October 26, 2005
Symposium on Social Architecture
Update: I changed the name of the post to reflect the actual title of the event and Stowe's comments below.
Next month (in three weeks actually) the Symposium on Social Architecture will take place at Harvard. Stowe Boyd and David Weinberger have been working hard on this event, which is intended to be a fairly high level discussion about social spaces online. Terrific folks are coming, and the program includes Kevin Marks and me talking about Engines of Meaning: How Will We Scale Our Understanding:
"Ultimately no human brain, no planet full of human brains, can possibly catalog the dark, expanding ocean of data we spew. In a future of information auto-organized by folksonomy, we may not even have words for the kinds of sorting that will be going on; like mathematical proofs with 30,000 steps, they may be beyond comprehension. But they'll enable searches that are vast and eerily powerful. We won't be surfing with search engines any more. We'll be trawling with engines of meaning." – Bruce Sterling
How will we keep up with the "dark, expanding ocean of data we spew"? Algorithms? Social filters? Faster memex-like gadgets? Do we need open algorithms in future search, so that each person can tweak their own preferences? Will we become dependent on social networks to filter the world for us, and if so, are the current representations of social relations too coarse? Will we be spending more and more time creating explicit metadata, like tags, in order to help channel the "expanding ocean"? What does it mean to be smart, today?
Kevin and I are planning to work from an brief framing of the issues with a short outline for a led discussion. If you have any ideas, please comment below. Would love to hear your ideas.
Also, if you are interested in attending, there is a registration form here.
Posted by Mary Hodder at October 26, 2005 10:51 AM
Interested in attending-- possibly. Had been discussing with Kaliya and Nancy.
At the Berkman "Web of Ideas" with Joshua Schachter, I brought up the notion that tagging could make room for quality ratings.
Consider: traditonal workflow document management systems assume that there's a "gatekeeper" step for publishing a document. Instead, one could think of merely soliciting approvals from any interested parties.
I'd also add that part of the reason for the glut is the apparent preference for narrative over normative in RSS-type publishing. What makes wiki so attractive is that the architecture demands normative content-- and thus suggests re-working in place of creating repetitive content.
The official name of the get together is Symposium on Social Architecture, but that matters less than what we are trying to do, which Mary captures neatly.
Hey, thanks for acknowleding my comments. Should I post more? Hold my breath? even go to the conference?
sorry.. i get comments emailed to me, but for some reason your first one didn't come to my email. sorry i missed it.