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robertogreco : kevinslavin   24

Reading Right-to-Left | booktwo.org
"At a conference I attended recently, one of the speakers noted how the US army trains observers to “read” a landscape from right to left. The idea is that, as Anglophones accustomed to reading left to right, reversing the direction of attention brings more concentration to bear on the situation. Moving from right to left disrupts the soldier’s instinctual recognition patterns, and so they are more likely to spot things. This skill has apparently migrated from soldiers to photographers:
“One of the first tricks I learned many years ago had nothing to do with photography, but was drilled into me by an army sergeant. It only took a few smacks up the back of my head to learn how to look from right-to-left when scanning a landscape in an effort to see the hidden “enemy” in our mock battles. This process of reverse reading forced me to slow down and read each tree as if it were a syllable I was seeing for the first time. Even today, about thirty years after I called that sergeant every adjective not found in a decent dictionary, I still find myself scanning a landscape from right-to-left.”

The conference speaker contrasted this way of seeing, and the assumptions explicit within it, with the Japanese way of reading, which may be right-to-left, or vertical:

[image]

One might also, in the context of today’s military operations consider the right-to-leftness of Hebrew and Arabic script (and Farsi, and Urdu) – and from there consider the verticality and three-dimensionality of text and thought online, the way it branches and deepens, how it recedes through the screen, through hyperlinks, into an endless chain of connections and relationships.

This reversal and inversion of language patterns has many historical and thus military uses. In Reality is Plenty, Kevin Slavin relates a tale told to him by a photography professor, who was trained as a World War II radar operator.

When radar signals were received aboard an aircraft carrier, they were displayed on a radar oscilloscope. But in order for this information be used in the midst of battle, the positions needed to be transcribed to a large glass viewing pane, and as part of this process they needed to be inverted and reversed. To perform this operation quickly and accurately, the radar operators were trained and drilled extensively in “upside down and backwards town”, a classified location where everything from newspapers to street signs were printed upside down and backwards. This experience would not so much create a new ability for the radar operators, as break down their existing biases towards left-to-right text, allowing them to operate in multiple dimensions at once.

[image]

This process, in Kevin’s reading and in mine, is akin to much of our experience of new technology, when our existing frameworks of reference, both literary and otherwise, are broken down, and we must learn over once again how to operate in the world, how to transform and transliterate information, how to absorb it, think it, search for it and deploy it. We must relearn our relationship not only with information, but with knowledge itself.

And I was reminded of this once again when I found myself at the weekend defending, for the first time in a long time, but certainly not for the first time ever, the kind of thinking and knowledge production which is native to the internet. In this oft-rehearsed argument, whether it be about ebooks or social media or news cycles or or or, the central thrust is that x technology is somehow bad for us, for our thought, our attention, our cognitive processes etc., where x always tends towards “the internet”, as the ur-technology of our time.

And the truth is that I cannot abide this kind of talk. I know people don’t read books like they used to, and they don’t think like they used to, but I struggle to care. Most of this talk is pure nostalgia, a kind of mostly knee-jerk, mostly uncritical (although not thoughtless) response to entirely rational fears about technological opacity and complexity (this nostalgia, of course, was the basis for the New Aesthetic). But this understandable reaction also erases all the new and different modes of attention and thought which, while they are difficult to articulate because we are still developing and discovering the language to articulate them with, are nonetheless present and growing within us. And I simply do not see the damage that is ascribed to this perceived “loss” – I don’t see the generations coming up being any less engaged in culture and society, reading less, thinking less, acting less, even when they are by any measure poorer, less supported, forced to struggle harder for education and employment, and, to compound the injury, derided at every opportunity as feckless, distracted, and disengaged. I see the opposite.

