“The Information Ecology group explores ways to connect our physical environments with information resources. Through the use of low-cost, ubiquitous technologies, we are creating seamless and pervasive ways to interact with our information - and with each other. We focus on projects that harness the ecology of consumer electronics and sensor devices - present and future - to more smoothly mediate the boundaries between the physical and information worlds we inhabit. “
Just check out the projects they’re working on sometime.
“The Aberdeen, Scotland, native got her start about two years ago, experimenting first with RFID sensors under her skin that let her do things like lock a computer specifically to her signature. That was a decent start, but didn’t scratch the itch entirely.”—
“Now that computers and increasingly computerlike phones have been broadly adopted, the whole notion of cyberspace is fading. Our social media tools aren’t an alternative to real life, they are part of it. In particular, they are increasingly the coordinating tools for events in the physical world, as in Cheonggyecheon Park.”—
Cheonggyecheon Park, located in South Korea, was the site of a major protest against renewed beef importation from the United States. The makeup of the protest was teenage girls. They organized through communication on the Dong Bang Shin Ki bulletin boards.
DBSK is a boy band.
Social action can come out of any connection online. The internet provides the means to do so.
What other examples do you think best illustrate this point?
“The technological revolution is more intertwined every day with our economy and our society—more than 50 percent of America’s gross national product comes from information-based industries—and most political leaders today have had no background in that revolution. It’s going to become crucial that many of the larger decisions we make—how we allot our resources, how we educate our children—be made with an understanding of the technical issues and the directions the technology is taking. And that hasn’t begun happening yet.”—Steve Jobs to Playboy in 1985. We’re still waiting for this to happen. (via marco)
Clive Thompson has an optimistic view on online consumption habits, that we go from a flurry of status updates to something “more complex”— i.e., short-form thinking catalyzes long-form thinking.
There seems to be some obvious truth in this. A lot of short-form reading about a lot of things allows us to be expose ourselves to information that we’d like to turn into some form of long-form blog post, essay or report. And yes, there is a chunk of the population that tends to be reading this style of writing more than ever online.
But is it everyone? Or rather, is it even close?
My current hypothesis would be that the nature of prominent short-form thinking overshadow the portion who are partaking in online long-form thinking. I side more with Nicholas Carr— the way the web is wired, by lending itself to short snippets and distraction, takes an axe to the general population’s ability to focus.
It seems more as if “We talk a lot, and then, some of us, if we’re lucky, dive deep.”
"We talk a lot, and then, some of us, if we’re lucky, every now and then dive deep.”
The general information intake still seems superficial.
“What the history of intellectual technologies shows us, he warned, is that “the introduction of computers into some complex human activities may constitute an irreversible commitment.” Our intellectual and social lives may, like our industrial routines, come to reflect the form that the computer imposes on them.”—Weizenbaum, as quoted in a passage from Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows
“The internet, as its proponents rightly remind us, makes for variety and convenience; it does not force anything on you. Only it turns out it doesn’t feel like that at all. We don’t feel as if we had freely chosen our online practices. We feel instead that they are habits we have helplessly picked up or that history has enforced, that we are not distributing our attention as we intend or even like to.”—
I see within us all (myself included) the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind of self—evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the ‘instantly available.’”
As we are drained of our “inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance,” Foreman concluded, we risk turning into “pancake people—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.
“I mean, in the case of refudiate, tweet - a Twitter tweet was the way in which that word got out into circulation. And Sarah Palin, of course, has access some more powerful means, including television and radio, but it also is possible for somebody who simply comes up with a clever term, who wants to put it out into the world, that person can do it.”—
“Some of you might find this shocking, while others may find it laughable, but it’s true. Our ethnographers and social scientists have begun to see an interesting habit emerging: the mobile computing device you take to bed. Let’s face it, tablets really are a great way to watch TV in bed or play games and not disturb the person sleeping next to you.”—4 Predictions for Connected Devices in 2011
“I took my no Skype-induced anxiety to Quora, where I asked end users of these services the “Why do we panic when things go down?” question. Glen Murphy, design lead for Google Chrome, answered quickly, “Because it feels like the power going out; you’re suddenly cut off from that which you find valuable (even if it’s not objectively valuable).”—Why We Panic When Internet Services Fail