Thanks to Duane at Ashland’s Lithia Springs Inn for sending this out!
I also would say that if one narrows things to the censorship protections defined by free speech provisions of US Constitution the game changes since the supreme court generally argues that for legal purposes we are generally concerned with political censorship and not commercial speech or “hate” speech. Both of those are legally (and I think usually appropriately) censored.
Your definition of censorship is too narrow, a common frustration of mine. This lets people argue – totally speciously – that THEY don’t ever censor but OTHER people do.
Virtually everybody believes in some censorship – in fact I would argue emphatically that “zero censorship” is a sociopathic condition (e.g. child pornographers should be shot or imprisoned, people who routinely shout loud obscenities in public should generally be stifled).
1 : a person who supervises conduct and morals: as a : an official who examines materials (as publications or films) for objectionable matter b : an official (as in time of war) who reads communications (as letters) and deletes material considered sensitive or harmful
2 : one of two magistrates of early Rome acting as census takers, assessors, and inspectors of morals and conduct
Lots of new info a Singularity Hub here about the quest for brain / computer interfaces, which I think will be the next ‘really big thing’ on planet earth, in part because they’ll be cool and helpful and in part because they are very likely to speed up the creation of a conscious mechanical computer which will quickly surpass human abilities in all respects.
One of the odd things about following this science and these technologies is that about 90% of the world still thinks these are for the most part “kooky sci fi whacko” kinds of technologies and ideas, even as they become mainstream ideas in many tech circles.
The new iPad tablet computer from Apple launched today and I’m going to try to summarize the reviews as they come in – which frankly is a better indication of the quality of the device than if I had one in my own hands…. which I don’t …. However at an iPad Price of only $499 this looks like an amazing device at a great price.
One of the big issues at CES 2010 was the fact that Apple’s Tablet would almost certainly raise the computing bar in terms of expectations for the “robustness” of something that is a cross between a full computer and an e-Reader. To my way of thinking (ie rational computing purchases) good tablets may wind up as e-Reader killers – or at least will force e-readers to become real computers and offer a lot more features than they currently offer.
Why buy a Kindle or Nook when you can have a full computer and internet at your fingertips for only marginally higher cost? At $499 the Apple Tablet “entry level” model is coming in much cheaper than the predicted $1000 price tag – perhaps as part of Apple’s normally brilliant quality and marketing approaches which generally lead to early widespread adoption of devices.
The music from this concert was pretty amazing, and if you buy it from iTunes it’ll help Haitians recover from what now appears to be one of the greatest natural disasters in many years.
There’s a lot of political discussion that should center around how to best help developing countries, but I think that should wait until after we address the emergency needs with water, food, medicines, and security. After that I hope we start an international discussion about what it takes to rebuild a failed state into the healthy and vibrant democracy people deserve to live in – the kind of country we in the USA take for granted.
As a self-proclaimed social media expert (hey, cuz I have a MASTERS DEGREE in Social Science!), I like to think I understand what is driving the latest wave of online enthusiasm. But I’m increasingly convinced nobody understands it. Rather, like evolution, we work away from failure and wind up with applications and websites that have *survived* and adapted far more than were “brilliantly planned and executed” according to some online success formula.
Of course predicting Google’s success was easy – they’d cracked the nut of “really good search” and even as others caught up to their quality they’d established our habit of “googling” when we needed good info fast and have reaped the enormous advertising revenue rewards from that early success. I had more trouble understanding why Facebook was so appealing yet it has thrived as the key friend and family connector in an increasingly social media world.
I remain skeptical that Facebook can drive advertising revenue to the extent needed to ever compete against Google for online dominance, but we’re still *very* early in the big online game and clearly Facebook is rocking in terms of online influence.
As for many, Twitter didn’t impress me initially but after following a lot of people and capturing a lot of followers I started to understand how important Twitter would be to the online social experience. This was borne out very strongly at CES Las Vegas watching how quickly businesses – even including non-tech businesses like the hotels and attractions in Las Vegas – were using Twitter as a key news, customer contact, and customer relations tool. As mom and pop businesses and “regular folks” begin to understand how active engagement with Twitter can revolutionize the way we do business communication I think we’ll see a second explosion in use and Twitter will rival Facebook in terms of importance.
The latest in the pantheon of very popular “social media” applications is called “FourSquare”. The idea is to know the location of your friends and share your location as well as offer tips about everything from dining to attractions. The basic idea is appealing and intuitive and the service appears to be exploding in popularity, though I’m finding it hard to use I think in part because I’m a rural dweller and things like this are more useful in urban centers where there are a lot more participants. Still, it seems to me this only enhances Twitter somewhat, and is not really a major improvement over what we’d expect from more active use of Twitter, which I see as playing (eventually) the a role as an application that manages how people are relating to other people on an hour by hour basis. Although it’s mostly early adopters who use Twitter in this way now, the fact that tweets are easier than a phone call means to me that eventually we’ll shift from calling to some form of text messaging, the most powerful of which is …. tweeting!
In summary I’m thinking that Google search will continue to thrive and dominate with Facebook and Twitter becoming the key tools for social interaction – Facebook more between friends and family and Twitter between businesses and celebrities and customers / fans. That doesn’t leave much room for Foursquare to become huge, but the online social space has become so large that even a supporting role can be an auspicious one.
One of the best views of the Las Vegas Strip is from the Foundation Room high up at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. There’s also a House of Blues restaurant below, but the Foundation Room is different. Not sure if this is only reserved for special events or not, but it sure was a great view.
Unfortunately the Web 2.0 party here didn’t have many Web 2.0 companies. However I did enjoy talking to the “Life Extension” folks who were doing some really interesting research on the relationship of the telomeres in a gene and longetivity: http://www.telonauts.com/
People should be more forthcoming with their political opinions.
I think we’ve spawned a generation of folks who think it’s unbecoming to make a political case for what they believe and who tend to simply sit back and watch while others – usually with uninformed ranting – take the political stage.
You know who you are. Speak up!
One of the most interesting topics right now is how to allocate risks and costs with respect to environmental problems like climate change. I’m having an email discussion with my good pal John and thought I’d bring some of that online for others to comment:
RE: Cost Benefit Analysis and Environment:
John’s: It is very easy to distort their definitions towards a point of view rather than towards something necessarily valid. Not that cost/benefit is never useful. It is very useful when the costs and benefits are relatively simple to define. Unfortunately costs from environmental degradation and benefits from efforts to change behavior are very difficult to delineate. In the end through the early environmental movement persistence and intelligent thinking about clean water and air prevailed over those who used cost/benefit analysis.