Estonia, la diminuta república báltica que pasó de ser un satélite soviético a convertirse en la meca tecnológica de Europa – El Mostrador

Conocida como el “Silicon Valley europeo”, Estonia fue el primer país del mundo en instaurar el voto por internet en unas elecciones generales. Y esa es sólo una de las razones por las que es considerada una de las sociedades digitales más avanzadas del planeta.

Fuente: Estonia, la diminuta república báltica que pasó de ser un satélite soviético a convertirse en la meca tecnológica de Europa – El Mostrador


¿Tenía Marx razón? – El Mostrador

Es el desarrollo de la “sociedad de la información” el que ha generado serias sospechas sobre un proceso de alcance mucho mayor al hasta ahora previsto. Por lo pronto, pareciera que tiende a romper el principio de escasez, al instalar un bien como la “información” como algo creciente y aceleradamente disponible, del cual es posible crear riqueza, por ejemplo, a través de un producto comercializable…

Fuente: ¿Tenía Marx razón? – El Mostrador


Social media revolution is tough to ‘like’ for Southeast Asian governments- Nikkei Asian Review

a tectonic plate has shifted in national dialogues, even under repressive regimes. Riding the wave of information technology, people find themselves able to communicate collective ideas, intents, desires, frustrations, identities, resentments, tastes and consumption preferences as never before.

Fuente: Social media revolution is tough to ‘like’ for Southeast Asian governments- Nikkei Asian Review


US start-up aims to steer through flood of data – FT.com

The “open data” movement has produced a deluge of publicly available information this decade, as governments like those in the UK and US have released large volumes of data for general use.But the flood has left researchers and data scientists with a problem: how do they find the best data sets, ensure these are accurate and up to date, and combine them with other sources of information?

Fuente: US start-up aims to steer through flood of data – FT.com


Digital advances uneven across US economy – FT.com

Large sections of the US economy are failing to make the most of digital technologies and millions more jobs are set to be displaced as companies do more to harness the innovations available to them, according to a new report. Research from the

Fuente: Digital advances uneven across US economy – FT.com


Meet tech’s new concierge economy, where serfs deliver stuff to rich folk | John Naughton | Comment is free | The Observer

Meet tech’s new concierge economy, where serfs deliver stuff to rich folk | John Naughton | Comment is free | The Observer.

The rise of Uber and possible Amazon deliveries by drone typify our regrettable need for instant gratification
Driving force: Uber's phenomenal commercial success seems set to continue.
Driving force: Uber’s phenomenal commercial success seems set to continue.Photograph: Quique Garcia/AFP/Getty Images

In a way, the name of the company – Uber – gives the game away. It has connotations of elevation, superiority, authority – as in Nietzsche’s coinage, Übermensch, to describe the higher state to which men might aspire. Although it’s only been around since 2009, Uber, the smartphone-enabled minicab company, is probably the only startup of recent times to have achieved the same level of name recognition as the established internet giants.

This is partly because Uber is arguably the most aggressive tech startupin recent history and partly because it has attracted a lot of bad press. But mainly it’s because a colossal pile of American venture capital is riding on it. Its most recent investment round valued the company at about $40bn,which is why every MBA graduate in California is currently clutching a PowerPoint presentation arguing that his/her daft idea is “Uber for X” – where X is any industry you care to mention.

What lies behind the frenzy is a conviction that Uber is the Next Big Thing, fuelled by the belief that it is the embodiment of what Silicon Valley values most, namely “disruptive innovation” – as in disruption of established, old-economy ways of doing things. In Uber’s case, the ancien regime is urban taxi cab businesses in more than 200 cities worldwide, which are portrayed by Übermenschen as little more than cosy or corrupt local monopolies.

Uber fits neatly into the mythology of the tech industry, which portrays itself as surfing one of the waves of “creative destruction” through which, as the economist Joseph Schumpeter argued, capitalism periodically renews itself. In this narrative, industrial progress involves a good deal of destruction in order to make way for new, creative, wealth-creating industries. The abolition of old timers such as licensed taxi cabs, travel agents and bookshops etc is merely the collateral damage of an essentially benign process – regrettable but necessary casualties of innovation.


One big problem with open access and why the best way to fix it isn't going to work – Curt Rice

One big problem with open access and why the best way to fix it isn’t going to work – Curt Rice.

There’s a conflict, a tension, an inherent contradiction in the open access movement, and while it could be resolved, that seems increasingly unlikely.

The inconsistency goes like this: the shift to open access publishing started idealistically, with enthusiasm and pressure from the grassroots. The business model for disseminating scientific results would be changed. Instead of putting research into journals that were expensive and exclusive, we would make articles available for free. No charge at all. Ready to be downloaded by anyone with an internet connection.

