Privacy is the new poverty. This struck home for me when doing the last.fm mashups for the Roskilde Festival and the Jazz Festival. They work better if you've given up your privacy and told last.fm about you for context. And not in a shallow way. The more you tell, the better it works. You can decide to start today, to make up a persona for the musical you, but it's not going to be you in the rich way that 2-3 years of listening will.
Google Social Search is another case in point. The privacy bogeyman is taken out of the cupboard when presenting these things - it's almost a tech ritual - but the simple fact of it is: There's a lot of value in letting yourself be known on the internet. There are services you simply cannot buy with money; you can only buy them by investing yourself.
Philosophers, social thinkers, existentialists and anthropologists are all going to have a field day with this. If I put up an appearance - act out a character essentially different from the real me - on Last.fm, I am simply not going to get the value of deeply meaningful musical recommendations. You might consider music frivolous, but your politics, the writers you read, the economic decisions you make, are much the same.
A lot of the characteristics of the city - the big frictionless, anonymous market place of cultural exchange - that we've grown accustomed to, and from which a lot of our notions of freedom spring, become meaningless in this future world. In a cultural context, the sanctity of the home is the right to secrets. To your own thoughts, whatever they may be. And of course we will uphold that right; but keeping them private is going to make you poor. Freedom is expensive.
Seems to me, the already quite brilliant people at Berg, are accelerating each other inside the new entity. The flow of ideas coming out is dense and of high quality. And it seems to be focused a little more through the proximity of the people, maybe. There's clearly a particular style of exploration involved. I could link to highlights, but the point of this post is that they're all highlights.
Also, I can't help thinking that considering Berg a product company - not a consultancy - is helping a lot also. Thinking about the whole thing is a tremendous focalizer.
I won't be writing a novel for nanowrimo this year - I think. But I'll be writing something, notably a sort-of detective story, written one tweet at a time on my new site tweetowrimo. A couple of years ago I replaced nanowrimo with thirty 6-word blog posts, emulating the 6-word novel. You can do that on tweetowrimo as well.
So if you'd like to do a fiction project - or free form poetry - this november, instead of going full novel, give tweetowrimo a try.
Engang vidste jeg alt for meget om hvor mange dage folk, der regner rentebetalinger ud, kan mene en måned består af. Jeg er utrolig glad for at sommertid, vintertid, skudsekunder og den gregorianske kalender ikke var faktorer her - for det var slemt nok som det var.
Vil man vedligeholde en ordentlig ressource med oversigt over tidszoner, sommertid, datoer for skift mellem de to, indregning af skudsekunder og fanden og hans pumpestok, sådan at computerens ur altid kan vise det rigtige, så må man imidlertid igang.
Heldigvis har open source verdenen entusiaster til den slags, der kan gøre det udtømmende, og heldigvis er lige præcis tidszone-entusiasterne ikke bare bogholdere, men ægte tidszoneaster, der får en solid hobby ud af emnet.
Således er den standardressource alle læner sig op ad, fyldt med anekdoter om mærkelige forhold i verdens tidsregning. Fra historien om dengang Detroit insisterede på at bruge soltid - altså: klokken er 12 når solen står højest lige netop i Detroit - til historien om den uge hvor der var to fredage i Alaska - fordi området var blevet solgt fra det juliansk kalendariserede Rusland til det gregoriansk kalendariserede USA.
I Detroit blev det til sidst for meget, og byrådet besluttede at gå over til tidszoner - men det ville halvdelen af byens handlende ikke være med til, så i en periode gik uret på den ene side af gaden 28 minutter forskudt fra uret på den anden side.
I Alaska ver det i virkeligheden nemmere. Da salget fandt sted boede der ikke nogen, der brugte kalenderen til noget alligevel.
Jeg kan iøvrigt også oplyse at der er (var?) en lille særlig tidszone rundt om Thule, der kører amerikansk tid, ikke normal grønlandsk tid.
