"the long view" entries

Daniel Suarez: Bot-Mediated Realities

I enjoy exposure to new world views, the feeling of one's brain being stretched to fit a new frame. For that reason, I enjoyed Daniel Suarez's talk to the Long Now Foundation, entitled "Daemon: Bot-Mediated Realities". You can listen to the talk as I did, or read Paul Saffo's summary. Suarez sees a world in which bots run everything from…

Why We're Failing in Math and Science

Norman Mailer's brilliant novel Why Are We in Vietnam? doesn't talk explicitly about the Vietnam war; it tells a story about American culture and the American psyche, thereby producing a devastating critique of the war with the title and last line alone. In a similar way, it may be easier to understand why America is falling behind at math and…

Web 2.0 Is From Mars, Enterprise Is Up Uranus

Jim brings a welcome "inside the firewall" perspective to Radar. We were talking about Web 2.0 vs SOA vs "Enterprise SOA" (which had us all reached for the barf bags) and Jim came up with this great line about the mindset that could coin the phrase "Enterprise SOA": "Their worldview is one of control over the enterprise". I agree completely….

Why search competition isn't the point

This morning, in response to my Microhoo: Corporate Penis Envy? piece, Michael Arrington wrote The importance of a competitive search market. First, let's be clear. I agree with Michael that competition is a good thing, and that there's a real risk that, absent competition, Google will become "evil," as "absolute power corrupts absolutely." Nonetheless, I thought I'd take a…

Wattzon.org – How much energy we consume and what to do about it

Saul Griffith has published a version of his talk at ETech as a website, wattzon.org. Saul's key points: Solving global warming is an engineering problem. We know the connection between greenhouse gases and global warming, and can determine just how much carbon we're allowed to put into the atmosphere to give us the temperature we can live with. The…

@TED: Best of Day 3

The joke among TEDsters is that, around the third day, it becomes an endurance sport. It's one thing to be in a room listening to spectacular insights for a few hours. It's another to be doing so for half a week. Nonetheless, part of the experience you get from being at events like TED is that feeling of being overwhelmed:…

@TED: Best of Day 2

It was a day of extremes at TED, ranging from an extended session examining the pervasiveness of evil to an evening celebration of some of the most life-affirming ideas possible. It also ranged from the sober (how to survive a nuclear attack) to the self-referential and self-congratulatory (a brief sit-down with TED's originator, Richard Saul Wurman). Here's a quick rundown…

Rating the ratings, and the end of neutrality

Wikipedians castigate individuals and companies for changing their own
Wikipedia entries. No other behavior could reasonably be expected.
Passive participation in the online reputation game is not an option.
Could another level of indirection–a rating of ratings–improve this
situation? It might break down silos and introduce a general solution
to a problem that dozens of social networks are trying to solve in

One Laptop Per Child will succeed even if it "fails"

The way people are dismissing the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project this week reminds me of how people were treating Hillary Clinton during the five days between her Iowa defeat and her New Hampshire comeback. To many observers, the inevitable has become the disaster in record time. Some of the anti-OLPC notes that have appeared since Intel was kicked…

Marcel Proust, Alpha Geek

Tim recently sent around a recommendation for The Victorian Internet, Tom Standage's enjoyable look at a decidedly pre-Silicon Valley tech boom, although the inflated promises of that period (i.e., the telegraph will bring about world peace) remind us of some of the more outlandish dotcom-era claims. Tim's note about Standage's book (which I recommend as well) provides a good reminder…