Archives for Group Minds

Folktologies — Beyond the Folksonomy vs. Ontology Distinction

First of all I know Clay Shirky, and he’s a good fellow. But he’s simply wrong about his claim that "tagging" (of the flavor that is appearing on — what I call "social tagging") is inherently better than the use of formal ontologies.… Read More “Folktologies — Beyond the Folksonomy vs. Ontology Distinction”

Scientific Study Probes Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

A new study demonstrates the power that other people’s beliefs have over a person’s behavior. Specifically it found that parents may unwittingly cause self-fulfilling prophecies in their children’s behavior…

Time and again, research has demonstrated the power of an individual’s self-fulfilling prophecies – if you envision
yourself tripping as you walk across a stage, you will be more likely to stumble and fall.

Read More “Scientific Study Probes Self-Fulfilling Prophecies”

Scientists Discuss their Beliefs in the Unknown

The New York Times has published a wonderful and fascinating set of mini-essays by leading scientists about their beliefs in the unknkown and unexplained — from consciousness, to God, to life on other worlds, and the existence of true love.  There are some terrific thoughts in it — one of thoses rare articles that breaks through stereotypes and opens the door to new paradigms.… Read More “Scientists Discuss their Beliefs in the Unknown”

My "A Physics of Ideas" Manifesto has been Published!

Change This, a project that helps to promote interesting new ideas so that they get noticed above the noise level of our culture has published my article on “A Physics of Ideas” as one of their featured Manifestos. They use an innovative PDF layout for easier reading, and they also provide a means for readers to provide feedback and even measure the popularity of various Manifestos.… Read More “My "A Physics of Ideas" Manifesto has been Published!”

Great Article on Psychohistory and Sociophysics — Can We Predict Behavior?

Great find from Rob Usey at Psydex Corporation: This article is a survey of the emerging field of “sociophysics” which attempts to apply statistical mechanics to predict human social behavior. It’s very cool stuff if you’re interested in social networks, memes, sociology and prediction science.… Read More “Great Article on Psychohistory and Sociophysics — Can We Predict Behavior?”

Idea: Driving Through Virtual Soundscapes

This is an idea for a new way to navigate interactively through large audio sets, such as collections of thousands of music tracks, and to automatically or interactively learn and evolve interesting trajectories through such spaces.

GoMeme 2.0 – Help Test This Meme

Note: This experiment is now finished.

GoMeme 2.0 — Copy This GoMeme From This Line to The End of this article, and paste into your blog. Then follow the instructions below to fill it out for your site.

Steal This Post!!!!… Read More “GoMeme 2.0 – Help Test This Meme”

FAQ for GoMeme 2.0

This posting is the FAQ and introduction for a new, improved, second-generation meme experiment that is designed to spread faster and more broadly than the first meme experiment. We call this kind of meme a “GoMeme” (pronounced Go-Meem), because it is a meme that is designed to Go.… Read More “FAQ for GoMeme 2.0”

A New Blogging Feature: Automated "Social Syndication" Networks

Here’s an idea I’ve had recently that is related to the Meme Propagation experiment (see posts below on this blog for more about that ongoing experiment). The concept is for a new, meme-based, way to syndicate content across blogs. Here’s how it might work:

1.… Read More “A New Blogging Feature: Automated "Social Syndication" Networks”

An Interesting Visualization of Word Frequencies

This animated visualizer lets you enter a word (in the little search box on the bottom left) and then shows the word situated next to other words that are used with similar frequency in English. It’s cool — you can discover some interesting things.… Read More “An Interesting Visualization of Word Frequencies”

Minding the Planet: From Semantic Web to Global Mind

Draft 1.1 for Review (integrates some fixes from readers)
Nova Spivack (


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”

New Version of My "Metaweb" Graph — The Future of the Net



Many people have requested this graph and so I am posting my latest version of it. The Metaweb is the coming “intelligent Web” that is evolving from the convergence of the Web, Social Software and the Semantic Web. The Metaweb is starting to emerge as we shift from a Web focused on information to a Web focused on relationships between things — what I call “The Relationship Web” or the “Relationship Revolution.”… Read More “New Version of My "Metaweb" Graph — The Future of the Net”

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”

The Metaweb is Coming… See this Diagram…

This diagram (click to see larger version) illustrates why I believe technology evolution is moving towards what I call the Metaweb. The Metaweb is emerging from the convergence of the Web, Social Software and the Semantic Web.


Gallery of Network Images

Here is a really cool gallery of images of networks that you must see. Great stuff!

