A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy

Keynote Clay Shirky gave on Social Software at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology conference in Santa Clara on April 24, 2003

Good morning, everybody. I want to talk this morning about social software…there’s a surprise. I want to talk about a pattern I’ve seen over and over again in social software that supports large and long-lived groups. And that pattern is the pattern described in the title of this talk: “A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy.” more…

And a fun way to read it!   Copy and paste the text into Spreeder and speed read it! You can also change the prefs to suit your speed reading tastes.

Michael Silverblatt, ‘Bookworm’, Interviews William Gibson

Unfortunately I can’t link directly to the audio. You can subscribe to Bookworm in iTunes (and I highly recommend it). You can listen from this KCRW link to the Gibson interview page.

Spook Country (Putnam)
What’s happened to William Gibson? Along with the most sophisticated future-predictions, speculations about the sociology of cities, and adventures in virtual post-realities, he has finally learned how to get his characters from one room to another. We explore this accomplishment (in which he takes a good deal of pride)

“your papers, please!”, Air travelers to need permission to travel TSA


Edward Hasbrouck

The deadline for public comments on the USA Transportation Security
Administration’s proposed rules to make would-be travellers obtain
individualized prior permission for all journeys by air to, from,
overflying, or even *within* the USA is this Monday, 22 October 2007.

If you have a chance before 5 p.m. Washington time on Monday, I urge
you to go to http://www.regulations.gov and tell the TSA what you
think of their scheme. You don’t have to be a citizen of the USA to
submit comments, and you can even do so anonymously. The docket
number is TSA-2007-28572, and there are more details at:


Asylum Street Spankers – Ribbons On Your SUV

Viral political satire in a musical theater setting!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/KmsOIjzQ1V8" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Or here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/v/KmsOIjzQ1V8

latest ” ‘Net Neutrality” outrage by Tel-Co’s: How Comcast blocks your Internet traffic

from http://machinist.salon.com/

How Comcast blocks your Internet traffic

The broadband company’s audacious scheme to interrupt your data proves why network neutrality rules are crucial.

By Farhad Manjoo

Oct. 19, 2007 |

Bless the Associated Press for unearthing, through careful and diligent investigation, Comcast’s shameful, hidden Internet traffic-management scheme.

Comcast, the AP determined, actively manages data on its network by using software to essentially masquerade as its subscribers’ machines. When non-Comcast Internet subscribers request files from your Comcast-connected machine — as happens in peer-to-peer file-sharing applications — Comcast’s technology steps in and tells the non-Comcast subscriber you’re not available.

This is a difficult story to explain, but it’s quite important. For years, consumer advocates have been demanding that Congress and/or the Federal Communications Commission impose “network neutrality” regulations that would force broadband providers (like Comcast) to treat all data on a network equally. Lawmakers have so far failed to do so.

Broadband providers, meanwhile, insist that they do treat all traffic equally, but they reserve the right to use certain technologies to “manage” data on their network. The Comcast plan suggests that broadband providers mean something very broad by “traffic management” — including, it appears, purposefully stepping into your network sessions to shut them down.

To understand why this whole process is so egregious, let’s look at it in FAQ format.

What is Comcast doing, and why?

Ron Paul – The Internet President

I’ve been hearing a lot about Ron Paul and have friends working on his campaign. I like a lot of what I’m hearing, especially about getting the Federal Govt. out of State’s Rights issues, but wonder how he might implement his ideas. Here’s a link to a very informative Ron Paul NPR interview (transcript here) that helped answer some of my questions.


A “Master Class” By Danny Kahneman
Danny Kahneman along with Amos Tversky won the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics for their discovery of behavioral economics. I learned about them through reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb‘s “Fooled By Randomness” and then Daniel Gilbert’s “Stumbling on Happiness” I’ve become very interested in cognitive biases– as I understand them, built in tendancies to make bad choices. The idea is that by studying how humans tend to make errors in judgment we can learn to make better decisions. The “Start Here” link is to a Daniel Gilbert SXSW lecture which is extremely informative and entertaining.

Decision Analysis

google? Doyle? Ecodelics psychedelics psybernetics autopoiesis? lsd?

from Rose Rose on realitysandwich

Google is the first psychedelically informed superpower to shape the noosphere and NASDAQ. I don’t mean that Googlers (necessarily) are all seasoned psychonauts, or (necessarily) take 4:20 breaks on-campus, or are well represented (necessarily) at Burning Man. Nor am I saying that psychedelics “caused” Google, any more than a Stanford education did. I do mean that the core mission comes right out of the psychedelic atlas: a vision of super-connectivity and super-conductivity that is a hallmark of the psychedelic landscape. An exceptional treatment of this theme is Rich Doyle’s book Ecodelic!, forthcoming from the University of Washington Press in 2008. Every search returns a new (always new because always shifting and adding and growing) set of filaments connecting the searcher’s quest to their potential grail. Every quest or re-quest weaves the mycelial mat of connections more densely: among people, data, images, jokes, video, ads, text messages, music, maps, and cultural artifacts of every communicable variety.


Haber-Bosch process has often been called the most important invention of the 20th century

this ties in with the earlier post on Peak Phosphorus

from Juergen Schmidhuber’s site

Since age 15 or so Prof. Jürgen Schmidhuber’s main scientific ambition has been to build an optimal scientist, then retire. In 2028 they will force him to retire anyway. By then he shall be able to buy hardware providing more raw computing power than his brain

Their Haber-Bosch process has often been called the most important invention of the 20th century (e.g., V. Smil, Nature, July 29 1999, p 415) as it “detonated the population explosion,” driving the world’s population from 1.6 billion in 1900 to 6 billion in 2000.

Haber-Bosch process:

Under high temperatures and very high pressures, hydrogen and nitrogen (from thin air) are combined to produce ammonia.

Nearly one century after its invention, the process is still applied all over the world to produce 500 million tons of artificial fertilizer per year. 1% of the world’s energy supply is used for it (Science 297(1654), Sep 2002); it still sustains roughly 40% of the population (M. D. Fryzuk, Nature 427, p 498, 5 Feb 2004).



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