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notthisbody
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Notthisbody
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digital cartographers, narrative realization. image workers & pixel [re]searchers. emographers. memetic mappers. space cadets. polytopians.
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    Infosynaesthetic Tech
    notthisbody’s projects
    Polytopia
    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...

    Epiphanies
    A series of rambles by SpaceCollective members sharing sudden insights and moments of clarity. Rambling is a time-proven way of thinking out loud,...

    Start your own revolution
    Catching up with the future. All major institutions in the world today are grappling to come to terms with the internet. The entertainment...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.


    This is a study that explores the notion of direct, participative and processual democracy. The research presents a series of abstract structures, providing a framework for bringing together egalitarian values, collaborative perspectives and edifying voices in an equal and open decision-making process.

    It includes a basic taxonomy of social, economic and political concepts relevant to the creation of a perfect society, showing the direction of dependencies, feedback interactions, and the relative significance of qualities and activities.

    In the flow of political discourse it is sometime easy to forget the foundations of a virtuous society, though we do remain aware of the mistakes and the civic achievements of secular ideologies, religions and governments.

    Today, we possess sufficient cultural, economic and technological resources to introduce a better global society; one instructed by shared wisdom flowing freely through networked media, in a system previously considered impossible. A collective destiny can be shaped using the power of networked activity, allowing citizens to communicate, share, educate and legislate.  

    - Paolo Cirio

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    INTERACTING ARTS is one or all of the following: a group of cross-disciplinary
    artists, media critics, an activist network, a conspiracy, a brand,
    a think-tank and a magazine which is circulated both on the web and in
    print. We aim to inspire and activate people into becoming our fellow
    creators of fully lived and experienced lives. Our theories are nothing
    other than the theories of our real life and of the possibilities experienced
    or perceived in it. We strive to coordinate our refusal of existential poverty
    through affirmation of creativity, co-operation, solidarity, play and
    our blistering desire for freedom.


    Two issues of the Interacting Arts magazine. Find them also here: IA05, IA06

    EDIT: seems like only the first 5 pages are showing up, so either visit the scribd links or the links above for the full versions

    Ia International 05 A

    During a live role-play we construct a new reality together. As children
    of a post-modern paradigm we have been taught that “everyone experiences
    the world in a different way” and that “no way of looking at the
    world is less valuable than any other”. Ergo, if we create a reality, it has
    the same value as the “real” reality. The only difference is that we have
    the power over our collectively created reality. We can disappear – live
    beyond sheepish politicians, invasive corporations, a troubled past, a fatassed
    patriarchy and a state monopoly of violence. Together we write
    new social protocols, find an aesthetic, develop a rhythm of life and allow
    our bodies to become tools for new, interesting ways to interact.


    MIDDLE GROUND
    Of course it must be possible to find tools for interaction between collective realities and consensus reality. Why not be satisfied with temporary zones? Perhaps this is what we should do, and what we, in a way, are doing. That means we can pause a while, rethink, and start fresh. Another path is to make collective re-interpretations of consensus reality in order to break free from its constraints.



    Ia International 06

    There is nothing to stop us from forming many alternative bubbles which
    can cooperate within federative structures. They can communicate and
    trade in some fitting manner. Perhaps through potlatch, after all. Imagine
    being a vagabond of realities – what if a biking trip between Stockholm
    and the suburb Södertälje could offer as diverse cultural shifts as between
    Wall Street and Mecca? Imagine a network of people and groups with
    a common approach – the creation of new worlds.


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    what takes an idea from inception to actualization & execution, the visualization & realization of that initial invisible spark?

    what keeps it in the realm of thought, of talk? what keeps it from reaching through to the visible and starting a fire? is is that we don't feel "ready"? don't feel we have the resources necessary to begin?



