robertogreco + adamgreenfield   115

No one’s coming. It’s up to us. – Dan Hon – Medium
"Getting from here to there

This is all very well and good. But what can we do? And more precisely, what “we”? There’s increasing acceptance of the reality that the world we live in is intersectional and we all play different and simultaneous roles in our lives. The society of “we” includes technologists who have a chance of affecting the products and services, it includes customers and users, it includes residents and citizens.

I’ve made this case above, but I feel it’s important enough to make again: at a high level, I believe that we need to:

1. Clearly decide what kind of society we want; and then

2. Design and deliver the technologies that forever get us closer to achieving that desired society.

This work is hard and, arguably, will never be completed. It necessarily involves compromise. Attitudes, beliefs and what’s considered just changes over time.

That said, the above are two high level goals, but what can people do right now? What can we do tactically?

What we can do now

I have two questions that I think can be helpful in guiding our present actions, in whatever capacity we might find ourselves.

For all of us: What would it look like, and how might our societies be different, if technology were better aligned to society’s interests?

At the most general level, we are all members of a society, embedded in existing governing structures. It certainly feels like in the recent past, those governing structures are coming under increasing strain, and part of the blame is being laid at the feet of technology.

One of the most important things we can do collectively is to produce clarity and prioritization where we can. Only by being clearer and more intentional about the kind of society we want and accepting what that means, can our societies and their institutions provide guidance and leadership to technology.

These are questions that cannot and should not be left to technologists alone. Advances in technology mean that encryption is a societal issue. Content moderation and censorship are a societal issue. Ultimately, it should be for governments (of the people, by the people) to set expectations and standards at the societal level, not organizations accountable only to a board of directors and shareholders.

But to do this, our governing institutions will need to evolve and improve. It is easier, and faster, for platforms now to react to changing social mores. For example, platforms are responding in reaction to society’s reaction to “AI-generated fake porn” faster than governing and enforcing institutions.

Prioritizations may necessarily involve compromise, too: the world is not so simple, and we are not so lucky, that it can be easily and always divided into A or B, or good or not-good.

Some of my perspective in this area is reflective of the schism American politics is currently experiencing. In a very real way, America, my adoptive country of residence, is having to grapple with revisiting the idea of what America is for. The same is happening in my country of birth with the decision to leave the European Union.

These are fundamental issues. Technologists, as members of society, have a point of view on them. But in the way that post-enlightenment governing institutions were set up to protect against asymmetric distribution of power, technology leaders must recognize that their platforms are now an undeniable, powerful influence on society.

As a society, we must do the work to have a point of view. What does responsible technology look like?

For technologists: How can we be humane and advance the goals of our society?

As technologists, we can be excited about re-inventing approaches from first principles. We must resist that impulse here, because there are things that we can do now, that we can learn now, from other professions, industries and areas to apply to our own. For example:

* We are better and stronger when we are together than when we are apart. If you’re a technologist, consider this question: what are the pros and cons of unionizing? As the product of a linked network, consider the question: what is gained and who gains from preventing humans from linking up in this way?

* Just as we create design patterns that are best practices, there are also those that represent undesired patterns from our society’s point of view known as dark patterns. We should familiarise ourselves with them and each work to understand why and when they’re used and why their usage is contrary to the ideals of our society.

* We can do a better job of advocating for and doing research to better understand the problems we seek to solve, the context in which those problems exist and the impact of those problems. Only through disciplines like research can we discover in the design phase — instead of in production, when our work can affect millions — negative externalities or unintended consequences that we genuinely and unintentionally may have missed.

* We must compassionately accept the reality that our work has real effects, good and bad. We can wish that bad outcomes don’t happen, but bad outcomes will always happen because life is unpredictable. The question is what we do when bad things happen, and whether and how we take responsibility for those results. For example, Twitter’s leadership must make clear what behaviour it considers acceptable, and do the work to be clear and consistent without dodging the issue.

* In America especially, technologists must face the issue of free speech head-on without avoiding its necessary implications. I suggest that one of the problems culturally American technology companies (i.e., companies that seek to emulate American culture) face can be explained in software terms. To use agile user story terminology, the problem may be due to focusing on a specific requirement (“free speech”) rather than the full user story (“As a user, I need freedom of speech, so that I can pursue life, liberty and happiness”). Free speech is a means to an end, not an end, and accepting that free speech is a means involves the hard work of considering and taking a clear, understandable position as to what ends.

* We have been warned. Academics — in particular, sociologists, philosophers, historians, psychologists and anthropologists — have been warning of issues such as large-scale societal effects for years. Those warnings have, bluntly, been ignored. In the worst cases, those same academics have been accused of not helping to solve the problem. Moving on from the past, is there not something that we technologists can learn? My intuition is that post the 2016 American election, middle-class technologists are now afraid. We’re all in this together. Academics are reaching out, have been reaching out. We have nothing to lose but our own shame.

* Repeat to ourselves: some problems don’t have fully technological solutions. Some problems can’t just be solved by changing infrastructure. Who else might help with a problem? What other approaches might be needed as well?

There’s no one coming. It’s up to us.

My final point is this: no one will tell us or give us permission to do these things. There is no higher organizing power working to put systemic changes in place. There is no top-down way of nudging the arc of technology toward one better aligned with humanity.

It starts with all of us.

Afterword

I’ve been working on the bigger themes behind this talk since …, and an invitation to 2017’s Foo Camp was a good opportunity to try to clarify and improve my thinking so that it could fit into a five minute lightning talk. It also helped that Foo Camp has the kind of (small, hand-picked — again, for good and ill) influential audience who would be a good litmus test for the quality of my argument, and would be instrumental in taking on and spreading the ideas.

In the end, though, I nearly didn’t do this talk at all.

Around 6:15pm on Saturday night, just over an hour before the lightning talks were due to start, after the unconference’s sessions had finished and just before dinner, I burst into tears talking to a friend.

While I won’t break the societal convention of confidentiality that helps an event like Foo Camp be productive, I’ll share this: the world felt too broken.

Specifically, the world felt broken like this: I had the benefit of growing up as a middle-class educated individual (albeit, not white) who believed he could trust that institutions were a) capable and b) would do the right thing. I now live in a country where a) the capability of those institutions has consistently eroded over time, and b) those institutions are now being systematically dismantled, to add insult to injury.

In other words, I was left with the feeling that there’s nothing left but ourselves.

Do you want the poisonous lead removed from your water supply? Your best bet is to try to do it yourself.

Do you want a better school for your children? Your best bet is to start it.

Do you want a policing policy that genuinely rehabilitates rather than punishes? Your best bet is to…

And it’s just. Too. Much.

Over the course of the next few days, I managed to turn my outlook around.

The answer, of course, is that it is too much for one person.

But it isn’t too much for all of us."
danhon  technology  2018  2017  johnperrybarlow  ethics  society  calltoaction  politics  policy  purpose  economics  inequality  internet  web  online  computers  computing  future  design  debchachra  ingridburrington  fredscharmen  maciejceglowski  timcarmody  rachelcoldicutt  stacy-marieishmael  sarahjeong  alexismadrigal  ericmeyer  timmaughan  mimionuoha  jayowens  jayspringett  stacktivism  georginavoss  damienwilliams  rickwebb  sarawachter-boettcher  jamebridle  adamgreenfield  foocamp  timoreilly  kaitlyntiffany  fredturner  tomcarden  blainecook  warrenellis  danhill  cydharrell  jenpahljka  robinray  noraryan  mattwebb  mattjones  danachisnell  heathercamp  farrahbostic  negativeexternalities  collectivism  zeyneptufekci  maciejcegłowski 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Uber, or: The technics and politics of socially corrosive mobility | Speedbird
"This state of affairs, however, is unlikely to last forever. Other interested parties will surely note Uber’s success, draw their own conclusions from it, and attempt to apply whatever lessons they derive to the marketing of their own products and services. If Uber is a confession that the “smart city” is a place we already live in, then, it is also a cautionary case study in the kinds of values we can expect such a city to uphold in its everyday operation — some merely strongly implicit, others right out there in the open. Just what are they?

– Those who can afford to pay more deserve to be treated better." …

– That “better” amounts to a bland generic luxury." …

– Interpersonal exchanges are more appropriately mediated by algorithms than by one’s own competence." …

– "Private enterprise should be valorized over public service provision on principle, even when public alternatives would afford comparable levels of service."



"Quite simply, the city is smaller for people who have access to Uber. The advent of near-effortless, on-demand, point-to-point personal mobility has given them a tesseract with which the occasionally unwieldy envelope of urban space-time can be folded down to something more readily manageable. It’s trivially easy to understand the appeal of this — especially when the night is dark, the bus shelter is cold, the neighborhood is remote, and one is alone.

But as should be clear by now, this power to fold space and time comes at a terrible cost. The four values enumerated above make Uber a prime generator of the patterns of spatialized injustice Stephen Graham has called “software-sorted geographies,” although it does so in a way unencompassed by Graham’s original account. Its ordinary operation injects the urban terrain with a mobile and distributed layer of invidious privilege, a hypersite where practices and values deeply inimical to any meaningful conception of the common wealth are continuously reproduced.

More insidiously yet, these become laminated into journey-planning and other services when they position Uber alongside other options available to the commuter, as simply another tab or item in a pull-down menu. Ethical questions are legislated at the level of interface design, at the hands of engineers and designers so immersed in the privileges of youth and relative wealth, and so inculcated with the values prevalent in their own industry, that they may well not perceive anything about Uber to be objectionable in the slightest. (Notable in this regard are Google Maps and Citymapper, both of which now integrate Uber as a modal option alongside public transit and taxis, and Apple’s App Store, which lists the Uber app as an “Essential.”) Consciously or not, though, every such integration acts to normalize the Randian solipsism, the fratboy misogyny, and the sneering disdain for the very notion of a public good that saturates Uber’s presentation of its identity.

Where innovations in personal mobility could just as easily be designed to extend the right to the city, and to conceive of on-demand access to all points in the urbanized field as a public utility, Uber acts to reinscribe and to actually strengthen existing inequities of access. It is an engine consciously, delicately and expertly tuned to socialize risk and privatize gain. In furtherance of the convenience of a few, it sheds risk on its drivers, its passengers, and the communities within which it operates. If in any way this offering is a harbinger of the network-mediated services we can expect to contend with in the city to come, I believe we are justified in harboring the gravest concern — and, further, in doing whatever we can to render the act of choosing to book a ride with Uber a social faux pas of Google Glass proportions."
2015  uber  adamgreenfield  tranpsportation  politics  technology  mobility  transmobility  inequality  injustice  socialjustice  community  luxury 
july 2015 by robertogreco
The Internet of Things You Don’t Really Need - The Atlantic
"We already chose to forego a future of unconnected software. All of your devices talk constantly to servers, and your data lives in the Cloud because there’s increasingly no other choice. Eventually, we won’t have unconnected things, either. We’ve made that choice too, we just don’t know it yet. For the moment, you can still buy toasters and refrigerators and thermostats that don’t talk to the Internet, but try to find a new television that doesn’t do so. All new TVs are smart TVs, asking you to agree to murky terms and conditions in the process of connecting to Netflix or Hulu. Soon enough, everything will be like Nest. If the last decade was one of making software require connectivity, the next will be one of making everything else require it. Why? For Silicon Valley, the answer is clear: to turn every industry into the computer industry. To make things talk to the computers in giant, secured, air-conditioned warehouses owned by (or hoping to be owned by) a handful of big technology companies.

