Notes


The History of the Future

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Robot Professionals [...]

We believe these are but a few early indicators of a fundamental shift in professional service. Within professional organizations (firms, schools, hospitals), we are seeing a move away from tailored, unique solutions for each client or patient towards the standardization of service. Increasingly, doctors are using checklists, lawyers rely on precedents, and consultant...

 

Techno-Pastoralism [...]

Brautigan's Machines of Loving Grace imagines a world made more pastoral, quiet, and contemplative by computers: The text was printed over an image of electric schematics and it set out a utopian vision of a techno-pastoralism, where new digital machines could return us to a prelapsarian state, at one with nature in an electric Eden. The poem, in part: ") I like to t...

 

Community Technology Centers’ Network [...]

From the Wikipedia entry for Antonia Stone: Antonia "Toni" Stone (1930-2002) created the United States' first community technology centers. In 1980, Toni Stone set up Playing to Win (PTW). Playing to Win, a nonprofit organization dedicated to countering inequities in computer access. PTW looked to serve inmates and ex-offenders by teaching them computer skills and off...

 

Prime Vietnam Directive [...]

The Prime Directive of Star Trek (or at least the embrace of it) may have evolved out of U.S. ambivalence about Vietnam. It was part of Rodenberry's vision of "progressive humanity". > The Prime Directive of "Star Trek: TOS" is primarily a way to process America's 1960s misadventure in Vietnam. Would that more generals and chickenhawks dreamed dreams that taught th...

 

Sci-fi For/Against Vietnam [...]

A breakdown of science fiction writers for and against the Vietnam War from June 1968 Galaxy Magazine: Commentary on the differences: > Looking backward at the rival camps, we may be puzzled by Pohl's inability to distinguish between either their ideologies or their conflicting roles in modern SF. For the pro-war list reads like a roll call of champions of super-s...

 

Alibi of Photocopies [...]

Via @RoxanneShirazi, a quote from Eco: “There are many things I do not know because I photocopied a text and then relaxed as if I had read it” (Eco 1977). He calls this the "alibi of photocopies" On social media, people are often [[More Willing to Share Than Read]] what they share....

 

Social Media as News Source [...]

Nearly two-thirds of adults in America now get news on social media and a fifth do so often, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, a polling outfit; the numbers continue to grow fast. Unfortunately, people are often not selecting news, but expressing identification. See [[Identity Headlines]], [[Filter Bubble]] The this creates might not be all b...

 

Filter Bubble [...]

The version of the world presented to us in increasingly a consumer product, aimed to please rather than inform. Algorithms such as the one that powers Facebook’s news feed are designed to give us more of what they think we want – which means that the version of the world we encounter every day in our own personal stream has been invisibly curated to reinforce our...

 

Templated Self [...]

Coined by Amber Case, the term "templated self"  describes how the affordances and defaults of systems affect online expressions of identity. A self or identity that is produced through various participation architectures, the act of producing a virtual or digital representation of self by filling out a user interface with personal information For example, the design...

 

Literature and History and the Flynn Effect [...]

James Flynn of fame thinks gains in IQ are going to waste. In other words, our IQs may have risen, but this hasn’t made us any wiser. “Reading literature and reading history is the only thing that’s going to capitalise on the IQ gains of the 20th Century and make them politically relevant.” You may or may not agree, but Flynn is not the only person with this ...