Send in the telepresence robots! The most pointless ‘lifehacks’ … | Art and design | The Guardian
” It’s absolutely amazing and horrifying and hilarious. It’s a really good indication of what’s happening in tech: people who don’t understand something are trying to solve it with something else they don’t understand.”
This stuff is pretty impressive. Well worth checking out if you do anything with math.
“MathBox is a library for rendering presentation-quality math diagrams in a browser using WebGL. Built on top of Three.js and tQuery, it provides a clean API to visualize mathematical relationships and animate them smoothly.”
How To Pay Attention — re:form — Medium
“This is a habit of mine, and no doubt the accidental inspiration for the “practice paying attention” assignment. In fact, I think of this as self-assignment?—?study payphones in Manhattan (where are they clustered, where are they sparse, how many are broken?), security cameras around San Francisco (which ones are conspicuous and which are stealthy?), defaced Neighborhood Watch signs in Savannah, and so on. The point is to attend to some recurring thing that is ubiquitous, but that nobody is making any particular effort for me to notice.
Historian Matthew Frye Jacobson’s collection of “Space Available” signs is a great example of the same idea. And David Wondrich and Kenneth Goldsmith once took this sort of thinking to a delightful extreme by looking explicitly for flaws in the urban landscape?—?dinged signs, chipped architectural details, etc.?—?cataloging them under the title “Broken New York.””
The rise of the hashgag | Jason Porath
“To be clear: I’m not saying kids’ movies should become a weepfest like the first 15 minutes of Up (no matter how amazing they were). I’m not advocating for gratuitous pathos-mashing like (mild spoiler!) Toy Story 3’s completely unnecessary incinerator scene. I don’t think Baymax’s fist bump ruined Big Hero Six by any stretch of the imagination (I actually liked it). What I’m saying is that the hashgag has turned into a “pull in case of emergency” lever. When, six months out from release, the people behind the movie aren’t confident in how it’s turned out, they pull it, because it’s safe and simple. Problem is, it cheapens the movie. It leads to a homogenization of the genre, where one movie chases the success of another by resorting to panicky, lowest-common-denominator filmmaking.
The worst tweets of 2014 – Salon.com
“A joke tweet about a fake charity from The Colbert Report official account referencing, obliquely, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s foundation to benefit Native Americans misfired and prompted a huge backlash. The problem? The lack of appropriate context surrounding a tweet endorsing the “Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.” The ensuing call to get #CancelColbert to trend, sparked by digital activist Suey Park, turned into the kind of free-for-all trouncing of context and nuance, including a #GamerGate-subsidized backlash against the backlash, that only Twitter can provide.
Changes | Snakes and Ladders
“These two environments, Twitter and Tumblr, have something important in common, which they share with most social media sites: they invite you to measure people’s response to you. For many people this probably means nothing, but on me it has always had an effect. Over the years I developed a sense of how many RTs a tweet was likely to earn, how many reblogs or likes a Tumblr post would receive – and I couldn’t help checking to see if my guesses were right. I never really cared anything about numbers of followers, and for a long time I think I covertly prided myself on that; but eventually I came to understand that I wanted my followers, however many there happened to be, to notice what I was saying and to acknowledge my wit or wisdom in the currency of RTs and faves. And over time I believe that desire shaped what I said, what I thought – what I noticed. I think it dulled my brain. I think it distracted me from the pursuit of more difficult, challenging ideas that don’t readily fit into the molds of social media.”
Context collapse, performance piety and civil inattention – the web concepts you need to understand in 2015 | Technology | The Guardian
“The internet encourages us all into performative piety. People spend time online not just chatting or arguing, but also playing the part of the person they want others to see them as. Anyone who has run a news organisation will tell you that some stories are shared like crazy on social media, but barely read. Leader columns in newspapers used to show the same pattern: research showed that people liked to read a paper with a leader column in it – they just didn’t actually want to read the column.”