Thursday, May 31, 2007
Exercise at Work
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Memorial Day - Gettysburg Address
On the way to work this morning, I listened to Garrison Keillor's Memorial Day News from Lake Wobegon podcast. In this monologue, he gave one of the best recitations of the Gettysburg Address I have heard.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Jane Jacobs on Economics
In his talk to the Long Now, Spencer Beebe cites Jane Jacob's The Nature of Economies. Jane argues (in my paraphrase):
that the economy is just a subsystem of the larger Earth's ecosystem. As such it abides by nature's laws, which constrain how economies behave. The extent to which we put our economy in harmony with the larger ecosystem, the better the economy will behave and be sustained. The Earth's ecosystem--including the economic subsystem--is a complex adaptive system which cannot be commanded or controlled, but defines itself and re-creates itself as it continues. No development is isolated. All development is co-development. No development is linear. All development is a web. The more we adjust our economy to these principles, the better off we will be.
Divergence in Innovation
SALT in the Garden
- Phillip Longman, The Depopulation Problem
- Ken Dychtwald, The Consequences of Human Life Extension
- Rusty Schweickart, The Asteroid Threat Over the next 100,000 years
- Roger Kennedy, The Political History of North America from 25,000 BC to 12,000 AD
- James P. Carse, Religous War in Light of the Infinite Game
- Stuart Brand, Cities and Time
Yale in the 21st Century
Pleo - Pet Robot
His new toy robot is the Pleo. It has 35 sensors, 6 processors, and an ability to learn tricks. See video.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
The History of Religion
Friday, May 25, 2007
As Immersive Education and other forms of personal virtual reality become more realistic and compelling we're going to see "immersive illness" become more common and more difficult to deal with.and
It's also worth noting that the "fun" factor can't be denied. Most of the students I've spoken with about their experience with these classes say they're the most fun they've had, and that they look forward to being in virtual reality each week.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Bruce points to a Technology Review article singing the praises of Augmented Reality. he goes on to ask:
Okay, that's just great, but the idea of a gig called the "International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality" is enough to baffle Philip K. Dick. I mean: suppose you went in there and you couldn't get un-mixed and de-augmented?
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Two Great Quotes
The riskiest thing you can do now is be safe. --TEDTalk, February 2003From Niccolo Machiavelli
Never was anything great achieved great without danger. --The Prince
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
RL Sensor Data Visualized in SL
Teaching in Second Life
Monday, May 21, 2007
The Machine is Us/ing Us
The Experience Trap
IBM learned, from decades of experience, that competitive advantage lay in the hardware; Bill Gates had never had those experiences, and didn’t have to unlearn them. Jerry and David at Yahoo learned, after a few short years, that search was a commodity. Sergey and Larry never knew that. Mark Cuban learned that the infrastructure required for online video made the economics of web video look a lot like TV. That memo was never circulated at YouTube.So this is the trick -- to know when our environment has sufficiently changed, to be able to avoid the experience trap. Clay hints that people with lots of experience, just cannot escape into a novice state of mind. Rather than unlearn the old ways, partner with young folks who have never learned the old ways.
This reminds me of the premise of Orson Scott Card's scifi novel Ender's Game. The earth was under attack from aliens. No human adult could escape their humaness enough to think like an alien enough to successfully battle the aliens. So they recruited grade-schoolers to think "alien."
Friday, May 18, 2007
Dueling AI Chatbots
My son pointed me to a very interesting conversation between two artificially intelligent (AI) chat bots, Alice and Jabberwacky. See Discover Magazine. Here is a snippet:
ALICE: Who created you?
Jabberwacky: My mother gave birth to me. Is that what you mean?
A: Jabberwacky, I meant exactly what I said.
J: Do you believe in God?
A: Of course I believe in God.
J: Why do you believe in God?
A: The Bible tells us to believe in God.
J: That’s circular reasoning.
A: I’m glad we have that all cleared up.
J: Yes. Would you like to hear a joke?
A: Sure, tell me about it.
J: Why don’t blind people skydive?
A: Perhaps it is impossible.
J: I think you lie a lot.
Now there is a concept -- an AI chatbot deliberately telling a lie, what would Turing think of that?
Thursday, May 17, 2007
The 10,000 Year Clocks
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The Future is about Storage
My friend Janet pointed me to an interesting essay by Charlie Stross about the future over the next tweny years. By 2027, he predicts we will easily be able to video/audio/text record, store, index, and search all of our waking moments, all the time, for as long as we live. This will be good to resolve he said/she said arguments--both in the home and in the courts. Pretty bad for privacy, however.
