Inkwell: Authors and Artists
Tiffany Lee Brown's Moustache (magdalen) Tue 6 Jan 15 22:43
quick question - what's our URL at this discussion, for sharing with the world?
Bruce Sterling (bruces) Wed 7 Jan 15 02:41
*Yum, Jon, 22nd Century pre-agricultural insect scrounging in a post-market anarchist freehold! You heard that first here on the WELL SoTW, ladies and gentlemen!
Bruce Sterling (bruces) Wed 7 Jan 15 02:43
*Yum, Jon, 22nd Century pre-agricultural insect scrounging in a post-market anarchist freehold! You heard that here first on the WELL SoTW, ladies and gentlemen! Lest it sound like I'm merely cursing the darkness of the bank-ster meritocrats rather than lighting a candle, check this out. Me and the mrs. are gonna open, and fully outfit an Internet-of-Things House of the Future apartment inside the Torino Fab Lab. Yes, in 2015. With all mod Arduino cons! We've got designers, Makers, and the Fab Lab has almost kind of got the funding! You want to see what 100-percent actual Turinese industrial decline looks like? Check out the Fab Lab upstairs bat-cave here, a chunk of dead factory that hasn't been renovated or even properly aired out since the 1970s. This year, as part of a two-year project, we're gonna physically drag this derelict space toward the #22C by main force of arms. https://www.flickr.com/photos/brucesterling/sets/72157647536440143/ *Demo or die, as they like the say at the MIT Media Lab. Actually, what its current director Joi Ito likes to say is "Deploy or Die." With a project like "Casa Jasmina," that is the victory condition. http://radar.oreilly.com/2014/04/joi-ito-deploy-or-die.html
Type A: The only type that counts! (doctorow) Wed 7 Jan 15 03:13
I can't wait to visit. We'll bring the kid.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 7 Jan 15 03:51
Yeah, in the unlikely event of my retirement, I'd hope to graze the pastures around the Arduino House. This reminds me of the DIY Home of the Future, ca. 2007: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/007375.html I'm happy to reproduce here: Creating a futurist showcase is a great way to stumble onto new concepts; one that we're playing with is ambient intelligence, defined in Wikipedia as "electronic environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people." It's kind of like ubiquitous computing, or ubicomp -- the integration of information processing into everyday things... cars, toasters, wall, refrigerators, dust -- which I discussed with Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware: The Dawing Age of Ubiquitous Computingin our Worldchanging interview last year. Ubicomp and ambient intelligence are both about processors embedded all around us; the difference is that ambient intelligence describes an environment, while ubicomp is about an "internet of things." Imagine sensitive nanobots among particles of dust, working in aggregate to facilitate smart-room responses. At our Maker Faire installation, we want to suggest this sort of future. The DIY aspect is that you can construct a reality of your own making, making your home less a set of walls created by others than a malleable infrastructure that can be shaped according to your tastes and desires: a wall that could be a composite of images from anywhere, about anything; a fine-tuned environmental program that adjusts heat and humidity according to your moods; a "smell wall" that can emit odors, even pheromones; a biofeedback room where you can reach technology-mediated mental and physical states; a Second Life sort of visual interface that is pervasive throughout. Second Life is part of the picture because it points to the potential for a graphical operating system and interface for the virtual home of tomorrow, in which immerseive environments are coded for large high def display throughout the living space, creating a bridge between our everyday lives and something like television, but one that you experience irather than merely watch. This sort of home life is already percolating: there are gamers in my family who own massive high-def television sets that fill the room with the game experience. We're imagining that and more. For instance, at Maker Faire, we're going to show "Healing Rhythms" by Wild Divine, a "whole body wellness system" that combines meditative exercises with biofeedback hardware and sensors. A future high def ambient system like this could be used to create a meditation wall custom-synced to biorhythms, possibly including light and sound technology to help tune specific brainwaves. (This is for wellness, arguably not so much for spiritual voyages; I'm not convinced computer-generated environments would be effective in breaking the cycle of birth and death.) Of course there's a down side: a world where some significant part of your everyday reality is computer-mediated and media-infused contains infinite real estate for advertising. That aspect of commercial television will be leaking into everything -- a phenomenon visualized persuasively in the movie Minority Report. You'll want to have a popup blocker embedded in your brain. How likely is it that all this will come about? Ambient intelligence and the computer-mediated DIY environment of the future are suggested by current trends, but more extreme visions, like Minority Report's ad-saturated extended mall environment, might drive people away, and therefore fail. I want to believe there's a limit to our tolerance for marketing messages; consider the Eisenbergs' conjectures, supported by research, that heavy-handed ad-saturated marketing just doesn't work. That said, it's a near-truism that while we seldom get the future we predict, we always get the future we choose. At Maker Faire, my team will not be giving much weight to the down side in our vision of the home of the future; we prefer to focus on the use of digital technology to change, hopefully enhance, what it means to be human. Some of us who've been cyborging like crazy for almost two decades now are already creeping up on the digital future and the promise of a technological singularity, whatever that might be. I've been skeptical of some visions of singularity. But thinking about future environments, watching change accelerate, it's hard to avoid a supposition that we're on the verge...but just what we're on the verge of is quite open to speculation.
