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.
- by Nicholas Christakis
The science of network-synchronized, emergent, self-oranizing, complex adaptive social systems!
How Amoebas Form Social Networks
Network Literacy Part 1
I’ve become convinced that understanding how networks work is an essential 21st century literacy. This is the first in a series of short videos about how the structure and dynamics of networks influences political freedom, economic wealth creation, and participation in the creation of culture. The first video introduces the importance of understanding networks and explains how the underlying technical architecture of the Internet specifically supports the freedom of network users to innovate.
- Howard Rheingold
Network Literacy Part One 2
Networking technologies visualized as extensions
of our basic biological cognitive scaffolding
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.
(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?
- By Brian Solis
His 10 step action list for creating a community based business strategy for relevance in an age of social-network connectitness.
1. Answer why you should engage in social networks and why anyone would want to engage with you
2. Observe what brings them together and define how you can add value to the conversation
3. Identify the influential voices that matter to your world, recognize what’s important to them, and find a way to start a dialogue that can foster a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship
4. Study the best practices of not just organizations like yours, but also those who are successfully reaching the type of people you’re trying to reach – it’s benching marking against competitors and benchmarking against undefined opportunities
5. Translate all you’ve learned into a convincing presentation written to demonstrate tangible opportunity to your executive board, make the case through numbers, trends, data, insights – understanding they have no idea what’s going on out there and you are both the scout and the navigator (start with a recommended pilot so everyone can learn together)
6. Listen to what they’re saying and develop a process to learn from activity and adapt to interests and steer engagement based on insights
7. Recognize how they use social media and innovate based on what you observe to captivate their attention
8. Align your objectives with their objectives. If you’re unsure of what they’re looking for…ask
9. Invest in the development of content, engagement
10. Build a community, invest in values, spark meaningful dialogue, and offer tangible value…the kind of value they can’t get anywhere else. Take advantage of the medium and the opportunity!
Designing a programming system for understanding programs.
A programming system has two parts. The programming “environment” is the part that’s installed on the computer. The programming “language” is the part that’s installed in the programmer’s head.
This essay presents a set of design principles for an environment and language suitable for learning.
The environment should allow the learner to:
- read the vocabulary — what do these words mean?
- follow the flow — what happens when?
- see the state — what is the computer thinking?
- create by reacting — start somewhere, then sculpt
- create by abstracting — start concrete, then generalize
The language should provide:
- identity and metaphor — how can I relate the computer’s world to my own?
- decomposition — how do I break down my thoughts into mind-sized pieces?
- recomposition — how do I glue pieces together?
- readability — what do these words mean?
Ever layer of reality from sub-atomic particles on up is based on a recombinant fabric of even more basic parts and processes that underpin that particular layer of the reality cake.
In a modern network based culture the organic complexities required to effectively remix and reuse all of our available social components and processes becomes by necessity our primary cognitive-survival-strategy.
The organic nature of network based economies will require us to merge the programer’s language of sequenced-recombinant-reuse into everyday language and culture.
It is no enough to simply optimize our effective use of present day language. It is even more important to continually evolve the reality-mapping-fabric and efficacy of language itself. That evolutionary process pivots around continually optimizing the effective symmetry between mass linguistic-culture and the underlying contemporary environmental components and processes with which we must contend for our survival.(things like reality based political debate)
Under network conditions, where everybody and everything planey-wide are instantaneously interconnected and available for reuse and remixing, that means linguistic strategies that elucidate and accelerate “ORGANIC PROCESS LITERACY”.
Linguistically speaking we all need a little more:
ORGANIC CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS
STOP STEALING DREAMS: Seth Godin at TEDxYouth@BFS (by TEDxYouth)
Social Organizing Structures
Market vs State
It’s not enough to say that peer networks are an interesting alternative to states and markets. The state and the market are now fundamentally dependent on peer networks in ways that would have been unthinkable just 20 years ago… .
One reason is that there is a growing number of individuals and organizations who believe the digital success of peer networks can be translated into the “real” world. Peer networks laid the foundation for the scientific revolution during the Enlightenment, via the formal and informal societies and coffeehouse gatherings where new research was shared. The digital revolution has made it clear that peer networks can work wonders in the modern age… .
When we talk about change being driven by mass collaboration, it’s often in the form of protest movements: civil rights or marriage equality. That’s a tradition worth celebrating, but it’s only part of the story. The Internet (and all the other achievements of peer networks) is not a story about changing people’s attitudes or widening the range of human tolerance. It’s a story, instead, about a different kind of organization, neither state nor market, that actually builds things, creating new tools that in turn enhance the way states and markets work.
This is the future. A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution…
The falling costs and growing sophistication of robots have touched off a renewed debate among economists and technologists over how quickly jobs will be lost… . .
the advent of low-cost automation foretells changes on the scale of the revolution in agricultural technology over the last century, when farming employment in the United States fell from 40 percent of the work force to about 2 percent today.
