Towards a "Mindful" Web

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Slides for my talk at Trinity College, Dublin, on what Web Science means to me. ABSTRACT It is common to view any artificially created entity as an extension of our human faculties. So it was with our early understanding of the World Wide Web. In the initial years, the Web was viewed variously as a very large database, a digital library or even as an extension of our thoughts. In this talk, I will argue that, far from the Web being an extension of ourselves, *we* are individual appendages to a large emergent characteristic space created by the Web. This is called the "Socio-Cognitive Space". Much like the "economy" -- an entity created by us, which in turn affects our financial well being, the socio-cognitive space that is created by us in turn influences what we think and even how we feel. The socio-cognitive space can satiate our scientific curiosity or strengthen our cognitive biases, stroke our inner-most desires or make us deeply outraged, create wise crowds or unruly mobs, and create a livelihood or drive people to suicide. The socio-cognitive space is immersive and specific in its influence. Two people from the same family could be affected very differently by the Web, depending on their own innate characteristics. We are only beginning to understand the impact of this very powerful space, which is only going to increase in the coming years. I will also argue that arguments that view the Web as a whole as a great opportunity or a great threat, are both inherently missing the essence of the socio-cognitive space. Instead, I will draw concepts from Eastern philosophy to view the space as a collective "state of being" characterized by different levels of harmony or disharmony.

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  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 TowardsaMindfulWeb SrinathSrinivasa WebSciencesLab http://cds.iiitb.ac.in/wsl/ CenterforDataSciences http://cds.iiitb.ac.in/ IIITBangaloreIndia http://www.iiitb.ac.in/
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 Recentadditionstoourvocabulary Socialmedia Tweeting #hashtags SEO Wikipedia Netbanking MOOC Crowdsourcing BigData Phishing Trolling SEO Cyberstalking Cybersquatting Identitytheft Onlineprivacy BigData
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 TheWorldWideWeb Whatstartedasameansformanaging documents,isnowanintegralpartofthe livesofmorethan360millionusers worldwide ModelsoftheWeb Verylargedatabase Digitallibrary Acognitiveextensionofourselves Sociocognitivespace Image source: http://info.cern.ch/Proposal.html
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 WebasaDatabase Earlyapproaches(mid'90s)to modeltheWeb Focusedonthesemistructured natureoftheWebandasa specialcaseofmanaging structured(RDBMS)databases Researchobjectives:structured andrichquerysemantics Examplesinclude:[AMM97], [Eng98],WebQL An example WebQL query Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebQL
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 WebasaDigitalLibrary Shiftfrom: StrictnotionsofqueryLoosernotionsofretrieval andrelevance StrictnotionsofschemaLoosernotionsofontology Emphasisstillonretrievinginformation Webstillseenasapassiverepositoryofinformation Examples:[GR+97],[HMA03]
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 WebasaCognitiveExtensionofOurselves RootedinVannevarBush'sinterpretation ofhypertextreflectingtheway informationisorganizedinhumanbrains Focusoninterpretinghyperlinks,rather than(just)dataonwebpages Hyperlinkasa(n): Relevanceindicator Endorsement Attentionpathway Examples:PageRank[BP98], HITS[GKR98] Memex
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 WebasaSociocognitiveSpace CharacteristicparadigmofWeb2.0approaches Webasanactive,participatory,socialspace ShiftofemphasisfromretrievinginformationfromtheWebtoengagingusers withtheWeb Characteristicelementsofthesociocognitivespaceparadigm: Crowdsourcing Participatoryauthoring(Ex:Wikis) Socialbookmarking Recommendations Pushbasednotifications Socialmediaandinformationdiffusionmodeling Personalizedsearch
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 TheSociocognitiveSpace Fromwebuserstowebparticipants Activebehaviormoldingfromotherparticipants andwebelements(Userfeedback,likes,+1,1; algorithmicrankingandrecommendations) AsknotwhattheWebcandoforyou,askwhatyou candofortheWeb Ifanyonlinesocialspaceprovidesservicesforfree, thenyouarenotthecustomer,youaretheproduct!
