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pages: 271 words: 52,814

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan


23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Edward Snowden,, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, software as a service, technological singularity, Turing complete, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

So far, the main thread is related to peer-to-peer distributed computing projects for which individual volunteers provide unused computing cycles to Internet-based distributed computing projects. Two notable projects are SETI@home (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, which uses contributed computing cycles to help analyze radio signals from space, searching for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence), and Folding@home (a Stanford University project for which computing cycles are used to simulate protein folding, for computational drug design and other molecular dynamics problems). Per blockchain technology, remunerative coin has been set up to reward participants in both the SETI@home and Folding@home projects. For SETI@home, there is Gridcoin, which is the remunerative coin available to all BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) projects, the infrastructure upon which SETI@home runs. For Folding@home, there is FoldingCoin, a Counterparty token that runs and is exchangeable to the more liquid XCP cryptocurrency (and therefore out to Bitcoin and fiat currency) via the Counterparty wallet (Counterwallet).

As previously mentioned, Storj is a decentralized cloud storage platform that completed a $461,802 crowdfunding in August 2014.70 Storj uses the Bitcoin blockchain technology and peer-to-peer protocols to provide secure, private, and encrypted cloud storage. There are two apps, DriveShare and MetaDisk, which respectively enable users to rent out their unused hard disk space and store their files on the Storj network. Purported methods for safely sharing unused hard disk space have been developed by other community computing models like Folding@Home and BOINC, whose software is used by SETI@Home. Of course, as with any distributed project that involves opening your computer to others’ use, caveat emptor applies, and participants in Storj or any similar project should satisfactorily inform themselves of the security details. Storj’s altcoin token, Storjcoin X (SJCX), is a cryptocurrency that runs on the Counterparty protocol. The currency is used to purchase space on the Storj network via Metadisk and compensate network DriveShare storage providers.

They point out that the cost to deliver $100 via the blockchain is much cheaper than traditional methods. Still, there is concern over how Bitcoin could eliminate its wasteful consumption of electricity for mining while continuing to maintain the blockchain, and 3.0 innovations could be expected. One response is cryptocurrencies that are apparently more energy efficient, such as Mintcoin. Community Supercomputing SETI@home and Folding@home are community supercomputing projects in the sense that a community of individual volunteers contributes the raw resource of computing cycles; they are not involved in setting the research agenda. A more empowered model of community supercomputing would be using the resource-allocation mechanism of the blockchain to allow noninstitutional researchers access to supercomputing time for their own projects of interest.


pages: 678 words: 216,204

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom by Yochai Benkler


affirmative action, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centre right, clean water, dark matter, desegregation, East Village, fear of failure, Firefox, game design, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of radio, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, market bubble, market clearing, Marshall McLuhan, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, random walk, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software patent, spectrum auction, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs

They produce economic, not public, goods--computation, storage, and communications capacity. 168 As of the middle of 2004, the fastest supercomputer in the world was SETI@home. It ran about 75 percent faster than the supercomputer that [pg 82] was then formally known as "the fastest supercomputer in the world": the IBM Blue Gene/L. And yet, there was and is no single SETI@home computer. Instead, the SETI@home project has developed software and a collaboration platform that have enabled millions of participants to pool their computation resources into a single powerful computer. Every user who participates in the project must download a small screen saver. When a user's personal computer is idle, the screen saver starts up, downloads problems for calculation--in SETI@home, these are radio astronomy signals to be analyzed for regularities--and calculates the problem it has downloaded.

As of the middle of 2004, the project had harnessed the computers of 4.5 million users, allowing it to run computations at speeds greater than those achieved by the fastest supercomputers in the world that private firms, using full-time engineers, developed for the largest and best-funded government laboratories in the world. SETI@home is the most prominent, but is only one among dozens of similarly structured Internet-based distributed computing platforms. Another, whose structure has been the subject of the most extensive formal analysis by its creators, is Folding@home. As of mid-2004, Folding@home had amassed contributions of about 840,000 processors contributed by more than 365,000 users. 169 SETI@home and Folding@home provide a good basis for describing the fairly common characteristics of Internet-based distributed computation projects. First, these are noncommercial projects, engaged in pursuits understood as scientific, for the general good, seeking to harness contributions of individuals who wish to contribute to such larger-than-themselves goals. SETI@home helps in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

The political implications of free software have been central to the free software movement and its founder, Richard Stallman, and were developed provocatively and with great insight by Eben Moglen. Free software is but one salient example of a much broader phenomenon. Why can fifty thousand volunteers successfully coauthor Wikipedia, the most serious online alternative to the Encyclopedia Britannica, and then turn around and give it away for free? Why do 4.5 million volunteers contribute their leftover computer cycles to create the most powerful supercomputer on Earth, SETI@Home? Without a broadly accepted analytic model to explain these phenomena, we tend to treat them as curiosities, perhaps transient fads, possibly of significance in one market segment or another. We [pg 6] should try instead to see them for what they are: a new mode of production emerging in the middle of the most advanced economies in the world-- those that are the most fully computer networked and for which information goods and services have come to occupy the highest-valued roles. 21 Human beings are, and always have been, diversely motivated beings.


pages: 933 words: 205,691

Hadoop: The Definitive Guide by Tom White


Amazon Web Services, bioinformatics, business intelligence, combinatorial explosion, database schema, Debian, domain-specific language,, fault tolerance, full text search, Grace Hopper, information retrieval, Internet Archive, linked data, loose coupling, openstreetmap, recommendation engine, RFID, SETI@home, social graph, web application

Volunteer Computing When people first hear about Hadoop and MapReduce, they often ask, “How is it different from SETI@home?” SETI, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, runs a project called SETI@home in which volunteers donate CPU time from their otherwise idle computers to analyze radio telescope data for signs of intelligent life outside earth. SETI@home is the most well-known of many volunteer computing projects; others include the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (to search for large prime numbers) and Folding@home (to understand protein folding and how it relates to disease). Volunteer computing projects work by breaking the problem they are trying to solve into chunks called work units, which are sent to computers around the world to be analyzed. For example, a SETI@home work unit is about 0.35 MB of radio telescope data, and takes hours or days to analyze on a typical home computer.

