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RE: Macro-massive electronic systems (questions posed)

From: Malcolm Crompton <mcrompton@iispartners.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 18:52:41 +1000
To: "'Mike Norton'" <xsideofparadise@yahoo.com>, <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <014001cb32e9$3e162ac0$ba428040$@com>
Mike - nice question; nice story.


The Observer Effect  is something that I describe as the Heisenberg
Uncertainty Principal seen as fractal:  something that is the same at any
scale, from the subatomic scale (where Heisenberg described it) all the way
up to the human and beyond...


There is no doubt that it is in play at the human level in the online world.
It is described in other circles as the chilling effect of surveillance,
whether it relates to behaviour on social networks, response to behavioural
targeting in advertising or traditional surveillance.  All of which make it
a very hot topic.




Malcolm Crompton


Managing Director

Information Integrity Solutions Pty Ltd

ABN 78 107 611 898


T:  +61 407 014 450



www.iispartners.com <http://www.iispartners.com/>  




From: public-egov-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:public-egov-ig-request@w3.org]
On Behalf Of Mike Norton
Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2010 2:35 PM
To: public-egov-ig@w3.org
Subject: Macro-massive electronic systems (questions posed)


Dear eGov Interest Groupies,


During my flight change in New Orleans yesterday, I got to thinking about
something known as the Observer Effect and how it relates to pervasive
electronic systems such as the world wide web.  A couple of questions
bubbled up.  


First, is it appropriate to consider an ontology, a group of data and
meta-data, or even an entire markup language that is functioning via the web
as "massive", in that its associations are reflective of physical objects,
associations, behaviors, and actions?  Does the electronic splendor of the
virtual world of processing-instructions mirror a physical outcome relative
to the mass to which these electrons are bound?


Secondly,  if the Observer Effect is to be understood as the change in an
object's behavior due to the observation of that object, then is it possible
to consider an Observer Effect associated within the realm of machine
readable languages on the web?  Does meta-data hold a potential of carrying
an Observer Effect upon itself and the data it specifies?   


Inside Louis Armstrong International Airport yesterday, I entered the gift
shop and bought a New Orleans tee shirt.  At the cashier counter, as the
cashier swiped my card and placed my new tee shirt in a bag, a couple of
bags of chips on a rack behind her and to her side fell to the floor in a
sort of domino effect.  She turned and looked at them fall, as I watched,
too, so I asked, "What was that?  An earthquake?"  She responded, "It was a
ghost."   I nodded, and agreed: "It was a hungry ghost!"



Michael A. Norton



Received on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 09:27:59 UTC

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