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The Social Web is Narcissistic

August 28, 2008 2 comments

…and at its heart is an Egotist – You.

Disclaimer: The thoughts about this article are still extremely hazy and maybe I’ll refine it in some time but I think this deserves some thought. This is an Old Draft but I still decided to publish it.

Ajay, a friend and a mentor @ work and I were having our regular cup of coffee this afternoon when it all started. For long have I been asking him to get onto the Social Web and he has been reluctant about it for no declared reason. The guy has a Twitter Id which he barely uses citing excuses of wanting to avoid an addictive distraction – something I can’t refute; and uses no other networking service. Well today, I got him talking, nudging him to point what he sees wrong with the Web as it has become. To set some context, We’ve both long wondered that there is something seriously wrong with the way the world is headed; I have been optimistic about the Web, thus far.

“Well”, Ajay said, “it promotes unjust Narcissism.” And then i realized the direction his reluctance was coming from… Both Ajay and I are severely Narcissistic guys – We Still believe we are the centers of universe and the Sun revolves around us. Not the world, just a few of us… But it isn’t Narcissism at a personal level, it is narcissism at a mass level that should raise a concerning eyebrow – Because it promotes Amateurism at a mass level. And Narcissistic Noobs is something most of us can’t put up with and shouldn’t, to be true.

The Social Web, is built around the construct of ‘Me’. It is an immediate instance of the act of Consumption of the Self. There is this need for this ‘Me’ to be consumed – in all forms. (More in this direction later). An old observation of mine on similar lines came when I was wondering about the Testimonials on the social sites. No matter who this ‘Me’ is, there are people to promote ‘Me’, to vouch for ‘Me’, who think ‘Me’ is good, great, fantabulous. ‘Me’ is happy, and ‘Me’ genuinely believes he is great and this continues. Eventually this leads to a degeneration of the Web – let alone Information, most content isn’t even Data for me, just Noise.

Despite all of this, I still believe Web 2.0 promises me a great way of information discovery. In potential, I can control exactly what I let seep through to me, what I allow myself to expose myself to. It will all start with amateurism, but I feel Amateurs at some point of time will evolve, those who don’t will perish. Eventually, the fittest will survive. Ajay doesn’t quite agree with me; Natural Selection scares him – Amateurs will promote Amateurs and the circle of the thoughtful will be left tiny and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I’m hoping I get to see him wrong on this.

Do you feel the Web 2.0 Shall evolve to a sea of information or do you think Noise will inundate the information by far?

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Apocalypse

December 21, 2007 2 comments

Watched the recent science fiction movie I am Legend.Some how, our predictions about the future are always gloomy. It’s like no one looks forward to a better tomorrow. We are collectively certain of our doom at our own summon; like we would rub a lamp hoping for a Genie and in all probability we wouldn’t get a genie but would end up with a demon at our behest.It’s interesting how the collective cognition of the species can be looking down so mockingly at its own capabilities.Anyways, back to Science Fiction; which anyways has been the flavour of the cinema, atleast in the recent past. Fantasy, is the genre that i would rather call it; saves us the trouble of having to think of a word for Harry Potter, Narnia… what have you Mumbo Jumbo. And the favourite cause of apocalypse are Viruses that we will ourselves mutate & then be rendered completely helpless against them. Focus has shifted away from computers & Artificial intelligence. This implies either of two: we now gauge our own incapabilities better & see that as too far off; or we undermine the potential of a self evolving schema.The funny part is, if its the latter, what does that comment on us? 

Categories: Movies, Society, Technology

Games People Play

December 9, 2007 1 comment

Have seriously changed. I remember spending my childhood playing Monopoly (& it’s Indian Version – Business/Vyapaar); Scotland Yard; Scrabble… The first time I played a game on a computer was probably when I was in my mid teens – Wolf 3D. In my late teens I did graduate to a compulsive ‘digital’ gamer and remained that through out my college life. Even after life became busy with work & shit; I still try to go back & play me some good games whenever I can.But this thread of thought started last weekend when Patel, Dey, Makka (Read three weirdoes) & I (read four weirdoes) went out in an act of desperation to find an intriguing, relaxing yet stimulating way to spend time; and ended up playing Monopoly for 12 hours. We introduced our own quirky ‘mods’ to the game, the details of which I shall conveniently reserve for another post sometime after i’ve had more thought.What bothers me is that these immensely fun Board Games (along with several others) are no longer of any kids interest. These games were structured along the idea of Family Entertainment & did they do the job! Today the only paradigm of gaming that I see is the digital one; age no bar, sex no bar. The wierd games of the early childhood that the elderly used to concoct to keep children busy; The Board games of yesteryears; The idea of bringing in a group of people & letting them be in control of the game while having fun: Gone.More on this when I have structured my thoughts. 

By Golly!

January 7, 2007 Leave a comment

If Apple has been pre-empted correctly, I’ll be damned, then some more. Check this link for yourself.

Categories: Apple, HDTV, Technology

A Fine Fine

December 10, 2006 Leave a comment

Once more, the bugle has been blown on the P2P ruckus, this time in France. I’m just wondering all over again if there could be a simpler way?

Categories: P2P, Technology

Peerless

December 5, 2006 Leave a comment

Peer to peer softwares are so overwhelmingly proliferated, I didn’t quite need to be told about this to know it was there. I’m pretty sure jack and kelly are trading out copyrighted stuff too. So must be everyone out there. I wonder how long would it be before people realised that they have to come up with a new business model in the networked society. While iTunes and Napster do have a stand in the market, there’s just no way that everyone’s gonna pay. Most would still rip off illegal MP3s from some or the other place.

Any Bright Ideas? I’m still thinking.

Categories: Business, Music, P2P, Piracy, Technology