Hello, Nothing

I started updating my iPhone to iOS 6, but something went wrong so it needs to be restored. It need s to be connected to iTunes

Then we had a power outage so I lost Internet.

I hooked up my Honda gas generator which is powering the fridge, base computer system, phone, and Internet (no hot water though, we upgraded to a new high efficiency system so it needs electricity to work, plus it needs to wait 6 hours after power comes back for us to restart it).

I’d post something about this on my blog except that my site is down because of a hardware failure at Dreamhost.

Too bad Revolution is such a bad TV show. I could sympathize. 

Kazys

Google adds 'Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon' game to search engine | Film & TV News | NME.COM

Google adds 'Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon' game to search engine | Film & TV News | NME.COM:

Google has built the infamous ‘Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon’ game into its search engine.

The game, a playful variation on ‘Six Degrees Of Separation’, is based on the idea that any Hollywood actor can be linked to Bacon in six associations or fewer because theFootloose actor has enjoyed such a prolific career. When the game first spread in the 1990s, Bacon seemed unamused, but he has since embraced it, using its popularity for a charitable website called SixDegrees.Org.

Now the game has been automated by Google. When a user types the phrase “Bacon number” into the search box, followed by the name of any actor, Google will produce that actor’s “Bacon number” and show how the two are linked.

AAPL Now Equal to Entire 1977 S&P Market Cap - Tech Trader Daily - Barrons.com

AAPL Now Equal to Entire 1977 S&P Market Cap - Tech Trader Daily - Barrons.com:

Apple is worth more than all of the companies in the 1977 Standard and Poor’s index.

S&P Dow Jones Indices’ Howard Silverblatt this afternoon writes that the stock’s surge has brought it a market capitalization surpassing the one-time value of the entire S&P:

Apple is trading at a new high of $695 per share (old high was $685.50), with a total market value of $651.5 billion. When I started at S&P in May of 1977 the entire market value of the S&P 500 was $623 billion (T was #1 with $38B, then IBM, XON, GM and GE – EK was #6 and S, which was Sears, was #7). It was not until August of 1978 that the index reached the $650 mark (when IBM was #1 with $43B, then T, XON, GM, GE, EK at #6, with S down to #9) – now, 34 years later, one company is $650 billion. So in October of 2046 will some issue be worth $13.9 trillion? FYI – the Aug,1978 to Sep,2012 full market value growth calculates to a 9.3% annualized rate (I have an app that calculates it – it called a hp12c, circa 1981, when T was back to being #1 in market value).

slavin: House (by Daisuke Kawamura) Beautiful.

slavin:

House (by Daisuke Kawamura)

Beautiful.

Well, I wouldn’t call it postmodern, but this building...

Well, I wouldn’t call it postmodern, but this building certainly formed part of my architectural subconscious.

Apple's Missed Opportunity

Apple refreshed the iPhone 5 and a new line-up of iPods today, but in doing so, it missed an opportunity. Handily dominating the world market for smartphones and tablets, Apple now faces the challenge of expanding its market significantly while introducing merely more mature versions of existing products.

In 2008, Apple introduced the iPhone 2, which made locative media a reality through its App Store and integrated Assisted GPS (aGPS). To be fair, earlier phones had the ability to install apps and aGPS*, but the iPhone's ease of use, large user base, and often-fanatical developer following made it a huge hit. But the now what? The iPhone 5 is merely a refinement of the iPhone 4. Apple CEO Tim Cook has promised "Amazing new products," but thus far we've seen little we wouldn't reasonably expect. The predicted smaller iPad is no different, just a smaller form factor at a lower price.

What then, would be the proverbial "next big thing?" I think the answer is clear: DIY ubicomp. I've been watching with interest a number of Kickstarter projects that aim to bring remote-sensing capabilities to the masses. Twine is the most sophisticated of these. This simple sensor will hook up to a Wi-Fi network and, when outfitted with appropriate sensors, can Tweet that your basement is flooding, e-mail you that your TV has been on for three consecutive hours, or send a text message you when a major earthquake happens. Operating for months on AAA batteries, Twine is a huge step forward in taking the kind of capabilities recently available only to hobbyists who bought Arduinos and went through complicated processes of assembly and programming.

So when Apple announced the new iPod Nano, it was quite a let down. The previous Nano was a small, square device that could fit on a wristwatch. Even though it only appeared to run the iOS, there is no reason why Apple couldn't have come up with a rudimentary programming interface that could let developers program Apps for it. With Wifi and one more port, perhaps the "Lightening" port Apple introduced today, a new Nano could have had access to a new market of inexpensive sensors that could make it aware of the world. Even at $99, which is more than the price of a Twine, marketing and momentum would likely have made the device a huge hit. If Apple had then committed itself to downward price migration, a ubicomp world could have been ours quickly.

