Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

weblogs as distributed consciousness

This sort of expands on this entry from no comment: why weblogs are better for discussion than the alternatives. (Related to Dave Winer's explanation for warbloggers).

Weblogs are a sort of mythical beast in the distributed world. They have not been catalogued as distributed creatures, but they are. Their existence lives in whispers followed by "I'm not sure what they are." Some people deny they exist, pretending they are simply a re-hash of an already existing form of communication: a diary, a newsgroup, whatever. Many people that comment on them have never seen one.

Nessie on bits.

Weblogs are loosely coupled in the sense that weblogs use hyperlinks to give the reader a 'hint' into the link that originated the entry or the original posting on which the entry is commenting. But they don't force the reader to go there. Furthermore, if the reader actually goes there, he/she/it will be taken to a different context. If the previous entry was a flame, the context will be lost partially: the ideas behind the comment will remain, but not the flame.

The signal, not the noise.

Very much like what we do in our heads (unless "we" are psychotic :-)).

And while they are loosely coupled as a distributed conversation, they maintain a strong sense of internal logic and linearity, given by the author.

This is a definite improvement from discussion groups and such (think Usenet) where an interesting discussion could be blocked out by angry postings discussing the evils of Microsoft and whatnot.

Sometimes the Internet and the technologies spawned by it feel like nothing but a big, long experiment to find new ways to communicate after the previous media had shown their limits.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 7, 2002 at 11:52 PM

writing on weblogs

Dave Winer explains why sometimes he is pollitically in-correct. The web has given us some wonderful things... including real-time editing.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 7, 2002 at 11:35 PM

friends and allies

from a speech by Bush today:

"Before any action is taken, Mr. Bush said, "I will promise you that I will be patient and deliberate, that we will continue to consult with Congress and, of course, we'll consult with our friends and allies."

In this particular case, who exactly is a friend and not and ally? Maybe he's saying "friends and allies". So every friend is also and ally and every ally is a friend. So is Saudi Arabia a friend? Pakistan? Anybody that pledges "friendship"?

Wouldn't it be nice if speechwriters would stop beating language to death in the hopes of sounding grandiose and intimidating?

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on August 7, 2002 at 11:29 PM

spreading the word

Jon Udell's weblog is now at InfoWorld, the latest publication to start dipping its toes in the WWW (Wonderful World of Weblogging). Dave Winer comments on the move here.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 7, 2002 at 3:36 PM

the US and iraq

Scott Rosenberg referenced a discussion that has been recently going on regarding the reasons for the interest of the US in creating "regime change" in Iraq. They are discussing mainly whether the reason for an invasion is simply to humiliate Islamism.

I think it has nothing to do with Islamism, or humilliation, or anything like that. There are four main reasons why the US cares about Iraq:

  • Oil.
  • Oil.
  • Oil.
  • Security (which concerns middle east stability which in turn, coincidentally, then affects Oil) rather

Yes, this statement is rather simplistic, but the question is what is the main reason. You don't go to war over an idea. You go to war over territory, or money, or goods, or oppression, or all of the above. Iraq controls one of the biggest Oil reservoirs in the world after Saudi Arabia. Now, if the US had a friendly (i.e., puppet) government in Iraq, they could ignore Saudi Arabia and maybe even stop treating them with kid's gloves, something they are forced to do now.

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on August 7, 2002 at 3:30 PM

health forecasting

This article discusses an upcoming implementation of a "health forecast" system. The idea would be to forecast the incidence of certain ilness after for example temperature drops or raises dramatically. Since I am always affected when that happens (specially when the temperature drops quickly at night and I have the windows open) I know that this is a real problem.

What we really need however, is some device to tell us what to do to avoid getting a cold for example based on the evolution of the climate and our own propensities. I'll have to keep waiting for that one, though.

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on August 7, 2002 at 1:43 PM

from the oh-my-god dept

Since April, Microsoft has had a lawyer from the Justice Dept. (and from a Republican administration, no less) as its "Chief Security Officer." In this interview this lawyer babbles about "initiatives" and "concepts."

Is this the next evolution in software? Lawyers at the top of software corporations, involved in the design and development process? What's next? Ex-politicians coding Visual Basic?

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 7, 2002 at 7:18 AM

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