Architecture of the Networked Age

While at home in New Jersey for the Christmas holiday I happened to pick up my Mom’s copy of Archaeology magazine and read an article on an exhibition of monumental Olmec sculptures. The heads, which were created 1400-400 BC, depict the faces of the Mexican civilization’s rulers. Why create such large representations of power? Because…

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Politics, Sex, and God in Google Books

Earlier this week Google launched a powerful tool for visualizing cultural trends. The modestly-named Books Ngram Viewer allows you to search the frequency of any word in the 5.2-million strong Google Books database, reaching back to 1800. Earlier this week Read Write Web published a post of 10 fascinating word graphs created using the application.…

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Judging Julian

Recent documents, obtained by The Guardian, that detail the allegations of rape and sexual assault again Wikileaks founder Julian Assange make three points eminently clear: Smear campaign or not, there is a basis to the allegations. At least with regard to his sexual liaisons with women, Julian Assange is a bit of a creep. This…

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The Effects of Starfish on Spiders

Note: This is cross-posted from techPresident, albeit with a new title. A few weeks ago, powerful corporations like Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal weren’t very concerned with the hacktivists and pranksters on 4chan. Now, thanks to the tactical success of Operation Payback‘s DDoS attacks, they are. The U.S. government also has its own problems with networked…

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A Niche for Each: Hierarchies vs. Networks

In economics, a “transaction cost” is the cost incurred in making an economic exchange – the price of doing business. In sociology, we could talk about a “coordination cost,” the cost incurred in working effectively in a group. The Internet has altered the cost of coordination, and will also alter the social structures based on…

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Cartoon Slacktivists, Be Not Afraid!

If you are worried that you are engaging in slacktivism by posting a cartoon as your Facebook profile pic to oppose child abuse, just remember that it’s not slacktivism, it’s broadcasting a cause preference that can be mobilized. You should only feel guilty if this action represents a decrease in your engagement on this issue…

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