As a precaution to combat cheating, each work unit is sent to three different machines and needs at least two results to agree to be accepted. Although SETI@home may be superficially similar to MapReduce (breaking a problem into independent pieces to be worked on in parallel), there are some significant differences. The SETI@home problem is very CPU-intensive, which makes it suitable for running on hundreds of thousands of computers across the world,[9] since the time to transfer the work unit is dwarfed by the time to run the computation on it. Volunteers are donating CPU cycles, not bandwidth. MapReduce is designed to run jobs that last minutes or hours on trusted, dedicated hardware running in a single data center with very high aggregate bandwidth interconnects. By contrast, SETI@home runs a perpetual computation on untrusted machines on the Internet with highly variable connection speeds and no data locality

See “Distributed Computing Economics,” March 2003, [8] Apache Mahout ( is a project to build machine learning libraries (such as classification and clustering algorithms) that run on Hadoop. [9] In January 2008, SETI@home was reported at to be processing 300 gigabytes a day, using 320,000 computers (most of which are not dedicated to SETI@home; they are used for other things, too). A Brief History of Hadoop Hadoop was created by Doug Cutting, the creator of Apache Lucene, the widely used text search library. Hadoop has its origins in Apache Nutch, an open source web search engine, itself a part of the Lucene project. The Origin of the Name “Hadoop” The name Hadoop is not an acronym; it’s a made-up name.


pages: 629 words: 142,393

The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man,, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation,, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, packet switching, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons

See World Community Grid, (last visited May 16, 2007) (“World Community Grid’s mission is to create the largest public computing grid benefiting humanity. Our work is built on the belief that technological innovation combined with visionary scientific research and large-scale volunteerism can change our world for the better.”). The site makes it easy to become involved: “Donate the time your computer is turned on, but is idle, to projects that benefit humanity!” Id. 59. See SETI@home, (last visited Dec. 1, 2007); see also Wikipedia, SETI@home, (as of May 12, 2007, 02:06 GMT). 60. BitTorrent allows many people to download the same file without slowing down everyone else’s download. This is possible because downloaders swap portions of the file with one another, instead of downloading it all from a single server. As each downloader uses up bandwidth, he also contributes bandwidth back to the swarm.

BitTorrent, Company Overview, (last visited Dec. 1, 2007). 114. A variety of programs already allow users to contribute idle CPU time to far-flung projects. See, e.g.,, (last visited June 1, 2007); Rosetta@home, What is Rosetta@home?, (last visited June 1, 2007); SETI@home, The Science of SETI@home, (last visited June 1, 2007); World Community Grid, About Us, (last visited June 1, 2007). 115. Christopher Lawton, ‘Dumb Terminals’ Can Be a Smart Move, WALL ST. J., Jan. 30, 2007, at B3, available at

An information technology ecosystem comprising only the products of the free software movement would be much less usable by the public at large than one in which big firms help sand off rough edges.56 GNU/Linux has become user-friendly thanks to firms that package and sell copies, even if they cannot claim proprietary ownership in the software itself, and tedious tasks that improve ease of mastery for the uninitiated might best be done through corporate models: creating smooth installation engines, extensive help guides, and other handholding for what otherwise might be an off-putting technical piece of PC software or Web service.57 As the Internet and the PC merge into a grid, people can increasingly lend or barter computing cycles or bandwidth for causes they care about by simply installing a small piece of software.58 This could be something like SETI@home, through which astronomers can distribute voluminous data from radio telescopes to individual PCs,59 which then look for patterns that might indicate the presence of intelligent life, or it could be a simple sharing of bandwidth through mechanisms such as amateur-coded (and conceived, and designed) BitTorrent,60 by which large files are shared among individuals as they download them, making it possible for users to achieve very rapid downloads by accumulating bits of files from multiple sources, all while serving as sources themselves.


pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers


Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation,, experimental economics, George Akerlof, global village, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Zipcar

The number of images and amount of data on the Red Planet returned by spacecraft since the 1960s are now so large that scientists cannot hope to study all the material by themselves. NASA has turned the project into a game where you earn points for “being a mapmaker” or “counting impact craters.” As these projects are voluntary, they attract only participants passionate about the subject and motivated to engage with a group of people to help solve real challenges. The same principle applies to SETI@home, which stands for “Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” set up in 1999 by Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. In the essay “Sharing Nicely,” Yale Law School Professor Yochai Benkler pointed to the world’s largest distributed computer network to highlight the trend toward sharing and to prove the potential of a distributed network. The goal of SETI was to apply collective power to look for intelligent life outside Earth.

The goal of SETI was to apply collective power to look for intelligent life outside Earth. To date 5.2 million global volunteers have downloaded a small screensaver that identifies when their home computer is idle. At that time the computer is networked, and groups collaboratively download problems to calculate. When the problem is solved, the computer sends the results back to the main terminal. As a result, according to Guinness World Records, SETI@home has calculated some of the largest computations in history. Power in Numbers The power of mass collaboration is by no means restricted to the open software movement. But the start of projects such as Linux in the late nineties and early “noughties” was a pivotal milestone in the timeline of cocreation. Programmers were foot soldiers in pioneering new attitudes and innovative behaviors around sharing.

