Prophetic? or Pathetic?
November 22, 2004 12:52 PM   Subscribe

A Vision of a (possible) future of the blogo-news-web-sphere. Or something.
posted by mmahaffie (31 comments total)
A great post, mmahaffie, thanks.

This is an amazing presentation, as it describes the history and melds into the future you have a sense of amazement as you hear the past, and a sense of "of course" as it speculates about the future... and it is hard to tell where reality becomes prophesy

I want EPIC now!!!!!
posted by HuronBob at 1:16 PM on November 22, 2004

This is really, really, inadvertently funny. I did keep expecting an abrupt left turn into total parody, though, and was a bit disappointed. But whatever.

Also, they totally left out the rise of Googasoftster-Botsterzon after the Domestic Droid Rebellion of 2012. But you just can't expect any accuracy out of the damn LiberoMediaTron these days anyhow.
posted by Swampjazz! at 1:16 PM on November 22, 2004

Fear me, for I am Googlezon!
A cheesy, if not interesting, prognostication.
posted by malaprohibita at 1:19 PM on November 22, 2004

I swear this was already on the blue, but I can't find any reference to it in goog. I guess I just saw it on waxy on the 17th.

I'm more freaked out by that Keyhole GIS program...
posted by shoepal at 1:20 PM on November 22, 2004

I was excited about the potential of something like the Google grid and then started to suspect parody when they unleashed the hilarious hybrid names. Also, the personal ID card hinted at parody (satire?) with citizen WPSMITH. Or did I totally make that up? Well, I don't have time to watch it again. Anyway, great link!
posted by lyam at 1:20 PM on November 22, 2004

hmmm. maybe this is what troutfishing is saving is from (seriously).
posted by andrew cooke at 1:21 PM on November 22, 2004

I couldn't help but giggle a few times. And they were really proud of the epic logo. And those flashy lights were kind of a pain.

...but the second loading bar said "refluffing quantum foam", so all is forgiven.
posted by cmyr at 1:27 PM on November 22, 2004

I want my 8 minutes, and the year 2014, back.

It was funny, though, hearing this guy speak of Friendster in such breathless tones. Self-congratulatory wankery was never more, er, boring.

"It has never been easier for everyone -- EVERYONE -- to do something or other." As long as they're white, rich and aren't interested in anything in depth.
posted by solistrato at 1:34 PM on November 22, 2004

Yeah I agree... if anybody ponies up massive dough for Friendster it's to result in bankruptcy not a megacorp.
posted by TetrisKid at 1:41 PM on November 22, 2004

Citizens, I have had a vision of tomorrow!

It looks just like my vision of today, only... moreso!

posted by C.Batt at 1:45 PM on November 22, 2004

It's a shame that (what I presume is) the real message is left a little too implicit. It would be nice as an introduction to a more serious discussion of the future of the media.
posted by Singular at 1:51 PM on November 22, 2004

I'm guessing that what the maker was trying to posit, although in a silly way, was that blogs and computer-generated media choices will someday destroy the old media (for some reason represented solely by The New York Times), but will in the end result in a homogenized, sensationalistic, shallow and inaccurate news sphere.

Which doesn't seem too farfetched - I imagine "Epic" would, for most people, be like a mix of Fox News and Fark. Entertaining, sure, but about as imformative as a turd.
posted by fungible at 2:10 PM on November 22, 2004

I, for one, welcome our new multizero overlords...

(Of course, this means I actually have to join bloody social networking, doesn't it?)
posted by Samizdata at 2:10 PM on November 22, 2004

I find this post particularly pertinent to my field. I just wrote a long, rambling essay about the future of content provision in the year 2019. This fits in with it rather nicely. I was kind of on the line about whether or not bloggers would kill the major content providers like the AP and Reuters or just contribute to their networks.

A future like this would not surprise me, but I have to wonder: in the described system, they mentioned that a great deal of the information would be "shallow" or "false." Would the system be self-healing much like wikipedia and quickly set the record straight, or would lies perpetuate into historical fact?
posted by TheGoldenOne at 2:14 PM on November 22, 2004

I really enjoyed that. Whatever it means.
posted by bdave at 2:23 PM on November 22, 2004

It reminds me a bit Imaginary Magnitude by Stanislaw Lem, computers generating both literature as well as literary criticism. I would suggest that you buy it on amazon, but it is out of print.

BTW, don't mean to spook anyone, but I just got one of those newfangled mefi accounts. Don't remember seeing an announcement and hope that this doesn't mark the beginning of the end. Maybe they should add "metafilter begins taking on new users" to the events of 2004.
posted by cgk at 2:59 PM on November 22, 2004


14.95 / month and you get anything you want.
12 cents from every transaction on the National Grid Economy.
posted by fluffycreature at 3:28 PM on November 22, 2004

What about Amagoogle?
Ooh... no, wait for it: Amalgam.
Well it has a g in it...

