Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Thursday, March 13, 2003day link 

 Culture in Decline? No, Rebirth!
picture From Paul Hughes at Planet P:
"Over at tech-report.com they are having their Friday night topic on whether we are witnessing the decline of western civilization or not. Here is my response:

I think we are witnessing both the decline of the old culture, and something new emerging in the trenches. We are seeing the old structures, the old art, literature, behaviors, all of these things succumbing to rapid social and technological change. We had modernism, post-modernism, and now the death of post-modernism. We've had music, re-mixed music, and now re-mixed re-mixes. We have people like Eminem who emobdy this creative deconstructionism. We are also seeing the western (corrupted) politic going thru its last, desperate moves for total world domination, and possible destruction on a massive global scale. In part, this is simply nature taking its course with the old power elite. Their days are numbered and they know it. Thats why they are reacting with draconian legislation like the DMCA, PATRIOT 1 and possibly II, Total Information Awareness, etc. But they won't be able to keep up in the end with the highly coherent, decentralized, ad-hoc network of like minds that is emerging. We are witnessing the birth of network culture - a global brain if you will.

This new emergent decentralized global brain is more cohesive, more intelligent than anything before it. Assuming the old structures don't collapse catastrophically, we will live to see the birth of a full-fledged networked culture ushering in a new renaissance of creativity and innovation beyond everything thats happened before it combined."
Indeed. I'm with you. It is inevitable. The main parts to be decided are whether the outdated old mastodonts will morph relatively quietly or whether they'll try to trample the rest of us while they still can.
[ | 2003-03-13 16:09 | 7 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 U.S. to invade the Netherlands
David Weinberger mentions an article on Human Rights News about a new U.S. law.
U.S. President George Bush today signed into law the American Servicemembers Protection Act of 2002, which is intended to intimidate countries that ratify the treaty for the International Criminal Court (ICC). The new law authorizes the use of military force to liberate any American or citizen of a U.S.-allied country being held by the court, which is located in The Hague. This provision, dubbed the "Hague invasion clause," has caused a strong reaction from U.S. allies around the world, particularly in the Netherlands. In addition, the law provides for the withdrawal of U.S. military assistance from countries ratifying the ICC treaty, and restricts U.S. participation in United Nations peacekeeping unless the United States obtains immunity from prosecution.
The Hague is obviously located in the Netherlands, and the law pretty much adds up to declaring war on the Netherlands, and on anybody else who supports the International Criminal Court.
[ | 2003-03-13 23:07 | 19 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Towards Structured Blogging
picture S├ębastien Paquet has a great article with thoughts about how we can move towards structured blogging. You know, where the meaning of what we post is captured more systematically than just being a bunch of words one can link to.
"Lately I've been thinking about how we could evolve blogging tools to allow people to author more structured (dare I say semantic?) content, so that other people could find their stuff that they find of interest more easily.

Right now what we have, globally speaking, is pretty much a huge pool of blog posts, each implicitly tied to a particular weblog author and with a date slapped on. Now, say I've written a review of the latest Radiohead album into my blog. I'd like others who are interested in Radiohead, or in music reviews in general, and who may not know me, to be able to pick out my review from the common pool in a simple way. Interesting people may come my way because of this.

What we're talking about is getting people to put more metadata on their content. Now allowing it is one thing, and fostering it is another. And I'd say the latter is the bigger challenge. Here are some ideas.

...continued in Towards Structured Blogging"
Good stuff. Seb suggests some ways of choosing what types of thing you're posting in your weblog entry. Like, is it a 'Music Review' for example. That would allow services a step beyond Internet Topic Exchange aggregating postings more intelligently. I think we need something a couple of steps beyond that, but I can't quite articulate what exactly that is, so this would be an easy place to start.
[ | 2003-03-13 23:42 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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