Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ratings for blog posts

I use Bloglines for reading blogs because I can access it on any computer and my list of blogs is always right there. However, there are a few things I would like to change about it. For example, I would like to be able to copy and paste my "blogroll" easily so I could transfer it to my blogs and show other folks what I'm reading.

Another thing I'm interested in is ratings for blog posts. It would be really cool if there were a network of ratings for each post that a reader could use to sort them and figure out what's worth reading. If one were able to use the ratings of people whose tastes were similar to one's own, it would be a form of social software, too. That is, something like, "This person often likes posts that I like; therefore, I will probably like this other post that this person likes."

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The next programming language

The next programming language will not be something you have to crawl off into your hobbit-hole and learn. You won't go to the store, buy a book and say, "I'm going to go learn Java now," and then emerge several weeks later a Java initiate. Instead, non-programmers will surf over to a Web page, read about the new language, think about it, go, "Aha!" and start using it. It will be to previous programming languages as folksonomy is to library science or as wiki (or blog) formatting is to editing raw HTML. Non-programmers will start talking about previously esoteric ideas like objects.

Idea for a multi-faceted reality/TV/computer game

It's like a net game but with a reality dimension: a network game for the non-sedentary. You get directions by e-mail or mobile phone, run five miles here, buy a trinket there, find the secret clue here. Your progress is monitored on the network portion of the game. Particularly successful or charismatic players are filmed and their activity is shown on the TV portion of the game. Some people (people who are rich or don't have very big living expenses) quit their jobs and devote themselves full time to playing. Some people might actually be paid to play the game because they are interesting or charismatic.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Gardening in the future

Little robot gardeners use urban space to produce food basically everywhere. Whereas humans don't have the time or patience to tend a 2' x 2' plot, the tiny, solar-powered robot gardeners have nothing but time and patience. Not only do they make food essentially limitless, they increase the number of plants everywhere so that more carbon is fixed. Only places that need to be paved are paved any more.

What the world needs now

What the world needs now is another piece of social software. Does this exist yet? I would like to be able to create a tagged list of books I have read -- like del.icio.us except with paper books. Perhaps del.icio.us could be used for this purpose, if one linked to the Amazon page for the relevant book. However, it's a bit of a stretch for del.icio.us.

Outside, in the future

All text on Earth is parsed. All things self-identify. Reality has an electronic, semantic dimension. The Web knows that "this is that," like a mind connected to eyes. This is The New York Times, this is a bicycle. This is the streetlight at the corner of Stevens Creek and De Anza.

In the grocery store, in the future

You go to the grocery store but you don't have any money so you wander over to the Internet kiosk and pick up a slip (from Craigslist?) that says, "Bring me my groceries and I'll pay you five dollars." You pick up a bunch of these slips and shopping for your neighbors pays for your groceries plus gas. Maybe the people for whom you're delivering don't have cars or maybe they're just busy.

It's sort of like Webvan but informal, unstructured, and cheap. Why aren't we doing this already? Maybe we need pre-written grocery slips.

Deep thought

In the future, most people won't drive cars any more.

Leadership crisis

We have a leadership crisis in America.

The Fourth Turning is coming. Boomers make bad coordinators.

We choose our leaders by picking the one with the most testosterone.

Software projects are too big. They are obsolete before they start.

An oil crisis is coming.

We need to start grounding everything in efficiency.

Our economic and governmental systems need to provide more support for good behavior.

But can we wait for government to do what we want? I think not.

How do we create systems that enable democracy?

What's my problem?

The problem with me is the problem with every household in America. It is the problem with every business and government agency and the U.S. government as a whole. We spend too much time fixing the problem of the moment and too little time thinking about long term planning. We need more holistic thinking. We spend too much time on the parts and too little on the whole. The patient had no illness but died anyway.

Mental Compost

When I'm riding on the train or I'm waiting somewhere, I write little memos to myself. These memos might grow into essays or projects, or they might simply turn back into dirt.

This blog is the public face of these unfiltered memos. I will edit them for grammar and syntax but basically leave them alone.

Cliché, wild speculation, and half-baked thinking have no restraint here.