corante ssa: snippets for my panel today

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I'm posting these snippets in an attempt to avoid using powerpoint just to display text today. Context will have to follow in a later post.

We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us. (Winston Churchill)
The artist creates beautiful things. Art aims to reveal art and conceal the artist. The critic translates impressions from the art into another medium. Criticism is a form of autobiography. People who look at something beautiful and find an ugly meaning are "corrupt without being charming." Cultivated people look at beautiful things and find beautiful meanings. The elect are those who see only beauty in beautiful things. Books can't be moral or immoral; they are only well or badly written.

People of the nineteenth century who dislike realism are like Caliban who is enraged at seeing his own face in the mirror.

People of the nineteenth century who dislike romanticism are like Caliban enraged at not seeing himself in the mirror.

It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.

--Oscar Wilde
We're trying to build a site that reflects what the world says, but it will also reflect what you look for within it. The web is Caliban's mirror, and Technorati a magnifying glass in front of it. If you don't like the reflection, you can change where you look, but you can also change what we reflect back with your writing and linking. --Kevin Marks
So, does the Internet open people up or shut them down? The existence of echo chambers by itself doesn't answer the question. And we should probably worry whether "open" and "shut" are themselves metaphors that shut down our understanding of how we decide, believe and act. --David Weinberger
Weblogs enable groupthink circles to form. This is only natural and mirrors any real-world social aggregation process. The nice thing about this is that it does not spoil the fun for those who seek intellectual diversity. As a reader, you get to choose your neighborhood on a fine-grained, per-person basis - and this is unlike any other social situation I've seen. You can make that neighborhood as diverse as you want. So you're not stuck with echo effects unless you want them. --Seb Paquet
Echo Chambers have a valuable pedigree in the Invisible College. Just as with the Invisible College, by allowing like-minded individuals to argue over, agree over, and develop new ideas, Echo Chambers facilitate new thinking and specialism. But Echo Chambers do more: they are visible, open access versions of Invisible Colleges, and as such allow generalism. Their visibility allows those same like-minded individuals to look out and see where their thinking lives on the landscape. Their open access allows others to look in and appraise and critique.

Nuking Echo Chambers is, to use an - ahem - gentler phrase, throwing the baby out with the bathwater. How about giving people the benefit of the doubt, allowing for them to be curious? Why not just concentrate on building tools for better visibility and access?

--Piers D. Young
While we go to conferences to see our friends, the opportunity to learn and really think from a new perspective is still there. We all learn from new people and yet we rarely leave a conference having met more than a handful of people. But try going to a different country - it's a mind-opening experience. You see your own culture from a new lens. You come back to your home environment and you bring with you ideas based on observations abroad. There's something very powerful about really moving oneself out of one's comfort zone, out of the norms. --danah boyd
How does a user new to a social software project establish a sense for how his interest match with the popular interests of the most active users? Where are the the tools that let me search against delicious like data to see what’s popular with people who have traits or interests I care about? For example: there will never be a luddite group on What other hidden biases are there? The digital divide as an important but easy example, but there are more subtle ones. Are there inherent biases that most active users in social software have (e.g. technical, high math SAT scores, etc.)? How does this impact how social software should be designed? A traditional software designer can shape the design around different, and possibly under-represented, user’s needs - but if social software is user driven what counterbalances are there?
--Scott Berkun

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It’s often said that when a man talks about religion you end up learning more about the man than you... Read More


Looks like it'll be a fascinating session - hope it goes well.
I'm a bit confused by the "D." though ;)

Piers--thanks. The venue wasn't well-suited to the kind of presentation I was prepared for (I was asked to lead an interactive discussion, but the event took place in a law school lecture room that was designed to prevent audience members from seeing or hearing each other...), but I think some interesting ideas were indeed raised.

As to the mysterious D., chalk that up to jet lag, sloppy typing, and too much science fiction as a youth. :)

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This page contains a single entry published on November 15, 2005 7:57 AM.

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