robertogreco + browsing   15

Our (Bare) Shelves, Our Selves - The New York Times
"When I was 13, in the early 1990s, I dug through my parents’ cache of vinyl records from the ’60s and ’70s. We still had a phonograph, so I played some of them, concentrating on the Beatles. Their bigger hits were inescapably familiar, but a number of their songs were new to me.

Were I a teenager in 2015, I may not have found “Lovely Rita” or acquired an early taste at all for the Liverpudlian lads. The albums stacked up next to the record player, in plain sight for years, would be invisible MP3s on a computer or phone that I didn’t own. Their proximal existence could have been altogether unknown to me"



"There are several big upsides to growing up with streaming audio, one of which is accessibility: assuming I was interested enough, I could have explored, for free, the Beatles’ catalog on the Internet far beyond the scope of my parents’ collection.

But in our digital conversion of media (perhaps buttressed by application of the popular KonMari method of decluttering), physical objects have been expunged at a cost. Aside from the disappearance of record crates and CD towers, the loss of print books and periodicals can have significant repercussions on children’s intellectual development.

Perhaps the strongest case for a household full of print books came from a 2014 study published in the sociology journal Social Forces. Researchers measured the impact of the size of home libraries on the reading level of 15-year-old students across 42 nations, controlling for wealth, parents’ education and occupations, gender and the country’s gross national product.

After G.N.P., the quantity of books in one’s home was the most important predictor of reading performance. The greatest effect was seen in libraries of about 100 books, which resulted in approximately 1.5 extra years of grade-level reading performance. (Diminishing returns kick in at about 500 books, which is the equivalent of about 2.2 extra years of education.)

Libraries matter even more than money; in the United States, with the size of libraries being equal, students coming from the top 10 percent of wealthiest families performed at just one extra grade level over students from the poorest 10 percent.

The implications are clear: Owning books in the home is one of the best things you can do for your children academically. It helps, of course, if parents are reading to their children and reading themselves, not simply buying books by the yard as décor.

“It is a big question of whether it’s the books themselves or the parental scholarly culture that matters — we’re guessing it’s somewhere in between,” said Mariah Evans, one of the study’s authors and an associate professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Reno. “The books partly reflect intelligence.”

Although the study did not account for e-books, as they’re not yet available in enough countries, Dr. Evans said in theory they could be just as effective as print books in encouraging literacy.

“But what about the casual atmosphere of living in a bookish world, and being intrigued to pull something off the shelf to see what it’s like?” she asked. “I think that will depend partly on the seamless integration of our electronic devices in the future.”"



"Digital media trains us to be high-bandwidth consumers rather than meditative thinkers. We download or stream a song, article, book or movie instantly, get through it (if we’re not waylaid by the infinite inventory also offered) and advance to the next immaterial thing.

Poking through physical artifacts, as I did with those Beatles records, is archival and curatorial; it forces you to examine each object slowly, perhaps sample it and come across a serendipitous discovery.

Scrolling through file names on a device, on the other hand, is what we do all day long, often mindlessly, in our quest to find whatever it is we’re already looking for as rapidly as possible. To see “The Beatles” in a list of hundreds of artists in an iTunes database is not nearly as arresting as holding the album cover for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Consider the difference between listening to music digitally versus on a record player or CD. On the former, you’re more likely to download or stream only the singles you want to hear from an album. The latter requires enough of an investment — of acquiring it, but also of energy in playing it — that you stand a better chance of committing and listening to the entire album.

If I’d merely clicked on the first MP3 track of “Sgt. Pepper’s” rather than removed the record from its sleeve, placed it in the phonograph and carefully set the needle over it, I may have become distracted and clicked elsewhere long before the B-side “Lovely Rita” played.

And what of sentiment? Jeff Bezos himself would have a hard time defending the nostalgic capacity of a Kindle. azw file over that of a tattered paperback. Data files can’t replicate the lived-in feel of a piece of beloved art. To a child, a parent’s dog-eared book is a sign of a mind at work and of the personal significance of that volume.