But at what cost? What improvements to our lives do we not get because we focused on “smart” things? Writing in The Baffler last year, David Graeber asked where the flying cars, force fields, teleportation pods, space colonies, and all the other dreams of the recent past’s future have gone. His answer: Technological development was re-focused so that it wouldn’t threaten existing seats of power and authority. The Internet of Things exists to build a market around new data about your toasting and grilling and refrigeration habits, while duping you into thinking smart devices are making your lives better than you could have made them otherwise, with materials other than computers. Innovation and disruption are foils meant to distract you from the fact that the present is remarkably similar to the past, with you working even harder for it.

But it sure feels like it makes things easier, doesn’t it? The automated bike locks and thermostats all doing your bidding so you can finally be free to get things done. But what will you do, exactly, once you can monitor your propane tank level from the comfort of the toilet or the garage or the liquor store? Check your Gmail, probably, or type into a Google Doc on your smartphone, maybe. Or perhaps, if you’re really lucky, tap some ideas into Evernote for your Internet of Things startup’s crowdfunding campaign. “It’s gonna be huge,” you’ll tell your cookout guests as you saw into a freshly grilled steak in the cool comfort of your Nest-controlled dining room. “This is the future.”"
2015  ianbogost  iot  internetofthings  design  davidgraeber  labor  siliconvalley  technology  power  authority  innovation  disruption  work  future  past  present  marketing  propaganda  google  cloud  cloudcomputing  computers  code  googledocs  ubicomp  ubiquitouscomputing  everyware  adamgreenfield  amazon  dropbox  kickstarter 
june 2015 by robertogreco
The truth about smart cities: ‘In the end, they will destroy democracy' | Cities | The Guardian
"The smart city is, to many urban thinkers, just a buzzphrase that has outlived its usefulness: ‘the wrong idea pitched in the wrong way to the wrong people’. So why did that happen – and what’s coming in its place?"



"In truth, competing visions of the smart city are proxies for competing visions of society, and in particular about who holds power in society. “In the end, the smart city will destroy democracy,” Hollis warns. “Like Google, they’ll have enough data not to have to ask you what you want.”

You sometimes see in the smart city’s prophets a kind of casual assumption that politics as we know it is over. One enthusiastic presenter at the Future Cities Summit went so far as to say, with a shrug: “Internet eats everything, and internet will eat government.” In another presentation, about a new kind of “autocatalytic paint” for street furniture that “eats” noxious pollutants such as nitrous oxide, an engineer in a video clip complained: “No one really owns pollution as a problem.” Except that national and local governments do already own pollution as a problem, and have the power to tax and regulate it. Replacing them with smart paint ain’t necessarily the smartest thing to do.

And while some tech-boosters celebrate the power of companies such as Über – the smartphone-based unlicensed-taxi service now banned in Spain and New Delhi, and being sued in several US states – to “disrupt” existing transport infrastructure, Hill asks reasonably: “That Californian ideology that underlies that user experience, should it really be copy-pasted all over the world? Let’s not throw away the idea of universal service that Transport for London adheres to.”

Perhaps the smartest of smart city projects needn’t depend exclusively – or even at all – on sensors and computers. At Future Cities, Julia Alexander of Siemens nominated as one of the “smartest” cities in the world the once-notorious Medellin in Colombia, site of innumerable gang murders a few decades ago. Its problem favelas were reintegrated into the city not with smartphones but with publicly funded sports facilities and a cable car connecting them to the city. “All of a sudden,” Alexander said, “you’ve got communities interacting” in a way they never had before. Last year, Medellin – now the oft-cited poster child for “social urbanism” – was named the most innovative city in the world by the Urban Land Institute.

One sceptical observer of many presentations at the Future Cities Summit, Jonathan Rez of the University of New South Wales, suggests that “a smarter way” to build cities “might be for architects and urban planners to have psychologists and ethnographers on the team.” That would certainly be one way to acquire a better understanding of what technologists call the “end user” – in this case, the citizen. After all, as one of the tribunes asks the crowd in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus: “What is the city but the people?”"
smartcities  cities  surveillance  technology  stevenpoole  democracy  2014  usmanhaque  danhill  adamgreenfield  songdo  medellín  leohollis  urbanurbanism  data  internetofthings  networkedobjects  californianideology  juliaalexander  communities  medellin  colombia  iot 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The Nonhuman Autonomous Space Agency
"The Nonhuman Autonomous Space Agency is a network of robotic and biological systems, tied together by exchanges in the material and attention economies. One set of probes searches the asteroid belt for resources drifting in the solar wind like giant flowers. Another set, made from modified classic spacecraft, uses its manufacturing and fabrication capacity to shape those resources. Together they build and nurture the habitats for animals and robots, while the whole process can be followed on social media from Earth, all mediated by servers on the Moon."



"The Nonhuman Autonomous Space Agency is a research project from the Working-Group on Adaptive Systems.

Selected prints and three dimensional artifacts from this series are available for exhibition, for more information, please contact sevensixfive ~at~ gmail ~dot~ com.

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Further Reading
When Species Meet, Donna Haraway
The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan
Space Settlements: a Design Study, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Modernity Unbound, Detlef Mertins
Lesabéndio, an Asteroid Novel, Paul Scheerbart
Enduring Innocence, Keller Easterling

Special Thanks
Bryan Boyer, Keller Easterling, Anne Galloway, Marian Glebes, Adam Greenfield, and John Powers"



[http://cargocollective.com/nonhumanagency/How-to-Get-Involved ]

"The Nonhuman Autonomous Space Agency is an open world project. If you have an idea for an image, story, comic book, toy, scenario, or any other media, narrative or not that explores the interaction between nonhuman Earthlings in space exploration and colonization, please get in touch and share it at sevensixfive ~at~ gmail ~dot~ com"
fredscharmen  multispeciesdesign  donnaharaway  space  nonhumanautonomousspaceagency  johnpowers  adamgreenfield  marianglebes  annegalloway  kellereasterling  bryanboyer  michaelpollan  nasa  datlefmertins  paulscheerbart  adaptivesystems  posthumanism 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The smartest cities rely on citizen cunning and unglamorous technology | Cities | The Guardian
"Ignore the futuristic visions of governments and developers, it’s humble urban communities who lead the way in showing how networked technologies can strengthen a city’s social fabric"



"We are lucky enough to live at a time in which a furious wave of innovation is breaking across the cities of the global south, spurred on both by the blistering pace of urbanisation, and by the rising popular demand for access to high-quality infrastructure that follows in its wake.

From Porto Alegre’s participatory budgeting and the literally destratifying cable cars of Caracas, to Nairobi’s “digital matatus” and the repurposed bus-ferries of Manila, the communities of the south are responsible for an ever-lengthening parade of social and technical innovations that rival anything the developed world has to offer for ingenuity and practical utility.

Nor is India an exception to this tendency. Transparent Chennai’s participatory maps and the work of the Mumbai-based practices CRIT and URBZ are better-known globally, but it is the tactics of daily survival devised by the unheralded multitude that really inspire urbanists. These techniques maximise the transactive capacity of the urban fabric, wrest the very last increment of value from the energy invested in the production of manufactured goods, and allow millions to eke a living, however precarious, from the most unpromising of circumstances. At a time of vertiginously spiralling economic and environmental stress globally, these are insights many of us in the developed north would be well advised to attend to – and by no means merely the poorest among us.

But, for whatever reason, this is not the face of urban innovation official India wants to share with the world – perhaps small-scale projects or the tactics of the poor simply aren’t dramatic enough to convey the magnitude and force of national ambition. We hear, instead, of schemes like Palava City, a nominally futuristic vision of digital technology minutely interwoven into the texture of everday urban life. Headlines were made around the planet this year when Narendra Modi’s government announced it had committed to building no fewer than 100 similarly “smart” cities.

Because definitions of the smart city remain so vague, I think it’s worth thinking carefully about what this might mean – beyond, that is, the 7,000 billion rupees (£70bn) in financing that India’s high powered expert committee on urban infrastructure believes the scheme will require over the next 20 years. It is one thing, after all, to reinforce the basic infrastructures that undergird the quality of urban life everywhere; quite another to propose saddling India’s cities with expensive, untested technology at a time when reliable access to electricity, clean drinking water or safe sanitary facilities remain beyond reach for too many.

We can take it as read that our networked technologies will continue to play some fairly considerable role in shaping the circumstances and possibilities experienced by billions of city-dwellers worldwide. So it’s only appropriate to consider the ways in which these technologies might inform decisions about urban land use, mobility and governance.

However, especially at a time of such enthusiasm for the notion in India, I think it’s vital to point out that “the smart city” is not the only way of bringing advanced information technology to bear on these questions of urban life. It’s but one selection from a sheaf of available possibilities, and not anywhere near the most responsive, equitable or fructifying among them.

We can see this most easily by considering just who it is the smart city is intended for – by seeking to discover what model of urban subjectivity is inscribed in the scenarios offered by the multinational IT vendors that developed the smart city concept in the first place, and who are heavily involved in sites like Palava. When you examine their internal documentation, marketing materials and extant interventions, it becomes evident there is a pronounced way of thinking about the civic that is bound up in all of them, with rather grim implications for the politics of participation.

A close reading leaves little room for doubt that vendors like Microsoft, IBM, Siemens, Cisco and Hitachi construct the resident of the smart city as someone without agency; merely a passive consumer of municipal services – at best, perhaps, a generator of data that can later be aggregated, mined for relevant inference, and acted upon. Should he or she attempt to practise democracy in any form that spills on to the public way, the smart city has no way of accounting for this activity other than interpreting it as an untoward disruption to the orderly flow of circulation. (This is explicit in Palava’s marketing materials, as well.) All in all, it’s a brutally reductive conception of civic life, and one with little to offer those of us whose notions of citizenhood are more robust."



"The true enablers of participation turn out to be nothing more exciting than cheap commodity devices, reliable access to sufficiently high- bandwidth connectivity, and generic cloud services. These implications should be carefully mulled over by developers, those responsible for crafting municipal and national policy, and funding bodies in the philanthropic sector.

In both these cases, ordinary people used technologies of connection to help them steer their own affairs, not merely managing complex domains to a minimal threshold of competence, but outperforming the official bodies formally entrusted with their stewardship. This presents us with the intriguing prospect that more of the circumstances of everyday urban life might be managed this way, on a participatory basis, by autonomous neighbourhood groups networked with one another in something amounting to a city-wide federation.

In order to understand how we might get there from here, we need to invoke a notion drawn from the study of dynamic systems. Metastability is the idea that there are multiple stable configurations a system can assume within a larger possibility space; the shape that system takes at the moment may simply be one among many that are potentially available to it. Seen in this light, it’s clear that all the paraphernalia we regard as the sign and substance of government may in fact merely constitute what a dynamicist would think of as a “local maximum”. There remain available to us other possible states, in which we might connect to one another in different ways, giving rise to different implications, different conceptions of urban citizenship, and profoundly different outcomes.

The sociologist Bruno Latour warns us not to speak airily of “potential”, reminding us that we have to actually do the work of bringing some state of affairs into being before we can know whether it was indeed a possible future state of the system – and also that work is never accomplished without some cost. I nevertheless believe, given the very substantial benefits we know people and communities enjoy when afforded real control over the conditions of their being, that whatever the cost incurred in this exploration, it would be one well worth bearing.

The evidence before us strongly suggests that investment in the unglamorous technologies, frameworks and infrastructures that are already known to underwrite citizen participation would result in better outcomes for tens of millions of ordinary Indians – and would shoulder the state with far-less onerous a financial burden – than investment in the high-tech chimeras of centralised control. The wisest course would be to plan technological interventions to come on the understanding that the true intelligence of the Indian city will continue to reside where it always has: in the people who live and work in it, who animate it and give it a voice."

