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    Knowmads as Aesthetic Curators of information (Hybrid Futures & Knowmads pt 4)
    Project: Polytopia
    This is part 7 in the series: The Rise of the Cyber Unified Civilization

    I've handled colour as a man should behave. You may conclude that I consider ethics and aesthetics as one.
    Josef Albers

    We are multidimensional minds, multisensory systems presently embodied in simple materiality. But that is changing.
    Our presence as embodied cognition increases in scope and extent, range and span, delineating a new contour to our beingness in time. This increase in presence is presently mediated via the net and its mobile derivatives, augmented, auric and virtual realities, which deconstruct our age-old location based awareness and reconstruct it into an ambient awareness pervading all facets of our lives.
    The new ambient awareness we are evolving into will in time define a new mindset, a fresh collection of sensations and an original kind of perception.

    This fact changes us; slowly, almost imperceptibly, but change it does.

    “Only as an aesthetic phenomenon is the world justified.”

    Friedrich Nietzsche

    As we evolve individually, as culture, as civilization and as specie, increasing our technological know-how and scientific understanding it is becoming clearer and clearer that long held habits of thought though still prevalent no longer fit the state of affairs we exist in.
    The new state of affairs is a world in which information of geo-location of an individual is a common public knowledge (see: Is location where it’s at in social networking?) and in which objects will talk to each other as spime ; a world in which hyperconnectivity rules the social sphere of human intersubjectivity, eliminating or transcending space and time coordinates is no longer fictional but a reality we all need come to terms with.
    This hyperconnected reality implies on our options and availability, implications that are often overlooked and indeed to my eyes misrepresented, at least in so far as the subject in question is a Knowmad and a Polytopian.

    In this respect I do not think that all hyperconnected minds operate the same or indeed that generalizations should be the case. Do note for example the latest research maintaining that : “U.S. Students Addicted To The Internet” and yet on the same token but arriving to a different conclusion in the latest Pew research published : “In an online survey of 895 technology stakeholders’ and critics’ expectations of social, political and economic change by 2020, fielded by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center:
    » Google won’t make us stupid: 76% of these experts agreed with the statement, “By 2020, people’s use of the Internet has enhanced human intelligence; as people are allowed unprecedented access to more information they become smarter and make better choices.”- (The full report on the future of the internet is well worth reading ).

    In my previous post: ‘Knowmads as metabolic reactors’ I have proposed that Knowmads are developing an inherent capacity to distinguish between different kinds of information, namely toxic and nutritious.
    Moreover Knowmads were presented as : “.. metabolic reactors of information, intermediate junctions of innovation and creativity, catalysts of emergent phase spaces.”
    As this line of clarity unfolds I am moving now into the exploration of Knowmads as aesthetic curators as I see in this motion the natural evolution of the metabolic reactors.
    I have written before that Knowmads, as metabolic reactors are particular kind of beings who thrive in situations of ambiguity and develop perceptions that allow the new sense of cyber-intuition to come forth.
    It is my view that certain Knowmads are developing a particular set of skills that will in time become the normative expression of extra ordinary cognition, I refer specifically to minds that are developing an exceptional capability of enhancing the health and wealth of an infocology by their choices.

    These choices of what to publish and what to point, what to prune and what to emphasize are the key parameters of these intersectionists (hyperconnected individuals locating themselves at the intersection of feeds of information in advanced infocologies).

    These individuals are not necessarily bloggers of fame or journalists of note, artists or editors, though of course they may be; what makes them particularly interesting and especially good indicators to our hybrid futures is their curatorial capabilities and cyber intuitions.
    They do something extremely interesting; they juxtapose art and science, technology and philosophy in such a fashion as to increase our collective aestheticism. And if, as I believe, and the Pew repost shows, the hyperconnected state of affairs is making us more intelligent and more capable of information retrieval, in the process changing and evolving our brains, what we will need more of is this very curatorial capability.

    "Leonardo Da Vinci combined art and science and aesthetics and engineering, that kind of unity is needed once again. "

    Ben Shneiderman

    What is an aesthetic curator of information?

    The simplest way to put it is that an aesthetic curator is a hyperconnected mind that has developed the basic skill of, for lack of a better definition; I will call here, increasing the beauty of an infocology.
    Let us define the beauty of an infocology as the set of characteristics that make an infocology inspiring and exciting, smoothly conjoining diverse streams of impressions and information

    The aesthetic curation of information and knowledge in hyperconnected infoflows is a manner of managing an invisible yet palpable infrastructure. The fashion by which this infrastructure is positioning diverse elements of information in a given infocology is what makes it an Art in itself, a unique point of reference and an observational front line. As I see it, Knowmads as travelers in infostreams, surfers of exceptional insight and minds that carry a cyber intuition that bypasses the apparent limitations of information transmissions, are particularly well suited to the task of infocology aesthetic curator.

    There are of course, some websites that already try and to a very large extent produce infocologies of exceptional beauty and interest. Of particular note is space collective very own Folkert : “But Does It float”: But does it float : an ongoing visual conversation between Folkert and Atley taking place inside a browser window. Or look at the amazing feed of @BrainPicker from Brain Pickings defined in their ‘about’ as: “This is Brain Pickings. It’s a modest exercise in vision- and mind-expansion. Curated bits of culture that will, at the very least, introduce you to new ideas and perspectives and, at their very best, help you think more, laugh more, create more. Be a better person. Because a better person conceives of better, stronger, smarter, richer, deep, more impactful ideas — culturally, commercially and socially. “

    Exceptional mentioning need take into consideration the work of Seed Magazine and Environmental Graffiti and the fantastic curation of Escape into Life and Synaptic Stimuli.

