Once self-copying memes had arisen, their own, much faster, kind of evolution took off. – Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
Dominic Basulto imagines that digital devices are a kind of primordial soup in which “digital bits” of Big Data will propagate to the point where “they don’t need us anymore.” He speculates upon Richard Dawkins’ theory of memes:
Where things become both exciting and creepy is if the data replicators (data memes) become truly “selfish” and start to challenge the classic genetic replicators (genes). It’s not just that Big Data wants to become Bigger, it’s that it may eventually want to out-compete our genetic material.
Continue reading “Big Data will destroy you: Techno-jitters”
According to Timothy Leary, “there’s a universe inside your brain”. In his book “Chaos & Cyber Culture” he explores a “postpolitical information society” where “electrified thoughts invite fast feedback”.
This “cybernetic society” is led by the “front-line creativity” based on “individual thinking” and “scientific know-how”.
From different countries, “new breeds” use cybertechnology and “feedback networks” to gain “more managerial and direct creative access to their brain.”
This breed emerges as an “open-minded caste” that is “simply much smarter” than the “old guard” of “closed-minded white, male politicians” who once made decisions about their lives.
In this “info-world” Leary sees a cybernetic society, or rather “a large pool” of individuals who communicate “at light speed” across boundaries.
This new breed is capable of “jumping the gene pools” to form “postindustrial, global meme-pools.” He calls them “informates” whose “defining memes” flash “at light speed across borders in digital-electronic form”.
— Timothy Leary, American psychologist and writer (1920-1996),
An amazing investigative journalist named Mattathias Schwarts came to one of my Media Studies classes this spring. He wrote a hot article for the NY Times regarding “Trolls”. Trolls are the folks who for some reason or other find harassing and manipulating people on-line as a delectable treat. I asked him if he would be willing to give me a few minutes to record a “micro-podcast” regarding Trolls on Future140. He gladly did so, and you can listen to it here.
Schwartz tells us that we see more troll-like behavior on the Internet because of anonymity. We can’t mask ourselves in public face-to-face interactions where antisocial behavior most certainly brings shame. Masking ones online identity in order to cause others is a power we are all capable of. He urged us to develop a “thicker skin” when engaged in online social interactions. He made no mention of OpenID’s or other online credentialing systems that enable high value online identity’s for users to carry across multiple platforms.
Continue reading “Unmasking the Trolls with Identity 2.0 (Future140 Part 3)”
Are you ready to die? What about all of those pieces of you left behind on the Internet? Are they a fair representation of who you really are?
Think about it.
Recently I’ve been reflecting on a project I started called Future140. It demands well thought out answers in 140 seconds or less. For my second micro-interview on Future140 I decided to challenge my dad, who happens to be a professor and the most accessible intellectual I know. He’s always taken a liking to the subject of death. He recently has been dabbling in social media and I thought he might have some insight into a question that had been plaguing me.
click to listen –>
“We all die. But now our Internet activity, comments, photos, etc. live on. Do our digital lives matter?”
Continue reading “Dead on the Web (Future140 Part 2)”