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Scratching the Surface — 104. Cab Broskoski and Chris Sherron
"Cab Broskoski and Chris Sherron are two of the founders of Are.na, a knowledge sharing platform that combines the creative back-and-forth of social media with the focus of a productivity tool. Before working on Arena, Cab was a digital artist and Chris a graphic designer and in this episode, they talk about their desire for a new type of bookmarking tool and building a platform for collaborative, interdisciplinary research as well as larger questions around open source tools, research as artistic practice, and subverting the norms of social media."

[direct link to audio:
https://soundcloud.com/scratchingthesurfacefm/104-cab-broskoski-and-chris-sherron ]
jarrettfuller  are.na  cabbroskoski  chrissherron  coreyarcangel  del.icio.us  bookmarkling  pinterest  cv  tagging  flickr  michaelcina  youworkforthem  davidbohm  williamgibson  digital  damonzucconi  stanleykubrick  stephaniesnt  julianbozeman  public  performance  collections  collecting  research  2000s  interview  information  internet  web  sharing  conversation  art  design  socialmedia  socialnetworking  socialnetworks  online  onlinetoolkit  inspiration  moodboards  graphicdesign  graphics  images  web2.0  webdesign  webdev  ui  ux  scratchingthesurface  education  teaching  edtech  technology  multidisciplinary  generalists  creative  creativitysingapore  creativegeneralists  learning  howwelearn  attention  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  crosspollination  algorithms  canon  knowledge  transdisciplinary  tools  archives  slow  slowweb  slowinternet  instagram  facebook 
january 2019 by robertogreco
The Arcade, Episode 44 with William Gibson by Hazlitt Magazine | Free Listening on SoundCloud
""I have already told you of the sickness and confusion that comes with time travelling." H.G. Wells wrote those words in The Time Machine, but that quote also begins author William Gibson's new novel, The Peripheral. He speaks with Hazlitt audio producer Anshuman Iddamsetty about resonance, Health Goth, and how infrequently we hear of the 22nd Century."

[via: "I guess it’s here that @GreatDismal closes the loop and says jet lag is a time-travelling disease: https://soundcloud.com/hazlittmag/the-arcade-episode-44-with-william-gibson "
https://twitter.com/yayitsrob/status/717762111699431424 ]

[See also: "I kept remembering this @GreatDismal story about how globalized video games => time travel. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:stJe8tBoy "
https://twitter.com/yayitsrob/status/717761063828242432

"There was a period where my daughter was always sort of vaguely jet lagged because she had to stay up to 3:00 in the morning until the Japanese, or maybe it was the Australian players came on in whatever multi-player first person shooter she was really into because she said they were the best players and they were several time zones away. It's just a little bit of jump from this girl's jet lagged because she's playing online shooters to this girl's got PTSD because she has been playing online shooters."]
jetlag  williamgibson  timetravel  theperipheral  anshumaniddamsetty  technology  fashion  sports  storytelling  books  annerice  politics  2015  jimgaffigan  conradblack  scaachikoul  princelestat  literature  scifi  sciencefiction  videogames  games  gaming  international  global  timezones 
april 2016 by robertogreco
William Gibson: On Phones, Fiction, and the End of the World | Literary Hub
"In this episode [https://soundcloud.com/lithub/william-gibson-part-one/s-0Jwns ] of a A Phone Call From Paul, Paul Holdengraber talks to William Gibson about the end of the world, writing fiction, and how crazy it is that people can make little marks on a page to represent and share their thoughts with other people.

William Gibson on writing through the world…

It isn’t that I would want to particularly be working in a better time, but I suspect that the nature of what I do in fiction has something to do with taking some sort of measurement of the zeitgeist at the time of writing, and writing somehow slightly to the side of that. And there is some way I have, but I don’t really understand it, of finding at least for myself a place of resonance around my most generalized sense of how the world is. I need to find that in order to function, and the current situation seems to have an element of goofy incoherence to it that makes it more than usually difficult to find this complementary resonance.

William Gibson on the competing urges of fiction…

Because I’m writing, I’m in the middle of my writing process now, and when I’m doing that, I’m able to read very little fiction. So whether it’s new fiction for me or old favorites, the enjoyment and the creation of it seem to me to take place in the same part of the mind, so that if the part of the day in which I’m not writing fiction has anything else going on, it’s probably not going to be reading fiction. When I’m writing fiction I tend to read nonfiction.

William Gibson on predicting the future…

I’m ever reluctant to take our predictive narratives totally seriously because I think that in spite of our best efforts at prediction, I think that our self-regard defeats us in the end. That we tend to—we imagine relatively heroic outcomes, and no one wants a prophet standing on the corner saying that everything is going to be hideously stupid and banal. Utterly atrocious, and that’s just the nature of things. It lacks even the—well, the appeal of the apocalypse is closure and a sort of clarity. Yes! The world is ending. And yeah it’s kind of a banner one can get behind, in a way. Its opposite is this kind of willy-nilly nihilistic absurdist narrative that one can feel one is living in.

William Gibson on phonecalls…

You’re reaching me through one of a number of post-urban constructs that humanity’s erected in the past hundred or so years, so we are in a common city with San Bernardino. It’s a virtual space. Even then, one could live in a rural setting and arrange one’s life in such a way that one was completely plugged in to every major city in the world and have no idea that there were trees and birds on the other side of the wall. That wasn’t previously possible, you know? That’s relatively—that’s the last century or so."

[Part 2: http://lithub.com/williams-gibson-on-technophobia-and-the-power-of-film/
and https://soundcloud.com/lithub/william-gibson-part-two/s-my54E ]
williamgibson  interviews  paulholdengraber  future  phones  fiction  telephones  internet  web  online  virtualspace 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Williams Gibson: On Technophobia and the Power of Film | Literary Hub
"In part one [http://lithub.com/william-gibson-on-phones-fiction-and-the-end-of-the-world/ + https://soundcloud.com/lithub/william-gibson-part-one/s-0Jwns ] of Paul Holdengraber’s phone call with William Gibson, topics included dystopias, the universal screenwriter, and the disruption of the telephone. In part two,

[https://soundcloud.com/lithub/william-gibson-part-two/s-my54E ]

William Gibson on the availability of culture…

If you had never heard recorded music and you didn’t have it as a category of experience—if it simply never existed for you—I think that your concept of what music is would be fantastically different. Something that’s happened, a change that’s occurred over the course of my own life that I think somewhat puts this vague claim I’m making into perspective, is the way in which seeing a film used to be something that was so dependent on so many factors that it made it largely unrepeatable. You could see the film on its theatrical release, but unless you lived in, say, New York, there were no repertory cinemas. So people saw a film once and then lived with it in memory, there was no television, there were no videotapes of films. Film existed primarily in memory, and the experience of actually seeing it was very intense.

William Gibson on Chris Marker…

I first saw Chris Marker’s La Jetée in a film history course when I was an undergraduate at the University of British Columbia. I had been vaguely aware of it earlier because it is, you know, technically a science fiction film even though it’s a short avant-garde French film. I had had in my life no opportunity to see any avant-garde French film, so I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t really expecting very much. It had this extraordinarily profound effect on me, and it’s very, very brief. I actually left the lecture hall feeling uneasily that I had somehow—that something had happened, that I’d experienced some sort of transformation, and I didn’t know what it was.

William Gibson on technophobia…

I’m dubious about ranking… I’m not sure about ranking. I’ve long suspected that what our descendants will find quaintest about us it that we made distinctions of that sort. That they’ll be looking back and they’ll be going, So strange they didn’t think Facebook was “real.” There’s a wonderful, weird book, the title of which I will probably be unable to remember, but it’s a collection of first-person accounts of Victorians encountering new technologies. It’s taken from diaries and letters—it’s not famous people, just ordinary people. The one that always struck me was an Anglican clergyman who went to a garden party, heard an Edison phonograph talking, and went home and wrote this completely terrifying description of this demonic, satanic, mechanical voice speaking to the children in the garden, and how this probably presaged the end of the world. He was just writing for himself, so he wasn’t exaggerating, and I thought, Oh, wow. He had this absolutely intense experience, but I don’t think I could say that what it caused him to fear came to pass."
williamgibson  technophobia  film  chrismarker  lajetee  culture  2016  television  tv  paulholdengraber  interviews  experience  memory  recordings  music  audio  listening  nostalgia  lajetée 
january 2016 by robertogreco
The Commercial Zen of Muji - The New Yorker
"But how do you scale an entire company whose philosophy is rooted in judiciousness, and how big is big enough? In 2015, Muji posted an eighteen-per-cent increase in revenue over the year, to $2.14 billion, and a fourteen-per-cent increase in profits, to $196 million, and it aims to continue apace next year. In its annual report, there is a bar graph of net sales over time, with a gray arrow that signifies the future pointing up and to the right, beyond the three-hundred-billion-yen mark (about $2.5 billion). The company hopes to establish a “global brand” with “perpetual growth” and “consistent dividend payout” by the year 2020, which sounds a lot like kaizen, the popular Japanese business principle of continuous improvement. Muji is banking on “the idea that simplicity is not merely modest or frugal, but could possibly be more appealing than luxury.”

Above all, though, Muji is trafficking in fantasy, as the science-fiction writer William Gibson wrote in 2001:
Muji … calls up a wonderful Japan that doesn’t really exist. A Japan of the mind, where even toenail-clippers and plastic coat-hangers possess a Zen purity: functional, minimal, reasonably priced. I would very much like to visit the Japan that Muji evokes. I would vacation there and attain a new serenity, smooth and translucent, in perfect counterpoint to natural fabrics and unbleached cardboard. My toiletries would pretend to be nothing more than what they are, and neither would I.

Anyone who has watched even one season of “Mad Men” knows that fantasy is the basis for the best marketing. What could be cooler than a brand whose branding seems incidental, or better yet, completely organic? The answer, for Muji, is a neat paradox, like a Zen koan: massive minimalism through perpetual growth."
muji  japan  design  retail  2015  williamgibson 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Q&A: William Gibson | Life and style | The Guardian
"Born in South Carolina, Gibson, 67, evaded the Vietnam draft by emigrating to Canada. He popularised the word cyberspace, using it in his first science fiction novel, Neuromancer (1984), which sold more than 6m copies. His most recent novel is The Peripheral. He is married, with two children, and lives in Vancouver.

When were you happiest?
I suspect that my happiest moments are about finding myself able to more deeply enjoy existence.

What is your greatest fear?
Now I’m older, the future suddenly looks far grimmer than anything I’d have imagined – not simply that it won’t contain me, but that it won’t contain, for instance, tigers.

What is your earliest memory?
Being in a peanut field with my mother, on a farm my parents rented in rural Tennessee, in 1950. Down a steep hill, a road. A black American panel truck driving quickly along.

What would your super power be?
Redistribution of wealth.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My posture, which is that of a tall person wishing not to be.

What is your favourite word?
“Thing”, apparently. The harder I’m writing, the more imprecise my spoken language becomes.

Which book changed your life?
A two-volume Sherlock Holmes omnibus my mother gave me, when I was just able to read it.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife of 45 years, Deborah.

What is the worst job you’ve done?
Working in a factory that made very mediocre fibreglass boats. Toxic environment, very messy, itchy, taking advantage of immigrant labour, which I was.

What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
In my late teens someone told me – I assume to be cruel – that my third-grade teacher, of whom I’d always been immensely fond, had come to have nothing but contempt for me over my opinion of the Vietnam war.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A paleontologist.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Procrastination.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
A Pentagon technocrat who told me in 1969 exactly how the Soviet Union would collapse. I thought it was feel-good nonsense at the time.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Victorian London, though I imagine the experience would be traumatic.