I’m getting more radical in my view of the internet, this unconsciously-generated machine for unconscious generation. I’m feeling more sure of its cultural value and legacy, and more assertive about stating it. We built this thing, and like all directed culture of the past, it has an agency and a desire, and if you pay attention to it you can see which way it wants to go, and what it wants to fight. We made that, all of us, in time, but we don’t have full control of it. Rather, like the grain of wood, it’s something to be worked with and shaped, but also thought about and conceptualised, both matter and metaphor.

It’s possible, despite the faults of data and design, to be an unchurched follower of the internet: undogmatic, non-sectarian, wary of its faults, all too conscious of its occupation by the forces of capital and control, but retaining a deep faith in its message and meaning. A meaning which it is still up to us to explore and enact, to defend where possible and oppose when necessary. If there is progress, if things can be improved, then they must be improved by new inventions, by the things we have not tried before. No going backwards to the future."
culture  knowledge  internet  japanese  arabic  howweread  understanding  noticing  books  reading  meadia  online  socialmedia  newaesthetic  future  bookfuturism  control  change  data  design  technology  criticalthinking  kevinslavin  observation  seeing  howwesee  waysofseeing  perspective  rewiring  attention  knowledgeproduction  society  difference  cv  canon 
october 2015 by robertogreco
playfulsystems: Game company (of ex-Ubisoft... - Fresser.
[Embedded video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnqE9EpoGK8 ]

"playfulsystems:
Game company (of ex-Ubisoft folks) mapping and photographing the entire world with drones for a series of games.

(via Drones Are Mapping The Entire Planet (For A Video Game))

Crazy. But here’s the more interesting parts to my mind:

”Weather and temperature are directly pulled from reality to be re-injected into the game weather system.

So, if your character is in New-York and right now (in the real world) it’s 5 AM, raining and chilling in New-York, then your Character will experience the same conditions in the game.

Your character is “active” in the world even when you’re not connected

Time is a very important resource in the game, combined with the skill tree system it’s also your best ally to train your character. Making sure your character is doing relevant things when you’re not playing in front of your computer is a key strategy for survival.

Using the Activity Tracker you will be able to manage your character’s schedule like you would manage your own agenda (from a browser or using your smartphone).”"
videogames  earth  climate  landscape  games  gaming  kevinslavin  2014  reroll  ecosystems 
february 2014 by robertogreco
playfulsystems: Dude is _super_ excited about... - Fresser.
[Embedded video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYmqJl4MoNI ]
Dude is _super_ excited about having done a really fast speedrun on Goldeneye. Apparently 1:13 is a common time (for devoted speedrunners), but only one other person in the world had done 1:12 before this. This was him narrating the experience the first time he watched the video recording after succeeding.

Ryan Lockwood - Streets Agent 1:12 [subtitles] (by trenthovis)

"I’m serious when I say that this is a good view into what actually goes in videogames. There are a lot of people who would look at Goldeneye and mistake it for being a game about violence, or stealth, or superspy narratives. And I mean, it is all those things. But like every game, it’s also every other thing, it’s a way for players to engage with a system and find human meaning, and accomplishment, in that engagement. 

Nothing cynical about that. There’s people who do that with other systems, hoping it will yield a Lexus, or a Gulfstream. And most of those systems are explicitly destructive. To my mind, it’s more noble when, like here, the only reward is knowing you killed it."
games  gaming  speedrunning  2014  play  videogames  meaning  accomplishment  life  living  performance  systems  systemsthinking  engagement  kevinslavin 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Free is not for Nothing. — Medium
"If you’ve never experienced it, “free” just seems like a lower number on a slider that has “half-price” in the middle. But free is not a number.

If you paid for your education, you’re likely to understand education in transactional terms. In straightforward economic terms, it means that if you charge some money, you can have some stuff. With more money comes more stuff, higher quality stuff.

But “free” is something different than “less.” And free is not less than cheap. It’s something else entirely.

Instead of education, try thinking about love. There are people who pay for love. Some pay a lot, some pay a little. But let’s be honest: everyone knows that the moment you start paying anything, it’s not just love plus money. It’s something else entirely, and the problems in paying aren’t solved by paying less than others."



