Logs, Links, Life and Lexicon

Daily Thesis

Seoul Smog

There is a serious smog problem in Seoul Korea. Sensitive to this issue since we live here in Seoul. ( I love it here, but the pollution scares me.)

I’ve been dismissing the masks being worn as useless. I decided I need to speak from real information not assumption.

NPR published a study in 2016 to show just how serious things are.

2016 Particulate Index

Koreans worry much more about environmental issues (air pollution is #1 concern) that danger from North Korea. In fact, North Korean threats rank #5 in importance. Seoul has 10.1m people in an area that covers 12% of South Korea. One of the most densely populated and homogeneous cities in the world. There are some 22.8m cars in Seoul. Korean car emissions and manufacturing produce the most harmful emissions in Seoul.

To contrast, there are barely 3m people total in the state of Utah. There 8.6m people living in New York City.

The bottom line is to be protected from air pollution in Seoul, you must wear a mask capable of filtering out what is referred in international standards as PM 2.5. (particles 2.5 microns or larger) The cheap face masks most people wear do not even meet the requirements for PM 10 (particles of 10 microns or larger and according to Reuters–only 32% of the particulates are being filtered. That’s whopping 68% leakage.

Hardly being protective. In general, my assumptions were correct. Most masks are not effective and are merely a weak fashion statement. But after doing this quick study, I learned there are affordable solutions. There are usable masks (more expensive but effective) that can meet the PM 2.5 specs.

Know Your Mask Effectiveness Index–N95 or better.

Make sure you have masks that have a rating of N95 or better.

One of the touted benefits of iOS 12 is a new feature built into the system: Screen Time.

Screen Time is designed to help you manage the time you spend in front of your mobile device.

I fell for it. I admit.

I believed the hype that is telling us that we are globally out of control—duped by our smart phones.

Here is an example of the pervasive sentiment:

How to use Apple’s new Screen Time and App Limits features in iOS 12
Apple is making it easier than ever to cut back on app overload

We are being sold that we need to cut back on our use of social media and technology. This has become a common belief.

Like I said, I fell for it. I cringe when Screen Time reminds me every week how much time I spend on my mobile devices.

But something just doesn’t feel right to me about the whole idea that technology is bad for you.

Then I stumbled on a book that resonates with how I feel and think about technology and popular culture.

Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter—Steven Johnson

This book has completely changed how I feel about Screen Time. I now revel in the numbers. We will need to change how we think about technology and popular culture—everything we know is wrong.

This is not a new book—2006. So, some of the references are stale, especially in light of what is happening in our culture right now. But if he were to go back and rewrite sections of the book to reflect what is happening now with social media, his case would just be stronger.

The Sleeper Curve

Mr. Johnson introduces the concept of the Sleeper Curve.

The Sleeper Curve: The most debased forms of mass diversion—video games and violent television dramas and juvenile sitcoms—turn out to be nutritional after all. For decades, we’ve worked under the assumption that mass culture follows a steadily declining path towards lowest-common-denominator standards, presumably because the “masses” want dumb, simple pleasures and big media companies want to give the masses what they want. But in fact, the exact opposite is happening: the culture is getting more intellectually demanding, not less.

 

The rest of the book makes the case why the hypothesis has merit.

This works for me on an abundance of levels.

I haven’t made the complete transition yet, but I finally found some language and discussion that is in alignment with how I feel.

AI Will Save the World

There, I said it. We are on the fertile verge of understanding how to use AI to our benefit like never before. To astronomically increase our ability to increase—not just our intellectual intelligence—but our emotional and social intelligence.

People often ask me about the future of AI. Most people believe AI is dangerous and will cause irreparable damage to humanity.

The exact opposite is happening. AI—more specifically AEI—will be a tool humanity uses to increase emotional and social intelligence like we have never imagined.

Years ago we were sharing stories about our children. I was recounting to Natalie my favorite funny stories about her. She share with me a funny story about Miles. This little animation is my attempt to keep that memory in animation form.

I hope it is close to what you told me Nat.

We recently moved to Korea.

We are adapting quickly. What an adventure.

Excellent TED Talk on how the Blockchain technology will play a role in managing trust and identity.

The Thesis

Rachel Botsman is studying the defines trust as a “confident relationship to the unknown.” She is studying how technology is transforming the social glue of society.

Human beings are incredible in being able to take trust leaps.

She then introduces the concept of “climbing the trust stack.”

She then posits that we are going thru a massive change in the trust model, one from an instituionalized model to a distributed model.

She goes on to say that the blockchain technology will play a major role in how we effect digital trust. So much so, that the trust stack can be simplified, and the need for institutionalized trust intermediaries can sometimes be mitigated.

Watch the entire video. Very enlightening and provides a clear and consice explanation on how the blockchain works.

What Ms. Botsman omitted—clearly not intentionally—is the role sentiment analysis plays in the future of digital trust.

The Role of Sentiment Analysis and Trust

In the future, the ability to understand the sentiment or the “spectrum of intention” of another person or entity will be highly valuable in determining trust values.

In a recent series of blog posts by Phil Windley, the concept of a self-soveriegn identity system is introduced.

SIS purpose is just like it sounds. An independent identity system managed by users.

The series leads up to the announcement last week of Sovrin.org. (But I will get to that later.) Since these are in a series of blog posts, they are in reverse chronological order. So here they are in order.

  1. Service Integration Via a Distributed Ledger
  2. Governance for Distributed Ledgers
  3. An Internet for Identity
  4. Self-Sovereign Identity and the Legitamacy of Permissioned Ledgers

Some of these are lengthy. The topic is complicated, but fundamental to the future. Take your time. Dont let TL;DR syndrome sidetrack you.

In World of Ends, Doc Searls and
Dave Weinberger enumerate the Internet’s three virtues:

Kevin Marks

At the most recent Internet Identity Workshop (#iiw), I was watching the #iiw twitter feed. As the keybote speaker began (Kim Cameron), a barrage of insightful tweets from Kevin Marks ensued.

I looked over at Kevin Marks tapping away on his laptop. Something didn’t make sense. There was just no way the number of keystrokes he was making was matching the prodigious output of tweets.

WTF?

So I aksed him how in the world he was doing that. He happily reavealed a tool for tweeting events that he and some others had developed.

Noter Live

Brilliant. Love it.

Since then, I have noticed others starting to use it with astounding results. Phil Windley.

I attended Internet Identity Workshop 22 in Mountain View last week. Fabulous conference. There is always lively discussion for experienced identity people and newbies.

Above is a shot of our beloved Doc Searls. Thanks Doc.

Everyone is interested in learning and sharing information.

This is my favorite conference to attend.

2015 has been a most difficult year for me. Lots of oppourtinity for growth. Ugh.
Robbed, evicted, and hospitalized.
To finish it, one of my dearest friends, mentor and advocate died from a staph infection last week.

On the good side, I have lost alot of weight. I feel better and am getting around much better.

Looking forward to a wild 2016.
cb

2015-03-31 21.36.56

Sketched in Procreate on an iPad.

Writing. I find it ironic that the thing that is the hardest for me to do—write—is how I make my living.

Be careful what you ask for.

In the interest of improving my craft, I read books about writing. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, How to Write a Sentence: and How to Read One, Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep them Engaged and recently I discovered  Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age.

Note: I find it painfully bizarre that Kindle will not let you cut and paste text.

For the past several years, I’ve taught a class at the University of Pennsylvania called “Uncreative Writing.” In it, students are penalized for showing any shred of originality or creativity. Instead, they are rewarded for plagiarism, identity theft, reproducing papers, patch writing, sampling, plundering, and stealing. Not surprisingly, they thrive. Suddenly, what they’ve surreptitiously become expert at is brought out into the open and explored in a safe environment, reframed in terms of responsibility instead of recklessness.

Each semester for their final paper, I have them purchase a term paper from an online paper mill and sign their name to it, surely the most forbidden action in all of academia. Each student then must get up and present the paper to the class as if they wrote it themselves, defending it from attacks by the other students. What paper did they choose? Is it possible to defend something you didn’t write? Something, perhaps, you don’t agree with? Convince us. All of this, is technology-driven. When the students are writing class, they are told that they must have their laptops open and connected. And so we have a glimpse into the future.

Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age, Kenneth Goldsmith

I love this sort of thinking. Inspiring.

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