How do you relax?
I look in charity shops, though I seldom buy anything. They are museums of quotidian humanity.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?
A freakish near-miss ricochet while pistol-shooting, aged 13. Or the time an officer of Franco’s Guardia Civil in Ibiza, in 1970, punctuated a rural roadside interrogation by casually shooting the dog we were with.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Perhaps the cumulative achievement of not having been an even bigger jerk?

Where would you most like to be right now?
On the Ramblas in Barcelona, un-jetlagged, having a coffee.

Tell us a joke
A man walks into a bar with a toad on his head. “What’s that?” asks the bartender. “I don’t know,” says the toad, “but it started as a wart on my ass.”"
interviews  williamgibson  inequality  wealth  superpowers  2015  economics 
november 2015 by robertogreco
On the Political Dimensions of Solarpunk — Medium
[via: http://solarpunks.tumblr.com/post/131978924858/dont-ask-permission-from-a-state-beholden-to]

"Don’t ask permission from a state beholden to oligarchs, and definitely don’t expect those oligarchs to do any of this for you. Guerilla gardening is the model, but look further. Guerilla solar panel installation. Guerilla water treatment facility restoration. Guerilla magnificent temple to the human spirit construction. Guerilla carbon sequestration megastructure creation.

Figure out what a community needs to be prosperous, peaceful and sustainable in as long a term as you can wrap your head around, and start building whatever piece is most in reach before the absent state notices. Doing so just might create pockets of more effective, horizontal politics. As the state wanes, these pockets can grow in size and influence, creating a better world even if some government claims the authority of law and holds a monopoly on violence.

Now, political choices got us into this mess, and political choices could get us out. I for one argue for a comprehensive set of reforms that were inspired by the discussions held around the world during Occupy: a global debt jubilee to free both countries and individuals from debts that impoverish and enslave them; a tax on extreme wealth to control inequality and rein in the power of oligarchs; a guaranteed basic income to provide for the poor, the infirm and those more useful as caregivers, artists and thinkers than employees of businesses; a dramatic reduction in the workweek to slow down unsustainable levels of economic expansion and to eliminate the countless “bullshit jobs” that serve no function but to bore those who hold them; the regulation or even abolition of usury (once considered as great a sin as slavery), so that investments in sustainable infrastructure that will pay off in cathedral time are not hampered by interest payments that will eventually exceed principal."



"As I argued in my discussion of cities, solarpunk should be careful not to idealize either the gothic high tech or the favela chic. No matter how many High Line-style parks or vertical farms they build, Manhattan will be useless if it is only filled with the luxury condos of absentee financiers. And favelas may be full of jugaad-innovation and dense with diverse entrepreneurialism, but they feature a fatal flaw: no fire codes. Slums are fascinating from a design perspective right up until they burn down or wash away. In a world of more extreme weather, disasters will strike down favelas before their recycling-centric, low-carbon lifestyles can save the climate.

Instead, I like the idea of focusing on large-scale infrastructure projects that will provide value for communities into the long term. A seed bank; a hyper-dense vertical permaculture farm engineered for carbon fixing; a massive, low-maintenance desalination system; a space elevator. These projects could themselves be the organizing principle around which unique solarpunk communities are organized."



"I’ve seen many people describe solarpunk as optimistic. My last suggestion is this: don’t be optimistic, be hopeful. As Vaclav Havel explained: “Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” Havel, an artist turned activist turned statesman who led his nation out of a time of crisis, in many ways embodies the transformational power of ideas and aesthetics — and thus the potential of a movement like solarpunk to do real good in the world.

This essay has been long, and it has discussed many troubling situations and possibilities. I wrote these things because I think it is important for any cohesive body of political thought to contrast what it wants with what it opposes: for transparency and privacy, against surveillance and deception; for conservation and abundance, against hoarding and exploitation; for neighborhoods and collaboratives, against gangs and police.

I also wrote this because I believe the enormity of our problems doesn’t have to paralyze us. Quite the opposite: seeing the world as it is is vital if you are going to figure out how it could be. Now is the moment to be galvanized, to know that we are on to something, and to make acting on these ideas a real part of our lives."
solarpunk  2015  andrewdanahudson  politics  favelachic  gothichightech  recycling  diy  optimism  hopefulness  scale  activism  jugaad  infrastructure  organization  horizontality  sustainability  solar  water  climatechange  gardening  hope  refugees  longnow  longnowfoundation  williamgibson  madmax  paolobacigalupi  bladerunner  overconsumption  overpopulation  thecomingrevolution  cities  urban  urbanism  brucesterling  drought  blackswans 
october 2015 by robertogreco
No Country for Young Women | Incisive.nu
"Of course that’s what he thought, crooned the snake in the brain. And on the bad old days, when the snags were fresh: Not one of your heroes believed you’re a person.

But eventually you remember the snake is a shit. So I clawed through the stacks till I found writers who did cast women as people. Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison and Anaïs Nin and Nicola Griffith and Elizabeth Hand and Jeanette Winterson and William Gibson and Gertrude Stein. (Meshell Ndegeocello, Martina Topley-Bird, Beth Gibbons, Diamanda Galás, Missy Elliott, Nina Simone.) They even gave me the headroom to appreciate a few of the male writers who dehumanized women in literature or abused them in life without losing my actual mind."
books  feminism  gender  reading  erinkissane  2015  women  writing  television  film  music  virginiawoolf  tonimorrison  anaïsnin  nicolagriddith  elizabethhand  jeanettewinterson  williamgibson  gertrudestein  meshellndegeocello  martinatopley-bird  bethgibbons  diamandagalás  missyellitott  ninasimone  literature 
august 2015 by robertogreco
Web Design - The First 100 Years
"Today I hope to persuade you that the same thing that happened to aviation is happening with the Internet. Here we are, fifty years into the computer revolution, at what feels like our moment of greatest progress. The outlines of the future are clear, and oh boy is it futuristic.

But we're running into physical and economic barriers that aren't worth crossing.

We're starting to see that putting everything online has real and troubling social costs.

And the devices we use are becoming 'good enough', to the point where we can focus on making them cheaper, more efficient, and accessible to everyone.

So despite appearances, despite the feeling that things are accelerating and changing faster than ever, I want to make the shocking prediction that the Internet of 2060 is going to look recognizably the same as the Internet today.

Unless we screw it up.

And I want to convince you that this is the best possible news for you as designers, and for us as people."



"So while Moore's Law still technically holds—the number of transistors on a chip keeps increasing—its spirit is broken. Computers don't necessarily get faster with time. In fact, they're getting slower!

This is because we're moving from desktops to laptops, and from laptops to smartphones. Some people are threatening to move us to wristwatches.
In terms of capability, these devices are a step into the past. Compared to their desktop brethren, they have limited memory, weak processors, and barely adequate storage.

And nobody cares, because the advantages of having a portable, lightweight connected device are so great. And for the purposes of taking pictures, making calls, and surfing the internet, they've crossed the threshold of 'good enough'.

What people want from computers now is better displays, better battery life and above all, a better Internet connection.

Something similar happened with storage, where the growth rate was even faster than Moore's Law. I remember the state-of-the-art 1MB hard drive in our computer room in high school. It cost a thousand dollars.
Here's a photo of a multi-megabyte hard drive from the seventies. I like to think that the guy in the picture didn't have to put on the bunny suit, it was just what he liked to wear.

Modern hard drives are a hundred times smaller, with a hundred times the capacity, and they cost a pittance. Seagate recently released an 8TB consumer hard drive.

But again, we've chosen to go backwards by moving to solid state storage, like you find in smartphones and newer laptops. Flash storage sacrifices capacity for speed, efficiency and durability.

Or else we put our data in 'the cloud', which has vast capacity but is orders of magnitude slower.

These are the victories of good enough. This stuff is fast enough.

Intel could probably build a 20 GHz processor, just like Boeing can make a Mach 3 airliner. But they won't. There's a corrollary to Moore's law, that every time you double the number of transistors, your production costs go up. Every two years, Intel has to build a completely new factory and production line for this stuff. And the industry is turning away from super high performance, because most people don't need it.

The hardware is still improving, but it's improving along other dimensions, ones where we are already up against hard physical limits and can't use the trick of miniaturization that won us all that exponential growth.

Battery life, for example. The limits on energy density are much more severe than on processor speed. And it's really hard to make progress. So far our advances have come from making processors more efficient, not from any breakthrough in battery chemistry.

Another limit that doesn't grow exponentially is our ability to move information. There's no point in having an 8 TB hard drive if you're trying to fill it over an AT&T network. Data constraints hit us on multiple levels. There are limits on how fast cores can talk to memory, how fast the computer can talk to its peripherals, and above all how quickly computers can talk to the Internet. We can store incredible amounts of information, but we can't really move it around.

So the world of the near future is one of power constrained devices in a bandwidth-constrained environment. It's very different from the recent past, where hardware performance went up like clockwork, with more storage and faster CPUs every year.

And as designers, you should be jumping up and down with relief, because hard constraints are the midwife to good design. The past couple of decades have left us with what I call an exponential hangover.

Our industry is in complete denial that the exponential sleigh ride is over. Please, we'll do anything! Optical computing, quantum computers, whatever it takes. We'll switch from silicon to whatever you want. Just don't take our toys away.
But all this exponential growth has given us terrible habits. One of them is to discount the present.

When things are doubling, the only sane place to be is at the cutting edge. By definition, exponential growth means the thing that comes next will be equal in importance to everything that came before. So if you're not working on the next big thing, you're nothing.



A further symptom of our exponential hangover is bloat. As soon as a system shows signs of performance, developers will add enough abstraction to make it borderline unusable. Software forever remains at the limits of what people will put up with. Developers and designers together create overweight systems in hopes that the hardware will catch up in time and cover their mistakes.

We complained for years that browsers couldn't do layout and javascript consistently. As soon as that got fixed, we got busy writing libraries that reimplemented the browser within itself, only slower.

It's 2014, and consider one hot blogging site, Medium. On a late-model computer it takes me ten seconds for a Medium page (which is literally a formatted text file) to load and render. This experience was faster in the sixties.

The web is full of these abuses, extravagant animations and so on, forever a step ahead of the hardware, waiting for it to catch up.

This exponential hangover leads to a feeling of exponential despair.

What's the point of pouring real effort into something that is going to disappear or transform in just a few months? The restless sense of excitement we feel that something new may be around the corner also brings with it a hopelessness about whatever we are working on now, and a dread that we are missing out on the next big thing.

The other part of our exponential hangover is how we build our businesses. The cult of growth denies the idea that you can build anything useful or helpful unless you're prepared to bring it to so-called "Internet scale". There's no point in opening a lemonade stand unless you're prepared to take on PepsiCo.

I always thought that things should go the other way. Once you remove the barriers of distance, there's room for all sorts of crazy niche products to find a little market online. People can eke out a living that would not be possible in the physical world. Venture capital has its place, as a useful way to fund long-shot projects, but not everything fits in that mold.

The cult of growth has led us to a sterile, centralized web. And having burned through all the easy ideas within our industry, we're convinced that it's our manifest destiny to start disrupting everyone else.

I think it's time to ask ourselves a very designy question: "What is the web actually for?"
I will argue that there are three competing visions of the web right now. The one we settle on will determine whether the idiosyncratic, fun Internet of today can survive.



Vision 1: CONNECT KNOWLEDGE, PEOPLE, AND CATS.

This is the correct vision.



Vision 2: FIX THE WORLD WITH SOFTWARE

This is the prevailing vision in Silicon Valley.



Vision 3: BECOME AS GODS, IMMORTAL CREATURES OF PURE ENERGY LIVING IN A CRYSTALLINE PARADISE OF OUR OWN CONSTRUCTION

This is the insane vision. I'm a little embarrassed to talk about it, because it's so stupid. But circumstances compel me.



There's a William Gibson quote that Tim O'Reilly likes to repeat: "the future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet."

