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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stewed Thoughts 

Somehow, I want to call the Web 2.0 era the Age of Refactoring. In many ways, I think what is going on, technologically, is that this is the era of stuff that mostly works, mostly correctly, most of the time.

I theorize that mash-up culture is a lot about maximizing the value of the present cultural resources. I guess that makes soft applications of technology, be it Google (any Google project), Wikipedia, Flickr, or whatever, attempts to mine already existing reserves of knowledge in new ways. What was that I read about digging into existing journal articles with the quest to discover new knowledge lying latent in 'em? Science and technology are full of good stories about latent discoveries (cosmic background radiation is probably the canonical one).

I am trying to say that this inward-looking jump into optimization may be a moment when we turn our computing tools on themselves in order to accelerate the growth of knowledge and understanding in the future.

Everywhere, I see people more interested in numbers and reasoning than before. Should I credit Bill James, sports books, Freakonomics, or the mysterious rise in IQ scores?

Is our children learning?

I credit video games.

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