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Infovore » Toca Builders, and the spirit of Seymour Papert
"Toca Builders takes the abstract building of Minecraft – tools attached to a disembodied perspective (albeit one hindered by some degree of personhood – factors such as gravity, and so forth) – and embodies them to help younger children answer the question which tool would you use to place a block where you need to? Or sometimes backwards: which block shall we place next? It is not quite as freeform as Minecraft, but it actually forces the user to think a little harder about planning ahead, lining up his builders, and which builders go together well. Measure twice, cut once.

To that end, it’s much more like real-world building.

Papert was very clear about one particular point: the value of this is not to think in mechanical ways; it’s actually the opposite. By asking children to think in a mechanical way temporarily, they end up thinking about thinking more: they learn that there are many ways to approach a problem, and they can choose which way to think about things; which might be most appropriate.

And so Toca Builders is, in many ways, like all good construction toys: it’s about more than just building. It’s about planning, marshalling, making use of a limited set of tools to achieve creative goals. And all the while, helping the user understand those tools by making them appear in the world, taking up space in it, colliding with one another, and needing moving. All so that you can answer the question when you’re stuck: well, if you were Blox the Hammer, what would you do?

Some of what looks like clunkiness, then, is actually a subtle piece of design.

If you’re interested in the value of using computers to teach – not using computers to teach about computers, but using computers to teach about the world, then Mindstorms is a must-read. It’s easy to dismiss LOGO for its simplicity, and to forget the various paradigms it bends and breaks (more so than many programming languages) – and it’s remarkable to see just how long ago Papert and his collaborators were touching on ideas that are still fresh and vital today."
via:blackbeltjones  computation  edtech  education  games  gaming  minecraft  tocabuilders  tocaboca  seymourpapert  constructivism  logic  thinking  criticalthinking  2013  objectsforthinking  mindstorms  logo  computationallogic  computing  constructiontoys  planning  problemsolving  debugging  troubleshooting  ios  applications  iphone  ipad  coding  children  programming  teaching 
june 2013 by robertogreco
The Most Popular Phone in the World
"This is what the next generation of the mega-selling phone will look like. They'll be rough facsimiles of the high-end smartphones forged for well-heeled buyers, stripped of fat and excess—an embodiment of compromise. They'll be 90% of the phone for 20% of the price, with FM radios instead of digital music stores, and flashlights instead of LED flashes. This is how the other half will smartphone, if you want to be so generous as to call the developing world's users a half. We're not even close."
via:blackbeltjones  gizmodo  development  nokia  mobile  phones  technology  usability  design  developingworld  smartphones 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Archipelago | URBAGRAM
"The modern metropolis can often feel like a social archipelago – fragmented islands of social activity separated by large areas dedicated to commercial workplaces, flows of vehicles, residential sprawl or industrial sites. These islands of high density social encounter can be mapped using emerging data from location-based networks such as Foursquare. By visualising the aggregate data produced by these social networks, we can see how social activity in a city is distributed. In these maps, activity on the Foursquare network is aggregated onto a grid of ‘walkable’ cells (each one 400×400 meters in size) represented by dots. The size of each dot corresponds to the level of activity in that cell. By this process we can see social centers emerge in each city."
foursquare  maps  urbanism  visualization  data  cities  social  urban  urbagram  via:blackbeltjones  mikebatty 
august 2010 by robertogreco
A park in the Netherlands that recreates the Pleistocene
"In the Oostvaardersplassen, a wildlife preserve in the Netherlands, the Pleistocene lives again. Herds of wild horses and cattle roam the region, just as they might have - along with woolly mammoths - 20 thousand years ago.

What's interesting about the Oostvaardersplassen is what it reveals about how herds of wild herbivores can change a biosphere. While many "wild" regions in Europe are forested today, that's probably not how they would have looked during the Pleistocene when herds of wild horses, bison, and megafauna roamed the lands. These creatures range over many miles, chomping on the vegetation, which results in a landscape like the one you see in these images - full of grassy regions, punctuated by copses of trees."
pleistocene  animals  landscape  biospheres  oostvaardersplassen  nature  wildlife  wildlifepreserves  europe  netherlands  horses  cattle  recreation  via:blackbeltjones 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Lee Maguire – Diegetic Winks
"Every work of fiction exists in its own fictive world, its own diegesis. Not just the science fiction worlds with their technological advances, or the comic book worlds in which NY’s skyline includes the Baxter Building, flying cars, flying men. Even the everyday, ordinary, real-world stuff.

Even if the movie never shows you a US President that doesn’t match the one you saw on the news, there are still two things that usually separate that world from reality:

1. The fiction & characters you’re witnessing don’t exist as fiction w/in the reality. No character on EastEnders watches EastEnders.

2. The actors portraying the characters also don’t exist in the fictive reality. Jason Bourne would find it hard to keep a low profile if people kept mistaking him for the actor Matt Damon.

It’s what TV Tropes calls the “Celebrity Paradox“.

Sometimes it’s amusing to break these rules…[examples]"
diegesis  fiction  writing  sciencefiction  celebrityparadox  via:blackbeltjones 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Why aren’t games about winning anymore?
"But if videogame achievements can make us ignore the end goal in favour of a little gold star, is there any doubt that real-life "achievements" can distract us from what’s actually important in life?

Certainly, incentives can be used to drive good behaviour, but there’s no guarantee that companies or organisations able to provide the most effective incentives will be the ones with the most altruistic motives. (And, of course, if I’m the one unconsciously making up my own achievements, I know they’re not always going to be what’s best for me.)

