Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Harry Potter spells domination of computers over people

So Harry Potter Deathly Hollows is available at BitTorrent according to Duncan Riley. It just strikes me that the nature of transparency and Internet porosity need to be better understood by the big brand leaders.

Then there is another form of transparency. If you use Firefox, Guy Kawasaki says this is an essential plugin: It enables you to place your cursor over a link and see a snapshot of the web page. It is instant transparency gratification you might imagine. In a Social Frame it has that time quality. But is it helpful?

Part of transparency is about getting facts to help with planning (radical transparency helps with very dynamic change management) and changing the world which Seth Godin has offered as a metaphor for marketing is, he suggests, limited to a few weeks time but not tomorrow or a year's time. Does this mean that there is a time window for transparency to be relevant as well?

In his analysis of the works of Cory Doctorow, professor Graham J. Murphy in his paper 'Somatic Networks and Molecular Hacking in Eastern Standard Tribe' (which has delighted Cory who wrote the book) offers the anti-establishment view of Intellectual Property without criticism. Which is an issue because transparency is only transparent in a social frame.

The end game in transparency from a Doctorow “post-genre science fiction” perspective is shrouded in granularity and positivism but I think there is something else and it runs counter to the set of mores the characters in Cory's books seem to regard as set in stone.

People are not like that.

It is why I have developed the Social Frame concept.

People do have value systems and are guided by them in what they do but the value systems that count are:

At a moment in time,
Mitigated by the environment and
Subject to Interactive capability.

Thus only those people who are aware of the values of Eastern Standard Tribe can be involved with the tribe and where it is if they have the right environment and interactivity to achieve their tribal ambitions. Time again is an issue associated with transparency. If you try to be interactive outside your time zone, the story tells us - you go nuts.

The biological limitations of our techno/knowledge capability is now pretty well established and being able to scan ourselves--our intelligence, personlities, feelings and memories--into computers is a near reality. It is based on transparency and porosity. In this scenario, the person can time shift in the past. So transparency and time has some historic flexibility.

But there is a lot of work on systems that would use their experience of past executions of algorithms in order to automatically improve their own performance in terms of 'speedup'. That is, speeedup beyond the capability of human biology. Past transparency becomes one of the elements in developing speedup.

The computer can then determine which social frame it needs to optimise the speed of adoption of an activity. Thus accelerating away from human competence.

This suggests that the availability of the Harry Potter book days before its publication is yet another step towards the domination of computers over people.