Links for 11th February 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. The EVE upset

    "This isn’t the first time we have seen this phenomenon in competitive virtual worlds. […] Scale-free networks are notoriously hard to kill. In fact, mathematically, if you start randomly removing connections in the network, you have to remove a ridiculous percentage of the total to make it cease to exist as an entity. This is how guild social structures can survive for years. But there is a way. The characteristics of a scale-free network are that there are hubs. And the hubs are the vulnerable spots in the network. Take out hubs, and you can make the network fragment to disconnected bits, because the hubs hold subgroups together. Band of Brothers was a hub, and the before-and-after images show clearly that separation into component pieces, each then no longer indomitable."

    Tagged with: EVE-onlineMMOeconomicszero-summetaversesynthetic-worldsocial-dynamicsnetworksscale-free

  2. Mushroom Cities: Tropical Urban Rainforests

    "A play upon the symbiotic nature of organisms thriving in the rainforest, TROPICOOL @ KL envisions a series of symbiotic energy-generating skyscrapers modeled after mushrooms. These tropical trees of life provide housing and recreational facilities while mimicking the five layers found within a tropical rainforest: the overstory, the canopy, the understory, the shrub layer, and the forest floor. The structure’s circular tops are composed of miniature solar panels that provide a power source while mimicking the process of photosynthesis that takes place in rainforest canopies. Scattered throughout the branches of the mushroom tops are dwellings modeled after the Malaysian vernacular, offering living within the “rural fabric” of nature."

    Tagged with: urbandesignecologyarchitecturesustainabilityhighpopulationcitybiomimicry

  3. The Three Singularity Schools, Kurzweil, and Superintelligence

    "As I argued in 2007, the word “Singularity” has lost all meaning, but if we’re stuck with it, we should at least pull apart three of the major meanings it tends to have. (Though the number of meanings it has in practice are almost unlimited, generated by Silicon Valley socialite types who are trying to look cool but only know about the Singularity from a few short blurbs on places like CNET.) The three schools are Accelerating Change, Event Horizon, and Intelligence Explosion."

    Tagged with: transhumanismsingularityKurzweilspeculationfuturismposthumanism

  4. The Trough of No Value

    "People sometimes ask me what the best method of preserving their pictures is, and my somewhat flip but I believe trenchant answer is, "be famous." One of the problems of historical preservation is that people only tend to preserve things that are valuable. And the problem with that is that value fluctuates over time. Most of you are computer users. Ever thrown away a perfectly good computer simply because it was old and worth nothing? Early computers are beginning to be collectible even now, but what do you think a pristine, mint-condition, working Apple 128k Macintosh, vintage 1984, will be worth in, say, 2109, or 2209? It doesn't take a great leap of imagination to think of such a thing being worth the equivalent of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. But I threw one away once."

    Tagged with: economicsfandomvaluecollectingartefactsculturepreservation

  5. Some Much Needed Optimism In The Journalism World

    "This goes against the hand-wringing of many in the industry right now who seem to think that as newspapers go under — so does journalism. That, of course, makes the huge mistake in assuming that journalism only comes from newspapers."

    Tagged with: newsjournalismprintwebbusinessmodel

  6. Kindle Formatting – Formatting Tips

    Kindle works on a stripped-down HTML/CSS framework. Useful to know; but looks like formatting will have to be manual until I learn up on RegEx…

    Tagged with: AmazonKindlepublishingebookformattingHTMLCSStips

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