May 31, 2003
More Matthew Barney citeage

Anne's written about our experience of the Cremaster exhibit at the Guggenheim. But she needs to see the comparison of Cremaster 3 to Donkey Kong. (courtesy of Boing-Boing)

Posted by esinclai at 09:09 PM
Owner Operated Cab Company

Chasing back through some links for some Mac OSX Software, I came across the Union Cab company of Madison, a worker-owned cab company.

What a neat idea. Nicely transparent business practices, if the site is true.

Posted by esinclai at 09:02 PM
Digital Genres VI

Edward Castronova presented on his Everquest economy research, which is well covered around the web, but entertainingly. Check his above site, or search for further research of his.

Posted by esinclai at 04:58 PM
Pending Purple Plug-In?

Looks like Chris has made some progress in a purple-numbering plugin for Moveable Type.

Posted by esinclai at 03:37 PM
Digital Genres V

Micah Jackson - Soul of the Machine : Self Psychology and the development of the online personality.

The self changes with environment - consider the change when one moves from HS to College. Older friends no longer identify, perhaps.

Self Psychology - originally a way to deal with personality disorders, like antisocial or narcisitic personalities.

Kohut as progentor. Narcisism as a misunderstanding of self, for example. A healthy narcisism can exist.

Selfobjects as items encountered that are perceived as constituative of oneself. Help to understand who one is. Idealised and mirroring self objects.

Idealised as those striven for (parent, teacher, hero, 10 commandments, a concept like democracy, etc). Some unhealthy options, like asocial behavers (Jesse James).

Mirroring selfobjects. Hot or cold game (tell one whether you are attaining that you strive for or not). Audience, for example (as audience nods, sense of communicative speaker).

Electronic selfobjects - electronic objects which function as selfobjects OR are other selfobjects which are mediated electronically.

Idealised electronic selfobjects are those you strive for. The promote selfcohesion and selfesteem. Examples - computers show accuracy, reliability/uptime, logical processing of input.

Electronic mirroring selfobject - those giving feedback. Failure to compile is negative feedback

Electronically mediated idealised selfobjects - more conceptual. Individuals known online (blog, email, etc). Idealised places on television, electronic community, etc.

Electronically mediated mirroring selfobjects - commentary, feedback, chat, etc.

Some people may be able to segment their online from offline lives - they take different selfobjects. Others integrate the two, and reflect the same selfobjects in both locales.

[curiousity in transcription of using geographic word of place again]

Posted by esinclai at 03:12 PM
Digital Genres IV

Laura Trippi, Compose Yourself: Branding, Blogging, and the Fog of War

New research, somewhat inchoate

Two genres: Defense Transformation and "Digital Commons / P2P / Social Software / SmartMobs"

See diagram

Both work in disruptive technologies.

Also, both use complex system theory / network science.

By thinking of these as genres (Bakhtian), draw attention to their relational space. Each is intensely dialogical - communication betwixt nodes and in the attention to each node. Each has directional narrative, but these narratives are not inherrent IN the genre.

Common source (disruptive tech), common values (free markets and evolutionary dynamics (as a reflection of free markets).

Defense transformation focuses on prioritisation of informational tech. In this information is at the same level as other resources - a primary position.

Change from strength to speed / stealth / precision. Causing the adversary to distrust their own self-understanding. Concept of self and enemy is as system of systems.

Argues that the defense elements managed to produce the 'fog of war' (through the harnessing of the disruptive tech understanding?).

Takes issue with the notion of a second superpower being drawn forth our of technology, emergent democracy, etc.

Branding as denial of a perceived truth about a service. And the official branding of the war (the statue toppling, the uncropped vision of the tiny crowd in contrast). And the emergent populist icon of the iraqi information minister, either absurd, or as an exposure of the branding of the war.

Two last points: war on terror as extension of the cultural wars, and the risks of trusting to software rather than theorizing or the role of beauracratic creation of emerging democracy.

The strategy of speed and stealth is not limited to the battlefield, but also to political legislation and discourse.

Defense Initiative as a firm narrative, and the blogging / emergent community has a lack of narrative - thus easy to overwhelm.