    "While idealistic architects, futurists, sociologists, philosophers - are in an endless search for creating the perfect island out of society, in a context totally foreign and segmented, there is a group of 15 people actually doing it. But its not just the creation of their world - but rather the connections they are gonna establish by sailing with the world that seems disconnected in a communication society. They are building a house on a boat - and its more than a house - its a multi purpose space - that lets you live on it, move with it, float with it and do service! Its a purposeful house. What an attempt...."


    the floating doctors have never been "ready" - they've scratched and struggled, begged, borrowed (but not stolen), slogged through the dirty work, the tedious work, the shit work & done the needful. and they still struggling. but it is a necessary one.

    the momentum gathers around them gains something of the autopoietic. their house is already floating, though they're not yet on the ocean.

    we have our invisible spark on SpaceCollective in the form of the Polytopia Project, but we need to start its active realization. SpaceCollective is a think-tank; think-tanks have output. what is ours? is it stuck on the level of talk? of thought? we must not watch & wait & comment but act. but we are not yet living under the same house. we are semi-connected nodes, surfacing on SC's recent posts page, sometimes on twitter or twine or friendfeed & then submerging again.

    we're shouting up here, across the void, how many are listening?

    there are few of us, we have some architectural plans, have started digging the foundation; open source of course. but we need help. to be explicit:

    who wants to start building our purposeful house?
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    A talk I attended by Martin Erickson, Creative Director of The Company P (participatory, playful, pervasive) at Power to the Pixel 2009, the crossmedia filmmaking film forum.



    There was also a workshop the next day with him. It quickly turned into a philosophical discussion on the implications of ARGs, pervasive gaming, TINAG (This Is Not A Game) & participatory entertainment.

    I recorded the talk and fixed up the audio as best I could. Might be better to use headphones. Enjoy!

    Download it on Archive.org HERE

    Thanks to Jean-Yves & Gabriel Shalom for contributing greatly to the discussion!

    And many, many thanks to Martin for leading a deeply insightful discussion.

    Description of the workshop:

    Is this a game? – Towards a constructive audience contract in the participatory arts.

    All traditional art forms have established social contracts with their audience, dictating their behaviour and attitudes. Western movie audiences generally suspend disbelief, allowing them to be emotionally affected through a process of secondary identification with the characters on screen. Social entertainments like Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), participatory dramas and pervasive games are currently in the process of formulating this contract with its emerging global audience. Using the famous “TINAG” (This Is Not A Game) agreement used in most ARGs as a point of departure, this workshop explores the possibilities and pitfalls of encouraging different audience attitudes. The discussion and design exercises span the full range from pure competitive game-ism, via secondary identification, all the way to no-bars held 24/7 live-action role playing.


    See all the videos from the first day of Power to the Pixel online HERE (highly recommended for ANY digital storytellers)

    See the archive of tweets from #PTTP09 HERE
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    The Serious ARG (Alternate Reality Game)

    In a 2007 article, columnist Chris Dahlen (of Pitchfork Media) voiced a much-discussed ARG concept: if ARGs can spark players to solve very hard fictional problems, could the games be used to solve real-world problems?[37] Dahlen was writing about World Without Oil, the first ARG centered on a serious near-future scenario: a global oil shortage.[38] Another ARG, Tomorrow Calling, appears to be a testbed for a future project focused on environmental themes and activism. [39]

    Serious ARGs introduce plausibility as a narrative feature to pull players into the game. People participate to experience, prepare for or shape an alternative life or future.[40] The games thus have the potential to attract casual or non-players, because ’what if’ is a game anyone can play.[41] Serious ARGs may therefore be sponsored by organizations with activist or educational goals; World Without Oil was a joint project of the Public Broadcasting Service's Independent Lens and its Electric Shadows Web-original programming.[42]

    Their serious subject matter may lead Serious ARGs to diverge from mainstream ARGs in design. Instead of challenging collective intelligence to solve a gamemastered puzzle, World Without Oil’s puppetmasters acted as players to guide the “collective imagination” to create a multi-authored chronicle of the alternative future, purportedly as it was happening.[43] By asking players to chronicle their lives in the oil-shocked alternative reality, the WWO game relinquished narrative control to players to a degree not seen before in an ARG.[44]

    In October 2008 The British Red Cross created a serious ARG called Traces of Hope to promote their campaign about civilians caught up in conflict.[45]

    There are possible future Serious ARGs described in fiction. In his novel Halting State, Charles Stross foresightedly describes a number of possible ARGs, where players engage in seemingly fictional covert spy operations.

    In 2008 the European Union funded an ARG to support motivation for multilingualism within European secondary school students called ARGuing for Multilingual Motivation in Web 2.0 [4]. This project is now completed and papers on the project and the resources produced for education (a Methodology and Teacher Training guides) will be presented at the 3rd European Conference on Games Based Learning.

    In 2008-2009 the MacArthur Foundation supported an ARG The Black Cloud to teach US high-school students about indoor air quality. The project is active and allows teachers to rent sophisticated air quality sensors to run the game locally.

