Wednesday, November 11, 2009

THE INFORMAVORE: Can we still decide what is important?

There seems to be an explosion of ideas, but not enough brains to cover them
When you view attention as food for information, we are now in a food crisis. That’s when dynamics of Darwinian selection kick in. Which ideas survive? Which thinking succeeds and which doesn’t?
The human is an informavore, it’s eating information. But just as with food it has to decide what take, what not to take, whether something has good or bad calories, whether it’s healthy etcetera
We are experiencing a cognitive revolution, much of what we are thinking is stored less in the lived life and more in systems linked to knowledge: Facebook, blogs etcetera
In the 19th century it was talked about that muscles had to adapt to the machines, in the 20th century we see the same question but now with the brain. We face issuess with e.g. multi-tasking.
There will be major issues with the tools developed, especially predictive search versus free will. Issues about the way we predict and the way we ARE predicted
Three important 19th century principles return – but in a different way – regarding information and society: Darwinism (who survives in the Net), Communism (question of free), Taylorism (people see themselves not capable anymore of keeping up with the system)
The realtime nature of the information has #iran already competing with @parishilton. You also already information cascades to influence this not only by humans, but also by bots
Kafka and Shakespeare in their time translated reality into literature – we need to find people that can do this on the level of software. George Dyson e.g. has done this very well in the article Turings Cathedral about his visit to Google: “Despite the whimsical furniture and other toys, I felt I was entering a 14th-century cathedral — not in the 14th century but in the 12th century, while it was being built.”
People tend to forget heuristics, e.g. the ability to calculate as machines will do that for us.
(read more...)
from EDGE
The most significant intellectual development of the first decade of the 21st Century is that concepts of information and computation have infiltrated a wide range of sciences, from physics and cosmology, to cognitive psychology, to evolutionary biology, to genetic engineering. Such innovations as the binary code, the bit, and the algorithm have been applied in ways that reach far beyond the programming of computers, and are being used to understand such mysteries as the origins of the universe, the operation of the human body, and the working of the mind.
Enter Frank Schirrmacher, Editorial Director the editorial staff of the FAZ Feuilleton, a supplement of the FAZ on the arts and sciences. He is also one of the five publishers of the newspaper, responsible for the Feuilleton, and he has actively expanded science coverage in this section. He has been referred to as Germany's "Culture Czar", which may seem over the top, but his cultural influence is undeniable. He can, and does, begin national discussions on topics and ideas that interest him, such as genomic research, neuroscience, aging, and, in this regard, he has the ability to reshape the national consciousness.
In May of 2000, he published a manifesto in FAZ, a call-to arms,entitled "Wake-Up Call for Europe Tech", in which he called for Europe to adopt the ideas of the third culture. His goal: to change the culture of the newspaper and to begin a process of change in Germany and Europe. "Europe should be more than just a source for the software of ego crisis, loss of identity, despair, and Western melancholy," he wrote. We should be helping write the code for tomorrow
."(read more...)

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