The mark of launch-and-learn publishing: corrections are generally made within 36 hours. Reduction for print-out is 80%.
by Jouke Kleerebezem
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value vice volume
Remind Me Of The Wheel
Which software intelligently background searches my previous entries to NQPAOFU while I'm writing new ones? To prevent me from re-inventing the wheel. To help construct a deeper and more solid argument over time? To help me divert and re-organize my content? To prevent me from being repetitious. I need active on the fly while-u-rite alerts, no dumb searching for matches or whatever. Get me over the wheel. I'm prepared to help it organize my stuff by tagging and some categorizing. Especially when it signals back my idiosyncracies to me. I want all good tools to be part of a web authoring environment, not a word processing or outliner or database thingyactually I don't give a bit for how it works as long as I do not have to leave my HTML editor, currently and since it shipped, PageSpinner. Thank you.
some >+ Flow Control And Prediction Is What I Need for my content...
Two Years After My Suggestion: The Amazon Wishlist
Tue, 04 Nov 1997 22:34:25 +0100 I mailed the following suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Please let me know whether it would be possible to compile a list of titles that one wants to remember, but doesn't want to order yet - like filling my shopping cart and leaving it behind to find it again, with its books, when visiting again. When I browse your store I sometimes come across books that I want to remember, but first find recommendations on, check with colleagues or whatsoever. It seems like an interesting option to have your wish list popping up, like your personal recommendations, at each visit.
Paul Krause replied Wed, 5 Nov 1997 13:37:06 -0800 (PST):
- Thanks for writing to us at Amazon.com!
We do not currently have a method for you to compile a list of titles that you are interested in but do not yet want to order. This is a good idea, though, and I will pass on this suggestion to the appropriate department. You might want to direct future suggestions to the email address:
Perhaps you can try copying and pasting titles and ISBNs to a file that you maintain on your own computer. Then you will have a list that you can refer to when you are thinking of ordering books in the future.
So 7 November I mailed to email@example.com, under the following subject header "too late for the holiday season? was: Amazon.com, re: Shopping Cart Smart?":
- With the danger of cross posting I herewith redirect to you the reply your Paul Krause mailed me on the idea of setting up the possibility of maintaining a personal wish list at your site. Having gone over it I can even imagine this possibility to be further worked out, when people can mail each other their wish lists through your site, etc. This would enhance business I'm very sure. We all do rely in the purchase of our books on close friends and colleagues and in the Early Information Age more than ever long for reliable and inspired Hard Copy ;-). I hope this mail inspires you to set up such a 'service'.
and got no reply... We're two years ahead in time and here's the Amazon wish list, pretty much with my strings attached. Hmm, how about a 'thank you for your feedback' note and some of the titles on my Wish List for this just-in-time suggestion? Please note that I moved from Amsterdam to the Moulin du Merle... for the shipping address, oh, it's been changed in my account.
Sustained condition of visibility
Courtesy of firstname.lastname@example.org I found this reflection on mercantile culture vv. the museum, by >+ Dave Hickey:
- Anyway, I think the museum needs to be redirected to its original function as a conservative institution dedicated to showing those objects of cultural production that we once revered, those objects which mercantile culture can no longer sustain in a condition of high visibility. In other words, if I go to a museum, I want to see what's unfashionable, not what's fashionable.
His is an interesting argument, not against 'mercantile culture', but in favor of a 'sustained condition of visibility' for those objects we once revered. Or, some of us once revered. Or, few of us still revere? If my adopted idea of a market, or mercantile culture, holds true that it contents itself with second best objects and faux reverence, we are talking about a project way beyond the scope of any, even redirected, museum, however.
- Unfortunately, we are all elitist Marxists now. We critique the low from the high, and I am not particularly interested in this project, since it provides no visible alternative to the doxa, and this is to the consensus of public appreciation. I want new things to look at. I know all the nasty ways of looking at what's already here.
When will be the day that the postal services deliver my snail mail by my recipient's email address? Are they listening? Opportunity knocks loud here (I know there's some privacy issues to be settled before). Today I couldn't access my database because of atmospheric disturbancesbut I know all of my dearest's email addresses by heart! Luckily Judith mailed me her postal address before she took off to Spain to bulk out her postcards.