O'Reilly takes this to mean that if we surround ourselves with the right people, it can give us a sneak peek at coming attractions.

I like to interpret this quote differently, as a call to action. Rather than waiting passively for technology to change the world, let's see how much we can do with what we already have.

Let's reclaim the web from technologists who tell us that the future they've imagined is inevitable, and that our role in it is as consumers.

The Web belongs to us all, and those of us in this room are going to spend the rest of our lives working there. So we need to make it our home.

We live in a world now where not millions but billions of people work in rice fields, textile factories, where children grow up in appalling poverty. Of those billions, how many are the greatest minds of our time? How many deserve better than they get? What if instead of dreaming about changing the world with tomorrow's technology, we used today's technology and let the world change us? Why do we need to obsess on artificial intelligence, when we're wasting so much natural intelligence?


When I talk about a hundred years of web design, I mean it as a challenge. There's no law that says that things are guaranteed to keep getting better.

The web we have right now is beautiful. It shatters the tyranny of distance. It opens the libraries of the world to you. It gives you a way to bear witness to people half a world away, in your own words. It is full of cats. We built it by accident, yet already we're taking it for granted. We should fight to keep it! "
technology  web  webdesign  internet  culture  design  history  aviation  airplanes  planes  2014  constraints  growth  singularity  scale  webdev  siliconvalley  technosolutionism  boeing  intel  microsoft  cloud  raykurzweil  elonmusk  williamgibson  inequality  mooreslaw  timoreilly  software  bloat  progress  present  future  manifestdestiny 
july 2015 by robertogreco
William Gibson on Twitter: "Small, inexpensive device instantly injures/kills at a distance, via line of sight. Ubiquitous distribution said to radically further safety"
"Small, inexpensive device instantly injures/kills at a distance, via line of sight. Ubiquitous distribution said to radically further safety"
guncontrol  2015  williamgibson  via:lukeneff 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Final Boss Form — Before you diagnose yourself with depression or...
"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes. —William Gibson."
depression  mentalhealth  environment  symptomsvscauses  2015  williamgibson  self-esteem  company 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Metafoundry 30: Confusion Matrices
"WE ARE THE DOOM SQUAD: In this fantastic interview for Rawr Denim, William Gibson talks about clothing and fashion: “There’s an idea called “gray man”, in the security business, that I find interesting. They teach people to dress unobtrusively. Chinos instead of combat pants, and if you really need the extra pockets, a better design conceals them. ...[T]here’s something appealingly “low-drag” about gray man theory: reduced friction with one’s environment.” That made me wonder: “What does a 'grey woman' look like?”, which made me think about how Deborah Tannen used the linguistics terms marked and unmarked to describe gender and clothing. Just as many English words are default male (unmarked), with a changed ending to connote female (marked; think 'actor' vs 'actress'), she argued that men's dress can be unmarked but women's dress is always marked. That is, there are decisions that men make about what they wear that are defaults, that aren’t even seen as a decision. In contrast, every decision that a woman makes about what she wears—heels vs, flats, pants vs, skirts, the length of a skirt and the height of a neckline, haircuts, jewelry—is freighted with cultural baggage. Take makeup. Especially in professional settings, for a woman, not wearing makeup is a noticeable, and notable, decision: marked. But for a man, not wearing makeup is not a decision—nobody notices when men aren't wearing makeup: unmarked. (Of course, a man wearing makeup is very marked indeed.)

Since I was a tween, I've been mostly wearing black clothes (with a bit of grey), no branding, minimal ornamentation, and simple lines. Right now, my wardrobe mostly consists of black jeans and trousers and a few skirts and dresses, t-shirts, hoodies, jackets (worn according to the formality of the event). Given the historically snowy weather in Boston this winter, some of my more technical outerwear and other clothing was folded into my regular wardrobe by necessity, which resulted in an aesthetic that a friend described as ‘cyberpunk Winter Soldier’. Contra Gibson’s description of Cayce Pollard Units, I’m not sure there are any women’s clothes that could have been unremarkably worn between 1945 and 2000; for a start, that my clothes are monochrome has been remarked on regularly since I was a teenager, not least because black has a long history of cultural connotations of its own.

The aesthetic choice to wear black that I made when my parents were still buying my clothes was cemented when I was an undergraduate and graduate student (almost all of my teens and twenties), because black clothes are an intensely practical choice when the phrase ‘disposable income’ is an oxymoron. I remember this Glenn O’Brien article in SPIN from 1985, in which (once you get past the casual homophobia and the implicit assumption that women are not reading it, and possibly not even sentient beings) he makes the case for that practicality—how black clothes don’t show dirt or damage much (useful when you can't easily afford to replace something if you spill coffee on it), and how they’re appropriate for a wide range of social settings. And all shades of black match, which is more than you can say for other colours. But what wearing black mostly meant to me was that I could make decisions about purchasing clothes and accessories on just one axis—functionality—without worrying about colour. When I gave talks at research conferences or went off to interviews for a postdoctoral position, I had exactly one purse and one pair of good dress shoes and one briefcase and I could still be guaranteed that I had a coordinated outfit.

The roots of the ‘Grey Man’ lie in the Great Male Renunciation: the period around the end of the 17th century, in the middle of the Enlightenment, when society collectively decided that men’s clothing, previously as colourful and ornamented as women’s, was to be dark, sober and serious. What’s kind of astonishing is how we've never really gone back—a quick scroll through red-carpet photos makes that clear—and how we mostly just accept this sexual dimorphism as the norm. Just why men's clothing has never returned to pre-GMR levels of finery is something I’ll leave to historians and sociologists, but it’s almost certainly related to the harsh enforcement of gender norms—while women can wear colours and clothing styles indistinguishable from men’s (as I write this, I’m wearing black jeans, a black t-shirt, and Camper high-tops), the slightest hint of femininity in men’s self-presentation elicits verbal abuse at best, and the worst is far worse.

I have more money to spend on clothes than I did as a grad student, so the quality of what I wear has gone up markedly (Fluevog Derby Swirls instead of steel-toed police boots from the surplus store), but what passes for my personal aesthetic has been pretty constant for two decades. Gibson talks about ‘reduced friction with one’s environment’, and that’s an element of how I dress: wearing a de facto uniform means that I spend very little time getting dressed in the morning, and makes it infinitely easier to pack for the frequent travel I do. Fran Lebowitz (who herself wears a gender-bending daily uniform) defends this move in a recent interview with Elle: “[T]here's nothing wrong in not caring. A man who doesn't care about what he looks like, he's applauded. We say, 'Oh, he's not superficial!'” My own personal Great Female Renunciation is tolerated in my professional environment of academic engineering. But, if you’re a woman, it’s almost impossible to eliminate the social friction around what you’re wearing: as Tannen noted, the way you dress is always perceived (and judged) by others, no matter how much you try to be unremarkable. You can turn this to your advantage: as Lebowitz puts it, “What's so great thing [sic] about clothes is that they're artificial—you can lie, you can choose the way you look, which is not true of natural beauty.” So while there isn't really a 'grey woman', you have more options for active camouflage. But, of course, most of us aren't super-sekrit agents, and this social scrutiny is always in action. It infuriates me when my female students are routinely asked if they have a date when they wear something other than a t-shirt and jeans, are told they are ‘too pretty’ to be engineers, or when my female academic colleagues are presumed, implicitly or explicitly to be less ‘serious’ if they are ‘too’ well put together.

I mostly think about the semiotics of what I wear in the same way that C.P. Snow is said to have described the three laws of thermodynamics: "You can’t win. You can’t break even. You can’t quit the game." There’s a reason why women care deeply about fashion—because it matters. Because it affects how literally everyone you encounter treats you. Given this, the depth of feeling in stories about wardrobes like those recounted in Sheila Heti’s Women in Clothes make more sense. I am acutely aware of the social and professional privilege that means I can opt-out of ‘dressing for success’ (I already have the job I want), although I’m certainly cognizant of what I’m leaving on the table by not paying much attention to style (for me, spending my time and money on other things is a fair trade; the value proposition is different for every woman) and that the specific way that I don't care about fashion is also a statement ('you can't quit the game'). It's common for men to demonstrate mild (or strong) disdain for how much women care about fashion or how much money women spend on clothes. But they are mostly just demonstrating a complete lack of awareness of a semiotic system that women are required to participate in, in order to accrue both economic and social benefits, which men are largely exempt from. "
debchachra  2015  uniforms  uniformproject  glvo  gender  clothing  howwedress  semiotics  williamgibson  caycepollard  color  daborahtannen  greyman  glenno'brien  franlebowitz  cpsnow  sheilaheti  womeninclothes  privilege  presentationofself  identity  freedom  signaling  pesonaluniforms 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Anab Jain, “Design for Anxious Times” on Vimeo
"As 2014 rushes past us, a venture capital firm appoints a computer algorithm to its board of directors, robots report news events such as earthquakes before any human can, fully functioning 3D printed ears, bones and guns are in use, the world’s biggest search company acquires large scale, fully autonomous military robots, six-year old children create genetically modified glow fish and an online community of 50,000 amateurs build drones. All this whilst extreme weather events and political unrest continue to pervade. This is just a glimpse of the increased state of technological acceleration and cultural turbulence we experience today. How do we make sense of this? What can designers do? Dissecting through her studio Superflux’s projects, research practice and approach, Anab will make a persuasive case for designers to adopt new roles as sense-makers, translators and agent provocateurs of the 21st century. Designers with the conceptual toolkits that can create a visceral connection with the complexity and plurality of the worlds we live in, and open up an informed dialogue that help shape better futures for all."
anabjain  superflux  2014  design  future  futures  via:steelemaley  criticaldesign  speculativedesign  speculativefiction  designfiction  designdiscourse  film  filmmaking  technology  interaction  documentary  uncertainty  reality  complexity  algorithms  data  society  surveillance  cloud  edwardsnowden  chelseamanning  julianassange  whistleblowing  science  bentobox  genecoin  bitcoin  cryptocurrency  internet  online  jugaad  war  warfare  information  politics  drones  software  adamcurtis  isolation  anxiety  capitalism  quantification  williamgibson  art  prototyping  present 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Eyeo 2014 - Claire Evans on Vimeo
"Science Fiction & The Synthesized Sound – Turn on the radio in the year 3000, and what will you hear? When we make first contact with an alien race, will we—as in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"—communicate through melody? If the future has a sound, what can it possibly be? If science fiction has so far failed to produce convincing future music, it won’t be for lack of trying. It’s just that the problem of future-proofing music is complex, likely impossible. The music of 1,000 years from now will not be composed by, or even for, human ears. It may be strident, seemingly random, mathematical; like the “Musica Universalis” of the ancients, it might not be audible at all. It might be the symphony of pure data. It used to take a needle, a laser, or a magnet to reproduce sound. Now all it takes is code. The age of posthuman art is near; music, like mathematics, may be a universal language—but if we’re too proud to learn its new dialects, we’ll find ourselves silent and friendless in a foreign future."
claireevans  sciencefiction  scifi  music  future  sound  audio  communication  aesthetics  robertscholes  williamgibson  code  composition  2014  johncage  film  history  ai  artificialintelligence  machines  universality  appreciation  language  turingtest 
february 2015 by robertogreco
[this is aaronland] personal brand as the non-state actor of influence
[audio version: https://huffduffer.com/dConstruct/178671 ]

"Access and access at the time of your own choosing is a subtle but important distinction and if we are talking about the opportunity of the Network itself, it is this.

Imagine a world in which access to an exchange of culture required we all have to gather around our computers at the same time in order to read Maciej's latest blog post. Some of us can and if you asked I would tell you it sucked.

When television was the only opporunity we had to gather together outside of and to imagine a world larger than our immediate surroundings we managed to craft genuinely meaningful experiences from it. It would be wrong to suggest otherwise but it would equally wrong to ignore how quickly we opted for the alternative modes – opportunities – that the web provided.