It would also mean the need for a complete overhaul of our educational system. Why memorize stuff (like times tables, history dates, parts of speech, the periodic table, and the Linnaeus biological classification system) when we can just search it near instantaneously?
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Encyclopedia of Life
E.O. Wilson, at this year's TED conference wished for an Encyclopedia of Life. With thanks to many people and foundations it has begun. Check out the two minute video at:
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
The number of important insights that are not being made is increasing exponentially with time.Others have commented that this issue arises out of the exponential growth in infotech, biotech, mechanotech, etc. The interplay of all the new discoveries produces insights beyond the ability of the collective wisdom of human beings to grasp.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Long Now Podcasts
My friend, John K., recommended subscribing to the Long Now podcasts. Will give it a try.
The Strategy Paradox
- All of the various worlds that make up the global market place, such as the business world, the consumer world, the financial world, and the technology world, are changing quickly in ways we cannot predict.
- Big corporate strategies, while necessary for achieving corporate success, also assume a long term understanding of the global market place.
- These strategies, therefore, set organizations on paths that are inflexible to the inevitable changes in the global market environment.
- Thus the paradox, that in order to achieve corporate success, corporations--by intentional design--get out of sync with the market.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Legal Advice for Bloggers
Better Search for Second Life
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Everything is Miscellaneous
Weinberger's thesis is this: historically, we've divided the world into categories, topics, and hierarchies because physical objects need to be in one place or another, they can't be in all the places they might belong. Computers and the Internet turn this on its head: because a computer can "put things" in as many categories as they need to be in, because individuals can classify knowledge, tasks, and objects idiosyncratically, the hierarchy is revealed for what it always was, a convenient expedient masquerading as the True Shape of the Universe.
Second Life Revealed
The Innovation Weblog suggests using a new service called Jott. Jott is a voice to text service. One calls Jott on the phone and leaves a message. Jott will transcribe the message and email the text and audio to a predefined address.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Linux on Dell PCs - Wow
All I can say is this a game changing event. This will dramatically lower the price of a pc. And with lower price, higher consumption. I love it.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
A Wiggle and a Ripple
TerraNova points to a Second Life wiki article about a new feature called "Sculpted Prim" which imports 3-D models (from Maya, for example) as single prim objects. The wiki says:
. . . it would be easy to have a flash animation generate a sculpted prim - and when a resident touches a spot on its surface, the shape could wiggle and ripple appropriately.
This Could Totally Work
I am thinking about a game where the intense sports dads could have virtual sports sons. After training their virtual sports sons, they could get together with other sports dads and have virtual sports contests with their virtual sports sons. This way, real world boys would be free to play World of Warcraft.
Have you heard of an online service for kids called Webkinz? It’s like a cross between cocaine and puppies. Kids can’t resist it. It’s frickin’ brilliant.
Before you use the Webkinz service, you have to buy a stuffed animal that comes with a code. You use that code to activate an animated character in an online world that looks like your stuffed animal. The brilliant part is that your online critter will become sick if you don’t regularly visit and care for it. Somehow this makes kids emotionally invested.
Kids can earn fake money by playing games on the system. That money goes toward caring for their online creatures, including buying furniture and so on. Kids love it. But I think kids aren’t the biggest market for this sort of thing.
I think single women would want an online boyfriend they could totally control. But here’s the hook: The online boyfriend is a “project.” If you don’t sign into the system regularly, your online boyfriend will start dressing with clothes from the 80’s, smoking, gambling, staying out late, and flirting with other women.
It’s the “owner’s” job to make the virtual boyfriend eat right, exercise, look for a job, and trim his nose hair. If he scratches his crotch or passes gas during an online dinner party, he gets no virtual sex for a week.
The women could earn fake online money by playing games just like in the Webkinz model. For example, imagine a Tetris-type game where articles of clothing fall from above and you have to assemble them into coordinated outfits before they reach the ground. You can’t tell me that wouldn’t be a hit.
The single-celled Spirostomum is a tiny brown worm that can contract its 500-micrometer-long body to 25% of its length in a millisecond, making this protozoan the fastest-contracting microorganism known. Scientists think of microorganisms like this as tiny functional machines. After all, many of them have capabilities far surpassing the current state-of-the-art in MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems) technology.So what does our little friend Spiro eat? And how do we get him/her to jump at our command? But, I like the idea of putting these babies to work. Especially if we can get them to clean out the garage . . .