"What our experiences often have in common is this: for many of us, Cooper wasn’t even the cheapest way to go to school. And it certainly didn’t offer the best facilities, campus, labs, studios, athletics, or dorm life. It was always about immense sacrifices.

So the question is: why did we go? We went not because of the financial value of free — that is, zero tuition — but rather, because of the academic value of free.

Free for everyone meant that the students who were there were beholden to nothing (nothing!) except their passion, talent, hard work, and brilliance. This unique, very particular sensibility — that, more than any other thing they could build, hire or install — this was the experience of the institution."



"Because “free” affects far more than than a fiscal bottom line. It affects the intentions, behavior, ambition, and performance of everyone in the system. In other words, it determines the academic quality."



"Remaining free is what will allow Cooper Union’s shortcomings to remain what they were for us: a source of pride, of worthy sacrifice, a reason to fight, and strive, and someday, to give back.

Academic quality is a framing, a mindset, for the best students and for the best faculty, all of whom have choices about where to settle down. They won’t come to Cooper because it’s cheaper. They went there because it was free. We were seeking an exceptional environment. Genuinely exceptional. Cooper Union was exceptional.

It came to the edge through mismanagement and misconduct. And now, I fear, misunderstanding. Most anyone who experienced it knows that the tuition-free education was the source of academic excellence, not the threat to it."



"Attending a free school of sacrifices taught me something about what free meant. Building a half-price school of sacrifices is to succumb to the culture of Cubic Zirconium and Corinthian Leather. It’s fool’s gold. Ghetto scrip. It’s not for real, and it’s not for good."

[Felix Salmon after the vote: "The Shame of Cooper Union" http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2014/01/11/the-shame-of-cooper-union/ ]
kevinslavin  cooperunion  free  love  money  education  academics  struggle  effort  meaning  sacrifice  lean  2014  highered  highereducation  tuition  transactions  payment 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Kevin Slavin: Debunking luck
"Pioneering gamer Kevin Slavin takes the PopTech audience on a colorful tour of the history of luck in America, games of chance, gambling and mathematical formulas. "That's amazing, the idea that anything that seems to be built out of chance or instinct or luck can yield to a computational assault.""
2013  kevinslavin  games  play  history  luck  statistics  saschapohflepp  crispinjones  mohansrivastava  shingtat-chung  dariuskazemi  boardgames  gametheory  dice  jacksonlears  stanulam  nicholasmetropolis  georgedyson  computing  johnvonneumann  edwardthorp  teetotums  chance  meritocracy  jasonrohrer  unpredictability  success 
november 2013 by robertogreco
What would it be like if Fellini and Godard... - Fresser.
"What would it be like if Fellini and Godard collaborated on a two minute film about parking in Naples? 

I won’t spoil it, but it’s worth watching. I kept worrying that it was secretly an ad for something, but it’s not. Unless it’s an ad for Italy.

Starts a bit slow, but let it roll."

[Direct link to video in case the embedded one doesn't work: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/feb/06/naples-parking-fiasco-holdup-video ]
fellini  jean-lucgodard  italy  italia  hilarious  humor  napoli  naples  streets  kevinslavin 
february 2013 by robertogreco
FREE COOPER UNION! A COMMUNITY SUMMIT part 6: COMMUNICATION AND TRANSPARENCY - YouTube
[Transcript is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MrB31AqKM2u0Y0NXAcLx2RHRV1d3aPDMJ-1wwadN6ZY/edit ]

"The question, then, is: what makes Cooper Union sustainable?

It means using a resource that’s producing more than it’s consumed.

And the mistake that’s been made, systemically, is believing that the resource at the bottom of all this, the resource that must be sustained, is money.

It’s not money. Money is a derivative. The resource it’s derived from, the resource it maps to, the resource it measures, is trust.