A crisp JPEG of the cover design on a virtual shelf, however, looks the same whether it’s been reread 10 times or not at all. If, that is, it’s ever even seen."
books  digital  analog  music  browsing  2015  streaming  collections  visibility  sharing  children  learning  reading  literacy  cds  audio  patina  beausage  ebooks  data  teddywayne 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Filtered for top-notch long reads ( 5 Dec., 2014, at Interconnected)
"1.

This well-illustrated piece on Chinese Mobile UI trends [http://dangrover.com/blog/2014/12/01/chinese-mobile-app-ui-trends.html ] is full of great nuggets.

My favourite is that companies have adopted automated "chat" as their official public face. Each brand is a bot that runs inside one of the several apps that users in China have instead of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. How it works:
You can send any kind of message (text, image, voice, etc), and [the bot will] reply, either in an automated fashion or by routing it to a human somewhere. The interface is exactly the same as for chatting with your friends, save for one difference: it has menus at the bottom with shortcuts to the main features of the account.

A couple more features:
Other than that, every feature you can use in a normal chat is available here. WeChat even auto-transcribes the voice messages (mentioned before) into text before passing them to the third-party server running the account. Official accounts can also push news updates to their subscribers. Every media outlet operates one ...

I'm into this, I'm into this. Our western way for interacting with companies (assuming the shitty voice menu things are wildly out-dated) is websites, which we browse. But instead of browsing, a conversation?

So... cultural difference between China and the west, or just one of those forks in the road? Or a glimpse of the future?

2.

Hooked on Labs [http://thelongandshort.org/issues/season-two/hooked-on-labs.html ] (thanks Iain) draws a line between the practice of Robert Hooke in the 1660s and the modern trend for companies to have "labs."
Labs are places where people conduct experiments to test out theories. The new labs proliferating outside the hard sciences are a symptom of the spread of experimentalism as an ideology for how we should shape the future. Curiosity is at the core of experimentalist culture: it holds that knowledge should develop by being testable and therefore provisional ...

I like that the answer to "how should we invent?" can be not a process but a location. Other answers might be "a studio," and "the field," both of which suggest a variety of processes and practices without being pinned down.

I guess my recent preoccupation with coffee mornings is about the same thing. Can the "coffee morning" as a place, with all its informality (which I am desperate to preserve), be a way to dowse the scenius, to allow invention to occur without process?

Also coffee.

And this bit:
One vital source of this conversational approach to science was Copenhagen and the culture that Niels Bohr created around his institute for theoretical physics and his nearby home.

...which reminds me of this terrific story about the development of the theory of electron spin and how it came together as Bohr travelled across Europe by train.

At the beginning of the trip:
Bohr's train to Leiden made a stop in Hamburg, where he was met by Pauli and Stern who had come to the station to ask him what he thought about spin. Bohr must have said that it was very very interesting (his favorite way of expressing that something was wrong), but he could not see how an electron moving in the electric field of the nucleus could experience the magnetic field necessary for producing fine structure.

And as Bohr travels from town to town, he meets scientists, hears arguments, develops his view, and carries information. Great story.

I think of the interactions between scientists as the hidden particles that don't show up in the traces of a cloud chamber. They're there, busy - multiple - far denser and richer and messier than the clean interactions of the citations in scientific papers or at conferences - the invisible trillions of forks that are left out of Feynman diagrams. Those interactions are what really matter, and their stories are the most interesting of all."
mattwebb  2014  china  chinese  interface  input  chat  communication  internet  web  online  browsing  conversation  wechat  labs  openstudioproject  charlesleadbeater  nielsbohr  experiments  experimentation  experimentalism  curiosity  classideas  invention  place  studios  lcproject  informal  informallearning  informality  scenius  process  howwelearn  messiness  interaction  culture  difference  frontiers  us 
december 2014 by robertogreco
OneTab extension for Google Chrome - save 95% memory and reduce tab clutter
"How it works

Whenever you find yourself with too many tabs, click the OneTab icon to convert all of your tabs into a list. When you need to access the tabs again, you can either restore them individually or all at once.

