Explain the difference between Piratebay and Google Books…

29. August 2009

OK, now it is obvious. The Pirate Bay will die. Even if the founders of the biggest file torrent search engine are very skilled in searching and finding new ways of distribute there stuff, once all way will finally barred. We now these process from the past: Do you remember napster, kazaa and e-mule. All these file sharing pages had to walk there long way to the graveyard. But please also remember what happened meanwhile this long trip: The time where the courts, the police and at least the concerned industries (in this case mostly the music and the film industry) are distracted from the fight against the old project is always the time for a new project to develop unnoticed. After napster came kazaa, after kazaa e-mule and so on. But this time it seems to be different.

The new way of distributing files, the bit-torrent system and the development of search engines offers new opportunities. Nowadays it isn’t necessary to visit a page, like the still existing mininova which collect bit torrent links. It is much easier. Just type in a name of a file and the word “torrent” or “free download” in the input field in google You can find a lot of god replies. This is related to the google-way of thinking. Googles search engine algorithm based on the “wisdom of the crowd”-sys

tem. The mass of people decide what is important wand what is not. The more people link in there comments to a page, the higher is the ranking. The interesting point about this is, that so much people link and use the torrent pages that there are always on top. It is a huge group of people, who download torrents or link to one torrent page. And this seems to be as impossible to stop as the thought to shut down google because of the possibility to break copyright law with its engine.

By the way. Shut down google would be a great idea in the view of the old elite. Google is doing a lot of stuff, which afford the use and distribute of free material is the internet. Google books is only one example, but a god one. In this case the court is on the side of the shared knowledge maintainer. They let google digitalise and distribute books from different authors without asking them about there personal copyrights. The american court used a law which is called the fair use. It says that knowledge which is important for the society has to be shared. This is like a containment of the personal copyright.

Something like that is exactly what we need nowadays. For sure we need a new system of copyright. The remix culture is not made for personal rights. The generation internet wants to have everything available at every time. Personal thoughts have to be shared with other people to make the society more intelligent – make them smarter. And that of course make the individual smarter, who now how to handle this new distribution ways of information. Privacy was yesterday, today is social haven! The old elite is scared about that. They try to stop the progress, but on the other hand they forget that the the future is written. The google-system has graduate, now can the real future begin.


Surowiecki, James: “The Wisdom of crowds”

20. May 2009

A bunch of interesting studies – no complete train of thoughts

Did you know, that hundred people can be smarter than the smartest person in the group? Can you imagine that the stock market needed 20 minutes to know who was responsibly for the Challenger-crash? And did you know that the crash of the space shuttle Columbia only exploded because of a wrong composition and hierarchy inside their security-group? You didn’t know that? No Problem! James Surowiecki will tell you about these and some other behaviours of a human mob. The only thing you have to do is to read his book “The wisdom of crowds”, published 2004 on Anchor books (a sublabel of Random House).

In this book Surowiecki referred about the mentalities of human crows from different viewpoints. He tries to figure out what kind of structure a groups needs to be smarter than every several persons in it. For this aim he uses many analysis and studies of the last two centuries. Within these explaines Surowiecki the different social behaviour of humans in the crowd context. The examples effect economical, politic and social problems likewise. A look on the subtitle of the book shows his huge intention: “Why the many are smarter than the few and how collective wisdom shapes business, economies, societies and nations”. Everybody can identify with the mob mentalities. And everybody has to. Because we are all part of the mob.

Surowiecki’s final conclusion is a distinction between three different types of problems which affect a crowd: cognition, cooperation and coordination problems. For every kind of problem you need to respect different rules to create a smart crowd. And sometimes these rules act against each other. This sounds like chaos and actually it is. Our whole society works by a chaotic combination of different crowd phenomena. The stock market is the best example for that. Surowiecki’s book seems to have the key to break this chaos, but it has not. That is the biggest problem of the book. Surowiecki gives a lot of different answers and mention a lot of different rules and no-goes for a smart group. But a concrete arrangement of this rules and studies is missing.

So it is the readers work to the arrange Surowiecki’s references. How, for example would you interpret this situation? It is not good for a company to have a straight hierarchy with a all-powerfull head, because that kills the vantages of the crowds wisdom. On the other hand it is also not good to have to much multi-plane debate-groups, because that extend the decision trees and disconnect every group from the aim of the company. This example shows the whole dilemma of crowds. There are very good in finding the right solution, but there are also very good in following synergetic effects and forget there common goal. The same problem shows up with the mass of information because of the internet. Information are important to find good solutions, but to much information can, in special cases be counterproductive (Friedrich von Hayek combine this two points: the mass of information makes it impossible to create a omniscient group.

