[extropy-chat] Time Magazine's Person of the Year

pjmanney pj at pj-manney.com
Mon Dec 18 18:52:02 UTC 2006

Anders wrote:
>It is a bit like the occasional Peace Prize to the Red Cross - well
>deserved, but a bit of avoiding having to choose.

I'm not so sure.  I looked at the list of notable nominees and not a single person stood out as much as the effect of You Tube, My Space, Web 2.0, etc., did on the global stage.  I think they nailed it, at least in the zeitgeist sense.  If anything, this year showed that the single powerful individual as global & cultural motivator (Bush, bin Ladin, Kim Jong-Il, Gates, etc.) is on the wane.  At least for now...  ;-)

>I'm intrigued by this new kind of "online people power", or perhaps rather
>Web 2.0 power. 

I am as well.  The reason I posted this was not only as a confirmation of my own perceived 'gut rumblings,' but I think the idea that the individual is crafting their own perceived reality (instead of just experiencing it) is crucial to the formulation of H+ ideas.

The flipside, of course, is when you do not share a common culture with your fellow citizens because each citizen has their own self-created culture, the fragmentation can cause massive schisms in society and will redefine what society is.  We're seeing just the beginnings of it right now.  But we all know that already.  As these niche societies become more and more diverse, and more narcissistic, it's going to get pretty dicey globally, until we find a way to achieve a socially viable balance.  At least that's my theory.

If you look at the "normal people" Time profiled as representing Web 2.0, I can't say that many of them impressed me with their committment to the larger picture.  It was a lot of people looking for self-promotion and validation using the Web.  It often has the flavor of prostitution for fame.  But such will be the future.  Maybe the bad taste will leave my mouth after enough time has passed.

>How can we turn it into better cognitive enhancement? The
>Wikipedia is already a good example. The combination of sites like Flickr
>and new imageprocessing (
>http://www.aleph.se/andart/archives/2006/10/the_future_of_images.html )
>can produce some interesting results, especially connected to a people's
>panopticon. Can we construct a useful open society protection system this

I think I see what you're getting at.

I met a gentleman recently whose company, ActiveSymbols, can online search using images alone.  No "words" to describe the image are necessary a la Google.


Beyond their press release commercial applications, this will allow the accessing of billions of images that we wouldn't find or use otherwise because of inadequate labeling.  This certainly helps with participating in and monitoring the panopticon.


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