    All of the examples above , and there are many more out there in the vast infosphere, are models and illustrations of fantastic curatorial capabilities and though being beautiful examples of curated infocologies, and by extension enriching the aesthetic experiences of their beholders, I think it is only the tip of the iceberg.
    The iceberg I refer to is the extended cyber experience of beauty, increasing intelligence and a new form of cognition, the co-opted aestheticism of accentuated collaboration. The co-opted intersubjective interest produced in advanced infocologies aiming to better both the involved Knowmad and the cultural health and wealth of the infocology at play is a paradigm shift in infocognition.

    The necessity of art in science and poetry in understanding is beyond doubt the most pressing issue at our doorstep; it may not appear as such in front of the tremendous problems we are facing as a civilization on the brink of a probable technological singularity, yet if we are to advance a mind rooted in the Neolithic into a post human future of beauty, aesthetic curators of information are the beacons we need look to.
    Space Collective itself is a very good pointer to where the shift in infocognition is taking us as indeed is the Polytopia project, both aiming to bring the emotional intelligence of aesthetics into the discourse of the evolution of civilization and hyperconnected minds in particular.
    Knowmads I see as aesthetic curators of information in as much as the function they provide is one of enhanced awareness to knowledge transmission and the ensuing transformation of the minds in question.

    Our hybrid futures and the rise of the cyber unified civilization, imply that we are moving at a pace of transformation to which we are little aware on a moment by moment basis. The possible beauty of our future lies in our hands, in our very own capability to transform ourselves into curators of interest and aesthetic intelligence, a transmutation in the manner we understand the world and cohere a complexity that unfolds before us.

    Alfred North Whitehead once said that: ”Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.” Taking this statement as a cue I believe that by becoming aesthetic curators of information we can increase our understanding of the infosphere, define a new kind of intelligence based on the cyber-intuition demanded by curatorial skills, and concurrently design the beauty of the pattern of our hybrid futures as well as rise above the apparent meaninglessness of old recurrences.
    Knowmads as aesthetic curators of information in infocologies may provide a fresh vision of thought, an insight into the possible beauty born of intersubjective cross-pollinating info-streams, in the process creating a striking version of an evolved specie, a human ready to be an aesthetic phenomenon.

    shortly to be continued..

    Images in text:
    1. André Kertész, Untitled (Eye and Lips), 1970
    2. Brain Maze by Istvan Orosz
    3. Fake Heroes, Fake Idols by Hector Pineda

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    Olena     Sun, May 2, 2010  Permanent link
    What exactly is meant by "infocology"? This is a term you've coined, yes?

    As I read through some of the SC posts older members, sometimes I find myself feeling unable to understand fully because of the terminology that has been invented herein, or which isn't widely used outside of our topics.
    I don't know if anyone else has this problem. I mean, comprehensive reading works, but I feel like I'm missing out on specifics — the specifics of the state of being a Knowmad, the specifics of an infocology. Etc.

    Is there some kind of SC dictionary/atlas? Can there be?

    Wildcat     Sun, May 2, 2010  Permanent link
    the term infocology first appears as : "Of infocologies (information ecologies): because the information in our hyperconnected reality is ambient and all pervasive, creating infospheres streaming into each other." in the first post: "Of onions and Infocologies"

    to the best of my knowledge I have coined the term, I found no reference to the term infocology in the manner it is used here. the meaning was expounded in the first post in the series of the rise of the cyber unified civilization , namely: A cyber Soaring Humanity in it the following appears :

    (Information ecologies or Infocology)

    # Infocologies are not opinion or knowledge umbrellas made to shelter us from chaos, but on the contrary, they are mind habitats, operating in a highly sophisticated information environments, allowing us the dealing with the chaotic in a manner that is both indefinite and thus smoothening the contours of our existence, and precise, and thus increasing our capability for discrimination and distinct correlarity .
    # Infocologies permit a different kind of multiple realities to co-habit the normalization of our thought streams.
    # Multiplicities are the hallmark of a metastable infocology that licenses itself to variations, variability and variety.
    # Infocologies are particular kinds (or cases) of Cas (complex adaptive systems) and lend themselves to evolution into Topos (see- A Topos in a Polytopia- what is)
    # Infocologies can be said to belong to second order cybernetics, particularly because an infocology described by its constituents (the infonauts or Polytopians) changes and evolves by the very act of self-description.

    also for specifics of the Knowmad state see here: Hybrid futures, Knowmads and the Notion state

    Finally concerning the dictionary of SC, I think it can be, we have talked about it in the past and I think it is a worthwhile project, to which I will gladly contribute.
    care to start it?
    Olena     Sun, May 2, 2010  Permanent link
    Thank you so much for gathering these explanations, this is helpful...
    Yes, I think starting a dictionary will be beneficial. Let's do it!
    In the format of a post?
    Wildcat     Mon, May 3, 2010  Permanent link
    yes a SC dictionary of sorts is good, I say start it as a post, continuously updated and see where it leads. (I would suggest designing a format as well, so all definitions sit well within)
    Gabriel Shalom     Sun, Jul 11, 2010  Permanent link
    Taking it one step beyond mere curation to production/manifestation is the big challenge :)