[See also: http://boingboing.net/2014/12/24/why-smart-cities-should-be.html ]
2014  adamgreenfield  urban  urbanism  collectivism  cities  innovation  smartcities  chennai  caracas  nairobi  portoalegre  digitalmatatus  manila  infrastructure  palavacity  technology  power  control  democracy  ows  occupywallstreet  urbz  crit  transparency  occupysandy  nyc  elcampodecebada  madrid  zuloark  zuloarkcollective  collectives  twitter  facebook  troughofdisallusionment  darkweather  networks  internetofpeople  brunolatour  grassroots  systems  systemsthinking  metastability  dynamicsystems 
december 2014 by robertogreco
18. Webstock 2014 Talk Notes and References - postarchitectural
[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/91957759 ]
[See also: http://www.webstock.org.nz/talks/the-future-happens-so-much/ ]

"I was honored to be invited to Webstock 2014 to speak, and decided to use it as an opportunity to talk about startups and growth in general.

I prepared for this talk by collecting links, notes, and references in a flat text file, like I did for Eyeo and Visualized. These references are vaguely sorted into the structure of the talk. Roughly, I tried to talk about the future happening all around us, the startup ecosystem and the pressures for growth that got us there, and the dangerous sides of it both at an individual and a corporate level. I ended by talking about ways for us as a community to intervene in these systems of growth.

The framework of finding places to intervene comes from Leverage Points by Donella Meadows, and I was trying to apply the idea of 'monstrous thoughts' from Just Asking by David Foster Wallace. And though what I was trying to get across is much better said and felt through books like Seeing like a State, Debt, or Arctic Dreams, here's what was in my head."
shahwang  2014  webstock  donellameadows  jamescscott  seeinglikeastate  davidgraeber  debt  economics  barrylopez  trevorpaglen  google  technology  prism  robotics  robots  surveillance  systemsthinking  growth  finance  venturecapital  maciejceglowski  millsbaker  mandybrown  danhon  advertising  meritocracy  democracy  snapchat  capitalism  infrastructure  internet  web  future  irrationalexuberance  github  geopffmanaugh  corproratism  shareholders  oligopoly  oligarchy  fredscharmen  kenmcleod  ianbanks  eleanorsaitta  quinnorton  adamgreenfield  marshallbrain  politics  edwardsnowden  davidsimon  georgepacker  nicolefenton  power  responsibility  davidfosterwallace  christinaxu  money  adamcurtis  dmytrikleiner  charlieloyd  wealth  risk  sarahkendxior  markjacobson  anildash  rebeccasolnit  russellbrand  louisck  caseygollan  alexpayne  judsontrue  jamesdarling  jenlowe  wilsonminer  kierkegaard  readinglist  startups  kiev  systems  control  data  resistance  obligation  care  cynicism  snark  change  changetheory  neoliberalism  intervention  leveragepoints  engagement  nonprofit  changemaki 
april 2014 by robertogreco
What I’m working on lately: Practices of the minimum viable utopia (long) | Speedbird
"In the fusion of each of these three archetypal processes, el Campo de Cebada, Godsbanen and Unto This Last, we can see the outlines of something truly radical and terribly exciting beginning to resolve. What can be made out, gleaming in the darkness, is a — partial, incomplete, necessarily insufficient, but hugely important — way of responding to the disappearance of meaningful jobs from our cities, as well as all the baleful second-order effects that attend that disappearance.

When apologists for the technology industry trumpet the decontextualized factoid that each “tech” job ostensibly creates five new service positions as a secondary effect, what they neglect to mention is that the lion’s share of those jobs will as a matter of course prove to be the kind of insecure, short-term, benefits-lacking, at-or-close-to-minimum-wage positions that typify the contemporary service sector. This sort of employment can’t come anywhere close to the (typically unionized) industrial-sector jobs of the twentieth century in their capacity to bind a community together, either in the income and benefits they produce by way of compensation, in the conception of self and competence they generate in those who hold them, or in the sense of solidarity with others similarly situated that they generally evoke.

At the same time, though, like many others, I too believe it would be foolish to artifically inflate employment by propping up declining smokestack industries with public-sector subsidies. Why, for example, continue to maintain Detroit’s automobile manufacturers on taxpayer-funded life support, when their approach to the world is so deeply retrograde, their product so very corrosive environmentally and socially, their behavior so irresponsible and their management so blitheringly, hamfistedly incompetent? That which is falling should also be pushed, surely. But that can’t ethically be done until something of comparable scale has been found to replace industrial manufacturing jobs as the generator of local economic vitality and the nexus of local community.

So where might meaningful, valued, value-generating employment be found — “employment” in the deepest sense of that word? I have two ways of answering that question:

- In the immediate term, I believe in the material and economic significance of digital fabrication technologies largely using free and open-source plans, deployed in small, clean, city-center workshops, under democratic community control. While these will never remotely be of a scale to replace all the vanished industrial jobs of the past, they offer us at least one favorable prospect those industrial jobs never could: the direct production of items immediately useful and valuable in one’s own life. Should such workshops be organized in such a way as to offer skills training (perhaps for laid-off service-sector workers, elders or at-risk youth), they present a genuinely potent economic and social proposition.

There are provisos. The Surly Urbanist correctly suggests that any positions created in such an endeavor need to be good jobs, i.e. not simply minimum-wage dronework, and my friend Rena Tom also notes that the skills training involved should be something more comprehensive than a simple set of instructions on how to run a CNC milling machine — that any such course of instruction would be most enduringly valuable if it amounted to an apprenticeship first in the manual and only later the numeric working of materials. I also want to be very clear that, per the kind of inclusive decision-making processes used at el Campo de Cebada, such a workshop would have to be something a community itself collectively thinks is worth experimenting with and investing in, not something inflicted upon it by guileless technoutopians from afar.

- In the fullness of time, I believe that the use of relatively high-technology techniques to accomplish not merely the local, autonomous production of everyday objects, furnitures and infrastructures, but their refit and repair, will come to be an economically salient activity in the global North. In this I see a congelation of several existing tendencies, logics or dynamics: the ideologically-driven retreat of the State from responsibility for stewardship of the everyday environment; the accelerating attrition and degradation of the West’s dated and undermaintained infrastructures, and their concomitant need for upgrade or replacement; increasing belief in the desirability of densifying urban infill; the rising awareness in the developed world of jugaad, gambiarra and other cultures of repair, reuse and improvisation; the emergence of fabricator-enabled adaptive upcycling; the circulation of a massive stock of recyclable componentry (in the form of obsolescent structures as well as landfill-bound but effectively nondegradable consumer items), coupled to the emergence of a favorable economics of materials recovery; broader experience with and understanding of networked, horizontal and leaderless organizational structures; the creation of a robust informational commons, including repositories of freely-downloadable specifications; and finally the clear capability of online platforms to facilitate development and sharing of the necessary knowledge, maintain some degree of standardization (or at least harmonization) of practice, suggest sites where citizen repair might constitute a useful intervention, and support processes of democratic decision-making."
utopia  2014  adamgreenfield  openstudioproject  pocketsofresistance  resistance  institutforx  godbanen  aarhus  madrid  spain  españa  elcampodecebada  untothislast  london  making  makerculture  economics  production  fabrication  democracy  labor  upcycling  collectivism  collaboration  repair  furniture  agency  denmark  davidharvey  postcapitalism  sharingeconomy  sharing  libraries  lcproject  community  communities  cooperatives  anilbawa-cavia  renatom  airbnb  couchsurfing  kintsugi  seams  minimumviableutopia  douglasmeehan  idealism  practicalism  jeremyrifkin  self-reliance  murraybookchin  jugaad  fabbing  gambiarra  fixing  maintenance  cv  repairing 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Seven-second review of John Maeda’s The Laws of Simplicity | Speedbird
[I pulled this up today to illustrate a point elsewhere, time to bookmark it.]

[Look into the comments: http://speedbird.wordpress.com/2007/04/16/seven-second-review-of-john-maedas-the-laws-of-simplicity/#comment-771 ]

"nicolas, precisely. I was shocked at the overweening self-regard that rolled off just every page of this book (and yes, I did actually read it through to the end).

I was shocked at the amount of self-indulgent, meandering filler; I was shocked by the patronizing admonitions that “nobody likes a potty-mouth” as justification for the persistent bowdlerization of time-honored, pungently useful phrases like “RTFM”; I was shocked at the level of insight being presented as somehow novel or interesting.

And what’s up with all these turgid acronyms? SHE? SLIP?? It’s deafeningly tin-eared. Maeda’s become the Thomas Friedman of design.

If I can venture an opinion as to what happened: Maeda has Become A Sensei. This is something that seems to confront a great many talents at mid-career; the tendency is not in any way exclusively East Asian, but the syndrome does seem to reach its crispest expression there. He’s entered a realm in which his prior body of achievement, and the regard it’s earned him, pre-validates just about anything he sets his hand to, and there’s nobody in a position to remind the emperor that he’s leaving the house nekkid.

If you or I or anybody we know had submitted this flyweight thesis to MIT Press – a thesis which manages to be painfully redundant, even over the length of its 100 pages – we’d have been laughed back to the Neolithic. But because it’s the issue of a certified Master…well, it must be OK. (If I sound bitter, it’s only because I was fooled into dropping fifteen bucks on this egotistical display that could have been much better spent…on toothpaste, or perhaps on toilet paper.)

The most egregious aspect of the Sensei Syndrome, by the way, is only partly the individual’s fault: reporters and other supplicants will turn to Sensei as a kind of Intellectual, Public, General Purpose (1), and ask for comment on something outside the domain of their expertise…which is then duly provided.

When all of you guys are legendary in your fields – and I have no doubt that you will be – you must promise me that when somebody comes along and asks you for such a quote, you’ll err on the side of discretion. Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up to be Senseis…"
johnmaeda  adamgreenfield  2007  senseis  acheivment 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Interface Critique | Words in Space
[Updated version [22 Jan 2014]: http://www.wordsinspace.net/wordpress/2014/01/22/interface-critique-revisited-thinking-about-archival-interfaces/ ]

"how do we critique an interface?"

… "We should attend to variables of basic composition (e.g. the size, shape, position, etc., of elements on the screen), as well as how they work together across time and space: how we read across panels and scenes, how we follow action sequences and narrative and thematic threads through the graphic interface."

… "Reading “beneath” those graphic frames provides insight into the data models structuring our interaction with the technology. ... The design of an interface thus isn’t simply about efficiently arranging elements and structuring users’ behavior; interface design also models – perhaps unwittingly – an epistemology and a method of interpretation."

… "In our interface critique, then, we might also consider what acts of interpretive translation or allegorization are taking place at those nodes or hinges between layers of interfaces."

… "We might consider how the interface enunciates – what language it uses to “frame” its content into fundamental categories, to whom it speaks and how, what point(s) of view are tacitly or explicitly adopted. ... How the interface addresses, or fails to address us – and how its underlying database categorizes us into what Galloway calls “cybertypes” – has the potential to shape how we understand our social roles and what behavior is expected of us."

… "We also, finally, must consider what is not made visible or otherwise perceptible. What is simply not representable through a graphic or gestural user interface, on a zoomable map, via data visualization?"

… "Yet we should also consider the possibility that some aspects of our cities are simply not, and will never be, machine-readable. In our interface critique, then, we might imagine what dimensions of human experience and the world we inhabit simply cannot be translated or interfaced."
toread  shannonmattern  interface  ubicomp  design  2014  johannadrucker  stevenjohnson  criticism  scottmccloud  cities  alexandergalloway  adamgreenfield  materiality  scale  location  urban  urbanism  time  space  orientation  frameanalysis  minorityreport 
january 2014 by robertogreco
INTERVIEW: MIT’s Ethan Zuckerman on ‘Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection’ – Next City
"Sometimes I think the obsession with cities and data in particular is taking us back to this very modernist, planned set of assumptions, where all the data is going to be the same in all places. There was an IBM group analyzing traffic flow in Côte d’Ivoire that came up with the remarkable finding that if Côte d’Ivoire would just follow IBM’s advice, their transportation system would be 10 percent more efficient. I find myself going, ‘We all know what happened when RAND tried to plan the New York City Fire Department and the Bronx burned down.’ But beyond that, the best we can do for the city of Abidjan is 10 percent, based on surveilling everybody in the city for a year? These solutions are not actually all that impressive. There are probably much more interesting solutions to traffic in Abidjan that are probably based on going to Abidjan, something other than doing data analysis somewhere far away from the city."