I’m not saying that achievements in videogames are inherently a bad thing. I’m just saying that perhaps we should take a step back and consider how they make us relate to the world."
games  gaming  videogames  jesseschell  motivation  achievements  competitions  productivity  gamedesign  infinitegames  process  goals  incentives  behavior  life  distraction  theory  via:blackbeltjones 
august 2010 by robertogreco
k-punk: Optimistic Melancholia
"This notion of "optimistic melancholia" has a resonance just now, precisely because it's so alien to today's affective regime, to the relentless positivity that Ivor Southwood identifies as central to the sell-yourself culture. Even as it attempts to photoshop out all negativity, this mandatory positivity is only the other side to capitalist realism's hedonic depression. If nothing else, optimistic melancholia reminds us of a culture with a wider emotional bandwidth."
optimism  melancholy  optimisticmelancholia  k-punk  via:blackbeltjones  negativity  capitalism  realism  hedonics  depression  emotions  culture  2010  nostalgia  memory  markfisher 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Jugaad: Questions for Santosh Ostwal | The Economist
"SANTOSH OSTWAL, husband and father of two, lost his apartment in 2001 after quitting his job in Pune to solve an engineering problem he’d been thinking about for twenty years. Today his solution – a mobile-phone adaptation that triggers irrigation pumps remotely – is saving water in India and helping more than 10,000 farmers avoid several taxing, dangerous long walks a day. I talked to Mr Santosh for a podcast earlier this year, but it’s worth digging back into the transcript now to help explain the Indian concept of jugaad, an inspired kind of duct-taped ingenuity that employs only the tools at hand."
via:blackbeltjones  jugaad  santoshostwal  india  hacking  hardware  constraints  makedo  localsolutions  theadjacentpossible  engineering  chimericthinking 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Hyperbole and a Half: This is Why I'll Never be an Adult
"I have repeatedly discovered that it is important for me not to surpass my capacity for responsibility. Over the years, this capacity has grown, but the results of exceeding it have not changed.
adulthood  humor  comics  daily  procrastination  productivity  psychology  health  responsibility  housework  tedium  via:blackbeltjones  distraction  sleep  insomnia 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Five Billion « Thoughts
"It’s important to note that this number does not reflect either the number of people owning a mobile phone and that the United Nations Millennium Declaration remains a crucial milestone to reach for the mobile industry. However it shows that homes, bridges, cars, laptops and netbooks, white goods, plants, spimes, and other objects have a mobile phone subscription and are likely to become the most important target segment for mobile operators around the world."
mobile  phones  spimes  via:blackbeltjones  networkedobjects  infrastructure  urbancomputing  everyware  communications  information  raphaelgrignani 
july 2010 by robertogreco
potlatch: is urine the new smog?
"If the future belongs to behavioural economics, it's interesting to consider what might be the next totemic example. Somewhat disappointingly, it appears to be urinary accuracy. Nudge made famous the urinals in Amsterdam Schiphol airport, pictured here on the right, which feature a small picture of a fly (the dot in the centre of the bowl) as a 'nudge' towards greater concentration on the direction of a gentleman's aim. This example became a metaphor for 'libertarian paternalism', of how policy-makers could improve behaviour by altering 'choice architectures'."
economics  behavior  behavioraleconomics  latecapitalism  nature  pollution  society  subjectivity  choice  framing  via:blackbeltjones 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Gadget Patrol: iPad - Charlie's Diary
"The iPad doesn't feel like a computer. It feels like a magic book — like the ancestor of the Young Lady's Primer in Neil Stephenson's The Diamond Age. It's a book with hypertext everywhere, moving pictures and music and an infinity of content visible through its single morphing page. The sum is much weirder than the aggregate of its parts. Criticizing the iPad for not doing Netbook-or laptop-like things is like criticising an early Benz automobile for not having reins and a bale of hay for the horses: it's a category error."
ipad  via:blackbeltjones  charliestross  computing  apple  technology 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Scott Rosenberg's Wordyard » For the media biz, iPad 2010 = CDROM 1994
"The Web triumphed over CD-ROM for a slew of reasons, not least its openness. But the central lesson of this most central media transition of our era, one whose implications we’re still digesting, is this: People like to interact with one another more than they like to engage with static information. Every step in the Web’s evolution demonstrates that connecting people with other people trumps giving them flashy, showy interfaces to flat data."
cd-rom  change  futureofjournalism  history  ipad  via:blackbeltjones  business  publishing  media 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Chat Roulette - Vex Appeal
"Cocks aside, the instantly frustrating thing with the experience is the level of passivity from most participants - clicking “next” endlessly, demanding the internet give them something to see, without considering what others might be seeing in them. I exhausted myself trying to emit a gigawatt of sunshine, big smiles and thumbs-up every two seconds, then, when my face started aching, playing everyone the 7th chord from the beginning of “Hard Days Night.”

But occasionally when I found someone who was doing a fun thing of their own (see above) or who was at least receptive, it was mildly rewarding, and the randomly rewarding nature of that experience meant I did spend a good hour doing my best to make the odd person smile.

Even so, by the end, the endless wave of humanity ground me down, and before I knew it I was clicking Next with the same indifference as the next bored guy, after bored guy, after bored guy."
via:blackbeltjones  chatroulette  internet  culture  society  entertainment  boredom 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Noise Between Stations » Why I Think Posture Makes the iPad Different
"Consequently the mood while interacting with an iPad may be more relaxed. The interaction has the potential to be more passive, though not necessarily. We’ll make bigger gestures and pivot at the elbow and shoulder rather than the wrist. We’ll scroll/size less than on a phone, using more eye movement to scan the screen. And while Apple has had to succumb to menus to make more functions available, we have the potential for powerful new forms of direct manipulation.
via:blackbeltjones  apple  interactiondesign  ipad  devices  touch  body  2010  posture  ergonomics  hci  gestures  scrolling  bodies 
january 2010 by robertogreco
David Galbraith’s Blog » Blog Archive » The top 10 things that defined ‘the noughties’, by category.
"The next decade is going to suck, but it might produce some great art.