[warmed up at end under pressure of time]

Posted by esinclai at 02:55 PM
Digital Genres III

Presentation of 22 Aphorisms from Wealth Bondage and the Happy Tutor.

Posted by esinclai at 02:26 PM
Digital Genres II

Rob Moore on Branding

Entertaining dicussion of Beaudrillard and frictionless identity/brand.

Citation of Castranova and economy.

Suggestion that something special about earth and a mode of semiotics that identifies idea and things can shed light on this. Pierce himself works in this way. That something can be both a material item and a sign does not diminish its sign-ness.

Brands and branding as signs of value.

Products, services, experience, communication, politics and polity are all branded. acad lit is silent on this, cultural crit talks about branding and advertising as the same, though in actuality they are linked but not the same.

Advertisements offer stories, brands are a dualistic sign and thing. However, branding is changing, connected to service econ cange and tech, change.

Most brands fail, of course. The tales are only told about the successful ones.

Brands as enablers of consumption and as extenders of corporate identity.

Three pathologies of branding. genericide, ingredient and viral branding.

Genericide is when a product - legally - speaks to a product class rather than a product in particular, resulting in cancellation of TM (c.f. Kleenex, etc). Index of profound success that kills the process of marketing. Transformation into a commodity.

Ingredient branding, the product is absorbed into another (nutrasweet --> pepsi, Intel inside, etc). Input components exposed to the consumer by means of a brand. "The intangibility problem". Company must display the value of the component product. Problems which arise are the leeching of the value of the containing product into the contained product.

Viral marketing, it appears the product is instantiated in the process of the marketing. Hotmail, with .sig, each act of communication markets the product itself.

Brand as unstable conjunction of name and thing. And in online world, names become the communication of identity to others and to the system, even where supplied with synthetic bodies.

[how does this interrelate to AKMA and Trevor's senses of the body?]

Interaction in virtual worlds introduces increased semiotic vulnerability (a single point of failure around the name) (again, is name == identity a vulnerability in the argument as well? Do we not know one another by the activities and behaviors online?).

Close in case of stolen identity into online theft in Ultima Online.

Posted by esinclai at 02:17 PM
Digital Genres conference notes I

Bad notes, scattered, but here for my own fleshing of the Digital Genres conference, first set.

Molly Wright Steenson, Imaginary Architects: From the Crystal Chain to the Blog

Research in Weimar, Bauhaus, etc.

Last decade working in online community and internet

Quote regarding building of online: Bruno Taut "there is almost nothing left to build and if we can build somewhere we build to live... " 19 Nov. 1919, founding letter of Glass Chain

Delved into expressioniist arch and crystal chain. Currency while nothing (physical) was being built. Similar in tenor, but not much visionary discourse in contemp online building.

Begeistunt - to be excited by ideas.

Bruno a boundless idealist, etc.

Founder of architectural worker council. Exhibition for unknown architects 1919. Replaced by Gropius as leader of council. In split, he invited 14 archs to join "the crystal chain", using pseudonyms. Set of letters. First letter laid out a set of regular communication in letters of ideas, using language of obfuscation (at first). 18 months of letter exchange.

Ties to expressioinism, in the integration of arts in dynamism and expression. The 'call to build'. Carl Schoenberg (writer, associated with 'storm' artistic group. Glass architecture.

Others less delighted with younger architects, concerned with feasibility. Group very utopian, though over time more looking at reality as well as this fantasy - clarity of concept in presentation. "unbelievably understandable". It is at this point that the exchange ends.

The Crystal Chain Letters is a book/translation. Will have cite at, as well as paper.

Norman Foster, building in london, echoes the glass pavillion of Taut.

Cites various online communitarians, corporate-expat designers, etc.

Derek Powaczyk "design for community"

But not enough conversation about stretching the boundaries. IA based on big vs small infra, rather than blogs being defined by tools and activities )"we are united by our tools" - Meg H.)

Wising up of utopians of 1995 beliving that design and community can save the world.

[need to track down paper for this...]

