howard rheingold

howard rheingold bw

There’s really too much to add on Howard. Google him. [He models with grace what Weinberger writes of in Too Big To Know. how to focus (from technofiles) on what matters..]


very cool documentary via collaborative society feb 2014:

Howard Rheingold is a visionary writer and teacher on the subjects of new media and technology. He is the author of many books – his latest being “Net Smart”. He has taught at UC Berkeley and Stanford University amongst others.

Ever wondered how networks permeate our worlds or if the internet catalytic effects could resemble that of an enzyme? Why does the future of digital culture depend on your use of it? Come with us, as we explore some of these questions with Howard Rheingold.

not just a typewriter but a mind amplifier

howard and d

ronald holt – structural holes..

diverse networks and networks that have bridges


My first encounter with Howard:

One of my first encounters with the web was like three-four years ago 2009ish . It was a fireside chat (podcast) with Howard Rheingold, Dean Shareski, and Alec Couros.
It was there I started thinking about the importance of considering..

who's together in a room space per choice
ever since, (or maybe before without my being able to verbalize it) I’ve been craving convos like that.

Being a part of and listening to.. people.. think out loud.

the art of conversation.
the art of the web connections.

in a space


Who’s together per choice, web and/or face to face… I love this advice he put on facebook, when he was sharing that it was his 35th wedding anniversary:

My advice to my daughter about relationships: Is it fun? And (equally important) Does he have your back? Judy has waded into streetfights on my behalf, nursed me through chemotherapy, bailed me out of jail, cared for my mother when she was dying….I can’t begin to enumerate all the ways she has supported me when times weren’t so fun. Ah…don’t get me started.


A second major learning from Howard was his reference to Barry Wellman’s networked individualism in his book, Net Smart, p. 57 ish.

Some of my fav parts (might clean this up later.. for now including it all – as is – while I took notes):

his note to Judy and Mamie – w/o you what’s the point

love watching people.. figuring them out.. indulging in ongoing curiosities about them.. so reading all his ventures was lovely. his attention toward people.. refreshing.

smart mob – people wo are able to act in concert even if they don’t know each other

these devices will help people coordinate actions w/others around the world – and, perhaps more importantly w/people nearby (resonate w/a quiet revolution, city as floorplan)

mobiles – not just a way to do old things while moving, a way to do things that couldn’t be done before.

not just about building tools, but what we use the tools to do.

he described my node/net moment in nyc on p 2.

cell – as remote control for your life

helps you to live in rhythm with others

60’s – self interest = public good – are we there again?  p. 48

copyleft – like paper tape in mit drawer

the person has become the portal  (networked individualism)  p.57

like going put on your x-d glasses:

p. 60: when network aimed at broadcast – linear; when transaction between individual nodes – squared; when it includes ways to form groups – exponential

machines have no business sleeping

genius of naptster – no altruistic sharing motives need be present, … sharing is the default..  p. 72

via doctorow – relevance switching: creating own self-udatig map of net by querying the social networks of people who share  your interests  p. 77

mesh.. p, 80 – sheep shit grass, every user provisions the resource he consumes

detox app .. p. 87 – tech help you to know what you need to know and helps connect you to groups that would benefit you and you can benefit

p. 100 – making it possible to click on the real world and expert something to happen, 5 bill codes scanned, and from 2003, detox app thinking so doable, no?

p. 102 – chips in air – happening yet?

gershenfeld – the real promise of connecting computers is to free people, by embedding the means to solve problems in the things around us

people who trust each other inherit each other’s webs of trust.

hiding crap is the easy part. the real achievement is finding quality.

reputation/transparency/surveillance – induces people to police themselves..

kept talking about people finding loopholes.. made me think of bud’s post today

p. 132 – marc smith – if people who can provide one another with a needed good or service can easily find one another and get assurances and recourse so that they can trust one another , a wealth of pent-up value can be released.

new to me  802.11b means – wireless cards…

wifi popping up in expensive coffee shops

ch 6 – wireless quilts – want kosta to see

telecommunications spent 150 bill in late 1990’s (so now don’t want it to be free?)

if one thing unites the disparate wifi activists, it’s the conviction that they are asserting a right to a public good

check out video of colonel dave hughes (from colorado – co city) – wifi on indian reservations

lessig on machiavelli – innovation makes enemies of all those who prospered under the old regime, and only lukewarm support is forthcoming from those who would prosper under the new  p. 155

kelly – how do humans exhibit emergent behavior?

p. 179 – Bernardo Humberman, collective intelligence, emergence

p. 194 – Maenpaa – places and times are not planned in advance; rather people agree (or just understand without further mention) to call “when they get there.” this makes life less bound, since it is possible to arrange each day according to the events it brings about.

i love this… perpetual beta.. always in the now.. shift on thinking of time

p. 195 – barry wellman – networked individualism.. it is easier for individuals to connect with multiple social milieux, with limited involvement in each one, which in turn diminishes the control each milieu exercises over the individual and decreases its commitment to the individual’s welfare. people switch fluidly from network to netwrok, using their communication media to contact the social network needed for each moment..

i love this as well.. diminishes the control..

p. 196 – love this as well – the presence of those who are absent…

p. 200 – joseph weizenbaum – ai, 1976

p. 202 – how ubiquitous mobile internet access and info embedded in places might reshape cities

p. 212 – howard: i have used the term “smart mobs” because i believe the time is right to combine conscious cooperation , the fun kind, with the unconscious reciprocal altruism that is rooted in our genes.

our choice..          what we know and what we do matters…


More sage advice:

“In previous eras, it may have been true that “it’s not what you know but who you know.” Today how you know what you know matters as much as who you know, and one of the most valuable traits a person could have in a twenty-first-century organisation is a knack for knowing “who know who knows what.”” (Howard Rheingold)

There’s one formula for collective intelligence: introduce a large number of people making refined decisions to a platform that makes it easy for them to share those decisions, add intrinsic value to the curation platform that serves the curators’ self-interest, mix in  ways for individual curators to group and communicate. If it sounds easy, the hidden difficulty lies in recruiting a sufficiently large population of participants.

Humans keep changing the way we communicate — writing, the alphabet, print, telephone, broadcast media. And with new media practices come new social practices or new twists on older social practices. We attach familiar names to the new — horseless carriages and wireless telegraphs came to be known as automobiles and radios, and now we have Internet radio, shortwave radio, FM radio, satellite radio. Affinity spaces and hacker spaces, co-working spaces are emerging in the physical and the online world. So I do agree with Gee that it doesn’t make sense to call every affinity group a community, as well as agreeing with Wellman that people can receive the general benefits most people attribute to communities from online communications.

descartes – we need an entire new way of thinking
printing – changed how many people are literate like crazy – which changed how we did things.. changed our ability to work together..
via: how-did-howard-rheingold-get-so-net-smart-an-interview-part-two.html

 @hrheingold: Understanding how networks work is an essential 21st century literacy.

