Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Solitary Mingling

I kind of rushed to the end of this book as I had to return it to our local library, but I did enjoy reading Sherry Turkles "Alone Together", as I did "Life on the Screen" over a decade ago. She raises important questions relating to the potential quality difference between friends IRL and on Facebook. To the point of sounding like an bore, but that is kind of the point: the attention span needed to contemplate these issues is too long for the always-on-the-net (tethered) person.

The subtitle of the book may not be fully appropriate. While she makes clear that people do seem to expect less from each other, the expectations of what technology has to offer are not all that high, except for the robotic part when technology is not just a communication medium (and maybe AI in games). Overall expectations seem lowered, the desire to live life to the fullest diminished to a compulsive need for experiences worth posting.

She also makes an interesting point about privacy being one of the requirements for dissent and thus a functioning democracy. Self censorship can be almost as big a threat to public discourse as an uninformed and uneducated public.

On a lighter note, I could probably have finished the book a lot faster had I not picked up a used copy of Neal Stephensons "Anathem" from that same library for twenty five cents.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Blob Ready to Rig

In the month since my last post featuring this Fleshy Blob, I have not been sitting still. In fact, I have flown across the country (paid to be flown to be more precize) to attend SIGGRAPH 2012 where I did not have WiFi in my Hotel and was too busy with meetings and sessions (one of which I organized) to post any updates.

As far as the "Scattered Brain Matter" project is concerned: the Blob model is basically done (with UVs) and I also modeled the thing it will sit on. Fall semester is looming large, progress will be slow but if I just spend at least an hour every day…