Friday, December 01, 2006

Sloodle legitimate peripheral learning

I'm in SL and on this occastion some weeks ago, I had so many beginner problems. One thing I really did not udnerstand by then, was how to navigate around and find my own feet, while also folloing a group event. I wanted to see people and the location from allpossible views, which, in turn, made it very hard for me to follow instructions and help efforts. Now I begin to understand why people build meeting places with chairs to sit on, simåly to make us slowdown and have the attention on the stage area, so to speak.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

More from Second LIfe

My second visit to Second life was more succesful!
I made a flight over the landscape which gave a fairly good perspective, but no real orientation. After all I was looking for one specific location without knowing the direction, the Education Island. Yesterday's text search for this did give me zero result; today I had bingo and moved over to open the gate (created by gavin, first sign of actual succes!9 I also did a search for Webheads, but got the business card from Graham Stanley from Barcelona, forgot his secret - or second - identity just now. And had to reboot because of a frozen screen. Good thing was that I could get in touch with Vance on Skype, and ask him a bit for details. His actual notes are here, with links and such.
Webheads are now hanging out at Tapped In, as usual on Sundays around 12 noon GMT. I'll join them and see whazzup. Probably some will join us for the Webcastathon in Second Life in 20 minutes...
More again soon, promise!

Testing Slideshare

Can I just copy and paste the embed file object code directly from Slideshare?
If you wish an invitation to test this new smart online presentation tool, ask me!

Message from Second LIfe - unidentified object lost and found

I was there for a while last night, and my poor avatar had a hard time. We could look around in the area,even turning the universe upside down, and a few other stiffs were standing around, not reacting to my tentative chat messages. But apart from some silly gestures, I did see my avatar from the back only - and could not make it move out of the spot, not really going anywhere else than the Oasis desert looking enclosure where I was stuck. The manual popups were far too tiny for me to really READ. I tried many actions, such as Find a location, but no luck. I was looking for the Webheads hut that I knew Vance is decorating for today, somewhere in EduSpace (?). No luck there. But at least something must have happened while i was messing around  - I had a note posted to my email from the honorable Gov. Linden:

The object 'Second Life' has sent you a message from Second Life:
object 'Object' has been returned to your inventory lost and found
folder by Governor Linden from parcel 'Memory Bazaar (...) at Ross 32.7787, 224.082 due to
parcel auto return.

Hmmm. Not really informative, or explanatory. I'm not aware of having used or lost any objects over there. But, at least I think i got the coordinates for the dull & desert location Ross where I found nobody at home, or at least virtually alert.

Webcastathon this weekend - Webheads go Second Life!

Worldbridges are busy people and this week, from Thursday onwards there is running a so-called Webcastathon, a marathon event with many sessions primarily show casing students' work from Webcast Academy class 1.2. I'm enrolled in the Webcast academy class 1.3 starting next week  - the Nordic section - so I know I must participate somehow, with a tight deadline for my next dissertation meeting with my advisor, Soren Langager on Wednesday,  this breakout from my schedule should be planned carefully. I would have enjoyed being part of Friday night in Lee Baber's
Space cast with her students; this I will have to listen to as
playback, also called podcast. I decided it would be possible to find just a slice of time, and go for the exciting Second Life session today, at noon GMT Webheads time. This means I had to join secondlife as a new member and install the relevant software. SusNy Foss, yes that's my second life avatar - here I come!

Act Alive (from Global learn Day last weekend)

Janet Feldman., Nigeria from Act Alive is now leading the conversation. She is the director of
ActALIVE, an
arts coalition  the
international wing of a Kenyan HIV/AIDS NGO. The coalition is composed
of groups and individuals who use or advocate the use of arts to address
HIV/AIDS and related issues like poverty, human-rights, and sustainable
development. The coalition has 200 members (individuals and
organizations) from 20+ countries at present, and we are actively
networking with like-minded groups, hoping to collaborate and partner on
projects of mutual interest.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

86 % pure nerd, according to test ;-)

I don't really know why I had to take this silly test, but I'm not very surprised about the outcome: I've scored highest in the nerd category. The test provided me with this message (I've cut away some useless details to slim my posting here)

Pure Nerd

86 % Nerd, 30% Geek, 43% Dork

For The Record:
A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

Monday, September 04, 2006

Fast feed for hungry ears, and slow listening for non natives

Phil Windley's Technometria | Speeding Up Podcasts

An interesting apporach: If you're too busy to really listen to those long boring podcast shows, why not make it run faster to save time? Phil Windley from IT conversations and Technometria blog llke to listen at 1.5x - unless he really want to listen and learn!

