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no city
Immortal since Sep 3, 2008
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digital cartographers, narrative realization. image workers & pixel [re]searchers. emographers. memetic mappers. space cadets. polytopians.
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    notthisbody’s projects
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    I had the pleasure to meet several other polytopians in the flesh recently at the TransVision 2010 conference in Milan. It was both an excuse to get together after working for so long on the net, as well as a chance to suss out current ideas, attitude, approaches and thought happening in the transhumanist community.

    Although we were not initially going to present, after the first day we felt that the Polytopia Project fills a void of sorts...a ground of engagement for all the ideas, initiatives, visions, predictions and prophecies that were spoken about there - a common ground of mutual respect.

    We created a map, over the next two days, and gardened it until we felt comfortable with a distilled presentation of some of the fundamentals of what we agreed a polytopia(s) to be.

    This map can be seen as continually evolving - as the conversation continues to grow around these concepts we will be modifying and adding in more layers to the map, including multiple aesthetic representations of the content.

    The presentation below is the same content as the map above. Best viewed in fullscreen.

    Polytopia - Our Mind Habitat in the Infoverse

    Content: wildcat, spaceweaver, starwalker and notthisbody
    Mapping: notthisbody

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    Everything is real but the narrative makes the difference.

    Participatory media creation is not suited to entertainment alone. The boundaries between producers and consumers are becoming blurred. The ability to create & make available high-quality media is enabling the sharing of myraid subjective narratives – but also creates the concept of image as disposable commodity.

    Cinema is a skin – a membrane/memebrane that creates a circuit between its body and that of the viewer. But people today are still using the media creation tools available in a very shy fashion. What is the point of the progress we've made and keep making in minimizing the size, weight, storage & the maximization of the capabilities of our "extended eyes" and are they going to merge into one humanity-compatible firmware?

    The Emographic Census is a framework, focus & context that fosters the creation and linking of narratives (real or fictional), that maps existing, imaginary, evolving points of view, and blurs/bends/breaks existing ontologies of media creation & our interaction (that thinning membrane) with media.

    In the context of the Emographic Census, “place” is defined as a transitory shared point of view – a Topos.

    A topos is not simply a place, a topos is a narrative, it is in a manner of speaking, a modern way of exemplifying and explicating who am ‘I’ (as in my overall identity) and what is “we”, by pointing to that which interests my being and the being of others (other than me) in my/our/this evolutionary phase.

    Topos is a set of coordinates having a definite and definable set of characteristics.
    The coordinates of a topos can be either in space, in time, in the material universe, in the infosphere, in the metaverse, in mind or all of the above or some combination thereof.

    If the definition of demographics is “the statistical characteristics of human populations (as age or income) used especially to identify markets 2: a market or segment of the population identified by demographics.”, then;

    Emographics refer to

    (1.) dynamic subjective experiences as used to identify Topos across contexts such as (a) geographical (b) historical (c) cultural (d) issue (e) opinion and (g) emotional.
    (2). the transclusion of subjective experiences across cultural ontologies.
    (3). aggregation & comparison of entities who share given topos'.
    (4). the sharing and study of the emotions behind rationale and vice versa.
    (5). the emotional facet of the map of commonalities & differences between entities.

    The Emographic Census

    (1). is a mapping of topos' from multiple perspectives.
    (2). is the creation of links between said topos.
    (3). fosters evolving narratives compiled from the en courant, embodied memories, and imagination & the sharing of said narratives.
    (4). an interaction paradigm: a method to choose and set trajectories through topos'; an overcoming local gravities of subjective meaning.


    (1). are willing to give a focus to their personal media creation; to understand, experience, & connect across subjective realities.
    (2). have the means to express emotions and thoughts artistically through any medium which proves conducive.
    (3). have a desire to explore the rationale behind emotions & vice-versa.
    (4). wish to more clearly represent our own subjective POVs & share those of others.
    (5). desire to connect (or find disconnections) with other entities in deep and meaningful manner.

    The Emographic Census will be manifested as a searchable community-built semantic social system combined with both a GIS (geographical information system) & CGIS (cyber-geographical info. system) presented as an intelligent interface. The interface will have multiple interaction paradigms or “movements”.

    Basic to the Emographic Census is the ability traverse “places” through the sharing of media with the aim of connecting people to others based on the topos' they hold in common; therefore transcending political, cultural, lingual, geographical.

    This is a fluid cinema – a living, breathing, evolving narrative drawn from our everyday media creation and all that of our past that already exists, one not limited to the static POV of the traditional relationship with media.

    The Emographic Census is part of a larger framework that is the necessary and logical next step – analyzing emographic & demographic data/subjections and drawing out the actionable steps towards real world solutions & sense-making; linking between individuals; creating communities that share co-emergent interests.


    We envision the Emographic Census as

    (1).an online interface with multiple interaction paradigms,
    (2).a social community of active Emographers,
    (3).the incorporation and semantic tagging of existing media emographically.
    (4).A mobile application that would run on all mobile devices
    (5).a social cinematic experiment

    ...and in the context of this exhibition, enables the user

    (1).to create a social/emotional profile & aggregate information from other social networks.
    (2).To upload still photos, video, audio and tag them with an emotional semantic ontology on both geographical and cybergeographical maps
    (3).To provide the choice of interaction paradigms (or genres of interaction).
    (4).The choice of a level of involvement (passive->active)
    (5).the ability to map narratives and share them.
    (6).the ability to connect with other users based on narrative commonalities or differences

    Most of the technical aspect of the aspects of the Emographic Census are entirely possible with the aggregation and modification of existing tools.