"I have to be completely honest that I don’t live in a city. I live in a town of 3,000 people out in western Massachusetts. I do commute into a city, and I periodically turn to my city-dweller friends and talk about what to me seems like a certain species of insanity. [Laughs.] Living in a subset of American cities, particularly New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, just to me seems willfully obtuse. You are being ripped off. There are no two ways about it. The amount of money that people pay here in Boston and Cambridge for a reasonable place to live to me just seems insane. For all these very good arguments about the efficiencies and vibrancy of cities, I kind of feel like it’s a conspiracy to make people feel good about how they’re getting ripped off by the real estate market. So I have to talk about cities as someone who has opted out in a big way.

To me, smaller cities make a lot of sense. But this is where I think the city as a construct gets very, very complicated. Does it make sense to talk about New York, London or Berlin as hotbeds of cosmopolitanism? Yeah, I’m sure it does. I’m not sure I feel the same way about Guangzhou in southern China, where I was for a bit of the summer: Massive city, giant manufacturing and mostly Han Chinese. Not a whole lot of obvious cultural manifestation."



"The whole book is basically a conversation about potential and reality. The potential of the Internet is that we’re going to get information from all over the world. And the reality is that, a lot of the time, we’re mostly getting information from people we went to high school with. The potential of the city is that we’re going to benefit from the fact that there’s a Uygur population somewhere over in Flushing, Queens, that we have so much to learn from all the different cultures, that I can go eat Senegalese food tonight, and that I’m going to brush shoulders with people from all over the world all the time. The reality is, it’s really easy to stay in your apartment and eat takeout food. You can fool yourself into being a cosmopolitan when you’re pretty isolated in your physical space.

Robert Putnam of Bowling Alone for years has been bemoaning how the Internet is going to separate us and how we’re losing the social fabric of mixing in public. But he’s done recent work that is much, much less discussed, because it’s really uncomfortable. He’s found that when you’re living in a city where you’re a minority, you’re probably going to hunker down. You’re probably not going to mix much with your neighbors. You’re probably going to spend a lot of time watching TV. Confronted with high degrees of cultural diversity, people, for the most part, don’t seem to step up to the challenge and meet their neighbors. In many ways, they hide from them. A lot of cities that have the highest degrees of civic participation are pretty ethnically homogenous.

I would love to be able to say, yes, cities are serendipity engines, and if you just fully embrace the city, and take advantage of all the cultural richness and diversity that’s available there, you’re going to find a way to get as much of that encounter as you get from having the Internet. But there’s no guarantee that you’re going to do it in the city. There’s no guarantee that you’re going to do it online, either, and my encouragement [in the book] is to look for bridge figures, look for translators and look for structured serendipity. And all of that is as applicable in an urban environment as it is in the online environment."
cities  2013  diversity  serendipity  ethanzuckerman  nancyscola  digital  cosmopolitanism  urban  urbanism  adamgreenfield 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Public space, civilization and the self (long) | Speedbird
[Read the whole thing, the pullquotes here are not enough, even though there are many of them.]

"Civilization means providing for everyone’s basic biological needs, among which are shade and some degree of shelter from the elements; clean potable water; and a safe place to use the toilet, and otherwise conduct the rudiments of bodily hygiene. These provisions need to be widely distributed and available throughout the community, situated in a way that allows them to be utilized without undue surveillance (and certainly without shame), and this can only happen under the conditions of relatively uncontrolled access that public space affords."



"Civilization also means being forced to reckon with the consequences of our collective failure to provide such facilities."



"Civilization means acknowledging imperatives beyond the merely commercial. Even putting questions of homelessness to the side, I want to live in a city wise enough to offer its citizens and visitors some respite from the overwhelming pressure toward commercial transaction that otherwise characterizes our shared spaces."



"Civilization means a place to sit down. I myself happen to think that sitting and watching the city go by is one of the great urban pleasures, ever and always its own perfect justification, and that if we’ve seriously gotten to the point that we need to articulate arguments in defense of this act we’re in a good deal more trouble than even I had ever suspected. But as it happens, there are good functional reasons why cities might want to provide pedestrians with abundant free seating easily accessible from the public way."



"Civilization means acknowledging imperatives beyond the frankly functional. You can tell a lot about a society’s conception of itself by looking at the standards it insists on (or, alternately, tolerates) in its public accommodations, beyond the rather low bar of simply being fit for purpose. And there’s something profoundly ennobling about the commitment of collective resources to amenities meant for everyone to use and enjoy — neither to overawe, nor to instill a narrow sectarian pride, but to remind everyone using the space that they are a valued member of a meaningful whole."



"Civilization means accommodating the needs of profoundly different groups."



"civilization means supporting the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition for the redress of grievances."



"Civilization means that each citizen has the right to grow and to become who they are, and it also means that the city is designed and structured in a way that helps them do so."



[My favorite part]

"Sometimes in life, we’re attracted to some endeavor not because we have any particular talent for it, but precisely because it represents a weakness. And so it is with me and the city.

I am a fairly shy person. I grew up physically ungifted: weak, clumsy, unbeautiful, inelegant. I’m saddled with the kind of voice (and manner of speaking) that just seems to set some people’s teeth on edge, the moment I open my mouth. I don’t do well in crowds. I haven’t, historically, had the courage to acknowledge the essential personhood of the others around me, preferring a succession of armored or dismissive poses to the complexity and challenge of engaging them as fully human individuals. It was just more comfortable that way. Of course my entire life is one episode after another of me throwing myself into circumstances in which I wasn’t comfortable, which you can read if so inclined as a desperate attempt to make myself whole by main force, but the fact remains: I preferred life inside my armor. And the seeming wisdom of this was reinscribed by the things I experienced when I first ventured into the American cities of the 1970s, one of which I describe in the video linked here.

But I wanted more. I wanted to venture beyond the safety and sterility of my containment. I wanted to stop dismissing people out of hand. I wanted to feel comfortable anywhere — and for the people I met, reading that comfort, to feel comfortable around me. I wanted to stop sacrificing friends, lovers and opportunities to the fulminating assholeism that goes hand-in-hand with a certain kind of insecurity. And the only thing that seemed to get me even the tiniest bit closer to any of that was being out in the city, on the sidewalks, in the parks, or anywhere else I could test my ability to coexist with others undefended, unarmored and vulnerable. These were relatively safe spaces in which I could practice the art of not constructing everyone else around me as a potential threat to my self-esteem — as something that had to be preëmptively taken down a notch or two — and just letting them be what and who they were.

So all of that stuff in Sennett, about the encounter with implacable urban diversity as an indispensable part of coming to maturity? You better believe I read that very personally. If I am anything but entirely broken as I write this, it’s because the effort it took to manage the experience of urban complexity and difference annealed me. Far too late in life, but thankfully while there was still plenty time for me to enjoy it, my city taught me to be a human being.

Were the others I encountered still, occasionally, obnoxious, self-absorbed, entitled or manifestly interested in making my life more difficult? Of course they were. I’ve already said: this is New York. But by and large, I found truth in the rather anodyne notion that people mostly just want to get along. And so a virtuous cycle kicked in: the degree to which I dropped my character armor was that to which the city began to open itself before me.I do not deny that there is a strong element of privilege in this, and of course it didn’t hurt that New York has become very much safer over the time period I’m describing. But to this day, part of the great pleasure I take from the public places of my city is in noting how very small the voice of panic and flight has become in me when I spend time in them. It’s still there, and it will almost certainly never go away entirely. It’s generally overmastered, though, by the joy I take in simply being with my people, the people of my New York.

We need desperately to become whole, some of us, and public space can do this."



"In practice

Assuming you find any or all of the above convincing, what can you do to act on it?

• Learn about the legal status of public space in your municipality, particularly as regards the full measure of rights you enjoy there. Share that knowledge with others.

• Read everything you can get your hands on. I recommend this book as a useful overview of a few threads of contemporary praxis, but there are thousands of others. (Not all of these will be directly and entirely relevant, but they’re all worth reading.)

• Tease out the commonalities between contemporary forms of public-space activism, whether that activism takes place under the banner of “tactical urbanism,” as part of a longer-standing and more explicitly oppositional tradition, or entirely spontaneously. Work toward building bonds, alliances or coalitions between the individuals and communities involved.

• Engage in that activism yourself, in whatever way feels most natural and appropriate to you. In New York alone, there are literally hundreds of organizations dedicated to these and related issues, from 596 Acres and the Green Guerrillas to the Center for Urban Pedagogy and Transportation Alternatives. Honestly, if you can’t find a group or space convenient to your neighborhood and aligned with your inclinations, you’re probably not looking hard enough. (If community gardens are your particular thing, this is a great resource.)

• Wherever possible, design networked or digital maps, tools, environments and interfaces to surface and highlight available public spaces, and the connections between them and the communities they serve.

• Recover older traditions having to do with the shared use of spatial resources, of which there are far too many to list here. (Some of my favorites: the semi-annual day of neighborhood self-care the Norwegians call the Dugnad, and the shelters called bothies in the Scottish and Irish traditions.) And reflect for a moment on what’s implied by that “far too many to list here”: there happen to be so many distinctive local traditions along these lines because those provisions were recognized as inalienable right throughout most of recorded history, just about everywhere in the West. It’s everything represented by Kanyon and its equivalents that’s anomalous.

• Take in a talk. In New York, the Institute for Public Knowledge regularly hosts high-quality lectures and discussions on everything from public toilets to the design of mobility for democracy. If talking over a meal is more your speed, the Design Trust for Public Space throws regular potluck picnics in public spaces throughout the five boroughs.

• Finally: be a public person. If we make the road by walking, we make the city by citying. You know I believe that civilization depends on it. Be generous, be safe, have fun, and let me know what you discover."
adamgreenfield  urban  urbanism  civilization  cities  2013  self  cv  others  empathy  coexistence  urbanrights  canon  assembly  richardsennett  conviviality  mutualaid 
september 2013 by robertogreco
Venture Ethnography 1: a bi(bli)ography « Justin Pickard
"Project Cascadia is the test-case for a cluster of ideas I’ve been playing with for the best part of five years. A chance to break out my signature obsessions …

Hauntings, world expos, gonzo journalism, science fiction, systems, geopolitics, utopianism, virtuality, globalisation, the sublime, resilience, collapsonomics, aesthetics, architecture, environmentalism, infrastructure, design, futures studies, sovereignty, atemporality, risk, the nation-state, the uncanny, Americana, technoscience, cyberpunk, multispecies ethnography, fiction, capitalism, the human senses, counterfactual history, media and cyborgs (and media cyborgs)

… and nail them to the mast of a weird and interstitial sort of boat; a soupy, hybrid writing practice that would combine the best of ethnography, journalism and science fiction.

