25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 The Web Enslaves Us With Convenience

In The Matrix, Neo learns that humanity is enslaved by machines. The populace “lives” in a virtual world, unaware that their body heat is being used as an energy source. I see a sort of low-fi parallel of this in our relationship with Facebook. Every member operates in that “free” forum, largely unaware that they’re powering the thing by relinquishing their user data. This scenario is in stark contrast to what we once hoped the web to be. We imagined it as a means of liberating peo...
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01 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 Internet-Literate Student Skills

An understanding of what the Internet is. "I found it on the Internet" is not an accurate statement. You found it on a computer connected to the World Wide Web. Ways to formulate queries. Typing "childhood obesity" into a search engine is not the best way to discover what health problems are associated with being overweight. Students need to know about Boolean searches, adding prefixes such as SITE and FILETYPE, and more. For example, "site:.edu childhood obesity" will yield search results fr...
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15 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 The Internet as a Brain

The brain is one of the most complex networks in the world, with more neurons than there are stars in the galaxy. Its hardware is a complex network of neurons; its software a complex network of memories. And so too is the Internet a network. Its hardware is a complex network of computers; its software a complex network of websites. There is a lot we can learn from the brain and it can tell us where the Internet is headed next. [...] In practice, the Internet is clunkier, slower, and smaller...
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The question for me is: How do you detect the intelligence? If we are only interacting with neurons, how to we see the big picture?

15 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 The Internet as an Intelligence

If you build a machine that makes connections between everything, accumulates all the data in the world, and you then harness all available minds to collectively teach it where the meaningful connections and meaningful data are (Who is searching Whom?) while implementing deceptively simple algorithms that reinforce meaningful connections while physically moving, optimizing and replicating the data structures accordingly - if you do all this you will, from highly economical (yes, profitable) p...

Unsourced quote from George Dyson. TODO: Find the source.

26 SEP 2013 by ideonexus

 Popular Science Shuts Down Comments

Comments can be bad for science. That's why, here at PopularScience.com, we're shutting them off. [...] ...even a fractious minority wields enough power to skew a reader's perception of a story, recent research suggests. In one study led by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Dominique Brossard, 1,183 Americans read a fake blog post on nanotechnology and revealed in survey questions how they felt about the subject (are they wary of the benefits or supportive?). Then, through a randoml...
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Comments on articles erode the public's trust in science.

31 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Scientists Must Learn to Forget Facts

Like all things of the mind, science is a brittle thing: it becomes absurd when you look at it too closely. It is designed for few at a time, not as a mass profession. But now we have megascience: an immense apparatus discharging in a minute more bursts of knowledge than humanity is able to assimilate in a lifetime. Each of us has two eyes, two ears, and, I hope, one brain. We cannot even listen to two symphonies at the same time. How do we get out of the horrible cacophony that assails our m...
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Forgetting the unessential is crucial to surviving information overload.

13 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Web is a Social Tool Not a Technological One

The web is more a social creation than a technical one. I designed it for a social effect—to help people work together—and not as a technical toy. The ultimate goal of the Web is to support and improve our weblike existence in the world. We clump into families, associations, and companies. We develop trust across the miles and distrust around the corner.
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It is meant to help people to work together ultimately, weaving us together.

03 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Digital Culture Turns Everything into One Book

The approach to digital culture I abhor would indeed turn all the world’s books into one book, just as Kevin suggested. It might start to happen in the next decade or so. Google and other companies are scanning library books into the cloud in a massive Manhattan Project of cultural digitization. What happens next is what’s important. If the books in the cloud are accessed via user interfaces that encourage mashups of fragments that obscure the context and authorship of each fragment, ther...
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If we are allowed to mashup everything into newer expressions so that the original sources are lost and we cannot reference anything, then we essentially have only one book, just like North Korea.

03 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Ted Nelson's Hypermedia Would Empower Content Creators

So is there any way to bring money and capitalism into an era of technological abundance without impoverishing almost everyone? One smart idea came from Ted Nelson. Nelson is perhaps the most formative figure in the development of online culture. He invented the digital media link and other core ideas of connected online media back in the 1960s. He called it “hypermedia.” Nelson’s ambitions for the economics of linking were more profound than those in vogue today. He proposed that ins...
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By allowing them to hold onto their works in digital mediums and making money as people referenced them. So a single strong work referenced over a long time would be as valuable as a 24-hour hit youtube video.

03 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Jaron Lanier's Suggestions for Taking Action Online

Every save-the-world cause has a list of suggestions for “what each of us can do”: bike to work, recycle, and so on. I can propose such a list related to the problems I’m talking about: Don’t post anonymously unless you really might be in danger. If you put effort into Wikipedia articles, put even more effort into using your personal voice and expression outside of the wiki to help attract people who don’t yet realize that they are interested in the topics you contributed to.Po...
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These are habits you can adopt to maintain your individuality. Seems like good advice for lots of people on Facebook and other sites.