Packard, Vance Pagan Island Palfrey, John Pantera, Kestrin Papanek, Victor Paradox of Choice, The (Schwartz) Parkinson, Cyril Northcote participation: mind-set for collaborative in politics Payback (Atwood) Pears, Kate peer provider peer-to-peer exchanges currencies on facilitating of growing norm of hurdles facing middlemen eliminated in return to trust values of see also collaborative consumption; local markets; specific markets peer user Perez, Carlota Picasso, Pablo Piece of the Action, A (Nocera) plastic Pollan, Michael Porritt, Jonathon power of persuasion Prelec, Drazen product lifecycles product service systems (PSS) barriers to benefits of collective wisdom in and non-ownership replicability of success of types of user loyalty in Progress Paradox, The (Easterbrook) Putnam, Robert Qualman, Erik Randolph, Marc Rashid, Karim recession of 2008 reciprocity redistribution markets fairness and idling capacity lower in reuse encouraged by “Regrets on Parting with My Old Dressing Gown” (Diderot) Reinhart, James RelayRides renting, rentals see also sharing replication reputation reputation systems reusable goods, value of reuse and recycling benefits of in extended life PSS indirect reciprocity of redistribution markets and trust formed by ReUseIt ride sharing, see car sharing Rifkin, Jeremy Rive, Lyndon Robotics Design Romm, Joe Rooftop Farms Roomorama room rentals Roosevelt, Franklin D. Rushkoff, Douglas Rutherford, Angela Sadato, Norihiro Santa Rosa Tool Library Sarkozy, Nicolas Saunders, Joe Savage, Steve Schindler, Alfred Schoppik, Haim Schor, Juliet B. Schwartz, Ariel Schwartz, Barry Scientific American Mind Scott, Ridley Sefage self-storage Sen, Amartya SETI@home Sex and the City (movie) Shaheen, Susan Shareable SharedEarth sharing designing systems for ownership vs. see also renting, rentals “Sharing Nicely” (Benkler) Shelby Electric Company Siebler, Matthais Silveira, Leo Simester, Duncan Skype Slate Sloan, Alfred P. Smith, Adam Smith, Stephanie social capital, decline in social habits: changed by social proof of consumerism of spending decisions social lending see also specific companies social networks: built around brands collaborative consumption rooted in social benefits of Socialnomics (Qualman) social proof SolarCity Soman, Dilip Sonne, Chris Spence, Michael spending decisions Spike, The SpiralMuse Stallman, Richard Stalnaker, Stan Starfish and the Spider, The (Brafman and Beckstrom) Steelcase Stefani, Gwen Stewart, Keith Stiglitz, Joseph Stoll, Clifford Story of Stuff, The (Leonard) Sullivan, Stephanie SuperFluid Surowiecki, James sustainability: as consequence of collaboration design for economic growth vs.


pages: 173 words: 14,313

Peers, Pirates, and Persuasion: Rhetoric in the Peer-To-Peer Debates by John Logie


1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, book scanning, cuban missile crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hacker Ethic, Isaac Newton, Marshall McLuhan, mutually assured destruction, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Richard Stallman, search inside the book, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog

That said, peer-to-peer technologies have been reaching for the heavens for some time, and doing so with a remarkable coordination and efficiency. According to recent estimates, over five million users of the SETI@home peer-to-peer network have donated nineteen billion cycles of processing power to searching the heavens for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life. To put this in a kind of perspective, a single computer would need to work well over two million years to process the data that the collective network of computers has processed since 1999. And even this is a false comparison, as SETI@Home depends, in significant part, on the presence of an array of networked computers for its functionality. But to date, this massive investment of computer power has delivered only silence. The SETI project is visionary and exciting, and well removed from the kinds of copyright squabbles and concerns that have hamstrung other peer-to-peer endeavors.


pages: 239 words: 56,531

The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld


Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, computer age, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Twenty-five years ago, the University of California at Berkeley team would have trained a group of laboratory assistants, and set them to work for the next four or five years. But the Stardust team had another model to draw on. For more than a decade, ordinary people had been not just willing but also eager to turn part of their computer’s run cycles over to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project. The SETI@ home distributed computing initiative has been wildly successful for almost a decade. It sends out chunks of data (or “work units”) to computers all over the world, and the users then send the results back. Users’ willingness to share their untapped computing power means that the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project does not need to purchase extra supercomputers or rent time on them.

., 11 Royal Dutch Shell, 112, 112–113 Royal Library of Alexandria, 89 R-PR (Really Public Relations), xvi, 123–127 RSS feeds, xvii Rumsfeld, Donald, 99 Running room, 74–77 Run time, 57 212 INDEX environmental perception and, 16 memes and, 19, 53–54, 76, 87, 91, 98, 113, 143–144, 149–150, 156–162, 165–170, 178, 194n1 mimicry and, xvii MP3s and, 27 participation and, 15–17 stickiness and, 15–19, 27, 32, 35 unimodernism and, 39, 49, 53–54, 57, 71–76 Sinatra, Frank, 63 Skype, 15 Skyscrapers, xiv Slow movements, 5–7, 181n7 Slurpees, 4 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana), 62 Smith & Hawken, 113 Snakes on a Plane (film), 30 Snow White (Disney film), 20 Social issues advertisement and, 23, 52, 57, 59, 107, 175–177, 184nn12,15 Aquarians and, xv, 144, 152, 157, 159–169 atomic age and, xi (see also Atomic age) Berlin Wall and, 85, 97, 99, 104 bespoke futures and, xvi, 97–139 blogosphere and, xvii, 30, 34, 49, 68, 80, 92–93, 101, 175, 177, 181n7 capitalism and, 4, 13, 66, 75, 90, 97–100, 103–105 capitulationism and, 7, 24, 182n1 cell phones and, xiii, 23, 42, 53, 56, 76, 101 Communism and, 97–98, 103 computers and, xvi, 5, 15–19 (see also Computers) Cuban Missile Crisis and, xi dangers of overabundance and, 7–10 desk jobs and, 3 89/11 and, xvi, 97, 100–102, 105, 130 Enlightenment and, xvi, 129–139 Sacred texts, 28 Saint Laurent, Yves, 60 Saks Fifth Avenue, 31 Samizdat, 59 Scenario planning bespoke futures and, 111–119, 191n19, 192n20 chaos theory and, 117–119 crafting of, 113–116 Ogilvy and, 113–114 Schwartz and, 113–114 Scènes de la vie Bohème (Murger), 61 Schindler, Rudolph, 45 Schrödinger, Erwin, 49 Schwartz, Peter, 113–115, 119 Scott, Ridley, 107 Scratching, 53 Searchers, 167, 177–178 Brin and, 144, 174–176 description of term, xv–xvi Page and, 144, 174–176 Sears, 103–105 September 11, 2001, xvi–xvii, 99–101, 130 SETI@home, 122 Sex, 7, 19, 88, 129–130, 167 Shakespeare, William, 28, 44 Shannon, Claude, 148 Shockley, William, 156 Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, 156 Silicon Valley, 149, 161, 164 Silly Symphonies (Disney film), 88 Simon, John, Jr., 39 Simulation, xvi, 2, 11 affordances and, 16–17 bespoke futures and, 98, 121, 124, 126–127 buttons/knobs and, 16 communication devices and, 15–16 culture machine and, 143–144, 147– 152, 156–160, 166–168, 175–178 downloading and, 143, 168 emulation and, 183n3 213 INDEX Social issues (continued) figure/ground and, xvi, 42–43, 46, 102 folksonomies and, 80–81 hackers and, 22–23, 54, 67, 69, 162, 170–173 Holocaust and, 107 Hosts and, xv, 144, 167, 175 hypercontexts and, xvi, 7, 48, 76–77 information overload and, 22, 149 MaSAI and, xvi, 112, 120–123, 127, 193nn32 meaningfulness and, xvi, 14, 17, 20, 23–29, 42, 67, 77, 79, 119, 123, 128–129, 133, 173 narrative and, xv, 2, 7–8, 58–59, 67, 71, 76, 108, 110, 130–132, 143– 145, 174, 178, 180n4, 188n25, 193n34 personal grounding and, xiv–xv play and, xvi, 13, 15, 32–34, 39, 53, 55, 62, 64, 67–77, 85, 88, 110–111, 130–131, 143, 153, 160–163, 185n22, 188n25 Plutocrats and, xv, 144, 152–159, 163–166, 170 plutopian meliorism and, xvi, 127–129, 133, 137–138 power and, xvi, 8, 13, 17, 22 (see also Power) relationship with data and, 32 religion and, xi, 1, 13, 76, 130–135, 138 R-PR (Really Public Relations) and, xvi, 123–127 Searchers and, xv–xvi, 144, 167, 174–178 suburbs and, 3, 8 television and, xii (see also Television) terrorism and, 99–101, 130–131, 134, 137 unfinish and, xvi, 34–37, 51, 67, 70, 76–79, 92, 127–129, 136 urban planning and, 84–86 utopia and, 36, 73, 97, 101, 104, 108, 110, 120, 127–129, 138 wants vs. needs and, 13, 37, 57 wicked problems and, 158 World War I era and, 21, 107, 123, 146, 190n1 World War II era and, xi, 18, 25, 32, 47, 73, 107–108, 144–150, 157, 170 Socialists, 102–105 Software platforms, 15, 164, 170 Sontag, Susan, 135 Sopranos, The (TV show), 7 Soundscapes, 53–55 Soviet Union, 31, 85, 88, 146 Berlin Wall and, 85, 97, 99, 104 Cuban Missile Crisis and, xi Exhibition of the Achievement of the Soviet People’s Economy (VDNX) and, 102–105 fall of, 104 gulags of, 107 samizdat and, 59 unimodernism and, 49–52, 73 Space Invaders, 71 Spacewar!


pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig


AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, business process, Cass Sunstein, computer age, dark matter, disintermediation, Erik Brynjolfsson, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linked data, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, transaction costs

A package of data would be delivered to the participating computer along with a program to be run; that program would run on the data and send it back to the mother ship. When the SETI@home project first began, within ten days it had 350,000 participants in 203 countries. In four months, it broke a million users. The service grew so fast that it had to stop processing data for a while. The speed at which data was being collected had surpassed the processing speed. In mid-2000, the system could boast the equivalent of 280,000 years of processing time devoted to the SETI mission.29 Just as Napster had latched on to unused disk space, SETI@home had latched on to unused computer cycles living at the edge of the Net. Idle machines could be turned to large-scale cooperative projects. OTHERS had seen the same point.

., Nelson Minar and Marc Hedlund, “A Network of Peers: Peer-to-Peer Models Throughout the History of the Internet,” in Peer-to-Peer: Harnessing the Benefits of a Disruptive Technology, Andy Oram, ed. (Beijing and Cambridge, Mass: O'Reilly, 2001), 3-15 (describing how the original Internet was “fundamentally designed as a peer-to-peer system” but became increasingly client/server oriented over time owing to Web browser applications, firewalls, and other factors). 28 For background on SETI, see “History of SETI,” at general/history.html; Eric Korpela et al., “SETI@home: Massively Distributed Computing for SETI,” at 29 Howard Rheingold, “You Got the Power,” Wired (August 2001), at http://www.wired. com/wired/archive/8.08/comcomp.html?pg=1&topic=&topic_set=. 30 For a useful survey of issues related to P2P, see Peer-to-Peer: Harnessing the Benefits of a Disruptive Technology, Andrew Oram, ed. (Beijing and Cambridge, Mass.: O'Reilly, 2001).


pages: 287 words: 86,919

Protocol: how control exists after decentralization by Alexander R. Galloway


Ada Lovelace, airport security, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, computer age, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, discovery of DNA, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Grace Hopper, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, John Conway, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, linear programming, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, phenotype, post-industrial society, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, semantic web, SETI@home, stem cell, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, the market place, theory of mind, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Review, working poor

“[C]onsider a biological disease that is 100% infectious, spreads whenever animals communicate, kills all infected animals instantly at a given moment, and has no detectable side effect until that moment,”8 wrote Cohen, identifying the ultimate inaccuracy of the analogy. How did self-replicating programs become viruses? For example, if viruses had emerged a decade later, in the late 1990s, it is likely that they would have a completely difference sociocultural meaning. They would most certainly be thought of more as a distributed computing system (like SETI@home) or an artificial life experiment (like Tom Ray’s Tierra), or an artwork (like Mark Daggett’s email worm, vcards), or as a nuisance (spam), or as a potential guerilla marketing tool (adware)—not a biological infestation. Computer viruses acquired their current discursive position because of a unique transformation that transpired in the mid-1980s around the perception of technology. In fact several phenomena, including computer hacking, acquired a distinctly negative characterization during this period of history because of the intense struggle waging behind the scenes between proprietary and protocological camps.

See also Domain Name System (DNS) Resolution, low, 67 Reverse engineer, 172 RFC editor, 121–122, 132, 134–135 Rhizome, 19, 47, 49, 215, 238 Rhizome (diagram), 24, 33–34, 46, 61, 197, 206 Ritchie, Dennis, 108n89, 123 Robot, 107n88 Robustness, 42–44, 46, 243 Ronfeldt, David, 30n2, 196, 204 Root server, 9–10, 49. See also Domain Name System (DNS) Ross, Andrew, 170 Ross, David, 209 Routing, 44–45 RTMark, 219, 228, 235 Ruling the Root (Mueller), 18 R.U.R. (Čapek), 102 Rushkoff, Douglas, 229 September 11 (2001), 201 Server, 39, 217 SETI@home, 178 Shelley, Mary, 102 Shulgin, Alexei, 211, 215–216, 219, 225 Sisco, Elizabeth, 227n32 Situationism, 194 Slatalla, Michelle, 161 Smith, David, 184 Social sculpture, 81 Social Security Act, 13 Society control, 3, 81, 86 disciplinary, 21, 23, 25, 86 sovereign, 21, 23 (see also Sovereignty) “Society Must Be Defended” (Foucault), 82 Software, 219 and art, 226–238 “Software” (exhibition), 210n7 Sony.


pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

And we’ve already been able to solve those more tractable equations well enough to guide several revolutions in the material foundations of microelectronics, laser technology, and magnetic imaging. But all these computational adventures, while impressive, are clearly warm-up exercises. To make a definitive leap into artificial reality, we’ll need both more ingenuity and more computational power. Fortunately, both could be at hand. The SETI@home project has enabled people around the world to donate their idle computer time to sift radio waves from space, advancing the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. In connection with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project, CERN—where, earlier, the World Wide Web was born—is pioneering the GRID computer project, a sort of Internet on steroids that will allow many thousands of remote computers and their users to share data and allocate tasks dynamically, functioning in essence as one giant brain.

Pioneering programs allowing computers to play chess by pure calculation debuted in 1958; they rapidly become more capable, beating masters (1978), grandmasters (1988), and world champions (1997). In the later steps, a transition to massively parallel computers played a crucial role. Those special-purpose creations are mini-Internets (actually mini-GRIDs), networking dozens or a few hundred ordinary computers. It would be an instructive project today to set up a SETI@home-style network or a GRID client that could beat the best stand-alones. Players of this kind, once created, would scale up smoothly to overwhelming strength, simply by tapping into ever larger resources. In the more difficult game of calculating quantum reality, we, with the help of our silicon friends, currently play like weak masters. We know the rules and make some good moves, but we often substitute guesswork for calculation, we miss inspired possibilities, and we take too long doing it.


Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig


Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Benjamin Mako Hill, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Cass Sunstein, collaborative editing, disintermediation, don't be evil, Erik Brynjolfsson, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, PageRank, recommendation engine, revision control, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Saturday Night Live, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, transaction costs, VA Linux

In 2004, there were between three hundred and four hundred proofreaders participating each day; the project finished between four thousand and seven thousand pages per day—averaging four pages every minute.62 All of this work is voluntary. • Distributed-computing projects are sharing economies. Distributed computing refers to efforts to enlist the unused cycles of personal computers connected to the Net for some worthy cause (worthy in the eyes of the volunteer, at least). The most famous was the SETI@home project, launched in 1999 and designed to share computing power for the purpose of detecting extraterrestrial life (or at least the sort that uses radios). More than 5 million volunteers eventually shared their computers with this project.63 But there are many more distributed-computing projects beyond the SETI project. A favorite of mine is Einstein@Home. As described by Wikipedia, 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 167 8/12/08 1:55:31 AM REMI X 168 Einstein@Home is designed to search data collected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and GEO 600 for gravitational waves.

Wikipedia contributors, “Project Gutenberg,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, available at link #75 (last visited October 10, 2007). 80706 i-xxiv 001-328 r4nk.indd 310 8/12/08 1:56:25 AM NO T E S 311 61. Ibid., available at link #76 (last visited October 10, 2007). 62. “Beginning Proofreaders’ Frequently Asked Questions,” Distributed Proofreaders, available at link #77 (last visited July 31, 2007). 63. Wikpedia contributors, “SETI@home,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, available at link #78 (last visited August 20, 2007). See also Benkler, “Sharing Nicely,” 275. 64. Wikpedia contributors, “Einstein@Home,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, available at link #79 (last visited August 20, 2007). 65. “About the Internet Archive,” Internet Archive, available at link #80 (last visited July 31, 2007). 66. All quotes from Brewster Kahle taken from an interview conducted January 24, 2007, by telephone. 67.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr


Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

What’s really exciting is the prospect of rationalizing the most underutilized analog resource of all: people. “We will definitely see dynamically-priced queues for confession-taking priests, and therapists!” exclaims Levchin. And from there we can move on to maximizing the utilization of the human mind itself. “How about dynamic pricing for brain cycles?” he asks, his excitement mounting. “Just like the SETI@Home screensaver ‘steals’ CPU cycles to sift through cosmic radio noise for alien voices, your brain plug firmware will earn you a little extra cash while you sleep, by being remotely programmed to solve hard problems, like factoring products of large primes.” Yes, he’s serious. “As soon as the general public is ready for it, many things handled by a human at the edge of consumption will be controlled by the best currently available human at the center of the system, real-time sensors bringing the necessary data to them in real time.”

