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Digital Inwardness and Digital Intimacy (@BigThink)

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Thanks to Big Think, this is a nice and interesting way of looking at connectivity, interconnectivity and intimacy, or actually what is left of it!!!

Consider that and the Transmedia Digital Lifestyle..

Video and interview HERE!!

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Always connected.. what about me, myself and I?? No probs, got a Big Mother!!!

May 31, 2010 Leave a comment

There is something fantastic in being able not to feel alone in any situation that life may throws at you..if you have been dumped by your beloved, if you don’t know what the heck is an aspidistra, if your brand new iPad (ahahahah!!!) let you down in the middle of a whatever-fancy-stuff-you-were-doing, if, ififififififif, if.. no matter what, you are or could (could??) be with someone, instantly, and not feeling alone, no more dragging you out from the pit with just your own forces, no more. Thanks to connectivity, broadband, 3G, WiFi, anything you use to link your pc, netbook, smartphone to the World.

Instead of a Big Brother, we do have now a Big Mother… no more finding your way out of trouble,someone did already forge your path out of foggy times…

Since there is an advantage in being so hyperconnected, we kept on adding, and we posted, and we allowed, and we posted again, and uploaded, shared, commented, ranked…

Then, you know what, “Privacy” begun to transform from a “legal” issue to protect to currently something to learn about.. and I could not agree more with this.. I truly understand the plethora of possibility, the incredible array of potential, the stunning power of being connected, but should not we go back in learning how beautiful is to walk around and being almost invisible, how wonderful is to get lost somewhere (as one advert was claiming some times ago..), how relaxing is the thought of the World spinning around nevermind you..

I am not certainly saying we “should go back”, but I am surely saying we “should learn how” to be a new human being into a new society canvass. Are we educated enough to understand that the World is also propelling ahead because of someone took his time to sit down and think, in silence, finding a new, real brand new path out of troubles, whatever they were? Are we really “innovating” or instead transforming the shared thoughts into something? Is this innovation or is a way to serve the most, in the easiest possible way, this being giving them what they want? Isn’t this Consumerism to its fullest extent and nothing to do with Innovation? And, more importantly, are we evolving or we are retrenching into sorting out basic but shared needs and thus Icarus is falling back on Earth again??

Or, more simple and less tragic, are we sure we do always have something intersting to say and worth sharing with the rest of the Planet? Isn’t this arrogance?

Just for the sake of argument, mind you…and I am not twitting this..

I love my books, despite e-books

March 5, 2008 Leave a comment

Since quite a long time, I have been debating about technology usage, and stressed the fact that, quite often, users can be divided into:

§
§Systematic Users. Those who will immediately dig into the new features, swapping massively from legacy technology / social interactions.
§Critical Users. Those who will approach new features as a potential alternative to fit into a consolidated pattern of legacy technology / social interaction.
Now, that actually applies to books, as it seems from this survey. It is sometimes incredible how fundamental aspects of a consumer experience, intangibles, social history and current demographic evolutions are skimmed over by tech marketeers.. a book is not only a repository of information, it is not only a waste of a piece of a rainforest (albeit it is somewhat an usage of an otherwise scarce commodity such as, yep, a forest tree..)(ok, some editors may recycle, appreciate that..), a book is a personal, full-bodied, complex experience that, nevermind what, can be rendered by the most advanced of eText book reader…
You enjoy stepping into a bookstore, browse the shelves, look at covers and wander what’s inside, you weight the colors, loose yourself in that maelstrom of printed words and weird characters..then, later, your listening to the crisp noise of the turning of the first page is something close to meditation, and the smell…
It is not just digesting information, is a tactile, multisensorial experience about someone else’s dreams. Then, clearly, I may accomodate some tech into my personal library, but alongside, very purposely, targeted, whatever.. BUT, nevermind the eBooks, do not touch my collection of worn-down paperbacks and hard covers!! Could kill..

Notes and unstructured thoughts on 2.0… Homo 2.0???

February 22, 2008 Leave a comment

I have to admit, this blog is also very useful to have all your notes in one place, some sort of repository of (hopefully) fairly intelligent thinking…

So, since I will have to work pretty heavily on the entire spectrum of the 2.0 saga, I have to jot down some notes… ah, yep, I will be part of the discussion tables at the closing event of the IDC Innovation Forum that will be held in Milan next March (here is the info and whereabouts of the Forum), with the likes of Don Tapscott, Derrick De Kerckhove and a stack of Web pundits, artists and creatives, it will be a blast, believe me!!

Right, so… notes… the evolutionary path is, quite nicely indeed, a sort of step back to the village-like, tribal relationships of the societies pre-industrial revolution. There is a reprise, this time thanks to technology and with no Luddites in sight, of the necessity to exchange human relationship with the “piazza” of my liking.