I think that should tell us something and that it is perhaps a quality of the Network being overlooked and perhaps being lost entirely as we devote more and more time and infrastructure in an effort to going viral.

Because we are not all, or will not always be, the kinds of people seeking an audience of many. What the web made possible – at a scale never seen before – was the ability for a individual to discover their so-called community of five. In time. It was the ability for one person to project their voice and for it to echo out across the Network long enough for someone else to find it. It gave us the ability to warm up to an idea, to return to it.

That access to recall is what makes the Network special to me. That is the opporunity which has been granted to us which we would be wrong to confuse with success or even discoverability. We all suffer from degrees of not-in-my-lifetime-itis but that is a kind of deviant behaviour we have already perfected so maybe we should not apply its metrics to the Network, for everyone's benefit.

As has been mentioned I work at a museum. As part of the museum's re-opening in December we are building, from scratch, a custom NFC-enabled stylus which we will give to every vistor upon entry. The stylus (or pen) will allow you to manipulate objects on interactive tables as well as to sketch and design your own creations. That is, literally, what the pointy end of the stylus is for.

The other end is used to touch an object label and record the ID of the object associated with it. That's it. Objects are stored on the pen as you wander around the museum and are then transferred back to the museum during or at the end of your visit and are available for retrieval via a unique shortcode assigned to every visit.

If you buy a ticket online and we know who you are then all the items you've collected or created should already be accessible via your museum account waiting for you by the time you get home or even by the time you get your phone out on the way to the subway. (If you don't already have an account then the visit is considered anonymous and that's just fine, too.)

The use of the pen to collect objects has a couple of objectives:

1. To simply do what people have always wanted to be able to in museums and been forced to accomplish themselves: To remember what you saw during your visit. People take pictures of wall labels, I think, not because they really want to but because there is no other mechanism for recall.

2. To get out of the way; to be intensely quiet and polite. The pen will likely enjoy a certain amount of time in the spotlight but my hope is that it will be successful enough that, when that attention fades, it might simply be taken for granted. To be a necessary technology in the service of memory, that dissolves in to normalcy, rather than being something you need to pay attention to or have an experience with.

3. To give people the confidence to believe that they don't necessarily need to do anything with the things they collect in the moment. To have the confidence to believe that we will keep the things they collect during their visit safe for a time when they will once again be relevant to them. For a person to see the history of one visit in association with all their other visits.

The pen itself is a fairly sophisticated piece of technology because it turns out that taking the conceptually simple act of bookmarking objects in real-life and making it simple in hardware and software is still actually hard. We are not doing this simply for the sake of the challenge but because it provides a way for the museum itself to live with the Network. In these ways we are trying to assert patience. We are, after all, a museum and our only purpose is to play the long game.

I totally didn't say that last paragraph on stage. I should have, though. Instead I talked a little bit about oh yeah, that which is a photo-sharing website which lets you upload a photo and then doesn't let you see it for a year. I talked about it as an experiment in a kind of enforced patience with the Network. I also talked about it an exercise in trying to build a tool that could operate without the adult supervision of my time or money (or much of it, anyway) such that it not be subject to the anxieties of being immediately successful. This, it seems to me, is the work ahead of us. It is not about oh yeah, that or any particular class of applications but about understanding why we are doing this at all and building things to those ends."

If you haven't read Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century I would recommend you do. One of the things that makes the book so powerful is that Piketty has been able to shape an argument through the rigorous use of historical data across a number of countries. The data is incomplete in historical terms: The data for the UK is only available from about the 1840s onwards, for the US data becomes available in the 1920s and so on. The one country where the data is available in a comprehensive manner is France. Because they went to the trouble of collecting it. One of the first acts of the state following the French Revolution was to perform an audit of and to continue collecting reliable estimations of wealth and property.

It is that diligence in record-keeping which made it possible for Piketty to illustrate his point in fact rather than intuition. On the web we have been given a similar opportunity to project our stories outwards in the future; to demonstrate a richer past to the present that will follow this one. It is unlikely that it will or even should yield the same fact-based analysis as Piketty's book. That is not the point. The point is that if we subscribe to a point world view that values a multiplicity of stories and understands that history is nuanced across experience and which recognizes that the ability to look backwards as much as forwards is where opportunity lies then we would do well to remember that many of those aspirations are afforded by the Network and in particular the web.

Those qualities are not inherent in the Network no more than access to opportunity guarantees success. They require care and consideration and if it seems like the Network has turned a bit poison we might do well to recognize that maybe we have also been negligent in our expectations, both of the Network and of ourselves.

Damn... you can almost see me exploding in to a TED-sized supernova of emotive jazz-hands at this point. As above, I did not in fact say this while on stage. I tried to say something like it, though, because I think it's true.

One refrain I hear a lot these days is that it's all gotten too hard. That the effort required to create something on the Network and effort to ensure its longevity has morphed in to something far beyonds the means of the individual. I am always struck by these comments not because I think we ought to be leveraging-the-fuck out of the latest, greatest advances in application framework or hosting solutions but for the simple reason that:

We managed to build a lot of cool shit on the back of 56Kb modems. We built a lot of cool shit – including entire communities – on top of a technical infrastructure that is a pale shadow of what we have available to us today. We know how to do this.

It is important to remember that the strength of the web is in its simplicity but in that simplicity – a Network of patient documents – is the opportunity far fewer of us enjoyed before it existed. The opportunity to project one's voice and to posit an argument which might have even a little more weight, or permanance, in the universe than shouting in the wind which is all most people have ever enjoyed. The opportunity to be part of an historical dialog because having an opinion is not de-facto over-sharing.

It is important to remember that the Network has given us the opportunity of a different measure of success."
networks  aaronstraupcope  2014  dconstruct  dconstruct2014  museums  archives  memory  memories  digital  internet  web  history  object  socialobjects  social  proxyobjects  socialnetworks  thomaspiketty  collections  simplicity  williamgibson  technology  cooper-hewitt  maps  mapping  osm  sopenstreetmap  clickbait  coolhunting  anabjain  efficiency  economics  opportunities  maciejceglowski  power  time  cynthiasmith  efficiencies  virality  scalehigh-speedtrading  access  accessibility  recall  nfc  attention  quietness  quiet  normalcy  everyday  maciejcegłowski 
september 2014 by robertogreco
The future of ed tech is here, it’s just not evenly distributed — Futures Exchange — Medium
"Using design fiction to cut through the relentless TEDTalk-like optimism of ed tech marketing"



"People talk about the future of technology in education as though it’s right around the corner, but for most of us we get to that corner and see it disappearing around the next. This innovation-obsessed cycle continues as we are endlessly dissatisfied with how little difference these promises make to the people implicated in these futures. These products and practices, cloaked in the latest buzzwords and jargon, often trickle down to non-western geographic regions after they’ve been tried and rejected, yet still adopted as the new and advanced “western” methodology that will solve the “problem” of education.

In an attempt to cut through the relentless TED Talk-like optimism of ed tech marketing, this year at the HASTAC conference in Peru we presented a series of fictional case studies. These four design fiction based personas aimed to illustrate the possible impact on society and education, in both positive and negative ways, of not just emerging technologies but also global social and economic trends. They give brief snapshots of the lives of individuals in imagined futures from different geographic, ethnic, economic, and cultural backgrounds, illustrating how each of them might interface and interact with the different technologies."

[See also: http://www.hastac.org/blogs/savasavasava/2014/06/19/hastac-2014-future-ed-tech-here-it%E2%80%99s-just-not-evenly-distributed
Wayback: https://web.archive.org/web/20150630153225/http://www.hastac.org/blogs/savasavasava/2014/06/19/hastac-2014-future-ed-tech-here-it%E2%80%99s-just-not-evenly-distributed ]
savasahelisingh  timmaughan  designfiction  edtech  technology  education  dystopia  marketing  optimism  pessimism  2014  williamgibson  speculativefiction  futures  future  innovation  buzzwords  hastac  casestudies 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Calculating the Weight of the Object / Snarkmarket
"I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the relationship between objects and activities. It’s something obviously affected by digitally-enabled multi-functionality. The digital object doesn’t so much have “a function” as a series of functions under an umbrella of one or two metafunctions – to wit, “this device is what I use to keep up to date” or “my tablet is what I use to read everything from the news to novels.” The association between object and function that was often one-to-one has become multiplied, perhaps receding into infinity (what, really, is the limit of what you can do with your iPhone?)

But more than that, though I know it sounds like mere tautology, the function of physical devices is related to their physicality. How they operate and what they do in 3D space is dependent on the manner in which they occupy that space. Maybe it’s my digitally-addled brain that needs reminding of that, but it somehow feels like a point worth repeating. And the Curta, in a world in which even the scientific calculator feels arcane, just seems so fascinatingly, resoundingly, undeniably physical. And perhaps it’s because of that physicality, but something about it thus seems so purposeful.

It is easy to get caught up in romanticizing the object we can touch, just as we here on Snarkmarket can occasionally get a bit too attached to pixels you can interact with and manipulate. But I’ve been wondering lately if, beyond the chatter about the attention economy or a supposed “inherent” nature to print or screens, there isn’t something pleasurable in the object that performs but one function. Physical or digital, it doesn’t matter. All I mean to ask is if there isn’t something to be enjoyed in a conscious minimalism of function rather than form – that one might find relief in the simplicity of a one-to-one relationship between an activity and a thing."

[Video referenced within: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDn_DDsBWws ]
snarkmarket  2014  objects  physicality  weight  navneetalang  williamgibson  patternrecognition  curta  calculators  digital  physical  digitalobjects  metafunctions  functions  space  purpose  pixels  dimensionality  3d 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Works Cited: Wasting time on the internet: a syllabus
"This is a syllabus in progress, imagined as part writing workshop, part American studies course on aesthetics. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

What I Did For Love: Taste, Evaluation, and Aesthetics in American Culture

“I don’t know art, but I know what I like,” goes the disclaimer. In this writing-intensive part-workshop, part-seminar, we will seek to unpack the relationship between “art” and “what I like” by examining a variety of cultural objects together with accounts of “taste.” What are the uses of an art that nobody likes? Could “annoyance” be an aesthetic principle? What is the role of money in taste? What are the ethics of aesthetics? Under what circumstances is an aesthetic pleasure “guilty”? When should the appreciation of art works be a matter of disinterested judgment, and when a matter of passionate engagement? Does “love” blind? What is the difference between a “fan” and a “critic”? What are the affordances and limits of the “formulaic” and the “generic”?

Four weeks of this course will be devoted to workshopping students’ critical writing, examining the roles of description, praise, blame, analysis, and enthusiasm in writing about culture. Students will also maintain a course blog. For the final assignment, students are encouraged to pitch their writing to an appropriately chosen publication.



Short exercise: choose a cultural object to describe as plainly as possible. About 500 words.



Essay 1: Describe some piece of culture (novel, film, painting, poem, music video, etc.) that you love, and that you also think is good. (These are two different things.) Explain why it is that you love the piece, what it is that makes it good, and how you can tell the difference (and under what circumstances you can’t). Be sure to explain what it is that makes art good in general—you don’t need to advance a fully developed theory of aesthetics, but you do need to unpack your assumptions as much as you can. Have an argument. This should be around 3000 words.



Short exercise: write a piece of fanfiction, about 1000 words, in the setting of your choice.



Short exercise: Make the case that some cultural object is a “remake” of another, earlier one (for example, that Pixar’s Toy Story is a remake of Disney’s Pinocchio). Be honest about the ways in which the claim does not hold up. In addition to noting similarities or lines of influence, you should explain what we gain from understanding the later object as a remake of the earlier one. 500–1,000 words.