Phil W. has got some nice info on how to do this trick - and more pops up in the comments.One reader who is non English, prefer slowing down the speed to be able to liten more carefully -  I think I can follow him there.Much of the fast paced  radio host babble American style is really hopelessly fast running:-)
 The iPod supports speeding up playback of audiobooks, which are different, in Apple’s nomenclature, from podcasts. An audiobook is an ACC format file with the extension .m4b (opposed to the normal .m4a extension). So, you have to convert the selection to ACC (since most things are MP3s, then rename the file, and reimport.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Exercise: aggregated blog feed - fresh from CPSQ

After some very profound considerations, there is now an 'official' feed for CPSquare members, carefully prepared by John Smith, LearningAlliances. I'm posting this message to see whether this blog of mine is there; as I've got more experimental blogs developed more or less, over time, this is not hte one & only - but the most often updated lately. I know that I will need to settle down and focus. But there are indeed many mre temptations to try yet another cool web 2.0 tool that might be helpful in education :-)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bubbleshare letter from Germany

Dennis,another webhead in Osnabrück is currently a mystery guest visiting Carla's class in Argentina. he prepared this slideshow with voice comments from his home town in North Germany

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Poddy training - a matter of flow

In May, I met with the Danish journalist and podcast expert Karin Hoegh for the first time at the Danish Reboot8 conference - just before Ben Hammersley's marvellous show on the 21st century renaissance people. Karin asked where people put their clumsily entangled wires and ear phones, and we were joking a bit about this. I had the utmost pelasure to join a kitchen table chat with same Karin for her very first podcast at episode#1, as we wanted to figure out where people are placing the ear phones with wires when they do not listen to their iPod. This appears to be a real little problem!

After Karin had challenged me jokingly to find a solution for this and I came up with different ways of using velcro straps, I made a photo session starring my iPod in different cute situations with doll's house furniture and playmates mini sized. I'm blogging a bit (in Danish) about this so called poddy training. In episode#2 I was interviewed in more details and more professionally relevant - about how to motivate and encourage people who are unfamiliar with podcasting, to become listeners. I believe this is a matter of flow learning; if things are to hard to deal with, or too boring, there is no real learning because the learner cannot focus her attention and would probably just start doing something else. If you feel pleasure in a trustful situation, and knowing that you are in a social relation with someone who already knows some more about how to do this and where you could look for help, there's genuine learning happening. In the flow.

EFL bridges world conversation club - fashion and gadgets

In todays skype cast, we had a conversation about fashion; I came in pretty late. During some speculations about young people being much aware of current fashion trends in clothing, and a world wide alikeness of clothes with some recent shopping experiences from different cities, I saw a parallel chat started in the text chat room, about some issues on the new playstation commercial (being accused of racism). And then, we tuned in on what's trendy and fashion in the gadget world, exemplified by the iPod hype, with Levi's jeans made for wearing your iPod, Nike running shoes with a training program for the iPod. We then turned the scope of our conversation from clothes to more generally speaking, electronic gadgets and the fascination of "wearables", containers, protections and extra add-ons for iPods & other mp3 player types, and the functionality issues (or lack of same).

I've blogged this also over at the elfbridges portal where I joined as a member; It is based on drupal and I like to experiment with different formats. Graham Stanley (located in Barcelona) is the manager of this portal and hosting the sessions, but also inviting others to take over.

Burning my own feed for this very blog

Did you ever hear about "burning your RSS feed" for a blog or podcast, to keep up with new updated posts and casts? One tool for this purpose is called Feedburner. It works quite automated, just register as a member and the basic features are free. Pro users pay $5 or more, depending on the number of feeds they wish to burn. Don't ask me why this code system procedure is called burning; this is part of the insider slag that's so hard to deal with as a non US techie.

The procedure was reall simple; I had a choice between an ATOM feed or an RSS2. As I'm not sure what's teh difference I just marked yes to the RSS feed. And then I get a URL code which I could share. Now, to make this work smoothly I need to copy, cut&paste into my blogger template editor which is so hard to deal with. Let's see how that's going to turn out! Please be patient with me - I'm a beginner with this Feedburner trick.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Meeting for the first time like two good old friends

Originally uploaded by netopNyrop.
Rita the Webhead from Rosario in Argentina is visiting Denmark with her husband Hector on their North European odyssey. Rita and I have spent some fun time together preparing our online wikispace for this occasion and finally yesterday morning we were able to hug each other for the first time. We took an easy going walk around n the local neighborhood of their pension at Christianshavn before moving over the bidge to meet Copenhagen in a relaxed mode.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Nicole Simon and her international audience strategy

Why should US podcasters be aware of an international audience?Nicole Simon lives in Germany, and she just mentions all of those aspects that I've often found makes it difficult to keep my attentionj when listening to podcasts that are NUS centric. Shje laso has many other good and relevant points. I'll continue this post later. We're still in the session at the Women's international podcast expo (online)

And, where's Karin Hoegh today?

