Category Archives: motives

mass-observation and the internet

An excellent article in the New Yorker recounts that in the U.K., in the thirties, there was a mini-movement called the “Mass-Observation” experiment. Members gathered as much detail about the lives of everyday people as they could, and synthesized it into a series of books (sample details: when a train goes through a tunnel at […]

authentic media, exhibit b — pictures of the family of the person who stole my cell phone posted to my flickr account

My cell phone was stolen last Friday. I had it disconnected and arranged to get a replacement. It had been set up with the excellent service from ShoZu to automatically upload all pictures taken with the phone to Flickr. So today, completely surprisingly, I find pictures on my Flickr account of the family of the […]

start ups and new ideas

A few people get together and create a new product or service, in secrecy. The product or service gets a ambiguous name like Jiffr or Remebo, is then previewed with venture capitalists and other entrepreneurs, and is launched, sold to a large company, or (most often) fails. The most valuable products are those utilitarian ideas […]

Intelligent design vs. Evolution

At my job (and in Silicon Valley in general I think), Agile development is supposed to be the best way to do things. Specifically, the Scrum method encourages an evolutionary approach, where an entire team works together in short cycles and creates a product iteratively (first a barely-functional demo, then a rough prototype, then a […]

authentic media

Most people have a tremendous longing for something, a place in the past they wish they could have again, regret about a bad thing they’ve done, a wish for something that seems out of reach. You keep going ahead with your life in some way, but you have a “hungry backward look” (Phillip Roth’s phrase) […]

why blog

What could be more uselessly meta than blogging about the reasons for blogging? Whatever. Here we go: The Good People blog for attention, or in the expectation of getting more attention. Since blogging originated with geeks, “attention” paid to blogs has been turned into a set of equations (trackbacks, comments, etc.). In this realm, blogging […]

what is the next step for tagging?

The Web needs tagging or some other bottom up and scalable system for managing the tons of information that everyone is creating. Librarians and specialists will not be able to keep up with classifying the tsunami of information, and we’ll all lose out if we don’t find some way of capturing the patterns of behavior […]


Large numbers of people joined the companies and culture that participated in the venture-capital-fueled dot-bomb, which was believed to be created by the vast potential that the Internet had to change many aspects of human interaction, business, and culture. For many, this personal involvement in discovery was the rationale for their participation. It turned out […]