., 144–46 targeting information through, 13–14 writing tailored to, 89 see also Google searching, ontological connotations of, 144–46 Seasteading Institute, 172 Second Life, 25–27 second nature, 179 self, technologies of the, 118, 119–20 self-actualization, 120, 340 monitoring and quantification of, 163–65 selfies, 224 self-knowledge, 297–99 self-reconstruction, 339 self-tracking, 163–65 Selinger, Evan, 153 serendipity, internet as engine of, 12–15 SETI@Home, 149 sexbots, 55 Sex Pistols, 63 sex-reassignment procedures, 337–38 sexuality, 10–11 virtual, 39 Shakur, Tupac, 126 sharecropping, as metaphor for social media, 30–31 Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 88 Shirky, Clay, 59–61, 90, 241 Shop Class as Soulcraft (Crawford), 265 Shuster, Brian, 39 sickles, 302 silence, 246 Silicon Valley: American culture transformed by, xv–xxii, 148, 155–59, 171–73, 181, 241, 257, 309 commercial interests of, 162, 172, 214–15 informality eschewed by, 197–98, 215 wealthy lifestyle of, 16–17, 195 Simonite, Tom, 136–37 simulation, see virtual world Singer, Peter, 267 Singularity, Singularitarians, 69, 147 sitcoms, 59 situational overload, 90–92 skimming, 233 “Slaves to the Smartphone,” 308–9 Slee, Tom, 61, 84 SLExchange, 26 slot machines, 218–19 smart bra, 168–69 smartphones, xix, 82, 136, 145, 150, 158, 168, 170, 183–84, 219, 274, 283, 287, 308–9, 315 Smith, Adam, 175, 177 Smith, William, 204 Snapchat, 166, 205, 225, 316 social activism, 61–62 social media, 224 biases reinforced by, 319–20 as deceptively reflective, 138–39 documenting one’s children on, 74–75 economic value of content on, 20–21, 53–54, 132 emotionalism of, 316–17 evolution of, xvi language altered by, 215 loom as metaphor for, 178 maintaining one’s microcelebrity on, 166–67 paradox of, 35–36, 159 personal information collected and monitored through, 257 politics transformed by, 314–20 scrapbooks compared to, 185–86 self-validation through, 36, 73 traditional media slow to adapt to, 316–19 as ubiquitous, 205 see also specific sites social organization, technologies of, 118, 119 Social Physics (Pentland), 213 Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary Noise, 243–44 sociology, technology and, 210–13 Socrates, 240 software: autonomous, 187–89 smart, 112–13 solitude, media intrusion on, 127–30, 253 Songza, 207 Sontag, Susan, xx SoundCloud, 217 sound-management devices, 245 soundscapes, 244–45 space travel, 115, 172 spam, 92 Sparrow, Betsy, 98 Special Operations Command, U.S., 332 speech recognition, 137 spermatic, as term applied to reading, 247, 248, 250, 254 Spinoza, Baruch, 300–301 Spotify, 293, 314 “Sprite Sips” (app), 54 Squarciafico, Hieronimo, 240–41 Srinivasan, Balaji, 172 Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 68 Starr, Karla, 217–18 Star Trek, 26, 32, 313 Stengel, Rick, 28 Stephenson, Neal, 116 Sterling, Bruce, 113 Stevens, Wallace, 158 Street View, 137, 283 Stroop test, 98–99 Strummer, Joe, 63–64 Studies in Classic American Literature (Lawrence), xxiii Such Stuff as Dreams (Oatley), 248–49 suicide rate, 304 Sullenberger, Sully, 322 Sullivan, Andrew, xvi Sun Microsystems, 257 “surf cams,” 56–57 surfing, internet, 14–15 surveillance, 52, 163–65, 188–89 surveillance-personalization loop, 157 survival, technologies of, 118, 119 Swing, Edward, 95 Talking Heads, 136 talk radio, 319 Tan, Chade-Meng, 162 Tapscott, Don, 84 tattoos, 336–37, 340 Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 164, 237–38 Taylorism, 164, 238 Tebbel, John, 275 Technics and Civilization (Mumford), 138, 235 technology: agricultural, 305–6 American culture transformed by, xv–xxii, 148, 155–59, 174–77, 214–15, 229–30, 296–313, 329–42 apparatus vs. artifact in, 216–19 brain function affected by, 231–42 duality of, 240–41 election campaigns transformed by, 314–20 ethical hazards of, 304–11 evanescence and obsolescence of, 327 human aspiration and, 329–42 human beings eclipsed by, 108–9 language of, 201–2, 214–15 limits of, 341–42 master-slave metaphor for, 307–9 military, 331–32 need for critical thinking about, 311–13 opt-in society run by, 172–73 progress in, 77–78, 188–89, 229–30 risks of, 341–42 sociology and, 210–13 time perception affected by, 203–6 as tool of knowledge and perception, 299–304 as transcendent, 179–80 Technorati, 66 telegrams, 79 telegraph, Twitter compared to, 34 telephones, 103–4, 159, 288 television: age of, 60–62, 79, 93, 233 and attention disorders, 95 in education, 134 Facebook ads on, 155–56 introduction of, 103–4, 159, 288 news coverage on, 318 paying for, 224 political use of, 315–16, 317 technological adaptation of, 237 viewing habits for, 80–81 Teller, Astro, 195 textbooks, 290 texting, 34, 73, 75, 154, 186, 196, 205, 233 Thackeray, William, 318 “theory of mind,” 251–52 Thiel, Peter, 116–17, 172, 310 “Things That Connect Us, The” (ad campaign), 155–58 30 Days of Night (film), 50 Thompson, Clive, 232 thought-sharing, 214–15 “Three Princes of Serendip, The,” 12 Thurston, Baratunde, 153–54 time: memory vs., 226 perception of, 203–6 Time, covers of, 28 Time Machine, The (Wells), 114 tools: blurred line between users and, 333 ethical choice and, 305 gaining knowledge and perception through, 299–304 hand vs. computer, 306 Home and Away blurred by, 159 human agency removed from, 77 innovation in, 118 media vs., 226 slave metaphor for, 307–8 symbiosis with, 101 Tosh, Peter, 126 Toyota Motor Company, 323 Toyota Prius, 16–17 train disasters, 323–24 transhumanism, 330–40 critics of, 339–40 transparency, downside of, 56–57 transsexuals, 337–38 Travels and Adventures of Serendipity, The (Merton and Barber), 12–13 Trends in Biochemistry (Nightingale and Martin), 335 TripAdvisor, 31 trolls, 315 Trump, Donald, 314–18 “Tuft of Flowers, A” (Frost), 305 tugboats, noise restrictions on, 243–44 Tumblr, 166, 185, 186 Turing, Alan, 236 Turing Test, 55, 137 Twain, Mark, 243 tweets, tweeting, 75, 131, 315, 319 language of, 34–36 theses in form of, 223–26 “tweetstorm,” xvii 20/20, 16 Twilight Saga, The (Meyer), 50 Twitter, 34–36, 64, 91, 119, 166, 186, 197, 205, 223, 224, 257, 284 political use of, 315, 317–20 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 231, 242 Two-Lane Blacktop (film), 203 “Two Tramps in Mud Time” (Frost), 247–48 typewriters, writing skills and, 234–35, 237 Uber, 148 Ubisoft, 261 Understanding Media (McLuhan), 102–3, 106 underwearables, 168–69 unemployment: job displacement in, 164–65, 174, 310 in traditional media, 8 universal online library, 267–78 legal, commercial, and political obstacles to, 268–71, 274–78 universe, as memory, 326 Urban Dictionary, 145 utopia, predictions of, xvii–xviii, xx, 4, 108–9, 172–73 Uzanne, Octave, 286–87, 290 Vaidhyanathan, Siva, 277 vampires, internet giants compared to, 50–51 Vampires (game), 50 Vanguardia, La, 190–91 Van Kekerix, Marvin, 134 vice, virtual, 39–40 video games, 223, 245, 303 as addictive, 260–61 cognitive effects of, 93–97 crafting of, 261–62 violent, 260–62 videos, viewing of, 80–81 virtual child, tips for raising a, 73–75 virtual world, xviii commercial aspects of, 26–27 conflict enacted in, 25–27 language of, 201–2 “playlaborers” of, 113–14 psychological and physical health affected by, 304 real world vs., xx–xxi, 36, 62, 127–30 as restrictive, 303–4 vice in, 39–40 von Furstenberg, Diane, 131 Wales, Jimmy, 192 Wallerstein, Edward, 43–44 Wall Street, automation of, 187–88 Wall Street Journal, 8, 16, 86, 122, 163, 333 Walpole, Horace, 12 Walters, Barbara, 16 Ward, Adrian, 200 Warhol, Andy, 72 Warren, Earl, 255, 257 “Waste Land, The” (Eliot), 86, 87 Watson (IBM computer), 147 Wealth of Networks, The (Benkler), xviii “We Are the Web” (Kelly), xxi, 4, 8–9 Web 1.0, 3, 5, 9 Web 2.0, xvi, xvii, xxi, 33, 58 amorality of, 3–9, 10 culturally transformative power of, 28–29 Twitter and, 34–35 “web log,” 21 Wegner, Daniel, 98, 200 Weinberger, David, 41–45, 277 Weizenbaum, Joseph, 236 Wells, H.


