Diigo Links

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Of Faith and technology

If you don't know what is going on at websites like wikipedia.org, flickr.com, and del.ico.us. you're in the majority and shouldn't feel bad. It's a small slice of the web. But I believe it is important, and will become more important as a precedent of massive, free and open cooperation. I believe the folksonomy movement has what it takes to be the next "democracy" because of its pure and optimistic premise. Whether that potential is realized is less predictable. But without any further need of proof, I can easily say that the folksonomy movement is a dramatic and uplifting display of (albeit very secular) faith.

True faith is open, welcoming and free - like wikipedia.org, flickr.com, and del.ico.us. These three sites form the core of an active faith-based technology movement. The technology acts as a framework and repository, but little more. Typical software (especially true of 1st generation web applications) are strict and exclusive. The folksonomy works on the opposite premise; open and inclusive. The leap that folksonomy takes is allowing the wisdom of the crowd to add its value. Religious institutions would do well to take note of this simple solution that scales well, inspires passionate belief and ownership.

Apple has been the flashiest techno-cult on the block for a long time now. Apple's kudos resides in design, exclusivity and innovation. But it's hopelessly secretive and proprietary, not to mention commercial and shallow. The folksonomy movement has the optimism and vision to become a worthy home for faith. Folksonomy makes the information, and people's interaction with the information primary. Where Apple insists you worship within the translucent walls of their church, folksonomy only asks that you have connectivity and good intentions. There is no commodity to be sold, nothing to be purchased, none of the trappings of the worst kinds of institutions. What remains are the essentials; work, faith and personal responsibility to the group. It's early days of explosive growth for folksonomy. At the very least an area worth watching.

F1 Update: Malaysia

I don't enjoy the artificial structure the new rules inject into the race (mostly the no-tyre-change rule is a bit poxy). But what a great race! Actual passing, sure no lead changes, but give it time. At some points the passing was reminiscent of MotoGP action.

Just a word about Mark Webber's pitiful DNF in the Malaysian Grand Prix. He reminds me of Luke Skywalker in the Empire Strikes Back. He's training with Yoda in the swamp when he gets called away. He's not yet mastered his fear or his passion. He's not yet a full Jedi Master. Against his master's wishes, he returns to the fight and ends up suffering a couple great loses. So we see Mark Webber coming down the straight, not able to be the bigger man and let Italian Giancarlo Fisichella shunt off on his own. Yes Giancarlo was driving like an idiot, but he was in front of Webber. Webber could see him driving like an idiot. The true Jedi Master would not have let the idiot take him out of the race.

For this level of entertainment I will again stay up until all hours of the night for the next race (Bahrain).

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