scott rosenberg

scott rosenberg

intro’d to Scott when i googled: could blockchain replace server farms.. and i got this:

2014 – how-bitcoins-blockchain-could-power-an-alternate-internet

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The key to implementing such a system is, you guessed it, the blockchain—a distributed method of tracking and transferring assets online without need of a trusted third party (such as a bank).

or a server?

For the hardcore blockchainiacs, even that’s not enough; they expect to dissolve governments, ..

rewire daily life,

..and pour civil society a whole new foundation made of math

or unmath..  whimsy rather .. ie: io dance ness – rev of everyday life ness

re wire ness w/self-talk as data

In other words, when you’re using a blockchain, every new transaction carries with it an unforgeable record of the entire history of the currency and all previous transactions — like a kind of financial DNA. Crazy, huh?

crazy that ‘financial’ is attached to it.. how limiting.. no?

At root, the blockchain is all about replacing the servers that power today’s online world with computing power and storage that we all share.

Every network requires what programmers call a “single source of truth” — the authority that says, “this is real,” “this user is who she claims to be,” “this transaction occurred.” To date, we have depended on servers run by corporations and governments to provide our single sources of truth. Even the Internet itself uses a handful of root servers to make the domain-name system work.

and imagine if … sources of truth.. wasn’t even our focus.. not because we don’t want truth.. but because perhaps.. focusing on verification .. is keeping us from truth..

The blockchain turns the entire network into its source of truth. It’s a mechanism for us to collectively confer legitimacy on one another.

indeed.. but by entire network.. perhaps.. that’s 7 billion people living/annotating commonplace ish books.. ourselves as books… as life. rev of everyday life.. where self-talk is our data.. and most everything else (we obsess with today) becomes irrelevant..

1\ disrupt banks

rather.. disrupt (make irrelevant) money/contracts…  we stop measuring human transactions… et al blockchain (or whatevers) focus is just for facilitating curiosities/resources/people

2\ redeem net – distributed data and identity


What if, when we wanted to be sure of who we were dealing with, we relied instead on distributed computing power and the magic of crypto? Today a host of small companies and projects are jockeying to usher pieces of this world into existence. A lot of the efforts focus on Twitter rather than Facebook — probably because it’s much easier to clone a network that delivers brief messages than one that serves as the hub for all things social.

These new crypto-Twitters eliminate the middleman central server that every large-scale social service today requires. They don’t store the content of messages themselves in the blockchain ledger — that wouldn’t work, since each user would end up storing the entire global database of messages. Instead, the blockchain verifies all the contributors’ identities, their relationships to the messages under their names, and the integrity of the messages……secure blogging on the open web

what if perhaps instead.. we just make sure everyone has something to do.. rather than focus on security et al

As Bitcoin’s Andresen suggested about Ethereum, many of these projects will vanish into the, er, ether long before they reach that threshold. Security flaws will stymie them; usability problems will cripple them; they will sink in the mire of large-scale software development. Even those projects that persevere and prosper will need to prove their utility. Why go to all this extra trouble to do stuff online? Sure, you could use the Alexandria software to, say, document all the tweets surrounding a big protest that a government might wish to pretend never happened. But for most everyday purposes, blockchain techniques might be overkill.

Then again, there are still tons of public and private needs that the Internet has failed to serve. For instance, Thor Muller, a writer-entrepreneur who has written lucidly about the distributed-ledger concept at the heart of Bitcoin, imagines the benefits of applying the blockchain to the records of public court proceedings — liberating them from the antiquated storage methods the U.S. still relies on, and making them widely and reliably available. “It’s not going to happen at the level of the federal government any time soon,” Muller says. “But maybe with the state courts you could leapfrog all that.”

leap frogging would be calling into question court proceedings et al.. no?