In one of my last blogs I gainsay Cass R. Sunsteins fear about a radicalisation of balkanaised groups, he pointed out in his text “The daily we”. Surowiecki mentions Sunstein’s studies and the phenomenon of group-radicalisation in his book. But Surowiecki identifies the radicalisation only as problem of group-compositions. For that reason he cites a study of Alan S. Blinder and John Morgan, which shows that a good organised small group can be smarter than every single member of the group. His conclusion is, that groups are only smarter, when there decision comes off a free, open and unhierarchic discussion.

At least I would like to say that Surowiecki book led me to this thoughts. It gave me a lot of basis information about my view of human beings. So when you are not searching for a complete train of thoughts, when you like to know more about the different originalities of the human species collected in groups and when you want at least a bit entertainment than is Surowiecki’s book a right solution. When you searching for concrete answers to compose a efficient group system in your company – read something else.


Facebook isn’t up to date anymore!

11. May 2009

Yes,

you’ve read it right. But the idea for this headline doesn’t came out of my brain. It’s is a

Jarvis, Jeff, new, media, book

Jarvis, Jeff, new, media, book

common view from Umair Haque, the director of Havas Media Lab and Jeff Jarvis, the buzzmachine.com blogger and the autor of the book I’m atcually readig: “What would google do?”. They both think that facebook doesn’t use the right strategy, for example for a modern advertising profile. On the other side they say that even there communication concept is antiquated. Twitter is way forward…

Unfortunatly I’ve read about the interview, given during the Next09-conference in Hamburg only in german. But here is a conclusion about Jarvis thoughts in his book:

First on Vimeo

and then on youtube:

 

 

 

 

 

 


Internet and Democracy

23. April 2009

Does the internet help our society?

Many people talk about the internet as it is a saviour for the our societies communication and the democracy. But does it really help us? I would like to offer my thoughts about that. First we have to go back to the first principles of democracy, which are: equity, freedom of choice, freedom of the information and the possibility of a passive and active participation on the opinion-leading process. My argumentation leads my to a comparison of these principles to the current media and contemporary communication scene. The pre-internet media, like radio and the printing press had the problem, that they were not able to guarantee all the democratic principles. Of course they were way forward in comparison to the early 19th century, but newspapers and radio stations created only a subordinated public sphere, which allows you to choose between different preselected information. To take part on the conversation you needed the good will of the media station. So you could never become a equal partner. Since the 20th century the regular media scene is dominated by big companies and the states. It depended on money and political influence if you voice could be heard.

In the Internet can everybody write everything and of course read everything what he wants. It is obvious that the internet gave us more freedom and more equality in the media case. But that isn’t changing the fact that there is still a preselection ongoing. The difference is that the filter isn’t completely controlled by money and political power. Of course there is still a great influence from the global players and the states, but it is much easier to avoid this influences by type in the url that pleased yourself. The preselection in the web is basically controlled by social competence. Social competence – also called soft skills – means in this case the power to interact and a kind of control discussions with people and developments of opinion-building processes in social network. Your weblog for example will be only successful, when you find people who read your posts. But for that you need a network, people who think that you are an expert, a person which they want to follow.

So what’s happening now is, that people or groups which have a great social competence – the so called peer-groups – get more power. Things like morals, norms and a form of lifestyle will be decided in these groups, not in a national debate anymore. So we are less depending on the national media or the will of the state – we start to depend more and more on peer-groups. In the Text “The daily we” warned the Jurisprudence-Professor Cass R. Sunstein against the further balkanisation and like may people he is afraid about this process. He claim that “a common set of frameworks and experiences is valuable for a heterogeneous society”. I agree with that, but I can’t see incoherency to the peer-group phenomena. We can build the a common value system only when we’ve found our own value system. And it seems to be much easier to find yourself in your peer-group, than in the state. And if we don’t find a answer to ore questions in one group, we can join another or found our own. That is the new freedom. Of course we have to be careful. Social competence can be utilised. But I’ll be confident that the community will handle these problems.

To come at least to my incoming question. I would like to answer that the internet can’t be seen as a saviour. Ok, it helps us. But it is only a tool. Like the spade for the gardener. But digging and planting flowers, we have to do by ourselves


Twitter: Everything is possible

23. April 2009

Before I’ll come to some academic thoughts I would like to show you two examples what is possible with twitter. One good and one bad example.

First the good:

 

The BakerTweet from Vimeo

 

and now the bad:

Take care and always remember this  🙂