The very first personal computer, which we owe to Alan Turing’s legacy
Complement with cultural icons on censorship.
PBS president Paula Kerger on digital innovation.
In 1945, Vannevar Bush made many of the same points in presaging the importance of “a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record.”
It reminds me of the structure of the universe. It’s kind of the same with society — there’s different atoms, people, different individuals that are all there for their own reason, that all do their own thing, but ultimately, when you put them all together, you end up with a system. As anything that emerges, it will depend on what we do with it.
Wonderful short documentary on online communities, where, just like in the physical world, we are all stardust.
Using data from his Opte Project, Hungarian physicist Albert-László Barabási, author of the mind-bending Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means, says that you’re connected to everyone else on the web via 19 clicks or less.
Every minute a new impossible thing is uploaded to the internet and that improbable event becomes just one of hundreds of extraordinary events that we’ll see or hear about today. The internet is like a lens which focuses the extraordinary into a beam, and that beam has become our illumination. It compresses the unlikely into a small viewable band of everyday-ness. As long as we are online - which is almost all day many days — we are illuminated by this compressed extraordinariness. It is the new normal.
The good news may be that it cultivates in us an expanded sense of what is possible for humans, and for human life, and so expand us. The bad news may be that this insatiable appetite for supe-superlatives leads to dissatisfaction with anything ordinary.
A wise woman once said, “If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. … Imagine immensities.” Welcome to the age of immensities.
A jarring atlas of the countries who police the internet the most, mapped by number of Google takedown requests.
T.S. Eliot once said, ‘One of the most momentous things that can happen to a culture is that they acquire a new form of prose.’ … A new form of arguing has been invented in our lifetimes, in the last decade, in fact. It’s large, it’s distributed, it’s low-cost, and it’s compatible with the ideals of democracy. The question for us now is, are we going to let the programmers keep it to themselves? Or are we going to try and take it and press it into service for society at large?
Clay Shirky on what governments can learn from the internet – important, must-see TED talk.