Archive for Quotations
Many geeks don’t really have a sexuality — they just have work. I think the sequence is that they get jobs at Microsoft or wherever right our of school, and they’re so excited to have this “real” job and money that they just figure that the relationships will naturally happen, but then they wake up and they’re thirty and they haven’t had sex in eight years. There are always these flings at conferences and trade show, and everyone brags about them, but nothing seems to emerge from them and life goes back to the primary relationship: Geek and Machine.
It’s like male geeks don’t know how to deal with real live women, so they just assume it’s a user interface problem. Not their fault. They’ll just wait for the next version to come out- something more “user friendly.”
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The best symbiosis of man and computer is where a program learns from humans but notices things they would not. This is the future: massive amounts of data created by people, stored in cloud applications that use smart algorithms to extract meaning from it, feeding back results to those people on mobile devices, gradually giving way to applications that emulate what they have learned from the feedback loops between those people and their devices.
- - “Birth of the global mind” by Tim O’Reilly, September 23, 2011.
Originally published by the Financial Times.
Believing we have all the technology we’ll ever need, we seek to draw attention to its destructive side effects. This seems foolish now that we find ourselves saddled with technologies like Japan’s ramshackle 1960’s-vintage reactors at Fukushima when we have the possibility of clean nuclear fusion on the horizon. The imperative to develop new technologies and implement them on a heroic scale no longer seems like the childish preoccupation of a few nerds with slide rules. It’s the only way for the human race to escape from its current predicaments. Too bad we’ve forgotten how to do it.
Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.
The amazing thing about social networks, unlike other networks that are almost as interesting — networks of neurons or genes or stars or computers or all kinds of other things one can imagine — is that the nodes of a social network — the entities, the components — are themselves sentient, acting individuals who can respond to the network and actually form it themselves.
- - Social Networks Are Like the Eye by Nicholas Christakis, 2008.