Raymond Cote


U.S. Internet Users Pay More

for Slower Service

the U.S. is rapidly losing the global race for high-speed connectivity, as fewer than 8 percent of households have fiber service. And almost 30 percent of the country still isn’t connected to the Internet at all… .

The FCC’s National Broadband Plan of March 2010 suggested that the minimum appropriate speed for every American household by 2020 should be 4 megabits per second for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads. These speeds are enough, the FCC said, to reliably send and receive e-mail, download Web pages and use simple video conferencing… .

The South Korean government announced a plan to install 1 gigabit per second of symmetric fiber data access in every home by 2012. Hong Kong, Japan and the Netherlands are heading in the same direction. Australia plans to get 93 percent of homes and businesses connected to fiber. In the U.K., a 300 Mbps fiber-to-the-home service will be offered on a wholesale basis… .

The current 4 Mbps Internet access goal is unquestionably shortsighted. It allows the digital divide to survive, and ensures that the U.S. will stagnate…

Think of it this way: With a dialup connection, backing up 5 gigabytes of data (now the standard free plan offered by many storage companies) would take 20 days… . with a cable DOCSIS 3.0 connection, an hour and a half… . With a gigabit fiber-to-the-home connection, it can be done in less than a minute…

a Hollywood blockbusters could be downloaded in 12 seconds,  video conferencing would become routine, and every household could see 3D and Super HD images. Americans could be connected instantly to their co-workers, their families, their teachers and their health-care monitors…

To make this happen, though, the U.S. needs to move to a utility model, based on the assumption that all Americans require fiber-optic Internet access at reasonable prices. …

As things stand, the U.S. has the worst of both worlds: no competition and no regulation.

Read full article by Susan Crawford @ bloomberg.com

Eben Moglen keynote

"Innovation under Austerity"


Trench Warfare for Digital Democracy

The National Research Council defines Network Science as:

"the study of network representations of physical, biological, and social phenomena leading to predictive models of these phenomena.


- by Albert-László Barabási

(moving towards - Organic Process Literacy)

We always lived in a connected world, except we were not so much aware of it. We were aware of it down the line, that we’re not independent from our environment, that we’re not independent of the people around us. We are not independent of the many economic and other forces. But for decades we never perceived connectedness as being quantifiable, as being something that we can describe, that we can measure, that we have ways of quantifying the process. That has changed drastically in the last decade, at many, many different levels.

It has changed partly because we started to be aware of it partly because there were a lot of technological advances that forced us to think about connectedness. We had Worldwide Web, which was all about the links connecting information. We had the Internet, which was all about connecting devices. We had wireless technologies coming our way. Eventually, we had Google, we had Facebook. Slowly, the term ‘network connectedness’ really became part of our life so much so that now the word ‘networks’ is used much more often than evolution or quantum mechanics. It’s really run over it, and now that’s the buzzword.

The question is, what does it mean to be part of the network, or what does it mean to think in terms of the network? What does it mean to take advantage of this connectedness and to understand that? In the last decade, what I kept thinking about is how do you describe mathematically the connectedness? How do you get data to describe that? What does this really mean for us?

Read the full post @ edge.org/conversation/thinking-in-network-terms

From Amazon’s customer reviews

Too Big To Know - the subtitle :
"Rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room."

This is the final nail in the coffin of secret intelligence communities and companies devoted to proprietary software. There is nothing intelligent, nor substantively valuable, about “closed” environments if ones purpose is to optimize both the allocation of resources and outcomes beneficial to the public.

The historical context:
Many people have been focused on the changing role of knowledge coming into the 21st century … . . this book says it best, in a form that is easy to grasp for non-digital leaders struggling to decide where to go next … . this book is highly relevant to the 1950’s mind-set that is still prevalent among the leadership of all eight tribes of intelligence: 
- academic
- civil society
- commerce
- government
- law enforcement
- media
- military
-  non-governmental / non-profit

Summarizing the book:
Everything we do now with hierarchical organization, hoarded information, restricted accesses, and isolation from the full range of external sources and methods, is wrong for the spirit of our times, wrong for our network-effect based zeitgeist!

Five recommendations the author discusses:
- Open up access
- Provide the hooks for intelligence (meta-data)
- Link everything
- Leave no institutional knowledge behind
- Teach everyone

Strong provocative message at 4 levels
-Strategic message
"The more one looks at the question, the clearer it becomes that we don’t have an agreed-upon explanatory [or even exploratory] framework within which the question might be resolved." [page 114]

Operational message:
It is not about what you know or even who you know, but about the network you create so as to be able to access the right relevant knowledge when you need it, in the form you need it.

Tactical message:
Centralized authority rots — decentralized authority not only has the agility to be effective in situ, but decentralized authority is also much more likely to “see” and integrate local knowledge.

Technical message:
Citing Clay Sharky, "It’s not information overload. It is filter failure."

Knowing by the use of closed systems for 
reducing / filtering / weighting is out of date. Effective modern knowledge systems are linked / inclusive / open.

Today’s networked knowledge
is directly antithetical to every possible attribute of the top-down, “because I say so”, authoritarian, hierarchies Epoch. When even the Harvard Business Review acknowledges that CEO’s not only don’t know what they need to know to make good decisions, but are also not able to to make those decisions by themselves, the times, they are a’changing.

Old knowledge focused on FACTS.
Intermediate knowledge has focused on CONTEXT.
New knowledge is focused on RELATIONSHIPS.

The 21st century institution, like the 21st century network, must be very wide, boundary free, populist, respect those who are credentialed by the network rather than than credentialed by diplomas.

The 21st century institution, like the 21st century network, must be comfortable with a constantly changing “unsettled” landscape of culture, history, and local knowledge.

In all of this, TRUST is what determines the successful collection, processing, analysis, and decision-support rendering of information into intelligence. I speak here of informed trust, not blind trust… . . trust-building networks rather than a lock-box.

The author points out that in the absence of a properly designed network, the massive amounts of information that are accessible, and the new ability of every nut-case on the planet to be “co-equal” to more measured professionals, makes it very easy for even the most well-intentioned researcher to go off the deep endIn other words, not only must we have the world’s best OPEN networks at our finger-tips, we ALSO must have a profoundly professional combination of automatic, social, and professional filters and ingestion / visualization capabilities.

The author distinguishes between 3 types of facts:
- classic facts (in isolation)
- databased facts (indexed in a fixed structural context)
- networked facts (organically integrated/evolving facts which may have many different contexts, visible to different sets of people, and useful in different sorts of ways. 

The author speaks to the “network effects” on science:

- Reality is too big for small theories
[my interpretation is that one has to do whole-systems and real-time science now, the era of knowing everything about nothing that has characterized academia is now over — the PhD’s of the future will be constuctive constructionists, not destructive deconstructionists.]

- Science is flatter
One no longer needs to spend 8-16 years as an intellectual serf. To this I would add that science is now also real-time (that is to say, serious science versus show science). Changes to the earth that used to take ten thousand years now take three. Both science and politics are so removed from current reality and from an integrated public perspective as to be very dangerous to the human species.

- Network is continuously public
This is the part the secret world has difficulty with. They obsess on secret sources and methods as inputs, when all this time they should have been adapting to the prospect of being able to provide continuous decision-support to a full range of customers, in the process creating a Smart Nation. Instead they have a secret black hole.

- Open filters
Buy the book!

- Science with a difference
Cybernetics is now going in this direction, and we may be on the verge of a multi-disciplinary and humanities break-out in which the academic and government paradigms for thinking and studying experience an order of magnitude topsy-turvy “do the right thing, not the wrong thing righter.” This is a great time to be an intelligence professional. Buy the book!

- Hyper-linked science
Science and the humanities today are a travesty. I just ripped apart some psycho-babble about “Intelligent Management of Intelligence Agencies” at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, and I am still irritated. If we do not get serious about creating the World Brain and Global Game(Noosphere) as the Earth Intelligence Network has conceptualized the immediate possibilities, governments and corporations are going to continue a path that is tantamount to mass suicide for the human species.