3\ crypto utopia – distributed everything


The server farms will fall fallow, and the Internet will get back its inter-ness

The hurdles these visions would have to overcome are those any blockchain-decentralization scenario faces: the challenge of finding people to begin using and moving their own assets into new, unproven systems; the “discovery problem” — figuring out how users of anonymous, crypto-secured networks can find one another to transact business; and the fear that all this crypto-secured, anonymous-transaction-based tech will simply power illegal enterprises and antisocial activities.

a nother way


A blockchain-powered economy is most likely to take root far away from the U.S., many observers believe — either in the developing world, where there’s less of a reliable financial system in place, or in places where property rules and contract law have shaky foundations (think Russia or China). Wherever it starts to take off, it will face the twin hurdles of complexity overload and government pushback.


Earlier this year, in a dazzling talk titled “Our Comrade the Electron,” Ceglowski lamented that “we’ve centralized the bejesus out of the Internet.”

I wanted to know what Ceglowski thought of Our Friend the Blockchain. Did it raise his hopes of reversing that situation? Could it move the digital world down an alternate road of privacy, peer-to-peer empowerment, and freedom?

He emailed me with a depressing but persuasive reply: It’s the wrong fight on the wrong turf.

“There is a tendency in computer-land to seek technical solutions to political problems,” Ceglowski says. “In my opinion, the focus on the blockchain (and related ideas) falls into that misguided category. The idea that we should look to algorithms and technology to reclaim our freedoms is fundamentally undemocratic. It presupposes a technical elite who would ‘fix the Internet’ for everyone else. While I can see how this appeals to romantic ideas of hacking the system, I see it as a dangerous trend at worst, and a distraction at best.


The question to ask is, do these blockchain-based enhancements of our technologies end up giving us more freedom and initiative? Or will a world of “distributed autonomous organizations,” empowered financial algorithms and bots that own themselves only hem in our human sphere of control?

It could be exciting to sit back and watch the future drive itself. But it might be smart to keep our eyes on the road and our hands on the wheel.

so let’s do that. let’s 7 billion plus of us.. do that..

let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

for (blank)’s sake


on continuing to google about blockchain replacing servers.. found Rachel O’dwyer addressing it via Vitalik:

Blockchain innovations that manage networks, servers or natural resources really do radicalise infrastructure. We’re no longer speaking about monolithic resources with prohibitive barriers to entry, the quintessential server farm housed in some distant industrial estate. Instead, we can imagine infrastructure as something immaterial and dispersed, or managed through flexible and transient forms of ownership. Where powerful servers, channels and processing capacities seem like the primary chokepoint of open networks, the blockchain is a powerful antidote. As Buterin argues in a recent interview:

We would build a decentralised Internet network where all of us would access documents and content..

without going through a server.

It means that you will need zero infrastructure to develop and distribute applications.


Scott at authors at google for his book – dreaming in code (not available on overdrive) – 2007

started salon

started content management system

started working on dreaming in code

6 min – our civilization runs on software – bjarne stroustrup – true .. but everywhere i looked.. people were having a hard time w/software

7 min – chandler by mitch kapor – to help people cope w/info overload

8 min – too often software is viewed through business lens.. begins w/ vc and ends with ipo

14 min – software – human construct.. we write it and make it all up

17 min – software – can’t touch it, measure it, talk about it

23 min – software helpful when want to repeat a success… only when have one to start with… if exploring unknown.. best practices might move you more quickly but not going to point you to destination…

virtually everyone written about software has created own law.. so… rosenberg’s law: software is easy to make except when you want it to do something new.. corallary: only software worth making is software that does something new..

rosenberg law

app chip ness.. how about software that is ongoingly making something new..

25 min – heart of software problem.. communication.. with computer, user, creator… have to agree on set of names… 90% of job.. figuring out what to call stuff…glossary – but usage of terms change faster than wiki editing..

