Have we lost our love of serendipity ?

They say that your cognitive learning abilities begin to decrease from the age of 27 as you become more habitual and you begin to lose your sense of discovery. The problem is that now our laziness is going to be controlled by an algorithm.

A video created by Eli Pariser, believes that facebook, google and applications across the net are creating a filter bubble that will go against what the web was intended for. He believes it was created to introduce us to new people and help us find new perspectives. The problem is, as the web becomes more personalised you could argue it becomes more isolating.

Here is a great quote from it’s inventor Tim Berners Lee:

‘The filter bubble phenomenon, I think that noun is applied to the idea that a search engine can get to know you and so it can get to know the source of things it thinks you’re interested in. You will end up in a bubble because you will reward the search engine — you will go to the search engine — it feeds you things which you’re excited about and happy about and it won’t feed you things which get you thinking.’

A person you walk past on the street, an image you take of someone interesting, a comment a person makes in passing, someone telling a story through their art. These small serendipitous moments of life can not be valued, but are a major part of what makes up someone’s persona. One of the nicest things about travelling is just wondering the streets and running into things that are unexpected. How does that happen if you plan, analyse and organise every part of it?

What separates us from the machines is, a sense of wonder or imagination of what we don’t know or what we don’t expect. At a time that seems like the world is out of control, people feel great comfort in knowing what is going to happen. Will we lose our ability to tap into the eccentricities of life to bring that sense of imagination and wonder to things that we do, be it for a greater audience or just to make our lives a little more fulfilling.

I don’t know about you, but I am connecting a little less often and trying to enjoy the small eccentricities that are slightly beyond my reach a little more.

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Has the slow economy pushed more people online?

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, people still found ways to get together, despite the hard economic times. Today, people are looking for business blogging sites, Facebook and Linked-in seeking jobs or just connecting with others.

During the Great Depression, poor folks watched Charlie Chaplin do his best to find a job (and keep it), fix up his house, and find the lady of his dreams. The audience had something in common with Chaplin’s characters, so they got the jokes, and the jokes brought them all together.

During these modern days we’re slogging through our own recession that doesn’t offer much to laugh about. A lot of people are facing those same struggles with work, housing, and even relationships. Just like Chaplin’s films showed the angst of those times, more and more people today are sharing the anxiety and worry of these modern times. Only we’re not doing it with slapstick and silent movies. We’re posting on blogs, sharing photos, and twittering.

Commiserating with like-minded people can bring relief and comfort, but it can also impact our decisions. We aren’t sheep, blindly following anything willing to lead, but when every penny counts, it’s good to know how friends made similar choices.

The Benefits Of Socialising In Real Life

Do you spend so much time sitting on the sofa interacting with people online through the use of social media (facebook, skype, twitter) or are you a party animal who likes to party hard?!

While “sofalising” is simply staying at home and talking to loved ones via electronic devices rather than in person. This mode of interaction involves: email, text, instant messenger, twitter, skype, wall posts or status updates on a social network such as Facebook, Twitter, Bebo…

The benefits and importance of socialising with people is that it It gives you so much fun and enjoyment. It aids in reducing the level of stress experienced in your daily activities. It builds constructive and positive relationships as a result of the networks formed. It lifts your mood and you receive so much encouragement from friends/family when you go through difficult moments. It provides the opportunity for you to explore new areas, such as different personalities, mannerisms etc.

Socialising also improves your personal growth and development. In certain instances; socialising increases your self confidence and esteem by kicking out your shyness in a gathering. It promotes happiness and allows you stay in touch with friends and family. Socialising improves your mental functioning by constantly engaging and exercising your mind.

It allows you promote your brand of business, skills, trade and where social networks are involved, create an online presence. It enhances the feeling of being loved and provides physical, emotional and spiritual support. It increases your sphere of influence as a result of various networks or groups formed.

At last, a free shared working location in Cambridge! Co-working comes to Central Cambridge.

At last, a free shared working location in Cambridge! Co-working comes to Central Cambridge.

Coworking Cambridge (CowCam) is a casual co-working space where freelancers, home workers, contractors and small business owners can get out of their normal space, meet new people, and work in a social environment.

We are located at the Hidden Rooms, 7A Jesus Lane in Cambridge CB5 8BA (Next to Pizza Express) and currently operating one day a week – on a Wednesday, from 10.00am – 5.15pm.

CowCam is a mixture of work, chat, brainstorming and support plus the potential to collaborate on the birth of a new project. CowCam is not an out and out networking event, if you want to sit with your headphones in and pound away at the keyboard… that’s just fine.

CowCam starts its new season from Wednesday 14th September every Wednesday from 10.00am – close 5.15pm. Entrance and WiFi is free. Tea, Coffee and Crudités available at the bar. Takeaway menu from Pizza express also an option.

Meetings of a larger scale can also be accommodated for in the Club room and we are happy to provide Mic / Projector etc.

CowCam is promoted by Creating Cambridge, a loose knit network of networks which aims to bring together people from the tech, bio-tech, creative and innovation sectors in Cambridge.

Please contact mauro.ciaccio@camtechnet.info Tel:07768 255967 for further information and online at: http://www.eventility.co.uk/cgc/cowcam

Key ingredients for a successful “social town centre”

If some of the traditional functions of town centres, like shopping and office blocks, are shrinking due to technology and economic changes, can they still have a purpose? The UK has more retail space than it needs; the nature of retail is changing fundamentally as an increasing percentage of business is done online; and the debt-fuelled rise in personal disposable income has ground to a halt.Those problems are not, of course, limited to the UK.

In smaller towns and neighbourhood shopping centres, stores are continuing to close. Nostalgia and middle-class spending power won’t save our town centres. We need to acknowledge that there are other reasons, more relevant to the 21st century, for town centres.

Town centres need to be promoted as places to live for a wide mix of people. A learning town centre which might combine formal learning by universities and colleges with spaces for informal learning and exchanges of skills. A greener town centre with interests in local growing projects is something that has risen in popularity as consumers become more aware of the waste associated with global food distribution systems, and additionally, climate change is likely to increase the need for local food resources and for the relearning of gardening skills.

A creative town centre, where Creative activities will draw people into urban spaces, generating interaction and business opportunities. Many such activities need temporary, flexible space rather than permanent buildings. The key to a successful centre is not the buildings or the retail offer; it is the people. People attract other people. Town centres that support networking and creativity make good business sense.

Town centres need to be planned for shifting modes of transport, flexible public spaces, and changes of use that are likely to become more frequent than the planning system currently allows.