I’ve said it before, but I can’t recommend Radio 4’s “In our time” and the accompanying weekly newsletter by Melvyn Bragg highly enough:

“After the programme it was difficult to prise apart the guests. I think that what they had found was such a community of interest in what each other had to say, that they would have been very happy to have continued what I thought was a tremendous seminar for the rest of the morning. Perhaps they did. I had to push off and get on with dull work, ie: not talking about Renaissance magic and the association of the Cabbala, neo-Platonism and Hermes Trismegistus.”

» R4: In Our Time

» Wikipedia: Hermes Trismegistus

Scheduling and the modern flaneur

Dan is trying out the new version of Urban Tapestries, but finding it hard to fit in some serious digital flaneur action:

“I haven’t been able to spend much time Urban Tapestrying … I haven’t wound it into my daily life of objects; I just haven’t had urge to use it much. I guess I’m struggling with the device’s mixture of latent utility and idle browsing pleasure. The ‘drift’ alluded to (presumably drawn from the Situationist notion of derive) generally doesn’t fit into a busy multitasked life as a plausible activity – the real drift is more of a side effect of activity than an activity in its own right. Given that we can’t all be Guy Debord. Thankfully.”

Reminds me a little of the quote Rodney Brooks made at Nextfest on what robots could be usefully relied on to do was anything that was a by-product of their semi-random movement through an environment.

Aside from actively annotating space, there are passive ways emerging such as Christian Nold’s Biomapping project; which use our biological robot reactions to paint a map of the city.

Touch diary

Jan Chipchase asked me to create a visual diary of everything I touched for a day, much like this chap did.

Technical snafus meant that I only managed it from waking-up to going out of the door to get to work in the morning, but it still made me think more carefully about the qualities of the things I touch.

Perhaps you’d like to do the same thing, then trackback to this post…
Continue reading “Touch diary”

Alternative 3

Alternative-3 was a hoax TV documentary broadcast in the late 1970s.

It maintained there was a conspiracy between the scientific, military and economic elites of the world to escape a forthcoming planetary catastrophy by colonising Mars…

It was parodied perhaps by Douglas Adams with his Golgafrincham telephone-sanitisers, and shown at one of the Strange Attractor events in London.

So far, I’ve only managed to find some bad quality realmedia exerpts online, which is why I’m asking Ben’s new project, the Culture Lazyweb if anyone has an better digital version anywhere on the net.

Eastern Standard Drive

Andrew jams on itrip pirate-radio with Hill’s iPod projector photoshopware:


Brings to life some of C. Doctorow’s Eastern-Standard Tribe

“I just don’t get it,” Fede said.

Art tried to keep the exasperation out of his voice. “It’s simple,” he said. “It’s like a car radio with a fast-forward button. You drive around on the MassPike, and your car automatically peers with nearby vehicles. It grabs the current song on someone else’s stereo and streamloads it. You listen to it. If you don’t hit the fast-forward button, the car starts grabbing everything it can from the peer, all the music on the stereo, and cues it up for continued play. Once that pool is exhausted, it queries your peer for a list of its peers—the cars that it’s getting its music from—and sees if any of them are in range, and downloads from them. So, it’s like you’re exploring a taste-network, doing an automated, guided search through traffic for the car whose owner has collected the music you most want to listen to.”