Essay 2: Choose a piece of art and viciously pan it. Your critique should be utterly devastating, which is to say that you should be able to persuade your reader that this piece is a blight on humanity, and not merely that you are a mean-spirited person. This will be more effective if you resist choosing an easy target. 2,000–3,000 words.



Essay 3: Review some piece of culture that was recently produced—say, since January 2012. Give your reader a fairly thickly textured sense of what this piece is like, and explain what its successes and failures are. Once again, be sure to unpack what it means for something to “succeed” (in any register). What is the historical, cultural, or aesthetic milieu in which this piece is ideally legible? Make a point. This should be around 3,000 words.



Essay 4: Revise your review for publication in a venue of your choice. It may be print or online. When you submit this assignment to me, you should also submit a copy of the submission guidelines for this venue (to which your revised review should adhere) and a rationale (about 500 words) for choosing this publication. You are encouraged to actually submit the review to the publication you have chosen. (You might be interested in this [http://whopays.tumblr.com/ ].)"
nataliacecire  culture  internet  web  reading  2013  johnkeats  robertfrost  petercoviello  aesthetics  beauty  guiltypleasures  thomasnagel  judgement  clementgreenberg  pierrebordieu  thorsteinveblen  barbarahernsteinsmith  tseliot  andrewlloydwebber  thewasteland  taste  class  williambutleryeats  josefalbers  difficulty  mariannemoore  siannengai  leonarddiepeveen  lawrencelevine  rosalindkrauss  popculutre  authenticity  criticism  gender  chinuaahcebe  appropriation  music  williamgibson  cuteness  commodification  marktwain  edgarallanpoe  lililoofbourow  christianbök  walterbenjamin  maryoliver  writing  syllabus  classideas  highbrow  lowbrow  kant  syllabi 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Workalong: Critical Design / Design Fiction lecture finally written up. (loooooong)
[A very thorough catalog of "design fiction" examples]

"So futures. Design fiction, critical design, speculative design and all that stuff tends to be based in the future, or a futures, or futures. Why? Because it's a fertile playground and fair game. We're open to the suggestion of future images. It's how advertising works. It's evocative, it compounds hopes and fears and it's malleable. Most work isn't about the future, it's about now, but you can explode the now into the future to make it much more visible and understandable.

The archetypal quote. [WILLIAM GIBSON] This is one of the cornerstones of futures work. Somewhere, someone else has your future, and right now, your iPhone is someone else's future.We have to understand there's no kind of absolute rule for 'the' future. There is no 'the' future. There's just a bubbling and propagating mess of technologies and hopes and fears that sometimes arrange themselves into 'a' future.

So this is kind of where you aim at when thinking about the future. This is the futures cone, another one of those tools or symbols that comes up and over and over again. Uncertainty tells us that the future opens up to possibilities. The Google Glass future vision sits in that green preferable part but is unlikely to happen. Where it becomes interesting is exploring some of those wild cards that sit right on the outside. You lend that perspective to people and you can blow their minds. 'Hey there's this new technology and they say it'll do this, but what if it did this instead.'"



"Right, so this is the end and I want to leave you with some questions that I don't have answers to, having seen all of that stuff.

First up, 'Yes, but is it art?' Most of the projects I showed end up in a gallery. They're not sold in shops or made into real products, so how is this not art? There are cleverer people than I that could answer that question. I believe on some fundamental level that it's design because it uses the language of design to try and attract an audience. Because like I said earlier, it rearranges existing phenomena we can understand to give them new meaning and because it's for other people, not for the creator.

Secondly 'What if? ... Then what?' Critical design poses difficult questions and forces us to confront them, but then what? Once we have the questions and we have the provocation how do we deal with it, individually and societally? I don't know, I'm trying to figure that out.

'How do you measure success?' A question that is coming up more and more. You can measure the success of a normal design project by it's kickstarter funding or by units sold, but here we're not selling units or launching startups, we're trying to get people to deal with difficult things so how do you measure if that works? Well, there's a good spread of projects that get a lot of media attention so I guess that's a success, but is it enough?"
tobiasrevell  designfiction  speculativefiction  criticaldesign  design  futurism  2013  fionaraby  hertziantales  robots  superstudio  williamgibson  bigdog  saschapohflepp  goldeninstitute  power  normalcy  venkateshrao  anabjain  superflux  nickfoster  brucesterling  stanleykubrick  childrenofmen  diegetics  diegeticdesign  davidkirby  revitalcohen  prophecyprogram  stanleymilgram  phillippronnenburg  jamesbridle  berg  berglondon  littleprinter  newaesthetic  liamyoung  vincentfournier  josephpopper  larissasansour  peckhamouterspaceinitiative  cristinademiddel  hefinjones  welshspaceprogram  materials  3dprinting  markuskayser  thomasthwaites  toasterproject  jeremyhutchinson  cohenvanbalen  stelarc  choykafai  sputniko  agathahaines  unnaturalhistory  aihasegawa  synthetics  georgetremmel  shihofukuhara  art  canon  davidbenque  geopolitics  yosukeushigome  zoepapadopoulou  stacktivism  julianoliver  dunne&raby  anthonydunne  posthumanism 
december 2013 by robertogreco
The Web as a Preservation Medium | inkdroid
"So how to wrap up this strange, fragmented, incomplete tour through Web preservation? I feel like I should say something profound, but I was hoping these stories of the Web would do that for me. I can only say for myself that I want to give back to the Web the way it has given to me. With 25 years behind us the Web needs us more than ever to help care for the archival slivers it contains. I think libraries, museums and archives that realize that they are custodians of the Web, and align their mission with the grain of the Web, will be the ones that survive, and prosper. Brian Fitzpatrick, Jason Scott, Brewster Kahle, Mislav Marohnic, Philip Cromer, Jeremy Ruten and Aaron Swartz demonstrated their willingness to work with the Web as a medium in need of preservation, as well as a medium for doing the preservation. We need more of them. We need to provide spaces for them to do their work. They are the new faces of our profession."
archiving  web  digitalpreservation  digital  facebook  archiveteam  archives  twitter  internet  edsummers  2013  preservation  aaronswartz  timberners-lee  marshallmcluhan  kisagitelman  matthewkirschenbaum  davidbrunton  linkrot  www  adamliptak  supremecourt  scotus  lapsteddomains  brewsterkahle  urls  html  permalinks  paulbausch  jasonscott  mihaiparparita  zombiereader  googlereader  impermanence  markpilgrim  jonathangillette  rss  _why  information  markdown  mslavmarohnic  philipcromer  jeremyruten  github  williamgibson  degradation  data  cern  grailbird  google  davewiner  rufuspollock  distributed  decentralization  collaboration  brianfitzpatrick 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Julian Bleecker: The Future Never Gets Old — The Gradient — Walker Art Center
“I have personally been interested in the overlap of design and speculation for a while, but inviting Julian out in the context of the IWG posed a new set of questions: how can an organization like the Walker embed speculative practices into its workflow, how is interdisciplinary experimentation already inherently speculative, and when should our institution embrace a process that is not necessarily results-oriented—or at least, not in the typical sense? Speaking of mundane . . .”

[Related: Julian Bleecker on ‘Undisciplinarity’ https://vimeo.com/7196709 ]
julianbleecker  designfiction  future  futures  futurism  design  williamgibson  longtail  walkerartcenter  interdisciplinary  interdisciplinarydesigngroup  emmetbyrne  susannahschouweiler  2012  nearfuturelaboratory  making  storytelling  lcproject  openstudioproject  undisciplinarity  doing  scifi  sciencefiction  innovation 
april 2013 by robertogreco
hyperbolic.guitars.home.: On my mind
"When we go through our reasons for why we teach a discipline, we'd better have more substantial reasons than "It'll be beneficial in the future" or "You need it to get into a good college" or "It teaches thinking skills" or "Shut up and eat your broccoli". I recognize that historically, traditionally, math was sold to students in all of those ways, and with varying degrees of success. But educational history and tradition are proving poor guides to our current situation. The questions that our students will have to face are, fundamentally, unlike any ones previous generations have had to:

• What happens if/when the climate changes dramatically?

• What happens if there are no more "good jobs" for most people?

• What happens if the dystopian visions elaborated by William Gibson, Aldous Huxley, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, and many others, start to become real?

• More optimistically, what do students need to know/be able to do/figure out to be engaged, thoughtful, intelligent citizens of the world they will inherit?"
via:carwaiseto  education  teaching  math  mathematics  whyweteach  bigquestions  cv  purpose  learning  problemsolving  criticalthinking  mathinisolation  williamgibson  society  dystopia  aldoushuxley  philipkdick  raybradbury  mikethayer  2013 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Lamps: a design research collaboration with Google Creative Labs, 2011 – Blog – BERG
"As a technical challenge it’s been one that academics and engineers in industry have failed to make compelling to the general populace. The Google team’s achievement in realising this vision is undoubtedly impressive. I can’t wait to try them! (hint, hint!)

It’s also a vision that is personal and, one might argue, introverted – where the Big Brain is looking at the same things as you and trying to understand them, but the results are personal, never shared with the people you are with. The result could be an incredibly powerful, but subjective overlay on the world.

In other words, the mirrorworld has a population of 1. You.

Lamps uses similar techniques of computer vision, context-sensing and machine learning but its display is in the world, the cloud is painted on the world. In the words of William Gibson, the mirrorworld is becoming part of our world – everted into the spaces we live in.

The mirrorworld is shared with you, and those you are with."
projection  projectors  imagerecognition  robotreadableworld  microworld  spoookcountry  williamgibson  googleglass  light  interface  google  2012  2011  berglondon  berg  lamps  mattjones  basaap 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Starbooks and the Death of the Work | booktwo.org
"I used to talk about how Pynchon and Illuminatus and Grant Morrison’s “Invisibles” rewired my brain, but the internet is the greatest work of literature I’ve ever read. It’s my favourite book. A combinatory literature, the literature of the digital dérive, the literature of the wikihole. Hyper-referentiality is the new style – this is why I obsess over Wikipedia, which is a subset of the whole internet, self-similar, at a shorter grain, why I obsess over Fanfiction, which uses the canon as its context: you learn more at each level, like Mandelbrot’s map."
hypertextnovels  hypertextliterature  hypertextfiction  hypertext  grantmorrison  flickr  bookfuturism  futureofbooks  workingbooks  internet  online  web  writing  reading  destabilization  newjournalism  newnewjournalism  discordia  indignados  endlessdigitalnow  future  williamgibson  punk  danhancox  jessedarling  trashtheory  tiqqun  thomaspynchon  lauriepenny  mollycrabapple  wikipedia  cv  jamesbridle  present  starbooks  books  2012  internetasfavoritebook  internetasliterature 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Two Things (Gibson TTS and Fictional Memory Palaces) | booktwo.org
"It’s all oddly appropriate for Gibson though, an experience mightily enhanced by walking around the city while you listen to it.

And talking about Gibson reminds me of something I didn’t mention before about the last book, Zero History: how all my friends, without planning it, read it at pretty much the same time. We didn’t talk about it explicitly—not much anyway—but for a couple of weeks we all inhabited the same fictional space, which leaked out around us in a constant, low-level hum of Bigend references, fictional brands, and in-jokes.

It was fun, and good. Perhaps, this is what Invisible Book Club is.

If you play a lot of video games, or a lot of a video game, you slowly learn the map, it stays in your head. It doesn’t exist, it’s an imaginary place, but you can find your way around in it, even give directions within it.

