links for 2010-06-07

  • "[Low-minded media] always happens too. In the history of print, we got erotic novels 100 years before we got scientific journals, and complaints about distraction have been rampant; no less a beneficiary of the printing press than Martin Luther complained, "The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no measure of limit to this fever for writing." Edgar Allan Poe, writing during another surge in publishing, concluded, "The enormous multiplication of books in every branch of knowledge is one of the greatest evils of this age; since it presents one of the most serious obstacles to the acquisition of correct information."

    "The response to distraction, then as now, was social structure. Reading is an unnatural act; we are no more evolved to read books than we are to use computers. Literate societies become literate by investing extraordinary resources, every year, training children to read. Now it's our turn to figure out what response we need to shape our use of digital tools."

    (tags: progress)
  • "Suppose Gladwell is right and it really does take 10,000 hours to master something. Let’s set the bar lower. Let’s say that it takes half that time to be merely good at it. And just to be generous, let’s say half again just to not suck at something. That would mean it takes 2,500 hours of practice to just not be awful.

    "Now ask yourself, what have you done for 2,500 hours? That’s 104 days. 14 weeks of constant practice. Just under four months of nonstop repetition.

    "Very few of us have spent that much time doing anything besides sleeping or watching TV. I’m sure I’ve spent that much time reading, writing, making photos, doing design, and playing guitar."

  • I can't deny it, honestly. That said, not anytime lately. Been about a year.
  • "But, most importantly, not liking government doesn't mean it will go away. It just means that only big, slow, customer-hostile tech companies will be the ones influencing policy. In the 90s, Microsoft ignored the entire realm of policy, thinking their hyper-competitive market couldn't possibly be of interest to regulators. Facebook's making that same mistake about privacy right now, not realizing that their continuous missteps and shoddy communications are going to doom not just Facebook, but the entire social media industry, to onerous regulations if they don't get their act together quick enough. And our ostensible voices of leadership are advocating "close your eyes and hope they go away" as a plan of action? It's clearly time for new leaders who are in tune with reality when it comes to regulation."
  • (tags: to_watch)
  • Holy. Shit. WANT.
    (tags: safari HTML5)
  • So, Huntsville … where do we go for smoothies?