Monday, October 31, 2011

New on MangoJango: The Power of Free Electricity

Re-igniting the Mangojango web site. It will cover architecture, 3D printing, robotics, transport and design. You'll see - they all do really combine well - when you have a utopian vision of things.

The Power of Free Electricity

New on BC News: The Decrease in Crime: The Nice Thing Nobody Tells You

There was an angry and strong response to my post on the decrease in crime is San Francisco here.

The Decrease in Crime: The Nice Thing Nobody Tells You


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New White Paper: "Learning to Program"

I have written a number of white papers. As the Wikipedia link explains, a white paper  is "an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem". The ones I have written are usually prepared for people I am working with to build some kind of product or service. They are often written quickly casually being under some kind of deadline. Nevertheless they have tended to have some content interesting to me and, I hope, to others. Therefore I've decided to start cleaning some of the papers up and make them readily available on the web.

The first white paper I offer is called "Learning to Program". This paper shows you how to use the Internet to learn about the Internet and then using this knowledge explains how you can be  not only be a passenger on the Internet and but also one of the drivers.


Monday, October 24, 2011

You Are What You Write

The title of this topic, at least my first contact with these words, comes from an on-line manual titled Producing Open Source Software by Karl Fogel. The author introduces the topic thusly:

Consider this: the only thing anyone knows about you on the Internet comes from what you write, or what others write about you. You may be brilliant, perceptive, and charismatic in person—but if your emails are rambling and unstructured, people will assume that's the real you. Or perhaps you really are rambling and unstructured in person, but no one need ever know it, if your posts are lucid and informative.

In my opinion the truthiness of this topic goes far deeper than Fogel's pleasant comparisons. "You are what you write" is really quite primal - more like Descartes's "I think therefore I am". I think life becomes "I write therefore I am". For example, I exist only because you are reading these words.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Daughter #2 Was Published: Carpooling ~ What the Census Doesn't Show

My daughter, Cynthia Armour, recently had a very informative article on carpooling published in a major online source for news on transportation. Driving in the fast lane - as carpoolers often get the right to do - is something we should all do more often...


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New on AOTN: Internet Art of a Beastly Kind

Is Internet-enabled art really Internet art? Not so says this site's benevolent dictator for life.


Pretty Shiny, New Things

Very pretty shiny, new things – delivered by a wizened old pro - Iain Sinclair.

I still have the black version of his calculator from the 1970s
Very pretty shiny, new things – delivered by a wizened old pro.

History in the Making - One Tweet at a Time

In this post I am not discussing the merits of Occupy Wall Street, I am merely, as a techie, thinking about and commenting on certain elements of the the back-story or subtext associated with the events that relate to people's usage of the Internet. reports that the Occupy Wall Street movement began with blog post with this Twitter hashtag: #OccupyWallStreet.

The are a number of interesting elements here:

Velocity: From zero to global movement in less than ninety days. Makes you think of synchronicity, multiple discovery, collective unconscious, collective consciousness, vox popoli and  zeitgeist,  and some kind of whole earth resonance. How long does it take to start a world movement? It used to take years, decades. Now it's down to days. Will the length of time it takes to get people off their butts become even shorter?

Singularity: It started with one person. Or perhaps a tiny group. This is so different from voting. In voting you say "Each vote counts!" But ultimately each vote is just a statistic. This is much more like the lottery. Guess a number. Guess a hashtag. The lucky winner gets global recognition. Except with the lottery one person gets everything, while the results of the successful hashtag are shared. And unlike the vote or lottery, there are no losers here. Anyone who wants "in" is a winner.

Anonymity: The person who created the hashtag is not a famous person. The hashtag was not written by a Thomas Jefferson or Rupert Murdoch - a person normally associated with the creation of events or news. The creator was just a normal human being in some random place. The creation of the Tweet may have even been somewhat of a random event in the creator's lives.

Openness: We know the history of the event - right down to the millisecond of inception. All out in the open - readily available to anyone. Nothing occurred in hidden rooms. No back-room deals. It's all visible, transparent.

Documented: We don't need no historians. No historian was needed to research the event. The events are self-documenting. The role historian as a recorder of the events is a sunset industry. The role of the future historian (apart from mundane archiving) is only relevant as that of a pundit or commentator.

Big picture: There will be more events like this. Some you will like and some you will not like. Your choice.

Link via Techmeme:



Saturday, October 15, 2011

New on AOTN: Comments On Kal Spelletich At UC Berkeley ATC

I wrote quite a bit of tongue-in-cheekiness on Kal Spelletich's very engaging presentation on October 10, 2011 at the Art Technology Culture Colloquium at the Berkeley Center for New Media.


New on Jaanga: Sound As An Element in Visualizations

There's a web site for curating sound.

Can you hear me now?

Sound As An Element in Visualizations

Friday, October 14, 2011

New On Jaanga: "Magazine = iPad That Does Not Work"

A new post with a video that shows a young child trying to deal with antiquated technology: magazines.


My Big Sister Was On The Radio

My big sister was on the radio.

Tania Becker talked about her Arts 4 Alzheimer's project on Eugeria - a weekly radio show on Atlanta Business Radio that celebrates those who have given their careers to serving seniors and disabled individuals to make their lives comfortable, meaningful and fulfilled.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I've Got a New Hero

Murial Cooper was on the rare people of could visualize numbers in 3D.

I wrote a bit about her on Jaanga.

A tip of the hat to Warren Stringer of for the intro.


Posting on Facebook to Support the ATC

Last week I started helping the Art Technology Culture (ATC) Colloquium - a group under the umbrella of the Berkeley Center for New Media - with their Facebook presence.


Post on the Barbary Coast News

On October 4, 2011 I attended the re-opening of Sue Bierman Park alnong with mayoral candidate and President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, David Chiu.

In doing so I was roped into riding down the zip line that operates over Justin Herman Plaza.

Read all about the adventure along with a good dollop of cheekiness.

Link: Sue Bierman Park opens to........