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15 posts from September 2009
- «FutureNovo provides a forum and tools designed to promote foresight and dialog about future technology.» Yet another abortive Web 2.0, wiki-like project. What is about futures that makes us think these things should work? Clearly there’s some desire there, but why do these projects run aground?
- Look at your computer setup and imagine that you hooked up a 3D printer. Instead of printing on bits of paper this 3D printer makes real, robust, mechanical parts. To give you an idea of how robust, think Lego bricks and you’re in the right area. You could make lots of useful stuff, but interestingly you could also make most of the parts to make another 3D printer. That would be a machine that could copy itself.
For almost two decades, when we imagined the future, we imagined ourselves tapped into cyberspace via our deck alongside Case, the protagonist in Neuromancer.
[To the tune of Alban Berg Quartet, «String Quartet Op.132 No.15 in A minor: III. Molto adagio,» from the album Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets (Disc 7) (I give it 5 stars).]
I suppose it was inevitable: coathangr, which describes itself as «social networking for your pants.» Less whimsically, it also says it’s a «social network for sharing fashion advice,» and finding people who share your fashion taste.
It would be interesting to see how the system is used. Does it actually encourages better fashion sense? Is it used maliciously by people giving intentionally bad fashion advice?
On a more serious note, this is a good example of what Jyri Engstrom calls «object-centered sociality:»
the term ‘social networking’ makes little sense if we leave out the objects that mediate the ties between people. Think about the object as the reason why people affiliate with each specific other and not just anyone. For instance, if the object is a job, it will connect me to one set of people whereas a date will link me to a radically different group. This is common sense but unfortunately it’s not included in the image of the network diagram that most people imagine when they hear the term ‘social network.’ The fallacy is to think that social networks are just made up of people. They’re not; social networks consist of people who are connected by a shared object. That’s why many sociologists, especially activity theorists, actor-network theorists and post-ANT people prefer to talk about ‘socio-material networks’, or just ‘activities’ or ‘practices’ (as I do) instead of social networks.
[To the tune of Alban Berg Quartet, «String Quartet Op.132 No.15 in A minor: I. Allegro sostenuto — Allegro,» from the album Beethoven: The Complete String Quartets (Disc 7) (I give it 5 stars).]
I seem to have an article in Disegno industriale 39. I can’t read it, but it seems to be there. Hooray!
[To the tune of The Police, «When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What’s Still Around,» from the album Message In A Box: The Complete Recordings (Disc 2) (I give it 3 stars).]