Archive for May, 2009

Fixing Twitter

I want a new platform for microblogging. Twitter is a great for the information saturation problem, but it has some serious weaknesses:

  • Single Namespace: Every new feed requires a new unique name. We’re going to start seeing more jsmith375s as the million John, Joan, Jill, James and José Smiths of the world sign up.
  • No Granularity: Some tweets are personal minutiæ, others professional, others insightful… Cramming all this information in a single feed means following lots of people quickly leads to overload.
  • Inband Signaling: If I want to say who gave me an idea, list a keyword or include a link, I do it in the post. These are characters I don’t want to allot, and the reader often doesn’t care about reading.

Tweets aren’t really blog posts, they’re parts of distributed conversations (tweetversations?). I say something to some part of the world different recepients respond in different ways — some just take it in, some say something directly back to me while others respond publicly.

Twitter

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Talking About The Future

I think I might have figured out an underlying issue behind my current difficulties.

I am planning a memetic intervention (I want to create a Wikipedia entry, but they don’t allowing definitions of emerging terms). My problem is that the science of memetics only exists inside my head at this point and I’m 95% sure I can end poverty, but I can’t explain it to anyone.

Part of the fundamental difficultly is one of language. Memetics takes one world of widely divergent opinion and attempts to generate another. Every action is targeted at multiple subsets at both ends of the intervention with different messages. It’s multidimensional marketing and fundamental to the process is the answer to “why?” is always “mu.”

To discuss all the actions in terms of a single context is as impossible as discussing events in the world today from a single context. Contexts are necessarily limited. I sat here for a day and a half attempting to explain from a single one and all I managed was to exhaust myself.

I thought that if I could just explain to people how we can do away with money, but there’s no way for me to take this whole plan and write it down. What I am sculpting is a moment five years in the future. Memetics is a performance art and the artist can’t be removed without removing the adaptability from the system.

The Matrix

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Follow Me On Twitter

I’m going to try to massively alter society if I can get enough followers on Twitter for access to the people and money to do it.

I’ll launch a new type of media called a “collaborative series.” The basic idea is to do something interesting on a massively monitored site managed by a net-controlled AI. People mix whatever shows they want from the footage online.

Your news and your reality show will be the same thing except you’ll be able to influence the environment on the reality news as you’re watching.

On one of these sites, I’ll start a shell company for pumping money into open source projects called the Technoanarchist Revolution. I’ve designed a pub/sub filesharing network for persistently distributing signed XML documents that, when properly filled with data from 4G mobile devices, is essentially a low-resolution simulation of all human thought.

If you can satisfy the assumption that the number of authenticated signers in the dataset close to the number of actual physical users, it’s possible to design replacements for all sorts of public exchanges from banking to voting with ecologies of competing systems. Efficiencies in these systems are things like ending the 40 hour work week or direct democracy — revolutions.

The biggest problem at this point is I’m the only one who knows the details. I tried to explain it on Wikipedia, but was banned. I was doing it as a collaborative public art project by essentially writing a vision of the future. I wanted to emphasize that this future touches this world at some point and in an electronic world that moment is very close.

I think if enough people follow me on Twitter, I’ll manage to find the help I need to get the art out of my head and the show off the ground. You can help make that happen with fifteen seconds of time. Retweeting http://bit.ly/h2w7G would be awesome.

I could be the scientist who later people know as the person who came up with the end of poverty. It’s worth following me on Twitter just in case that’s true.

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Subtle As A Thrown Brick

I went to see Wolverine with Jenni last night. It was disappointing. What irritated me the most was how the entire story was communicated through dialogue. How many times did they debate out loud whether or not he should let his animal nature take over?

They could just as easily have let him slaughter everyone in the place where they made him into Weapon X. Show him coming to with the blood of a general he respects on his hands, and let the scene and the acting tell of his struggle with the animal within rather than saying it out loud half a dozen times.

Wolverine

Instead not one innocent dies at his hand the entire movie. Evil people and faceless henchman die, and his struggle with his nature makes no sense. Who gives a shit about his rage if all the beast inside him does is kill bad guys?

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Network

Jenni and I watched an awesome movie tonight. Network, a 1976 movie about a TV newsman who loses his shit on the air and America likes his brand of crazy. The network packages him up and puts him on the air as a prophet for the modern age. You can’t script prophecy, however:

Howard Beale wasn’t my favorite part of the movie though. My favorite part gives away part of the plot though, so I’ll put it on the other side of the break…

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Tats

About a year ago I was in Asheville for my little brother’s birthday. To celebrate the day, his wife gave him one of the cooler presents I’ve seen: she got him tattooed.

Apparently, years ago Matt came up with an idea for a tattoo — a series of marks at one inch intervals from wrist to bicep, and equidistant to each of pair of those marks, a smaller mark.

My brother is an avid fisherman and the marks are positioned relative to the tips of his fingers so whenever he makes a catch, he just lays it down his arm and knows exactly how long it is.

Matt with the tattoo artist

While waiting on Matt, I spent about an hour sitting in the lobby of the tattoo parlor chatting with the folks looking to get their bodies decorated. I’d always thought of tattooing in terms of tribal bands and tramps stamps — as a way to fit in and try to be cool. After talking to a half dozen people, I started to see tattooing for the personal art it most frequently is.

It was on that night I decided to get a tattoo, but it has taken me a couple years to figure out what I want.

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Getting Numbered

I’m back in B’more working on getting the DoH off the ground as an actual organization. Fortunately, the dozen times I explained my idea in my wander around the South just about has it to a point that people who don’t have access to the inside of my head can understand it.

There was a study where they showed a webpage for a period of time, then took it away and asked how reliable the page was. How much do initial appearances matter? A designer gets four seconds before the reliability decision is made with 90% reliability.

So, my next big step is doing animations for each of the steps so that I can hold people’s attentions long enough to convince them to give my idea a try.

The other major hurdle is getting a 501(c)(3) registered, and that requires jumping through a few more hoops.

jumping through hoops

I got my EID today, but I have to go down to the city offices tomorrow and redo my Articles of Incorporation because I abbreviated Limited Liability Corporation as LLC on my application.

It’s tiring dealing with bureaucracies, but I’m getting closer to actually launching something and that’s certainly exciting.

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Smoking Cessation

I’m down in Asheville hanging with the fam. We’ve been talking about the chunk of colon dad had taken out and his subsequent resolution to quit smoking.

The issue is touchy since my dad wants someone to quit with him, but only one of his boys smokes and that one doesn’t want to quit.

“Doesn’t want” isn’t really the right term; “doesn’t feel up to” would be better. He said:

“Drinking gets you drunk. Grass gets you high. You trip on mushrooms. Smoking cigarettes just makes you want to smoke another cigarette.”

He told me half a pack a day for two weeks and I’d be hooked as well. I’m thinking about doing it.


Smoking

I’m not going to seriously shorten my life by smoking seven packs of cigarettes. I’m pretty sure I can quit after two weeks. I bet it’ll be unpleasant, but if I can get my dad to quit with me, wouldn’t it be worth it?

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