the web as EMERGENT

The World Wide Web is a popular example of a decentralized system exhibiting emergent properties. There is no central organization rationing the number of links, yet the number of links pointing to each page follows a power law in which a few pages are linked to many times and most pages are seldom linked to. A related property of the network of links in the World Wide Web is that almost any pair of pages can be connected to each other through a relatively short chain of links. Although relatively well known now, this property was initially unexpected in an unregulated network. It is shared with many other types of networks called small-world networks (Barabasi, Jeong, & Albert 1999, pp. 130–131).

Internet traffic can also exhibit some seemingly emergent properties. In the congestion control mechanism, TCP flows can become globally synchronized at bottlenecks, simultaneously increasing and then decreasing throughput in coordination. Congestion, widely regarded as a nuisance, is possibly an emergent property of the spreading of bottlenecks across a network in high traffic flows which can be considered as a phase transition [see review of related research in (Smith 2008, pp. 1–31)].

Another important example of emergence in web-based systems is social bookmarking (also called collaborative tagging). In social bookmarking systems, users assign tags to resources shared with other users, which gives rise to a type of information organisation that emerges from this crowdsourcing process. Recent research which analyzes empirically the complex dynamics of such systems[25] has shown that consensus on stable distributions and a simple form of shared vocabularies does indeed emerge, even in the absence of a central controlled vocabulary. Some believe that this could be because users who contribute tags all use the same language, and they share similar semantic structures underlying the choice of words. The convergence in social tags may therefore be interpreted as the emergence of structures as people who have similar semantic interpretation collaboratively index online information, a process called semantic imitation.[26] [27]

Open-source software, or Wiki projects such as Wikipedia and Wikivoyage are other impressive examples of emergence. The "zeroeth law of Wikipedia" is often cited by its editors to highlight its apparently surprising and unpredictable quality: The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in practice. In theory, it can never work.

sri 9 years ago

my problem is THINKING...

I have many thoughts and I record them and nothing happens.

sri 9 years ago

What is the PROBLEM?

Engineering is about solving human-defined problems.

sri 9 years ago

instagram as inspiration capture

First you see something you want to capture, then you quickly capture it and mark it up, then you share it and enjoy feeling popular because of "likes". Later you begin staging photos and videos deliberately in order to get that Quick Popularity Rush.

sri 9 years ago

facebook comments are sort of neat

sri 9 years ago

just too funny

sri 9 years ago

I'm inspired

to explain this need to capture inspiration to people who are often inspired....

sri 9 years ago


Receiving signals from the collective unconscious, then synthesizing those signals into your own signals?

sri 9 years ago

artistic inspiration - wikipedia

Inspiration (from the Latin inspirare, meaning "to breathe into") refers to an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, musical, or other artistic endeavour. The concept has origins in both Hellenism and Hebraism. The Greeks believed that inspiration or "enthusiasm" came from the muses, as well as the gods Apollo and Dionysus. Similarly, in the Ancient Norse religions, inspiration derives from the gods, such as Odin. Inspiration is also a divine matter in Hebrew poetics. In the Book of Amos the prophet speaks of being overwhelmed by God's voice and compelled to speak. In Christianity, inspiration is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

In the 18th century philosopher John Locke proposed a model of the human mind in which ideas associate or resonate with one another in the mind. In the 19th century, Romantic poets such as Coleridge and Shelley believed that inspiration came to a poet because the poet was attuned to the (divine or mystical) "winds" and because the soul of the poet was able to receive such visions. In the early 20th century, Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud located inspiration in the inner psyche of the artist. Psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung's theory of inspiration suggests that an artist is one who was attuned to racial memory, which encoded the archetypes of the human mind.

The Marxist theory of art sees it as the expression of the friction between economic base and economic superstructural positions, or as an unaware dialog of competing ideologies, or as an exploitation of a "fissure" in the ruling class's ideology. In modern psychology inspiration is not frequently studied, but it is generally seen as an entirely internal process.

Ancient models of inspiration

In Greek thought, inspiration meant that the poet or artist would go into ecstasy or furor poeticus, the divine frenzy or poetic madness. He or she would be transported beyond his own mind and given the gods' or goddesses own thoughts to embody.

