Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Monday, April 28, 2003day link 

 Ad hoc economy
picture From HeadMap more freedom ants:
With the geo enabled foaf adhoc mesh internet in your pocket you should be able to turn a big piece of cheese into a hat no problem

broadcast your cheese, your location, and your need for a hat

..maybe money will come into the equation maybe not
..maybe you'll get a free hat and give away your cheese
..maybe you'll meet some friends of friends

the internet is a collaboration, exchange and transformation mechanism soon to have more cool features than money
If our information network gets to be pervasive enough, the need for oldfashioned money will decrease. Money was a solution to the problem of not being able to find somebody who wants what you have at the same time as finding something you want to have. It was also a solution to the problem that we didn't trust that we could always find available that which we want. What we need is better information. Because most of what we want is quite readily available, if we just know where and how.
[ | 2003-04-28 16:17 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 Hello, my name is ..
picture This guy is wearing a name tag all the time. I've met people like that. And I've considered it myself. As the article says, it is friendly and welcoming. There's less of a barrier for people to start talking to you. It's an invitation. Plus it is easier to remember people, easier to recognize people. A web link would be even better, of course. I'd like to just click on people across the room with a laser pointer or something, and find out who they are. Well, maybe something else that doesn't turn them blind at the same time.
[ | 2003-04-28 16:36 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Multi-tasking or not
picture L.A.Times article (registration required) talks about multi-tasking and whether it is bad for you. Specifically it includes comments from a researcher who seems to think so.
"Chronic multi-tasking over many years poses a strong risk for ultimate brain damage," says David E. Meyer, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Michigan. He is drawing on 30 years of laboratory research and published studies in the field.

Tension and confusion, those consequences wouldn't have surprised me. But brain damage?

Meyer explained: As we force ourselves to bounce from task to task and back again, we generate stress. Body and mind gear up to cope by releasing adrenaline and other hormones. This powerful medicine is good for a crisis, but hard on the machinery.[..]

Apart from brain damage and consequent depression, Meyer also noted the alarming likelihood that multi-taskers are losing the ability to concentrate.
Hm, I don't know. There's something to that. As a wired-up human who's likely to always be doing a number of things at the same time, I do notice that I have a harder time concentrating when I actually need to. I have 4 instant messenger programs open. I get e-mail every 10 minutes. I have about 30 windows open on my computer. One of them is cable TV with 400 channels. I'm surfing the web. I have actual work to do. I have a lot of notes on my desk about things I need to remember. I have 3 phone lines. My family comes in and asks me things all the time. There's a stack of books I'm all reading at the same time. I feel stressed and scattered a lot of the time.

But I haven't quite decided whether multi-tasking in itself is good or bad. Whether we're evolving and learning to be continuously connected while in motion, or whether we should become more vigorous about carving out quiet concentrated space for ourselves.

My kids appear to have evolved compared to me. My 19 year old daughter seems to be perfectly comfortable chatting online with a dozen people simultaneously, while she's on the phone with somebody else, and she's listening to music and watching TV, and somebody's visiting. Doesn't look like stress at all.

I suspect there is a state of engaged synergy that is available, a being-in-the-flow, where you're doing many things at once, but they somehow work together and support each other. As a dance. As opposed to the frantic scramble of trying to do many things at once that really don't belong in the same space.
[ | 2003-04-28 23:07 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Mt.Everest Cyber Cafe
picture The Mt.Everest base camp has been online for a couple of weeks now:
"Finally, today,14th April 2003 with the contineous effort of the virtual yeti team comprising of DINESH SHILPAKAR, SANJAY SHRESTHA, BISO BAJRACHARYA, TSEWANG DORJEE, PAVAN SHAKYA and myself combined with constant support and advice from great veteran like DAVE HUGHES and GORDON COOK and DILEEP AGRAWAL, we have been able to link EVEREST BASECAMP at an altitude of 5300m at 1300 HRS Nepal standard time to our server based at the base of KALAPATHAR at an altitude of 5450m) wirelessly by using CISCO AIRONET 350 and then to AAP-1 satellite provided by SES Americom and this is the first email."

[ | 2003-04-28 23:59 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]

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