Dick speaks with Brewster Kahle, who is collecting copies of all the books he can from around the world.
Tagged with “internet” (96)
Fresh Squeezed Mobile is Breaking Development’s channel to get fresh ideas out there about mobile web development and design.
This week we talk to Scott Jenson about the future of mobile, Internet of Things, connected devices, Internet connected toasters and infrastructure policy.
As a student of the classics at Harvard in the 1970s, O’Reilly was impressed by a book titled The Discovery of the Mind: In Greek Philosophy and Literature, by Bruno Snell. In the four centuries between Homer and classical Athens, wrote Snell, the Greeks invented the modern human mind, with its sense of free will and agency. (In Homer, for example, no one makes a decision.) O’Reilly sees a parallel with the emerging of a global mind in this century.
Global consciousness was a recurrent idea in the 1970s—-from Teilhard de Chardin’s noosphere and Omega point (“the Singularity of its day”) to “New Age mumbo-jumbo” such as the Harmonic Convergence. O’Reilly noted that the term “singularity” for technology acceleration was first used in 1958 by John von Neumann. In 1960 J.C.R. Licklider wrote an influential paper titled “Human-computer Symbiosis.” O’Reilly predicted that “exploring the possibility space of human-computer symbiosis is one of the fascinating frontiers of the next decades and possibly century.”
Echoing Dale Dougherty, he says the Web has become the leading platform for harnessing collective intelligence. Wikipedia is a virtual city. Connected smart phones have become our “outboard brain.” Through device automation, Apple has imbued retail clerks with superpowers in its stores. Watson, the AI that beat human champions at “Jeopardy,” is now being deployed to advise doctors in real time, having read ALL the scientific papers. YouTube has mastered the attention economy. Humanity has a shared memory in the cloud. Data scientists rule.
The global mind is not an artificial intelligence. It’s us, connected and augmented.
What keeps driving it is the generosity and joy we take in creating and sharing. The global mind is built on the gift culture of every medium of connectedness since the invention of language. You gain status by what you give away, by the value you create, not the value you take.
— by Stewart Brand
In today’s programme have we all become cyborgs without even knowing it?
We’ve always extended our human bodies ever since we first picked up rocks or sticks as tools, it’s part of human nature. So are the digital tools of today any different? Aleks asks just how far we’ve come and are willing to go to become one with our technology and become cyborg.
Aleks hears from film maker Rob Spence better known as Eyeborg about the reaction he gets to the camera he has where his right eye used to be. It’s a different type of eye artist and composer Neil Harbisson uses, born entirely colour blind Neil uses an electronic eye on an antenna attached to his skull to hear colours it’s now such a part of how Neil perceives the world that he hears the colours in his dreams!
Brandy Ellis is a very different type of cyborg; having suffered from depression for years she opted to have electronics implanted in her brain to control her symptoms. Her feelings are literally regulated by a machine.
Ultimately Aleks finds out from anthropologist Amber Case how we’re all every bit as cyborg as Rob, Neil or Brandy in how we coexist symbiotically with our digital devices.
Aleks Krotoski looks at how story telling has changed in the digital age and whether it is has more in common with how we told tales in the past than we might think.
Social science is often concerned with the emergence of collective behavior out of the interactions of large numbers of individuals; but in this regard it has long suffered from a severe measurement problem - namely that interactions between people are hard to measure, especially at scale, over time, and at the same time as observing behavior.
In this talk, Duncan will argue that the technological revolution of the Internet is beginning to lift this constraint. To illustrate, he will describe four examples of research that would have been extremely difficult, or even impossible, to perform just a decade ago:
Using email exchange to track social networks evolving in time Using a web-based experiment to study the collective consequences of social influence on decision making Using a social networking site to study the difference between perceived and actual homogeneity of attitudes among friends Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to study the incentives underlying ‘crowd sourcing’ Although internet-based research still faces serious methodological and procedural obstacles, Duncan proposes that the ability to study truly ‘social’ dynamics at individual-level resolution will have dramatic consequences for social science.
This inaugural lecture by Jonathan Zittrain proposes a theory about what lies around the corner for the Internet, how to avoid it, and how to study and affect the future of the internet using the distributed power of the network itself, using privacy as a signal example.
Jonathan Zittrain holds the Chair in Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University and is also the Jack N. & Lillian R. Berkman Visiting Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School. His research interests include battles for control of digital property and content, cryptography, electronic privacy, the roles of intermediaries within Internet architecture, and the useful and unobtrusive deployment of technology in education.
Vint Cerf’s keynote at the plenary session "A Decade in Internet Time" to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Oxford Internet Institute.
When we try do social science on the Internet, it is vital to know what is solid and what is highly changeable. Outsiders and newcomers tend to be awed and misled by the illusions of ‘technology’ - which seem rock-solid and immutable, like a child’s view of home and religion.
But the ‘technologies’ of the computer world are extremely changeable, and give play to motivated assumptions and decisions. Like gasoline mixed with air, this an explosive mix. Fast-evolving software ideas, churned by human political agendas, power today’s wildly changing product and Internet world.
If software is successful, it steers the path that many users take, and selects among many possibilities to further the creator’s agenda.
Suppressing the other possibilities may also be part of the agenda.
[For the present purposes I propose a simple definition of politics: THE CLASH AND RECONCILIATION OF AGENDAS (which agendas in turn may be motivated by prestige, power, profit or ideology). This definition would seem to cover the range: electoral politics, office and palace intrigue, war (Clausewitz’ continuation of politics by other means), and now the steering of products and programs.]
We will glance at some examples of technology politics before 1950 (Brunel, Tesla, Armstrong, von Braun) and then at software politics among some two dozen individuals and companies in the computer and Internet world - the clash and resolution of their agendas (so far).
Software agendas generally play out through projects and products, some of which can change more drastically than others. The digital media conventions (called by laymen ‘ICTs’) are by far the most changeable - and thus political.
Theodor Holm Nelson invented the term "hypertext" in 1963 and published it in 1965, and is a pioneer of information technology. He also coined the words hypermedia, transclusion, virtuality, intertwingularity and teledildonics. The main thrust of his work has been to make computers easily accessible to ordinary people. His motto is:
A user interface should be so simple that a beginner in an emergency can understand it within ten seconds.
Nelson is currently a visiting professor at Oxford University, and a philosopher who works in the fields of information, computers, and human-machine interfaces. He founded Project Xanadu in 1960 with the goal of creating such a system on a computer network, further documented in his 1974 book Computer Lib / Dream Machines and the 1981 Literary Machines. Much of his adult life has been devoted to working on Xanadu and advocating it.
The open-source world has learned to deal with a flood of new, oftentimes divergent, ideas using hosting services like GitHub — so why can’t governments? In this rousing talk Clay Shirky shows how democracies can take a lesson from the Internet, to be not just transparent but also to draw on the knowledge of all their citizens.
Clay Shirky argues that the history of the modern world could be rendered as the history of ways of arguing, where changes in media change what sort of arguments are possible — with deep social and political implications.
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