pages: 489 words: 148,885

Accelerando by Stross, Charles


call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, cognitive dissonance, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, dumpster diving, Extropian, finite state, Flynn Effect, glass ceiling, gravity well, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, packet switching, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, South China Sea, stem cell, technological singularity, telepresence, The Chicago School, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, web of trust, Y2K

"The family cat," explains Ang. She reaches over for Boris's pitcher of jellyfish juice, but frowns as she does so: "Aineko wasn't conscious back then, but later … when SETI@home finally received that message back, oh, however many years ago, Aineko remembered the lobsters. And cracked it wide open while all the CETI teams were still thinking in terms of von Neumann architectures and concept-oriented programming. The message was a semantic net designed to mesh perfectly with the lobster broadcast all those years ago, and provide a high-level interface to a communications network we're going to visit." She squeezes Boris's fingertips. "SETI@home logged these coordinates as the origin of the transmission, even though the public word was that the message came from a whole lot farther away – they didn't want to risk a panic if people knew there were aliens on our cosmic doorstep.


pages: 239 words: 45,926

As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces Are Changing Your Work, Health & Wealth by Juan Enriquez


Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, double helix, global village, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Howard Rheingold, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, personalized medicine, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, spice trade, stem cell

Geological Survey NASA JET PROPULSION LABORATORY The International Astronomical Union ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation THE DAVID AND LUCILE PACKARD FOUNDATION The Paul G. Allen Foundation THE MOORE FOUNDATION The Universities Space Research Association THE PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER The Foundation for Microbiology SUN MICROSYSTEMS Hewlett-Packard. Those who founded Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) hoped 100,000 global citizens would sign up … More than two million did. And SETI@home is now the world’s largest community computer project … With 280,000 years of processing time available … And a network that grows every week.10 AIDS researchers soon copied this model, linking more than 100,000 PCs in over eighty countries … Creating the world’s largest academic computing site … Designed to understand and attack a virus that mutates very rapidly.11 (And of course, volunteer networks can morph into business networks.


pages: 818 words: 153,952

C++ Concurrency in Action: Practical Multithreading by Anthony Williams


car-free, finite state, SETI@home

How much does the performance improve if you move your code to a system with more processors? 8.4.2. Scalability and Amdahl’s law Scalability is all about ensuring that your application can take advantage of additional processors in the system it’s running on. At one extreme you have a single-threaded application that’s completely unscalable; even if you add 100 processors to your system, the performance will remain unchanged. At the other extreme you have something like the SETI@Home[3] project, which is designed to take advantage of thousands of additional processors (in the form of individual computers added to the network by users) as they become available. 3 For any given multithreaded program, the number of threads that are performing useful work will vary as the program runs. Even if every thread is doing useful work for the entirety of its existence, the application may initially have only one thread, which will then have the task of spawning all the others.

Intel Building Blocks for Open Source, The just::thread Implementation of the C++ Standard Thread Library, Message Passing Interface Forum, Multithreading API for C++0X—A Layered Approach, C++ Standards Committee Paper N2094, OpenMP, SETI@Home, Index [SYMBOL][A][B][C][D][E][F][G][H][I][J][L][M][N][O][P][Q][R][S][T][U][V][W] SYMBOL #include <thread>, example of <atomic> header, reference <chrono> header reference <condition_variable> header reference <future> header reference <ratio> header reference <thread> header introduced std::thread class std::this_thread::get_id reference A ABA problem abstraction penalty ACE, and multithreaded code actor model Amdahl’s law serial fraction atomic integral types available operations return value of operations atomic operations enforcing ordering with memory ordering options atomic types, assignment operator, return type atomic variable, use as a done flag ATOMIC_ADDRESS_LOCK_FREE macro ATOMIC_BOOL_LOCK_FREE macros ATOMIC_CHAR_LOCK_FREE macro ATOMIC_CHAR16_T_LOCK_FREE macro ATOMIC_CHAR32_T_LOCK_FREE macro ATOMIC_FLAG_INIT macro ATOMIC_INT_LOCK_FREE macro ATOMIC_LLONG_LOCK_FREE macro ATOMIC_LONG_LOCK_FREE macro ATOMIC_SHORT_LOCK_FREE macro ATOMIC_VAR_INIT macro ATOMIC_WCHAR_T_LOCK_FREE macro auto keyword automatic type deduction and function template parameters deduction rules syntax B background threads bit-field, using to keep structure within machine word blocked thread blocking Boost, and multithreaded code boost::shared_mutex, 2nd bounded queue C C++ Standard overhaul support for multithreaded programs cache ping-pong, and performance callable type code reviews guidelines rubber chicken Communicating Sequential Processes actor model and lack of shared data compare-exchange functions.


pages: 380 words: 104,841

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman


23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, airport security, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, Internet of things, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Masdar, megacity, microbiome, nuclear winter, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, skunkworks, Skype, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the High Line, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

But now they and the Dalai Lama (a science aficionado) are also aware, from mindful moment to moment, of an invisible dimension that includes neurons, quarks, Higgs bosons, MRIs, condensation nuclei, white dwarfs, DNA, and a googolplex of others. Elsewhere on Earth, over 5.2 million Internet-connected computers, citizen scientists are helping SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) monitor radio telescope data through the SETI@home project, hoping to catch a message from alien life forms in some distant star system. SETI’s senior astronomer, Seth Shostak, believes that the first calling card from aliens may well be detected on home computers, not by official scientists at radio telescopes arrayed in India, Australia, Puerto Rico, or Chile. More than ever, our technology allows us to peer into worlds far beyond our outmoded senses, into a realm where cells loom large as lakes, pores are chasms, the body is just another kind of ecosystem, and the idea of cartography no longer applies only to landforms.