30 min – the value in these errors (of communication) – we misunderstand something and find something else that pleases us.. ellen ahlmen – the bug

if you’re not an expert in a particular field you hear stuff differently

33 min – on the benefit of distortion.. one man’s signal degradation is another man’s beauty

35 min – Brian Eno – treating entities as likes to see what other worlds are possible..

eno s law

a nother way




looking on Scott’s site to see what he’s up to now..

and this post (link flow in 2016) led to me asking – what does he mean by digital authenticity… which googling led to this ignite talk on how to be yourself (2012)

on trying to act naturally online

when we make copies of things.. everything changes.. these versions of self have value… when we make ourselves seem more real.. we make more money.. then.. doesn’t feel real anymore.. press reset.. start over..

if more than one identity –  all the bowies..

erving goffman – presentation of self in everyday life – written before net – about how we spend much of our time putting on shows for one another

3 min – eagleman – competing populations in our heads – comment thread in our brains…


from Scott’s wordyard site – what’s going on here:

I wrote a trio of introductory posts that lay all this out in more detail:

So yes, “post-social” means “Life After Facebook,” but it’s a lot more than that. Laid out from a high altitude like this, it may sound a little abstract. Don’t worry; a lot of what I want to do here at Wordyard involves talking with people in the trenches, looking at specific ideas and projects. There are individuals and organizations and companies that are already busy trying to imagine and build this post-social world — to fix the mistakes of the past decade and figure out where we should go in the next one.

All of this is being covered in detail and in patches and shreds by the ambitious and lively tech press that has grown up with the Web. But I haven’t seen anyone out there try to put it all together.

have you yet..? (that was may 2014) – wondering about blockchain as server, self-talk as data, as the day.. re wired .. for all of us

mostly, the public debate on digital identity is stuck in a polarized argument. Advocates of transparency and single identity maintain that a one-person, one-name, one-identity world creates trust and holds us accountable to one another. Believers in anonymity and multiple identities argue that masks and veils can free our voices, liberate us to be playful and vulnerable, and let us speak truth to power.

Both camps urge us to “be ourselves.” But they arrive at opposite conclusions.

self-talk as data – as part of 2 needs/desires..


“Actors making purposeful choices under constraints” — that’s you and me, out here on the net, putting on shows for one another, looking for truth and trying to be ourselves in a rich, perilous, disorienting landscape that has become our home.


back to blockchains.. and 2016:

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Someone has to keep track of who is where and help you find what you want. So each time people start peer-to-peering, somebody comes along and sets out to make everything easier by building a catalogue or index.


The blockchain, both as code and as concept, is enabling us, finally, to see just how far decentralization can be pushed. Can we share data so that no one can directorize it? Is it possible to decentralize a service all the way, so that the center is just, poof!, gone?


Every time we’ve put a cash value on bits of network, like the links that historically fueled Page Rank on Google, we’ve seen the network get polluted fast.


nov 2015 – on writing and repetition:

I’m a big believer in the IndieWeb movement’s POSSE principle — publish on your own site, syndicate everywhere — meaning, you have a site that you own and cultivate and then you share your work in all sorts of other venues as you wish. I dream of software to make that even easier than it already is. (I like what the folks at Known have accomplished in this direction already.) I have all sorts of ideas for experiments in this area.


aug 2014 – on sweet jane and the web:

But it’s clear what “Sweet Jane” is all about: A rocker glimpses a couple of friends. Thinks about their mundane lives. Weighs taking the cynical view, and rejects it — concluding that no, beauty is not a scam, goodness is not a lie, and both can be found in the stuff of everyday life.


I’ve learned what musicians have always known: Playing a song changes your understanding of it. Playing music changes how you listen to it. Doing changes knowing.


Yet this eruption of knowledge-sharing is usually understood, and often dismissed, as an essentially marginal phenomenon. Let the passionate indulge their pastimes, but we’re basically talking hobbies here, right? Consequential things involve cash. They are metricized and monetized.


What matters about all this media-making is that they are doing it, and in the doing, they are able to understand so much more about how it works and what it means and how tough it is to do right — to say exactly what you mean, to be fair to people, to be heard and to be understood.


This hope can be elusive, I know. It is deeply non-metric, invisible to A/B testing, and irreducible to data.

thinking of Bowie‘s interview – on the grey between – for the 21st cent


What I see most, watching that clip and playing the event back in my memory, is Lou Reed having a lot of trouble, at that moment, being Lou Reed. So he falls back on tired mannerisms, a belligerence and cynicism that the songs he was performing had already transcended.