Gate keeeper helped me feel at home

Just look at this expo hall - a really welcoming interface. Yhe Women's international podcasting expo.Still, when you get inside, it is like a maze. I was so glad that I had karin by my side in Skype, to guide me around and also to let me know a bit about whose sessions would be relevant. Karin participated in this conference already earlier this year, so she knew people and was follwing up on existing networking opportunity.

I'll blog more in detail later this week, as I spent many hours on this event and found really thought provoking and highly relevant inspiration.

Danish readers can find more about this in Karin's

Podcasting 101 - and advanced editing

I've attended two sessions tonight with Penny Haynes from the Women's International Podcast Expo - the most amazing was her walkthrough of a tool for editing called Wavepad, much simpler than Audacity. I'm looking forward to test this tool soon. And I am so grateful for Karin Hoegh who invited me and encouraged me to join this conference!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Women's podcasting expo this weekend

The first international Woman's Podcasting Expo is all online, and my first impression is that the organization is VERY professional and well managed. It is possible to regsier for free and attend 3 trial sessions, but I chose to get a full pack and pay the 25$ us for a three day long event with many sessions and exhibitions. My first choice is of course to check out what's happening in the field of education and coaching.

One thing that I admire from a first glance is the special toolbar that I have already installed for my Firefox browser, from there I will get alerts when new material is up or a new session will begin, I think. I've never seen this implemented for an event. It will indeed give ne very easy access to everything! Now I'd better rush over and see who's podcasting!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Graph generated from Social blogging EVO workshop

The Collaborative or social blogging in language education workshop in the Electronic Online Village 06, run through as social clustering machine called websitegraph and suggested by Bee Dieu. . I am not sure what this graph is showing exactly - but it was quite fun to see it grow and unfold in a very organic manner

Speed of Creativity - an education podcaster

Weekly podcaster Wesley Fryer was a guest in Worldbridges Edtechtalk skypecast on June 13. of course he also blogged his experience. on this occasion, Wesley was connecting from a well working wifi at a motel far out somewhere in Texas. I do like his fresh narrative - almost like being present myself :-)

Moving at the Speed of Creativity” weekly podcasts - I'm going to subscribe and listen: I do like his view on education as I can read from his recent show notes

Sunday, June 18, 2006

La vida Barranquilla -blog from Columbia

La vida BarranquillaCheck out Erin's blog from Barranquilla, Atlantico, Columbia. She's teaching English language at the University of Cincinnnati - and took part in our Electronic Village Online workshop about social blogging this winter. Her photos are very inspiring, and so are her texts.

My Bubbleshare portfolio

Monday, June 05, 2006

Casting the Net Podcast

Casting the Net Podcast
Sean FitzGerald & Stephan Ridgway from the national Australian EDNA network. This podcast appears to be their annual, as they made one last year and then with a long,long break due to many tasks. Sean & Steph are promoting audio Odeo notes, and on their Blogger blog , they've included a direct button for delicious tagging. I've not yet listened to all of this podcast, but thought I like to explore & promote the easy going format using a standard blogger blog combined with Odeo audio comments.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Podcast: Absolutely Intercultural with a Nordic Voice approach

The bi-weekly Absolutely Intercultural Podcast hosted by Anne Fox has a Nordic voice approach with an opening song in Finnish, called Jakkalakkar, which loosely translates as “business Cockroaches”, available for free download at
Todays’ guest interview with Icelandic Gunnhildur Oskardottir who spent three years in Scotland, may reveal more abut her Icelandic culture that about Scotland. The AI blog has comments from listeners; one about an important book, The Nurture Assumption, from Lon, more about this at and from Paul we hear about the suggestion that culture may be programmed in as a template in the same way as many believe language is.
In Absolutely Theoretical, the Remagen station continues its discussion about the metaphor of culture as the software of the mind.

Absolutely Addictive: We finish with the Polar Bear podcast where you will always find out something new about Sweden in every episode. This extract comes from a special joint episode in March where Andy, the Polar Bear podcast host teamed up with Bruce of the Canadian Zedcast podcast and in which they compared notes about misconceptions about their respective countries.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dance lesson: break dancers from Korea


I found this video at Vimeo, a vlogger occasionally bumping into a street performance dance group, video taping with cell phone and posting instantly to his Vimeo blog. need to checkfor details. Have a look - they're really good!

Dance lesson: Irish line dance

Irish Dancing Girls on Vimeo

This is a small video chunk showing five young Irish ladies doing the line step dance. I found it at Vimeo where people can share their video material. Hope this works well , apparently the Vimeo people do have some temporary problem just today.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Global Voices podcast

The first ever global Voices Podcast is such an amazing commented podcast  remix with interviews from all over the world. I'm really looking forward to listen again soon. So many podcasts and stuff - and so little time:-)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Finnish dance instruction video: yx kax kolme!

This mature Finnish couple are teaching the first steps in disco dancing. So they're not only dancing the tango up north!
I wish I could understand their language  - but all I know is counting to three; yx kax kolme.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Click TV - Immigrant life story from Shanghai to Vancouver

I found yet another new video sharing site called where video can be commented and shared in a blog. The very interesting clip that I've been viewing shows an immigrant history of daughter (born in 1973) and her parents coming from a catholic part of Shanghai to North America where they now live in Vancouver. It's well worth viewing and could be useful in an intercultural teaching context.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Will rapping - me blogging straight from my video page

Will rapping
Video sent by netopnyrop
This young Danish boy raps very fluently in his own home made language. Apparently he has been listening to rapping with a musical ear!

Joy of Life - spontaneous street dance

Joy of Life
Video sent by labelash
I like this manifestation of joy! A traditional jazz band playing in the street, on a public square, and then theis couple just jump into it! This reminds me so much of the yearly open air jazz festival in Copenhagen that we usually attend, in rain as well as in sunshine.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Kulturmøde: Danskere i Grønland

Anders og AC i Ilulissat2

AC er i praktik på en grønlandsk institution og blogger hjem til sine studiekammerater. Hun har sin partner Anders med deroppe, og de tager video som dokumentation, foreløbig er det blevet til to små klip.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Comnpare: Vimeo and youTube

Comparing those two video formats , Vimeo and youTube, for my own dance lesson recordings I much prefer the Vimeo version. The file window is tiny, but so was the recording made with my cell phone. I find it looks sharper and better than the youTube version - although I have also made that window smaller myself, by editing the Flash code a bit (just find the size numbers and divide by two)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Another example of a dance recording

I've found by tag search for Dance in Vimeo this little boy's fantastic exercises to music. He's such an enthusiast young dancer - even though he still cannot walk! This is true workout body expression. Vimeo allows me to copy and paste the Flash code - which means that it will still be hosted over there, but hopefully displayed right here in my blog.

View this clip on Vimeo

Odeo recording of dance tune

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Friday, March 10, 2006

I want a face lift -so how do I add my photo to my blogger profile?

Could not find any other way than uploading from my PC to a new post, then seek for the image URL. Eariler Blogger did not even host images, now they do. Hope this works! If not I'll have to workaround and place it elsewhere.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Oh what a lot of tags!

I've been tagging pages in my for quite a while, and yesterday I saw a neat example on how to add your tag cloud to a blogger blog. It is a Java script going into the blog template and after some trial and error, I made it. It does not look very neat as I used many different tags for different purposes. but at least I now know how to do this -I looked at Peter's blog
sneaking into his source code, and stole the line where I read - then I copied this line into my blog template and inserted my own account name instead of his, and after some trial & error my preview showed a good result. Don't forget to save your artwork!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Figuring out podomatic

I've made a test reading of a short book passage in my Podomatic account

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A fruitcake video blogger - a healthy laughter

When searching for video blog examples I found with Beth Agnew, Toronto. She's a real fruitcake indeed! Artificial laughter can sometimes be pretty emberassing to watch, and in this case it was not easy for me to surrender - but after minutes of exposure to this crazy lady, I could not help laughing just a little :-)

But hey, I bring this link also becase this is a fine example on a vlog! (hope this does work in the blog!)

Laugh Practice

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Xanga is a good old bloghost - and my first

For a long time I've been wondering if I really wanted to keep my "good old blog" at Xanga. I was staying there since fall 2002 and liked it because it was more macintosh friendly than Blogger - and perhaps still is. But as I'm today using more Windows that I thought I would ever have liked to do, no big problem.

