Archives for Intelligence Technology

The Threat of Contaminated Money: Proposed Solutions

by Nova Spivack, Minding the Planet,

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”

Hafnium Bombs – The Next Superweapon

Here is a fascinating article about DARPA’s "high risk, high payoff" quest to develop an exotic new Hafnium bomb — a new kind of weapon that emits huge amounts of gamma rays from a very small package. This thing packs the bang of a conventional nuke in a package as small as a hand grenade — and the gamma ray burst that results can penetrate deep into bunkers and through thick materials.… Read More “Hafnium Bombs – The Next Superweapon”

A Stock Market for Ideas

Media Mammon  is a new stock market for memes. You can invest play money in words and phrases that are spreading through the media. May the best meme win! See also: A Physics of Ideas.

Color Laser Printers Secretly Encode Tracking Codes on Printouts

This is quite interesting. It turns out that manufacturers of color laser printers are secretly encoding tracking numbers onto every inch of every printout. These microscopic codes enable printouts to be traced back to particular printers that printed them, and thus to whomever owns those devices.… Read More “Color Laser Printers Secretly Encode Tracking Codes on Printouts”

New Technique for Analyzing Sentiment in Texts

Researchers at Cornell have come up with a clever new way to determine the sentiment expressed in textual data. Their method relies of separating objective statements from subjective statements, and then just measuring the subjective ones. This results in more accurate measures of sentiment.

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?”

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”

RFC for a New Distributed Data Exchange System

Matt Poepping has come up with an interesting idea for how to create a fully distributed searchable database on the Net. It’s a cool enough idea and approach that people should see his RFC and comment on it. He may be onto something important here.

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”

A Physics of Ideas: Measuring The Physical Properties of Memes

by Nova Spivack,

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:

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”

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 Way to Crack Declassified Documents

A new technique has been proposed that appears to be able to determine a shortlist of possible words that can occupy sections of declassified documents that have been “blacked out.” The attack makes use of some clever analytical tactics. Using this method the researchers were able to determine the identity of an intelligence agency in a declassified CIA document.… Read More “New Way to Crack Declassified Documents”

Chaotic Computing – Alternative to Quantum Computing?

A new approach to computing called Chaotic Computing has been proposed. It uses chaotic elements to simulate logical operations. The benefits are that such systems may be dynamically reconfigurable in real-time, and may be able to perform multiple operations at the same time.… Read More “Chaotic Computing – Alternative to Quantum Computing?”

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”

Finding Primes Using Cellular Automata

It just occurred to me that distribution of primes looks VERY much like the output of a cellular automaton rule. This makes me wonder whether it might be possible to use a cellular automaton to generate prime numbers. If we can find the rule that generates the prime numbers, perhaps this rule has other important properties.… Read More “Finding Primes Using Cellular Automata”

Brainwave Helmet Controls Video Game

Wow. This is a very cool new project — controlling video games with a braincap.

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.


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”

Hidden Cameras Capture Animal Lives

Biologists are now strapping tiny cameras to animals and insects to capture their daily lives — even onto bees!

Semantic Web Officially Approved by W3C

Huge news for the Semantic Web — the W3C has officially approved the RDF and OWL specs.

Namebase is Cool

Shannon Clark, a smart guy who is also the founder of Mesh Forum, a new conference devoted to understanding the power of networks in various domains sent me a cool link to the Namebase visualization of citations around my grandfather, Peter F.Read More “Namebase is Cool”

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”

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?”

Neural Net that Invents Things

The Creativity Machine is a special application of neural networks based on the deliberate introduction of mathematical noise into the network. By adding noise after the network has been trained, the system is able to wander around slightly less rigidly, leading it to “free associate” and even to “dream” and “hallucinate.”… Read More “Neural Net that Invents Things”

Article on Cognitive Overload

Here is an interesting article on “Cognitive Overload” for those interesting in a more scholarly analysis of the subject. Nice work!

Belgian Rabbit Poachers "Bond Car" Gadgets

It turns out the Cold War never ended — it just switched from humans vs. humans to humans vs. rabbits. And the frontlines of this new Great Game are in Belgium, where police just captured the latest in secret weaponry on the side of the humans: A new Rabbit Poaching Spy Car that could have been designed by Q himself.… Read More “Belgian Rabbit Poachers "Bond Car" Gadgets”

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…?”

Bimodal Minds in the Prevailing Linear Monoculture

Another interesting article from my father, Mayer Spivack, about his theory that there are two main modes of human cognition. One is linear and the other is associative. Our culture calls the linear mode “intelligent” and the non-linear mode “dyslexic” or “disabled.”… Read More “Bimodal Minds in the Prevailing Linear Monoculture”