A shared fiction is like a shared map, a space we can inhabit, a shared memory palace, even for a brief period."
postgeography  post-geographic  situatedmeanings  memorypalaces  sciencefiction  fiction  imaginaryplaces  place  wayfinding  location  mapping  maps  invisiblebookclub  cities  zerohistory  williamgibson  2012  jamesbridle  sharedfiction 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Venture Ethnography 1: a bi(bli)ography « Justin Pickard
"Project Cascadia is the test-case for a cluster of ideas I’ve been playing with for the best part of five years. A chance to break out my signature obsessions …

Hauntings, world expos, gonzo journalism, science fiction, systems, geopolitics, utopianism, virtuality, globalisation, the sublime, resilience, collapsonomics, aesthetics, architecture, environmentalism, infrastructure, design, futures studies, sovereignty, atemporality, risk, the nation-state, the uncanny, Americana, technoscience, cyberpunk, multispecies ethnography, fiction, capitalism, the human senses, counterfactual history, media and cyborgs (and media cyborgs)

… and nail them to the mast of a weird and interstitial sort of boat; a soupy, hybrid writing practice that would combine the best of ethnography, journalism and science fiction.

In lieu of a biography, then, I’m offering a bibliography. Five years of my brain, in books, articles, essays, and blog posts…"
urbanism  jgballard  richardbarbrook  marcaugé  warrenellis  jenniferegan  bradleygarrett  donnaharaway  naomiklein  brunolatour  ursulaleguin  ianmacdonald  suketumehta  chinamieville  jimrossignol  michaeltaussig  huntersthompson  adamgreenfield  brucesterling  thomaspynchon  bldgblog  geoffmanaugh  cityofsound  danhill  davidgraeber  matthewgandy  williamgibson  corydoctorow  douglascoupland  michaelchabon  jamaiscascio  laurenbeukes  journalism  mediacyborgs  cyborgs  geopolitics  aesthetics  utopianism  risk  atemporality  sovereignty  sciencefiction  cyberpunk  technoscience  ethnography  capitalism  globalization  collapsonomics  resilience  writing  projectcascadia  bibliographies  2011  justinpickard  bibliography 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Living inside the Machine | booktwo.org
"We used to posit this space, the network, the notional space, as being elsewhere, the other side of the screen. But increasingly we have these images of the machine as something that surrounds us, that we live inside, within. As something that enfolds us."

"The “abstract machine” is Deleuze and Guattari’s term for the sum of all machines—in their terminology, this includes the body, society, language, interpretation: like the rhizome it stands both for the sum and its parts. So the network too is one of these abstract machines: a mainframe, a terminal, a laptop, a wireless LAN, a string of satellites. And us too, living inside the machine, a part of the network.

That notional space."

[Video here: https://vimeo.com/51675237 ]
storiesfromthenewaesthetic  hippo  eniac  harryreed  future  present  history  ibm  joannemcneil  aaronstraupcope  society  rhizome  systems  notionalspace  machines  abstractmachines  guattari  deleuze  williamgibson  jgballard  computires  computing  mainframes  networks  georgedyson  2012  newaesthetic  jamesbridle  deleuze&guattari  gillesdeleuze  félixguattari 
october 2012 by robertogreco
William Gibson on where the Internet's Bohemias are - Boing Boing
"Bohemia used to be self-imposed backwaters of a sort. They were other countries within the landscape of Western industrial civilization. They were countries that most people would never see — mysterious places. You’d pay a price, potentially, for going there. That’s always cool and exciting. Now, where are they? Where can you do that? How are people transacting that today? I am pretty sure that they are, but I don’t have that much firsthand experience of it. But they have to do it in a different way."
interviews  web  internet  bohemians  bohemia  williamgibson  2012 
september 2012 by robertogreco
William Gibson - ERRATA: SIGNAL TO NOISE [or "Dead Man Sings" in Distrust That Particular Flavor"]
"We are that strange species that constructs artifacts intended to counter the natural flow of forgetting.

I sometimes think that nothing really is new; that the first pixels were particles of ochre clay, the bison rendered in just the resolution required. The bison still function perfectly, all these millennia later, and what screen in the world today shall we say that of in a decade? And yet the bison will be there for us, on whatever screens we have, carried out of the primal dark on some impulse we each have felt, as children, drawing. But carried nonetheless on this thing we have always been creating, this vast unlikely mechanism that carries memory in its interstices; this global, communal, prosthetic memory that we have been building since before we learned to build."

"When we turn on the radio in a New York hotel room and hear Elvis singing “Heartbreak Hotel”, we are seldom struck by the peculiarity of our situation: that a dead man sings."
williamgibson  2003  elvis  nature  humans  forgetting  memory  time 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Ray Bradbury’s Birthday, William Gibson, and Being Science-Fictional in Los Angeles | Space Canon
"Los Angeles, California, is arguably the science fiction capital of America. Blade Runner’s iconic sino-Futuristic downtown notwithstanding, there’s a strong historical lineage for science fiction in the Southland"

"I have been enjoying, very much, being a science fiction reader in Los Angeles. Not only does the city’s atmosphere of accreting globalization, total simultaneity, and neon lend itself perfectly to my inner wanderings, but the culture is alive and well."

"In order to induce the kind of cognitive dissonance we come to good science fiction for, one must have a yardstick for how weird it is right now. My yardstick of weirdness was too short to describe the weirdness outside my window." —William Gibson

Which is as fair a description of Los Angeles as I could summon right now: weirdness outside the window, ever-changing, and rife with exactly the kind of cognitive dissonance we come to good science fiction (and interesting cities) to experience."
bookstores  mysteryandimaginationbooks  thelastbookstore  northhollywood  glendale  books  cities  clairelevans  scifi  sciencefiction  2012  raybradbury  losangeles  williamgibson 
september 2012 by robertogreco
William Gibson: on Atemporality — The High Bar
"William Gibson‘s writing is timeless. For mortals, conquering time is a Quixotic endeavor, only imaginable with the aid of good religion, better hallucinogens or great science fiction.

Today(?), Mr. Gibson walks into The High Bar and joins me to raise a toast to and raise the bar for… atemporality. Will time stand still and if so, what impact will it have on our memories, intimate or communal?

The legendary author (Neuromancer; Pattern Recognition) discusses his childhood, his craft and his hope for a future he has never truly predicted, even within the pages of his recent collection of articles and essays, Distrust That Particular Flavor."
self-projection  love  siri  technology  culture  prostheticmemory  fascism  patternrecognition  speculative  history  time  memory  nostalgia  distrustthatparticularflavor  monoculture  childhood  warrenetheredge  scifi  sciencefiction  williamgibson  2012  atemporality  conservatism 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Start-ups and Slash Fiction | booktwo.org
"My talk from NEXT Berlin 2012, in which I talk about ways of making meaning and fiction online (Original video on the NEXT site).

The quote at the the end, that “the history of the Internet is a history of metaphors about the Internet”, which I mistakenly attribute to Sherry Turkle, is actually by Christine Smallwood, as quoted in Andrew Blum’s Tubes (below), and appears to originate in an article called “What does the Internet look like?” in The Baffler, no longer online but preserved by the Internet Archive."

[Video also here http://nextberlin.eu/2012/07/james-bridle-metaphors-considered-harmful/ and here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1Y_g8jOQus ]

[Phrases of note:

* post-geographical position (William Gibson)
* notional space (William Gibson)
* Borges wrote fanfiction
* Gibson was always a Beat writer

]
libraryofbabel  mapping  maps  metaphors  metaphor  allaboard  slashfic  writing  collaborativewriting  omegle  forourtimes  tlönuqbarorbistertius  fiftyshadesofgray  twilight  pierremenard  andreafrancke  storytelling  stories  steampunk  allenginsberg  jackkerouac  charliestross  belatedness  hplovecraft  fanfiction  change  memory  startups  fiction  slashfiction  books  imagination  jamesbridle  videogames  notionalspace  context  walkman  postgeography  internet  christinesmallwood  scifi  sciencefiction  nextberlin  nextberlin2012  2012  williamgibson  borges  thelibraryofbabel 
july 2012 by robertogreco
William Gibson On MONDO 2000 & 90s Cyberculture (MONDO 2000 History Project Entry #16) | ACCELER8OR
"REGARDING THE ’90S UTOPIANISM: I never though that cyborgs and virtual worlds were particularly utopian, so I’ve never been disappointed. The world is always more interesting than some futurist’s vision. If you think it’s not, you’re not really looking."

"WHO WE ARE: Who we are is largely who we meet. Cities are machines that randomize contact. The Internet is a meta-city, meta-randomizing contact. I now “know” more people than I would ever have imagined possible, because of that. It changes who I am and what I can do."
urban  urbanism  contact  meta-city  life  whoweare  change  payingattention  noticing  reality  cyborgs  utopianthinking  online  web  internet  cities  vr  futurists  futurism  timothyleary  cyberpunk  cyberculture  rusirius  simonelackbauer  mondo2000  williamgibson  scifi  sciencefiction  virtualreality 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Audio Archives | Douglas Coupland & William Gibson | Key West Literary Seminar
"…Coupland leads Gibson through a discussion on culture, technology, & the craft of writing. “What makes us human,” Gibson says, “is our ability to recognize patterns, & to externalize forms of synthetic memory that preserve those recognized patterns.” The internet & its attendant communications technologies, Gibson argues, are a natural evolution of this synthetic memory, the current iteration of the cave painting human ancestors used to record their activities. These technologies function as a “global instantaneous memory prosthesis” & aspire to a transparency of experience whereby distinctions btwn the “virtual” & “real” are thoroughly dissolved. “We are already the borg,” Gibson says.

…Coupland & Gibson address cultural phenomena including Whole Foods grocery chain & Levi’s jeans, & thinkers including Marshall McLuhan & Jaron Lanier. They also explain why Facebook is like a mall & Twitter is like the street, & ask whether life is best understood as a story or as a spreadsheet."
levis  wholefoods  jaronlanier  marshallmcluhan  web  internet  memoryprosthesis  memory  patternrecognition  human  communication  tolisten  writing  technology  cyberspace  douglascoupland  facebook  twitter  2012  williamgibson  beatles 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Cities in Fact and Fiction: An Interview with William Gibson: Scientific American
"The city looms large in the fiction of author William Gibson. In the September issue of Scientific American, Gibson's essay, "Life in the Meta-City," details how cities increase "the number and randomization of potential human and cultural contacts" and how they serve as "vast, multilayered engines of choice." Cities that cease to provide choice—or which try to overcontrol their denizens—lose their spark and sometimes perish. In the interview that follows, Gibson shares his perceptions about existing cities and their links to his fiction."
urbanism  future  urban  technology  cities  williamgibson 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Gibson: Dreaming in Social Media · tealtan · Storify
An online dinner party (or nightcap) conversation in the wake of a "William Gibson gave a talk tonight at the Union Square B&N;, and threw out a provocative thought." Compiled by Allen Tan.
oversharing  intimacy  surrealism  dreamspace  networks  sharedconsciousness  unconsciousness  sharing  reading  blurredrealms  sleeping  waking  joy  sarcasm  snark  humor  telepresence  presence  future  fiction  onlinedinnerparty  humanity  andrewfamiglietti  sciencefiction  scifi  socialmedia  web  net  dreams  ideasmuggling  ideas  books  nyc  maxfenton  danielreetz  erinkissane  comments  aaronstewart-ahn  timcarmody  twitter  storify  conversation  2012  allentan  williamgibson 
january 2012 by robertogreco
BBC - Desert Island Discs - Castaway : William Gibson
"This week the castaway on Desert Island Discs is William Gibson. Long before the existence of the Internet, he wrote about 'cyberspace', a boundless world reached only through computers. External space travel, to the Moon and Mars, had become old hat. By creating internal space, he breathed new life into science fiction. In conversation with Sue Lawley, he talks about his life and work and chooses eight records to take to the mythical island."
williamgibson  1999  interviews  music 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Post by Robin Sloan: Who writes modern adventure?
"Just finished Jack London's Tales of the Fish Patrol & loved it: crazy vignettes of vigilante lawmen and their adventures in sailboats up & down San Francisco Bay.

