22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Outsourcing our Thinking to Algorithms and Those Who Engi...

...even as an algorithm mindlessly implements its procedures – and even as it learns to see new patterns in the data – it reflects the minds of its creators, the motives of its trainers. Amazon and Netflix use algorithms to make recommendations about books and films. (One-third of purchases on Amazon come from these recommendations.) These algorithms seek to understand our tastes, and the tastes of like-minded consumers of culture. Yet the algorithms make fundamentally different recommend...
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06 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Paradigm Shift: Everyone Will have a Timeline

In 10 years, every human connected to the Internet will have a timeline. It will contain everything we’ve done since we started recording, and it will be the primary tool with which we administer our lives. This will fundamentally change how we live, love, work, and play. And we’ll look back at the time before our feed started — before Year Zero — as a huge, unknowable black hole. This timeline — beginning for newborns at Year Zero — will be so intrinsic to life that it will quic...
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The ubiquitous tracking of so much data on everyone means we are entering a new age.

18 OCT 2014 by ideonexus

 The Gevulot

‘It’s a nice thought.’ He offers her his hand. ‘I am Paul. I got a little lost: all those moving streets. I was hoping you could tell me the way out.’ A trickle of emotion bleeds through his rough visitor’s gevulot: a sense of unease, a weight, a guilt. Xuexue can imagine the old man of the sea sitting on his back. It feels very familiar. And suddenly it is more important to talk to the stranger than to smile at the robot. ‘Sure I can,’ she says. ‘But why don’t you stay ...
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A device that provides privacy protection with anyone you interact with real or virtual.

30 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Advantage of Offline Source

Sharif smiled hesitantly. “In all honesty, I was as surprised as you about that. Professor Gu and I were talking freely when he arrived on campus. He got rather quiet as we came down the slope from your Warschawski Hall. And then for no apparent reason, he turned left and we went around the north side of the library. The next thing I knew he was walking into the freight entrance—and I lost contact. I don’t know what more I can say. My own wearable security is of the highest order, of co...
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An interesting critique on the bias of the Internet in how it brings you exactly what you are looking for, while the paper-books only brought you approximations, challenging you.

08 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 The Siren Server

A Siren Server, as I will refer to such a thing, is an elite computer, or coordinated collection of computers, on a network. It is characterized by narcissism, hyperamplified risk aversion, and extreme information asymmetry. It is the winner of an all-or-nothing contest, and it inflicts smaller all-or-nothing contests on those who interact with it. Siren Servers gather data from the network, often without having to pay for it. The data is analyzed using the most powerful available computers, ...
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Web services that entice people to contribute to them, and whose contributions are then aggregated in various forms for the profit of the server owner.

08 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 What's Good for a Business Can be Bad for Society

Every bit in a computer is a wannabe Maxwell’s Demon, separating the state of “one” from the state of “zero” for a while, at a cost. A computer on a network can also act like a wannabe demon if it tries to sort data from networked people into one or the other side of some imaginary door, while pretending there is no cost or risk involved. For instance, a Siren Server might allow only those who would be cheap to insure through a doorway (to become insured) in order to make a supernat...
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Businesses that refuse to insure high-risk individuals leave the burden of those individuals on the whole community.

05 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 The Bored at Work Network (BWN)

Global capitalism has produced hundreds of millions of bored office workers who sit in front of computers forwarding emails and surfing the Web. These alienated white-collar professionals spend half their day sharing media with their friends, inadvertently creating the Bored at Work Network (BWN). A by-product of alienated labor, the BWN has become the largest alternative to the corporate media. Activists, artists, and hackers can reach millions of people through the BWN, successfully distri...
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A network where viral memes propagate.

05 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 Social Networks "Flatten" Social Structures

Visibility has its cost; in order to make broader social networks vis- ible, Friendster flattens those networks, collapsing relationship types and contexts into the ubiquitous “Friend.” More problematically, Friendster does not provide ways of mapping or interpreting the contextual cues and social structural boundaries that help people manage their social worlds. Physi- cal distance, to abstract from the obvious, is not just an obstacle to build- ing social relations but is also the dimen...
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They create a new form of interaction, where people do not know the rules; therefore, they resort to experimentation to learn how to interact.

30 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 The Epoch of Potential Memory

One can see Manovich’s argument becoming true in the development of database technology the 20th century. The first commercially available computer databases were organized hierarchically. If you wanted to get to a particular piece of information, you went to the overarching category and made a series of choices as this category broke down into groups then subgroups until you got to the specific piece of information that you required. This mode of traveling through a database was called “...
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We live in a world where we can pull any aggregation of facts out of historical references to produce the aspects of history we wish to explore. It is dynamic and full of potential.

30 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 Digital Archiving Creates an Immense Wealth of History

With digital archiving in all its forms, however, a new regime of technologies for holding past experience has emerged. Our past has always been malleable, but now it is malleable with a new viscosity. Whereas in the past our experiences were frequently (literally!) pigeonholed into rigid classification systems, leading to a relative paucity of tales we could tell of our past, today the traces have multiplied and the rigid classifications are withering. (Who now does a “tree” search using...
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We once had to document history, but now our lives are documented for us all over the place online.