syllabus for net smart  – higher ed and hs

podcast interview april 2014:
howard on sasm
lots of great resource links in regard to Howard on this site/page
6 min – my mom (art teacher) didn’t teach technique so much as she taught permission. ie: not so much about the art  – but the conversation you have with yourself while you’re making/creating art

rheingold (mom) art law:

not so much about the art
parents telling him – the problem is not you – it’s the institution of school. my parents vigorously fought for my right to color outside the lines..
we’re encouraged to pick a tribe.. pick some culture that’s been created for you..
8 min – i decided – i didn’t want to fit into a niche… i wanted a career that would enable me to think about what i wanted to think about..
15 min – are we in control of where our attention goes..
16 min – pay attention to when your attention moves away from your intention..
intention for the day ness
25 min – if anyone who makes choices.. makes those choices available..
interview w/robin good
27 min – the commons – a resource for which no one can be excluded –
so the problem w/commons is that they can be enclosed..
none of us are free if one of us is chained ness (shut out)
30 min – how to help commons.. if no additional cost – make your stuff available to others.. the more i share the more comes back to me.. 
2005 ted:
The new power of collaboration
7 min – every unsecure transaction is a good ie of the prisoner’s dilemma
11 min – Elinor Ostrom
humans do destroy commons.. but also many escape prisoner’s dilemma.. via collective action
we may be moving into an economic realm very different from what we’ve known
13 min – Yochai Benkler..another econ form
19 min i- what forms of suffering could be alleviated if we knew a little more about cooperation
june 2014 – interviewed by Mamie:

Past, Present, and Future of Virtual Communities

Howard shares on fb – mar 2015:
I’m retiring from Stanford in about a week. A student made a short video about me. Students like this is why I did it.

much love.

the man.

and the sentiment..

doing things that don’t require words to go through my head..

beyond words

tools for thought
Find/follow more of Howard here:
howard's site
Follow the feed to his writings here:
howards dml page for howard
net smart
book links to amazon
notes while reading net smart:
smart mobs
book links to amazon
notes while reading smart mobs:
interview with Jeff 2014:
we’ve got to figure out a way (to use all this tech) that is beneficial to all of us
quote from Howard during unit 5 of connected courses:
love of taking charge
detox ness – as a means to get that innate ness back..

monday, march 12, 2012

howard rheingold

just finished Howard’s Net Smarthow to use social media intelligently, humanely, and above all’s digital literacies can make the diff between being empowered or manipulated, serene or freneticfive literacies he shares (and has a uni and hs syllabus to share as well)

  • intentional attention – intention is the fuel of attention
  • networked individualism, breathing is the regulator of attention, if you don’t know how to be alone, you will always be longely..turkle
  • democratization enables vulgarization, mindfulness is most important practice for anyone trying to swim through infostream, instead of being swept away by it,
  • do what you normally do, just do it with awareness

crap detection:

  • don’t refuse to believe, refuse to start out believing
  • those who contribute info online, show higher levels of concern about credibility. a 10 yr old online game enthusiast or videoblogger may do more sophisticated credibility testing than an 18 yr old uni student who doesn’t use the web much
  • i might add credibility … if verified prof, md or phd, but i wouldn’t subtract it from people w/o credentials whose expertise seems authentic
  • journalism is becoming something more akin to a network than a guild
  • not drowning is not the same as swimming..
  • expertise in recognizing expertise


  • messing around – friendship driven community
  • geeking out – interest driven community
  • media sharing and production as a form of social currency
  • am i drunk on participation, or cashing in on it..
  • a mind that has changed is more likely to imagine a world that can change
  • learn to ignore trolls (nasties) and pay attention to critics; they are your teachers, giving you free advice
  • curation is short for – we are all each other’s filter
  • google itself is not the curator, we are
  • godin: if we live in a world where info drives what we do, the info we get becomes the most important thing. the person who chooses that info has power.
  • pic something very specific and become the world authority on it.. own that small niche
  • you can’t easily erase bad talk about you online, better to dilute it with good talk – boyd
  • the successful use of twitter depends on knowing how to tune the network of people you follow, and how to feed the network of people you follow  – twitter is a flow


  • tim berners lee and web, he didn’t want to own it, he wanted to use it
  • the lack of a need for either permission or rewiring was possible because lee was into collabing
  • socia norms of trust, sharing, and reciprocity enables people to accomplish tasks together in novel ways
  • paying attention to each other – literally the ability to look where another person is pointing. the multiple person attention dance known as learning is our species most powerful invention
  • trust lubricates markets
  • wayne macphail – prof in canada: you need coordination to dance, cooperation to dance with a partner, and collaboration to dance with a flash mob
  • move from mutual benefit to common purpose
  • interdependence
  • the ability to thrive in a chaotic collaborative environment: emergensight
  • collaboration radar, sixth sense about who would make the best collaborators on a particular task
  • joi ito: if you’ve never read any business case histories, but you’ve run a guild, or organized a raid, or spent time resolving drama and disputes in w of w, your mind-set is well prepared for the real world in a very different way than a college mba would be prepared to run a company
  • collective intelligence: nobody knows everything, everyone knows something, everything is shared/accessible to all
  • knowing the diff between a community and a network is as critical socially as crap detection is essential informationally
  • assume goodwill
  • jeff howe, wired mag, gave the name crowdsourcing to the phenomenon of breaking problems or tasks in to small pieces, and then making an open call for voluntary participation
  • businesses inviting customers to help design products (duke, davidson, ipods)
  • empower people to experiment – weber
  • make it easy for people to contribute
  • if you can let yourself be filled with the love for that shared goal, you can get past a lot of editing differences – wales, wikipedia
  • antoine de saint exupery: if you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea
  • if more people repair vandalism than commit it, then the system becomes robust even it, paradoxically, it remains vulnerable (boyd-ish again)
  • the key value of wikipedia is its transparency (if teachers could embrace wikipedia more, we could be practicing critical thinking more)
  • fear inactivity more than making mistakes

network smarts:

  • christakis: the surprising implication is that at least part of your happiness might depend on people you never met, network awareness might be vital to your health and happiness
  • exponentiality.. many to many
  • in a network dominated by linear connectivity value growth, content is king (sarnoff)
  • in a network that is squared or parabolic – transactions become central (metcalf)
  • in a network that is exponential – jointly constructed value is central (reed)
  • in social systems, the amount of centrality (how well the node interconnects people in diff parts of networks) can be more powerful than the degree or number of ties
  • my research mehodology – stumble on something, become curious, ask others, and then look where others point.
  • shift from a group-centric sociality to what wellman callsnetworked individualism (interdependency i’m thinking)  – rather than relying on a single community for social capital, individuals often must actively seek out a variety of appropriate people and resources for diff situations  – the person has become the portal
  • most important criteria for getting help, help others, pay it forward, we have hard data on that.
  • innovation depends on continual informal interaction in cafes and bars and on the street
  • unlike financial capital, trust increases when you use it and becomes depleted if not used
  • success also depends on how different the people you know are from each other
  • as parents are panicking, teens have been learning
  • there is no single recipe for a mindful life in the digital mediasphere;reflection is required (detox)
  • today, how you know who you know matters as much as who you know, …. who knows who knows what…
  • baron – change – good or bad – in language, thought, and society depends ultimately on individual choice.
  • spike in oxytocin occurs after using twitter for 10 min
  • attention literacy is reflective. crap detection is analytic. participation is deliberate.

thank you much Howard…


april 2013 – at uni of utrecht (netherlands) – Howard starts about 16 min in:

46 min in – we wouldn’t be talking about the web at all if it weren’t for participation. it wasn’t started by a government, but by people..