[previous speaker, Galloway, asked by Weinberger about virtual past]

A flow from past to present. Memories are reconstructed each time they are brought forward. Thus they are virtual. "a limnal space"

"Deleuzian time and space"

"I've got all these ontological hangups because I'm a theologian about things like touch and stuff..." - Trevor

Are road signs augmented reality? Consensus of yes.

more discussion

Alex contends that the weimar was elites. Steenson disagrees, and generally discussion that grassroots and top (elites) are in a cross-pollinating interaction.

Debate between Steenson and Weinberger about whether there are any big questions being debated.

Alex: are the big questions not about the web anymore?

??: most people are engineers, not big thinkers. Artists in their technology, not in general realm. Cite of General Good license.

Of course (following on to utopianism) we do sometimes have to be wary of utopianism in the unanticipated effects.

Question in head: grassroots is being discussed by Rheingold, is it not?

Weinberger: wiki as small-scale utopianism.

Others: GPL as bigish idea utopianism, but the other licenses provide incremental reflections off this utopianism.

Sollsass citation by Steenson as thinker in line.

Posted by esinclai at 11:38 AM
May 29, 2003

Home! Home again, home again, home again, we (whee!).

Mail backed up over the break - to the point that I was bouncing until I got WebTV to work in a hotel room. Not pretty. Now up and running. In the first mail pop, filters caught ~33% of my mail as spam. Happy happy....

Posted by esinclai at 03:48 PM
He's Back!

At long last, Mike has been returned to service. And more lessons learned, by the actor and the observers...

[ok, delayed, but I was travelling!]

Posted by esinclai at 03:34 PM
May 22, 2003
GPL Legal Battle?

These things rise up periodically, I suppose, but Dan Gillmor is reporting that the FSF vs OpenTV case may be heading into court. Of course, it's just this threat of enforcement that makes the GPL such a nice tool, when combined with the social elements of influence for companies to abide by it.

I watch for these, because in the past I took part in some corporate interpretation of how to fit in, what the lines of "must do" vs "keep the spirit" vs "commit to being part of the software ecology" were. Not that I was always able to convince people to choose what I felt was the capital R Right path but that at least the path chosen wasn't the wrong one.

Posted by esinclai at 07:48 AM
May 21, 2003
Mmmm... Fooood

Andrew Huff pointed to this in his sidebar, but there's a nice interview with Amanda Hesser at Identity Theory

Gratutitous link to IT provided for Brian

More food to come!

Posted by esinclai at 04:42 PM
Not so Idle

Maciej at Idlewords continues to impress with his breadth of content. From reasoned musings on European affairs (including today's point-counterpoint on the state of Poland, the France Week series, etc) to intriguing search engine work, to sharing the research he perfoms about the online realm, he's a must read.

I'm probably preaching to the choir of my readers, but I had to get it off my chest...

Posted by esinclai at 07:01 AM
May 20, 2003

Well, if I'd known about the Doug's Applescripts for iTunes site before, my life would have been a lot easier.

Indeed, he already has a set of scripts to call outside services in place. Including one that grabs the appropriate track or artist information for passing to AMG (or other services).

It isn't a nice textured popup window, but maybe a little cURL experimentation (next week, after travel calms down) is in order...

Ah, LazyWeb. How I adore thee.

Look out! Misrendering below!

Posted by esinclai at 07:09 AM
May 12, 2003
Wacky reuse of RSS

What next, RSS Hacks to go with Ben Hammerley's Bloggin Hacks - or maybe Blogging Hacks already does some of this....

Emmanuel Decarie's got a script to export his apache logfiles to RSS, as sort of a proof of concept for other RSS scraping ideas.

It's an interesting idea, moving to the machine realms. I Sam Ruby's GUMP does similar.

Posted by esinclai at 07:07 AM
May 10, 2003

Not the song....

So Ben Hammersley announced that Blogging Hacks is available for preorder now from Amazon. Curious, I sneak on over to check it out.

OK, so I'm likely to order this puppy. But have I been in a stupor for a week and missed this newest addition to Amazon's cross-product-multi-linking? Is this the Google tie-in that was written up in the press last week?

And why isn't sixapart on this bandwagon?

