Monday, May 14, 2007

Notes on Everything is Miscellaneous interview

A pretty good interview on S.Weinberger's new book Everything is Miscellaneous with a Yahoo! guy Bradley Horowitz. It's actually way too long, he's a verbose guy, for sure, he's elevator pitch in the beginning would need an elevator ride in a skyscraper and back, and that would still not be enough! Some interesting bits to dive in or for fast-forwarding.
  • An interesting discourse over a unit of knowledge; he talks about group knowledge and how, for example, Wikipedia discussion pages or some mailing lists themselves are a unit of knowledge build through discussion, agreement and disagreement, and sometime arguments, too. Non of those individuals would not be able to construct that alone "the knowledge is not in anyone's head, it's literally in the discussion in the mailing list (28mins)
  • It was funny when they talked about Justin TV, how this guy carries a camera 24/7 and records his life. The interviewer comes up with something like what's the point, "you don't get a second life with which to review the first one (about at 31 min). This part is also related to gathering metadata about everything, in MIT they record individual's heartbeat throughout the day, so that you can later check when the heart rate was high, remember the moment and relive it! Dudes, get out!

  • Towards the end the whole thing gets more interesting. In about 45 min they talk about social filtering and Mr. Weinberger is very pro, he argues that it is hard for us to know what we are interested in. He goes "...the serendipity thing: we don't know what we are interested in. There are things that we can predict we are interested in, but largely not. The world is way more interesting than our interests, which is why social filtering is so important." I like that :)

  • Soon after they talk about the definition of discussion (48min) which makes me think of a lunch discussion with Teemu and his group in Medialab on how computer science has banalised terms like dialogue (a pop-up "yes" or "no"), interactive, etc..

  • At the very end (54min) they talk about folksonomies, and he says about how silly it would be to replace a taxonomy with a folksonomy. His argument was that "you don't want just one folksonomy", but many of them so that you can cluster and gather things so that it is relevant to what we care and interested in. That's good too!

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