Jay Cross
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Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I arrived in Berlin yesterday morning, checked in at the misnamed but reasonably-priced Hotel Berlin Plaza, plugged in my laptop, and tapped away most of the day as I watched the snow drift by. The Plaza does not have internet connections; in fact, they charge 2,5 Euros an hour to use Microsoft Office on the one public PC in the "Business Center."

Berlin is in Christmas dress. The trees of the Ku'damm are a sea of white lights. Fanning out from the ruins of the Friedrich-Wilhelms Gedank Kirche run are scores of festive booths serving hot mulled wine, fancy candles, meter-long bratwurst, ornamenets, and more.

I shared lunch today with Gary Woodill, a font of wisdom about learning origins and esoterica. He told us about the distributed intelligence of slime mold. One of these guys doesn't know jack but put a bunch of them together, and they can navigate a maze. Separate and re-group the maze takers; they'll go through the maze faster than a new group! Then there's the explanation of why codfish have failed to return to the banks of Newfoundland after years of overfishing. The fishermen had taken all the adults, obliterating the collective wisdom of where to go for food.

Gary is finishing up an ebook for Brandon Hall, and I've been doing my author thing, so conversation turned to books. The slime and cod stories could make interesting alternatives to the One-Minute Cheese Manager books. Someone needs to write The Stupidity of Crowds, a history of English football louts. The opportunities are endless.

Educa is becoming one of the world's meeting-points for thought leaders. Within ten minutes of walking in the front door, I'd become involved in half a dozen conversations that started on my blog or in Abu Dhabi or in email. Werner Trotter, who heads press relations for Educa, and I talked about the power of the Educa imprimateur to bring the right people together and the excitement of web/learning/life 2.0.

I am really looking forward to the next few days.


Anonymous Dick Sethi said...

welcome back!

7:44 AM  

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