    - Wikipedia


    How is a serious ARG taken to the next levels - the extrapolation, actualization & dramatization of 'intent' to manifestation across realities? and what's stopping us?


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    #Another example of that is ARG-like (for those who haven't heard) is Superstruct, by Institute for the Future. (article)

    #here's another great article on ARGs.

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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.

    Emographers:

    (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 (www.kaltura.org). 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.

    Zoacodes
    - Ebon Fisher

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

    SoundTransit
    - Derek Holzer, Sara Kolster, Marc Boo

    Knowledge Cartography
    - Marco Quaggiotto
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    A SoundTransit is a journey through territories using field-recordings, readings, and music. It is the first attempt at shaping a narrative from media collected during the ongoing Emographic Census. More to come!

    p.s. skip to 37:00 to hear things when they really get going...

    Length: 108:45

    Download it from the Internet Archive HERE
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    The following is a scenario on how I think that a MetaTopos could manifest.

    AMOEB(OS) {CULTURE}

    Our brains act as the glue holding together our multidimensional existence. They're spread across a laptops, cell phones, and a multitude of web services. Personal identity management tools (OpenID, Chi.mp) are getting better, and so are our cross-platform synchronization tools, but there is no interface to visualize and interact with all this data in a meaningful, user-friendly, social way.

    The global brain is emerging, as KK says, and each and every one of us is a cell within this organism, and each of these cells have as many synapses as exist in each of their knowledge and social networks. But synapses are continuously made and broken.

    Design techniques for static information are well understood, their descriptions and discourse thorough and well-evolved. But these techniques fail when dynamic information is considered. There is a space of highly complex systems for which we lack deep understanding because few techniques exist for visualization of data whose structure and content are continually changing. To approach these problems, this thesis introduces a visualization process titled Organic Information Design. The resulting systems employ simulated organic properties in an interactive, visually refined environment to glean qualitative facts from large bodies of quantitative data generated by dynamic information sources. - Ben Fry


    The Top(OS) uses natural metaphors to aggregate & visualize activity within the networked context of our existences, and navigation and interaction with it through a GUI (graphical user inferface).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The Amoeba

    Action creates Form

    Your amoeba's unique shape, contents, form and mechanisms of movement are defined by activity and behavior. You cannot choose what it will look like, though it is possible to shape it's form through specific activity & behavior, for whatever purposes those might be.



    The Culture

    Define your Culture.

    Computing will get powerful enough to visualize ALL activity and information in the the Top(OS) at once, but that alone doesn't make it possible for individuals to manage that quickly changing landscape of activity and information.

    Each of our networks therefore grows according to our current activity, knowledge, and interests. That in turn allows us to view the other networks in which similar information exists.

    The Culture is made of meta-data. It is not spatially located, as in..a specific visual landscape. The Culture is the DNA. The building blocks. Data only takes on form, shape and meaning when applied, connected, or affected to our personal (or collective) network.

    Now that we have an aggregation of our bioperson, extended person, & infoperson, and their networks, how we view the Culture which we inhabit is up to our own definition.

    Rhizomatic Architecture

    In the Top(OS) there are an infinite number and types of entrances and exits.

    Eventually, the Top(OS) interaction interface will exist in full 3d. That means there is no "underground" as is usually referred to in rhizomatic architecture. There is "sub-dimensional" and super-dimensional". Top(OS) is a scalable & zoomable multi-dimensional rhizomatic architecture (in a fractal sort of way).

    The Amoeba Culture is located at the focus point between the dimension we inhabit with our bioperson and those which we inhabit in cyberspace. The breaching point. The point at which it becomes visible. All synapses pass through here.

    If each amoeba is a living, moving organism within the sea of nodes, it is only through the connections that we (or our IA) experience the culture. Each amoeba by default has its own dimension of visualization within the Culture, which can be viewed simply and complexly, like expanding tree menus. It is also connected to all other amoebas which share common nodes.

    Now, let us go into some of the aspects of the Amoeb(OS) Culture and how they enable the already laid down concepts of the Polytopia.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Multi-dimensional Identity & Content Aggregation

    Each aspect of Activity is a molecule within our cell. Clicking on a molecule directs you through a portal to travel to the original context or dimension, whether it be a local or networked hard drive, computer program installed on your system, social network accessed through a browser, etc.

