The best two things to come accross my feed reader in the last week…

Just like your friend who’s obsessively checking out his Facebook, squirrels are avid social networkers.

Perhaps the best part of the entire article is the definition of squirrel “kissing” as “oral contact that doesn’t lead to bickering.”

Also interesting (though less amusing):

Manno tested what would happen to the squirrel network if individuals were removed. Random removals didn’t disrupt the network much, but if more than 10 percent of the colony’s important members were taken out, the network fragmented, leaving it vulnerable to collapse.

If, as many have suggested, most people use internet Social Network Systems not to increase our base of friends (actual “networking”) but to suplement or complement existing social networks, can this be taken as a survival instinct? Is the social disconnect of the postmodern age, the breakdown of community and kinship ties, encouraging us to resort to SNS technology out of an instinctual desire to preserve and foster social systems as a method of self-preservation?


Second item: this Newsweek article from 1995 insisting that the internet is mostly hype, and unlikely to change much of anything:

Try reading a book on disc. At best, it’s an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can’t tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.

As much as proponents of new technology get sucked into the same irrational enthusiasm that captured early proponents of the stereoscope, the motion picture, and countless other technologies, being too quick to poo-pooh the new technology can leave you sounding pretty unimaginative, even ten or fifteen years later.

Which is why I’m not giving up on flying cars.

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