Inspiration is prior to consciousness and outside of skill (ingenium in Latin). Technique and performance are independent of inspiration, and therefore it is possible for the non-poet to be inspired and for a poet or painter's skill to be insufficient to the inspiration. In Hebrew poetics, inspiration is similarly a divine matter. In the Book of Amos, 3:8 the prophet speaks of being overwhelmed by God's voice and compelled to speak. However, inspiration is also a matter of revelation for the prophets, and the two concepts are intermixed to some degree. Revelation is a conscious process, where the writer or painter is aware and interactive with the vision, while inspiration is involuntary and received without any complete understanding.

In Christianity, inspiration is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Saint Paul said that all scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy) and the account of Pentecost records the Holy Spirit descending with the sound of a mighty wind. This understanding of "inspiration" is vital for those who maintain Biblical literalism, for the authors of the scriptures would, if possessed by the voice of God, not "filter" or interpose their personal visions onto the text. For church fathers like Saint Jerome, David was the perfect poet, for he best negotiated between the divine impulse and the human consciousness.

In northern societies, such as Old Norse, inspiration was likewise associated with a gift of the gods. As with the Greek, Latin, and Romance literatures, Norse bards were inspired by a magical and divine state and then shaped the words with their conscious minds. Their training was an attempt to learn to shape forces beyond the human. In the Venerable Bede's account of Cædmon, the Christian and later Germanic traditions combine. Cædmon was a herder with no training or skill at verse. One night, he had a dream where Jesus asked him to sing. He then composed Cædmon's Hymn, and from then on was a great poet. Inspiration in the story is the product of grace: it is unsought (though desired), uncontrolled, and irresistible, and the poet's performance involves his whole mind and body, but it is fundamentally a gift.

Renaissance revival of furor poeticus

The Greco-Latin doctrine of the divine origin of poetry was available to medieval authors through the writings of Horace (on Orpheus) and others, but it was the Latin translations and commentaries by the neo-platonic author Marsilio Ficino of Plato's dialogues Ion and (especially) Phaedrus at the end of the 15th century that led to a significant return of the conception of furor poeticus.[1] Ficino's commentaries explained how gods inspired the poets, and how this frenzy was subsequently transmitted to the poet's auditors through his rhapsodic poetry, allowing the listener to come into contact with the divine through a chain of inspiration. Ficino himself sought to experience ecstatic rapture in rhapsodic performances of Orphic-Platonic hymns accompanied by a lyre.[2]

The doctrine was also an important part of the poetic program of the French Renaissance poets collectively referred to as La Pléiade (Pierre de Ronsard, Joachim du Bellay, etc.); a full theory of divine fury / enthusiasm was elaborated by Pontus de Tyard in his Solitaire Premier, ou Prose des Muses, et de la fureur poétique (Tyard classified four kinds of divine inspiration: (1) poetic fury, gift of the Muses; (2) knowledge of religious mysteries, through Bacchus; (3) prophecy and divination through Apollo; (4) inspiration brought on by Venus/Eros.)[1]

Enlightenment and Romantic models

In the 18th century in England, nascent psychology competed with a renascent celebration of the mystical nature of inspiration. John Locke's model of the human mind suggested that ideas associate with one another and that a string in the mind can be struck by a resonant idea. Therefore, inspiration was a somewhat random but wholly natural association of ideas and sudden unison of thought. Additionally, Lockean psychology suggested that a natural sense or quality of mind allowed persons to see unity in perceptions and to discern differences in groups. This "fancy" and "wit," as they were later called, were both natural and developed faculties that could account for greater or lesser insight and inspiration in poets and painters.

The musical model was satirized, along with the afflatus, and "fancy" models of inspiration, by Jonathan Swift in A Tale of a Tub. Swift's narrator suggests that madness is contagious because it is a ringing note that strikes "chords" in the minds of followers and that the difference between an inmate of Bedlam and an emperor was what pitch the insane idea was. At the same time, he satirized "inspired" radical Protestant ministers who preached through "direct inspiration." In his prefatory materials, he describes the ideal dissenter's pulpit as a barrel with a tube running from the minister's posterior to a set of bellows at the bottom, whereby the minister could be inflated to such an extent that he could shout out his inspiration to the congregation. Furthermore, Swift saw fancy as an antirational, mad quality, where, "once a man's fancy gets astride his reason, common sense is kick't out of doors."