I did not wish to abandon it as I did put a lot of work and into my note taking and images. I even pay 25 us dollars for a Premium version to have images hosted there (that was before we kew about Flickr & Buzznet) So instead I decided to add a post about my local neighborhood -then we'll see how well this blog integrates with the others that I have. One thing that works OK is how my bloglines blogroll shows neatly on the left side.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Notepad opportunity

currently testing an extension to Firefox browser - for direct blog post writing in a spilt window.
can make notes in here, as well!! Using a note pad might help me blog my URL comments more smoothly as well as preparing blog posts

Kevin Kelly web 2.0 - commented

Media onvergence means that multiple kinds of media signals will be transmitted through one box, and noteably this box was one that the big players of the nineties hoped to control, says Kelly.But he also thinks that in the coming decade cthis image will be turned inside out,as reality has given us many differently shaped windows to the global computer. Nothing converges,according to Kelly. The Machine (with a big M) is an unbounded thing that will take a billion windows to glimpse even part of. It is what you'll see on the other side of any screen.

Then he asks who is going to write the software for this "contraption" ? We, the people - we're already doing it! When we post and then tag pictures on the community photo album Flickr, we are teaching the Machine to give names to images. Flickr usersand everyone tagging content help thickening links between caption and picture, thus forming a neural net that can learn. Each click on a Web page helps teaching the Machine what matters to us; linking words will teach the neural network how our brans make cross rererences! Just think of Wikipedia. Our global skin of neurons will adapt autonomously and acquire a higher level of knowledge, explains Kelly.

Instead of thinking ot the brain as a department full of programming cells that configure the mind, imagine how brain cells program themselves simply by being used. Likewise, our questions program the Machine to answer questions. Each time we click a link we strengthen a node somewhere in the Web OS, thereby programming the Machine by using it.

What will most surprise us is how dependent we will be on what the Machine knows - about us and about what we want to know. We already find it easier to Google something a second or third time rather than remember it ourselves. The more we teach this megacomputer, the more it will assume responsibility for our knowing. It will become our memory. Then it will become our identity. In 2015 many people, when divorced from the Machine, won't feel like themselves - as if they'd had a lobotomy. Says kelly.To be very honest I already have this brain dead feeling quite often - whenever I'm moving around offline, I so miss my Google, my wikis, my local files and my blog!

I beleive in the legend saying that Ted Nelson invented Xanadu as a remedy for his poor memory and attention deficit disorder. The Web had indeed already become that big collective memory, and it is growing every minute. Then Kelly adds an interesting point: once we get to see a machine that subsumes all other machines so that in effect there is only one Machine, which penetrates our lives to such a degree that it becomes essential to our identity - this will be full of surprises. Especially since it is only the beginning.

There is only one time in the history of each planet when its inhabitants first wire up its innumerable parts to make one large Machine. Later that Machine may run faster, but there is only one time when it is born.

You and I are alive at this moment, says Kelly. Kelly, me and everyone else are living here on Earth, now. But we still have our free will, our very specifically coded brains, right? So - we have come such a long way back since the dream of a difference engine...

Blogs and Webheads really were the beginning of all this for me.

the course of being a virtual citizen in the Electronic Village Online since 2002, I've found so many rich and personal testimonials from new participants who appears to have "seen the light". I'm asking myself it this is really how it is - or do people tend to ferget eventual negative sidesof this way of learing?Or is it just simply me who is reading messages and evidence with those biased, positive glasses, forgetting all about what's less brilliant?

Below I'm quoting an impressive voice from Wendy who was in the Blog session last year as an enthusiast beginner, as well as coming back in this year's Collaborative Blogging workshop for more, giving back what she has learnt just a year ago.

In her open and reflective blog, Wendy addresses this appreciative message directed to Bee Dieu, one of the course moderators in 2005 that we're also meeting as a guest moderator and peaker in week 5 of our EVOworkshop. Wendy wishes to show her appreciation in the open, through group mail, as she says:

" I fell in love with blogs and the whole idea of blogging with students from the moment I saw your and some of the other webheads' blogs. Thanks to you, I've taken the plunge and set up blogs with my students this term. It's been such a great experience - we're all learning as we go, but I feel confident because I knew I'd be taking these sessions and you'd help."