I'm looking at my BBQ and imagining a future $50 device that I could plug into my temperature probe to text me to let me know when the temperature gets out of range. I think about my back yard, where deer are all too present and wonder if such a device might not wait in ambush to alert me with a message to my phone to let me know that there was motion in my back yard. I imagine that the tiny screen on the device might communicate some basic, useful information to me, like the temperature outside and the air quality, as sampled by another sensor connected device.  I wonder what my crafty children, or for that matter, someone like Mark Shepard or David Benjamin would do with such a thing. 

It may be that Twine itself is the next Apple II, to the Arduino's Apple I, and certainly that could be a better thing if Twine is a more flexible and open platform than the notoriously closed one at Apple. But still (and perhaps only because I own Apple stock…a disclaimer that I need to make), I regret that Apple has not rethought the Nano. For ubiquitous computing is already here, but it's just not yet for the masses. And that, I am convinced, is the proverbial next big thing.       

*Memory fails me, but I believe my Kyocera 7135, which ran the Palmo operating system and was first released in 2002 had aGPS.

slavin: “And that over there?” “That’s the Oh Shit Button.”...

slavin:

“And that over there?” “That’s the Oh Shit Button.” hanging out with the Google Self-Driving Car and its human design lead. Everything designed for the future has a big red button that says “stop.” (Taken with Instagram at Moscone Center)

The more we design in complexity, the more we need “Oh Shit Buttons.”  

Experiments in Motion Research Seminar, Fall 2012

I am delighted to start another semester at Columbia. It's always a great thrill and honor to walk up the stairs toward Avery Hall where I have the pleasure of working with a team of incredibly smart colleagues and fantastic students. This fall, I'm giving a new spin on my network culture course as I teach as part of the Experiments in Motion collaboration between Audi and GSAPP. I'm looking forward to rethinking the subject matter with a sustained investigation into just what mobility means to us today. See the syllabus below. 

Columbia University

Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation

A4515: Experiments in Motion, I. Networks Fall 2012

Professor, Kazys Varnelis
Associate Instructor, Momo Araki

Lectures/Seminars Friday 11-1

Description

As part of the Experiments in Motion collaboration between the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and Audi AG, this seminar seeks an understanding of the relationship of mobility and networks. 

Networks and mobility have always been linked. So long as there have been people, individuals have been driven to connect with each other to communicate thoughts and to exchange things. Transportation and communication are two reflections of the need to overcome the distance between us. The pre-modern city is the product of the first great intensification of mobility, produced by the explosion in trade and knowledge made possible by the invention of writing, the wheel, and the sailboat in Mesopotamia. With the development of modern postal systems, the telegraph, and the telephone, as well as the invention of trains, steamships, and automobiles in the nineteenth century, the city intensified to an entirely different energy level, producing the modern metropolis.

After a century of relatively stable intensification, we are now again experiencing a phase-shift as the Internet and mobile telecommunications devices are reframing mobility. The last two decades have sent us hurtling headlong into a new age in which our lives, more than ever, trace trajectories over networks. We live in a network culture that we urgently need to understand.

The seminar is organized as a history of the contemporary, tracing a genealogy of present-day culture and extrapolating possible trajectories into the future. We will explore how mobility and networks are not merely technologies with social ramifications but rather are cultural dominants connecting changes in science, society, economy, aesthetics, urbanism, and ideology.

 

Reading

All readings will be available on-line.

01

09.07

Introduction

Background reading: David Harvey, “Fordism” and “From Fordism to Flexible Accumulation,” in The Condition of Postmodernity, (Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1989), 125-172.

02

09.14

An Overview of Networks

Manuel Castells, “Informationalism, Networks, and the Network Society: A Theoretical Blueprint. In Castells, ed. The Network Society: A Cross-cultural Perspective (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2004), 3-45.

Gilles Deleuze, “Postscript on Control Societies,” Negotiations, 1972-1990 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), 177-182.

Kazys Varnelis, “Conclusion: The Meaning of Network Culture,” Networked Publics, 145-163.

 

 

03

09.21

Network Theory

Albert-László Barabási, “Six Degrees of Separation,” “Small Worlds,” and “Hubs and Connectors,” Linked: The New Science of Networks (Cambridge, MA: Perseus, 2002), 25-63.

Nicholas Carr, “From the Many to the Few” The Big Switch: Rewiring the World from Edison to Google (New York: W. W. Norton, 2008), 127-149.

Optional:

Mark S. Granovetter, “The Strength of Weak Ties,” American Journal of Sociology 78 (May 1973), 1360-1380.

Duncan J. Watts, “The Connected Age,” Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age, (New York: W.W. Norton, 2003), 19-42.

04

09.28

Mobility

Michel de Certeau,  “Walking in the City,” The Practice of Everyday Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), 91-110.

Michael Bull, “‘To each their own bubble’: Mobile Spaces of Sound in the City,” in Nick Couldry and Anna McCarthy eds., MediaSpace (New York: Routledge, 2004), 275-292.

Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchen, “Code and the Transduction of Life,” Journal of the Association of American Geographers 95, no. 1 (2005): 1
62-80.