Studio Visit 2: the ± Main Storage
Mort pour la France
President Chirac preparing to lay a wreath of cornflowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris.
Photograph: Michael Lipchitz/AP, from >+ The Times
In every village and city in France at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month at the local monument the death toll of two world wars is commemorated. The list of people who died from the local community is read aloud, after each name is exclaimed 'mort pour la France'. We joined the 30 something people, our neighbours, at the St.Germain-des-Bois monument this morning to share their >+ expression of respect.
In Paris, where mr. Chirac lead the ceremony, for the first time there were no veterans of WWI present. In another 40 years there will be only a few more veterans of WWII alive. This morning R+r were the only two kids present at the StGdB monument. They got to get all the cookies after, at the Mairie, when the community shared wine and pretzels in celebration of the 11:00"11/11'18 ceasefire.
Make It Happen
The noble skill of 'experience design' is to make things happen. It is designing supportive conditions for things to happen. If this involves 'city screens' in a dedicated environment, it could create favorable conditions for experiences to happen. But if the conditions ain't right, if the people are bored, if the content is lousy, if the image isn't crisp, if the sound isn't pitched, if the weather sucks, we know what happens instead. Right?
A propos 'city screens' and ± yesterday's rant
There's one or two important things that I forgot: you don't want to be fed sound and imageswhat you want is to process information. Out there in RealSpace you'll need some powerful context-aware computation, for 24/24 ad hoc processing... who wants to be a dumb receiver this day and age?
Here's two-way looking at your peers, at >+ MIT's Wearables. Browse and compare their schtick to that of your average mediatron outfit. One other afterthought: look at what its developer community did for the Palm. That's the power of ownership. That mysterious follow-up to engagement. Can you picture an ownership that productive for electronic video billboards? Yet you'll need it for any successful operation in post-broadcast media.
Leave a Trail
Who or what were/was idie.net, before it was me? I receive occasional mail. Just wondering.
It's hardly as intriguing and definitely less dramatical though, as will be the reason for which a couple that we witnessed, the day before yesterday, left two bouquets of flowers afloat, at both sides of the upstream lock. They paused for a while on the bridge, crying. They were in their mid forties. Their car was parked some 30 meters away. They drove off in the direction of Thurigny. I didn't get to see the license plate. Who drowned there? The people I've asked, some of who have been living here for the past 30 years, didn't know. The mayor didn't know. I will have to ask the former owner. What happened here, one November 7, and how long ago was it?
BTW, note the ± new Studio Visit ± sidebar.
Worked almost all day on a Moulin du Merle FAQ, in Dutch: Meest Gestelde Vragen, MGV. I realized that I hardly ever write substantially in Dutch anymore, since a looong time, and I loved to try my hand at it again, but had some difficulties to find the right pitch. Soon. Binnenkort, eigenlijk.
Design Urgencies between the Private and the Public
One of today's big picture design urgencies would be to decide whether to lead developments (and use available, as well as enhance research into new technologies) to 1. individual, 'portable', connected vs. 2. public, 'architectural', representational interfaces to information... (or merging the two). The distinction is vital.
- 1. presupposes trust in individuals (who are tapping into increasingly customized information) not to resist their communicational urge, hence not growing lonely or alienating (Vito Acconci ranted against the Walkmanin favor of the ghetto blaster, and other less intrusive but definitely public media). This is the ideally two-way symmetrical option.
- 2. implies both information access (ethical, political, commercialwho feeds who what?) and also architectural issues ('I want my street front back'), more likely to be a one-way, or at least a-symmetrical communication model.
The first option obviously is the smartest: most true to information media affordances for many-to-many communication, customization and ubiquitous access. It is not only the best, it is definitely where technology and communication markets will go, after probably several more decades ahead of insulting public architecture and ugly hip interactive furniture, not to forget oversized tv screens on every backward shithole's street, spewing terabits of witless animation spam. I would personally go as far as to ban all public information: commercial and institutional and bureaucratic, from the streets, as it can all be smacked into the face of your portable device, wherever you'll wear that screen. And should a desire for a broader cast or public push arise with a (target or mass) public or totalitarian ruler, it won't be hard to 'synchronize the clocks', (mettre les pendules à l'heure), as we use to say here.
