Sunday Mutants

Introducing what may well become a regular feature: Sunday Mutants.

Twitter makes most sense to me as a feed of what interesting people are thinking about, rather than a conversation/social thing (which I think only really makes sense for people working office jobs at the same time.) It is really quite amazing that you can sit on these people’s shoulders in this way and see what they are looking at, so to speak. Still, it is too much information, and most of it I don’t have time to engage with.

I have several twitter lists, making it functional. One for locals, one for thinkers, one for feeds. And one for mutants.

The mutants list is reserved for people who are way ahead of the curve in whatever field they are in. High grade information. Premium crack.

So the Sunday Mutants posts will probably be a linkfest from the far reaches, as, once a week or so, I read and curate the mutants tweets, tracking the bleeding edge of transformation underway in the world. (And throw in any extra stuff that otherwise will lag behind blogging.)

This is a couple of week’s worth.

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* For starters, this Foreign Policy article is one of the most interesting things I have read in ages: Beyond City Limits. Basically arguing that megacities evolving into relatively independent city-states is where we are heading.

* Increasing trend that the TV and the landline telephone are no longer perceived as necessities of life by the public. (More detail emerges in the demographics.)

* Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain. Pretty sharply pointed argument that transhumanist/downloading consciousness arguments are based on woeful understanding/abstractions of how the brain works.
[EDIT: Kurzweil’s response. Cheers, Steve.]

* More on the conscious distortion of our social filters on reality: pro Israel groups offering courses in Zionist editing for wikipedia. (Interesting in the wake of a conservative cabal voting down stories it doesn’t like on Digg based on ideology that I blogged last week.)

* Wired interview with Steve Jobs from ten years ago.

Q: Then how will the Web impact our society?

We live in an information economy, but I don’t believe we live in an information society. People are thinking less than they used to. It’s primarily because of television. People are reading less and they’re certainly thinking less. So, I don’t see most people using the Web to get more information. We’re already in information overload. No matter how much information the Web can dish out, most people get far more information than they can assimilate anyway.

Q: The problem is television?

When you’re young, you look at television and think, There’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It’s the truth.

There is actually tonnes of interesting stuff in this.

* Oh yeah. All this e-book, e-reader stuff? All that matters is what the kids learn to read on. Obvious when pointed out. The long game is over.

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