what can we do to make the web more useful/differentiate it from the
same technology we've always had? the technology hasn't ACTUALLY
improved in 10+ years, only shifting attitudes and approaches.
Perl's been around for at least that and it's the essential "tool" to
a self-organizing web. Not the only tool now, the last decade has
given us an explosion of redundancy and variations on themes. Many
(like Flash) are actually de-provements, rather than IMprovements.
but whatever. The tools are currently available to us, to revive
with this illusion of growth/upgrading, people fall back on the on
the one function, they immediately latched onto, the worlds biggest
mail order catalogue. but rather than a single point when that
happens, a transition, it evolves continually down that path. if
that's where it ends up, just a big catalogue might be fine. but
then our own self-preservation is at stake. where does that leave
actually, maybe ironically, the amazon site continually amazes me.
particularly their "add a review" and "so you want to ... " sections.
a web of static information is not much of an improvement over a
unlimited paid programming on cable. but the whole idea that someone
can add to it, AND THEN folks can rate these additions (or even
"curate" (as is also on rhizome) amazon's contents, and then others
respond to the curation).
if they were actually receiving 100s of reviews a day, then there
could be a simple system to only show the most helpful reviews.
eventually, the most helpful would float top the top, and new ones
that weren't would disappear pretty fast. if there was ONLY the
curated collections, this would be self-organization. then if
perhaps the final option is to search or add an item, while some
items simply would disappear from fluctuating interest, that would
make the self-organization into learning and possibly improving.
feedback, where the "viewer" actually effects the content in some way
that makes the content more useful, is a realm far beyond things like
catalogues. in the same way interactivity is so extremely and
fundamentally different than say linear video, a recording, much less
a still or static text. so much of what's labelled interactivity is
essentially hyper-link options to move between a few linear things.
this is a baby step, when we CAN run with it. some really do utilize
interactivity to actually alter/effect the contents (the difference
between a passive viewer and active participant). and some use
things like CGI scripts to get input, to file away somewhere else.
surely there are constructive ways to smoosh these two methods
together that would drastically change peoples perspectives. user
input that alters/updates what they get.
blogs are one kind of example of this, but they are always clearly
blogs. laundry lists of amazingly short quips or posts/dictation
from a single author ranting to no one in particular but themselves.
similarly, I saw a weird report on evolution vs. religion. they just
aren't at all comparable. It's as if Darwin marvelled at gravity,
then noticed some key elements in how it works. not even saying
there can never be non-gravitational places, or that gravity is part
of everything (though it is), just how it works. he's not saying
"who" or even that there is a conscious force who came up with this
gravitational method, any more than we attribute every ricochet of
billiard balls to someone's conscious decision. it's just math.
[someone mentioned evolution/catholicism].
Darwin's "sea of wedges" idea could be so darn useful for us on the
web. Ideally, capitalism works the same way, the stores that survive
are the ones that sell useful things at prices people like, etc. The
ones that don't disappear. why not the web?
darwin noticed evolution works like a sea of wedges packed tightly.
all fit but one. press it down, and another random one pops up.
press that, and another ... it isn't so much that any is "selected"
as much as everything is driven by the situation of the whole
environment. the one that pops up, isn't chosen or better, varying
factors may favor one wedge at one time and another later. but they
are purely random. as much as investment bankers say they can, the
system still remains just beyond predictability. a word that may
send up the red flags to the pope, but then many are tuning out the
rest of the sentence.
no religion has a problem with the fact that if you drop 1000 marbles
off a balcony, you won't guess their paths. anyone with a problem
with evolution is really just mistaking it for something else. that
is not to say any miracles involving marbles are disproven, it says
when this happens (as is often the case) here's how.
how could the web use a dose of this evolutionary "selection"
process? not just on a macro level but every page.
communication can be a lot more than just limited to linguistic
conversation. a blog can be a little like a rating system [which is
a little like what mez, et al. were talking about recently]. for
example, perhaps what would make their idea a perpetually-self
organizing system, would be if the archive links were ranked or
spatially adjusted in some way that corresponded to the number of
replies. more might look up those threads that were "successful"
(however, we rarely see replies to threads come in several months
later. even the more "contagious" threads die out far too fast.
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