Rutger Bregman?


Howard guest posts on the peeragogy handbook:
peeragogy guest post

The Peeragogy Handbook ( is a peer-created and peer-maintained online resource for peer learners. The Web is a cornucopia of texts and tools for motivated self-learners, from YouTube and Google to Big Blue Button and Open Educational Resources. Never before has so much knowledge and so many communication media been available for learners. The Peeragogy Handbook is a resource for those who have the motivation and the access to online texts and tools, but who could use some help with group peer-learning pedagogy. The Peeragogy Handbook was created by a network of more than 30 volunteers around the world — and is open to anyone who wants to enlarge and improve it.


on teacher appreciation day – we get this from Howard on fb:

howard's mom

On teacher appreciation day, I have to start with Mrs. Rheingold, my mother and art teacher, who fiercely defended my right to color outside the lines. I wrote a little bit about her on the art tab of my website:

This is my mom, Hannah Geraldine Rheingold, toward the end of her life, at 99.  When she died, I wrote about her on my blog of the time. The next day, I started getting email. She had retired from teaching thirty five years ago. Her former students, dozens of them, had not known how to find her until I wrote that. So many of them needed to testify about how they didn’t realize until later how she had changed their lives by simply allowing them to make art. Thank you, Mrs. Rheingold, for giving us permission.


and here is Mamie, Howard’s daughter – documenting a DIY school with her dad.


this is evidence of a rich man:

howard on facebook

last i checked he had 242 rich – heart-felt responses…

Howard Rheingold This thread has been an amazing experience for me as well as my students. Life online can lead to very rich interactions.


oh my… Howard in 1976 as martian reporter:


written in 1963:

howard's virtual community

The Selling of Democracy: Commodification and the Public Sphere

There is an intimate connection between informal conversations, the kind that take place in communities and virtual communities, in the coffee shops and computer conferences, and the ability of large social groups to govern themselves without monarchs or dictators. This social-political connection shares a metaphor with the idea of cyberspace, for it takes place in a kind of virtual space that has come to be known by specialists as the public sphere.Here is what the preeminent contemporary writer about the public sphere, social critic and philosopher Jurgen Habermas, had to say about the meaning of this abstraction:

By “public sphere,” we mean first of all a domain of our social life in which such a thing as public opinion can be formed. Access to the public sphere is open in principle to all citizens. A portion of the public sphere is constituted in every conversation in which private persons come together to form a public. They are then acting neither as business or professional people conducting their private affairs, nor as legal consociates subject to the legal regulations of a state bureaucracy and obligated to obedience. Citizens act as a public when they deal with matters of general interest without being subject to coercion; thus with the guarantee that they may assemble and unite freely, and express and publicize their opinions freely.

 In this definition, Habermas formalized what people in free societies mean when we say “The public wouldn’t stand for that” or “It depends on public opinion.” 



The Internet as Playground and Factory


jun 2015

A good short convo abt literacies of attention, crap detection, participation, collaboration, network know-how

Original Tweet:

on creating a healthier commons

commons ness


july 2015

I’m making a slow exit from my explorations and practices around digital media & learning as I spend more time making/learning art

Original Tweet:





Jon and Gardner and Howard – “Thinking Like the Web”: A Conversation with Jon Udell – 2014:

5 min – jon: a word .. made up.. (hashtag).. to draw us together.. how profoundly diff that is..

6 min – howard: also very web like that hashtag was invented by twitter user.. not by twitter.. ie: wasn’t in mind of people who created platform…

9 min – jon: danger of losing things.. as we pkg things up

gardner: our complaints about lack of agility in collaborating.. yet .. holding back on tools we have

10 min – jon: in the end.. this is not something you can explain to people.. although that wikipedia screen cast i made… until you give people an experience that directly involves them… embed them in that world…it doesn’t really sink in. .. so that’s been my overriding challenge.. how to put people into the driver seat..

perhaps because we are embedded now.. in the pkdg deal.. (ie: school, supposed to’s, ..)

let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

for (blank)’s sake

a nother way

11 min – gardner – on community calendaring..

jon: i haven’t been able to scale out … putting people in the driver’s seat….. standards.. calendar structures..  those are sorts of literacies i would hope school would teach my kids.. that info can have structure..

could we be moving past this now..? standards.. not dumbing down… but allowing.. all the ways… d weinberger.. too big to know.. structure less ness.. so that we can now use ie: blockchain, deep address, .. let tech facilitate madness.. so that we can swim in ie: idiosyncratic jargon.. et al.. rather than ie: jumping through hoops to fit in somewhere..

15 min – howard: irony of people saying don’t have tech means.. is that what’s the web was originally offering..

17 min – jon: writing on web.. is colonizing own space on web…. on calendars… on how we keep adding same info in all spaces… rather than ie: coin in one space and we can all access.. web of small parts loosely connected – syndication…

21 min – gardner: infrastrucutre becomes a language

22 min – jon: still haven’t been able to convey the power of the tag

24 min – howard: stigmergy ness and ants… they are leaving little signals that reconfigure environment.. don’t need to look under hood

stigmergy ness

26 min – jon: on the natural language/human ness of the hood.. very organic

what if tech can free us from ie: the alphabet.. words.. et al

28 min – howard: writing on web.. distinction between audience, market, & public

33 min – gardner: what is happening when you use a social construct as language to communicate what you want … what is the experiential context of web literacy.. are there analogies to language (writing) we already know..

35 min – jon: on losing site of writing being major mode.. many don’t use that mode of expression.. for me..

37 min – howard: the word literacy a little misleading because it’s not just writing… all kinds of ways.. activities.. take your interest.. and use that the way the hashtag is ued to activate individuals and communities to help you…

39 min – jon: any body can share expertise.. so when you want to .. you should know how to..

so.. what if we make it simple enough.. for 7 bill people .. today..

42 min – jon: on awakening a grain of sand – such a powerful thing that it’s almost frightening….

43 min – howard: i don’t want to leave out the idea of curation.. if you’re interested in something.. if you share the results of your judgment.. you’re creating a public good useful to everyone else… if you want to establish yourself.. if you curate (the stuff you’re finding) – people interested in that will find their way to you… you are 1\ adding to commons 2\ drawing people to you…

44 min – jon: but only if you do that curation in public.. a lot of people are doing that privately..

so imagine 7 bill doing that.. everyday. as the day..

46 min – jon: i’m worried.. we’re back pedaling…

howard: critical uncertainty.. i think the cu today is whether sign portion of population will continue to understand what makers of web did.. that ie: we can do this… what’s dangerous is the threat of enclosure.. that you have to go to one of these org’s (nature of the enterprise) to share… rather than .. that you have agency.. you can create ie: hashtags… we need a greenspace.. to continue to invent… a generative web… has to be taken by people.. in own hands..

49 min – jon – on domain of one’s own… jim groom…  establish own web identities and colonize those spaces…

imagine we don’t wait till uni.. imagine we don’t spend our days in institutions… self talk as data.. as the day..

51 min – gardner – talking a cultural change

55 min – jon: cultural barriers – this question of assessment and eval.. why not just connect kids directly into wikipedia

indeed. that.

jon: we’ve got to eval way students are living in network… that’s hard.. id on’t pretend there’s an easy answer

perhaps… it’s not so hard.. perhaps the answer is to disengage from measuring/eval-ing.. why are these brilliant men… still assuming ie: uni, school, et al..

