Considering the ephemeral nature of consuming and creating narratives in digital spaces.
Ali Patterson's insight:
A lovely essay on the digital-physical exchange (and losses therein). He writes "[t]here’s a feeling of thinness that I believe many of us grapple with working digitally. It's a product of the ethereality inherent to computer work. The more the entirety of the creation process lives in bits, the less solid the things we’re creating feel in our minds."
In footnote, the author suggests that a craftsman-like turn is the consequence of our increasingly digitized world, and that's as good of a justification for the mess of "real" paper and cursive writing all over my dining room table. More importantly, we can think about the way we want not only _things_ but also _frames_ back in a pervasive computing (Farman 9) world-without-end/edges/frames.
The word cloud featured represents those "words most commonly used by women ... In a study published last week at PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania examined the language used in 75,000 Facebook profiles. They found differences across ages, genders, and certain personality traits. This allowed the group, led by computer and information scientist H. Andrew Schwartz, to make predictions about the profile of each user.
The researchers found that they could predict a user’s gender with 92 percent accuracy. They could also guess a user’s age within three years more than half of the time.
To date, this is the largest study of its kind. Its magnitude allowed the researchers to use an “open-vocabulary approach”—that is, they let the data drive which words or phrases were considered most important. Most studies rely on a closed-vocabulary approach, using previously established lists of related words. That technique forces researchers to look at trait markers they already know, rather than discover new ones.
“Automatically clustering words into coherent topics allows one to potentially discover categories that might not have been anticipated,” the authors wrote. “[Open vocabulary approaches] consider all words encountered and thus are able to adapt well to the evolving language in social media or other genres.”
The group was particularly interested in using this approach to determine users’ characteristics. Each participant filled out a questionnaire, scoring themselves on the “Big Five” personality traits: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness. The researchers then looked at the profile updates for language that aligned with the participants’ test scores, clumping common words and phrases into word clouds. (Some of this data is publicly available at The World Well-Being Project.)
Some of the language was consistent with previous psychological findings. For example, extroverts were far more likely than introverts to use the word “party,” and neurotic people were more likely to use the word “depressed.”
But other discoveries were more novel. Introverts were more likely to talk about Japanese media like “anime” and “manga,” and people who were less neurotic mentioned social events like “vacation,” “church,” and “sports” more often. Users who scored as less open were more likely to use shorthands like “2day” or “ur.”
The researchers hope to use their findings to provide more insight into what behavior sets different types of people apart.
“When I ask myself,” co-author Martin Seligman said in a press release, “ ‘What’s it like to be an extrovert?’ ‘What’s it like to be a teenage girl?’ ‘What’s it like to be schizophrenic or neurotic?’ or ‘What’s it like to be 70 years old?’ these word clouds come much closer to the heart of the matter than do all the questionnaires in existence.”"
There was a time, 20 years ago, when hypertext fiction had its great shining moment. And then it passed. In its place, we saw the rise of a whole different set of forms, from blogs to social networks and crowd-edited encyclopedias.
Body/Mind/Change (BMC), a digital extension of TIFF's exhibition David Cronenberg: Evolution, immerses audiences in a "Cronenbergian" world inspired by the film Videodrome, re-imagined for the 21st century and brought to life across three platforms— online, mobile, and real-world. Co-produced by the Canadian Film Centre's Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) with creative direction by Lance Weiler, Body/Mind/Change features plot lines and game mechanics involving biotechnology start-ups, body enhancements, emotional learning systems, and presents the plausible science fiction found in Cronenberg's work as scientific fact.
Ticker-tape machine enthusiast builds a modern version of the 19th Century device which can print tweets.
Ali Patterson's insight:
A really wonderful read beside the Digiital <-> Physical essay. Vaughan, a web developer by trade, is "suprised" by the popularity of his machine -- but we shouldn't be. It's a lovely design piece (especially for Steampunk fans), but it also may tap into our desire to give weight and matter to words . . . even the light, light weight of ticker tape.
Historypin is a way for millions of people to come together to share glimpses of the past and build up the story of human history
Ali Patterson's insight:
Sheets of the past: Historypin allows us to think spatially and visually about the past, and to think about the persistence of the past in the presence. Students can contribute to the growing database, and they can also embed their own places (and others' times) in digital history/memory compositions.
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