This is just one of the bets on Long Bets — a site that is devoted to predictions and bets about all of kinds of things (but mostly social/scientific stuff).
The site is divided into predictions and bets about how the world will turn out, everything from whether machine intelligence will pass the Turing test to whether the universe will eventually stop expanding.
Anyone can predict anything, and any prediction can become a bet when it is challenged. There are a clear set of rules for each bet, and each side of the bet must clearly describe their logic and reasoning for believing that things will turn out a particular way.
Take a look around the site — there are some really interesting bets. One of my favourites is a bet on whether the Large Hadron Collider will destroy the Earth.
I’ve been following Luis Suarez’s mission to live in a world without email with interest pretty much since it started. And while I agree with Luis that email will not die any time soon, I do think Luis’ email journey raises some interesting questions (many of which Luis has noted in blog posts throughout that selfsame journey).
As I was reading the latest post I’ve linked to above, it made me think about why I send email and how I feel about email. I’m sort of ambivalent about the actual act of sending an email — I often get the sense that there are certain things I’d be better off sending through instant messaging, posting somewhere fixed (especially in terms of files) or simply picking up the phone.
I won’t run through an exhaustive list of the disadvantages of email (a quick Google search brings up a ton of results on email’s cons), but its main disadvantages are pretty obvious. Email is impersonal, error-prone (ever forget to cc someone crucial?), fractured, and is often misinterpreted.
Continue reading »
I came across an interesting piece on social networking called “10 keys to making social networking work” by Mark Gibbs over at Network World. Mark’s got some good points about social networking (although I’m not so sure about his fourth point about traditional blogging, I think it depends on your audience), but there always seems to be one thing missing from these types of articles.
Worry about your content first, delivery mechanisms later. Your first job, no matter what type of content you’re creating, is to consistently deliver quality content. The delivery mechanisms for content are not too hard to figure out, and should largely depend on your audience and the type of content you are creating.
I like to write blog posts because I write infrequently, and when I do write, I like to put down a series of thoughts (it’s not always something long, but it’s too much to fit on Twitter). In my opinion, too much focus is put on the immediacy of microblogging — when instead you should be thinking about whether Twitter is the appropriate forum for your message.
And you can’t really get around the content quality issue. If you’re not creating stuff that people care about, there’s really not much point in creating it, no matter what mechanism you use to deliver that content.
OK, I admit it. I don’t like FaceBook. I know it’s hard to believe that there’s someone who actually doesn’t enjoy using the incredibly popular social networking tool — but I don’t.
It’s not that FaceBook isn’t useful or doesn’t allow me to keep up with people — it’s actually been quite useful for that. I’ve reconnected with people that I would have never had the chance to meet up with again otherwise, which has been fun. It’s also fun to check out people’s pictures and connections and see who knows who.
My problem with FaceBook is that I can’t really keep up with the messages and notifications. A long time ago I just assigned all FaceBook messages a particular priority in my email (which essentially is ‘I will never actually look at this’). Instead, I occasionally log in to FaceBook to see if I have any messages — which I often do. I then have a ton of non-personal invites to things (like associations’ groups I belong to on FaceBook, don’t ask me why), which I try to ignore.
Continue reading »
I’ve had a job change recently, which I’m very excited about — which will allow me to focus a great deal more on enterprise search (which I’ve been involved in quite a bit, and I’m very interested in). The new job’s also got a global focus, which I think will also be fun. There’s going to be some additional focus on taxonomy as well, but it’ll be nice to be in a position to see it all fit together. Check out my LinkedIn profile if you’re interested to know more.
As part of my new responsibilities, I’m in Nashville, Tennessee for the week. I’m pretty blown away by how friendly everyone is in this city — very nice. I’ll be back in Toronto tomorrow after my last day here.