Thursday, July 23, 2009
Monday, May 19, 2008
The New Blank Society and Web 3.0
Globalization is taking place and it's not reversible - rather historical. Inequality within society (financially and non-financially) - governance systems - including weaker national government influence - don't work on a global scale.
So the question is, 'How will economic and technology trends influence the way that society develops and what is our role in the near future?'
Our roles are becoming more specialized. In essence, I believe that the 'renaissance man' is an anachronism in our modern society, due to the huge driving force toward specialization.
No longer is a writer a writer, a chemist a chemist, or a philosopher a philosopher. They are each specialized in a subdivision of their field, often with little interest in other realms of knowledge (within their field, let alone even daring to venture outside of it).
This specialization seems to hinder progress within each field, as each group of specialist develops a highly distinct, individualistic mode of communication (a new, lonely language) that excludes non-specialist and hence fortifies the barrier of communication between knowledge fields and, in effect, humans.
Our society and the mechanism that define and regulate it are drastically changing exactly because of this specialization of knowledge.
Seems bad but not really - it's an opportunity.
We now have a chance to re-think the way we adapt to society and its influences. Global societies and their interactions are the most complex structures in the world. We barely understand it and how it works. We theorize, evaluate and research but do we know the main mechanisms that govern our societies?
In order to balance the inequalitie between loosely consolidated private power (that initiate innovation) and highly consolidated public and capital power (that regulate it) requires creativity and a different mechanism of control - not hierarchical in nature but rather networked and layered.
This is where I was today in a large, rather heated discussion. The question boils down to a chicken and egg discussion. Some would believe that these attributes (networking, self organizing, multidirectional), as a result of technical innovation, are leading societal change.
My specific argument is that these attributes are actually being developed after the fact to fill the voids and gaps left between public and private power.
Global society is developing as a result of a higher consolidation of power (market, capital and governance or influence) within the hands of fewer people and thus, the development of networks and multidimensional matrices are a creative innovation of the common man or private power.
Social technology (or social media) is the result - not the cause – of these changes.
Our world is at a transitional moment. This transitional moment will be (or is) very disruptive and costly but that’s another 3 hour discussion so I won't include it here.
The point here is that in our (my) world, at the intersection of technology and society, this discussion helps us to define what Web 3.0 will become.
By my definition, Web 3.0 is the new paradigm of the collection and sharing of human knowledge.
This will be the defining factor on how the New Blank Society will be shaped. Web 3.0 won’t be simply be a term attached to the Internet because the Internet is changing and in a few years from now, the so-called Internet will look very different to what we see currently.
By my definition, Web 3.0 will scale to define our society in the future.
It will include inherent support for private power and the creativity of innovations and rewards to support future innovation. And it will include a balancing mechanism that will define public power and the governance models that will allow and accept redistributive equality into the ‘social knowledge sharing’ equation.
Web 3.0 will be a defining initiative for society in the near future. I hope we get it right.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
The winds are a changin'
The conclusion of the research didn't have an opinion on Anonymous or Scientology, per se, but focused more on this unique experiment of 'online to offline crossover influence'; the fact that an anonymous group of so-called 'hackers' could mobilize a physical demonstration against an organization.
We are now seeing a secondary experiment with the mobilization of demonstrators intended to protest the torch run of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
In both cases, a very large proportion of the demonstrators were not personally involved with the organizations, in these cases, Scientology or Tibet. Most demonstrators have rather illogical reasons for participating ... but here they are .. in large numbers.
Is Scientology the most pressing 'religious' issue that the world is facing? Is Tibet the most important 'political' issue? Of course not - they are mere distractions and are, at most, emotionally charged. Perhaps that's the key - emotionally charged or better yet, mass irrationality.
Sound like a Freudian conspiracy?
I have also been watching the RSA conference closely as well. In addition to the usual suspects - botnets, infrastructure security and greynet activities, there is an unusual amount of 'channel' security in discussion. Channel security? Read: monitoring your online activity.
A few quotes from US homeland security chief Michael Chertoff:
'We take threats to the cyber world as seriously as we take threats to the material world. Please send some of your brightest and best to do service in the government. It is the best thing you can do for your country' ... and then he talked about the federal government’s new cyber security 'Manhattan Project', an ambitious and expensive initiative to, in part, monitor the complex computer networks of all federally funded agencies.
Federally funded agencies? Do a search on this - you'll find university programs, NGO programs, corporate programs and ALL government websites.
And in the spirit of 'Minority Reportitis', my favorite quote, 'The best way to deal with an attack is before it happens rather than after it has occurred'.
Speaks for itself.
At the same time, we have the Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell stating in an interview that the Intelligence Community, 'must have access to Google [and presumably all other search engine’s] search histories, private emails, and file transfers in order to identify cyberterrorists – and terrorists.'
You can draw your own conclusions but it seems that these virtually initiated demonstrations are starting to get the attention of the darkhats.
Probably - but remember, 80% of all propaganda is 'disinformation'.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Reading and Writing
THE NEW WEB COMMUNICATOR
The Web offers one of the most significant opportunities to
communicators in modern history, but requires a total
redefinition of what communications is.
Traditional communications is one-way, passive and past-tense.
It is all about telling people what you have done, what you are
doing, or what you are about to do. There is a core belief among
certain traditional communicators that people need to be
Traditional communications is not all that different from
traditional journalism. There is a saying in traditional
journalism: "The reader is not as stupid as you think they are.
They're more stupid."
