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What do you call those invisible Google people, pt. 3
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Self promo: My lecture on the glass harmonica
“Smart mobs” are already here. But as Howard Rheingold has been saying, the “smart mob” phenomenon isn’t always benign — like Tokyo teenagers moving about downtown like amoebas — or pro-democratic, as with anti-WTC protestors using texting to coordinate their actions.
Mobs are, well, mobs, and frequently rather scary forces — so the idea of them suddenly gaining powerful new ways to organize is not necessarily good. Consider the recent riots around the Miss World pageant:
At least 12 people have been killed in the Nigerian city of Kaduna after protests against next month’s Miss World beauty competition descended into bloody violence. …
Protests started after the newspaper ThisDay published an article which said that the Prophet Mohammed would probably have chosen to marry one of the contestants if he had witnessed the beauty pageant, which Nigeria is hosting next month. …
The BBC’s Yusuf Sarki Muhammad says that local mosques had been calling for action against the paper and said that some people were first alerted to the article by text messages being sent to their mobile phones.
I'm Clive Thompson, a writer on science, technology, and culture. This blog collects bits of offbeat research I'm running into, and musings thereon.
Currently, I'm a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. I also write for Fast Company and Wired magazine's web site, among other places. Email or AOL IM me (pomeranian99) to say hi or send in something strange!
May 20, 2011 » 02:28 PM
From Christopher Kennedy’s very droll book “Neitzsche’s Horse”.
July 28, 2010 » 07:35 AM
“Wr” - S
July 06, 2010 » 10:05 AM
My Xbox broke, and I was trying to Google some possible technical solutions, when I noticed that Google appears to be encouraging me to make a typo. I suppose it’s possible that Google’s algorithms know that typing “wont” instead of “won’t” would produce better results.
June 29, 2010 » 05:00 PM
On the other hand, when I tried the test for multitasking, I was pretty abysmal. I performed worse than people who identify themselves as heavy multitaskers, and those who identify as low multitaskers.
June 29, 2010 » 04:58 PM
I finally got around to trying out the interactive “test your distractability and multitasking” page at the New York Times, which they put up alongside their story earlier this month about how computer distractions are eroding our lives.
According to the test, I guess I have good focus — I’m not very distractable!
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