robertogreco + timmaly   44

Cassandra Plays the Stock Market | Quiet Babylon
"I imagined her playing the stock market. She starts buying dot-coms in 1994 and gets out in 2000. She sees the housing crisis from miles away and has sold all her subprime holding by early 2008.

But her story is a tragedy, so then I imagined her getting put away for insider trading. They don’t have any solid evidence, but no one believes her defence and the jury becomes certain she’s guilty. She’s the only person punished for the collapse of the banking system. Thankfully, it’s a white collar crime so pretty soon, she gets out. She’s like Martha Stewart.

I feel like I know a lot of people who kind of see themselves as a Cassandra. I feel that way sometimes, myself. We look at the world, we notice a lot of obviously terrible decisions that people and institutions are making, we point out that things won’t go well, no one listens to us, and then things don’t go well. We console ourselves that we’d seen it coming. It’s kind of a romantic feeling. You feel like you’re smarter than most people.

I was talking to my wife Pamela about all this and she gently pointed out that in my white-collar retelling, I’d missed the whole point of the Cassandra myth. In the story, things don’t go at all well for Cassandra. Her city burns. She is assaulted and kidnapped and eventually killed by the invaders. Cassandra doesn’t get to insulate herself from the worst of it. She suffers the consequences along with everyone else.

She is bound to the fate of her people. As we are bound to the fate of ours.

It’s not good enough to be right.

A funny thing has happened in my professional circles since the election.

In the wake of these terrible events, pretty much all of my colleagues have discovered the renewed importance of whatever it is we were working on in the first place. I, of course, have discovered the renewed importance of understanding the role of fiction and speculation in shaping the future of the world. I think we should be suspicious about this.

At the place where I work — a university — there has been a particular renewal in talking about how important it is that we teach everyone more critical thinking. The feeling is that the outcome of this election is the result of people being duped, and that if they’d had better critical thinking skills, that people would have been somehow inoculated against the bad ideas, and better able to think for themselves (and vote the way we thought they should).

I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit hanging around the online communities of the kind of people we are worried about reaching here, and I am here to tell you: They are using their critical thinking skills.

They are fully literate in concepts like bias and in the importance of interrogating sources. They believe very much in the power of persuasion and the dangers in propaganda and a great many of them believe that we are the ones who have been behaving uncritically and who have been duped. They think that we are the unbelieving victims of fraud.

Which is not to set up some kind of false equivalency between sides. But I do want us to consider the possibility that we don’t need to talk across that barrier, and that it might not be possible to talk across it. That we need to consider that if it’s true that vast swaths of the voting populace are unbelieving victims of fraud, that there’s not much we can do for them. That we may need instead to work to invigorate our allies, discourage our enemies, and save the persuasion for people right on the edge.

But, again, I’m saying all of this to you as someone who has not figured this out."
timmaly  future  futurism  speculation  cassandra  2017  fraud  kazysvarnelis  robertsumrell  gigurdjieff  belief  criticalthinking  allies  persuasion  speculativefutures  predictions 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Scratching the Surface — 24. Sara Hendren
"Sara Hendren is a designer, artist, writer, and professor whose work centers around adaptive and assistive technologies, prosthetics, inclusive design, accessible architecture, and related ideas. She teaches inclusive design practices at Olin College in Massachusetts and writes and edits Abler, her site to collect and comment on art, adaptive technologies and prosthetics, and the future of human bodies in the built environment. In this episode, Sara and I talk about her own background and using design to manifest ideas in the world, the role of writing in her own design practice, and how teaches these ideas with her students."

[audio: https://soundcloud.com/scratchingthesurfacefm/24-sara-hendren ]
sarahendren  jarrettfuller  design  2017  interviews  johndewey  wendyjacob  nataliejeremijenko  remkoolhaas  timmaly  clairepentecost  alexandralange  alissawalker  michaelrock  alfredojaar  oliversacks  bldgblog  geoffmanaugh  nicolatwilley  amateurs  amateurism  dabbling  art  artists  generalists  creativegeneralists  disability  engineering  criticaltheory  integatededucation  integratedcurriculum  identity  self  teaching  learning  howweteach  howwelearn  assistivetechnology  technology  olincollege  humanities  liberalarts  disabilities  scratchingthesurface 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Rhizome | How to See Infrastructure: A Guide for Seven Billion Primates
"If we lift up the manhole cover, lock-out the equipment, unscrew the housing, and break the word into components, infrastructure means, simply, below-structure. Like infrared, the below-red energy just outside of the reddish portion of the visible light section of the electromagnetic spectrum. Humans are not equipped to see infrared with our evolved eyes, but we sometimes feel it as radiated heat.

Infrastructure is drastically important to our way of life, and largely kept out of sight. It is the underground, the conduited, the containerized, the concreted, the shielded, the buried, the built up, the broadcast, the palletized, the addressed, the routed. It is the underneath, the chassis, the network, the hidden system, the combine, the conspiracy. There is something of a paranoiac, occult quality to it. James Tilly Matthews, one of the first documented cases of what we now call schizophrenia, spoke of a thematic style of hallucination described by many suffering from the condition, always rewritten in the technological language of the era. In Matthews' 18th Century description, there existed an invisible "air loom," an influencing machine harnessing rays, magnets, and gases, run by a secret cabal, able to control people for nefarious motives. Infrastructure's power, combined with its lack of visibility, is the stuff of our society's physical unconscious.

Perhaps because infrastructure wields great power and lacks visibility, it is of particular concern to artists and writers who bring the mysterious influencing machines into public discourse through their travels and research."
adamrothstein  infrastructure  cities  2015  allansekula  charmainechua  jamestillymatthews  unknownfieldsdivision  liamyoung  katedavies  timmaughan  danwilliams  shipping  centerforlanduseinterpretation  nicolatwilley  timmaly  emilyhorne  jeremybentham  jennyodell  landscape  donnaharaway  technology  ingridburrington  nataliejeremijenko  trevorpaglen  jamesbridle 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Curious Cargo 3: Solving Problems with Problem Setting
"Designs are judged in a context. The full context is that we live on a planet beset by countless injustices and wicked problems. Existence is a yawning abyss that devours all meaning and everyone dies alone. But since contemplating that for more than a few moments can cause complete paralysis, most people section off the dark crystal of the world into manageable shards and consider only a few facets at a time.

When it comes to presenting a new idea, the stage you set has an enormous influence on how people respond. Our work is judged by how well it achieves what we say it set out to do. And so the knife maker is judged on the quality of their knife, while the water cleaner is judged on the impossible problem of poverty. If the knife maker had started out talking about poverty, they too would be judged on the utter failure of a knife to address the growing gap between the rich and poor.