Goodbye to cupcakes, and X-factor and Paris Hilton and Dubai tower blocks, and all that."
davidgalbraith  lists  culture  2000s  art  society  architecture  design  tv  television  film  music  food  cupcakes  celebrity  books  reading  stevejobs  flickr  vimeo  internet  web  thewire  errolmorris  thefogofwar  damienhirst  globalwarming  collapse  finance  sustainability  growth  via:blackbeltjones 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Kosmograd: Learning from Niketown
"The 2002 Scorpion KO campaign was centred around a cage-soccer tournament of 3-a-side, first-goal wins, an extension of a TV advert, directed by Terry Gilliam, and fronted by Eric Cantona. ... In connecting young people with an urban identity reinforced on the streets, and via online and mobile messaging, Nike created a powerful way of representing the city both with space and with signs, a 'Situationist' urban realm...The new brand city described by Borries ... is a dynamic city, a setting for organizing 'situations.' In order to reach even the smallest target groups, the media will be deployed in this city far more interactively than they are today. Streets, fallow zones, interstitial spaces and ruins will play essential roles in the brand name city. These spaces will not be overlaid with advertising in classical fashion, but will instead become the objects of discriminating marketing strategies...We have as much to learn from Nike as Venturi, from Niketown as Levittown."
via:blackbeltjones  architecture  economics  urbanism  marketing  uk  branding  nike  advertising  brands  london  situationist  parks  guydebord 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Fantastic Journal: "This Means Something!"
"The film is obsessed with issues of representation and non-verbal communication. The famous five-note score that the scientists use to communicate with the aliens, for example, effectively replaces speech...Roy can't communicate his obsession through conventional language & is forced into non-verbal communication. He has to make what he is thinking in order to express it. And he's not alone in his obsession. Another character - Gillian Guiler - is also obsessed with Devil's Tower. She draws it over and over again...In making a plea for tolerance the film also seems to implicitly reject language, as if our primary means of communication were somehow ultimately a handicap to understanding. Language seems to dissolve during the film, becoming ever more useless until it dissipates into the abstract lights and sounds used by the scientists to communicate to the aliens. It is, in many ways, an anti-logocentric film, a celebration of the non-verbal and the techno-haptic."

[via: ]
nonverbalcommunication  design  science  visualization  communication  via:blackbeltjones  criticism  sculpture  process  sciencefiction  scifi  fiction  narrative  making  craft  expression  film  closeencountersofthethirdkind  drawing  music  human 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Charlie's Diary: Designing society for posterity
"One thing I'm pretty certain of is that the protestant work ethic underlying American-style capitalism, with its added dog-eat-dog ethos, would be a recipe for disaster aboard a generation ship — regardless of whether it's run as a democracy or a dictatorship. American (or British) working hours are a bizarre cultural aberration — and a very local one. More to the point, competitive capitalism tends to reward increases in operational efficiency, but efficiency is most easily optimized by paring away at the margins — a long-term lethal threat to life in this situation. The "tragedy of the commons" has got to be engineered out aboard a generation ship, otherwise the residents will wake up one [virtual] morning to discover someone's acquired a monopoly on the oxygen supply. And that's just for starters."
society  politics  government  space  sociology  governance  us  uk  future  posterity  via:blackbeltjones  work  economics  capitalism  competition 
november 2009 by robertogreco » Stop Building Tanks
"The last time we faced a crisis on the scale of the global climate crash, the rational solution was to build tanks. Now the rational, least painful solution is to stop building tanks, and use the money to address a real threat."
via:blackbeltjones  georgemonbiot  globalwarming  environment  economics  defense  military  politics  uk  climate  solutions  change  gamechanging  reform 
july 2009 by robertogreco
adaptive path » blog » Brandon Schauer » use of concept: the best proof of concept
"If you’re trying to get a better experience out in the world, the best proof of your ideas is probably just doing it. It can take months & years to plan, spec & align organizational bureaucracies around a strange new idea. But making your idea concrete enough to be used by real people can remove obstacles, win hearts & create real traction. The San Francisco city government is like other governments, not particularly known for its speed & nimbleness. But recently they’ve discovered the power of calling projects “pilots” to eschew the normal policies and procedures in favor of quickly learning if an idea is in fact a good one. ... #To get permission, call it a “reversible pilot”. Worst case = learn a lot & you’ll know the idea...isn’t worth pursuing. Best case = hot new experience on your hands. #Clarify what you want to learn. It’ll help you focus on what to pilot & for how long. #Control costs, not details... [no] need [for] perfect implementation. # Plan the next step."
design  urbanism  sanfrancisco  prototyping  skunkworks  reversiblepilots  urbanrenewal  adaptivepath  adaptivereuse  grassroots  tcsnmy  innovation  community  change  business  bureaucracy  architecture  concepts  ideas  via:blackbeltjones 
july 2009 by robertogreco
YouTube - Nearest Tube Augmented Reality App for iPhone 3GS from acrossair [see also:]
"acrossair, the makers of the iPhone app bring you Nearest Tube one of the first augmented reality apps to go live in the iPhone AppStore. Forget boring 2D tube maps! Try this amazing new application that tells Londoners where their nearest tube station is via their iPhones video function.
augmentedreality  iphone  applications  location  geolocation  underground  london  gps  compass  via:blackbeltjones  ios  ar 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Design Interactions | Vanessa Harden | The Subversive Gardener
"Continuing with my investigation into existing social tribes, this project looks at the Guerilla Gardening subculture. The members of this group secretly meet at night to illegally plant flowers, shrubs and vegetables in neglected urban spaces. Although their actions seem harmless, they are still viewed by the authorities as illegal and prosecutable. The Subversive Gardener explores various methods of disguising gardening paraphernalia in everyday attire and accessories, drawing on influences from militaria and spy gadgetry."
via:blackbeltjones  gardening  activism  guerilla  guerillaart  subversion 
june 2009 by robertogreco
I have this idea of making a squiggly line out of... - Vex Appeal
"Location-based stuff is rather hyped-up, but I’m not really interested in “sharing my location” or “finding great nearby restaurants” or any of those ‘useful’ things. What I really want is a map with a zingly blue dot (me) pinging about, leaving behind a pretty contrail of past activity. And you could probably zoom in and out for varying levels of detail, and control the length of the contrail, but it’s basically a map, plus a time scrubber, plus points on a map displayed/connected sequentially. ... So, I’m looking for some kind of service I can update using a location tracking tool, and then displays these points in space & time in an interesting visual way. iPhone app + intermediary + web app, I expect… any suggestions?"
via:blackbeltjones  maps  mapping  quantifiedself  personalinformatics  iphone  patterns  discovery  applications  ios 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Sobrassada - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Sobrassada is a raw, cured sausage from the Balearic Islands made with ground pork, paprika and salt and other spices. Sobrassada, along with botifarró are traditional Majorcan sausage meat products prepared in the laborious but festive rites that still mark the autumn and winter pig slaughter in Majorca. The chemical principle that makes sobrassada is the dehydration of meat under certain weather conditions (high humidity and mild cold) which are typical of the late Majorcan autumn. For the natives of the island it is a product similar to what the traditional British white pudding or black pudding is for British and Irish people."
food  spain  sausage  edg  glvo  sobrassada  majorca  via:blackbeltjones  españa 
june 2009 by robertogreco
#2 Every Building with a Shoebox in it’s Basement « geobloggers
"a + b + c) Overtime a building will gain a corpus of photos not only of itself but also it’s neighbors.

