The Internet may be our finest tool for inculcating the highest values in ourselves—but before cultivation comes freedom.
We should seek, in recommendations, empathy, sensitivity and surprise, all of which are natural to people and errant in computers; yet, for some reason, we use computers to power our recommendation and curation systems.
Idle thought: in computing we have compute, storage, network. One might say that these are analogous to (individual/group): thinking/collaborating, saving/sharing, but we appear no standalone concept for communication (group) but with oneself.
Text is a special case of hypertext; media is a special case of hypermedia.
I have a Cannon Typestar 10II, a typewriter that lets the user type and edit a line in the machine’s memory before printing. But, it has no ports: you can’t use to with your computer to type or print. It is the physical equivalent of closed software and data structures.
Imagine a road between locations A and B, but that can followed only from A and is invisible when at B; imagine also that, when challenged, the engineers say:
“You mean back-roads? Yeah, these guys drive around tell us where some roads go but don’t give us the map. Cool right?”
Give me a sufficiently efficient pump and a 12-volt outlet, and I can lift my car.
The Internet is a big, strange, unique monster: one that all the usual suspects would have us carve up and lobotomize for all the usual reasons; we must prevent them from doing so.
Bigtime Tommy: “In school, you are given the lesson first, then the test. But in life, you are given the test, and then you learn your lesson.” My commentary: “In bad science, you observe first then theorize. In good science, you theorize, then observe.