The divergent theories of inspiration that Swift satirized would continue, side by side, through the 18th and 19th centuries. Edward Young's Conjectures on Original Composition was pivotal in the formulation of Romantic notions of inspiration. He said that genius is "the god within" the poet who provides the inspiration. Thus, Young agreed with psychologists who were locating inspiration within the personal mind (and significantly away from the realm either of the divine or demonic) and yet still positing a supernatural quality. Genius was an inexplicable, possibly spiritual and possibly external, font of inspiration. In Young's scheme, the genius was still somewhat external in its origin, but Romantic poets would soon locate its origin wholly within the poet. Romantic writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson (The Poet), and Percy Bysshe Shelley saw inspiration in terms similar to the Greeks: it was a matter of madness and irrationality.

Inspiration came because the poet tuned himself to the (divine or mystical) "winds" and because he was made in such a way as to receive such visions. Samuel Taylor Coleridge's accounts of inspiration were the most dramatic, and his The Eolian Harp was only the best of the many poems Romantics would write comparing poetry to a passive reception and natural channelling of the divine winds. The story he told about the composition of Kubla Khan has the poet reduced to the level of scribe. William Butler Yeats would later experiment and value automatic writing. Inspiration was evidence of genius, and genius was a thing that the poet could take pride in, even though he could not claim to have created it himself.

Modernist and modern concepts

Sigmund Freud and other later psychologists located inspiration in the inner psyche of the artist. The artist's inspiration came out of unresolved psychological conflict or childhood trauma. Further, inspiration could come directly from the subconscious. Like the Romantic genius theory and the revived notion of "poetic phrenzy," Freud saw artists as fundamentally special, and fundamentally wounded. Because Freud situated inspiration in the subconscious mind, Surrealist artists sought out this form of inspiration by turning to dream diaries and automatic writing, the use of Ouija boards and found poetry to try to tap into what they saw as the true source of art. Carl Gustav Jung's theory of inspiration reiterated the other side of the Romantic notion of inspiration indirectly by suggesting that an artist is one who was attuned to something impersonal, something outside of the individual experience: racial memory.

Materialist theories of inspiration again diverge between purely internal and purely external sources. Karl Marx did not treat the subject directly, but the Marxist theory of art sees it as the expression of the friction between economic base and economic superstructural positions, or as an unaware dialog of competing ideologies, or as an exploitation of a "fissure" in the ruling class's ideology. Therefore, where there have been fully Marxist schools of art, such as Soviet Realism, the "inspired" painter or poet was also the most class-conscious painter or poet, and "formalism" was explicitly rejected as decadent (e.g. Sergei Eisenstein's late films condemned as "formalist error"). Outside of state-sponsored Marxist schools, Marxism has retained its emphasis on the class consciousness of the inspired painter or poet, but it has made room for what Frederic Jameson called a "political unconscious" that might be present in the artwork. However, in each of these cases, inspiration comes from the artist being particularly attuned to receive the signals from an external crisis.

In modern psychology, inspiration is not frequently studied, but it is generally seen as an entirely internal process. In each view, however, whether empiricist or mystical, inspiration is, by its nature, beyond control.

See also

Afflatus, the Romantic concept of inspiration Automatic writing Divine spark Epiphany (feeling) Genius (literature), the development of the concept of the genius from daemon to innate gift Glossolalia (or speaking in tongues) Muses, the Classical source of inspiration

sri 9 years ago

I was inspired to make this space

I've been making this for an hour and now I am hooked... It's true, I just want to fill in this space and then read everything on it again later!

sri 9 years ago


Artists channel their racial memory, huh?

sri 9 years ago

the UI inspires people

I wish just by seeing it, kids would want to use it.

sri 9 years ago

remember Delicious?

just snip it from a bookmarklet and it shows up in your metanotes?

Save the web?

sri 9 years ago

I wish folks knew about IRISH SLAVERY

The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies.

By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat (70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves at this time).

From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and over 300,000 were sold as slaves.

Ireland's population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade.

During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were forcibly taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. Another 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia while 30,000 Irish men were sold to the highest bidder.

In 1656, Oliver Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

African slaves were very expensive (50 Sterling), had to be transported long distances and paid for not only in Africa but in the New World. Irish slaves were cheap (no more than 5 Sterling) and most often were either kidnapped from Ireland, prisoners or forcibly removed. They could be worked to death, whipped or branded without it being a crime. Many, many times they were beat to death and while the death of an Irish slave was a monetary setback, it was far cheaper than the death of an expensive African. Therefore, African slaves were treated much better in Colonial America.

