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Polytopia
Connor Lowe (M, 36)
Vancouver, CA
Immortal since Sep 11, 2008
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    connor’s project
    Polytopia
    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...
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    [Polytopian] Ubiquitous Thinking
    Project: Polytopia

    From my observation, I have found that technology evolves much the same as nature evolves, through selection. Much like the selection of nature since the dawn of agriculture, this process is controlled by human intent. Whether the intent was devised or it was a lack there of, human's decisions of selection with nature have created a negative experience for the earth.

    If we wish to create a habitat for our minds we need to reduce the commute between the physical world and Polytopia. The aggregation of thought from our various backgrounds is currently filtered through numerous interfaces, making access to these thoughts less efficient for some than others.

    The path of information from the cloud travels through:
    1. The internet
    2. A Web browser
    3. An operating system and application support
    4. Computer Output
    5. Your sensory perception



    Despite our grandest intentions, this process needs to be optimized for this scenario in order for it to succeed.

    Please help contribute to the Polytopian intent by using this post to collect information on the framework that it will exist in. I have identified 5 filters that the information passes through. If you can think of more, please share. If you think that there shouldn't be this many, please share. And most importantly, if you have information that could help to lessen the impact of any one of these filters, please share.

    By collectively selecting and using the most efficient tools to interact with this information, we will be taking control of our intent and thus shaping our futures.

    Tue, Sep 30, 2008  Permanent link

    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    connor     Tue, Sep 30, 2008  Permanent link
    4. Computer Output

    Conceptual Precident

    Sommerer & Mignonneau - Mobile Feelings II
    "Mobile Feelings" is an artistic project that explores the ambivalence of sharing personal information with an anonymous audience. Instead of communication via voice or images to people we know, "Mobile Feelings" lets people communicate with strangers through virtual touch and body sensations including smell and sweat using specially designed mobile phones.




    I like the idea of the output of the digital world interfacing with other senses than your eyes. There could be more efficient ways for Polytopia to give feedback that communicated with more of your senses.
    Wildcat     Tue, Sep 30, 2008  Permanent link
    "By collectively selecting and using the most efficient tools to interact with this information, we will be taking control of our intent and thus shaping our futures."

    Brilliantly put, thank you for that statement, I think you managed to pinpoint here one of the most difficult aspects of truly creating a global community, a trasncultural reality such as the newly arising polytopia aims to become.
    I refer specifically to your " Taking control of our intent" proposition. As I see it, we are at this point in time at a crucial intersection of tech/innovation and mind/worldview upgrade. There is no doubt that we have more tech than we have self knowledge of our intents, both as biopersons and as infopersons. It is my view that to become a polytopian a modern mind need take care of the particular direction (re: intent) that she aims at.

    There are many directions in which our current tech may evolve, cutural clouds are the next hottest issue, but same cultural clouds are managed from different propositional perspectives, hence some may desire to use them for increasing/ maintaining the (value &importance of) status quo whilst others desire to revolutionize the very nature of said cultural clouds.

    A polytopia need be both open ended and open sourced, for this to happen we need take care that our intent is indeed clear, see this : Cultural Clouds: A New Kind of Commons?
    connor     Tue, Sep 30, 2008  Permanent link
    Thanks Wildcat, and thanks for the link.

    I also see this as one of the next logical steps towards solidifying this reality. In order for this to work, we need to interface with it in a way that works and [hopefully] is designed for us.

    I guess I am suggesting that the only way to define our intent (well I shouldn't say 'only', but maybe one of the strongest ways), is by collectively controlling our actions. If we would like technology to work for us for this scenario, we need to select, use, and improve upon existing technology and leverage the numbers of this collective. In SC, not only can we leverage the numbers, we can also leverage the minds of the network, whereas large social networking sites have large numbers with diluted intelligence.

    So maybe it should be a project in its own that is linked to Polytopia, but I think that we need to leverage this potential to allow it to effect the way that we interact with the world. More specifically, I would like to:

    1. Identify tools that people currently use that help them feel closer to the cloud, or work very well for the things that we are doing here.

    2. Identify technology that people expect could assist the way that they are interacting with the world (within the context of Polytopia) if modified or developed in some way. This should be presented with personal context so that it doesn't just become sharing links and youtube videos.

    3. Identify past precedents that could be interpreted to provide value to current technologies.


    Using the people in SC as a content filter, we could then make it easier for everyone to identify what will work for them to make their time interacting with Polytopia most efficient.

    I personally think that the concerns about the decline in quality, have much to do with the efficiency to interact with all of this information. Rather than expressing frustration, I would prefer to leverage what exists to help make it better.

    So, I suppose I am kind of proposing a project. Or at the least, I would like to know what people think about the idea. If it were a project, I think its name might be:

    Ubiquitous Thinking: A Polytopian Toolset

    Sorry for the long comment, I kind of just let my thoughts run away there for a bit...
    notthisbody     Wed, Oct 1, 2008  Permanent link
    Read both entry and comments with much interest. Over at www.twine.com (a few people from this site are over there as well) there's a method of organizing information about all the tools at our disposal that are being developed, software, hardware, experiments - people are posting what they find in ropes of interest, twined together. I don't think SpaceCollective is the place for that. It exists already. SC is our home base.

