Evolution and Creativity – why humans triumphed

Evolution stop following

“Nothing seems to explain the sudden takeoff of the last 45,000 years—the conversion of just another rare predatory ape into a planet dominator with rapidly progressing technologies. Once “progress” started to produce new tools, different ways of life and burgeoning populations, it accelerated all over the world, culminating in agriculture, cities, literacy and all the rest. Yet all the ingredients of human success—tool making, big brains, culture, fire, even language—seem to have been in place half a million years before and nothing happened.”

Well this does: Collective Intelligence – The amount of interaction between individuals – basically ideas having sex with each other. Trade as an innovation was then a multiplier of this – “Trade was the most momentous innovation of the human species; it led to the invention of invention.”

Human beings swapping things and thoughts.

However, I don’t completely agree.

“Given that progress is inexorable, cumulative and collective if human beings exchange and specialize, then globalization and the Internet are bound to ensure furious economic progress in the coming century”

We must be clear that ‘The Internet’ doesn’t mean Facebook, Google, Amazon etc. which it seems to mea are having the opposite effect…

Original article here

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What is a Billion Dollars worth more than?

Greed

Goes on a bit to make a simple point but a good read from Paul Carr at TechCrunch.

A billion dollars make you go from

“Brilliant entrepreneurs who genuinely wanted to change the world built services that we all wanted to use. They became rich, and our lives became better connected. We were all in it together…”

via

“We users have kept our side of the bargain — dutifully tagging our friends in artificially-aged photos, and checking in at bars, and writing reviews of restaurants. We’ve canceled our newspaper subscriptions, and instead spend our days clicking on slideshows of “celebrities who look like their cats” or obsessively tracking trending topics on Twitter. We’ve stopped buying books published by professional houses and instead reward authors who write, edit and distribute their own electronic works through self-publishing platforms. We’ve even handed the keys to our cars and our homes to strangers.”

to

“…become so remote from reality and humanity that users … become (at best) PR problems to be solved and (at worst) irrelevant pieces of data; eyeballs or clicks or room nights to be monitized in the pursuit of an ever greater exit”

Oh and he has a nice pop at the Huffington Post as well… win.


The Web is dead. Long live the internet.

You should read this from Wired.

Really.

Ff webrip chart2

Wake up – check email on iPad (1 app)

During breakfast browse newspapers, facebook, twitter (3 more apps).

On way to work listen to podcast on smartphone (another app)

At work you scroll through RSS feeds in a reader (app)

Spend all day on Skype/IM conversationss (2 apps)

Come home listen to Pandora, play X-box Live and watch Netflix.

You’ve spent the whole day on Internet.

But not on the Web.

2 viewpoints explored – both fairly bleak.

It’s all our fault: “The Internet is the real revolution, as important as electricity; what we do with it is still evolving. As it moved from your desktop to your pocket, the nature of the Net changed. The delirious chaos of the open Web was an adolescent phase subsidized by industrial giants groping their way in a new world. Now they’re doing what industrialists do best — finding choke points. And by the looks of it, we’re loving it.”

It’s all their fault: ” The new business model is to try to let the content — the product, as it were — eclipse the technology. Jobs and Zuckerberg are trying to do this like old-media moguls…… We are returning to a world that already exists — one in which we chase the transformative effects of music and film instead of our brief (relatively speaking) flirtation with the transformative effects of the Web.After a long trip, we may be coming home.”


You’ve been cookied

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An article about us v them thinking (ie customers not ‘leads’ or data from conversation agent) on conversation agent

It mainly reiterates the need to talk and think differently about what happens when we organize activities and content to be in contact with customers and prospects. In essence businesses are way behind on the social media/networks adoption curve compared to their customers.

However, it ends on a much more interesting note which is worth more time and attention. (It also raises the point about what the majority of people will do once they realise the degree to which they are tracked online which is it at the heart of the internet)

This is the erosion of online anonymity particularly via cookies as referenced by Auren Hoffman here who notes that “The key to protecting anonymity is to make it technically impossible – not just contractually prohibited or difficult – to tie an internet user to their name and address when they are not explicitly logged in”.

The solution?

1. Eliminate the collection and analysis of “Machine ID”

2. Store audience data in browser cookies

3. Make it impossible to identify an individual using anonymous data segments

It all boils down to the presumption of anonymity rather than the opposite.

Facebook/Google are you listening?


Google APIs & Developer Products – January 2011

Screen shot 2011-01-27 at 17.13.32.jpg 

They’re a behemoth with a massive amount of APIs that millions of developers use around the world to build millions of apps and services. There’s simply no good way to keep track of them all.

A really great way to show all the available ways of plugging in and out of the google and the stuff they do.

Google APIs & Developer Products – January 2011.

 

via Techcrunch


Geektool

Picture 1.jpg

A more ‘traditional’ and/or useful entry.

Been going through a very minimalist stage particularly with regard to technology. I came across this fantastic desktop scheme on Lifehacker – copied it.

Yes I know I should have removed everything from my desktop but I haven’t quite got to the stage of using only Quicksilver.

I have my Volume and two ‘catchall’ folders called Stuff I and Stuff II where, unsurprisingly, I ‘stuff everything’. Subsequently, I go through and sort their contents into folders on my drive for reference or backup.

All the live data and titles are customised onto the desktop using Geektool and most of the instructions are here It does involve some serious tinkering (for a non-propellerhead) to get the weather displayed.

For the tinkering I am indebted to my friend Sascha at Techniche. As far as I can tell, we used a script within geektool to call via lynx (a free open-source, text-only web browser for use on cursor-addressable character cell terminals), the weather from http://weather.noaa.gov/ and update a file every few mins (you set the poll interval from within geektool). So for London Heathrow:

/usr/bin/lynx -dump -width 100 http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/EGLL.html | $HOME/GeekTool/getweather.temp.sh >/tmp/weather2 ; cat /tmp/weather2

Any technical queries regarding the use of Geektool should always be addressed to a friendly geek. Do not try this at home.


Use Evernote to copy something from a locked pdf

everpdf.jpg

Probably the first genuinely useful, original and bloggy entry so far.

Discovered in a moment of desperation.

I know there are programs out there you can buy and allegedly a couple of websites that will unlock pdf’s for you.

I needed some text from a pretty ordinary pdf document and didn’t have lots of time or bandwidth. Couldn’t print to pdf or anything else.

I simply opened the pdf with Firefox (presume any other browser would do as well), highlighted a whole section including all the text and clipped with the Evernote webclipper bookmarklet that I use.

Then I sync’ed with the desktop Evernote.

You can then copy any text you like within Evernote or a quick print to pdf from Evernote – hey presto! a pdf you can do what you like with!