clive thompson

clive thompson bw

intro’d to Clive via his new book..

smarter than you think

book links to amazon


smarter than you think on kindle notes

an audacious idea. What would happen if, instead of competing against one another, humans and computers collaborated

Feynman understood the extended mind; he knew that writing his equations and ideas on paper was crucial to his thought. But when Weiner looked over a pile of Feynman’s notebooks, he called them a wonderful “record of his day-to-day work.” No, no, Feynman replied testily. They weren’t a record of his thinking process. They were his thinking process

three shifts—infinite memory, dot connecting, explosive publishing—are

We’re becoming more conversational thinkers—a shift that has been rocky, not least because everyday public thought uncorks the incivility and prejudices that are commonly repressed in face-to-face life. But at its best (which, I’d argue, is surprisingly often), it’s a thrilling development, reigniting ancient traditions of dialogue and debate

We need a new way to talk clearly about the rewards and pleasures of our digital experiences—one that’s rooted in our lived experience and also detangled from the hype of Silicon Valley

it turns out that when chess players were genuinely passionate about learning and being creative in their game, computers didn’t degrade their own human abilities. Quite the opposite: it helped them internalize the game much more profoundly and advance to new levels of human excellence.

on leaving a trail rather than trying/seeking to prove yourself

there’s something even more unusual about catching it unintentionally.

Once thinking is public, connections take over.

the first stage of conversational “augmented reality”: public thinking woven into our real-world public space

The tricky part of public thinking is that it works best in situations where people aren’t worried about “owning” ideas.


Still, for video to really advance as a medium for thinking, there’s one major shift that will have to occur: We’ll need to begin using it to communicate with ourselves.

unless there is. imagine an app that literally sets people free. imagine a turtle shell.

realistically, I suspect there’s no killer app to end distraction. The downsides of being highly networked are constitutionally tied to the benefits. The only way we can reduce the negative side effects is by changing our relationship to the digital environment, both as a society and as individuals.

You’ve got to make the systems so that they help people pay attention to the world in front of them.

…help people pay attention to the world in front of them.


find/follow Clive:

link twitter

clive thompsons site


Clive writes for The New York Times MagazineThe Washington PostLingua FrancaWiredShiftEntertainment Weekly and several other publications….

like mother jones:

clive writing for mother jones



Clive on mesh net.. alter net.. ness .. oct 2013:

clive on mesh


Clive on Thad Starner:

Perhaps most interesting is his distinction between the psychology of finding something and refinding it. If he’s alone and doing research, he’ll use his wearable to google documents, just like any of us sitting at a computer. But when he’s talking to someone, he’ll mostly just ping his notes; he searches online much less often. That’s because his notes are his personal semantic stores; he’s recuing facts, refreshing the details of what he already generally knows. That process is fast and doesn’t distract. But trying to imbibe a new fact requires focus and attention, so he avoids doing it while in conversation.

Starner doesn’t think his use of on-tap recall has eroded his own memory. “It’s actually the opposite,” he argues. His recall of arcane is strengthened by repetition. “If you pull up the same fact seven or eight times, eventually you’ve been reencountering it so often that you wind up remembering it unaided,” he says. That is indeed what technological pioneers envisioned in their dreamy, visionary manifestos.

He uses it his wearable only to look up information that augments a conversation he’s having.

[have to find yet – must be in his book – about his first f to f with Thad – how surprised he was at how awake Thad was in the convo]

about Mann and Starner – on google glass ness et al:

Starner has evolved strict social protocols about when and how to use his wearable computer, to avoid ignoring people. For example, he never checks e-mail while talking to someone. “Your I.Q. goes down like 40 points,” Starner says.

“You’ve got to make the systems so that they help people pay attention to the world in front of them,” he argues.

so that was a quote from Starner.. oops..

Mann: He regarded the picture-taking as a type of note-taking: “Remembering is recording,” he says….. Mann says he thinks that society will eventually adapt to omnipresent recording by everyday people. “Sousveillance,” he calls it, punning on the French word for “under,” sous — surveillance by the many rather than the few.


wear able ness


on jordan

Part of Peterson’s deep allure is that sprinkling references to ancient myths, legends and religious texts can make a completely banal and even wrong/stupid point sound deep and wise. I know; I’ve *done this myself*, heh. Alas. 5/x

Original Tweet: