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Current Topic: MemeStreams

Topic: MemeStreams 1:33 pm EDT, Jun 21, 2009

Get Your War On:

Go the fuck away! I'm working on some bad-ass computer shit right now! I have no time for team spirit!

President Merkin Muffley:

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room.

Adam Shand:

If the owners of the company don't get along ... run far away.

Donald Rumsfeld:

Avoid public spats.

First law of holes: If you get in one, stop digging.

Colin Powell:

Get mad, then get over it.

Robert McNamara:

Be prepared to reexamine your reasoning.

Norm Augustine:

If today were half as good as tomorrow is supposed to be, it would probably be twice as good as yesterday was.


We want to be good bartenders, so be sure to tell us how our drinks taste.


Oh for fucks' sakes guys.

The Most Interesting Books of 2008
Topic: MemeStreams 1:35 pm EST, Dec 29, 2008

For the vast majority of books that I mention here, there is apparently very little interest. But each year a few titles rise above the rest. Here are the recommended titles that drew the most interest in 2008, based on click-throughs:

I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon's Black World

... strangely hinting at a world about which little is known ...

The New School of Information Security

Why is information security so dysfunctional?


I had the idea that there would be people who voluntarily stay inside those walls, as a way of getting away from the distractions of everyday life, of doing something in a serious way that took a long time.

Security Data Visualization: Graphical Techniques for Network Analysis

Time is of the essence.

The Culture of the New Capitalism

It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a skilled carpenter or musician - but what makes a true master?

Visualizing Data: Exploring and Explaining Data with the Processing Environment

Teaches you how.

Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent

Threats lurk unseen.

Outliers: The Story of Success

An amazingly hopeful and uplifting idea.

Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life... [ Read More (0.1k in body) ]

An Unmanageable Circle of Friends
Topic: MemeStreams 12:13 pm EDT, Aug 27, 2007

Do you want a lot of toast? Or do you want a lot of butter on normal-size bread?

When we reach that point where a utility that is supposed to bring us closer to our friends actually makes us hate our friends -- and the death grip that managing them has on our time -- where will we go from there?

Call it stalking, procrastinating or friend collecting, it doesn't build real connections.

Word is getting out:

All these closed social networking silos are an evil timesink as far as I’m concerned and we definitely need to create open alternatives.

See also, from over the weekend:

Problem: People are getting sick of registering and re-declaring their friends on every site, but also: Developing "Social Applications" is too much work.

Goal: Ultimately make the social graph a community asset.

Now is the time for all good men to quit their silos and adopt an open standard. (Or is it just time to quit?)

An Unmanageable Circle of Friends

Moderate Muslims Need MemeStreams | RAND
Topic: MemeStreams 12:17 pm EDT, Mar 28, 2007

Radical and dogmatic interpretations of Islam have gained ground in recent years in many Muslim societies via extensive Islamist networks spanning the Muslim world and the Muslim diaspora communities of North America and Europe. Although a majority throughout the Muslim world, moderates have not developed similar networks to amplify their message and to provide protection from violence and intimidation. With considerable experience fostering networks of people committed to free and democratic ideas during the Cold War, the United States has a critical role to play in leveling the playing field for Muslim moderates. The authors derive lessons from the US and allied Cold War network-building experience, determine their applicability to the current situation in the Muslim world, assess the effectiveness of US government programs of engagement with the Muslim world, and develop a “road map” to foster the construction of moderate Muslim networks.

Moderate Muslims Need MemeStreams | RAND

The Short Life and Long Death of Memes
Topic: MemeStreams 4:07 pm EDT, Mar 17, 2007

Life is short for a meme, it seems, and unpredictable, to boot.

Unlike baby mammals, a meme cannot expect to go from conception to birth in a standard, more or less fixed period of time. Some memes are born immediately, whereas others may linger in gestation for years on end. Because prenatal care is so poor in the meme world, miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant mortality rates are quite high. Even worse, abortion and infanticide of new memes are commonplace in some quarters.

However, also unlike mammals -- and in fact most higher organisms -- a meme reaches reproductive age only moments after its birth. If it only manages to find its way to a target-rich environment, growth opportunities abound.

Yet even the most successful families of memes can go from pauperdom to dynasty to death to dust, all in the span of a few days.

Fortunately, here at MemeStreams, they don't bury or incinerate our beloved memes of yore. Instead, the crack team of scientists at the Industrial Memetics Institute has developed a highly advanced cryopreservation service. Unlike similar services for humans and other mammals, the service provided by MemeStreams is active today. It allows you -- in fact, anyone -- to reanimate a suspended meme of your choosing, and then to deposit it in the memetic meat market that is your blog.

Sadly, I have found that most MemeStreams users only rarely -- if ever -- avail themselves of the benefits of these remarkable cryorestoration services. As an independent profit center with no annual allocation from the IMI budget, the cryo unit is perpetually at risk of closure. For months now, the unit has been unable to hire staff to replace three of its senior technicians lost to headhunters in Q4FY06.

As part of the upcoming "Reanimemer" promotional campaign aimed at a Q3FY07 turn-around for the ailing cryo unit, I have scoured their voluminous records to provide you with a small sampling of what is presently on offer. I encourage you to plan your own visit soon.

Radebaugh: The Future We Were Promised (now, archived here by wayback, and here)

Terrorists terrorists terrorists terrorists terrorists terrorists terrorists. (now at YouTube) -- This video still amazes me.

A business model for MemeStreams

Neurodiversity Forever

... [ Read More (0.3k in body) ]

MemeStreams click-throughs appearing on YouTube
Topic: MemeStreams 8:20 pm EDT, Mar 12, 2007

If you go to YouTube and do a search for MemeStreams, you'll come up empty (at the moment, anyway).