Når nu erfaringen lærer en at selv ethvert spørgsmål, med mere en et muligt svar, vil blive besvaret med største oprigtighed på alle mulige måder før eller siden, så kan det ikke undre at noget så politisk og arbitrært som tidszoner og sommertid er årsag til utallige mærkelige anekdoter, men omfanget er nu alligevel imponerende.
Det ekstra fine er, at tidszoneasterne har gemt alle de gode historier sammen med alle reglerne i den tidszonefil, der bliver brugt alle steder. En dejlig almanak af bizarre historier fra hele verden er altså standardudstyr rundt om i verdens serverparker.
It's sad for science, that the "science balloon family" turn out to be broke actors looking for attention. People who really believe in reptile people and other nonsense, not science - radical inquiry.
Science is one of those things storytelling just can't understand - one of many. Increasingly, our world depends on things that stories have a hard time making sense of. The market and science being two of them. We have trouble with it as people too - so there's a discipline there to follow that separates the stories from the radical inquiry, and pushes us from wishful thinking to knowledge.
But that discipline does not work at all on television or in the news, only the stories work - the result we convince ourselves - through the discipline - that we can reliably use to generate ideas for more radical inquiry. So why not cut a corner and find some telegenic people with a knack for telling the story?
Spent a little time this morning backtracking cultural references from this video, a whitened diy-like remake by famous-on-the-internet band Pomplamoose of Beyonce's "Single Ladies". The style of dancing in Beyonce's video for that song - redone and rehashed and parodied to exhaustion on Youtube - is called J-setting, popular in black gay clubs in the American south - and on Youtube. This dance in turn is named after The Prancing J-Settes, the dance line for the Jackson State University marching band, better known as The Sonic Boom of the South. Jackson State is, traditionally, a black university, so the Sonic Boom does not play John Philip Sousa - what the type of band is really geared for - but rather marching band arrangements of popular material from the soul and R&B songbook, complete with an MC, like you would expect at The Apollo, as you can see here.
You just have to love the amazing power of popular culture, and American popular culture in particular. You would never see this kind of all out, noisy, cheerful bastardization of pretty much everything that went into the mix, in Europe. The idea of a marching band - the squarest of square cultural inventions - being re-purposed into a vehicle of noisy funk is decidedly non-European. And while it's noisy it's also powerful - it's quite easy to see the attraction of weaponizing it for the gay clubs, and from there it's just a question of a good trendspotter/choreographer before it merges back into the mainstream.
The combined clash of good natured San Fransisco home recording duo with super commercial R&B with gay clubs with college football dance squads with Michael Jackson hits with a band built to play John Philip Sousa is a lovely vignette for 21st century remix-culture.
En af mine yndlingsaversioner på internettet er ham her. For starters, taler han dansk, men handler om "winners" og "high performance". Når jeg hører "winners" og "high performance" afsikrer jeg min pistol, som Göring (næsten) sagde.
Det næste er grundpåstanden i hans videoer: "talent findes ikke, det er knofedt det hele". Gu' er det da røv. Jeg har omkring 40 udfordringer til Rasmus Ankersen han godt lige må klare først, hvis han vil bevise det modsatte* Og, forresten, viljen til at slide sig stenhårdt frem til sejren er et af talenterne.
Men selvfølgelig skal talentet dyrkes.
Og ja, vores perception af udfordringers størrelse er som regel pivforkert, og den kan påvirkes med opdragelse og den måde vi bliver udfordret på. F.eks. er det enormt frigørende at brænde sine broer og indstille sig på at den eneste måde at komme hjem på, er at løse opgaven. Og på at der ikke kommer andre og gør det for en. Og ja, det er en af de svære opgaver i sig selv at finde det store i sig selv og se det i øjnene. At gøre det bedste man kan, uanset de begrænsninger man må prøve at gøre det under.
