“Tech is just a loop. First we organize, then we disrupt, then it gets organized again, then that gets disrupted.”—
After yesterday’s post about the implications of Amazon’s Kindle Fire introduction, tech veteran Dave Winer pipes up with his vision of What Comes After The Cloud. Worth a read, as is this amazing piece by Douglas Rushkoff: In The Next Net, the author outlines the reality of the Internet as he sees it, and provides a stark reminder for those yearning to live in merry oblivion and see it as somehow magically neutral. He concludes:
I propose we abandon the Internet, or at least accept the fact that it has been surrendered to corporate control like pretty much everything else in Western society. It was bound to happen, and its flawed, centralized architecture made it ripe for conquest.
“When you put that set of horrendous work conditions and external factors together, it creates an evil barrel. You could put virtually anybody in it and you’re going to get this kind of evil behavior. The Pentagon and the military say the Abu Ghraib scandal is the result of a few bad apples in an otherwise good barrel. That’s the dispositional analysis. The social psychologist in me, and the consensus among many of my colleagues in experimental social psychology, says that’s the wrong analysis. It’s not the bad apples, it’s the bad barrels that corrupt good people. Understanding the abuses at this Iraqi prison starts with an analysis of both the situational and systemic forces operating on those soldiers working the night shift in that ‘little shop of horrors.’”—Iconic Stanford social psychologist Philip Zimbardo, best known for the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment, on good and evil in The Mind (via curiositycounts)
“When asked for advice on painting, Claude Monet told people not to fear mistakes. The discipline of art requires constant experimentation, wherein errors are harbingers of original ideas because they introduce new directions for expression. The mistake is outside the intended course of action, and it may present something that we never saw before, something unexpected and contradictory, something that may be put to use.”—5 timeless insights on overcoming fear in the creative process (via curiositycounts)
“Why do amoebas build stalks from their own bodies, sacrificing themselves in the process, so that some may climb up and be carried away from dearth to plenty on the legs of an innocent insect or the wings of a felicitous wind? Why do vampire bats share blood, mouth to mouth, at the end of a night of prey with members of the colony who were less successful in the hunt? Why do sentry gazelles jump up and down when a lion is spotted, putting themselves precariously between the hunt and the hungry hunter? And what do all of these have to do with morality in humans: Is there, in fact, a natural origin to our own acts of kindness?”—The story of George Price and his mad quest for the scientific origins of altruism (via curiositycounts)
Steve Vander Ark, author of the unauthorized Harry Potter encyclopedia The Lexicon, has just released what will be a series of reader’s guides to the Harry Potter series. It’s excellent reading, but definitely written for the people who have read the entire series, for spoilers abound. Read this book and discover how the stories echo each other, the themes running through the stories, textual differences between British and US versions, word meanings and symbolism, geography, dates, and what may or may not be plot holes. You will learn not just about the books, but also bits about Rowling’s writing methods, and how plot points have been perceived by Potter fans. Great stuff. Right now it’s only available for the Kindle; a version for the Nook is coming soon.