I found this in her blog right now, just by a serendip stroll. Blogs are sorted by date which makes the time line context appear easily for me - I was there too, in that course and already knowing Wendy very well because I'm her study mentor and it is me who introduced her to Webheads some months earlier.I also know how hard she has been struggling to show these new ideas to her colleagues at her college and her report from one of these efforts in that same post of what could serve as a collective appreciation for the blog phenomenon. Wendy continues:
"The word (about what I'm doing) has gone around at work and I was asked to do a presentation about blogging with ESL students at our faculty meeting today. I had done some preparation before your presentation, but after listening to you pull it all together and present so many ideas on Sunday, I was really fired up. The presentation went well - it was just simple stuff - but I included a link to your blog (The English Department) and some of the resources you've made available through the EV Online blogging course, and now without any doubt, more seeds have been planted. I don't know how many people you have set on this road, but I'm willing to bet it's hundreds by now."

Yes certainly - hundreds and hundreds are following in the foot prints of the pioneers in this field. Edublogging in language education is becoming trendy, that's what I think! Just in our litte corner of reality, the EVO 06 collaborative blogging workshop, we have by now more than 150 participants - coming from almost 50 countries - all over this brave new world of ours. This is a picture of the beauty of the next generation internet - the so called web 2.0 .And believe me - this is noty limitied to blogging only. In the past we have had to explain in detail simple things such as how to add a photo in the Yahoo group folder; apparently this has now become part of an everyday digital literacy for those early adapters who are in our workshop.And all of this would not happen if people did not jump out on deep waters and were willing to try if their experiments would sink or swim.

I wish to say - with Wendy's words - to all of our participants: It's great work you are doing, and I thank you.

Wendy Seale-Bakes' blog post from

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Kevin Kelly about the web 2.0 and neural networking

In the following,I'm referring to and partly quoting from a passage in an article from the Wired, by Kevin Kelly.

In the 1990s, the big players were often talking about media convergence. They peddled the image of multiple kinds of signals entering our lives through one box - a box they hoped to control. By 2015 this image will be turned inside out. In reality, each device is a differently shaped window that peers into the global computer. Nothing converges. The Machine is an unbounded thing that will take a billion windows to glimpse even part of. It is what you'll see on the other side of any screen.

And who will write the software that makes this contraption useful and productive? We will. In fact, we're already doing it, each of us, every day. When we post and then tag pictures on the community photo album Flickr, we are teaching the Machine to give names to images. The thickening links between caption and picture form a neural net that can learn. Think of the 100 billion times humans click on a Web page as a way of teaching the Machine what we think is important. Each time we forge a link between words, we teach it an idea. Wikipedia encourages its citizen authors to link each fact in an article to a reference citation. Over time, a Wikipedia article becomes totally underlined in blue as ideas are cross-referenced. That massive cross-referencing is how brains think and remember. It is how neural nets answer questions. It is how our global skin of neurons will adapt autonomously and acquire a higher level of knowledge.

The good old Kevin Kelly has a very thought provoking article in the Wired

he human brain has no department full of programming cells that configure the mind. Rather, brain cells program themselves simply by being used. Likewise, our questions program the Machine to answer questions. We think we are merely wasting time when we surf mindlessly or blog an item, but each time we click a link we strengthen a node somewhere in the Web OS, thereby programming the Machine by using it.

What will most surprise us is how dependent we will be on what the Machine knows - about us and about what we want to know. We already find it easier to Google something a second or third time rather than remember it ourselves. The more we teach this megacomputer, the more it will assume responsibility for our knowing. It will become our memory. Then it will become our identity. In 2015 many people, when divorced from the Machine, won't feel like themselves - as if they'd had a lobotomy.

Legend has it that Ted Nelson invented Xanadu as a remedy for his poor memory and attention deficit disorder. In this light, the Web as memory bank should be no surprise. Still, the birth of a machine that subsumes all other machines so that in effect there is only one Machine, which penetrates our lives to such a degree that it becomes essential to our identity - this will be full of surprises. Especially since it is only the beginning.

There is only one time in the history of each planet when its inhabitants first wire up its innumerable parts to make one large Machine. Later that Machine may run faster, but there is only one time when it is born." Says Kelly.

You and I are alive at this moment.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Blogging from inside firefox 1.5

I found a new powerful feature today - I can now blog directly when using my Firefox browser, just by clicking F8. All I had to do was installing a Firefox plugin called Performancing. This opens a simple wysiwyg text editor. I can use this for blogging at, and some other blog tools.

Wondering if elgg would make this happen too - there's been quite some request for this recently by the elgg community.

PS I'm now also looking at the Performancing blog community where it seem to be meaningful to want to create commercial outcome from blogs. will report back later from this.