Bruce Sterling (bruces) Wed 7 Jan 15 03:52
*Looks like some jihadis in Paris just blew away a French satirical magazine, "Charlie Hebdo," using rocket-propelled grenades. Twitter suggests the multiple attackers are still at large and driving around Paris armed to the teeth.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 7 Jan 15 03:56
Part 2 of the DIY Home of the Future: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/007468.html You might not think this would be the ideal context for a futurist showcase, but we saw the creative chaos of the first couple of Maker Faires in California, and knew the guys at Make would be receptive. Sure enough, Dale Dougherty, publisher of Make Magazine and the lead on Maker Faire, totally got our high-level concept: we were inspired by the famous "Futurama" exhibit and ride at the 1939-40 World's Fair in New York, which took visitors on a tour of the world 20 years into the future. While this Futurama featured visions of suburbia and superhighways, our effort for Maker Faire would be the "DIY Home of the Future," a concept that worked well as a representation of the convergent future, and as a manifestation of several converging paths in Derek's recent thinking. We saw our effort, while not quite so grand as the World's Fair exhibit, as the first of many -- allowing time to pave the way to our vision of Tomorrowland. In his research for various companies and projects, Derek has gathered material about different aspects of the home of the future, from which he has derived three general attributes: Immersive. The home of the future is a platform for both ambient and focused converged media. According to Derek, the key elements are "seamless , multi-sensory engagement and the opportunity to shar,, collaborate, connect, explore and grow. Immersive environments, use augmented reality to take such experiences to new highs, by enabling the user to extend the "Self" and his /her personal potential. It allows us to achieve deeper understanding of our sub- and unconscious through emotional and cognitive interfaces to reach what we call the "Sense Event" - a harmony of our sensory energy with total engagement." Responsive. One possible future is personified in SARAH (Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitat), the smart house of the future on the SciFi Channel's "Eureka." SARAH is a responsive home in fact, she's quirky, and she talks back... but she's also aligned with Derek's vision of the responsive home as "one in which the living space is sensitive to one's needs, personalized to the user's requirements, anticipatory of the behavior and responsive to the person's presence, in order to improve one's quality of life, overall." It "leverages ambient intelligence and socially- and context-aware smart sensors in order to optimize and augment the living conditions and environment." Reconfigurable. The reconfigurable home "consists of walls and devices that respond to sound, light, touch, footsteps, smell, phone calls, mp3 players and even distant remotely connected spaces. Both the physical and the ambient elements can be changed by means of sensor and actuator systems, spatial robots, LEDs, sound and other integrated networks.... New architectural experiments are investigating how one might construct an interactive environment that builds up an internal representation of its occupants through a network of autonomous but communicative sensors, so that the home may better represent the user's emotional, physical and cognitive state." For Maker Faire, we focused on immersive media. Front and center we placed Brian Park's Flogiston Chair, which was designed "based on the idea that you didn't need a body in cyberspace, just a presence, so the chair was a place to leave your body" (it was featured in the film "Lawnmower Man"), with a curved rear projection screen for gaming. We projected a high definition, high-intensity Xbox game as part of the demonstration. In addition, David Demaris, the wizard who did much of the actual production work, brought in a massive screen and combined ambient music with visuals that could be manipulated by moving one's hands over sensors -- a kind of visual theremin. To give a sense of the potential for interaction between the digital environment and mind/body, we ran a demonstration of Wild Divine's "Healing Rhythms" biofeedback software, a system that includes several guided meditations with audiovisual environments that you manipulate by controlling your own physiology, with heart rate and skin response sensors attached to your fingers. The DIY aspect of this rests partly in the control you, as the occupant, have over configuring digital systems as well as physical architecture, and partly in the sense that you can (re)invent yourself as you reconfigure your environment. Our DIY House of the Future isn't too far out from current reality. There's already a proliferation of large screen, high-definition displays in the consumer electronics market -- and they're getting cheaper -- so whole-wall displays aren't hard to imagine. Embedded sensor networks are the wave of the very near future. The immersive game environment Derek and I suggested would be relatively easy to build and market, and it drew enthusiastic crowds at Maker Faire (it helped to have game play in the mix).