The building need not do anything else with the photos, its main job it to protect them. Obviously it would be lovely if it did do something with the photos, an ever changing wall of shimmering self images and so on, but yada, yada, copyright, blah, etc. The city becomes it’s own protective cultural distributed archiving network.… what if Cloudgate were built with servers and wireless inside, right from the start, offering to consume the photos taken of it. You take a shot with a wireless enabled camera and it could store a copy for you. It’s building up a library of itself, in all seasons, in all weather. Meanwhile you, have a backup, findable by time and browsing, stored safely in the Cloud!"
via:blackbeltjones  architecture  memory  photography  publicspace  revdancatt  ubicomp  embedded  flickr  future  wifi  geotagging 
june 2009 by robertogreco
gewgaw » Moving On
"This makes career planning a bit difficult. If I were soully focused on climbing the ladder - I’d hop from short project to short project, asking for title bumps and raises. It’s a common strategy for managers and (it seems) fairly successful within larger companies. But because I care more about ideals (good game, good team, player/creativity focus) than ends - I often have a hard time articulating exactly where I want to be in the next 3 years - let alone 5."
via:blackbeltjones  careers  management  administration  ideals  projects  cv  goals  work  organizations 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Raph’s Website » The perfect geek age?
"Was being born in 1971 the perfect time to be born a geek? ... [long list of examples here] ... Looking back on it, it makes me feel a bit sorry for those born ten years later. And I can’t judge ten years earlier, but so much of that seemed to hit at the right age. Looking back at history, it seems like the last big waves of popular invention like this were decades ago. Teens with hot rods? Engineering in the 20s? I see my kids now, and they are so clearly getting the finished products of so much, not the products in the process of invention… Am I wrong?"
1971  cv  history  childhood  transformation  videogames  dungeonsanddragons  libraries  internet  web  online  wikipedia  computers  programming  geek  via:blackbeltjones  raphkoster  mac  education  learning  culture  popculture  gamechanging  flux  google  sciencefiction  futureshock  starwars  comics 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Products We Like: The Pocket
"Pockets are a great piece of “technology,” if I can use that term loosely. Pockets not only serve as impromptu gloves, they also allow us to carry many more things than we otherwise could, and safely. Early “pockets” were just bags that hung around the waist, tied to a belt. But those were too precarious and easily stolen, so a slit in clothing was made, and the bag was placed inside the clothing, next to the skin. Eventually, around the late 1700s, pockets began being sewn right into the clothes themselves, so that remembering and wearing the bag weren’t an issue.

The “technology” and subsequent (centuries of) innovations that led us to the pocket have long since faded into a distant memory. The pocket became transparent, expected. Which is what the best technologies do. Although the pocket (like most technologies) affected other technologies. It reverberates. Once pockets became a standard, men mostly stopped wearing tights and switched to trousers. We still design objects to “fit in a pocket.”

