There is no god and that’s the simple truth. If every trace of any single religion died out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.
Excerpt stolen from Kottke.
Why Not Foundation Courts? | Alex Harrowell | Yorkshire Ranter | 30 October 2011
Seriously, watch that last one. It’s crazy. Reality is plastic.
As science has proven, everything is better with portals. And that, it seems, includes Mega Man. Which we can totally justify posting a Dorkly video of below, because it’s got portals in it, and they’re from PC. OKAY?
While Internet users once stalked off into the cyberfrontier looking for transcendence, the new Facebook wants to let you understand your life from the comfort of their walled gardens
The Meaning Machine takes all of your inputs at one end — photographs, status updates, game plays, song listens — and transforms them into meaning that’s organized and designed.
The Meaning Machine is what happens when we apply statistical methods to human lives. Run regressions on your experience of the world and this is what you get. Right now we call it Facebook Timeline, but it will have many forms over the coming decades.
The Meaning Machine relieves you of the struggle to examine your experience of the world. You only need to post status updates and photos. Just live life and record it in social media. The Meaning Machine takes it from there. Feel the algorithm!
The Meaning Machine works for Mashable’s Pete Cashmore. “Much like our memories, Facebook Timeline understands that some moments have resonance that lasts through the years,” Cashmore writes at CNN. “It’s a marvel of computer programming: An algorithm that comes eerily close to emulating human memory; perhaps the first algorithm to spark such a deep emotional response.”
The Meaning Machine does not cost anything monetary. It is free because meaning is valuable to advertisers. What it calculates for you, it also calculates for them.
The Meaning Machine is only as good as what you put into it. So, if you want more meaning, you really should write more status updates and post more pictures, install more apps and watch more videos. Accumulate computer-parsed actions and The Meaning Machine will take care of the rest.
The Meaning Machine is customizable. You can hide whatever you want
from other people. But you cannot revise and you cannot hide from The Meaning Machine itself.
The Meaning Machine knows that significant events are those at which many people have cameras and use them to take photos. Without photos or status updates, an event will disappear as quickly as it happened. It won’t be relevant.The Meaning Machine is the social media answer to what Paul Ford calls old media’s “Epiphanator,” the “giant steampunk machine that organizes time into stories … and [that] has always known the value of a meaningful conclusion.” The Meaning Machine knows that life is but a stream of snippets of text and pictures of varying sizes with occasional videos and data interspersed. It never ends and it doesn’t need a conclusion.
The Meaning Machine knows that meaning in today’s world never occurs internally, some new understanding that no one else can see (not even in your face in photos). Making meaning is never something you can’t describe. It is never made sharper by forgetting or more poignant by unexpected remembrance.
The Meaning Machine is not intended for use by governments. But it will be used by governments.
The Meaning Machine knows that exclamation points indicate feeling.
John Steinbeck: “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”Bookmark this on Delicious - Saved by ddmeyer to quote socialism johnsteinbeck poverty - More about this bookmark
You’re a 16-year-old Muslim kid in America. Say your name is Mohammad Abdullah. Your schoolmates are convinced that you’re a terrorist. They keep typing in Google queries likes “is Mohammad Abdullah a terrorist?” and “Mohammad Abdullah al Qaeda.” Google’s search engine learns. All of a sudden, auto-complete starts suggesting terms like “Al Qaeda” as the next term in relation to your name. You know that colleges are looking up your name and you’re afraid of the impression that they might get based on that auto-complete. You are already getting hostile comments in your hometown, a decidedly anti-Muslim environment. You know that you have nothing to do with Al Qaeda, but Google gives the impression that you do. And people are drawing that conclusion. You write to Google but nothing comes of it. What do you do?
This is guilt through algorithmic association. And while this example is not a real case, I keep hearing about real cases. Cases where people are algorithmically associated with practices, organizations, and concepts that paint them in a problematic light even though there’s nothing on the web that associates them with that term. Cases where people are getting accused of affiliations that get produced by Google’s auto-complete. Reputation hits that stem from what people _search_ not what they _write_.
It’s one thing to be slandered by another person on a website, on a blog, in comments. It’s another to have your reputation slandered by computer algorithms. The algorithmic associations do reveal the attitudes and practices of people, but those people are invisible; all that’s visible is the product of the algorithm, without any context of how or why the search engine conveyed that information. What becomes visible is the data point of the algorithmic association. But what gets interpreted is the “fact” implied by said data point, and that gives an impression of guilt. The damage comes from creating the algorithmic association. It gets magnified by conveying it.
What are the consequences of guilt through algorithmic association? What are the correction mechanisms? Who is accountable? What can or should be done?
Note: The image used here is Photoshopped. I did not use real examples so as to protect the reputations of people who told me their story.