hey so i know i’ve kinda bailed on shred but i’m tryin to change my flighty ways!!!
in the spirit of cultivating digital community – check this brilliant little video out!
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thought this was one of the coolest sites i´ve seen in a while.
desaparecido76 and deadindenver are discussing. Toggle Comments
I meant to post this MediaPost Search Insider article by Gord Hotchkiss a while back. At least one of you has posted articles by Gord here before–he’s the man. This is great food for thought/discussion.
Link to the full article here (you might have to login to read it so I’ve pasted the text below): http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=135438&lfe=1
Thursday, September 9, 2010, 11:00 AM
As I mentioned a few weeks back, I’m reading Nicholas Carr’s book “The Shallows.” His basic premise is that our current environment, with its deluge of available information typically broken into bite-sized pieces served up online, is “dumbing down” our brains. We no longer read, we scan. We forego the intellectual heavy lifting of prolonged reading for the more immediate gratification of information foraging. We’re becoming a society of attention-deficit dolts.
It’s a grim picture, and Carr does a good job of backing up his premise. I’ve written about many of these issues in the past. And I don’t dispute the trends that Carr chronicles (at length). But is Carr correct is saying that online is dulling our intellectual capabilities, or is it just creating a different type of intelligence?
While I’m at it, I suspect this new type of intelligence is much more aligned with our native abilities than the “book smarts” that have ruled the day for the last five centuries. I’m an avid reader (ironically, I’ve been reading Carr’s book on an iPad) and I’m the first to say that I would be devastated if reading goes the way of the dodo. But are we projecting our view of what’s “right” on a future where the environment (and rules) have changed?
A Timeline of Intellect
If you expand your perspective of human intellectualism to the entire history of man, you find that the past 500 years have been an anomaly. Prior to the invention of the printing press (and the subsequent blossoming of intellectualism) our brains were there for one purpose: to keep us alive. The brain accomplished this critical objective through one of three ways:
Responding to Danger in Our Environments
“Reading is an artificial human activity. We have to train our brains to do it. But scanning our surroundings to notice things that don’t fit is as natural to us as sleeping and eating. We have sophisticated, multi-layered mechanisms to help us recognize anomalies in our environment (which often signal potential danger). I believe we have “exapted” these same mechanisms and use them every day to digest information presented online.”
This idea goes back to something I have said repeatedly: Technology doesn’t change behavior, it enables behavior to change. Change comes from us pursuing the most efficient route for our brains. When technology opens up an option that wasn’t previously available, and the brain finds this a more natural path to take, it will take it. It may seem that the brain is changing, but in actuality it’s returning to its evolutionary “baseline.”
If the brain has the option of scanning, using highly efficient inherent mechanisms that have been created through evolution over thousands of generations, or reading, using jury-rigged, inefficient neural pathways that we’ve been forced to build from scratch through our lives, the brain will take the easiest path. The fact was, we couldn’t scan a book. But we can scan a Web site.
Making The Right Choices
Another highly honed ability of the brain is to make advantageous choices. We can consider alternatives using a combination of gut instincts (more than you know) and rational deliberation (less than you think) and more often than not, make the right choice. This ability goes in lock step with the previous one, scanning our environment.
Reading a book offers no choices. It’s a linear experience, forced to go in one direction. It’s an experience dictated by the writer, not the reader. But browsing a Web site is an experience littered with choices. Every link is a new choice, made by the visitor. This is why we (at my company) have continually found that a linear presentation of information (for example, a Flash movie) is a far less successful user experience than a Web site where the user can choose from logical and intuitive navigation options.
Carr is right when he says this is distracting, taking away from the focused intellectual effort that typifies reading. But I counter with the view that scanning and making choices is more naturally human than focused reading.
Establishing Beneficial Social Networks
Finally, humans are herders. We naturally create intricate social networks and hierarchies, because it’s the best way of ensuring that our DNA gets passed along from generation to generation. When it comes to gene propagation, there is definitely safety in numbers.
Reading is a solitary pursuit. Frankly, that’s one of the things avid readers treasure most about a good book, the “me” time that it brings with it. That’s all well and good, but bonding and communication are key drivers of human behavior. Unlike a book, online experiences offer you the option of solitary entertainment or engaged social connection. Again, it’s a closer fit with our human nature.
From a personal perspective, I tend to agree with most of Carr’s arguments. They are a closer fit with what I value in terms of intellectual “worth.” But I wonder if we fall into a trap of narrowed perspective when we pass judgment on what’s right and what’s not based on what we’ve known, rather than on what’s likely to be.
At the end of the day, humans will always be human.
Sampson is discussing. Toggle Comments
i came upon this interesting article about digital worlds. a few different opinions coming form differnt-ly minded folks.
just a taste:
“We will become considerably more networked, living mainly in terms of proxy encounters. Inevitably hive behaviors will supplant acts of individual initiative. We will become far more of a symbol-trading species than we already are. The data stream, already overwhelming, will be managed by an array of programs and applications. What used to be a knowledge of facts and processes will become a knowledge of the most efficient ways to use those highly developed prosthetic resources. Subjective individualism, waning as an ideal for decades now, will become nearly extinct. We will tend toward electronic collectivism, a kind of electronically aggregated sense of identity.”
most of the responces are not super postive, but pretty inriguing. what do you all think about the questions posed?
In what ways do you feel that immersion in digital technologies is changing us as humans, culturally and individually?
Is there a connection between the quickening desolation of our physical environment and the growing lushness of our artificial media worlds?
What will be the long-term consequences of our species’ abandonment of living in nature in favor of living in media?
(this is not a test, it is real)
(oohhh, finally got through, and plans changed sucessfully. see you in jeju June 22!)
love you peeps!!!!!
We’re going to paaarty with skype 5way video chat! Read about it here.
As much as I hate skype’s bad call quality, dropped calls, expensive rates to mexico and ch – I’m pretty addicted.
thedarkcleft and krammark are discussing. Toggle Comments
Dudes- sorry i haven’t been around these parts in a while – much like my physical life, I’ve kinda of been on a virtual adventure – trying to help people with other projects not unlike shredsomething – and in doing so leaving home for a bit. I know its easy to visit, it only takes a click (or a touch) – but you know how it goes when you start travelling – being around home sometimes can be distracting somehow – I’m not sure….regardless – I have a couple interesting notes
Shredsomething hit a fantastic all-time the other day….mostly because of this post about Plastic Spoons post desperacido made back in January that made it onto Stumble….4,800 hits the other day, 2,300 yesterday…adn today we’re down to 236….the internet is silly like that isn’t it? But this I think is a big sign that what we’re shredding is pretty shreddy and that a little dabbling into some Current/Stumble might stir things up a little bit….
Other notable news is a project Max, Chris and I have been trying our best to shred called Chimbre – not really sure what to do next we decided to try and get somewhat of a community going besides just the daily shred that happens on the Chimbre Facebook page….i’m really trying to make this the best Ning I’ve ever made (the other main one is for Papadosio fans called Rootwire)…..We’re makin all kinda of funky groups to helped people get informed with a lotta the ideas we/ve been shredding throughout the years….The announcement is going out to the Chimbre fans tonight – so I’m hoping we’ll get a lotta people joining – if y’all wanna contribute and join, that would be great – I’m gonna be running/moderating it generally, so i’ll be working on it quite a bit – but at the very least – I also wanted to tell you that we’re having an artist sponsorship contest.
It wasn’t publicized very well and I can take some blame for that, but we’ve got our very own Jason Bowman and Krystle Smith on the ballot. The voting ends Sunday, so I hope everyone has a chance to check out the submissions. You can see them at http://chimbre.ning.com/profiles/blogs/artist-contest-for-grand and I’ll throw in a little voting poll here on the shred.
Lastly – i’m totally proud of how this little blog has chugged along – and it serves as a beautiful reminder as to whats possible – i’ll take the lessons from here on my travels…love you guys ❤
ositos, untamedyawp, deadindenver, and 2 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
“So you’ve heard of Google, right? The single largest search engine and one of the leading software development companies in the world! They are offering to build an experimental network in a community with speeds up to 100 times faster than current internet speeds at an affordable price. It will change how communities access information and interact with the world.
Google states in the Fiber for the Communities request for information that their goal is to experiment with new ways of making Internet access better and faster for everyone. Here are some specific things that Google has in mind:
-Next generation applications: They want to see what developers and users can do with ultra high-speeds, whether it’s creating new bandwidth-intensive “killer apps” and services, or other uses we can’t imagine yet.”
-New deployment techniques: They’ll test new ways to build fiber networks, and to help inform and support deployments elsewhere, they’ll share key lessons learned with the world.
