But there are so many of them

Former YouTube engineer Guillaume Chaslot, an artificial intelligence expert who once worked to develop the platform’s recommendation algorithm, says he discovered the severity of the problem, which he believes he helped create, on a long bus ride through his native France in 2014, the year after he left the company. A man sitting on the seat next to him was watching a succession of videos claiming that the government had a secret plan to kill one-quarter of the population. Right after one video finished, another started automatically, making roughly the same claim.

Chaslot tried to explain to the man that the conspiracy was obviously untrue and that YouTube’s recommendation engine was simply serving up more of what it thought he wanted. The man at first appeared to understand, Chaslot said, but then concluded: “But there are so many of them.”

Two years after #Pizzagate showed the dangers of hateful conspiracies, they’re still rampant on YouTube, by Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin, Tony Romm and Andrew Ba Tran, Washington Post, 10 December 2018

Ask an 11-year-old

Then there’s the really fascinating part. People in their 20s are having a new experience: They are, for the first time, noticing some of the things actual teenagers enjoy and are being completely appalled, both morally and aesthetically. A flood of young rappers is scoring hits with music that baffles grown rap fans with its slurry boneheadedness […] If the last version of pop was driven by people who desperately wanted everyone to care and everything to matter, it’s only natural for the next wave to be interested in what it looks like when you don’t care, and nothing matters.
25 Songs That Tell Us Where the Future of Music is Going, Introduction by Nitsuh Abebe, New York Times Magazine, Sunday, March 11

The introduction concludes with,

"Keep scanning along that birth chart, and it will emerge that the highest number of births in American history seems to have come around 2007. If you want to know where music is going, ask an 11-year-old."

Publish first, then curate

This post by Tim O’Reilly initially caught my eye for two reasons,

Tim is using Google+ as a micro blogging platform, somewhere in between Twitter and his O’Reilly Radar blog.

In the post he riffs on YouTube as an economy

Whoever it was who said that the internet model turns traditional media on its head, from curate then publish to publish first, then curate, surely got it right

There’s a new advertising business model here too. With hundreds of millions of views, these bands are now media companies. It seems to me that the potential of YouTube to be a game changer in the media marketplace, a powerful new channel and business model for artists is still not widely understood. I bet there are as many people making a living on YouTube as in the iTunes app store, yet there’s far less buzz about it.

I hadn’t heard that phrase about the change from “curate then publish” to “publish first, then curate” before, but it’s powerful.

(I find myself thinking specifically about the presentation by SchoolTube that Darren Milligan facilitated a few weeks ago—there seems to be a huge demand for B-roll, stock footage of everything and anything that can be re-used by students and teachers. During the SchoolTube presentation we discussed the nuances between our reflexive approach to content creation (curation) with a B-roll approach. One statement by SchoolTube president Carl Arizpe stands out in my mind, (paraphrase) “We have students and teachers clamoring for B-roll footage of the Washington Monument. They can’t find anything that’s rights-free or licensed for re-use.”)

How Web Video Powers Global Innovation

Chris Anderson: How web video powers global innovation, recorded July 2010.

There are a few ideas in this talk by TED founder Chris Anderson (not Wired Magazine editor Chris Anderson) that are, as the conference says, worth spreading.

1) The concept of Crowd Accelerated Innovation (at 5:50)

[QUOTE] And there are just three things you need for this [crowd accelerated innovation] thing to kick into gear. You can think of them as three dials on a giant wheel. You turn up the dials, the wheel starts to turn. And the first thing you need is … a crowd, a group of people who share a common interest. The bigger the crowd, the more potential innovators there are. That’s important, but actually most people in the crowd occupy these other roles. They’re creating the ecosystem from which innovation emerges. The second thing you need is light. You need clear, open visibility of what the best people in that crowd are capable of, because that is how you will learn how you will be empowered to participate. And third, you need desire. You know, innovation’s hard work. It’s based on hundreds of hours of research, of practice. Absent desire, not going to happen.

