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December 22, 2014
Interesting Things on the Internet: December 22nd 2014
- The secret to the Uber economy is wealth inequality. Who's the Boss? "The Elf on the Shelf" and the normalization of surveillance. Normalising acceptance of the panopticon, and no technology in sight.
- Have fun and be silly. I brought this up in class but it bears repeating. If you are working on something and its not fun, take that as a sign that you should try something else.
- Apache (and other foundations) considered useful. What new institutions do we need for the new open-source, Internet age?
December 15, 2014
Interesting Things on the Internet: December 15th 2014
- Start-ups and Emotional Debt That is, treating “the money problem” as a strict subset of “the life problem” is a mistake. As tempting as it is for programmers, it’s impossible to divide-and-conquer the good life. Like it or not, “the money problem,” “the love problem,” “the friendship problem,” and “the true-passion-in-life problem” are all intertwined, and they develop together. That’s part of what makes life so interesting.
- Stewart Lee: “I don’t mind causing offence when I intend to, but I don’t like causing it accidentally”. Great interview on all sorts of topics like social mobility and politics.
- What I Learned From Building An App For Low-Income Americans.
- Why I Joined The New Artists’ Union. In the recent art project I've worked on about 30 years since the Miners' Strike there's been some thought-provoking discussion about the place of unions; whether I'd strike if the same situation arose; and which union I'd be part of. So it's interesting to see that there is a fledgling union for artists. Not that I'm sure that I'd qualify.
- Inside the brain of a designer. A lovely video showing the (/a) creative process.
- Sarah Churchwell: why the humanities matter Let me answer the question: what’s all this art for? It’s for us.
December 01, 2014
Interesting Things on the Internet: December 1st 2014
- The End of Imagination. A wonderful short story about the future.
- Is saving Newcastle a mission impossible?. Distressing reading, as it brought home that this isn't just happening in Liverpool but across the country. It'd divide and conquer politics, and the challenge is finding a way beyond that, to counter it.
November 24, 2014
Interesting Things on the Internet: November 24th 2014
- 44 engineering management lessons. Lot of good advice, some of which I manage to follow...
- It’s hard to build a good web. It's good to see some of the people building decent web "properties" exploring ways to thrive. Go support them.
- Metafoundry 15: Scribbled Leatherjackets. A good critique of Making. I'm not sure I agree with all of it, although I agree with some of it. It is always about the people, not the things. Maybe if more people answered "a difference", or "a community", or "I make do (and mend)" to the question "What do you make?" then we'd be moving in the right direction. But she's right, the celebration of Making is really just railing against the busywork and churn of making things of no (real) value in order to further line the pockets of the rich. Making isn't really the right term to latch onto, as many people make the world a worse place. It's tricky to find a better alternative though.
November 21, 2014
Software Patterns for Art and Life
This talk from Lauren McCarthy is full of interesting tech/art projects, many - but not all - her own.
The reason I haven't just folded it into this week's Interesting Things... post is the bit from 33 minutes in where she talks about wondering what it would be like to manage a relationship with someone using version control.
It's an interesting experiment, but especially so given Francis' use of github issues for his house (which we've stolen to good effect so far at DoES Liverpool) and Hakim's wondering about time machines, alternate futures, and version control in his London Perl Workshop keynote.
I've often wondered-out-loud what the github account for a city, and in particular my city, would look like. What code would it collect? What issues could it address? Who would contribute to it? This evening I've taken a small step towards finding out.
November 17, 2014
Interesting Things on the Internet: November 17th 2014
- The Water-Park Scandal and Two Americas in the Raw: Are We a Nation of Line-Cutters, or Are We the Line? Entitlement and class, through the lens of amusement parks.
- The great system thinking battle that is to come. Sounds like "The Whitehall Effect" might be an interesting read.
- The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare. I hope justice is done, but either way, surely we should be implementing laws, processes, etc. so that we don't end up with a financial system "too big to fail" again (or at least for another 50 years until it inevitably fades from the folk memory...)?!?
- Are low-paid, outraged workers ready to fight back?