Think technologies: Neal Stephenson's 'mediatron', miniaturization, ubiquitous computing with gadgeteered interface omnipresence, wearable computing, wireless communication, customizable lenses focusing your information streams, agents roaming and browsing. Then think cultural intelligence: as a designer (of 'experiences'remember when we believed experiences were designed by fate? It's not part of the current ideology: of a part 'designer', part 'emerging' world). Experience design principles are about what do you want (think) people to (would) gather around, with whom, when, and where? That's where the bitstream hence your interfaces gotta go: to people (users), possibly sharing information, at a some moment and site. Design a tool, or divide and rule: what it'll be?
- Quite some time ago the content issue had been settled: tits, tires, and explosions were the only things that seemed to draw the notice of their supremely jaded focus groups, though from time to time they would play the juxtaposition card and throw in something incongruous, like a nature scene or a man in a black turtleneck reading poetry. (from The Diamond Age, on mediatrons in some not too distant future, Neal Stephenson)
Informed return to the studio
I'm currently informing one of the spaces here for my return to the studio. After 5+ years of lingering on this side of mediation I begun to feel the danger of atrophia (- a wasting away from want of nourishment; to starve or weaken; to dwindle; a decrease in size of an organ caused by disease or disuse; any weakening or degeneration, especially through lack of use -- Webster et al) of some of my vital functions and facultiesand organs indeed. In a sense the moulin made me do it: I have so much space here, that I have to start building inwards. Like in Bachelard's The Poetics of Space, when he reflects on the hut at the heart of the legend of dwelling (bearing upon Henri Bachelin's Le Serviteur):
- How many dwelling places there would be, fitted one into the other, if we were to realize in detail, and in their hierarchical order, all the images by means of which we live our daydreams of intimacy. How many scattered values we should succeed in concentrating, if we lived the images of our daydreams in all sincerity.
Then I do want to apply the information I'm gathering to different ends, different articulations. Use is not my message, interaction not my religion. Make Merzbau mistakes. Burn material. Recycle. Dirty finger nails. Last week I started to furnish a small studio in the attic (yes, > that East room). Set up my mother's cast iron drawing table, industrial black plastic piled up storage shelves, a green blackboard painted on the wall, some avant 1994 works, notebooks, the Thonet chair that already served me in my first ever studio in Baflo NL, 1981. Tools all. That's where similarities end.
Re: migration disclaimer
With full acknowledgement of the irreversible migration of goods and services to information structures, like the Internet and World Wide Web. Non est dubitandum: Radius Loci Ducit. Returning to the studio means an extra effort to bring home the bacon for NQPAOFU, and other sites, like idie.net and a new Moulin du Merle set up, more closely connected to the generous and generative ambiguity of all that physical space.
Repeated visits to different parts of the house and annexes make me ground better. Actually I should daily pick one of the total of 48 distinct covered spaces in the house, the barn and annexes (including halls and landings and staircases and the pig shed and chicken run) to spend some time in and around. ± Report here.
The rearview mirror not
Like with Korzybski's 'is of identity', I will from now on try to avoid the 'rearview mirror not', restricting myself to the positive directions that my interests take. My sparse nots will therefor not reflect what is behind (nots of past religions) and/or in others' hands (nots of other use), instead only speculate on my present future challenge(d). In other words, and as a consequence, I will not be excused not to follow through. Amen. Welcome me back to > making my own mistakes.
>+ 'I want my attention back'was Paul right.
bras en cire... sein en verre...
I rebuilt my Early Information Age After Dark Headlines on the Powerbook 100 to a French version. It sits on the Groningen/Amsterdam/Den Haag sideboard in the salon, randomly winking its materialized body parts: dos en bois... ongle en inox... paupière en papier... ongle en papier...
Power to the User!
Do I smell burning Tshirts? The information society user_uniform will ever be the logofied T ('your prototype free is a logofied T'). At >+ usersoftheworld.com (still available in XL and XXL) they take the new informational proletariat serious.
It's let's not waste, over and over again.
The User Revolution
What I was actually thinking for inf0Arcadia, yesterday, is that with the advent of information (technology, media, culture, economy, society, ageyou nail it) we are witnessing the advent of a new type of human-the-content-species: the user. All the new media difference is in one four letter word: user. Information means use, and the user. In the past, we didn't use books, we read them. We didn't use art, we looked at it (or like the rest of us: made it). We did not use money, we spent or saved it. We did not use travel, we travelled. We did not use 'content', we paid attention to it and incidentally put our faith into it. By and large, we did not use our knowledge, but spread it, forced it upon one another. Use used to be of tools and services, not of content, not of learning and teaching. Today all intelligent attention flows into use. You cannot pay more attention to something/-one, than in using it, him/her. Like Bruce Mau's 'stand on the shoulders of others: you get a better view'. Use is the final homage. And final consumption. And eternal historical continuity. Use is learning to learn... teaching to teach. We'll all become excellent users.
The more we use, the more we use.
Moulin très panodrama, 3 November 1999
My ± inf0Arcadia introductory quote:
- Like for any immersive environment people will have to develop a 'natural' habit, to be able to position themselves in, and navigate through, information systems. An information habit which developed for face-to-face conversation and in our relation towards, and use of, old media (like the telephone, television and the printed press), falls completely short for real-time, interactive, telematic communication. To relate to the dynamic datasphere in any deep-seated manner, we will have a long way to go, especially if technology and content industries push us in all the wrong directions, mimicking habits and sentiments of the past in most of their products and services. (one close to home example: Philips' >+ vision of the future broohaha)
For two-way information exchange to become the ruling paradigm of a new narrative, for it to become the basis of flourishing cultural developments and economical growth -- in short: for it to live up to its promises of renaissance -- our best hopes for an information habit to settle, will be when it can be defined in widespread, unruly, unprejudiced use and emerging practices. (aka life; as in: get a life)
October 29-November 2
Help I'm A Blog
...r is upstairs brushing up on his KidPix Deluxe animation skills, R is watching videos in the petit_salon, G. finally finished replying email and is back to the chambre_a_manger to repair the cupboard, it's been raining since dawn, we have yet to get used to 'winter time', Jan and Henk left this morning after a 2 nights visit. Period. It's a perfect day for correspondence, maybe some painting in the attic, browse books, clean up desktops and re-arrange bookmarks. I'm not bored yet. Maybe I'll buy another domain name. That's fun. I noticed a water trace on the barn's west wall that I didn't notice before. Must have to do with the roof.
Above mushrooms (in near real size, a bit over) was yesterday, November 1. Toussaints. A holiday, in France, we only became fully aware when we tried to shop for food. All Saints is when the catholic church celebrates all the saints that do not have their proper name day. Such civilized idea. I would propose to introduce All Blogs for a silent commemoration of all those blogs that do not have a proper URL. January 1 would fit best with me.
Paris at arm's length
Sunday was Paris' Porte de Vanves flee market, where we hooked up with Jan and Henk. We decided to go because the clock had been set back to winter time, so we found ourselves awake at 6:30am. After lunch we followed J+H' advice to go see the Fondation Cartier's >+ 1 Monde Réel exhibition, which unexpectedly included Chris Burden's Medusa's Head (no pics found or taken), which I saw in real for the first time.
I very much respect the artist and have a special relation to this particular piece. When I curated Allocations in 1992, with Chris Burden I negotiated the production of 'Medusa's Moon', a kind of annex to the Head. Finally Burden was the only artist that dropped out of the show, and the only one who I hadn't spoken to face-to-faceI still blame myself for not having taken that flight to LA, and I wonder where his preparatory drawings went? BTW I recently heard that the city of Zoetermeer was negotiating the restauration of Paul's piece, among other works. Finally.
We did not only have the fairest of all weathers the past weeks, but especially awe inspiring clear night skies.
InfoArcadia is an (exhibition+) project of >+ Stroom foundation, curated by Maarten de Reus and Ronald van Tienhoven. Its title was found in my > Design Equals Information/The Republic of Attention contribution to VisionPlus 4 conference at CMU, in 1998. There's no mention of the project, which opens January 20 in The Hague, on Stroom's website yet. I am conceiving my contribution on line, at a soon to be released URL near you. Final publication will be both in the exhibition as in its hard copy offspring. I would hope to map informatic license as a new kind of narrative articulation, beyond the usual SeeMeHearMeLinkMe, or whatever.
Read >+ Vilém Flusser instead (my translation from the original German, for better or worse. BTW, Flusser uses 'Tischler', table maker):
- (...) what exactly do cabinetmakers do: they take a cabinet form (the idea of a cabinet) and force it upon a piece of amorphous wood. The trouble with this is, that not only do they inform the wood (forcing it into the cabinet form), but also do they deform the idea of a cabinet (lock it into the wood). So the trouble is, that it is impossible to make the ideal cabinet.
to continue a little furzer down the same essay (Form und Material), just to give you a taste:
- Früher (seit Platon und noch vorher) ging es darum, vorhandenem Stoff zu formen, um ihn zum Erscheinen zu bringen, und jetzt geht es eher darum, einen aus unserem theoretischen Schau und unserem Apparaten hervorquellenden und sich übersprudelnden Strom von Formen mit Stoff zu füllen, um die Formen zu 'materialisieren'.
Früher war die Frage, zwischen wahren und falschen Informationen zu unterscheiden. Wahr waren solche, bei denen die Formen Entdeckungen, und falsch solche, bei denen die Formen Fiktionen waren. Diese Unterscheidung wird sinnlos, seit wir die Formen weder für Entdeckungen (aletheiai) noch für Fiktionen, sondern für Modellen halten. Früher hatte es einen sinn, zwischen Wissenschaft und Kunst zu unterscheiden, und jetzt ist dies sinnlos geworden. Das Kriterium für Informationskritik ist jetzt eher dieses: Wie weit sind die hier ausgedrückte Formen mit Stoff auffüllbar, wie weit sind sie realisierbar? Wie operativ, wie fruchtbar sind die Informationen?
Flusser was being formal here, when he introduces the model category, to replace the discovery and fiction categories, of form. When science and art are judged mere models, and no operations, they could be equally succesful in the 'realization' of their information (-al forms'einen aus unserem theoretischen Schau und unserem Apparaten hervorquellenden und sich übersprudelnden Strom von Formen'). But as far as I know now, they are still operations, politics, ideological worlds by themselves, hence models not only of form projection and materialization, but of societal action just as well.
Help I'm A Blog, Reprise
'Help I'm A Rock' by Zappa's Mothers of Invention (on Freak Out, 1969) is a catchy little 8'37" rhytmic extravaganza, dedicated to Elvis Presley. Help I'm A Blog I would dedicate to David Winer.
- Note the interesting formal structure and the stunning four part barber shop harmony toward the end. Note the stunning lack of commercial potential. Ho hum.
A propos awe. With Alamut on the slow burner, Calamondin's Judith away to Spain, Heather Anne not having updated since October 25, Puce depressed (...ah, no..., Shane bought her 2dzn of pink roses...), always waiting for email and more (or different) email, if it would not be for those slick transparant mushrooms, une certaine vitalité would soon be affected.
Courtesy of >+ email@example.com I looked around >+ symbols.com, and chose one of this issue's opening images. I wonder why we don't see much of a symbol language emerging for the web, apart from loads of dumb icons. Yes, a language to develop takes much more time than a meme to smear. But in Nicaragua apparently, where a sign language emerges (>+ A Linguistic Big Bang, New York Times Magazine) among deaf children. (Courtesy firstname.lastname@example.org, who gives the subject his usual smart annotation).
At >+ eLance we're invited to sell our expertise and bid on a global arbeit market. Between jobs and blogs, nobody I know has the time for that. But I'll need some dough soon. Now what would my latest expertise be? Gardening? Building wood fires? Breaking horses? Something more eAsy: personal correspondence? Care to bid on a handwritten true story from Le Moulin du Merle? In pen and ink retro Graffiti Calligraphy? Bids start at $50. Auction runs through November 1, 0:00hrs CET. Place your bids at email@example.com.
Recovered a small piece that I did for the TypeFaceCafé exhibition 2 years ago: > 'letterproef'. It came with a poster, or vice versa? My entry emphasized the Palm Graffiti, as a possible font. Like >+ P22's early success, the >+ Duchamp, long defunct. I figured that a Literature which came from handwriting, passed through wood, lead and electronic type, back to handwriting again, was worth a celebration. Of course with voice 'control' we'll be celebrating the return (not rerun) of oral culture. Media Multi Later.