Primary leadership responsibilities:
- connecting to reality
- make hard choices 
Primary leadership roles
- pick smart people that are self-starters
- creating and nurturing the OPEN networks that allows those self-starters to be all they can be
- be the catalyst for integrating diversity with clarity and integrity

read full book review by Robert D. Steele

read Robert Steele’s article:
The Craft of Intelligence – OLD vs. NEW

Check out Robert Steele’s up coming new book
The Open-Source Everything Manifesto:
Transparency, Truth, and Trust

"The solution to the information overload problem is to create more metadata!"

"metadata is what you already know and data is what you’re trying to find out" (Weinberger, 2007, p.104)

in what seems a disruptive argument, Weinberger tells that too much information is actually a good thing… . he cites Clay Shirky, who argues that “it is not information overload. It is filter failure

Weinberger contrasts the long-form argument of the Age of Books with the loosely connected webs of the Age of Networks in which he argues, the long form argument is a constraint inherited from the medium of print. Our thought process, nonetheless, works not in a simplistic, linear and long form ways but in an intricate web of links and associations which is better reflected in the Age of Networks. Scientists work in private in the Age of Books, after-the-fact peer-review is the norm, but in the Age of Networks, he argues, the filtering process is immediate, open and on the cloud. In short, he argues the abundance of crap and good that is generated through the network gets filtered by the network itself.

read full review by  Getaneh Agegn Alemu

Occupy Columbus Circle! Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie in 99% Solidarity “This Little Light” 10/22/11 (by Schlockumentaries)

Bill Maher

explains GOP’s desperation over #OWS

New Rule:
Republicans have to stop calling the Wall Street protesters “hippies”.  Yes, they’re peeing outdoors, and having sex in sleeping bags, or as Bristol Palin calls it, “dating”.  But they’re not hippies!

The hippies are all gone.
Woodstock was 42 years ago.
Forget the brown acid, the people who were at Woodstock are now taking the blue Viagra.  ”Turn on, tune in, drop out”, refers to their hearing aids.  Wavy Gravy is 75 years old.  He’s making wavy gravy in his pants.

Now, last Saturday, I was in our nation’s capital, and I had the chance to see for myself what was going on when I visited Occupy DC.  Everyone was extraordinarily well-behaved, and contrary to reports, I was not offered a single marijuana cigarette.  And I’m a little insulted.  All right, someone did give me a magic mushroom, and it did blow my mind, and I thank you, Senator McConnell.  And sorry about your eyebrows, I’m sure they’ll grow back.

Anyway, the next morning, when I woke up bloody and naked in the woods, I had a relevation… I mean, a revelation.  Of course conservatives want to make this about hippies, because they like to live in the past!  Rush Limbaugh, who really is too square to be a drug addict, said, “When the free drugs run out, when the free sex runs out, they’ll get bored and move on to something else.”

Oh that’s right, Grandpa.  Look at them, strumming their sitars and wearing dungarees.  Whatever happened to the good old days of segregation and date rape?  But I get it.  You’re bitter because we fought a culture war in the ’60s and the Right lost.  Rick Santorum is like that Japanese soldier on the island who doesn’t know the war is over, so he’s still fighting against birth control and butt sex.

Plus, Republicans are now mostly a Southern party, and if there’s one thing Southerners don’t do well, it’s lose a war and get over it.  (audience applause)  But that war is indeed over.  The ideals of the youth movement became assimilated into American society.  That’s why we have gays in the military now, and pre-natal yoga classes, and tofurkey.  And that’s why Rick Santorum will never be President, and a black guy who snorted cocaine is.  (audience applause)

It’s also why there’s not going to be a repeat of what happened the last time the hippies were in the streets.  Those hard hats that you’re depending on to turn against the lousy hippies?  Heh.  Here’s what they’re doing now.  They’re cheering them on.  (audience applause)  Because now, the hard hats are just as broke as everybody else.

These people down there, they’re not the counter-culture.  They’re the culture.  (audience applause)  They don’t want free love.  They want paid employment.  (audience applause)  They don’t hate capitalism.  They hate what’s been done to it.  (audience applause)

And they resent the Republican mantra that the market perfectly rewards the hard-working and punishes the lazy, and the poor are just jealous moochers who want a handout.  Yeah, because if there’s one group of people who hate handouts, it’s Wall Street.