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 TheSociocognitiveSpace Immersiveandindividualized experience Karmicgratification Socialnatureofmassmedia Individualizednatureofsocialmedia
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 SurvivalintheSpace Threethingstoknow: Actor,agentandidentity Spreadofideasversusspreadofemotions Crowds,herdsandmobs
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 ActorandAgent Twoformsofidentity: Actor:Ourexternallyprojectedsetofcharacteristics Agent:Oursetofinnatecharacteristics Actor:Whoweareinasocialsetting Agent:Whowearewhenwearealone MoralActorandSelfishAgent[FSO14] Agnostictoculturalvariations
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 ActorandAgentCollectives Predominantlyactorsocieties Societymadeofpeoplecontributing theiractorselvestothecollective Valuescollectivegoodover individualfreedom Valuesmannersandpolitical correctnessoverdirecthonesty Lowcollectivedissonance,buthigh individualdissonance Predominantlyagentsocieties Societymadeofpeoplecontributing theiragentselvestothecollective Passionateandenthusiastic Valueshonestyandtransparency overpoliticalcorrectness Lesserindividualdissonance,but maywitnessmoreconflictscompared topredominantlyactorcollectives
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 ActorandAgent Thewebislikelytobeapredominantlyagentspace Evenmoreso,whenparticipationisanonymous! Anonymity,invisibilityandlackofeyecontactbringsouttheagent andobviatesneedfortheactor[NB12] Possibleexplanationfortheonlinedisinhibitioneffect[Suler04] Onlinesociallifelikelytobemorepassionateandmoreconflict pronethanofflinesociallives.
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 IdeasandEmotions Spreadofideas Spreadsbydynamicsof(bounded) rationality Facilitatedbyconnectivity Hamperedbytoomuchconnectivity (conformancepsychology) Needscriticalconnectivityand rationalmotivation Spreadofemotions Spreadsbyemotionalcontagion Facilitatedbyconnectivity Unhamperedbytoomuchconnectivity Norationalbasisforspread Triggeredbyanyformofdissonance
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 EntrenchmentandtheDiffusionof Ideas Informationdiffusionisfasterinsparselyconnectedpartsofanetwork, ratherthandenselyconnected(entrenched)partsduetoconformanceeffects. Nodedintheabovefiguredoesnotswitchtothenewideabecauseof conformancepressuresfromnodese,fandg ImageSource:[Sri06]
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 MentalModels,WeakTiesandthe EmotionalContagion
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 MentalModels,WeakTiesandthe EmotionalContagion
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 MentalModels,WeakTiesandthe EmotionalContagion
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 MentalModels,WeakTiesandthe EmotionalContagion
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 MentalModels,WeakTiesandthe EmotionalContagion
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 MentalModels,WeakTiesandthe EmotionalContagion
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 TheWeb andthe EmotionalContagion Spreadofideashamperedbyentrenchmenteffectsandconformance pressures Spreadofemotionsfacilitatedinentrenchedandtightlyknit networks InteractionsovertheWebtypicallyspanacrossmentalmodels Interactionacrossmentalmodelsincreasesdissonanceand emotionallychargedconversations EmotionsspreadfasterontheWebthanideas!
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 TheWisdomofCrowds..
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 Crowdsourcingisallfine,but.. Notallgroupsofpeopleform wisecrowds!
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 Crowds,HerdsandMobs Crowds Asharedattentiongroupdebatingaboutatopic Richindiversityofviewpointsandargumentation WisdomoftheCrowd Herds Asharedmentalmodelgroup,allpossessingthesameorsimilarbeliefs Potentinstrengthofconvictionofbeliefs Unwiseasacollectiveandpotentiallymanipulable HerdMentality Mobs Asharedemotionalstategroup,allpossessingthesameemotionalstate,butnoshared mentalmodelorattention Extremelyunpredictable,unwiseandpotentasacollective Mobfury
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 Crowds,HerdsandMobs Crowds: Members act as individuals High cognitive load Unstable Herds: Members comply to collective Low cognitive load Stable Mobs: Deindividualized members No self-awareness as individuals Expansive degeneration
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 PerspectivestowardstheWeb TheWebisan Opportunity TheWebisaThreat TheWebis.
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 TheMindfulWeb From: Webasanobjectofinterest Problemsolving Objectification(depersonalization) Transactionalandspecific interventions Imperativecontrolactions(Dothis, Dothat..) To: Webasacollectivestateofbeing Harmonizing Selfawareness Ongoingrelationshipwithgeneric interventions Declarativecontrolactions(Thisneedsto beachieved..)
