[ExI] NYT ninny

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed May 14 03:36:23 UTC 2008

Jef writes

> When YouTube was young, the likelihood of a video being interesting
> (subjective, of course) was much higher than now, and at least one
> researcher is using comments posted on YouTube as a reliable corpus of
> inanity.  When the WWW was young, the mere existence of a page was an
> indicator of probable salience, then it became necessary to rank
> according to higher-order links, and now search engines like Google
> work ever harder and deeper to distinguish mere popularity from
> content with depth AND coherence.

An unfortunate trend, it would appear.

> Of course the extropy discussion list and its cousins are not immune.
> Looking back over more than ten years on this list, who would deny the
> decline in meaningful, leading edge content?

One source of apparent decline stems from the fact that in
a very meaningful sense, one can only "get up to speed" 
once. (Unless, of course, much later you fall behind again.)

In particular, the most relevant and demanding high level
philosophical issues that needed addressing were addressed
long ago, and---in the opinion of probably more people
than just me---settled.

> As we move toward an increasingly attention-based economy of
> information, smarter tools help, but smarter forms of organization
> help more.  From village gossip, to newspapers, to SIGs and email
> lists, to blogs and their feeds, to agent-augmented collaborative
> filtering, to ... what next? And pragmatically, how do we apply
> information -- ever more effectively -- to growth in the direction of
> our evolving values?

Good questions.

> I catch myself feeling frustrated with the increasingly effective
> production and dissemination of "stupidity", still reeling with the
> realization that studies show 50% of the population are below
> average intelligence(!),

Shocking, in this day and age. Something should really
be done about it!  :-)

> What really frustrates me is not the ignorance of the
> masses, but the dissipativeness of the cognoscenti.

Mike D. made the point (to me) that you could blame
this dissipation on the vastly increased amount of 
what is known (and what is being researched). My 
gut intuition is that if you take the ratio of what
is known to what the global population is, over time
this ratio has increased alarmingly---but perhaps
not surprisingly.

Simply consider the *flood* of highly interesting material
alluded to and linked to... just on this one mailing list!


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list