Til gengæld kan jeg ikke forestille mig noget mere ondskabsfuldt end at narre folk til at satse helt vildt på noget som de aldrig vil blive gode til. Jeg spørger mig selv om Rasmus Ankersen nogen sinde har hørt en person, uden talent for det, men med 10 år investeret i at blive god, spille violin? Det manglende talent vinder, kan jeg oplyse.
Det er fucking garanteret ulykke for alle parter, at insistere på at vi alle kan blive verdensmestre i det hele. Vi kan blive verdensmestre, lige præcis, hvis vores talent gør at det hårde slid fører nogen steder hen. Det er den gode gamle arv vs. miljø. Er du født med din fremtid i dig, eller er du bare modellervoks, der skal behandles rigtigt, så du kan blive alt det du gerne vil? Hverken det ene eller det andet er rigtigt.
Hvad er så det værste man kan lære børnene? Virkeligheden har vi jo ikke lyst til at lære dem - at rigtig mange af dem bliver buschauffører, kassedamer og rengøringsassistenter og ikke mega-super-power-vindere. Vi kan heller ikke lave en skæbneskole af demokratiske årsager; alle skal have en chance. Talentet kan vi jo ikke påvirke alligevel, så vi kan lige så godt satse på at lære folk at de kan kæmpe sig til sejren. Det lader til at være tanken. Man kunne også gøre noget helt tredie. Finde ud af hvor det er det rykker for den enkelte, og så sætte påvirkningen specifikt ind der, istedet for lam general nonsense "du kan godt!"-coaching. Sådan lidt a la det Claus Buhl snakkede om på et tidspunkt.
* Coach uspolerede børn frem mod følgende opgaver
Bevis/modbevis Higgs-bosonens eksistens
Løb hurtigere end Usain Bolt
Debuter på den Kongelige Opera.
Løs et af Millenium Prize problemerne
[...og 36 mere ...]
Den internationale Kindle kan også bruges herhjemme. Hvad er plus og minus i den historie?
Har du flere forslag?
Ok, this is maybe going to be a little hard to follow, but here's an argument why open will come back. A year and a half ago, I drew an ugly picture, intended to describe the hive mind at work. It has been invalidated since then, because we all experience a lot of information digested and made relevant by our network neighborhood - our facebook friends and twitter follows - which we didn't really do two years ago.
The silos have been useful here in establishing a namespace for that neighborhood. The information, however, is poorly aggregated and very ephemeral, not because it has to, but just because that's how the silos are running currently.
The novelty of the namespace will wear off. We will find more open ways of finding our network, and be less dependent on the single provider. And then the next game will be on. How do I keep the information around me? And how does it aggregate beyond my neighborhood. How can I have a soft boundary to a bigger world (i.e. less info, when the information is distant to me) instead of the current hard cutoff?
There's no way the silos are going to be able to squeeze all the value out of the data they hold. There are simply too many kinds of value, and its neither feasible nor cost/risk-reasonable to try to figure out where the value is within one corporate budget.
So the next jump in value of our networked information digestion will come from a reopening - along the lines of the various twitter value-adds that are eating the twitter firehose and condensing that for more value.
If the economics of paying twitter for such an open infrastructure can't be worked out, it'll be made redundant, or paid for by someone like Google who can take out the value elsewhere.
Beneath that argument is the underlying understanding that machines+people provide much more value than machines or people alone; The unattended semantic web still isn't happening - but guided, machine enhanced, local data gathering provides enormous value.
An example is the Roskilde concert-finder I did w. Morten - mixing local info about a music festival with Last.fm's siloed network of music-facts.
The semantic web idea - that we're somehow close to being a world where data of this kind is just magically in the right shape for the machines - is unlikely to come about any time soon.
If we add people to the mix and 4-8 hours of work, we're already there, however. The data just has to be something we can get at.
It never hurts to repeat a good point: The silos we're all moving into now can all be leapfrogged. The second the silos aren't simplifying, but instead hampering, innovation and expression, they'll start to loose. Maybe they are beginning to loose right now. Google seems intent - in everything but search - to make sure the silo is just a convenience, not in-circumventable fact.