    Clicking on a molecule can also opens its visualized information structure. These molecules can include (but are not limited to):

    - My Informational Earth (geographical meatspace location, geotagged photos, video & data, travel history, geographical location of friends, etc)
    - social network profiles & activity (Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn)
    - knowledge management tools (Twine, Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon, FriendFeed)
    - Access (Windows, Apple, Linux, SecondLife, WebBrowser, ComputerGame, Nepomuk, etc)

    higherorderweb
    Top(OS) aggregates the top level into our amoeba form.

    A Facebook (or Twitter, or Twine) profile is a molecule within our amoeba. The complexity of that specific TYPE of molecule is defined, lets say in this case, by how many friends you have. Click on the facebook molecule. Choose to either go to Facebook in it's current web platform, or...open the molecule.

    Choose a visualization of that molecule (one of many, or create your own!) For this instance, let's choose Friend Interaction Visualization.

    Each node, or element, of the molecule is a friend. Activity is color-coded. Red being lowest activity and Violet being the highest, with degradations being dependent on an activity half-life equation (over X amount of time, Violet becomes blue, becomes green, becomes yellow...etc.) The synapses between you and your friends are color coded according to your communication with them. See the directions of un-responded communications. High-activity communication. Then click on any of your friends, and see not just their network of friends and their activity with all of them, but as well see to what other molecules (e.g. friends, groups, photos, interests..ad infinitum) they have in common with you.

    Check option "expand beyond Facebook". Have a friend who's on LinkedIn, Twitter, Twine, Flickr, etc? Quantam synapses reach out beyond the Facebook molecule and link to the other molecules you have in common. Or in difference.

    There are endless possibilities in the visualization of each molecule, especially when semantic filters are chosen to direct the visualization itself.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Synapses

    There are two modalities of synapses that must be present (so far). I have not found many examples of the second. They are both equally important.

    1. IBIS (Issue Based Information System)

    Types of synapses include: Responds to, Supports, Objects to, Challenges, Specializes, Expands on, Related to, About, Resolves

    2. ERBIS (Emotional Response Based Information System)

    Types of synapses include inducement of: pleasure, happiness, anger, laughter, sadness, annoyance, thrill, curiosity, disappointment, disgust, depression, inspiration, frustration, sympathy, etc. etc. etc. and "no emotional response'.

    The ERBIS system is complementary to IBIS. It gives real human value and meaning to it. An ERBIS is going to get powerful once interfaces that measure the emotional state of the user become prevalent (e.g. Emotiv) It is a way in which to create relationship between nodes which is not just rational but emotional.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Polyethics

    How does your Amoeba move? How does it collect information? How does it interact with other amoebas? How does your behavior and actions manifest itself in the movements of your Amoeba?

    Zoacodes (see my last post) are a set of behavioral laws that can define our interaction with other amoebas and the Culture itself. Using a Processing-like application, I believe that these Zoacodes could be translated into algorithms for visualized behavior.
    For a list of these Zoacodes, see:

    SQUIRM, SWARM, ENTWINE, OOZE

    I believe these Zoacodes set a strong base for Friendship and Relationships in Hyperconnectivity. These are multi-faceted methods of entering into interaction with one another in hyperspace in a meaningful and powerful way.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Symbiosis

    The goal of the Semantic web is to make data on the Web available for automated processing by agents. (from wikipedia). It's not just limited to the web. Nepomuk is an open-source software specification that is concerned with the development of a Social Semantic Desktop that enriches and interconnects data from different desktop applications using semantic metadata stored as RDF.

    Intelligent Agents are coming. There are many projects working towards this goal, most notably Siri (see this blog post).

    With the abilities of the semantic web and intelligent agents, we have a way of sorting through the Culture, the information at our disposal, in a deep and meaningful way (using IBIS & ERBIS).

    Our IA, based on our input into semantic search filters, should partner with a visualization browser such as E15, which is based on the concept that the user should have the choice of how to interact with information.

    E15 is an experimental architecture that places the power of presentation of web content into the hands of those that use it. Based on a dynamic, interactive OpenGL-based scripting engine, E15 exposes an entirely new face to web content, freely modifiable by each individual user.


    So now we have a 'smart' sorter of information and a method of visualizing it meaningfully. We have information narratives. Generative knowledge art.

    Lets now tie in Polyethics and Zoacodes. Those give us the ability to apply a behavior to an info narrative and towards the entity who has created it.

