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Information entropy

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My slides from the Generate Conference, quickly and entropically packed in a PDF.
(Slide notes in brackets.) Typeface is Averia, "the average font": http://iotic.com/averia/

Published in: Technology, Business
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Information entropy

  1. INFORMATION ENTROPY By Oliver Reichenstein, iA Inc.
  2. 2012
  3. 15,000,000 Books
  4. 51,117,600 New Websites
  5. 1,000,000,000+ Facebook Users
  6. 1,100,000,000 Smartphone Subscribers
  7. 2,400,000,000 Total Users
  8. 182,500,000,000 Tweets
  9. 380,000,000,000 Photos
  10. 985,000,000,000 Facebook Likes
  11. 1,500,000,000,000 Google Searches
  12. 8,600,000,000,000 Short Messages
  13. 52,852,000,000,000 E-mails
  14. 1 Trillion Dollars
  15. 15 Trillion Dollars
  16. 52 Trillion Dollars
  17. 52 Trillion in 1$ Bills
  18. QUALITY
  19. 52 Trillion
  20. 68% spam
  21. 99.99% in the trash.
  22. 48,000,000,000 hours of YouTube.
  23. 1,000,000,000 x “Gangnam Style”.
  24. 99.999% Trash.
  25. The Web has become like TV.
  26. It’s noisy.
  27. It’sboring.
  28. It is too much mostly Advert iseme nt.
  29. WHY?
  30. “When you're young, you look at television and think, There's a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that's not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That's a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! … We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It's the truth.” —Steve Jobs
  31. The medium is a mirror. Because humans are messy, everything will get even messier.
  32. :(
  33. “Language allows information to accumulate more and more rapidly as time passes. Due to language I can receive signals from Confucius, Heraclitus, Plato, et cetera, et cetera. Now the acceleration of information has reached a point where I think it’s totally out of control and nobody can stop it.” — Robert Anton Wilson
  34. We are doing with our mind what we have successfully done to our environment. We are making a mess.
  35. ENTROPY
  36. 1. A measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system's disorder... Broadly: the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system 2a :  the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity 2b :  a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder 3:  chaos, disorganization, randomness
  37. 1. A measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system's disorder... Broadly: the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system 2a. The degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity 2b :  a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder 3:  chaos, disorganization, randomness
  38. 1. A measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system's disorder... Broadly: the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system 2a. The degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity 2b. A process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder 3:  chaos, disorganization, randomness
  39. 1. A measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system's disorder... Broadly: the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system 2a. The degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity 2b. A process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder 3. Chaos, disorganization, randomness
  40. WHY SO NEGATIVE?
  41. “Iteration scales collaboration: Lots of people making small changes. Just as inaccuracy scales knowledge: Knowledge can't get huge unless it's allowed to be wrong sometimes... and just as messiness scales meaning.” —David Weinberger
  42. Messiness scales meaning? How so? Automatically? Because it’s… all… like… you know… awesome?
  43. WHAT DO WE KNOW FOR SURE?
  44. “From a scientific point of view, optimism and pessimism are objectionable: optimism assumes, or tempts to prove, that the universe exists to please us, and pessimism that it exists to displease us. Scientifically, there is no evidence that it is concerned with us either one or the other way.” —Bertrand Russell
  45. We are good at cleaning up, but making a mess and ignoring it, this is what we are really good at. And in both cases technology works as an amplifier.
  46. Is it pessimistic to assume that what analog technology has done to our environment, information technology is doing to our minds?
  47. Information Entropy.
  48. “…commodification [of personal data] is not happening against the wishes of ordinary citizens but because this is what ordinary citizen-consumer want. Look no further than Google’s email and Amazon’s Kindle to see that no one is forced to use them: people do it willingly.” –Evgeny Morozov (yes, that [negative] guy)
  49. CAN WE DESIGN OR PROGRAM THIS AWAY?
  50. 1. Reduction creates essence. (We can do a better job at focussing on essence.)
  51. 2. Silence and pauses give structure. (Meaning needs Pauses. Thought needs room. We can improve our own diet.)
  52. 3. Details clear things up. (And they show that you care as a human being for another human being.)
  53. 4. Conscious repetition is fun. (Redundancy makes a message memorable, identifiable and solid. Kids love repetition. Repetition is fun. Repetition is funny. “New” is overrated.)
  54. 5. Negativity motivates. (Don’t be negative? Branding negativity as evil and unwise is utter ideological nonsense. Negativity is as evil as the color black, it is as unwise as the word “No”. There is nothing wrong with negativity. Negativity has its place in communication and so does positivity. Ultimately, negativity can be a much stronger motivator than positivity. If you censor negativity, how do you grow? To grow, you better embrace negativity. What you should do, is trying to avoid all optimism and pessimism. That’ll help you seeing reality for what it is and not for what you wish it to be.)
  55. 6. Slowness is powerful. (There is no need to increase overall user engagement, we engage enough. It’d be nice to start shaping technology so it slows us down a little.)
  56. …and?
  57. OK, NOW ENOGH WITH THE NEGATIVITY AND THE REPETITION AND THE SLOWNESS. GIVE US SOMETHING… NEW!
  58. Design is a process. Writing is a process. Business is a process. (Improving the quality not a matter of good intentions. It’s how you do it. It’s a matter of process.)
  59. If the process sucks, the result sucks. (There is no killer method to solve all problems. Problem solving is a process. Always focus on the process, if you’r unhappy with the result.)
  60. Design Processes. Editorial Processes. Business Processes. (Improve your team’s performance? Maybe invest into improving the internal communication before you raise salaries, hire more staff and move into an even cooler office? Improve the financial industry? Well maybe you should look at how they communicate with each other, how they read and write, how they communicate internally before you you try to fix their results.)
  61. Look at internal information processes before you paint a nice picture of a corporation on the outside. (One can feel that the NYT has a broken Content Management System, that they use Word to write and edit texts, that they send those word document back and forth. One can feel it not only on their home page, one can feel it in the article.)
  62. Your information architecture is your brand architecture. To improve it:
  63. 1. Reduction creates essence. 2. Silence and pauses give structure. 3. Details clear things up. 4. Conscious repetition is fun. 5. Negativity motivates. 6. Slowness is powerful. 7. Focus on process (not on pretty pics).
  64. THANK YOU.

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