Digital Detritus, Top Ramen, and the Singularity

jdwhiting:

Tonight, on a whim on a Saturday evening, I opened the Vine app on my phone. The app immediately commenced an upload process. As I nervously watched that bright green bar grow from left to right, I vaguely recalled that I had once had trouble and repeated errors uploading a Vine I had made. However, I could not remember what it was about. After the upload errors I must have gotten distracted and closed the app, and never opened it again until now. I was curious but a little preemptively embarrassed as to what this video might be that was about to be shared. The curiosity won and I let the app go through its process. Within seconds it had successfully posted my little video, which turned out to be the one you see above of some humble but deliberate dinner preparations. Probably from some prior Saturday evening whim. 

Of special note is the fact that it was only last night that I erased and restored my phone from a backup. This means that my tenacious little ramen noodle clip managed to maintain and preserve itself through multiple app errors and crashes, and then weeks, possibly months later, a phone data backup and a fresh installation of the Vine app. Waiting, hoping for that one sweet moment when, by choice or accident, my all-powerful finger would touch the cursive v in the green square to open the app and allow it to once again attempt its upload process, all so that my little courageous video could join its glorious, eternally looping family in the cloud.

I think I ostensibly made this Vine to make fun of all the video recipes that my friends share on Facebook. I actually really do love this meal, though. I think I make it at least once a week. 

I have some confidence that on that day, the robots will still want to take care of us. We’ve spent all this time showing them what we love, so they will love it too.

Rabbit Holes

jdwhiting:

I really liked this TED talk I heard last night on my local public radio station about reinventing the encyclopedia game for the 21st century, feeding curiosity, going down rabbit holes, learning new things, etc. Without realizing it, I’ve pretty much been playing his exact game on Wikipedia and elsewhere on the Internet for years now. Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s revelatory. Sometimes it is actually just a distraction from other better things to be doing.

The way he pulls together so many random things in his talk, in an almost poetic way, has inspired me to restart my previously infrequent #WhatWeLearnedToday posts. It has also apparently inspired me to expand beyond the world of 140 characters, a place I haven’t been for a while. I wanted to tweet my thoughts about this TED talk and I soon discovered I had a bit more to say than could fit in one tweet. I had kind of forgotten that there are other platforms and means of sharing things that are not bound by the strictures of Twitter or Facebook, so here we are. For nostalgia and to give a better idea of what I am talking about, here are some of my previous twitter-bound examples where I explored random items of interest and then bothered to share about what I learned to anyone who might care:




Speaking of rabbit holes, we received this beautiful new edition of Alice in Wonderland in the office with a box of review books.

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Now I think I really need to read it again. Trying to decide if I could read it to my kids yet.

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