There is a trick here. You can change your destination after the fact. You can change your problem as many times as you like, right up until the moment you go public. We know this is possible because after a new design has achieved success, a common “behind the scenes” story designers tell is how they first set out to do X but in their exploration they realized Y. Apple set out to make a tablet, but then decided they should use the tech to first make a phone, and Steve Jobs told this story only after both had been launched. Good design stories may be told linearly but they are rarely composed that way.

In crits, it often feels unfair to go after a student’s set problem. For one thing, they are working under extremely tight constraints. For another, they tend to be honest to a fault about their starting point. If you responded to every presentation with “but what does this do about the situation in America’s prisons?” you’d come across as aggressively rude. Yes, I am aware that this new kind of notecard will do nothing to end the drone strikes in Yemen. No, this chair does not address climate change. We had three weeks and no budget. Fuck off.

In the world, going after the set problem is a vital part of design criticism. When Volvo releases paint to make bicyclists easier to see, it is right and good to rant about the merchants of death machines putting the blame on their victims. When Apple speaks of devices for a better life and a better world, it is right and good to ask about the conditions under which they are made. Good design criticism works to expand the horizons of public discussion, to bring to light elements that are glossed over or forgotten.

Note the power of context setting: Apple bears the brunt of criticism for labour practices at Foxconn even though Sony, Microsoft, Amazon, Nintendo, and many others use the same supplier. I suspect this is partially because Apple in your headline = many clicks and partially because Apple devotes so much marketing time to a story about how their things are made. All car manufacturers are selling death machines, but Volvo gets the rant because they brought up bike safety while the rest of the companies serenely ignore the issue.

And none of them are addressing the situation in America’s prisons.

This difficulty shows up everywhere. In social justice contexts, the line between expanding and derailing the discussion is tricky to draw. In politics, we have the Overton window to name the range of ideas which are acceptably debatable and there is plenty of fighting to be done about the shape and size of the window. In journalism, there are the spheres of consensus, controversy and deviance and the reality distorting tendency of the press to report on neither consensus nor deviance. In design, MAYA returns. There is most advanced, yet acceptable design and there is most advanced, yet acceptable criticism.

Problem setting matters because it influences not only what gets designed but how we talk about what gets designed, and that influences what gets designed next. Sooner or later, some of those chronically unconsidered facets are going to force their way on stage whether we want them or not."
timmaly  2015  crits  design  designschool  artschool  context  overtonwindow  marketing  apple  designcriticism  criticism  raymoundloewy  critique  problemfinding  problemdefinition  volvo  judgement  industrialdesign  architecture  productdesign  journalism  politics  consensus  controversy  deviance  derailing  artschools 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Primer0012 -Seeing Like A Supply Chain
"For the supply chain, overzealous security is a much clearer and more present danger than the Poor Man's ICBM."
emilyhrone  timmaly  2014  shipping  infrastructure  security  policy  economics  business  markets  supplychain  terrorism 
december 2014 by robertogreco
What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Making | Quiet Babylon
"This is an era of networked wealth, going to scale, first mover advantage, positive feedback loops, virtuous cycles, high concentration, and high disparity. These are some of the intolerable conditions of the time we call (with subversive hope) Late Capitalism.

4
“We.”

5
I suspect that much of this essay will make very little sense unless you believe as I do that we are beset by wicked problems exacerbated by networks of sublime scale that have been built on top of millenia of injustice chaotically interacting with good works and hope.



8
I do not think it is possible to feel empathy for 7 billion people. I know it is not possible to mourn the ~400,000 souls we lose to death every day on this planet earth. In a city like New York, it is not even reasonable to say Hi to everyone you pass on the street. Forget New York, it wasn’t reasonable to say Hi to everyone I passed at XOXO. There are too many humans. Boundaries must be drawn. Who are our friends, who is in the community, who gets to count. The boundaries can be drawn wider or narrower, and with more or less care. But the starting points of those boundaries are necessarily accidents of history, and history is pretty messed up.

Andy and Andy have been public about their struggles to redraw the boundaries of the community that takes part in XOXO. This year was better, they said, but still too male and still far too white. They are working to do better still if they ever do an XOXO again.

If they do, they will have to carefully consider who gets on stage and work with those people about what they have to say. Because people who make things is a broad remit. The mission of XOXO is an admirable one: to be a place where independent creators can find themselves amongst people like them; to give the participants the feeling that even though independence can be lonely, we are not alone.

But to be sat amongst a community who do not share your concerns is a terribly alienating experience, especially if the speakers on stage are claiming a we for the room that you do not feel. A greater diversity of speakers and a greater diversity of participants means by definition fewer common experiences and a more complicated we.

9
Chinese factory workers are not welcome at XOXO. This is a profoundly uncomfortable thing to say because it feels like punching down, but it is true. Chinese factory workers are not independent creators. What inspiration would they find in hearing John Gruber talk about Google Reader’s impact on his business model? What advice would they pull from Anita Sarkeesian describing the conspiracy theories leveled against prominent women on the Internet? What series of completely patronizing assumptions did I make when I wrote those last two questions?

Marketers, brand managers, advertising agencies, and social media gurus are also not welcome at XOXO. This feels less uncomfortable to say because it feels like punching up. Harassers are completely unwelcome and Andy and Andy took public glee in sending them away.

Community design is a tricky thing and the debate about incremental improvement vs radical transformation is far from settled. Figuring out how to ethically exclude people, how to effectively include people, and which intolerable conditions of ambient injustice to accept as given is a wicked problem. Working through it requires care and nuance and vigilance against derailment.

Derailment is when discussion of one issue is diverted into another issue. For example: if someone were to say, We need to work hard to increase the non-white percentage of conference attendees, and someone else said, Yeah, but what about the Chinese workers who make your devices?

10
Context collapse is an important way of making sure that marginalized people and issues aren’t allowed to disappear completely and an excellent derailing tactic. Arguing that an issue being raised is a derailment is an excellent derailing tactic.

11
A lot of the problems described by people on stage at XOXO would not have been problems if no one on earth should ever be at risk of starvation or lack medical care was not a radical idea. But it is a radical idea and it is not possible to mourn everyone. So boundaries are drawn and communities are constructed which help their members understand what’s possible and not everyone gets to count.

The inability to effectively address all of this is also one of the intolerable conditions of late capitalism."
timmaly  xoxo  latecapitalism  capitalism  supplychains  labor  timcook  apple  disclosure  context  contextcollapse  inclusing  exclusion  canon  derailment  conferences  complexity  boundaries  communitydesign  making  makers  scale  hope  dematerialization 
september 2014 by robertogreco
The Inspection House | Coach House Books
"The Inspection House: An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance
By Emily Horne and Tim Maly

In 1787, British philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham conceived of the panopticon, a ring of cells observed by a central watchtower, as a labor-saving device for those in authority. While Bentham's design was ostensibly for a prison, he believed that any number of places that require supervision—factories, poorhouses, hospitals, and schools—would benefit from such a design. The French philosopher Michel Foucault took Bentham at his word. In his groundbreaking 1975 study, Discipline and Punish, the panopticon became a metaphor to describe the creeping effects of personalized surveillance as a means for ever-finer mechanisms of control..