It never stops being hard to be yourself, whoever you are. To the extent that our time online gives so many of us space to work and play at doing so better, I’m grateful for it. I’m not going to hate it, even when it ignores me, or tracks my clicks, or lobs tomatoes at my face.


april 2015 – will deep links ever be truly deep

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Deep linking means to bore a wormhole-tunnel that hops you directly from a specific spot in one app to a spot in another, no side trip to a browser or a home screen needed.


The people who invented the link saw it as a tool for relating ideas in illuminating ways — for making conceptual leaps and connecting disparate thoughts. If these visionaries had achieved their aim, the kind of tech-cultural amnesia represented by the recycling of the term “deep links” shouldn’t have been possible, two decades into the Web era. The links with true depth that they envisioned would have made sure of that.


First ..Vannevar Bush, .. imagining a device called the Memex that researchers could use to forge and capture “associative trails” of thought.


Two decades later, ..Douglas Engelbart actually built and demoed a tool that not only achieved Bush’s vision but also made it collaborative.


Around the same time, .. Ted Nelson coined the word “hypertext” to describe what Engelbart’s system was enabling.


Finally, .. Tim Berners-Lee took a limited version of this vision and plunked it down on top of the Internet’s networking protocols — and the World Wide Web was born.

www ness


By following the links — …— you can travel through the online world along paths of whim and intuition.”


The authors of the 1999 Cluetrain Manifesto — ..put it succinctly: “Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.”


Then Google .. links signals of authority/value. …way to make a fortune — and soon …spam …. Google didn’t mean to ruin links for the rest of us, but that’s what happened.


David, Howard, … Jerry: I’ve been curating a big ball of twine of links to everything that matters to me

aside from rare efforts like Michalski’s, mostly these projects produce isolated thought-islands that are difficult to visit and explore. The tools produce material in closed formats that can’t be readily distributed or shared.


Ward Cunningham, the inventor of the wiki, pressed the reset button on his original concept and emerged with a new idea called “fed wiki


Tools like Cunningham’s and Michalski’s demand that we actively tend ourgardens of hypertext

indeed – io dance ness – interoperability dance.. which was my first link to Scott earlier today.. could blockchain take out the servers .. become the accessible web holder.. and some chip work as the link/mechanism.. to help us dance the dance.

Passively, thoughtlessly, each of us could be building Bush’s Memex every day — with every click and swipe on our devices. The links we follow, the pages we read, the photos we tap and the messages we send tell the story of our lives and the thoughts that fill our heads. But this information profile — the record of our use of the Web and the cloud — is mostly out of our reach.

perhaps – a nother way.. via self talk as data. as the day.


And then someone might come along with a better system, one that uses links to save and share our thoughts in meaningful, lasting ways — whether we’re using a phone, a pad, a laptop, or a watch.


resest .. siddhartha rna ourselves.. from all the ticker tape drowning..


find/follow Scott:

link twitter


via Michel on fb

“”People of tech, now is the time to choose. The sidelines have vanished. Neutrality is not an option. You face a question not that different from the one Steve Jobs posed to a CEO long ago, when he asked, ‘Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world?’ Today the question is: Do you want to sell racism, sexism, oil, climate disaster, surveillance, fear, and hate? Or do you want to help save an endangered world? This is for real. This is now. There are no pivots or reboots. Which side are you on?”

This week President-elect Trump has invited a cross-section of the tech business’s leadership to a Wednesday gathering. As Kara Swisher reports in Recode, the attendees are expected to include Apple’s Tim Cook, Alphabet/Google’s Larry Page, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, and other CEOs. Many others seem to have chosen to stay away.


Lean in, Sheryl! Don’t be evil, Larry!


What does it take for a businessperson or a software developer to say, “This is where we draw the line”?


Tricked into playing the wrong game

‘in order to chase a trend and get funded.’

ends with quote Michel shared