Friday, April 25, 2008

Readings 4-25-08

U.S. Spies Use Custom Videogames to Learn How to Think

In the wake of the intelligence bungles that propelled the United States into the Iraq war, it's no secret that the nation's spies have been working to improve the quality of their analysis. Now the top U.S. military intelligence agency has come up with a new tool for teaching recruits critical thinking skills: videogames.
Rapid Onset can best be described as Zen Buddhism meets the National Intelligence Estimate. It begins with the rookie analyst dreaming of meeting a white-robed guru on a mountaintop. The guru proceeds to throw him off the mountain; clinging to a rope, the analyst can only climb back up if he recites the Eight Questions of Intelligence Analysis.
Hey, whatever works.

via Danger Room


NTT Firmo transmits data through skin

via Pink Tentacle:
NTT has begun selling a device that transmits data across the surface of the human body and lets users communicate with electronic devices simply by touching them, the company announced on April 23.
Electronic smog? You're soaking in it.

Three certainties:
1) Someone is going to freak out about this. (read: End Times/Big Brother/EMF)
2) Some user is going to turn up with cancer and file a lawsuit.
3) Someone is going to figure out how to hack this.

One high order of probability:
1) Someone is going to find a way to seriously injure themselves with this technology.

Dystopia? You're living in it.

McLuhan, Web 2.0 Master

Kevin Kelly:

I recently came across a perceptive McLuhan quote via Andrew Keen's Cult of the Amateur:
In the 1950's Marshall McLuhan proposed a reality television show in which corporations would present their major problems to a mass audience. "For every expert idea that arises inside an organization," McLuhan advised executives, "the public has a thousand better ideas than you ever heard of."
This eerily parallels the current dogma of Web 2.0. In fact, McLuhan's statement is almost the canonical definition of crowdsourcing. The key difference, is that in McLuhan's day, the thousand of better ideas from people you never heard of were unattainable in practice. They were out there, but there was not efficient way to harness them.

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