59 min – gardner: my fear is that if higher ed goes.. this space won’t exist anymore…

? unless higher ed dissolves into all of us.. as the day.. we’ll actually have more.. no? city as school/uni


networked individuaism graphic


jan 2017


I just published “The Past Futures of Howard Rheingold:”…

Anyone can read what I wrote (key passages are printed out and displayed with my art) in 1985 about 2005, in 1990 about 2016, in 1992 about 2002, in 2002 about 2012. Did I accurately describe the future, given today’s power of retrospect? Here’s my sense of the future, in black and white, over fifty years; judge for yourself.


The intuitive aspect cannot be denied. Institute for the Future (which will exhibit my art work February-June 2017)knows well that there’s no algorithm or invariant recipe for assembling signals and trends into a coherent scenario of the future that turns out to be accurate. Something else besides research is going on with my forecasting of future social, psychological, cultural, political impacts of emerging technologies — a sense of how it all might fit together, what it might mean, what opportunities and pitfalls each new medium might present.

The wordless conversation with myself I’ve been conducting since age 16 in painted, shaped, constructed, and now programmed media — my art, from my shoes to my illuminated spiderwebs — is what has fed my sense of the shifting gestalt of new technologies, emerging media, and our psychosocial reactions to them.

self-talk as data

Since my teens I’ve continually and ritually explored parts of my mind that can’t be sensed through words. There’s a part of art that involves seeing in new ways and manifesting that way of seeing in an artifact that has some effect on the minds and senses of the viewer. And there’s a part of art that is about allowing new forms to come into being through the artist; this part requires the artist to look rather than see, and to help give form to whatever is bubbling up. My visual art often follows where the manifesting form takes me, rather than rendering an image I already hold in my head. I’ve practiced the art of turning on my internal intuition faucet and then manifesting foresights into communicable media when they come to me through the flow.


I was thinking beyond what experiments should be done next, but on where the electronic amplification of consciousness might lead… in the future.

The focal problem of this thesis is that of *delineating the tools and methods by which one can determine the range of consciousness of which man is capable and the methods of achieving that potential…Mandalas express in symbolic form the interplay between microcosm and macrocosm, inner and outer, between man and the world around him.

*host-life-bits via self-talk as data

the photos alone are worth it.. but so much more.. gem-filled from gem man.. thank you Howard..


One of my better interviews abt social media, learning, literacies, crap detection

Original Tweet:

8 min – virtual communities – attending weddings/ capital..

22 min – so much focus/assumption of school ness..ugh

38 min – make art and feed my subconscious.. becoming who you are.. we’re all artists..

39 min – steven johnson new book on play.. knowing how to have fun.. play is how we learn

41 min – virtual communities.. modern communication… and art… what would happen if everybody had a lot of bandwidth… more collabs.. a lot of people bumping into each other..serendipidously and then doing things together..

imagine via self-talk as data

43 min – we wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for people who created things they wanted to have fun with..

imagine 7 bn free to play with gershenfeld sel


howard fb share:

Catalog for my art show at Institute for the Future (thank you, IFTF!)


what happened when I turned 70

Original Tweet:


1998: “We are all partaking in, and many of us are helping to build, something that none of us understands. There are taboos against looking too critically at the real politics of technology.”

Original Tweet:

we need to think about a new way to think about technology..t

let’s try this Howard – tech as it could be

Let’s begin by not mistaking “thinking together” for “rushing for a solution.”

Perhaps the answer is not in the realm of “problem — -> solution.” Perhaps we need to think/feel outside that frame.

indeed.. outside the frame

same day via fb

I wrote “disinformocracy” in 1993 “this notion of online subscribers as commodities isn’t likely to go away. It’s based on one of the most successful money-making schemes in history, the advertising industry”

There is an *intimate connection between informal conversations, the kind that take place in communities and virtual communities, in the coffee shops and computer conferences, and the ability of large social groups to govern themselves without monarchs or dictators. This social-political connection shares a metaphor with the idea of cyberspace, for it takes place in a kind of virtual space that has come to be known by specialists as the public sphere.


What used to be a channel for authentic communication has become a channel for the updating of commercial desire..t

let’s try *2 convos

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

if there’s hope.. it will come from a new way of looking at technology..we need to look closely at new technologies and ask how they can help build stronger, more humane communities-..t

2 convos that io dance.. as the day.


thinking about thinking about what to do about tech


Not only are these not answers, the list of questions is incomplete. What should I add — and why?

perhaps rather than what can be done about tech (as we’re using it now.. ie: profit/ads).. we ask what could it be.. ie: could it be something to help us make all the things tied to market ness (ads, coops, etc) .. irrelevant..? because measuring us/transactions.. is messing with us.. and seems times are begging/allowing for a leap 


while reading Jaron‘s dawn

@BryanAlexander @bikehugger @rtanglao Lanier doesn’t understand diff bet collective action (voluntary, distributed governance) & collectivism (coerced, central control)

Original Tweet:


fb share about Fred:

I’ve had very few mentors. Fred Turner was and is one of them.


fb share march 2018 on Jay Baldwin

 came to the Whole Earth crew at Gate 5 Road more than 20 years after the first Whole Earth Catalog. When Kevin asked me to take over as editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, I knew that the editor was really the impresario of a network of networks, a community of communities, which was really Stewart Brand’s genius — a “network entrepreneur,” Fred Turner called him in “From Counterculture to Cyberculture.” I had two strong mentors to guide me in Whole Earth values (which I would summarize as “think for yourself, question your assumptions, look at whole systems”): the late Richard Nielsen, and “JB” — Jay Baldwin — the “tools guy,” student of Bucky Fuller, and much more. Whenever anyone said the word “progress,” he would thunder “progress toward WHAT?” I just heard that he died. You did good, JB. And thank you.


Howard on team human

My hero Howard Rheingold @hrheingold on @teamhumanshow recorded live in SF at @GrayAreaorg – on mind amplification. Then a conversation with Howard and @Annaleen Newitz about whether reality can be reduced to a machine.

Original Tweet:

4 min – h: the output device in 77 was a teletype.. i just got into involved.. because.. i heard that you could write on a computer screen and didn’t have to retype your pages over and over again .. and when i got my hands on one i realized.. this was not just a better typewriter.. that it was a mind amplifier

6 min – d: first realizations that it’s all connected.. first fractal.. security.. hunger.. environ.. .. w one fundamental thing going on a certain level.. personal mind change can make all the problems solvable..

7 min – h: i don’t know about making them all solvable.. but it seemed apparent even then in early 80s.. well it was apparent to me earlier.. when i ws 16-17.. that in my lifetime we were going to see the human race come to some kind of conclusion..

8 min – h: lsd/acid and willis outer body.. all these things converging.. seeing they couldn’t really be solve instrumentally.. that it had to do w people changing their minds.. now that we’re having 2nd thoughts about the world that we’ve built.. there’s a lot of echoes what happened in 19th cent when people started moving from villages to cities.. community to society.. a lot of fears/arguments.. are really echoed by kinds of fears we have today..

