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Archive for May, 2007

at least…

May 31, 2007 Leave a comment

… someone’s trying to re-position “Culture” as an interesting product.. (Milan, today). Mind you, I had some spare time one eve, fiancee in standard delay mode, and “waisted” my hours browsing the Kandinsky exhibition at Palazzo Reale, in Milan.. wonderful way to detach from the (sometimes) ugliness of daily routine.. good luck you guys, in your endeavor  during the Big Brother Age!

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Just be patient..

May 31, 2007 Leave a comment

Just be patient..

This has been a hard, or even harsh week … As we are all aware, sometimes external occurrences impact heavily on someone’s capability to address issues, build up coherent thinking, let alone analyse properly some tangled information or, as I have tried over here, economics, technology or market issues…

Sometimes things happen around you that leave you astonished, in total bewilderment, and your capacity of being analytical goes bananas.

This is one of those times.. and, as usually happens, it is all about people.

I still cannot make my mind around the fact that the most incredibly stupid people, the most arrogant, the most vulgar and appalling individuals may actually be in any “public” position at all, in any even remotely “decisional” role.

For those amongst you that read this blog frequently, it is quite obvious that I do put a huge importance on the “human factor” in most of the issues, topics or whatever else you want to call what we discuss here. You all know that I truly admire human beings and, at the very same time, I despise some attitudes, ineptitude, blatant silliness or incurable stupidity easily found amongst the so-called elites.

This week has been the zenith of the unbelievable, the Everest of dementia and the elegy of rudeness and arrogance. Some people who, in a decent world, should only sit down and silence in shame for having been unable to do something properly, people that should only beg for pardon for having usurped titles and positions and delivered solely an unjustifiable failure, those inepts have been able to rise to the role of Purifiers, Court and Judge…

I won’t write more, I won’t waste more of my time on this, maybe someone reading these lines has got the full picture and knows about all of this, for the others I apologise for my being slightly absent these days but, believe me, when the World goes this way, you just want to switch off and reach for the Reset button.

Categories: General stuff..

The network effect… stand up and walk??? (excerpt)

May 29, 2007 Leave a comment

This is a small excerpt from a recent paper I wrote:

The arise of a digital marketplace and the consolidation of a number of factors from a transient influencer position into a systemic conglomerate have strengthen the idea that, along the digital highways, users are linked by “networks” and no longer by “straight lines”. The impact of networks dynamics over interactions is massive.

During the XX century the possibility of the World (mankind, actually) to shrink and thus augmenting the level of interconnection between constituencies, parts, units has grown exponentially due to a number of factors, all somewhat related to the ability of people to “get in touch” and “share knowledge”. To some extent and as a controversial assumption, also the two major conflicts have risen attention over countries, communities, cultures never approached or considered before. After the end of fighting, the world has been all connected by the necessity to recreate a bearable environment where to live, together.

Interestingly enough, all actions that governments, research institutions and scientists made to increase, in the second half of the century, the capability of controlling others’ communications (for strategic purposes), ended up in creating a widely distributed, albeit rough network of connections and information flows. This was ultimately finalized with the creation of Arpanet, the “archaic” version of the modern Internet.

This ecosystem led to a wealth of studies and papers over the “mathematics of networks” and theories designed to explain the inner workings of such a complex, highly mutable and influenceable environment. Without going into details, one of the most interesting aspects of it all is about the degree of interconnection and so called “separation” amongst the parts of the network. Actually the degree of separation adds up to six steps. Six passages will ideally link each of us to anyone on Earth. Despite the potential extremes of the theory and its full acceptance, the main message here is the fact that relationships amongst parts are no longer linear, but assume a mesh format, a net, a neural scheme of dots (us), nodes (junctions amongst dots), hubs (aggregators of nodes) and gateways amongst hubs and the “small worlds” (defined by connections and interests) inhabiting the Web-Planet. 

Interestingly enough, some people agreed on the “resurrection” function of communities and networks (whichever format they took over time) from a status of disruption, crisis, war or any other mankind hindering conditions.

What about today, then?????

Some “finger food”…

May 22, 2007 Leave a comment

Some little things to nibble around (from “La Repubblica Affari e Finanza” newpaper)..

  • The Italian WiMax seems to be finally something like an opportunity, also for small TLC players;
  • Neural architecture has been overshadowed by Cogito, as it seems the closer a machine can get to the Turing hypotesis;
  • The new Web is the kingdom of search engines (by the way, got the invitation to Spock beta test, thanks guys!!!)….
  • … plus few more amenities over Google, advertising, Citizendium (Wikipedia under control), on line travel agencies and the rest….

Decision time: is all this stuff occupying space (Web and on paper) or again is a small fragmented forecast of a future of even-more hyperconnectivity, hyperintelligence and the rest of us behind all that, trying to find our way out??

Shepherds, do not forget it…

SL just too “human”????

May 22, 2007 1 comment

Just a quick update on our virtual counterparts and what is happening in SL (SL?? you don’t know what SL is?? Shame on you!!! SecondLife!!! Can’t believe you’re so retrò..)

So, lot’s of nice things happen, and quite a good helping of the naughty ones..

I am wandering whether this is all about statistics, more people online, weirdos in an xy percentage, or also quite simply because the anonymity of an avatar allows anyone to be anything, and do anything..