-Openness and choice: They’ll operate an “open access” network, giving users the choice of multiple service providers. And consistent with their past advocacy, they’ll manage their network in an open, non-discriminatory, and transparent way.
Boulder, CO wants to be the first city and has set up a website to allow voting and get fiber in B-town. Check it:
thedarkcleft is discussing. Toggle Comments
Apparently our Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il released his own version of the Linux OS.
The install disk apparently features a quote from Kim Jong-il about the importance of an operating system “compatible with Korean traditions,” and the system requirements are a Pentium III 800MHz with 256MB RAM and 3GB hard drive space (North Korea’s version of Minesweeper must take up a lot of room). Of course, this bad boy has Firefox — except here it’s called My Country, and it will only connect you to something called “My Country BBS,” a web portal on North Korea’s own (restricted) version of the Internet.
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace
Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I
come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask
you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have
no sovereignty where we gather.
We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address
you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always
speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally
independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral
right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true
reason to fear.
Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You
have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not
know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your
borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public
construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows
itself through our collective actions.
You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you
create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our
ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order
than could be obtained by any of your impositions.
You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this
claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don’t
exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will
identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social
Contract . This governance will arise according to the conditions of our
world, not yours. Our world is different.
Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself,
arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a
world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.
We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice
accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.
We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her
beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence
Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and
context do not apply to us. They are based on matter, There is no matter
Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by
physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest,
and the commonweal, our governance will emerge . Our identities may be
distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our
constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope
we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we
cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.
In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications
Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams
of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These
dreams must now be born anew in us.
You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world
where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust
your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly
to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of
humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole,
the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes
from the air upon which wings beat.
In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States,
you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at
the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small
time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in
Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate
themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own
speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be
another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world,
whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed
infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires
your factories to accomplish.
These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same
position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had
to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare
our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to
consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the
Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.
We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more
humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.
February 8, 1996
deadindenver is discussing. Toggle Comments
Created by Online Education
I’ve been playing around with some augmented reality applications on my iPhone lately. I recommend Layar or Wikitude that are both free. Layar has a search application: I submit a query and then look through the iPhone camera.
If I’m in Toronto and searching for apartments for rent – I just look through my camera using Layar. If I am backpacking through the Rocky Mountains I can open Wikitude. Using GPS and the compass it can tell me the locate different peaks when I look through the camera.
Google also just realised a visual search for android devices – which uses some of the same concepts:
Imagine when we can build this technology into glasses. As you walk down the street you will be able to customize layers of technology with reality. siiick
Google just announced that they will be allowing charging for news websites. First click free.
thedarkcleft, untamedyawp, and desaparecido76 are discussing. Toggle Comments
this is freaking some people out in the internet world, but it seems like a good thing to me?
its a far cry form my idyllic anarchist world, but apparently we are not evolved enough to leave out regulating some seedy greedy mo fo’s…. i am all for keeping the big companies out of controlling the weblines and turning the interweb into cable television 2.0
most of the opposition to the new regulation is AT&T, comcast and other giants while most small businesses and silicon start-ups love the idea. that –to me– speaks volumes.
“Copyrighted memes live in our minds, influence our thoughts, even shape our decisions. We are hosts for these memes, yet we have no say in their design, nor do we have the legal right to alter them. Like sacred icons they are controlled by corporate high priests and defended by armies of lawyers. To defile a corporate memetic property is a sacrilege that incurs harsh punishment in the form of legal action and exorbitant fines. Anyone caught tampering with a corporate meme must be frightened away lest they alter the meme pool living in the host population, with potentially damaging consequences for the corporate profit stream.
The internet gives unprecedented ability to track behavioral patterns, preferences and buying habits. Businesses are flooding to this medium to exploit the growing population of potential consumers. Corporations compete for your attention, for access to your memory, fertile ground where they can install their memes. Your mind is the most valuable real estate in cyberspace. Memes infiltrate and multiply in this real-estate, usually without the host even knowing. Squatting in mental territory, corporations pay no rent to the owner of that property.
We at ©Bots urge you to reclaim your mental real-estate. Evict the sponging memes by sending ©Bots in after them. With ©Bots you can spread your own counter-memes into our collective mental space. ©Bots are built from familiar pop-culture components, so they can be readily absorbed into memory, yet they combine those elements into surprising and contradictory new forms. Over time ©Bots disrupt and dislodge entrenched memes, raising them to the conscious level where the host can control the impact of the meme in their lives.”