Links for 22nd February 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Media-Morphosis: How the Internet Will Devour, Transform, or Destroy Your Favorite Medium – Doctorow

    "If big-budget movies might turn into opera, then long-form narrative books might turn into poetry. There's a hell of a lot of published poetry — more than ever — mostly consumed by other poets and a small band of extremely dedicated followers of the form. A few poets make a big living at it, a few more make a marginal living at it, but for most poets, income is aspirational, not reality-based (this is pretty close to the situation in short fiction already, and not far off from the world of novel writing in many genres). But a future in which novels turn into hand-crafted fetish items for a small group of literati is one in which the relevance of the novel dwindles away to a dribbly nothing."

    Tagged with: internetmediapublishingbooksebooksnovelspoetrynicheDoctorow

  2. The artificial morality of the robot warrior

    "… robots are used for both reconnaissance and fighting, and further rapid advances in their design and capabilities can be expected in the years ahead. One consequence of these advances is that robots will gain more autonomy, which means they will have to act in uncertain situations without direct human instruction. That raises a large and thorny challenge: how do you program a robot to be an ethical warrior?"

    Tagged with: warmilitaryethicsmoralityrobotswarfareaiemotionconsciousness

  3. The Floating Labor Camps of the Now

    "Is this the abhorrent future of global labor? Or, more accurately, is this the abhorrent contemporary? Global contracting firms profitting off the benefits of indefinite prison barge leases, sailing to wherever there is a demand to undercut the subcontracting labor markets with cheap resource that technically belongs to no country but rather now to a multinational company, where international law is perhaps somehow circumvented by floatillas of sublegal worker camps perpetually cruising beyond the horizons of legal scrutiny?

    Tagged with: labouremploymentpiracylaweconomicscorporationnation-state

  4. Science Commons Wants Data to Be Free – John Wilbanks

    "… If we can get the law out of the way, and let the traditional norms of science, which really are the ideals of community and of sharing of information apply, you can't really claim credit for something in science unless you publish it after all. If we can bring those norms into the Internet age with things like standard copyright licenses that Creative Commons has developed, with explorations of new ways to track impact, bringing ideas like trackback that came from the blog world to the scientific communication world. If we can help convince people that the public domain is something to be cherished, and not a thing to be avoided at all costs when it comes to things like data."

    Tagged with: sciencecreative-commonsopen-sourceknowledgenetworkcommunicationcommonsopen

  5. » What is an unbook?


    A traditional book is released in editions. When a work is revised or updated, a new edition is released. These revised or updated editions usually offer small, incremental changes, such as a new preface or introduction, a new chapter, or small changes to the content.

    An unbook is more like software […] An unbook is mindware: software for the mind." Hmmmn. Via Grumpy Old Ellis.

    Tagged with: writingbookspublishingsoftwareversionsiterativecommunitycollaborationunbook

  6. SETI is for chumps (and other reasons why we have yet to hear from aliens)

    "… it's worth examining some of the reasons we have yet to receive the popularly conceived extraterrestrial signal currently sought by mainstream SETI researchers. If nothing else, a breakdown of the options casts our own brief legacy as a technological species in a sobering glow."

    Tagged with: Mac-TonniesSETIaliensextraterrestrials

  7. How to Make a Duct Tape Corsage and Flowers

    Does what it says on the tin.

    Tagged with: tutorialcraftsduct-tapeflowers

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