valleybay microblog

The Social Web

What is the backbone of the next social web? A phone book.

In order to have a conversation, we need a location. A time and place. That’s what a phone book is. The phonenumber next to John is a location. Such are all his addresses; IM or e-mail. They are locations in space where you can reach John.

Some people want to be contacted via e-mail, some via IM, others via SMS. Today we contact people via opening the platform on which we have them added. What if we started in the phone book instead, so that when I press John I use his prefered means of contact, that we both have in common. How would this work?

When I befriend John, we add one another to our phone books. John puts me in a group, such as “Acquaintance”. John has decided that people in this group only get to see his e-mail address and phone number. He keeps his IM services for closer friends.

So great, we’ve invented the phone book. What’s different? The difference is that a phone book entry is no longer a static representation of John on my phone. John has his card, which has all his information, all his groups and members of those groups. So instead of having to type the information into my phone, I just add him.

I should probably explain this is further detail, but I’m getting impatient. I really want to start working on some SNMP stuff I’m doing. I’ll pick up the slack at some point.

Information Operating System

The Information Operating System (IOS), is composed of three different parts.

  1. The document database
  2. The user interface builder
  3. The scraper

Document database All documents must be stored in a document-oriented database, since there will be no uniformity to the structure of these documents. They will need to be encrypted and distributed, as many of these documents will be stolen, and thus litigation might follow.

User Interface Builder (UIB) Models of types of information, such as a tweet (the containing object) and its comments (children), should be able to be dragged onto a canvas. Stylistically we should be able to dynamically change aspects of these two models (containing object and child), changing things such as typography, placement, organization etc. The UIB will allow you to structure, combine and consume information as you please, without any ads or distractions.

Scraper The scraper is software that is distributed to all participants in the network. The scraper runs on each node, polling information from all sorts of closed networks (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, anything), encrypts this data and puts it in the document database, for every participating node to consume from. The goal is to extract every piece of information available on the Internet, and put it in the database.

We need this. We need information to be free and consumable. Information must be borrowed, organized and made available for all of the world to analyse.

Loneliness

We don’t necessarily understand what we do, we just do. Something attracts us, draws us in. We do it because we want to, because we feel like it. During, or years after, we can come up with reasons for it, but they are merely approximations. So it is with all that is established. We, for instance, hail democracy as the best solution, but neither of us has thought deeply about it. We do not understand all it’s alternatives and variations, the way it curves and meets the specifications its creators laid out for it. We accept it. And since it is not within the realm of man to understand everything, man must create in loneliness. Forever no one will understand the exact way he was. Only likeminded will even be able to approximate the models of his mind, and at some point approach it. On his island he is forever alone, between the islands they build bridges, and visitors come over. Never will they be able to model every nook and cranny, but they will see the mountain ranges, the forests, and the rivers. How they all flow in harmony, how carefully the tapestry lovingly was woven.

Concentration issues

I’m feeling great these days. I’ve lately been experimenting with different ways of mitigating the issues with my ability to concentrate. I just wanted to give a recap of what I’m doing.

Sleep schedule Lately, what I have found to be working is waking up at 5 AM. I go to bed at 7 PM, read for 2 hours until 9 PM, and then go to sleep for 8 hours. I work from 5 till around 10:30, go for a walk, and then work some more after I get back.

Green tea Tea has aided my concentration a lot. I’ve been off caffeine for nearly 5 years, so it was hard for me picking it up again, as I know how much work it is to quit. I am however now considering if it’s something that can work for me.

Nicotine Yupp, not optimal this one. I’ve been off nicotine for about 6-7 years, so it was sort of dreadful starting again. I do however find that it aids my concentration. I’ll experiment with using Nicorette chewing gum or nicotine pathes, instead of the snus (Scandinavian lip tobacco) that I’m using now.

Food and supplements I’m eating healthy(ier). I’m cutting down on the dairy and bread, to see if that can help. I’ve also started taking ZMA, which is a zinc, magnesium and Vitamin B supplement. I’m also planning to start taking Omega-3 supplements.

The microblog

I really need to find a better way of posting to this blog. It’s such a pain to publish, that I find myself never wanting to write at all. I don’t have time for it right now, but I’ll get up to it.. eventually.

Ideas for future posts

This post will only serve as a list of things that I want to post about at some point in the future. I will nudge it to the top every time I update it.

  • Designer babies
  • Humans are machines
  • The right to suicide
  • Life’s role in entropy
  • Fashioning tools to overcome anxiety
  • The anxiety of God: God’s imminent fear of not being God

Do robots make any sense?

Currently we are on the quest to create robots to replace human beings, but what is the main benefit of robots? We want to free up our time, so that we can do ‘other things’. What are these other things? We want more free time. Free time to do what? It might seem that we believe there to be something more to life than work, that work is not enough. That we need to be doing something else, something fun. But what is fun? Is fun even fun, if it isn’t in contrast to something else? Isn’t fun fun precisely because it isn’t what we usually do? Doesn’t fun just arise as a contrast to our work?
Robots are just machines, like humans, but more specialized and limited. We want robots because they lack sentience. If robots felt bored, got hurt when people yelled at them, we wouldn’t want robots, because they’d suffer from what we believe to be the human condition. We want to avoid involving too many machines in this condition, because we recognize the imminent responsibility. We seek to create these machines to relieve us from tasks we believe that we shouldn’t be doing, but there is an instrinic value judgement to this that is hard to balance, or even understand.
We seem to have an idealized sense of what not having to work even means.
Remember, we need only pass time while entropy works its course. Peace.