In lieu of a biography, then, I’m offering a bibliography. Five years of my brain, in books, articles, essays, and blog posts…"
urbanism  jgballard  richardbarbrook  marcaugé  warrenellis  jenniferegan  bradleygarrett  donnaharaway  naomiklein  brunolatour  ursulaleguin  ianmacdonald  suketumehta  chinamieville  jimrossignol  michaeltaussig  huntersthompson  adamgreenfield  brucesterling  thomaspynchon  bldgblog  geoffmanaugh  cityofsound  danhill  davidgraeber  matthewgandy  williamgibson  corydoctorow  douglascoupland  michaelchabon  jamaiscascio  laurenbeukes  journalism  mediacyborgs  cyborgs  geopolitics  aesthetics  utopianism  risk  atemporality  sovereignty  sciencefiction  cyberpunk  technoscience  ethnography  capitalism  globalization  collapsonomics  resilience  writing  projectcascadia  bibliographies  2011  justinpickard  bibliography  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Are We Fighting With or Against ‘The Man’? | SpontaneousInterventions [Comment from Adam Greenfield quoted here.]
"Every sustained change in human consciousness needs, in effect, a Martin & a Malcolm — someone, that is, to push from the institutional inside, & someone to make unreasonable demands, & pull the system from the outside.

We each of us have to choose the role that feels truest to our capabilities & personalities, but this is how the Overton window is shifted. When the Malcolm & the Martin work in synchrony, measures that were formerly seen as outside the scope of possibility come to be understood as conventional wisdom with startling rapidity. Those of us dedicated to the practice of tactical urbanism understand that not only are our projects worthwhile in and of themselves (they produce joy, an appreciation of the city & of the community, an enhanced sense of agency on the part of participants), but also in the work they perform as propaganda of the deed, pulling the Overton window that much further in the direction of liberatory potential. It's an exciting moment to be a part of it."
lobbying  government  deschooling  unschooling  institutions  formal  urbandesign  anamaríaleón  interventions  interventioniststoolkit  interventionists  urbaninterventions  urbanism  architecture  2012  possibility  systemschange  outsidein  insideout  changemaking  changemakers  overton  change  adamgreenfield  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
The Cooper Journal: The best interface is no interface
"Creative minds in technology should focus on solving problems. Not just make interfaces.

As Donald Norman said in 1990, “The real problem with the interface is that it is an interface. Interfaces get in the way. I don’t want to focus my energies on an interface. I want to focus on the job…I don’t want to think of myself as using a computer, I want to think of myself as doing my job.”

It’s time for us to move beyond screen-based thinking. Because when we think in screens, we design based upon a model that is inherently unnatural, inhumane, & has diminishing returns. It requires a great deal of talent, money & time to make these systems somewhat usable, & after all that effort, the software can sadly, only truly improve w/ a major overhaul.

There is a better path: No UI. A design methodology that aims to produce a radically simple technological future without digital interfaces. Following three simple principles, we can design smarter, more useful systems that make our lives better."
glowingrectangles  via:maxfenton  screens  square  paymentsystems  nfc  everyware  ubicomp  calmtechnology  markweiser  ambercase  kevinashton  adamgreenfield  donaldnorman  goldenkrishna  computing  nest  ui  cars  interfaces  interactiondesign  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
Urban guides for cyberflâneurs - Reading Room - Domus [Review of Kati Krause's, A Smart Guide to Utopia and P. D. Smith's City. A Guidebook for the Urban Age]
"With a renewed understanding of the concept of city as a living organism…and focused on the power of small actions beyond large-scale urban planning, the book offers a comprehensive tour through spatial practices, diy networks, guerrilla activism and urban farmers, among others. More than a guide to discovering a city, it is a guide about how to make cities more liveable through small, simple interventions. Some of these actions embrace a new technological approach, such as the use of smartphones to enhance the urban experience."

"The book also talks about urban life, religion, street art, waterfronts, traffic jams and many other things that shape our urban experiences, despite the fact that we may often think they are disconnected from each other. As Smith points out, this is the age of the Edge City, where the age-old distinctions between urban and suburban are disappearing, leaving us immersed in a landscape without boundaries where distance is only a subjective feeling."
history  pdsmith  urbanexploration  baudelaire  cyberflaneurism  petercook  mariapopova  adamgreenfield  toread  cities  activism  technology  interventions  urbanfarms  urbanfarming  networks  diynetworks  diy  2012  landscape  place  edgecity  ethelbaraona  utopia  urbanplanning  benhammersley  flaneur  urbanism  urban  books  katikraus  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Adam Greenfield on Connected Things & Civic Responsibilities in the Networked City - YouTube
"Adam Greenfield of Urbanscale, LLC discusses the many technologies used to collect and convey information around public spaces, and the ethical issues underlying them, as well as a proposal for how technologies could be better harnessed for the public good. Jeffrey Schnapp of the Metalab moderates.

The Hyperpublic symposium brings together computer scientists, ethnographers, architects, historians, artists and legal scholars to discuss how design influences privacy and public space, how it shapes and is shaped by human behavior and experience, and how it can cultivate norms such as tolerance and diversity."
publicgood  hyperpublic  urbanism  urban  publicspaces  ethics  metalab  tolerance  behavior  human  publicspace  privacy  internetofthings  connectedthings  cities  civicresponsibilities  networkedcities  berkmancenter  civics  2011  urbanscale  jeffjarvis  adamgreenfield  spimes  iot  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Week 57: The cold equations | Urbanscale
"sometimes it’s hard to see past one’s ideological blinders, to say nothing of one’s own ego and ambition."

"otsukaresama deshita, which is the customary way of thanking Japanese colleagues for a collective effort; ironically enough, I hated having these compulsory and merely performative-feeling ritual greetings expected of me when I actually lived and worked in Japan, but have come to miss having a handy figure of speech to acknowledge consciousness of the debt one owes to one’s coworkers and their diligence"
blinders  perspective  ideology  ego  ambition  lessonslearned  coworkers  collectivism  collectiveefforts  gratitude  otsukaresamadeshita  urbanscale  2012  adamgreenfield 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Weeks 47-48: The art of rolling with punches | Urbanscale
"…this instinct arises from a deep belief in value of transparency as a way to demystify some of otherwise obscure processes that attend tech startups & early-stage creative practices of all types…direct analogue to open-source software development…

…another reason to be forthright about our stumbles & setbacks…to push back…against relentless pressure that exists in our culture to always present oneself…as on-message, serenely omnicompetent, & moving only & ever in a forward direction.

…pathological fear of appearing fallible is most likely a transfer from culture of large-scale, publicly-held concerns…clearly also dynamic that exists in society at large…ongoing presentation of self, & brutal economic conditions force each of us to position ourselves at all times…The invariably smooth & placid surfaces that get presented to the world contrast mightily with an interiority we know to be roiling w/ complication, in the case of individuals & institutions both."
presentationofself  adamgreenfield  urbanscale  2011  society  fallibility  risk  setbacks  humility  culture  interiority  honesty  cv  transparency  unschooling  deschooling  learning  sharing  omnicompetence  uncertainty  from delicious
december 2011 by robertogreco
The long here, the big now | Lift conference, what can the future do for you?
"Adam Greenfield, head of design director at Nokia, talks about the emotional aspects of living in a networked city. What happens when the choices of action in the city are not only physical, but also influenced by an invisible overlay of networked information?"
adamgreenfield  bignow  longhere  cities  networkedcities  unicomp  newsongdo  2008  networkedinformation  technology  lift  from delicious
december 2011 by robertogreco
“…than the evening of an Etruscan grove”: Soho in the bones « Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
"we are all of us making and remaking the places we live in on a constant basis, speaking them into reality through the things we say and the comments we leave on blogs, knitting them into being with bicycles and cars and our own two feet. We bring them to life with our custom and our traffic, our peregrinations and the exercise of our habits. And if we want to leave legends behind, we’d better get busy. These particular streets, richly shrouded in story as they are, demand no less."
adamgreenfield  memory  place  meaning  meaningmaking  soho  london  2011  subcultures  bike  biking  cars  cities  atemporality  change  evolution  urban  urbanism  pedestrians  walking  persistence  persistenceofmemory  legacy  living  life  reinvention  making  remaking  markmaking  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
daniel sinker • Open Data Product Idea: "Civic Navigator"
"Imagine: You’re looking at moving to a new part of town, you have a kid, and want to know where the hell you are, in terms of wards, schools, cops, services… So you enter an address, or you smack a button on your phone and you’re served up a whole bunch of information:

• What’s the neighborhood?
• What ward are you in—who’s the alderman, how do you get in touch?
• What about state districts—who represents this place? Or who’s the US congressperson?
• What’s the police district, and where’s the office?
• What schools does that location feed into, and how are they doing?
• What kind of transportation options are around you (trains, busses, bike routes & racks, etc)
• Where is something green close by (a park, a playlot, a forest preserve, etc)?
• Closest hospital?

There are plenty of other possibilities, but you get the idea: Give a heads-up display for a place, the vital information for engaging in a location."
networkedcities  networkedurbanism  urban  urbanism  comments  adamgreenfield  danielsinker  2011  everyblock  data  chicago  cities  urbanflow  bighere  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Week 27: Scattered, and rolling. | Urbanscale
"the course also included some reading…we decided that compiling and designing a newspaper with all the reading for the course would be a better route to success. We had a 20-page newspaper printed by…Newspaper Club…The very fact of having a physical artefact, laying around on the desks in the studio, is a constant reminder that there is related reading to be done, and it invites browsing in a way a list of links or open tabs does not. It also has the advantage of being print — there’s much greater control (albeit with commensurately more effort) over presentation, of curating a selection, of removing distractions, no links, of considering what sits next to what. Texts from blogs can sit next to more historical texts, forcing the ideas to bounce and spark off each other. Not to mention, it ends up being a rather nice object to keep around, to glance at or refer to later.

Find below a list of the content in the newspaper we handed out as a form of shortened reading list."
urban  urbanism  urbanscale  adamgreenfield  toread  readinglist  tomarmitage  jackschulze  timoarnall  greglindsay  janejacobs  italocalvino  copenhagen  denmark  big  bjarkeingels  georgeaye  mayonissen  rongabriel  muni  williamhwhyte  danhill  2011  networkedurbanism  networkedcities  urbancomputing  immaterials  urbanexperience  systems  layers  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Between the By-Road and the Main Road: Being in the Middle: Learning Walks
"So imagine a commitment to learning that involved making regular learning walks with high school students as a normal part of the "school" day. Now, these learning walks should not be confused with walking tours, which are designed based on planned outcomes. One walks to point X in order to see object or artifact Y. The points are predetermined, hierarchical in design.

Instead, learning walks are rhizomatic. They are inherently about being in the middle of things and coming to learn what could not been predetermined. Learning walks are part of the "curriculum" for instructional seminar (which I described here)."

[My comments cross-posted here: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/7182110515/walking-and-learning ]
maryannreilly  comments  walking  walkshops  adamgreenfield  flaneur  psychogeography  derive  dérive  education  learning  schools  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  noticing  observation  seeing  2011  rhizomaticlearning  johnseelybrown  douglasthomas  unguided  self-directedlearning  serendipity  johnberger  willself  rebeccasolnit  sistercorita  maps  mapping  photography  alanfletcher  lawrenceweschler  kerismith  exploration  exploring  johnstilgoe  noticings  rjdj  ios  situationist  situatedlearning  situated  hototoki  serendipitor  flow  mihalycsikszentmihalyi  experience  control  ego  cv  coritakent  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Week 22: Undoing AR | Urbanscale
"What [Kevin Slavin] had to offer was nothing less than a diamond bullet through heart of AR as currently constructed…you could feel things in the world shift around his words as he uttered them."<br />
<br />
"…AR is a profoundly anti-urban(e) technology, & this is the real crux of my beef with its advocates."<br />
<br />
"Certainly as delivered through mobile devices, contemporary AR imposes significant limits on your ability to derive information from the flow of streetlife. It’s not just the “I must look like a dork” implications of walking down street w/ a mobile held visor-like before you…It’s that the city is already trying to tell you things, most of which are likely to be highly, even existentially salient to your experience of place. I can’t help but think that what you’re being offered through the tunnel vision of AR is starkly impoverished by comparison…even before we entertain the very high likelihood of that info being inaccurate, outdated, or commercial or otherwise exploitative…"
ar  alternatereality  adamgreenfield  momoamsterdam  2011  ubicomp  urbancomputing  urbanism  urban  reality  augmentedreality  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
How Print Design is the Future of Interaction - Mike Kruzeniski
"Products like Flipboard are attractive because they are consciously and carefully designed to highlight the content, instead of crowding the experience with UI tools. The design of these experiences is being driven by new thinking in interaction design, where visual design is central to the experience, rather than painted on at the end. Once the traditional elements of UI are torn away, designers can concentrate their efforts on working iwth the content that remains. And it ends up looking a lot like Print. If we pull Visual Design to the front of the product creation process, we can break free of the bad design habits that surround us. As Interaction Designers we can stop polishing our icons, and focus on communicating the content inside, clearly and with style. The rewards are simple: more beautiful products that are easier to use, and beautifully branded experiences with more room for self-expression."

