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blaiq
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It’s a curiosity of scientific progress that black holes were postulated decades before a theory of evolution was1. Not only is evolution a latecomer to the party, it also happens to be a straggler when it comes to popular appeal.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2013 at MisEntropy
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You may or may not have heard of ‘native advertising’ yet but chances are you’ve already encountered it, and often1. In a recent survey by OPA, just under 75% of US publishers self-report that their sites featured native advertising, with... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2013 at MisEntropy
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...In that Empire, the Art of the Story attained such perfection that the Decennial Census of citizens was replaced with an Annual Census of all stories found within the borders. Politician, businessman, janitor all knew that having a story that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2013 at MisEntropy
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In the myth-making that follows success, the beginnings of any creative endeavour or career always happen under the light of a guiding star. Every creative breakthrough, this myth holds, is foreordained. It benefits and enriches us - we undeserving flock... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2013 at MisEntropy
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Before showing up in Star Trek1, the Dyson sphere was a thought experiment. Physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson wondered what would be the logical consequences of millenia of technological progress on a civilisation. In particular, what tell-tale outward signs would... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2013 at MisEntropy
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“Stop fucking with the words man. i maybe dead, but i am watching ~ Rumi”1 These fake words by a real poet2, exemplify a persistent occupational hazard of the Internet: the fake quotation. This particular one exists, of course, to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2013 at MisEntropy
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Less than a week for Doomsday1, and two things continue to surprise me. First, the number of Google Reader2 devotees (including me) who are yet to find a replacement. With other dead products walking, finding a replacement is top priority.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2013 at MisEntropy
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I haven't had an opportunity to see the maps that Columbus consulted before setting off on his voyage of discovery. But it's a fair guess that the continent we now know as America didn't figure in any of them. But... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2013 at MisEntropy
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'You press the button, we’ll do the rest.’ A slogan that enshrined Kodak’s promise to photographers in the late nineteenth century. More than a hundred years later, neither Kodak nor the inheritors of its legacy have been able to deliver... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2013 at MisEntropy
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A couple of days ago, I riffed a bit on research findings about how walking through doors seems to have an adverse effect on memory. Folks at Lifehacker read about the research too - and had their own angle on... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2011 at MisEntropy
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According to Wikipedia, the stock phrase "Once upon a time..." has been in use in some form since at least the 14th century. And its prevelance is not just limited to the English language - the Wikipedia page lists variants... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2011 at MisEntropy
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Adliterate recently penned a rant about targetting in online advertising. The experience that triggered it is something all of us have encountered (or will eventually do so) - search for something online and be bombarded with ads for the same... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2011 at MisEntropy
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In a recent post, Bobulate concludes that "Well-placed complexity has a place. If only to encourage us to think more deeply and globally about simplicity." En route to that, she quotes this fascinating passage by psychologist Adam Atler : "What... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2011 at MisEntropy
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In a post accompanying this composite picture from Burning Man (left), Kevin Kelly recently wrote "Someday we'll all dress like this." His contention is that the sterile, streamlined and 'uniform' clothing depicted by sci-fi movies is just plain wrong. The... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2011 at MisEntropy
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I subscribe to a mailing list called Idea A Day that sends out one idea each day. Any one can contribute an idea and most days it looks like anyone does. Usually you receive ecletcic but whimsical and impractical suggestions... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2011 at MisEntropy
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[I wrote this piece quite a while ago for a collaborative book on social media, but ultimately chose to go with another piece.] In ‘Traffic: Why We drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us)’, author Tom... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2011 at MisEntropy
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Everytime I encounter the term "The Internet of Things", I feel a tinge of disappointment which arises from knowing what it means but concurrently hoping it meant something else. Something that is inherently implied in its name, at least to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2011 at MisEntropy
I must admit some of that liberation and joy does seem thin on Bangalore's potholed and congested roads.
