Monday, May 24, 2004
Cooling, Pt 2
The Cooling of something is a classic example of an 'emergent' phenomena. Look, I know everyone and their mother thinks they know about 'emergence' after reading the Johnson book of the same name - but there's a whole lot more to it than he talks about. If you're really interested, I recommend you read Prigogine, Kauffman, and Maturana to begin with.
Here's a cool example: Dextroverse, which is a site about DXM, which is a drug in cough syrup, which kids are starting to take. It's also a nice example of how the Net is accelerating the Cooling lifecycle - before this, coordination among followers and leaders, and communication between them, was really, really, costly. It was bounded not just by the physical costs of using the infrastructure, but by the psychological costs of being cool or not cool (which, if you were unlucky, like my old pal Brian Spence, could be nearly infinite). But now it's bounded, essentially, by search costs.