Saturday, April 08, 2006

Designing information

There is no such thing as good information or bad information. Like design - there is no good or bad design - there is design. There is information.

Society often adds the 'value layer' on information and design. At the same time, human society has lost control of the amount, type and delivery mechanism. Our influence is diminishing.

Today’s culture embraces portability. The world has become smaller, in part due to the Internet’s possibilities of transacting internationally on a scale unheard of 20 years ago. Further, this opportunity to connect, transmit and receive information has moved away from simply using a personal computer to view web pages. The advent of total wireless and body implants (BMIs) or symbiotic machine-human interfaces, is just around the corner.

But the next step will go beyond the most basic and inherent constraints of our human condition so that we can increase our potential and attain an even better existence.

Going beyond the fundamental constraints of the human condition is called ascension. Ascension may begin partly through advanced mind and body practices, but in its fullest form it will likely arise only through new technologies that will allow us to completely transform the nature and processes of our minds and bodies.

Human beings have always struggled with obstacles in the way of attaining their purposes.

Sometimes these obstacles have been aspects of the rest of nature and the world, but often human beings' own inadequacies have been the obstacles. Poor thinking, poor relating to other cultures, poor competence at basic skills and erratic moods have harmed humanity at every turn.

These sorts of flaws in fundamental human nature have been extended by the ills of widespread ignorance, delusion, apathy and despair. Very soon, technological singularity - the accelerating mash-up of technological, biological and medical innovations will lead to the development of new forms of expression and intelligence.

But this is getting too philosophical.

Right now - is it possible to 'design' information that changes our social dimension?

Structured content, micro-formats, ambient findability and new models of information delivery let me do what I want, when I want, how I want. They let me manage how I fulfill my desires; how I accomplish my goals.

Information design gleaned from many diverse sources: years of pre-Web application design, the best interactive web sites and mobile devices such as cell phones and iPods are becoming pervasive.

At the same time, our environments are becoming intelligent.

Our environment is now self-designing and is being influence more by a variety of disciplines including artists, philosophers, computer scientists, designers and sociologists - all are in the debate on how information can contribute to improving the quality of everyday life.

Therefore, we need to promote discussions that take a completely fresh view of the interaction between society and technology; how this should be used in the future to maximize the benefits to individuals and society.

Globalization cannot be stopped. It's not even here because it has already happened. Intercultural in now intracultural. Physical and virtual environments have meshed together.

I met Jeffrey Huang from Harvard at the LIFT06 conference a while back and he jogged a few nerves. This idea has been stirring in my brain for a bit. To humbly paraphrase Jeffrey, the way we exchange information is fundamentally changing how we practice some of our most basic everyday activities and challenging how we perceive and use space. Yet the nature of these information-driven changes and their effect on humanity and society is not understood - rarely even noticed until after the fact.

By nature, information is becoming patterned after natural language. Cultural differences are melting into one with 'personal opinions' being the only differentiator.

I think that our environment - interactions, products and tools, space and time - will also start to be designed this way. Not by people but organically. We, as humans, do not have the influence as we must compete with nature itself.

In the Kardashev scale, proposed by Russian astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964, he classifies potential civilizations by their ability to exploit the energy available in their environment.

We need to develope a new scale that helps us define ourselves in our pre-type I societies. We will move and interact in our daily lives with the same ease and comfort as reading Bukowski.

Now wouldn't that be perfect!

5 Comments:

Anonymous Matt O'Neill said...

Interesting point regarding the chat you had with Jeffrey Huang.

Since setting up my first blog in early February, i'm a different person.

Blogging, to me, is all about the community. I love being able to keep up with my friends' / professional contacts' thinking.

Increasingly, i'm finding that face to face / telephone conversations with people often include a 'Saw what you posted on..... Really interesting.... Let's discuss further'....

Matt

12:20 PM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger J David Galipeau said...

Jeffrey is cool. I liked his talk and his mind. He's a really interesting guy - heard a rumour that he is returning to Switzerland soon - to teach at l’Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFA).

Are you always online?

12:34 PM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger J David Galipeau said...

But that eing said - blogging is just the delivery mechanism. It's you give and take of information that is perhaps making the difference.

imagine what will happen when ur able to exchange information around the world and not even know it? Imagine when you don't know who you are exchanging information with BUT it is influencing both of your lives?

Imagine.

12:37 PM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger J David Galipeau said...

Who then has control?

12:37 PM, April 08, 2006  
Anonymous Matt O'Neill said...

am i always online? probably about 5 hours a day or so....

not usually after 6pm...

if i'm online, you'll see me on skype...

it's sunday now... just about to start the UN security training.... wish me luck!

cheers,

matt

11:41 AM, April 09, 2006  

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