Forget about nation states, behold the new world order of social networks. This world map was created by Vincenzo Cosenza.
Forget about nation states, behold the new world order of social networks. This world map was created by Vincenzo Cosenza.
Language is communication technology. As Marshall McLuhan said, the spoken word was ‘the first technology by which man was able to let go of his environment in order to grasp it in a new way’.
Language not only describes, but also contributes to the social construct we call ‘reality’ and does so without any wires or silicon involved. When our physical environment takes up the shape of written language, it becomes something of a text to be read, as if our environment starts talking back to us.
Computers and software use the same graphic symbols – in the sense of programming language – as humans do, although in a somewhat different configuration, for communication. Most – if not all – contributors to nextnature.net, are advocates and critics of visual culture. But paradoxically, the tools that produce this visual culture, wouldn’t exist without written language. One tool that made an impact on how our worldview is constructed is Google Earth. It literally brings a new perspective to our world, and from this new perspective our world can be explored in a different way.
After a ban on flying last weeks due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland, the European airspace was slowly rebooting to its old state of activity. This movie shows the movement of planes over time and shows how the activity grows.
“Have you seen my stapler? No, but just look it up on Google home office maps.”
CSIRO Researchers have developed miniature sensors that track lab equipment, coffee mugs and staplers in the office.
The sensors are called Fleck Nano and were build on CSIRO’s existing Fleck technology that is being commercially produced for monitoring cows on farms.
Fleck sensors collect data like location and temperature. They form an ad-hoc mesh network, and communicate with static nodes and each other via radio waves.
Peculiar image of the week. By Vladstudio
Above: artist impression 2003 | below: Nasa January 2010
When developers launched the globe project just off Dubai’s coast in 2003, they hoped that the rich and famous would land there to populate the 300 islands.
Within five years Nakheel Properties leveled up 11 billion cubic feet of sand and 47 million tons of rock. However, a year ago (2009) the work stopped and now it looks like the project will never be completed. While officially the project has just been delayed, the obvious conclusion would be that it is the economic recession causing the islands to gradually wash back into the sea.
I vividly remember being offended throughout my high-school education because ‘atoms’ where consistently presented as these perfect slick round little spheres. At one time I even called the teacher a fabricator of lies and shouted: “Atoms aren’t balls!!”.
Of course the poor man couldn’t help it, as it was just decided to teach us high-school kids a outdated, simplified 19th century version of the atom model, rather than confusing us with subatomic particles like protons, neutron, up-quarks, down-quarks, gluons and what do you have nowadays.
In retrospect I was just a kid trying to be witty after having flipped through some of the science magazines of my dad, who was a physicist. Nonetheless, I always remained keen on the underestimated role of simulations in modern science.
Are you still reading? Then this call for proposals might be for you. The STRP Festival, Institute of Complex Molecular Systems, and Animation Studio invite artists, designers and scientists to develop a new visual language for molecular structures.
“Recently, a new problem has emerged for molecular scientists. For many decennia they have used a world-wide accepted way of representing molecules, even though these molecules have never really been seen. Unfortunately, this language is not suitable to represent the increasing complexity of the molecular systems and dynamic processes that are subject of modern research. … We think that a breakthrough in this area is only possible with ideas of people with different specialisms.”
GPS is not the most easiest product to advertise. Jeep uses biomimicmarketing to bring the message across. In this advertising campaign an iconic arrow is comprised by images of animals herding. From birds flocking to elephants roaming. We lead you the way.
Reliable data on economic growth is hard to come by in many parts of the world, especially in developing countries. Yet according to scientists, outer space offers a new perspective for measuring economic growth.
Using satellite images of nighttime lights, J. Vernon Henderson, Adam Storeygard, and David N. Weil from Brown University have created a new framework for estimating a country or region’s gross domestic product, or GDP by observing the changes in a country’s “night lights” as seen from outer space.
“Consumption of nearly all goods in the evening requires lights,” they write in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. “As income rises, so does light usage per person, in both consumption activities and many investment activities.”
Little over a week after the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) became operational it broke down. As the world’s largest particle accelerator isn’t working, computer simulations are the only option for a whole generation of researchers. With entire PhD’s being based on simulated data, you wonder whether physics is still an empirical science.
Today’s most ambitious scientific instruments are modern-day cathedrals in their size and complexity. Situated as much as 175 meters (570 ft) beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is designed to accelerate protons to near the speed of light and smash them together in four giant detectors spread around its 27-kilometre circumference. Built at a cost of $4.3 billion, making it not only the grandest but also the most expensive scientific instrument ever created by man.
The main argument for the creation of the LHC is to discover the Higgs bosons, an elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model in particle physics, but yet to be observed experimentally – a Nobel price is awaiting the one who makes the discovery.