Forty years later, the available tools of scrutiny, supervision, and discipline are far more capable and insidious than Foucault dreamed, and yet less effective than Bentham hoped. Shopping malls, container ports, terrorist holding cells, and social networks all bristle with cameras, sensors, and trackers. But, crucially, they are also rife with resistance and prime opportunities for revolution. The Inspection House is a tour through several of these sites—from Guantánamo Bay to the Occupy Oakland camp and the authors' own mobile devices—providing a stark, vivid portrait of our contemporary surveillance state and its opponents."
history  books  toread  timmaly  emilyhorne  technology  surveillance  panopticon  2014 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Marc Andreessen’s Crude and Nuanced Tech Cynicism — Weird Future — Medium
"On Saturday night, serial-tweet-lover Marc Andreessen started a list.

1/Degrees of tech cynicism from crude to nuanced?
https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/447604341591908352

Andreessen ought to know tech cynicism — he’s been around for awhile. Indeed as co-author of Mosaic, the first widely used web browser, his career more or less spans the life of the web as we know it.

2/That can’t possibly work.
https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/447604381764960256

Today, Andreessen is a venture capitalist. He’s half of the name of Andreessen Horowitz, a firm whose holdings represent a range of successful tech start-ups. They put money into Skype, Facebook, Twitter, AirBnB, and Instagram. They also put money into Groupon and Zynga, but you can win ‘em all (actually, since both companies IPO’d, their stocks falling to 1/3 of peak valuation doesn’t really matter to Andreessen Horowitz — the exit is the win).

In short, Andreessen has seen some shit.

Embedded tweets take up too much space, so I’m gonna go ahead and paste in the rest of his list by hand.

3/Normal people will use it, but it’s trivial. 4/It will never replace [legacy]. 5/It will replace [legacy], which is why the world is going to hell. 6/Yes, fine, but just wait until [big company] does it. 7/Yes, fine, but just wait until [hypothetical better version that doesn’t actually exist] does it. 8/I can’t believe how much money those kids made from that. 9/It’s a clear and obvious bubble. 10/Whatever, innovation is dead.

That’s it. That’s the list.

Marc Andreessen thinks “Whatever, innovation is dead” is the most nuanced form of tech cynicism available.

You know, it happens. Andreessen is a busy man, what with all the innovation and disruption he’s got to fund and then exit from. When your days are that packed, it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. If you have to spend all your time immersed in the promise of tech, your cynic muscles can atrophy and even the crudest cynicism might seem nuanced.

But we can do better. Here are a some additions.

11/ Normal people will use it, and then they’ll stop because it is a fad.

12/ It is as vulnerable to the logic of disruption as [legacy].

13/ It will prioritize speed of implementation over security, offering users’ personal data to hackers, advertisers, and spies on a silver platter.

14/ It will succeed long enough for a successful exit, then crash and burn, enriching VCs but doing little to improve the world as a whole.

15/ Although it preaches revolution, it will end up reproducing and empowering the structures of injustice that dominate today.

16/ It will intensify the growing concentration of wealth and power that appears to be endemic to economies which take advantage of network effects.

17/ Because it is being implemented in a country where food and healthcare are treated as luxuries rather than basic human rights, its success will multiply the misery in the world as it lays waste to [legacy].

18/ It is being created and sold to a tiny cadre of wealthy inter-connected players who are so convinced of their own intelligence that it doesn’t occur to them to ask around and find out the needs of other people.

19/ It will be powered by ads.

20/ It will do nothing to slow the headlong rush of global civilization into any number of catastrophes which would in turn render it irrelevant.

21/ It preys on and amplifies human weakness.

22/ It will have unintended consequences.

23/ It will do nothing to mitigate the chaos it leaves in its wake."

[Also

24/ It will re-enable scams that regulation had previously tamped down in [legacy].
https://twitter.com/doingitwrong/status/447812538638794752

25/ Its successful ubiquity will force users to contort their selves so they can slot into an ill-considered early design decision.
https://twitter.com/doingitwrong/status/447813472580300800 ]
timmaly  technology  marcandreessen  cynicism  technosolutionism  criticism  2014  internet  web  civilization  inequality  power  advertising  money  vc  venturecapital  legacy  unintendedconsequences  fads  wealth  economics  innovation  disruption 
march 2014 by robertogreco
CHUPAN CHUPAI on Vimeo
"In a near future heavily influenced by the imminent boom of the Indian subcontinent, an emerging technology and economic superpower a new digital city has developed. The film follows a group of young children as they play a game of hide and seek (Chupan Chupai) in the bustling streets of this smart city. Through their play the children discover how to hack the city, opening up a cavernous network of hidden and forgotten spaces, behind the scenes of everyday streets.

The narrative of piece focuses on how the children interact with their built environment, we explore the smart city through the device of the classic children's game. The design of the future city fuses technology and built matter as one programmable environment. Using gestures and signs as a language, the project takes the concept of gesture based control to the level where we can interact and control all elements of the built environment, creating a symbiosis between technology and the city. The film splits the physical architecture of the city into two categories; the synthesised lived in city, and its organic wild undergrowth.

The project was shot on location in India and uses a mixture of animation and visual effects to embellish the design of the city and locations that are pictured.

Based on a short story by Tim Maly
Directed by FACTORY FIFTEEN
Produced by Liam Young"

[See also: http://www.factoryfifteen.com/ ]
[Interview: http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/17980/1/factory-fifteens-futureworlds-dazed-visionaries ]
timmaly  sciencefiction  scifi  2014  film  video  jodhpur  india  hideandseek  children  interface  design  technology  play  gestures  cities  cityasclassroom  thecityishereforyoutouse  architecture  ux  smartcity  smartcities  urban  urbanism  streets  streetgames  games  builtenvironment  liamyoung  factoryfifteen  speculativefiction  jaipur  cherrapunjee 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Pretty Ramp Machine — Weird Future — Medium
"Unlike its siblings, which must rotate or be used as an active tool to perform work, the plane lies still. It barely seems like a machine at all. “I’ve been calling it a ‘sleeping machine’ for that reason,” says Hendren, who focuses her work on disability studies. It’s “a static object, deceptive in its simple geometry.”

Hendren calls herself a public amateur. Her research and practice, documented on her website, is a riot of associations that cross the lines between high-end design, architecture, medical theory, prosthetics, and cybernetics. Spend some time with Hendren and you’ll find yourself in a conversation that veers wildly between fashionable hearing aids, Braille tattoos, the design of space suits, the relation of curb cuts to gentrification, and the origins of the smooth curves of the Eames Chair in the lacquered wooden leg splint that Charles and Ray designed for the US Navy.