So the next time you put your pocket PC or mobile device into your pocket, remember too that the pocket itself was once an innovative product."
via:blackbeltjones  clothing  fashion  sewing  technology  history  interaction  design  culture  innovation  pockets 
april 2009 by robertogreco
Scratchtweet - Scratch Connections
"Scratchtweet is a bare-bones program that allows a Scratch project to send tweet updates to via a small Python program that accesses the Twitter API while also communicating with Scratch through its external sensors. This is a simple program that you can build on to do other cool things with twitter."
scratch  twitter  python  networking  edg  via:blackbeltjones 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Open the Future: The End of Long-Term Thinking
"My intent, from this point forward, is to stop talking about the "long-term." No more long-term problems, long-term solutions, long-term changes. No more long-term perspectives. In its place, I'm going to start talking about "multigenerational" issues. Multigenerational problems, solutions, changes. Multigenerational perspectives."
jamaiscascio  via:blackbeltjones  future  futurology  generations  longterm  language  terminology 
march 2009 by robertogreco
William Gibson: Bohemian
"Reg is quite the model of the successful bohemian, isn’t he?” “I suppose he is.” “He’s always working on something, Reg. Always. Always something new.” He looked at her, across the heavy silver pots. “Are you?” And he had her, then, she knew. Looking straight into her. “No,” she said, there being nothing else really to say. “You should be,” he said. “The secret, of course, is that it doesn’t really matter what it is. Whatever you do, because you are an artist, will bring you, however randomly, to the next thing of your own."
via:blackbeltjones  creativity  williamgibson  freelancing  freelance  free  freedom  writing  art  bohemians  postmaterialism  postconsumerism  glvo  productivity 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Flâneur - Wikipedia
"In the context of modern-day architecture and urban planning, designing for flâneurs is one way to approach issues of the psychological aspects of the built environment. Architect Jon Jerde, for instance, designed his Horton Plaza and Universal CityWalk projects around the idea of providing surprises, distractions, and sequences of events for pedestrians." ... "The most notable application of flâneur to street photography probably comes from Susan Sontag in her 1977 essay, On Photography. She describes how, since the development of hand-held cameras in the early 20th century, the camera has become the tool of the flâneur: "The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes. Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flâneur finds the world 'picturesque.' (pg. 55)""
situationist  photography  urban  urbanism  travel  philosophy  walking  art  culture  education  architecture  history  theory  baudelaire  flaneur  hortonplaza  sandiego  universalcitywalk  jonjerde  losangeles  psychogeography  observation  technology  susansontag  glvo  cv  via:blackbeltjones  derive  dérive 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Terminus (god) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"In Roman religion, Terminus was the god who protected boundary markers; his name was the Latin word for such a marker. Sacrifices were performed to sanctify each boundary stone, and landowners celebrated a festival called the Terminalia in Terminus' honor each year on February 23. The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill was thought to have been built over a shrine to Terminus, and he was occasionally identified as an aspect of Jupiter under the name Jupiter Terminalis.
via:blackbeltjones  boundaries  borders  cities  gods  mythology  myths  ancientrome  ancients  tcsnmy 
february 2009 by robertogreco
potlatch: 'post-speculative melancholia'
"But I keep feeling something similar in relation to retail and advertising. The efforts being taken to encourage spending are beginning to feel half-hearted and self-conscious. The VAT cut was issued in the way that a teacher threatens a class with punishment, long after they've lost control over them. Then there is the surreally banal advertising, that probably would have exuded confidence and brashness during the boom years." ... "post-speculative melancholia, in which a sweeping utilitarianism suddenly arises, in which technologies must do something or else get lost and the drugged up sense of nothing mattering is followed by a come-down in which the whole thing seems regrettable."
via:blackbeltjones  economics  crisis  2008  2009  consumerculture  consumerism  postmaterialism  melancholy  latecapitalism  bubbles  recession  advertising  critique  emotions  psychology 
january 2009 by robertogreco
The Demon-Haunted World - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The book is intended to explain the scientific method to laymen, and to encourage people to learn critical or skeptical thinking. It explains methods to help distinguish between ideas that are considered valid science, and ideas that can be considered pseudoscience. Sagan states that when new ideas are offered for consideration, they should be tested by means of skeptical thinking, and should stand up to rigorous questioning."
science  skepticism  skeptic  books  carlsagan  via:blackbeltjones  freedom  atheism 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Infovore » If Gamers Ran The World
"So what does a future run by games look like? Well, if they can handle complexity, and they’ve stocked up all the magic item chests ready for when scarcity hits, and they’ve failed enough times at the low-stakes games that they know they can make it at the high-stakes ones, and if our environment is one carefully planned out for effective growth rather than rammed together for efficiency, and if they understand how to handle the ever-more complex forms of communications necessary to deal with the large, distributed teams of people necessary to understand complexity - and if they can create a world that supplies and consumes the data necessary to make smart, informed, decisions - then they might just make it awesome."
tomarmitage  complexity  sustainability  education  learning  culture  future  generations  games  gaming  play  failure  via:blackbeltjones  systems  data  politics  change  gamechanging  communication  management  consumption  hypermiling  prius  information  lcproject  problemsolving  design  technology  society  futurism  thinking  barackobama  videogames 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Rory Carroll: Could climate change and economic collapse consign us to the same fate as the Mayans? | Environment | The Guardian
"In common with the Maya, we're not very rational in how we think about how the world works. They had their rituals and sacrifices. Magic, in other words. And we also believe in magic: that money and innovation can get us out of the inherent limits of our system, that the old rules don't apply to us."
maya  ancientcivilization  ancients  collapse  crisis  economics  money  finance  us  growth  climate  politics  ecology  future  history  tcsnmy  classideas  civilization  environment  nature  food  via:blackbeltjones 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Here’s what happens when you look for truth: Life Without Buildings Interviews Charlie Kaufman : Life Without Buildings
"I had this thought at the time that the only reason that this exists is because somebody lived in a culture at that time where you could work on something for 25 years and it was acceptable, you know? It was like, this is your work. He wasn’t trying to be famous, he wasn’t trying to put a lot of stuff into the world, and he was comfortable with the idea although I’m sure it was partly because he was a monk. It was just “this is what i’m going to do.” And we don’t really have anything like that now in the world. It feels like…it feels like we’re lacking because we have this model of work which is almost like industrial production where you have to keep doing new things. You’re only as good as the last thing you did and you have to come out with new work. A lot of it is by what our culture suggests is important but you also need to make a living so you need to keep working."
culture  architecture  movies  design  film  nyc  space  via:blackbeltjones  charliekaufman  glvo  cv  slow  work  time  learning  pace  synecdoche  writing  narrative  storytelling  howwework 
november 2008 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Magazine | The man who reads dictionaries [I need to think about how these quotes settle with "Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees"]
""Knowing what to call something makes me more aware of that thing. For instance, it's not terribly useful for me to know that [the sound of] leaves rustled by the trees is a psithurism. "I don't want to walk down the street with my girlfriend saying: 'Listen, there's a psithurism.' But knowing it means I pay more attention to it." Similarly, knowing that "undisonant" is the adjective to describe the sound of crashing waves and that "apricity" is the warmth of the winter sun brings these things more often to mind."

