Ming the Mechanic:
Monday, September 30, 2002

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Monday, September 30, 20022002-09-30 00:52
pictureby Flemming Funch

  • I'm very interested in how a free market economy acts as a signaling system, facilitating communication about what people need and want, and what should be produced, in what quantities. And I'm interested in it the other way around, in regards to how an information sharing network can act like an economy, automatically adjusting supply to demand and measuring value. Apparently the "Austrian School" of economics have some clues for some of this. Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises are good places to start there.

  • Chris Corrigan mentions this amazing article about Lois Weisberg who was the original inspiration behind the "six degrees of separation" hypothesis. The type of person who somehow, magically, is able to connect people together in unexpected ways. You can get to just about anybody in 5 or 6 jumps, but most likely the path will go through one or more people like that - the people who know everybody. Quote about an interesting aspect: "When we say, then, that Lois Weisberg is the kind of person who "knows everyone," we mean it in precisely this way: It is not merely that she knows lots of people. It is that she belongs to lots of different worlds." Aha. Yes. I get to think about the role of diversity in evolution. The people who can walk between worlds and link people (and ideas) up regardless of where they are - they're key.

  • The Library of Alexandria was considered one of the greatest repositories of knowledge of all time. The Egyptian government decided to build a new library on the same location, to mark it as a focal point for culture, education and science. It is supposed to open on October 16th.

  • The Internet Archive is an equivalent of the Alexandria Library for the Internet age, attempting to store most of the information on the Internet, including the added dimension of time. See for example, past versions of newciv.org. Not that it is overly interesting, as it mostly shows that I haven't changed the design for 6 years.

  • Bowing to pressure, U.S. Automakers have now agreed to make public the diagnostic codes used to service modern automobiles. They were previously only made available to authorized dealers, forcing car owners to either pay much higher prices, or to leave their cars un-repaired.

    "The greatest fear in the world is accurate telepaths" --Ingo Swann (discussing why the U.S. government halted its remote viewing program at SRI, after the remote viewers increasingly were picking up the contents of people's minds)

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