2 Dec 2009

Just in time for the holidays

December 2, 2009 501A, assignments Comments Off

Some wearable tech:

Your own personal, portable, wearable computer.

And if that computer needed WiFi …

or a different kind of mouse …

•Or you could get me this and I’ll do it myself.

This isn’t out for the holidays, but I kind of want one. Mostly because my ears are really bad, and this seems kind of awesome.

I would totally use Grover Washington’s “Soulful Strut” as one of my themes.

So the language in Neil Gershenfeld’s Fab bothered me a little bit. Particularly this section on page 6:

“The overwhelming interest was from students with relatively little technical expertise was only the first surprise. The next was the reason why they wanted to take the class. Virtually no one was doing this for research. Instead, they were motivated by the desire to make things they’d always wanted, but that didn’t exist … their inspiration wasn’t professional; it was personal … Starting out with skills more stuited to arts and crafts than advanced engineering, they routinely and single-handedly managed to design and building complete functioning systems.”

And again on page seven: “The learning process was driven by the demand for, rather than the supply of, knowledge. Once students mastered a new capability … they had a near-evangelical interest in showing others how to use it. As students needed new skills for they projects they would learn them from their peers and then in turn pass them on.”

Well, ain’t that all so very, very surprising, Mr. Gershenfeld.

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17 Nov 2009

Your worth: somewhere between 37 cents and $20

November 17, 2009 501A, assignments, responses Comments Off

I think the most striking things in the CNBC program “Big Brother” were not the extent and use of the surveillance technology by both private firms and the government (because honestly, if you don’t know that’s happening, you’re really just not paying attention), but these comments by Dr. Joseph Atick:

“Big Brother if left and allowed to happen, would happen. Our job as responsible human beings in society is to make sure that is not to occur.”

“It is not technology that is going to dictate the application of technology in a society. It is society’s needs and values.”

Well, yes.

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19 Oct 2009

Twunk the whole world

October 19, 2009 501A, responses 1 Comment

Sometimes I find out about things backwards, which, when you think about it, is a legitimate part of viral culture. We didn’t all get swine flu from Porcine Mary, so to speak.

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12 Oct 2009

Decimals are sooooo much better.

October 12, 2009 501A, assignments Comments Off

I’m getting a little frustrated, because every time I have an idea, the readings in some way address it (and usually better) a few weeks later. This time, it’s Cass R. Sunstein’s “Democracy and Filtering.”

At least last time I was smart enough to wait to talk about fractionalization, even though I wasn’t about democracy. Oh well, at least I went more in a public policy direction.

Sunstein addresses something I think is really important: that content customization is detrimental to democratic society, because people will self-limit information to that which does not challenge their own worldview.

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