Thursday Quickies

I’ve been charting out some entrepreneurial possibilities of late, but I’ve not forgotten about this blog. In that vein, here are some interesting happenings around the web:

  • Tim Wu is guest blogging for Lawrence Lessig; among the subjects he’s touched on are why Google’s entry into China may be corrosive to the company, a short recap of Lessig’s powerful “code is law” message in Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, and that the blog aggregator Technocrati now tracks more japanese blogs than english-language blogs (37% vs 31%, with chinese trailing in third at 15%, as of March 2006). I’d like to add that this contrasts heavily with the ratio of japanese to english Wikipedia articles- ~208,000 to ~1,115,000– and that it’d be an interesting time to be a sociologist with statistics like these being tracked automatically.
  • The Economist has a multi-part survey of how the internet, blogging, wikis, and such are diversifying our relationship to the news far beyond the previous passive, broadcast model. Nothing brand-new, but a lot of good quotes from insiders and outsiders of the media business.
  • Dan Simmons writes well on writing well. His basic message: Writing is damn hard and few people have the potential to be world-class writers, but everybody can make quantum leaps in the quality of their writing if they work at it. And there’s no shortcut to bypass that work that goes into becoming a better writer. Highly recommended reading, and the genesis for this post.
  • Business Week profiles a firm that allows a person, for a price, to test-drive their dream job. I’d jump on it if a second if I had the financial wherewithal.
  • Kevin Kelly writes on recent and upcoming revolutions in how science is done, drawing from interviewing famous scientists. I thought Chris Langton’s point about search engines allowing one to find an answer to a question “while the context that generated the question is still foremost in your mind … fundamentally chang[es] our ability to think about complex problems” was especially poignant.
  • Some fellow has put together a model predicting GDP from average national IQ and indicators of economic freedom (and tweaked with trading block membership and oil production). The interesting part is his correlation coefficient: in this case r=.97, an impressive result. As always when reading un-refereed internet webpages, caveat lector.