Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Inbox 2.0: Yahoo and Google to Turn E-Mail Into a Social Network - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

Inbox 2.0: Yahoo and Google to Turn E-Mail Into a Social Network - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

Duh. ;-)

Friday, October 19, 2007

In this slide, David Armano describes "agility" in terms of design in creativity and planning.

These have direct jungian counterparts:

Under "agile creativity", we have plan and improvise. Planning is the bailiwick of the J type in the myers briggs type code, which translates as extraverted judgment (in combination with introverted perception). Improvisation is the bailiwick of the P type in the MBTI, which translates as extraverted perception.

Agility is the jungian transcendant function between these.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

How to Change the World: Ten Questions with Chris Brogan

How to Change the World: Ten Questions with Chris Brogan

the answers to these questions are all answered using the circular logic that twitter is kewl in the first place. But then, that's what Chris Brogan does.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Six Apart - News and Events: We Are Opening the Social Graph

Six Apart - News and Events: We Are Opening the Social Graph

well, from just a quick scan....

by jove, i think theyve got it, theyve really got it!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Facebook study reveals users 'trophy friends' - Telegraph

Facebook study reveals users 'trophy friends' - Telegraph

When you're only given the binary decision of "yes or no" to define "friend," it's going to force you to tip towards saying "yes" After all, most of the time someone has to be your friend in order to communicate with them on these social networking sites. If you have the slightest inclincation to communicate with someone who seems interesting, on the surface, are you going to wait and see or give it a shot?

Friends, buddies, favorites - these are all examples of valuation. Valuation falls into the realm of the Feeling function. At the base of the Feeling function is the value judgment dichotomy of "good" and "bad" - you can either have a personal good/bad judgment (which would be Fi - Introverted Feeling) or a societal one (which would be Extraverted Feeling, or Fe)

So when one comes to an person, place, thing, event, idea or quality, when we use our Feeling function, we evaluate it terms of good or bad. So let's simplify the process - instead of adding or not adding someone, just give them a green light or a red light, a plus or a minus. We can even expand it a little and use a likert scale of 1-5 on both sides of good and bad.

Eventually it can also be expanded to a full 100 point spread. Either way, we need to get away from the Thinking dichotomy of "yes/no" and start thinking in terms of the Feeling dichotomy of "good/bad" - after all, socializing is the realm of the Feeling function, not the Thinking function.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Logic+Emotion: HEROES

Logic+Emotion: HEROES

What's the bigger story here? How Twitter is an example of complete Extraversion in the communications spectrum, and how on the I/E spectrums of communications, news like this is appropriate for something like Twitter. Let's imagine that emergency services were necessary after this event, and maybe an area evacuation was warranted as well. In the Omnicommunications spectrum, these coordinates would fall into the realm of real time, broadcast, urgent, local, and You Must React to This - essentially a Emergency-Broadcast-GPS-enabled-911-chat-"room"-that-everyone-"automatically"-subscribes-to. This is, of course, a highly simplified version of what it would be, but this is what it would take, and what Mu endeavors to create.

Apply this example to Katrina and New Orleans, 9/11/01 and New York, or the Ohio State Campus and a tornado a couple weeks ago.

danah continues the “precious,” er, Facebook conversation… « Scobleizer

danah continues the “precious,” er, Facebook conversation… « Scobleizer

Peer to peer privacy would solve all of this and what Mu is all about

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rage against the machine

or... why I hate Social Networking Web 2.0 and all the damn hype...

1) it's not social - really, where are the synchronous multi-user "chat rooms?" are we stuck using a half-broken half-duplexy manually-refreshed one-dimensional thing like Twitter and claiming it to be a 2.0 version of a 40 year old 1.0 chat room?

2) networking within a silo isn't really networking, and why does it all have to be done so publicly? my social network isnt everyone's business, and there's no way for me to segregate it.

3) the world wide web was created for documents, not people. stop shoehorning one purpose into another and claiming that metadata about people are actually the people themselves. they're not.

4) since everything is in perpetual beta (and doesn't work well even for a beta), it's hardly 1.5, let alone 2.0. when your service is ready for primetime baby, call me. otherwise, pay a code checker.

5) I belong to every social networking site I can find, and met more people in a one hour chat room session than all of those networking sites combined. a chat room format that is 40 years old.

Don't Trust the Servers - Columns by PC Magazine

Don't Trust the Servers - Columns by PC Magazine!

Ta da! Triumph of the subjective, yet again. The key here is that these things, like data and processing, be shared, backedup and duplicated, fluidly. There's nothing wrong with using *both* server based backups and dvd burning to backup, especially since, as an enduser, i dont have any control over whether or not google decides to share my data with china, a US spy agency, or a lawyer. Its not either/or, its both.

When friendster/facebook/myspace/etc goes bankrupt, what happens to my buddy list? at least with all of my IM and email programs to date, I have a local copy of everyone I've ever encountered (which tops 100,000 people over the last twenty years).

Lets say, that in Mu, an impromptu conference of like minded folks want to talk about the Ohio State Buckeye game currently happening. Now, Im not at home, nor at the game - Im at my local neighborhood bar watching it on their TVs, but I want to talk with everyone whos using Mu. Well, if I used my txting feature on my phone, Id be flooded with txts, some truncated (people in a chat room dont naturally limit themselves to 140 characters), and Id use up my allotment of text messages for the month before the first quarter is over.

What if a server based webservice translated all of those typed words into voices for me, and I just called their phone number, like one calls a phone conferencing center. Here, its extremely appropriate for a webservice. But if I am at home, my own computer can do it for me (I still want the audio, because I'm watching the game, not the room/monitor. I want to *hear* my friends with whom I watching the game.)

Twitter pruning - blech

More than one person on Twitter has talked about pruning people from follow/follower lists in the last couple days. It reminds me of people who cross people off Christmas card lists because they didn't get one from them this year - yes, it may be the formal custom to do so, but its remarkably cold hearted to me. Did it ever occur to someone that there's a reason why that Xmas card didn't come this year? A good one, like family illness, divorce, death, poverty? And that maybe your Xmas card was needed on their end more than their card to you was needed on your end? Perhaps there's a reason why (other than annoyance at Twitter in general) and that it needs your social attention.

With a browser centered around people, and not metadata about people like we have today, there wouldn't be any buddy lists, or favorite people, or followisms, because the proximity and presence of a person would be completely dependent on the measure of the interaction, or relationship, or feeling about a person. There's only one list - the encounter list, and everything else is a metric around that.

There could be plenty of plug-in tools to help you reconnect with names you've buddy listed but with whom you've lost contact (the longer you go without talking to someone, the harder it is to reconnect on your own). So, this Remindr(tm) service would bring someone who has faded into the background (literally, if that's the GUI option you choose) from dis-interaction to the forefront.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Facebook | Interactive Friends Graph

Facebook Interactive Friends Graph

There are dozens of social networking visualization tools like this on the web, and there's a great website/blog at that shows hundreds more. Mu, with its graphic interface, would be enabled to show any of these visualizations with plugins of various kinds and be socially interactive at the same time, which none of these are - they're simply pretty pictures. I can't click on these circles and interact with the people behind them. I can't go their blogs, or view my interactivity with them in the past, or initiate an IM session, or create a chat session within my "inner circle", or call up their profile, or broadcast the equivalent of a twitter tweet (which is nothing more than an IM:CC, or anycast txt message) - and we sure as #$*%%$ wouldn't have to deal with and it's constant downage or inability to change notification status problems.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Brad's Thoughts on the Social Graph

Brad's Thoughts on the Social Graph

short answer: mu

long answer: there isnt much in his blog post that I agree with actually.

