Jobs, Googles and Leaks – new species in the making


US diplomatic cables leak 'caused little damage'

What do Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt and Julian Assange have in common; they are fossils of an exticnt species – well not yet, but they will be.  The theory of evolution is commonly attributed to Charles Darwin; Darwin became the first person to fully article the concept with documentation, well-reasoned arguments and most importantly a mechanism for evolutionary change – natural selection.  Darwin’s The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was first published in 1859.

Darwin and his theory have been a subject of much debate ever since; the debate came from two separate and distinct quarters, religious communites with objections based on the conflict with the commonly used bibles of the three major western religions and their creation myth and Darwins constant change over time without a beginning or a creator.  The other major source of objections was science and scientists – there simply was not enough evidence in the fossil records to prove the theory, scientists have been working ever since to fill in the missing evidence.

There is one other difficulty for  the average person in trying to understand evolution in terms of the world as we sense it – you cannot see evolution.  Indeed, science has become much more sophisticated and supplied many more tools to use in studying evolution – now we have 150 years of collecting fossils and have very large and diverse collections of fossils; we have new tools for dating evidence and new tools for examining evidence – we can view and photograph incredibly small things that sciencist in Darwin’s era did not know existed or simply guessed at their existence; scientific knowledge of biology and biological process is much advanced from his time – Charlie knew nothing of genetics for example; and now we also have DNA to use in tracing and dating lineages.

With all of that, the rest of us, non scientists, still cannot see evolution in progress.  Scientists can and do explain all of the evidence, cite mulitpe tests and research and they have lots.  But unless we do just as we do with religion, accept it on faith, it is still a mystery and unknowable to us.  And truthfully to them at times also; there is a simple reason there are no clear lines of division or demaraction, not between one species and another or between one era, epoch or period and another.  Every moment is a snap shot and in the snap shot everything appears fixed, permanent and unmutable – to use the term they used in Darwin’s time.

So let me give a couple of examples for the news of the day.  Steve Jobs is stepping away from Apple.  No one knows what that means to Apple, except to think all of the brillance of new products came from his brain and that brain will be on medical leave.  Eric Schmidt is moving aside at Google. No one knows what that means to Google, except to think it means some things will change.  The pundits are saying the Schmidt was not good at keeping top talent; it seems the best minds are moving from Google to Facebook, not for money and not for more vacation time, but because Facebook offers them more opportunity to bring their pet projects to fruition – Google gave them plenty of opportunity to develop their ideas, but not much to see those ideas put into practice. In some way that indicates that the dynamics between the two companies will produce something very different from either of those two as brains bounce back and forth likes atoms in a reactor.

The other two stories are not nation news stories, they are localized blogging stories; I read two blogs today, each contained a letter written in an official capacity from one official to another but ended up, ala wikileaks circulating around the web.  One was from state lawmakers in New York to federal officials protesting a proposed Indian casino in New York to be operated by a tribe head-quartered in Wisconsin; the other letter was from an arbitrator who had been chosen to mediate between officals in Las Vegas and the firefighters labor union.  The arbitator was writing to the FBI asking them to investigate what he thought might be a conspiracy to defraud government agencies through the use of sick time by firefighters.  Again, I don’t know what will come out of either letter or either revelation of the letters, public exposure does not guarntee change, except maybe in the life of the exposer,  as Assange must surely have realized by now.

But I do think this is what evolution looks like; Apple and Google are evolving and it is likely in a couple of years both will be very different than they are today.  The second has to do with journalism; I think we are seeing the future of journalism.  The bloggers may fill endless cyberpages with their opinions, bad grammar and unedited spelling in a way commerical journalism would never contenance, but they are also filling their pages with direct evidence, the value of which we are free to judge for ourselves – a privelege that commerical journalism seeks to deny to us.

In each time frame of the separate and combined yesterdays, todays and tomorrows each of these places, Apple, Google, the blogishere and commerical journalism look exactly as it did in each of the other periods, but at some time in the future all four will be something very, very different than they are now.

 

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