    The greatest challenge in the actualization of the Emographic Census is the creation of a emotional semantic ontology that is able to be transcend language-specific connotations, and a semantic engine that will bring intelligence to the interface.

    But this is not required all at once; at the beginning our technical needs will not be as much if we limit participation to a manageable level based on our capabilities – functionality can be incorporated as it becomes available, therefore scaling the Census for larger participation.

    Therefore, the Emographic Census will be deployed in three stages (after which momentum is apparent):

    Stage 1:

    The announcement of the Emographic Census (EC) and Call to Action for Emographers; the creation of an emotional ontology as applied to the media collected on the EC Macedonia.

    Stage 2:

    We will distribute logins to the system and involve a community of Emographers to scan and “fill in the gaps”, collect narratives, create fictions within reality, import “archival” clips relating to their narratives, and upload & semantically (using our ontology) tag those to our server as raw or close-to raw footages, where it will join that of the first EC in Macedonia. We will then make it into a database accessible through Kaltura, an online collaborative video editing application ( Users will then be able to collaboratively edit the footage together to create a narrative based in Macedonia & the first exhibition city. We will also use our semantic engine to enable users online to explore narratives based on interaction paradigms. We will project narratives through an multimedia installation for the duration of the festival and track the 'topos of the Emographic Census.

    Stage 3: The engagement of the community to assess the 'topos. Then the open discussion of those results, the evolution of it with new input. we implement additional functionalities/new tools/expanded interfaces based on our experiences and feedback on the first. We bring in that media and correlate it with the media from the first two ECs.

    Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat.

    Below are links to projects & interfaces that are influential to the Emographic Census. We are actively seeking collaboration in the realization of this project.

    - Ebon Fisher

    We Feel Fine
    - Jonathan Harris & Sep Kamvar
    I Want You to Want Me - Jonathan Harris & Sep Kamvar

    - Derek Holzer, Sara Kolster, Marc Boo

    Knowledge Cartography
    - Marco Quaggiotto
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    We have laid down the preliminary aspects, facets, and ramifications of the Polytopia. We have an understanding of what the Polytopia represents (in an order in which I find them easy to form an emergent understanding, not by any means complete 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, 9,10,11,12,13)

    But how, indeed do we go about taking the next step in inhabiting it? Here we are presented with the continuing evolution of hyperspace - Web2.0, Web3.0, the Semantic Web, recommendation engines, new input interfaces, multi-sensory systems, and all of other tools that are beginning to arise in helping us navigate and visualize, connect, share, and communicate through hyperconnectivity. In my previous posts, I explore our habitation of the Polytopia, and what forms it can possibly take:

    Towards a Polytopia, Are we ready for a Polytopia?, (meta)senses, (meta)physics, and (meta)biology in Polytopia

    What's missing? Not just an interface - for the tools that we will use to interface with cyberspace will be ever-changing, open to myriad technologies in which we can define our own unique language of interface, including our communication with one another and the world around us (see "In my Language".)

      Our OS must:

    • enable the multi-dimensionality of the Polytopia, while at the same time being structured in such a way that disables negative aspects of centralized control and censorship.

    • enable and encourage meaningful methods of utilizing collective intelligence, collective sense-making & problem-solving, the authoring and sharing of knowledge narratives,

    • the ability to effectively manage our own identity (or identities)

    • enables and embodies the aspects of Friendship in Hyperconnectivity (see 1, 2, 3, 4) + MAP

    • enable us to utilize all past and future plug-ins - hardware or software.

    • allow the existence of an infinite multitude of Topos. (see A Topos, what is?)

    • must consolidate, aggregate, & hyperlink all current & future networks, services, systems, etc.

    • will accomplish all of the above THROUGH IT'S ARCHITECTURE.

    This OS overarches Windows & Mac & Linux, with their limited methods of input-output (tho Linux comparably less so). It overarches the desktop computer, the laptop, the handheld communication device, the web browser (in current and future forms) – it must be accessible by everyone and every device through all interaction interfaces.

    Besides it being an OS for our personal knowledge & social networks, it must also act as a networked system in itself. Right how, our brains are doing this. We use them to connect and navigate through all our different Topos in a fragmented, somewhat disconnected manner. It's clunky.

    The next step in human evolution will likely be techno-biological. As with the great series of posts from Robukku (1,2,3,4), we see that we are creature-stick hybrids – and have been for a long time.

    Our BioPerson and Infoperson inhabit these dimensions in varying levels. The crossover between the two is not clearly defined, and will get less so. It must be left open-ended to many different experiential modalities, while still providing us with the freedom to grow in whatever existence towards which we direct our own self-evolution.

    Can this system be model after life itself?

    (coming soon, part II: A Meta-Top(OS) Scenario)
    Sat, Mar 7, 2009  Permanent link
    Categories: architecture, metaverse, polytopia, topos
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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