RE: Using Me Using You
Hi Claude L (Len) Bullard- You originally voiced the opinion that communities are opting out. Also, that predators are becoming more widespread. I tried to present an alternative optimistic viewpoint. > So is devolution. In the limbo world, "how low can you go?" If I thought that, I wouldn't ever get out of bed. I'm a huge fan of the ratchet effect. Robert Wright related cultural evolution in terms of game theory. In brief, progress occurs when nonzero sum games (win-win) can be devised to replace select zero sum games (I win, you lose). Wright argues that while progress may have been delayed (e.g. Mongol hordes disrupting Chinese society), overall, society doesn't backslide. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonzero:_The_Logic_of_Human_Destiny And, yes, I believe sentience is inevitable and not accidental. My own special little faith, since it can't be disproved (in the Popperian sense). See below. I also acknowledge that regression occurs, but only in the short term. I was walking around our popular Broadway neighborhood a few weeks ago. It was like the Reagan era all over again (decay, pan-handlers, general shabbiness). The cause of progress is saved because better ideas outcompete less good ideas. > But to summarize your point, radar guns spawn radar detectors. No. I'm saying that communities fissure. Life's arms race is something else entirely. > The reason for 'professional behavior' is to mask personal > preference, and therein is one approach to the problem. It > isn't one that works on all levels. It isn't that everyone > wants a close personal relationship; it is that we have > few good means to filter. FOAF is interesting, so if > we see repeats of patterns, I suspect it won't be individuals > but networks in that model that go 'behind the gates' somewhat > the way we have closed social clubs now. Legal? Another > interesting question. Are information force fields legal? > Not my term. There is an article about that on the web > related to all of the devices that will be able to detect > and phone you someone at the ubqiquity level of Coke signs. > There are already test cases related to institutions that > are shielding cellphone traffic. I didn't follow most of these bits at all. On the job of filtering, I think humans are brilliant at it. It's the only way to preserve our sanity. I wouldn't be surprised if it's integral to our intelligence. Smart babies will go to sleep when they're overloaded (too much tickling). Marshall McLuhan argued that we "auto amputate" portions of our sensing ability when we're over stimulated. The primary filter we have is attention. Either to opt out or rely on reputation. Clay Shirky's observations on the effects of power laws of distribution are fascinating. Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality http://shirky.com/writings/powerlaw_weblog.html The other force at work is foraging behavior. (See below.) > The communications model we have today has never existed > in recorded history at this scale and level of penetration. > That is what makes it fascinating. I believe communication patterns are self-similar (independent of scale). In other words, I don't find today's world terribly exceptional. The sole difference is the occasional flurry of self-awareness afforded by science and reason. Danny Hillis spoke at the first Java conference (1996), before it became JavaOne. (I can't find a working link to the article I wrote back then.) He related his view of progress. At the scales of atoms, molecules, cells, organisms, communities, and then (perhaps) societies, in each system of interaction, communication crosses a complexity threshold that then becomes computation. At the scale we're relating at, it's called social cognition. This book was a mind blow: "Swarm Intelligence" by Eberhart, Shi, Kennedy http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1558605959/ (Careful, there's at least 2 other books with that same title.) Please know that I'm not an extropian, transhumanist, or any of those goofy Omni and Mondo2000 caricatures. It's just that I find these fundamentally optimistic ideas both helpful (an integral part of my suicide avoidance strategy) and useful (a narrative that helps with my decision making). It's also why I don't get worked up about encoding and schemas. At the end of the day, it's all 1s and 0s, and subject-verb-object clauses. The only variables are choosing the abstractions (representations) and algorithms, how much to leave implicit versus making explicit, and whether to reuse or redo. And in making those decisions, one's use cases and tolerance for pain are the only useful guides. Cheers, Jason Aaron Osgood / Seattle WA PS- Someone let me know if I go off topic. hahahah. zappini.blogspot.com
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