Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Data Sculpting

In the world of immersion, authorship is no longer the transmission of experience, but rather the construction of utterly personal experiences.
Brenda Laurel
The quotation is from a series of forecasts and conjectures culled by Kevin Kelly from the first five years of Wired magazine. Internet years of course. Brenda is right (or was right - the quote's from 1993): the trajectory of the Internet is away from content dissemination to content creation - and the technologies available to us (blogger, Facebook, twitter etc) fuel that trajectory. But the most exciting thing to me right now is the revolution under way in the manipulation and communication of data. Information is Beautiful (whence the image) is one of my favourites.

But we are only in the foothills of what is to come. Today we mine data: tomorrow we will sculpt it. As the poet Frederick Turner put it in Art Recentered: A Manifesto: the experience of truth is beautiful. And if you don't believe me, check this out (fast forward to 4 minutes if you're in a hurry):

(ht Techneos). It's a, gulp, Microsoft product by the way. We heart Microsoft. Honest!


  1. Slightly dodgy excerpt from old Ludwig there, Gerard. "Aryan mathematics differs from Semitic mathematics."?? I think we fought a war to counter such attitudes.

  2. Just to put it in context Hugh, Mises was attacking the Nazi/Marxist use of the concept of polylogism. Mises was one of many European Jews who came to America as refugees at the outset of WW2. So he was decidedly anti-Nazi!

    The full context of his quote is here:

    We can speak to each other only because we can appeal to something common to all of us, namely, the logical structure of reason.

    Polylogism denies the uniformity of the logical structure of the human mind. Every social class, every nation, race, or period of history is equipped with a logic that differs from the logic of other classes, nations, races, or ages. Hence bourgeois economics differs from proletarian economics, German physics from the physics of other nations, Aryan mathematics from Semitic mathematics.

    Polylogism is not a philosophy or an epistemological theory. It is an attitude of narrow-minded fanatics, who cannot imagine that anybody could be more reasonable or more clever than they themselves. Nor is polylogism scientific. It is rather the replacement of reasoning and science by superstitions. It is the characteristic mentality of an age of chaos.

    From his book 'Omnipotent Government':

  3. In context, it all makes perfect sense. He certainly had an exceptional and determinedly independent mind.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...