Her own projects tend toward the informal and the temporary. She seeks out what she calls the margins of design: work that’s happening away from the spotlight of the mainstream tech and design press, “either because they’re made of low-cost materials, or in informally organized settings, or because they happen in the context of, say, special education.” Her low-tech approach allows her to intervene and launch discussions in graphic design, architecture, and prosthetics.

“All of these fields are professionalized for good reasons — standardization of practice and form,” she says. “But you can easily get some calcification around the ‘proper channels’ for the way things are done.”

“Defining what counts as health, as normative experience, as quality of life — these are easily as much cultural questions as they are about statistics and data,” she says. “I want the latitude, as an amateur, to also ask those questions in public, to engage with specialties as much as possible as an outsider.”



"She explains that in disability studies, there is a growing distinction between the medical model of disability and the social model. In the medical model, people with atypical bodies are seen as being impaired. In the social model, the problem isn’t with the bodies, but with the environment that was built around them.

After all, the environment we live in didn’t just leap out of the ground from whole cloth. Cities were designed and then built a certain way; they could have been built differently. In the social model, “people are disabled, but by the built environment, schools, transportation, economic structures having evolved to offer only the rather narrow goods that a late capitalist culture presumes,” says Hendren. “So we nurture some bodies, and we tolerate others.” If stairs were 5' tall, just about everyone on earth would be disabled."



"In the social model, disability is a matter of circumstances rather than a fundamental diagnosis about any particular body. It’s a state that we pass into and out of depending on what’s going on with us and the environment we’re in. If you are in possession of a relatively typical body and have found yourself blocked by a door because your arms were full, you’ll have a sense of what it means to be temporarily disabled.

If, laden by packages, you’ve ever hip-checked one of those buttons adorned by a wheelchair logo, you’ll have a sense of the degree to which the environment plays a role in enabling or disabling you. The automatic door is not an accommodation for special cases but a useful feature for everyone."



“What I want is much more energy and imagination given to questions of access and use — not tiresome and medicalized ‘accommodations,’ but edited cities where alternate bodies are assumed to be part of the landscape, and where the use of structures and tools might be less scripted,” she says.

Hendren reads a passage from Susan Wendell’s The Rejected Body.
Not only do physically disabled people have experiences which are not available to the able-bodied, they are in a better position to transcend cultural mythologies about the body, because they cannot do things the able-bodied feel they must do in order to be happy, “normal,” and sane…
If disabled people were truly heard, an explosion of knowledge of the human body and psyche would take place.

“I would take out ‘physically’ from the first sentence and add cognition/development to this idea as well,” Hendren says.

In the medical model of disability, this attitude is almost impossible to understand and feels pretty patronizing. After all, aren’t people with disabilities missing out? In the medical model, resistance in the deaf community to cochlear implants seems incomprehensible.

The point, says Hendren, is that we all get the same number of hours per day. “It’s as simple as: some experiences you’re having, and some you’re not,” she says. “You are not having rather more or rather less, unless you arrange your metrics in a lazy way.”

Hendren thinks designers and architects can do better. “It’s possible to have a very ‘correct’ idea about accommodations, provisions for schooling and such, and still presume a medical model,” says Hendren. “You can carry around the notion that a democratic society is one in which everyone thrives — regardless of productivity, regardless of capacity — and want to provide for those ‘needs.’”

“But it’s a much more radical notion to start to think about the ways structures have been un-imagined or preemptively imagined without much variation in body or mind. What would it mean to really profoundly undo our sense of which bodies count?”
sarahendren  timmaly  disability  disabilities  design  amateurs  amateurism  professionals  professionalization  imagination  access  cities  health  society  education  art  democracy  architecture  ada  capacity  productivity  davidedgerton  chrisdowney  bodies  diversity  assistivetechnology  susanwendell  galileo  ramps  inclinedplanes  standardization  brianglenny  blind  blindness  urban  urbandesign  urbanism  body 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Planting For the Future — Weird Future — Medium
"New College’s actual method is much more robust.

Cultural continuity is ensured by regular visits keeping the foresters and college administrators in touch. Materials continuity is ensured by having redundant oaks spread over the college lands. No one oak is destined to be the future beam at College Hall. Instead, they have a bunch of oak, available for whatever circumstance might arise, including burning the great hall to the ground, three years in a row.

Part 3: Visingsö in Error
The lesson seems clear. Plant your seeds, plan for continuity, and your foresight will be rewarded. This is because I have pulled a trick, and told you only stories about where long term planning has paid off.

There is another story to tell.

Around the time that New College was repairing its great hall, the Swedish military was confronting a resource problem of its own. Demand for warships meant that there was a need for 150 year old oak trees. Foreseeing a shortage, the Navy began planting on Visingsö island. The trees came of age in the 1980s, when warships were made of steel.

Beware parables."
timmaly  longnow  culture  sustainability  continuity  foresight  stewartbrand  newcollege  visingsö  sweden  uk  history  parables  2013  alexanderrose  dannyhillis 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Disrupting Slumlords — Weird Future — Medium
"This is the Taskrabbit economy in full swing. The sharing economy which allows car owners, home dwellers, and free-time havers, to extract every bit of value from their resources needs people desperate for a little extra cash. Some chunk of that 62% of people who are using Airbnb to keep their homes are people who wouldn’t be putting up with the hassle if times weren’t tough.

The sharing economy benefits greatly from a collapsed normal economy. Airbnb and Blackstone are two sides of the same dark coin. Airbnb doesn’t have a multi-billion dollar valuation for being friendly."
timmaly  2013  taskrabbit  airbnb  blackstone  realestate  finance  economics  sharing  mortgages  foreclosures  housing  housingcrisis 
november 2013 by robertogreco
A Preliminary Atlas of Robot Killing Fields — Weird Future — Medium
"Drones are not individual objects. They are distributed hyper-entities, smeared across the globe."
timmaly  drones  droneproject  sandiego  generalatomics 
october 2013 by robertogreco
5 Viridian Years — Medium
"Over the next month, several dozen writers, artists, and thinkers will be reconsidering the Viridian project and its principles. It is rich territory and our contributions will include historical overviews, critical examinations, close readings, futurist extensions, and a panoply of offshoots and strange tangents."

[ https://medium.com/5-viridian-years/84f454e7aa7f ]

[ https://medium.com/5-viridian-years/aade6358664b ]
timmaly  brucesterling  viridianmovement  2013  sustainability  environment  viridiannote 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Stand together or fall apart » No measure of health
"But I still have a lot of time for the gradualists, too. For one thing, a lot of fiery radicals miss opportunities to make real improvements in our lives within existing systems. Legalising same-sex marriage neither ended homophobia nor helped anyone who doesn’t fit a fairly traditional domestic template, but how many deportations has it forestalled? Obamacare is gravely compromised—a shadow of the reform it should have been—but how many bankruptcies will it prevent? Just because these are partial, provisional victories doesn’t mean they weren’t worth fighting for, and won’t stop me from cheering for them.

