13 December 2011

system traits

" ..Our system has become a Frankenstein monster which acts upon its own institutional behalf.
It encourages the least desirable of human traits -- greed, short-term thinking, lack of accountability, hierarchy, propaganda and self-obsession -- while simultaneously dismissing and discouraging the best of human traits -- long-term planning, reason, mutual aid, empathy, and resource allocation.

 If we don't construct society in a manner which embraces the latter, we damn our children to a miserable existence, and we won't survive as a species"

 (taken from a comment by Jason Boissonneault in a trnn comment thread)

09 October 2011

Steve Jobs died a few days ago and I wrote the following in a facebook comment thread

In response to all the idolatrous mourning in here, and surely bouncing around in mainstream media right now, (i havent yet poked my head around to see)

Nice design and innovation, but I could have done without most of his contribution toward making closed technical ecosystems and hardware more desired and desirable, and here's why. I fear that it might be us, the consumers of new technologies, that willingly hand over the gains made possible by these technologies, back to monopolies and empire, simply because we are driven by desire for the shinier toy, and the easier playground.

 (written on a mac)

28 July 2011

google+ public circles

It would be nice if google+ extended the circle metaphor to include public circles, that people can discover and join, giving us a way to easily make and follow channels with a narrow subject on Google+

What this would solve is the following basic problem:
I don't want to hear mumbles on random topics, from people I follow for one subject in particular. For example, if I follow you for your technology knowledge and opinion, I dont want to hear about the food you're eating on your latest visit to china.

I should be able to join your technology circle, provided you've made it public, and by so doing I should be able to see only the posts you send to your technology circle.

22 April 2011


Questioning our own motives, and our own process, is critical to a skeptical and scientific outlook. We must realize that the default mode of human psychology is to grab onto comforting beliefs for purely emotional reasons, and then justify those beliefs to ourselves with post-hoc rationalizations. It takes effort to rise above this tendency, to step back from our beliefs and our emotional connection to conclusions and focus on the process. The process (i.e science, logic, and intellectual rigor) has to be more important than the belief. —Steven Novella

18 February 2011

Tim Wu, on the monopolization of the Internet, and other things

Recently caught a conversation with Tim Wu, originator of the phrase 'net neutrality', and author of The Master Switch, on the monopolization of the Internet, and other things : interview with TimWu on SearchEnginePodcast

Listen here : http://podcasts.tvo.org/searchengine/audio/800868_48k.mp3

The book sounds important - theres a good review here: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/reviews/2010/12/ars-book-review-the-master-switch-by-tim-wu.ars

Some nice bits on how older technologies had open phases too, before they were closed - as we, the consumers, brought about monopolists and consumptive systems, in tandem with emerging parasitic business ecosystems.

And whether things could be different this time around ..

Whether, if we were aware of the systems and information we 'choose' for ourselves; we could keep it open, and therefore, game-changing

Definitely, some things for us cyber-optimists to think about .

wiki notes are accumulating here: http://jaysen.wikispaces.com/TimWuOnSearchEngine

05 February 2011

Julian Assange speech at WikiLeaks Public Meeting in Melbourne

"We support a cause that is no more radical a proposition than that the citizenry has a right to scrutinise the state."

tagged #opengov #video #av #mediachannel #political #freeculture #transparency #gov, but thats just me.

30 January 2011

rms on google

http://stallman.org/archives/2010-nov-feb.html#29 January 2011 (Investigating Google)

As for Google, it does some very good things but also some bad things. (For instance, many of its services distribute proprietary software to users.) I would not put Google at the head of the list of large companies that need to be broken up; however, if we start breaking up large companies (as we should), and get that far down the list, I would not say "stop here"

i agree