There might have been some truth in such a view forty years ago,
but we are now in a different age. It is not the digital age. It
is not the information age. It is the informed age. The very
success of the Web is based on a questioning society. We are a
society that searches because we want to find out.
The Web is where we go to know, to be informed. Those societies
that want to control what people know, who fear independent
thought and action, will always fear the Web. Those societies
who think it is exclusively the job of the elite to inform the
masses will always fear the Web.
But the people love the Web. They love the Web because they can
find out for themselves, from people like them. They love the
Web because the Web is many messages, and the Web gives people
the chance to compare, rate, question, talk back, and-most
The essence of the Web is action. We go to the Web because we
have a task; there is something we need to do; there is a
problem we need to solve. What helps us do? What helps us act?
Written words. The oxygen of the Web is written words. There is
no life on the Web without written words.
Written words are the tools of the communicator. But these
written words have a very different function on the Web. I
analyze a lot of government websites. Unfortunately, too many
overflow with vanity, pomposity and waffle. Some of them are
little more than campaign websites full of puff pictures of
preening peacock politicians.
Many web teams still struggle to convince their PR and
communications colleagues that on the Web you communicate by
doing. A friend of mine was worried about his wife, who had just
given birth. She was not well and he believed that the doctor
has misdiagnosed her.
He went to the Web, and on his journey to find out, ended up on
some government websites, where he was faced with puff PR about
how much the government was investing, and what the Minister for
Health had for breakfast. He didn't want to know how much was
being invested. He wanted help; he wanted to read content that
could help him find out what exactly was wrong with his wife.
He found answers, and he was right-she had been misdiagnosed.
This is the power and potential of the Web, and this is the
challenge and opportunity for the communicator. Show by doing.
Inform with active verbs. Make your words work for your
Monday, February 04, 2008
The Internet is now Fair Game
Regular channels, including the media and 90% of the bloggers who blog about bloggers, didn't notice the IRC and the /chan/b/ activities and the 'sudden' arrival of a group of Internet activists known as Anonymous and their coordinated attack against Scientology.
This isn't an alt.2600 play like, 'c4n sUm1 h31p m3 w1tH h4x0RiNg mY sk00lz c0mPz?'
Here's a few links:
1st Contact (Jan 21, 2008)
2nd Contact (Jan 28, 2008)
Code of Conduct (Feb 1, 2008)
The Economist claims that,
'it [Anonymous] is promoting cyberwarfare techniques normally associated with extortionists, spies and terrorists.'No it's not. Here's why:
The economy of the developed world is moving from focusing on producing goods (i.e. cars, houses, food, and computers) to being based on the exchange of information. This shift may be compared to the transition from feudalism to capitalism where the power shifted away from the landed aristocracy to the newly enriched bourgeoisie. Recently, the power shifted from the owners of productive capital (i.e. factories) to those of informational capital.
As predicted by Marx, we have seen a strong shift away from productive capital to financial capital in the last 15 years. But as the new access points to information increased, the ability for speculative investments to wreck havoc on national economies (such as Mexico’s 1994 crisis, Southeast Asian financial crisis, the sub-mortgage debacle last year) became clear. Each day over 3.1 trillion dollars is traded in international currency markets. Financial capital was the overwhelming power of the state - as we see with the Chinese government owning 80% of the US national debt, it isn't any more.
Now, the economy has entered a new stage [I have discussed new economic models before, especialy the XY model] and a new class has gained power. This new class of "info-bourgeoisie" have become targets as hackers fight over the 'technopower' that has arisen from the imbalance of information ownership. Thus the recent 'corporatization' of the Internet' and the public efforts to move to a post-capitalist and socialistic economic model?
Although they have only recently raised their public head, Anonymous, the g00ns - as well as many other backchannel groups - have been around for a long time and have been active for several years. They are very good at what they do and better at exploiting what they want you to notice them doing.
Some of these groups, as reported in the broad media, ARE a self-mobilizing collection of scriptkiddies (whitehat operators) but more [certainly more than you want to know about] are individually funded by corporate, government and military 'onint', 'intint or 'nn' programs.
This is not new - this is not the beginning - this is not a conspiracy theory - this is real and it is certainly is not the end.
Traditionally, following the storyline of Frank Abagnale Jr., who was hired by the Ant-Fraud section of the american FBI, the US, French and Israeli military has been the best employers and trainers of online intelligence agents to 'search' the Internet and 'gather' darkchannel information. The creation of 'honeypots' has been publicly downplayed for several years and the skill of these institutionalized hackers is extraordinary.
But as new money rolled in, self-proclaimed "ethical" hackers now work on blackhat operations for private and semi-public figures/organizations all over the world.
Sound like a Bond movie? No. Darknet is very real. There are a reported 5000-8000 DDoS every day. Repeat: EVERY DAY. That's not including other l33tspeak activity - and this is definately not lutz matter.
Hackers are move beyond their previous limitations (broad gender based, deeper politicized, and more concern for recruitment and teaching) and have now become hacktivists. They work with non-technologically based and technology-borrowing social movements in the struggle for global justice.
Humanitarian organizations need to get more involved with technologically based social movements or face difficulty continuing to maintain their power base to the new technopower elite.
Smart people can do the research and see where I am going with this; the Internet has changed and Anonymous (and groups like them) are now public. Their call to action on February 10th will be successful and this meme will not pass.
They are Anonymous
They are Legion
They do not forgive
They do not forget
They will be heard