We have all suffered from thinking that it’s the other way around. We have trusted things because they make money. That’s how Enron happens. That’s how Madoff happens. … Collaterized Debt Obligations…"

" challenge you to find the real and sustainable resources -- transparency, communication, trust, and integrity -- resources that can be renewed endlessly. I'll break my back to build on those and I know that's true of everyone here."
resources  highereducation  highered  education  integrity  organizations  accountability  administration  money  sustainability  leadership  tcsnmy  transparency  trust  cooperunion  2011  kevinslavin 
november 2012 by robertogreco
A conversation between Rob Walker and co-founder of Area/Code, Kevin Slavin : Observatory: Design Observer
"I know some of the people involved in Museum of the Phantom City, and they’re good people. But, in order to see the things that they want to point out, I have to go that place — well, okay. But then, once I’m there, the best way to display that information is the juxtaposition of it in front of what I’ve just traveled there to see? I don’t think so. Bottom line, maybe, is that visualizing the invisible is difficult, and might not be best expressed through the metaphor of the camera."

"What's important to me about the kinds of things we were doing with Area/Code — and all the designers around us — is that we were building systems in the middle of the data, some systems that gave us a way to read, and reasons to read it. The stories we were telling with locative games were fiction, but as always, good fiction describes the real world rather precisely."
trading  algorithmictrading  gps  geocaching  design  urban  softwareforcities  software  algorithms  cities  finance  paolaantonelli  reality  phantomcity  augmentedreality  storytelling  fiction  photography  area/code  robwalker  2011  kevinslavin  ar 
may 2012 by robertogreco
designswarm thoughts » Blog Archive » Unexportables
"As I walked through the markets of Hong Kong, staring at jade jewellery & Angry Birds paraphonalia, it occured to me that I could order everything on eBay or Amazon. The foreign land’s treasures have been globalised to a point of total consumer disinterest. The only thing that was left to consume was food & architecture…

Could it be that When you are drowning in a digital culture that says that social is everything then you might forget what makes you special? When Amazon and every ad banner online knows what you like, what happens if you forget what you like. Anti-consumption…

When you can be anywhere, you have to celebrate where you are right then and there. That’s luxury.

True affirmation of identity and uniqueness has become tricky when you are constantly forced into relationships with “friends”, Groupon deals and “other people also bought this” prompts. Perhaps travel and food, as sensorial experiences that one cannot share, will become even more prized than they are now."
ebay  amazon  transferability  nontransferable  transference  postnational  homogeneity  experienceasproduct  anti-consumption  experience  uniqueness  travel  globalization  2012  kevinslavin  digitalnow  now  place  nomadism  nomads  neo-nomads  identity  via:preoccupations  food  luxury 
february 2012 by robertogreco
AA SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE - Lectures Online: Thrilling Wonder Stories 3 (3 of 3)
"We have always regaled ourselves with speculative stories of a day yet to come. In these polemic visions we furnish the fictional spaces of tomorrow with objects and ideas that at the same time chronicle the contradictions, inconsistencies, flaws and frailties of the everyday. Slipping suggestively between the real and the imagined these narratives offer a distanced view from which to survey the consequences of various social, environmental and technological scenarios.

Thrilling Wonder Stories chronicles such tales in a sci fi storytelling jam with musical interludes, live demonstrations and illustrious speakers from the fields of science, art and technology presenting their visions of the near future. Join our ensemble of mad scientists, literary astronauts, design mystics, graphic cowboys, mavericks, visionaries and luminaries for an evening of wondrous possibilities and dark cautionary tales."
mattjones  vincenzonatali  liamyoung  brucesterling  andylockley  philipbeesley  christianlorenzscheurer  charlietuesdaygates  roderichfross  naturalroboticslab  gavinrothery  gustavhoegen  radioscienceorchestra  spov  zeligsound  geoffmanaugh  bldgblog  harikunzru  chriswoebken  davegracer  simoneferracina  jaceclayton  lindsaycuff  nettle  andrewblum  jamesfleming  davidbenjamin  thrillingwonderstories  scifi  sciencefiction  art  technology  julianbleecker  storytelling  designfiction  2011  kevinslavin  towatch  debchachra 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Dear Cooper Union community, We regret to inform... - Fresser.
"Damn. I make no secret of the fact that I didn’t like Cooper Union much when I went there. But I loved Bob Breer. He taught me how to see some things I’d never really looked at, and was the kind of professor who taught from the margins, from the edges, and respected the work that came from those same places.

