The Longest Now


Better knowledge graphs fit for Star Trek computers coming to Google
Monday December 31st 2012, 8:32 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,international,knowledge,meta,metrics,wikipedia

Last year Google acquired Metaweb, providing a reliable future to their many projects, including Refine and Freebase.

From earlier this year, here’s a quote from Amit Singhal, Google’s SVP responsible for their Knowledge Graph:

We hope this added intelligence will give you a more complete picture of your interest, provide smarter search results, and pique your curiosity on new topics. We’re proud of our first baby step—the Knowledge Graph—which will enable us to make search more intelligent, moving us closer to the “Star Trek computer” that I’ve always dreamt of building. Enjoy your lifelong journey of discovery, made easier by Google Search, so you can spend less time searching and more time doing what you love.

In the near future, I expect both Google’s knowledge graph, and the increasing awareness of the usefulness of such graphs, to change the structure and scope of industrial-scale knowledge processing. Thanks to all those working on these tools and solutions; see you in 2013!



Chinese Internet discovered to be full of memes: Top 10 Edition
Sunday December 09th 2012, 3:57 am
Filed under: %a la mod,chain-gang,Glory, glory, glory,international,meta,zyzzlvaria

via Global Voices, the Top 10 Chinese Internet Memes of 2012.



Three Copyright Myths and Where to Start to Fix it – a policy brief

A lovely short policy brief on designing a better copyright regime was published on Friday – before being quickly taken offline again.  I’ve reposted it here with light cleanup of its section headings.

If you care at all about copyright and its quirks, this is short and worth reading in full.



The benefit of passion, focus, poise & wit. For Sebastian.
Tuesday November 20th 2012, 12:53 pm
Filed under: international,meta,poetic justice,SJ

:A pinch of poise, a twist of wit,
:    Suffice to foil the darkest fit of  pique –
:      or set the mind  at  ease when seeking
:              ancient   remedies   for  tweaking  the   e t e r n a l    drive
:                                              to make, sing, see, feel, learn, & thrive.



John Taylor Gatto’s Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher Manifesto: Read it!
Wednesday November 14th 2012, 10:24 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,international,meta,Not so popular

The 7-lesson schoolteacher.

"I teach school -- and I win awards doing it.  These are the things I teach, these are the things you pay me to teach.  Make of them what you will:"

So begins one of the great essays on the modern school system.

Via Doc Searls.



George Washington’s political farewell address: such timely advice!
Thursday November 08th 2012, 10:51 am
Filed under: %a la mod,meta,poetic justice,popular demand

The original, and updated to modern lingo.



Gline, Simmons-Duffin, and the fine Physics snarXiv
Tuesday October 30th 2012, 12:26 pm
Filed under: meta,poetic justice

Comphysic relief:  arXiv vs. snarXiv

You can learn a lot from browsing the arXiv that way; I discovered Tang’s variation on a neutrino counter-nuke.  Along with some papers which would be awesome if anyone managed to write them.

I was delighted to rediscover David SD’s homepage and musings, and reminded of my long-term bet with Matt Gline about the progress in semantic clustering and searching.[1]

[1] Whether or not we will have meaningful deep searching of patent/idea databases that allows classification anad clustering across all dimensions of ‘idea’, and idea diffs, in the next few decades. If we can find the original statement of the bet, and its deadline, one of us will treat the other to a meal at any restaurant of his choice.


Gyrovague muses on fast-food franchises in…
Tuesday September 18th 2012, 1:52 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,citation needed,meta,Uncategorized

the age of lawsuits.

you thought this would involve SPACE, didn’t you?



Amanda Palmer on the subtleties of pride for working artists
Sunday September 16th 2012, 9:51 pm
Filed under: gustatory,meta,poetic justice,popular demand

A great multi-sided discussion from the AFP blog, with at least three incompatible views worth considering (and unifying in one moral code, if you’re looking for a challenge).  

How should artists set expectations for how large popular shows and venues play out, when they each draw on dozens of performers, from pick-up –> auditioned one-night –> well-known drop-ins from past collabs –> long-term tour staff?



New ‘Geeks Without Bounds’: sustainable geekery memification
Wednesday July 25th 2012, 7:13 pm
Filed under: international,meta

Geeks Without Bounds is an inspiring Seattle-based group that I learned about through the Awesome Seattle foundation. Their work is similar in ways to NetHope and Benetech in terms of the sorts of networking and sustainability-review they hope to provide. But they are primarily volunteer-run, founded in the work already supported by hacker spaces around the world.

