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Jul
2nd
Tue
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The Trinity of Authoritarianism: surveillance, censorship and propaganda.
Evgeny Morozov, a writer and researcher who studies political and social implications of technology, The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate The World, Penguin, 2011, p. 82-84.
Jun
7th
Fri
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Marshall McLuhan was a Canadian philosopher of communication theory (1911-1980), The Medium is the Massage 1964, Gingko Press, 2001 p. 12.
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They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type.
— a career U.S. intelligence officer on the U.S. government, in a Washington Post exclusive (June 6, 2013) on how the NSA and FBI is tapping into the central servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple.
Feb
8th
Fri
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People who think the Web is killing off serendipity are not using it correctly.
Steven Johnson, an American popular science author and media theorist, Anatomy of an Idea, December 14, 2011
Jan
22nd
Tue
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All collected data had come to a final end. Nothing was left to be collected. But all collected data had yet to be completely correlated and put together in all possible relationships. A timeless interval was spent doing that.
Isaac Asimov, American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books, (1920-1992), The Last Question, Columbia Publications, 1956, cited in John Battelle's The Search
Dec
30th
Sun
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”[Google] creates as much data in two days — roughly 5 exabytes — as the world produced from the dawn of humanity until 2003, according to a 2010 statement by Eric Schmidt, the company’s chairman, who later declared that he didn’t “believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable, and recorded by everyone all the time.
Pamela Jones Harbour is a former commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, The Emperor of All Identities, The New York Times, Dec 18, 2012. (Illustration: David Rowe)
May
20th
Sun
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In the era of the Internet facts are not bricks but networks

“The existence of hyperlinks is enough to convince even the most stubborn positivist that there is always another side to the story. And on the web, fringe believers can always find each other and marinate in their own illusions. The “web world” is too big to ever know. There is always another link. In the era of the Internet, Weinberger argues, facts are not bricks. They are networks. (…)

Human beings (or rather “Dasein,” “being-in-the-world”) are always thrown into a particular context, existing within already existing language structures and pre-determined meanings. In other words, the world is like the web, and we, Dasein, live inside the links. (…)

If knowledge has always been networked knowledge, than facts have never had stable containers. Most of the time, though, we more or less act as if they do. (…) Black boxes emerge out of actually-existing knowledge networks, stabilize for a time, and unravel, and our goal as thinkers and scholars ought to be understanding how these nodes emerge and disappear. (…)

Done well, digital realism can sensitize us to the fact that all networked knowledge systems eventually become brick walls, that these brick walls are maintained through technological, political, cultural, economic, and organizational forms of power. (…) Our job is to understand how the wall gets built, and how we might try to build it differently.” “
C.W. Anderson, Ph.D, an assistant professor in the Department of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island (CUNY), researcher at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, ☞ The Difference Between Online Knowledge and Truly Open Knowledge, The Atlantic, Feb 3, 2012.
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I think the Net generation is beginning to see knowledge in a way that is closer to the truth about knowledge. (…) Knowing looks less like capturing truths in books than engaging in never-settled networks of discussion and argument. (…) This new topology of knowledge reflects the topology of the Net. The Net (and especially the Web) is constructed quite literally out of links, each of which expresses some human interest. (…) And that’s the sense in which I think networked knowledge is more “natural.” (…)

To make a smart room — a knowledge network — you have to have just enough diversity. (…) There is no longer an imperative to squeeze the world into small, self-contained boxes. Hyperlinks remove the limitations that objectivity was invented to address.
—  David Weinberger, Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, American technologist, professional speaker, and commentator, interviewed by Rebecca J. Rosen, What the Internet Means for How We Think About the World, The Atlantic, Jan 5 2012.
See also: ☞ The Difference Between Online Knowledge and Truly Open Knowledge. In the era of the Internet facts are not bricks but networks
Apr
11th
Wed
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Memories are becoming hyperlinks to information triggered by keywords and URLs. We are becoming ‘persistent paleontologists’ of our own external memories, as our brains are storing the keywords to get back to those memories and not the full memories themselves.
Apr
10th
Tue
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The internet makes dumb people dumber and smart people smarter. (…) Just as globalization and de-unionization have been major drivers of the growth of income inequality over the past few decades, the internet is now a major driver of the growth of cognitive inequality.
Kevin Drum, American political blogger and columnist, The Internet Is a Major Driver of the Growth of Cognitive Inequality, Mother Jones, Feb 17, 2012
Apr
2nd
Mon
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George Dyson: Unravelling the digital code

