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The future of information


(Henry D) #1

TLDR: What suggestions should be made to the current news model in order to encourage
a holistic way of information exchange?

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on this forum, about 2 years and when I first arrived on this site, I asked a question.

"Hello F3

For a a few months now I’ve been trying to come up with an mobile app model for a social network.Every model I come up with either seems to similar to the social networks of today or serve no purpose in our daily lives. So I have a question for the forum,
If we suddenly lived in a Utopian society would that society rely on a social network? And if so how could it serve to be a useful(and not distracting) tool?

Feedback greatly appreciated."
I got some interesting responses but it was pretty obvious I asked too big of a question and I was unsure of where I needed to direct my focus. At the time I was only looking at the fact that social media’s pro’s don’t out weigh the cons, I wanted to change what it meant to engage in social media. I began to look into news dissemination, because I believe the next big thing for social platform will be how we interact with the information all around us. I learned we’re currently in a time period where we can’t trust news organizations(never could, hidden agendas), we have more sources for news than ever before to the point where we pick and choose our select channels for news(social media included), and news organizations have tried to adapt but has it been the best solution? Do we still need news gatekeepers? Do journalism ethics and guidelines still have a role in the news model of tomorrow? In addition, if you consider how we define news, the definition has always been dependent on who you ask.

I’m currently have a project where I can develop anything I’d like, so I thought this could be the perfect opportunity (excuse) to see what insights could arise. I’ve taken a research methods class last semester, I’m aware now of the multiple techniques you can use to collect data. And without meaningful data it is difficult to propose meaningful design solutions.
I proposed I would create a concept for a news web application that enables users to understand entire context behind global stories. Redefining the way people engage in meaningful
Not the clearest of descriptions, its still a work in progress. The goals this app aims to achieve are:
• Users can add their own news stories, using blockchain technology for
• All stories presented follow strict and transparent journalisim guidelines.
• Users are presented with the biases for every story presented
• Users are encouraged to engage and share discussions
• Present stories with an intuitive interface and use Augmented Reality to
add further context to stories.

Feedback and critique highly appreciated. Am I looking in the right direction? Do you see a potential use in this application? How do you want to manage and filter the information around us?

(Michael Hrenka) #2

Welcome back Hanray,

just to provide some context for others, here’s the initial suggestion our yours you mentioned above:

What I get from this description is that you feel there’s a need for the reader to get more background information than he’s usually presented. Ideally, information would be fact checked and interlinked with related information on that topic. This could be approximated by some kind of wiki structure in which news articles have multiple links to related stories and sources for the facts they present. This wouldn’t be the perfect solution, because going through dozens of links is a very time consuming way to verify the truth or certain claims. Anyway, let’s go to your points one by one:

What do you want to verify exactly? That a certain user has added a story at a specific time? What would be the value of that? Or do you want to verify more?

How do you want to check and enforce that?

How do you plan on finding out what biases are present in a story? Using the crowd to judge that, or expert evaluations or AI methods?

This is pretty much the norm for social media nowadays, or do you want something more that’s not already out there?

An interface for what exactly? What features do you want to add that should be accessed with intuitive controls? And how do you envision Augmented Reality to play a role in providing further context? I think some data visualization for data that has been linked to a story would be great. But you can already do that on regular web pages and apps without needing AR for that. How would AR help? By enabling more data to be presented at the same time perhaps, maybe via a network of graphs that could be shown to the reader?

At least partially, yes. Being quickly able to find out how true a story is, would be quite useful – at least for those who still really care about that. And grasping the context of a story quickly is very important. Even correct information can be used to mislead people by only presenting part of the picture. So, those are two different problems:

  • Evaluating the truth of information
  • Placing information in a sufficiently complete context

Which of these issues do you think is more important?

If such an application acted as new platform for journalist media, it could educate people very quickly and effectively. An educated population is the requirement for a really well working democracy. There are certainly a lot of groups who don’t want something like that to exist, because it would be disruptive for their own particular interests. A project like this should be backed by the people. Crowdfunding would be the preferred method of financing it.

I’d like top be presented with the relevant information that I need to make the best decision in a particular situation. Information should be timely, relevant, meaningful, and correct. Checking news outlets or social media seems a bit suboptimal for me, because the information presented there may or may not be relevant for me at any particular moment. Instead, being fed the information just before I probably need to act on it, would be preferred. The problem with that may be that there may not be enough time to “digest” that information, but in most circumstances, that would be a superior method.

When considering the far future I would want the most relevant information to be integrated into my mind directly via an AI that connects with my brain via some kind of neural interface. I would suddenly “know” and “remember” all the facts I need to be aware of in any circumstance. Getting such a sci-fi technology to work just right will be a tremendous challenge, but it seems to be the optimal long term solution to me.

In the medium term future having an AI assistant that I can ask about anything and that provides correct and meaningfully contextualized information would be great. Related data could be displayed via overlays in AR glasses or contact lenses.