[See also: ]
words  language  english  observation  via:blackbeltjones  dictionary  dictionaries  oed  books  culture  definitions  meaning 
october 2008 by robertogreco
"The unlimited replication of information is generally a public good... The problem starts, as the current crisis demonstrates, when unregulated replication is applied to money itself. Highly complex computer-generated financial instruments (known as derivatives) are being produced, not from natural factors of production or other goods, but purely from other financial instruments. When the Exchequer splits the tally stick in two, the King keeps the gold and silver, and you keep one half of the stick. Derivatives are the equivalent of splitting off (and selling) further copies of the same stick—or the "clipping" and debasing of coinage that led Isaac Newton to spend the later part of his life reforming the financial system as Master of the Mint. The result is a game of musical chairs that follows von Neumann's model of an expanding economic equilibrium—until the music stops, or we bring in Isaac Newton, whichever comes first."
economics  history  psychology  business  meltdown  banking  mathematics  finance  crisis  2008  markets  money  information  georgedyson  accounting  via:blackbeltjones 
october 2008 by robertogreco
k-punk: Be positive... or else
"There's an interesting parallel between this necessity of positive thinking on the markets and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (recently attacked by Darian Leader in The Guardian). Cognitive Behavioural therapists draw on data which suggests that most people survive everyday life by having an inflated idea of their own abilities. "Realism" would therefore be dysfunctional (and would be likely to lead to depression), just as "positive thinking" increases people's confidence and capacities. Leader attacks Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for being a market-driven, quick-fix solution to psychological problems which require longer term (psychoanalytic) treatment, but it is the idea that positive thinking is mandatory which most closely links neoliberalism and CBT."
via:blackbeltjones  latecapitalism  markets  psychology  economics  psychoanalysis  depression  realism  inflatedopinions  bubbles  optimism  crisis  pessimism  cv  k-punk  markfisher 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Charlie's Diary: The bumpy ride hits toytown
"We've never actually seen a true global recession in a Web 2.0 world. What's it going to look like? How is it going to differ from a recession in a pre-internet world? Is it going to accelerate the hollowing-out of the retail high street as economy-conscious shoppers increasingly move to online shopping and comparison systems like Froogle? Are we going to see homeless folks not only living in their cars but telecommuting from them, using pay-as-you-go 3G cellular modems, cheap-ass Netbooks, and rented phone numbers to give the appearance of still having a meatspace office? Is the increasing performance curve of consumer electronics going to give way to a deflationary price war as embattled producers try to hold on to market share as Moore's Law cuts the ground away from beneath their feet? What have I missed?"
economics  futurism  latecapitalism  web  via:blackbeltjones  web2.0  change  tcsnmy  classideas  superstruct  recession  crisis  2008  markets  money  finance  banking  consumers  consumption  online  froogle  amazon  buyinghabits  deflation  worlplace  workspace  coworking  nomads  homelessness  neo-nomads  workspaces 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Books, beaches and Bierut - the johnson banks thought for the week
" became clear that Mr B was a good writer...a really good writer. One of his partners once confessed to me that they got him to write their proposals because he was so much better at them. Perhaps a bit of context is needed here because there still aren’t that many designers who can write. It’s not a great surprise that primarily visual people should feel a little word shy - designers have often gathered around them good suits to help them communicate, whether through proposals, powerpoint or presentations...In essence the main writing tips I’ve gleaned from the essays are as follows: Don’t be afraid to write in the first person...Don’t be afraid to side-track yourself or try a different topic…Don’t worry about revealing the subject of your article until the first or second (or sometimes third paragraph)...Do be afraid to hand out advice...Do worry about how you start, and crucially, end, a piece...Oh, and don’t be afraid to write a list."
michaelbierut  writing  design  designwriting  communication  essays  howto  tips  via:blackbeltjones 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Shirky: Situated Software
"We've been killing conversations about software with "That won't scale" for so long we've forgotten that scaling problems aren't inherently fatal. The N-squared problem is only a problem if N is large, and in social situations, N is usually not large. A reading group works better with 5 members than 15; a seminar works better with 15 than 25, much less 50, and so on. This in turn gives software form-fit to a particular group a number of desirable characteristics -- it's cheaper and faster to build, has fewer issues of scalability, and likelier uptake by its target users. It also has several obvious downsides, including less likelihood of use outside its original environment, greater brittleness if it is later called on to handle larger groups, and a potentially shorter lifespan."
