Friday, May 18

PDF2007 - Live Blogging from the Front Lines

Here I am at Pace University in New York City, and just got amazed by the presentation from Lawrence Lessig, focusing on opening the debate on copyrights.

Lawrence Lessig
In 1881, we were a pirate nation, did not respect the copyrights of foreign nations. While some is good, ALL is not better. As Obama said, there are plenty of methods for addressing the deate. We do not need the proprietary controller. Looking for the freedom of the Presidential Debates - but with the proprietary networks (e.g. FoxNetworks), there are the use of copyrights that go against the inherent freedoms. Lessig makes some compelling arguments during his speech.

There are at least two ways of looking at the issue...

JD Lascia: Brewster Kayle and JD to make a Remix system

Tom Friedman and Eric Schmidt chat
TF: Where are you guys going? What s the new, new thing? The macro frame?
ES: Integrating search information into "universal search" - all daa into one search system, no more silos.

TF: Internet the new dial-tone?

TF: Moores Law in search?
ES: Network effect - makes the network more valuable. Can use iGoogle which personalizes the results to your personal search based on what you do. 10 years from now, google might say to you: "Good morning, you are already late"

TF: What do you think will be the personal aspect/impact on politics?
ES: Negatives: very small group can analyze the natural mistakes in human life and exploit them. No one is perfect, and if a politician makes a single mistake, someone can use the power to take them down.
Positives: before TV-way and after TV-way: when a TV camera in their face changed their persona. They now have to understand life in the world of personal media
50 personalized reading that would sound kind of hocky, but would actually work.
"Truth detector"? The tools and energies are availabl e to the citizenry to keep politicians honest.
Fighting urban myths - snopes - how the Information Revoluton will teach students how to navigate and search and learn on their own/from their own.

TF: Book called "How?" because you are so transparent - GWB could not be president if he want to Yale now, especially with camera phones and such. Resume was okay - because you got to write that proxy. Now, current employers can look across the web and see what you wrote an what others say.
ES: I think we should allow students to change their name with minimal efort at age 21 . It is not until after college that students begin to realize the impact of "over-sharing". People are always now in the "media frame". All of us are individual agents of photography.

TF: We knew each other when the world was round. How has that changed when you are now a global figure?
ES: We can all be absorbed with media. Public features have to maintain their reputation - and little things can form memes. We tend to make a comment and then a fact. The brain works such that patterns are formed. One data point is a start, two points become a "fact-pattern" when the points might be totally incorrect. About biases: one they are set, it is very difficult to unset. Confirmation bias: everything you see confirms the original bias.

With google, google becomes the "facts" that people rely upon.

TF: Bharain story last year. Ruling family lives in a palace. This time, the election was using google Earth to understand the the impact of the ruling family on the local territory had impacted to land, things were emailed and threatened the election. How will google handle the potential "national security threat" that google could impact?
ES: When they shut down the google Earth and then turned it back on, it made the original story even more important. Every phone has a GPS, every phone has a camera, why can't the photos captured have the GPS coordinates connected with the photo itself? How do we handle that? Painfully and a lesson we address one incident at a time.

TF: What's happened with China? Are the Chinese finding ways getting around?
ES: Appears to be something called the "Great Firewall" - does prohibit access of some content to China. We had to be subject to the media laws in order to affect change. There is more than one legitimate point of view. If we omit any results, we tell the Chinese citizen that the information that was omitted. This seems to cause the citizen to find ways around to find the content in others ways.

Chinese political discourse has changed. google marketshare is growing. The arrival of broad access of information has to be good for the eventual arrival of content.

TF: Should google be regulated as a public utility? Become transparent?
ES: We are trying to be transparent as muh as we can be. There are plenty of governments trying to regulate us. Principles: 20% time - tech folks can work on projects that can change the world, 70/20/10 - 70% of money spent of search

Five years ago were about growing, 18 months ago - we started focusing on outreach and transparency. Using YouTube providing us a channel for documenting what we are doing.

TF: What are some trends that are emerging AFTER you purchased YouTube?
ES: Incredible complexity of the media world - insane rights management structure. Slows down a lot of decision making (inertia). People get much more excited about video than about words. YouTube is following a different pattern than TV. Average person was that one user watches ten videos, 3-5 minutes each. Looks like video is on of the keystones of social media. Explosion of content is very valuable - very long tail distribution. google has the best answer for some kind of information.

TF: If I want to get hired at google, how do I go about it? How do you filter?
ES: Number of hundreds of recruiters - try to find the top talent. We have tried to put in a scientific method to analyze with a unique interest. First VP of Engineering was an amateur astrophysicist. More important metric for success if recruiting. Most of you are in the creative world - you need o have a group of people with a broad set of interests.

Rhoads Test - it did predict eventual success in school. The fact that you could take the test and pass it was the best indicator of passing school.

TF: Synthesis comes from people who can connect dots
ES: Innovation is the strength of America. Internet has been the place were a small group of people can create more. In he Interent, all of the ideas will be "tried" - bopdiversity effect.

JeffJarvis: what would you recommend to candidates do?
ES: YouChoose 08'. People are not used to using the medium for the best effect. Simple thing - I want everything I do/record be available to one person. All the other stuff, after the professional content - this will lead to an openness and excellent seize the medium

Sanford: What lessons can we take from international campaigns?
Will accelerate a more open dialog - they are sensitive to the will of the people. For eample, you become a dictator and close off the country. The population could be physically "shut down" but Internet has been the single greatest expression of personal freedom.

Andrew Rasiej: why do politicians not understanding the authenticity of the current medium
ES: it is generational. Video has always been about delivering sound bytes. On line video tends to need more humor, people lose interest quite rapidly.

Comment on blocking of social networks in the military: ES - we would prefer they would not.

Another: how can the internet/google help in the narrowmindedness.

BobF: old technologies - the Internet can empower the individuals
ES: I do not think politics is going to go away - I think it will increase the conersation to increase. Balance between group interests and individual. How does the Internet help strengthen the conversation/exploration. When their voice is heard past their village - does the world become more flat or more polarized? Become more sensitive or more aligned with their like groups. We are learning this now in the great experiment now.

Tags: PDF2007, Eric Schmidt, Lawrence Lessig, Tom Friedman