    Application: Find another amoeba who's got a similar characteristic as yours. Or find a conflicting one. Or complementary one. Or that's similar in this but different in that. This goes for opinions, too.

    Pick an interaction behavior from the Zoacodes based on your desired result, and SHARE. Whatever form that sharing might take.

    I see a great potential in generative art once it is applied to information semantically. E15 is really a program that allows and encourages generative knowledge art. Processing can also be used to drive the movement of the types of visualizations.

    But how else do we control the flow of information at our disposal?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Information Filtration

    Food enveloped by the amoeba is stored and digested in vacuoles.

    This applies to any new activity or information. It goes into the stomach, so we can digest it. A pre-digestion can even be applied by our IA, labels and tags can be applied (sort of like auto email archiving). Then we can sort through it at our disposal. Once we digest the information it leaves the Vacuole and takes it place in our node network (which has been ghosted up until digestion). If the information is not sorted for a long time, IA will automatically sort and place undigested information in a special archive (lets face it, we're not going to be short on drive space).

    Need to comb through a large amount of information? Visualize it into a form - lets say a piece of algae - then set semantic filters to narrow down the amount of information - then eat, digest, and discard one plant cell of information at a time.

    The semi-permeable membrane of the amoeba is a learning thing. An extension of our IA. Set your amoeba on a behavior path: Wander. Swim. Flutter. Flagellate. Bump into other amoebas. Set your membrane's filter to absorb certain items and reject others.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Collective Intelligence

    Amoebas can seek out other amoebas which are genetically similar. They can then clump together to form multi-cellular organisms in which some amoebas will become spores which can be moved to other locations to find more food, or they can become stalks which provide some height for the spores to then spread out. Most would rather be a spore than a stalk. (wikipedia)


    This is it - the creation of multi-minded organisms within the Top(OS). This does not mean that any particular amoeba loses it's individuality. rather, it means that there is the possibility to share resources towards common goals

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Privacy
    Much like Twitter, Top(OS) is based on a realtime timeline. Our amoeba moves through the Culture, views and interacts with other amoebas. How is our privacy protected?

    By default, each amoeba starts off completely opaque to all but the owner of that Amoeba. Versus the opposite of this (when all privacy settings are turned off and must be activated, in this instance, privacy must be deactivated.

    Choose which molecules of your Amoeba you want publicly visible. Choose what aspects of your Amoeba you wish to be visible to whom.

    Your amoeba could wander around collecting things and interfacing with complete anonymity. Although also of interest here is the ability for entering into 'trust' relationships. Lets say, if you want to get some certain amount of information from another Amoeba, they might require that they get some information from you. Entering into a trust relationship on both sides could be required.

    Default Opaque Privacy puts the power of how you decide to deal with your privacy in your hands.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Death

    What happens when no activity occurs on a given topic, or even the cell itself shuts down due to inactivity (or the person behind it) dies?

    In environments which are potentially lethal to the cell, an amoeba may become dormant by forming itself into a ball and secreting a protective membrane to become a microbial cyst. The cell remains in this state until it encounters more favourable conditions. While in cyst form the amoeba will not replicate and may die if unable to emerge for a lengthy period of time.


    I don't think that the information should just disappear - it should just go dormant. The connections between dormant or inactive entities and information should be able to be searchable and linkable.

    With such a flux of information, this activity half-life gives yet another aspect of the self-organizing principle. It could be said that this is a danger, for if something is important but receives no attention or activity, it can be forgotten. There should be a way to search through these dormant items for relevance.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Case Study: Anymails


    Used with permission of the Author.
    Design & Concept: Carolin Horn Code: Florian Jenett Institute & Advisor: DMI Boston, Prof. Brian Lucid, Prof. Jan Kubasiewicz, Prof. Joe Quackenbush


    Anymails is a visualization of my received emails.
    I have investigated how I can use natural metaphors to visualize my inbox, its structure and attributes. The metaphor of microbes is used. My objective is to offer the user another experience of his email world. - Carolin Horn





    Anymails is the closest natural metaphor visualization system that I have found to date. It is built using Flash and Processing. You can download her thesis, "Natural Metaphor For Information Visuzalization", on her website.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Conclusion

    This is only one possible scenario of a MetaTopos. Using metaphors of biological behavior is limiting, and I am sure that possible future mind habitats will outgrow these metaphors. However what I am interested is the practical building of this habitat as soon as possible.

