Scott Aaronson on building a 'PageRank' for (eigen)morality and (eigen)trust
- "Now, would those with axes to grind try to subvert such a system the instant it went online? Certainly. For example, I assume that millions of people would rate Conservapedia as a more trustworthy source than Wikipedia—and would rate other people who had done so as, themselves, trustworthy sources, while rating as untrustworthy anyone who called Conservapedia untrustworthy. So there would arise a parallel world of trust and consensus and 'expertise', mutually-reinforcing yet nearly disjoint from the world of the real. But here's the thing: anyone would be able to see, with the click of a mouse, the extent to which this parallel world had diverged from the real one
." [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Jun 23, 2014 -
There is a fundamental disconnect between large-scale, for-profit media and the crushing power of enthusiasm, which is that when they try to control it, it instantly isn't real. It's patently unreal. It's excitement given life by force, Pet Sematary-style.
But when they don't control it, it isn't profitable. And that means that when they run into people excited about their stuff, they vacillate between an Ebenezerian lack of generosity and a Professor-Harold-Hillian smarm. To own enthusiasm and to exploit it are competing instincts, much as they often seem to be twins. You can, in fact, sometimes best exploit it — or only exploit it — by leaving it alone.
-- In what could be considered a Metafilter Manifesto, Mefi's own Linda Holmes
takes on the multivariate economics of fandom and the internet.
posted by Potomac Avenue
on Dec 20, 2013 -
is a searchable 2-dimensional visualization of the 800,000+ scientific papers (mostly in physics and math) on the arXiv preprint server.
posted by escabeche
on Aug 18, 2013 -
Networks of the Hanseatic League
- The Hanseatic League was a late-medieval network of economically largely independent long-distance trade merchants which was based on trust, reputation and reciprocal relations. The informal cooperation among its members kept transactional, informational and organizational costs low, allowing the Hanse merchants to make good profits from the long-distance trade between the Baltic and the North Seas. Thanks to personal and institutional links with confederations of towns, the Hanse merchants were initially able to strengthen their international position of power. Since the late 15th century, however, the transaction costs of long-distance trade increased as a result of growing exclusivity and formalization efforts in the Hanseatic league. Moreover, changes in the European economic structure, triggered by the discovery of America, and internal conflicts ultimately led to the disintegration of the Hanseatic networks.
posted by infini
on Dec 29, 2012 -
The Nature of Computation
- Intellects Vast and Warm and Sympathetic
: "I hand you a network or graph, and ask whether there is a path through the network that crosses each edge exactly once, returning to its starting point. (That is, I ask whether there is a 'Eulerian' cycle.) Then I hand you another network, and ask whether there is a path which visits each node exactly once. (That is, I ask whether there is a 'Hamiltonian' cycle.) How hard is it to answer me?" (via
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Dec 1, 2012 -
Social consensus through the influence of committed minorities
: We show how the prevailing majority opinion in a population can be rapidly reversed by a small fraction p
of randomly distributed committed
agents who consistently proselytize the opposing opinion and are immune to influence. Specifically, we show that when the committed fraction grows beyond a critical value pc
≈ 10%, there is a dramatic decrease in the time, Tc
, taken for the entire population to adopt the committed opinion. [.pdf] [more inside]
posted by troll
on Jul 26, 2011 -
is a firefox add-on that visualizes in real-time which data collection companies track you across different websites on the web and what they're learning about you. Atul Varma
describes how this project came about
. Safari meanwhile has ghostery
, an extension that gives you a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity. [more inside]
posted by krautland
on Jul 25, 2011 -
(or Synco, in Spanish) was computer network constructed in 1970 by an English/Chilean team headed by cyberneticist Stafford Beer
). Cybersyn was an electronic nervous system for the Chilean economy, linking together mines, factories and so on, to better manage production and give workers a clear idea of what was in demand and where. The network was destroyed by the army after the 1973 coup. Later that year Stafford Beer drew upon the lessons of Cybersyn to write Fanfare for Effective Freedom
, a eulogy for Allende and Cybersyn, and Designing Freedom
, a series of six lectures he gave for CBC, outlining his ideas. Besides the first link in this post, the best place to start is this Guardian article from 2003
. If you want to go more in-depth, read Eden Medina's Designing Freedom, Regulating a Nation: Socialist Cybernetics in Allende’s Chile
. And if nothing else, just take a look at the amazing Cybersyn control room
posted by Kattullus
on Mar 21, 2010 -
Fox News is the most trusted news network in the United States
, according to a new poll [.pdf]
of 1,151 Americans conducted by Public Policy Polling
(a polling firm with a mostly Democratic and progressive list of clients
), the most trusted news network among Americans is FOX News, which was trusted by 49% of respondents (beating out CNN, MS-NBC, CBS, NBC, and ABC (though PBS was not included in the survey)).
The pollsters conclude:
“A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most
neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy
Polling. “But the media landscape has really changed and now they’re turning more
toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.”
posted by washburn
on Jan 26, 2010 -
Two recent papers examine networks among Republicans: one among lawyers and the other among judges. Lawyers of the Right: Networks and Organization
concludes that conservative lawyers, and particularly the Federalist Society, occupies a structurally important core bridging the gap between the religious and business constituencies on the right, which otherwise wouldn't interact. Meanwhile, Do Republican Judges Cite Other Republican Judges More?
concludes that judges tend to base outside-circuit citation decisions on the political party of the cited judge, tend to cite judges of the opposite political party significantly less, are more likely to engage in biased citation practices in certain high stakes situations, and cite disproportionately more to those judges that cite back to them frequently. [via Professor Bainbridge and Empirical Legal Studies]
posted by monju_bosatsu
on Jul 18, 2006 -
It's all one's and zero's eh?
The complex patterns of the natural world often turn out to be governed by relatively simple mathematical relationships. A seashell grows at a rate proportional to its size, resulting in a delicate spiral. The gossamer network of galaxies results from the simple interplay between cosmic expansion and the force of gravity over a wide range of scales. As our catalogue of natural phenomena has grown more complete, more and more scientists have begun to look for interesting patterns in human society.
posted by Unregistered User
on Jun 10, 2006 -
"Every war becomes a proving ground for new tactics and new technologies."
... "...The Pentagon began this war believing its new, networked technologies would help make U.S. ground forces practically unstoppable in Iraq. ... But now, more than three years into sectarian conflict and a violent insurgency that has cost nearly 2,400 American lives, an investigation of the current state of network-centric warfare reveals that frontline troops have a critical need for networked gear—gear that hasn’t come yet. " [more inside]
posted by paulsc
on May 20, 2006 -
...With the end of the cold war and the emergence of global networks in which goods, ideas and people circulate outside the language of citizenship, the fundamentalist fight for ideological states has lost influence... Muslim radicalism, by contrast, has moved beyond the language of citizenship to assume a global countenance, joining movements as different as environmentalism and pacifism in its pursuit of justice on a worldwide scale. Such movements are ethical rather than political in nature: they can neither predict nor control the global consequences of their actions...Spectral brothers: al-Qaida’s world wide web Snapshots of Faisal Devji's Landscapes of the Jihad are to be seen within
posted by y2karl
on Dec 8, 2005 -
NSA gets patent on locating the physical location of web surfers
"There are still many advantages to knowing the physical location of a party one is dealing with across electronically switched networks. For example, in the realm of advertising, knowing the geographic distribution of sales or inquires can be used to measure the effectiveness of advertising across geographic regions." Advertising, mmm hmmm.
posted by jeremias
on Oct 13, 2005 -