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O que falar de um texto que vem chancelado – e brilhantemente comentado – por Kevin Kelly e Nick Carr? Pois bem, esse texto está no Edge e seu autor é David Gelerneter, professor de ciência da computação de Yale e uma puta referência. Para você ter uma idéia, lá pelo comecinho dos anos 90 ele já falava em cloud computing e lifestream.

The Internet’s future is not Web 2.0 or 200.0 but the post-Web, where time instead of space is the organizing principle — instead of many stained-glass windows, instead of information laid out in space, like vegetables at a market — the Net will be many streams of information flowing through time. The Cybersphere as a whole equals every stream in the Internet blended together: the whole world telling its own story.

If we think of time as orthogonal to space, a stream-based, time-based Cybersphere is the traditional Internet flipped on its side in digital space-time. The traditional web-shaped Internet consists (in effect) of many flat panels chaotically connected. Instead of flat sites, where information is arranged in space, we want deep sites that are slices of time. When we look at such a site onscreen, it’s natural to imagine the past extending into (or beyond) the screen, and the future extending forward in front of the screen; the future flows towards the screen, into the screen and then deeper into the space beyond the screen.

Deu pra ver que o cara é bom, né?

Returning to our fundamental riddle: if this is the information age, what do our children know that our parents didn’t? The answer is “now.” They know about now.

Internet culture is a culture of nowness. The Internet tells you what your friends are doing and the world news now, the state of the shops and markets and weather now, public opinion, trends and fashions now. The Internet connects each of us to countless sites right now — to many different places at one moment in time.

Nowness is one of the most important cultural phenomena of the modern age: the western world’s attention shifted gradually from the deep but narrow domain of one family or village and its history to the (broader but shallower) domains of the larger community, the nation, the world. The cult of celebrity, the importance of opinion polls, the decline in the teaching and learning of history, the uniformity of opinions and attitudes in academia and other educated elites — they are all part of one phenomenon. Nowness ignores all other moments but this. In the ultimate Internet culture, flooded in nowness like a piazza flooded in sea water, drenched in a tropical downpour of nowness, everyone talks alike, dresses alike, thinks alike.

The Internet today is, after all, a machine for reinforcing our prejudices. The wider the selection of information, the more finicky we can be about choosing just what we like and ignoring the rest. On the Net we have the satisfaction of reading only opinions we already agree with, only facts (or alleged facts) we already know. You might read ten stories about ten different topics in a traditional newspaper; on the net, many people spend that same amount of time reading ten stories about the same topic. But again, once we understand the inherent bias in an instrument, we can correct it. One of the hardest, most fascinating problems of this cyber-century is how to add “drift” to the net, so that your view sometimes wanders (as your mind wanders when you’re tired) into places you hadn’t planned to go. Touching the machine brings the original topic back. We need help overcoming rationality sometimes, and allowing our thoughts to wander and metamorphose as they do in sleep.

Eis o que o Nick Carr escreveu acerca do texto:

The Web has become a vast multimedia telephone system, where everyone is on the same party line, exchanging billions of bite-sized updates and alerts. Google, Facebook, Twitter: the Net’s commercial giants are locked in a fierce competitive battle to speed up “the stream.”

The Net’s bias, Gelertner explains, is toward the fresh, the new, the now. Nothing is left to ripen. History gets lost in the shuffle. But, he suggests, we can correct that bias. We can turn the real-time stream into a “lifestream,” tended by historians, along which the past will crystallize into rich, digital deposits of knowledge.

It’s a pretty vision. I wish I could believe it. There are times when human beings are able to correct the bias of a technology. There are other times when we make the bias of an instrument our own. Everything I’ve seen in the development of the Net over the past 20 years, and in the development of mass media over the past 50 years, tells me that what we’re seeing today is an example of the latter phenomenon. We are choosing nowness over ripeness.

Agora o complemento de kevin Kelly:

Gelernter has sharpened, crystalized and matured his scenario in this current version, and he makes a good case for why Lifestreams will be a preferred organizing metaphor for working in the Cloud. In the borderless, edgeless, centerless, placeless mists of the Net, the only dimension that seems to remain true and absolute is time, and so it seems prudent and practical to organize data/things/events/stuff along this constant and coincidentally very personal and experiential dimension. Lifestreams and the Cloud are an ideal match, as profound a pair as the link and the tag, and as inevitable as the bit and wire. But it will take at least a decade before Lifestreams manifests into everyday Cloud technology. Twitter, et al, are just glimpses of what is to come.

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  1. By The Net « Run, Motherfucker, run on 17 Jun 2010 at 1:43 am

    […] david gelernter, edge De David Gelernter, no Edge, em um texto que já linquei aqui antes e que hoje dei uma relida. The Internet will never create a new economy based on voluntary instead […]

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