9 min – h: willis’s conviction.. and he was my mentor.. i was in my 30s.. was that we were at the beginning of a global mind change..  and that mind change would enable individuals to understand our role in averting the disaster.. that was coming

d: and you were a true believer in that sense

10 min – h: well .. i was a believer in that everything that i was taught was probably wrong.. and i think that’s the one thing we had in common from our lsd experience.. that there are many other ways to see the world than the one we’re taught..  continuing the process of schooling.. which is really training people to comply with social order.. (via annalee?).. when she said that i realized i remembered that the first thing i understood when i faced a class of students was..  some de programming was going to have to be involved here..if we’re really going to get back to learning..

detox as detox..

11 min – h: it’s the instrumental vs the sacred.. what can we do to that will enable us to have more energy/time/food..  vs what are we doing that’s meaningful to us..

12 min – h: joseph weisenbaum wrote a book.. in 60s.. called computer power and human reason.. he was part of the original ai lab at mit and .. he created the first bot.. eliza – that would do a trick.. asking you leading questions.. he became disturbed how people took this seriously.. went pretty far eliza.. and he said (in book).. computers enable us to write very large part – a part of human capability.. which is reason.. but reason is not the only thing that makes us human..  we’re all kind of floating on the enlightenment assumption that reason is better than blind belief.. and that knowing more is better than not knowing.. and i believe that and admit it’s my prejudice .. but we see it manifesting in a way that’s become autonomous from our desires/needs as humans..

13 min – h: human starting re shaping the planet actually before homo sapiens.. a couple of hundred thousand years ago using fire.. and roughly 10 000 yrs of agri civilization.. so people lived in diff way for 20-30 times longer that we livied in these aggregations of cities and w social hierarchies.. and w tech and agri.. .. the narrative has been that there’s progress from savagery to civilization.. somehow h g’s were living a some way that was less desirable.. then when we start applying reason to the way we live.. in a more mechanical way.. mechanical in the sense of treating humans as components in a larger machine

human history

d: right.. rather than parts of nature.. than gears in machine are two diff ways of looking at it

15 min – d: when first meeting you..and .. the well.. digi tech wasn’t the big deal yet.. but psychedelics seemed to be the way we found each other.. then there was a sense that we were part of this conscious conspiracy.. to enable humanity’s if not ascent at least improvement

h: well.. there was something wrong and something right about those early revelations.. what was right was.. the way that i and everyone has been enculturated.. is not the only way to be.. that we have been trained this way.. there was the idea that if everyone could see that .. that life would be better.. but it turns out .. that leaves out a lot of other problems..

16 min – d: leary (known for advocating the exploration of the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs under controlled conditions) said.. the digi tech was like psychedelics.. and the internet was like lsd.. and now everyone’s gonna take it.. and if he was right .. in a sense.. then humanity is not living on a psychedelic substraight.. only because we’re so utterly unprepared for psychedelics and we have such an awful set and setting.. humanity is having this bad trip

17 min – h: well.. i called it a mind amplifier.. what’s really interesting about tech is not that enables us to harness more energy.. but that it enables us to extend our power to perceive/think/communicate.. and along the way .. it intersected w capitalism.. and i remember sitting on my law in 91-92 thinking.. what’s the most important thing..that this social communication and computers would lead to.. what are the more important critical uncertainties.. and i concluded.. well.. are we going to be more free as individuals.. is democracy going to be stronger.. that led me to the notion of the public sphere.. not just about electing your leaders.. it’s about having a population who are free enough.. educated enough.. to argue about issues.. to form an opinion.. to shape policy

krishnamurti free will law

wondering if we were truly free.. if we’d spend our days.. ie: arguing about ways to shape policy.. i’m thinking not.. i’m thinking we’d all by pre occupied with making/doing/being our art.. the art we can’t not do.. and the art the world needs..

i think.. thinking we have to have a democracy where we can be heard on certain issues.. is something we were trained to believe..

hinking maté trump law.. and petter‘s showing of sway.. to be not us

18 min – h: and podermous’s fear was that the manipulation of opinion thru public relations and the corruption of journalism.. would enable people w power and money to manipulate the public sphere..  but what none of us really saw was that the tech capability of surveillance and data veillance of everybody and the manipulation of attention would become a machine for making money.. a very attractive one.. for those of us who are caught up in it.. so i think it’s very very recent that people have started recognizing the fact that we are sort of trapped..

fractal of uni no..? via stefano..

19 min – d: on john barlow..  govt really seemed like the enemy.. then wired has him write.. and he writes ie: govts of world beware.. don’t need you here.. go away.. this is cyberspace ..leave us alone.. .. what we didn’t realize.. and maybe he did .. if you make the internet a govt and regulation free zone.. what you’ve done is opened it up to capitalism and corporatism.. it’s like if you take antibiotics and kill all the bacteria in your body then the fungus grows.. so .. *it’s sort of that..  you get rid of govt then corporatism grew.. and then we got this commercial net that’s been really hard to recontextualize ever since..  **do you think we had too much faith in some.. that we’d be able to do this w/o top down regulation..

*well.. kind of .. not really .. that would mean you’re comparing govt to the self-reg in our natural bodies.. right..? that’s way diff…

**i’m thinking it’s more that we didn’t offer an true alt to the cancerous govt reg

21 min – h: well the question of regulation is how many troops are you going to send to columbia..  to iceland.. who’s going to regulate it.. and that’s always been a huge issue.. and now of course we’re seeing that there’s a chinese internet and a persian internet and an american internet.. and it’s become balkinized (divide into smaller mutually hostile states or groups) in that sense..  i think we tend to talk about these kind of things in mechanician terms.. i think it’s more complicated than that.. life is much much better for a lot of people because of this machine we’re trapped in and it’s also a big problem.. and if you want to start pulling on that thread.. it goes a long way back.. if you start talking about humans and our relation to tech.. you’ve got to realize that we’ve got these hands.. that grasp things.. tech has been a part of what we do for a lot longer than our second thoughts about what we’re doing to us

22 min – d: tim leary used to say that marxists were the least psychedelic people in the world.. he thought marxism and psychedelics were in compatible.. which is interesting..  do you think psychedelia has a kind of optimism to it that’s more compatible w libertarian capitalist.. neoliberal mindset.. the sort of globalist totalitarian mindset.. all is one.. one market.. open market..

23 min – h: well.. you’re talking about a world of 20-30 yrs ago.. and times/people change.. *i think having your eyes open to the fact that you’re taught how to see the world and that we are interconnected in ways that we are not taught.. is important.. but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be able to make things better.. just by knowing that..

*this is huge to what i think we’re missing.. (along with thinking so many are doing better) .. i don’t think very many.. have had their eyes opened.. the blinding ness is so pervasive.. and subtle.. and compulsory.. i mean.. we can’t even question/get-out of..a school ness mindset.. even though we seem to be saying the right words about that.. i think we could make things better.. if everyone knew that..  but such a small fraction are free enough to know/admit it.. and when/if some small number does.. it’s all out of sync enough.. that it can’t make an impact on the blindness..

h: although again.. back to this enlightenment belief system.. i thought about this for a long time  .. when i first started writing about where would digi media take us.. i wrote.. in 85.. i was not thinking myself as a scholar/academic.. but as a freelance writer.. trying to tell a true story.. the best i could.. but immediately i got a lot of critiques from academics.. about their fears.. where this would go.. so i really started thinking about it critically early on ..