Just as importantly, I still share the gradualists’ fear. A while back, I tweeted something to the effect of “How can we have the Revolution without La Terreur?” and no-one answered. That’s not exactly a scientific measure, but I still don’t have an answer, still haven’t heard a good one from anyone else, and fear that the trauma that is Egypt today proves the point. Without such an answer, the thought of a true rupture still gives me sickening vertigo.

So what can we do? I like to look for middle ways, but I don’t see an adequate one here. I still write to electeds, and I will vote when I’m finally allowed, but I’m consciously minimising the time I spend on this kind of politics, because the potential wins are so dispiritingly far short of the change we need. The best I have is doing what I can to build and support human scale alternatives to the intermediated, dehumanising political economy we have as a default. In my more idealistic moments, I think we can just slowly render the old, ossified systems irrelevant and watch them fade away. Usually I see it as prototyping."
timmaly  quinnorton  ta-nehisicoates  2013  eldangoldenberg  tejucole  politics  policy  gradualists  democracy  middlegrounds  canon  action  activism  beginners  welcome  makerspaces  community  libraries  tools  toollibraries  communitiesofpractice  cynicism  compassion  conviviality  cooperation  coops  despair  work  decentralization  ecosystems  interdependence  lcproject  openstudioproject 
august 2013 by robertogreco
NSA-Proof Your Email! Consider your Man Card Re-Issued. Never be Afraid Again. — Weird Future — Medium
"The watchword is self-reliance. They’re coming to take what’s yours, so you’d better be ready. Federate your email, buy a generator, make sure you’ve got good locks, and for God’s sake, carry a handgun. There are monsters in the streets and some idiot is arming them.

But how to defend against the errors of the masses unwilling to take care of themselves? Every message in my outbox is in some fool’s inbox; plain as day, as if I’d sent it straight to PRISM myself. NSA-proof? Not without a massive shift of collective action undertaken by a society of people who’ve spent the past decade or so dumping as many photos, feelings, and fantasies online as time and bandwidth would allow. Why not? I certainly did. It’s nice to have friends."



"These are, after all, ecological problems. And when you find yourself in a flood zone, or a wildfire warning area, or tornado country, self-reliance only goes so far. No amount of preparation will protect you if you find yourself staring at an onrushing column of smoke and all your neighbours built their houses with kindling. No amount of home renovation will fix the water if, somewhere upriver, some monster with an obligation to protect shareholder interests is filling the streams with mercury.

Even the Unabomber, holed up in his cabin in remotest Montana, couldn’t help but see passenger jets criss-crossing the sky."



"“There’s a second half to the prison’s design and no one seems to remember this. The second half is that the prisoners are isolated from one another. If they could coordinate, those few lonely bastards in the tower wouldn’t stand a chance. But their clients are kept separated and when the hammer comes down on one of them, all the rest can’t help but think ‘at least it wasn’t me’.”

She was close now, uncomfortably so. The urge to flee was overwhelming.

“That’s where the real power of the panopticon lies. It is spread around the circumference in the cell of every inmate. It’s like Disney. ‘Don’t worry little Dumbo, the power of surveillance was in you all along.’

“But how are you advising one another, in the face of our mounting influence? You’re writing Instructables about how to mask your personal digital fingerprint and telling yourselves that our victims had it coming because they didn’t take basic steps.

“So while we’re consolidating our strength, you idiots are all coaching one another into joint construction of solitary confinement.”"



"My hosts found me hours later in the marina’s bar, working my way through the fourth in a series of tall drinks with plenty of ice.

I said nothing about my encounter in the showroom. What was there to tell? That I’d had a conversation with my own paranoid delusions? That the security state had personified itself to lecture me about a french philosopher who’d died in 1984?

No. That was craziness, best left to the memory banks. The security state isn’t a person, it’s people. There’s so many of them and they’ve been given leave to take so many liberties that they’ve managed to become the environment. Like a demented terraforming project, they’re sucking down our communications and we’re breathing their air.

This is an ecological disaster and it demands an ecological response. We shouldn’t be protecting ourselves. We should be protecting each other.

My hosts were in fine spirits. The shopping trip had been a success and the boxes they had in tow carried the promise of excellent reclining. Good reclining is crucial in cottage country."
civics  security  privacy  timmaly  2013  canon  community  activism  collectivism  nsa  edwardsnowden  surveillance  internet  web  online  storytelling  panopticon  indivisualism  self-reliance 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Subject: Twitter API returning results that do not respect arrow of time.
This will take some explaining.
It started as an afternoon hacking project with your Twitter API. I was inspired to make it when one of my new followers reposted something I'd said months ago. This happens from time to time and it always makes me feel vaguely vertiginous. Twitter is meant to be about the "now" and these intrusions from the past are like being at a family reunion and some aunt asks you how the girl you were dating in high school is doing.
As a learning project/prank, I decided to impose that feeling on my friends. The idea is simple: I made a Twitter bot that scrapes their twitter feeds. It picks some of those tweets—at random—and stores them. It holds them for 3 weeks to 6 months and then it posts them, being sure to mention the original author's @name.

I called it @timebot. I set it running just over a year ago.
The timestamp was in the future. Two days in the future. Weird bug. But @timebot was always a side project and I was on some big deadlines.

Two days later, Allison decided to go to our favourite sandwich shop. I don't know the details of what happened. But I do know that at 12:23:51pm on October 3rd, @allililly tweeted "Mmmm tasty lunch" with an image attached and no broken link. The timestamp matched. The unique ID matched. The formerly broken link in @timebot's message now worked. I got that vertiginous feeling again.
To keep things simple, I'll spare you the details of the next occurences, or of the time an errant tweet nearly broke up Sandra and her girlfriend. Let's just say that I'm convinced that, somehow, @timebot is pulling not only tweets from the past, but tweets from the future.
After a thorough review, I can point to the spot in my code where a bad calculation expanded the scope of the search to days after today's date, but I cannot tell you how it's possible that the thing returns results. The fault there lies with your API. James thinks it's because all our tweets are being stored by the Library of Congress. He says the information density of that place warps space and time. I say he's crazy.

technology  internet  twitter  future  storytelling  canon  timmaly  bugreports  2013  via:tealtan  twitterapi  forms  time 
may 2013 by robertogreco
A Field Guide to Singing Sentinels
"The Field Guide is a catalogue of imaginary birds, bioengineered for the anthropocentric world. This speculative birdwatchers companion includes descriptions, behaviours and helpful tips for future sightings. Wander through the city, field guide in hand. These beautiful unnatural specimens will be there with us, after nature,. Spy, high above the rooftop vents, the Green Throated Coal Canary, bioengineered to be sensitive to increased levels of CO2. Track the Red Radars of the Archaeology Institute as they scan the ground for echoes of lost cities, see the luminescent plumage of the Roseshift Canaries as they fan their tails and sing sharply in the clouds of Nitrous Oxide. Explore the engineered ecology, watch these companion birds fly past and listen to their song, a requiem for a changing world. The Singing Sentinels are a vivid expression of life and technology."

