First Day at School: you get EduRoam Network Access

eduroam_trans

Remember that first day you went to school or university. Exiting, new friends and a whole new world openend up for you. These week that happens to millions of eager, baffled and starry eyed kids and students all over the world.

And when they are registered at school and get their books and scheduals, they receive something very valuable: their EduRoam username and password. It was invented & developed in the Netherlands by Klaas Wierenga and his team from SURFnet, the NL National Research and Education Network (NREN). From Holland its implementation and use in the populus of students on all levels, educators and R&D whizz kids spread to most of the civilised countries of the world.

The value of EduRoam is that you only have to sign in once to a Wi-Fi access point on premises of an university or school, from your laptop or smartphone and then you can enter Wi-Fi everywhere in the world where EduRoam is implemented by just opening your laptop. Or by just switching your smartphone on. So when you visit another education building in Farawayistan, on research conferences, exchange programs or even on your holidays; you can get online. Yes it was also implemented on the huge @SHA2017 hacker camp, for students and academics present.  No more asking for local passwords and logging on with case sensitive hieroglyphs you mislaid or forgot. In essence the student is introduced on that “first day’ to The Seventh Sense (serious connectivity which alters the character of things), vital for the rest of his/her life.

How is that accomplished safely? By strong network authentication. When you open your laptop a link is briefly set up to your own university or school to verify that you are registered there and then you laptop gets access. This takes a few milliseconds. You loose easy function when you graduate, since you are then removed from the schools register.

Why only for students and scholars? It is payed for by the ministries of education in each country, that is why. And this population is a “closed usergroup” in the sense of telecom laws.

csm_Wifi_internet Eduroam

In several countries, like Belgium and The Netherlands, a similar but separate network construction is being rolled out for Civil Servants called “GovRoam”. The civil servants can then access networks in each government buildings in the country. But they do need passwords for the databases and computersystems attached to those networks when they visit.

Klaas Wierenga the inventor of EduRoam is one of Holland Heros, we should be very proud of. Strange that his invention is famous everywhere in the world except in The Netherlands and used by hundreds of millions. Same happened with for instance Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the huge LOFAR radio telescope. Yes, invented in NL !!!

So EduRoam should be celebrated at these First Days in new Schools when the kids get their first serious fast NETWORK ACCESS :-))

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

PS. The formal names are ‘ eduroam ‘ and ‘ govroam ‘ (geeks and coders know that SSID’s are case sensitive), but I judged writing these two words with CapiTals makes them better understandable for the general public.

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Posted in #7thSense, bandwidth, eduroam, govroam, Holland Heroes, Uncategorized, Wi-Fi network access | Leave a comment

DNA: The Code of Life

Link 1 :  for First video

Link 2  : for Second video

Introduction.

At the recent SHA2017 (Still Hacking Anyway) computer hackers camp in Zeewolde (The Netherlands) there was this FANTASTIC two part lecture by Bert Hubert, called “DNA the Code of Life“. Intended to be understandable to people with a computer background instead of the usual biologist – biologist talks.

I recommend it highly, and maybe you can contribute to this field by helping to recognize patterns in the DNA sequence you can download from the link ( several GB ).

The subtitle of the lectures is: ” Reverse Engineering a Four Billion Year Old Software Project

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Global INTERconnection Index

Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 09.43.49

  1. This interesting report, about the growth in the worldwide digital economy, is in Dutch. I quess you can ask Equinix for this report in other languages.

You can download the PDf of this report here ===> INTERconnection index

2. To show the “knotenpunkt function” of The Netherlands in the digital economy, the following tweet is relevant:

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Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 10.40.23

=================

3. Maybe it is better to think beyond Amsterdam and beyond The Netherlands. In practice our river delta is ONE CITY, equal in size to the other megapoli of the world like Paris, London , Shanghai and Mumbai. This delta i have called #EuroDelta and spans over parts of Belgium and Germany too that share the same cultural history of delta people. This map shows what its structure might look like, including a Digital Infrastructure: (c) tristatecity.nl

Tristate

jaap van till, TheConnectivist  (or should i say INTERconnectivist ?)

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About Digital Money Disruption

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 10.16.25

Below I have re-blogged, with permission by the author, an important article : https://hackernoon.com/why-everyone-missed-the-most-mind-blowing-feature-of-cryptocurrency-860c3f25f1fb . The author mentions in it another important fact you should know: ” triple-entry accounting “.

Here are two observations about this article.

  1. IMHO currencies should always have a connection to reality. Money should represent some transferable good / service/ creative effort/  energy spent / trust , otherwise it would become worthless.
  2. It will be inevitable that the possession of “coins” (and therefore power) will be unevenly distributed over the population of the world according to fractal unequal clusters. This was proven for any type of success with the ranking distribution of the Zipf-Mandelbrot Law. It must be a dynamic process with people moving upwards and others moving downwards in the rankings. In other words a fixed 1% elite can not be maintained. And the ranking curve is flattened at the top by the very process that creates it. To say it more compact: The inequality CURVE is stable, whatever measures are taken to make it more equal than roughly C ~ 1/N (N=rank) or the rich trying to fix themselves in their greedy positions for generations. And there will be always an upwards and a downwards change in positions. Tennis champions move up the ladder for a while until they are replaced by better players.

New crypto-coin systems, more fair distribution of wealth and more prosperity for all will have to meet the above two extra conditions,

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

===================reblogged from MEDIUM.com ============

Why Everyone Missed the Most Mind-Blowing Feature of Cryptocurrency

By Daniel Jeffries.

There’s one incredible feature of cryptocurrencies that almost everyone seems to have missed, including Satoshi himself.

But it’s there, hidden away, steadily gathering power like a hurricane far out to sea that’s sweeping towards the shore.

It’s a stealth feature, one that hasn’t activated yet.

But when it does it will ripple across the entire world, remaking every aspect of society.

To understand why, you just have to understand a little about the history of money.

The Ascent of Money

Money is power.

Nobody knew this better than the kings of the ancient world. That’s why they gave themselves an absolute monopoly on minting moolah.

They turned shiny metal into coins, paid their soldiers and their soldiers bought things at local stores. The king then sent their soldiers to the merchants with a simple message:

“Pay your taxes in this coin or we’ll kill you.”

That’s almost the entire history of money in one paragraph. Coercion and control of the supply with violence, aka the “violence hack.” The one hack to rule them all.

When power passed from monarchs to nation-states, distributing power from one strongman to a small group of strongmen, the power to print money passed to the state. Anyone who tried to create their own money got crushed.

The reason is simple:

Centralized enemies are easy to destroy with a “decapitation attack.” Cut off the head of the snake and that’s the end of anyone who would dare challenge the power of the state and its divine right to create coins.

That’s what happened to e-gold in 2008, one of the first attempts to create an alternative currency. Launched in 1996, by 2004 it had over a million accounts and at its peak in 2008 it was processing over $2 billion dollars worth of transactions.

The US government attacked the four leaders of the system, bringing charges against them for money laundering and running an “unlicensed money transmitting” business in the case “UNITED STATES of America v. E-GOLD, LTD, et al.” It destroyed the company by bankrupting the founders. Even with light sentences for the ring leaders, it was game over. Although the government didn’t technically shut down e-gold, practically it was finished. “Unlicensed” is the key word in their attack.

The power to grant a license is monopoly power.

E-gold was free to apply for interstate money transmitting licenses.

It’s just they were never going to get them.

And of course that put them out of business. It’s a living, breathing Catch-22. And it works every time.

Kings and nation states know the real golden rule:

Control the money and you control the world.

And so it’s gone for thousands and thousands of years. The very first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang (260–210 BC), abolished all other forms of local currency and introduced a uniform copper coin. That’s been the blueprint ever since. Eradicate alternative coins, create one coin to rule them all and use brutality and blood to keep that power at all costs.

In the end, every system is vulnerable to violence.

Well, almost every one.

The Hydra

In decentralized systems, there is no head of the snake. Decentralized systems are a hydra. Cut off one head and two more pop-in to take its place.

In 2008, an anonymous programmer, working in secret, figured out the solution to the violence hack once and for all when he wrote: “Governments are good at cutting off the heads of centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”

And the first decentralized system of money was born:

Bitcoin.