They focus on making hackathons and prototypes for humanitarian tech work in practice — implemented through local practitioners, and embraced by active communities of develoeprs once they have proven their use. I wish them and their network-building success. We need better circles of shared practice in this area of life!

Here’s an introductory video via Dailymotion.



The Mathematics that Matter for Planet Earth, in 2013
Wednesday July 18th 2012, 5:56 pm
Filed under: international,meta

An idea born in 2010, by the American Mathematical Society and friends, now bearing fruit at a beautifully burgeoning MPE 2013 website.

The mathematics of interest includes everything related to four themes: Discovering the planet, Supporting life on the planet, Human organization on the planet, and Risks to the future of the planet.



Alex Howard scans digital bills of rights; says “use the original!”
Monday July 16th 2012, 3:23 pm
Filed under: meta

From his ‘Gov 2.0‘ O’Reilly blog:

Why propose principles for Internet freedom and a “Digital Bill of Rights” when existing ones will do? We the People need our existing Bill of Rights to apply in the digital domain.



Y-Worlds: At last! A fellow pattern-seeking collaborative
Tuesday July 10th 2012, 10:34 am
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory,meta,SJ

Still in its infancy: “A collaborative platform to organize complex knowledge, visualize systems that propel our lives and build a universal exchange for knowledge, wealth and value.

I love it when one of the seventeen pillars of society starts to emerge anew.



If “Interactive Interactive-Fiction Non-Fiction” Then: Club Floyd
Thursday July 05th 2012, 9:32 am
Filed under: Blogroll,meta

Club Floyd collects collaborative IF meta-stories. via Jacqueline A. Lott Ashwell.



General knowledge is social infrastructure, not commodity
Monday June 25th 2012, 10:54 pm
Filed under: %a la mod,chain-gang,international,meta,Uncategorized,wikipedia

For ages, learning was assumed to be social, interactive, oral. Written knowledge, where available and somewhat portable, was a specialized complement that few scholars, recordkeepers, explorers and other specialists used or needed.

As long as you needed a tutor or guide to learn, whether or not good static (lifeless) written material was available was a lesser concern.

In the last three millennia, it gradually became cheaper to produce text, commonplace for scholars to learn to write concisely and convey ideas so that others could learn them on their own. In every field, books eventually replaced ritual and oral record as the standard for precipitating knowledge into a lasting, canonical form, and passing it on. This was driven forward by personal memorials and finance and law – pillars of clan- and city-building.

Certain forms of knowledge were considered a shared good of society – from how to find resources to social and practical norms. And some were actively disseminated as necessary, such as legal and religious dictates. Other knowledge was something that could be sought out, or bought and sold. During the time when knowledge about the world was a scarce resource, yet easy enough to write down and transmit, even basic information about the shape of the planet was bartered and sold like any other good.

Today we both have bounteous knowledge, and pressing problems that better global education can address. The opportunities that could result from a more broadly educated world society are far greater than the short-term opportunities of a commodity market for practical texts.

And we will get more thorough, more accurate, and better texts of all sorts – once we think of general knowledge as a part of culture and civic infrastructure, not as something that can be owned and hoarded. We made this transition with scientific discoveries centuries ago, with mathematics before that, and today we reap tremendous benefits from that. It is time for all knowledge to join their ranks as a cornerstone of our civilization.

How can we help this come about? Take a piece of awesome, inspiring, practical knowledge that you currently buy or rent as a commodity, and make a free version of it. Publish it to a shared commons that makes it easy to maintain and update over time. Tell others who get it from the same source you did. Stop using general knowledge that you can’t repurpose, and your use of the alternative will make it the best in the world in its niche.



Car Racing Ex-Con meets Orphaned Insomniac: They Fight Crime!
Sunday May 27th 2012, 8:01 pm
Filed under: Blogroll,indescribable,meta

He’s a war-weary devious gentleman spy who knows the secret of the alien invasion. She’s a vivacious mute advertising executive with an incredible destiny. They Fight Crime!



World’s Tiniest World
Sunday May 27th 2012, 12:33 pm
Filed under: indescribable,meta

A simple little puzzle, that will charm you blind.




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