Short term, an app that unifies aggregation, verification, and contextualization of information would be great. That’s still a lot to ask from a single app, so maybe having three apps for each task would be easier to implement. For the user that wouldn’t be idea, but it would still be a significant improvement over what we have today.


there is a fundamental problem about your project. i mean the distinction between “information” and “facts”.
facts are physically mesurable entities.
informations are parts of a myth.this myth is called truth by his belivers.
so may be you can construct a building based on correlated facts - it is called science.
but imho it is not possible to create a true story involving all the myths, and it is probably not possible to extract the true story from the entirety of the myths.

the observer changes the observed

what you are trying to do is to erect the tower to babel.

but can you do this :slight_smile: and i will help you, if i can


i recommand these films

and the remake:

(Eric Hunting) #5

I wrote a paper for Tallinn U on this very subject a while ago. (though it wasn’t accepted for the particular publication) It was called The Digital Tao. I anticipate that social networking will be very important to future culture and economics, but relying on the advent of Semantic Web technology, its ability for associative reasoning, and hence social-semantic networks that automate the connections between people and the digital environment and also get at a machine comprehension of the intent of individuals and society. ‘Netention’ – networked intention.

So I imagined a digital moneyless economy evolving based on this netention and the ability to associate the congruence between individual and societal intention with ‘merit’ and thus ‘capital’ in a networked automated resource-based economy. Hence the term Digital Tao; the Internet as a kind of digital will or force representing the collective intent of society with a ‘pronoia imperative’ --a digital conspiracy out to help you and everyone else-- to subtly empower each individual where their intentions are convergent.


do you mean a kind of “helping hand” similar to adam smith`s “invisible hand” ?
would this digital will or force emerge sui generis from the infinite wides of the internet, or do you allude to a secret society of hooded men?

what is your theory of intentionality?

(Eric Hunting) #7

Think of it as an emergent phenomenon that arises stigmergically from the interaction of systems. A resource-based economy is an economy driven by the quantitative analysis and projection of demand. On a macroeconomic level money functions chiefly as a crude anonymous metric of demand. But if you can effectively, directly, measure and predict demand --which you can in a digital culture-- money becomes redundant. As we implement the automated networked production infrastructure of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution we will reduce global trade to highly price-capitulated commodities (as most goods become manufactured-on-demand close to their point of use) and increasingly automate exchange. This will allow for the implementation of UBI as a function of demand projection, making the need for cash disbursements redundant. People will simply take what they need from the online catalog and local store shelves. However, there will still be a need for a kind of capital as people need exceptional resources to engage in creative activity.

What is capital? Essentially, capital is a metric of merit that, in the Industrial Age in particular, was intended chiefly for the initiation of production and commerce. Society --or at least a segment of society-- makes an economic bet on certain people that their activity will result in a return on investment that, ultimately, benefits society. But our methods of quantifying merit are poor, unscientific, and commonly influenced by classism and racism. The gatekeepers of capital tend to favor people like themselves. (white, male, and rich) In our still primitive culture, subject to the religious philosophy of Calvinism, the virtue of wealth is assumed self-evident. We assume people are wealthy because they somehow ‘deserve’ it even if the actual details of their merits are unclear. And so the wealthy are always favored with access to capital regardless of their personality or actual performance.

In a digital culture merit becomes more accurately quantifiable through semantic associative analysis. Semantic Web technology will give the Internet the ability to understand the information is holds and conveys and make associations across it rather than simply matching sequences of text and the like without comprehension. With the advent of social-semantic networks it becomes possible for a network to know and reflect the intent of society. The Semantic Web will understand concepts like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and track what things society as a whole considers good and bad. It will be like having an automated direct democracy polling everybody about everything all the time, simply by following the emotion reflected in the information they make and exchange publically.

Social-semantic networks will cultivate a digital record of individual’s lives, public reputation, personality traits, activities, opinions, likes and dislikes, desires and goals, and seek constructive associations/connections with the digital infrastructure and the rest of society --doing this more or less anonymously as association is based on meta-data rather than direct, whole, information. Often such connections will be things like making appointments and synchronizing a person’s schedule to transportation. But it will also include guiding a person to sources of information and people of complementary interests and personality --imagine if Google knew you as a person and could understand your activities and pushed information to you as you needed it or introduced you to people. Ultimately, the social-semantic network can create a model of an individual’s intent and compare it to the model of society’s intent. Where they converge you have the basis of merit, which in-turn becomes a basis of capital. Social capital.

By linking the social-semantic network to the production/economic network this social capital becomes a kind of demand-attractor within those networks. The network makes a bet that, because your intent converges with what society thinks is good, you’re likely doing things that will benefit society and so it opens up a higher bandwidth of resource flow to the points of your access. Imagine if the world’s infrastructure was like a colony of ants or termites that move resources around and they concentrate when a ‘scent’ reflecting demand attracts them. A person who’s intent, interests, and activities align with the intent of society has a stronger scent and so it ‘weights’ the network in their geographical proximity, drawing resources to support what they are doing. And if they are working with others of like interest, their scents combine and strengthen, pulling more resources out of the network toward where they are and what they are doing. And so this social-semantic network becomes a way of automating the measure and award of merit and the disbursement of capital in the form of local resource demand above the basic income baseline.

This wouldn’t be entirely automatic. Sometimes --for big ventures/projects especially–
people will need to actively ‘evangelize’ their ideas and plans through social media to cultivate a positive social opinion and thus cultivate that flow of resources. Likewise, it’s possible to develop a negative reputation through your online performance record that drives down your access to social capital.


i call this the “artefaktisierung”. my english is not shakespearelike, but i think in english this term may be “artefactionising” :slight_smile:


you are probably right. there is a need for a “belive”.

in cause of the bad reputation, let me citate ash the pokemon