Posted by esinclai at 10:33 AM
May 09, 2003
Add to the ThreadsML links

Add to the various earlier links I've posted that the domain at last, has been populated by Weinberger, Yost, Canter, et al.

Still much reading to do, grounding, etc. But bits and pieces are beginning to make sense, at least conceptually.

Posted by esinclai at 07:02 AM
May 08, 2003
More Braindumping...

My upstairs neighbor and I were chatting the other day about how what we would really like is for the Apple Music Store tunes to have more and richer metadata - a supplement to our online libraries akin to the liner notes and album jackets we squirrel away.

What if, I mused, there was some integration with That would provide some information, at least.

After some surfing around this evening, it would appear that a tool like iChatStatus could provide part of the toolkit. At least, it proves there's some way to get the information out of iTunes about what's playing, etc.

For an interesting look at one implementation, take a look at this - that's a rendezvous home page I can get behind.....

Posted by esinclai at 09:39 PM

Via IdleWords, a set of really beautiful images from a visualisation program, Walrus.

For whatever reason, I found the CVS image particularly striking.

Posted by esinclai at 09:08 PM
HP on Semantic Blogging

It's been linked to across several of the well known places (scripting news, Ruby, etc etc), but for my tiny audience I'd like to highlight this presentation, which I've just quickly read and enjoyed.

While it's probably clear that this is more attention being paid to the ways and byways of blogging by corporate entities (which can, imo, be a good thing as well as a scary or counterproductive set of attention to this still grassrootsy), and that aspect of this will get plenty of attention, just as MSFTs plans, AOL's plans, etc already have.

But what to me is interesting about this posting is that it gives a nice background for those of us trying to consistently and rapidly bone up on the welter of technologies at play in this space, and some exposed thinking of how they can interop.

Posted by esinclai at 08:37 PM

The day begins with hope, with a moderately calm interweb, discussion of substance.

And I caught up to 2 weeks ago on the ThreadsML, er, thread!

At least, in one locale. Darn those "open in tab behind this one" links.....

Posted by esinclai at 07:07 AM
May 07, 2003
It Lives!

Various ChicagoBloggers have started producing the soft-launch of Gapers Block, and the announcements are trickling in as well.

So is the praise. Like this! It's a fun read for us Chicagoans, and I've already seen a few events that I wouldn't have previously. And of course, anyone who cites AZ.....

Posted by esinclai at 07:17 PM
Deep Breaths

So I'm on this mailing list, and it starts into the cycle that personalities can drive mailing lists to distract the participants from the discussion at hand, and the implied metadata wanders off course, like the membership.

It's disappointing, of course, to see terse criticism become interpreted as attack, and see affront at believed attack lead to attack at the tone of affront. Being a day job working stuff, I don't have time to step in and try and steer the craft as much as I'd like to right now - so I stay back and watch my inbox fill slowly with things to get back to. But I know that the community is who steers these crafts, laying the pheromones of productive discourse.

Shelley has a description of the situation and some response.

When I shared a bit of the tempest with AZ, her response was

Christ almighty. How do these people have time to do any work? All they do is fight, fight, fight. In multiple locations. It's turning the Web into a 24/7 version of the Itchy and Scratchy show.

Which may be a bit extreme - in the noise there's been some good signal, and I'm still hopeful. But the noise does distract me from the music.

Posted by esinclai at 07:09 PM
May 02, 2003
Hydra Template Released and Explained

Tom Coates has posted an exegesis and copy of the collaborative notetaking template he came up with during ETCon.

As one of the participants in the notetaking, the addition of this structure is a lightweight improvement to an already lightweight and self-organizing process, and indeed did assist in the later notetakings. Looking back over my notes now, I see where having had it earlier would have been better (particularly in the "who are the participants in the dialogue-as-notes, and who are the recipients" disconnect.

Again, and this is an essay in the cooking, it's so often an accretion of these small improvements that can make things better; just having the email addresses formatted for quick cut-n-paste would have made some of the inter-session shuffle less hectic for those of us serving the document.... More time for coffee!

Posted by esinclai at 06:58 AM