When your tabs are in the OneTab list, you will save up to 95% of memory because you will have reduced the number of tabs open in Google Chrome."
browsing  chrome  extensions  via:maxfenton  googlechrome  onetab  tabs  performance 
march 2013 by robertogreco
stevenberlinjohnson.com: Can We Please Kill This Meme Now
"Serendipity is not randomness, not noise. It's stumbling across something accidentally that is nonetheless of interest to you. The web is much better at capturing that mix of surprise and relevance than book stacks or print encyclopedias. Does everyone use the web this way? Of course not. But it's much more of a mainstream pursuit than randomly exploring encyclopedias or library stacks ever was. That's the irony of the debate: the thing that is being mourned has actually gone from a fringe experience to a much more commonplace one in the culture."
2006  newspapers  stevenjohnson  serendipity  browsing  books  journalism  culture  web  randomness  internet  blogging  blogs  discovery  media  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
William Gibson: *Access random novelty.*
"Twitter, or the Internet at large, feels to me like an automation of what I have to do, anyway, in order to write: Stare out window. Read a magazine. Gaze at shoe. Answer a letter. Think about something new (or newly). *Access random novelty.*"
williamgibson  via:russelldavies  twitter  serendipity  browsing  random  randomness  novelty  internet  web  online 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Homophily in Social Software - O'Reilly Radar
"The Washington Post has a brief article called "Why Everyone You Know Thinks The Same As You". In short, you hang out with people who are like you, a phenomenon known as homophily. This happens online, and indeed the Internet can lower the costs of finding people like you. But homophily raises the question for social software designers of how much they should encourage homophily and how much they want to mix it up."
homophily  socialnetworking  via:adamgreenfield  socialsoftware  browsing  serendipity 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Performance Research, Part 5: iPhone Cacheability - Making it Stick » Yahoo! User Interface Blog
"This article, co-written by Wayne Shea, is the fifth in a series of articles describing experiments conducted to learn more about optimizing web page performance."
iphone  browser  browsing  webapp  webdesign  webdev  performance  mobile  phones  programming  caching  optimization  browsers 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Tabulate · Inventive Labs Gadgets
"Tabulate brings the convenience of 'open in new tab' to Safari on your iPhone or iPod Touch."
iphone  applications  safari  browser  bookmarklets  browsing  ipodtouch  software  ios  browsers 
january 2008 by robertogreco
weblin
"weblin makes you and others on the Web visible as small avatars. There are others on the same page you are on right now.weblin opens a new and exiting world on every web site."
avatars  browser  browsing  chat  communication  community  networking  internet  web  online  social  browsers 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Passively Multiplayer Online Games
"Our Passively Multiplayer Online Game ("PMOG") follows people as they surf the web, giving them experience points, levels, items and currency. PMOG layers social gaming on top of web browsing."
games  gamechanging  ambientintimacy  presence  sousveillance  surveillance  socialsoftware  multiplayer  lifeasgame  culture  mmog  mobile  phones  networks  networking  gaming  gamedesign  attention  art  browsing  experience  experiments  videogames  ubiquitous  theory  play  pmog  arg 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Grazr, Recent Files
"Grazr.com offers free management of feeds and Reading lists. Registration is fast and easy."
rss  feeds  online  aggregator  onlinetoolkit  browsing  content  socialsoftware  sharing  services 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Five Ways to Mark Up the Web
"The idea of web page annotation didn’t die with Third Voice, though. New services, each with unique features, have carried on."
bookmarking  bookmarks  browsing  del.icio.us  howto  notetaking  tools  onlinetoolkit  blogging  productivity  tagging  socialsoftware  organization  socialnetworking  online  markup 
august 2007 by robertogreco
NPR : New Technology Predicts Browsing Behavior
"Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing, spoke with Steve Inskeep."
advertising  marketing  adamgreenfield  technology  search  yahoo  browsing  web  internet  ai  ubicomp  ubiquitous  predictive 
july 2007 by robertogreco
bud.com: the web is your playfield
"bud.com will turn our personal data trails into a playfield for a web-based massively-multiplayer online game. Call it passively multiplayer - the reality of communication networks. Already, Web 2.0 and social networking sites keep track of our relations"
education  online  play  social  web  games  socialsoftware  internet  communication  pmog  mmog  ambientintimacy  multiplayer  distributed  collaborative  collecting  gaming  hypertext  statistics  mapping  browsing  collaboration  attention  lifeasgame  arg 
may 2006 by robertogreco

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