“We now live in a world (…) increasingly run by self-replicating strings of code. Everything we love and use today is, in a lot of ways, self-reproducing exactly as Turing, von Neumann, and Barricelli prescribed. It’s a very symbiotic relationship: the same way life found a way to use the self-replicating qualities of these polynucleotide molecules to the great benefit of life as a whole, there’s no reason life won’t use the self-replicating abilities of digital code, and that’s what’s happening. (…)

In 1945 we actually did create a new universe. This is a universe of numbers with a life of their own, that we only see in terms of what those numbers can do for us. (…) And that’s not just a metaphor for something else. It actually is. It’s a physical reality. (…)

But it was Turing who developed the one-dimensional model, and von Neumann who developed the two-dimensional implementation, for this increasingly three-dimensional digital universe in which everything we do is immersed. And so, the next breakthrough in understanding will also I think come from some oddball. It won’t be one of our great, known scientists. It’ll be some 22-year-old kid somewhere who makes more sense of this. (…)

We’re seeing a fraction of one percent of it, and there’s this other 99.99 percent that people just aren’t looking at. (…)

I think they [Turing & von Neumann] would be immediately fascinated by the way biological code and digital code are now intertwined. Von Neumann’s consuming passion at the end was self-reproducing automata. And Alan Turing was interested in the question of how molecules could self-organize to produce organisms. (…) They would be amazed by the direct connection between the code running on computers and the code running in biology—that all these biotech companies are directly reading and writing nucleotide sequences in and out of electronic memory, with almost no human intervention. That’s more or less completely mechanized now, so there’s direct translation, and once you translate to nucleotides, it’s a small step, a difficult step, but, an inevitable step to translate directly to proteins. And that’s Craig Venter’s world, and it’s a very, very different world when we get there.” “
George Dyson, author and historian of technology whose publications broadly cover the evolution of technology in relation to the physical environment and the direction of society, ☞ Science historian George Dyson: Unravelling the digital codeEdge, Mar 26, 2012 
Mar
26th
Mon
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[Tim Berners-Lee] told me about his proposed system called the ‘World Wide Web.’ And I thought, well, that’s got a pretentious name.
Ian Ritchie is co-chair of the Scottish Science Advisory Council, a board member of the Edinburgh International Science Festival and the chair of Our Dynamic Earth, the Edinburgh Science Centre, The day I turned down Tim Berners-Lee, TEDGobal Talk, July 2011
Mar
1st
Thu
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Nicholas Carr on Information and Contemplative Thought

“The internet is a culmination of a much longer-term social trend that goes back to the beginning of mass media. People place less and less value on contemplative thinking and more on practical, utilitarian types of thinking, which are all about getting the right bit of information when you need it and about using it to answer very well-defined question. We are in a long-term process of altering our view of what constitutes the ideal intellectual life: Moving away from the ideal of conceptual thinking, reflection and taking the big picture and moving to this very utilitarian mode of constantly collecting little bits of information, not really ever wanting to back away from the flow. Society and individuals can change, but to me the trend is in the direction of interruption, distraction and shallow thinking. (…) I think we will see an acceleration of existing trends, rather than a shift in a new direction.” “
Nicholas Carr, American writer who has published books and articles on technology, business, and culture, "We Turn Ourselves Into Media Creations", The European,  31.01.2012.
Nov
21st
Mon
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Look what is coming: Technology is stitching together all the minds of the living, wrapping the planet in a vibrating cloak of electronic nerves, entire continents of machines conversing with one another, the whole aggregation watching itself through a million cameras posted daily. How can this not stir that organ in us that is sensitive to something larger than ourselves?
Kevin Kelly, writer, the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Catalog, What Technology Wants, New York: Viking, The Penguin Group, 2010 cited in Playing the Infinite Game, Reality Sandwich