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robertogreco : messages   10

Old memories, accidentally trapped in amber by our digital devices
"Part of what humans use technology for is to better remember the past. We scroll back through photos on our phones and on Instagram & Flickr — “that was Fourth of July 5 years ago, so fun!” — and apps like Swarm, Timehop, and Facebook surface old locations, photos, and tweets for us on the regular. But sometimes, we run into the good old days in unexpected places on our digital devices.

Designer and typographer Marcin Wichary started a thread on Twitter yesterday about “UIs that accidentally amass memories” with the initial example of the “Preferred Networks” listing of all the wifi networks his computer had ever joined, “unexpected reminders of business trips, vacations, accidental detours, once frequented and now closed cafés”.

[image: screeshot of macOS wi-fi panel]

Several other people chimed in with their own examples…the Bluetooth pairings list, the Reminders app, the list of alarms, saved places in mapping apps, AIM/iChat status message log, chat apps not used for years, the Gmail drafts folder, etc.

John Bull noted that his list of former addresses on Amazon is “a massive walk down memory line of my old jobs and places of residence”. I just looked at mine and I’ve got addresses in there from almost 20 years ago.

Steven Richie suggested the Weather app on iOS:
I usually like to add the city I will be travelling to ahead of time to get a sense of what it will be like when we get there.

I do this too but am pretty good about culling my cities list. Still, there are a couple places I keep around even though I haven’t been to them in awhile…a self-nudge for future travel desires perhaps.

Kotori switched back to an old OS via a years-old backup and found “a post-breakup message that came on the day i switched phones”:
thought i moved on but so many whatifs flashed in my head when i read it. what if i never got a new phone. what if they messaged me a few minutes earlier. what if we used a chat that did backups differently

Similarly, Richard fired up Google Maps on an old phone and was briefly transported through time and space:
On a similar note to both of these, a while ago I switched back to my old Nokia N95 after my iPhone died. Fired up Google Maps, and for a brief moment, it marked my location as at a remote crossroads in NZ where I’d last had it open, lost on a road trip at least a decade before.

Matt Sephton runs into old friends when he plays Nintendo:
Every time my friends and I play Nintendo WiiU/Wii/3DS games we see a lot of our old Mii avatars. Some are 10 years old and of a time. Amongst them is a friend who passed away a few years back. It’s always so good to see him. It’s as if he’s still playing the games with us.

For better or worse, machines never forget those who aren’t with us anymore. Dan Noyes’ Gmail holds a reminder of his late wife:
Whenever I open Gmail I see the last message that my late wife sent me via Google chat in 2014. It’s her standard “pssst” greeting for me: “aye aye”. I leave it unread lest it disappears.

It’s a wonderful thread…read the whole thing. [https://twitter.com/mwichary/status/996056615928266752 ]

I encounter these nostalgia bombs every once in awhile too. I closed dozens of tabs the other day on Chrome for iOS; I don’t use it very often, so some of them dated back to more than a year ago. I have bookmarks on browsers I no longer use on my iMac that are more than 10 years old. A MacOS folder I dump temporary images & files into has stuff going back years. Everyone I know stopped using apps like Path and Peach, so when I open them, I see messages from years ago right at the top like they were just posted, trapped in amber.

My personal go-to cache of unexpected memories is Messages on iOS. Scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the list, I can find messages from numbers I haven’t communicated with since a month or two after I got my first iPhone in 2007.

[image: screenshot of Messages in iOS]

There and elsewhere in the listing are friends I’m no longer in touch with, business lunches that went nowhere, old flames, messages from people I don’t even remember, arriving Lyfts in unknown cities, old landlords, completely contextless messages from old numbers (“I am so drunk!!!!” from a friend’s wife I didn’t know that well?!), old babysitters, a bunch of messages from friends texting to be let into our building for a holiday party, playdate arrangements w/ the parents of my kids’ long-forgotten friends (which Ella was that?!), and old group texts with current friends left to languish for years. From one of these group texts, I was just reminded that my 3-year-old daughter liked to make cocktails:

[screenshot]

Just like Sally Draper! Speaking of Mad Men, Don’s correct: nostalgia is a potent thing, so I’ve got to stop poking around my phone and get back to work.

Update: I had forgotten this great example about a ghost driver in an old Xbox racing game.
Well, when i was 4, my dad bought a trusty XBox. you know, the first, ruggedy, blocky one from 2001. we had tons and tons and tons of fun playing all kinds of games together — until he died, when i was just 6.

i couldnt touch that console for 10 years.

but once i did, i noticed something.

we used to play a racing game, Rally Sports Challenge. actually pretty awesome for the time it came.

and once i started meddling around… i found a GHOST.

