::going too fast can be good for you::

Wednesday, February 25, 2004
  more penguins
an update to the penguin game

and helicopters. ah, productivity...


Thursday, February 12, 2004
  News sources and the power of the mass media
Techdirt hits paydirt: Joe Trippi's ETcon speech on Monday about Dean's campaign has just been seen to be blatantly misrepresented by Reuters, who claim he said the internet hobbled the campaign.

As Howard Rheingold suggests on his smartmobs blog today, I wonder why the framing? The ahistorical and out of context quoting in the article is what the news editors will consciously or unconsciously have decided is their truth. Unless it was on purpose. More grist for my forthcoming paper on media practices.


  etcon diverts bloggers from Kerry
My USC colleague (and politically er, interesting) Omri has noticed that significant parts of the blogosphere are curiously quiet on the Kerry topic. I realised why: ETCON. They're all in San Diego nursing hangovers from last night's loft party and listening to the excellent Dan Gillmor. I had to get back to LA this morning so am plugged back into the real world...

Well, some blogs are covering and have been covering the Kerry sex scandal. But many, like Weinberger, Meg et al are all also at ETCON in San Diego, so have been concentrating more on Cory's talk or Electric Sheep. Indeed when I wandered into #etech this afternoon and casually mentioned it, there was a little reaction, though as the afternoon wore on some posts emerged a little later.

There may or may not be IRC transcripts to see if anyone was paying attention, but it strikes me that a bunch of the most read bloggers are in one place, including Ross Mayfield, Cory et al, Doc, another friend-of-Howard John Lebkowsky and even me old mate Crabbers and other fellow Brit Tom Coates and they didn't pick it up until later in the afternoon US Pacific time, though it broke about 9am. Since they're (rightly) concentrating on the fine speakers there, we have a significant hole in the Blogosphere, where the usual comment is not first. It may be worth checking out the stats on the network structure of the posts today, to see if the attendees at the conference received who might usually be expected to talk about this lost indegree or traffic for the day...

So we have a minor phenomenon: gather bloggers togther for an IRL meat and then you lose them to their own devices for a few days. Whither the brave new public sphere?


Wednesday, February 11, 2004
  Is this real?
Soldiers kill people (it's a big MPEG download)

Warning, not for the faint-hearted.


Tuesday, February 10, 2004
  iWire censors comment on Skyhouse at ETCON
Well I never! I tried to get the lads a comment on our collaborative blog iWire to their post as below, but the nanny-filter forbade me! Evil people. What do you think?
it was a good talk, but then I only heard the non-linear end bit where thay go off into vague-ish yet highly perceptive fulminations on the nature of collaboration, information and social capital. Oh yes, and how bottom-up sucks for social capital catalysis.

so far, so good (though it wouldn't allow 'sucks')

Furthermore, it was well-commented on how the talk was the most Brit,and very nicely relaxed. It's not often you hear phrases liek "arse over tit" and "crap" in serious American conferences.

Gentlemen, we salute you. But not movable type. Grrrr


  Dinner after ETCON
Well, we went out with some of the members of the emerging loft where my iSociety colleagues are laying their heads. George's belly is worth following. We're now fat bastards on tapas and some funny moose desserts. watch this space for pictures.

Oh, and some random penguin games which were going around the other week. I"ll take bets on that the next animal fad will be.

bat the penguin (highest score we can get is 324.x)

don't poke me


  ETCon and friends
Down in San Diego today to see my pals James Crabtree and Will Davies who are giving a talk about a skyhouse project they'r doing with big architects Marks Barfield (the London Eye ones).

A mini-diversion arose silently in small segments of the audience as Will claimed that money is a Top Down concept, requiring authoritative control. Will thinks emergence is bollocks, and posited, quite persuasively, that at least some kinds of arenas require that if social software is to be useful, it must be managed, not emergent or bottom-up. For example, public works, or public good projects where you are looking to stimulate social capital. Trust is paramount, says Will, and this is where an authority and at least some degree of centralised control is necessary.

I'm not so sure, since most social agreements emerge from convention and social practice, especially in smaller societies. It's only a) when societies get too large, and b) there's a class of more powerful people who want to solidify their control over the means to acquisition that money becomes either deisrable or necessary to be organised by a central bank. ie. Money is mostly only top-down because some rich people want it to be. Oh, and it makes going to Safeway that much easier.

Also ran into old acquaintance Matt Jones from Advance for Design days in London, though he's now in Finland with Nokia (and looking healthy for it). Also good to see IRL Tom Coates, a partner-in-crime of Crabbers, and occasional emint inhabitant, where, thanks the the famous Oink, this online social network networking thing all started for me back in the old days...

[updated 11.01pm]


  LA encounters
yesterday I went to the dentist. A very nice Beverly Hills dentist, who's going to claim his money back from my lawsuit against the city for knocking me down painfully wiht one of their trucks in October.

So, a little dazed, and hungry I wandered out at lunchtime and found a nice little sandwich shop across the road, and let a nice young lady into line in front of me. Beaming she says, 'oh, another Brit' tlling me her name's Gerry, and we order things etc. Well, I only had a few minutes as I had to get to class, but I join her for a quick bite in the cafe and intend to find out who this rather nice shiny smiley Brit-ess is, with a view to downing a beer or two at some future stage and discuss the usual ex-pat Brit things. Ah, but I reckoned without the idiot instinct. Even the famously unfazed Hod can get the nerves and stuff it up bigtime sometimes when he meets someone nice.

Do you know that instinct you have when you're with a rather good-looking stranger and you forget yourself, and just rabbit on, and on, and on, not letting them have a word in edgeways. Yes, the nerves got to me, the relaxed urbane and inquisitive Hod. Didn't ask her a thing about herself, well, not much. Years since I last did that. So I sense she goes off since I've forgotten to ask about her. And she's already told me she's a Leo too (big sign, apparently). D'oh. Ah well. But perhaps somehting in my subconscious was saying I didn't want to ask, as I'd be scared of the answer? Because as she leaves I remember why she looked a little familiar: rather a good performer she is, and I hope planning some more good things to go with her charity campaigns. Ah, a somewhat brief lunch with the thoughtful and rather cute Geri Halliwell. I wish her luck. has moved to guess where...:: ::communication : networks : information : music : mayhem : streetluge::

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