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Kasim Suvorov
Kasim Suvorov

Bea Miller Cynical Single Zip



It is said that Twitter is playing an important part in the current unrest in Iran, and latest news from that faith-pit encourages the view that the trend will be towards a net positive effect of the Internet on political liberty. We can at least hope that the faster, more ubiquitous and above all cheaper Internet of the future may hasten the long-awaited downfall of Ayatollahs, Mullahs, Popes, Televangelists, and all who wield power through the control (whether cynical or sincere) of gullible minds. Perhaps Tim Berners-Lee will one day earn the Nobel Prize for Peace.




Bea Miller Cynical Single zip


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As we know from arXiv.org, the 20th century model of publishing is inadequate to the kind of sharing possible today. As we know from Wikipedia, post-hoc peer review can support astonishing creations of shared value. As we know from the search for Mersenne Primes, whole branches of mathematical exploration are now best taken on by groups. As we know from Open Source efforts like Linux, collaboration between loosely joined parties can work at scales and over timeframes previously unimagined. As we know from NASA clickworkers, groups of amateurs can sometimes replace single experts. As we know from Patients Like Me, patient involvement accelerates medical research. And so on.


I have a love-hate relationship with the Internet. With procrastination just a click away, and a seductive Siren song in the form of new-mail pings, I find it challenging to stay focused on a single subject long enough to have real impact. Maintaining the Zen-like focus that is so crucial for doing science was easier back when the newspaper and the mail came only once per day. Indeed, as a part of an abstinence-based rehab program, I now try to disconnect completely from the Internet while thinking, closing my mail program and Web browser for hours, much to the chagrin of colleagues and friends who expect instant response. To get fresh and original ideas, I typically need to go even further, and completely turn off my computer.


Over the previous millennium, heretics had appeared perennially, only to be crushed. Implicitly and explicitly, beyond all question, orthodoxy defined and embodied virtue. But when, after Gutenberg, heretics such as Luther gained access to printing presses, the rapid and broad dissemination of their writings allowed dissidents to muster enough socially coordinated recruits to militarily stalemate attempts by hierarchies to suppress them. Hence, the assumption of a single orthodoxy husbanded by a single system of sanctified authority was broken, beyond all recovery.


We also know very little about how brain processes underlie thought. We do not understand the principles by which a single neuron integrates signals, nor even the 'code' it uses to encode information and to signal it to other neurons. We do not yet have the theoretical tools to understand how a billion of these cells interact to create complex thought. How such interactions create our inner mental life and give rise to the phenomenology of our experience (consciousness) remains, I think, as much of a fundamental mystery today as it did centuries ago.


Now the Internet is changing how we think again. Just as print took over the once-human task of knowing, cyberspace is assuming the task of knowing where to get what we seek. A single click now accomplishes what once required days in a research library. A well-phrased search query is vastly more effective than resort to a card catalogue, and one no longer needs to master a thesaurus just to find a synonym. Knowing where to get is now the domain of machines, not humans.


But that's not an acceptable answer. It is not just silly, cynical or morbid. It is all too easy to look away and cling to our personal list of "fave cool stuff" while the seams are showing, the veneer is loose. The ethereal beauty also contains lethal ether to the less fortunate non-digerati, such as the children or the elderly.


For hundreds of millions of years, Sex was the most efficient method for propagating information of dubious provenance: the origins of all those snippets of junk DNA are lost in the sands of reproductive history. Move aside, Sex: the world-wide Web has usurped your role. A single illegal download can propagate more parasitic bits of information than a host of mating Tse Tse flies. Indeed, as I looked further afield, I found that it was not just Wikipedia that was in error: essentially every digital statement of the clause in the theorem of interest was also incorrect. For better or worse, it appears that the only sure way to find the correct statement of a theorem is to trek to the library and to find some book written by some dead mathematician, maybe even the same one who proved the theorem in the first place.