First, there isnt any such thing as THE social graph, and there never ever will be. There's all kinds of social graphs, all depending on so many subjective factors, like how one is connected, as opposed to just the 'yes/no' status of connection. There's also the factor of 'which aspect of me is connected to which aspect of you' which stems from the fact that we all have different personas, both in life, and on the Internet.

You also have to have usernames, passwords (or hopefully you use OpenID instead), a way to invite friends, add/remove friends, and the list goes on.

Um, no you dont. You already have them, somewhere, be they in an address book or buddy list. You dont need to give dopplr the information, you just need the code from dopplr, and Ill pass it along to those people in my encountered list that I want to play this game with.

People are getting sick of registering and re-declaring their friends on every site.

Yes, that's registrationitis, and it's inevitable, because using a remote server website to manage your relationships is bass-ackwards. They dont need your information, you just need their app code on your computer. So far, Facebook has only given me about 10 different options to describe how I met someone. Most of them are silly, and why cant I create my own labels/tags to describe my relationship? Why do I have to publicly declare how I met someone? Do you honestly think the WWW is going to create a universal definition of Homey?

Establish a non-profit and open source software (with copyrights held by the non-profit) which collects, merges, and redistributes the graphs from all other social network sites into one global aggregated graph.

Um, fuck you very much, but no.
Copyrights of *what* held by the non profit? The graph itself? It's my fucking network thanks, it's *MY* copyright. This supposedly benevolent supergraph would immediately become a target of every nutcase and dictator to be on the planet. Its my information, I'll keep it on my computer, fuck you very much. I would never ever trust a non profit with this information - they have no incentive to respond to my needs.

A user should then be able to log into a social application (e.g. for the first time, ideally but not necessarily with OpenID, and be presented with a dialog like, "Hey, we see from public information elsewhere that you already have 28 friends already using dopplr, shown below with rationale about why we're recommending them (what usernames they are on other sites). Which do you want to be friends with here? Or click 'select-all'." just because you two already declared your relationship publicly somewhere else

Why don't you just give me the code to plug into my people browser and Ill match up the people myself, so I dont have to publicly declare my relationship to anyone? it's none of your business.

The goal is not to replace Facebook

I'm sorry, my goal IS to replace facebook, and myspace, and friendster and AOL and and every other social web 2.0 its-really-a-feature-not-a-website business. THEY ARE WORTHLESS.

The goal is not to build a social networking site or anything that's fun for the end-user. Rather, the goal is to build the guts that allow a thousand new social applications to bloom, like Dopplr, etc.

Then create a standard people browser, like Mu, that allows you to plug in any code and keep it on your own computer and only share it with those you choose.

The goal is not to replace Plaxo

Then youve already lost me because Plaxo is 15 years too late. If a people browser had been invented in '95 alongside a web browser, it would have never been created, and as soon as we can create an intelligent address book/encounter list/mu browser, it will fold too.

Requiring browser add-ons or other end-user downloads is a nonstarter. This all must run primarily on the web. Some functionality for some (uncooperative) sites will require a browser plugin, but most won't.

Evidently, he hasnt read dvoraks article about webservices. Why must all of this exist on a web server? Youre right, this shouldnt be a browser addon, because it should be a browser itself. If the website isnt going to be cooperative, then it wont work in my people browser, and they will lose, not me.

For instance, collecting their friends on a site like MySpace (if they configure it to) is okay, but scraping their friends-of-friends isn't cool because that isn't their data. It's either those friends' data or MySpace's... definitely not the user who downloaded the add-on.

The solution is to not make the friend list public in the first place!! Since when is ones buddy list a default public thing anyway?

I'm not sure if the author is naive, stupid or aiming to become master of the world, but his proposal SCARES me. It should scare you too, and everything in the world should be done to fight this.

The Jeff Pulver Blog: How Asynchronous Communications became the new Synchronous:

The Jeff Pulver Blog: How Asynchronous Communications became the new Synchronous:

Aynchronous communications have only become the new synchronous communications because synchcom has been sorely neglected. My suspicions is most CEOs are worried about the liability of pedophiles and children, quite frankly. But it's only a liability if a chat room is centered around a server-based system. In a p2p model, you only communicate with people you already know, so it's never a problem. (How to meet new people is a completely seperate issue not addressed by mu in and of itself, but trust me, its addressed).

Here Jeff discusses how omnicasting and omnicatching overlap - a smart system would be able to sort and seperate output and input, and via the mu interface, present communications to the person(s) involved.

synchronous and asynchronous communications have always been a spectrum, just like introverted and extraverted. computer technology is allowing us to fully access that spectrum simultaneously for the first time, yet nobody is doing it as a complete package. As long we depend on asynchronous objective server systems like the WWW, it will never do so.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Segregating tweets

Twitter suffers some of the same problems that IRC styled chat rooms do - like current chat rooms, people who tend to type more fill up the entirety of the screen (or, the shared, objective space, squeaky wheels hogging the grease). By segregating a chatty person's utterances, it results in them only filling up their own boxes.

I think it helps if one is given the option of segregating individuals, or groups of people, into what I've coined a VoxBox - containers that show comments, posts, or any general stream, in discrete streams, per person, but on the same page or screen with others.  People can be grouped by my Personas: personal, professional, familial, platonic, erotic, romantic, UnPeople, etc.

Here's a quick mockup of an interface design for a lifestream of twitter tweets. One is horizontally oriented and the other is vertically. People who aren't inter@cting (typing with @username ) and just announcing don't have to be segregrated into their own 'voxbox' and can be lumped together like the current interface (a "background chatter" box). Affinity and reputation scales can sort and group followers and fans into clumps.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Facebook | Compare People

Facebook Compare People

This nifty (and fun, and sometimes cruel) little program is actually an extremely important demonstration of my favorite mantra "Triumph of the Subjective," and in more ways than one. Particularly, while this is just a fun program, it's actually an illustration of a Peer-to-Peer Contextual Reputation System.

The application presents one with a question comparing two people in one's buddy list, asking one to compare two people as more this or more that, or to choose between two people in the context of "who would you rather travel with?" and then the results are posted and sent (if opted). Judgment and evaluation by comparison and sorting/ranking are examples of Introverted Judgment (Ji). Comparison, at its root, is only done two objects at a time, and this is especially so if one is looking to sort a list ordinally. Limited to comparisons between two people, Ji eliminates matching everyone to an imagined criteria (for example,".. is this person African-American?"), which is Extraverted Judgment (Je). Extraverted Judgment, which is objective, requires agreed-upon rules and applying an established taxonomy, as opposed to a personal taxonomy created on the fly based on the circumstances at hand.

One could ask the same question and eventually compare every person to every other person you've ever encountered, and then you'd have a completely sorted list. This would be true provided no information or opinions changed during this long process, and that no new items are added to the list.. This kind of process takes an *extremely* long time (as does all Introverted Judgment with many objects). But this process is very quick with the very limited set of Two.

The questions from this application usually center around a certain narrow topic, essentially creating a specific context for a reputation. Narrow context is Introverted in nature, and Broad context is Extraverted. A global and general reputation is Extraverted, while a personal and contextual reputation is Introverted. One can have as many contextual reputations as one can create contexts.

This is also Introverted Judgment because it doesn't require you to ask this of every person in your list. If you don't evaluate someone you've encountered, they essentially don't have a ranking within the context. If I've never asked a friend if they even know what Dungeons and Dragons is, they aren't going to have a D&D-playable reputation score at all. If one is a heterosexual male, there isn't much point in asking which of two other males encountered is the sexier of the two, as the context is inappropriate.

