An infinitely hot and dense dot

Geeks – at least those with any vision – dream of ‘the singularity‘. For the social software geeks, this singularity will arrive when information space collapses into a sort of zero-dimensional dot. The distance between related concepts will approach zero. The relevance of any given link will rarely drop below 100%. Connection will be automatic and total. Ideas will swarm and clump together quietly and instantaneously. The like-minded will exist in a state of total and perpetual communion. Hallelujah. In Ben and Azeem?s fascinating to-and-fro over categorising blogs, there?s something of this dream. They seem to see, in the exceptional information-efficiency of the blogosphere, the seeds of a hyper-connected future. I?m not so sure. I’m almost convinced that there’s some evolutionary value locked up in the friction and inefficiency of human communication. I’m as excited as the next man about the potential of social software to speed up interconnection and make groups more useful but I think we might need to preserve some of the noise and the information loss. It might be what makes us human.

2 comments

  1. Steve
    thanks for explaining what this meant to me yesterday.

    Serendipity and friction is never totally lost. You’re putting way too much faith in technology. I certainly don’t share a technodystopian vision. Far from it: if anything changes to the system (like the more-like-this-from-others perl script) creation more ripples in the communications sphere. More applications, more things that can be built on, not less.

  2. Of course you’re right, Azeem. There’s something going on in the blogosphere. It’s a very idealistic and very rational project concerned with using technology to improve the quality and usefulness of out interactions. I’m as enthusiastic as the next man about this ? and I’m a participant, via this blog. It’s just that I think this improvement probably has natural limits and these limits are provided by the entirely human context within which these technologies exist.

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