The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Date: 9/15/2004

Annotating Rheingold’s Virtual Communities

I’ve always thought it interesting that back-to-the-earth hippies ran Howard’s beloved Well, so I usually include links to the Farm Community, the Farm (is there a difference?), some of its history, and a bit about the founder, Stephen Gaskin.

Then again we have the engineers and bureaucrats who were critical to the growth of the Internet in particularJ. C. R. Licklider and others.

The National Institute of Health’s National Library of Medicine has one of the best history of the net sites — beginning of course with the telegraph.

I have to point out that despite a 10 year opportunity to correct errors, Howard didn’t creditCommunity
(Gemeinschaft) and Society (Gesellschaft) to Tonnies (he says Durkheim for some reason)

Tempora Heroica has been supporting MUDding for over 10 years and still is going strong. There is a history there to be written for sure.

Before we get all excited about William Gibson or Bruce Sterling, let’s remember Vernor
Vinge’s True Names
is really The first cyberpunk/cyberspace story. It
has obvious and predictive links to MUDs, IRC and virtual worlds.

Google vs the Second Law

I was teaching during the panel yesterday that was called “Is Google Good” — I swear I read it as “Is Google God?” so did Justin Watt when he posted to the attendees.

This reminded me that when I was at FOO Camp this past weekend with several Google and Gmail folks. Candidly one recalled the two Google corporate commandments: Don’t Be Evil and Don’t Suck. Now that Google is a publicly held company (sorta I think the founders and friends are still the majority by far), the Googlist wondered just how long they could continue without sucking — 6 months, 6 years, 60 years? Of course, he was hoping for the 60 years, but opined that all companies will eventually suck.

Talk turned to times when Apple (whose folks were also in attendance including some serious ex-Applers) did and did not suck.

Is there a meantime to sucking measure (M2S) once a company goes public?

I refer you to the Second Law of Thermodynamics

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