It was explicitly designed to resist coercion and control by centralized powers.

Satoshi wisely remained anonymous for that very reason. He knew they would come after him because he was the symbolic head of Bitcoin.

That’s what’s happened every time someone has come forward claiming to be Satoshi or when someone has been “outed” by the news media as Bitcoin’s mysterious creator. When fake Satoshi Craig Wright came out, Australian authorities immediately raided his house. The official reason is always spurious. The real reason is to cut off the head of the snake.

As Bitcoin rises in value, the hunt for Satoshi will only intensify. He controls at least a million coins that have never moved from his original wallets. If VC Chris Dixon is right and Bitcoin rocket to $100,000 a coin, those million coins will shoot up to $100 billion. If it goes even higher, say a $1 million a coin, that would make him the world’s first trillionaire. And that will only bring the hammer down harder and faster on him. You can be 100% sure that black ops units would be gunning for him around the clock.

Wherever he is, my advice to Satoshi is this:

Stay anonymous until your death bed.

But resistance to censorship and violence are only one of a number of incredible features of Bitcoin. Many of those key components are already at work in a number of other cryptocurrencies and decentralized app projects, most notably blockchains.

Blockchains are distributed ledgers, the third entry in the world’s first triple-entry accounting system. And breakthroughs in accounting have always presaged a massive uptick in human complexity and economic growth, as I laid out in my article Why Everyone Missed the Most Important Invention in the Last 500 Years.

But even triple-entry accounting, decentralization and resistance to the violence hack are not the true power of cryptocurrencies. Those are merely the mechanisms of the system, the way it survives and thrives, bringing new capabilities to the human race.

The ultimate feature is one that Bitcoin and current cryptocurrencies have only hinted at so far, a latent feature.

The true power of cryptocurrencies is the power to print and distribute money without a central power.

Maybe that seems obvious, but I assure you, it’s not. Especially the second part.

That power has always rested with the divine right of kings and nation-states.

Until now.

Now that right returns to its rightful owners: The people.

And that will blow open the doors of world commerce, sowing the seeds for Star Trek like abundance economics, leaving the Old World Order of pure scarcity economics in the pages of history books.

There’s just one problem.

Nobody has created the cryptocurrency we actually need just yet.

You see, Satoshi understood the first part of the maxim, the power to print money. What he missed was the power to distribute that money.

The second part is actually the most crucial part of the puzzle. Missing it created a critical flaw in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Instead of distributing the money far and wide, it traded central bankers for an un-elected group of miners.

These miners play havoc with the system, holding back much needed software upgrades like SegWit for years and threatening pointless hard forksin order to drive down the price with FUD and scoop up more coins at a depressed price.

But what if there was a different way?

What if you could design a system that would completely alter the economic landscape of the world forever?

The key is how you distribute the money at the moment of creation.

And the first group to recognize this opportunity and put it into action will change the world.

To understand why you have to look at how money is created and pushed out into the system today.

The Great Pyramid

Today, money starts at the top and flows down to everyone else. Think of it as a pyramid.

In fact, we have a famous pyramid, with a third eye, on the dollar itself.

One of the most cliched arguments against Bitcoin is that it’s a Ponzi or “pyramid” scheme. A pyramid scheme rests on the original creators of the system roping in as many suckers as possible, paying them for enrolling people in the system rather than by offering goods and services. Eventually you run out of people to bring in and the whole things collapses like a house of cards. A Ponzi scheme is basically the same, in that you dupe the original investors with fake returns on their initial investment, a la Bernie Madoff, and then get them to rope in more suckers because they’re so elated by the huge returns.

The irony of course is that fiat currency, i.e. government printed money like the Yen or US dollar, is closer to a pyramid scheme than Bitcoin. Why? Because fiat money is minted at the top of the pyramid by central banks and then “trickled down” to everyone else.

The only problem is, it doesn’t trickle down all that well.

It moves out to a few big banks, who either lend it to people or give it to people for their labor. In fact, having a job or getting a loan are the primary methods that people at the bottom of the pyramid get any of the money. In other words, they trade their current time (with a job) or their future time (with a loan) for that money. It’s just that their time is a limited resource and they can only trade so much of it before it runs out.

Think of economics as a game. Everyone in the system is a player, looking to maximize their advantage and the advantage of their team (a company, their family and friends, etc.) to get more of the money. But to start the game you need to initially distribute the money or nobody can play. Distributing money sets the playing field.

Now if you were in charge of the money, how would you distribute it to the network? You’d want to keep as much of it for yourself as possible, so you’d set the rules to maximize your own personal advantage. Of course you would! That’s what anyone in their right mind would do, maximize their own power to keep it for as long as possible.

That’s precisely what the kings and queens of the ancient world did, and that’s what nation states do today. As Naval Ravikant said in his epic series of tweets on blockchain, today’s networks are run by “kings, corporations, aristocracies, and mobs.” “And the Rulers of these networks [are] the most powerful people in society.”

That’s why every single system in the history of the world has distributed the money in one way:

From the top down.

Because it maximizes the advantage of the kings and mobs at the top.

Unfortunately, that means most of the money never really leaves the top. It stays right there, as wasted and frozen potential that’s never realized. There is little to no incentive for the money to move. Since money is power, hoarding it is literally hoarding more power and nobody would willingly give up that power.

In other words, the game is rigged.

What we need is a way to reset the game.

Up until now, our prospects looked very dim.

For example, we could pass a law, like a Universal Basic Income (UBI). That would give everyone a stream of money, pushing it out across the entire playing field and giving more people a chance to participate in the system. If more people can participate, we unlock all kinds of hidden and untapped value.

How many great inventors never managed to create their next breakthrough because they were stuck driving a bus seven days a week to feed their family, with no hope of free time or any clear path to digging themselves out of debt? How many great writers went to their graves never having written their great novel? How many budding scientists never discovered the cure to cancer or heart disease?

The problem with all of the plans before now, from UBI to socialism (high taxes on the rich to spread the wealth across the game) is that to redistribute the money after it’s already been distributed is nearly impossible. The people with that money rightfully resist its redistribution. And as Margret Thatcher said “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

But what if the money is NOT already distributed?

What if we don’t have to take it from anyone at all?

The inevitable outcome of all fractional reserve lending booms is bust.

That’s the missed opportunity of all of today’s cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are creating new money. And unlike credit markets, which only pretend to expand the money supply, by lending it out 10x with fractional reserve lending, cryptocurrencies are literally printing money. And they aren’t loaning it to people, they’re giving it to them for their service to the network.

It’s like microloans, without the loans.

As Naval said: “Society gives you money for giving society what it wants, blockchains give you coins for giving the network what it wants.”

So instead of giving all the money to a small group of miners, what if we could do better? A lot better?

We can.

I outlined one way in the an article about the Cicada project, How We Deliver a Universal Basic Income Right Now and Save Ourselves from the RobotsThe Cicada design flips the idea of mining on its head. Everyone on the network is a miner and nobody can have more than one miner.

Miners are drafted randomly to keep the network running smoothly. You might be walking along, getting coffee and your phone gets called on to secure the network for a few minutes. After that it goes right back to sleep. As a reward, you might win new coins for doing nothing but having the application on your phone. Simple right?

Because everyone is eventually drafted, everyone gets paid, in essence creating a UBI right now.

And that’s just one way.

If you think about it you can come up with dozens. Oh and don’t get caught up with thinking the only way to do this is with an ID. Lots of ways to randomly draft miners without that too. The key is to free your mind of the “Satoshi box” and think different.

What we really need is to completely gamify the delivery of money, distributing it far and wide at the moment of creation.

Money is a Game. Embrace it.

Give it out as rewards for using apps, or as distributed mining fees, or as shared cuts of the mining fees to organizations that provide value to the network are just a few more ways to do it right. Those are just the tip of the iceberg. There are thousands of ways but we just haven’t been thinking about the problem the right way.

In other words, we missed the real power of Satoshi’s creation: the distribution of money.

The first system that truly gamifies the delivery of money will rocket to exponential growth, upending the current system for good. That will set the initial playing field dynamically and allow players who never would have gotten into the game to compete. The more people who can participate, the more efficient and valuable the network becomes.

“Networks have “network effects.” Adding a new participant increases the value of the network for all existing participants.”

