This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
Between 1928 and 1933, J.L conducted the first social network experiments at Brooklyn public and private schools, Sing Sing prison, and what was then called a reformatory for delinquent girls… his were the first attempts to graph interpersonal relations in real life in what he called sociograms
Comstock and Tully’s survey of over 150 science fiction films created between 1939 and 1976 found that in nearly 60% of the films, technological innovation was portrayed as damaging, dangerous, or fatal
In the summer of 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin returned to Earth as heroes, as the first men to ever walk on the moon. But what if they never made it back? President Nixon had a speech ready for that disaster, written by William Safire: “Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. … For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.”
I do think there is something different, possibly something portentous, going on with AutoAwesome “Smile!”: a difference in quality and kind..
What is a more fundamental externalised symbol of a subtle, human feeling than a smile?
You may say that the AIs in the cloud helped me out, gave me a better memory to store and share, a digestion of reality into the memory I wish had been captured.
But I’m reasonably sure you wouldn’t say that if this were a photo of Obama and Putin, smiling it up together, big, simultaneously happy buddies, at a Ukraine summit press conference. Then, I think algorithms automatically creating such symbolic moments would be a concern…
And I’m sure, at some point in the not too distant future, a jury will be shown a photo that was altered without a single human being involved, without a trace of awareness by the prosecution, defence, judge, accused, or victim. And they’ll all get an impression from that moment that never happened, possibly of a husband’s lack of adequate concern soon after his wife’s mysterious disappearance. It’ll be “Gone Girl” with SkyNet knobs on.
After months of misshapen strands of pasta-like plastic, Chuck Hull had his cup. What he’d created that night in March 1983 was a modest object by almost any measure, but it was one that marked a concept decades ahead of its time, a sci-fi notion birthed into this world on a machine that — as the inventor would later tell The New York Times — “was so kludged together that it looked post-apocalyptic, like some of the equipment they used in that movie Waterworld.”
The strange little cup is the world’s first successfully 3D-printed object, a real-world manifestation of the concept he would deem “stereolithography,” based on the notion of adding an extra dimension to lithography, an 18th-century printing technology.
The absence of important technical inventions between the prehistoric age and comparatively modern times is truly remarkable. Almost everything which really matters and which the world possessed at the commencement of the modern age was already known to man at the dawn of history. Language, fire, the same domestic animals which we have to-day, wheat, barley, the vine and the olive, the plough, the wheel, the oar, the sail, leather, linen and cloth, bricks and pots, gold and silver, copper, tin, and lead-and iron was added to the list before 1000B.C.-banking, statecraft, mathematics, astronomy, and religion. There is no record of when we first possessed these things. At some epoch before the dawn of history perhaps even in one of the comfortable intervals before the last ice age-there must have been an era of progress and invention comparable to that in which we live to-day. But through the greater part of recorded history there was nothing of the kind.
Robots and theater may seem like an odd pairing until you remember that robots got their name from a 1920 play by the Czech playwright, Karel Čapek.
R.U.R. — which stands for Rossum’s Universal Robots — tells the story of the rise and fall of a race of worker robots. It is credited with establishing many of the cultural tropes about robots and for applying the name (which in Czech means “drudgery”), that sticks to this da
This explains why prophecy in 1929 is bound to be different from prophecy in 1879. We don’t look into our hearts or read old books or go into trances, to prophesy, nowadays. We observe what is being done, and push the idea further. In the case of science, this is a little dull: you simply say, “More electricity! More radium! More atoms!” You can’t go wrong
the Hartford Woman’s Friday Club, who in 1878 decided that “electricity was too uncertain and dangerous to be put to any practical use
the automobile, also known as “the machine that changed the world.” Cars succeeded through the widespread construction of highways and gas stations. Those things created a global supply chain of steel plants and refineries. Seemingly unrelated things, including suburbs, fast food and drive-time talk radio, arose in the success