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2010 on Pagerank: the Car of the Internet? at MisEntropy
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From a review of William Rosen's 'The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry and Invention': "The author dismisses the more traditional explanations about why the industrial revolution began in Britain—such as an abundance of coal... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2010 at MisEntropy
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The obvious - and rightful criticism - to the current fashion for Chief Listening Officers is that everybody in the organisation should be listening, not just one designated person or department. But as this report suggests, Chief Listening Officers aren't... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2010 at MisEntropy
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unhearit is a site that helps you get rid of earworms - those pesky songs that get stuck in your head and refuse to go away. It does this by offering a random but equally "catchy" song to replace the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2010 at MisEntropy
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Dan Ariely - unpredictably rationally - has created a free iPhone app that gives you a compliment (and hopefully cheers you up) every time you open it. Tap the screen and you get another one. Click on the thumbs up/down... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2010 at MisEntropy
Grant McCracken left a comment at the Futurelab Marketing & Strategy Innovation blog, where the above post was crossposted: "Iqbal. Just for the record I don't identify Jobs as an exemplar. I call him a guru. Very systematically different. Still I like yr argument. In a perfect world I cco would be unnecessary. Best. Grant" (Link: http://bit.ly/drEh83) He also tweeted this: "Iqbal @futurelab says I treat Steven Jobs as the exemplar Chief Culture Officer. thx for the mention, but I say the opposite. #cco" (Link: http://bit.ly/ai6kZA) @Grant McCracken:: Grant, around the 3:15 mark in the video the interviwer asks you "My hunch is the one guy everybody thinks about is Steve Jobs from Apple. He's obviously the boss of the company. But he seems to be their Chief Culture Officer as well." You respond, "Totally." Interviewer: "Anybody do better than him?" You again: "No, I don't think so. In fact, he's so good at reading culture, he now fashions it. Which is the state of the art." After reading your comments and tweets, I wondered if I might have got it wrong. It doesn't seem like I have.
@charlesfrith: Have you heard of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon? (http://bit.ly/cxb4tU) Interestingly, 5 minutes after learning about it, in a totally unrelated way I bumped into an article from the BBC archives about a terrorist attack in Berlin carried out by Baader Meinhof terrorist group for which the phenomenon is named. I understand your confusion about the 'why don't the planets fall into the sun' question. I had a tough time wrapping my mind around that one too. Here's a link that explains it quite neatly - http://bit.ly/cdE6DR The reason I chose this argument was that it dovetails neatly into the point I wanted to make. That the gap will decrease into nothing - but only eventually, which is farther away than should concern us now. The key bit in the explanation is this: "An orbit is essentially a path of constant free fall. For example, the Moon is falling towards Earth. However, it also has an orbital speed from the momentum gained during its formation that allows it to fall around Earth with a trajectory that follows the same curve as Earth's surface. Because these paths are parallel, the Moon perpetually falls around Earth without ever touching it." Essentially the moon's orbit (or any planet's for that matter) is determined by the pull of gravity and the tendency to fly off tangetially from its own angular momentum. This angular momentum is a legacy force - a remnant from the past, also being fed by the moon's current revolution. Similarly, while projecting the implications of the Internet, we should be careful not discount the legacy forces that the Internet needs to counterbalance. They haven't disappeared altogether.
@Thomas Wagner: One unfortunate example of what I mean: Despite half a century of intense non-proliferation efforts by the worlds current and erstwhile superpowers, coercion by diplomacy and war, financial aid, treaties and agreements (and every other known way of erecting barriers to information), the know-how to make a nuclear bomb has eventually reached the places in the world that arguably need it most - geopolitical hotspots like North Korea, Israel, Iran, Pakistan. From our own point of view, copyrights, trademarks, NDAs, legal bindings are seemingly are as natural a part of the business landscape as mountains and other geographical barriers are of the natural landscape. But it is important to remember that they are artificial barriers created precisely because of information's free-flowing ways. I may have overstated the case about information requiring no grease - but the grease needed (bribes, rewards for whistle-blowers, publicity, social reputation) is often not to facilitate the movement of information itself but to remove the natural or artificial barriers in its way. So also with the internet and social networking. Social technologies and tools don't create communication or the exchange of data, they primarily remove the barriers to the flow of information.