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Saturday, November 30, 2002

Francois de La Rochefoucauld. "When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere." [Quotes of the Day]
What do you think? []  links to this post    10:54:08 PM  

Doug Engelbart 1968 Demo. Phil sez: "A video of a demo given by Doug Engelbart at SRI in 1968, of their online computer system. The first appearance of the mouse and includes hyperlinking, collaboration over a network and input by a chording keyboard. It's fascinating to watch the guy demo this groundbreaking stuff live." [Boing Boing Blog]

One of the seminal events of the modern computing age. If you want to understand the roots of much of what we now take for granted, understanding Engelbart and his work is essential. [McGee's Musings]

Howard Rheingold wrote an account of the event in the middle of chapter 9 of Tools for Thought. He wrote:

Those who were at the original event say that the sixteen-millimeter film is a poor shadow of the original show. During the original presentation, an advanced electronic projection system provided a sharply focused image, twenty times life sized, on a large screen.

By the way, Engelbart is still active - he's at the Bootstrap Institute. We're still far away from having fully realized his vision of four decades ago.

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:53:13 PM  
Talk about replay value!

Long-term game replayability?. I was checking out one of these games nostalgia sites lately, and reading through tons of games I never heard about, I wondered which of these old games have, to this day, replay value -- not because of nostalgia, but because of their own playability merits. I certainly do know some games that fit to this description. Often these are games that many people I talk to never heard about. They also tell me about such "classics" that I have never heard about. It's quite logical to figure out, there must be a lot of great games out there hiding. []

This is a must-bookmark for me. You witness the power of community when you look at the nostalgic stories that pieces like this draw. Just reading the titles mentioned in the comments gives me the shivers. Games from two decades ago that people still remember have got to have a little magic about them. While we're at it, share tips on finding old computer games on Know-how Wiki.

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:43:37 PM  
RDF Matchmaking

Speaking of bootstraps, Ian Davis has a FOAF (friend of a friend) vocabulary for bartering. [Scripting News]

A related meme was "Connecting individual people is the killer app".

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:23:29 PM  
Reputation and you

State of the Art of Reputation. Matt Jones posted a Powerpoint presentation by Dan Dixon about the state of the art of reputation systems, along with a link to a Kuro5hin primer on reputation systems

First of all, a reputation is not something that's internal to you. Yes, it's *your* reputation, but you don't have a reputation with yourself per-se. Reputations only really exist within the context of your interactions with others, and therefore, a reputation can be viewed as existing in the space between you and others.

While a reputation can be thought of as distinct, separate and external to us all, it is inextricably linked to us. Reputation doesn't exist outside of the context of the owner to which it refers. In some instances, a reputation can become so independent from us that it 'takes on a life of its very own.' In these cases, reputations can actually drive how we act, rather than the normal case of how we act dictating our reputation. For example, sometimes we find ourselves acting in uncharacteristic ways, many times unconsciously, just to support an external perception of who we are amongst others that is no longer true to our being.

A reputation is comprised in part of what we say and what we do, over some period of time in some particular context of an interaction with others. As an individual, I might never know all of the different facets of my reputation, just as others might also never know every aspect of my reputation. Needless to say, reputations are important to us all because they affect us in very tangible ways, serving to make our lives easier or more difficult, depending on whether they are positive or negative.

[Smart Mobs via thomas n. burg | randgänge]

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:01:41 PM  
Who's got the biggest online revenue?

Richard Morais, Double Dutch No Longer, Forbes, November 11, 2002. Excerpt: "If you are not a scientist or a lawyer, you might never guess which company is one of the world's biggest in online revenue. Ebay will haul in only $1 billion this year. Amazon has $3.5 billion in revenue but is still, famously, losing money. Outperforming them both is Reed Elsevier, the London-based publishing company. Of its $8 billion in likely sales this year, $1.5 billion will come from online delivery of data, and its operating margin on the internet is a fabulous 22%." [FOS News]

I doubt even scientists will guess that. Librarians might, though; they've seen the cuts resulting from rising subscription prices and have been ringing the alarm for over a decade.

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:00:05 PM  
Science and Awe

Pascale: "Actually, every single scientist I've ever met ~ and I've been lucky enough to meet some of the very best ~ was a scientist precisely because of a well-wrought sense of "awe and wonder." They think the universe is a beautiful, marvelous place, and they want to understand it."
What do you think? []  links to this post    9:46:23 PM  

"Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there."

-- Henry Miller [whiskey river via Open Space]

What do you think? []  links to this post    9:39:17 PM  

OK, so I'm a little late to the party, but I thought it would be a good thing to express gratitude to the many people who share their insights with me and are so consistently and openly being themselves. It means a lot to me.

So on this occasion I've started a Neighborhood Tour page where I try to acknowledge how the various people listed in my sidebar influence my thinking and actions. I'm only starting, so there are only seven people listed so far; I plan to fill this up over the coming weeks. If you don't already know some of these people, I hope it will be a good way for you to discover them. You can think of it as a blogroll on steroids.

What do you think? []  links to this post    12:38:30 PM  
Breadcrumbs and ThinkCycle

On the web, people can often lead you to interesting new places, even when they don't have a home page, just by virtue of leaving bread crumbs with their name on them here and there.

Here's an illustration. Duane Milne has just poured a number of good tips on finding good movies to rent in the Know-how wiki (a general-purpose free advice exchange). Looking his name up in Google led me to

ThinkCycle is an academic, non-profit initiative engaged in supporting distributed collaboration towards design challenges facing underserved communities and the environment. ThinkCycle seeks to create a culture of open source design innovation, with ongoing collaboration among individuals, communities and organizations around the world.

ThinkCycle provides a shared online space for designers, engineers, domain experts and stakeholders to discuss, exchange and construct ideas towards sustainable design solutions in critical problem domains. Join the ThinkCycle Community and make a difference!

The site looks pretty successful for such an ambitious initiative. 1746 members and counting. Lots of ideas in there; the design seems well-thought-out for facilitating productive open collaboration. I'll definitely have to dig deeper into this.

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:01:20 AM  

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