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Biweekly links for 11/10/2008

by Michael Nielsen on November 10, 2008
  • Science in the open » My Bad…or how far should the open mindset go?
    • Cameron Neylon on some of the challenges of being open.
  • Wikinomics » Music Goes 2.0 — Sorry Paul Anka, You’re Not Invited
    • Wiki-like collaboration for music: “Sonoma Wire Works has announced the launch of RiffWorks T4, an online music-collaboration application. With RiffWorks T4, musicians can record ideas, use drums and guitars, and add effects to quickly create songs. Most importantly, users do this online, and can easily collaborate with peers around the world — all for free! When finished, their tunes can be broadcast on”
  • Victoria Stodden: Benkler: We are collaborators, not knaves
    • “[Benkler] sets out to show that there is a sea change happening in the study of organizational systems that far better reflects how we actually interact, organize, and operate. He explains that the collaborative movements we generally characterize as belonging to the new internet age (free and open source software, wikipedia) are really just the instantiation of a wider and pervasive, in fact completely natural and longstanding, phenomena in human life.

      This is due to how we can organize capital in the information and networked society: We own the core physical means of production as well as knowledge, insight, and creativity. Now we’re seeing longstanding society practices, such as non-hierarchical norm generation and collaboration more from the periphery of society to the center of our productive enterprises. Benkler’s key point in this talk is that this shift is not limited to Internet-based environments, but part of a broader change happening across society.”

  • disambiguity – » Ambient Intimacy
    • “Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry, what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having drinks with tonight.”
  • Warnock’s Dilemma – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    • “Warnock’s Dilemma, named for its originator Bryan Warnock, is the problem of interpreting a lack of response to a posting on a mailing list, Usenet newsgroup, or Web forum. It occurs because a lack of response does not necessarily imply that no one is interested in the topic, and could have any one of several different implications, some of which are contradictory. Commonly used in the context of trying to determine why a post has not been replied to, or to refer to a post that has not been replied to.”
  • Lawrence Lessig Web 2.0 Presentation
    • Excellent presentation on the role of lobbying and money in the US Government. One of many remarkable facts is a remarkable graph showing that members of the US Congress have, over time, become essentially 100% likely to retain their seats.
  • Ben Franklin on error
    • “It is perhaps the history of the errors of mankind, all things considered, that is more valuable and interesting than that of their discoveries. Truth is uniform and narrow; it constantly exists and does not seem to require so much an active energy as a passive aptitude of soul, in order to encounter it.

      But error is endlessly diversified. It has no reality but is the pure and simple creation of the mind that invents it. In this field, the soul has room enough to expand herself to display all her boundless faculties and all of her beautiful and interesting extravagances and absurdities.”

  • Of word clouds and speaker bios : business|bytes|genes|molecules
    • Deepak Singh shows a beautiful seminar announcement created using Wordle. Now, if only we could replace all speaker bios this way…
  • Kevin Kelly: Web 10.0
    • “…I decided to skip Web 3 – Web 9 and just speak about the upcoming Web 10.0 and what I think will happen in the next 6,500 days. ” MN: About deaggregating data on the web, and then restructuring it in multiple ways.
  • Barack Obama’s photos from election night
    • CC licensed.
  • The New Adventures of Mr Stephen Fry: Don’t Mind Your Language
    • “For me, it is a cause of some upset that more Anglophones don’t enjoy language. Music is enjoyable it seems, so are dance and other, athletic forms of movement. People seem to be able to find sensual and sensuous pleasure in almost anything but words these days. Words, it seems belong to other people, anyone who expresses themselves with originality, delight and verbal freshness is more likely to be mocked, distrusted or disliked than welcomed. The free and happy use of words appears to be considered elitist or pretentious. Sadly, desperately sadly, the only people who seem to bother with language in public today bother with it in quite the wrong way. They write letters to broadcasters and newspapers in which they are rude and haughty about other people’s usage and in which they show off their own superior ‘knowledge’ of how language should be. I hate that, and I particularly hate the fact that so many of these pedants assume that I’m on their side. “
  • Last Saturday – Eva Amsen
    • Wonderful post from Eva, capturing poignantly what it’s like to do science, and what it’s like to leave behind.
  • New York Times College: Books: The Harvard Guide to Happiness
    • Interesting study correlating what undergraduates did with how fulfilled they felt.
  • Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 Blog: And the Survey Says…Publishers Ignoring eReaders
    • “60 percent of publishers who answered a questionnaire neither use e-readers themselves nor download the e-books which can be read on the devices or on computers.”
  • Wired Campus: Students Watch Lecture Videos in Fast Forward –
    • “Some professors report that when their students are reviewing class materials, the students speed up online recordings of lectures and zip through hour-long presentations in as little as 30 minutes.” MN: I’ve often wanted this facility while watching YouTube or listening to my ipod. It’d be even nicer if you could easily change the speed.
  • Crowdsourcing and Gift Economies |
    • “Explaining open source is sometimes a little tricky… Depending on who I’m talking to I’ll explain that working on an open source project is a little bit like volunteering to sing with the church choir. Even if the person isn’t religious, they can usually appreciate the beauty of a group that sings in unison. They also understand the more the choir practices together, the better they sound.”
  • Inmates conduct ecological research on slow-growing mosses
    • Crowdsourcing is popping up all over the place: “Nalini Nadkarni of Evergreen State College currently advises a team of researchers who sport shaved heads, tattooed biceps and prison-issued garb rather than the lab coats and khakis typically worn by researchers. Why is Nadkarni’s team composed of such apparently iconoclastic researchers? Because all of her researchers are inmates at Cedar Creek Corrections Center, a medium security prison in Littlerock, Washington.

      …Nadkarni has guided her unlikely but productive team of researchers since 2004, as they conduct experiments to identify the best ways to cultivate slow-growing mosses. Nadkarni’s so-called Moss-in-Prisons project is designed to help ecologists replace large quantities of ecologically important mosses that are regularly illegally stripped from Pacific Northwest forests
      … One member of Nadkarni’s research team, who was released from Cedar Creek, enrolled in a Ph.D. program in microbiology at the University of Nevada”

  • Joho the Blog » Innovation and the Open Internet: Joi Ito
    • Paraphrasing Ito, on the benefits of Creative Commons as another layer of abstraction: “Way back when, it was difficult to connect computers. Then we got Ethernet, then TCP/IP, and then HTTP (the Web). These new layers allow participation without permission. The cost of sending information and the cost of innovation have gone down (because the cost of failure has gone down). Now we’re getting another layer: Creative Commons. “By standardizing and simplifying the legal layer … I think we will lower the costs and create another explosion of innovation.” “
  • The Quantum Pontiff : The DiVincenzo Code
  • Time Management For Anarchists – Stepcase Lifehack
  • Cosma Shalizi: Economics
    • Cosma’s wonderful list of recommend reading.
  • Intrade gets California Prop. 8 completely wrong.
    • A good example of a prediction market getting something completely wrong – Intrade’s estimate probability hovered around 30% for Prop. 8 being passed. I wonder what information people were using to price the likelihood? Was the market simply too thin?
  • Wisdom of the markets: climate change | vox – Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists
    • In December, 2007, “, the Irish prediction market company, started trading in a range of financial contracts whose payoff depends on specific outcomes of a post-Kyoto climate change agreement. The contracts, which were designed together with the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics, capture which countries will participate in a post-Kyoto agreement as well as how stringent any pollution reduction targets might be.”

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