Archive

The Conversation #40 — Mary Mattingly

It’s inter­est­ing and scary to think about an Earth that could be com­plete­ly con­trolled by humans, but it seems like it’s def­i­nite­ly pos­si­ble. I could find fun think­ing about liv­ing under the sea or all the places that humans real­ly haven’t been able to sus­tain them­selves in very well. Like, if we could real­ly get con­trol of that. I mean, it’s def­i­nite­ly a dark future, but I think some­thing that I could embrace if we did go there.

Talking About Visual Thinking

Sometimes I think about these sorts of work­ing graph­ics as a sort of men­tal scaf­fold­ing. In the act of ren­der­ing data, or draw­ing our thoughts, we assem­ble a con­struct to hang oth­er con­cepts from. So it’s a con­struct that can be extend­ed or mod­i­fied or dis­as­sem­bled and turned into some­thing new.

Data and Oil

I come here today because I’m excit­ed about data but also because I’m ter­ri­fied. I’m ter­ri­fied that we are hav­ing progress with­out cul­ture in the world of data. And as we’ve seen with these failed indus­tries before, progress with­out cul­ture does not work.

Reading the Riots on Twitter

One of the things that was hap­pen­ing at the time is that one of the accu­sa­tions that was being made, or that was being prof­fered by peo­ple who made sort of snap, knee-jerk respons­es to what was going on is that social media is being blamed. Social media was blamed for the worst civ­il unrest that England had seen in recent years.

Privacy, cen­sor­ship, and secu­ri­ty in the Middle East

So I got curi­ous, and I asked myself what is the Iranian Internet, and who is the Iranian user? I was pissed off enough, like I said, to take a step or to feel the urge to do some­thing. To feel the urge of mak­ing some­thing. And the thing that I real­ly want­ed to bring across was that cen­sor­ship is hap­pen­ing in a dif­fer­ent coun­try, where it’s being used to bring across infor­ma­tion, to make voic­es heard.