Mark Shepard, “Toward the Sentient City” In Shepard, Ed., Sentient City: Ubiquitous Computing, Architecture, and the Future of Urban Space (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011): 16-37.

05

10.05

Time

Jean Baudrillard, “The End of the Millennium or the Countdown,” Economy & Society 26 (1997): 447-55.

Bruce Sterling, “Atemporality for the Creative Artist,” http://www.transmediale.de/en/keynote-bruce-sterling-us-atemporality

transcribed: http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2010/02/atemporality-for-the-crea...

 

06

10.12

Space

Michel Foucault, “Docile Bodies,” Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. (New York: Vintage Books, 1995), 135-156.

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, “Capitalist Sovereignty, Or Administering the Global Society of Control,” Empire (Durham: Duke University Press, 2000), 325-350.

Marc Augé, “Prologue” and “From Places to Non-Places,” in Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, (London; New York: Verso, 1995), 1-6. 75-115.

Hans Ibelings, “Supermodernism,” Supermodernism (Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 1998), 55-102.

Optional:

Kazys Varnelis and Marc Tuters, “Beyond Locative Media: Giving Shape to the Internet of Things,” Leonardo 39, No. 4 (2006): 357–363.

 

07

10.19

Subjectivity

Georg Simmel, “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” On Individuality and Social Forms, ed. David Levine, ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971), 324-339.

Kenneth J. Gergen,“Social Saturation and the Populated Self,” The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life (New York: Basic Books, 2000), 48-80.

Brian Holmes, “The Flexible Personality. For a New Cultural Critique,” Transversal,  http://transform.eipcp.net/transversal/1106/holmes/en

Jeffrey Nealon, “Once More, With Intensity, Foucault’s History of Power Revisited,” Foucault Beyond Foucault, 24-53.

Warren Neidich, “From Noopower to Neuropower: How Mind Becomes Matter,” Cognitive Architecture:From Bio-politics to Noo-politics; Architecture & Mind in the Age of Communication and Information(Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2010), 538-581.

 

08

10.26

Video Production Workshop

 

09

11.02

Complexity

Joseph A .Tainter, “Introduction to Collapse,” The Collapse of Complex Societies, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 1-21.

Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1977), 13-32.

Charles Perrow, “Normal Accident at Three Mile Island.” Society 18, no. 5 (1981): 17–26.

 

10

11.09

Control

Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, “The Californian Ideology,” http://www.hrc.wmin.ac.uk/theory-californianideology-main.html.

Saskia Sassen, “Electronic space and power,” Journal of Urban Technology 4 (1997): 1-17.

Alexander R. Galloway, “Physical Media,” Protocol: How Control Exists after Decentralization, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004), 29-53.

Optional:

Saskia Sassen, “On Concentration and Centrality in the Global City,” Paul L. Knox and Peter J. Taylor, eds., World Cities in a World-System (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 63-78.

Stephen Graham, “Communication Grids: Cities and Infrastructure,” in Saskia Sassen, Global Networks. Linked Cities (London: Routledge, 2002), 71-92.

Kevin Phillips, “Preface,” “Introduction. The Panic of August,” “Finance: The New Real Economy?” Bad Money. (New York: Penguin, 2009), xi-lxxiv and 1-68.

 

 

11

11.16

Urban Form

Rob Kling, Spencer Olin, and Mark Poster, “Beyond the Edge: The Dynamism of Postsuburban Regions,” and “The Emergence of Postsuburbia: An Introduction,” Kling, Olin, and Poster, eds. Postsuburban California: The Transformation of Orange County (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), vii-xx, 1-30.

Selections from Michael J. Weiss, The Clustered World: How We Live, What We Buy, and What it All Means About Who We Are (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 1999).

Robert E. Lang and Jennifer LeFurgy, “Edgeless Cities: Examining the Noncentered Metropolis,” Housing Policy Debate 14 (2003): 427-460.

 

12

11.23

Thanksgiving

 

13

11.30

Conclusion, Video Presentation

 

Please Don’t Watch NBC Tonight. Or Any Night. | TechCrunch

Please Don’t Watch NBC Tonight. Or Any Night. | TechCrunch: screen-shot-2011-10-06-at-2-58-57-pm

Spoiler alert: Phelps and Lochte raced today. The results are all over Twitter. But the race won’t air on TV in America until tonight.

This is 2012, not 1996. NBC has put all of the events live online, provided you have a cable subscription, but won’t have them available recorded online and won’t air many events, including the most high-profile ones, until a primetime tape delay.

This isn’t a new strategy, just a dumb, outdated one.

Infrastructural Fields

One of my favorite journals, Quaderns has posted an essay that I wrote for them a year ago, entitled "Infrastructural Fields." There, I make the argument that architects need to embrace the new, invisible world of Hertzian space as they design. What are the tools by which we will do this? How will we create an architecture that, as Toyo Ito once stated, can float between the physical and the virtual world? If Ito set out to do this in the Sendai Mediatheque, why have architects been so reluctant to go further? 

Syndicate content