Notable things: Dreaming of a bendy super-screen; we need another silly land metaphor; commenters and the 0.0037% majority

Wired looks back at the 2013 device predictions they made in 2003.

They were surprisingly close on a number of fronts, which makes their predictions for 2023 intriguing. Most notable is this bit, which foresees a world where one screen rules them all:

Given 10 more years, we can easily see one screen serving multiple purposes by taking on multiple form factors, depending on whether you wanted to simply glance at it to read a message, or unfold it to write your reply.

Sounds a lot like this (minus the holoband):


Derek Thompson puts the fiscal cliff in perspective:

The fiscal cliff was a triple-whammy: taxes, spending, and the debt limit. This deal resolves the first, and most pressing issue, which was the threat of rising taxes on every family in a weak economy. But the deal doesn’t solve the other two whammies: the automatic spending cuts passed in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (aka: the sequester) and the debt ceiling. We punted both of those debates by two months.

The Media Metaphor Committee hasn’t yet settled on a scary-and-not-even-really-accurate topographical analogy for these debates, but … I don’t know, Budget Mountain? Debt Valley? I’ll get back to you tomorrow. The upshot is that the era of perpetual crisis in Washington is far from over.

Debt Valley has a nice ring to it.


It took me a long time to accept that commenters are not representative of the majority. It took me even longer to understand they’re not representative of the minority, either.

And then there’s this:

At least 20% of the comments left on the Guardian website each month come from only 2,600 user accounts, who together make up just 0.0037% of the Guardian’s declared monthly audience.

Picture a packed stadium. Then imagine a small pocket of people surrounded by thousands and thousands of other people. There’s your commenters. Riiiiiiight there.

Sometimes what they say has merit. Sometimes it doesn’t. What matters is that you have a method for separating real evidence — the stuff you base decisions on — from commenter volume.

(Via Daring Fireball)

Twitter’s most impressive attribute, explained in 115 characters [Quote]

“Essentially, Twitter left a ball and a stick in a field and lurked on the sidelines as its users invented baseball.” — Steven Levy in an excellent Wired piece….

“Essentially, Twitter left a ball and a stick in a field and lurked on the sidelines as its users invented baseball.” — Steven Levy in an excellent Wired piece.