The Information Age is growing up

7 billion people

“If you want to understand life, don’t think about vibrant, throbbing gels and oozes, think about information technology.”
~author James Gleick

The photo is 7 billion people by Kevin Dooley who writes:

7 billion people in the world now, going on 9. Then what happens? Or will even get there?

I was reading “The Information” by James Gleick and was really reminded what a staggering shift the world has undergone in the last 60 years. Strap yourselves in because the next 60 are going to be some ride.

Indeed. You can listen to an interview by Tom Ashbrook on On Point about The Information and also visit author James Gleick’s page about the book.

Kevin is one of my favorite photographers on Flickr (or anywhere), and he posts all his photos with a liberal Creative Commons license. Here’s his Flickriver.

Graveyard Shift

The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanAs you may be aware, Neil Gaiman is my favorite writer. In addition to the fact that he can spin a tale like nobody I know, he also seems to be testing the bounds of the process of storytelling with his unabashed use of blogs, video and other web tech. On his wondrously weird website Mouse Circus, he is posting videos of his 9-city video tour (Oct 1-9). At each stop, he reads one chapter from his new work The Graveyard Book.

Check out Neil reading of The Graveyard Book. If you haven’t read one of his books, might I recommend fixing that with this.

The photo is Untitled by Jenny Murray, who says that while it wouldn’t normally occur to her, she thinks that this photo should be viewed on black. She’s a serial violater of Rule #6, so watch your step.

Dive into her Flickriver because she’s one of the best. Word.

We’re off to see the Wizard (in 3 minutes, 29 seconds)

Sorry for all the weighty posts of late. This is a hilarious blend of something I love (The Wizard of Oz) and something I am almost totally ignorant of (anime).

Read it!Mini-bookshelf bonus review: Son of Witch by Gregory MaGuire (SPOILER ALERT – The Witch dies in book 1!!):

Ten years after the publication of Wicked, bestselling novelist Gregory Maguire returns to the land of Oz to follow the story of Liir, the adolescent boy left hiding in the shadows of the castle when Dorothy did in the Witch.

My take: if you read (and enjoyed) Wicked, you'll probably want to read this (I'd wait for paperback though). If you didn't read Wicked, you probably should. If you did read Wicked and didn't enjoy it, that's totally OK.

The Rivers of the Sun

The sun's rivers are slowing to a crawl.

The Great Conveyor Belt is a massive circulating current of fire (hot plasma) within the Sun. It has two branches, north and south, each taking about 40 years to perform one complete circuit. Researchers believe the turning of the belt controls the sunspot cycle, and that's why the slowdown is important.

"Normally, the conveyor belt moves about 1 meter per second—walking pace," says Hathaway. "That's how it has been since the late 19th century." In recent years, however, the belt has decelerated to 0.75 m/s in the north and 0.35 m/s in the south. "We've never seen speeds so low."

It really boggles my mind to consider things moving this slowly on the sun. Science can be so cool! Read Solar Cycle 25 peaking around 2022 could be one of the weakest in centuries.

While you're there, you can creep yourself out by reading about "unstoppable" flying robot attacks. Sometimes I hate science… 

(seems to me that mini-flying-attack-robots were central to Islands in the Net, one of my all-time favorite novels by cyberpunk daddy Bruce Sterling