There’s something very endearing about this docudrama retelling of the story of the web.
Monday, March 20th, 2017
Monday, December 26th, 2016
Did you know that Ilya’s book was available in its entirety online? I didn’t. But now that I do, I think it’s time I got stuck in and tried to understand the low-level underpinnings of the internet and the web.
Tuesday, June 14th, 2016
From twenty years ago, a look back at the origins of the internet, written by its creators.
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
It’s all about the signalling.
Sunday, October 21st, 2012
In 2005 I went to South by Southwest for the first time. It was quite an experience. Not only did I get to meet lots of people with whom I had previously only interacted with online, but I also got to meet lots of lots of new people. Many of my strongest friendships today started in Austin that year.
Back before it got completely unmanageable, Southby was a great opportunity to mix up planned gatherings with serendipitous encounters. Lunchtime, for example, was often a chaotic event filled with happenstance: you could try to organise a small group to go to a specific place, but it would inevitably spiral into a much larger group going to wherever could seat that many people.
One lunchtime I found myself sitting next to a very nice gentleman and we got on to the subject of network theory. Back then I was very obsessed with small-world networks, the strength of weak ties, and all that stuff. I’m still obsessed with all that stuff today, but I managed to exorcise a lot my thoughts when I gave my 2008 dConstruct talk, The System Of The World. After giving that magnum opus, I felt like I had got a lot of network-related stuff off my chest (and off my brain).
Anyway, back in 2005 I was still voraciously reading books on the subject and I remember recommending a book to that nice man at that lunchtime gathering. I can’t even remember which book it was now—maybe Nexus by Mark Buchanan or Critical Mass by Philip Ball. In any case, I remember this guy making a note of the book for future reference.
It was only later that I realised that that “guy” was David Isenberg. Yes, that David Isenberg, author of the seminal Rise of the Stupid Network, one of the most important papers ever published about telecommunications networks in the twentieth century (you can watch—and huffduff—a talk he gave called Who will run the Internet? at the Oxford Internet Institute a few years back).
I was reminded of that lunchtime encounter from seven years ago when I was putting together a readlist of visionary articles today. The list contains:
- As We May Think by Vannevar Bush
- Information Management: A Proposal by Tim Berners-Lee (vague but exciting!)
- Rise of the Stupid Network by David Isenberg
- There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom by Richard Feynman
- The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era by Vernor Vinge
There are others that should be included on that list but there’s are the ones I could find in plain text or HTML rather than PDF.
Thursday, October 18th, 2012
This is quite an astounding piece of writing. Robert Lucky imagines the internet of things mashed up with online social networking …but this was published in 1999!
Monday, August 8th, 2011
Facebook will destroy your children’s brains | by Martin Robbins @mjrobbins | Science | guardian.co.uk
A pitch-perfect parody of people that peeve.
Monday, October 4th, 2010
Responding to Malcolm Gladwell's recent piece in the New Yorker, Jonah Lehrer argues that the strength of weak ties *does* extend to social activism.
Monday, September 27th, 2010
A well-argued piece by Malcolm Gladwell on the relative pros and cons of weak-tie networks and strong-tie hierarchies ...although, as always, Gladwell relies on anecdotes more than data to make his point.
Thursday, April 29th, 2010
Blaine outlines the vision for Webfinger.
Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
Sunday, September 27th, 2009
An interesting take on the business models of social networking sites.
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
An examination of behavioural contagion in social networks.
Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
danah boyd addresses the Microsoft Research Tech Fest.
Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
Behold the double awesomeness of Jeremy Paxman and Ben Goldacre! Susan Greenfield, alas, is simply embarrassing.
Monday, January 26th, 2009
Glenn has created a screencast of his superb Skillswap presentation, syncing up the audio with the slides.
Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
Social networking for dogs through RFID. Spimy animals FTW!
Friday, November 21st, 2008
Mimi Ito talks to the BBC about the findings of a report into teens geeking out online.
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
We have a new network protocol, courtesy of Vint Cerf and NASA. Move over TCP/IP, here comes DTN: Disruption-Tolerant Networking.
Tuesday, June 17th, 2008
My new motto is "The Social Graph is a Spherical Cow."