In the Mu system, I envision seemingly 'random' questions like this would popping up occasionally, with the frequency and relevancy determined in preferences, so that one would eventually get to everyone on one's list (or at least the highest frequently encountered people). There are indirect ways of deriving some of these scales as well. What's important is that *any* profile of a person be customizable - by those who buddy list them - just like one has the ability to tag any website. It's also important to remember that tags/scales/metrics need not be shared, or that they can be shared anonymously, or that they can remain completely private and personal. The current fascination of sharing and publishing everything on the Web is going to have a severe balancing backlash soon - and it should be enabled sooner rather than later.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A neutral 'Net needs up to twice the bandwidth of a tiered network

A neutral 'Net needs up to twice the bandwidth of a tiered network

The real solution is to let people Tier the Internet traffic themselves - how much control do you have over your *own* Set of Tubes? Think globally and act locally is an old mantra, but how much do people do that with their Internet connection?

Unless you go through each and every program and tweak it (and do you *really* know how many programs you have connecting to the Internet?), chances are there's one or two programs choking your connection when you don't realize it. Not every piece of media you download via BitTorrent needs to be downloaded immediately (chances are you have a backlog of stuff you haven't watched yet).

Where's my visualization of my Set of Tubes? Can I control my Tubes through this visualization? Visualizing my connection is just as important as visualizing the actual People and Things I'm working with in my browser. As we add on one more program after another to my Internet, something like a GooeyTubes is more and more necessary.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

More Metaverse

Web, Web 2.0 and Virtual Worlds » SlideShare

Here's a slide show from the guys at the metaverseroadmap project

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Slap in the Facebook: It's Time for Social Networks to Open Up

Slap in the Facebook: It's Time for Social Networks to Open Up

All of this would be achieved in a People Browser centered around the mu ideals - and it's continuously more difficult the more social networking sites are created with different vocabularies.

a peer to peer profiling system completely rids the need for *any* facebook/yahoo360/myspace/insertnamehere profile. all you need is a presence ID (OpenID compatible) and a presence server (if you want to keep your IP addy anonymous) like yahoo/AIM/ICQ or just an p2p IP presence broadcaster like Solipsis

At this point, "friend" relationships remain unique to the social networks. The web still lacks a generalized way to convey relationships between people's identities on the internet. The absence of this secret sauce -- an underlying framework that connects "friends" and establishes trust relationships between peers -- is what gave rise to social networks in the first place. While we've
largely outgrown the limitations of closed platforms (take e-mail or the web itself), no one has stepped forward with an open solution to managing your friends on the internet at large. We would like to place an open call to the web-programming community to solve this problem. We need a new framework based on open standards. Think of it as a structure that links individual sites and makes explicit social relationships, a way of defining micro social networks within the larger network of the web.
[There's the Friend of a Friend (FOAF) framework actually, for a common vocabulary, and quite frankly you dont need a vocabulary - everyone creates their own on the fly and it's entirely your own to use and manipulate (subjective) and objectivity is acquired over time as you share it with your friends. There's no use trying to establish what the DENOTATION of 'homey' is when EVERY relationship definition is by definition CONNOTATIVE (triumph of the subjective). There's no difference here between defining a relationship and tagging and folksonomies. I personally don't share my tags, because my tagging style is completely my own and pointless to share - I hate the wisdom of crowds - I think they're stupid. I love the wisdom of my peers however, to varying degrees]

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tragedy of the Subjective - A lesson learned

Throughout many of my blog posts I've repeated, to the point of mantra, of the "triumph of the subjective" or, how the subjective (introverted) viewpoint always wins by default because of the differences between two people when they communicate over the internet. Never backing your stuff up and having a hard drive crash is the perfect example of the "Tragedy of the Subjective", because an introverted thought never shared is eventually lost.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Omnicast (Hyper)Cube

Continuing a conversation with David from his blog entry on Thoughts Illustrated

I'm still graphing specific existant technologies on each face of the cube as I research and discover them. This cube represents 3 axis -

casting, or push technologies;
catching, or pull technologies, and
timing, or synchronicity technologies.

I think it's important to graph what exists to find the natural gaps to fill, and to possibly create a unified application.

The reason why I think this is valuable, is that with an intellgent Omnicaster all I have to do is Extravert content, and the Omnicaster would intelligently figure out which technology would be the ideal protocol to use for which (un)intended recipient.

If I want to Extravert my discovery of a new website, the Omnicaster would

1) figure out how excited about it I am, and pick the appropriate highest level of transmission (IM?)
2) figure out who would immediately care and deliver it to the recipient via *their* preferred method of reception (RSS feed), and eventually work its way down the chain (to my delicious bookmarks, to a blog, or a website aggregator like slashdot)
3) figure out if it needs to adjustably override the recipients preferred method of reception to something higher (upgrade to an email, or in an emergency, an IM)

There are four additional axis not graphed that could be included, and I surely don't intend for these additional ones to be the exhaustive list (refer to my previous blog posts about dimensionality for even more).

Conversation Agent: Your Face, Everywhere -- Are There Too Many Social Networks?

Conversation Agent: Your Face, Everywhere -- Are There Too Many Social Networks?

Here we go - Persona Overload/Decreasing Return on Attention

too many social networks, too many personas, too much updating, too much attentioning

Peer to Peer Persona Profiling takes care of all of this.

There's only one thing that P2P profiles don't do - enable you to find interesting strangers with no connection to anyone you already know (do we really need to meet more people on our own? to what degree?). A good social network would really be nothing more than a host with a good people search engine enabled for a P2P People network.

The fundamentalist in me won't be happy until we have the complete and total meltdown of every social networking site. We don't need MySpace - we've had Geocities already.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Feeling Illustrated

Inspired by David's posting on Trust Metrics, I present below my "buddy graph" that I've been working on but hadn't published yet. Seemed as good of a time as any to do so, even though it's "out of order" for the blog.

Like/dislike and good/bad are the domains of the Feeling mental function. In the people browser that is Mu, every person encountered is automatically graphed on a two-dimensional "buddy chart" (a misnomer, since it includes 'enemies' and not just buddies). Once a person is encountered, an opinion of said person is registered (even if it is 'no opinion') by a private 'tagging/reputation' protocol.

If the individual has access to others' opinions of himself (via a P2P profile/reputation system), all people encountered can be graphed in two dimensions, making it much more robust than most friendship circle diagrams (a simple yes/no Thinking approach to a Feeling function). People who haven't been 'encountered' yet begin at the center point. A simple viewing of one's profile begins their migration over the graph over time.

So while a simple list of 'yes' people is the default view of an IM program, this encounter graph is the default view of Mu.

A third dimension can be illustrated if reputation scores are publicized to the global communal, or peer (individual communal) group, and I'll show that illustration tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Andre Durand - Federated Identity Management : Identity in Motion

Andre Durand - Federated Identity Management : Identity in Motion

This blog post articulates the some more identity issues with Personas. Note the use of dependent and independent identity, and substitute Extraverted and Introverted.



Jung had other contributions to psychology other than Personality Type. His concepts of Ego/Shadow, Self, Psyche, Conscious/Unconscious, Archetypes and Personas still resonate to this day, but in today's vernacular we use them in very different ways, just like Introvert/Extravert . Some of it can get pretty esoteric and spiritual, but since we're in using all of these as analogies and metaphors anyway, there's no reason why we can't borrow some of his ideas when structuring our view of the theoretical Internet psyche.

Persona, Greek for mask, is the "I," usually ideal aspects of ourselves, that we present to the outside world.
The Persona is that which in reality one is not, but which oneself as well as others think one is (Jung) Originally the word Persona meant a mask worn by actors to indicate the role they played. On this level, it is both a protective covering and an asset in mixing with other people. Civilized society depends on interactions between people through the Persona. Essentially, it's the interface between the Extraverted and Introverted worlds as seen from the outside.

