Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Saturday, December 14, 2002day link 

 Devices - Instant Revolution
picture It is hard to introduce new ideas when you're dependent on only verbal persuasion and education to change people's minds. Things often don't change that way before the people with the old ideas die out.

But give people a technological device that happens to do something they like, and the world might be changed comparatively instantly.

Devices don't discriminate. Devices are generic. A telephone doesn't care what race, religion, height, weight or gender you are. It is equally present for anybody who wants to use it. It has no feelings about it.

But devices organize people. Or, rather, their presence allow people to self-organize in new ways. And that will typically be ways that are less dependent on emotions or separateness or classification of people.

Devices make you unite with others, not based on some way you in particular are different from others, but based on how you're all connected. The connectedness of technological devices brings things together that previously wouldn't be together. People are connected and united through technology who wouldn't have dreamt of connecting with each other without it. The same phone system, the same Internet, the same water pipes, the same TV standards, the same cars, the same nuts and bolts are used by very different people. And it unites them, without them having to consciously make a decision for or against it.

The spontaneous and voluntary adoption of new technological devices is a force that changes the world faster than anything else. A revolution takes place, meeting next to no resistance.

It rests on the shoulders of technological designers to think up devices that not only are useful and compelling for their prospective users, but that facilitate social behavior that is inherently beneficial for everybody involved, and for their families and communities, and for the planet. Individuals might adopt a new piece of technology because they selfishly like what it does, but it is the social and environmental re-organization that is the most important result.
[ | 2002-12-14 23:47 | 30 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Feng Shui for Web Designers
picture Nice little article about how to arrange things on the web so that energy flows in the most desirable ways.
"The user must find it easy and intuitive to get around your website. If they feel that they have reached a 'dead end', and have to use the 'back' button to get out, you have got a terminal stagnation of ch'i. If the user can swim easily through your pages to get to where they would like to be, that's great ch'i."

[ | 2002-12-14 23:59 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 Teen hog-ties intruders
A tiny teenage girl, barefoot in her pajamas, runs after three guys who were trying to break into her house, tackles one of them, sits on him and hogties him, while waiting for the police to show up. "I felt violated," Melissa said. "The only thing running through my mind was, 'how dare you?'"
[ | 2002-12-14 23:59 | 8 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Google loves me
I'm getting a little paranoid about how remarkably well Google finds the things I'm saying here. OK, I'm writing so that people might read what I write, but sometimes I just casually refer to something, and the next day Google seems to indicate that I'm one of the top authorities in the world on that matter. Meaning, I appear on the first page of matches, out of sometimes hundreds of thousands of webpages. I often appear higher than the articles I linked to, even if I didn't say anything very intelligent. So, if you want to know about underground living, virtue viruses, power-law distributions, limits to spectrum or mechanic brains, this is mysteriously one of the first places people might look. Which is largely undeserved. On online business networks, I'm number 1 our of 2.5 million, even though I didn't say a word about it before last week. I'm number 2 out of 2 million when it comes to friendly sex. That all makes me a bit nervous, like I need to think of some better things to say, or I shouldn't talk about things I don't know about. And, even more unnerving, the fact that I mention these things right now will probably mean that the search engines will be a little more certain tomorrow that I know something about them. Uarrrgh!
[ | 2002-12-14 23:59 | 20 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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