Among everything else, Bob was — like my dad — a product of the period immediately following WW2, when America (and in Bob’s case, Paris) provided opportunities for veterans who would otherwise never have had them. Which is just a reminder of the value of such things, because that was value that was passed on to at least two generations of his students. He was generous with his ideas and his time, and I have thought of him often. RIP, Bob Breer."
kevinslavin  teaching  bobbreer  margins  edges  opportunity  cooperunion  2011  film  animation  legends  generosity  whatmatters  relationships  tcsnmy  cv 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world | Video on TED.com
"Kevin Slavin argues that we're living in a world designed for -- and increasingly controlled by -- algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can't understand, with implications we can't control."
kevinslavin  algorithms  complexity  coding  ted  data  finance  art  architecture  math  mathematics  control  2011  netflix  markets  bots 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Where the F**k Was I? (A Book) | booktwo.org
"Where Selvadurai is interested in the space between two human cultural identities, I suppose I am interested in the space where human and artificial cultures overlap. (“Artificial” is wrong; feels—what? Prejudiced? Colonial? Anthropocentric? Carboncentric?)

There are no digital natives but the devices themselves; no digital immigrants but the devices too. They are a diaspora, tentatively reaching out into the world to understand it and themselves, and across the network to find and touch one another. This mapping is a byproduct, part of the process by which any of us, separate and indistinct so long, find a place in the world."
books  iphone  maps  mobile  data  jamesbridle  shyamselvaduri  kevinslavin  digitalnatives  digital  devices  internet  web  singularity  mapping  place  meaning  meaningmaking  digitalimmigrants  understanding  learning  exploration  networkedlearning  networks  ai  2011 
june 2011 by robertogreco
haque design + research - on reality, augmented reality, and that talk by kevin
“the only “augmented” reality, is the one that’s constantly being built up through our interactions through the world — whether that’s through a mobile phone, through our sunglasses, or even just through closed eyelids. the process of understanding, it seems to me, is a process of constructing an understanding. the problem with AR, then, is that it assumes that the reality “out there” is fixed, and that we’re merely passive observers that need some kind of markup on it to help understand it “better”. it’s like the terminator analogy you cited: AR is set up so that “we” are sitting inside, simply waiting for info to come in (like arnie “seeing” inside his own head with its own reductio ad absurdam) and all the concomitant repercussions on what this means for our own agency (or lack thereof) in the world. it also assumes that we all see the same thing, which we manifestly do not — and this isn’t because of some distortion in our perceptors…"
visualization  kevinslavin  usmanhaque  augmentedreality  ar  2011  momoamsterdam  via:preoccupations  theory 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Reality *is* Plenty | Serial Consign
"My reading of the talk is that Slavin is extremely curious about augmenting reality—as praxis—and suggesting we (startups, developers and consumers) need to be considerably more thoughtful in our application/exploration of the emerging medium and consider how it might activate other senses – AR should not distill down to "an overlay for all seasons". I think the key takeaway point is in Slavin's suggestion that "reality is augmented when it feels different, not looks different" – which basically echoes Marcel Duchamp's (almost) century-old contempt for the 'retinal bias' of the art market. If AR development (thus far) is lacking imagination, perhaps the problem is that we're very much tethering the medium to our antiquated VR pipe dreams and the web browser metaphor."

