Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Inevitable Evolution of Facebook Into the Dominant Computing Interface

@Sarah Burris Lowe, who asked this morning "Is Facebook trying to push us into something?"

Great question. Though I'd suggest they've already been successfully doing that for a few years now. No one in the world has more sheer dominance over how we act and interact with each other online than Facebook has at the moment. For better or worse, they are the global controller of social networking, making nearly all others that have come before or since insignificant also-rans. The one-time leading MySpace for instance, which at one point in the not too distant past actually had a "value" so ridiculously high that media mogul Rupert Murdoch purchased it for a figure purportedly in the billions, looks, feels and acts like a shabby mess now, more akin to a swap shop or a flea market than a website.

Actually in early 2007 when I was researching the book I was writing at the time, We Are the Revolution: Welcome to the Personal Expression Age, I told everyone around me that I had a hunch that "essentially Facebook, if it keeps up this pace, will become our new desktop, or user interface if you will. It won't just be a website. It'll be the literal backdrop of our entire computing experience." It was at best a hunch, a possibility. But fortunately for them, Mark and company have gone exactly in that direction. I'm actually quite surprised that they had the insight to see the opportunity there; to not just be a favorite online destination, but instead to be the control center of our entire computing experience as mentioned above. With the merging of more streamlined music and video services, and the Facebook "Like" button's rampant spreading all over the Web, in addition to the trend by other online destination sites to replace their own log-in systems with Facebook's log-in, they are acheiving this mass takeover of the internet faster than most of us even imagined they could.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Perry-Palin for President? Don't laugh. It could happen.

Yep. You read it here first. As the paper pushing TV puppets and pundits debate and argue over ad nauseum the question of whether right-wing wacko Sarah Palin is going to eventually announce a run for President of the United States this year, an even more frightening and harrowing possibility may be staring us all in the face: New GOP front-runner Rick Perry, a man who makes the rest of the republican candidates look almost sane and compassionate, may do more than just hire Palin to travel around the hillbilly South campaigning for him; he might just ask her to be his running mate if he wins the nomination. And for as anti-progressive and simple minded as he may seem to some, that may be more likely than many would shudder to think. Over the last thirty years, the Republican Party has changed. A lot. They seem to like cowboys. Or at least men on horses. Starting with Reagan at least.

Thus far Perry has done such an excellent job at seeming the perfectly coiffed and well suited lapdog for this strange breed of radical extremists who've taken over the once noble Republican Party that he's almost gauranteed an Obama re-election. The only problem with that kind of thinking is that most Americans and indeed most of Western Civilization thought the same thing back in the years 2000 and 2004 about another hick with a stick from the great State of Texas, George W. Bush. Putting aside the fact that Al Gore actually won the 2000 election by more than half a million votes by the American people, which was then handed to GW by the US Supreme Court -- an unprecedented event in American history and one that bears no resemblance to a democracy nor a republic, the American people still somehow managed to "officially" elect the man in 2004. So laugh if you will at the idea of Perry for President, but stranger things have happened.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Music Never Stopped

Watching this great movie called THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED featuring music by Dylan and The Dead. Good movie. Such good music. Bring it all back home for me in such a big way. I miss the Dead so much and those times. Those very very special times... Def a movie worth seeing btw. does a damn good job illustrating the connective and healing powers of music.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Transcendent Man?

Take what we learned about the IBM designed super computer WATSON this year, machine leaning, AI or Artificial Inteligence, combine it with equal parts Kurzweil's SINGULARITY IS NEAR theories and one cannot help but be intrigued, if not downright excited about what the future is going to look like, regarding that specific paradigm at least.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Rebuild America" by Ed Hale and the Transcendence

Rebuild America (Single Release) by Dying Van Gogh Records

Where Were You on September 11th 2001?

Ed Hale studying at a language school in San Jose Costa Rica
September 11th, 2001. It would be easy to simply go back to that exact date, here, in the Transcendence Diaries, to read what I posted that day; to see how I felt, what thoughts ran through my mind. There is a slight temptation to do just that. More a curiosity. But that was ten years ago. And it calls for something special. This is now. Have our feelings changed? Have our memories changed how we felt? Have we changed?

