Archive for May, 2008

Plato, Socrates and Aristotle Would Have Loved FriendFeed and Twitter

May 13, 2008

FriendFeed and Twitter have become a modern day Greek countryside as some of the social networking community’s leading thinkers gather daily to discuss the possible uses, drawbacks and relevant considerations of the myriad of new innovations that have the power to make our world smaller.

For many these applications are simply ways to keep in touch with friends and family, for others they offer a new means of self-promotion.

I can’t say for certain what will happen to the community that has formed when these types of tools “go mainstream” and experience mass adoption. It is very likely that the excesses that seem to be inherent with the democratization of any medium will lead to the development of better “noise” filters.

What I can say with confidence is that these innovations have already successfully facilitated the creation of information sharing mediums that will continue to exponentially increase our society’s growth curve.

Centuries ago the privileged class were the only ones who could readily access the thoughts and writings of current and historical thinkers. Information was largely passed by word of mouth and diffusion was a slow arduous process. Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the church – the modern day equivalent of a web page in kind with no where near the power in reality.

The invention of the printing press allowed for the mass dissemination of thought but the process was still limited by literacy rates, financial realities and the hardships inherent to making a living back them that left little free time for such pursuits.

The tools of social networking will continue to change the way we share information and debate ideas – I am not sure any of us can truly fathom where we will be in 25 years. It is definitely an exciting time to be alive.

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Free NIN Album – Gotta Love the Paradigms of a New Age

May 8, 2008

http://mashable.com/2008/05/05/nine-inch-nails-give-yet-another-album-for-free/

Reznor has been an active participant in his own experiments to leverage the new communication mediums of the web to connect with NIN fans.

If access to free full length albums won’t deepen the pools of love I don’t know what will…

Jeremiah Oyang Asks: Purist or Corporatist?

May 6, 2008

http://tinyurl.com/2hpm9k

I’m probably somewhere between 5 and 7 on his scale.

I strongly believe that both have something beneficial to offer – corporatists posses a proven understanding of the existing dynamics of society and the marketplace and purists are blessed with the ability to see things not for what they are but for what they should be.

Without purists we would have little to no innovation and society would stagnate and decline – Without corporatists the excesses of the purists’ vision would never be trimmed away and as a result the changes they propose would never be adopted en masse.

Every ying must have a yang – no?

The Downside to the Democratization of Information

May 6, 2008

UPDATE: A post titled: “The involuntary redundancy of A list blog sites” from http://www.broadstuff.com just came across my FriendFeed tangentially discussing what I wrote about below: http://tinyurl.com/5tuhfg

http://tinyurl.com/5xlffo

There are a couple of interesting issues brewing with regards to the democratization of information on the web.

It cannot be disputed that the web generally and apps like Digg specifically have exponential democratized the sharing of information on the web. Theoretically, By allowing users to see which stories and web sites garner the highest ratings we are able to sift through the overwhelming amount of information on the web in hopes of highlighting the best and ignoring the rest.

Like pure democracy in the political sense this process has begun to display its weaknesses. As the number of individuals contributing their take increases, so has the popularity of sites with inane stories and pictures of cute cats. This has given rise to a new wave of more republican (not in the ideological sense) applications and sites like Alltop.com (an extension of already established sites like Drudge Report).

One of the biggest benefits of tools like Twitter and Friend Feed is that it allows me to follow individuals who have proven themselves to be thought leaders in fields that I am interested in. As a result I am able to expose myself to the sources of information they deem most credible and also gain insight into certain topics by way of their comments.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying the democratization of information is a bad thing. I just find it interesting that more and more tools are popping up that tame the excesses.

And Then Sometimes We just Watch…

May 6, 2008

It just occurred to me that one thing has been largely missing in the whole gas tax holiday hubbub…US.

Interesting, no? You get the sense that our collective consciousness is attuned to the fact that it is a gesture containing no real benefits other than to garner our good will.

I haven’t seen any anti-tax groups making a big push to help the idea gain momentum or anti-anti-tax groups furiously compiling and releasing statistics on how many school children will go without lunch as a result of the lost revenues (yes, yes, I know the gas tax money goes to road construction, etc – I’m taking creative license here).

All I have seen are candidates floating the idea, the media working as hard as they can to make some kind of story out of it (“Not even conservative economists agree with McCain”, “Not even Paul Krugman agrees with Hilary”) and We, the People, sitting on the sidelines with a bemused smile on our faces, elbowing each other with a quick “Awwwwww, they’re trying to connect with us.”

Its cute.