It is even more important aspects of this evolution. Globally, you may have noticed, there is a massive outburst of social-related activities, themes, actions, whatever… green campaigns, humanitarian efforts, sustainable economies, cultural crossovers, it is a huge mixing, bridging, communicating, helping.. it seems like there is a real, planetary conscience that is guiding some acts of a large number of people.

I happened to discuss this with some Web experts at the recent Enteprise 2.0 conference and with a couple of university professors in the past couple of weeks, and we were all very interested of the implications. The question was whether it is the Web-network evolution that have ignited the process or it is rather a genetic attitude of mankind to seek for the community that has enabled the Web to become the social network we know today. The more techy amongst us actually feel like the hype and the “media” coverage upon Internet since the early 2000s is the real engine of this renewed planetary surge of the masses, whilst there has been a flimsy quoting the Band Aid in1984 as potentially the first massive conscience raising that have triggered the necessity to a better and more tight communication amongst actors in the social canvass… nice altogether.. guess we can really state that all the most innovative or evolutionary tech advances stem from a “communication” need, that is for sure..

What is more interesting it the actual disintegration of some capitalistic logics thanks to the Web and the social implication deriving from an hyper-connected World. The shift of power from producers to users is a substantial change in the orthodoxy and liturgy of the economy rite. What is indeed scarcely perceived and increasingly kept under the radar by who-knows-who is the actual revolutionary power of the Web as it is structured nowdays. It would be possible to reorganise and determine social canvasses, political agendas, country foreign political position by the power of referral, by free-flowing information, by scarcely controllable exchange of view points by geographically dispersed groups of people.. you know what I intend, being “discussant” is ever more powerful than simply being “listener”.. yet, this is kept under control by painting the entire “thing” as a youngish, sort of head-in-the-clouds stuff, the social Web is about SecondLife, some music sharing quite often via illegal platforms, photos, videos and rubbish like that.. you know, young stuff has never been very dangerous.. whilst the reality is about a massive net of brains working in well determined and shared directions.

I am personally stressing the concept of “brain-sourcing” as the highest effect of the “crowdsourcing” phenomena or the entire social evolution of the Web.. more so, why not using “GridBraining”????

So, it is a new specimen of human being that is born before our eyes or it is simply a permutation of the actual?? Is the Web something we use, we live, or is a prosthetic of our selves??? There is something like an “Homo 2.0”??? Video of my presentation at the Turin School of Business (audio in italian, for the slides let me know,  it is IDC stuff and copyrighted..) … More to come…

2008: escape from Facebook…

February 12, 2008 Leave a comment

… call me Snake…

And with that you thought you could master your way out of Facebook reach!?!?!? Wrong!!

The NYT reported a sort of nightmarish ordeal to have your data removed from Facebook servers once and for all… it actually reminds me of some lines I read some time ago about the spectacular attitude people have got recently in giving out large chunks of owns identities, despite all the fuss about privacy and personal data protection.. we are all cache-ing quite happily our beloved information, much more interested into adding friends to the already almost-useless pile of horrid nicks, without even considering than all those stored infos may be used against our desires, or as it seems will reside forever somewhere in the Net.. is it a new form  of eternity we are all seeking?? Becoming a long string of 0 and 1 is the ultimate in cloning??!?!?

On the serious side, there were already some concerns about the type-happy attitude we have all got, particularly since the idea of sharing infos amongst sites to speed up logging in procedures and such is increasingly under scrutiny..

I believe there was a “dissertation” here (text in Italian) about our online attitude towards sharing-socialising-posting… as said

we are what we browse

we are what we message

we are what we chat

we are what we mail

we are every information we produce, access or transform

and every change we make in the matrix is and always will be us!

Just a thought, mind you…

How social are you?? Fast enough??

January 14, 2008 Leave a comment

I have started my blogging experience a little short of a year ago, and I have to admit it has been rewarding and challenging, fun and worrisome, but most of all it has been like a long, unplanned backpacking trip along the roads of social evolution and global changes! And, should you be so nice to have read me all along this time, it is a bless for a curious being the like of myself..

I have started this personal journey when MySpace was one of the coolest place to be in, SecondLife was supposed to position as the next big thing for human interaction and business ventures, one year ago there were articles about how cool is blogging about, the entire 2.0 was an humongous affair encompassing and including the whole of mankind and any aspect derived from it (almost, say…).

Then, I went on holiday in Tanzania, Zanzibar to be precise, and spent a whole week without even thinking about wearing shoes, my feet gorging on white and warm sand and more white and warm sand, my skin crackling into the African sun..let alone considering the World stressed about whether being 1.0 or 2.0 or x.0 at all…

I stepped into a plane, packed full with over-talkative holiday village goers, and slowly but surely I hit the -2° in Milan… a night sleep, on it was the PC the morning after and here it is…

MySpace has been dubbed as “uncool”, nevermind the overall results (incidentally, this drop in page views I saw it first mentioned here, dating back Sept. 11th.. ouch…), SecondLife seems to have trouble in mocking the real world as someone was hoping it would have done (silly, silly, silly!!!), recently the most “real” stuff, money, has been quite regulated and there is no longer that “be there, be rich” sort of approach (something along the lines of the first appearance of the Web in our daily existence back in, say, ’95), and most of all there is no longer such ranting about “2.0”….