Throughout the Summer of 2001 I was living in San Jose Costa Rica. Having been advised that if "The Ambassador" wanted to perfect his Spanish to semi-fluency, as I had done with several other foreign languages previously, that I would need full immersion, I would need to live somewhere where Spanish was the native tongue. Word on the street was that the two best countries to learn Spanish "accent free" were Colombia or Costa Rica. (Colombia as it turns out, I would explore later). But I didn't know that then. I chose Costa Rica over Colombia primarily due to the civil and governmental unrest in Colombia at the time compared to the placid laid back atmosphere that was promised in Costa Rica.

And they were right. From the moment you get off the plane in San Jose you can feel it. The police officers in Costa Rica appear and feel more like Tour Guides. Costa Rica has no standing army. If they need help militarily they call on the United States. Gambling and other such vices are perfectly legal, though not often spoken of. The people are warm and friendly, welcoming. Not quite Brasilian mind you, but what is? A cab took me to my new school and standing outside the school there on a street corner was a young smiling Costa Rican holding a sign on a long pole that said "Bienvenido Senor Ed Hale." This was going to be a good summer.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Cool New Finds: Brian Houston & Hillsong TV

Recently discovered a pastor by the name of Brian Houston. Yes he heads up what some refer to as "one of those mega-churches" -- in fact from what I gather he's got two or three of them, Australia, London, New York and even Johanesberg. But he's got a cool vibe. Hip sincere not cocky or preachy. Very un-evangelical, which for me personally is always usually a deal breaker, any religion or religious leaders who are too evangelical or preachy or literal fundamenalist or dogmatic. Just not my thing. One of the reasons why this week's Rebublican Candidate Debates felt so terrifying. The whole damn lot of them appear to be in some sort of contest with one another to determine which is the most fundamentist far right conservative Christian. And though I personally choose to actively practice the Christian faith tradition, as an American I think that's something that needs to stay S far away from government as possible. These bible thumpin gun slingin cowboys and aliens who've taken over the once prestigious Republican party are so far removed from what the old GOP used to stand for. It's dificult to recognize good old fashioned Republicanism anywhere in the party. No wonder the US Congress has the lowest approval rating in American history. Just as partisan politics do not belong anywhere near traditional journism, and yet that is precisely what is being pawned off these days as journalism more and more with FOX News and MSNBC leading the pack, so too does religion need to stay as far removed from politics and government as humanly possible. The whole idea of "America the land of the brave and home of the FREE" is that as a country are. Giant melting pot of all sorts, including agnostics and atheists. Hence every single one of us who call ourselves America need to feel safe and secure that our elected officials in government would never consider allowing their oen personal religious beliefs enter into any of their decision making as a leader. It may be one thing to know that a president attends church with his family regularly; I don't see anything wrong with that. But when a president starts claiming publicly that "God told me to invade Iraq..." mission control we've got a problem. Unfortunately it appears that so far that's all the Republican party has been able to dig up for their prospective candidates. And that is one scary prospect.

In the meantime, check out Brian Houston and Hillsong television if that's your thing. Always a good message without being too preachy. Speaking of which, Joel Osteen gave a damn good sermon on Sept 6th if you can find it on YouTube or their website. Joel always finds a way to deliver a positive message without seeming too exclusionary or extreme. It feels good. That's the litmus test isn't it really? If someone is using their own personal religious beliefs to make people feel bad, like Santorum or Bachmsn or the others...the way they want to restrict fellow US citizens' constitutional rights because of their religious beliefs... That just isn't going to feel good to a lot of Americans Nd therefore not oy are they showing that they wouldn't make a good president of such a wide variety of different people all who call themselves America, but they also give a bAd name to those who are also Christian but who recognize how random and subjective one's personal relious beliefs are. There are actually plenty of us. And we're not such abD sort at all. It's a relatively smsll few who give the whole lot of us a bad reputation. And that's too bad.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Recent Finds

Current Read: Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges. By far the most astute intelligent and insightful collection of thoughts of the year. In less than one hour Hedges walks the reader through the last 110 years of American history boldly and honestly and finally a voice manages to rise above the meaningless drivel jamming our airwaves that clearly explains how America fell to the tragic precipice on which it now sits. Disturbing, yes. But for once someone is simply telling the truth without a self invested or corporate agenda. A MUST READ.

Last Screening: Barney's Version. Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman. Need one say more? Put it this way: it's the kind of film that stays with you forever. As if it were real. Yes they both won Golden Globes. But the film itself should have won the Oscar. Hands down one of the best films I've seen in recent memory.