[The opposite of the Persona is the Anima/Animus, just so you know.]

Identity and Personas

We're constantly creating Personas online, every time we register a new name on a new site, create a new profile, or keep a cookie in our cache. Social networking is the epitome of Persona building, but we're suffering from
registrationitis on the Internet - constantly trying to get our ideal name (protecting it like a trademark) and filling out profiles with the same information again and again. We're in the throes of the ultimate personality disassociation neurosis- Multiple Persona Disorder.

Efforts like OpenID are an attempt to solve the problem, but if every social networking site attempts to become an OpenID service, we're right back where we started. It's too late for OpenID - I already have hundreds of Personas out there. Additionally, there's a danger to using *one* OpenID for all my web browsing (One Ring to Rule Them All)? I don't want my online sexual proclivities to be associated with my social chatting profiles, with my D&D and WoW profiles, with my business profiles, or with my banking.

I need Persona management, consolidation and compatibility with everything I've already got. I need to be able to organize, group, sort, separate, tag, control and craft my Personas. I need to know what web service contains what information about me, what other people have gathered about me, as well as controlling who gets said information. Server-based Persona management like OpenID only provides one aspect of my total Internet self - that of validation by a recognized authority (said authority varying in degrees of reputation). This validation process falls under Extraverted Feeling (Fe) - what is my communal status. Everything else falls under Introverted Feeling (Fi) - the intimate revealing of details of myself to those I trust to those who request it, or to whom I volunteer it. A server based system can't do this without dealing with bogged down buddy list databases.

P2P Profiles

When I want to find out something about somebody, usually the easiest way is to just ask. If I'm chatting with someone online however, the repeated "ASL" (age/sex/location) questions can get pretty damn annoying. Profile were created to solve that problem (
"Please read profile before pvting")- but it created other problems: profiles can be read by *anyone* who knows they're out there; I have to create a new profile every time I join a new social network; some profiles ask 'inappropriate' questions and I'm seen as hiding something if I don't fill out that section. Additionally, multiple profiles violate the principles in database and hypertext theories of 'write once, then refer' . Since the Mu system is P2P based, there's no reason why Persona management cannot be as well. Let me fill out my profile once, store it on my computer (securely encrypted) and then only share that information with those who ask for it (via public/private keys).

A Persona managment system would allow me to create multiple Personas for different situations (personal, business, social, erotic, gaming, anonymous, medical) and allow me to organize and use them at will. Information can be shared to others via P2P queries (using MySQL). This activity can separated from the ongoing active dialogue with a sidebar (or scrolling status bar), and some parts of it can be automated depending on varying reputation and relationship indices (there are some things, like 'ASL', which are extremely Extravertedly obvious, automatic and can be available to 'everyone').

Secondly, referring to somebody else's profile information requires 1) that their profile be public, 2) that the service be up and running (how many times have you heard in a chat room "Profiles are down"), and 3) that the information hasn't been changed by said Persona. I should be able to store what information I query from someone on my computer (or storage service if I so choose), so that I can refer to it whenever I want, regardless of my connectivity, the service dependability, or which social network they're a part of.

P2P profiles are
THE MySpace killer app. Social networking sites are just fancy profiles, and nothing more. The early pioneers of the social web created personal webpages on Geocities.

Some example Persona categories (or tags):
Domain Specific

There's lots of overlap between many of these types of Personas, and that's ok. A previously asked question/data item will already be filled out in a 'SuperPersona' database. What's more important is they're completely customizable by the end-user, and that the interface to such a database be dynamic and graphic (by default, a Venn diagram with drag and drop field markers)

What's most important is that a Persona is a measurement. A Persona is not built without interaction between the Introverted and the Extraverted - the Extraverted world demands a role for us, and we choose to which degree to fulfill that role. Therefore, a Persona is a measurement of that relationship. And once something is measured, it's 'real'.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Type and GUIs

Personality Types from Mental Functions

Now that we've defined the eight basic mental functions, let's put them together. Everybody has all eight functions, but we all prefer them to different degrees, in different combinations. Some theories (such as Myers-Briggs) hypothesize that there is a regular pattern to their preference, and others, like Singer-Loomis, hypothesize that they can exist in any order of preference. The first theory (the MBTI), constructs 16 basic Types; the second theory allows for up to 40,320 (8 factorial, or 8!). Temperament theory breaks it down into 4 Types, with an eventual extrapolation into the MBTI 16. I personally see merit in all of them, as they are just variations of the other, and each attempts to explain different aspects of the greater whole. It's not necessary at this point to get into the individual descriptions of both for the purposes of this blog and the idea of Mu, and there are a tons of sites and books that provide descriptions of the basic 16 and Temperament 4.

Personality Type essentially attempts to describe everyone's personal bias to Perceiving and Judging information. When we're talking about the mental functions of Thinking, Feeling, Sensing and iNtuition, what we're really talking about is the nature of the Ego and Shadow, two opposites within the greater Self. The Ego is the collection of the Mental Functions we prefer, and the Shadow is those mental functions we do not. The Ego can be thought of as a dynamic lens through which we perceive the world and ourselves, much like a kaleidoscope, reflecting and refracting. So really, the definition of Ego-centric is 'identifying with one's biases to the exclusion of the ones we reject' as opposed to self-centered, or selfish, as it is commonly used today. Sometimes egocentricity can be useful - and of course it can be equally hindering.

Type and GUIs

A computer interface that rewards the Ego-bias of a particular user is going to be comfortable and useful, but far too often we're presented with few options in regards to our GUIs, and it's usually computer software engineers of a select few types designing those GUIs for the masses. Most software engineers definitely do not match with the greater population in terms of Type, and changing from one Type of GUI to another is pretty well impossible with today's commercial platforms. Most engineers are Ego-centric, as are most people, and GUIs reflect that (compare the NT interface of Gates' GUI to the NF interface of Jobs' GUI). As an example, the early Internet and Web was definitely T leaning. The second revolution of the web, Web 2.0, or the Social Web, is definitely a response to that overwhelming Introverted Thinking (Ti) bias, a response that has gone to the opposite extreme of Feeling (of the Extraverted variety - Fe). But the Social Web 2.0 experiment is equally Ego-centric - all social networking is done very publicly, and everything is shared, by default, to the entirety of the Internet. You actually have to manually check *not* to share things. As someone who prefers Fi as opposed to Fe, I find most social networking sites embarrassingly public. [See my post about Personas for more about public/private profiles]

So what's a solution? It would be pretty wasteful to design 40,320 different GUIs, or even 16. But 8 (the number of basic mental functions) is a lot easier to handle - and they don't have to be complete GUIs for each mental function - merely lenses that affect the 'default' GUI. If we rank and sort these 8 to our particular subjective idiosyncratic makeup, we can easily create 16 distinct GUIs, and a sophisticated GUI system can conquer all 40,320 in a nicely dynamic system of views. An ability to switch or emphasize one function over another temporarily can make a GUI adaptable to our needs at the time - sometimes I have to work in list-making, detail-oriented mode. Other times I'd like to operate on a project in metaphorical dynamic mode. You may prefer the reverse. When we can share (or imagine) another GUI Type, we've achieved one pole of the Four Views - Theory of Mind (seeing how another sees). Sometimes we need to compromise our subjective biases into one collaborative space for the purposes of clarification - the Global View. Unless we're capable of illustrating the Personal Subjective view though, none of the others are possible, and we're stuck with an arbitrary Absolute view dictated by a GUI engineer of a particular Type bias.