Right now, we’re not adding new participants fast enough to the cryptonets of tomorrow. The system is still vulnerable to the violence hack. Gamified money is the answer to exponential growth.

If the system can grow large enough, fast enough, it will become an unstoppable juggernaut, and the rest of the economic universe will need to come over to the new playing field.

Once the Amazons and Google’s of the world join the playing field, their self-preservation instinct will kick in and they’ll want to protect and expand it. And this new network will behave differently. Instead of rewarding just the people at the top, who’ve been rigging the rules in their favor since the beginning of time, the game will completely reset with a new set of rules.

What’s best for the whole network, not just the few players at the top, is best.

Blockchains are a new invention that allows meritorious participants in an open network to govern without a ruler and without money. They are merit-based, tamper-proof, open, voting systems. The meritorious are those who work to advance the network. Blockchains’ open and merit based markets can replace networks previously run by kings, corporations, aristocracies, and mobs.”

Those that join the network and help it grow will thrive and flourish with it. It will amplify their own value, making it grow faster than at any point in history. Every ounce they give to the system will magnify their own rewards.

By c0ntrast, economies that stand against the network, attempting to cripple it with arbitrary rules, will pay a heavy price. The system will stretch across the globe and only the most essential rules will take root, because in order to upgrade a distributed system, you need vast consensus across the network. Since people can generally only agree on big, essential solutions, no self-defeating, narrow-minded rules will be allowed.

Let’s say that a country decides to restrict ICOs to their citizens altogether or make cryptocurrencies illegal. Instead of killing the network, the rules will blow back on their creators. Only their own people will suffer, as they won’t be able to participate in the explosion of new potential that ICOs bring to the table, draining money out of the economy into rival economies. Even worse, if they make cryptos illegal, they’ll simply drive that money underground, which will keep them from getting tax from their citizens, which will starve them of revenue.

As the system spreads it will put people back in control of their own financial power. No one will be able to take your money from you. And that is a good thing.

Of course, not everyone thinks so. Some folks always worry that people will do bad things with this power, like commit crimes. But people will always do bad things. They do those things now and they always have. Crippling the system for everyone just to get those people is the height of insanity. It has never worked and it never will.

Still, some people will never believe that.

They trust their central powers unquestioningly. All you have to do is wrap up your argument in “protecting the children” or “fighting terrorism” and you can generally fool half of the people half of the time about any terrible policy you want.

Yet I’ve found that people who see central systems as the answer to everything have usually lived in a stable central system for their whole lives.

A few days in an unstable system would change their minds very quickly.

Don’t believe me?

Imagine you lived in Syria right now.

Your central infrastructure is destroyed, as is your money. You don’t want the war, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Now your house is gone, your friends and family are dead, your banks are bombed out and you’re cast out, adrift, homeless and penniless. Even worse, nobody wants you. The world has shifted from open borders to building walls everywhere. You’re not welcome anywhere, you can’t stay where you are and you’re broke.

But what if your money was still there, recorded on the blockchain, waiting for you to download and restore a deterministic wallet and give it the right passphrase to restore it?

How much easier would it be to start your life over?

Cryptocurrencies finally offer a way for us to control our own destiny. For the very first time in the history of the world, we have a way to generate and distribute money without a central power. People will have control over the money they rightfully earned.

And even better, instead of setting the playing field so the game is always rigged, we can set the game up the way it was always meant to be played, with open competition and flexible rules in a dynamic system that allows everyone to compete.

But we need to think big. We need to find a way to distribute the money far and wide without taking it from everyone else. Do that and we change the game forever.

That’s what my team is working on. Want to talk? Find us in DecStack.com.

Centralized money is the ultimate chain.

Cut that chain and you free the world.

=========================end of re-blog========================

Posted in crypto currency, inequality, triple-entry accounting, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Books and other Disruptive Innovations

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(( Sept 5 Link added to HBR article about Disruptive Innovations))

((August 20, 2017 Update: added a must see Video lecture of Tony Seba about Disruptions in Energy and Transportation))

  1. Recently this “Big Books question” which was posed on Instagram by @Project_Knowledge, who has a habit of suspecting many things hey have no knowledge of as being hidden on purpose :

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My friend dr. Kim Veltman, a world famous Librarian, answered it as follows, and shows that it is not hidden knowledge at all:

===== start of answer==========

In mediaeval times the size of books related to their subject.

A piece of paper folded into two was called a  2o or more normally a folio. This was typically for religious books especially Bibles and legal books (Theology and Law being the equivalents of graduate school learning).

A piece of paper folded in four was called a 4o or quarto and was typically for scientific and medical books.

A piece of paper folded in 8 was called a o or octavo and this, invented by Erasmus and Aldus Manutius, is the precursor of the modern pocketbook.

There were smaller works folded into 16 or even 32.

There were also larger books usually called folio maxima or extravaganza. The books in the picture look like typical folio maxima. Although the photograph is poor the topic is almost certainly music.  In the picture the reader looks to be a nun. I am too unversed to recognize her order.

The books were so large because they had to be read by  a number of monks standing round a lecturn: 

(click here to get link to the source for this painting)

 Modern mediaeval singers:

A picture from 1472 shows such a book being made in a sciptorium:

=========================end of answer==========

I think this answers the question. There is nothing mysterious or hidden about “big books”. They are ancient handwork and present in old churches and monastries, carefully preserved from decay.

2. But something else has happened during the TRANSITION from written words in single copy books by (groups of) monks in Catholic monasteries AND printed words in books, allowing many copies.

It is an example of a “Disruptive Innovation”. Not only had the Church the monopoly of writing and copying books but their superiors (bishops or even the King himself) had to give the explicit permission to write and publish a book. Such permission should be visible in one of the first pages of each book. By the way, the communist party of the USSR took over this habit from the church. Often something Lenin had said would be referred to on page one to legitimise the book.

Sure at first the people of the printing press could be forced to continue the control of the church over printing. But the speed and cost of printing presses invented by Gutenberg, did overtake the technology of handwritten books. The church tried all kinds of tricks to try to keep the monopoly. One of theses was buying up all paper production !! So also non church printers could buy paper for only those books that where permitted. Certainly not those on the Index of forbidden book kept by the Vatican.

boekdrukkers

But in cities less obedient to the Vatican like Amsterdam, Delft, Keulen and Basel the printing presses did produce books, without permission of a church. And for a much wider and lay-audience, after a while even in non-latin languages. Sure. at first only religious and learned people could read (and only in the universal language: Latin). And not everybody was happy reading and writing was no longer for a small elite of merchants, clergy and noblemen, who had a personal library containing nearly all books printed at that time ! So the “printing press” disrupted both the business plans of the monks as the authority of the bishops and kings.

Now the “printed word industry” it-self is disrupted by publishing on the Internet. Interesting is that their copyright maffia is now using the same arguments against the unstoppable digital copying as the church did when they where fighting as rebels to get their presses working to churn out books and pamphlets.  Prof. Dr. P.B. Hugenholtz of the UvA has published about this.

3. So linked with technical disruptions is waves of emancipation. People can suddenly with cheaper technology produce and consume things themselves without asking permission !! There are many examples like the car industry. Henry Ford had to wait 10 years to be able to sell his affordable T-Ford car, because the manufacturers of the then expensive cars banded together to establish a patent on car manufacture. They did not want cars to become too cheap !! A formal analysis of the process of disrupting can be found in the famous book by prof Clay Christensen “ the Innovators Dilemma“.

disruptive innovation Christensen

He describes cases of companies who resist having to jump from Sustained Innovation product families to Disruptive Innovation improvement PROCESSES, which show exponential growth (fixed doubling time W(x) = y months and virality V= 1/W).

There are two warning signals I have to add however:

(a) The upward viral growth curves can suddenly bend to more horizontal lines when saturation is reached. When the target population all has/had the virus. There is allways a hot debate on how big the target population is. Billions of people or only a couple of thousand geeks? Do they have to be able to read first before they can DIY ?

(b) The people innovators / inventors / rebels hate most are other and more new NEW pioneers/ innovators & rebels. Why? If you have just established your innovation and it works in practice, you hate people who propose something which is evidently even BETTER. Edison had just invested his whole capital into a direct current DC generator and powergrid to light houses and stores in NY with his lightbulbs. An young engineer Nicola Tesla designed an Alternating Current (AC) powergrid which would save on energy transport loss. Edison fired Tesla and did several nasty things to try to stop the spread of Tesla’s brilliant idea’s.