    I believe what we need is a tool to link the two - Polytopia, and, as you put it conner, our Toolset.

    When I first started writing posts on SpaceCollective, I repeated some things that people had already said, because I had not explored the Synapses deeply enough. What we have to do now is consolidate the information and map out all the facets of what Polytopia is based on all the contributor's posts, see where they coincide, where they differ, and what can be resolved. Lets break down and examine what Polytopia is now, after many have had their input.

    This way of mapping also needs to be able to be added to and modified as new ideas on the Polytopia are posted here.

    Okay, so here we are, we've broken down what Polytopia is to us, and started developing discourse on PolyEthics - and now what we can do is relate the tools that are being made to the different facets and modalities of Polytopia. (here's where Twine comes in). This will help us choose the best tools for our uses, and lead us to find holes in our tools that need to be filled. It will be an explorative process towards a better understanding of Polytopia.

    I don't believe that we can do this on mindmeister yet - its too limited in form. I don't believe the internet is ready yet for this - though I haven't seen IMindi yet. My recommendation is Compendium (for those who don't know it, its a hypermedia concept-mapping tool) - which is able to be networked, supports chat, and supports multiple users adding and working at the same time. Its software, independant of the internet - but its a lot less limiting than the online ones. Also, these maps, once made, can be published and explored (but not added to) on the web in HTML, so people who are not experimental architects can see its progress.

    I would really like to start mapping the Polytopia. I believe that its important to get a full picture of what we're developing here on SC. I would be willing to look into figuring out how to network on Compendium all the technical stuff, if anyone would be interested in joining me there (i hope i hope i hope), I'll write up a post on "Mapping Polytopia", and lay down a framework to get started.

    Wildcat     Wed, Oct 1, 2008  Permanent link
    Thank you notthisbody, I wholeheartedly agree, Twine is good for collecting and even disseminating certain projects and toolsets but we need do this on a better platform and I take your view that compendium is the appropriate tool. write the post, mapping polytopia and I for one am game, create it and I am certain some of us will join the effort, we want to do this.
    connor     Wed, Oct 1, 2008  Permanent link
    This is a really good point, notthisbody. Thanks, I am also on twine now thanks to Wildcat...

    The map is an important ingredient.

    I have been in the SC for just under a month now, and though I can try my best to understand what has been said and what hasn't, there is no clear path through the information. There was a really great video that is no longer on the internet of Bill Moggridge explaining what interaction design is. At one point he mentions that there are two ways to navigate, with paths and with maps.

    Right now, the Space Collective interface affords exploring the information via paths. Often it is a scenario where you can navigate to your next source of information (synapses, favorites, comments), but you are very unsure of, and must trust where that is leading and that you are on the path that you would like to be on. In fact, the internet largely works this way. The reason, I think, is that maps as we know them don't evolve very well.

    A few years ago I started thinking of a way to map ideas to assist the brain in creating synapses between different ideas. This concept was largely based on the input of ideas, and therefore experienced some obvious problems. The vision though, was spatially relating the ideas so that you could experience their relations in three dimensions. The three dimensional map would automatically adjust to new input and would intuitively show you the path that you wanted to be on.

    I have since realized that I am not the only one that sees that as an efficient way to navigate through information as there are lots of companies doing something similar. For example, Aurora's history navigation is somewhat similar. In fact, twine's logo even represents the same idea.

    So, I agree with you, notthisbody, that the SC should be mapped or at the least Polytopia should be mapped, but I am not completely sold on the tools that we have for it right now. I have not used Compendium, and I think that it looks really good. The problem that I am seeing is that if we commit to this project, the map will not evolve with the content or the idea, or I should say, the map will require human interaction to evolve with the content. Therefore as the community exponentially grows, whoever is creating a map of the information will also get an exponentially increased workload.


    I by no means am meaning to be the devil's advocate, this is just the thought process that I had and a potential problem came out of it.

    notthisbody     Wed, Oct 1, 2008  Permanent link
    its a valid problem, the organization of the map. even in my own mapping in compendium, i have to create my own shape and structure that best fits the content. Compendium will definitely not serve on a large scale at the moment. that, and its only 2-d. both problems. But i believe that if there's only a few of us for the beginning, we can start testing it out - and doing so possibly find some solutions. Compendium already has quite a bit of semantic tools built in (and its open source), so its a possibility that we could export our maps and open them up to visualization and ways of programming.

    the early users of the tools in open source are the ones who shape its usage and development.
    connor     Thu, Oct 2, 2008  Permanent link
    the early users of the tools in open source are the ones who shape its usage and development.

    Good point.

    Well I am willing to offer whatever I can to mapping.
    notthisbody     Sat, Oct 4, 2008  Permanent link
    hey just to let you all know, I'm working on finding the way to make it work...its a bit more complicated than I thought, but its coming along. you'll soon have a bigger update.
     
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