Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Information Patterns – very exciting!

December 10, 2007

Science is all about identifying patterns and then representing those patterns abstractly.  Abstract representations allow us to contemplate the properties of a whole class of things, rather than treating each thing on a case-by-case basis.

For example, long ago people noticed that when an object is lifted and released, it falls down to earth.  It doesn’t matter whether the object is a rock or feather or anything else.  All objects exhibit the same pattern of behavior.

The Internet is all about exchanging information.  Certainly we should be able to identify patterns in that vastness of information.  Thus we are challenged to become information “scientists”: identify patterns in information, create abstract representations of the patterns, and then for each particular instance (i.e. each web document) relate it to an abstract representation.  Once we – the community of web designers – start to do this then we will be able to do some exciting very things.  We will, for example, be able to collect all instances of an information pattern and (1) recognize that they are all of the same class of things, and (2) aggregate, manipulate, and massage the information in ways that make sense for that class of information.

Here is an example of an information pattern: Garlic Lowers [Does Not Lower] Cholesterol

The Power of Decentralization has been Unleashed

August 11, 2007

“Decentralization has been lying dormant for thousands of years.  But the advent of the Internet has unleashed this force, knocking down traditional businesses, altering entire industries, affecting how we relate to each other, and influencing world politics.  The absence of structure, leadership, and formal organization, once considered a weakness, has become a major asset.  Seemingly chaotic groups have challenged and defeated established institutions.  The rules of the game have changed.”

— The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom