[extropy-chat] all quiet on the extrope front

pjmanney pj at pj-manney.com
Thu Jan 25 05:41:16 UTC 2007

>OK, a few seconds with google cleared up this otherwise baffling comment:
>Jonesin: A word used to describe an intense craving for a drug. Comes from
>Great Jones Street in New York City, between Broadway and Lafayette Street,
>a former junkie hangout.  ex. "I'm jonesin' for some coke."

Sorry guys.  Sometimes I forget just how much of a New Yorker I am.

BTW, Spike: Westchester County, NY -- Middletown, CT -- Manhattan -- LA -- Auckland, NZ -- LA, with decent stretches in London every year for almost 20 years, ages 7 - 26.

But I guess you just can't take NY out of the NYer.  No matter how many places you live.

>We have access to the ultra-obscure realms of knowledge, the above given as
>a trivial example.  Twenty years ago, I would have no idea what one was
>doing when jonesin for a fix; I would know exactly *no one* likely to have
>the vaguest clue what is meant by that curious bit of slang.  Back in those
>dark days we went around not knowing stuff.  The profound satisfaction of
>knowing stuff is the greatest transcendent ecstasy of our times. 

And as you were writing this, I had just finished reading >Htech posts on Google books and decided to give it a spin.  

Holy shit.  

I typed in some very obscure, but personally very meaningful entries.  And there they were -- the pages in living black and white.  No amount of colorful profanity (and I've got a lot -- I AM a NYer) could describe my surprise.

Because I was raised as a book person.  Books are... sacred... to me.  I'm not at all concerned about the digitization of books in concept.  I hold no romantic allusions to that.  However, the amount of information locked inside of them is so profound, that to have this kind of access is...

... well, honestly, it gets me teary-eyed.

I appreciate the copyright concerns more than the average person.  My own work is subject to it.  And I don't know how we make all sides happy.

But I'd be a liar if I didn't say the growing access selfishly excites me.

I also don't know how we overcome the commercial biases of Google, et al, over the information we see.  I'm really experiencing this with my son at the moment, overseeing his research for American History reports.  I know information that I can't find on the Internet.  Because someone else has deemed it not important.  But I think it is.  Hmmmmmm...

Maybe search information needs to hit a critical mass to be really usable and not simply have the appearence of usability.

I'm looking forward to that time.


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