Networked Society ‘On the Brink’

“There has not been a time… in history that has enabled such rapid change… in the most optimistic view which is also simultaneously the most pessimistic view; a time that is enabling humans to be more of what we are.” Technologist and co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, David Weinberger, expresses this profound idea regarding the … Continue reading

Making sense of Occupy Wall Street

One of the criticisms I often hear regarding the Occupy movements is that it is unclear is to what they’re all about.  To help shed a little light, here’s a terrific interview with author and scholar, Chris Hedges, and Democracy Now host, Amy Goodman.

This is important.

There’s a decent chance the largest intelligence agency, the NSA, has been collecting massive amounts of data, and hence information, from nearly every American. “A three-judge federal appeals court grilled government and civil rights lawyers while entertaining arguments here Wednesday concerning dozens of dismissed lawsuits alleging the National Security Agency illegally vacuumed American’s internet traffic … Continue reading

Times are a changin’

So at the moment, there are 100,000 neurons connected to the robot through Bluetooth. It is living, it’s in an incubator at 37 degrees centigrade. We have to feed it every couple of days with minerals and nutrients. It actually excretes, we have to clear away waste products and whatnot. It is living material, living … Continue reading

Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson on where ideas come from.

Despite instances of knowledge being ignored or suppressed, we are a society that wants to appreciate good ideas.  While individual genius is often given credit for monumental changes in understanding, the reality is that novel ideas are born from environments consisting of networks of pre-existing ideas.  From this perspective, it’s no coincidence that like-minded ideas … Continue reading

Us Now

As we tend to mention on this site quite frequently, modern communications are altering our ways of life in a variety of incredible ways. One thing we always try to focus on when we talk about this stuff is how new all this stuff is. In the grand scheme of things, all this wonderful, technological … Continue reading

The self-organizing system: An example

At a very blatant level, a level of details and specifics and focus, this video is about an innovative new way of education.  At a broader level h0wever, one that is concerned with looking for grand, over-arching patterns, the ideas here give insight into the potential for self-organizing systems. Sugata Mitra shows by example a … Continue reading

The Big Picture

I’ve posted a video below of Conor Oberst (of the band Bright Eyes) performing his song The Big Picture. Admittedly, my longtime connection to this song may have something to do with my slightly altered state of mind at the time I first heard it. As such, I can’t expect everyone to have the same … Continue reading

A Brief History of the Mind

The eternal mother hanging at the edge of time.

Somewhere very near the middle of this preface to a neat book, “A Brief History of the Mind” is the following terrific summary of how human consciousness differs from other species on Earth. “We tend to see ourselves as the narrator of a life story, always situated at a crossroads between past and future, swimming … Continue reading

The spectrum of belief

Few debates rage with more fury than that which goes on between theists and atheists. Both groups seem to view each other as being at exact opposite ends of a spectrum and therefore as far from each other as any two things could be. What is often forgotten (or never thought of in the first … Continue reading