See also this story about Animal Crossing. (via @ironicsans/status/996445080943808512)"
digital  memory  memories  2018  jasonkottke  kottke  traces  animalcrossing  videogames  games  gaming  flickr  wifi  marcinwichary  death  relationships  obsolescence  gmail  googlhangouts  googlechat  iphone  ios  nostalgia  xbox  nintendo  messages  communication  googlemaps  place  time  chrome  mac  osx 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Recordings for Someone | This American Life
"All the stories in this week's show center on personal recordings that one person made for just one other person."



"Act One: Buddy Picture.

Producer Jonathan Goldstein with a story about friendship, mothers and sons, and what some have called the greatest phone message in the world—it circulated at Columbia University in New York City, and had something to do with the Little Mermaid. (19 minutes)"

[Rest of episode: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/203/recordings-for-someone ]
audio  recordings  humor  answeringmachines  2002  via:austinkleon  phones  phonemessages  messages  littlemermaid 
december 2015 by robertogreco
You're Wrong About Voicemail
"Right after my dad died, my phone started ringing and it didn't stop for about a month. I could text but I couldn't really talk on the phone. You can only say thank you so many times before you start to feel insincere. But people wanted to talk to me. And people left me voicemails.

I didn't listen to them immediately. But they were there as a de facto comfort when I needed some. Unlike Snapchat, or whatever ephemeral technology we're obsessed with for five minutes, my voicemails didn't disappear after one listen. I mean, you actually have to really want to delete a voicemail to get rid of it, or it'll fester away in your deleted folder forever. They're indelible that way.

At the time, the messages were as much for me as it was for the person leaving the message, too. People don't always know what to say in sensitive situations, death chief among them. But folks will just keep talking when no one's there to prompt them.

People also say things in a voicemail that they won't say in person. It gives you the ability to ramble without response, and for all the times you've listened to an uninterrupted stream of consciousness left in a voicemail, hoping for someone to get to the point, you actually realize it's wonderful. People don't know what to say in sensitive situations, like talking to a friend whose dad recently died. But left to their own devices on a voicemail, they'll find their way to the right words.

This isn't meant to be sad! Defending voicemail isn't just about grief or coping. I'll admit this big life-changing event made me realize voicemail's value to me. But it has a broader worth. Voicemail is a default archive of your life. You would miss it if it were gone!

I have voicemails I've saved for years on my phone. I have a few I loved so much I uploaded to SoundCloud so there's no chance I'll delete them. One time, my roommate called me pretending to be my dog. Saved it. I have a college friend who teaches shop in mid-Missouri who will call me and tell me stories about the weird things his students say and do. Save lots of those. There's also the occasional drunk dial. I love a good drunk dial. If you're not the one doing the dialing, and if it's not a message from an ex you'd rather not hear from (hats off to iOS 8 number-blocking), a drunk voicemail is a beautiful thing. People are great. People are funny. They're even more of both when they've hammered. Two minutes' worth of word vomit someone left on your phone under the influence is a funny thing to wake up to. It's ok to laugh at someone else's shame every once in a while.

Here's another universal truth: Sometimes, it's just good to hear someone's voice. Email is great, texting is fine, but it takes effort to pick up the phone. Typing and talking have an inverse relationship: as it's gotten easier to write your feelings, it's gotten more difficult to speak them. Even if your feelings are just "I was calling to say hello." That means something.

There's also tradition. Not to be sappy, but I can't think about voicemails without bringing the whole thing back to my dad once more. The dude had a goddamn calendar full of people he would call on their birthdays. From what I've learned in the past couple of months, it numbered in the hundreds. If he knew your birthday, he would call you on it and sing happy birthday. He had what I would call a church choir voice. Which is to say, not great, but he would belt it out nonetheless. If you picked up, he'd sing your ear off. If you screened, he'd sing it to your voicemail."
voicemail  voice  communication  memory  memories  phones  2014  lesliehorn  generations  talking  thinking  streamofconsciousness  messages  messaging  technology  sincerity 
october 2014 by robertogreco
On Telepathy and Philippines: A Conversation with Alexandra Grant and Hélène Cixous | Los Angeles | Artbound | KCET
"Several years ago, the French writer, playwright, and philosopher Hélène Cixous gave me one of her books, "Philippines," as a source for collaboration between her text and my artistic practice. "Philippines" is based around the story of "Peter Ibbetson," a novel by Georges du Maurier, where two childhood friends are separated by class and country, reuniting as adults in a shared dream that takes place in a primal forest. Hélène describes the book as filled with "silhouettes of characters that seemed to have always been with me."