Shaking in their boots

We developed more and more arguments for open access — not just solidarity with colleagues in poorer countries, but also the (im)morality of paying first for research to be done (through salaries) and then for the articles to be reviewed and edited (through volunteer work for journals) and then paying once again to be able to read them (through subscriptions). Add to this the monopolistic price gouging of the biggest publishers, whose profit rates exceed those of oil companies, and change seemed inevitable.

Wall Street analysts say open access has failed, but their analysis might help us succeed. If we dare.

Some of these arguments worked. Gradually, research councils pulled themselves over the gunwales and got onboard. Governments articulated policies. Universities gave their researchers a nudge.

The publishers started to shake in their boots. They really did. They got worried.

But then they got over it.

And this is where the other side of the inconsistency comes into play. The tension in the movement is that its idealistic and anarchistic origins are in conflict with what is needed for success, namely a clear message articulated by visible and visionary leadership.


Ello might or might not replace Facebook, but the giant social network won't last forever | Ruby J Murray | Comment is free | theguardian.com

Ello might or might not replace Facebook, but the giant social network won’t last forever | Ruby J Murray | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

Ello is the ‘anti-facebook’, positioning itself as a network with a social conscience. It might not be the one to replace the social giant, but Facebook is getting old

 

 

Ello
Ello: the new Facebook?

 

Predicting the end of Facebook in 2014 feels reckless. Like slapping a date on the fall of the wall might have felt in the 1980s.

 

As of June this year, the social networking behemoth had 1.32bn active monthly users. According to the latest data from the Pew Research Centre, 71% of online adults use Facebook. Considering 73% use a social networking site, that’s pretty much: all of us.

 

The startup world is full of people pitching and failing the next big thing. Two days ago, though, something exciting happened. San Francisco began jumping out of Facebook’s ad-splattered soup and into the clean, empty social networking world of Ello.

 

Ello is crawling with bugs, isn’t out of beta testing, and it’s still taking off in starship headquarters. 31,000 new users were asking to be beta testers at this week’s peak. On Thursday, the Ello team had to shut down new invites to the site as they struggled to keep up.

 

The brain-child of Kidrobot designer Paul Budnitz , Ello is the “anti-facebook.” It’s been around a while, but the LGBTIQ community’s recent struggle with Facebook’s “real-name” policy has been instrumental in the shift to the site. Ello positions itself as a network with a manifesto and a social conscience. Its logo has a V for Vendetta-like menace to it: an eyeless black smiley with a spinning mouth that mocks the social gaze we are so used to feeding online.

 

Humans like us forget that change is the only constant. Facebook will not last forever. The only questions are why the move starts, when it does, and where the party is next.


Will the internet kill the literary novel? Depends on who you ask | Books | theguardian.com

Will the internet kill the literary novel? Depends on who you ask | Books | theguardian.com.

Author Tim Parks argues that our technology-shredded attention spans have definitively doomed the novel, but many other writers, from John Banville to Francesca Segal, disagree

 

 

Tim Parks

Frequent interruptions … Tim Parks thinks endless distractions make it difficult to read novels in the 21st century. Photograph: Alex Macnaughton/Rex Features

 

The sort of lengthy, involved literary fiction written by the likes of Dickens or Faulkner has met its match in the shape of the internet, according to the author Tim Parks, who believes modern readers are too distracted to appreciate serious literary novels.

Parks’s claims follow swiftly on the footsteps of similar assertions made by his fellow novelist Will Self. He said in May that “the literary novel as an art work and a narrative art form central to our culture is indeed dying before our eyes”, as “the hallmark of our contemporary culture is an active resistance to difficulty in all its aesthetic manifestations”.

Parks, writing in the New York Review of Books, has now asserted that “the state of constant distraction we live in”, thanks to email, messaging, Skype and online news, “affects the very special energies required for tackling a substantial work of fiction – for immersing oneself in it and then coming back and back to it on numerous occasions over what could be days, weeks or months, each time picking up the threads of the story or stories, the patterning of internal reference, the positioning of the work within the context of other novels and indeed the larger world”.

When we do read, “there are more breaks, ever more frequent stops and restarts, more input from elsewhere, fewer refuges where the mind can settle,” according to Parks. “It is not simply that one is interrupted; it is that one is actually inclined to interruption. Hence more and more energy is required to stay in contact with a book, particularly something long and complex.”

No art form, he believes, “exists independently of the conditions in which it is enjoyed”, and so contemporary fiction is going to adapt; in fact, it is already doing so. Although he acknowledged that long and complex novels are still written – Parks pointed to the stellar sales currently being enjoyed by Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard – he said that “the texture of these books seems radically different from the serious fiction of the 19th and early-20th centuries”.

