Thursday, April 07, 2011


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What Fortune Can Effect In Human Affairs, And How To Withstand Her

The Prince --
IT is not unknown to me how many men have had, and still have, the opinion that the affairs of the world are in such wise governed by fortune and by God that men with their wisdom cannot direct them and that no one can even help them; and because of this they would have us believe that it is not necessary to labour much in affairs, but to let chance govern them. This opinion has been more credited in our times because of the great changes in affairs which have been seen, and may still be seen, every day, beyond all human conjecture. Sometimes pondering over this, I am in some degree inclined to their opinion. Nevertheless, not to extinguish our free will, I hold it to be true that Fortune is the arbiter of one-half of our actions, but that she still leaves us to direct the other half, or perhaps a little less.

I believe the Middle Ages, developed the notion -- Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi --
where the wheel of fortune could not be modified. M. tried to insert the notion of free will into the experience of chance in the world. There's a lesson in there.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

How we became posthuman

Hayes distinguishes between the presence/abscence axis, and the pattern/randomness axis. Traditionally, the focus of the economy was on 'possession' -- the presence of resources within the control of an entity. In the postmodern economy -- the information is the key axis/focus . This is simply common information economy manifesto-speak. However, Hayes analyzes the possibility of the dematerialization of information more deeply. is it really possible to cyborgize humanity? isn't it true that all information has to be present in some manifestation?

"even though information provides the basis for much of contemporary society, it is never present in itself."

Because they have bodies, books and people have something to lose if they are regarded solely as informational patterns, namely the resistant materiality that has traditionally marked the experience of reading no less than it has marked the experience of living as embodied creatures.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, May 15, 2010

cynics in the organization

Dave Snowden, says ..
"At a recent session with a few CEOs I has asked for my three ideas that would help them cope with uncertainty. I don't what they expected but I said:

Seek out those people in your organisations or advisory groups who everyone wants you to avoid and given them the time and space to say why. You will waste some time, but you will increase the range of options you scan.
If you involve experts in decision making when the field is in a state of fluctuation, always create dissent and contrariness.
Remember it's the cynics in the organisation who care about it, not the people who are just trying the say the right thing."

clocks and clouds

From Wired:

Karl Popper, the great philosopher of science, once divided the world into two categories: clocks and clouds. Clocks are neat, orderly systems that can be solved through reduction; clouds are an epistemic mess, “highly irregular, disorderly, and more or less unpredictable.” The mistake of modern science is to pretend that everything is a clock, which is why we get seduced again and again by the false promises of brain scanners and gene sequencers. We want to believe we will understand nature if we find the exact right tool to cut its joints. But that approach is doomed to failure. We live in a universe not of clocks but of clouds.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

coins and html5

HTML now supports inline microformats. I know coins already has a solution to this,
but if we join that scheme we can leverage other microformat software.

Any element can have an item attribute.

<p itemprop="a">1

<p itemprop="a">2

<p itemprop="b">test


so, I suggest the following which also will work with standard COinS software. It does however violate
a goal of coins, which is to have empty content.
Following the example at

<span itemprop="Z3988" class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.issn=1045-4438">ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.issn=1045-4438</span>

according to the COins standard the span should be empty, but I don't know what to do about that.

<span itemprop="Z3988" class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.issn=1045-4438"></span>

I don't know whether this would work better:

You might be able to obtain this item.
<span itemprop="Z3988" class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.issn=1045-4438"></span>

or this:

You might be able to obtain this item.
<coins itemprop="Z3988" class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.issn=1045-4438">

or this:
<div item="info.coins">
You might be able to obtain this item.
<coins itemprop="info.coins.Z3988" class="Z3988" title="ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.issn=1045-4438">

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Everyone is busy 'retrenching', and 'looking for efficiencies'. Why don't we look for efficiencies all the time? This was not unforseeable, and should have been on the radar as a possibility. So, how do we react?

Friday, September 05, 2008


And we see that the mind in its passions rather deceives itself by creating a false and fantastical object, even contrary to its own belief, than not have something to work upon...

Labels: , ,