Clay Shirky - Defend our freedom to share (or why PIPA/SOPA is a bad idea)
Linda Stone on attention in the age of web overload. This 2006 talk is remarkably prescient. The addled, distracted feeling she described five years ago as “continuous partial attention” feels like a permanent condition now.
We all know this feeling — that the web, which promised to open up a world of information to us by removing the dreaded “gatekeepers,” in fact has left us less informed. Unmentioned in this great talk is the newest gatekeeper, ourselves: when we design our own news feeds (via Twitter, Google Reader, etc. — yes, Tumblr too), we tend to filter out news that makes us uncomfortable or bored.
In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients.
Am I the only one who generally finds the internet a lonely vacuum, a vortex, a votive candle in the men’s room of the noisiest shopping mall on the planet? Am I the only one who feels like I’m wasting way too much time nosing around in nonsense, having what’s left of my brains beaten in by jackhammers, and trying to “make friends” when I should be doing a better job of actually being friends? I don’t think so.
Bruce Sterling: The Short but Glorious Life of Web 2.0 and What Comes Afterward (run time: about 1 hour)
"Browsing should actually feel like flipping the pages of a magazine," said Bill Coughran, senior vice president of engineering at Google…. The Internet highways are particularly shoddy in the United States. In the first quarter, the average connection speed was 4.7 megabits per second, ranking 16th globally. South Korea led the list with rates more than twice that…. Ultimately, however, the goal of an instantaneous Internet requires changes that can’t occur inside of Google. It demands fatter pipes, improvements to the underlying network technology and better designed websites.
If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.