I once read that cocaine was God’s way of letting somebody know they had too much money. Quantum physics may be God’s way of saying we are taking ourselves way too seriously. As Kevin Kelly says on Google+ “We are vast and empty… Atom-wise, that is.” This was Kelly’s response to Professor Brian Cox’s BBC Lecture ‘A Night with the Stars’.
The video features the professor, a £Million diamond plus a number of British celebrities who volunteer themselves to be used (embarrassed) in the cause of making a complex area of science more fun and accessible. Apparently the professor is on the receiving end of some criticism for his recent (successful) show ‘The Wonders of the Universe’. I wonder how many of these criticisms emit from academics known to don funny medieval robes from time to time? Ultimately, if folks learn something new about existence from a popular science program then that distant butterfly did flap it’s wings.
Cyberloom’s Sunday Threads are links to just a few of the most thought provoking articles, essays and blog posts I encountered over the previous week. This week’s threads are accompanied by photos from the Art Breaker Exhibition (extended until November 4th) at Claus Ulriza’s Pop Art Labs in Second Life. The pictures here show Bryn Oh‘s Desk Top Computer exhibit.
“No one knows how big a deal avatar-directed cognition will be. Will students routinely dance to learn chemistry in the future? Quite possibly. A student might also become a triangle to learn trigonometry, or a strand of DNA to learn about biology. Will professional nanotechnology engineers become molecular structures in order to refine them? Once again, it seems quite possible.” (Jaron Lanier)
‘Digital prophet’ Kevin Kelly says we are experiencing the most significant period in human history since the invention of language. (Tim Adams)
“The point of technology, I would say, is to create structures that organics cannot. What life is trying to do is to discover all the possible ways to evolve. What we are seeing is that there are possibly minds in the universe that biology cannot get to, but technology might be able to get there. We are making minds that biology can’t make. The long-term trend will be to make as many different kinds of mind as possible, because only in that way can we comprehend the universe.” (Kevin Kelly)
(This reminded me of an earlier post I wrote where I was trying to say that the internet has become so vast it has become a force of nature itself. See The Internet: Is it raw power for Cyberloom’s pontifications!)
… The amount of information flowing through the Internet today is measured in exabytes, or billions of gigabytes. We now create as much data in days as it took us centuries to create in the past.
This information overload has a direct impact on workplace learning. Workers have access to more information than ever before, but often don’t know if it’s the right information or if it’s current. In the industrial workplace, our training programs could prepare us for years of work, but much of what we learn today will be outdated in months or even weeks.
We need to re-think workplace learning for a networked society. Our organizational structures are becoming more decentralized, with individual access to almost unlimited information, distributed work teams, and digital media that can be copied and manipulated infinitely. In the interconnected workplace, who we know and how we find information are becoming more important than what we know.
I will end this post with this quote (by Herbert Simon) which Jarche uses to open his article:
“In the period ahead of us, more important than advances in computer design will be the advances we can make in our understanding of human information processing – of thinking, problem solving, and decision making…” ~ Herbert Simon, Economics Nobel-prize winner (1968)