So yet again, we have a triumph of the subjective.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Blogs and Comments

When a comment on a blog is longer than the blog post, there's a problem. At what point does a comment on a blog become its own commentary that deserves its own blog post? There's an 'event horizon' somewhere between a short response and a lengthy response, and an event horizon between a comment that doesn't intend a dialogue and one that invites one.

I recently posted a very short comment to a blog - an anecdote that needed no response - and my comment was lost 5 screen heights down because some guy "went off" on the topic at hand with his overly lengthy comment. Comments "should" (dreadful word) be shorter text pieces with no intention of response invited. If you want to write a reflective, lengthy argument to someone else's piece, write your own blog entry via linkbacks. But then, your response is removed from the object - the first blog post. There's an objective middle space shared between the first blog post, comments that don't need a response, and comments that are blog posts of their own.

How do I comment on a comment left on my blog? Do I post a comment of my own? At that point, it looks like I'm another reader, and not the author/owner of the blog. Do we display it as threaded conversational commentary after the blog post? At what point does a blog become a forum ala Usenet? What if I want to create a private commentary conversation about a blog post? Do I then revert to email, or IM (asynchronously or synchronously?) Why do we use so many different technologies to do any of these, when all that is needed is a way to organize and visualize *one* technology - Extraverting?

Forests and (falling) trees

Journaling is an Introverted activity; blogging is an Introverted activity with the intent of Extraversion. A unread weblog remains in the 'Land of I' until read by someone - at which point it becomes shared and therefore Objective. A private blog is intimate (I) Extraversion (this blog is an example). A comment on a blog is Extraverted, while a blog post in response to another blog post falls under dialogue - a theoretically healthy mixture of I and E.

One of the basic principles of hypertext (and database) theory is that something is written once, and then referred to via linked references - the Intimate E. When we 'leave' a comment on someone else's blog, we're violating that principle, because the comment is no longer with its source - the Persona responsible for the comment. It becomes graffiti. A response to blog post also loses this principle - the original post is on that other page, and you're not seeing directly what they're referring to, unless the quote is dynamically displayed within the confines of the Response Blog.

There's a fundamental lack of structure to online conversation, and while this represents freedom, it also leads to miscommunication. One part to clearer communications is that what is said by the speaker should remain with the speaker. I envision a 'VoxBox' where the output (E) of a Persona on the Internet is collected within a boundried 'space' Another would be the ability to visualize the objectively shared space created by a conversation.

With a VoxBox modified via reputation systems and relationship measurements, I can subjectively control the volume of said Persona no matter where the Extraverted output ends up. Perhaps I want to get a better idea of the Persona responsible for the comment, so I could view the VoxBox to see everything said Persona is putting out there.

If it's my VoxBox, I can control who gets to see which 'face' of the box, or which E output. In order for me to put a Twitter badge in my blog, I had to make my Twitters completely public, even though my blog is only read by four people by permission, one of whom is my mother (hi mom!). Thus far I only use Twitter for 'work' and only four people know what work I do (which is how I like it right now). But in order for me to put a badge on a private blog, I had to go completely public on a website filled with strangers, and now I have to watch what I say via Twitter, because anyone can read it on the Twitter main page, and I don't want to give anything away.

So I'm left with IM, which is what I was trying to avoid, because it's intrusive to Introverts and gives an obligation of dialogue or a sense of 'pay attention to this *now*' to anyone receiving one.

Twitterings are already developing a sense of 'asynchronous directedness' on their own - with the @ symbol. While the Twitter may be completely public, it's intended audience is indicated with @papadavo or @critt. Wouldn't it be nice if the @ was 'hot' and directed the Twitter to *only* be read by the @tted Personas or Groups, or those within a certain level of intimacy [@Everyone, @Friends, @ProfessionalRep>=75, @DnD Clan, etc] It's like an IM (b)cc with no obligation of response or attention.

Friday, June 15, 2007

System Overview - Croquet Consortium

System Overview - Croquet Consortium

David Brin pointed out this group to me awhile back, and their p2p architecture is nicely summed up on the system overview,

It's not scalable to think of objects that must be distributed across a planetary-scale network as though they were Platonic Ideals, existing in some master form within a central communications server. In this rejected scenario, individual users would be sitting at their computers manipulating (dumb) proxy objects. Like Platonic Shadows, these proxy objects would get their statefulness sent to them by a central server. And since the conversations between this central server and the machines on the network concerning the state of all objects are going on continuously, it can really tax the bandwidth of the WAN.
(Failure of the objective)

A user's change change-message will travel round-trip across the network to its farthest reaches so that all the replicas in the system independently commit to the change order. Only then will a new screen display be generated for everyone on the network, one that incorporates the change (viewing processes are only allowed on stable versions of the object).
(Creation of the objective through the interdependent subjective - i.e., an objective compromise and the personal communal)

Consequently, the TeaTime approach is to provide an architecture that is synchronous to the degree that I/O is synchronized, but at the same time allowing for adaptation of computational strategies. The key idea for I/O coordination is that input and output events (to interactive devices) are synchronized with global universal time, which is coordinated among all sites involved in a computation.
Time is perhaps the one absolute we share objectively, despite our varying subjective abilities to pay attention to that absolute. Attention is the limited natural resource of the Internet. While OpenCroquet seems to have achieved that absolute objective nirvana through ultimate subjectivity (P2P), I'm not seeing any rewards for the subjective point of view in the system.

More later.

Aesthetics - An Se Question

I've been continuously tweaking the interface to my blog, so if you've encountered a strange layout, you'll know why. I always appreciate constructive feedback and if you have any readability issues with the text, text background colors, layout, etc., please leave a comment here. I know how *I* see the page, but I don't know how you do.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Noun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Representing nouns in a muspace

Mu is primarily interested in representing People in a shared environment. But we can't neglect the rest of the categories of nouns

Noun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

person, place, thing, event, substance, quality, or idea, etc. This is a semantic definition.

These can all be seen as layers, or filters. Allow for only the People layer to be visible, and the Things layer to be translucent.

Add to that further filters:

count nouns
mass nouns
collective nouns
concrete nouns
abstract nouns
substantive nouns (predicate adjectives) (qualities)

Nuclear Sledgehammer » Blog Archive » Twitter vs Jaiku vs …

Nuclear Sledgehammer » Blog Archive » Twitter vs Jaiku vs …

In this blog entry about Twitter and Jaiku, the author makes a very good point:

So, I’ve got an idea. Rather than hopping from third-party service to third-party service, let’s look at the facts:
1. Twitter, Jaiku etc are just short, single-user comment walls with an RSS feed.
2. RSS aggregators are everywhere.
3. Distributed services are more resilient than monolithic, centralised ones.
So why not create hundreds of installable Twitter-like services, optionally with SMS gateways, certainly with a simple XML-RPC interface that lets you write to them with a standard set of clients, and link them together with RSS?
That way you get everything you get from Twitter, in a distributed model that doesn’t have a single point of failure. It’s simple and ultimately would be easier for everyone than flitting from service to service to service.

He makes the point for the triumph of the subjective by arguing for the peer-to-peer version of twitter, which can also be used as the source structure of the ultimate multi-user peer-to-peer synchronous platform. I previously told someone that Twitter is like playing a trumpet in a crowded room full of trumpets. Server based twitter services are like having a conductor of the trumpets with strict control - if Twitter fails, nobody can play, and everything played on Twitter is by the approval of the conductor. I want a freeform jazz trumpet section, with a remote control that controls everyone's speaker volume - Trumpet (sm)?

