Deep in the Normalbaum, waiting for the Waldsterben

Sometimes, when I look out at our world—at the highest level—in which thin data have come to stand in for huge complex systems of human and biological relationships, I wonder if we’re currently deep in the Normalbaum phase of things, awaiting the moment when Waldsterben sets in. Alexis Madrigal: The problem with our data-driven world […]

Google’s self-driving car is a Penrose Triangle

Casey Newton at The Verge was one of many journalists who went to google’s show-and-tell about the Google Car, where it trundled them around a parking lot on top of a re-purposed mall that Google now has offices in. Lots of the pieces about this even were sort of wide-eyed wonder combined with utter banality. “The […]

Smart home optimists mistake the plumbing for the furniture

The darkly hilarious “The Snakes and Ladders of Smart Home suggests that smart homes will cause more divorces than Ashley Madison (I’ll take “references that only made sense in 2015”, Alex). The end of the post proposes that homes aren’t a good place for automation because they’re too diverse. Instead, automation should find its way into offices, hotels […]

From visioning activities to hands-on activities

Every field eaten by software experiences a migration of the creative part from visioning activities to hands-on activities, disrupting the social structure of all professions. Classical engineering fields like mechanical, civil and electrical engineering had already largely succumbed to hands-on pragmatic hacking by the nineties. Non-engineering fields like marketing are beginning to convert. via Purists […]

Who wants to live at Disney World?

Tech bros do.   MG Siegler, writing at the billionaires’ typewriter, compared the Apple Watch and Disney’s Magic Band. Jumping off from an article in Wired that described the Magic Band as magic (obvs), allowing such amazing conveniences as having your waiter find your table, Siegler explains how the Magic Band requires tracking your every […]