[See also: "Silent Spring: A climate Change Acceleration Performance" https://vimeo.com/43378138 ]

"Coal miners once hammered rock with twittering canaries living beside them, their changing song a warning alarm for a dangerous gas leak. These living sensors watched over us and kept us safe.

‘Singing Sentinels’ by London-based architect Liam Young of Tomorrows Thoughts Today explores a future scenario where bio-engineered birds once again monitor the air for us. Eighty birds have been released into the New Order exhibition at the Mediamatic Gallery in Amsterdam as an ecological warning system, living in the space and providing audible feedback on the state of the atmosphere. Across the course of the exhibition Liam performed the climate change acceleration piece 'Silent Spring' seen in the film above. As a 'pollution DJ', he flooded the gallery with CO2, altereing the air mixture to replicated the predicted atmospheric changes of the next 100 years. We hear the canary song subtly shift, their rythmn change and eventually silence, as the birds sing a toxic sky- an elegy for a changing planet.

To accompany the exhibition Liam Young, Geoff Manuagh and Tim Maly have written a near future birdwatchers guide "A Field Guide to Singing Sentinels: A Birdwatchers Companion" with illustrations from comic illustrator Paul Duffield. You can see an excerpt and purchase your copy of the limited edition book online here products.liamyoung.org/ "
liamyoung  geoffmanaugh  timmaly  paulduffield  fieldguides  birds  anthropocene  technology  biotechnology  genetics  pollution  environment  droneproject  bioengineering  singingsentinals  climatechange  nature  animals  silentspring 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Algorithmic Rape Jokes in the Library of Babel | Quiet Babylon
"Jorge Luis Borges’ Library of Babel twisted through the logic of SEO and commerce."

"Part of what tips the algorithmic rape joke t-shirts over from very offensive to shockingly offensive is that they are ostensibly physical products. Intuitions are not yet tuned for spambot clothes sellers."

"Amazon isn’t a store, not really. Not in any sense that we can regularly think about stores. It’s a strange pulsing network of potential goods, global supply chains, and alien associative algorithms with the skin of a store stretched over it, so we don’t lose our minds."
algorithms  amazon  culture  internet  borges  timmaly  2013  jamesbridle  apologies  non-apologies  brianeno  generative  crapjects  georginavoss  rape  peteashton  software  taste  poortaste  deniability  secondlife  solidgoldbomb  t-shirts  keepcalmand  spam  objects  objectspam  quinnnorton  masscustomization  rapidprototyping  shapersubcultures  scale  libraryofbabel  thelibraryofbabel  tshirts 
march 2013 by robertogreco
The Corporation Who Would be King | Quiet Babylon
"The new King of Montana is elected by a margin of thirteen trillion votes. Only three biological person incumbents retain their seats in the legislature. The election is not without controversy. Losing candidates file suits alleging that the pace of automated corporate registrations on the Secretary of State’s website acted as an effective DDOS, shutting down competitors by preventing them from registering before the deadline."
corporatism  timmaly  2013  montana  voting  votingrights  property  corporations  government  us  citizenship  power 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Over Optimized | Quiet Babylon
"I keep thinking about the impending extinction of the Cavendish Banana a… mono-culture… propelled to the #1 spot when the previous favourite, the Gros Michel Banana was wiped out, also by disease. And of the injuries (careful about clicking that link) sustained by Super-G skiers when their highly optimized gear turns against them during a crash. And of Koalas which have evolved to eat a tree no one else eats and who will die off when the trees do.

Then I think about apples which come in a variety of types, casual skiers who make it to the bottom of the hill eventually and raccoons who will eat just about anything. These are all generalists that manage to thrive in a variety of areas, and seem to be pretty good at adapting to massive changes to their environments."

"…When things are stable, specialization and optimization is the recipe for success. When things are bumpy, allowing some of the inefficiency that comes from flexibility is probably the thing that will let you survive."
2008  timmaly  markets  inefficiency  overoptimization  adaptability  resilience  survival  slack  optimization  sustainability  animals  raccoons  koalas  skiing  diversity  bananas  apples  generalists  specialization  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Directions From our Dreams: Imagining a More Amazing iOS 6 Maps App | Wired Design | Wired.com
"Buried in Baio’s post was this intriguing tidbit: “Developers can specify a category (Car, Bus, Train, Subway, Streetcar, Plane, Bike, Ferry, Taxi, Pedestrian, Other).”

“Other”? What kind of thing can you do with “other”? Media inventor Robin Sloan saw it first.

"So Apple’s iOS 6 Maps delegates public transit to third-party apps. That, my friends, is a storytelling opportunity. Two words: Catbus app."

Yes! Why limit ourselves to mundane, workaday transit (especially given how hellish this is for developers) when now we can map anything.

With that in mind, we humbly present this list of suggestions:

* An app that routes your trip via LA’s lost streetcars.
* A psychogeography directions app, perhaps a port of Near Future Laboratory’s Drift deck, which directs aimless wandering around a city.
* An app to help The Warriors get home.
* An app to celebrate Bloomsday by following James Joyce’s Leopold Bloom through Dublin.
* An app for Batman that routes by rooftop."
publictransit  api  mapping  wandering  batman  jamesjoyce  bloomsday  driftdeck  psychogeography  catbus  apple  ios6  ios  mapsoftheimagination  maps  robinsloan  timmaly  2012  andybaio  from delicious
june 2012 by robertogreco
No Joke: These Guys Created A Machine For Printing Houses On The Moon | Co.Design: business + innovation + design
"First, you solve the material transport problem by making the moon base out of the moon itself. Second, you mitigate the "humans are expensive" problem by keeping them on the ground until the last minute--you use robots to build the base. Recently, USC Professors Behrokh Khoshnevis (Engineering), Anders Carlson (Architecture), Neil Leach (Architecture), and Madhu Thangavelu (Astronautics) completed their first research visualization for a system to do exactly that."
building  madhuthangavelu  bldgblog  neilleach  anderscarlson  behrokhkhoshnevis  houses  future  architecture  3dprinting  technology  fabbing  concrete  construction  timmaly  2012  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Why 3-D Printing Isn't Like Virtual Reality  - Technology Review
"It's also important not to confuse 3-D printing & desktop-class fabrication. These aren't the same thing. There is more to desktop manufacturing than 3-D printers. A well-appointed contemporary maker workshop has working CNC mills, lathes, and laser cutters. A well-appointed design studio has the tools to make and finish prototypes that look very nice indeed. Aside from the 3-D printer, none of these tools are terribly science-fictional; they're well-established technologies that happen to be getting cheaper from year to year.