via:blackbeltjones  clayshirky  situated  situatedsoftware  scalability  software  community  socialsoftware  socialnetworking  longtail  technology  culture  internet  philosophy  innovation  bignow  longhere  programming  design  social  web  scale  scaling 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Infovore » Playing Together: What Games Can Learn from Social Software
"And what do you discover about Nike+? You discover there’s a metagame to it. People start syncing late - filling up their run data and then only syncing at the last minute - to disguise how much they’re doing. They mess around! Nike+ is ticking so many of our boxes: it’s asynchronous; it’s designed perhaps best for small groups; it turns running into a social object, putting it online. It’s a really great example of future for social play. And it goes where I am: it’s a game that I don’t have to learn how to play. I already know how to run"
via:blackbeltjones  gamedesign  games  play  videogames  gaming  nike+  running  socialsoftware  socialobjects  socialmedia  tomarmitage  psychology  software  design  culture  interactiondesign 
august 2008 by robertogreco
hustler of culture: Little Thinkers/Tinkerers
"I'm all about kids running around, experimenting, and getting hurt and learning from it. Maybe, a reality check or a small dose of survival of the fittest? Enough coddling. Enough of this arrested development, already. We all need a little trauma to help us grow as people!...The Tinkering School sounds refreshing in a world where too many kids' lives are governed by fear. We know free range chickens are healthier than their caged counterparts. So why not encourage free range kids too? Please don't rob your children of the important early independence and exploratory phase of their lives."
parenting  children  freedom  tinkering  society  fear  safety  via:blackbeltjones  childhood  exploration  learning  outdoors  making  education  unschooling  deschooling  gevertulley  tinkeringschool 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Open the Future: Making the Visible Invisible
"an augmented reality world that really takes off will out of necessity be one that offers freedom of use closer to that of the Internet than of the iPhone...An AR world dominated by closed, controlled systems will be safe, but have a limited impact...instead of just blocking advertisers, I wanted to block out the people who annoyed me...The flip side of "show me everything I want to know about the world" is "don't show me anything I don't want to know."
future  futurism  metaverse  visualization  augmentedreality  open  closed  iphone  innovation  jamaiscascio  adblocking  filtering  spam  via:blackbeltjones  interface  ubicomp  attention  gps  maps  ar 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Kurt Vonnegut on Writing Better | 43 Folders [expanded here:]
"The seven points, in all: 1. Find a subject you care about 2. Do not ramble, though 3. Keep it simple 4. Have guts to cut 5. Sound like yourself 6. Say what you mean 7. Pity the readers"
via:blackbeltjones  writing  tips  advice  vonnegut  kurtvonnegut 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Dream Recorder
"Dream Recorder is a sleep monitoring system detecting body motions with a professional night vision processing for iSights. Motions and sleep phases are strongly correlated.
mac  software  sleep  dreams  via:blackbeltjones  osx  personalinformatics  lifehacks  visualization 
july 2008 by robertogreco
potlatch: blogging and its opposite
"So while academic text is littered with references and footnotes (Johnson 2004), perhaps blogging text should be littered with confessions of physio- and psychological weakness (I Will Davies am getting balder, fatter and consequently more irritable)."
blogging  thinking  critique  writing  academia  nietzsche  blogs  footnotes  psychology  via:blackbeltjones 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Nassim Nicholas Taleb: the prophet of boom and doom
"When this man said the world’s economy was heading for disaster, he was scorned. Now traders, economists, even Nasa, are clamouring to hear him speak"
economics  risk  nassimtaleb  blackswans  via:blackbeltjones  sociology  interviews  religion  belief  health  diet  exercise  math  statistics  predictions  science  probability 
july 2008 by robertogreco
ButtUgly: Main_blogentry_300608_2 - Ubicomp, and why I think it's broken
"People want to feel smarter, and in control. When you are overwhelmed with choice, you feel stupid. When you have five options, you can weigh them in your mind, and make a choice which you feel happy about - you feel both smart and in control."
ubicomp  behavior  everyware  via:blackbeltjones  technology  mobile  phones  rfid  spimes  identity  human  choices  intelligence  psychology 
june 2008 by robertogreco
The Mobile Social World of Presence | stuart henshall
"So the iPhone wins because it both keeps us in the flow and keeps us loosely connected. Perhaps a little like adding a “lurking” factor...iPhone in hand I have a better sense of what my friends and colleagues are doing"