24 min – h: then in early 90s i wrote about where social communication thru computers and networks going to go .. and then in the early 2000s.. what about these devices we’re carrying with us.. finally.. my conclusion was.. it really depends on what people know.. so there’s a missing element between the economics and the mechanics.. which is the know how.. and i’d have to say that my most optimistic scenario now is that we’re really in a world divided between.. not the haves and the have nots..  so much as the .. know how to use this stuff and don’t know how to use this stuff . .

perhaps that’s a red flag we’re doing it wrong.. ie: if we have to train.. perhaps it should be sans econ..

25 min – h: unfortunately.. *there’s a proportion of people who don’t know how to use it or use it in a malevolent way.. that has poisoned the commons.. will we ever get to a point where it will become better..? or will we simply have people who know how to find their way thru the dangerous stuff to do what they need to do for themselves..

*i think it’s more that people are coping in those ways .. because we’re compulsorizing/domineering something that is unnatural/unknown.. if we would use tech as it could be.. for something that’s already known/in-each-person.. we wouldn’t have this issue.. of.. a need to learn .. in order to know.. the basics..

27 min – h: i’ve been accused of being an optimist for a long time.. and i’m really not.. how can you know anything about history and really know what’s going on right now and be terribly optimistic.. but when i was pretty young i decided that the only nihilist was a suicidal nihilist.. and i didn’t want to do that .. so i decided to choose to be hopeful..

28 min – h: i think w’ere in general descended from creatures who said.. there must be someway out of this terrible situation.. so .. thinking that does not guarantee that you’re going to survive.. but not thinking that.. is pretty much a guarantee that you won’t.. so.. i don’t really know what the big answer is.. but i think a little answer is.. spread truthfulness..

29 min – h: it may be too late in a sense.. so i wrote about what i think are the fundamental social literacies.. starting w attention.. this was 2012.. and it’s pretty clear now that *attention is the handle that we’ve been grabbed by.. and .. **you know it’s not coercive.. we like to put our attention into these apps that are sucking our attention and selling it.. to advertisers.. and you know .. this wasn’t created as a conspiracy.. it just evolved..


**maybe not coercion.. but voluntary compliance.. simulated thinking blindness.. the sway as petter talks.. any which way.. i don’t believe it’s our first choice.. i don’t believe we’re truly freely choosing our days..

30 min – d: you’ve experienced the threat of extinction on a personal level.. a cancer survivor..  you came out on the other side a survivor.. done w books.. now you’re an artist..

31 min – h: well i was lucky.. a lot not so lucky..  well . . if you do survive it.. there’s a huge gift .. which is.. people ask me..  how i am .. and i think.. i don’t have cancer.. what’s the problem.. and i truly believe.. this is not a joke.. that the secret to happiness is having appropriate expectations..  most of what we suffer in life.. has to do w wanting more than we have at the moment.. so.. i can breathe/stand/shit/see.. i’m happy w that .. it ain’t gonna last forever.. i’m completely aware i’ve had 8 years of extra innings.. it helps..

32 min – d: and you’re an artist w/o running ads on your art.. you started a patreon

33 min – h: i can’t encompass a big solution to these problems we’ve been talking about .. but i think that embracing small ones.. is a good idea..

let’s go ginorm small howard.. 7 bn people ..truly free as the day.. to do what you’re talking about.. what you’re doing.. their art..

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

h: one way we got into this is that small step on the banner ad.. maybe we can get out of it.. what i love about patreon.. two things.. 1\ it’s a diff business model.. it’s not about attention/surveillance/advertising.. it’s about people paying creators.. and creators paying each other.. remember ted nelson’s original dream for what the net was going to be.. that we would pay each other micro payments for what we were doing.. if you read alan kay.. and what ted nelson have to say these days about the way the web went.. they believe a lot of the problems we have are essentially problems that stem from tim berners lee.. not really understanding the visions that they originally..  i don’t think that’s going to overwhelm advertising as an econ engine.. but it’s a little green space there..

crowdfunding ness.. alan..  tim..

34 min – h: and the other thing i like about it.. 2\ is the diff between an audience and a public.. when you write a book.. it’s the message in the bottle and maybe you meet somebody eventually who read the book.. but you’re not so connected w them..  and that was one of the things we both loved about the well.. you could write and get immediate response.. for it.. and audience.. are kind of faceless out there.. and you broadcast to them..  and they pay you.. but a public can talk back to you.. they can link to you.. they can dispute w you.. they can give you ideas.. having a public in mind .. who like what you do well enough to pay you a dollar or two a month gives you a very diff mindset when you’re creating.. than when you are creating a book for a publisher and the publishing world..

what if there was no money.. imagine that diff mindset for creating..

35 min – h: and also.. i did the book game.. for most of my life.. and i’m not interested in doing the art game.. this is a way i can make my art and show my art to people.. since this all started.. i spend a lot of time everyday.. sharing knowledge w people.. just pumping it out there.. that’s the way you become a writer.. that’s what writers do.. you don’t have to be paid for everything.. you do.. and it turned out very quickly.. *for everything i put out i get 10x back.. that is i think one of the things that’s really a great legacy of the internet culture.. if you do pay attention to and respect and help people..  they will help you back.. there’s a kind of social capital that **many many people are able to use online.. and i like the idea of there being a little green space in this terribly mechanized cultural world in which people are appreciating each other’s contributions..

*but that’s you howard.. it works for you and amanda.. kind of (you still have to spend some of your time/mindset selling it some).. but it’s working for you to some extent.. because you’re already well known.. how will that work for the homeless guy.. or the guy in jail.. or the refugee..

not knocking what you’re doing/saying.. i just believe there’s currently.. a nother way for 7 bn of us.. to be free.. and we’re missing it..

**not enough.. has to be all of us.. (because it can be all of us today)

37 min – d: (on us liking to see into his mind because he models experiencing awe) .. in society it feels like so many potential experiences for awe have been kind of micro dosed.. like lsd became prosac.. or the net.. collective mind became the cookie cutter profiles of fb.. the places i used to look for awe have become very predictable/limited.. where do you look for awe.. what’s your source of awe these days..

h: you know.. we’re taught not to appreciate awe.. and we’re taught to comply w a kind of grey world.. very early in my schooling.. like the 2nd grade..  i could not physically sit in that little cramped desk all day.. and i particularly didn’t want to listen to things i already knew.. you know.. (on it being called add now) .. pathologizing attention that’s not narrowly focused.. it’s a long story.. industrial society.. schooling.. we’re grooved into these channels.. there’s a great graphic novel.. called unflattening..  about how all that happens to us.. and i was expelled form the classroom and they sent me to the art room .. and my mom was the art teacher.. and she believed that we’re all artists.. that we all gain pleasure from expressing ourselves creatively.. but that we’re shut down very early.. when someone looks over our shoulder and says.. that doesn’t look like a horse..  you can’t be an artist..