Something interesting happens when the cost of tooling-up falls. There comes a point where your production runs are small enough that the economies of scale that justify container ships from China stop working. There comes a point where making new things isn't a capital investment but simply a marginal one. Fab shops are already popping up, just like print shops did."
timmaly  2012  printing  rapidprototyping  prototyping  fabshops  economiesofscale  technology  fabbing  3dprinting  from delicious
january 2012 by robertogreco
Rhizome | Drone Ethnography
"And then if you want a little bit a speculation about drones, you pick up the paranoid defense blogging of Danger Room  or the design-fiction of sousveillance and cyborg specialists like Tim Maly . And then you—

Okay. I thought it was clear, but if you want me to spell it out for you, I will. You are obsessed with drones. We all are. We live in a drone culture, just as we once lived in a car culture. The Northrop-Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk is your '55 Chevorlet. You just might not know it yet.

I have thirty-five browser tabs open, and each contains a fragment of the drone-mythos. Each is a glimpse at a situation, a bird’s eye view of the terrain. So many channels, showing me the same thing: near-infinite data collection. With the help of Google, I’m drone-spotting—I'm turning a new critical perspective that I'm calling Drone Ethnography, back on itself."
ethnography  military  technology  drones  diy  adamrothstein  2011  timmaly  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Small Wooden Shoe: Upper Toronto
"Upper Toronto is science fiction design proposal to build a new city in the sky above Toronto.

Imagine a city resting on the Bay Street towers or the CN Tower as a walk up restuarant.

Once Upper Toronto is finished, Lower Toronto will be abondoned and turned into a combination of national park, farmland and intentional ruin.

This is, of course, a terrible idea.

But it’s a terrible idea that allows us to imagine a new city. To ask what would happen if, knowing what we now know, we could start fresh.

While clearly infeasible, it is important that all the proposals that make up Upper Toronto are good ones, even if forced relocation to the sky is not.

This has to be a city that we, the people planning it, want to live in."
toronto  uppertoronto  activism  green  speculativedesign  design  architecture  urban  urbanplanning  cities  timmaly  jacobzimmer  designfiction  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Faux-Vintage Photo: Full Essay (Parts I, II and III) » Cyborgology
"I am working on a dissertation about self-documentation and social media and have decided to take on theorizing the rise of faux-vintage photography (e.g., Hipstamatic, Instagram). From May 10-12, 2011, I posted a three part essay. This post combines all three together."

[See also (some of the tags reference): http://varnelis.net/blog/atemporality_the_iphone_camera_and_the_hipster ]
photography  twitter  instagram  hipstamatic  2011  nathanjurgenson  self-documentation  faux-vintage  hipsters  nostalgia  nostalgiaforthepresent  atemporality  networkculture  cameras  iphone  cameraphone  kazysvarnelis  timmaly  allegory  comment  postmodernism  modernism  furniture  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Upper Toronto | Quiet Babylon
"Upper Toronto is a science fiction design proposal to build a new city in the sky. The CN restaurant might be ground level, or imagine a city sitting on top of the Bay Street towers. When Upper Toronto is finished, all residents of will be relocated upwards and Lower Toronto will transformed into some combination of intentional ruin, national park, and farmland.

This is, of course, a terrible idea. But it is a terrible idea that lets us imagine and perform about the kind of city we’d want if we could start fresh."
toronto  timmaly  design  cities  designfiction  sciencefiction  architecture  theater  engineering  urban  urbanism  urbanplanning  planning  policy  publicpolicy  development  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Unlink Your Feeds - There’s a better way.
"I have a vision of a new social networking paradigm. Handcrafted social networks.

I imagine a world where people take each network for what it is and participate (or not) on those terms. Instead of a firehose slurry of everything buckets, I imagine separate streams of purified whatever-it-is-each-service-does. I envision users that post when they’re inspired & don’t mind skipping a few days if nothing particularly interesting comes up…

I imagine people taking the extra 10 seconds to reformat a post for each service if the message is so relevant and important that it needs to show up more than once. I imagine being able to choose who I follow and what subset of their postings I get with a high degree of granularity.

There may come a day when this vision gets implemented on the server side. When all the social networks give me fine grain control for hiding subsets of the updates sent out by my contacts. But until that day comes, it’s gotta be solved on the client side."
lifestream  cv  distributed  socialnetworking  socialmedia  socialnetworks  socialsoftware  timmaly  formatting  context  del.icio.us  twitter  tumblr  vimeo  flickr  etiquette  howto  internet  web  online  tutorials  utopia  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Unlink Your Feeds - A Manifesto.
"You need to unlink your feeds.

I understand why you did it. I’ve made the same mistake myself. But it’s hurting your friends, you, & the Internet. You need to stop.

You need to stop automatically dumping your feeds from one account into another.

I know it’s tempting. New service, not sure how you’ll keep up w/ ever demanding maw & there’s the “import your content” button, right there in sign-up process. A quick trip through a login screen or an OAuth link & there you are: All your stuff automatically aggregated…

No muss, no fuss, right?

This is an illusory solution. It’s a false idol. It’s contributing to noise pollution…It’s diminishing the quality of your output and of others’ experiences.

You need to unlink your feeds and put a tiny bit more effort into using each service for what it is.

More [links to each of these topics]:It’s hurting your friends.It’s hurting you.It’s hurting the Internet.There’s a better way."
twitter  manifesto  socialmedia  facebook  feeds  rss  del.icio.us  tumblr  timmaly  social  socialnetworking  linkpollution  automation  manifestos  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
mini. Quiet Babylon | In which the clever choosing of words and dates...
"In which the clever choosing of words and dates causes the creation of an Ngram appearing to editorialize on the quality of analysis afforded by tools such as the Ngram Viewer and other conditions of contemporary life. Google Ngram Viewer"
wisdom  knowledge  ngramviewer  time  timmaly  quietbabylon  information  ngram  googlengramviewer  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
mini. Quiet Babylon | In Defence (but not Praise) of Fans
"I don’t remember where but I remember reading that pretty much everyone thinks of high school as being a place that was full of cliques but thinks as themselves as someone who kind of floated between them without really belonging to any one in particular…

The kind of people Cory celebrates here will always be my people. I will always have a soft spot for them, especially for the younger ones, constructing shells to keep the hateful, hateful world out. But there comes a point of growing, a point where you can look back at your own Martian’s distance from a Martian’s distance and you recognize that there too, there were empty habits or worse."
timmaly  corydoctorow  cliques  cosmopolitanism  opinions  selfimage  identity  normal  whatisnormal  adolescence  superiority  difference  pretension  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
A family resemblance of obsessions « Snarkmarket
"Blogs — the best blogs — are public diaries of preoccupations. The reason why they are preoccupations is that you need someone who is continually pushing on the language to regenerate itself. The reason why they are public is so that those generations and regenerations and degenerations can find their kin, across space, across fame, across the likelihood of a connection, and even across time itself, to be rejoined and reclustered together.