But that's perhaps misleading, because there are references on the site.

This link will show you which YouTube pages are referencing MemeStreams. Here's a summary at the moment:

Jay Beale vs Dan Kaminsky - The Movie

1 clicks from

1 clicks from Jay Beale vs Dan Kaminsky

The Terrorism Index: Are We Winning?

(No "links" references; linkage is in Google's hypertext index)

Originally linked from Center for American Progress | The Terrorism Index

Ganja Kru - Super Sharp Shooter (1995)

12 clicks from MemeStreams | Information Warfare for The People!

American soldier crying for their life in America war irak

3 clicks from YouTube - American soldier crying for their life in America war irak

Homeland Marketing Fiasco

1 clicks from RE: - Hoax Devices Creating Gridlock In Boston

Autechre 'Gantz Graf'

5 clicks from MemeStreams | Information Warfare for The People!

Four Months of News Good Evenings in 47 Seconds

1 clicks from

Conceivably these referring URLs could contain 'private' information. At the moment, they include URLs things like this:

That isn't really a secret, but it's not a URL you'd serve up to just anybody. (The message doesn't display if it's not yours.)

People should be aware that their web browser may publicize their MemeStreams search queries via the "referer" [sic] header, which may then be posted publicly by YouTube for others to see.

Search queries are frequently exposed via referral URLs, but it is perhaps less common to see them posted publicly like this.

MemeStreams click-throughs appearing on YouTube

imeem: IM-Based Social Networking
Topic: MemeStreams 8:35 am EDT, May  9, 2006

You could tell that the people who worked on the first generation of social networking services were not members of the IM generation.

We were thinking, if we could be topical to whatever is going on right now that's cool, and show people behind-the-scenes content, it would be a great way to illustrate the idea and get mindshare. It's been amazingly successful. The thing we've noticed is people are incredibly impressed with what you can do with imeem. They aren't jaded like everyone in Silicon Valley. When they see what you can do with it, they say "Wow, this is way better than MySpace." That is their frame of reference.

Our tools are very powerful. It's almost like they're too powerful. If you give people this huge beautiful blank canvas, where do they start?

In social networking, there are the Yahoos and the MySpaces, and then there is a huge pack of companies that no one has heard of. I think we're officially in the middle now. It's been fun being in tiny startup mode, but I think we're graduating to real-business mode.

imeem: IM-Based Social Networking

Re: Reengineering MemeStreams for our posthuman future
Topic: MemeStreams 10:55 pm EST, Mar 28, 2006

I wrote:

Each stream is a vector. To the extent two vectors are the same, they are one identity.

Rattle replied:

That's not useful. Online identity is useful, especially when attacking reputation to it.

I assume you meant "attaching." Regardless, that's not what's driving the front page. In fact, the current front page algorithm is explicitly NOT based on reputation.

You seem to have ignored my observation that the front page is presently frequently populated by items that only appear in one stream, and thus the issue is moot, since anyone can readily overtake the front page with only one account.

Are you trolling me?

Is it still a troll if you respond?

In an environment with a sizable user base and a steady flow of traffic, having two accounts would be scarcely more useful than just one account. You'd find that the entries dominating the front page were those that have been recommended a large number of times -- not twice instead of once. If it so happened that having two streams become common, then it would offer no relative advantage, and thus would not be much of an issue.

At this point, if one has the goal of getting a specific item on the home page, this is quite easily done, all by oneself, with only one account, during any "slow" period. Simply submit the URL to your stream multiple times, using slight variations of the URL that don't affect retrievability but which make each instance suitably distinct, as required by the stream. For example, submit URL_A. Then submit it as URL_A?foo. Then change "?foo" to "?bar". And so on, ad infinitum. Let's say you do this 100 times. Then, when the front page algorithm goes to select an entry from the set of entries whose thread-count is 1, your URL will be there 100 times. If there are only 10 other single-recommendation URLs at the moment, your URL stands a good chance of getting selected. To increase the probability of getting chosen, just increase the number of times you enter that URL on your stream.

Re: Reengineering MemeStreams for our posthuman future

Re: Reengineering MemeStreams for our posthuman future
Topic: MemeStreams 3:17 pm EST, Mar 28, 2006

Rattle wrote:

What guidelines and rules do you think should be applied to handling this situation?

Oh, that's an easy one, at least for the specific case you cited.

Each stream is a vector. You can compute the distance/difference between two vectors. To the extent two vectors are the same, they are one identity.

What makes a post "interesting" is when it lies at the intersection of many otherwise "different" vectors. These are the posts that belong on the front page.

If Tom and Jerry are twin brothers whose streams are always and forever identical, does it really matter if I treat them like a single "identity" in the context of MemeStreams?

Besides, the whole democracy/popularity angle is stale. Who needs it?

If you want to attract venture capital, you need to think posthuman. When the AIs on the Internet outnumber the humans, then what are you going to do?

Re: Reengineering MemeStreams for our posthuman future

Reengineering MemeStreams for our posthuman future
Topic: MemeStreams 8:51 am EST, Mar 28, 2006

Rattle wrote:

do me a favor.. Only recommend things with one account. If you start using both accounts to recommend things, it's going to be very hard to make a good argument why people not should do the same thing to game the front page.

One man, one vote!

You're contending that a stream is equivalent to an identity. That is an artificial constraint, and it is going to break down sooner or later.

The purpose of having two streams is to apply a filter; it goes with that definition that items will be multiply recommended.

As far as "gaming" the front page goes, it's hardly necessary to recommend things twice. Take a look at the front page any time in the last week, and you'll find at least half of the entries are from the pnw stream. Most of those are not recommended by anyone else. There have been many otherwise "slow" periods during which the entire front page is essentially a subset of the pnw stream.

Reengineering MemeStreams for our posthuman future

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