Lately I've been feeling a surging appreciation for writers like London and Kipling (especially in _Kim_) and Edgar Rice Burroughs (though his prose doesn't hold up as well as the other two). Or even a dude like H. Rider Haggard (whose character Allan Quatermain was the template for Indiana Jones).

I feel like we've lost this genre—true adventure. Litfic definitely doesn't do it, and mass-market thrillers (Clancy, Child, even Stieg Larsson etc.) are doing something else these days—something much darker. There's a brightness to London, etc., even when they're writing about shipwrecks or skulduggery. I guess some YA fiction comes close... but it all seems so drenched in magic lately. None of the bright grit of a book like Kim.

Am I missing somebody obvious, though? Who writes modern adventure?"

[See the replies.]
books  adventure  booklists  jacklondon  williamgibson  robinsloan  rudyardkipling  edgarriceburroughs 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 211, William Gibson
"“I was walking around Vancouver, aware of that need, and I remember walking past a video arcade, which was a new sort of business at that time, and seeing kids playing those old-fashioned console-style plywood video games. The games had a very primitive graphic representation of space and perspective. Some of them didn’t even have perspective but were yearning toward perspective and dimensionality. Even in this very primitive form, the kids who were playing them were so physically involved, it seemed to me that what they wanted was to be inside the games, within the notional space of the machine. The real world had disappeared for them—it had completely lost its importance. They were in that notional space, and the machine in front of them was the brave new world…"

"When I’m writing a book I get up at seven. I check my e-mail and do Internet ablutions, as we do these days. I have a cup of coffee. Three days a week, I go to Pilates and am back by ten or eleven. Then I sit down and try to write. If absolutely nothing is happening, I’ll give myself permission to mow the lawn. But, generally, just sitting down and really trying is enough to get it started. I break for lunch, come back, and do it some more. And then, usually, a nap. Naps are essential to my process. Not dreams, but that state adjacent to sleep, the mind on waking."
writing  literature  fiction  williamgibson  cyberspace  parisreview  interviews  neologisms  videogames  arcades  gaming  exquisitecorpse 
june 2011 by robertogreco
William Gibson says cyberspace was inspired by 8-bit videogames
"I was walking around Vancouver, aware of that need, and I remember walking past a video arcade, which was a new sort of business at that time, and seeing kids playing those old-fashioned console-style plywood video games. The games had a very primitive graphic representation of space and perspective. Some of them didn’t even have perspective but were yearning toward perspective and dimensionality. Even in this very primitive form, the kids who were playing them were so physically involved, it seemed to me that what they wanted was to be inside the games, within the notional space of the machine. The real world had disappeared for them-it had completely lost its importance. They were in that notional space, and the machine in front of them was the brave new world."
williamgibson  cyberspace  definitions  neologisms  vancouver  britishcolumbia  games  videogames  sciencefiction  scifi  bc 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Rocket Radio - an Article by William Gibson
"The Street finds its own uses for things - uses the manufacturers never imagined. The microcassette recorder, originally intended for on-the-jump executive dictation, becomes the revolutionary medium of magnizdat, allowing the covert spread of suppressed political speeches in Poland and China. The beeper and the cellular telephone become tools in an increasingly competitive market in illicit drugs. Other technological artifacts unexpectedly become means of communication, either through opportunity or necessity. The aerosol can gives birth to the urban graffiti matrix. Soviet rockers press homemade flexi-discs out of used chest X-rays."
technology  williamgibson  media  culture  cyberpunk  writing  streetuse  thatline  1989  rocketradio  rollingstone  conviviality  convivialtools 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Our full interview with William Gibson | Reading | Independent Weekly
"MySpace & Facebook just looked overstructured & Disneylanded…

When a friend of mine joined Twitter, I thought, "Oh, this sounds dreadful,"…join[ed] it for a laugh, so I could make fun of it later. To my great surprise, I found it nicely understructured. & very fast…

I also find it effortless—that may be because the way I use it is largely content-free, but it's actually been a very nice experience. I would miss it if it disappeared; I would miss the company of people I've gotten used to having around in a virtual way.

What I'd miss most about Twitter is its astonishing power as an aggregator of novelty. It does in a few hours what one hundred professionally produced magazines could scarcely do in a month, skimming the world's weirdest, most wonderful things & depositing it on your desktop to be snacked on.

Having boasted for years at watching less television than any NA male my age, I may unfortunately have found my television."

[via: via: http://twitter.com/ballardian/status/60530562850492416 ]
twitter  williamgibson  interviews  2010  zerohistory  sciencefiction  scifi  facebook  myspace  aggregator  television  tv  unstructured  novelty 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Twitter at Five: Author William Gibson’s Five to Follow | Posted | National Post
"In Five to Follow, a week-long web series, our columnists and other notable Twitter users pick five of their favourite tweeters. Below, author William Gibson."

[via: http://twitter.com/ballardian/status/60530562850492416 ]
williamgibson  twitter  microblogging  2011 
april 2011 by robertogreco
At the Core of the Apple Store: Images of Next Generation Learning (full-length and abridged article) | Big Picture
"What are the essential features of the Apple Store’s learning culture?

* The learning experience is highly personalized and focused on the interests and needs of the individual customer.

* Customers can make mistakes with little risk of failure or embarrassment. Thinking and tinkering with the help of a staff member provide opportunities for deep learning.

* Challenges are real and embedded in the customer’s learning and work.

* Assessment is built right into the learning, focusing specifically on what needs to be accomplished.

A disruptive innovation? We think so. The Apple Store has created a new type of learning environment that allows individuals to learn anything, at any time, at any level, from experts, expert practitioners, and peers."
apple  applestore  learning  schooldesign  innovation  via:cervus  education  lcproject  technology  williamgibson  geniusbar  retail  studioclassroom  openstudio  thirdplaces  problemsolving  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  personalization  individualized  challenge  disruption  assessment  deeplearning  21stcenturylearning  learningspaces  thirdspaces 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Trevor Stone's Journal - William Gibson Reflects on Orwell's 1984
"keep most of my data on Internet public to world. Partly…so strangers can discover my insights & quirks & find whatever inspiration helps them. Partly…to level playing field: ordinary folks on 'net can learn about me almost as easily as secretive govt organizations & corps w/ platoons of computers.

…1 reason I'm not on Facebook…despite all bluster about how they're destroying privacy, they've not made it very easy to provide info to world at large…"Share these photos w/ others, even if they don't have Facebook" sent email to non-users that just invited them to create an account. I don't think it's possible to create RSS feed of status updates so people can read them in their own preferred way. Despite happily taking people's email passwords & plundering their address book, they refuse users the ability to export a list of their friends' contact info…if you're worried about govt tracking your activities on Internet, just think about what Facebook can do w/ the data it has…"
facebook  privacy  williamgibson  trevorstone  sharing  web  internet  2010  2003  1984  georgeorwell  surveillance 
november 2010 by robertogreco
The Soul of Web 2.0 | the human network
"This is the essential starting point for any discussion of what the Web is, what it is becoming, and how it should be presented. The individual, with their needs, their passions, their opinions, their desires and their goals is always paramount. We tend to forget this, or overlook it, or just plain ignore it. We design from a point of view which is about what we have to say, what we want to present, what we expect to communicate. It’s not that that we should ignore these considerations, but they are always secondary. The Web is a ground for being. Individuals do not present themselves as receptacles to be filled. They are souls looking to be fulfilled. This is as true for children as for adults – perhaps more so – and for this reason the educational Web has to be about space and place for being, not merely the presentation of a good-looking set of data."

[via: http://willrichardson.posterous.com/quote-of-the-day-mark-pesce ]
markpesce  sharing  internet  socialnetworking  social  iteration  regulation  contribution  connecting  open  facebook  twitter  web  online  openness  williamgibson  streetuse  design  user-centered  self-directedlearning  communication  existence  edtech 
november 2010 by robertogreco
A Vehicular Appendix To "Zero History"
"In "Zero History," Gibson fully explores his product fetishism and grasp of the automotive zeitgeist by featuring a many of the same vehicles we can't stop talking about on the pages of Jalopnik. Click through the images for a chronological appendix to the most important vehicles used in "Zero History." There are no real spoilers, but don't read if you're especially impressionable."
williamgibson  zerohistory  fiction  vehicles  cataloging  jalopnik 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Network Realism: William Gibson and new forms of Fiction | booktwo.org
"the world becomes increasingly Gibsonian—Bigendian—when you’re reading the books. [examples]…

So, if Gibson was originally writing “on top of Firefox”, he’s now writing on top of Twitter…

Gibson’s been talking a lot lately about atemporality, this idea that we live in a sort of endless digital now. In “Zero History” we have an echo of “No Future”: everything compressed into the present…

Network Realism is writing that is of and about the network. It’s realism because it’s so close to our present reality. A realism that posits an increasingly 1:1 relationship between Fiction and the World. A realtime link. And it’s networked because it lives in a place that’s that’s enabled by, and only recently made possible by, our technological connectedness. …

Future scholars of Network Realism will have to decide if information visualisation and in particular projects like We Feel Fine fit into this definition. I suspect not, because I want to keep this to literature, and capital-A Authors, but I suspect there’s a connection. Perhaps in data griotism or whatever we end up calling that."
datagriotism  networkrealism  williamgibson  atemporality  2010  fiction  zerohistory  jonathanharris  robinsloan  writing  twitter  networks  nearnearfuture  adjacentfuture  digitalnow  realtime  technologicalconnectedness  wefeelfine  literature  scifi  sciencefiction  network  networked  via:preoccupations  jamesbridle 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Contributor - Google's Earth - NYTimes.com
"Google is not ours. Which feels confusing, because we are its unpaid content-providers, in one way or another. We generate product for Google, our every search a minuscule contribution. Google is made of us, a sort of coral reef of human minds and their products. …

We never imagined that artificial intelligence would be like this. We imagined discrete entities. Genies.…

If Google were sufficiently concerned about this, perhaps the company should issue children with free “training wheels” identities at birth, terminating at the age of majority. One could then either opt to connect one’s adult identity to one’s childhood identity, or not. Childhoodlessness, being obviously suspect on a résumé, would give birth to an industry providing faux adolescences, expensively retro-inserted, the creation of which would gainfully employ a great many writers of fiction. So there would be a silver lining of sorts."
williamgibson  google  internet  scifi  cyberspace  fiction  future  privacy  surveillance  technology  cyberpunk  2010  coral 
september 2010 by robertogreco
IoNoi il Blog di Fabio Novembre
"If you want a classier explanation, I'd say you saw a semiotic ghost. All these contactee stories, for instance, are framed in a kind of sci-fi imagery that permeates our culture. I could buy aliens, but not aliens that look like Fifties' comic art. They're semiotic phantoms, bits of deepcultural imagery that have split off and taken on a life of their own, like the Jules Verne airships that those old Kansas farmers were always seeing. But you saw a different kind of ghost, that's all. That plane was part of the mass unconscious, once. You picked up on that, somehow. The important thing is not to worry about it."<br />
<br />
William Gibson, Il continuum di Gernsback, 1981
williamgibson  deepculturalimagery  sciencefiction  semiotics  semioticghosts  scifi  julesverne  massunconscious 
august 2010 by robertogreco
About Flow: Doors of Perception 7 on Flow
"But an equally important use of information is much more vague. It’s why we read newspapers every day, exchange idle gossip or attend conferences. It’s why we suffer an education. We’re not seeking a specific piece of information. We’re accumulating a semi-random collection of data, ideas and gut feelings which have no immediate or apparent use.

We build up this semi-random cloud of mental stuff to equip ourselves with a continually updated ‘feel’ for events—so that, when in the hazy future a need or opportunity arises, facts and intuitions will hopefully fuse into patterns that allow us to take actions appropriate to their context. We also hope that, while wandering and wondering in this space, we might stumble across valuable facts or ideas which, had we sought them, might not have been found. Let’s call this imaginary cloud ‘a space for half-formed thoughts’."