"We all have our treasure books, tales or fables, and they are quite unexpected. For Proust his secret book was [Théophile Gautier's] 'Le Capitaine Fracasse,'" Hélène says, and for Sigmund Freud it was Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book." Her secret book is "Peter Ibbetson." In a conversation that took place in late December 2012 in Paris, Hélène and I are discussing "Peter Ibbetson" as the inspiration for "Philippines," and "Philippines" as the genesis of the exhibition "Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest." The setting is quite intimate, as we are seated at her dining room table with her books and photographs lining the shelves behind us. We talk openly about receiving telepathic messages as points of inspiration ("Is this message for me? And in what language?").

Through exchanges with Hélène like the one documented here, I've made "Philippines" my own secret book and a path into the Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest, an art exhibition that is a place of dialogue, day-dreaming and encounters with the Other, "both good and bad." Hélène calls this exhibition "a place where passersby will suddenly discover that it's them who have been expected." She turns to me and says, "That's how it happened when we met."

And to you, the reader, "We've been waiting for you to join us on the telepaths into the 'Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest.'""
alexandragrant  losangeles  art  books  hélènecixous  2013  interviews  proust  rudyardkipling  théophilegautier  telepathy  empathy  dreams  shareddreams  freud  peteribbetson  daydreaming  messages  communication  language  marcelproust 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Decoding The City: Infrastructural Graffiti | Design Decoded
"Cities around the world are covered in spray-painted hieroglyphics and cryptic designations scrawled on public surfaces; unintelligible tags and arcane signs intended to communicate messages to a specialized audience with a trained eye. Such markings are so prevalent that they just blend into the urban patina of dirt and disrepair and go largely unnoticed. I’m not talking about illegal graffiti. Rather, the officially sanctioned infrastructural “tagging” employed by public works departments around the country.

You’ve probably seen these markings on streets and sidewalks. Multi-colored lines, arrows and diamonds denoting the presence of some subterranean infrastructure or encode instruction for construction or maintenance workers. A secret language that temporarily manifests the invisible systems that power our world. Recently, Columbia’s Studio-X blog shared the decoder ring that unlocks these secret messages:"
codes  hieroglyphics  annotation  streets  cities  urban  urbanism  symbols  messages  via:vruba 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Damn Interesting • The Mysterious Toynbee Tiles
"In 1992, a chap in Philadelphia by the name of Bill O’Neill starting noticing strange tiles randomly embedded in local roads. They were generally about the size of a license plate, and each had some variation of the same strange message: “TOYNBEE IDEA IN KUbricK’s 2001 RESURRECT DEAD ON PLANET JUPiTER.” They varied a bit in color and arrangement, but they were all made of an unidentifiable hard substance, and many had footnotes as strange as the message itself, such as “Murder every journalist, I beg you,” and “Submit. Obey.” Some were accompanied by lengthy, paranoid diatribes about the newsmedia, jews, and the mafia."
via:britta  toynbeetiles  annotation  geography  streetart  graffiti  tiles  howto  tutorials  messages  waymarking  wayfinding  arnoldtoynbee 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Drop.io: Simple Private Exchange
"enables you to create simple private exchange points called "drops." The service has no email signup and no "accounts." Each drop is private, and only as accessible as you choose to deliberately make it. Create multiple drops, add any type of media, and
webapps  sharing  filesharing  storage  tools  web2.0  onlinetoolkit  free  collaborative  messages  exchange  mobile  podcasting  dropbox  applications  record  video  audio 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Wii - Iwata Asks - Wii As A Shared Space For All the Family
"I really hope Wii will prove useful in providing chances for this type of interaction between family members."
wii  play  families  children  interaction  communication  videogames  messages  nintendo  design  software  parenting 
november 2006 by robertogreco
MobileSCOUT
"Mobile Scout is a global pubic art project that collects audio narratives of your local surroundings, personal rituals, and public sightings. Using your mobile phone, you leave a voice message of your observations with the Mobile Scout Ranger, our automa
art  audio  annotation  internet  mobile  phones  projects  voice  web  locative  location-based  social  location  folksonomy  taxonomy  collaborative  music  messages  messaging 
january 2006 by robertogreco

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