Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Wednesday, December 18, 2002day link 

 Weblogs as Meta-Search Engines
Philippe Beaudoin has some good thoughts about weblogs as meta search engines. Rather than just directly looking for information within all the information in the world, a weblog makes certain indirect factors much more important, and it makes it more potentially useful to go off on a tangent. If you find a story that you think is important and useful on somebody's weblog, chances are that you would like other things in the same weblog, even if they are on totally different topics, and chances are good that you will like the stuff on other weblogs that this person is recommending. Automated tools might take that into consideration. For example, an approach similar to Google's PageRank might allow you to assign a value to a certain weblog, and automatically it will rub off on weblogs that are related to that one. That will enable you to better navigate a network of weblogs that is likely to give you stuff you want. And it opens the door to more productive randomness. That is something I like pursuing as well - intelligent randomness, increasing the occurrence of synchronicity. It is often stimulating to be thrown off a bit in a direction different from what you would expect, but only if some pre-selection has taken place. Most of the 100,000 weblogs are quite uninteresting to me, but I'd like to be exposed to unexpected stuff at the edge of what I'm aware of. A friend of a friend whom I don't know yet.
[ | 2002-12-18 16:04 | 22 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Naked States
picture I was watching a documentary on HBO about this artist Spencer Tunick who has been traveling America and the world, photographing nude people in unusual settings and arrangements. Now, what was very refreshing and inspiring about that is that there is nothing lewd or even tintilating about how he does it. It is very normal people, not picked based on any standard of physical beauty, but mainly based on that they're real people that one meets on the street. And there is something very powerful and beautiful that comes from that. Besides being art, and performance art, it is activism. It is activism asking us to look at things a bit differently, and breaking through stupid bourgeois norms for what is proper and expected.
[ | 2002-12-18 16:25 | 10 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Several people have asked me recently why I don't have comments enabled on my public newslog. I guess I'll consider activating it if I make some changes first. See, there's first the problem of a muddling of different spaces on the net. My newslog appears primarily in two rather different settings. It appears as ming.tv and the majority of people see it there, and there is no commenting. And then it appears inside the NCN member area. That appears as much more of a sheltered community environment, as there's a relatively small number of newslogs (50-100) and they are shown in one list, and it is very easy to jump around between them, and they look very similar, and there's an aggregate newslog which shows all the posts from all of them. For my log, comments are enabled there, as it is for most people who post there. And there's a very friendly crowd of supportive people who will pay attention to everything that is posted in any of the logs. I appreciate the comments and feedback there very much. But part of the problem is that it is such a fairly cozy environment that most commenters take for granted that we're all hanging out just in here. Whereas I mostly write my newslog for the people 'out there', who mostly exist in different environments and write their weblogs with very different software.

My solution will probably be to make it more self-evident in NCN which newslogs are very public and which ones are only local, and then on the public face of newslogs, making it easier and more seamless to post comments to them. Maybe with an easy one-time NCN registration, and then being recognized the next time you come by. See, I have somewhat bad experiences with completely open commenting, where people can just type in a phoney name and e-mail and run away. Most serious posters wouldn't mind a quick registration, I think.
[ | 2002-12-18 18:16 | 17 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

picture Years ago I wrote up a vision about a synergetic society that I called HoloWorld. It is incomplete, and I still hope to put more meat on it, but nevertheless it is fairly detailed. It all boils down to some very simple principles, like:

People are free to choose how to live

That can be expressed in an assortment of ways, each of which is more or less likely to be misunderstood by a lot of people. "People can do what they want". "An it harm none, do what thou wilt". Anyway, when used as an organizing principle, a whole lot of other principles and approaches would have to come from that. As everybody aren't likely to agree on how they want things, we must inevitably have:

Negotiation of self-interest taking place along the edges

Edges of what? Edges of any space of any kind where one or more people have a certain interest, a certain agreement on how things are supposed to be. So, if anybody has a different idea about what is supposed to happen, there's something to talk about. And if groups of people arrive at somewhat homogenous agreements on how they like things to be, but some people don't like it, there's then a need for:

Voting with your feet

Meaning, that if you don't like how things work in one place, you move into another place where things are more to your liking, or you make a new place and invite people to come to it. That implies the principle that you are allowed to arrange things in different ways in different places.
[ | 2002-12-18 02:41 | 14 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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