Back in my Usenet days, I subscribed to about 40 different groups. For some of those groups I received a daily digest, others I read in strict chronological order, and others I read via thread. Wouldn't it be nice to enable a Trumpet interface that sorts and groups them into meaningful (to me) patterns, or allows me to view one persons Twitters as a daily digest, or high alerts, or review a resultant conversation from responded @twitters?


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thoughts Illustrated: Logic+Emotion

Thoughts Illustrated: Logic+Emotion - moving the needle on the Experience -O-Meter

All of the slides in this presentation seem to parallel jungian mental functions!

The author labels it emotion, but if you substitute the jungian mental function name Feeling (which in modern language would be labeled Values), he's applying Thinking logic and Feeling values. This supports the notion that both are needed, and that some people will prefer one over the other but all need a little bit of both.

He also parallels the difference between Sensing and iNtution in a few slides.

[is there a way to privately comment on slides?]

Slide 8:
plan/improvise = agile creativity
Je/Ji = transcendent judgment

facts/ideas = agile planning
Sensing/iNtuition = transcendent perception

Jung called the union of polar opposite functions the 'transcendent' function. David calls it 'agile'.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mental Functions Table

Mental Functions Table

Below are the eight mental functions in one table, comparing their Extraverted and Introverted versions in two columns.
The top two sets are those of Perception (S and N), and the bottom two sets are those of Judgment (T and F). And there's a bonus set at the bottom.

Extraverted (E) Introverted (I)
expend energyconserve energy
talk to thinkthink to talk
Perception (Pe)
Perception (Pi)
State of beingRecalled/imagined state of being

Sensing (Se)
Sensing (Si)
present, and next and nextpresent to past
actual, factual, present and realpast, history, 'always been' and impression
tactile and sensoryvisceral
Intuition (Ne)
Intuition (Ni)
present to futureeternity, past and future, unpresent
patterns betweenmetaphors within
possibilitiescould have beens, once upon a time

Judgment (Je)
Judgment (Ji)

Thinking (Te)
Thinking (Ti)
if...then...else ...else
Feeling (Fe)
Feeling (Fi)
custom/traditionfree will
social moressocial liberties
Server (e)
Client (i)
server computinggrid computing
AIM/Yahoo/etc IMSolipsis

If you'll note the color choices for the function headers, they're from the traditional colors first assigned by Jung. There's strong evidence that Jung was slightly synesthetic (as are many of his particular Type), so he labeled Sensing as green, iNtuition as yellow, Thinking as blue and Feeling as red. I assigned Purple to generalized Judgment (red/blue) and a yellow/green color for generalized Perception. I'm going to change the shades slightly, making the E versions slightly darker and the I versions slightly lighter, giving E 75% grey and introverted only 25% grey. Since orange was the only color not used in his system, I've reserved it for computers and the Internet.

The Jungian Mental Functions

Well, there's a bit of jungian synchronicity in the air today. While I was composing my morning email stating that I'd be describing the Jungian mental functions much later today, I get a Google alert to an excellent article doing just that, saving me the pressure of writing so much. But it still requires a bit of set-up:

So far, we have Perception and Judgment


Perception also contains its own dichotomy, and therefore exists in two flavors - Sensing and Intution. We can abbreviate Sensing with S, but we have to use N for iNtuition, because Introversion already uses I as its abbreviation.

Quickly, Sensing involves the five senses, the somatic senses (temperature and pain) and vestibular senses (orientation and balance) and visceral senses (bodily states), and the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

Intuition involves the world of ideas, patterns, meaning, metaphor, insights, relationships and possibilities.


Judgment also contains a dichotomy, that between Thinking and Feeling. Thinking and Feeling are both rational functions. Feeling does not mean emotion or emotional.

Thinking is making decision using logic and is devoid of value. It is the gesellschaft. It's abbreviated as T.

Feeling is making decisions using values, either of the personal variety (liberties) or the societal (social mores). It is gemeinschaft. It's abbreviated as F.

I'll be describing much better these four mental functions later.

Below, we have another mandala figure, squaring the two poles:

These four functions all exist in Introverted and Extraverted versions, so you end up with 8 basic mental function-attitudes - a three dimensional matrix.

Extraverted/Introverted Sensing (Se, Si)
Extraverted/Introverted iNtuition (Ne, Ni)
Extraverted/Introverted Thinking (Te, Ti)
Extraverted/Introverted Feeling (Fe, Fi)

I'll be posting some tables comparing these functions later (and their applications to a communication system), but for now, we have some descriptions of all of these in the the article I mentioned in the context of a book review, written by a secondary school student:

"Fifth Business" – The Jungian Personality Types by Vaneet S.


Finally, Jungian mental functions

Here we are, finally discussing Jungian mental functions.

After Jung realized the dichotomies of Introverted and Extraverted were not enough to explain all differences in Types of people, he eventually realized that all people basically have two mutually exclusive modes of operation, or mental functions : Perception of information and Judgment of information.


Perception is the psyche's portal for perceiving information in the external and internal worlds. Perceiving is 'the process of becoming aware of things, people, occurrences [events], [meanings,] and ideas' [Isabel Myers, 1980]. In other words, perceiving is the cognitive process of gathering information and bringing it into our consciousness. Perceiving can be thought of as the modem and the monitor of the mind. Perception is called an irrational process by Jung because it is not controlled, it merely is.


Judgment is the psyche's answer to using the information gathered by Perception. Judgment provides structure and valuation to information. Myers describes judging as "the process of coming to conclusions about what is perceived" Judgment can be thought of as the processor and programming of a computer. Judgment is called a rational process by Jung because it is controlled

Another dichotomy squaring

These two functions operate in a bipolar model - one is either Perceiving or Judging, but never both simultaneously, just like one can either be Introverting or Extraverting, but never both - you're either being loud or quiet.

If we square the P/J dichotomy to the I/E dichotomy, we end up with another four-point mandala like the subjective/objective and personal/collective mandala.

In the 8 point mandala of these two poles, we end up with four modes of operation - Introverted/Extraverted Perception and Introverted/Extraverted Judgment. We can abbreviate these four points as Pi, Pe, Ji, Je.

I'll be re-editing this post and adding more to the descriptions of P and J and Pe/Pi/Je/Ji later, so check for updates.

An Online Type Indicator

If you're curious about your own Jungian Type, there's a version of an indicator online that's free to take. It's not the "official" Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, but I've found it to be a pretty good version.

Remember, the MBTI (and other versions) are an objective attempt at a subjective psychological system. Jung only intended his system to be one of empirical description, not causal prescription. The MBTI is a tool like a compass is to the terrain (actual psychological processes) and a map (the description of said psychological processes), and ultimately only you can say where you are.

If you *do* take this indicator, please don't tell me your results! I'm pretty good at Type watching and try to guess others' Type as I get to know someone before it's revealed to me. When you get your results, note both the numerical 'score' as well as the polarity preference somewhere. I'm providing the link now to give everyone a personal reference to the general discussion.

If we were in one of my lectures, you would have taken the indicator beforehand, then picked your preferences after the descriptions were presented, and then you'd be given your results to compare. It's suggested you take the indicator before you read any further about the mental functions to prevent any confirmation bias in the results. Ultimately, only you can truly know your Type, no matter what any 'objective' indicator says.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Reputation Systems and 4 Views

original post date:6/11/07

The Room with Four Views can be applied to reputation systems as well.

  • Personal reputation (your own rank/score for somebody else)
  • Peer Group reputation (what you and your friends collectively think of others)
  • Empathetic reputation (asking what an individual friend thinks of third person)
  • Global view (what everyone thinks of everyone, regardless of how intimately they know them)
Gradations can be applied - I know that my friend Stephen is very poor at judging the character of others, so my opinion of his opinion (the venn point between personal to peer to empathetic), despite being a close personal friend, is very low. I can almost bet that if Stephen trusts somebody, he's been conned (he's an obvious mark).

