I'm done with my guest posting this weekend, and very happy for the opportunity to engage with everyone from this side of the blog. I'm still a concerned that too many people here have gotten the wrong idea about what I'm hoping to accomplish with my new book
. Something about being told to "Program or Be Programmed" has come off as alarmist or negative, which is not my intent.
I do think most people in a digital age would be better off with some knowledge of programming, or at least some awareness that it exists: that there are many ways of doing things, and that the systems we use have been created by people and institutions with their own agendas. Money and banking are great examples of systems that look like they're just here, but were actually carefully devised long ago to serve the agendas of people other than most of us. (There used to be many other forms of money that lived alongside central currency - just as we might someday be able to say there were other kinds of operating systems that lived right alongside Google's iPad.)
So as a parting and aggregating effort to make the positive and ultimately Boingish point about the possibilities for mutation offered by a digital technology to the kind of smart and open society BoingBoing explicitly supports, here's a link to another excerpt from the book, posted over at Reality Sandwich
It has been a pleasure and challenge to write for and engage with you. Thanks. And special thanks to Mark for hosting me, David, and Xeni for fixing my posts, and Cory for fixing my brain. As always,
Our screens are the windows through which we are experiencing, organizing, and interpreting the world in which we live. They are also the interfaces through which we express who we are and what we believe to everyone else. They are fast becoming the boundaries of our perceptual and conceptual apparatus; the edge between our nervous systems and everyone else's, our understanding of the world and the world itself. And they have been created entirely by us.
But -- just as we do with religion, law, and almost every other human invention -- we tend to relate to digital technology as a pre-existing condition of the universe. We think of our technologies in terms of the applications they offer right out of the box instead of how we might change them or even write new ones. We are content to learn what our computers already do instead of what we can make them do.
More at Reality Sandwich
The first time Merle Rasmussen played Dungeons & Dragons, he thought it was a Halloween game.
“It was October 1975, and I was an 18-year-old freshman at Iowa State University. My roommate got this game filled with skeletons and undead monsters. I had no idea.” The role-playing bug had bitten him, but fantasy wasn’t his genre. So that same year, he started writing a game set in a modern world, the spy game that would become Top Secret.
Janelle Shane trained a recurrent neural network with a data-set of more than 2000 ancient proverbs and asked it to think up its own: “A fox smells it better than a fool’s for a day.”
Jeff writes, “7 years after ‘grassroots mapping’ the BP spill when journalists were denied access, the open source community Public Lab is back with an even more accessible Do-It-Yourself way to take aerial photos: the Mini Balloon and Kite Mapping Kits.”
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]