All morning R+me made cadavres exquises while little r wouldn't stop hitting Alphabet Express. After I took R+r on a hike down the river bed, as far as we could get. In the passing I got to stir up huge packs of small driftwood and leaves. We crossed and walked back over the meadow, collecting mistletoe on the way back, performing tricks on G. upon return. Kids love to repeat these simple games over and over again. So do I, as a matter of factif only I can detach myself from that darn connection (it's not the box, stupid, it's the connectionmay this be valuable information to all you hardware designers!).
After having changed (R was still in pyjamas and boots) we visited the local library in Cervenon (which, with Thurigny, is part of our 102 inhabitants community of St.Germain-des-Bois), opening hours every Wednesday 5-6pm. We were introduced to the other visitors by the indefatigable madame Rodriguez, who also runs the library. One elderly woman did not stop telling us about her youth in the community and her childhood visits to the Moulin, then referred to as the chateau du merle (still some people do, we noticed), and promised us to look for photographs of the period, in the 1930s. We never got to take a look at the books, but R+r brought their Asterix comics home. We'll go again next week.
(note the recent lack of photo's on NQPAOFU is due to my other machine being broken, which deprives me of both saving my MVCs to the hard disk (remember those iMacs come with no floppy drive), or scanning, since I don't have a USB scanner. Coming to think of it I could probably mail my MVCs from the PC to the iMac. Otherwise I'll have things repaired on my next trip to Paris, mid November).
what 'd I tell you, Steve Jobs was rightwho needs a floppy drive, as long as you have a working PC connected to the reseau, that is :-) So the little greenish guy in the middle is R in pyjamas, working on his cadavre exquise. Expect more pics.
bastion of peace and information
I DIE for change:
the studio visit getting to know the moulin
second floor (attic), east room and landing, 9 November 1999 The small studio comprises 20sqm and includes the landing that leads to it, where the green blackboard is. Every time when I leave the room to go down, I glimpse the board. For a second I thought to install a webcam. But those who tread here, have come to forget... The attic is a special place because in a sense you leave the house as soon as you mount the spiral stairs. Smell, temperature, light and sound are different. Yet it is a complete floor, with real rooms with stucco ceilings, not just a storage under the roof boarding. For a while I will be busy to install. There's no fixed electricity. No heating. It's the bare essentials. It's just what I need. To test some color schemes. Do material experiments. Perform my Debricolage. Focus on the small to feed the big.
sousterrain (cellar), main storage, 12 November 1999 The spaces that make the Moulin a traditional big house, containing a traditional medium sized household, are precisely those spaces that make up the support for household activities: front and back and secondary entries, halls and staircases, landings, storage spaces and sheds. The main Moulin storage space for food and non-food (where also the large freezer, the washing machine, the fresh water pump and the cooking stove gas containers are), is located in the sousterrain, next, but not connected, to the original mill, which partly still exists and which' space also contains the two (one oil and one defunct electrical) heating systems. The storage room measures about 14sqm. We replaced existing wooden shelves by metal ones. They contain spare electrical equipment and lamps, tools, preserving jars, canned and dried food, a supply of soaps and detergents, etc. The window on the garden is in pressed decorated glass you cannot see through, but it lets in light and we can of course open it.
I visit the storage two to three times daily, to fetch a bottle of wine or a beer, roles of toilet paper, olive oil, or to get something from the freezer. Supply is weekly to bi-weekly, whenever we visit the hypermarché Auchan or LeClerc, both in Clamecy, or after the Saturday market. Also after each visit to the Netherlands, when we bring home typical Dutch and World food products and spices. There's eg. a jonge Noordholland cheese waiting to become oud. Just the other day we ordered a whole lamb at Le Mazot biological farm. They home slaughter illegallyor as they prefer to call it: 'true to their personal ethical rules'. They are the people who home-school their three children and we respect them and their ethical rules very much. Their animals are raised with love and care and on a strictly biological diet, then killed with the same kind attention. Philippe learned his practical skills from a local butcher.
The storage space breathes all these different kinds of practices; it is a 'collection of ethical rules space', a collection of 'food miles' and 'niche markets' and 'global capitalism' space, more than any of the other, more unidirectional, rooms of the house (including the other collectibles room: the library), which we primarily measure true to our own ethical (and aesthetic) rules and preferences. The Other is in the storage room.