Another close personal friend knows very little about computers, so his geek reputation is low despite a high personal reputation. In my tagged buddy lists of (geeks, computer), he wouldn't even appear in the formula, but he does appear in my reputation formula for (geeks, D&D).

Yet another friend has very different tastes in a mate than I do - I'm not going to ask him if somebody is pretty, but he may know my tastes very well (empathetic view), so if he wants to 'recommend' somebody to me, I'll pay attention - with a grain of salt, because no matter how empathetic he may be, he can never truly know what turns me on (the ultimately triumph of the deeply subjective).

And I don't really give a damn what Joe Bloe thinks of the presidential races - he's distinctly average and so is his opinion. I don't really know him anyway, or any of his friends. But it may be necessary to compare my peer groups opinion to the average objective stranger 'wisdom' of crowds.

The challenge to reputation systems remains to enable this kind of complexity. Server-based (extraverted/global/collective) reputation systems ultimately fail in this scenario when compared to peer-to-peer reputation systems (triumph of the subjective) because the mathematical formula is going to be different for every user. If a reputation formula is to be meaningful to the end user, it must be easy to understand *how* a reputation was derived, and therefore it must be transparent, and customizable.

When the formula for reputation is recognized and designed as a completely subjective system, it can't be gamed - you can't game a system unless you know all of the rules of a system.

Once this complex reputation is calculated (via grid computing), it is easy illustrating the resultant reputations of everyone in my encounter list (the objective version of a buddy list). This is where the Holocene tools system comes in - adapting objective communal muspace to the personal subjective user interface by adjusting word balloon size/font size/volume/transparancy/gist level/bitrate/bittyrant/twitter frequency/avatar complexity/etc.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Table of E and I attributes

Below is a table that compares the attributes of I and E.
These attributes can be applied to both people and functions, and the internet.

This list will continue to grow and change, as I recall more aha!s


from present to pastfrom present to future
conserve energyexpend energy
think to talktalk to think

Take any Internet technology, and apply the adjectives from the list: reflective/active web page, internal/external server, public/private profiles. A multi-user interactive 'space' must contain *both* versions of any technology in order to satisfy 100% of the users.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

First look: AT&T’s Pogo browser beta tries too hard, fails: Page 2

First look: AT&T’s Pogo browser beta tries too hard, fails: Page 2

This is an example of what *not* to do with 3d


Directly from the Jung Lexicon by Daryl Sharp: [Bolded text applies to internet personas directly]


The "I," usually ideal aspects of ourselves, that we present to the outside world.

The persona is . . . a functional complex that comes into existence for reasons of adaptation or personal convenience. [Ibid., par. 801.]

The persona is that which in reality one is not, but which oneself as well as others think one is.["Concerning Rebirth," CW 9i, par. 221.]

Originally the word persona meant a mask worn by actors to indicate the role they played. On this level, it is both a protective covering and an asset in mixing with other people. Civilized society depends on interactions between people through the persona.

There are indeed people who lack a developed persona . . . blundering from one social solecism to the next, perfectly harmless and innocent, soulful bores or appealing children, or, if they are women, spectral Cassandras dreaded for their tactlessness, eternally misunderstood, never knowing what they are about, always taking forgiveness for granted, blind to the world, hopeless dreamers. From them we can see how a neglected persona works.["Anima and Animus," CW 7, par. 318.]

Before the persona has been differentiated from the ego, the persona is experienced as individuality. In fact, as a social identity on the one hand and an ideal image on the other, there is little individual about it.

It is, as its name implies, only a mask of the collective psyche, a mask that feigns individuality, making others and oneself believe that one is individual, whereas one is simply acting a role through which the collective psyche speaks.

When we analyse the persona we strip off the mask, and discover that what seemed to be individual is at bottom collective; in other words, that the persona was only a mask of the collective psyche. Fundamentally the persona is nothing real: it is a compromise between individual and society as to what a man should appear to be. He takes a name, earns a title, exercises a function, he is this or that. In a certain sense all this is real, yet in relation to the essential individuality of the person concerned it is only a secondary reality, a compromise formation, in making which others often have a greater share than he. ["The Persona as a Segment of the Collective Psyche," ibid., pars. 245f.]

A psychological understanding of the persona as a function of relationship to the outside world makes it possible to assume and drop one at will. But by rewarding a particular persona, the outside world invites identification with it. Money, respect and power come to those who can perform single-mindedly and well in a social role. From being a useful convenience, therefore, the persona may become a trap and a source of neurosis.

A man cannot get rid of himself in favour of an artificial personality without punishment. Even the attempt to do so brings on, in all ordinary cases, unconscious reactions in the form of bad moods, affects, phobias, obsessive ideas, backsliding vices, etc. The social "strong man" is in his private life often a mere child where his own states of feeling are concerned.["Anima and Animus," ibid., par. 307. ]

The demands of propriety and good manners are an added inducement to assume a becoming mask. What goes on behind the mask is then called "private life." This painfully familiar division of consciousness into two figures, often preposterously different, is an incisive psychological operation that is bound to have repercussions on the unconscious.[Ibid., par. 305.]

Among the consequences of identifying with a persona are: we lose sight of who we are without a protective covering; our reactions are predetermined by collective expectations (we do and think and feel what our persona "should" do, think and feel); those close to us complain of our emotional distance; and we cannot imagine life without it.

To the extent that ego-consciousness is identified with the persona, the neglected inner life (personified in the shadow and anima or animus) is activated in compensation. The consequences, experienced in symptoms characteristic of neurosis, can stimulate the process of individuation.

There is, after all, something individual in the peculiar choice and delineation of the persona, and . . . despite the exclusive identity of the ego-consciousness with the persona the unconscious self, one's real individuality, is always present and makes itself felt indirectly if not directly. Although the ego-consciousness is at first identical with the persona-that compromise role in which we parade before the community-yet the unconscious self can never be repressed to the point of extinction. Its influence is chiefly manifest in the special nature of the contrasting and compensating contents of the unconscious. The purely personal attitude of the conscious mind evokes reactions on the part of the unconscious, and these, together with personal repressions, contain the seeds of individual development.[The Persona as a Segment of the Collective Psyche," ibid., par. 247.]

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Metaverse Roadmap - Conclusions

While there's a lot more to be read on the website, the summary document is encouraging, if not uncanny, in that it addresses many Jungian concepts of Perception, with a few nods to Judgment.

What's discouraging, however, is the complete lack of peer-to-peer technology solutions presented. All of the solutions shown are server based, particularly the virtual worlds section. As someone who has worked in the past with a p2p VR communications platform, I'm actually befuddled by it. But p2p is scary for companies - there's not a clear business model for typical web services in a p2p model.

It's a goal-oriented document - so the full spectrum of these concepts isn't presented, except in terms of steps towards that end goal. Presence doesn't always need to be an avatar (a pixel on a blank background will do). GPS services don't need to be exacting (zip code works quite well on a personals site, thank you). Lifelogging doesn't have to be every niggling detail of life (hell, I'd just like an intelligent history/bookmarking app right now). Far too often computer technology is modernist - forgetting the past for the sake of the now or future. The beauty of the 'old' internet was its efficiency with little resources. Projects such as OpenCroquet are rethinking what can be done based on modern technology and have presented very robust collaboration environments. But they won't work on an old 486 with a dial up connection - and that's a major problem. The point to 'rethinking' something is to go back to the minimalist and making sure the minimums are covered, and THEN going forward. We're presuming we'll have the current resources to maintain these high bandwidth, high CPU, high graphics environments in perfectly synchronous real time. The urban myth for the point of the ARPAnet was to create a system that would work in the case of Armageddon - I won't give a damn about your fancyschmancy avatar when there's a plague loose in Cleveland and heading my way.