39 min – h: so my mom.. my teacher.. kind of protected my ability to color outside the lines.. and then.. to circle back to psychedelics.. just thru circumstance.. my first psychedelic trip was when jfk was assassinated.. that day.. so a very dark vision of the future of america.. and i can’t say that things have happened any differently from what i saw when i was 16 .. and that’s a kind of apocalyptic way to think when you’re 16..17 yrs old.. so that really forced me to decide.. that i was going to try to find out what was going on .. during this last act of the human story..  *so.. i fought to not have to be interested in just one thing..t

the it is me ness

imagine a mech to listen to and facil 7 bn daily curiosities.. as it could be

40 min – h: when i started teaching students it was really clear.. the students i taught.. were very very good at figuring out what was going to be on the test.. and you know.. we are humans because we love to learn.. because we learn socially.. and no matter how much we are propagandized.. we still have that love of learning in there somewhere.. but boy.. it’s kinda hard to dig it out by the time you’ve got to berkeley or stanford..  so i do think.. one of the things that we have now .. is that.. there used to be a monopoly on learning..  that the schools had.. and if you were a dedicated autodidact.. you could learn some things.. w/o going to school.. but nowadays.. if you were to ask a 14 yr old.. how would you configure a web server..  or learn how to play the ukelele..  i would be that they would say.. i’ll go search on youtube..  you’ve got youtube/wikipedia/google..  *there are resources available to people who want to learn.. that never were available before..

*yet.. not everyone is free – time or getting to those resources wise – in order to take up that offer..

41 min – h: *what’s lacking is the knowledge of how to do it.. because schooling trains us w learned helplessness.. **we receive our learning rather than to engage in it..  so ***i’m very excited about the possibilities of learning outside of the very slow changing ed

*i don’t know.. i don’t think knowledge of how to do it is lacking.. i think again.. it’s that not everyone is free – (time or getting to those resources wise) – in order to take up that offer

**and that engagement comes from w/in .. from daily curiosity.. ie: you’re saying people need to learn web literacy.. to me that sounds like days of old saying people need to learn algebra.. i think those are assumed/mandated.. stepping stones.. for a given/normed agenda.. i mean..  if all i want to do is build treehouses.. or grow carrots.. i might not need the web.. but you’re saying we should do that first..?  i go back to your comment.. the love of learning is w/in each of us already.. and if we let that out.. we’ll find a way to learn whatever we want.. whenever..

***this howard.. this.. 2 convos the day..

d: but somehow retaining the joy of the human mimisist.. because so much of learning is being w another human whose.. doing that thing.. not to go to ukelele uni.. but.. this is what a ukelele player does..

indeed doug.. so .. let’s focus on facilitating that.. everyday.. for 7 bn people..  as it could be

42 min – h: well .. i started calling my students co learners.. and that had a remarkable effect .. if you give them permission to cooperate rather than compete.. and *seed it w a few ie’s that are enjoyable.. of course they take to that.. it’s much more interesting/fun to learn together.. and that’s of course **one of the things that social media enables.. is that you can learn together..  w people you may not have ever met or known before.. but share a particular interest with you..

so.. just imagine.. 7 bn people w that permission.. everyday.. no need to *seed anything.. (that .. ie: incentives.. only needed when we use school/uni as a means of domination.. et al)

and today.. we can go beyond *that.. and facil daily connections.. locally even.. via our changing/unsatiated curiosities as data..

43 min – annalee joins in ..

d: convos blossom in living room.. ability for higher level convo

in a space ness

45 min – a: do you see any line between that belief.. discovering we’re constructed.. and that way that libertarianism works

46 min – h: as usual.. it’s more complicated than that.. the techs we’re talking about.. computers/net.. came from an unexpected collision of

1\ war..

2\ some individuals.. many who had taken lsd.. but in general thought.. we don’t have to do things the way ibm and at&t want us to do them..

and then eventually..

3\ capitalism..

and.. none of those players would have chosen the other one.. but.. there were just some happy circumstances in that .. take the war machine picked this interesting guy by the name of j c r licklider.. who found other interesting people.. like doug engelbart.. and engelbart was really a pure idealist.. again.. affected by his lsd experience.. but his motivation was.. can we make some tools that will help people work together to solve the problems that we’ve created for ourselves.. he deliberately turned down being an entrepreneur.. he didn’t want to be a computer scientist in academia.. but when it turned out that the military industrial complex needed better ways to communicate w computers.. that enabled him to do that.. i think he probably wouldn’t have chosen that.. and they wouldn’t have chosen him.. and then what emerged.. became an amplifier of human capabilities.. and he was an engineer..



48 min – h: and a lot of the things that happened.. would not surprise people who are looking at more of how humans do things.. rather than how machines do things.. so a lot of the elements that we decry (publicly denounce) really come from the amplification of aspects of human nature.. and we think..  how could people do such savage things.. i look at it the other way.. how can such hyper successful predators aspire to what we aspire to

49 min – d: the west culture at that time put self-actualization at the top.. it was self improvement and..  i don’t even believe in the self anymore.. we took a tech that was originally about sharing computer cycles.. and turned it into the personal computer.. which dovetailed so perfectly with you.. you’re the one.. corp capitalism..

a: funny thinking about it that way.. because lsd does fit in nicely to.. i’m the center of everything..  and then think about what howard was saying that internet born between a collision of the military and psychedelic culture..  (i realize that’s reducing a more complicated collision)..  it kind of makes the military the good guys in a weird way.. they were the ones that said.. let’s figure out a good way to communicate.. let’s bring people together an make communication simple..  and it’s true.. if you strip away a lot of the other stuff that the military does.. one of the things that’s really important is making sure you can *communicate clearly.. and making sure that large bodies of people are aware of what’s happening.. having situational awareness.. so .. the collectivist tendencies on the internet.. may come from an unexpected place.. that origin story may be that the military is kind of responsible for the collective parts and then *lsd is responsible for like.. snapchat.. filters..

*communicate an agenda clearly.. not communicate clearly..


51 min – d: could say lsd is when we turned the phone on ourselves..

h: i think we’re using lsd as a signifier for consciousness and if you were to remove the drug from the story.. our consciousnesses are expanded thru our use of these techs in ways we never would have dreamed of before.. and you’re talking about the emergence of this diff culture.. things changed.. america was a very conformist society.. one in which racism was part of our laws.. it was a society in which people didn’t question going off to asia and killing a lot of people.. *those things all changed during this same period.. where the causation starts and stops is hard to tell.. but we live in a world in which.. and maybe that’s not so good for americans.. we think in a much less monolithic/unified way.. you know.. it’s the idea of the imagined community.. everyone read the same newspapers and saw the same tv channels.. and got same idea of society.. white people saw that.. as what america was.. and that illusion was ripped away.. and it was ripped away quite consciously by people who fought to rip that illusion away.. and **now we’re still dealing with.. as you said.. when you take the facade away..  there’s the genocide and the slavery.. that enables us to have a society which ***everyone can have personal computers.. we’re living w these very painful contradictions that have not yet been worked out.. but before this all exploded.. it was just unconscious.. it was not acknowledged..

*agree.. but still a long way from freedom from that thinking

**yeah.. that

***not that.. not everyone

53 min – a: so in that sense what we’re really talking about .. not really lsd.. but social movements of the 60s.. that called into question the way things had been done.. much more focus on govt and military than capitalism.. and now i think we’re looking at a new phase in social revolution that is coming out of the same tech..  connected devices.. and that is i think much more about.. capitalism.. and i think we’re right in the middle of having that facade ripped off and we’re realizing.. oh.. all these people i thought were people on fb aren’t real..  and that illusion of these people i was talking to .. was enabled by a capitalist structure that was selling ads to a russian org that was structured like a company.. who’s entire goal was to subvert democracy..


