Thursday, December 25, 2008

7 best thoughts at Thinking Space 2008

To be my 2008 Christmas gift for the Thinking Space readers, these are the 7 best thoughts blogged in 2008 out of more than 100 original ones. Wish all of you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

7. The wisdom of crowds and the Brownian motion

The wisdom of crowds is a basic theory backing Web 2.0. The theory is, however, a reflection of a common physical phenomenon, the Brownian motion, in human society. The thought that the wisdom of crowds is the Brownian motion in human society was blogged in January 2008.

If this comparison is reasonable, there are general connections between the known physical laws and the unknown Web regulations. It thus may provide us a hint for the Web Science research. For example, since we can calculate the macroscopic velocity and direction of a flow based on the fluid dynamics computation over the microscopic-scale Brownian motion data of the flow, may we analogically compute the macroscopic behaviors of wisdom of crowds on the Web? Yes we can, can't we?

6. Automatic Character Switch (ACtS)

Automatic Character Switch (ACtS) is a proposed mechanism by myself to operate the resources produced by Web 2.0. In April 2007 I coined the term when I described my prediction of the next generation of World Wide Web based on the Web evolution model. In February 2008, I reused the proposed mechanism as a resolution for the issue of Web resource portability.

Although people think of Web 3.0 differently, something similar to ACtS should be an essential part of the picture of resolution. The ACtS intends to solving the problem of online identity overload, a milestone towards Web 3.0.

5. The expanding Web

The Web is expanding, and it expands simultaneously at the physical field, the computational field, the communicative field, and the financial field. I blogged this thought at Internet Evolution in October 2008.

We must know that the Web is growing in more than one aspect. We are seeing more variety of devices accessing the Web, more different methods to consume Web resources, better instant communication among Web users, and we start to construct new forms of asset because of the Web evolution. Only by well understanding these varieties of Web expansion, we may indeed get the purpose of Web evolution.

4. Invariants on the Web

Although the Web changes all the time, learning the unchanged side of the Web will help us understand better of the Web, and eventually let us be able to invent the changes we expect. The July 2008 post of Web invariants is about this topic.

In tradition, we have invented URI (references to facts) being a fundamental Web invariant. But the reference to a fact is essentially different from the fact itself. Therefore, it is questionable to enforce object reference replacing object itself being invariant. By contrast, may we ask epistemological procedure and Web thread (two more essential characters of objects) to new Web invariants?

3. Mind asset

The current economic crisis is due to the abuse of capital, the essence of the capitalist business. Hence some fundamental change of business must be done in order to avoid this sort of crisis in the future. On the other hand, if the change is done so fundamental to our society, wouldn't it lead our society into a new age? When people start to talk about new DNA of the next generation business, the new DNA I believe is the mind asset, which I have blogged since May 2008.

Mind asset is a compound new concept. In brief, it means a revolutionary way of monetizing human thinking. It claims that the general driving force of production is shifting gradually from capital to human mind. In the other words, mind starts to conduct money in contrast to money buys mind. This shift of power of production assigns thinkers a new role in the coming new society.

2. Mind, a universal fundamental in addition to mass and energy

Mind is always a mysterious thing. We hardly know where it comes and where it goes. After reading Seth Lloyd's brilliant book "Programming the Universe" at September 2008, I started to wonder whether the relationship between mind and mass is the same as the relationship between wave and particle. If this analogy truly holds, mind is another universal fundamental in the world in addition to mass and energy.

All of us exists in waves (the form of mind) when we are not under detection either by other persons or by ourselves. Once we are detected (i.e., once the consciousness starts to work), however, we see each other existed in particles (the form of mass) only. At the same time, mind remains existing such as when we think since at the moment the mind is out of any external detector. Therefore, the mind still exists in waves and remains being mind (instead of being materialized). If the former interpretation be correct, an exciting conclusion would be that we could invent a new type of mind detector to transform any thinking into mass immediately. This invention, if ever it could be realized, would bring our world new form of energy we cannot imagine.

1. Great transition, happening at the global scale

We are in a new transition, part 1 and part 2. This is probably the most critical message of today. Capitalism is dying. We are moving to a new age of human society, which is, however, neither the socialism nor the communism. Along with Adam Lindemann, I would like to call this new time the mind age (or the harmonious age by emphasizing the harmonious union of all human mind).

From land to capital then to mind, the most valuable (and the most essential) asset of human society is evolving. This fundamental evolution is beyond any other progress happening in our society. This is really what we need to be aware and what we should try to follow.

Through the post, I thank my savior and father in heaven, Jesus Christ, who give me wisdom and the ability of thinking. Happy birthday!


gregory said...

consciousness/awareness/mind/brain ... in ascending order from subtle to gross ... waiting for neuroscience to begin looking at subtle aspects of what they are calling consciouness, and then to expand their model ... consciousness really doesn't come from meat, ya' know?

gregory said...

consciousness is the stuff, awareness is the use of it, mind is where it shows up, attention is it directing itself ... and brain, just a loosely correlated location ...

Yihong Ding said...

Great comments. Thank you, gregory, and happy holidays.