The importation of Irish slaves continued well into the eighteenth century, long after the importation of African slaves became the norm. Records state that after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousands of Irish slaves were sold to both America and Australia.

Irish slavery didn't end until Britain decided to end slavery in 1839 and stopped transporting slaves.

sri 9 years ago

i really do

White Christians were sold on the auction block, in chains

White Christians had their teeth checked and their muscles probed, like cattle

White Christians were stripped naked for all the world to see

White Christian families were split apart

These horrific deeds did not just happen to Africans

These horrific deeds happened to White Christian slaves to satisfy the "need for labor" on the plantations and in the factories of the elite, White and black

It's estimated that in the colonial period of the United States, up to the Revolutionary war, at least half (some say two thirds) of all the Whites that entered Colonial America were slaves

Some say that the Blacks were slaves, the Whites were servants. Historical documents proves this to be false

In the original documents of the White merchants who transported negroes from Africa for the slave markets the Blacks were called servants

"...one notes that the Company of Royal Adventurers referred to their cargo as 'Negers,' 'Negro-servants,' 'servants...from Africa..." (Handlin. p. 205)

This proves that slavery was not racist

Slavery was classist

Slavery was economic

In the 1600s slaves of both races were called servants

Elite Whites, and some blacks, would enslave whoever they could get, regardless of race

Notice this advertisement includes negro, Indian and a "fresh complexion servant" who has run away

All slaves

sri 9 years ago


The artist is inspired by unresolved psychological conflict...

sri 9 years ago


I want to capture my inspiration.

Once captured I want to

  • Share the space I created.
  • Have that space go "viral"?
  • Revisit the inspiration later and get inspired again by what I created.
sri 9 years ago


Art is a dialogue between competing ideologies, because the ruling class is lying.

sri 9 years ago


Why would millions of kids want to use METANOTES?

sri 9 years ago

how the user thinks

I want to make this thing then show it to my friends

sri 9 years ago

this inspires me so should I make an unamerican metanotes space?

sri 9 years ago


What are my wishes with METANOTES?

sri 9 years ago

being CRAZY is the key

  1. Crazy people don’t give a f*ck what other people think

Crazy people are privy to the ultimate secret life has to offer: Once you let go of caring about what others think, you’re free to do what you truly want to do.

When you’re not shackled to the handcuffs of societal “appropriateness,” you will do what you please without fearing disappointing the masses.

This gives you the courage to fearlessly embark on new business projects and recklessly dive into the arms of the love of your life, regardless of his or her gender, sexuality or what your friends and family think.

  1. Crazy people think outside the confines of a box

Most people reserve their thoughts into that of a tiny, minuscule, little box. A box is a square made up of four restrictive lines.

Crazy people attain the capacity to think beyond the confines of a box and instead find razor sharp edges and soft curves in everything.

  1. Crazy people don’t know or care what the rules are, let alone feel the need to abide by them

“Rules” were created by the imagination-less populous as a way to control brilliant, creative minds.

People who are free of independent thought vehemently fear creative creatures — it’s the very reason books are burned and art is banned.

How can you have a thriving, authentic love life if you’re following “rules” of the relationship timeline and protocol, and it’s not working for you or your partner?

How can you be a good friend if you’re judging?

How can you be a groundbreaking entrepreneur if you’re perpetually following orders and afraid to think beyond what’s already been done?

  1. You say, “no,” and a crazy person hears “I Dare You.”

I dare you to tell a crazy person “NO.” Say, “NO,” to a crazy, and he or she will simply take it as a challenge to prove your sorry ass wrong.

Isn’t it the undying relentlessness, the refusal to be shot down, the inability to settle and the downright confidence to keep trucking along after you’ve fallen rejected exactly what it takes to be successful in anything at all?

  1. Crazy people are crazy enough to believe in themselves

It’s an insanely competitive world. The world is teeming with pools of incomprehensible talent.

When we realize how huge this world is and how many masses of people are fighting for the same job, the same person, the same dream home — it’s enough to make us want to throw up our hands and give up.

Yet there are only few who “make it”– whose dreams come to fruition.

