My latest Make: column, "Shortcut to Omniscience," talks about the cognitive shift that Wikipedians undergo in order to collaboratively write an encyclopedia, and how that kind of fundamental, subtle change enables networked groups of people to do things that were previously considered impossible.
Here's the thing about expertise: it's hard to define. It may be
possible for a small group of relatively homogenous people to agree on
who is and isn't an expert, but getting millions of people to do so is
practically impossible. The Britannica uses a learned editorial board to
decide who will write its entries and who will review them.
Wikipedia turns this on its head by saying, essentially, *Anyone can
write our entries but those entries should consist of material cited
from reliable sources.* While the Britannica says, *These facts are
true*, Wikipedia says, *It is true that these facts were reported by
these sources*. The Britannica contains facts, Wikipedia contains facts
Shortcut to Omniscience
We presume it can tell by the pixels.
Whiskers are a fantastic natural sensor that enables cats, fish, seals, and many other animals to detect not just direct contact but even air flow indicating an approaching object. In a fascinating example of biomimicry, University of Queensland engineer Pauline Pounds and her colleagues have developed tiny whisker sensors for drones. According to the researchers, […]
Finnish company Valkee sells the HumanCharger, a pair of $150 earbuds with integrated LEDs to shine light into your ears. Their claim: This revolutionary device is for your well-being and channels bright light directly to the light-sensitive regions of the brain, right where it is needed the most. HumanCharger® can be used to increase energy […]
Even if you feel like AirPods are worth the price tag, you’ve got to admit there’s a certain anxiety that comes with using them. What if I lose them? What if they get wet in the rain? Or drenched in sweat? Or fall into the drink you dropped them into? Shiny tech is great, but […]
With the quick-fix appeal of video games and their own cell phones, it can be tough to keep kids focused on supposedly “educational” toys. And while it may seem counter-intuitive to fight tech with more tech, we’re all in when it comes to the Toybox 3D Printer. We’re not sure if anyone had envisioned a […]
Whether you’re an artist, designer or just organizing a photo album, photo editing software is a must. And software designers know it: Platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom have a ton of helpful features, but you’ll pay for them in spades. Luckily, there’s some competition in the photo editing arena. Right now, Skylum’s Luminar software is […]