Paddling Logs

Already the 3rd week of 2010 and I’ve still read only a smattering of the responses to the 2010 Edge Question “How has the internet changed the way you think ?”

This George Dyson response is a good one.

We used to be kayak builders, collecting all available fragments of information to assemble the framework that kept us afloat. Now, we have to learn to become dugout-canoe builders, discarding unneccessary information to reveal the shape of knowledge hidden within.

I was a hardened kayak builder, trained to collect every available stick. I resent having to learn the new skills. But those who don’t will be left paddling logs, not canoes.

Too true. More needs to be less.

And in fact that is a recurring theme. Dawkins concludes net gain, TBL for the Nobel Peace Prize even, after bemoaning the anonymized rubbish that pads out the web. For Dave Morin, context is more important than the content; Nassim Taleb, the degradation of knowledge … Kevin Kelly

My certainty about anything has decreased. Rather than importing authority, I am reduced to creating my own certainty — not just about things I care about — but about anything I touch, including areas about which I can’t possibly have any direct knowledge . That means that in general I assume more and more that what I know is wrong. We might consider this state perfect for science but it also means that I am more likely to have my mind changed for incorrect reasons. Nonetheless, the embrace of uncertainty is one way my thinking has changed.

More likely to have one’s mind changed for the wrong reasons. The mimetic risk – ideas that stick because they are “sticky” not because they are any good.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.