I’m still building my new site. If somehow you’ve landed here, feel free to check me out at http://chrisridgeway.blogspot.com. See ya soon.
TECHNOLOGY / INTERNET
This has been happening for a while, but NY Times has a good story on how the Wikipedia effect of knowledge is hitting Google Maps.
Note the quote from TeleAtlas officials: “Most of our customers expect a level of due diligence and quality that is way more than what a community is going to put together,” said Patrick McDevitt, vice president of global engineering at Tele Atlas.
The problem for McDevitt is, the authoritative gatekeeping structure of knowledge aggregation is increasingly losing its illusion of perfect accuracy. NY Times is right: often pay-for data is missing major and minor changes, like the Burger King near my apartment that has been closed for a year but still shows up when I’m looking for a Whopper. Why is a modestly-paid van-cartegrapher that drives by your neighborhood on a Saturday afternoon more definite than the tiny efforts of your entire neighborhood? If we answer “he’s a professional”–it’s true, but isn’t it thin ground? Does a salary mean better accuracy? It probably guards against intentional pranking, but I doubt it adds a passion for detail. Extrinsic motivation (salaried map person) typically doesn’t beat intrinsic motivation (neighbor who wants their neighborhood marked right!).
The role of the “expert” either dies or is modified greatly in digital culture.
Guess that’s why Google is slowly dropping the paid data model, opting instead for local, amateur groups and reading their own street signs on Google Street View! Guess that’s the next best thing to being there.
ps – I really do hope to a have a new blog soon. Information culture and theology still being the main lines of thought, with everything else tossed in. Whatcha think: aim for the holidays? Christmas or January might be the way to go.
Anyone meet Benson Hines when he was at University of Illinois?
I’m supposed to leave Chicago in five hours. Hopefully that’ll happen.
A Google research team made a startling announcement late last night.
But close though we may have come to a theory of the brain, the body – computer hardware – wasn’t capable of handling the extraordinary processing demands that any reasonably “intelligent” brain would place on its circuitry until Moore’s Law really kicked in a few years back and the modern ultra-dense machinery of atomic scale-sized gates and their light-based interconnections finally reached the scale of brain neurons – and then surpassed it, when, in early 2007, a tight-knit, vaguely feared quantum computing group here at Google extended computers with quantum bits of Einstein-Bose condensate, polynomially speeding up our machines’ data-processing ability.
Now we were finally ready to begin the painstaking work of building the first evolving intelligent system. We based our work on three core principles. First we designed the entity (as we decided to refer to our Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity early on) as a collection of interconnected evolving agents. Second – and this really cost us an arm and leg in hardware and core time – we let the system build its own heuristics, deploy them as agents and evolve them by running a set of evolutionary cascades within probabilistic Bayesian domains. Go read…
Even though I love music and even do some reviewing when I get the chance, I haven’t ever really been pushed towards the music blog. They can be sorta pretentious and difficult to engage with anyway. Later, I’ll have to write on why the universal but awkward, “What bands do you like?” question is going to take a back seat in popular culture as it becomes less useful in an information society.
But for now, I just wanted to mention that U2 stopped by over on Clark St. a few days ago, not to play a show, but to answer questions from an in-person audience for a live internet stream to the U2 fan network. They were at the Chicago Metro , and I wish I had been there, because it would have been awesome to hear them play “DJ”—each picking a couple favorite (not their own) songs and spinning them for listeners. Their picks?
The Trib reported on their picks:
U2’s DJ picks:
Larry Mullen: Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated” (“We wouldn’t be around without the Ramones”); Arcade Fire’s “Rebellion (Lies)” (“It gave me incredible hope … and made me extremely jealous”).
The Edge: Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl” (“the first Irish rock ‘n’ roll star”); the Waterboys’ “The Whole of the Moon” (“Three shows changed my life: The Clash in 1978, Bruce Springsteen, and the Waterboys”).
Adam Clayton: Airborne Toxic Event’s “Sometime Around Midnight” (“I don’t like listening to that old stuff”); the Klaxons’ “Golden Skans” (the bass lines “gave me inspiration and energy”).
Bono: Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” (“Rage is at the heart of every great rock ‘n’ roll band”); Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (“It’s about King David, the first blues man”).
Bono is awesome: Hallelujah is one of the best songs ever. I also love that the Edge is unpretentious enough to love Brown Eyed Girl. A more detailed description of a similar event in LA is fun. The interviewer in both places (and others?) was the Scottish Shirley Manson , best known as the lead singer of Garbage.
I’m been somewhat negligent with the blog here recently – mostly because I’ve been on academic break, which means not only an inconsistent schedule and a lot of travel, but also that the rate at which interesting information flows past my eyes has been down to a trickle.
I’ve also been feeling a need to redesign and upgrade this blog, and have even contemplated a shift to WordPress to make things easier – but who has time to wade through all that code?
Maybe that’ll happen, but for now, I’m happy to welcome back both my friends and those interested as pursue theological questions surrounding the idea of living in an information culture.
First up, I think I’m gonna have to sit down and write up some stuff that I’ve often been stewing about Facebook, but have not had impetus to write out.
ps – the photo has no bearing on anything, but it’s sorta cool. I took it in the evening on 6 June 2008. Not an uncommon evening sight from our camp in Colorado.
Last night at midnight, I e-mailed a professor a end-of-term reading report, and “knocked out” my third class. Worship and OTII both I’ve completed too… each a relief. But my independant study has become more of a monster than I thought it would… not only do I have about 25 hours of logged work to finish for the end of the semester, but I have a syllabus assigned 6,000 word paper that has melted down and really has almost nothing on paper. My initial plan to tackle this thing has fallen apart in my mind, and I’m struggling to pull together the pieces to create something with enough coherence and quality to turn in. I started realizing this at the beginning of the week, and took the frustratingly difficult step of asking for an extension, which I’ve never in my memory ever had to do before.
So that doesn’t feel very good. With the extension I’ve received, I’ve got five days to put this together, but I’m already mentally on mile 24 of the 26.2 marathon, and I’m not sure I’ve got the powerbars left to keep going. I’ll have to, but I’m scratching this out at the very least to remind myself how much I love the end of term.
okay… more working, less writing on the blog.