[Now here: http://kruzeniski.com/2011/how-print-design-is-the-future-of-interaction/ ]
2011  mikekruzeniski  technology  digital  print  design  content  undesign  overdesign  history  interaction  interface  experience  ui  flipboard  printdesign  adamgreenfield  typography  pacing  instapaper  iconography  imagery  objectivity  markboulton  berg  berglondon  vannevarbush  paulrand  andreiherasimchuk  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Agenda | Hyper-Public: A Symposium on Designing Privacy and Public Space in the Connected World
"This symposium will bring together computer scientists, ethnographers, architects, historians, artists and legal scholars to discuss how design influences privacy and public space, how it shapes and is shaped by human behavior and experience, and how it can cultivate norms such as tolerance and diversity."
hyper-public  jonathanzittrain  danahboyd  ethanzuckerman  genevievebell  pauldourish  adamgreenfield  nicholasnegroponte  davidweinberger  events  law  legal  privacy  ethnography  history  art  architecture  publicspace  behavior  experience  2011  tolerance  diversity  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Leigh Blackall: Situated art, situated learning - En Route by One Step At A Time Like This
"I think the artistic intent of these concepts could be enhanced with study of Joseph Beuys' work, particularly the Free International University, as well as Situationist International and their desire to create environments for discovering and appreciating the true value of things rather than their staged value.

All of this makes for excellent examples to add to my essay in progress on Ubiquitous Learning - a critique, where I'm trying to argue that the words ubiquity and learning have nothing inherently to do with technology, and are instead words of ethical dimension, so the phrase ubiquitous learning should become one more to do with an ethical approach or framework to learning, and not one suggesting a technological determination of it."
context  situated  situationist  leighblackall  comments  josephbeuys  newpublicthinkers  technology  art  situatedlearning  ubiquitouslearning  2837university  agitpropproject  agitprop  williamhanks  randallszott  colinward  learning  unschooling  deschooling  education  messiness  ethics  georgesiemens  curation  curating  curatorialteaching  connectivism  space  place  explodingschool  adamgreenfield  guydebord  enroute  street  urban  urbanism  cities  cityasclassroom  thecityishereforyoutouse  cv  lcproject  psychogeography  urbanscale  salrandolph  situatedart  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Week 16: Busman’s holiday | Urbanscale [Oh, the implications for our education system as well: swarm-like behavior, informal solutions, tech integration, light touch of government…]
"…despite South Africa’s clear desire to benefit from so-called “South-to-South” knowledge transfer, Curitiba- or Bogota-style BRT strategies have proven untenable…more supple solutions have appeared, notably rise of informal transportation sector…

…swarm-like behavior…relatively effortless way in which taxi operators have incorporated tech…endlessly fascinating…But SA government’s pragmatic response to rise of informal transit…particularly clever & inspiring…[explained]…This kind of light touch on part of gov extends at least some basic protections to riders, w/out imposing laggy top-down planning on system as whole.

Pieterse really got me thinking about potential of informal transit for my own city…seems to be one of those areas where architecture of safety regulation, labor laws, & other protective measures we embraced in society—for good & sufficient reason!—also inhibits emergence of more flexible & potentially more effective & sustainable modes of getting around."
adamgreenfield  urbanscale  transit  mobility  informal  lcproject  toapplytoeducation  policy  flexibility  sustainability  southafrica  density  laborlaws  society  startingover  leapfrogging  regulation  diggingoutfromunderweightoflegallayers  safety  2011  technology  informalsystems  grassroots  thecityishereforyoutouse  pragmatism  johannesburg  edgarpieterse  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Power « Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
"To me, power is…

- an ability expressed within an immanent grid of relations superimposed on the phenomenal world, from which it’s effectively impossible to escape;

- the ability to shape flows of matter, energy and information through that grid of relations, and most particularly through bodies situated in space and time (including one’s own);

- the ability to determine outcomes where such bodies are concerned;

- this ability consciously recognized and understood.

By this definition, power can be exerted locally or globally, at microscale or macro-."

[See also the comments, including further reading and a definition of lines by Fred Scharmen.]
power  adamgreenfield  definitions  richarddawkins  buddhism  feminism  anarchism  deleuze  guattari  davidharvey  gayatrispivak  naomiklein  antonionegri  michaelhardt  matter  energy  relationships  body  space  time  spacetime  scale  fredscharmen  lines  adamkahane  paultillich  foucault  zygmuntbauman  modernism  johnruskin  gillesdeleuze  michelfoucault  félixguattari  bodies  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Systems/Layers by Nurri Kim & Adam Greenfield | Diffusion eBooks + StoryCubes
"Around the world, urban form and metropolitan experience are being transformed by the presence of networked computation. The urban fabric and discrete elements in it are newly empowered to capture, process, transmit, display and even act on information. At the same time, our daily tactics of doing and being — practices of citying that have remained invisible throughout recorded history, and have generally been lost to that history — are now being rendered explicit and gathered up by that same network.<br />
<br />
Nurri Kim and Adam Greenfield of Do projects have run “walkshops” devoted to exploring these transformation and their consequences in cities worldwide. Through the Transformations series, they offer Systems/Layers, a quick guide to running a walkshop for yourself, covering the particulars of choosing a terrain, knowing what to look for, recruiting participants, and promoting your event."
urbanism  urban  systems  adamgreenfield  walkshops  todo  classideas  conferenceideas  doprojects  educamp  nurrikim  urbanscale  networkedcities  howto  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Beyond the “smart city,” part II: A definition | Urbanscale
"What do we call places where the above things apply? In recognition of the increasing ubiquity, everydayness and unremarkability of the technologies involved, we call them cities."
data  cocities  sustainability  adamgreenfield  smartcities  urbancomputing  definitions  2011  networkedobjects  services  efficiency  mobility  enhancedmobility  transparency  information  access  urban  urbanism  everyware  resources  urbanscale  serendipity  delight  citymagic  socialequity  inclusion  citizenagency  inclusivity  inlcusivity  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Adventures in Urban Computing
"Urban computing research may fruitfully be grounded in the daily practices of the present and not lead by architectural and technological fantasies of the metropolis of tomorrow.

Urban computing research requires a fundamental cross disciplinary focus. A broader understanding of urban computing includes alternative perspectives and values to the discourse and to the design process.

The understanding of urban computing and its implications must move beyond real vs virtual conceptual binaries. In daily life digital technology and “real” spaces can not be seen as separate domains.

Urban computing belongs in the broader context of digital technology in everyday life. It should be understood in relation to both domestic practices and general network culture.

Urban computing research should take the messiness of everyday life as its central theme. Computing and digital networks will never become the seamless and orderly utopia envisioned in traditional ubicomp research."
urbancomputing  urban  mobile  cities  2008  adamgreenfield  annegalloway  pauldourish  genevievebell  stephengraham  physicalcomputing  urbanism  research  einarsnevemartinussen  design  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Nokia: Culture will out « Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
"These are precisely the skills you need if you’re interested in dominating a global market in commodity communication devices, as Nokia did for the fourteen years of the Jorma Ollila era. But the company utterly failed to anticipate, understand or organize itself to deal with the critical thing that happened at the cusp of the Ollila-Kalasvuo transition. This was that you could no longer think of mobile phones as communication devices. You had to conceive of them as interface objects through which users would experience content and command functionality that ultimately lived on the network. … the value-engineering mindset that’s so crucial to profitability as a commodity trader is fatal as a purveyor of experiences. … It’s just not particularly wise to allow engineers to make decisions about things like product and service nomenclature, interface typography and the graphic design of icons … there’s nobody with any taste in the decision-making echelons at Nokia"
design  nokia  culture  mobile  business  apple  adamgreenfield  experience  decisionmaking  taste  management  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Beyond the “smart city” | Urbanscale
"These are not the “smart cities” IBM, Oracle and Cisco want to deploy — or, more properly, to sell to municipal bodies the world over. They require neither greenfield sites nor the patronage of a paternalist government. These are simply the cities we already live in, and love, endowed with all the new capabilities and potentials an emerging technology can offer. If this is to be a century of networked cities, as the consultants and thinktanks keep telling us it will be, we passionately believe that any such thing not merely can, but must, be built on a foundation of respect, empathy and care. This, anyway, is the effort to which we’ve devoted ourselves at Urbanscale. We hope you’ll join us."
cities  technology  urban  urbanscale  adamgreenfield  urbanism  networkedurbanism  smartcities  internet  empathy  accessibility  networkculture  connectivity  identity  discovery  discoverability  linux  design  opensource  data  publicobjects  open  cityasplatform  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Next American City » Buzz » Richard Florida’s Monorail
"MacGillis quotes Florida: “We can confer subsidies on places to improve their infrastructure, universities, and core institutions, or quality of life, [but] at the end of the day, people—not industries or even places—should be our biggest concern. We can best help those who are hardest-hit by the crisis, by providing a generous social safety [net], investing in their skills, and when necessary helping them become more mobile and move to where the opportunities are.”

"What it reminded me of most, sadly, was the episode of The Simpsons, in which Springfield gets a monorail." [Explained.]

"Though he spends the rest of the book waxing philosophical on motorcycle repair, Crawford does touch on economics from time to time, and he raises some damning points. In essence, he points out that in the race to make our workforce more and more skilled in the “knowledge economy” we have forgotten entirely about the value, both economic and cognitive, of the skilled trades."

[via: http://twitter.com/agpublic/status/19607992852815872 ; see also: http://twitter.com/agpublic/status/19616177701523457 ]
adamgreenfield  richardflorida  urban  urbanism  creativeclass  socialsafetynet  mobility  education  reeducation  mindchanges  shopclassassoulcraft  crisis  recession  urbandecay  urbanplanning  socialprograms  policy  monorails  snakeoilsalesmen  alanbinder  matthewcrawford  thesimpsons  mindchanging  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Urbanscale | Design for networked cities and citizens
"This is the challenge we've taken up. Urbanscale is a practice committed to applying the toolkit and mindset of interaction design to the specific problems of cities. Through the design of products, services, interfaces and spatial interventions, our work aims to make cities easier to understand, more pleasant to use and more responsive to the desires of their inhabitants and other users. We hope you join us in the coming weeks and years, as we explore the abundant possibilities presented by a world of networked cities and citizens."
design  urban  socialsoftware  opencities  startup  adamgreenfield  urbancomputing  urbanism  networkedurbanism  ubicomp  networkedcities  cities  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Open social scene: Coffeesmith, Garosu-gil | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
"I thought this was just an exemplary platform for conviviality.

