robertogreco + hgwells   8

How design fiction imagines future technology – Jon Turney – Aeon
"As technological choices become ever more complex, design fiction, not science, hints at the future we actually want"



"Design fiction’s efforts to create imaginative realisations of technology, which consciously try to evoke discussion that avoids polarising opinion, have a key ingredient, I think. Unlike the new worlds of sci-fi novels, or the ultra-detailed visuals of futuristic cinema, their stories are unfinished. Minority Report is not about critical design because its narrative is closed. In good design fiction, the story is merely hinted at, the possibilities left open. It is up to the person who stumbles across the design to make sense of how it might be part of a storied future."



Design fiction’s proponents want to craft products and exhibits that are not open to this simplified response, that fire the imagination in the right way. That means being not too fanciful, not simply dystopian, and not just tapping into clichéd science‑fictional scripts. When it works, design fiction brings something new into debates about future technological life, and involves us – the users – in the discussion."



"As design fiction comes to be recognised as a distinctive activity, it will continue to find new forms of expression. The US design theorist Julian Bleecker of the Near Future Laboratory suggests that the TBD Catalog with its realistic depictions of fictional products models a different way of innovating, in which designers ‘prototype and test a near future by writing its product descriptions, filing bug reports, creating product manuals and quick reference guides to probable improbable things’. The guiding impulse is to assist us in imagining a new normality. Design and artistic practice can both do that.

Design fictions are not a panacea for some ideal future of broad participation in choosing the ensemble of technologies that we will live with. Most future technologies will continue to arrive as a done deal, despite talk among academics of ‘upstream engagement’ or – coming into fashion – instituting ‘responsible research and innovation’. The US Department of Defense, for instance, and its lavishly-funded, somewhat science-fictional Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has an extensive catalogue of research and development (R&D) projects on topics from robotics to neural enhancement, selected according to a single over-riding criterion: might they give the USA a military advantage in future? DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office tells us, in a ghastly combination of sales talk and bureaucratese, that it is ‘looking for the best innovators from all fields who have an idea for how to leverage bio+tech to solve seemingly impossible problems and deliver transformative impact’. Here, as in other fields, military, security and much commercial R&D will probably go its own way, and we’ll get weaponised biology whether we like it or not.

For the rest, though, there is a real contribution to be made through a playful, freewheeling design practice, open to many new ideas, and which is technically informed but not constrained by immediate feasibility. There are already enough examples to show how design fiction can invite new kinds of conversations about technological futures. Recognising their possibilities can open up roads not taken.

Design fiction with a less critical (and more commercial) edge will continue to appeal to innovative corporations anxious to configure new offerings to fit better with as yet undefined markets. Their overriding aim is to reduce the chances of an innovation being lost in the ‘valley of death’ between a bright idea and a successful product that preys on the minds of budget-holders.

But the greatest potential of this new way of working is as a tool for those who want to encourage a more important debate about possible futures and their technological ingredients. This is the debate we’re still too often not having, about how to harness technological potential to improve the chances of us living the lives we wish for."
design  designfiction  2105  jonturney  technology  science  participatory  future  complexity  debate  futures  potential  howwelive  lcproject  openstudioproject  darpa  scifi  sciencefiction  change  nearfuturelaboratory  julianbleecker  tbdcatalog  fiction  prototyping  art  imagination  tinkeringwiththefuture  paulgrahamraven  alexandraginsberg  christinapagapis  sisseltolaas  syntheticbiology  alexiscarrel  frederikpohl  cyrilkornbluth  margaretatwood  anthonydunne  fionaraby  dunne&raby  koertvanmensvoort  hendrik-jangrievink  arthurcclarke  davidnye  julesverne  hgwells  martincooper  startrek  johnunderkoffler  davidkirby  aldoushuxley  bravenewworld  minorityreport  jamesauger  jimmyloizeau  worldbuilding  microworldbuilding  thenewnormal 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Why we must remember to delete – and forget – in the digital age | Technology | The Guardian
"Mayer-Schönberger envisages that each digital camera could have a built-in process to select expiration dates for a photo. Before taking a picture the camera would send out "picture requests" to what he calls "permission devices" (about the size of a key fob that, perhaps, might dangle from our necks) that respond to the request with the owner's preferred expiration date. That date could range from zero to three years to 100 years from now (an option reserved for really memorable pictures).

He concedes expiration dates are no overall solution to the problem, but what he likes about them is that they make us think about the value of forgetting and, also, that they involve negotiation rather than simply imposing a technical solution to a technical problem. There are alternatives, such as turning your back on the digital age. "I don't like digital abstinence. I want us to embrace participation in digital culture and global networks. Just not at any cost.""
jonathanzittrain  reputationbankruptcy  reputation  streetview  self-censorship  society  foucault  panopticon  jeremybentham  hgwells  worldbrain  expirationdates  expiration  data  viktormayer-schönberger  stuartjeffriess  time  forgetting  2011  facebook  flickr  google  drop.io  deleting  delete  information  culture  technology  psychology  socialmedia  privacy  memory  michelfoucault 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » My (quick) notes from Playful10, London
"what's wrong w/ gameification: 1: games are not fun because they are games, they are fun because they are well designed! Sturgeon’s Law “90% of everything is crap” 2: rewards are not achievements, this is just bad psychology. Vendors who sell this have a Pavlovian model in mind. “it’s so 1940″ as Deterding said…exemplified by showing game on which there’s big button called “earn 1,000,000,000,000 $” you can click & win. Based on the reward model, this would be the best game. As described by Raph Koster, “fun in games arises from mastery”. 3: competition is not for everyone!

…problem is also that gameification has side-effects: creates unintended behavior, people game the system & it messes w/ implicit social norms.

When people take gameification too directly, they generally miss that games are about: fictions, make believe, talk, & freedom to play (”whoever plays plays freely, whoever must play cannot play!“). Playing = “as if” & playing is fun because of the autonomy."
games  gaming  motivation  sebastiandeterding  tommuller  paulbennun  naomialderman  tobybarnes  nicolasnova  hgwells  raphkoster  playful10  pavlov  bertrandduplat  competition  badges  psychology  autonomy  play  mastery  social  gamedesign  experience  gamification  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Science and the cinema | PD Smith | Kafka’s mouse
"Williams’s scholarly study argues convincingly that Wells’s early fiction anticipates the “cinematisation” of culture, both in his narrative technique and in his description of the technology."
hgwells  science  film  history  fiction  culture  literature  scifi  sciencefiction  society  hollywood  books 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Extenuating Circumstances – SXSW: The Web That Wasn’t
"early precursors to the web, different versions of hypertext, early thinking that went on around how networked information systems. It’s interesting - not just historically, but also relevant to today ont he web - if you look at the history of technolo
via:blackbeltjones  presentation  sxsw  web  networks  history  computing  alexwright  internet  paulotlet  vannevarbush  dougengelbart  hgwells 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Conceptual Trends and Current Topics - The Influence of Science Fiction on Science
"I wager that if scientists were honest in citing the role science fiction has in their scientific work, their published papers would be rife with footnotes referencing science fiction novels as well as journal articles."
science  scifi  fiction  influence  research  hgwells 
october 2007 by robertogreco

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