All right, that’s our show!

Technological innovation is the engine
that driving human social evolution

This framing of history has a long established pedigree.

In this interview Carlota Perez put some serious meat on the bones of this historical framework. She zooms in on the inevitable boom, bubble, bust economic cycles that are endemically linked to all paradigm-shifting technological innovation cycles, examining the risk-reward investment psychology that makes these synchronous boom-bust cycles inevitable.

Carlota makes the McLuhanesque point that the old guard, status-quo, business / government leaders will need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the ground frame of a new network driven less-is-more political economy.

Less-is-more obviously doesn’t cut it when you are the dominant kingpins overseeing a production / leverage based profit era.

Fred asks what business and government must do to move forward?
Carlota responses by framing the problem as: 

  • an appalling lack of leadership
  • the political delusion of returning to business as usual
  • how to incentivize the financial industry out of the leveraging-casino and back into making legitimate capital allocation in the real economy via tax law behaviour shaping
  • the need to regulate and incentivize a green shift
  • the need for a global financial regulatory framework

Fred wilson asks who will provide the gateway leadership required to transition into this new way of living organizing consuming?
Carlota respondes with:
We need the new IT industrialists to take a political stand and push back against the business and political dinosaurs.

Don’t get me wrong I thing this is a brilliant historical framework and the long term gravity well of history is on her side.

But still this all seems like a very daunting and fuzzy challenge, much of which seems to fly in the face of mainstream American social and political memes.

Here is the powerpoint version

View more presentations from fredwilson

Sorry about the advertisement!
But I couldn’t find any other video source for this.

The Truthy Project Website

Has an interactive filter tool for looking at tweet patterns
graphically by user,  by @ or by # etc… .

What we are seeing here is the infancy of
Media Ecology - analytic tools for the rest of us.
Tools targeted at empowering organically networked communities to self police truthyness, accountability and reputation with the use of organic visualization tools. It will be interesting to see what visualization techniques surface to become the dominant mass culture memes for visualizing organic community distribution patterns.

Media Ecology :
All the ways we influence each other through the use of communications technologies all the way up from natural language > smoke signals > radio > TV > internet

Discover Magazine 

Follow the “Truthy” Tweets to Find Twitter’s Political Spammers

Karen and her sister account @HopeMarie_25 are examples of political “astroturf,” fake Twitter accounts that create the illusion of a “grassroots” political movement. In the diagram above, the two accounts are connected by a very thick band, which indicates that Marie constantly re-tweeted everything Karen said. Together they sent out over 20,000 tweets in the last four months promoting the Twitter account and website of Republican congressional leader John Boehner.

Such messages were cataloged and analyzed by Indiana University’s Truthy project, which takes its name from Stephen Colbert’s concept of “ truthiness.” The goal of the project is to seek out propaganda and smear campaigns conducted via false Twitter accounts.

Read full story @ discovermagazine.com

Gamification is Bullshit - By Ian Bogost

I’m not being flip or glib or provocative. I’m speaking philosophically. More specifically, gamification is marketing bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to capture the wild, coveted beast that is videogames and to domesticate it for use in the grey, hopeless wasteland of big business, where bullshit already reigns anyway.

Read the full Post by Ian Bogost

Let us not throw out
the potential social networking power of gamification dynamics
with the corporate
advertising / manipulation gamification bullshit!

 Gaming is best visualized as:

  1. a dynamic set of formal rules, settings and interactions
  2. that bring pleasure to the player
  3. through the process of mastering the interaction dynamics between these rule and settings
    ( as incremental mastery is inherently pleasurable to humans)

Valid Gamification” is  best visualized as:

  1. a dynamic set of formal rule, settings and interactions that map onto the real world in a one to one isomorphic way
  2. that bring pleasure to the player
  3. through the process of improving the players mastery of the equivalent real world rules / settings interaction dynamics (i.e. simulated learning or real world political control through democratic social networking structures)

"InValid Gamification” is best visualized as:

  1. Corporate, governmental or personal manipulation of others for financial gain or social control through the use of game dynamics.

