1. When things become too easy, they also end up becoming more sloppy. In the Middle Ages, for example, people were willing to walk from Stockholm to Munich to meet somebody who had something important to say. They listened and thought seriously about what they heard. Now, communication is instantaneous. I’m afraid after a while we may not pay much attention to it. The gates of attention allow very few things to come in.
    — Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi (author of FLOW)
     
  2. I went ahead and used the cool new Tweet Your Comment tool on Cognition’s new blog (Happy Cog), and this was the result. I can haz closed experience loop?

    I went ahead and used the cool new Tweet Your Comment tool on Cognition’s new blog (Happy Cog), and this was the result. I can haz closed experience loop?

     
  3. Khoi Vinh on the Living Room Problem, and how Apple TV is poised to solve it…eventually.

     
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  5. BrownTwitterBird (for posterity)

    This is a post for posterity. So I can have a place to go when I want to remember the #browntwitterbird phenomenon.

    There have already been some good blog posts written about it, and I don’t want to lose track, because this has been one of my favorite Twitter moments to date. So here is a roughly chronological linkology of what happened on August 11, 2010, and how #browntwitterbird happened.

    It went something like this:

    The original piece: "How Black People Use Twitter" on Slate.com

    Alicia (aka InnyVinny)’s response — a visual masterpiece, IMO (which has since expanded): "Oh…Slate" on Innyvinny.com

    CaShawn (aka PrettyBrownGirl)’s explanation of the phenomenon (she was the originator of the #browntwitterbird hashtag on Twitter): "Brown Twitter Bird: Origins and Legacy" on dirtyprettythangs.com

    Dr. Goddess' response (which covers both analysis of the original article and documents some of the history of the #browntwitterbird phenom): "Why ‘They’ Don’t Understand What Black People Do On Twitter" on drgoddess.blogspot.com

    Nathan Young (aka NotNathan and FakeGoldChain)’s “Counter-Point” to the Slate article: "Counter-Point: How Black People Use Twitter" on fakegoldcha.in

    (I left a comment on the FakeGoldChain piece that’s linked on my Disqus.)

    There was also an excellent Twitter list by MoreAndAgain that captured all the users she knew about who’d changed their avatars to any of the variations of the #browntwitterbird created by InnyVinny (and ultimately by many more people, as the phenom spread). Seeing the variety of little brown bird icons on the list page gave me delight one can really only know in that moment — sweeter because we know it’s transitory.

    Those who know me know this: I LOVE Grace Jones. So when iamthenublack posted the Grace Jones Brown Twitter Bird, I went for it. This was my avatar until about 40 minutes ago:

    Peace to everyone who participated, observed, eye-rolled and giggled with me through it all. And if you know of other posts that should be saved for posterity, will you let me know? I’ll add to this list in updates.

    UPDATE (8/13/10): More good posts

    Alicia (@InnyVinny) hooked me up today with three more save-worthy posts on the topic.

    Liza Sabater (aka BlogDiva) wrote this one for her Culture Kitchen blog: On BlackTags, Brown Birds and Racial Tourism on Twitter” on culturekitchen.com

    Danielle Belton (aka Blacksnob) wrote "#BrownTwitterBird Is On Your Timeline, Wannabe Startin’ Sumpthin" on blacksnob.com

    Nicole Hollway wrote a post on her funny blog Because, Really? about how she processed the Slate article: "When April Fools comes in August [You have got to be kidding me]" on becausereally.blogspot.com

    Happy reading.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    (Some of) My Tweets on the topic:

    * “How Black People Use Twitter” had an awkward title and…that bird…but the paradigm described by the CS student was interesting.+

    * "…using Twitter like a public instant messenger", a way of talking to many people at once, rather than, say, as a billboard. #UX

    * The research is on page 2 of the article: http://bit.ly/b4JKvo But the Grace Jones #browntwitterbird is here: http://twitpic.com/2dtnld

    * The Grace Jones #browntwitterbird is so Meta for me, I feel like I’m in the Inception movie I’d actually watch.

    * * * * * * * * * *

     
  6. Autonomous robots developed out of USC. Amazing.

     
  7. Craig Venter, renegade geneticist and uncle to yours truly, discusses how he and team created a life form in the lab after 15 years and 99% failures. This process may be used to create next year’s flu vaccines. That’s right: flu vaccine 2011 might contain synthetic DNA.

     
  8. This article is about a publicist in the Silicon Valley who specializes in tech PR. Brooke Hammerling and her company Brew Media Relations are apparently the people to know if you want to get eyes on your web property.

    Reminds me of all the other personality-driven promoters I’ve ever known - seems like if Brooke hadn’t chosen tech PR, she could have done well checking names off a list outside a trendy nightclub, and perhaps made a name for herself by - very briefly - “dating” Lindsey Lohan.