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The Longest Now

Splitting field of failure over the field of disciplines
Thursday February 28th 2008, 11:30 pm
Filed under: indescribable,poetic justice

Inspired by this spoof of Mankiw and the droll wit of my future Aikido opponent, I am tempted to publish a blog tackling each failed field in turn.  Oh, and there are so many…

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Freedom to Censor?
Thursday February 28th 2008, 6:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Chapter Title: Make and mend Wikipedia’s Web I ran into Danny Weitzner after the FCC’s Broadband Network Management Practices hearings Monday night, who reminded me that reasonable content stamping designs have been out for a decade; something future implementations of casual and learnable tagging should engage.  And I think we came to some reasonable conclusions about the characteristics needed for a project and group to compose a lasting collaboration to gathering, sorting, and improve knowledge and its use in some field.

I remain fascinated by some of the debates against freedom to classify on the grounds that they enable censorship.

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Shirky ontologized
Thursday February 28th 2008, 5:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I revisited Clay Shirky‘s oft-cited “ontology is overrated” today, noting again with pleasure that the essay is insightful enough to be wrong in a many places. The essay hasn’t grown on me, however, and the conversations about organizing knowledge do not seem to have advanced (even as collectives of editors have grown in practice). Most discussions on the subject are incidental and disorganized — more reminiscent of the ancient debates about whether the world is composed of four or five elements than of any serious effort to choose axioms and assess their logical conclusions.

So my pleasure with Shirky’s writing was immediately followed by a pang of fear that I don’t know anyone insightful enough to be right and prolific enough to write about it openly for the benefit of all.

I am not a fearful person, but I have the sense that we don’t have a great deal of time to sort and share our bounty of knowledge before our window of costless global collaboration is interrupted by something mundane and unavoidable.

One of these days I hope to see active discussions of the origins of ‘expertise’ and skill, and schools of knowledge-organization that offer apprenticeships to teach their subtleties to all comers. (more…)

browsing while cogitating, youtube edition
Saturday February 23rd 2008, 9:29 pm
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory,indescribable,poetic justice,Uncategorized

Chinese philosophers debated for centuries whether one discovers the nature of the universe by investigating oneself or by investigating the outer world. I don’t have a dog in that fight (I might say both grant equal power of discovery when approached properly), but I do like poring through random selections to get a feel for an expansive whole (yes, I want a Special:Random for the universe).

Sometimes I do that reflexively while thinking, practiving a little Langerfulness. So it was that I found myself tonight seven pages into the discussion threads for the YouTube video “Why Chuck [Norris] endorsed Mike [Huckabee] – Episode One [of Five]“, where I ran across the following exchange between BuckDresser and jtm04d; those of you who know my favorite tests of familiarity with good scientific method may appreciate it… (more…)

Political news; the growth of devoted brilliance
Friday February 22nd 2008, 4:04 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Street campaigns. A house divided against itself stands tall. Amazing social interest stories from your favorite storytellers and photographers… the participants themselves. Have I seen anything comparable in professional news channels all year? Certainly not.

Amazing and detailed legislation analysis from your favorite pundits… amateurs who stumble across and do their homework. It is embarrassing that this level of simple, earnest competence gives me such pleasure — should not every minute spent on discussion of issues, positions, efforts, be supported by this sort of basic information which is freely available to us all? If a commercial paper publishes editorials as factually dense as either of these posts, please post links, and I will subscribe immediately.

Barack Obama, mid-2006 || Hype and legislation, 2008.

[These happen to be focused on democratic politics, but if you can find similarly dense pieces that are pro-Bush or pro-Scientology or about military or fiscal or artistic matters, I’ll be equally entranced.]

These finds, unexpected gold in a quickly browsed slurry, remind me how quickly the news I grew up with is being replaced with something fabulous. Traditional news isn’t dying “because of the internet” or because of “free news reporting” any more than the French Quid skipped publishing this year “because of Wikipedia“… (more…)

Philip M. Parker statistical outlook 2008-2015 OLPC usage
Wednesday February 20th 2008, 3:03 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

In early 2008, Philip Parker produced his 187,799th book, on the statistical outlook of OLPC usage 2008-2015. Or his automated scripts will have done so, soon after parsing this and related blog posts.

I can’t wait to read it.  Aside to all scaled-up post-singular netstars: doublecheck the  morality of your actions, or anger [Mefi] at your peril.

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OLPC book & music drive and XO hackathon
Thursday February 14th 2008, 5:23 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Share the love with One Laptop per Child, the Creative Commons, Textbook Revolution, and the entire world.

Update 1: As I have just learned, one should always beware rogue content editors on romantic holidays who have a special affinity for exclamation marks…

Update 2: We’ve been slashdotted!  Thanks for all the interest… among other things, it led to contributions from Ben Crowell, who has single-handedly covered most of basic university physics with his carefully laid-out libre publications.

Take action:

  • Submit the free books you know of
  • Share CC-licensed songs, movies, and more
  • Bookmark-books with tags: “ftbp”
    for books and “livecontent” for quality CC works that should make the LiveContent DVD
  • Publishers, authors, and editors – consider putting your works
    under a Creative Commons license so we can spread them around the world

Join us:

We are collecting all the free books, movies, music, and other content that we can in the next five days. Then, on Tuesday (2/19) the Creative Commons will be burning a LiveDVD as part of LiveContent 2.0 with the selection of CC licensed materials being gathered — this DVD will be distributed to events like South by Southwest and elsewhere. The bundle of books and educational resources we collect will be used by One Laptop per Child to send all over the world for children, families, and schools. And will compiling and reviewing the best college-level resources they can find for the re-launch of their new, community driven site.

On Saturday, there will be a hackathon/jam at Olin college. We hope others will setup their own jams and barcamps, and we will be adding them to the list above as they do.


Lessig ‘4Obama’ transcription
Tuesday February 05th 2008, 12:26 am
Filed under: Blogroll,chain-gang,metrics,popular demand

First things first. I’m no no-holds-barred Obaman like Larry Lessig.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Boyish Orator’s style, and give him a leg up over Her Royal Cleverness, but don’t stay up nights worrying about the future difference to world peace their differential election would make (other things keep me up, even in politics), and not because I don’t think peace a devastatingly important realm for immediate change.

At any rate, Lessig taped a Barackish paean, and Ball and Prime started simulscribing in gobby. Gobby sessions exert a gravitational pull on me and soon I was transcribing myself, to exercise day-cramped hands — though I would never have listened to the piece otherwise. You can read the result of our labours.

The promise of making a set of ideas more accessible and revisitable is an infinitely better reason to divest oneself of twenty minutes of life than amusement or boredom… Which makes me wonder why we don’t see dotsub everywhere, at least among the sj crowd of one. Maybe it just needs a gobby plugin, or a way to find two friends and start transcribing in tandem. I’m even feeling the itch to ride a tandem bike or sidecar. Ach. Time for a seaweed shower.

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