“There is a battering ram quality to the contemporary novel, an insistence and repetition that perhaps permits the reader to hang in despite the frequent interruptions to which most ordinary readers leave themselves open,” said Parks, adding that even Philip Roth, who predicted five years ago that the novel would become “cultic” in 25 years because “the book can’t compete with the screen”, “has himself, at least in his longer novels, been accused of adopting a coercive, almost bludgeoning style”.

Parks finished by predicting that “the novel of elegant, highly distinct prose, of conceptual delicacy and syntactical complexity, will tend to divide itself up into shorter and shorter sections, offering more frequent pauses where we can take time out”.

Meanwhile, “the larger popular novel, or the novel of extensive narrative architecture, will be ever more laden with repetitive formulas, and coercive, declamatory rhetoric to make it easier and easier, after breaks, to pick up, not a thread, but a sturdy cable”.


Herramientas colaborativas para pensar y trabajar en red

Herramientas colaborativas para pensar y trabajar en red.

Cada vez hay más herramientas digitales que permiten trabajar en colaboración con muchas personas en una misma red

Gracias a la suma de inteligencias individuales de los usuarios y utilizando las licencias libres, estos programas  pueden rediseñarse y mejorarse

Presentamos una selección amplia de estas nuevas herramientas colaborativas

 

 

Foto: Quinn Dombrowski CC https://secure.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/13813620154

Foto: Quinn Dombrowski

 

Estamos entrando en una nueva etapa de la historia. Hasta ahora el progreso de la humanidad ha estado limitado por un mundo físico y biológico del que no podíamos escapar. No podíamos pensar solos más allá de los límites de nuestro cerebro, ni podíamos pensar juntos más allá de los límites de nuestra organización. Y esos límites no quedan muy lejos ¿cuántas personas podríamos tener un debate cara a cara sin que se vuelva un caos, siendo capaces de llegar a conclusiones comunes? ¿10? ¿20? Quizás 100. Nos ha costado un trabajo titánico dar cada pequeño paso hacia adelante como sociedad.

Ahora, sin embargo, vivimos una explosión de creación de nuevas herramientas digitales en la red que nos permiten trascender esos límites. Cada nueva herramienta que se diseña nos permite pensar e interactuar juntos de maneras que antes no existían. Y por lo tanto, producir efectos esencialmente nuevos en la sociedad.

Cada herramienta es un nuevo tipo de cerebro digital, que posibilita una nueva forma de inteligencia colectiva. Cerebros funcionando gracias a la suma de inteligencias individuales de todos los usuarios y que gracias a las licencias libres pueden rediseñarse y mejorarse una y otra vez a sí mismos, en un proceso de retroalimentación imparable. Si la aparición de la inteligencia humana fue capaz de cambiar tan radicalmente este planeta, no podemos ni imaginar lo efectos que pueden producir estas nuevas inteligencias.

A continuación presentamos una selección amplia de estas nuevas herramientas. Son los primeros pasos torpes en el camino de la inteligencia colectiva, pero a partir de ellas se pueden intuir e imaginar futuros fascinantes. Esperamos que el verlas todas juntas nos permita abstraer el comportamiento o uso particular de cada una de ellas, y sea más fácil ver los diferentes procesos de inteligencia colectiva que cada una produce y su posición en el mapa común del pensamiento. Empecemos pues, con este tratado de neurología digital:


Why Germany Dominates the U.S. in Innovation – Dan Breznitz – Harvard Business Review

Why Germany Dominates the U.S. in Innovation – Dan Breznitz – Harvard Business Review.

by Dan Breznitz  |   8:00 AM May 27, 2014

Reading the headlines, you might think that the most urgent question about national success in innovation and growth is whether the U.S. or China should get the gold medal. The truth is: Germany wins hands down.

Germany does a better job on innovation in areas as diverse as sustainable energy systems, molecular biotech, lasers, and experimental software engineering. Indeed, as part of an effort to learn from Germany about effective innovation, U.S. states have encouraged the Fraunhofer Society, a German applied-science think tank, to set up no fewer than seven institutes in America.

True, Americans do well at inventing. The U.S. has the world’s most sophisticated system of financing radical ideas, and the results have been impressive, from Google to Facebook to Twitter. But the fairy tale that the U.S. is better at radical innovation than other countries has been shown in repeated studies to be untrue. Germany is just as good as the U.S. in the most radical technologies.

What’s more important, Germany is better at adapting inventions to industry and spreading them throughout the business sector. Much German innovation involves infusing old products and processes with new ideas and capabilities or recombining elements of old, stagnant sectors into new, vibrant ones.