I’m a strategist and contributing author for The Civic Beat.
I research and make media. I've written and presented on the international intersections of technology, media, politics, and culture at SXSW, Salon, the ACLU of Northern California, Hyperallergic, SFAQ, YBCA, the de Young Museum of Art, and more.
I love collaborating and I'm always looking for interesting work.
Thanks everyone who came to our MacroCity walk in Oakland! We’ll continue charting and investigation this geography, but for now, here is a selected bibliography that helped prepare this tour, as a PDF…
And our final walk map, left in Oakland for other people to explore…
Code script put together by Julian Oliver which detects Google Glass devices on a WiFi network and blocks them:
This script is a response to a comment by Omer Shapira that the presence of Google Glass worn by audience at an ITP graduate exhibition left him feeling understandably uneasy; it was not possible to know whether they were recording, or even streaming what they were recording to a remote service over WiFi.
The … script will find and detect Google Glass on the local network and kick them off.
"The current mythology of big data is that with more data comes greater accuracy and truth. This epistemological position is so seductive that many industries, from advertising to automobile manufacturing, are repositioning themselves for massive data gathering."
"The risk of being seduced by ghost patterns in data increases with the size of the data sets. Meanwhile, two brothers carry bomb-laden backpacks to a marathon finish line, and a Boeing 777 disappears."
"Still, the rapid rise of the term normcore is an indication of how the cultural idea of disappearing has become cool at the very historical moment when it has become almost impossible because of big data and widespread surveillance.”
I’ve color coded Google’s recent article, “Just press go: designing a self-driving vehicle,” to help understand the underlying logic behind the short, 406 word-long post. The release is accompanied with a video of mostly elderly folks (read: converted luddites) enjoying their incredibly tiny (read: safe/harmless/cute/fun) self-driving car. Hopefully the colors help elucidate how Google plans on making driving your own car a thing of the past. Let me know what you see. I see a company trying to awkwardly rebrand one of America’s favorite activities (driving) as a burden; promising safety through experimentation (on your roads); and the glimpses of the first Stack to add a car to their long list of wares.
One reason there’s a backlash against Google glasses is that they try to bring the online rules into the offline world. Suddenly, anything can be recorded, and there’s the expectation (if the product succeeds) that everything will be recorded. The product is called ‘glass’ instead of ‘glasses’ because Google imagines a world where every flat surface behaves by the online rules. [The day after this talk, it was revealed Google is seeking patents on showing ads on your thermostat, refrigerator, etc.]
Well, people hate the online rules!
Google’s answer is, wake up, grandpa, this is the new normal. But all they’re doing is trying to port a bug in the Internet over to the real world, and calling it progress.
You can dress up a bug and call it a feature. You can also put dog crap in the freezer and call it ice cream. But people can taste the difference.
The Times’ dialect quiz was the most popular piece of content in the paper’s history with more than 21 million pageviews — but projects like that and Snow Fall are not easily replicable. “We have a tendency to pour resources into big one-time projects and work through the one-time fixes needed to create them and overlook the less glamorous work of creating tools, templates and permanent fixes that cumulatively can have a bigger impact by saving our digital journalists time and elevating the whole report. We greatly undervalue replicability.” They point out that competitors like Vox and BuzzFeed view innovating with their platforms as a key function and allow them to create products like BuzzFeed’s quizzes — incredibly popular, but also easy to create over and over again. “We are focused on building tools to create Snow Falls everyday, and getting them as close to reporters as possible,” said Quartz editor Kevin Delaney. “I’d rather have a Snow Fall builder than a Snow Fall.”(p. 36)
And if you’re a woman, you’ll be nodding along to nine out of 10 of them.
The hashtag started after it was revealed that 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, lead suspect in the Isla Vista shooting, had shared extremely disturbing and misogynistic views in a video posted shortly before the attack.
Instead of flooding the internet with Rodger-specific fury, Twitter took the discussion to the next level and remind the world that sexism is still very much present across society, and #YesAllWomen experience it.
Among those tweets were many honest and confronting admissions of sexism from female scientists, students and communicators.
Because people are still shocked when we tell them ScienceAlert is run by women.
Because that last tweet I screenshotted, via Hannah Hart, really hits home for myself and so many women I’ve talked to over the last few days [much less ever] when it comes to pointing out sexism in general, especially within the STEM world.
"The issue, then, is not whether a given system works like the brain, but whether it does so in the ways that matter most. Which leads us to another ambiguity, to be explored in a future post: brain-like systems are built for many different purposes, but those motivating assumptions are rarely explicitly compared. For example, one aim of the Blue Brain project is to understand what has gone awry in various brain disorders. This line of research certainly requires greater biological fidelity than the computationally focused deep-learning architectures. At a high level, we must distinguish between what John Barnden terms engineering, psychological, and philosophical aims for AI systems. They’re all perfectly valid, but they lead to very different decisions.
So, the next time you see one of these “like the brain” headlines, push a bit further and ask yourself: what aspect of the brain is being replicated? And is that what matters to you — or is it just a distraction?”