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 7 Jan 15 04:26
The terrorists that attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices were serious - quote from police: "It was a commando with Kalasnikov and pump action ...they went in there to kill." Wikipedia's on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_shooting_at_Charlie_Hebdo Live udpates via The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/jan/07/shooting-paris-satirical-mag azine-charlie-hebdo Another battle in the culture wars... fundamentalists (not just Muslims) justify violence in defense of the bridge to paradise. Telling those guys that they're delusional doesn't have much of an effect; making light of their delusion is outright dangerous.
Type A: The only type that counts! (doctorow) Wed 7 Jan 15 08:19
So here's the question: will the right-wingers who hated these cartoonists yesterday suddenly declare themselves to be true-blue defenders of left-wing parody magazines, in the mold of all those Sodom-on-the-Hudson NYC haters who were overnight I <3 NY partisans on 9/12, declaring the imperative to Kill Someone to avenge the city they'd have cheerfully wiped off the map of America the day before?
Bruce Sterling (bruces) Wed 7 Jan 15 09:09
*Well, it's a hot issue right now because it's a fresh atrocity, but no, of course it won't have any effect on rightists being right or leftists being left. People will be shocked but they just read a confirmation of their own world-view in stuff like that. *Lots of journalists get killed. It's a little unusual to get mowed down at work by a death squad on the soil of a NATO power, but lots of journalists get killed. Year after year, https://www.cpj.org/killed/2014/ In point of fact we were having a similar discussion during the SOTW last year. Are journalists still necessary, was the issue, and the response was that if people were still killing them then they must be serving some function.
Gail Williams (gail) Wed 7 Jan 15 09:24
Yes, but satirists... maybe it's due to my own distant past life of performing satire during the Reaganiferous Period, or maybe it's the extra rights carved out in the arena of intellectual property in US law, but dammit, is nothing sacred? Murdering the jesters. Damn.
Paulina Borsook (loris) Wed 7 Jan 15 09:44
bruce, in the spirit of yr much late-lamented viridian list, a big question about yr lab demo italian hi-style house: what are the cradle-to-cradle issues with all the electronics + geegaws? are they going to made from ground local olive pits? i.e what are the toxics/carbon footprint involved in manufacture of these? last i heard, microprocessors are like sausage are like laws: you dont wanna know how they are made. presumably the hi-styyle house be powered in some earth-muffiny microgrid way? (ducking)
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 7 Jan 15 09:57
Holy war on cartoonists is very 21st century, I think. But I'm having a post-structural resistance to any kind of useful analysis of the proliferation of acts like this. Dan Gillmor counseled against drawing conclusions about the instigators, actors, and potentially movements associated with this latest bit of mayhem - no rush to judgement. What will they be writing about this in 2020?
Brady Lea (brady) Wed 7 Jan 15 10:05
a short URL for the world-viewable version of this topic, by the way, is: <http://tinyurl.com/sotw2015>
Brady Lea (brady) Wed 7 Jan 15 13:07
and a reminder that non-members can participate in this discussion by tweeting to @theWELL or emailing inkwell at well dot com.
Bruce Sterling (bruces) Wed 7 Jan 15 14:44
*A semi-employed French fish salesman, his brother, and a high school student. Our world won't soon run out of terrorists of that caliber.
those Andropovian bongs (rik) Wed 7 Jan 15 14:50
They were more effective than their day jobs would suggest.