Will that last? Will it survive its transposition from plainly virtual to trashily anthropical?

Categories: 2.0, 2.0 or Something, eWorld

What about using this @#§*$& tech…

May 22, 2007 Leave a comment

It cannot be possible, given the ecosystem outside, given the cultural shift, given the tech expenditure, the workflows, the software, the organisation, given all of the above and all you may think of, that you have always to meet people for a fifteen minute meeting. It happened, guess it was last year, that I had a client in Rome, slightly apprehensive about the engagement we had put together. He called me to organise a meeting at their premises, flew over to Rome, just to hear he couldn’t attend because of some unplanned occurrences. Fine, it happens, no worries, and I love Rome at Springtime, but that hiccup was expensive, time consuming and, most of all, absolutely fruitless.

We could have used a strong videoconf facility.

And, as it seems, it saves a lot of money and pollution. I have to admit I enjoy meeting clients, discussing issues, sorting out problems together in an advertising-like sessions, and at the same time I hate wasting my time, someone’s money and attention to the God of Stupidity. Where’s the point, business-wise, to always meet, meet, discuss, meet again, discuss even further, when some issues may be tackled effectively over alternative communication highways?

Also, for a corporation such as BT, it accounted for a £238 million saving… every little helps…

I leave to you all comments and thoughts about the communication needs of people, the necessity to have multi sensorial interactions, the ability to spot body language signals that necessitate of face to face interaction.. as far as I am concerned, if we have a better way to do things and to have things done than expensively transporting ourselves across the Planet, fine, let’s use ’em!!!

And the time we may gain, let’s spend it with whom we truly like!

Let’s put it this way (part Three)

May 22, 2007 Leave a comment

You cannot be a parent simply because you gave birth, as you are not a priest simply because you got the call, you are not someone simply because you exist and you are not human simply because you belong to humanity. I am afraid the ongoing revolution, the new Hercules’ Pillars, Tom’s Mississippi, at the end is just about this: be a Human Being. A Man. And today you have to be that as you cannot hide behind you pledged ignorance, behind the lack of spare time, behind all those silly excuses but ever so useful as a flea market jumper.

The society as it is going to be defined is a call to action, it is a “We want you!”, a bit to everyone, according to possibility and conscience. This is about the one-almost-two billion of connected people, for the rest..let’s hope Tom Sawyer win.

So far, so good, then, got the message out.

And what about the reaction of the current System? It minimises. Quite often pretty much like Louis XVI did on July 14th 1789, as it seems he wrote on his diary that very day: “No news today”.

It jokes, laughs or write in capital letters (hype) about those part of the revolution that are less painful, less disrupting to its being a system and “people believe that it is undoubtedly true” as Borges said.

Why making quotes? Because is connection of thoughts, of intellects, of ideas which are still in embryo and in needs of growing and being pushed out, since knowing the different will make a new One. Because, today, to reach the heart of a moltitude’s thoughts, the distilled thinking of hundreds of millions life experiences is as complex as switching on a PC and launching a browser. Here is the new borderline of the unknown.

This is utterly dangerous for the current architecture, the present social structure.

Since most of what has been said could not be true altogether, since there is not just one God, since it is possible to live without the superfluous, since in Iraq women were working as IT engineers, since it is not true that the Argentinean bonds were such a great chance, since it is true that cars can use hydrogen and clean energy, since it is true that a chap somewhere built a solar panel that is ever so light and tenfold less expensive than current ones, since it is true when imagination gets the power the World can change. Because when imagination gets the power the Speed of Light grows.

Quite as clear, a complex system does defend its status with a series of antibodies. Unarguably, the future society(ies) will not have (or could not have) any need at all of a large array of intermediaries, lackeys, pretended experts, that population of lazybones that bureaucratise the planet.

We could find money to finance ideas without hitting a bank, we could find homes without going into those blood-sucking agencies, we could find goods, services, opinions, ideas, movements and all that I may want, directly at the source. We could almost be back to an humongous form of barter, in which also the intellect is a good to share.

Mind you, the French revolution, that completely turned upside down the destiny and the concept of democracy, was stirred by some thousands of half illiterate French peasants, whilst the current movement is made by few hundreds of million of decently educated people, the impact could be above devastating.

There is a little problem nonetheless, a tiny winy triviality, a dog in a church, a dropping in Arcadia: the human nature.

Should the people have better knowledge of others, they would learn how hate them.

said Flaiano, again a quote and I am quite afraid to say I do believe it.

 

Evolution and revolutions have always happened, at any latitude, in times of great inspiration and during the darkest ages of mankind, when culture was the ruler and when ignorance was the queen, from the East to the West, through Time. Great revolutions have always happened.

And, to be fair, things have changed deeply, sometimes radically, yet the unchanged is the human nature, the human being.

Still a “bastard inside”, despite the evidence, constantly gripping his own personal good and satisfaction against the well-being of the many, material and yet with a foot into transcendence, religious and petty, Merchant of Venice and Leonardo Da Vinci.

Perhaps, at the end of it all, the New is only a permutation of what has always been.

So long human beings are alive there will be differences, inequalities and oppositions. Because, as it seems, connectivity amongst differences makes life possible.