4. I recommend you take time to see the Youtube video of Stanford professor Tony Seba about disruptions in Infrastructures for Energy and Transportation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0 

Screen Shot 2017-08-20 at 08.46.39

This lecture also shows that disruptions are no longer only about “the next best thing” coming up but also about PLATFORMS that handle a MIX of things, functions, facilities, APPs and services. Smartphones, for instance, now handle a lot of functions that where performed by separate devices and their own stovepipe of facilities. And they did disrupt and eat up whole industries like the one that was for music distribution. Remember grammophone and CD’s ??

5. Disruptions in the ICT & Communication Infrastructures.  Another more recent example of the “resistance to technological innovation” theatre is the decades long fight and obstructions of those semi-monopolies that run own the copper cables on public grounds: Telco’s and Cableco’s against installation and countrywide rollout of Fiber-to-the-Premises ( FttP, FttFarm and FttB) for Gbps communication streams.

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 11.37.06

Why is it disrupive? With a group of local friends you can buy Optic Fiber cable yourself and hang them overhead or dig them into trenches to get serious and future proof internet connections for your home, office or farm. Your family will love it !! And it is less expensive and less error proof than what providers offer. And yes you can connect to your FttP termination box in your home: Wi-Fi and other wireless things (including my optical inhouse links coming up).  ((question: is it “fiber” or “fibre” ?))

Plastic buizen

Soon the present expensive and powerhungry VDSL and Docsys 3.x boxes will be disrupted and stored in…. modern monasteries.

PS Rifkin ,  as earlier remarked in these blogpages stresses that 3 Infrastructures are crucial for societies future : The Infrastructure for transport of Energy, The Infrastructure for transport of Goods, The Infrastructure for the transport of Information.  My advice is : CONNECT TO THE FLOW !! Position yourself along the river, and watch things float by 🙂

And organise and connect your company is such a way that it can react VERY FAST to unexpected external changes and inventions. Learn faster than your competitors, from what you do.

PS. 1 (( Sept 5 2017)) The Harvard Business Review (HBR) published an interesting article about how a disruption of your business is now much harder to fight than in the days Clayton Christensen published his book ===> link to HBR article 

” Why Preventing Disruption in 2017 Is Harder Than It Was When Christensen Coined the Term “

 

Jaap van Till, TheConnectivist

 

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A Lecture of dr. Kim Veltman

Kim verhaal1

Dr. Veltman is an amazing Maestro Culturalis. One of the few very learned men on this planet. For that reason I have assigned to him the task of Chief Librarian of Corridoria. One of his own masterpieces is the book about Alphabets and their background in cosmology. I recommend that eBook very strongly. A paper version is under preparation.

Kim autobkim verhaal

On September 6, 2016, he presented the following Lecture:

Download====>  2017 The Universe and the Multiverse. From Matching to Cross-Matching  Reproduced in part below.

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

==================Copy of the lecture paper- only first part====

Kim H. Veltman

“Opening Keynote: The Universe and the Multiverse: From Matching to Cross-Matching,” Human-Computer Interaction, Tourism and Cultural Heritage (HCITOCH 2017). Bologna, 6-8 September, 2016: http://www.ainci.com/HCITOCH-2017/workshop_HCITOCH_2017.html

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Abstract

There are different goals of art and image making. This paper considers seven, but focusses on two. The pre-historical and ancient world knew three: connecting, ordering and imitation (mimesis). The Renaissance developed a new goal of matching: copying and representing the universe, which became linked with perspective, truth and objective science. The 19th century introduced two further goals; mixing and exploring. Since 1996, there has been a seventh goal: cross-matching: one copies items in the universe to cross-match them with objects in a simulated world or metaverse.

A superficial consequence of this new goal is a surge in special effects in cinema: e.g. the bullet dodging protagonist of the Matrix (1999) or Jake Sully in Avatar (2009). At a deeper level, the rivalry between matching and cross-matching leads to a rivalry between reality and simulation; between matching of the universe and cross-matching with the metaverse; between reality/truth and illusion. A second consequence, has been an enormous surge in publications on perspective. One might expect a similar surge in methods to distinguish the two worlds. Instead, protagonists in social networks and social media are actively attempting to confuse, blur and conflate distinctions between these worlds. The paper explores possible consequences for future interfaces. Most discussions are in terms of new possibilities for communication, entertainment, gaming as if this were merely one further step towards an Internet of Things (IOT). Our concern is different: to warn that these developments threaten our concepts of truth and indeed endanger fundamental premises of what it means to be human. We need new forms of reality and truth meters.

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  1. Introduction

 

Every society has approaches to image making. This paper considers seven (figure 1-2). In rare cases, they are iconoclastic and forbid image making altogether. Traditionally, early societies tend to follow a goal of connecting: whereby the image is less a copy of the original and serves to connect image and original via the trance of a shaman, or sympathetic and/or other forms of magic. The Greco-Roman world brought two other goals into focus: ordering and imitation (mimesis). The Renaissance introduced a fourth goal, which many have assumed was merely a rebirth of the earlier imitation, but was not. Mimesis imitated a series of features in individuals with no commitment to copying the features of any given individual. Matching was committed to copying the features of a single individual person or object. This was much more than a simple reproduction process of a given person/object. In establishing a fixed relation between person/object, picture plane and observer, perspective led to an objective relation between individual and the world. The good news was that it established an objective relation with the world that proved vital for the rise of early modern science. The less good news was that the role of individual observer was reduced to an insignificant vanishing point.

The 19th and early 20th centuries introduced two new goals. One was mixing, whereby artists played with the traditional laws of transparency and opacity. The other was exploring, which included the mental world, the perceptual world, and non-realistic art. In 1996, there was an unexpected development. Paul Debevec, invented a new method of reflection mapping. On the surface, it began simply as a clever method, whereby one could use the reversibility principle of perspective in photographs in order to reconstruct the original space. However, the same technology could be adapted such that instead of creating a new matching with the physical world, one could create a cross-matching with a simulated world.

This breakthrough has seen a surge in special effects in cinema, some of which will be noted. But it is the philosophical implications that are of interest. Cross-matching is not merely another goal. It competes with and potentially threatens to replace matching. In theoretical terms, this would mean replacing the quest to copy and replicate the physical world (universe) with creating a simulated world (metaverse). Since we live as physical beings in a physical world this is likely to remain theory to some extent but its potential implications are nonetheless profound.

Of concern, is that the champions of social media, notably, Facebook, are determined to confuse and conflate the physical and simulated worlds to the extent that we are no longer able to determine which is which. There is a quest to interface directly with our thoughts. The rhetoric is a quest for direct brain to brain communication. In practice, this means that those who control the technology can listen in and spy even on our thoughts and dreams. As some have already noted, this poses dangers of direct AI propaganda.

More problematic is that this erodes fundamental definitions of being human, which have traditionally distinguished between thought, word and deed. If there is no longer a clear distinction between reality and virtual, and even thoughts and dreams can be influenced, then the way is open for dystopian visions such as Minority Report (2002) and Inception (2010). And there are more serious problems. The realm of thought, has traditionally been the realm of considering alternatives, of choosing between good and evil. A thought is potential, a word is spoken, one step closer to existing, but still merely a possibility. ((Figure 1 and 2 not reproduced here, see downloadable paper, above)) An Oxford debate can happily discuss the pros and cons of murdering a dictator or even a politician without the slightest intention of wrongdoing. Only a deed is done and technically, in the past, only deeds were criminal offences and subject to legal action. If the three worlds of thought, word and deed are treated interchangeably, and their distinctions obscured and erased, then the traditional domain of free-will is obscured and erased: there is no longer a distinction between an errant thought and an errant deed.[i] Man would no longer have real free-will and be reduced to another item in the Internet of Things: a device that can be hacked, switched on or off by a non deus ex machina. To guard against this, new tools are needed.

