Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The poetry of everyday life

Yes truly, only Danes can appreciate the poetic beauty of this sign. ...”Tørne hårdt mod bolværket”... Wow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A two-way argument for in-equality

An annual survey of Danish business paper Børsen shows that, once again, executive pay has risen many times faster than salaries for the rest of us. Some expert explained on the radio that the increasing gap in income is justified because of the increasing globalization. If we want to attract and keep the talent, Danish executives should be compensated at the level they could achieve outside of this egalitarian little place.

Interestingly, more or less the same argument is used to justify keeping salaries low for the non-executive workforce; increasing globalization means that workers from Denmark are in direct competition with workers in countries with much lower wages and benefits.

Both arguments are probably right. But it does make me a bit uneasy looking at a world with an increasing gap between the have-nots and the have-a-whole-lot.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

What makes information valuable

Traditionally, information in media has had value by virtue (among other factors) of being news, being true, relevant and objective.
Increasingly, a number of additional factors determine the value of an item in the media. So here’s a list I’m working on:

For information to be valueable and useful it should be:
-Modular. Easy to break up into smaller nuggets.
-Easy to pass on and recombine
-In a standardized format
-Open code – with permission and the possibility to remix
-Receptive to tags and meta data
-With a community around it

Obviously, this suggests that journalists must learn to rethink the way they format what they produce.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Schizophrenic times

It seems there are at least a couple of full size realities out there – somehow racing towards each other at accellerating speeds.
One of them is the comfort in which I’m writing this. My home, my great computer, a cup of fresh tea, the cozy comfort, wealth and safety that I can marvel at in gratitude.
Some of the other realities are quite familiar but at an entirely abstract level – for instance the madness and sadness of the Mid-east, the climate change, the usual list...
But frankly, I have no practical interactions with the issue, it’s all media.
Personally, I’ve never been richer, I’ve never had so many possibilities, I’ve never been more comfortable. It's a time of progress – and I have a sense that I share this with many others.
And yet, so much of the media horizont tells me the world is going to hell – and it may very well be the case.
So, I’m sitting here as a spectator, just watching. Wondering when I will be entangled – for real – in those other realities. What will it be like?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sony drops robo-pets

For some reason this has slipped under my radar till now, but:
Sony has decided to discontinue their robotic efforts, which means that they no longer will produce Aibo and they will stop developing their humanoid luxury robot Qrio.
You can see the announcement here.
I must say I was pretty impressed with Aibo and Qrio. Watching them move around you get this strange feeling that there is something in there - a third kind of being; not just mechanical, not quite alive.
I never felt tempted to actually get one, I wouldn't know what to do with it. On the other hand, I'm surprised that Sony is pulling out. Whether it will be as robo-pet, security robots or whatever, I still believe robotics will be a growing market.