Coffeesmith's multiple zones readily support:
- prospect and refuge;
- solitary drinking/reading/studying/people-watching;
- socialization at a variety of scales, from couples to mid-sized groups;
- a range of options for lighting and ventilation."
lcproject  space  conviviality  thirdplaces  design  architecture  environmentaldesign  lighting  ventilation  seoul  korea  socialization  adamgreenfield  experience  coffeehouses  work  workplace  workspace  cafes  classroomdesigns  thirdspaces  openstudioproject  workspaces  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
The design of serendipity is not by chance - Bobulate
"Chance leads to the possibility of new behaviors, new patterns, new ideas, and new structures. It allows people to change their behavior in response to context, in the moment, however fleeting. How might we help recapture serendipitous moments by helping coordinate chance? And what is the role of technology and interaction design? As the power that citizens have with their media grows, so must we grow opportunities for creative exploration, new ideas, and chance encounters."
lizdanzico  discovery  chance  serendipity  technology  iphone  applications  adamgreenfield  ios  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
B.A.S.A.A.P. – Blog – BERG [Be As Smart As A Puppy]
"Imagine a household of hunchbots.

Each of them working across a little domain within your home. Each building up tiny caches of emotional intelligence about you, cross-referencing them with machine learning across big data from the internet. They would make small choices autonomously around you, for you, with you – and do it well. Surprisingly well. Endearingly well.

They would be as smart as puppies. …

That might be part of the near-future: being surrounded by things that are helping us, that we struggle to build a model of how they are doing it in our minds. That we can’t directly map to our own behaviour. A demon-haunted world. This is not so far from most people’s experience of computers (and we’re back to Byron and Nass) but we’re talking about things that change their behaviour based on their environment and their interactions with us, and that have a certain mobility and agency in our world."
berg  berglondon  mattjones  hunch  priorityinbox  gmail  biomimicry  design  future  intelligence  uncannyvalley  adamgreenfield  everyware  ubicomp  internetofthings  data  ai  machinelearning  spimes  basaap  biomimetics  iot  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Viva il Pesce | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Bookmarked for this: "This photo was taken on August 3, 2010 in a mysterious place with no name, using an Apple iPhone." [with map!]
maps  mapping  adamgreenfield  geography  geolocation  geotagging  flickr  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Clues to Open Helsinki ["Hello from Helsinki 2012"]
"set of postcards feature clues to an open & happier Helsinki. As collaboration btwn Sitra & OK Do, Clues to Open Helsinki is bundle of hints about what might make Helsinki best World Design Capital to date, & in doing so redefines role of design in contemporary city.

Helsinki has shown world what design means in 2012—& you had starring role! To make our city best design capital in world required active involvement & commitment from many people, some of whom didn’t consider themselves designers…So who did make this happen? Designers, but also farmers…Have you ever thought about decisions you make as acts of design?

From vantage of future, WDC2012 has surely been an economic driver for city, but also gave Helsinki an opportunity to test out new ideas about how city itself operates. This was essential in aligning economic activity w/ quality of life & real innovation in urban living. All were considered in concert to develop a harmonious municipal platform for transformation…"
helsinki  finland  urbanplanning  adamgreenfield  publicspace  design  space  futures  public  happiness  open  tcsnmy  local  designthinking  gamechanging  lcproject  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Fixing the Bus System : Artsy Techie
"What happens when one person moves on her own to an unknown major city is a fascinating way to observe (and hopefully help fix) things that are broken in our urban systems. Newcomers have to go through a period of fairly stressful learning and adaptation to the new city. Any system that is not welcoming or easy to understand for a “native” of the city will also systematically be a major bag of hurt for the rest of us, the impact of bad service design multiplied manifold."
buses  adamgreenfield  transportation  newcomers  travel  cities  learning  adaptability  adaptation  transmobility  readwriteurbanism  urban  urbanism  ubicomp  everyware  urbancomputing  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Transmobility, part II « Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
"What we ought to be designing are systems that allow people to compose coherent journeys, working from whatever parameters make most sense to them. We need to be asking ourselves how movement through urban space will express itself (and be experienced as travelers as a cohesive experience) across the various modes, nodes and couplings that will necessarily be involved. The challenge before us remains integrating this tangle of pressures, constraints, opportunities and affordances into coherent user-facing propositions, ones that would offer people smoother, more flexible, more graceful and more finely-grained control over their movements through urban space. Then we could, perhaps, begin to speak of a true transmobility."

[Part I here: http://speedbird.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/transmobility-part-i/
Part III here: http://speedbird.wordpress.com/2010/05/05/free-mobility-social-mobility-transmobility-part-iii/ ]
cities  transport  ubicomp  urban  urbanism  technology  local  mobility  transmobility  transportation  masstransit  architecture  design  adamgreenfield 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Free mobility, social mobility…transmobility (part III) « Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
"transit ought to be free to the user...Because access to good, low- or no-cost public institutions clearly, consistently catalyzes upward social mobility....

Municipalities ought to be conceiving of transit fees not as a potential revenue stream, but as a brake on a much bigger & more productive system.

To me, this isn’t a fantasy, but rather a matter of attending to the demands of basic social justice...

I’ve recently & persuasively seen privilege defined as when one’s “social & economic networks tend to facilitate goals, rather than block them.” As I sit here right now, my mobility options are as infinitely finely grained as present-day practices & technologies can get them... What I’ve here called “transmobility” is an opportunity to use our best available tools and insights to extend that privilege until it becomes nothing of the sort."

[Part I here: http://speedbird.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/transmobility-part-i/
Part III here: http://speedbird.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/transmobility-part-ii/ ]
socialism  urbanism  transport  transportation  adamgreenfield  socialmobility  freemobility  transmobility  urban  publictransit  masstransit  socialjustice  productivity  privilege  economics  networks 
august 2010 by robertogreco
The overarching vision « Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
"In 2010, anyway, this is my own personal vision of informatic technology at the service of the full range of human desire and complexity. Not a word of it is intended as a “solution” to what are inevitably and correctly local social or political challenges…but it is intended to give people everywhere better tools with which to join such struggles. I hope you find it useful, and invite you to subject its claims and assumptions to the same skepticism I’ve applied to other visions of ubiquitous technology."
ubicomp  ubiquitous  urban  urbanism  rfid  cities  adamgreenfield  momcomp  complexity  informatics 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Every user a developer, part II, or: Momcomp « Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
"The things which I’ve painted as trivial here are admittedly anything but. But they are, I sincerely believe, how we’re going to handle — have to handle — the human interface to this so-called Internet of Things we keep talking about. Each of the networked resources in the world, whether location or service or object or human being, is going to have to be characterized in a consistent, natural, interoperable way, and we’re going to have to offer folks equally high-level environments for process composition using these resources. We’re going to have to devise architectures and frameworks that let ordinary people everywhere interact with all the networked power that is everywhere around them, and do so in a way that doesn’t add to their existing burden of hassle and care.

Momcomp, in other words. It’s an idea whose time I believe has come."
programming  future  internetofthings  development  design  adaptive  ux  ui  tools  momcomp  usability  android  everyware  adamgreenfield  participation  google  appinventor  interaction  invention  literacy  computing  content  mobile  making  technology  alankay  hypercard  jefraskin  bencerveny  junrekimoto  tednelson  dougengelbart  spimes  iot 
july 2010 by robertogreco
jnd: An emergent vocabulary of form for urban screens « Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
"I had the same reaction again the other day. The screens are currently running ads for the Swedish high-street retailer H&M, shot with a high-speed camera – models sloooooowly turning, as a cascade of red leaves ever-so-softly settles over them and to the ground. Just as with the movie posters, I found myself paying the H&M ads an inordinate amount of attention. Because the images’ figural elements evolve so glacially against a stable background, they’d found my cognitive sweet spot, that precise interval at the threshold of visual perception that makes you ask yourself: Wait, did that just change? What part of it? And I minded not at all. (In fact, I found it kind of calming. There’s a word you certainly don’t hear every day in the context of advertising.)"
helsinki  ubicomp  trends  screens  publicspace  digitalmedia  design  photography  advertising  marketing  displays  urbanscreens  adamgreenfield  subtlety  slow  perception  intriquing 
july 2010 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: Of Cognition and Memory, Technology and Cities, Learning and Schools. Part I
"what would it look like if we're enabling next instead of present?…What happens to cognition & collective memory, when every student at every age has phone in hand linking them universally & able to connect intimately & via projection?…augmented reality. To ask any question of anyone? These are present, not yet ubiquitous, technologies. As they appear & cognition changes…what do we educators do? What happens to teaching? spaces? curriculum?…Forget "no teaching wall," is there even "teaching floor"—& what does that mean?…age-based grades vanish…subjects…very notions of "student" & "teacher" altered. As info becomes more free, expertise becomes more distributed & controls of grade-level-expectations, standardized tests & textbooks become irrelevant. Does fixed time schedule survive? Is it possible to imagine school which prepares students for their future? Which operates w/, & builds skills for flexibility which humans require if they are to succeed when world changes?"
irasocol  ubicomp  education  future  futures  learning  explodingschool  adamgreenfield  cityofsound  urbancomputing  urban  urbanism  connectivity  handhelds  connectivism  cognition  collectivememory  cities  memory  technology  comments  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  distributed  everyware 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Every user a developer: A brief history, with hopeful branches « Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
"the corpus of people able to develop functionality, to “program” for a given system, has been dwindling as a percentage of interactive technology’s total userbase…Alan Kay’s definition of full technical literacy, remember, was the ability to both read & write in a given medium — to create, as well as consume. And by these lights, we’ve been moving further & further away from literacy & the empowerment it so reliably entrains for a very long time now. … we need to articulate a way of thinking about interactive functionality & its development that is appropriate to an era in which virtually everyone on the planet spends some portion of their day using networked devices; to a context in which such devices & interfaces are utterly pervasive in the world, & the average person is confronted with a multiplicity of same in the course of a day; and to the cloud architecture that undergirds that context. Given these constraints, neither applications nor “apps” are quite going to cut it"
android  everyware  adamgreenfield  participation  google  appinventor  interaction  invention  literacy  computing  content  design  development  programming  mobile  making  technology  alankay  hypercard  jefraskin  bencerveny  junrekimoto  tednelson  dougengelbart 
july 2010 by robertogreco
What Apple needs to do now « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"Oh, but that interface. Or more particularly, the design of applications and utilities. The worrisome signs that first cropped up in the iPhone 3G Compass app, and clouded the otherwise lovely iPad interaction experience, are here in spades. What’s going on here is an unusual, unusually false and timid choice that, in the aggregate, amounts to nothing less than a renunciation of what these devices are for, how we think of them, and the ways in which they might be used.
apple  design  osx  ux  iphone  ipad  adamgreenfield  skeuomorph  userinterface  applications  ui  interaction  metaphor  affordance  interface  usability  2010  ios 
june 2010 by robertogreco
FutureEverything Blog | Serendipity, cities, apps: Bringing it all back home
"Just now, these are the sort of interventions I believe most likely to mesh with the way cities already work (and most of us already know how to use them). But who knows what comes a little further out, once the way we do citying has had a little time to evolve, and to take account of the mobile, networked, location-based reality we know inhabit? If we learn anything at all from having experienced serendipity, it’s not merely to expect but to cherish the unexpected — the ruptures in routine from which all novelty flows. And if we use them consciously and well, the following thirteen applications can present us with just such ruptures.
iphone  applications  serendipity  adamgreenfield  computing  ubiquitous  urban  cities  crime  ios 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Don’t get me wrong « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"irritating guy w/ popped collar standing next to you at bar? He paid less for his G&T than you did, because he’s Mayor on Foursquare, & management has cannily decreed Mayors get a 5% discount. Ten minutes from now, the place is going to fill up w/ his equally annoying buddies, absolutely ruining your hope of a quiet drink...going to show up not because he did so much as call them...but because he’s got things set so Foursquare automatically posts to Facebook. Buddies of his that don’t even use Foursquare will come, to slouch at bar, stab at their phones & try & figure out where party’s going next....
cities  facebook  networks  foursquare  networkedurbanism  urban  urbanism  adamgreenfield  everyblock 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Frameworks for citizen responsiveness, enhanced: Toward a read/write urbanism « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"public objects would need to have a few core qualities...Addressability...Queryability...Scriptability...given only proper tools, & especially a well-designed software development kit, people will build most incredible ecology of bespoke services...presents specter of warfare by cybersabotage, stealthy infrastructure attrition or subversion, & the depredations of random Saturday-night griefers...also true that connected systems are vulnerable to cascading failures in ways non-coupled systems cannot ever be...What do we get in return for embracing this nontrivial risk? We get a supple, adaptive interface to the urban fabric itself, something that allows us not just to nail down problems, but to identify & exploit opportunities. Armed with that, I can see no upward limit on how creative, vibrant, imaginative & productive twenty-first century urban life can be, even under the horrendous constraints I believe we’re going to face, & are perhaps already beginning to get a taste of."
adamgreenfield  cities  citizenship  design  energy  future  socialmedia  socialinnovation  urbanism  ubicomp  internetofthings  participation  public  spimes  iot 
april 2010 by robertogreco
People are creative; industries, not so much. And cities? « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"Actually, I find the recent emphasis on “creative” X, Y and Z more than a little troubling. Part of this is simply a lifelong aversion to flavor-of-the-month thinking and empty jargon, but it’s also that it all seems to be down to the influence of Richard Florida — and in my mind, Florida’s seeming advocacy of things I care about deeply winds up trivializing and ultimately undercutting them." ... "I’ve never heard anyone accuse Zürich, for example, of having a blistering DJ scene, cutting-edge galleries or forward-leaning popup shops. Yet they seem to be doing OK when it comes to the cheddar, you know? Better a world of places that are what they are, and stand or fall on their own terms, than the big nowhere of ten thousand certified-Creative towns and cities with me-too museums, starchitected event spaces and half-hearted film festivals."
adamgreenfield  cities  richardflorida  creativity  creativeclass  rhetoric  economics  urban  urbanism  local  localsolutions  localism  complexity  onesizefitsall  stocksolutions  metoosolutions  meaning  value  reliability  grassroots  place  longhere  organicsenseofplace  authenticity 
april 2010 by robertogreco
My back pages: Whatever happened to serendipity? « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"That is, the records weren’t RFID-tagged, GPS-traced, search-engine-indexed, metadata-enhanced & rated by 100s of prior users. You couldn’t simply be struck by a taste for thrash as you were walking down the street, key in a request and have the answer served to you in milliseconds, complete with map. These tenuous trails to knowledge were something one acquired by happenstance, nurtured through their contingency, cursed in their failure & cherished when they finally came good.
2003  blogging  cities  communications  everyware  serendipity  moblogging  culture  design  future  place  meaning  adamgreenfield  technology  tagging  interaction  information  mobile  ubicomp  socialsoftware 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Serendipity Cities: Of services and situations « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"One of these days, somebody clever is going to figure out how to use mobile services to bring this effortlessly connectionist logic back to street life. With any luck, they turn out to be a way back to the bracing air of possibility the simple act of being on a great metropolitan sidewalk once entrained.