    There is no reason why we cannot start building a MetaTop(OS) like this now. All the tools and elements are there to create a beta version, to enable us to live in the house while we are building it.

    The Top(OS) must:


    • be free and open source.

    • be installable as a program on any system (windows, mac, linux)

    • have an active beta tester community.

    • have user-contributed functionality.

    • be scalable and self-regulating.


    This is a call out to anyone who believes they can help us further define the system architecture, interaction design, and philosophy of the Top(OS). Please share your questions, comments, concerns, and anything you might so that we may all have a fuller picture of possible future mind habitats.



    I, for one, can't wait to watch my Amoeba swim.
    Sun, Apr 5, 2009  Permanent link
    Categories: polytopia, metaverse, architecture, topos, future
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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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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    From its inception Wigglism has promoted the notion that the truth, or that which seems true, is interactively constructed with the world as a whole, not just with other humans or in the limited text space known as discourse. As dialogues surrounding the evolving manifesto have suggested, the most significant property of an interactively determined truth is not its veracity but the vitality in the collaboration in which it emerges. Wigglism also points to a post-art, post-science, post-human world in which both objective reality and subjective aesthetics give way to a living, subjective ecosystem. This supports an emerging green culture underscored by an ethic of nurturing vital systems. (from Wikipedia)


    COMFORT THE LINKLESS

    HEATHER MARANDOLA CONTEMPLATING A ZOACODE IN THE NERVEPOOL
    UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS, PHILADELPHIA, 2006


    The Wigglism Manifesto


    Loop into strange coilings, this coiling. Well up in the fibrillations of this hysterical continuum, this bionic boiling. Rise up and nurture the wiggling – of sinew and circuit, riot and union, mud and imagination. Nurture with the loaded logic of the living, with ceaseless reflection and a moving center.

    Ovulate your tender eggs, your shivering codes, into the blood of interconnection. Soak tendrils of thought and gesture in an ethical jelly of feedback. Infuse phantoms and facts with equal measures of visceral significance. Creep along the rivulets and curls of writhing truth, this feral fetus squinting in a boundless womb of cultivations.

    Breed turbulent creatures in a mongrel jungle of plasma, machines and minds. Embrace these creatures, these hives, these worlds. Keep that which is lively, and that which sustains life, in succulent focus. May the lonely pools of science, art and heaven congeal into a sea of quivering being.

    At this twist in the orgy of Mystery we are drunk with the sweat of the stars, with that which seems alive, with lunges, lickings and startled presences. We fuse with the creatures of our devotion, becoming everything we encounter, becoming devotion itself. We transmute mind and matter into a zoology of spirit.

    Dare to suckle this wild vapor. Convulse and clutch in waves of milky wonder. Siphon every atom, and theory of atom, into the folds of our collective screen, our flesh. Melt into the monstrous, grooving spasm of the infinite wiggling.

    Nurture the wiggling, for that which wiggles is amazing.


    Ebon Fisher, with input from the public, 1996-2007


    The Nervoid Connection

    We do not comprehend an object so much as entwine with it. We and the object quiver in a marmalade of probabilities, groping for a hold upon a node materializing between us. As we are prone to sense objects everywhere, we are drawn to a firmament of contact points, a field of seductions, a ubiquitous node.

    This situation might be reduced to mere psychology: we bumble into phantoms of human attention, our integrated consciousness projecting upon the observed, conjuring up a soul, a point. But without proof of objects or consciousness, we cannot be sure our attention is inside you or me, within our minds or outside in the world.

    So let us simply abandon the obsession to locate anything anywhere. We kiss goodbye both objectivity and subjectivity, science and art. We dissolve all arguments, acquiescing to an expression about the living node, about the charm of our world, which can be said with sheer presence:




    We are this node.




    The Zoacodes are a system of network ethics, visualized into the behavior of nodes and how those nodes interact and relate to one another. I see Zoacodes as being an integral part of how emotional empathic interaction works in hyperconnectivity.

    Visit the NervePool, Ebon Fisher's website, and check out all the beautiful ZOACODES:

    SQUIRM
    SWARM
    ENTWINE
    OOZE


    Which Zoacode are you contemplating today?
    Sat, Feb 7, 2009  Permanent link
    Categories: Ethics, polytopia
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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