Distributed Social Software

Ran across this paper on some ideas for distributed, peer-to-peer social software. It’s a very nice overview of some of the main ideas and benefits of a decentralized model for social networking, and also touches on Semantic Web topics. Interestingly the author has hit upon many of the major themes in Radar Networks’ platform — which implements the functionality that he proposes and more.… Read More “Distributed Social Software”

Mind-Reading for Managers

At Sandia National Laboratories researchers are working on a new technology that helps managers read the minds of their employees. This is supposed to help the managers assign tasks more effectively, gain insight into their employees’ states of mind, and achieve higher human performance.… Read More “Mind-Reading for Managers”

Semantic Social Networks

Josh Kirschenbaum has some interesting ideas about a different way to constructing a social network.

Instead of a LinkedIn (or any other system) style of listing everyone I know, and everyone who knows who I know- it shows a list of other nodes that I am strongly connected to.

Read More “Semantic Social Networks”

Some Hypothetical "Laws of Social Networks"

In this article I discuss some insights about optimization of social networks. Basically I suggest that “trust is not preserved” along relationship paths of more than 3 hops. In other words, social networks should never forward messages beyond 3 hops. Doing so makes the communication of that message effectively arbitrary, adding noise to the system and degrading utility for users.… Read More “Some Hypothetical "Laws of Social Networks"”

The Emerging Problem of "Social Overload"

Thanks to the recent mushrooming of social networking systems, I am starting to experience a new problem that I call “social overload.” Now that I am connected to the world via LinkedIn, Ryze, Plaxo, Orkut, and Typepad, as well 6 different IM systems, and several email accounts, I am finding that an increasing amount of my time is spent on “relationship maintenance” tasks like approving or declining relationship and referral requests.… Read More “The Emerging Problem of "Social Overload"”

Thoughts on Orkut — Google's New Service

OK, thanks to my friend Clay who is chief techie for Dean, I got into Orkut today — Google’s new stealth social networking service designed to kill Friendster, Linked In and Ryze. It appears to be a clone — pretty much what one would expect from a state-of-the-art social networking site.… Read More “Thoughts on Orkut — Google's New Service”

New Service Uses Your Social Network to Filter Search Results

A new service called Eurekster uses your social network to refine your search results on third-party search engines. The concept is that your interests should be similar to the interests of those in your social network, therefore based on what others in your network search for and like, your own searches can be tuned for your likely interests.… Read More “New Service Uses Your Social Network to Filter Search Results”

Google Launches Social Networking Site

Google has quietly launched a social networking site called Orkut. Currently it appears to be semi-stealth. Here is a detailed article about what is known about it so far. Looks like Google really did want Friendster.

Using Nanoparticles to Augment Human Brains…?

CNN posted an article today about the potential risk of nanotechnology on the human brain. Basically some research shows that nano-scale particles such as industrial waste, or even components of nanotechnologies, can migrate through the human circulatory system and eventually lodge in the brain.… Read More “Using Nanoparticles to Augment Human Brains…?”

The Metaweb: The Global Mind Just Got Smarter

One of the many cool things about the Metaweb is that it functions as a vast bottom-up collaborative filtering system. RSS feeds represent perspectives of publishers. Because feed publishers can automatically or manually include content from other feeds they can “republish,” annotate and filter content.… Read More “The Metaweb: The Global Mind Just Got Smarter”

"Memes" are the units of the Metaweb: Microcontent by Another Name

At Radar Networks we refer to pieces of microcontent as “Memes.” A Weblog posting is a Meme (pronounced “meem”), so is any RSS item. The classic definition of a meme is “a replicating unit of culture.” There is quite a bit of debate among memeticists about what constitutes replication and what constitutes a replicator.… Read More “"Memes" are the units of the Metaweb: Microcontent by Another Name”

The Metaweb: Beyond Weblogs

The Metaweb is not just the set of all Weblog posts, it is much more than that. As much as I love to blog I think many old-timers would have us view the entire Net through “blog colored glasses.” But Weblog postings are just one kind of microcontent.… Read More “The Metaweb: Beyond Weblogs”

The Birth of "The Metaweb" — The Next Big Thing — What We are All Really Building

Originally developed at Netscape, a new technology called RSS has risen from the dead to ignite the next-evolution of the Net. RSS represents the first step in a major new paradigm shift — the birth of “The Metaweb.” The Metaweb is the next evolution of the Web — a new layer of the Web in fact — based on “microcontent.”… Read More “The Birth of "The Metaweb" — The Next Big Thing — What We are All Really Building”

It's About the Meta-Data

Our advisor Paul Ford, has replied to Clay Shirky’s critique of the Semantic Web with a truly excellent articleabout why the Semantic Web is indeed practical. I found Clay’s article to be very one-sided. Like Paul, I agree with Clay that the futuristic goals of some Semantic Web researchers in academia are well…futuristic.… Read More “It's About the Meta-Data”