More importantly, CES in Las Vegas has finally completed the transition to a “business-determined” social ecosystem to a “consumer-driven” fabric… I read endless analysis concentrating on how the corporate environment has to mimic the private users dynamics, how important is to accomodate users’ needs, also in technology terms, as to foster a superior working environment, tailored and geared to make the most of each individual working style and “social graph”….

Now, this is the next one you will be pestered about in the coming months: SOCIAL GRAPH.

Six degree of separation, networks, nodes and hubs, this is all making the news, together with complexity theory and chaos.. finally someone have made the point: interconnecting more than a billion people is not as simple as plugging a PC into the socket.. it is a matter of re-defining the social canvass, it is a matter of managing a life of endless information streaming across the planet, it is about one, large, living organism… quite a long time ago I posted about what I called LITO, Living Information Technology Organism.. we may all want to go back and study evolutionary theories instead that SecondLife for Dummies…

Welcome back, I hope a marvellous 2008 for all of you!!! It will be a nice ride, stay tuned!!

IMF crucifies IT, the source of all evil!!

October 24, 2007 Leave a comment

So much for the evolution of society towards a tech-aware, 2.0, whatever eSociety.. the IMF, in its World Economic Outlook 2007, stated that Information Technology and its ecosystem are the fundamental cause of World’s inequality (here an excerpt..).

There is here an interesting (!!!) theory about globalisation, free trade, financial flows (Foreign Direct Investments) and technology. In short, but you may want to go into deeper details here, PDF version) it is stated that globalisation is, overall, reducing inequality due to a diverse effect combination of free trade (which is a positive impulse to evolution) and a rather not-so-positive FDI (which eliminate some diversities albeit augmenting some turbulence in the countries originating the FDI flows). The reduction in inequality should be better translated into an income rise amongst the (once??!?!? please..) poorer part of the World population, whereas inequality is, whoops, actually rising due to … technology!!

Lots of articles and commentaries have addressed the issue, from Financial Times to The Register, and yet I believe nobody has ultimately pointed out a major factor: technology divide may be a more likely suspect, a better one than tech itself.

FDI flows go to countries that, for a number of reasons, are more attractive than others to investors, and unfortunately this fact cannot fully exploit a real, global organisation of production, wealth, innovation, evolution. China and India are attracting a severely different level of FDI, both in terms of origin (around 60% of Chinese FDI comes from what has being called its “diaspora”, and investments are capital intensive and with – relative – low tech level, 70% of Indian FDI measure comes from Western countries and includes a strong level of technology transfer – courtesy of S. Majumber on The Hindu Business Line on IFM data) and, again, usage: Chinese production vs. Indian services. First point: is the country economic and social development plan that drives inequality within the country, not really the FDI or the technology.

Tech is a first and foremost a fabric, a neural system upon which building up, is an energy source enabling further advances. If this energy is “held in hostage” by a small fraction of any given country, it is not a tech “genetic” fault, isn’t it? Extend this at macro-geographic level and it may still apply.

The actual chasm between deployment and usage of tech resources determines the inadequacy of a given country system to compete in a given “scenario”. What it should be important to notice is the fact that there are multiple scenarios to fit in, and the combination of all scenarios are making up the “global wealth”. Therefore, as far as providing “living energy” for the Planet (since we are talking about globalisation..) is the main task, we all need a China (with less pollution maybe??) and we need an India. We need tech and we need plough. Question is about how to rightly value both.

Capital flows are not actually designed to improve a country systemic wealth, or a macro-geography systemic advance, but generally serve the purpose of few “actors”, and capital moves around to foster any potential mid term return. To ignite technology in a system is the easiest way to foster a mid term return, it is like a steroid cure for the weakest, that seldom conduct to long term gains if the cure is not supported by a targeted and systemic distribution of the new “booster”. Again, it is about the divide and not the tech itself.

Someone, guess it is the FT columnist, argues that on a global scale inequality is certainly shrinking, I am questioning whether this is a statistical statement, which clearly encompass a massive rise of rich limited portions of a country population and a significantly larger grouping still feeding the former with brute manpower….

And on we could go… bottom line is there still are three, if not four “planet Earth” on the same celestial object we all inhabit and whether there are rich or poor nations and people it is not because of technology, which ultimately the human race has developed and still control, but it is about the stronger against the weaker, it is about profit and power, not about bytes and IT services.

Plauto, a latin author of III century B.C, gave us “homo homini lupus”, which Hobbes transformed in a castle of thinking, and Shakespeare, in his Julius Caesar, made Cassius pronouncing “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Have a thought.