Archive for the “Reading” Category

The wisdom of crowds

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

The wisdom of crowds, originally uploaded by densitydesign.

While our culture generally trusts experts and distrusts the wisdom of the masses, New Yorker business columnist Surowiecki argues that “under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them.” To support this almost counterintuitive proposition, Surowiecki explores problems involving cognition (we’re all trying to identify a correct answer), coordination (we need to synchronize our individual activities with others) and cooperation (we have to act together despite our self-interest). His rubric, then, covers a range of problems, including driving in traffic, competing on TV game shows, maximizing stock market performance, voting for political candidates, navigating busy sidewalks, tracking SARS and designing Internet search engines like Google

State of Information Vol.I

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

From Influx division of BSSP newsletter Information implosion“Every event has… more

Content

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

Content, originally uploaded by densitydesign.

Amazon.com
It’s shaped like a trade paperback book, but its hellzapoppin pages look like a glossy, madcap magazine. Really, Content is more like an explosion in an idea factory, or a wild party thrown by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas in a mood considerably more delirious than his classic 1978 manifesto Delirious New York. It has 70 or 80 sections that look like magazine articles, and they’re loosely organized in geographical order, from west to east. Pieces on Koolhaas’s projects for Prada and MCA/Universal in LA and the acclaimed Seattle Public Library lead to syncopated meditations on Guggenheim Las Vegas, Chicago’s van der Rohe “Miestakes,” a modest plan to save Cambridge from Harvard by rechanneling the Charles River, Lagos’ future as Earth’s third-biggest town, the Hermitage’s strange Russian past, Shanghai’s Expo 2010, and Asia’s skyscrapers, which now outnumber those of the West. When Koolhaas interviews Martha Stewart and gets a Las Vegas update from Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, it’s straightforward, but many pages are as mystifying as hallucinations–apropos of nothing, a woman is depicted leaving her infrared heat signature on a tombstone, and Vermeer paintings are paired with scenes from TV’s Big Brother. You don’t read Content in linear fashion, you page through it amazed, gradually acquiring Koolhaas’ ultracultivated taste for the bizarre.
(via Amazon)

Content, graphically speaking, is a little compendium of visuals for data and concept explanations.

A thousand plateaus

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

A thousand plateaus, originally uploaded by densitydesign.

Unlike trees or their roots, the rhizome connects any point to any other point, and its traits are not necessarily linked to traits of the same nature; it brings into play very different regimes of signs, and even nonsign states. The rhizome is reducible neither to the One nor the multiple. … It is composed not of units but of dimensions, or rather directions in motion. It has neither beginning nor end, but always a middle (milieu) from which it grows and which it overspills“.

Unlike the tree, the rhizome is not the object of reproduction, neither external reproduction as image-tree nor internal reproduction as tree-structure. The rhizome is an antigenealogy. It is a short-term memory, or antimemory. The rhizome operates by variation, expansion, conquest, capture, offshoots. Unlike the graphic arts, drawing, or photography, unlike tracings, the rhizome pertains to a map that must be produced, constructed, a map that is always detachable, connectable, reversible, modifiable, and has multiple entryways and exits and its own lines of flight. It is tracings that must be put on the map, not the opposite. In contrast to centered (even polycentric) systems with hierarchical modes of communication and preestablished paths, the rhizome is an acentered, nonhierarchical, nonsignifying system with a General and without an organizing memory or central automation, defined solely by a circulation of states“.

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus, CIG, 2004.

He took a duck in the face at two hundred and fifty knots

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

From Cyberpunk to Logofreak. An intense story about cool-hunter and web-hunter.

Why should you read it? As the author says:”If you really want to understand an era you have to investigate its most shining nightmare. A lot of thing would become clear in the light of our darkest fear
William Ford Gibson (born March 17, 1948, Conway, South Carolina) is an American-born science fiction author who has been called the father of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction, partly due to coining the term “cyberspace” in 1982, and partly because of the success of his first novel, Neuromancer, which has sold more than 6.5 million copies worldwide since its publication in 1984.
In 1967, Gibson went to Canada “to avoid the Vietnam war draft”, appearing that year in a CBC newsreel item about hippie subculture in Yorkville, Toronto. He settled in Vancouver, British Columbia five years later and began to write science fiction. Although he retains U.S. citizenship, Gibson has spent most of his adult life in Canada, and still lives in the Vancouver area.

Hey, by the way, do you know what the “patter recognition theory” is about?