  1. Connecting, Ordering and Imitation (Mimesis)

From the dawn of human marking and art c.90,000 B.C. until the heights of Greek culture in the 5th century B.C. there were effectively three goals of art. Most of pre-history was dominated by connecting: creating a relation between an image and the depicted person/animal/object in order to affect and control that person/animal/object. While this goal required being able to recognise the object in question, there was no incentive to create a one-to-one correspondence. Indeed, there were incentives against this. A one-to-one correspondence would, for instance, connect with a single deer. Typically, the goal was to hunt a number of deer. So, a generic image was likely to be more efficient than a carefully realistic image of a specific deer. This same logic applied whether the hunted object was a bison, a horse or some other animal.

By around 4,000 B.C. another goal of art has come into focus although its origins can be traced to the Indus Valley cultures of c.8,000 B.C. People had started to make geometrical figures and symbols, ranging from simple crosses and stars to complex forms. Typically, they entailed some aspects of orientation: 3 directions as in the 3 parts of the day, the 3 seasons; 4 directions as in the 4 cardinal points; 8 directions as in the 4 cardinal and 4 cross-quarter points linked with the 8-fold path. There was no attempt at a precise one-to-one correspondence just as a map does not attempt to render every tree in a forest let alone every piece of grass in a field, but like a map, it offers basic clues about orientation in an otherwise confusing world.

The rise of imitation (mimesis) in ancient Greece marked a new chapter in the history of image making. On the surface, it resembled copying. But the goal was more elusive. It was a not a question of copying a single person or object, but rather of copying the ideal traits of that category: i.e. there was no interest in copying the features of a given woman or a given charioteer, but rather in capturing the ideal beauty of the woman in question or the ideal qualities of a charioteer. The method was effective. It seemed to capture the essence of Venus, without limiting Venus to a single statue or portrait. In stage scenery, it captured the idea of depth, without committing itself to depth from a specific position. It was a portrait of idealized scenic space, rather than a record of physical space. The ideal world, the world of the mind, the worlds of dreams were worthy goals but in melding the subjective and objective they precluded any simple, objective rendering of the physical world. The ideal world of the mind continued to have precedence over the physical world. Indeed, in the neo-Platonic tradition the physical world represented a descent into matter, something less, sometimes even something evil.

  1. Matching

On the surface, all this changed with Renaissance. According to Auerbach, in his classic, Mimesis,[ii] the real impetus for change lay in the Christian concept of creatural realism: God had created the earth so it was created in his image, was real and worthy of study. Not mentioned by Auerbach, were older roots. The Indian Pancha-tantra had introduced a corpus of animal

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  1. Coherent Space-Time
  2. Coherent Space, Different Times
  3. Real Events, Fictive Spaces, Different Times
  4. Real Objects, Fictive Spaces
  5. Real Space in Foreground, Imaginary Space in Background
  6. Seemingly real space created by spirit (imagination)
  7. Real Figures representing Mythological Figures in Metaphorical Spaces

Figure 3. Seven relationships of space-time resulting from perspective.

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tales that inspired Aesop’s Fables in Greece, provided the structure for Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Also, not mentioned by Auerbach, was that the roots of this new approach lay partly in Arabic science: Alfarabi, Al-Kindi and Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) all assumed that the visible world was real and that the challenge lay in establishing criteria for the verification of sight.

But it was a French Pope at Viterbo, Clement IV, in the mid-1250s, who gave a new direction to Western thought. He commissioned Roger Bacon (Franciscan) to write the Opus Maius, reconciling religion, philosophy, mathematics, and science. He also commissioned Thomas Aquinas (Dominican) to write a Summa of all knowledge. He gave his blessing to the Guelf, nouveau riche, business faction competing with the Ghibellines and specifically favoured the establishment of private banks. A short-term consequence, was Giotto’s new approach to art at Assisi, Padua and Santa Croce in Florence. A mid-term consequence was that bankers became patrons to chapels and to artists. Within two centuries, the topic of paintings had shifted from Old and New Testament scenes and especially the life of Christ to include the lives of saints, often in contemporary contexts, surrounded by local patrons (bankers), politicians, poets and artists. Whereas mediaeval art had typically had a gold background to symbolize the realm of the eternal, Renaissance paintings increasingly recorded the realities of everyday life, often anachronistically.

  • Multiple Matching

 

The usual version of the Renaissance story is that artists discovered perspective, that this transformed their art and their world view: that it established a new objectivity linking observer, picture plane and object that became one of the foundations of early modern science. This rhetoric, while very attractive, is simplistic. Yes, linear perspective did enable a one-to-one correspondence between object, picture plane and observer. Brunelleschi’s panels of the Baptistery of San Giovanni and the Piazza della Signoria are concrete examples. But the same method also introduced ideal cityscapes and at least 6 other relationships in terms of space and time (fig. 3). In other words, contrary to claims of Panofsky, Renaissance perspective did not usher in a single response to time and space.

  • Tools versus Humans

 

The popular story about Renaissance perspective is that it brought a new concept of the individual; made the individual the centre of everything: man is the measure of all things in the tradition of Protagoras. Plato had interpreted this to mean that there was no absolute truth.[iii] Philosophers and historians of the Renaissance (e.g. Cassirer, Panofsky) claimed that the new individualism went hand in hand with a concept of infinity, homogeneous space and a new world view:[iv] i.e. the distinction between of subject/subjectivism and object/objectivism went hand in hand.

It is true that individual portraits now entered religious paintings and increasingly became an independent category in its own right. But as the new technique gained acceptance, the number of tools used to record and depict the physical world from camera obscura and camera lucida, to pantograph, perspective box, zograscope and finally the camera increased dramatically. Each of these new devices established a more direct connection between original object/scene and its representation, with an ever-lesser role for the individual. Indeed, the camera reduced the individual’s role to focussing lenses and the automatic camera removed even that role. By the late 19th century, artists saw cameras as passive devices and their own role as active interpreters of nature.

  1. Mixing and Exploring

 

Accordingly, late 19th and early 20th century artists introduced two new goals of art. One was mixing, whereby the strict rules of transparent window and opaque wall were no longer followed, resulting in paintings, which mixed realism and non-realism. Others went forth and began exploring perceptual space, mental space and even chance.

  1. New Trends in Philosophy

 

Ever since the times of Plato and Aristotle there was an ongoing opposition of idealism and realism. Kant had sought to show that this was a false dichotomy and his a-priori categories were an attempt to give knowledge a firmer basis. His answers did not provide any final resolution. Instead, it inspired new debates. Hegel, went in one direction claiming that the whole of history could be seen as a quest for a transcendental idealism. The neo-Kantians, led by Hermann Cohen, and subsequently Ernst Cassirer at Marburg, took another approach. The whole of history was a gradual movement away from simple realism to recognizing the importance of abstract symbols. Cassirer’s masterpiece was a Philosophy of Symbolic Forms (1921-1929) with respect to language, myth and (phenomenology of) knowledge. But Cassirer’s complete solution was not completely accepted:

In the Spring of 1929 Cassirer took part in a famous disputation with Martin Heidegger in Davos, Switzerland, where Heidegger explicitly took Cohen’s neo-Kantianism as a philosophical target and defended his radical new conception of an “existential analytic of Dasein” in the guise of a parallel interpretation of the philosophy of Kant [Heidegger 1929]. Cassirer, for his part, defended his own new understanding of Kant in the philosophy of symbolic forms — against Heidegger’s insistence on the ineluctability of human finitude — by appealing to genuinely objectively valid, necessary and eternal truths arising in both moral experience and mathematical natural science (see [Friedman 2000] [Gordon 2010]).[v]

This was much more than a debate between two learned scholars:

In Heidegger’s view, Descartes and those who followed him avoided the most important question of how or in what way we come to be in the world. Knowledge, for Descartes, preceded being, and for Heidegger this constituted a perversion of the correct order of interrogation. Thus, the perspectival picture with its Cartesian “point of view” would be an entirely inadequate metaphor for either being or understanding precisely because it posits an epistemological solution to an ontological question (it tells us how we see without asking why we see).[vi]

Heidegger’s approach challenged not only Cassirer, but nearly five hundred years of philosophical interpretation, which had seen the rise of linear perspective in the Renaissance as a starting point for Western individualism, art and science. As Massey has noted, in Heidegger’s approach, perspective was “the track of foresight,”[vii] not a physical technique for representation, but a mental attitude; not a visual method entailing the eyes, but a philosophical, hermeneutical method. As Martin Jay has noted, this was part of a larger anti-ocular movement in the 20th century.[viii] Heidegger’s teacher, Husserl explored these themes more dramatically in The crisis of European science and transcendental philosophy (1936, 1954):[ix]

According to Husserl, Renaissance perspective had introduced an antagonism between subjective and mathematical space. Perspective thus vacillated between two seemingly contradictory interpretations: one which had its accent on the eye as a centre of projection and focussed on distortions as in anamorphoses; the other which emphasized the perspectival vanishing point of geometrical-mathematical bodies.

