Top 43 Quotes & Sayings by Clive Thompson

Explore popular quotes and sayings by a Canadian journalist Clive Thompson.
Clive Thompson

Clive Thompson is a Canadian freelance journalist, blogger, and science and technology writer.

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There is something about the ability to externalize our thoughts and compare them with other people in a public way that is really transformative for the average person.
The genius idea of industrialism was the concept of the Model T: In exchange for something cheap and well-made, we'd forgo unique, lovely design.
Ambient awareness is the experience of knowing what's going on in the lives of other people - what they're thinking about, what they're doing, what they're looking at - by paying attention to the small stray status messages that people are putting online.
If you, or any public-spirited programmer, wanted to figure out what the software on your machine is really doing, tough luck. It's illegal to reverse engineer the source code of commercial software to find out how it works.
Truly huge artistic collaboration on the Internet seems to work only if the gang has a well-defined objective. β€” Β© Clive Thompson
Truly huge artistic collaboration on the Internet seems to work only if the gang has a well-defined objective.
Personally, I'd love to see more social media firms develop business models that aren't reliant on advertising. If you're a social media firm selling ads, your goal is to get people to interrupt what they're doing all day long so they come and stare at your service as much as possible.
No consumer product improves more drastically, year after year, than the computer.
The one complaint about the Internet that I wholeheartedly endorse is that most of these tools have been designed to peck at us like ducks: 'Hey, there's a new reply to your comment! Come look at it!'
Transactive memory works best when you have a sense of how your partners' minds work - where they're strong, where they're weak, where their biases lie. I can judge that for people close to me. But it's harder with digital tools, particularly search engines.
A huge amount of our everyday thinking - powerful, creative, and resonant stuff - is done socially: talking to other people, arguing with them, relying on them to recall information for us.
Software is now so complex - requiring so many gazillions of tiny files all over your computer - that most consumers don't want to bother to know what's really going on.
The amount of writing that people do online is astonishing, and historically unprecedented.
Politicians or pundits can distort or cherry-pick climate science any way they want to try and gain temporary influence with the public. But any serious industrialist who's facing 'climate exposure' - as it's now called by money managers - cannot afford to engage in that sort of self-delusion.
The things kids can do on screens can be really delightful - if they are age appropriate. But no, they shouldn't spend all their time on a screen; they should split up their time doing multiple, different things.
When you're an expert in a subject, you can retain new factoids on your favorite topic easily. This only works for the subjects you're truly passionate about, though. Baseball fans can reel off stats for their favorite players, then space out on their own birthday.
Novelists in particular love to rhapsodize about the glory of the solitary mind; this is natural, because their job requires them to sit in a room by themselves for years on end. But for most of the rest of us, we think and remember socially.
Insurance firms have always carefully studied real-world data to figure out what, precisely, constitutes a risky activity.
Railing at scientists for massaging tree-ring statistics won't stop the globe from warming if the globe is actually, you know, warming.
More than any other modern tool, computers are a total mystery to their users. Most people never open them up to fix them or to see how they work.
The only reason we don't notice how absolutely interwoven our thinking processes have become with older technologies - pencils, paper, electric light, penicillin, fire - is that they're old, so we've ceased to notice their effects.
The humanitarian developers behind World of Warcraft have also discovered a way to bribe gamers into turning off their computers and going outside. If you log off for a few days, your character will be more 'rested' when you resume playing, a mode that temporarily speeds up your leveling.
The people who tend to get the most out of being social thinkers are the people who themselves are helpful. They're always talking or answering people's questions or engaging in productive conversations. They're not being trolls. They're tamping down other people that are being trolls.
Why are online games so addictive? It's mostly the narcotic appeal of 'leveling.'
The Internet lets thousands of total strangers collaborate to produce a truly hivelike result.
Tip-of-the-tongue syndrome is when people almost remember something but need a computer, or someone else, to help them find it. The problem is, our brains have always been terrible at remembering details. They were like that way before the Internet came along.
We're dumber and less cognitively nimble if we're not around other people - and, now, other machines.
Plays are frequently infected with ideas that came from actors or even sound engineers. Some Shakespeare scholars wonder whether some of the Bard's lines came from onstage improvisations by actors.
America has always had tinkerers, including just about any teenager who ever hot-rodded a Camaro.
The computer industry began with home-brew boxes that everyone had to program for themselves, but that was a huge hassle. The computer revolution didn't explode until the first Macintosh arrived, with its point-and-click simplicity.
A textbook requires a consistent sense of style and a linear structure, hallmarks of a single authorial presence. An encyclopedia doesn't.
We use paper documents to store knowledge so we can consult and reconsult it, giving us a type of recall impossible with our unaided minds; we use pencils to scratch down material so we can manipulate it in a fashion impossible in our unaided minds.
The main message of 'Smarter Than You Think' is an attempt to look at the productively new and interesting ways that we have begun to learn about the world, to think about what we found, and to mull it over and argue about it with other people as we use technology.
I don't think the Internet has replaced cities in any significant way, nor really could it. Cities are dynamic - and deeply seductive for the people who flock there - because they broker all sorts of fantastic and useful connections, cultural and economic and social.
There's nothing wrong with talking out loud in public, but there is something wrong with the government sucking up all those utter instances in a database just in case they maybe want to bust you in five years.
I lust after iPods or Mini Coopers not because they're unique, but because they've been so artfully made that I couldn't imagine doing it better myself. β€” Β© Clive Thompson
I lust after iPods or Mini Coopers not because they're unique, but because they've been so artfully made that I couldn't imagine doing it better myself.
Type as quickly as you can and always carry a pencil.
The humanitarian developers behind World of Warcraft have also discovered a way to bribe gamers into turning off their computers and going outside. If you log off for a few days, your character will be more rested when you resume playing, a mode that temporarily speeds up your leveling.
When you broadcast your book reading voluntarily, it creates moments of fascinating serendipity.
Memory has always been social. Now we're using search engines and computers to augment our memories, too.
That's the old ecological tale that explains humans' inability to fully appreciate global warming. To wit: if you drop a frog in a pan of hot water, it jumps out. If you drop it in a pan of cold water, then turn the heat up slowly, you can roast it to death.
Ambient awareness is the experience of knowing what's going on in the lives of other people - what they're thinking about, what they're doing, what they're looking at - by paying attention to the small stray status messages that people are putting online. We're now able to stitch together these fantastic details and mental maps of what is going on in other people's lives.
PowerPoint presentations, the cesspool of data visualization that Microsoft has visited upon the earth. PowerPoint, indeed, is a cautionary tale in our emerging data literacy. It shows that tools matter: Good ones help us think well and bad ones do the opposite. Ever since it was first released in 1990, PowerPoint has become an omnipresent tool for showing charts and info during corporate presentations.
As Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman document in their book Networked, people who are heavily socially active online tend to be also heavily socially active offline; they’re just, well, social people.
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