Moneydick

Technology, Art, and Power

Month: October, 2007

Working with Technology

Every time we use technology, we release a bit of ourselves. Growing up with the stuff, we come to rely on the benefits of computers, phone, wool socks, and pencils. Sure they are technically ‘tools’ that we use, but as they advance beyond the understanding of the common man, they appear as magical as magnetism. We use it, but we don‚Äôt know what it is. If we begin to.

Witness the uproar over the invention of photography, as painters everywhere claimed that the machine removed art from human hands and skill. No uprising accompanied the gradual encroachment of devices that are far beyond the understanding of participants in the art of life.

I think the “do it yourself” movement can be seen as a reponse to feelings of autonomy. By creating or manipulating technology, the tech begins to ‚Äòbelong‚Äô to its user. A connection is made between the tool and the user. The technological artifact no longer affects and imposes on the user to the same degree because it has been birthed in some respect by the needs and creativity of the user.

Exhibit A: The Bike Lawn Mower

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Work it in bed
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Even kitties tend to battle with technology from time to time…

Happy Halloween!

Do You Believe in Ghosts

A response to a noose…

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Dear Students~

This past Friday, President Hill emailed the campus concerning the incident in Jewett House involving discovery of a noose. On Saturday, members of the Jewett House Team sponsored a discussion involving house residents and other students, faculty, and administrators who wanted to learn more about the incident in Jewett. Some of the faculty present also discussed the history and the meaning of nooses in response to student queries or comments. Attendees shared both personal and indirect experiences or understandings that made possible new levels of consciousness about the noose and other symbols of hate or oppression. At times, it was a difficult dialog, but the whole room was committed to the importance of it and everyone engaged in it in different ways, with very few people leaving before the discussion concluded. It was a meaningful educational experience for all involved.

Such conversations can, however, leave students with more questions and confusion than they had on entering the room, and requests for more discussion were quite clear. Various House Fellows have begun making plans to continue the discussion, which are a critical part of strengthening our community, despite how difficult they can sometimes be. You can expect to hear more about these opportunities in your house or elsewhere on campus.

We want to let you know that, in addition to continued discussion in various venues, there are other resources readily available to students as well. The Campus Life Response Team (CLRT), coordinated by Edward Pittman, Associate Dean of the College for Campus Life, met yesterday to consider other responses. That group, comprised of other staff members from the Dean of the College division, a faculty member, and a representative from College Relations, recommended that a broader campus-wide discussion might be useful.

While these plans unfold, please be aware of the many other resources available on campus:
Campus Life Office (ALANA Center, Blegen House, the Women’s Center)
Counseling Services
Dean of Students
Residential Life resources including House Advisors and House Fellows
Class Advisers in the Office of the Dean of Studies
Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
Office of Religious and Spiritual Life
Security Department.

Some campus community members recall that similarly disturbing incidents have happened in past years. The goal is for the College to affirm that we be proactive and systemic in our response. Together we can ensure the inclusive and supportive community that we all desire to become. The Campus Life Response Team is prepared to help facilitate campus-wide discussions and hope to receive your comments and suggestions. Please feel free to contact the CLRT through the Coordinator, Edward Pittman (edpittman@vassar.edu or ext. 5426). We are committed to making every measure of progress towards greater community. Your participation is critical to the process.

Sincerely,
JJ Jackson
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Judy “JJ” Jackson, Ed.D.
Dean of the College
and Assoc. Prof. of Education
VASSAR COLLEGE, Box 3
124 Raymond Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604-0003

Streaming HD will Kill the Media Cartel

nothdreadyWhat happens when internet entertainment becomes better than the stuff we pay for? When the distribution for that media is free, and when the scalability of the entire thing has no bounds?

Well we‚Äôve reached each of those moments. Take for example this barney mashup with Soulja Boy below… It only costs you your time, but it still makes you squint; though internet prices have shrunk, the size of most internet videos haven’t changed. We‚Äôre still working on technical quality, but when we get to free and slick High Definition internet video I think the whole ‚Äòmedia cartel‚Äô will shudder and freak. With portable HD cams spreading (cellphone versions approaching) we‚Äôll have no reason not to go to an internet video site for our entertainment.
Add a few more internet TV channels like Channel Frederator and material on blip.tv. (1938 Media comes to mind).

Thehdweb.com is Akamai’s case for HD on the web. It seems they believe the world is ready (if you have a 7.5 MB connection).

What happens when you watch something terrible on the internet?

And what happens when that terrible thing goes viral? What if it was shown in Times Square?

Post Secrets

Just started reading ‘PostSecrets‘ and thought I’d post this as a “go check it out” nugget. Post secret is a site that requests secrets written on the back of a postcard:
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It’s filled with all the tenderness of humanity the internet usually lacks.

Classified Assurances – Igniting the Earth with the Atomic bomb

As the Manhattan project neared completion of ‘the gadget‘, a classified research project determined whether the nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere would ignite and turn earth into a giant fireball. I’ve only recently been made aware of it, and I’d like to share. My favorite passage is

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A graph that means ‘we won’t all die’ is pretty hilarious:
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Full document here.

The Burble, London

The Burble is held down to the ground by the combined weight of the crowds holding on to the handle bar. They may position it as they like. They may curve in on themselves, or pull it in a straight line – the form is a combination of the crowd’s desires and the impact of wind currents varying throughout the height of the Burble.

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Everything has been done… Surfing a Glacier Break-up Wave

Once the internet has been around for about 20 years, we’ll be able to imagine the wildest thing, search the internet to see if anyone’s done it, then go do it, post it on the internet, and ruin someone else’s dream.

For some amazing accomplishments by the greatest mammal, keep reading…
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The Right Place

…about man’s place in the world…

Le Grande Content – The Powerpoint Culture used to graph life, love, and everything inbetween

I haven’t met a video as compelling, simple, and German as ‘Le Grande Content,’ explained by the author below. Video after the jump.

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Le Grand Content examines the omnipresent Powerpoint-culture in search for its philosophical potential. Intersections and diagrams are assembled to form a grand ‘association-chain-massacre’. which challenges itself to answer all questions of the universe and some more. Of course, it totally fails this assignment, but in its failure it still manages to produce some magical nuance and shades between the great topics death, cable tv, emotions and hamsters.

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