58 min – a: on .. our consciousness showing up and us not recognizing it .. so we enslave it..

how is that diff from now..?

1:00 – h: i think a personal learning asst would be a great idea.. but i’ve also.. thru the last 10 yrs of projection of hopes about ed.. onto the entrance of tech to ed.. until we really deal w learner agency and enable them to learn.. rather than passively absorb what is fed to them.. then the tech issue..  is moot..

yeah howard.. begs a mech that simply listens to daily curiosity from 7 bn people.. and facil that

1:01 – h: to me.. what’s important about the use of social media in ed.. is that it enables this kind of *discourse and collective action.. to learn.. among the **students.. who ***previously had been isolated competitors in the classroom.. why are we all getting together in the same physical ****space anymore.. you can see my lecture on youtube.. being together as a group ought to take advantage of our ability to learn socially.. but schooling.. is all about stripping that away

2 convos that io dance.. as the day..

**let’s label none of us that way or all of us that way.. i’d rather we focus on label ing curiosities..

***i would say they very much still are..  ie: if lucky enough to get out of classroom.. because of ongoing norms/constraints of rest of people in society.. still isolated from.. diff ages.. people who are awake.. resources.. freedom to change mind/tribe everyday.. et al

****in a space ness.. let’s go .. in the city… as the day

1:02 – q: a lot of problems today have to do w blind faith.. we tend to believe things very deeply .. is there a possibility that we could find a cure for blind faith..  could ai play a role in nudging us along to develop our critical thinking skills..

johansson choice blindness law

1:03 – a: so like place our faith in ai.. i think probably not.. i actually don’t think humans have as much a problem w blind faith as you might think.. i think humans are trusting and i think that we do fall for tricks..  but.. i think that what we can look forward to.. as we become more familiar w the tools of social media.. we’ll become more savvy sm users.. and we won’t have this problem like we’re having now.. we trust our friends.. and that’s a good thing.. but some of aren’t used to these that we think are friends are actually robots.. or a corp that wants to sell you something


1:04 – h: i think there’s a big social collision around critical thinking.. i encountered it when my daughter was in middle school and that was the same time that search engines started being used.. and so i had to sit with her and tell her.. if you’re going to do a paper.. go to library.. and librarian.. author.. publisher.. teacher.. were all gatekeepers of that text.. and now you can question and get a million answers and it’s *up to you to determine which of those are correct or not.. that got me thinking about critical thinking..  it was something that was attempted in 50s and 60s around media/tv.. it was quickly id’d as a communist plot.. and the problem is.. if your offspring.. students..  are to succeed and the commons is to become better..  they have to become better at thinking critically and questioning authority.. and many if not most parents/teachers..  are not really equipped to have their offspring/students questioning their authority.. i don’t really see that seeping into the ed system.. and i don’t really see it spreading online.. and what i fear is that there’s an arms race between our ability to discern bots/fake-info.. and the purveyors of that.. we’ve got a lot of things to do.. and they’ve got one thing to do.. they’ve got a lot more resources.. they being.. the people who’ve got a lot of power/money .. and can use the **tools of attention to maintain their position.. you know when barlow wrote that.. states were pretty much clueless.. ***that is not the case.. and has not been the case for a while..  and corps and entrepreneurs are not clueless.. they know that using tools available to them they can manipulate our attention and gain political power and make money.. and on our side.. we’ve got.. learning how to tell the difference..

and.. *we’re not assuming text in library is true.. right..?

**perhaps biggest.. most invasive tools.. institutions.. ie: uni

***i believe we’re in a diff kind of clueless.. ie: black science of people/whales.. and focus ing on distractions.. ie: trump over syria

1:07 – d: partly.. critical thinking and breaking blind faith comes thru art.. entertainment means to hold in.. real art..  grey areas.. are going to raise more questions than it answers..

questions are the path to all.. the stuff of life.. the things that bind us to one another..

so why not re do our days.. with that focus..


what technophiles need to know (4 part piece.. originally published in 1998)


feb 2019 – twitter literacy – []

successful use of Twitter comes down to tuning and feeding. And by successful, I mean that I gain value — useful information, answers to questions, new friends and colleagues

Whatever you call this blend of craft and community, one of the most important challenges posed by the real-time, ubiquitous, wireless, always-on, often alienating interwebs are the skills required for the use of media to be productive and to foster authentic interpersonal connection, rather than waste of time and attention on phony, banal, alienated pseudo-communication.


(((Howard Rheingold))) (@hrheingold) tweeted at 10:37 PM on Sun, Apr 28, 2019:
Dancing with my daughter at her wedding


(((Howard Rheingold))) (@hrheingold) tweeted at 1:17 PM on Thu, Jun 20, 2019:
At 71 I’m as happy as ever . Recovering from cancer,  married for 51 years,close relationship w/ daughter has a lot to do w/ it, but also – not caring any more about my career(s) & concentrating on learning new skills & spending some time volunteering for causes that matter helps

(((Howard Rheingold))) (@hrheingold) tweeted at 1:27 PM on Thu, Jun 20, 2019:
To follow up on my “happy at 71” post: losing ambition has been a tremendous blessing. I always wanted to be a writer, to write books that mattered, to teach well. I could have done better, but I’m happy with what I did. Used to care about


(((Howard Rheingold))) (@hrheingold) tweeted at 2:50 PM on Tue, Nov 26, 2019:
For as long as I can remember, December kicks off introvert torture month. I am determined to  turn that around. (Doodle from religion class at Reed, circa 1964)


(((Howard Rheingold))) (@hrheingold) tweeted at 0:50 PM on Mon, Jan 06, 2020:
Do you have a group of friends who want to discuss various subjects? Or a network of folks with a strong common interest? You can escape the surveillance capitalism and disinfo amplification of Facebook: set up your own online community. Steps:
First, make sure your affinity is

@hrheingold: a strong enough gravitational force to draw people together. A geographic neighborhood, people who have a disease or who are caregivers, a shared interest in making, activism, science fiction… A simple set of rules of behavior that ppl have to agree to before joining.

imagine 8b people getting to do this.. everyday.. ie: cure ios city

@hrheingold: An asynchronous and a synchronous communication platform: I prefer @discourse but you could use comment threads on a private WordPress blog for a forum. Weekly synchronous video meetings via Zoom — video amplifies understanding of each other as real people, not just words on a

@hrheingold: screen. Experienced facilitators. Here is an ancient guide that still has utility:

imagine if we try 2 convers as infra via tech as it could be..


Stewart Brand


22 years ago, I started an online community where you could get thrown out for being an asshole, where adults had serious & fun convos abt everything. We had ftf gatherings of dozens in SF, Amsterdam, Memphis. Still going, though we’re 22 years older. If you want to check it out:
Original Tweet:

Go to, click on “join” and one of our helpful gatekeepers will set you up. If you used to belong, your credentials probably still work. If you act like a dick, you won’t be around for long.


(((Howard Rheingold))) (@hrheingold) tweeted at 11:19 PM on Mon, Aug 17, 2020:
We are beyond Orwell and Huxley or Chomsky. We’re in Baudrillard territory now. We are living in a simulation that has convinced many that it’s not a simulation. They dont even notice.

black science of people/whales law