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 TheMindfulWeb WWW Web-state modeling center(s) Web observatory Participatory web site
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 EngineeringaMindfulWeb OneormoreStateoftheWebmodelbuildingcenters PoweredbyinputsfromadistributedarrayofWebObservatories Providingstrategic,declarative,aggregatelevelinputsto participatorywebsiteslikesocialmediasites Managedinanopenandtransparentfashionbypublic endowments
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 TowardsaMindfulWeb Richareaofinterdisciplinaryresearch Severalopenproblemsincludinglegalandethical dilemmas Ex:Isitadvisabletodampenthespreadofsomenews simplybecauseitcaninduceanintensenegative emotionalreaction? WebScience:Humanities::Cognition:BeingHuman
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 ThankYou! All images used in this presentation have a CC public license or their licensing terms were unspecified. Copyright rests with the creators. Icons source: http://findicons.com/ http://velyrhorde.livejournal.com/73019.html
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 References [AMM97]G.O.Arocena,A.O.MeldelzonandG.A.Mihaila,ApplicationsofaWebquerylanguage,in:Proc.ofthe6th InternationalWorldWideWebConference,April711,1997,SantaClara,California,USA, http://www6.nttlabs.com/HyperNews/get/PAPER267.html [GR+97]Gudivada,V.N.;Raghavan,V.V.;Grosky,WilliamI;Kasanagottu,R.,"InformationretrievalontheWorld WideWeb,"InternetComputing,IEEE,vol.1,no.5,pp.58,68,Sep/Oct1997 [BP98]SergeyBrinandLawrencePage.1998.TheanatomyofalargescalehypertextualWebsearchengine.In ProceedingsoftheseventhinternationalconferenceonWorldWideWeb7(WWW7),PhilipH.Enslow,Jr.andAllen Ellis(Eds.).ElsevierSciencePublishersB.V.,Amsterdam,TheNetherlands,TheNetherlands,107117. [Eng98]CarlosF.Enguix.1998.DatabasequeryingontheWorldWideWeb:UniGuide,anobjectrelationalsearch engineforAustralianuniversities.Comput.Netw.ISDNSyst.30,17(April1998),567572.DOI=10.1016/S0169 7552(98)000804http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S01697552(98)000804 [GKR98]DavidGibson,JonKleinberg,andPrabhakarRaghavan.1998.InferringWebcommunitiesfromlinktopology. InProceedingsoftheninthACMconferenceonHypertextandhypermedia:links,objects,timeandspacestructurein hypermediasystems:links,objects,timeandspacestructureinhypermediasystems(HYPERTEXT'98).ACM,New York,NY,USA,225234. [HMA03]IanHorrocks,DeborahL.McGuinness,andChristopherA.Welty.2003.Digitallibrariesandwebbased informationsystems.InThedescriptionlogichandbook,FranzBaader,DiegoCalvanese,DeborahL.McGuinness, DanieleNardi,andPeterF.PatelSchneider(Eds.).CambridgeUniversityPress,NewYork,NY,USA427449.
  • Talk at Trinity College, Dublin, July 2014 References [Suler04]Suler,John."Theonlinedisinhibitioneffect."Cyberpsychology&behavior7.3(2004):321326. [NB12]LapidotLefler,Noam,andAzyBarak."Effectsofanonymity,invisibility,andlackofeyecontact ontoxiconlinedisinhibition."ComputersinHumanBehavior28.2(2012):434443. [FSO14]Frimer,J.A.,N.K.Schaefer,andH.Oakes."Moralactor,selfishagent."Journalofpersonality andsocialpsychology106.5(2014):790802. GoogleIRResearchhttp://research.google.com/pubs/InformationRetrievalandtheWeb.html Whencrowdsourcinggoeswrong:Reddit,BostonandmissingstudentSunilTripathi http://www.newstatesman.com/worldaffairs/2013/04/whencrowdsourcinggoeswrongredditbostonandm issingstudentsuniltripathi The5MostEntertainingCrowdsourcingDisasters http://www.businessinsider.com/the5mostentertainingcrowdsourcingdisasters20099/ifail201?IR=T# ifail201 TheStoryBehindtheWorstMovieonIMDb http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/thestorybehindtheworstmovieonimdb/ WebObservatoryhttp://wstweb1.ecs.soton.ac.uk/webobservatory/

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