Half way

Earlier I haven’t been able to produce much. Or… I’ve produced a lot, but I haven’t really finished anything. I’ve seen this as a flaw. It annoys me that my projects never get anywhere. I’d try to write, create music, design something, come up with novel products. So many ideas that never amount to anything fully tangible. But! I just had an idea. The piano does that to you.
What if I am looking at it entirely wrong? What if my role isn’t to finish things, but just come up with lots of random stuff? It doesn’t need to be polished. I just need to think the thought, to sketch it out, show it to other people, and they can take it from there. Thing is, this didn’t work for me before, because I had to earn money, and giving away your ideas for free won’t earn you anything. My new model for life is that I don’t think about money; I just work, and (enough) money will appear.
So in practical terms, what does this mean? It means that I will have to publish all the stuff I produce. If I create a new melody, publish that son of a gun. A new idea? Put it on the microblog. You see, I’ve been to vain. I’ve been caring too much about what other people think of me, through their opinions of what I make. That’s vanity. I will improve, through publishing everything I create, near moment of inception.

Inspo has a price

Inspiration can be a dangerous thing. After getting inspired by someone, I too often compare myself to them. When considering what I am doing, stepping through scenarios, I try to see that same thing with their eyes. Compare my habits, to their habits. Just now I was playing the piano, and I was thinking: “but Jony Ive and Steve both work during the day time, if they do most their work around other people, I should be able to do that too”. These are the perils of inspiration. Just because we get inspired, we need to control just how much of their habits and thoughts we should integrate into our own lives. Two lives are remarkably different, and so they must be led.

Day time

Day time is hard for me. I have no clue what to do. There are a lot of things that I could be doing, but none of them are tempting. I feel weird during daytime. I actually had a period where I’d go to bed 08.00 and sleep till 16.00. Needless to say, that was a programming period, where I didn’t do anything else besides writing software.
I feel like shit during the day. It’s hard to explain. My body isn’t cooperating, it’s too bright, and I’m too aware of the fact that people are doing shit everywhere. Outside, kids are screaming, I hear the sounds of roadworkers and all sorts of noisy machinery. Also, I’m sort of uninspired. Thing is, the mornings are fine. Early mornings are OK. At least for working out, answering e-mails. Aha! It’s the computer. I don’t like computers during daytime. That’s weird.

Steve

Before going to bed last night, and this morning, I’ve been watching videos about Steve Jobs. I’ve been interested in Apple’s employees and their products since I was 16 years old, but I haven’t been thinking about it that much the last years. As they became behemoths of popularity, I peered into other parts of the world. It’s good that I came back, though, because I had forgotten how much Apple used to inspire me.
When Jonathan Ive speaks of Steve, it’s with an enamouration for his childlike joy and sense of civic responsibility. Steve created the products because he felt like they needed to be perfect. Not because he wanted the admiration or the cheque. I need that sort of inspiration. I need to see that other people feel this way. It’s what keeps me going. The feeling that someone deeply cares about something, about a product.

One more thing

Oh. One more thing. A week ago I disabled notifications for Messenger and Snapchat. I was hoping that this would help me relax and disconnect. It sort of has. But it’s still not good enough. I actually considered deleting Snapchat and Messenger, but that seems over the top. They’re fun sometimes. Any way, disabling notifications is not enough, because now I have to go into the applications to see if I have any new messages. This is annoying (and disappointing) when I don’t have any new messages (sad face). I guess I just need to be more disciplined. Move them to a separate screen, keep badge count on (so I don’t have to open the app), and then only check every 3-4 hours. We’ll see.

How am I doing

Ok. So I am getting a bit tired. I actually was making some good progress, until Dropbox halted me with some sort of service disruption. I’ve been doing some testing on an EC2 instance on AWS, where I’ll be hosting the dropbox service integration server.
I’ve got basic functionality working, but there’s a lot of code to be written. No chance that it’ll be done today. Apparently Dropbox will be hitting the notification endpoint every single time a file is changed / added, and that can happen multiple times when I’m editing the file. That means that it won’t be enough to just generate some file and commit that to GitHub. I’ll have to set some upper limit on how often this actually can happen… Probably won’t be too big of a deal, but it still adds some complexity. Oh well. I’ll soldier on. (I’m soon going to bed). (I think).

The Next Big Thing

In Zero To One, Peter Thiel claims that the next Facebook won’t be a social network. I think the next big thing won’t even be a company. We’re constantly thinking about companies, about profit. Well guess what, I’m tired of profit. We don’t need more money. Individuals do not need a lot of money. We don’t need most of the stuff we consume. It’s a system that feeds itself. We use advertising to make people desire things, so that we can do a wealth transfer between individuals. People do not actually want those things, you are tricking them into wanting it. Ok, so fuck companies. It’s all rotten.

What’s next? Something that isn’t a company. Is it a non-profit? Perhaps, but not the kind of non-profit we see today. I think something in between. Non-profits that sell things and generate revenue, but that don’t make any profit. Now that’s interesting.

I need to work out. Later.

Van life for real

Have a look at this guys website. Now I really want to do van life. He even has his own solar panles on the roof, and custom antennas for better 4G coverage. I’m doing van life at some point! I need to get a remote job. I sort of have one, but I need to make the one I have more remote, and then I need to get a programming gig. I’ll contact some companies today. Am I really doing van life? Maybe.

I’ve been fixing a lot of stuff on this page today. Added a link to an about page in the footer. Now I just need to make some sort of system for posting remotely. It’s either the Writer iCloud/Dropbox thing, or just post from e-mail. Posting from e-mail sounds alluring. Ok. I need breakfast.