This talk outlines 4 basic game / reality based dynamics

  1. Appointment dynamic
    a dynamic in which to succeed, one must return at a predefined time to take a predetermined action.
    (i.e. viral democratic citizen / consumer demand social action events)
  2. Influence and Status
    the ability of players to modify the actions of others through social pressure.
    (i.e. shaming corporate greed and excess, gradually pressuring corporate institutions into accept their responsibilities within the context of a democratic community)
  3. Progression Dynamic
    a dynamic in which success is granularly displayed and measured through the process of completing itemized tasks.
    (i.e. open, animated, graphics used as mandatory democratic baseline metrics feedback to display the status and progress of all governmental programs and processes in real time to the citizenry)
  4. Communal Discovery
    a dynamic wherein an entire community is rallied to work together to solve a challenge.
    (i.e. citizens democratically seizing the historically centralized ownership of wealth, power, education and control from elites and distributing them into an organic network of democratic participation)

I disagree with one main point in this presentation!
The idea that we should simply accept as a mater of practicality that building out this new world of social gamification potential atop existing corporately owned social network platforms such as Facebook is in any way acceptable.

WHY is this unacceptable?

In the words of Eben Moglen

Software code is the crucial component of everything in the 21st century

Software is what the 21st century is made of

What steel was to the economy of the 20 th century
What steel was to the power of the 20 th century
What steel was to the politics of the 20 th century
Software is now
It is the curial building block
the component out of which everything else is made

and when I speak of everything - I mean of course:
as well as Tyranny
as well as Business as usual
as well as Spying on Everyone for free all the time

In other words the very composition of social life

The way it works or doesn’t work
For US
The way it works or doesn’t work
For those that Own
The way it works or doesn’t work
For those who Oppress

All now depends on software!

For better or worse - from here on in
We are all living inside a giant organic SOFTWARE MATRIX

We citizens must either

Seize the software control panel
and demand
 Democratically Distributed Control


Preside over the collapse of democracy in the information age


Why Software code is the crucial component of everything in the 21st century

Software is what the 21st century is made of

What steel was to the economy of the 20 th century
What steel was to the power of the 20 th century
What steel was to the politics of the 20 th century
Software is now
It is the curial building block
the component out of which everything else is made

and when I speak of everything - I mean of course:
as well as Tyranny 
as well as Business as usual
as well as Spying on Everyone for free all the time

In other words the very composition of social life

The way it works or doesn’t work
For US
The way it works or doesn’t work
For those that Own
The way it works or doesn’t work
For those who Oppress  

All now depends on software!

 - Eben Moglen

For better or worse - from here on in
We are all living inside a giant organic SOFTWARE MATRIX

We citizens must either

Seize the software control panel
and demand
 Democratically Distributed Control


Preside over the collapse of democracy in the information age

More Eben Moglen on You Tube

The Internet in Society

Empowering or Censoring Citizens?

by -  theRSAorg

Two years ago the incoming Obama administration launched a number of ambitious websites, most notably Data.gov, that were dedicated to offering public and government data to the outside world. The stated intention was to foster transparency and offer a platform for the development of new software and services.

It appears those experiments may be over for now.

Today the Sunlight Foundation and Federal News Radio reported that the public projects Data.gov, USASpending.gov, Apps.gov/now, IT Dashboard and paymentaccuracy.gov as well as a number of internal government sites including Performance.gov, FedSpace and many of the efforts related the FEDRamp cloud computing cybersecurity effort would be taken offline in coming weeks due to budget cuts by Congress. Perhaps things like electronic government, software platforms and public accountability were just fads, anyway.

Canada launches data.gc.ca – what works and what is broken
What works
Probably the most important thing about data.gc.ca is that it exists. It means that public servants across the Government of Canada who have data they would like to share can now point to a website that is part of government policy.

What’s a work in progress
The number of “high value” datasets is, relatively speaking, fairly limited. I’m always cautious about this as, I feel, what constitutes high value varies from user to user. That said, there are clearly data sets that will have greater impact on Canadians: budget data, line item spend data by department (as the UK does), food inspection data, product recall data, pretty much everything on the statscan website

Read full post @eaves.ca