychology students for the Careers After Music Psychology survey.

If you have studied music psychology at any time (even if just one course), we would be grateful for about 20 minutes of your valuable time.

Please participate regardless of whether or not your current occupation involves music or psychology in any way.

This questionnaire aims

  • to document the careers of ex-students of music psychology
  • to inform current students of music psychology about career opportunities
  • to develop career-oriented strategies for teaching music psychology
  • to promote music psychology among potential employers

I am very much looking forward to seeing the results of this research, and I hope (and expect) that they find people to end up in a wide range of disciplines.

Eduroam

I just learned about Eduroam:

Eduroam which stands for Education Roaming, is a RADIUS-based infrastructure that uses 802.1X security technology to allow for inter-institutional roaming. Being part of eduroam allows users visiting another institution connected to eduroam to log on to the WLAN using the same credentialsusername and passwordthe user would use if he were at his home institution. Depending on local policies at the visited institutions, eduroam participants may also have additional resources at their disposal. All this with a minimum administrative overhead.

Apparently UiO is a member through Uninett, and I see that there are lots of other members around Europe. I always have some kind of problem when connecting to networks at other institutions, so I am looking forward to test how Eduroam works next time I’m out travelling.

√łnskebok

Everyone is working on solutions for creating semantic descriptors these days. The Norwegian book shop √łnskebok.no gives the user the opportunity to choose from a set of three descriptors and it will give you a list of books to choose from. Some of the adjectives seem to be based on words from psychological studies on emotions (e.g. happy-sad) while others are a bit more explicit (e.g. much-little sex). Anyway, it is great that we get some more human-friendly and semantically based alternatives to searching.

onskebok.png

Idea, Concept, Product

Earlier today I went to the release seminar of a new book on creativity and idea development called Slagkraft – Håndbok i idéutvikling by Erik Lerdahl. In his introduction, Erik Lerdahl stressed the importance of creativity not being something that happens by random, but rather that it is a “muscle” that can be trained. Nice metaphor.

What I found most interesting during the seminar was the talk by Ragnar Johansen, the marketing director from Stabburet, a Norwegian food producer. His approach to creativity and design, he told, was very much focused on the business value. His take on the chain from idea to product was like this:

  • An idea has no value if it does not lead to a clear concept.
  • A concept is a development of an idea into something that gives value.
  • Translating a concept into a product is the hardest part.

He exemplified this through the process leading up to the launch a new sauce tube. However, this very practical and business-oriented approach sounded quite similar to how we are working when developing solutions for a music performance. There are always lots of ideas that have to be massaged into more concrete concepts, and then we have to face a number of technical and practical challenges when developing the final product.