Best Articles

Minding The Planet — The Meaning and Future of the Semantic Web

NOTES

  • Master Copy can be found at this URL or http://tinyurl.com/yynb93
  • Last Update: Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 10:17AM PST
  • License — This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Deed. If you would like to distribute a version of thisarticle, please link back to http://www.mindingtheplanet.net
Read More “Minding The Planet — The Meaning and Future of the Semantic Web”

Why Machines Will Never be Conscious

Below is the text of my bet on Long Bets. Go there to vote.

“By 2050 no synthetic computer nor machine intelligence will have become truly self-aware (ie. will become conscious).”

Spivack’s Argument:

(This summary includes my argument, a method for judging the outcomeof this bet and some other thoughts on how to measure awareness…)

A.… Read More “Why Machines Will Never be Conscious”

A Problem with Space Travel

As the distance a spaceship travels through space increases, so do the odds that it will collide with debris in its path – such as interstellar dust, micrometeorites, asteroids, dark matter, dark stars, etc.

If you are traveling at super high-speed, through uncharted territory, there is no way to know what is out there.Read More “A Problem with Space Travel”

Location Awareness — The Next Big Thing

Japanese cell phone company KDDI is offering a new GPS-enabled 3D navigational tool to their 17 million subscribers (see article and picture). Their system helps consumers navigate city streets and even within buildings, using an innovative 3D map and audio directions.… Read More “Location Awareness — The Next Big Thing”

Harnessing The Collective Mind

Today I read an interesting article in the New York Times about a company called Rite-Solutions which is using a home-grown stock market for ideas to catalyze bottom-up innovation across all levels of personnel in their organization. This is a way to very effectively harness and focus the collective creativity and energy in an organization around the best ideas that the organization generates.… Read More “Harnessing The Collective Mind”

Collective Intelligence 2.0

Introduction:

This article proposes the creation of a new open, nonprofit service on the Web that will provide something akin to “collective self-awareness” back to the Web. This service is like a “Google Zeitgeist” on steroids, but with a lot more real-time, interactive, participatory data, technology and features init.… Read More “Collective Intelligence 2.0”

Using DNA to Send Messages into the Distant Future

This article discusses recent research into encoding short 100 word messages into the DNA of living organisms. The error-correcting characteristics of DNA enable such messages to be passed down without degrading across generations. By embedding short messages into hardy organisms such as particular strains of bacteria, it may be possible to preserve information over longer timeframes than by using any other known storage media.… Read More “Using DNA to Send Messages into the Distant Future”

The Spherical Desktop

SphereI’ve been thinking a bit about how the GUI for computer desktops could be improved so that it is possible to have more information available without cluttering the screen with windows and folders etc.

One approach that is kind of interesting is to think of the desktop as a sphere instead of a plane.… Read More “The Spherical Desktop”

A Possible Future of Physics

Today I read this nice article which provides a short consumer-friendly overview of the history of the Digital Physics paradigm. Digital Physics is not mainstream physics — but it is growing and someday could become huge. It brings together computer scientists and physicists in an interdisciplinary approach to physics.… Read More “A Possible Future of Physics”

Remote Control Humans

Japanese researchers have developed a technology for the remote control of humans. Hmm… sounds kind of creepy. The system uses weak electrical stimulation of the vestibular system, causing the subject to shift balance and change direction. This technology can also be used to create vestibular illusions — for example, it can be used to make a person playing a computer game think they are experiencing motion.… Read More “Remote Control Humans”

Idea for Safer Submarines

I’ve been following the drama of the stranded Russian mini-sub. One of the main problems is that they have limited oxygen, which doesn’t give the rescue team much time to retrieve the sub. This got me thinking and I came up with a simple idea that could make all submarines safer: Every submarine should have an external valve hookup so that pressurized air can be pumped into the cabin from an external source.… Read More “Idea for Safer Submarines”

Storing Data in Human Fingernails — One of my Past Proposals now Under Development

I just read that a Japanese team is actually developing technology to store data in human fingernails. I proposed this concept on this blog last year in this  post.   That may qualify as prior art. I wonder if they are going to try to patent this?… Read More “Storing Data in Human Fingernails — One of my Past Proposals now Under Development”

Communities of Purpose: The Third Type of Community

I’ve been thinking about different types of communities recently. Two forms of community that are often discussed are "communities of interest" where the members share a common set of interests (e.g. a community of people interested in Japanese culture), and "communities of practice" where the members share a common set of skills (e.g.… Read More “Communities of Purpose: The Third Type of Community”

The Threat of Contaminated Money: Proposed Solutions

by Nova Spivack, Minding the Planet, http://www.mindingtheplanet.net

This news article reports that the FBI is investigating a situation in which mobsters deliberately contaminated their drug money with a virus in order to deter in-house theft by members of their organization. Several years ago, during the days of collective paranoia following 9-11, I started thinking about how to combat potential terrorist threats — and one of the threats I came up with was precisely this threat of contaminated money.… Read More “The Threat of Contaminated Money: Proposed Solutions”

If the Universe is a Simulation, then What?

Here’s an interesting speculation. Assume for the moment that our universe is in fact a simulation running on a vast computing system created a race of beings that is far more advanced than we can presently imagine. The next logical question would be, “Why would an advanced civilization want or need to undertake such a project?”… Read More “If the Universe is a Simulation, then What?”