2) Openness (6:55)

This is how TED survives and thrives by GIVING EVERYTHING AWAY:

[QUOTE] So, at TED, we’ve become a little obsessed with this idea of openness. In fact, my colleague, June Cohen, has taken to calling it “radical openness,” because it works for us each time. We opened up our talks to the world, and suddenly there are millions of people out there helping spread our speakers’ ideas, and thereby making it easier for us to recruit and motivate the next generation of speakers. By opening up our translation program, thousands of heroic volunteers – some of them watching online right now, and thank you! – have translated our talks into more than 70 languages, thereby tripling our viewership in non-English-speaking countries. By giving away our TEDx brand, we suddenly have a thousand-plus live experiments in the art of spreading ideas. And these organizers, they’re seeing each other, they’re learning from each other. We are learning from them. We’re getting great talks back from them. The wheel is turning.

3) “Jove” (10:32) a video scientific journal to increase speed/efficiency of knowledge transfer between scientist

This need/idea was entirely new to me and it knocked me off my feet:

[QUOTE] Jove [http://www.jove.com/About.php?sectionid=1] is a website that was founded to encourage scientists to publish their peer-reviewed research on video. There’s a problem with a traditional scientific paper. It can take months for a scientist in another lab to figure out how to replicate the experiments that are described in print. Here’s one such frustrated scientist, Moshe Pritsker, the founder of Jove. He told me that the world is wasting billions of dollars on this. But look at this video. I mean, look: if you can show instead of just describing, that problem goes away. So it’s not far-fetched to say that, at some point, online video is going to dramatically accelerate scientific advance.

4) Global, mobile, video-driven education (15:01)

If you’re like me you’ll suffer, grinding your teeth through a bit of hyperbole at 15:01 - - but be patient, it’s a setup. You’ll be wowed by the Pakistan and Kenya example that follow:

[QUOTE] Here’s a group of kids in a village in Pakistan near where I grew up. Within five years, each of these kids is going to have access to a cellphone capable of full-on web video and capable of uploading video to the web. I mean, is it crazy to think that this girl, in the back, at the right, in 15 years, might be sharing the idea that keeps the world beautiful for your grandchildren? It’s not crazy; it’s actually happening right now.

I want to introduce you to a good friend of TED who just happens to live in Africa’s biggest shantytown.

(Video) Christopher Makau: Hi. My name is Christopher Makau. I’m one of the organizers of TEDx Kibera. There are so many good things which are happening right here in Kibera. There’s a self-help group. They turned a trash place into a garden. The same spot, it was a crime spot where people were being robbed. They used the same trash to form green manure. The same trash site is feeding more than 30 families. We have our own film school. They are using Flip cameras to record, edit, and reporting to their own channel, Kibera TV. Because of a scarcity of land, we are using the sacks to grow vegetables, and also [we’re] able to save on the cost of living. Change happens when we see things in a different way. Today, I see Kibera in a different way. My message to TEDGlobal and the entire world is: Kibera is a hotbed of innovation and ideas.


I think TED has been walking the talk with crowd accelerated innovation for years now and I’ve been fascinated watching its website evolve towards a sharing and collaboration platform even though its core product is video that you consume. I intend to steal the design patterns for embedding, favoriting, sharing, downloading, transcripts (including crowd created transcripts and translations), and rating for the Smithsonian Commons. These features didn’t appear overnight though, they seem to have accrued gradually over time. 

Improv Everywhere

The Mp3 Experiment Eight (by ImprovEverywhere)

Boingboing says: “Charlie Todd says: “3,500 people downloaded the same mp3 from our website and pressed play simultaneously along the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan.  What resulted was a massive silent party with glow sticks, camera flashes, and flashlights.”

One of the youtube comments says:

”I drove 600 miles from Cincinnati with 3 cars full of 5 people and we had the best day of our life! Thanks ImprovEverywhere!“