Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Attention Economy and Mimetic Desire

The comment spam filter consequently refuses me from commenting at Michael H. Goldhaber's blog so I am posting my musing here: I wonder if the "Attention Economy" axioms could be based in the "Mimetic Desire" theory by Rene Girard. I would be grateful if someone copied that to the blog.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Online science

The results of the explosion of easily available articles, according to Evans, is that "researchers can more easily find prevailing opinion, they are more likely to follow it, leading to more citations referencing fewer articles."

Online articles lead to rapid scientific consensus

Hmm - interesting - but what would be even more interesting is how online availability of scientific articles influences not science by itself but how it is applied. I would expect there much more dramatic changes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Thinking of hosting a 'creating passionate users' 3-day workshop/retreat with a catch--the fee: help build a perimeter fence. Get fit, too!
- Kathy Sierra

Another sign of post-money economy. Physical exercise in a good company - rather an additional benefit then a cost.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

There is no email overload

- there is just less and less other work to do. Machines do more and more of our work - but there is one thing that they still cannot do - it is contact with other people. Computers can check the spelling of an email, compute some coefficients from a complicated formula but still suck at understanding humans and would not read or write that email for us.

Email is our work - communication with other humans is the task that still cannot be automated. That's why I am rather sceptical about the productivity boost of "no email days" introduced in some corporations. I suspect they just don't measure the right things.

All this does not mean that we should do all this human communication work in email - only that currently this is the tool most people use. Perhaps we could do this work in a bit more efficient way if we had a more complete toolbox.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Capitalism, Communism and the mimetic theory by Rene Girard

What Rene Girard shows in his works is that rivalry between human beings and conflicts being the result of it are an inherent part of our nature, independent of any external circumstances, and cannot be eliminated. Adam Smith and other free market thinkers show that some simple rules can make this competition socially beneficial. Communism grew out of the sentiment of injustice of any competition, where there must be losers and winners, and tried to eliminate it but failed to acknowledge the true nature of that rivalry.