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The Conversation #7 — Alexander Rose

If the point of mak­ing a 10,000-year clock is to get peo­ple to think longer term how do you design that expe­ri­ence so that it real­ly does that? And one of the things that we we real­ized is that peo­ple real­ly need to be able to inter­act with it. That they need to be able to make the moment they vis­it it their own. So while the clock does keep time all by itself with the tem­per­a­ture dif­fer­ence from day to night, it doesn’t actu­al­ly update any of the dials, none of the chimes chime, unless someone’s there to wind it.

The Conversation #5 — Andrew Keen

We’ve got two para­dox­i­cal trends hap­pen­ing at the same time. The first is what I call in my book the cult of the social,” the idea that on the net­work, every­thing has to be social and that the more you reveal about your­self the bet­ter off you are. So if your friends could know what your musi­cal taste is, where you live, what you’re wear­ing, what you’re think­ing, that’s a good thing, this cult of shar­ing. So that’s one thing that’s going on. And the oth­er thing is an increas­ing­ly rad­i­cal­ized indi­vid­u­al­ism of con­tem­po­rary, par­tic­u­lar­ly dig­i­tal, life. And these things seem to sort of coex­ist, which is para­dox­i­cal and it’s some­thing that I try to make sense of in my book.

Working on ENIAC: The Lost Labors of the Information Age

The largest part of the ENIAC team by far were the peo­ple that were actu­ally build­ing the thing. And it’s inter­est­ing they’ve been for­got­ten by his­tory, because although their job titles were wire­men, tech­ni­cians, and assem­blers, being a busi­ness his­to­rian I looked up the account­ing records, and some­times they spell out the pay­roll. You sud­denly see all these women’s names like Ruth, Jane, Alice, Dorothy, Caroline, Eleanor show­ing up.

Esoteric Content

So the kind of tech­nolo­gies that get made are not nec­es­sar­i­ly very excit­ing. It’s some­thing that [Alexis] Madrigal of The Atlantic said, these tech­nolo­gies that are com­ing out of these star­tups, they’re nice, they’re cheap, they’re fun. And they’re about as world‐changing as anoth­er vari­a­tion of beer pong. This is not big, rad­i­cal change.

Imaginary London

What I’d like to to look at is alter­na­tive ver­sions of London, unbuilt build­ings, dif­fer­ent struc­tures from fan­tas­ti­cal lit­er­a­ture (sci­ence fic­tion, that sort of thing), and just see how that reframes the city that we inhab­it every day. How it makes us see it with per­haps new eyes.

Re‐calling the Modem World: The Dial‐Up History Of Social Media

Where did the Internet come from? And in order to answer that ques­tion, you would have to have a pret­ty clear idea of what you mean when you say the Internet.” I sus­pect that if we were to poll every­body in the room, we would have a vari­ety of dif­fer­ent, some­times con­tra­dic­to­ry, some­times incom­pat­i­ble, some­times over­lap­ping, def­i­n­i­tions of the Internet.”

No Neutral Ground in a Burning World

Geek cul­ture and hack­er cul­ture used to be rel­a­tive­ly apo­lit­i­cal, but now every action that you take and every piece of code that you write has polit­i­cal effects. You may may intend some of these effects, you may not intend most of these effects, but they’re there and we need to start think­ing about and under­stand­ing these changes.

Seeing the Stack

It’s this infra­struc­ture that is unseen, because it is infra‐structure, it is under the struc­ture. And when you start think­ing about this mas­sive web of tech­nolo­gies that keep you alive, the only inter­faces we have on a day‐to‐day basis are tap, turn, flush. Everything else is hid­den and unseen.

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