Before ConfusedofCalcutta, this blog was meant to be called NotWavingButDrowning. Why? Two reasons. One, because I really like Stevie Smith’s poem, there’s something about it. And two, I thought it was a strong metaphor for what we face with information.
So I went ahead and bought the domain name. But could I figure out for sure which particular set of permissions I needed to use a domain name that quoted four words in sequence from a poem written probably sixty years ago by someone who died thirty-five years ago? So it lies unused. One day….
Martin Geddes commented on something I’d said earlier, and is someone I “know” through the web and (I shudder to admit it) e-mail, trying to make sense of bad law around that marshy and smelly mess where telco meets internet meets regulator meets cableco. He keeps an interesting multilogue going here.
[Martin, I agree with you. But people really get wound up when I point out the zillion reasons why e-mail is bad. It’s a long hard fight.]
Back to my NotWaving point. I’m used to believing that man spends maybe 3.5 hours a day “consuming information” and that this figure has stayed pretty constant over the last forty years. Say since Moore. During that time, but particularly after the Web, the amount of information that can be consumed has grown by multiple orders of magnitude. There’s probably a Someone’s Law out there telling me that rate of growth.
Something’s gotta give, and each of us needs ways of attracting information, filtering it, retaining what we choose to, enriching it, passing it on. We need better search and syndication and collaboration and communication and visualisation and and and.
None of this is new to anyone out there, I’m sure. What was new to me was how complicated all this was. The internet and telco and ICANN and net neutrality and governance stuff. The IPR and Digital Rights and Mickey Mouse Acts and “just what is patentable” stuff. The incumbent vendors and their lock-ins and proprietary formats and permissioning and authentication issues. How easy it was to build accidental walled gardens inside organisations, to augment the ones we already have.
And the ones we have are called e-mail and proprietary content management and. I shall stop there.