Kevin Kelly

Mind map

Apparently in the past you could visualise the relationship between different streams of science by tracking the references and citations in scientific journals.

You got something like this:

Now, because most scientific journals are posted online research has been conducted into deeper, broader connections between journals. Using the method described here:

“Over the course of 2007 and 2008, we collected nearly 1 billion user interactions recorded by the scholarly web portals of some of the most significant publishers, aggregators and institutional consortia. The resulting reference data set covers a significant part of world-wide use of scholarly web portals in 2006, and provides a balanced coverage of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.”

It’s only really interesting because it produces a picture like this…

Kevin Kelly simplifies the research methodology into easier to understand terminology.

“Instead of mapping links, this new method maps clicks. The program reads the logs of the servers offering online journals (the most popular way to get articles today) and records the clickstream of a researcher as they hop from one article to the next.”

The guru’s guru

I’ve never been one for gurus. Particularly self proclaimed ones who spit out pithy statements at random intervals.

Simone just hailed me as a guru of trivia, which was nice, which got me thinking about the concept of a “guru”.

Gurus tend to annoy me. Today, I’d like to introduce you to the guru of the internet. Seth Godin. I subscribe to Seth’s blog – mostly because he is a marketing guru. And sometimes he says useful things. The rest of it is twaddle. Like this:

“If it acts like a duck (all the time), it’s a duck. Doesn’t matter if the duck thinks it’s a dog, it’s still a duck as far as the rest of us are concerned.”

That’s a quote from a post on “Authenticity“.

Seth is a guru to so many people – but he has gurus too. Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired is one of those gurus. He’s like the grand daddy guru of the internet. He does seem pretty cool.

Kevin Kelly has gurus too. His gurus are people involved in the emerging church movement. He says as much here. Almost. He’s a Christian and he likes relevant stuff.

Being a fan of the emergent church means being a fan of Mark Driscoll. Almost. He was one of the people who started the movement but has since distanced himself from it. In writing. It’s probably not fair to lump him in with them – but it works for the sake of this little soliloquisious (surely the adjectival form of soliloquay) syllogism.

Mark Driscoll is now the guru of a generation of young Christian men who want authentic Christianity.

His guru is Jesus. So following the chain from Seth Godin – everybody’s guru – gets you to Jesus.

I guess my point is: Everybody you may consider a guru will have their own guru – once you get to the top of the pile of gurus that’s the guy worth following. Follow the guy with no gurus.

Nerd theology

Kevin Kelly is the founder of Wired Magazine. As far as nerds go, he’s pretty cool. He wrote an interesting little piece on “nerd theology

It’s worth a read if you’re a nerd, and at all interested in God.

His basic premise is this:

“We investigate the nature of intelligence, not by probing human heads, but by creating artificial intelligences. We seek truth not in what we find, but in what we can create. We have become mini-gods. And thus we seek God by creating gods.”

If you’re not a nerd – or at all interested I’d stop reading there – because this gets kind of confusing. But is also kind of interesting…

In nerd terms, god is a being function. We could write it like this:

Let g (god)=? s (initial nothing state) -> sl (something state)
Or g=? s -> sl

Now the universe we humans occupy is sl We are inhabitants of the something state produced by some god function. Christians like myself see a recursive nature in God. God (g), the creator created humans in his image, and so we too are creators. We can be designated as gl .

By means of our technology, we are becoming derivative gods ourselves. We are making our own tiny somethings out of nothing. True, our nothings are not as nothing as the nothing we came from, but we are getting better at starting from scratch, and producing more elaborative creations once we start creating. Our godhood could be described like this:

gl = ? sl -> s2

That is, we derivative gods began in a made world and created a second-order something.
Those somethings might have once been astoundingly realistic paintings, or perhaps a marble statue of a hero, or more recently a VR world crowded with fantastical creatures.

Someday, not too far away, we will create a creature (a robot) with its own mind (yes, a different mind) and its own free will that is capable of taking the next step and creating its own creation. In other words our little man will, like us, make its own little man or its own made-up world.

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