It’s not because they’re more talented or brilliant; it’s because they’re the only ones crazy enough to believe they are, indeed, powerful and special enough to break through and be seen.

  1. Crazy people aren’t shackled by the fear of failure

The pressing fear of failure is what holds us back from ever taking a glorious risk.

We can’t imagine it’s ever going to be possible to recover after a cracked heart or the cold stone fist of rejection, so we choose to protect ourselves from love instead.

Crazy people aren’t afraid to fall. Crazy people aren’t afraid to taste the concrete.

They aren’t perfectionists; they understand there is nothing in the world that can’t be healed.

They recklessly dive in, while the rest of us hide beneath the comfort of our 1,000-thread-count sheets, protecting ourselves from feeling the bad — but also from feeling the otherworldly good.

  1. Crazy people don’t ask for permission

Crazy people never ask for permission; they live by the saying, “I would rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.”

They go for it. Maybe they’ll end up in jail. Maybe they’ll end up with an Oscar.

Maybe they’ll up married on a beach in Fiji, or maybe they’ll end up starting a highly successful customized headband company — who the f*ck knows?

Either way, the fear of getting into “trouble” doesn’t stop a crazy from embarking on a revolution.

  1. Crazy people are glittering entities with heaps of star power

When I was a little girl, I used to get lost in wonder at what exactly it was that made actors “movie stars.”

What did these mega famous entities attain — besides talent and good management — that made society so deeply infatuated with them?

As I got older, I realized star power lies in individuality. Their success is a direct result of the fact that they don’t blend in. They’re something different, something we haven’t seen or can’t explain.

  1. Crazy people are rich with wild integrity

Every leader of every social revolution was called “crazy.” Crazy people are unable to ignore the truth and be silenced in the face of adversity.

  1. Crazy people are driven by passion, not money

When money is the ultimate goal, there is only so far a person can go.

You may achieve financial success, but you will burn out. It’s not enough to sustain you.

When you’re passionate, nothing can snuff out your fire, and inevitably, that will lead you to longer, more powerful success.

  1. Crazy people are crazy enough to trust themselves

Crazy people are keyed into their sixth sense, the inner voice, the gut, the heart, the instinct. We all have it, but most of us don’t trust it.

This is where we go direly wrong. This is when we end up f*cked over and in trouble.

Crazy people trust their gut and don’t intellectualize themselves out of it.

sri 9 years ago

Why would they start new spaces?

I wish I had a solid reason that folks should open up a new METANOTES space that I could really articulate.

sri 9 years ago

delicious UI

sri 9 years ago


This is REAL THINKING in a way that isn't possible with Word, or a scratchpad with a sharpie. I can't tell you why but this is just better.

sri 9 years ago

to brainstorm

Shouldn't you brainstorm more?

sri 9 years ago

What Topics To Think About?

Don't you want to think about it?

sri 9 years ago

delicious bookmark extension

sri 9 years ago

to start a plan

sri 9 years ago

Delicious bookmarklet look

sri 9 years ago


Imgur (pronounced "Image-er") was created in 2009 by Alan Schaaf, a student at Ohio University in Athens. He made the site "as a gift to Reddit," because he was annoyed at how hard-to-use so many of the Web's photo-sharing sites were.

In a message to the Reddit community, he wrote:

"I got fed up with all the other image hosts out there so I made my own. It doesn't force you to compress your images, and it has neat things like crop, resize, rotate, and compression from 10-100. It's my gift to you. Let's not see anymore imageshack/photobucket around here ;)"

In the years since, Imgur has actually grown larger than Reddit. The site crossed the 100 million user mark in September. That's bigger than Reddit's audience of 85 million, and up from 30 million at the beginning of 2012.

Those stats are according to The Atlantic's Megan Garber, who just wrote an excellent 3,000-word story about Imgur (the kind of positive, access-given story that comes out about a startup when it is fundraising or on the block).

Imgur is now based in San Francisco, where 10 people work for the company. It's not a huge business, but does generate some revenue through ads, memberships, and a new product its testing: sponsored images. Imgur also sells image-hosting capacity to other companies. One of its clients is Yahoo.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/imgur-and-yahoo-acquisition-talks-2013-12#ixzz3dwAxMuy8

sri 9 years ago

i need this pillow

sri 9 years ago