In other silos-are-breaking news: The T-mobile/Sidekick catastrophe, and we could end up on a modern, open, federated communications platform instead of a silo, and a silo so stressed by growth, that it's really hard to get data out of it that is more than 2-3 days old.
Googler's current and ex- are also still working on moving people to open social networks. Open social maybe wasn't really the sweet spot that one hoped for, but new projects are trying to get there. One wonders along the way if Twitter is moving to a Mozilla business model? Free to use, we just sell the behaviour of our users.
Facebook is going to have move as well - just because of the things you can do with data you can get at. What I'm trying to say, really, is that if you plan to be doing something interesting in two years, I would personally bet on desilofication over "better, but closed" data, just on general principle of cycles.
Kjær, Agger, Poulsen, Poulsen, Bendtner. Dejligt med en sammenhængende akse af spillere, der ikke ligner nødløsninger på den plads de spiller. Muligheder rundt om dem også m. Silberbauer, Kahlenberg et al. Grønkjær, Rommedahl, Thomasson, Jørgensen not so much, men nå ja da.
I got into the Wave preview, and first things first: This really is a beta. The bugs. It is full of them. It is a dangerous move, lots of people aren't very good at looking at unfinished things, but I personally appreciate the opportunity.
Second thing: You can't really evaluate something that involves communication before you're actually trying it out for communication that you really want to be doing. Trying out Wave without a real need or purpose - because I can't invite the people I usually need to talk to - makes me question any and all user testing of software that isn't done with real paying customers.
That being said, even on the features, it seems the experience is a rewrite or two from being generally useful. Which is not a problem. GMail, famously, was redone 6 times for experience. Wave still feels like a lot of the interface has not been sandpapered down to proper size. I'm even unsure about the basic interface metaphor.
After seeing the original Wave demo, and reading the whitepapers, I wrote about how the project hit all the right marks in terms of openness and technology, and I still think the underlying tech - choice of Problem, Platform and Policy - is incredibly right. It's just that its right for a lot of different experiences and the one we're looking at now isn't polished yet, and doesn't really show off all the 3Ps can handle.
So what could it do and what does it do and what does and does not work?
What the Wave technology does underneath the experience is real time, collaborative, federated, versioned, editing of XML
But of course it is not an experience.
The Wave UI seems to have stayed pretty close to the tech-description above. The experience is "structured, live, collaborative writing". Examples of what it isn't:
However, we could just have a couple of different experiences - much like I chat in Adium, but love the archive in GMail. That integration is incomplete - in that I can't restart the chart later. Once I'm in GMail I have moved on. There's no Adium friendly API into the chat archives. With Wave I could start a conversation with reference in a previous conversation - which could be a great interface. Also, the ability to fork conversations, could be made very nice as an experience.
When I started writing, I wanted to include my list of observations of odd things in Wave (desktop metaphor seems wrong for this, wave/contact/tool organization takes up too much screen compared to content, muting vs archiving hard to understand, 99 changes in a wave impossible to understand, bots vs gadgets what does what? why is there a 'display' and an 'edit' mode?) as well as what seems like bugs - but I think I'll do that separately later in a better format.
The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable." The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.
From Politics and the English Language (pdf).
Jesper Britze nøjes ikke med at påstå at der findes arabiske oversættelser på nettet, men fabrikerer en konkret oversættelse. Hvad skal han bruge den til? Sende den til sine foresatte og lyve for dem? Et fupdokument til intern brug lyder totalt usandsynligt. Det må altså være meningen at sende det ud som misinformation. Men det er ikke Jesper Britze selv, der sender det ud, men derimod pressechefen. Så er "han handlede alene" forklaringen vi har fået hidtil meningsløs. Britze har muligvis indstillet sig på at tage skraldet, men når der er to mand om det så er det en organisation, der agerer og ikke en enkelt vildfaren kommandør.