Data Never Sleeps – how much data is being generated every minute on different platforms.
New PBS Off Book micro-documentary explores the culture of Reddit, which over the past years has given us such stimulating threads as the web’s most thought-provoking sites and such fascinating subreddits as Today I Learned and Ask Science.
Previous episodes have explored typography, product design, art in the age of the internet, book art and papercraft, generative art, the explosion of animated GIFs, LEGO art, and the art of film and TV title design.
Uncovering secrets might require counting missile silos in satellite images or debriefing double agents. To understand our connected world, we need different skills.
central paradox of this connected age is that while it’s easier than ever to share information and perspectives from different parts of the world, we may be encountering a narrower picture of the world than we did in less connected days. During the Vietnam War, television reporting from the frontlines involved transporting exposed film from Southeast Asia by air, then developing and editing it in the United States before broadcasting it days later. Now, an unfolding crisis such as the Japanese tsunami or Haitian earthquake can be reported in real time via satellite. Despite these lowered barriers, today’s American television news features less than half as many international stories as were broadcast in the 1970s.
The best weather-related visualization since Nathalie Miebach’s musical sculptures.
Also see Jonathan Harris’s We Feel Fine project, visualizing feelings on the social web.
We Feel Fine – an almanac of human emotion, visualizing the web’s collective feelings.
I’m content to regard the Internet as the best and brightest machine ever made by man, but nonetheless a machine with a tin ear and a wooden tongue. It is one thing to browse the Internet; it is another thing to write for it.
We’re still playing with toys. The Internet is blessed with undoubtedly miraculous applications, but language is not yet one of them. Absent the force of the human imagination and its powers of expression, our machines cannot accelerate the hope of political and social change, which stems from language that induces a change of heart.
Ten or 20 years ago I was preaching that we should look at digital code as biologists: the Darwin Among the Machines stuff. People thought that was crazy, and now it’s firmly the accepted metaphor for what’s going on. And Kevin Kelly quoted me in Wired, he asked me for my last word on what companies should do about this. And I said, “Well, they should hire more biologists.”
But what we’re missing now, on another level, is not just biology, but cosmology. People treat the digital universe as some sort of metaphor, just a cute word for all these products. The universe of Apple, the universe of Google, the universe of Facebook, that these collectively constitute the digital universe, and we can only see it in human terms and what does this do for us?
We’re missing a tremendous opportunity. We’re asleep at the switch because it’s not a metaphor. In 1945 we actually did create a new universe. This is a universe of numbers with a life of their own, that we only see in terms of what those numbers can do for us. Can they record this interview? Can they play our music? Can they order our books on Amazon? If you cross the mirror in the other direction, there really is a universe of self-reproducing digital code. When I last checked, it was growing by five trillion bits per second. And that’s not just a metaphor for something else. It actually is. It’s a physical reality.
YouTube trends director Kevin Alloca on why videos go viral.
TED curator Chris Anderson on how web video powers global innovation through “crowd-accelerated learning.”