The Galileian world view had linked science with mathematical space with the result that one had only objects without perspectival viewpoints. There was no room left for perceptual space. Husserl was concerned with creating a transcendental subjectivity which brought human beings back into the centre of experience, defining the I as a consciousness that enters perspectivally into a polarity between self and object and is thus present in every act. Perspective in this sense thus became linked with the problem of life and presence (Präsenz) became one of the reasons for perspectival consciousness, which affected both space and time.[x]

Three years later, Novotny wrote on Cezanne and the End of Scientific Perspective (1939).[xi] Increasingly abandoned by artists, attacked by philosophers, it seemed as if the days of Renaissance linear perspective and the goal of matching were coming to an end.

The second world passed. New movements in art continued. The Dada movement was associated with nihilism. Another strand noted that “Chance must be recognized as a new stimulus to artistic creation.”[xii] Some tried stochastic painting.[xiii] Abstract expressionism led to abstract art. The experiments in exploring continued: from artists who used nude bodies dragged over canvases to serve as painters in performance art (Yves Klein), to artists who simply threw paint at canvases (Jackson Pollock). There have been anti-art[xiv] and anti-anti-art movements (e.g. Stuckism).[xv] Arnason has discussed many of these in his standard History of Modern Art.[xvi]

Notes

[i] For another discussion see the author’s Dreaming, Seeing, Feeling, Thinking, Saying, Doing. 2012, Unpublished: http://sumscorp.com/new_models_of_culture/culture/news_385.html

Cf. “New Interfaces,” Workshop 12: Patterns of Disappearance, I-Cubed ( Intelligent Information Interfaces) Spring Days, Athens, March 2000: http://vmmi.sumscorp.com/articles/pdf/2000%20New%20Interfaces.pdf

[ii] Erich Auerbach, Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature written 1935, published 1946, Bern: A. Francke Verlage.

[iii] Protagoras: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protagoras

[iv] Ernst Cassirer, Individuum und Kosmos in der Philosophie der Renaissance, Leipzig ; Berlin : B.G. Teubner, 1927. This appeared in the same year as Panofsky’s Perspektive als Symbolische Form.

[v] Cassirer and Heidegger: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cassirer/

[vi] Lyle Massey in John Jeffries Martin, The renaissance world, London: Routledge, p. 67 https://books.google.nl/books?id=hHscBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA67&lpg=PA67&dq=Heidegger,+An+Introduction+to+Metaphysics,+trans.+R.+Manheim+(New+York:+Doubleday,+1961),+p.+99.+In+Heidegger%E2%80%99s+view,+Descartes+and+those+who+followed+him+avoided+the+most+important+question+of+how+or+in+what+way+we+come+to+be+in+the+world.+Knowledge,&source=bl&ots=usEiqFzhqQ&sig=0nKbiZS5odvnUyJ3f4KWvnaloFk&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Heidegger%2C%20An%20Introduction%20to%20Metaphysics%2C%20trans.%20R.%20Manheim%20(New%20York%3A%20Doubleday%2C%201961)%2C%20p.%2099.%20In%20Heidegger%E2%80%99s%20view%2C%20Descartes%20and%20those%20who%20followed%20him%20avoided%20the%20most%20important%20question%20of%20how%20or%20in%20what%20way%20we%20come%20to%20be%20in%20the%20world.%20Knowledge%2C&f=false

[vii] Ibid:

According to Heidegger: “We call it the ‘perspective’ the track of foresight. Thus we shall see not only that being is not understood in an indeterminate way, but that the determinate understanding of being moves in a certain pre-determined perspective…We have become immersed (not to say lost) in this perspective, this line of sight which sustains and guides our understanding of being.

Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics, trans. R. Manheim (New York: Doubleday, 1961), p. 99.

[viii] Martin Jay, Downcast eyes: the denigration of vision in twentieth-century French thought, Berkeley; London: University of California Press, c1993.

[ix] Husserl: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crisis_of_European_Sciences_and_Transcendental_Phenomenology

[x] Kim H. Veltman, Literature of Perspective, 2017, In press, p. 294.

[xi] Fritz Novotny, Cézanne und das Ende der wissenschaftlichen Perspektive, Wien:Schroll, 1938

[xii] Dada: https://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/course/student_projects/Kristin/Kristin.html

[xiii] Ibid.

[xiv] Anti-Art: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-art

[xv] Stuckism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuckism

[xvi] H.H. Arnason, Elizabeth C. Mansfield, History of Modern Art, Boston: Pearson, 2013, 7th edition

