search and social dynamics of web & perception

Knowledge = search engines, social networks, widgets = web = reading/precept images/pixels/networks go fast forward = emotional order = personal balance between memory, history = poetic destiny

Exploring then the social dynamics and challenges of World Wide Web in a time of “imagelisation” is paramount if you / we really want to interact with the world. There is no escape. Knowledge is search (search engines, social networks, widgets, broadband…) and web, and more and more about the capacity of reading / percept images / pixels / networks. A kind of big new way of living dimension new in history a we-web / imagelisation living way, one can say. The World Wide Web is a living organism, a kind of ecossystem, feeded by the paradoxes of a civilisation drown in contradictions, technology, lack of technology, data, feeds, SEO and Social mixed with the human emotional disfunctionalities and vehiclues of memory, idea, history. A complex and paranoic tool / platform of and for a society (that nevertheless living with more resources than anytime in human history) is going through paths of delirium and fear. The memory would asks us to have a look at the concept of destiny, the fore-ordained by the Divine…

“[T]hey ranged the holy hecatomb all orderly round the altar of the god. They washed their hands and took up the barley-meal to sprinkle over the victims [cattle], while [the priest] lifted up his hands and prayed aloud on their behalf.
When they had done praying and sprinkling the barley-meal, they drew back the heads of the victims and killed and flayed them. They cut out the thigh-bones, wrapped them round in two layers of fat, set some pieces of raw meat on the top of them, and then [the priest] laid them on the wood fire and poured wine over them, while the young men stood near him with five-pronged spits in their hands. When the thigh-bones were burned and they had tasted the inward meats, they cut the rest up small, put the pieces upon the spits, roasted them till they were done, and drew them off: then, when they had finished their work and the feast was ready, they ate it, and every man had his full share, so that all were satisfied. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink, pages filled the mixing-bowl with wine and water and handed it round, after giving every man his drink-offering.
Thus all day long the young men worshipped the god with song, hymning him and chaunting the joyous paean, and the god took pleasure in their voices[.]”
Iliad, Homer, (trandlation by Samuel Butler)

“In a world of black swans, the first step is to understand just how much we will never understand.” based in “The Black Swan”, Nassin Nicholas Taleb, in Wired. Just see the metaphor of the unnownpowerful Black Swans, (Nassim Nicholas Taleb), “history is always stranger than we might think”, from the last years and the new one, the financial / crisis / “hecatomb”, this financial meltdown (not anymore the blood sacrifice offered to Greek or Roman gods consisting of exactly one hundred oxen or cattle; later, any large-scale sacrifice…) we presently live in the end of 2008.

These four contemporary concepts are interesting to read the present trends: The Tipping Point“, by Malcolm Gladwell (2000) + “The Long Tail”, by Chris Anderson (2004) + “Black Swans” and “Fooled by Ramdomness”, the late two by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The World Wide Web is a complex Networks and economics, content, knowledge, technology and business working and walking together hands in hands with intelligence, research and social dynamics. (Have a look at the infographics attached from the issue of Wired an interesting “Statgeist” of funny infographics in the Start section.) .The contemporary concepts of “The Long Tail”, Chris Anderson, where the long list of the frequency distribution with a long tail — the concept at the root of Anderson’s coinage — has been studied by statisticians and explains part of the methodology society has applied to the digital industry and ways of acting. On the other hand the “The Tipping Point“, by Malcolm Gladwell shows life as an epidemic chain of reactions. He thinks in terms of epidemics that change the way people view the world. Based in how epidemics behave in a very unusual and counterintuitive way this concept goes to an epistemology that almost comes to the old greek concept of fate, pathus. Think, for a moment, about an epidemic of measles in a given ecossystem. One given animal brings in the virus. It spreads to every other animal in the neighboorhood in a matter of days.

These concepts are particular interesting to scale down some of the dynamics that go through the way the internet / society walks. Mixing other things in this scenario such as the growing cloud-wielding Internet giants corporations that store up huge masses of information content, image, clicks performance and analytics, and searches feeding this growing machine that is the net we will have another other face of the complexity of the net and of our society. Humanity, the “WE” emit, (breathe) the data, (the clicks, the cookies, the bookmarks, the headlines, the most visisted…) and this handful of companies, mostly based in the sunny Sillicon Valley: Google, Amazon (AMZN), Yahoo! (YHOO), News Corp, transform all this data in business intelligence to monotorise our consum habits and then afterwards sell us new products and new needs (a society of marketeers as new priests and ideologs…) or a society of the tale of the King goes naked (from the fairtail by Hans Christian Andersen about an emperor who unwittingly hires two swindlers to create a new suit of clothes for him. The tale was first published in 1837 as part of Eventyr, fortalte for Børn (Fairy Tales, Told for Children).)…

The simple activity one does in the net, even the “we” performance knowledge, that is the living clay of internet gets somehow, somewhere stored and analised. This data is then feed in the CRM and data storage of internet companies and ultimately creates a complex spider of industries services, and in some cases revenue.

But there is in the other hand the “starfish” feature of the web in a civilisation of images where the sense of aesthetics of the present and the future are emotional . The spider walking side by side with the star fish, that if you cut one harm creates one other harm and ultimately multiplicates itself… As Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom puts it admirably in the book The Starfish And the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations. The fact is that internet lives in a balanced complex game of the exploration and implications of centralised and decentralised organizations  such as Wikipedia, Grokster, MySpace, Facebook and YouTube. As in the contrast between the metaphors of the spider and starfish analogy the contrasting biological nature of the internet organism, a decentralised platform such as Alcoholics Anonymous and the Apaches has multiple regeneration features that interacts precisely with the relation between powerful organisations and corporations and in the other hand the paradox of non for profit organisations such as Creative Commons, Mozilla, centres of knowledge, education, e-learning, Universities and so forth… Ulimately the power of collective power of the crowds and the Long Tail (Chris Anderson) of the Web 2.0, the social networks, which YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, amongst others represent. The strenght of the internet, the Xray of the present society, is the powerful cloud of the voices, the authors, the blogosphere of the “catalysts”, who with their adaptative qualities and skills manage to create and maintain decentralized organizations where the we manages almost living machines…

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