Metaverse Roadmap V : Augmented Reality - Ne

Augmented Reality (External/Augmentation) - Ne

Augmented reality depends on the further development of intelligent materials and the "smart environment"— networked computational intelligence embedded in physical objects and spaces. As described in Adam Greenfield's Everyware, this vision of the so-called "Internet of things" moves well beyond today’s primitive classes of RFID (radio frequency
identification) tags. Concepts such as the "spimes" described by Bruce Sterling (individually-identified objects that can be tracked through both time and space over their lifetime) or Julian Bleecker's "blogjects" (objects that keep a running public record of their
condition and use) offer examples of the ways in which materials, goods and the physical environment play a part in the augmented reality world...

Another important aspect of the AR scenario is the interface, the ways and choices users have to access virtual information overlaid on the physical world... As virtual data proliferate, information overload will be a common problem. This will empower user annotation and the expression of individual opinion: the Participatory Web... Smart tag-based networks will allow individuals to advise friends...In the longer-term future,
different people may have very different experiences of the same physical location.

The important difference between Introverted and Extraverted iNtution is that Ne requires an object from which to launch new ideas and to create 'what isn't there' - Ne ideas can be very creative, but it almost always stems from an 'object'. To some degree, Ni can be mythologized to be the only function that is 'truly original'. Metadata (tags, spimes, blogjects, etc) are the perfect example of Ne functionality. Metadata attempts to put a piece of data in a larger context, or pattern. The last line quoted is a very good example of Ne - there are an infinite number of new combinations from a limited number of objects, all created from relevant information about the object or location.

Metaverse Roadmap IV - Lifelogging - Si

Lifelogging (Intimate/Augmentation) - Si

A perfect memory isn't necessarily an ideal, at least by
current social standards. Human relationships are aided by
the consensual misremembering of slights, allowing the
sting of insults and personal offenses to fade over time.
With easy access to records of past wrongs, “I forgot,”
will be much less frequent, and some will find it
impossible to "let bygones be bygones." On the positive
side, new social accuracy will provide opportunities for
individuals to more frequently admit their mistakes, and
after some ego adjustment, help them be more tolerant and
open to a change of mind and behavior. We see such
learning on some (not all) blogs today, which are accurate
text-based lifelogs of past arguments in social space.

Si memory is *subjective* memory, and is anything *but* photographic (but try to tell that to an Si dominant ;-)). It's the most visceral of the four kinds of Perception. Despite this, Lifelogging is subjective in terms of the perspective of "I" remember. Lifelogging technologies, as is warned, break the necessary barrier of forgetful memories, but as a recent case study has shown, these technologies actually help "objective" memory in the long run, and may help build tolerance as we stop self-selectively forgetting things. Lifelogging technologies aren't capable of recording the feeling of 'butterflies in the stomach,' but they can help us recall the exacting details of the moments that caused those butterflies to launch into dance, and the more details we can record, the easier those moments are to recall viscerally. There's a two sided coin to Si memory - when unJudged, these replicated memories can result in phobias or untold stresses; ironically, when paired with other techniques, they can be the tools to rid ourselves of overreactions. It's hard to learn from one's mistakes if one cannot remember them. It's equally hard to learn from one's mistakes if one unnecessarily dwells on them too, and is the nature of chronic depression.

Unlike virtual worlds, lifelogging
won’t allow you to walk in another person's shoes, but it
does allow you to look at the world through another
person's eyes. Or multiple people's eyes: memories tagged
for a particular time and place can call up similar
recordings from others at the scene, giving an
individual access to multiple perspectives on an event.

Here we diverge a little from Si into Fi. Introverted Feeling is the function that deals with empathy - being able to walk in another's shoes, or view through another's eyes. It's a Judgment function really, not a Perception one. Why they say you can't walk in another's shoes is beyond me - that's exactly what Lifelogging enables, down to the exact footstep if your Nike is hooked up to your iPod.

Metaverse Roadmap III: Mirror Worlds and Se

Mirror Worlds (External/Simulation) (Se)
Unlike virtual worlds, which involve alternate realities that may be similar to Earth’s or wildly different, mirror worlds model the world around us. The best known example of a mirror world (MW) is presently Google Earth... Initially, MW maps were based on cartographic surveys, with informational overlays. Later maps were updated with satellite and aircraft imagery, and now some (Google Earth, military systems) are being augmented by ground-based imagery... Some futurists have proclaimed that virtual worlds, the
Internet, global outsourcing and telepresence are heralding the “end of geography.”... Gelernter is optimistic that our coming data-rich geographic simulations can give us not only tree-level insight but also forest-level “topsight” into complex global systems, many of which are presently obscure.

True Telepresence is very narrowly defined, and most uses of the word are NOT telepresence (attention Cisco). A Wikipedia definition is

Telepresence refers to a set of technologies which allow a person to feel as if they were present, to give the appearance that they were present, or to have an effect, at a location other than their true location.
Telepresence requires that the senses of the user, or users, are provided with such stimuli as to give the feeling of being in that other location. Additionally, the user(s) may be given the ability to affect the remote location. In this case, the user's position, movements, actions, voice, etc. may be sensed, transmitted and duplicated in the remote location to bring about this effect. Therefore information may be travelling in both directions between the user and the remote location.

Here, remote control of the environment is included in the definition, and so would include Extraverted Thinking (the executive), but if we only include haptic feedback methods, we're staying within the realm of Se. With additional information collected via Ne and Si methods described elsewhere, we're capable of creating a sense of 'hyper-reality' with technology - more real than real. We can't fly on our own in real life, but Google Earth allows me to zoom and pan anywhere I want. We don't have Superman's microscopic vision, but molecular modeling can illustrate chemical reactions for instruction.

Se is a Pe function, and is Typically paired with an Introverted Judgment function - either Ti or Fi. When paired with Ti (as in ISTP or ESTP), the result is a mechanistic point of view. Mirror Worlds that attempt to recreate the Real Universe in function (solids are impermeable, gravity works, measurements and location are replicated exactly, even sounds are realistic) fulfill these Type-views. When paired with Fi (as in ISFP or ESFP), the result is an aesthetic point of view (patterns and textures, music and voices, fashions and architectural details replicated, people, plants and animals exist in the environment, things are entertaining). Ji (Fi, Ti) functions are analytical, not causal - one can analyze an individual M&M until the cows come home, and one can attempt to recreate the world to the most minute details until we've essentially duplicated the world in a box. Ultimately, these are all superficial (but necessary)

Most video games, despite taking place in Ni Virtual Worlds, seem closer to Se worlds, as they are superficial and usually limited to imitating real-world physics (or some internally defined set of rules). David Brin calls this 'creating the furniture first'. Personally, as someone who rarely pays attention to my environment, I've been disenchanted by the emphasis on recreating reality in virtual worlds - but I love Google Earth, because it's relevant to the function. I doubt I'd enjoy a virtual concert with my favorite musical artists, because the 3D world is distracting to the principal aesthetic (audio) and fails to approach replication of the rest of my senses (touch and visual). I don't *need* a 3D world to enjoy a live concert when my radio will do just fine. And gawd forbid I be required to 'walk' to another location in a virtual world - I'm using computer technology to escape the limitations of the real world. Until they find a way to recreate odors, there's no point in me slowing down to smell the roses.