InternetConcentration

Everything that rises must converge.” – PierreTeilhardDeChardin

SocialSoftware and SocialMedia are making it easier and easier to find other people who are interested in what we are interested in.

Not only that, but we’re at the point where you just say something online, and other people who are interested in the same thing will find it, and then they will find you. (See ContentAndCommunity.)

I (who?) met piranha because he had the idea of a PersonalLogServer, and typed in the phrase “personal log server” into google, and found my… well, personal log server development. A concept that I had just “made up,” a couple months before. Our collective imaginations run similarly enough that they converge along key words and we meet. Physical distance is pretty much irrelevant.

Piranha has a SocialNetwork. His friends will learn about the personal log server, and then if they hear of someone fishing for a similar idea, they will connect with our work. Thus, it naturally grows.

The interests in the world are becoming like Black Holes of attention.

Technologies like wiki capture not only our words, but how we came to understand. Not only do they capture how we came to understand, but they are malleable. If a phrasing is poor, it can and will be adjusted to an easier path (See the diagram in Wiki_Science:Semantic_prosthetic.)

People who are interested in the same thing teach each other what they know. They build an educational path — all the way from zero knowledge, up to the crest of manifestation. People make it easier, at each level, for the people behind them.

Whole technologies will appear and disappear, replaced by more elegant solutions. Consider: To learn to program, you don’t have to learn COBOL any more. You just leap straight to Python, a far more elegant and powerful language. In the future, even this will be superceded by still more elegant solutions. (We still don’t have a HyperCard replacement, however… But I’m sure it’ll reappear.)

See Also

PublicWebJune2004Map

Summary of discussion from 2004..2006 with comments from 2021

LionKimbro thought of automatic indexing of IRC servers. Being able to find where people talk about something would help InternetConcentration.

DavidCary pointed out that computers have problems with spelling. If you ask “Where are people talking about improving map accuracy?”, the computer is not smart enough to tell you about “pixelizing the celestial sphere” or “Poppy Seed Bagel Math”. Also, there are multiple languages spoken; see the “tower of Babel effect” mentioned on PlainTalk.

LionKimbro tells that InternetConcentration refers not only to people, it also concentrates information. ConsolidateInformation focuses on elimination of redundancy, but it misses contextualization: that is, seeing an idea in a theory/model with the other related ideas. By contextualization, you discover systems that you missed before, because you were viewing them one piece at a time at disparate times, rather than together as a whole. IntelligenceIsInfoTimePlace.

Discussion

new: 2006-12-02 21:09 UTCLionKimbro: It’s more than just Internet concentration; Concentration happens in the world period. “To he that has, it is given plenty. He that has little, it is taken away.” Parable of the talents. HowardBloom? loves to write about this. And it is the basis behind the PowerLaw.

new: 2021-01-09 17:18 UTCTimurIsmagilov: I don’t understand the last comment.

What is period in this context?

What about the quote. I understand that it’s an extract from the Bible, the Parable of the talents is the story in question: Matthew 25:14-30. But how is it related to the topic?

new: 2006-12-02 21:09 UTCLionKimbro: I love you Internet, – I can continue a conversation that gaped from 15 years ago.

In English, if you say the word “period,” it means that you are emphasizes that the sentence stops HERE – that there’s no “and” or “but” or “except” or “in addition” or other form of qualification.

So when I said, “Concentration happens in the world period,” what I meant was that – It’s not only on the Internet that concentration is taking place – concentration happens everywhere, in all circumstances, where people think or gather.

But that process can be optimized, it can be recognized and made more efficient. “Yes,” people can, through accidents of history, notice or discover something like – oh, I don’t know – that tree bark has medicinal qualities. But then there’s a development in thought that people can do where they go, “Hey, – let’s systematize this. Let’s understand how we discover things. Let’s understand how we understand things.” From this, the concepts the become science and education get refined. Next thing you know, people are figuring out the chemical formulas for things, and developing vaccines, developing medicines, things like that. This is all: “concentration.”

“Internet Concentration” was an idea I brought up to refer specifically to how this natural force of concentration is further compounded and specifically aided (or can be aided) via the Internet.

It is related to TeilhardDeChardin’s commentary on the concept of [[Encephylization?]], the natural and recurring tendency within animal species, to develop a sophisticated NervousSystem?. The focus on recurring development in many different parts of the TreeOfLife is called ConvergentEvolution?. The nervous system, the eye, the claw, etc., – there are certain strategies that have worked and been repeated in different parts of the tree of life, that were not transmitted via HorizontalGeneTransfer?. The natural tendencies of biological organisms to evolve complex neural systems (and eventually: brains) across time has been observed and named.

new: 2021-01-09 17:18 UTCTimurIsmagilov: Yeah, Internet sure is great. I understand the period thing now, thanks.

As for biology stuff, isn’t it [[Encephalization?]]? Also, it should be noted that sometimes organisms tend to get simpler! There’s a term for that, I tried to find it. In Russian it’s дегенерация degeneratsiya, which can be easily translated as degeneration. I read some English sources but it seems they try to associate the word with something called devolution which I think is a totally different thing than evolution. For example, Cestoda have lost their digestive system because they didn’t need it anymore. Mollusks lost their heads the same way. I suspect humans will lose rudimentary organs the same way one day.

I generally think that evolutional degeneration is good, because organisms become simpler, which is quite effective. But usually, organisms tend to become complex! Thanks to that, I now have mind and I can feel emotions and lie.

What if modern technologies tried to degenerate when it makes sense? I’m not talking about reverting to old tech. Consider Gemini vs [[Gopher?]]. The first is degeneration (new) and is great, the second is devolution (old) and why would anyone use it anymore.

When developing something, see what you can avoid doing and do not do it. Of course, it shouldn’t hurt usability and accessibility of the system. Wikis are quite great at this (I mean, being simple and hurting usability), a simple wiki can be done without programming other than shell:

  • Create a directory on a computer
  • Give people read-write access to that directory
  • Ask people to do wiki stuff there

As you can see, it is simple. Also, it is quite unusable in real world. Nevertheless, a proper minimal wiki engine is still easy to implement. An experienced programmer could do it in a day.

I’m not an experienced programmer, that’s why it took me some time to make MycorrhizaWiki running for the first time. There was a notable event in the history of development: the day when I decided to not support plugins, extensions, namespaces, etc — it was some time later after the first launch, of course. It didn’t really hurt usability nor accessibility! In fact, it helped both. Not having to support these questionable things, I had more time to do more needed stuff. Just like those worms who lost their digestive system.

Let’s degenerate.

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