Rapid improvement in vision and touch technologies is putting a wide array of manual jobs within the abilities of robots…
Robot manufacturers in the United States say that in many applications, robots are already more cost-effective than humans… .
“What I see is that the Chinese are going to apply robots too,” said Frans van Houten, Philips’s chief executive. “The window of opportunity to bring manufacturing back is before that happens.”…
Read the full article @ nytimes.com
A more organic - more effective perspective
The recent book, Race Against The Machine, has caught the imagination of a growing body of readers. It’s an important book, but it doesn’t go far enough in highlighting the root causes of the unemployment we are experiencing. Rather than framing it as a technological issue, the book would have generated a lot more insight about both the problem and the solution if it had framed it as an institutional issue… .
Re-framing the core issue - is it technological or institutional?
Let me suggest that the real problem we are confronting is a growing disconnect between the institutional architectures we have so carefully designed over the past century and the pressures that are mounting in our global economy. This disconnect goes to the very core of why we have institutions in the first place. Until we address that most basic question, entrepreneurial tinkering will likely have marginal impact.
So, what’s the answer?
Until and unless we get to the root cause of the problem, we’ll never solve the problem. The authors frame the issue as a technological issue, but it’s really an institutional issue. Until we can develop an alternative institutional model, one that can scale as effectively as the scalable efficiency model, we will face mounting pressure from machines and remain locked in a race against the machine without the ability to finally race with the machine. …
The bottom line
Until and unless we re-frame the challenges we face, we’ll have little hope of developing effective programs of change. At its core, this isn’t a technological challenge, but an institutional challenge. We’re dealing with a set of institutions that are increasingly inappropriate for the mounting pressure we face. At an even more fundamental level, it’s a mindset challenge – it’s about our beliefs about the kinds of institutions that we need to assure our prosperity and well-being.
“Niche construction promotes survival by buffering the organism from the environment. Just as the DNA uses the biological body to insulate itself from external selection pressures, so too human civilization serves to buffer the human organism from environmental selection pressures.”
Understanding the dynamics common to various coordinating mechanisms should allow us to better understand the shifts currently underway in appropriate context, and thereby to better predict the course that current transition might take.
how evolutionary dynamics influence the form of self-organizing social structures
how those structured societies evolve towards internal and external limits
the dynamic balance between change and stability, innovation and conservatism, adaptability and survivability
- how that dynamic equilibrium responds to mismatch between organizational capacity and constraints
Ulam Memorial Lectures - 2011 - David Krakauer
Cognitive Ubiquity - The Evolution of Intelligence on Earth
A broad overview of Intelligence
Nested layers of Evolutionary Epistemology
Put another way:
The world is knowable, but it is knowable through the categories of the knower, which were shaped by evolution.
So evolutionary adaptation by natural selection results in a partial correspondence, a kind of isomorphism between the structure of the world and the organization of the knower. On that account, organisms do not make theories of the world, they are theories of the world.
-Sam Bowles paraphrasing Conrad Lorenz
The Adversarial Quartet - Lecture by David Krakauer - Part 1
The biosphere = a deeply nested array of INTELLIGENT/COGNITIVE SYSTEMS
- All these INFERENTIAL-REPRESENTATION-STRATEGIES or intelligent/cognitive systems are COMPETING for statistical survival.
- All these cognitive-survival-strategies are competing to be the best-fit cognitive-survival-strategy within the larger context of their ever evolving and mutually-adaptive sibling-level(organism/cell/gene) competitors.
- This competition between cognitive-survival-strategies also plays itself out repeatably at numerously nested cognitive-sub-system levels such as cellular and gene levels.
- All theses mutually-adaptive layers of cognitive-survival-strategy, from gene/cell through to biosphere, participate to varying degrees in a globally adaptive gestalt of evolutionary-level-mixing crosstalk/feedback.
- Intelligence/cognition is ubiquitous throughout nature
- Intelligent/cognitive organisms are themselves assemblages of nested Intelligent/cognitive sub-systems
- Many organisms are themselves cognitive-cogs nested within larger more globally distributed biological or social intelligent/cognitive systems.
1- INTELLIGENCE = REPRESENTATIONAL efficiency/simplicity/minimalism
- The most intelligent REPRESENTATIONAL system is the simplest one that effectively meets the strategic challenge at hand.
- Representational COMPRESSION = representational choices that are more direct and more isomorphic
- Representational COMPOSITION = representational choices that can be easily transposed, scaled, repurposed or otherwise reused via a simply set of rule driven manipulations
2- INTELLIGENCE = ACTIONABLE INFERENCE
… . deductive - inductive - abductive
3- INTELLIGENCE = KEY STRATEGY
- Biologically-embodied statistical trial and error search or a multi-cellular distributed redundancy survival-niche trial and error search strategy.