Because that is how language and language-users are reborn; that is how the system, both artificial and natural, loops backward upon and maintains itself; because that is how a public and republic are made, how a man can be a media cyborg, and also become a city. That’s how this place where we gather becomes home."
timcarmody  language  blogs  blogging  definitions  cyborgs  regenerations  degenerations  connections  neologisms  words  time  etymology  ego  cv  obsessions  obsession  snarkmarket  robinsloan  timmaly  family-resemblance  ludwigwittgenstein  meaning  conversation  gamechanging  perspective  learning  understanding  misunderstanding  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Kanye West, media cyborg « Snarkmarket
"At some point in your life, you meet a critical mass of smart, fun, interesting people, and a depressing realization hits: There are too many. You’ll never meet all the people that you ought to meet. You’ll never have all the conversations that you ought to have. There’s simply not enough time."

"Media lets you clone pieces of yourself and send them out into the world to have conversations on your behalf. Even while you’re sleeping, your media —your books, your blog posts, your tweets—is on the march. It’s out there trying to making connections. Mostly it’s failing, but that’s okay: these days, copies are cheap. We’re all Jamie Madrox now."

[Pair of tweets from me in response: (1) .@robinsloan's "clone[d] pieces of yourself" + classroom of middle schoolers = @fchimero's "past me just punked present me" = my every day AND (2) Context for previous tweet: "clone[d] pieces of yourself" http://snarkmarket.com/2010/6262 & "past me just punked present me" http://bit.ly/9afv3q ]

[URLs for my tweets quoted above: http://twitter.com/rogre/status/24637354857 AND http://twitter.com/rogre/status/24637637721 ]
snarkmarket  robinsloan  kanyewest  cyborgs  media  timeshifting  atemporality  mediaextensions  tools  mediaprostheses  conversation  mediaextandability  mediacyborgs  timmaly  cv  teaching  scale  frustration  slow  toolittletime  time  frankchimero  tcsnmy  celebrity  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Cognitive Load | Quiet Babylon
"This is the opposite of a cyborg implementation. These are tools that hurt cognition, break concentration, and interrupt flow. Far from leaving us free to explore, to create, to think, and to feel, they keep us trapped to manage, to maintain, to adjust, and to fiddle. It’s my belief that as long as augmented reality continues to demand our conscious attention to gee-gaws and whatsits, it’ll remain forever trapped in the world of novelty and toys.

I look forward to the backlash generation of AR. We don’t need augmented reality, we need diminished reality. I want overlays that keep the irrelevant at bay. I want augments that take care of the robot-problems unconsciously and automatically, alerting me only in the rare case that something truly novel or problematic needs my attention."
timmaly  cyborgs  augmentedreality  flow  concentration  interruptions  distraction  attention  technology  cognition  cognitiveload  ar  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
What’s a Cyborg? | Quiet Babylon
"I want to present you with a different vision of cyborgs, one that derives in part from the work of feminist theorist Donna Haraway, author of A Cyborg Manifesto.

In it, she argues that we are all and have always been cyborgs, hybrid entities that combine biology, culture, and technology into a single blurry unit. Haraway wants to move away from the essentialist narratives of gender, race, and politics but in doing so, she ends up taking the rest of us along with her.

There has never been a moment when we did not integrate with tools.

Our tools define and shape us, they tell us who we are. We use them to extend our literal selves out into the world. When you get into an accident, you say “she hit me” not “her car hit me” and not “her car hit my car”.

We are embraced and enveloped by the technosphere and even if we try to escape and smash the system, we find we are part of it."
culture  cyborgs  technology  future  history  timmaly  quietbabylon  technosphere  tools  human  donnaharaway  hybrids  biology  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
But First We Must Send Robots | Quiet Babylon
"Want to inspire the kids of tomorrow? Forget the heroic myths. That kind of inspiration is over. “Anyone can be the President.” No they can’t. We all know it.
timmaly  quietbabylon  space  nasa  economics  mars  exploration  robots  mannedspaceflights  engagement  cost  money  resources  internationalspacestation 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Soundtrack for a City | Quiet Babylon
"The client sits on phone, downloads soundtrack – custom for city – pulls from location API, & mixes sounds according to instructions. There’s cleverness sure, some audio gee-whizery secret sauce, all very patentable & proprietary that seamlessly pulls it together. As you make your way from uptown to downtown, tone shifts gradually, like in Mr Q’s park but moreso. Mr Q is strictly last century, he’s amateur hour hacker hobbyist. It’s laying copper when we could be putting up cell towers in Africa. Disney doesn’t know from happiest place on earth. On the server it’s all very user-friendly, very drag-n-drop. We show you map of city & your uploaded audio files. You can paint-in areas, just like Photoshop...Colour your regions & associate sounds accordingly. We crowdsourced the names of neighbourhoods from Flickr to give you suggested outlines, if you just wanna throw something together, but the real artist can paint down to the nearest half-meter."
audio  sound  ambient  cities  texture  gps  iphone  applications  rjdj  ambientawareness  location-based  soundpainting  maps  mapping  timmaly  quietbabylon  mobile  ar  ios  augmentedreality 
april 2010 by robertogreco
An Open Letter to Cory Doctorow in Defence of My Mom - Quiet Babylonian
"When people talk about making a computer that their mom can use it's because for a long time NO ONE HAS. My mom doesn't want to tinker with her computer (neither does my dad), she wants to use that time to send emails and photos and maintain the complex network of relationships that is the focus of her time online. She wants to tinker with family while I want to tinker with web pages. For her, the iPad might be perfect."
timmaly  corydoctorow  ipad  technology  open  hacking  simplicity  tinkering 
april 2010 by robertogreco
There is no single-use Lego | Quiet Babylon
"I bought a pile of the standard bricks and – as an experiment – this Star Wars kit to see how ridiculous the pieces were. On the box, it appears to be made of all-kinds of single-use bits. Building it told a different story. The feet of the walker turn out to be the same part as the bodies of the Droids. Some of the joints are re-purposed guns. There are dozens of little clever things so that as you follow the instructions, there is moment after moment of discovery. “Oh, I can do THAT with that part?”"
creativity  toys  childhood  lego  glvo  edg  srg  play  timmaly 
october 2009 by robertogreco

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