Re: [ba-ohs-talk] Art, Culture Enable a Culture of Knowledge
I have been watching the Olympics a bit - and forgetting about ice dancing for a moment - it
strikes me how the "now" economy is so much like luge - the time for steering is within that
taken up by the feedback cycle just underlying our consciousness (half a second), i.o.w. no
room for steersmanship. The article points out the danger inherent in this to the economy.
As you say, IT "overwhelms human mental biology to cause continual bumbling." (02)
A point to consider is the acceleration technology permits in augmentation, but that what is
to be augmented is subject to biological restraints. Those restraints can be lessened, of
course, by humans mutually supporting one another as humans (through good citizenship, etc.).
Homer-Dixon, in his "The Ingenuity Gap," distinguishes between technical and social
ingenuity: "The first helps us solve problems in our physical world, the second helps us
arrange our economic, political and social affairs and design our public and private
institutions to achieve the level and kind of wellbeing we want. He sees social ingenuity as
a critical prerequisite to technical ingenuity whereas Engelbart's appeals to our social
intellect to bring his technical ingenuity to fruition in order to raise the efficacy of
social ingenuity." (03)
We are living today in the slipstream of technical advance, a dangerous place to be that
leaves too little time for personal reflection. It may lead us into Kurzweil's "The Age of
Spiritual Machines." God forbid. (04)
At any rate, it is most important to look at augment from both the digital and neural
perspectives. That is why something like Fleabyte needs support. And maybe beter vehicles
than Fleabyte already exist. If so, I'd like to know about them. (05)
I mentioned a bit about the mechanics of Fleabyte before, and here a bit about content. To
round things out a little, a few words about handling the messages themselves. We have to
take a hard look at journalism - how it is practiced and the forces acting on journalists. We
have to learn how to tell our stories fast and effectively, i.e. such that the gist of them
sticks and assists us in retrieval of detail. Journalism will become an application of
psychology. In other words, we better learn all there is to learn about psychology. Perpetuum
mobile. Und so weiter ... (06)
Your references to earlier discussions on unrev-ii forum well taken. On the surface of things
we seem to have gone from reflecting to cataloging. Sign of the times? (07)
Rod Welch wrote: (09)
> Looked briefly at the article in the Economist, and noticed a prediction by
> "experts" that companies will use IT to become a ?real-time enterprise?-an
> organization that is able to react instantaneously to changes in its business.
> And as firms wire themselves up and connect to their business partners, they
> make the entire economy more and more real-time, slowly but surely creating not
> so much a ?new? but a "now? economy."
> This fits the subject of art and culture.
> It overlooks the fact that IT overwhelms human mental biology to cause continual
> bumbling. Doing things "now," rather than using technology to aid deliberation,
> causes too many people to have too many problems. Until very recently, Enron
> was the icon, the poster child, for the "Now" economy, cited in the Economist
> article you submitted today. What is most evident in the Powers report on Enron
> is the lack of deliberation that converts information people get "now" into
> knowledge needed to be effective later...
> You may recall, when Doug's Colloquium began with commentary on 000120, there
> was discussion that transitioning from information to a culture of knowledge is
> the core challenge. Eric Armstrong asked about this in particular on 000208.
> Eric and Jack Park reviewed moving from information to knowledge on 000503, but
> this has remained an impregnable barrier since that time. You have made
> important contributions noting the fragility of human memory, and Jack Park has
> helped by drawing attention to the prospect of advancing education.
> Let's hope that art and culture can evolve quickly enough to save us from the
> tender mercies of a "Now" economy.
> Henry K van Eyken wrote:
> > Rod.
> > I can't very well fault you for omitting that tiny word "not" when looking back at my
> > own sloppy writing!
> > In re KM, I am digesting "A survey of the real-time economy" in The Economist of Feb. 2,
> > which you will find on the net at
> > http://www.economist.com/surveys/displaystory.cfm?story_id=949071
> > A worthwhile read, but maybe you Silican Valley guys already know all about that stuff.
> > It also puts things written about on on this forum in perspective. It keeps on hitting
> > me how truly personal computing (and with that lifelong education of the digitally
> > augmented kind) is treated by the industry as a whole as table scraps. Some decades ago,
> > we used to talk about "organization man"; before that of the "man in the grey flannel
> > suit." Now look at that picture of modern man in that Economist article. Pretty well
> > seems to sum up much of modern life: on and off the job.
> > There is a small, but, to me, significant error in your page
> > http://www.welchco.com/sd/08/00101/02/00/11/05/140021.HTM
> > Not your fault, just a communication error between us. I did not take an advanced degree
> > in chemistry; just a bachelor's. I had diplomas and some career in chemical technology
> > as control chemist, resp. control engineer in the pulp and paper indusry. Then went to
> > Pulp & Paper Magazine of Canada. At age 40 I decided to go back to school to prepare for
> > teaching. Received a BSc, then a teaching diploma and an M.Ed. Spare-time studies while
> > teaching at an inner-city college. (I was hired as a college professor two years before
> > I received my B.Sc.) These data may not be significant, except that it is my overall
> > upbringing as a child and "educational history" that made me interested in digital
> > augmentation as soon as I had my first 0.25-K pocket computer. I learned the importance
> > of environment on educational achievement. As a teenager I was a total failure (war;
> > irrational home environment), but later, when serving on a radio station in Indonesia, I
> > borrowed books from a local High School and it took me three months spare time to get my
> > High School diploma (had some physics and math under the belt, though, but no biology,
> > history, geography, English, and some other stuff). The environment was just so
> > stimulating. Same later, when I compressed a five-year program into two before migrating
> > to Canada. My personal experience was somewhat in conflict with the way I had to view my
> > role as a college teacher, something hard to understand by people who have grown up
> > through the system, which is just about everybody. One of the books I want to review for
> > Fleabyte is Stephen Ceci's "On Intelligence: A Bioecological Treatise on Intellectual
> > Development" (Harvard U. Press). As far as I am concerned, he is dead-on.
> > It is from this background that Doug resonates with me. (Being of about the same age is
> > also a factor.) Right now, working on Fleabyte is often quite discouraging - little
> > stimulation from environment - but I sort of feel that the lessons life has taught me
> > would go to naught if I don't give it a try. Who else is going to perceive its
> > significance unless I demonstrate it instead of just talk about it.
> > Henry
> > Rod Welch wrote:
> > > Henry,
> > >
> > > Thanks for drawing attention to an error in my letter on 020209, which said that
> > > "...intelligence does guarantee success," since this was intended to say that
> > > "intelligence does not guarantee success," but merely increases the chances of
> > > success, since, as you know, variables that impact life exceed the capacity of
> > > any one faculty from guaranteeing anything, under the general rule there are no
> > > guarantees in human enterprise.
> > >
> > > I was a little surprised there is not more support from this venue to report, &c., &c. (010)