Archive for March, 2012

Posted: March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Now, how to use this data to improve the blog. – – lw ;?)

Technology and all that

Data, a simple concept of numbers, words, codes, databases and information have become the central layer and the point of control within the internet economy. According to Tim O’Reily ‘Data is an Asset and it is the principal asset of competitive power“; hence coined the phrase ‘Data is the next Intel inside’. The Value of such data on the semantic web grows with its users and the content. As the value of user data increases, services are increased providing with more functionality interactivity, enhancing the core data. Typical examples of such services are Google Services, especially Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is an expert web service that which tracks and stores data of every visitor to an individual specified. The complexity of data collected on Google Analytics range from how a user got to the site,  browsing data, geographical location, duration of the stay and the user browser compatibilities…

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Metaphors for digital interaction

Posted: March 22, 2012 in Ideas, Story
Tags: , ,

“….Our interaction in digital networked technologies is complex, dynamic and evolving, and … we need new metaphors to be able to explain theses interactions. Metaphors and storytelling have always been important ways in which we communicate with others and share meaning. In the early days of the Internet the discourse centred on notions of time and space, essentially replicating our physical existence into the virtual environment. We talked of virtual universities, cafes, libraries, etc. However, I think today’s interactions are much more complex than that and in this post I want to explore some alternative discourses, namely:

  • Ecologies
  • Memes
  • Learning spaces
  • Rhizomes


//I like the metaphor of ecologies, because it affords interactivity among multiple players and ideas, that are not available in a rhizome or meme frame. The internal language of ecologies would require development. – – lw ;?)

Posted: March 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s fascinating to see specific brain regions affected by the drug producing region-specific alterations in consciousness.

Health & Family

(Updated) More than half a century ago, author Aldous Huxley titled his book on his experience with hallucinogens The Doors of Perception, borrowing a phrase from a 1790 William Blake poem (which, yes, also lent Jim Morrison’s band its moniker).

Blake wrote:

If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.

Based on this idea, Huxley posited that ordinary consciousness represents only a fraction of what the mind can take in. In order to keep us focused on survival, Huxley claimed, the brain must act as a “reducing valve” on the flood of potentially overwhelming sights, sounds and sensations. What remains, Huxley wrote, is a “measly trickle of the kind of consciousness” necessary to “help us to stay alive.”

A new study by…

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Posted: March 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Power of Story

“Our ancestors have been human for a very long time. If a normal baby girl born forty thousand years ago were kidnapped by a time traveler and raised in a normal family in New York, she would be ready for college in eighteen years. She would learn English (along with—who knows?—Spanish or Chinese), understand trigonometry, follow baseball and pop music; she would probably want a pierced tongue and a couple of tattoos. And she would be unrecognizably different from the brothers and sisters she left behind.” –Kwame Anthony Appiah, Cosmopolitanism (2006)

What is this all about? Why the stark differentiation between genetically identical, yet unrecognizably distinct individuals like the girl in our time traveling kidnapper scenario and her siblings? Explicitly, the differences are not biological. They are ultimately

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Ramachandran on Consciousness

Posted: March 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

CogSci 2011

Expanding the Space of Cognitive Science

via TSN: Space, Time and Causality: Some Neural Observations.

25 videos from the conference at

Two Ways To Think About Nothing : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR

“We are surrounded by Nothing. Everywhere we go, we have no idea what we’re not seeing. We don’t know what gravitational fields look like, what dark matter looks like, what quantum foam looks like, what de Kooning’s drawing looked like, but what the scientists and the artists are telling us, in their very different ways, is that if we lean in, and pay very close attention, sometimes what looks like Nothing is the best place to find the most interesting…somethings.”

via Two Ways To Think About Nothing : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR.


//A Buddhist sense of emptiness seems to me to be similar, an emptiness full of possibility and time.  -lw

“This deep rich hyperlinking will weave all networked books into one large meta-book, the universal library. Over the next century, scholars and fans, aided by computational algorithms, will knit together the books of the world into a single networked literature. A reader will be able to generate a social graph of an idea, or a timeline of a concept, or a networked map of influence for any notion in the library. We’ll come to understand that no work, no idea, stands alone, but that all good, true and beautiful things are networks, ecosystems of intertwingled parts, related entities and similar works.”

via The Technium: What Books Will Become.

People can contribute in the ongoing evolution of ideas, enriching this plexus of the best of human minds. lw


Posted: March 12, 2012 in Story

How is our cultural story written? In our multimodal society, are we listening to the loudest voices or are we insulating ourselves, hearing only what we agree with?

From Brain Pickings:

“The governing pattern a culture obeys is a master story– one narrative in society that takes over the others, shrinking diversity and forming a monoculture. When you’re inside a master story at a particular time in history, you tend to accept its definition of reality. You unconsciously believe and act on certain things, and disbelieve and fail to act on other things. That’s the power of the monoculture; it’s able to direct us without us knowing too much about it.” ~ F. S. Michaels  Monoculture: How One Story Is Changing Everything 
via The 11 Best Psychology and Philosophy Books of 2011 | Brain Pickings.

Creating a “Fourth Culture” of Knowledge: Jonah Lehrer on Why Science and Art Need Each Other | Brain Pickings.

Lehrer’s new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, comes out later this month.

Humanity needs both art and science; individuals also need both. Science tells us that some of our stories are testable – we can determine how well our explanations predict what is seen. It takes creativity to imagine the possibilities that are investigated with science. Searching for explanations invariably leads to more questions, so there’s no lack of mystery and wonder, even as we delight in new discoveries. The highest “truth” in science is that there is no “truth” – our explanations are always tentative stories created for a specific set of findings; these await the continual challenges, revisions and rejections followed by more and better explana-stories. These stories are as human as any other art form. It is awe-inspiring that we can  (or at least some among us can!) comprehend some level of the complexities of our world, and even more inspiring is the vast universe that we do not know.

This same creativity also informs us of our uniquely human experience via music, literature, poetry, theater, art. Each alone has limits: science is limited to what we can measure and test as well as by the limits of our imagination in designing questions; art is limited by our ability to communicate and share our inner world with other beings.  Each way of knowing puts us in touch with our connectedness as well as our individuality.

– lw