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Posts from March 2009

Twitter on The Daily Show

The socialisation of media continues...

We shouldn't confuse our desire for novelty with the conflation new = good, nor think that just because everyone has now heard about twitter we should be looking for the next new thing.

There is a lag between awareness and adoption, between our geeky obsessions and reality finding actual uses that normalise these behaviors beyond the echo chamber.

Let's hope this will help twitter cross the chasm, not jump the shark.

[Thanks Craig]

Beats and Pieces

Thru you

As I may have mentioned once or twice before, I believe that culture is inherently recombinant.

We make stuff out of other things - poems out of words, paintings out of colors, metaphors out of disparate ideas, complex ideas out of simple ones, music out of sounds and so on.

So why is it that remix culture is so much more relevant obvious discussed now?

It's because media has become much easier to reproduce thanks to the radical decentralisation of the economics of cultural production [which is the phrase I'm backing as a substitute to social media - I'm not very hopeful it will catch on.]

So the very building blocks we can use to create have become themselves more complex - just as we moved from using words to long form allusion - and these complex building blocks have the added cultural weight of being part of pre-existing artifacts, which means you can, if you choose, use the web of associations that were built into the original artifact as foundations for your own.

If you want.

The album [for want of a better word] Thru You you see above is entirely generated from 'samples' from youtube [all credited] - each piece of it was made by someone else but the recombinance creates something new from the bits.

[Thanks Conner / Zefrank]

This soundboard that Marissa sent me has kept me entertained [and annoyed the other people in the departure lounge] by letting me create beats and pieces on the fly.

Because the pre-existing artifacts had little obvious cultural resonance, they are relatively neutral instruments.

The soundboard was entirely so - the youtube video less so [each piece has little resonance but the overall effect has some].

But this remixer of Obama from Eclectic Method, because it uses Obama, isn't neutral because of the intense and obvious cultural weight of samples.

When you sample Obama saying hope - it doesn't mean exactly the same thing as just using the word hope.

Which is kind of the point.

I think.

PSFK New York II

Psfk nyc 2

When I first arrived in New York, PSFK asked me to moderate a panel on New York culture. It was big fun and I made some friends and was inspired by some awesome people who were excited about stuff.

This time around I can't make it but it has even more awesome people - like the legend that is Kevin Slavin of area/code [creators of the awesome DROP7 iphone game, amongst many other things I like], the founder Boxee and dudes from IDEO.

So you should go and make some friends and then tell me what I missed.

It's being held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park New York on April 2nd [postfoolsday] and you can get tickets here.

The Future is Haptic

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The future is another country - they do things differently there.

I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about the future.

So do technology companies.

Inevitably we are restricted in our forecasting by the bias of presentism - we take the concerns of now and extrapolate, so the truly novel will always escape us.

In the 1950s the future was all clunky robots and jetpacks - because that's what cars with fins looked like at the time.

Today, the future is one big touch screen because we are currently obsessed with haptic interfaces. 

But it looks awesome all the same.