[via: ]
n95  presence  ambientintimacy  socialsoftware  iphone  mobile  phones  social  socialnetworking  communication  flow  via:blackbeltjones 
june 2008 by robertogreco
plus six » Auld Reekie vs The Big Smoke (emerging trends in post-disciplinary creative practice)
"aim of this event is to inspire and inform the symposium delegates of the significance of this trans-disciplinary research and its impact for creative practice in the UK. This event will appeal to a wide audience including practitioners, researchers, educators, industrialists and stakeholders involved in the creative industries."
via:blackbeltjones  interactiondesign  computing  architecture  design  art  greyworld  troika  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  creativity  interaction  experience  usmanhaque 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Clay Shirky vs. Cultural Studies? | Snurblog - "Talk of "heatsinks" & "cognitive surpluses" aside, I think he's on to something there...
"...certainly provides explanation of how a massive, multinational project like Wikipedia could develop so successfully in less than a decade, and offers hope that there remains energy to spare for many more Wikipedias to come."
creativity  participation  participatory  productivity  via:blackbeltjones  clayshirky  cognitivesurplus  media  tv  television  wikipedia  web 
june 2008 by robertogreco
technology is what makes us human
"On the US west coast, people who play with technology are called tinkerers, and there the word has none of the negative, incompetent and unprofessional connotations that it has here...I’m delighted, this playing technology is very much what motivates m
technology  engineering  culture  education  art  tools  trends  craft  society  tinkering  via:blackbeltjones  thinking  making  play  humanity  gamechanging  change  progress  psychology  embodiment  writing  diy  computers  design  artists  timhunkin 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Warren Ellis » Bending Mars
"I believe that exploration is necessary to the human spirit. But even if you don’t share that particular delusion, I think most people would agree that any kind of extinction is bad."
warrenellis  mars  exploration  future  scifi  sciencefiction  terraforming  survival  science  life  extinction  space  gamechanging  via:blackbeltjones 
june 2008 by robertogreco
The Telectroscope – 22 May-15 June 2008. London and New York.
Hardly anyone knows that a secret tunnel runs deep beneath the Atlantic Ocean. In May 2008, more than a century after it was begun, the tunnel has finally been completed. An extraordinary optical device called a Telectroscope has been installed at both en
art  london  telectroscope  nyc  science  engineering  steampunk  technology  via:blackbeltjones  cities  culture 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Build Extend your experience
"Free extras built by the community to extend your experience."
via:blackbeltjones  music  plugins  api  extensions  lastfm 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Open the Future: The Suburban Question
"Gentrification, re-urbanization, even "black flight" to the suburbs upset conceptual models of built environment that remained dominant in US for last few decades. Cities are back... and suburbs may be abandoned to low-income.."
gentrification  cities  housing  green  redevelopment  suburbia  suburbs  urban  urbanism  living  future  sustainability  via:blackbeltjones 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Ti Point Tork » Blog Archive » Teaching Kids Computer Skills and Programming
"Studying global warming? Simulate the carbon cycle in a Scratch program. Studying local marine ecology? Build a fish tank in Scratch, with fish, shellfish, seaweed, and plankton interacting."
children  education  learning  oreilly  play  playethic  programming  scratch  via:blackbeltjones  teaching  classideas  olpc  computing  coding  software  future  kids 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Blog Entry "You Are Weird" from IA? EH.
"The real issue is that this is just another symptom of a big problem we have in our industry, but especially here in the valley. We tend to believe that our customers and users are much more like ourselves than they really are."
business  process  teaching  learning  ux  design  products  via:blackbeltjones 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Maker Faire mimesis and open speculation - O'Reilly Radar
"I found many science projects at Maker Faire more aesthetically satisfying than the self-consciously mind-altering artworks I've seem at some contemporary art shows. Many artists seem to lose their intuition for balance and beauty when trying to make a p
makerfaire  make  diy  trends  culture  art  science  engineering  classideas  events  technology  opensource  ingenuity  fun  lcproject  via:blackbeltjones 
may 2008 by robertogreco
plus six » soundamus - native to a web of musical data
"analyses your stats to see who you listen to...generates a custom RSS feed...which will tell you about new releases by artists you listen to, and for each soundamus-announced release you look at you also get a list of releases by similar artists.
lastfm  webapps  via:blackbeltjones  music  api  data 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Calit2 : Tracking Pollution and Social Movement: Love Fest for Calit2 Technologies at 'Make Fest 2007'
"For Calit2 postdoctoral researcher Shannon Spanhake, it meant putting her Calit2-funded mobile air pollution monitor through its paces - while giving press interviews between demonstrations."
mobile  phones  sandiego  ucsd  monitoring  sensors  shannonspanhake  make  personalinformatics  pollution  bluetooth  technology  art  environment  engineering  science  mobility  nataliejeremijenko  calit2  glvo  classideas  via:blackbeltjones  etech 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Shannon Spanhake: Meet Squirrel, a Personal Pollution Monitor | Visarts-Drupal
"Since 1990, San Diego’s population rose by 1.8m people, yet # of official pollution monitors increased by 1. UCSD engineer-turned-artist Shannon Spanhake has come up w/ new&better way to monitor environment: personal pollution sensor called Squirrel."
bluetooth  data  environment  personalinformatics  shannonspanhake  pollution  ucsd  classideas  sandiego  science  art  engineering  sensors  mobile  phones  monitoring  make  technology  mobility  nataliejeremijenko  calit2  glvo  via:blackbeltjones  etech 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Purse Lip Square Jaw: Towards The Forgetting Machine
"at UbiComp, surrounded by examples of ubiquitous & merciless memory, I again wondered about differences between dementia (as forced forgetfulness), nostalgia (as voluntary forgetfulness) and hope (as necessary forgetfulness)."
annegalloway  forgetting  memory  personalinformatics  ubicomp  via:blackbeltjones  nostalgia  philosophy  history 
april 2008 by robertogreco
John Lanchester: There will be blood | Business | The Guardian
"Once you get interested in the way capitalism works, you notice that the stories it throws up have two features: they're always the same; and yet they're full of amazing details that no one would dare invent."
finance  economics  via:blackbeltjones  capitalism  history  subprime  bearstearns  crisis 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Extenuating Circumstances – SXSW: The Web That Wasn’t
"early precursors to the web, different versions of hypertext, early thinking that went on around how networked information systems. It’s interesting - not just historically, but also relevant to today ont he web - if you look at the history of technolo
via:blackbeltjones  presentation  sxsw  web  networks  history  computing  alexwright  internet  paulotlet  vannevarbush  dougengelbart  hgwells 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Planned obsolescence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"process of a product becoming obsolete and/or non-functional after a certain period or amount of use, approximately, as planned or designed by the manufacturer"
capitalism  unproduct  sociology  via:blackbeltjones  green  media  liberalism  manipulation  psychology  business  politics  culture  design  society  marketing  obsolescence  sustainability  products 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Vance Packard - Wikipedia
"In The Hidden Persuaders, first published in 1957, Packard explores the use of consumer motivational research and other psychological techniques, including depth psychology and subliminal tactics, by advertisers to manipulate expectations and induce desire for products, particularly in the American postwar era. He identified eight "compelling needs" that advertisers promise products will fulfill. According to Packard these needs are so strong that people are compelled to buy products to satisfy them. The book also explores the manipulative techniques of promoting politicians to the electorate. The book questions the morality of using these techniques."
advertising  books  capitalism  plannedobsolescence  unproduct  sociology  via:blackbeltjones  green  media  liberalism  manipulation  psychology  business  politics  culture  design  society  sustainability 
march 2008 by robertogreco
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