The Second Nug

Men appear to think more naturally and easily in terms of goals than in terms of courses. True, they usually know something about directions in which to travel or lines along which to work, but few start out with precisely formulated itineraries. Who, for example, would depart from Boston for Los Angeles with a detailed specification of the route? Instead, to paraphrase Wiener, men bound for Los Angeles try continually to decrease the amount by which they are not yet in the smog.

Is a strange paragraph in Lidlickers sci-fi essay. his tone shifts as if he’s telling an inside joke degrading LA as smugly as possible. I like the first line about thinking in terms of goals rather than courses though. But the bi-coastal travel analogy is weak. we do think in terms of our goals. Map apps route the quickest way possible. We’re goal oriented. The last line is sort of poetic.

EDIT: I think Licklader (not Lidlicker) is trying to demonstrate his point of looking for the goals. Within all the science talk there appears this paragraph, a figurative oasis where the reader gets to imagine a flight to Boston. Is the paragraph there to be read through and ignored then forgotten? I don’t know. I believe the movie Transcendence with Jonathan Depp is an example of Man-Computer Symbiosis gone mad.

I very much enjoyed The Auld Chitter Chat‘s idea that the film Her is similar to Lickladder’s essay.

I also like that touch screens resonate so much with Brandon Rogers.

I also like Fuentesca93’s observation that current technologies save us time

As We May Think Nug

At a recent World Fair a machine called a Voder was shown. A girl stroked its keys and it emitted recognizable speech. No human vocal chords entered into the procedure at any point; the keys simply combined some electrically produced vibrations and passed these on to a loud-speaker. In the Bell Laboratories there is the converse of this machine, called a Vocoder. The loudspeaker is replaced by a microphone, which picks up sound. Speak to it, and the corresponding keys move. This may be one element of the postulated system.

I wonder what the original intent for the vocoder was. I wonder too if the lab workers at Bell Laboratories ever thought their machine would be used an experimental musical instruments 30 years later. What were some of the original intentions for the vocoder?

Following Followers

Eric Johnson over at his blog Cybernetic Inkwell brings up some interesting ideas when it comes to the online etiquette of following/friending on the internet especially in regards to  whether museums ought to follow back those who follow them on Twitter. In his practice as an institutional social media manager he generally does not follow his followers, “mostly for reasons of convenience along with a little twist of gut says not to thrown in.” But upon reflection he reconsiders, “Why ever not?  Aren’t these the people we want to build a relationship with?” On one hand, how else does an institution show honest appreciation to the people who follow them? Twitter doesn’t provide a whole lot of ways to say “Hey, you’re an individual we want to be connected to.” But on the other hand, wouldn’t a one-off @ reply of thanks do the trick there?  “@visitorperson, we saw you started following us today. Thanks so much!” Or should the museum ask the follower if they want to be followed back?

Why shouldn’t a museum follow its visitors? Is it to keep their own feeds tidy? Why would an individual really care if they are followed by the museum or not? Is it the social media equivalent of ignoring someone at a party?


check out his full post here,


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