almost 9 years on 2008-05-01


i am yet again in the position of rolling several blog posts into one meta-post of ideas from last week for lack of time to frame/post each individually.

notes from fortune's formula: 

fortune's formula is the most interesting book i have read in a while -- pop academic take away -- "the essence of a message is its improbability"

"information exists only when the sender is saying something that the recipient doesn't already know and can't predict.  because true information is unpredictable, it is essentially a series of random events like spins of a roulette wheel or rolls of the dice."

"just as a steam engine cannot move when all temperature differences are eliminated, the kelly gambler must stop when his private information becomes public knowledge."

twitter could become the command line of the internet

friday night gregory gallant and i had a few drinks and a great conversation that winded towards command line interfaces and twitter.  to pair down what was a very lengthy and winding conversation to a digestible soundbite... twitter becoming a command line for the social web.  i mean this as a huge compliment and think that it is yet another reason why twitter is evolving into a very very powerful concept.

the basic idea is that twitter's streamlined interface + it's simple social graph allow you to call other sites/services/actions through it's interface and then interact with your friends/followers.  this is possibly too techie for many (where fb has moved to a similar 'action orientation' concept with a bit more lay interface wrapped ontop)

a possible new angle to explain privacy vs. security:

as i frequently discuss, there is a subtle but critical difference between privacy and security.  this is both one of the fundamental premises of and one of the most important issues which society will face prospectively as storage & processing costs tend towards zero. 

that said, because privacy and security have been used interchangeably for so long it is sometimes hard for people to grasp the difference and the importance of the distinction.  as a result, i am always looking for metaphors and imagery to explain the difference between the two.  at breakfast with brian myers saturday am i used a new example that seemed to click....

security is putting your booty in a bank and hiring a guard
privacy is keeping people from knowing if you have booty in the first place

what is the difference?  security is a war of attrition.  you hire a guard, i hire a bigger mercenary to take out your guard.... and commodity computing is changing the equation so my mercenary is just as cheap as your guard.  privacy is not, it both predates security and is more fundamental construct and will post-date security.    if you don't know what i am holding you aren't going to come after me.

i am 100% clouded, and gmail is a subtle brilliant value generating product

after several unsuccessful attempts i feel that i have successfully 100% moved into the 'cloud'  - meaning i feel zero connection to any one of my digital devices (thinkpad, macbook, berry, iphone).  why does it work?  mostly because our internet connection is now so fast (we got wimax) that i can work online basically as fast as i used to work on my desktop.  airplanes are slightly less effective time for me now, but it is worth the trade off.

when i went 100% cloud i wanted to do it with protection - which meant figuring out how to aggregate and locally backup all my cloud apps (twitter, gcal, gmail, contacts, gdocs, etc).  it is relatively easy to hack around solutions to periodically pull down and back up your whole twitter history or your contacts, and even all your mail (just set up a pop pull from gmail). 

now, my criticism/realization.  google let's you pull back almost everything, but you cannot in any way i have found (and i have been creative) get your 'sent mail' back - nor can you set up any sort of elegant auto bcc to collect sent mail elsewhere.  google is going to hold your personal email history hostile for all of eternity -- which is brilliant because 1.  for advertising the messages you send and whom you send them to is probably the most valuable bit for them and 2.  i will already pay a fortune to get my entire email record back (all my outbound correspondence).... i am seriously considering doing something weird with mechanical turk (amazon) to see if i can get it out.

original swl blogposts and letters 2007-2010