A few interesting pieces on streams and our sense making there:
Beyond Realtime Search: The Dawning Of Ambient Streams by Edo Segal (@edosegal) – Edo was very interesting on a panel at the recent Real-Time Crunchup in SF, but this piece doesn’t do a great job in clarifying his thoughts, aside from a handwave at the intersection of augmented reality and streaming.
Towards a web of activity streams realizing the synaptic web paradigm by Freddy Snijder (@visionscraper) – A long, rambling piece (might have better made three or four shorter posts) that examines the possible role of the Twitter API in supporting a ‘synaptic web paradigm’, which is the terminology Khris Loux, Eric Blantz, and Chris Saad dreamed up (see here). This is one of those metaphors that says more about the people using it than the thing it attempts to define, however.
And a side note: people continue to talk about the need for filtering as a ‘sixth sense’. This is misleading.
First of all, the idea of a ‘sixth sense’ is commonly used to allude to E.S.P.: some sort of paranormal ability to see the future, the dead, or the like.
Secondly, we have a number of senses that could be considered the sixth, after sight, taste, hearing, smell, and touch. Balance (or Equilibrioception) is commonly accepted as the sixth exteroceptive sense, but there is a long list of other candidates: pain, proprioception (sense of body parts in relation to each other), kinesthesia (motion sensing), sense of time, thermoception (relative differences in temperature), and perhaps even a sense of magnetic fields.
Lastly, we are not going to craft a new sensorium to deal with streams. Our existing cognitive skills will have to suffice, although as we stress them by living in the stream of information we are shaping our minds in new ways. Or regaining old, old ones.