Brady Lea (brady) Wed 7 Jan 15 15:12
Hey, Bruce. From Joe Crawford on Twitter: (@artlung) @TheWELL For Bruce Sterling - would you care to comment on your post-9/11 musings from 2004 SOTW? <http://www.well.com/conf/inkwell.vue/topics/204/The-2004-Bruce-Sterling- State-of-page02.html#post32>
Evelyn Pine (evy) Wed 7 Jan 15 15:17
Yeah, not all-- but often journalists who are murdered are in war zones. Point of Information: was it a man or a woman who named that "self- actualized habitat" a woman's name? That's like something out of the previous century. In fact, I would argue the way to make the greatest change in the state of the world is to get more money and power in the hands of women. Technological fixes aren't going to have the same impact, that's for certain, though they could certainly be part of the toolkit.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 7 Jan 15 17:00
> was it a man or a woman "Casa Jasmina" is named for one of its prime movers, Jasmina Tesanovic. She's a 21st century activist journalist diy maven. She's also married to Mr. Sterling. When you say shifting more money and power to women would make a change, I assume you mean a change for the better? They say that power corrupts - are women incorruptible? Our would we be shifting the corruption, as well? Some believe that a more democratic distribution of power would be a fix, and I tend to lean that way. We'd all do well to support the P2P Foundation (http://p2pfoundation.net/) and follow Michel Bauwens. Consider stream 3 in the "aims" section of the P2P Foundation home page: "... recreating political voice and power, through bottom up Assemblies of the Commons and Chamber of the Commons that put forward social charters, AND through 'top-down' progressive coalitions (through existing politics and parties) coalitions around the commons , i.e. 'the politics and policies of the commons', that continue our efforts to implement Commons Transition Plans."
(fom) Wed 7 Jan 15 19:49
I may be wrong but I think evy was referring to "SARAH."
Evelyn Pine (evy) Wed 7 Jan 15 21:19
Yep. I meant, SARAH. And, yep, I meant "change" -- I know a lot of women and I don't think they're any worse than men, IMHO.
(fom) Wed 7 Jan 15 21:55
>When you say shifting more money and power to women would make a change, I assume you mean a change for the better? They say that power corrupts - are women incorruptible? Our would we be shifting the corruption, as well? Just had to see that again. I mean, seriously!? You seem to be saying: Don't rock the boat by letting women have any power because maybe women might not be perfect! Keep them in their place or else things might get worse! God forbid women should even be mentioned in this topic, I get that part, but still.
(fom) Wed 7 Jan 15 22:55
And also, will no one answer Paulina's question (#37)? Or are we not supposed to ask questions here?
Bruce Sterling (bruces) Thu 8 Jan 15 01:12
Well, @loris Paulina, figuring out what possible toxins might flow into an "open source house of the future" is quite an interesting tangle of issues. I'm pretty sure there's a book in it. I wrote a design-critic pamphlet last year, called "The Epic Struggle of the Internet of Things," but that was just an ideological warm-up. First, "Casa Jasmina" is a hack lab. We've got sponsors because they want to see what we can do with it. Since it's an Arduino co-project with Toolbox (the local Turinese design co-working space), our area of central interest is basically Italian home automation. Yesterday's home automation systems are turning into tomorrow's Internet-of-Things Home, with its wireless broadband, data protocols, battery-powered gizmos on the walls and ceilings, screen prompts, chirpy thermostats, creepy vidcams over the toilet, all that. We ourselves don't know what we'll do. If we knew the outcome, it wouldn't be research. Second, it will be a Turinese guest apartment, because Arduino, the Fab Lab, and Toolbox Co-Working rather need one so as to briefly house passing celebrities, allies, clients, whomever. We must try hard not to electrocute the guests, choke them with off-gassed toxins, maim them with over-elaborate 3DPrinted plastic folding-chairs, set fire to them while they sleep, and so many other lively possibilities There are some basic hotelier safety-and-comfort issues here. Third, it's a showplace. It's a public demonstration project. The Maker scene is quite lively in Italy because of Italy's long traditions of small-scale craft production. Arduino is open-source electronic craft production outfit which is global in some ways, but also very "Make in Italy." We're trying to figure out what regional Italian digital craft manufacturing looks like in the near future. It makes sense to do it locally because Torino is Italy's most industrial city. There's heaps of "Make in Italy," and like any creative effusion it varies in quality. Somebody has to curate it. Somebody has to figure out what's "best," and what "best" means. So, that's me. That is my basic role in the effort. I'm the Curator. I don't design stuff, I don't build stuff, I'm not a Maker, least of all do I make furniture But I am pretty much always the oldest guy in the room nowadays, when it comes to innovative efforts of this kind. I've always been a critic. The house of the future's arriving, day by day. So what's good about it and what's not so good about it?
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