those Andropovian bongs (rik) Fri 20 Jan 12 09:40
Medicare has given me a sense of safety and freedom that I had been sadly lacking for the last 20 years due to a pre-existing condition from which I'd been cured 35 years ago. That didn't matter to the health insurance companies And when I had lost my job-related insurance 25 or so years ago, the woman on the phone at one of the companies I applied to actually laughed when she told me to forget about it.
Bruce Sterling (bruces) Fri 20 Jan 12 10:49
Commonly I end these WELL things in some personal burst of visionary eloquence. Last year, I wrote a long culture-critic essay all about Cibelle. Cibelle, the London-Sao Paulo multi-artist. I just heard from Cibelle. Cibelle's still performing her music, in extravagant costume, with video, but she told me that she'd like to go to art school and get an MFA in painting. Could be a sign of the creative times: if you're gonna do every possible artsy thing all at once, then you might as well get good at it. I concluded this isn't the year for writing any long, learned, stick-to-the-point summations. Instead, this is a unique year when, during this State of the World discussion, I was actually living in Lebkowsky's house. Thanks for the hospitality, Jon! Great to share some analog geolocative presence! Tomorrow, I head off to Mexico City to teach design school for a month. You'll hear about this on Twitter if you follow @bruces. The blog just upgraded to a new incarnation of Wordpress. Check out my new, upscale, toney and curatorial "Tech Art" section. http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/category/tech-art/ So it's time to gently conclude the State of the World by venturing off for tequila. In a Texan cantina. Chuy's. We kinda need the consolation, and that's as good a place as any. Chuy's ‪4301 W William Cannon Dr, Austin, TX‬ ‪(512) 899-2489 ‬ Should be there after 5:30 pm or so... Drop on by, y'all.
Peter Meuleners (pjm) Fri 20 Jan 12 10:52
"analog geolocative presence" is a great term.
Gail Williams (gail) Fri 20 Jan 12 10:57
Wish I could share some "analog geolocative presence" and some nice older tequila. Instead, a digital gesture of a toast to you and to the future and to the beauty of the unfolding sky, from here in San Francisco.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Fri 20 Jan 12 11:11
Great as always, thanks to both of you for your time and thinking out loud.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 20 Jan 12 13:05
I just wandered in from a very good talk at the University of Texas by Elizabeth Churchill of Yahoo Research (http://elizabethchurchill.com/). I was there with my pals Gregory Foster, Bill Anderson, and David Ryan, all Austin-based technologists. Another friend, tech entrepreneur Tristan Slominski, was across the room. The rest were mostly UT students. Churchill is a psychologist and user experience expert whose done a ton of research for Yahoo - much of it about how and why people engage with websites and web communities. Google, Facebook, and Twitter get a lot of attention for their social and collaborative spaces, but Yahoo was there first, and has dug as deeply as anybody into the study of online behaviors. I was reminded of a couple of things - how long we've come in evolving the web environment, and how it's a totally human environment... it's all behavior manifest in technology-mediated environments. I've been working on and with the web for two decades now, and I'm still completely fascinated. I love this work, even (or especially) with the challenges we face today. Churchill mentioned core values of Computer Human Interaction... I think about most of these every day: fulfillment agency identity equality subjectivity reflection empowerment social justice After two long weeks of discussion here on the WELL, itself a seminal online community that's been operating for over 25 years, I'm feeling perky: the world can work, we're going to do just fine. Hope some of you will show up at Chuy's later today. And we'll be here again next year (maybe by then we'll have bought a huge hippie house and started a commune...)
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 21 Jan 12 11:29
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/weltschmerz Weltschmerz: mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state Thanks and a tip o' the hat to Garry Golden for the pointer to this relevant definition.
David Gans (tnf) Sat 21 Jan 12 23:19
That's M-W's definition, really? I was taught that it had to do with feeling the pain of the world, not just being disappointed in it.
Ed Ward (captward) Sun 22 Jan 12 04:44
And given that the German means world-pain, that makes more sense.
Gail Williams (gail) Mon 23 Jan 12 10:02
There's a differentiation of meanings on this page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weltschmerz where a distinction is made between the modern German use of the word and the original idea from the early 1800's
Karim Brohi (julieswn) Mon 23 Jan 12 18:53
Underlying many of the issues you discuss, it seems to me that there is a fundamental unwillingness to understand, appreciate and acknowledge the complexity of the world we live in. Be it economics, politics, healthcare, climate, technology - the underlying systems complexity is increasing dramatically, while the media, statesmen, policy makers etc insist on the soundbite, the easy answer, the executive summary - and more worrying are supremely confident in their understanding of the system and how to change it for the better. Until we have a big push at understanding complexity - and how to communicate that complexity to the public - there will be very little meaningful progress in any direction. Karim
Bruce Sterling (bruces) Sun 30 Dec 12 01:48
<scribbled by bruces Sun 30 Dec 12 01:49>
Chris Marti (cmarti) Sun 30 Dec 12 06:54
How do you engender an appreciation for complexity? Seems to me that human beings are just not wired for it. We like stories. Linearity. Simple cause and effect with one cause and one effect.
Jeffrey W Kramer (jeffk) Sun 30 Dec 12 09:55
<scribbled by jeffk Sun 30 Dec 12 09:56>
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sun 30 Dec 12 10:46
If you're tempted to post here, this is last year's SOTW topic. Topic 459 is SOTW 2013.
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