In fact, if done with any verve to speak of, I can see such services giving rise to the moments of heightened awareness and potential I associate with Situationist rhetoric, those precious intervals during which some fortuitous alignment of people, place and circumstance reminds you what life is for and why it’s worth the effort. (For those of us who savor such ironies, it would be particularly delicious if the final triumph and apotheosis of the flaky, incoherent Parisian left of the Sixties was delivered on the shoulders of systems like GPS and the Internet, originally devised, designed and deployed by the military-industrial apparatus for its own ends.)"
adamgreenfield  serendipity  iphone  applications  gps  janejacobs  situationist  online  web  urban  cities  urbanism  psychogeography  ios 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Do projects.
"Do projects is Nurri Kim and Adam Greenfield, accompanied by a loose network of friends and collaborators. Some of our ambitions are to: - develop words and images that make the people who encounter them re-see themselves and the world around them; - find the most appropriate containers for our ideas; - craft the kind of books that please their readers in the details of their conception, design and construction as much as in the things they say; - and figure out what “do-it-yourself” might mean in an age when new production technologies, informational and logistical networks give the independent amateur producer unprecedented power to reach out and make things happen. And even though we have absolutely no formal training or background in any of the skills we’d need to make good on these ambitions, one thing we definitely believe in is learning by doing. This site is a record of everything we learn along the way. We hope you enjoy both it and the things we make."
books  publishing  art  photography  design  urban  adamgreenfield  diy  selfpublishing  howto  self-publishing 
december 2009 by robertogreco
On Immaterials « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"And here we get to the crux of the issue: in both Hong Kong and Tokyo, the consequences of decisions made by engineers about the properties of a technical system cascaded upward not merely to the level at which they could afford or constrain individual behavior, but that at which they affected the macro-level performance of the entire subway system…and maybe even the community’s long-term well-being."
rfid  design  adamgreenfield  urbanism  sensors  ubicomp  touch  risk 
october 2009 by robertogreco
The kind of program a city is « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird [see also: http://www.wired.co.uk/wired-magazine/archive/2009/11/features/digital-cities-words-on-the-street.aspx]
"In the networked city, therefore, the truly pressing need is for translators: people capable of opening these occult systems up, demystifying them, explaining their implications to the people whose neighborhoods and choices and very lives are increasingly conditioned by them. This will be a primary occupation for urbanists and technologists both, for the foreseeable future, as will ensuring that the public’s right to benefit from the data they themselves generate is recognized in law. If we’re reaching the point where it makes sense to consider the city as a fabric of addressable, queryable, even scriptable objects and surfaces – to reimagine its pavements, building façades and parking meters as network resources – this raises an order of questions never before confronted, ethical as much as practical: who has the right of access to these resources, or the ability to set their permissions?"
adamgreenfield  urbanism  ubicomp  architecture  cities  technology 
october 2009 by robertogreco
The City Is A Battlesuit For Surviving The Future - Future metro - io9
"If you'll excuse the spoiler, the zenith of Hawksmoor's adventures with cities come when he finds the purpose behind the modifications - he was not altered by aliens but by future humans in order to defend the early 21st century against a time-travelling 73rd century Cleveland gone berserk. Hawksmoor defeats the giant, monstrous sentient city by wrapping himself in Tokyo to form a massive concrete battlesuit.

Cities are the best battlesuits we have.

It seem to me that as we better learn how to design, use and live in cities - we all have a future."
design  mattjones  technology  urbanplanning  architecture  urbanism  scifi  postarchitectural  psychology  cities  archigram  comics  urban  future  danhill  adamgreenfield  janejacobs  warrenellis  christopherwren  psychogeography  kevinslavin  detroit  nyc  dubai  mumbai  masdrcity  fiction  film  spacesuits  battlesuits 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Is digital numbing, or augmenting?
"A couple of blog posts this last week, by garethk and madebymany, have been responding to a discussion on the role digital plays when it comes to serendipity. The interesting thing is that both sides of the discussion are right; they are just discussing two different kinds of “digital”, the one based in the technology era and the one growing out of the human era."
serendipity  erinmckean  adamgreenfield  dictionaries  cities  discovery  technology  dictionary 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Installed infrastructure, latent knowledge and the small-batch aesthetic « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"Consider: over the last several years, San Francisco in particular has become a field of premium and super-premium, small-run craft production: Ice cream. Bicycles. Coffee. Spirits. Clothing. An audience primed to expect, desire and demand the provenance of the “lovingly handcrafted,” and pitch-perfect retail tuned to that demand. Especially for someone like me, whose senses have become inured to the increasingly homogenized material landscape of Manhattan, it’s hard to escape the sense that the last decade’s activity amounts to nothing less than a local renaissance of craft and technique and pride."
culture  diy  local  work  community  scenius  stuff  infrastructure  craft  adamgreenfield  sanfrancisco  glvo  make  tangible  economics  generations  premium 
september 2009 by robertogreco
The elements of networked urbanism « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"A summary of what those of us who are thinking, writing and speaking about networked urbanism seem to be seeing: fourteen essential transformations that, between them, constitute a rough map of the terrain to be discovered.
adamgreenfield  urbanism  urbancomputing  cities  urban  geography  networkedurbanism  ubicomp  networks  change  innovation  information 
september 2009 by robertogreco
On systems, and what they do « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"remember that pushers of “death panel” shibboleth, like all those who came before them & all who will follow...are playing a different game. & feeling the imminent threat to their bottom line, they’re playing for keeps. If we want to regain control of the national discourse – if we feel & believe in bottom of our souls that every American deserves to live free from fear that an unexpected injury or illness will bankrupt them + damage their health, just like citizens of every other developed nation on the planet –we can’t simply huff indignantly. The “At long last, sir, have you left no sense of decency?” card worked once, but it was played in a different context & century...Stafford Beer famously said that “the purpose of a system is what it does.”...the purpose of the American system is what we’re taught it is: to safeguard each citizen’s inalienable right to life, liberty & pursuit of happiness. But that is not nearly what the system is doing right now...it’s up to us to fix it."
adamgreenfield  us  healthcare  systems  cybersyn  chile  policy  staffordbeer  salvadorallende  networks  data  poverty  culture  politics  control  information  health  autonomy  agency  medicine  2009  barackobama 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Kindle for the iPhone: The fatal threshold? « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"So oddly enough, Kindle for iPhone winds up selling me not on Kindle, and not on anything provided by Amazon at all, but on an idea I’ve been resisting since June 29th, 2007: reading on my phone. I’ll definitely be doing more of that. I’m not at all sure Amazon will factor in the equation. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they’ve planted the seed of an idea in a great many heads that turns out to be injurious to their longer-term prospects."
iphone  kindle  applications  ebooks  reading  amazon  adamgreenfield  books  drm  ios 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Of books and unbooks « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"To my mind, anyway, the unbook is a container for long-form ideas appropriate to an internetworked age. By building on some admittedly dorky but highly useful tropes of software, mostly having to do with version control, open-endedness and an explicit role for the “user” community, the notion allows such works to usefully harness the dynamic and responsive nature of discourse on the Web, while preserving coherence, authorial voice and intent."
adamgreenfield  books  unbook  ebooks  collaboration  publishing  writing  community  papernet  freeculture  technology  unfinished 
february 2009 by robertogreco
The City Is Here: Table of contents « Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird
"Only by reckoning w/ these constraints & limitations will we formulate robust urbanist practice for 21st century, Newer Urbanism capable of fully embracing potential of networked informatic technologies while turning them to our own various ends...will require a new way of conceiving of public objects as informational utilities…new agreements regarding use of public space…& perhaps even new conception of practice of citizenship. None of these strategies will be sufficient on its own...list is far from comprehensive...successfully managing challenges of networked city will mean understanding it not just as an ecosystem but as single conjoined process unfolding in time...deeply seamful process, presenting all who encounter it with million gleaming hinges: apertures allowing you to reach in, withdraw useful intelligence, tweak its performance to your own...necessities, or plug its outputs as inputs into yet other running processes. Now, as never before, the city is here for you to use."
adamgreenfield  internetofthings  everyware  urban  urbanism  books  thecityishereforyoutouse  networked  ecosystems  disruption  network  electronics  ubicomp  space  design  technology  architecture  future  cities  environment  place  spimes  iot 
february 2009 by robertogreco
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