Consider this transition from the viewpoint of a single-celled organism. An amoeba is a self-sufficient entity, moving, sensing, feeding and reproducing independent of other cells. For three billion years of evolution, our ancestors were all free-living cells like this, independently "doing it for themselves," and were honed by this long period into tiny organisms more versatile and competent than any cell in our multicellular bodies. Were it capable of scorn, an amoeba would surely scoff at a red blood cell as little more than a stupid bag of protoplasm, barely alive, over-domesticated by the tyranny of multicellular specialization.


Nonetheless, being jacks of all trades, such cells were masters of none. Cooperative multicellularity allowed cells to specialize, mastering the individual tasks of support, feeding, and reproduction. Specialization and division of labor allowed teams of cells to vastly outclass their single-celled ancestors in terms of size, efficiency, and complexity, leading to a whole new class of organisms. But this new organization created its own problems of communication: how to ensure smooth, effective cooperation among all of these independent cells? This quandary directly parallels the origin of societies of specialized humans.


It's because human change takes place across generations, rather than within a single life. This is built into the very nature of the developing mind and brain. All the authors of these essays have learned how to use the Web with brains that were fully developed long before we sent our first e-mail. All of us learned to read with the open and flexible brains we had when we were children. As a result no-one living now will experience the digital world in the spontaneous and unselfconscious way that the children of 2010 will experience it, or in the spontaneous and unselfconscious way we experience print.


The Internet revolution has equally profound consequences for the second mode of knowledge acquisition. In the old days, I would read an article from start to finish and make a list of relevant citations to fetch from the library. Nowadays, the ubiquity of electronic articles in portable document format (PDFs) means I can get the cited article on screen in just a few clicks. There's no longer any need to move from my desk, or even to finish one article before going on to the next. Often when reading a PDF, I simply scan the text in search of a key assertion or statement. This changes the very nature of scientific publications and the way they are used. Articles become known through citation for a single contribution to knowledge: either a new method or a surprising result, but never both.


By the time of the last great typhoid epidemics and fires in the U.S. and Europe, we could trace the history of specific houses, families, wells, cows, and outhouses. We could build a specific history of a neighborhood, family, and individual. But there were still very large lagoons in our knowledge. Not so today. Any electronic archaeologist, sociologist or historian examining our e-lives would be able to understand, map, computer, contrast, and judge our lives in a degree of detail incomprehensible to any previous generation. Think of a single day of our lives. Almost the first thing that happens after turning off an alarm clock, before brushing teeth, having coffee, seeing a child, or opening a paper is reaching for that phone, iPhone, or Blackberry. As it comes on and speaks to us or we speak through it, it continues to create a map of almost everything in our lives.


An announcement from Open Text reports that Open Text has worked with SAP AG to "create a prototype that uses the CMIS standard to manage content from SAP applications with Open Text Enterprise Library Services... With the new standard, developers can write applications that can work with multiple repositories from different vendors, allowing users to access and organize information stored in different repositories through a single application and interface. Open Text is a member of the group of companies working to develop the standard."


This 'Part I' document presents the problem statement: "According to Forrester and other major consultants, most companies have multiple content management systems from different vendors. It is common to see large companies running IBM Content Manager, IBM FileNet P8, EMC Documentum in the data center and Microsoft SharePoint on departmental servers. Historically content management systems were purchased for specific application uses and this led to islands of incompatible systems. The lack of a standard interface to content management systems made it difficult to integrate content from multiple repositories into a single application such as a portal, CRM system, or office desktop. It also made it difficult for ISVs and integrators to interface to multiple content management systems consistently..."


CMIS is a new, open standard that will offer new ways for content applications to 'talk' to content repositories. With the new standard, developers can write applications that can work with multiple repositories from different vendors, allowing users to access and organize information stored in different repositories through a single application and interface. Open Text is a member of the group of companies working to develop the standard. 041b061a72


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