Multitool Linux: Practical Uses for Open Source Software by Michael Schwarz, Jeremy Anderson, Peter Curtis


business process, Debian, defense in depth, GnuPG, index card, indoor plumbing, optical character recognition, publish or perish, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, slashdot, web application, x509 certificate

What I needed was a way to keep my home system offline until I needed it and then have it go online and stay that way until I told it to disconnect. Some time ago I decided to make it so my system would periodically connect to the Internet and download e-mail from my ISP using a nifty program called Fetchmail. I wrote a few Perl scripts to automate and synchronize the connection requests from various applications, like SETI@Home and Fetchmail, which both need to connect to the Internet at various times. Plus, I needed to go online to surf around but not get disconnected when the Fetchmail utility was complete. Getting e-mail with Fetchmail allows me to spend as little connection time as possible getting and responding to e-mail. Why waste the connection time typing replies? The main goal of these scripts was to coordinate the connection and disconnection requests and to keep my system online when needed.


pages: 302 words: 82,233

Beautiful security by Andy Oram, John Viega


Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, corporate governance, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, defense in depth,, fault tolerance, Firefox, loose coupling, market design, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Nick Leeson, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, packet switching, performance metric, pirate software, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, security theater, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, statistical model, Steven Levy, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, web application, web of trust, x509 certificate, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

OPEN SOURCE HONEYCLIENT: PROACTIVE DETECTION OF CLIENT-SIDE EXPLOITS 145 The Future of Honeyclients There are over 240 million websites on the Internet today (and of course the number keeps growing by leaps and bounds), and there’s not one group that can cover all of those websites with honeyclient technology. To better fight these attackers that damage our machines and steal our data, we need to band together and learn from each other. We should envision a future where honeyclients take a SETI@home (“Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence at home”) approach, in which each honeyclient is able to process its own data and send it back to a central database repository that can more effectively correlate the data. This can help us identify targeted domains: for example, if company A’s employees are being targeted by company B in order to compromise someone’s computer and steal corporate documents.


pages: 755 words: 121,290

Statistics hacks by Bruce Frey


Berlin Wall, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation,, feminist movement, game design, Hacker Ethic, index card, Milgram experiment, p-value, place-making, RFID, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, statistical model

Data Analysis If the number of planets that could be emitting these key signals of life is very small (as some of the Drake equation permutations suggest), a search of this sample must be very thorough; otherwise, we might miss it. Statisticians would refer to this situation as a study that needs a great deal of power [Hack #8] because the effect size is so small. There is so much data being collected as part of systematic efforts to scan the skies, no one person or even one computer can possibly analyze it all. You can help! SETI@home is a Berkeley University-based program that arranges for regular people with regular home or office computers to receive some of this data, so their computers can analyze it when they're not doing something else. SETI is the acronym for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. The program works like a screensaver and can be downloaded for free at The data won't make sense to you when you get it, but your computer will begin to use statistical analyses to sort through the signal information, looking for the telltale nonrandom narrow bandwidths that might mean another planet has reached the level of sophistication to produce something like Gomer Pyle or Melrose Place.


pages: 476 words: 118,381

Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier by Neil Degrasse Tyson, Avis Lang


Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, asset allocation, Berlin Wall, carbon-based life, centralized clearinghouse, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, dark matter, Gordon Gekko, informal economy, invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Karl Jansky, Kuiper Belt, Louis Blériot, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Pluto: dwarf planet, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, space pen, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, trade route, V2 rocket

Presumably, an advanced civilization would have easy access to an abundant source of energy, such as its host star. These are the civilizations that would be more likely to do the sending. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (affectionately known by its acronym, SETI) has taken many forms. Long-established efforts have relied on monitoring billions of radio channels in search of a radio or microwave signal that might rise above the cosmic noise. The SETI@home screensaver—downloaded by millions of people around the world—enabled a home computer to analyze small chunks of the huge quantities of data collected by the radio telescope at Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico. This gigantic “distributed computing” project (the largest in the world) actively tapped the computing power of Internet-connected PCs that would otherwise have been doing nothing while their owners went to the bathroom.


pages: 457 words: 126,996

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman


1960s counterculture, 4chan, Amazon Web Services, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, Occupy movement, pirate software, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks, zero day

A typical scenario might see a herder tabbing back and forth between regular chat channels and the hidden C&C channel as it grows more powerful by the moment. A typical botnet might boast around twenty thousand computers, but larger botnets have been tracked to upwards of thirty million. (Though most botnets have a bad rap—and for good reason—some botnets are voluntary and participatory. The most famous of these is probably SETI@home, the three-million-strong string of computers searching for alien life in outer space.) They hover on this C&C channel until the botnet herder gives them an order—usually authenticated—to perform some task. So for example, the botnet herder might simply say, “ddos” and then all the connected bots will begin to attack that specified IP address.10 Another common task for botnets is to send mass amounts of unwanted email.


pages: 437 words: 132,041

Alex's Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos


Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, family office, forensic accounting, game design, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, SETI@home, Steve Jobs, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, traveling salesman

While you are fast asleep, your machine is busy churning through numbers on the frontier of science. The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, or GIMPS, currently links about 75,000 computers. Some of these are in academic institutions, some are in businesses and some are personal laptops. GIMPS was one of the first ‘distributed computing’ projects and has been one of the most successful. (The largest similar project, Seti@home, is deciphering cosmic noise for signs of extraterrestrial life. It claims three million users but, so far, has discovered nothing.) Only a few months after GIMPS went online a 29-year-old French programmer netted the 35th Mersenne prime: 21398269 – 1. Since then, GIMPS has revealed another 11 Mersenne primes, which is an average of about one a year. We are living in a golden age of high prime numbers.