SIMULATIONS REPLACE EMPIRICAL EXPERIMENTS
Physicists once hoped that the LHC would start its collisions in late 2006, but on 19 September 2008, shortly after the machine was finally switched on, an electrical short caused extensive damage along a sector of the machine. Repairs have taken longer than expected, and the LHC is not scheduled to restart before mid-November 2009.
The long delays have scattered the dreams of LHC Students who had hoped to use fresh data from the machine to use in their studies. According to the renowned Nature journal, LHC Students face data drought: “European graduate students face strict time constraints for completing their PhDs. Most universities require a thesis to be submitted within three to four years, and that means that students cannot wait for their data. Instead, their analyses are being done with data from ‘Monte Carlo’ simulations — computer programs that replicate what might come out of real collisions..”
Although this TED video has been all over the web and commented on this website already, it still deserves a separate post: Desigineers Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry of the MIT Media Lab – Fluid Interfaces Group envision a ‘Sixth Sense’ a wearable gestural interface to pave the way for a more profound interaction with our environment by augmenting it with digital information. The next nature thinking in their argument is striking:
We’ve evolved over millions of years to sense the world around us. When we encounter something, someone or some place, we use our five natural senses to perceive information about it; that information helps us make decisions and chose the right actions to take. But arguably the most useful information that can help us make the right decision is not naturally perceivable with our five senses, namely the data, information and knowledge that mankind has accumulated about everything and which is increasingly all available online.
Hence, they propose to blend all cultural information within the environment as a natural phenomenon. Culture becomes nature. Our environment becomes the interface again.
Of course, like with every emerging next nature, there is always an older nature lost: You’ll never be able to meet new people without immediately googling them.
And you thought GPS was supposed to make life easier? Created by Sheepfilms.
DNA related tools, once expensive and restricted to research and crime labs, are rapidly becoming affordable. Like GPS – once a high-tech wonder now turned into a everyday gadget – simple DNA sequencing may soon be available to almost everyone.
Undoubtedly DNA related applications will transform society as we know it: Synthetic pets, Amateur food testing, Faked DNA evidence, Genetic mapping, Genetic social networks, DNA as information storage, HumanDNA trees, Hyper Fruit… the applications are mind bubbling and seemingly infinite.
Designer Niko Vegt, master student at the Next Nature theme, has been working on an imaginary map of the DNA world. Unlike a regular map, which represents a physical territory, the DNA World map represents a conceptual territory of DNA related applications and developments. Its main continents are Science, Medical, Heath, Personal, Social, Justice and Environment – all surrounded by an ocean of Ethics.
“It took just 10 minutes for a dozen prairie dogs to outwit the creators of the Maryland Zoo’s new $500,000 habitat. Aircraft wire, poured concrete and slick plastic walls proved no match for the fast-footed rodents, the stars of a new exhibit that opens today [June 12, 2009].
As officials were promoting the return of the zoo’s 28 prairie dogs – their former digs had been out of sight in a closed section of the animal preserve for more than four years – some of the critters found ways to jump, climb and get over the walls of their prairie paradise, a centerpiece exhibit just inside the zoo’s main entrance.
None got away, but for a few anxious minutes, they found every weakness in the enclosure built to hold them. (…) ” Read the rest of this article at baltimoresun.com
Prairiedogs may very well be the last creatures on earth laughing in the face of human world-domination.
“The internet is vast. Bigger than a city, bigger than a country, maybe as big as the universe. It’s expanding by the second. No one has seen its borders. And the internet is intangible, like spirits and angels. The web is an immense ghost land of disembodied places. Who knows if you are even there, there. Yet everyday we navigate through this ethereal realm for hours on end and return alive. We must have some map in our head.
I’ve become very curious about the maps people have in their minds when they enter the internet. So I’ve been asking people to draw me a map of the internet as they see it. That’s all. More than 50 people of all ages and levels of expertise have mapped their geography of online.”
Fleshmap touch investigates the collective perception of erogenous zones. Hundreds of people ranked how good it would feel to touch or be touched by a lover in different points of the body. The resulting images reveal a map of sensual desire with multiple focal points and islands of excitement.
This human-body-interface project was created by data visualization artists Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg. The data was gathered via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk – a marketplace where paid workers perform simple tasks.
Visualization professor Jack van Wijk developed a new method of unfolding the earth: Myriahedral projections. The idea is take a map of a small part of the earth, which is almost perfect, glue neighboring maps to it, and repeat this until the whole earth is shown. Of course you get interrupts, but does this matter?
In the future, every street will be a Nokia street? Perhaps not, however we may expect some changes in street signage due to the arrival of mobile & gps technology. Once everyone is carrying a personal navigation device those bluntly placed street signage may become obsolete – Try and find a cellphone booth in your neighborhood if you are not convinced.
I guess the question is not whether GPS technology will alter street signage, but rather which navigation solution feels more natural. Lets do a quick poll.
Which of the following feels more natural?
A) Finding your way using street signs and a paper map.
B) Finding your way with an interactive GPS solution.
Type your answer + explanation (optional) in the comment box below.