The Ontology Problem: A Definition with Commentary

The Ontology Problem is a fundamental challenge of the emerging Semantic Web. This problem is comprised of three key sub-problems, the Upper Ontology Problem, the Domain Ontology Problem, and the Ontology Integration Problem, described in detail below:

 

Idea: GRASP — The Statistics Portal

If you’ve ever tried writing a business plan, you know what a chore it is to locate statistics about industries, markets and products. While there are many market research firms that charge huge sums for their reports on particular segments, one quickly realizes that the wide degree of variance in their statistics means that just getting reports from one source is not very useful — one really needs to see all the statistics normalized across all the sources that project them about a market.… Read More “Idea: GRASP — The Statistics Portal”

Messages in DNA: You Saw it Here First

In August of 2003, I posted an article that suggested the SETI folks ought to look at our own DNA to see if there happens to be a hidden message from aliens in there waiting to be discovered. Putting a message in human DNA, particularly in the junk DNA regions, is guaranteed (a) not to degrade significantly over long periods of time and (b) to be found by humans when we reached a suitable level of technological development, and (d) to go with each of us wherever we went on earth and beyond.… Read More “Messages in DNA: You Saw it Here First”

What is a GoMeme — The Shortest Explanation

A GoMeme is a specially modified piece of content that spreads virally along social relationships in a manner that benefits every site that helps it spread. Any piece of content can be transformed into a GoMeme.

Proposal For A New Constitutional Amendment: A Separation of Corporation and State

by Nova Spivack
Originally published on July 28, 2004; Updated on October 10, 2011
http://novaspivack.com

Should there be a Constitutional Separation of Corporation and State?

Today our American democracy faces a new threat to its integrity, a threat even greater than terrorism in the long-term.… Read More “Proposal For A New Constitutional Amendment: A Separation of Corporation and State”

A Physics of Ideas: Measuring The Physical Properties of Memes

by Nova Spivack, http://www.novaspivack.com

Original: July 8, 2004

Revised: February 5, 2005; February 28, 2010

(Permission to reprint or share this article is granted, with a citation to this Web Page: http://www.novaspivack.com/science/a-physics-of-ideas-measuring-the-physical-properties-of-memes)

This paper provides an overview of a new approach to measuring the physical properties of ideas as they move in real-time through information spaces and populations such as the Internet.Read More “A Physics of Ideas: Measuring The Physical Properties of Memes”

Superdistribution is the Solution to Digital Piracy and Marketing — and a Venture Opportunity too!

Forget about DRM and legal action to prevent piracy — there is a better way: Superdistribution harnesses basic human drives to save money and make money. It’s more powerful than copy protection, more powerful than ethical arguments, and more powerful even than fear of legal prosecution.Read More “Superdistribution is the Solution to Digital Piracy and Marketing — and a Venture Opportunity too!”

Minding the Planet: From Semantic Web to Global Mind

Draft 1.1 for Review (integrates some fixes from readers)
Nova Spivack (www.mindingtheplanet.net)

INTRODUCTION

This article presents some thoughts about the future of intelligence on Earth. In particular, I discuss the similarities between the Internet and the brain, and how I believe the emerging Semantic Web will make this similarity even greater.… Read More “Minding the Planet: From Semantic Web to Global Mind”

How to Build a Network Automaton

Here is a cool new kind of complex system I am thinking about a lot that we might call a “network-automaton” or a “graph automaton” — a system that evolves networks (graphs) over time. This rule is similar to cellular automata rules such as the famous “Life” rule discovered by John Conway, however instead of computing the states of cells on a grid, it computes the shape of a network.
Read More “How to Build a Network Automaton”

The Physics of the Web

This is a very good article on the physics of scale-free networks such as the Web.

Lately I have been getting increasingly interested in graph theory and also in knot theory. There is a similarity between networks and knots and it should be possible to do a mapping such that the theorems and algorithms of knot theory could be translated to apply to network topologies.… Read More “The Physics of the Web”

As I predicted .. Lifelogs are coming…

I call it a Lifelog — Nokia calls it a “Lifeblog” (my terminology is better) — but it’s the same idea — a log of all the stuff you experience — your whole life, blogged and online. OK but the key is to make sure I can keep my lifeblog private — or at least parts of it private!… Read More “As I predicted .. Lifelogs are coming…”

From Application-Centric to Data-Centric Computing: The Metaweb

One of the big changes that will be enabled by the coming Metaweb is the shift from application-centric computing to data-centric computing. As the Metaweb evolves, information will be imbued with increasingly sophisticated metadata. HTML provides metadata about formatting and links.… Read More “From Application-Centric to Data-Centric Computing: The Metaweb”

Neuromarketing and Memetic Attenuation

This article discusses new research in how the brain makes buying decisions and other choices — what is now called “neuromarketing”. Neuromarketing researchers seek to discover, and influence, the neurological forces at work inside the mind of potential customers. According to the article, most decisions are made subconsciously and are not necessarily rational at all – in fact they may be primarily governed by emotions and other more subtle cognitive factors such as identity and sense of self.… Read More “Neuromarketing and Memetic Attenuation”

Social Networks, Physics, Civilizations — Do they All Obey the Same Underlying Rules?

I am having an interesting conversation with Howard Bloom, author, memeticist, historian, scientist, and social theorist. We have been discussing network models of the universe and the underlying “metapatterns” that seem to unfold at every level of scale. Below is my reply to his recent note, followed by his note which is extremely well written and interesting…

————
From: Nova Spivack
To: Howard Bloom
Subject: Re: Graph Automata — Is the Universe Similar to a Social Network?

Read More “Social Networks, Physics, Civilizations — Do they All Obey the Same Underlying Rules?”

Graph Automata — What Can Social Networks Teach us About Underlying Physical Laws?

Hello all, I have been thinking about the general problems of social networks on the Internet. It occurs to me that these issues are closely related to digital physics. For more on digital physics see the work of Ed Fredkin, Stephen Wolfram, Norman Margolus, Tomasso Toffoli, and other pioneers of the field of cellular automata.… Read More “Graph Automata — What Can Social Networks Teach us About Underlying Physical Laws?”