The significance of a new idea usually cannot be known when it is first developed, because much of that significance depends on subsequent developments, both technological and economic. The upshot is that many good ideas are patented that never actually turn out to be worth anything.

 – Jaffe & Lerner IEEE Spectrum 12/04

…imprecise and still be understood

Slack: Since you write both computer code and words, how do you view the differences between these types of languages?

Ullman: Code is expressive in own way. There are such things as elegant, beautiful algorithms. Code performs; it operates. Its meaning is what it does, what it accomplishes.

With writing, you never really know if it works as there’s no compiler to test it. But language can be indistinct — non-grammatical, or in another dialect — and we can still understand its meaning. The beauty of language is that we can be imprecise and still be understood

Hilarious traffic patterns

More developed examples: vehicle displays and engagement with people in close proximity via social media; tightly choreographed driving to wow the audience. Already visible in a crude form in Tokyo, this will become more nuanced and globally mainstream. While ad agencies looking for an edge will get away with ConvoyAds for a while, in a race to the bottom, they will be rapidly become a social nuisance. However, over time the local authority’s own urban sensing platforms will allow them to leverage retroactive fines to the advertisers based on annoyance/engagement, creating a viable ad platform.

read more here.

Scaling of Atypical Knowledge Combinations in American Metropolitan Areas from 1836 to 2010: Economic Geography: Vol 0, No 0

Cities are epicenters for invention. Scaling analyses have verified the productivity of cities and demonstrate a superlinear relationship between cities’ population size and invention performance. However, little is known about what kinds of inventions correlate with city size. Is the productivity of cities only limited to invention quantity? I shift the focus on the quality of idea creation by investigating how cities influence the art of knowledge combinations.
— Read on