On a more serious note, rather than being empowering or even delivering sloppy and biased news, I think Epic (as described) would go even further and allow people to shut out things out completley. How many people would just want to hear about their favourite band/moviestar/hobby and nothing else? Too many probably.
posted by comraderaoul at 4:02 PM on November 22, 2004

what comradraoul said...we'd only know about what our contacts were seeing, and no one would ever get any news/info outside their interests--there's enormous (and already neglected) value in being informed by something you wouldn't have chosen to see/read/etc but came across serendipitously.

It would lead to even more splintering--let alone our current political or social splinters. (and using Winston Smith as the typical user example was perfect, and the Times becoming print-only for the elite and elderly is already true, pretty much.)
posted by amberglow at 4:34 PM on November 22, 2004

you know what this sounds like? ... it sounds like what the catholic church used to say about laymen actually being able to read scripture for themselves instead of having it filtered for them by the priests

like it or not, this is our future ... it occurs to me that being an editor could be pretty lucrative ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:04 PM on November 22, 2004

We are doomed. Buy gold.
posted by stbalbach at 5:16 PM on November 22, 2004

TGO: IMHO, the blogosphere, as it stands now, does a far better job of "setting the record straight" than the news organizations do, and I can only imagine this trend would continue if such a 2014 came to be. Take the Swift Boat incident for example - while blogs hammered through with corrections and discredited virtually everyone involved in the making of this commercial, the press gave them a complete pass.
posted by mek at 6:19 PM on November 22, 2004

2012: In this year, the Global Info-Thingumajig abandons the use of the past tense in all historical narrative.

Using new Gubogoogatron technology, "past-bots" are set loose to navigate the Worldwide Whatsis and eliminate any past-tense usage wherever it occurs.
posted by gubo at 7:22 PM on November 22, 2004

But will blogs ever take over for proffesional content providers though? Probably not, since providers can pay to have reporters/photographers all over the globe to get brighter shinier content. Bloggers just provide different (and most of the time IMO a more honest and relevant) looks at things. I agree mek, The Swift Boat ads were a good example...
posted by TetrisKid at 7:27 PM on November 22, 2004

Newsbotster. LOL!

I think the only lasting relevance blogs will have in the future is ultimately the technology and services which rose to maintain them: XML and CMS. Well, not just blogs, but websites in general...

Having journalists submit stories as pure text to a mainframe which simply aggregates the content and stylizes it to benefit the user and the device being used to access the content is probably prevelant even now.

Maybe in the future MetaFilter will compete with the Old Gray Lady for actual news.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 8:56 PM on November 22, 2004

In 2015 people come to realize that editing is boring as hell and writing isn't like what they see in the movies - it's a lot harder than it looks.

Also, that whole copyright thing is going to be a bitch to get beyond. Let's just say SCOTUS sides with Amablogooglster - at what point do independent editors, writers, photographers, etc. start suing for copyright infringement of their "original" work i.e. Tasini v. NYT?

On the other hand, it is fun to pretend.
posted by photoslob at 9:54 PM on November 22, 2004

I can see this, or something similar, come to pass...

Isn't this the whole POINT to Total Information Awareness (tm) ?

Tired of that lefty liberal slant to all your news?

Don't you wish YOUR blogs, and posts on them could be directly routed to individuals that it most pertains to, worldwide?

The Govt. is "forbidden" from compiling the kinds of databases needed for something like this.... But private buisinesses aren't...
And Govt. can smell an outsourcing solution a mile away...

Ever notice all those cameras put up at every intersection over the past 6 years or so? Just to catch red light runners? Track vehicles on high speed chases? Humph....

Someone once told me it was so they could put up personalized advertisements on billboards and bus stops to run just as you passed... flashing your name to make you look.... (OK, I hang out with a tinfoil croud) (OK, I was alone when I thought of this, but I can't let THEM know that I know they're on to me)

Welcome to the future everyone!! The flying cars are all virtual, but the aroma is AMAZING!!
posted by Balisong at 10:50 PM on November 22, 2004

With everyone hearing ONLY, EXACTLY what they want to hear, everyone can/will be pacified, and the govt slips into the underworld, to exploit and control as they wish...

(Except me, who would only get the consiracy channel)
posted by Balisong at 10:57 PM on November 22, 2004

Creepy. I already don't like the selections Amazon has for me, I hate Friendster, my blog is terminally boring: I can only imagine the horror that would be my life with googlezonsterblog. If my imagined privacy has to be completely a thing of the past, can't the overlords at least get it right?
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:41 AM on November 23, 2004

Why assume that the newsbots will only tell people what they want to hear, about topics they are already interested in? The profile of an individual can be a lot more complicated than just "he likes the area sports team" or "she likes Tibet." Serendipity will be part of the algorithm.

As long as these services continue to operate in a free market, people will get what they want. For some people that's all Madonna all the time, for others its an assortment of multimedia on new and interesting topics.
posted by hartsell at 8:46 AM on November 23, 2004

Serendipity will be part of the algorithm.
How would that be possible? Even if it was served up, if you didn't click, you'd never get that topic again, no?
posted by amberglow at 6:06 PM on November 24, 2004

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