Invasion of the Inferential Cell - Lecture by David Krakauer - Part 2
All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace - Part 3
- Lecture by David Krakauer
“Soon there will be computers of such huge power that we will be using for tools who’s output we might not comprehend and we will be using them in domains of critical social importance
Unless we start thinking very carefully about the way we program and engage with their intelligence… . our demise will be a consequence of owning a tool which we are not qualified to own”
Supersizing the Mind - key concepts
Principle of Ecological Balance
one … that given a certain task environment there has to be a match between the complexities of the agent’s sensory, motor, and neural systems
second… that there is a certain balance or task-distribution between morphology, materials, control,and environment.
The “matching” of sensors, morphology, motor system, materials,controller, and ecological niche yields a spread of responsibility for efﬁcient adaptive response in which “not all the processing is performed by the brain, but certain aspects of it are taken over by the morphology,materials, and environment [yielding] a ‘balance’ or task-distribution between the different aspects of an embodied agent” (see Pfeifer et al.}
In such cases, the details of embodiment may take over some of the work that would otherwise need to be done by the brain or the neural network controller, an effect that can aptly be described as “morphological computation.”
I.E - Once the body itself is“equipped” with the right kind of passive dynamics, powered walking can be brought about in a remarkably elegant and energy-efﬁcient way. In essence, the tasks of actuation and control have now been massivelyreconﬁgured so that powered, directed locomotion can come about by systematically pushing, damping, and tweaking a system in whichpassive-dynamic effects still play a major role. The control design isdelicately geared to utilize all the natural dynamics of the passive base-line, and the actuation is consequently efﬁcient and ﬂuid.
Some of the core ﬂavor of such a solution is captured by the broadernotion of “ecological control,” where an ecological control system is one in which goals are not achieved by micromanaging every detail of the desired action or response but by making the most of robust reliable sources of relevant order in the bodily or worldly environmentof the controller. In such cases,
part of the “processing” is taken over by the dynamics of the agent-environment interaction, and only sparse neural control needs to be exerted when the self-regulating and stabilizing properties of the natural dynamics can be exploited. (Pfeiferet al.) -page 6-7
Principle of Inhabited/embodied/embedded Interaction
- The exploitation of passive-dynamic effects or “nontrivial causal spread”
this characteristic occurs whenever something we might have expected to be achieved by a certain well-demarcated system turns out to involve the exploitation of more far-ﬂung factors and forces
Principle of Ecological Assembly (PEA)
the canny cognizer tends to recruit, on the spot, whatever mix of problem solving resources will yield an acceptable result with a minimum of effort - page 13
When historian Charles Weiner found pages of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman’s notes, he saw it as a “record” of Feynman’s work. Feynman himself, however, insisted that the notes were not a record but the work itself.
In Supersizing the Mind , Andy Clark argues that our thinking doesn’t happen only in our heads but that “certain forms of human cognizing include inextricable tangles of feedback, feed-forward and feed-around loops: loops that promiscuously criss-cross the boundaries of brain, body and world.” The pen and paper of Feynman’s thought are just such feedback loops, physical machinery that shape the flow of thought and enlarge the boundaries of mind.
Drawing upon recent work in psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, robotics, human-computer systems, and beyond, Supersizing the Mind offers both a tour of the emerging cognitive landscape and a sustained argument in favor of a conception of mind that is extended rather than “brain-bound.”
The importance of this new perspective is profound. If our minds themselves can include aspects of our social and physical environments, then the kinds of social and physical environments we create can reconfigure our minds and our capacity for thought and reason.
- Liner notes
or put another way
We don’t just map/model/fit the world of phenomenon onto the strategic-goal-seeking representational-fabric of our brain mechanics.
Much more importantly, throughout eons of evolution, the world has pre-configured our brains so as to optimize the receptivitive-fabric/power of our brains to synch up with, to enmesh with the fabric of reality in such a way that both the brain and reality have evolved as mutual expressions/extensions of one another.
It is this bridge of mutual adaptive, evolution-synchronized, shared-fabric between the human brain and the universe of phenomena that symbiotically bootstraps both into the networked realm of universal creative mind.
This reminds me of the old saying:
First man creates tools then his tools reshape him.
this transposes to:
First the universe creates man then man reshape his universe.
Reality seems to engulf both in an endless self-referential repeating loop!
- (a strange loop)
put yet another way
The universe is
an integrated, self-refereniial, chain-reactive
morphogenic-field-array of processes
all organically entangled in mutually adaptive feedback loops
of network synchronizing interplay
the whole universal dance ubiquitously underpinned by
standing waves of pure probability.
standing waves of mutually-reenforcing survival-niche probability interactions
standing waves of self-replication mediated via symbiotic probability networks
a universal probability-diven complexity gradient-trap
an irrepressible self-reenforcing mesh of nested probability feedback loops
relentless single-minded probability flowing like water
into a valley of increasingly complex synchronicity
inextricably swelling the river of collective inter-nodal consciousness
Maybe Albert Einstein was wrong when he said:
“God does not play dice”
God is the dice!
And at the other end of the cognitive scale
The cognitive power embodied in cultural activity systems
Cultural activity systems have cognitive properties of their own that are different from the cognitive properties of the individuals who participate in them.