21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 The Attention Arms Race

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google have produced amazing products that have benefited the world enormously. But these companies are also caught in a zero-sum race for our finite attention, which they need to make money. Constantly forced to outperform their competitors, they must use increasingly persuasive techniques to keep us glued. They point AI-driven news feeds, content, and notifications at our minds, continually learning how to hook us more deeply—from our own behavior. Unfortuna...
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21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 The Spotlight, Starlight, and Daylight of Attention

irst, the “spotlight” of attention is how cognitive scientists tend to talk about perceptual attention. The things that are task-salient in my environment. How I select and interact with those, basically. Second, the “starlight.” If the spotlight is about doing things, the starlight is who I want to be, not just what I want to do. It’s like those goals that are valuable for their own sake, not because they’re instrumental toward some other goal. Also, over time, how we keep movin...
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 It Takes a Network to Defeat a Network

...the 9/11 attacks were carried out by one network on another network: al Qaeda against the U.S. financial and political system. Yet it was not the immediate damage of the terrorist attacks that inflicted the real cost on the United States so much as the unintended consequences of the national security state’s response. Writing in the Los Angeles Times in August 2002, before it was even clear that Iraq was to be invaded, the political scientist John Arquilla presciently pointed out the fla...
Folksonomies: networks ideology war
Folksonomies: networks ideology war
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 Knowledge Replaced with Social Media

When it emerged towards the end of the 80s as a purely text-based medium, [the internet] was seen as a tool to pursue knowledge, not pleasure. Reason and thought were most valued in this garden—all derived from the project of Enlightenment. Universities around the world were among the first to connect to this new medium, which hosted discussion groups, informative personal or group blogs, electronic magazines, and academic mailing lists and forums. It was an intellectual project, not about ...
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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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29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 We Compile What We Read in the Context of When We Read It

Reading and experience train your model of the world. And even if you forget the experience or what you read, its effect on your model of the world persists. Your mind is like a compiled program you've lost the source of. It works, but you don't know why. [...] ...reading and experience are usually "compiled" at the time they happen, using the state of your brain at that time. The same book would get compiled differently at different points in your life. Which means it is very much worth re...
Folksonomies: worldview memory reading
Folksonomies: worldview memory reading
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22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 Algorithms are Subjective/Creative Things

he algorithm may be the essence of computer science – but it’s not precisely a scientific concept. An algorithm is a system, like plumbing or a military chain of command. It takes knowhow, calculation and creativity to make a system work properly. But some systems, like some armies, are much more reliable than others. A system is a human artefact, not a mathematical truism. The origins of the algorithm are unmistakably human, but human fallibility isn’t a quality that we associate with ...
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22 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 The Great Man Theory Promotes Misunderstanding of History

The Great Man theory is the notion that behind every great innovation is a single individual -- usually a man. It attempts to write a simple story about every innovation. But Ford didn't invent the automobile, Edison didn't invent the light bulb, and the Wright brothers didn't invent the airplane. The simple story strips away all the other people with whom that person worked, both before and afterwards, and their critical contributions to the innovation process. It also perpetuates the notion...
Folksonomies: great man theory
Folksonomies: great man theory
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