Tag Archives: emergent-behavior

God is a Spandrel

At 3 Quarks Daily, an introduction to recent work on religion and cognition: [It] does not see religious belief as a corruption of rationality, but rather as an over-extension of some of the very mental mechanisms that underlie and make rationality possible. In other words, rather than religion having emerged to serve a social or [...]

Clay Shirky’s Talk at Long Now Foundation

Clay Shirky gave a talk at the Long Now Foundation last Monday on “Making Digital Durable”. If you read Clay’s essays, most of this won’t be new, but it was nice to hear him pull several threads together. Things that jumped out at me “Classes of errors unrelated to the mode of production.” “Who can [...]


I’ve been playing with WolframTones tonight, after finding out about them from Kathryn Cramer. These are little musical compositions created by running a one-dimensional cellular automata, then taking a slice, rotating the slice, and mapping a musical scale to the result. You tweak the result by playing with the generator’s initial conditions, changing the instruments, [...]

Teaching Tagging

Talk at TagCamp lead by Marshall Kirkpatrick People don’t tag multiples: Using tags like folders is like drawing Venn diagrams with no overlapping circles — possible, but so destructive of the value of the system as to make the effort pointless. — Clay Shirky Analogies LC subject headings apply as many as are appropriate for [...]

iTunes Sharing at Work

[ via Lee Iverson ] Georgia Tech study of iTunes sharing in workplaces: people used their sharing to project an identity. However, when the boss looked in on the sharing, people ‘clammed up.’

Jonas Luster warns about Cargo Cult buisness plans

When software shows up at my door with a beer, watches What not to Wear with me on my sofa, then gets me laid afterward, that will be social software. Jonas on stage at Webzine 2005, arguing that Social Software really is Community Software. Oh, and don’t use the term “long tail” around him, unless [...]

DNS Poisoning, Click Farming, and Poorly Specified Contracts

An analysis of the recent DNS poisoning attacks [ via meuon ] finds that the attackers’ motivation was gaming a pay-per-click search engine. A couple of days ago, a coworker asked me if I’ve been able to apply any of my economics training in my current profession. Well, for one thing, I could had told [...]

The Street Finds its Own Use Cases

Adam Greenfield on the fault lines between actual use, and how the designers imagined people would use technology: I have never seen a use case that starts with a proposition like “Greta wants to sneak out and meet her lover Patrick, without making her husband Bertrand suspicious.” Or “Kenji wants his private contact information to [...]

We may be on the verge of nothing important: Notes from Sterling’s Long Now Talk

At last, a week late, my notes. Bruce Sterling does not worry about a Vingean Singularity that renders humankind a powerless annoyance to transcendent artificial intelligences. Instead he worries about plain old human-driven technological change and nasty WMDs. Cynthia and I drove up to the City to hear Bruce Sterling’s lecture for the Long Now [...]

LiveJournal MindMap

It looks like people are jumping into Live Journal’s FOaF data and building interesting tools. The MindMap project is trying to find clusters of Live Journal users. It’s also distributing the processing load across volunteers’ computers.

Sorting and Categorizing Applications

I’m looking for applications where the user sorts a large pile of things into many buckets. Web and non-web applications appreciated. I’ll link suggestions to this entry. Thanks! Movable Type’s mass-editing interface. NASA’s Martian Crater sorter. iTunes playlists.

Live Journal Does FoaF

Live Journal now supports Friend of a Friend feeds. Go to http://www.livejournal.com/users/username/data/foaf for an example. You’ll get back a list of all the Live Journal accounts that the user has ‘friended’, along with the links to their FoaF and Journals. You can also get syndication feeds at http://www.livejournal.com/users/username/data/rss and http://www.livejournal.com/users/username/data/atom. So you have enough to [...]

Making Use of Social Software

I have a medium-sized, non-web project I’d like to pursue this year or next. Orkut has communities for like-minded people and enthusiasts. So I challenged one of my Orkut communities to help make something happen.

From Asimov to Banks

Three Laws of Robotics + AI = The Culture.

Fun with Directed Graphs

First download AT&T’s GraphViz software. Use the Pathalizer to see how users traverse your site. Download your Live Journal friends in dot file format and build a map of your social network.