“The White House allowed staffers to enter a lottery to receive up to 10 tickets per person — a sign of the administration’s rush to fill up that space on the mall” https://t.co/bSeB6l0zP1— Scott Smith (@changeist) July 3, 2019
Posts tagged changeist
Scenarios are stories about what if. Stories don’t have to be scifi to be useful. The genre has more to do with appetite than substance.— Scott Smith (@changeist) March 19, 2019
Inexplicably I’ve accepted the challenge by @akrishnan23 to post the covers of 7 books that I love/recommend: no explanations, no reviews. With each post I’ll ask another to succumb to the challenge. 1 book cover a day for a week, and for my 1st day I tag in @honorharger. pic.twitter.com/epBbagVRlj— Scott Smith (@changeist) March 9, 2019
Amazon warehouse workers are getting utility belts to ward off robots https://t.co/8JVgrFBuw9 “a bit of kit that warehouse workers can wear to make them visible to nearby machines.”— Scott Smith (@changeist) January 21, 2019
Speaking of which, has anyone looked in on the CDC lately? This is how future backstories begin. https://t.co/SNthZwA621— Scott Smith (@changeist) January 12, 2019
Here for the entanglement distribution networks. https://t.co/G4PpMJWXb6— Scott Smith (@changeist) October 24, 2018
You can see it as an opportunity for unprecedented global innovation, or protect the pensions of a few old guys so they can golf in a carbon monoxide cloud protected by armed guards. “Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040” https://t.co/Xcbvw4gS3j— Scott Smith (@changeist) October 8, 2018
Creepy is subjective. Speculation can be productive. Context matters. https://t.co/3QSnrmWJRC— Scott Smith (@changeist) May 31, 2018
The topic of transhumanism has been a hot one lately, for reasons that probably stretch from recent surges in bio- and physical computing to questions of economic and political equity that come out of the other end of a global recession. We’re very fortunate that two people with provocative viewpoints agreed to take part: writer, researcher and critic Paul Graham Raven and researcher, writer and anthropologist Lydia Nicholas.
If you thought seat licenses were lucrative in the 1990s, wait until its city blocks in the 2020s. All are becoming increasingly embedded in physical systems, supply chains, mobility platforms and the architecture of data that makes these and other elements of the real world. One had only to notice how many seemingly incidental displays were malfunctioning in and around mass transit systems during the recent WannaCry ransomware outbreak to get a sense of where these companies systems are entwined with delivery of public conveniences. AWS, WhatsApp, Gmail and Facebook Messenger are now the mission critical sinews of the modern world. But you knew this.
So, while flatpack futures attempt to deliver a whole world, system or universe embedded in one short vignette, lossy futures — be they artifacts, simple scenarios, wireframes of speculation, rich prompts, brief vignettes or some other material object — give us the scaffolding and ask or allow us to determine the details ourselves. In doing so, they transmit the critical data, the minimum viable future, and give us the opportunity to fill in the gaps we think are important to understanding, or have a dialogue around what these gaps may mean. The irony here is that flatpack futures are often high fidelity productions, complex, if flawed, narratives. They are beautiful renderings, but submerge engineering, social, business model, ethical or spiritual problems in favor of presenting a glossy face. Lossy futures are lo-fi, and intentionally omit detail as a feature, not a bug.
We at Changeist, along with a few associates, set up the Thingclash project about 18 months ago now, with the intention of starting a conversation around human values in the Internet of Things (IoT), and to provide tools to help make that conversation easier, more expansive, and more inclusive. We’d like to think we helped drive some of the public critical discussion around the IoT that is now happening more in the mainstream than it was two years ago. With a toolkit finally in place, we have run workshops at various scales, and focused on various specialist topics, over the past year or more. Now, to mark the return of Thingscon NL in Amsterdam, where we ran our first public workshop, we’re compiling the array of cards and exercises together to release as a single Creative Commons-licensed set of materials, available for download.
Un des rôles les plus intéressants du design fiction, du design spéculatif et de tous leurs corrélats, est d’aider à combler une faille significative dans la communication des futurs. Historiquement, à la place des scénarios concrets, on faisait un ensemble de recherches documentaires sur les tendances à venir, on rentrait dans une salle de conférence, on montrait sa présentation, on faisait un rapport et on le remettait aux personnes en charge de prendre les décisions. Pas besoin pour cela de les emmener dans le même monde ou le même état d’esprit que vous, afin de leur donner à voir ces futurs. Donc vous ne créez pas de connexion, d’empathie avec eux. Comme le disaient Bruce Sterling ou Julian Bleecker il y a sept ans : “le design fiction en tant qu’outil de communication permet de créer des interactions et d’engager des discussions sur le futur qui n’existaient pas auparavant. Il aide à rendre ces futurs assez réels pour tout un chacun, de manière à pouvoir engager avec eux une véritable conversation.”
Is this the beginning of a new ‘Mars debt’ industry?
We know that applications such as Google Maps, Google Earth and StreetView already acquiesce to regulations that require obscuration of government installations, private companies’ facilities in some cases, some brands, and private citizens faces and number plates—even as it works hard to decipher items like house numbers. In other words, technology is used to differentiate what we can see and not see, depending on the legal or ethical (or otherwise) standards of a particular place. For the most part, Google Maps, Google Earth and StreetView are forms of augmented reality. They digitally render reality with forms of markup, of contextual data, which adds to our perception of places. Except in the cases of blur, pixelation and, it could be argued, accidental presentation of various kinds of render ghosts—people and things only partly captured or partly presented, artifacts of digital accident or persistent memory. Some kind of determination is made that there are things present in reality that we can’t or shouldn’t see.
More completely, they’re all mostly addressing their headgear with a sunny “OK Glass.” We are in the middle of a strange five-minute demo of Google’s already iconic head-mounted computing device, Glass, and the sensation is not one of empowerment, but of awkward disorientation mixed with racing curiousity. Five minutes, give or take. How to see the future in five minutes? For some, it’s trying to find pizza or barbecue. For others, it’s attempting to video someone else. For most, it’s a slightly zombifying experience, turning slowly, staring just above the horizon, or squinting at a clock floating in front of one eye. Some are talking to their Glass, giving it short commands. Others, like me, are finding the noise level of 50-odd people all muttering to the metal on their heads falling short of the promise, the magic.