Our interest here is neither to challenge this account, nor attempt to offer a detailed supplement. Rather our concern is to draw attention to two paradoxes. First, notwithstanding all the trends away from realism in the 20th century, realism has remained important. Second, notwithstanding all the attacks on linear perspective, linear perspective has remained important. Indeed, there were more publications in the 20th century than in the five previous centuries (15th to 19th combined). Even more amazing, there have also been more publication in the first 17 years of the 21st century than in the whole of those previous five centuries combined. A tentative answer to the explain the first paradox is that historians in the second half of the 20th century continued and developed the view that Renaissance perspective had inaugurated a new chapter in Western art and science. Moreover, the principles of perspective became fundamental tools of electronic media in the form of computer graphics, virtual reality and augmented reality. To explore the reasons for the second paradox is the focus of the latter part of this paper. The one sentence answer is that perspective, which was fundamental to the quest for matching the physical world (universe), now became pivotal for cross-matching: developing simulated reality (the metaverse). 6. Cross-Matching There is every evidence that the new trend towards cross-matching began simply as a quest for a more efficient algorithm to capture the perspectival information available in pictures. In 1996, Paul Debevec, completed a doctoral thesis on reflection mapping. In 1997, the Campanile Movie demonstrated the potentials of the new system. Fiat Lux (1999) brought to light other potentials. Meanwhile, a spherical light stage (1998) for capturing all aspects of light and shade in physical objects was developed. This made it possible to reproduce all lighting effects in the physical world. 6.1 Practical Consequences for Movies The practical consequences for movies became apparent very quickly. It made possible the amazing bullet dodging manoeuvre in The Matrix (1999). It inspired a series of technical breakthroughs such as the protagonists in Pirates of the Caribbean (2003), Spiderman 2 (2004), Superman Returns (2006) and Avatar (2009). This spinoff in the form of more dramatic entertainment is only one aspect of a much larger phenomenon. 6.2 Digital Doubles Already prior to Debevec’s innovations, there was a trend towards virtual characters: There had been an increasing discussion of virtual actors, virtual thespians, and digital actors. The terms now became more numerous: “virtual spokespeople, virtual spokesperson, virtual actors, realistic 3d characters, virtual representatives, avatars and virtual avatars, virtual patient, and virtual humans. The new technology also introduced a further twist to these trends. There were now digital doubles. The British actor Peter Cushing played the Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars (1977) movie. The actor died in 1994. He was “brought back to life” through a digital double in a new Star Wars movie, Rogue One (2017). Hence, not only was there a danger of mistaking digital versions of Emily with the real person, Emily, but also a danger of mistaking a digital version of a dead person as still being alive. As a result, there was ultimately no regular means of distinguishing actual characters from digitally recreated characters. Admittedly we enter films with a general mindset that they represent a realm of the fictive and imaginative, but even so, we liked to maintain a sense of being able to tell where reality ends and the fictive begins. With the latest developments, this is no longer possible. It is instructive to follow that advances made in the past decades between F/X (1986), F/X2 (1991), The Illusionist (2006), Now You See Me (2013), and Now You See Me 2 (2016). This will no doubt lead to a new chapter in the history of special effects in movies. While obviously important, this is not our concern here, which is not so much with new technologies that imitate the reality of the physical world, as new strategies designed to undermine our distinctions between physical and virtual world; between natural universe and man-made metaverse. 7. Social Networks The advent of Second Life as a social network (2003) is part of this trend. Users create virtual real-estate in a virtual world. Initially these were very crude. Some of these are purely phantasy worlds, not infrequently with a sense of humour: e.g. the Jolly Blue Giantess (fig. 1). Some entailed imaginary combat scenarios with samurai (fig.2) reminiscent of role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. Meanwhile, others create exteriors and interiors (figs. 3-4) which are so realistic that they could easily be photographs of the physical world. In these cases, it is difficult to tell whether it is a scene in the physical world or a vision of an imaginary world. Second Life also entails Machinima “real-time computer graphics engines to create a cinematic production,” once again eroding simple distinctions between real and virtual. 7.1. Internet of Things and Spying One of the disturbing developments of the past decades has been that every advance in new communications has been paralleled in new advances qua encroachment of our personal sphere. The Internet of Things (IoT) promises vast progress in this domain. But every new gadget that comes under the influence of IoT is also a gadget that can be turned off at will, where we are no longer in control of the gadgets, which we assume are under our control. This trend is made the more frightening because increasingly our actions are being tracked without our explicit consent. Google tracks our Internet searches. Google, has funding from the CIA and NSA and hence they too are privy to our searches, as they are presumably privy to our telephone, mobile, e-mail, and Skype communications. This is at the “obvious” level. More disturbing is evidence that smart TVs now have hidden microphones and cameras that track our conversations, gestures and reactions while we are watching television in the “privacy” of our homes. We may think we are in the privacy of our homes, but increasingly we are being followed, stalked, tracked, recorded, sometimes with a view to being subliminally influenced. 8. Social Media One might have expected social media to serve as a buffer zone or mediating factor in resisting this melding of real and fictive zones. In fact, the masterminds of social media are seriously intent on eroding clear distinctions between physical reality and virtual reality. 8.1. 6.2. Facebook In Australia, university students add noses and ears to their physical faces in real world environments (fig.5.). Masks (Greek persona, cf. person, personality) have always been a central part of human activity, but were typically used on special occasions, e.g. masked balls and carnivals. Today, this face masking is becoming used in everyday life. In the virtual world, similar images occur as part of Zuckerberg’s vision for augmented reality under the heading of enhanced objects. (fig. 6). Similar images occur in the context of Facebook Spaces (fig.7). Other images from Facebook Spaces appear to be deliberate attempts to conflate the boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds. Real faces appear as cartoons in a space with both physical and virtual elements (fig. 8). Figure 1 -2 Jolly Blue Giantess and Samurai in Second Life Figure 3-4 Second Life Exterior and Interior Figures 5-6. Australian university students; in real life; Facebook Effects Figures 7-8. Facebook Spaces 8.2. Brain to Brain Communication Zuckerberg’s real goals for Facebook entail brain interfaces: Facebook hopes to use optical neural imaging technology to scan the brain 100 times per second to detect thoughts and turn them into text. Meanwhile, it’s working on “skin-hearing” that could translate sounds into haptic feedback that people can learn to understand like braille. …. “The true breakthrough will come when the real and virtual worlds can mix freely, wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, so that the virtual world simply becomes part of our everyday reality,” said Abrash. “That will require AR glasses and those will be much more technologically challenging than VR headsets. In fact, the set of technologies needed to build them doesn’t yet exist.” If Facebook had such a brain interface, it would mean that we could communicate from brain to brain. It would also mean that Facebook could intercept our thoughts, spy on our thoughts and even subliminally insert thoughts into our stream of consciousness: not unlike the personalized, targeted messages already in place on our computer screens today, but at a deeper level. The film Inception (2010) explored one dimension of such possible interventions. A new smart glove can translate sign language. The bridges between inner and outer are increasing. The official story is that brain-interfaces, originally developed for mentally-ill persons, will be used in the realm of consumer electronics. The military is funding brain-interface research to control feelings of mentally-ill people, but which could, potentially, be used equally on healthy individuals. There are competing versions. BrainCo is working on a Brain Machine Interface (BMI) as is Elon Musk’s company: Neuralink. Dr. Michael Persinger (Laurentian University) has developed a God Helmet. DARPA is also working on an implantable neural interface: The interface would serve as a translator, converting between the electrochemical language used by neurons in the brain and the ones and zeros that constitute the language of information technology….The goal is to achieve this communications link in a biocompatible device no larger than one cubic centimeter in size. This theme is well known in science fiction. In the X-Files, “FBI Agent Dana Scully discovers an implant set under the skin at the back of her neck which can read her every thought and change memory through electrical signals that alter the brain chemistry.” There is a game with an ARI (Added Reality Interface) supposedly used by the FBI. More disturbing is that the FBI, in conjunction with the secret services, is developing synthetic telepathy and psychotronic weapons. DARPA already had a 1974 patent with “an apparatus and method for remotely monitoring and altering brain waves with radar.” The NSA has developed Remote Neural Monitoring (RNM), which is linked to earlier MK Ultra efforts. There is now Active Anti-Psychotronic (AAP) software such as Mind Guard. In the late 1990s, there were “jokes” about a boy seeing his friend drowning in a pond, pressing the escape button on his game console and wondering why it was not helping the situation. In a world where persons are no longer able to distinguish between real and virtual, this so-called joke could become deadly serious. Some of my younger friends assure me that I see these developments in naïve, binary terms. They assure me that they are very conscious of when they are playing in the virtual and when they are playing for real. They speak of having prismatic personalities which change constantly. Even so, such a mixing of real and virtual, while rhetorically attractive, poses great dangers, because it erodes traditional distinctions between thought, word and deed. 8.3. Thought, Word, Deed Already in ancient India there were clear distinctions between deed, word and thought (Sanskrit: kaya, vac, citta). In ancient Persia, this sequence was reversed to thought, word, deed. Thoughts are often fleeting, and random. Words are usually planned. Deeds are traditionally the only one of these three that had legal consequences. One could think about killing; one could theoretically say: I am going to kill so and so but only if one physically did the deed was one a criminal. Films such as Minority Report (2002) explored the dangers of a possible world in which technology could predict actions based on thoughts: quietly forgetting that thoughts are the realm where alternatives are considered and traditionally the realm where free-will leads to a triumph of good over evil. In a world, where possible thoughts are conflated with actual actions, one is removing the role of free-will and effectively narrowing one’s concept of humanity to a simplistic behaviourism, where thinking or speaking are equal to doing. At the frontiers of research, a new method called Brain Fingerprinting, is claiming to achieve the goals of Minority Report in real life. 9. Universe versus Metaverse Fantasy worlds have a long history. In a sense, Jacob van Ruisdael’s 150 paintings of