Tag Archives | Crowdsourcing

Out with ‘Atypical’ Elitism, In with Neurobehavioral Equality

Nick Meador shares on Reality Sandwich:

In spring of 2012 I wrote a mission statement for a new project to be called Funding My Existence (FME), which would combine awareness and activism for both the “Creative Class” and “atypical” personality (or “neuro-atypical”) types. The Facebook page contains a nice nutshell description: “Funding My Existence is an online community intended to help people ‘make a living’ if they’re willing to share the fruits of a creative life. We hope this will help bridge our entire civilization into the future we’ve always envisioned.”

Despite a lot of enthusiasm expressed online, it didn’t develop into an operational website. What went wrong? Or what’s holding it back? I think exploring these questions will offer lessons for those of us wanting to build or contribute to innovative social movements.

First of all, I think that this idea was actually at least three separate ideas mashed into one, making it difficult to communicate exactly what I was imagining.

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Lucid Dreams Now Available On Demand

RemeeI know one or two people who are able to dream lucidly, often experiencing Out of Body Experiences (OOBEs), more or less whenever they want to. For most of us, though, lucid dreams are something that we can only imagine. A couple of guys from Brooklyn are about to change all that, though, having successfully raised over half a million dollars via the Kickstarter crowd funding platform to create the Remee Mask. Here they explain what it is:

And this is the description on their site:

What is Remee?
In essence, Remee is a specialized sleep mask. You put it on before you go to bed and with practice and determination, it should help increase the number of lucid dreams you have…

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Human Flesh Search Engines

Photo: Sylenius (CC)

Photo: Sylenius (CC)

Scott Smith writes at Current Intelligence:

Identifying alleged troublemakers is no longer just the job of the faceless men and women in dark operations rooms. The riots also made facial recognition more of a peer-to-peer activity, with online groups formed to weed through thousands of images to put names to allegedly offending faces. Members of one group even discussed collaboratively tapping an existing online service to facilitate use of Facebook photos to find rioters. This so-called crowdsourcing of facial recognition wasn’t new to the riots or the UK. Chinese citizens, for example, have taken it upon themselves to use the Internet, through China’s eerily named “Human Flesh Search Engine,” to highlight, locate, shame and even intimidate those deemed to have offended civic sensibilities. For Canadians upset at hockey riots, social groups have taken identification and occasionally retribution into their own hands. But with the riots happening in and among such a well-wired and social media-connected milieu, it wasn’t just the government that was interested in harnessing social transparency to law enforcement ends.

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New Crowdfunded Graphic Novel Depicts the 1967 Herbert Schirmer Abduction

December 3rd 1967: An Alien Encounter

I got an early Christmas present last year: a package from Los Angeles cartoonist Mike Jasorka. Inside was the fruit of his efforts and my $20 Kickstarter pledge: December 3rd 1967: An Alien Encounter, a graphic novelisation of the strange case of Herbert Schirmer, a Nebraska state patrolman who claims to have been taken aboard an alien spacecraft.

I commend it to all wrong-thinking disinfonauts everywhere, for several reasons, but mostly aesthetic. The black and white panels occasionally splashed with dramatic colour ensures that the 50+ page book is a visually compelling artefact.

It also arrives with a CD, a word for word adaptation from the found audio of Schirmer at a 1970’s UFO conference in Florida, making it simultaneously an aural event (surely a first for a graphic novel, but fanboys will no doubt correct me). Finally, there’s the story: of Schirmer’s childhood upbringing that leads him to become a police officer, what happened that very night on duty and why even after countless ridicule, he stuck next to the unbelievable truth. Herbert’s heart-felt story speaks of his childhood upbringing that leads him to become a police officer, what happened that very night on duty and why even after countless ridicule, he stuck next to the unbelievable truth …

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Navy Turns To Online Gamers In Fight Against Somali Pirates

wargames_video_boxIf you have spent the past fifteen years in a dank basement playing video games while immersed in a thin layer of Dorito crumbs, the U.S. military needs you to sort out the geopolitical mess around the Horn of Africa for them, please. AFP reports:

The Office of Naval Research plans this month to launch the US military’s first online war game to draw on the ideas of thousands of people instead of the traditional strategy session held inside the Pentagon’s offices.

“Piracy off the Horn of Africa has been an enduring problem that has many stakeholders. We selected this topic for the pilot scenario,” Schuette said.

The game will have three rounds over three weeks, with players in the first stage faced with a piracy scenario and asked to propose brief, Twitter-length solutions. Players will be presented with boxes labeled, “Innovate” and “Defend,” with questions such as: “What new resources could turn the tide in the Somali pirate situation?” In the second round, there are more scenarios to grapple with and then in the third, players are grouped in teams and will come up with a more detailed “action plan.”

The precise details of the war game scenarios are being kept under wraps for the moment by the game designers, the Institute for the Future, a non-profit group based in Palo Alto, California.

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How Much Does Weed Cost In Your State?

Price Of Weed gives you approximations of the cost of an ounce of marijuana in every U.S. state, based on user-submitted information on local pot purchases. Where is pot most expensive? In a handful of Southern and Midwestern states, topped off by Iowa ($465/high-quality-oz.),Tennessee ($464), and Louisiana ($463). And really, what else is there to even do in Iowa?

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“Jungle Book” Typo Spreads To 2,500 Web Sites

There’s a glaring but very funny mistake in Amazon’s free digital edition of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. The first paragraph adds the word “tush” (instead of “tusk”) to the poem “Night song of the Jungle.” In the poem “tush” now becomes part of the “hour of pride and power.”

More than four years later, Google now finds over 2,500 sites quoting the “tush” version of Kipling’s poem, including several universities and even the Encyclopedia Britannica! A misguided human resources document even quoted the “tush” version of the poem – then added it “could very well be a guide in defining and understanding organizations.” Tush-friendly organizations are described by the HR document as places that include “unwritten codes and culture,” and adhering to them “determines one’s chances of survival…”

But the typo ultimately proves the value of “crowdsourcing,” since the free etext has recently become one of Amazon’s best-selling ebooks, which is what led to the discovery of the typo, in a kind of “spontaneous collaboration” which will help preserve a story that was written more than 100 years ago.

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Can Massive Crowd-Sourcing Predict The Future?

The crowdsourcing process in eight steps. Image: Daren C. Brabham (CC)

The crowdsourcing process in eight steps. Image: Daren C. Brabham (CC)

Alex Lightman was the CTO for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization. Now he compares the NASA Mission Control room to Caesars Palace Race and Sports Book, and asks whether we can harness the multi-billion dollar sports betting community to predict elections, markets, wars and weather?

A new company is trying to tap millions of users for a massive “crowd-sourced” prediction site inspired by both open source software and sports gambling. “If predictive entertainment ends up with the same ‘S-curve’ growth as the Internet itself, humanity could develop a sort of social superorganism superpower of precognition…” Using complexity to solve complexity, the site allows recorded, ranked predictions to be made millions of times an hour. “The open source model allows for parallel input of multiple approaches, agendas, knowledge banks, and priorities with far more flexibility and speed than traditionally closed or centralized models…”

But the implications are far-reaching.… Read the rest

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