[via: http://plsj.tumblr.com/post/938736809/a-space-for-half-formed-thoughts ]
creativity  cyberculture  cyberspace  media  technology  theory  flow  williamgibson  sensemaking  patterns  patternrecognition  information  memory  generalists  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  alberteinstein  philliptabor  2002  half-formedthoughts  thinking  knowledge  data  retrieval  context  words  logic  play  expression  understanding  invention  design  psychology  imagination  space  substance  robertomatta  matta-clark  spacial  vagueness  fluidity  gordonmatta-clark 
august 2010 by robertogreco
The Films of Vincenzo Natali | Electric Sheep Film Club, Podcasts, Events
"To coincide with the release of the new sci-fi thriller Splice, in which scientists Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley create a dangerous half-human hybrid via genetic manipulation, Alex Fitch talks to director Vincenzo Natali about the film and the other three movies he’s collaborated on with actor David Hewlett – Cypher, Nothing, the cult classic Cube – and his forthcoming adaptation of William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer."
tolisten  vincenzonatali  williamgibson  neuromancer  splice  film  scifi  sciencefiction 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Twitter / William Gibson: The best science fiction ( ...
"The best science fiction (inadvertently?) schools the reader in systemic imagining."
systemicimagining  systemsthinking  systems  williamgibson  sciencefiction  scifi  tcsnmy  glvo  thinking 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Why Robin Sloan is the Future of Publishing (and Science Fiction) | Wet Asphalt [Gets right to the heart of (a) why I love Robin's brand of science fiction; and (b) how the content is also related to the process of its creation.]
"While Bruce Sterling & Cory Doctorow & Vernor Vinge fantasize about Singularity or augmented reality or 3D printers that can reproduce themselves (which, incidentally, all appeal heavily to juvenile power fantasies), Sloan is writing a fiction that speaks to a world in which we find ourselves not exactly emancipated by technology but simply hyper-connected by it, our identities as people redefined by the media we share, media which we embrace & deeply care about even when it leaves us bewildered, co-opted, & reduced in a thousand ways to algorithms. It isn't "hard" Science Fiction, not by a long shot, but most "hard" SF long ago stopped being able to figure out how to be relevant to most readers (as can be seen by their sales figures), with its greatest practitioners, William Gibson & Neal Stephenson, turning instead to the present day, on the one hand, & history & alternate history, on the other. Sloan, however, has found an entirely different & exciting avenue of attack."
robinsloan  sciencefiction  scifi  writing  publishing  social  socialmedia  kickstarter  via:robinsloan  future  present  quantumcomputing  corydoctorow  singularity  williamgibson  brucesterling  vernorvinge 
june 2010 by robertogreco
BOOK EXPO AMERICA LUNCHEON TALK
"In 2001 I was writing a book that became Pattern Recognition, my seventh novel, though it only did so after 9-11, which I’m fairly certain will be the real start of every documentary ever made about the present century. I found the material of the actual 21st Century richer, stranger, more multiplex, than any imaginary 21st Century could ever have been. And it could be unpacked with the toolkit of science fiction. I don’t really see how it can be unpacked otherwise, as so much of it is so utterly akin to science fiction, complete with a workaday level of cognitive dissonance we now take utterly for granted."
atemporality  2010  futureshock  future  fiction  futurism  williamgibson  writing  scifi  literature  sciencefiction  via:robinsloan  books  culture 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Six Writers on Their Favorite Reading -- New York Magazine
"Beach reads don’t have to be new best sellers or formulaic romances. In fact, summer is the perfect time to dig deep into books, classics and otherwise, you’ve missed. We asked exemplary authors in particular fields to recommend the books that matter most to them—the ones they keep going back to and, in many cases, that made them want to write. Their literary mix tapes, of a sort." [William Gibson here: http://nymag.com/arts/books/features/66294/index2.html
books  lists  toread  reading  recommendations  sciencefiction  scifi  williamgibson  fiction  science  history  historicalfiction  rebeccaskloot  memoirs 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Modern boys and mobile girls | Books | The Observer
"For sci-fi author William Gibson, Japan has been a lifelong inspiration. Here, the writer who coined the phrase 'cyberspace', explains why no other country comes closer to the future... or makes better toothpaste" ... "Why Japan, then? Because they live in the future, but neither yours nor mine, and somehow make it seem either interesting or comical or really interestingly dreadful. Because they are capable of naming an après-sport drink Your Water. Because they build museum-grade reproductions of the MA-1 flight jacket that require prospective owners to be on waiting lists for several years before one even has a chance of possibly, one day, owning the jacket. Because they can say to you, with absolute seriousness, believing that it means something, 'I like your lifestyle!'"
culture  muji  cyberpunk  japan  tokyo  technology  subculture  scifi  2001  williamgibson  books  future  otaku  interview 
may 2010 by robertogreco
William Gibson: *Access random novelty.*
"Twitter, or the Internet at large, feels to me like an automation of what I have to do, anyway, in order to write: Stare out window. Read a magazine. Gaze at shoe. Answer a letter. Think about something new (or newly). *Access random novelty.*"
williamgibson  via:russelldavies  twitter  serendipity  browsing  random  randomness  novelty  internet  web  online 
april 2010 by robertogreco
Style Icon: Cayce Pollard from William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" ---> NOGOODFORME.COM
"You'd think such an allergy to brands would put a cramp in a girl's style, but here's the other rub: Cayce has style in spades. She may be allergic to fashion, but she still loves clothes. You can tell, because the novel talks about her clothes a lot. (And she has a girly side: she enjoys spa treatments and does Pilates, for God's sake!) Her limitations with clothing actually work to give her a strong look, which the book encapsulates best:"
fashion  fiction  books  marketing  williamgibson  style  glvo  srg  patternrecognition  cosplay  clothing  wearable  wearables 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Locative media - Wikipedia
"Design scholars Anne Galloway & Matt Ward state that "various online lists of pervasive computing & locative media projects draw out breadth of current classification schema: everything from mobile games, place-based storytelling, spatial annotation & networked performances to device-specific applications."
locativeart  locativemedia  alternatereality  ar  locative  socialmedia  media  gps  geography  interaction  interactive  trends  art  mobile  play  williamgibson  annegalloway  christiannold  communication  augmentedreality 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Keynote: Bruce Sterling (us) on Atemporality | transmediale
"If progress is to go beyond the banal indulgences that give rise to a never-ending array of car shell designs then we need to analyse our present time with regard to its aesthetics and its media. The second conference session is being introduced with Bruce Sterling's Keynote on Atemporality."

[transcript here: http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2010/02/atemporality-for-the-creative-artist/ ]
atemporality  brucesterling  future  history  culture  art  technology  design  philosophy  time  creativity  theory  research  2010  media  community  sciencefiction  scifi  roleplaying  favelachic  informationvisualization  williamgibson  humanities  databases  literature  collaboration  multitemporal  analog  digital  gothichightech  futuritynow  collectiveintelligence  networks  networkculture  postmodernism  failedstates  collapse  narrative  resilience  decay  failure 
february 2010 by robertogreco
When Science Asks, “What If?” § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM
"We can’t overestimate the merits of science fiction—nor its ability to affect the world. Isaac Asimov observed that, “science-fiction writers and readers didn’t put a man on the Moon all by themselves, but they created a climate in which the goal of putting a man on the Moon became acceptable.” Are we to assume that writers will not continue to create such climates? What will the next “cyberspace” be, or the next Moon landing, and who will invent it? Science-fiction writers in the year 2050 will be imagining the year 3000, and beyond, and so on. It’s a living, breathing tradition that informs the very world it critiques, inventing new myths, words, and realities just as we catch up to its old ones. Our greatest science-fiction writers feed the future with speculation as we move towards it, and we are all better off for considering what they have to say."
science  sciencefiction  scifi  williamgibson  isaacasimov  storytelling  society  future  inspiration  seed 
january 2010 by robertogreco
William Gibson - Twittering
"I feel a bit self-conscious, pausing in the course of my day to recommend a particular make and model (and color) of Swiss ballpoint, but it's how my mind works (and a great pen, for around $20). Browsing Twitter, I think it's how a lot of minds work. (Or recommending a brilliant Scientific Armerican piece on reverse-engineering the human penis. That's a good one. Deeper, as it were.)

Have never been attracted to "social networking" sites before. They all seemed too clunky, somehow."
twitter  williamgibson  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  via:preoccupations 
may 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
The Moment The Post-Materialist | Muji Obsession « - T Magazine - New York Times Blog
"William Gibson really nailed its appeal: “It calls up a wonderful Japan that doesn’t really exist, a Japan of the mind, where even toenail-clippers and plastic coat-hangers possess a Zen purity: functional, minimal, reasonably priced.""
japan  culture  design  momus  muji  nicholsonbaker  williamgibson  postmaterialism  materialism 
june 2008 by robertogreco
William Gibson Interview: William Gibson Talks to io9 About Canada, Draft Dodging, and Godzilla
"Having that experience in a small town made me happiest in big cities. Especially in radically multicultural big cities – as far as you can get from monoculture....where people are generally not even of recognizable ethic derivations. I'm into hybrid v
scifi  books  writing  interviews  williamgibson  cities  dystopia  cyberpunk  fiction  canada  history  literature  novels  privacy  sciencefiction 
june 2008 by robertogreco
William Gibson
"Did Borges ever imagine a library in which we could know which volumes users were thinking about consulting?"
books  database  technology  libraries  google  search  williamgibson  borges 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Conceptual Trends and Current Topics - The Future Doesn't Matter
"But then something weird happened in the first few years of this decade. The pace of change became so fast that it outpaced contemplation. The future became harder to predict, and exhausting to keep track of."
scifi  sciencefiction  future  futurism  predictions  kevinkelly  williamgibson  phillipkdick  nealstephenson  writing  literature  change  technology  society  contemplation  thinking 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Lorcan Dempsey's weblog: What the reader intends ...
"Did Borges ever imagine a library in which we could know which volumes users were thinking about consulting? [William Gibson]"
borges  books  williamgibson  libraries  user  librarians  software  data  circulation  information 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Borges and the Foreseeable Future - New York Times
"a growing number of contemporary commentators have concluded that Borges uniquely, bizarrely, prefigured the WWW...excerpts from prophetic Borges short stories and examples of those prophesies fulfilled."
borges  internet  web  books  predictions  literature  information  williamgibson 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Neil Gaiman - Neil Gaiman's Journal: Changing planes.
"Cory is one of the Explainers. The people who see what's going on, or what they perceive to be going on, and then turn around and tell everyone else, and once you've heard it their way you can't ever see it the old way again."
corydoctorow  fiction  sciencefiction  scifi  books  neilgaiman  liberty  freedom  writing  reviews  malcolmgladwell  music  williamgibson  brucesterling  douglasadams 
december 2007 by robertogreco
The Papernet
"There is a limit to computer magic because human language is also magic and computers are still dumb." see also: http://www.aaronland.info/weblog/2006/12/17/meat/#papernet
mobile  williamgibson  travel  ubicomp  wikipedia  internet  howwework  gamechanging  qrcodes  productivity  maps  mapping  paris  PDF  notebooks  moleskines  wikis  drawing  diy  archiving  wine  recipes  webdev  paper  webdesign 
december 2007 by robertogreco
[this is aaronland] The Papernet
"Information wants to be used not managed...I want to use the Internets for the things they are good at — like distribution and searchification — but I am not ready to give up something I can hold in my hands."
mobile  williamgibson  travel  ubicomp  wikipedia  internet  howwework  gamechanging  qrcodes  productivity  maps  mapping  paris  PDF  notebooks  moleskines  wikis  drawing  diy  archiving  wine  recipes  webdev  paper  computing  webdesign 
december 2007 by robertogreco
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