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The future sets its own schedule.

Slow, Slow, Fast

A great number of societal shifts take place in a three step fashion: slow, slow, fast. 

The underlying cause is about the spread of innovations. A new innovation arrives on the scene and is embraced by a small group of innovators, but other, more conservative people deny any interest in the innovation, and embrace the technology or practice that is being potentially disrupted. 

After a while, early adopters see the utility of the innovation and adopt it, but the majority remain unconvinced, although they are more likely now to come into contact with those that come aboard to the innovation. 

Then, after a while, the innovation ‘crosses the chasm’ (to use the phrase that Geoffrey Moore made famous, popularizing the work of Ed Rogers, who wrote Diffusion Of Innovations), and then things move fast.

We are at that stage now for cloud computing, and that’s why the ground is suddenly changing under the  feet of the mainstream IT solutions and computing companies.

IBM has abandoned its plan to deliver $20 a share in profits by 2015, a long-professed goal, and this is due to the rapid shifts in its clients’ buying behavior. Unlike other companies that are responding to these challenges by breaking themselves into two or more independent companies, like HP, IBM is shedding businesses where margins are falling as the gravity fields are being realigned. The newest example is the company’s PowerPC chip business, spun out with a sweetener of $1.5 billion. The company’s quarterly numbers were bad: 14% lower in profits than expected.

SAP has revised its projections for the year downward, citing the transition to cloud solutions. The firm says it will catch up on lower-cost cloud competitors in the ‘long run’, but that might just be wishful thinking.

What is coming? As we slide into the third part of slow, slow, fast things will move more quickly than the decision loops at these older, larger, and slower companies. They will be forced to sell off, spin out, or break apart in order to become quick enough to stay ahead of the event horizon. 

This disruption is not transitional, but foundational, and will extend to the bedrock of the IT world, and as a result not a single large, established, IT behemoth will remain untouched: they will all have to remake themselves — rework their DNA — or lose everything. 

The Benefits Of Idleness


Vindu Goel, A Dynamic New Tool to Preserve the Friendsters of the Future  
So how could you share the experience of Facebook as it is today with someone who has never used it? A screen shot of the social network does not convey how it actually works. You could use screen-recording software to follow your every movement on the site, but like the home movies of old, that can be tedious to view.
What makes the Internet special is the ability to delve into the details or follow odd little side roads. On Facebook, that might mean a detour to see the wedding photos of a long-lost friend, or read a heartfelt essay on the death of a parent, or follow the public conversations on topics like the Ebola virus.
Right now, there’s no way to preserve that kind of complex, immersive experience. But Rhizome, a New York nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and conserving digital artwork, is trying to build a new kind of data recorder to do just that.
Rhizome has already developed a rough prototype of a tool that records all the content you experience on a website as you click around, then uses that information to create a simulation of the website that you or someone else can explore again however you want.
This week, the organization, which is affiliated with the New Museum, plans to publicly demonstrate the technology, which it calls Colloq. It has recorded the Instagram portion of a performance art project by the artist Amalia Ulman, who assumed four different stereotypical female roles over the course of several months and posted material on Instagram and Facebook under those identities.
As you can see from this sneak peek, the simulation is far better than any screen shot, allowing a user to click on individual photos and see the likes and comments.

This is a new take on the Wayback Machine, which was really organized around tree-formed websites. But social apps are much more complex, and they have to be based on capturing more content and the scaffolding that holds it together.

Vindu Goel, A Dynamic New Tool to Preserve the Friendsters of the Future  

So how could you share the experience of Facebook as it is today with someone who has never used it? A screen shot of the social network does not convey how it actually works. You could use screen-recording software to follow your every movement on the site, but like the home movies of old, that can be tedious to view.

What makes the Internet special is the ability to delve into the details or follow odd little side roads. On Facebook, that might mean a detour to see the wedding photos of a long-lost friend, or read a heartfelt essay on the death of a parent, or follow the public conversations on topics like the Ebola virus.

Right now, there’s no way to preserve that kind of complex, immersive experience. But Rhizome, a New York nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and conserving digital artwork, is trying to build a new kind of data recorder to do just that.

Rhizome has already developed a rough prototype of a tool that records all the content you experience on a website as you click around, then uses that information to create a simulation of the website that you or someone else can explore again however you want.

This week, the organization, which is affiliated with the New Museum, plans to publicly demonstrate the technology, which it calls Colloq. It has recorded the Instagram portion of a performance art project by the artist Amalia Ulman, who assumed four different stereotypical female roles over the course of several months and posted material on Instagram and Facebook under those identities.

As you can see from this sneak peek, the simulation is far better than any screen shot, allowing a user to click on individual photos and see the likes and comments.

This is a new take on the Wayback Machine, which was really organized around tree-formed websites. But social apps are much more complex, and they have to be based on capturing more content and the scaffolding that holds it together.

engadget:

Scientists want to fight the Ebola outbreak using robots
The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

Richard Dawkins

There’s an interesting thing about ancient China, because if you read through the history, almost every single major invention of the world was invented in China first, and sometimes it took hundred of years for each to either it to make it’s way to Western Europe or to be reinvented in Western Europe. That includes paper, printing, steel, gunpowder, the compass, rudder, suspension bridges, etc. It’s almost everything, and for a long time China led the world in civilization because it was able to make these things long before anyone else. But there was one invention that China did not invent, and it would turn out to be the most important invention, and that was the invention of the scientific method.

There’s still a question about why China didn’t invent that, which was invented in the West. Because of that one invention, the West suddenly had a method for inventing new things and finding new things that was so superior that it just blew past all the great inventions of China and invented so many more things because of the power of this one invention. And that invention—the scientific method—is not a single thing. It’s actually a process with many ingredients, and the scientific method itself has actually been changing. In the very beginning it was very simple, a couple of processes like a controlled experiment, having a control, being able to repeat things, having to have a proof. We tend to think of the scientific method as sort of a whole—as fixed in time with a certain character. But lots of things that we assume or we now associate with the scientific method were only invented recently, some of them only as recently as 50 years ago—things like a double blind experiment or the invention of the placebo or random sampling were all incredibly recent additions to the scientific method. In 50 years from now the scientific method will have changed more than it has in the past 400 years just as everything else has.

So the scientific method is still changing over time. It’s an invention that we’re still evolving and refining. It’s a technology. It’s a process technology, but it’s probably the most important process and technology that we have, but that is still undergoing evolution refinement and advancement and we are adding new things to this invention. We’re adding things like a triple blind experiment or multiple authors or quantified self where you have experiment of N equals one. We’re doing things like saving negative results and transmitting those. There’s many, many things happening with the scientific method itself—as a technology—that we’re also improving over time, and that will affect all the other technologies that we make.

Kevin Kelly

(Source: inthenoosphere)

A Shift In Social Scale

I gave a presentation earlier this week during a Bitrix24 webinar. Check it out here, at about 33 minutes into the presentation. 

The talk was about the shift in social scale going on in the ‘social collaboration’ space. Here’s the slides as eye candy.


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