05 January 2007


Back in the 80's a frequent statement given to newbie undergrads at Caltech was "Studying at Tech is like taking a drink from a firehose". In that vein one can look at the monstrous information space now available to anyone with sufficient bandwidth and hardware, and declare: "Finding cool stuff to read/learn/do in today's Internet society is like taking a drink from a tsunami". The allocation of the non-scarce resource we call information presents extraordinary challenges to us, the future-shocked inhabitants of this still-accelerating age. Agalmics, a term still new and arcane enough that it can't be found in Wikipedia (Jan, 2007), is a nascent field of study which explores "non-scarcity" -- in a way it's the B side of the Economics album. I first acquired the term in Charles Stross's book, Accelerando (http://www.accelerando.org/book/), and have since discovered this paper: http://www.openverse.com/~dtinker/agalmics.html.

With respect to our information overload, the agalmic problems of discovery and filtering replace the economic problems of demand and supply. RSS feeds and the blogosphere provide ways we currently navigate and chart these vast waters. Until we can spawn intelligent agents to surf and filter for us in real time, these tools will have to do. That is my intention for starting this blog.

Dragging the academic obfuscation slider far to the right: This blog asymptotically tends towards the creation of a textual protocoled Hamiltonian network of minds with demographically entangled world lines who use it to exchange packets of broadly filtered, highly relevant content.

And to the left: It's like a group journal of a bunch of people who share similar views and write about the cool shit they've discovered.

The rules:
Anyone can read this blog (wouldn't be in the agalmic spirit otherwise).
Anyone registered to blogspot can comment.
Posting is limited to a relatively small group of authors, initially pulled from my space of friends and cohorts. This list will expand to include others as desired by the original set of authors.

Posts can, and should, be about anything: news, jokes, recipes, ideas, art. They can be long and rambling discourses, or simply "Hey check this out: ". Anything that you might consider passing on in an email to friends is fair game for content. I'll try to prime the pump for a few days with regular postings of interesting tidbits, and hope that critical mass is reached.

Happy Posting!

The market is open.


Irene E. McDermott said...

Some more thoughts on agalmics:

Periapse said...

Yeah, that does seem to be the seminal article on agalmics. It was the only one I could find when I posted. However, if you want a more humorous ref, try: http://www.vernonweb.com/vwzen.htm


The market is Open.