Archive for February, 2008

Lift Day One

Thursday, February 7th, 2008 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Tom asked me yesterday what I was hoping to get out of Lift, I told him “I want to fill my brain with interesting stuff that I wouldn’t normally think about”. I’ve spent much of today doing just that, listening to some very smart people talk about fascinating topics, including online environments, user experience, sustainable development and getting a glimpse of technology usage in Asia.

I jotted down some notes, here are those I’ve found most interesting today.

Jonathan Cabiria, Permeability, Real Life + Virtual Life = One Life

Jonathan is a psychologist researching how participation in virtual worlds affects real life.

We present ourselves in certain ways, to certain people, in order to feel safe. We come together to be safe. We need to feel a sense of belonging; if we feel we don’t belong then we either rebel and hyper-identify ourselves or we close-in and cloak ourselves with an identity cover, a public face.

Taking part in virtual worlds can help those people who close-in to re-identify themselves as they actually are, rather than this fake self. These benefits then translate into real life, one life and not a split between virtual and real.

So creators should think more broadly and deeper about what they are creating, to solidify what we do in these social worlds.

Genevieve Bell, Intel

There are now nearly 30 anthropologist working at Intel.

45% of mobile phone users in the UK have admitted having lied about their whereabouts via text message.
100% of US online daters lie about their height (men) or weight (women).
James Katz – we’re entering “an arms race of digital deception”.

Secrets are different from lies/white lies. Sharing a secret cements relationships.

People tell between 6 – 200 lies every day, 40% to conceal misbehaviour, 14% to keep our own social world ticking over, 9% to increase popularity. Men tell 20% more lies then women, but women are better at it.

Lying is about creating the opposite of reality. Are lies a form of play? Israeli reserachers have found that online deception appears to be an enjoyable activity. Feelings of guilt, fear and shame are largely absent.

There are a number of sites now which exist to promote secrets, Twitter makes some forms of confabulation into art.

We now have many ways of uncovering & celebration deception: mobile phone tracking, use of video & camera phones, lie-detection algorithms on text messages and alibi services to create whole back stories.

Tensions between cultural practices and cultural ideals persit around secrets & lies. Do the twin ideas of secrets & lies offer new ways to think about privacy and security? What people really care about are the things they want to keep secret, the things they don’t want to be told.

Rafi Haladjian – Violet

Wanted to create calm technologies. The ratio of information to available time is increasing rapidly, multiplying screens is not the solution to this information overload. Wanted to explore new means of communication that use non-saturated senses and channels.

Created the Nabaztag – but why a rabbit? There are 30 reasons for this: “If you can connect a rabbit, you can connect anything”. Not only about functions, but also emotions. Rabbits have ears which are simple to move, rabbits don’t have a voice so they could add one, rabbits multiply, rabbits are Trojan horses…

What lies beyond the rabbit? RFID tags, Ztamps.

“Let things be connected. Let all things be connected.”

Brain now full, but I’m looking forward to this evenings fondue.

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Ainsi, je suis arrivé.

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Top of my list of “things I have learnt today” is that landing (in a plane that is) with a cold is rather painful.  I’m glad that the sharp stabbing pains in my ears have stopped, and hope that my hearing comes back sometime soon.  But on the plus side, I am in Geneva and I’m getting very excited about Lift 08.

First though I have to get over my compulsion to speak German.  I’ve been to Switzerland a number of times before, in fact around a tiny 8th of me is Swiss.   However I’ve always travelled to the eastern side of Switzerland, high in the Alps where they speak Switzerdeutsch, a lovely sing-song sounding German.  Which means that so far today, in the hour and a half I’ve been here anyway, I’ve wanted to say “danke schoen” or “bitte zehr”, rather than “merci”.  When the world is somewhat muffled and confusing already, this doesn’t help.

I’m hoping that a good nights sleep will leave me able to hear once more and settled in the right language before tomorrows workshops start, when I shall dip my toes into the worlds of IA and ubiquitous computing.

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