Norwegian rivers and mountains were a form of virtual reality, depicting scenes which he had never visited and which he only knew second-hand through his friend, Allaert van Everdingen. Much of cinema could be seen as an escape module into possible and fictive worlds. And yet, the past decades have brought a new dimension. In the past, it was clear where the reality of the universe and the fictive simulated world of the metaverse began and ended. Today, those distinctions are increasingly being blurred. Fictive worlds are competing with the physical world, to the extent that many assume that the fictive world will hold precedence. One reaction has been to suggest that film, traditionally an entertainment medium, might be a candidate for representing reality at large. The objectivity of the Renaissance is being re-interpreted: Our current understanding of architectural representation recalls that of the Renaissance perspectival painting. As Merleau-Ponty points out in Eye and Mind, to the men of the Renaissance this depth was a window. The Renaissance technique encouraged painting to freely produce experiences of depth (Plate 1). These techniques were false however in the way they pretended to bring an end to painting’s quest and history, to found once and for all an exact and infallible area of painting. They wanted to forget the perspectiva naturalis in favor of a perspectiva artificialis which was capable of founding an exact construction. The perspective of the Renaissance is no gimmick. It is only a particular case, a date, a moment in a poetic information of the world which continues after it. We are at another particular moment in time where it seems as though the future of architectural representation lies in more and more exact detailed representation (Plate 4). Leading from hyper realistic perspective renderings to the hyper reality of the oculus rift. I see the need for a more authentic and true representation of architectural experience. Film could be the answer. 10. New Tools Needed are new tools that allow us trace sources and kinds of sources. 10.1. Sources In the Renaissance, it was a return to sources (ad fontes) that led to new critical insights. The Donation of Constantine had been assumed to be true. Lorenzo Valla, through careful etymological study, demonstrated that it was, in fact, a later forgery. In subsequent scholarship, it was customary to document any claims with proper footnotes or endnotes. The advent of Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) has undermined these traditions. It is generally agreed that an article by Vannevar Bush, As we may Think (1945) was seminal. It outlined the use of microfilm as a mode of access to the world’s knowledge. His article was without footnotes and did not acknowledge prior efforts of Emmanuel Goldberg. While there has been much rhetoric devoted to a Semantic Web, these efforts have been limited to the tools surrounding the WWW rather than its content. A system that is able to search for keywords should be able to search for sentences and paragraphs such that the source of any text could theoretically be traced. As discussed elsewhere, it would also be useful to trace the means of certain knowledge Cf. Appendix 1. Today, image searching typically searches by keyword or uses a sample image. Given developments in the Internet of Things, one could foresee a radical development: every image would be catalogued on the basis of its existing in either the physical or the virtual world. Hence, even if an image of virtual clouds looks so realistic that the human eye cannot discern the difference between them and physical clouds, the system would be able to distinguish them. We have invisible watermarks to trace the provenance of pages and images from rare books and prints. We should have an equivalent tool for distinguishing physical scenes in the universe from virtual scenes in the metaverse. This would be the equivalent of extending footnotes to the whole of both the real and virtual worlds, such that we can always trace sources: an anti-plagiarism tool at a global level. We need new interfaces that allow us to see where we are in the spectrum from physical reality to virtual reality. 11. Future Developments There are many predictions concerning future developments. Conservative versions speak simply of a gradual development of the Web through Web 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 to Web 5.0. Others emphasize the ever-growing importance of an Internet of Things (IOT), where every object is effectively a node that can be turned on or off and controlled in some way. More radical scenarios envisage an ascendancy of artificial intelligence, transhumanism, post-humanism, or homo Deus. 11.1. Artificial Intelligence At least since the 1940s, there has been a strand of thinkers in the United States committed to having autonomous machines. Norbert Wiener developed the field of cybernetics (1949) in direct opposition to this trend. Films such as War Games (1983) and books such as Fjermedal’s The Tomorrow Makers: A Brave New World of Living-Brain Machines (1988), repeated these warnings, which continue to the present day. Some warnings are restrained and warn only of dangers of being overwhelmed by AI propaganda. Others speak of an AI threat to humanity. They warn of the dangers of machines gaining the upper hand which “could lead to humans either becoming extinct, or losing their place as the dominant species on the planet.” Some speak of an existential risk. 11.2. Transhumanisn and Posthumanism More dramatic are trends towards transhumanism: “The most common transhumanist thesis is that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into different beings with abilities so greatly expanded from the natural condition as to merit the label of posthuman beings.” Posthumanism, is seen by some as merely a next step in transhumanism. Others associate it with a time when there has been an AI takeover, while still others foresee a voluntary extinction of the human. 11.3. Homo Deus One drastic scenario has been depicted by Harari in Homo Deus. According to Harari the traditional calamities of war, famine and disease facing mankind are receding. We are on the threshold of a new human agenda with three main goals: immortality, bliss, divinity (p.67). In theory, both science and religion are interested above all in truth, and because each upholds a different truth, they are doomed to clash. In fact, neither science nor religion cares that much about the truth, hence they can easily compromise, coexist and even cooperate (198). If humankind is indeed a single data-processing system, what is its output? Dataists would say that its output will be the creation of a new and ever more efficient data-processing system, called the Internet-of -all-Things. Once this mission is accomplished homo sapiens will vanish (380). Problematic with this view is the assumption that data will or even can have its own view of itself. If it is truly concerned only with the most efficient iteration then it will remove earlier iterations as inefficient. Humans have a history of knowledge for different reasons: in order to be able to trace both continuity and change. The version of Homo Deus envisaged by Hariri has neither the humanity of homo (sapiens) nor the magnanimity of Deus. It is a pragmatic solution without reference to history or meaning. It is post-human in a new way. It removes the role of free-will, an essential human quality. It reduces humans to merely another gadget in the Internet-of-all-Things, which can be turned on and off at will; condemns us to an objectivity where subjects and subjectivity are irrelevant. 12. Conclusions The history of art has developed a number of goals. This paper considers seven goals. It focusses on two: 1) matching which arose through linear perspective in the Renaissance and 2) cross-matching which has evolved since 1996 in the context of reflection-mapping and other new techniques in computer graphics. The shift from matching to cross-matching is not a simple progression. There are tensions between a commitment to matching the physical reality of the verse or cross-matching the virtual reality of the metaverse. Developments in social networks such as Second Life and social media such as Facebook are further eroding these distinctions between physical reality and virtual reality: between universe and metaverse. Traditionally, there was a sharp distinction between public and private: a public sphere where we effectively functioned as actors with masks and facades in order to make social interaction more graceful and a private sphere where we could “’be ourselves” without masks. New technologies are encroaching ever further into our private sphere; even into the realms of thoughts and unspoken words in our brains. They threaten our free-will and thus one of the cornerstones of our humanity. They promise us immortality, but a version where our abilities of choice, free-will and meaningful decisions have been taken from us. It is reminiscent of the promise of predestination, which lulls us into comfort that we have a guaranteed place in heaven, while robbing us of any credit for the success. We are saved the harrowing temptations and struggles against weakness and sin, but we are reduced to being merely cogs in some else’s decision process. We have eternity at the expense of genuine humanity. Is this real progress or merely another variant of Toyland and Pleasure Island of the Pinocchio story? What is the meaning of life if there is no longer a standard of truth? What is everlasting life if the essential qualities of life have been stolen from us? Acknowledgements This article summarizes a much more detailed analysis that is developed in two recent books by the author: Sources of Perspective and Literature of Perspective. The confines of a short article clearly do not allow a full listing of arguments and sources. Our concern here is simply to focus on two points: 1) seven goals of art which provide a blueprint for a new history of art and image making; 2) a recent development of cross-matching, that has received little attention: an attack on concepts of truth and what it means to be human, central to Western civilization. I am grateful to Professor Ficarra for inviting me to give this paper. I thank my colleagues and friends, Professor Frederic Andres and Dr.Alan Radley, for kindly reading the manuscript. This is the seventh in a series of papers seeking to outline a new approach to the Internet (cf. Appendix 1). A first paper (2010) drew attention to micro-elements such as symbols, letters and numbers linked with cosmology, pleading for a need to have dictionaries of letters and symbols in addition to traditional dictionaries of words. A second paper (2012) pointed to the limitations of an Internet of (outer) Things and the need for a more comprehensive Internet of Inner and Outer Worlds, which was called an Internet of Letters, Words, Concepts and Knowledges (2014); and an Internet of Knowledge and Wisdom (2016). The third paper (2013) outlined a series of meters that could be used: scaleometers; abstractionometers, orientationometers, dimensionometers, and granulometers. The fourth paper (2014) used alphabet letters to illustrate further these meters. The fifth paper (2015) focussed on granularity to suggest that there might be at least 10 levels ranging from letters to libraries. The sixth paper outlined a number of competing internets of: likes, opinions and habits; things; spying; military that were undermining the quest for an Internet of Knowledge and Wisdom. This current, seventh, paper returns to goals of art an imaging making as a general framework. 6 of these goals were explored in the 35 lectures at the NII in Tokyo (2004). This paper introduces a recent seventh goal, cross-matching and suggests that it may be linked with the competing internets outlined in paper 6. In any case, the increasing ambiguity between physical universe and virtual metaverse, heightens the need for new kinds of truth and reality meters. We need the equivalents of footnotes (sources) for both the virtual and physical world.

 

=====End of Lecture, partial text , see downloadable doc above for the full paper===

 

 

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Title for my Next Book: #LightBenders

lightbendersBut do not hold your breath. I have finished outlining and composing its contents, but have only just started writing the text. Paypal me if you want me to speed up writing.

You can invite me to lecture about it in master classes though.

jaap van till, TheConnectivist

 

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