- The Nor - All Cameras Are Police Cameras. James on excellent form, about city walls (of various forms)
- Leah Meisterlin — Antipublic Urbanism: Las Vegas and the Downtown Project. An excellent exploration of the Creative-Class-Regeneration-project in Las Vegas. There are echoes of what I espouse for DoES Liverpool's role in Liverpool in there, but I hope (truly hope) that we have a more human, considerate, inclusive intent (and I'd hope people would hold us to account and point out our failings if we don't live up to that intent).
November 10, 2014
Interesting Things on the Internet: November 10th 2014
- Getting the digital autonomy we pay for. "I just want people to understand what’s possible in a world of connected, standards-based software components, to recognize when those possibilities aren’t being realized, to expect and demand that they will be, and to pay something for that outcome."
- Are cities ready for open and creative citizenship? A call for more interesting community centres, with more diverse and active facilities - not just meeting rooms and event space.
- Peak Google. An interesting take on succession in the position of King/Queen of Tech
- Paul Downey is in the middle of an excellent series of blog posts exploring (and showing his workings, so you can play along) an open dataset on house prices and sales in the UK. This one looking at postcode data produces a lovely, detailed map of England and Wales from just properties which have been sold over the years.
- Against Productivity. Meaty thinking from Quinn Norton. And alongside "productivity" I'd add "efficiency" in the grab-bag of sounds-worthy-and-innocuous-but-isn't memes of the modern age. Of course, the irony of the fact that I'm reading that and writing this while sat on a train that a few years ago would have given me just time to think and idly stare out of the window isn't lost on me.
- Intellectual Property, Jewish Ethics, and Aaron Swartz. "Intellectual Property" is in dire need of reform.
- Identity as a weapon. And not the aggressors identity.
November 03, 2014
Interesting Things on the Internet: November 3rd 2014
- Ten hours of walking in NYC as a woman. The Internet, real life, both just the same. Linking to this doesn't feel like helping much, but I guess pointing out that it's wrong to more people is a start.
- Security Problems. Similarly highlighting the problem more than a solution, but we [geeks] need to get better at fixing security and privacy on the Internet for everyone, rather than just knowing the little back roads and tricks that we only use ourselves.
- Shut Up and Eat. If these tiny acts of consumer choice are the most meaningful actions in our lives, perhaps we aren’t thinking and acting on a sufficiently big scale. Imagine that you die and go to Heaven and stand in front of a jury made up of Thomas Jefferson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Your task would be to compose yourself, look them in the eye, and say, “I was all about fresh, local, and seasonal."
October 27, 2014
Interesting Things on the Internet: October 27th 2014
- The quarryman's symphony. It doesn't sound like much, but this video of a quarryman orchestrating the moving of hugs blocks of marble like a conductor does an orchestra is captivating.
- Yes We Can. But Should We? We need more critical thinking around the maker movement, IoT, and probably life in general :-)
October 20, 2014
Interesting Things on the Internet: October 20th 2014
- How to build a fairer city. Takes a while to get going, but the suggestions for how cities should look to develop, rather than compete, could move the debate on usefully. It would be good to see the council considering what this would look like for Liverpool
- Organize! What the Artists’ Union of the 1930s Can Teach Us Today. Interesting to see that artists formed a union back in the 30s, given that it seems difficult to see who the "boss" would be that they'd organise against today. Maybe they could just lend weight to, or seek to influence, political parties instead?
- Radio: Experimental Form. Always nice to see people experimenting with device interfaces, particularly when they're in such a beautiful wood case.
- Listening Post Ten Years On. Nice look at some of the techniques used in creating an interesting piece of media art. Wonder if FACT could be persuaded to bring it to Liverpool sometime?
- Bohemias and Backwaters. The best time to start creating is today.
- "This kind of naive scoring system is a terrible idea. The only thing worse would be a sophisticated scoring system." The comment, and the linked article, are both well worth a read.
- Something New for Politics? A nice intro to James Smith's new political party.
- Mind The Gap: You Are As You Are Eaten. Rather deep and philosophical, but interesting thinking on consumerism, big data, and the meaning of life.
- Art at the Edge of Tomorrow. A great piece on Lillian Schwartz's work at Bell Labs. "Because there are so many Lillian Schwartzes who are looking for their Murray Hill, and so many Bell Labs who need to find their Lillian Schwartz."