[Link rot, so Wayback: http://web.archive.org/web/20110701191941/http://serialconsign.com/2011/06/reality-plenty ]
augmentedreality  kevinslavin  2011  momoamsterdam  virtualreality  ar  marcelduchamp  gregsmith  mapping  praxis  via:preoccupations  vr 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Kevin Slavin – Reality Is Plenty, Thanks. « Mobile Monday Amsterdam
"Kevin Slavin closes the final Mobile Monday Amsterdam with an improvised talk about why reality is plenty. And closing the row of bare feet speakers at the event."

[YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o03wWtWASW4 ]
culture  history  games  psychology  mobile  kevinslavin  ar  augmentedreality  reality  2011  momoamsterdam  tv  television  jeanpiaget  extramission  immersion  mimesis  replication  uncannyvalley  information  tamagotchi  perception  senses  piaget  vision 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Drift Deck
"Welcome to Drift Deck, a different sort of city guide. Think of it as a set of playing cards that help you playfully find your own, untouristy way through city streets. It's a set of simple cues, clues, actions, and provocations to see your way about the city, looking at it from a different angle. It will make you an active part of your own romp around.

Drift Deck will help you capture and share your discoveries. You'll be able to share your journey through the maps you make and the photos you take. Share your Drifts with others around the world! Be active, not passive. Enjoy."
situationist  driftdeck  exploration  derive  dérive  julianbleecker  dawnlozzi  jonbell  davidspencer  brucesterling  bencerveny  kevinslavin  katiesalen  janemcgonigal  ianbogost  janepinckard  urban  urbanism  ios  iphone  applications  cities  perspective  noticing  engagement  observation  interaction  serendipity  maps  mapping  photography  psychogeography  context  context-awareness  undesign  design  arttechnology  landscape  landscapeasinterface  play  games 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Kevin Slavin on Lift 11: Geneva - live streaming video powered by Livestream
Quotes transcribed by David Smith: "things we write but can no longer read"; "three problems … opacity, inscrutability … The third one is darker and a little bit harder to describe — I don't even know what to call it yet"; flash crash; dark pools; 60% of all movies rented on Netflix are rented because Netflix recommended them; 70% of current Wall St trades are algorithms trying to be invisible or other algorithms trying to find the invisible algorithms"
kevinslavin  technology  algorithms  evolution  wallstreet  cities  darkpools  netflix  trading  finance  invisibilealgorithms  financialservices  realestate  nyc  manhattan  songs  film  television  tv  opacity  inscrutability  elevators  lift11  roomba  robots 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The City Is A Battlesuit For Surviving The Future - Future metro - io9
"If you'll excuse the spoiler, the zenith of Hawksmoor's adventures with cities come when he finds the purpose behind the modifications - he was not altered by aliens but by future humans in order to defend the early 21st century against a time-travelling 73rd century Cleveland gone berserk. Hawksmoor defeats the giant, monstrous sentient city by wrapping himself in Tokyo to form a massive concrete battlesuit.

Cities are the best battlesuits we have.

It seem to me that as we better learn how to design, use and live in cities - we all have a future."
design  mattjones  technology  urbanplanning  architecture  urbanism  scifi  postarchitectural  psychology  cities  archigram  comics  urban  future  danhill  adamgreenfield  janejacobs  warrenellis  christopherwren  psychogeography  kevinslavin  detroit  nyc  dubai  mumbai  masdrcity  fiction  film  spacesuits  battlesuits 
september 2009 by robertogreco
The New 'Situation': Frameworks for Spatial Mediation: ETech 2009
"What does the platform look like that allows digital architects to layer interaction models from massively multiplayer gaming and wii-like gestural performance onto urban-scale environments? We are building software, initially for an amusement park in Dubai, that integrates the datastreams from thousands of modular sensor nodes into a high-resolution realtime spatial model of people and objects."
mmo  bencerveny  kevinslavin  areacode  stamendesign  location-based  sensors  wii  gaming  games  performance  datastreams  modeling  objects  etech  2009 
january 2009 by robertogreco

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