Monday, December 10, 2018

Circuit Board Art Research

Week 16 Critique Day!

Notes from Final Crit:
  • Flapper girl feel
  • Enjoyment of using electronic materials to build project 
  • Programmable nano chip good alternative to bulky arduino in front
  • Good effort at making something aesthetically pleasing out of items not usually considered as such
  • Is there a way to isolate the sound of a voice instead of all sound?  Sensor was catching all sounds in room
  • Battery pack needs better solution than electric tape, cold caused it not to adhere
  • Question was asked by Professor Asmuth if I would be interested in exploring more of this craft type assembly for sculptural purposes.  I am definitely interested in seeing where this could take me.  If it's this intriguing now, I can imagine how it will be with more experimentation.

Week 15 Semester Final Reflection/Progress on Final

Project is coming together, finally assembly has begun.  I am feeling more confident about have a working project for critique day.  I believe that my attention to small details will bring me through this project successfully with room to grow on.

Final Reflection 

Over the semester I have learned a technology that was previously very alien to me.  Having successfully completed the labs every time they were assigned gave me hope that I really could make it through the class.  My confidence was definitely shaky in this class, more so than any I have been in before. 

The sound project I felt was my first big hurdle.  Being able to incorporate a touch button was a big accomplishment, yet alone finishing the project at all.  It was a great experience and I now wonder how I can further push sound into my artwork.   

My final is not perfect by any means but at this point, it is a working project and I couldn't have asked for more.  I faced many challenges but reached out when I needed help, Electronic Art is out of my area of expertise but I would love to know/understand more about it.  The only way I think I will get to a confident point is with practice.

In the end, I cannot believe I made it to the end, this was the class I thought would do me in.  But, I persevered and made it through.  I wish I worked harder, longer and had more finished products but at this point in my experience I can only ask for progress, not perfection.

Week 14 Reflection

Construction has begin on fine details of the headpiece.  Soldering together a bunch of resistors seems easier than I thought.  I had to allow myself to fail before I could succeed in figuring out how the resistors would stay together.  Remembering the science behind soldering allowed me to successfully build the details.  The feather was the hardest part seeing how the speaker wire would not solder completely without first being scrubbed with steel wool; this scraped away some of the finishing.

Week 13 Reflection- Thanksgiving Week

Met with Thomas for progress report/ help with final.  Sensor and LEDs are finally working as one.  I am feeling much better about progress on my final project.  I am interested to see where my work with fine details takes me while incorporating my use of found objects into the headpiece.  Time realization has set in and I will only be able to make a headpiece with hopes of a mask and dress for the future.  I would like to see a whole masquerade ball themed outfit via electronic art somewhere down the road. 

I opted for a more permanent solution than the breadboard fearing the wires coming loose on transport, I ordered a red board for aesthetics.  Thomas provided green boards and I will have options on deciding which are more aesthetically pleasing. 

Battery pack cover was also ordered for safety reasons.

I am on the track of getting the piece to look how I want it to look as well as function properly.

Week 12 Reflection/ NBC 7/8 with Sam Finklestein Group Notes

!!No Class Monday, Veterans Day!!

Attempting to code and get the sensor to play with the LEDs.  Progress is still slow but steady, I still need another appointment with the Professor for help with coding.


Chapter 7

  • “Closures, dangers, invasions, and constraints”:
    • Inequality
    • Intrusion
    • Uncontrollability
    • Overload
    • Alienation
    • Narrowing
    • Deceit
    • Degradation
    • Disembodiment
  • “By the year 2004, on optimistic estimates, at most 10 percent of the world’s population will enjoy easy internet access. On the other hand, in 1999, 70 percent of the world’s population had never made a phone call.”
  • Neil Gershenfeld, a director of the M.I.T. Media Lab, story of group of people visiting from developing countries.
    • Organized by a Media Lab-associated foundation called 2B1, attempts to introduce information technology to developing countries and African villages
    • Need to be able to access basic technology that is easy to understand and manage before expecting them to reach other levels of advancement.
  • Human-centered technology
    • Make sure that everyone has access, not select few. Cyber have and have-nots.
    • MIT allowing undergraduate and graduate course materials to be available online
    • World Health Organization giving free internet access to medical journals in libraries and universities in world’s 65 poorest countries.
  • Access to one’s movements, ingestions, consummations, and consumptions through an electronic trail.
  • Cookies: “electronic footprints that allow web sites and advertising networks to monitor our online movements with granular precision”
    • DoubleClick, a major advertising company, placed cookies on consumer hard drives. Provided ads for recently surfed, but with Abacus Direct, stiched information together to link real names and addresses to cookie-based information.
    • Amazon once deployed a system that linked common purchases with different companies.
    • Globally Unique Identifiers (GUID’s) get pinned when you register to an online service and link real-world details.
      • Some Microsoft wares embed a unique identifier into each document allowing it to be traced to original author.
    • Jeffrey Rosen-”the more such intrusions occur, and are not legally blocked, the lower our expectations become,” regarding email monitoring.
    • Ubiquitous Computing-(google) “concept in software engineering and computer science where computing is made to appear anytime and everywhere.”
    • Smart-badge systems which allow firm to track an employee’s onsite movements have been tested at XeroxPARC, EuroPARC, and the Olivetti Research Center.
  • Responses
    • Bite the bullet- Scott McNealy, C.E.O of SUN Microsystems, famously remarked “You already have zero privacy: get over it.”
    • Encryption. PUblic-key encryption allows you to advertise a key-a string of numbers- that anyone can use to encrypt a message to you, but the public key alone is insufficient to decrypt or decode. The other key is only known to you.
      • Freeware versions: Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) only legal in US, RIPEM a public domain software distributed by RSA, can allow purchases not being traced to buyer.
    • Leap of faith, or democratic optimism. “As the realm of the truly private contracts, as I think it must, the public space in any truly democratic country needs to become more liberal and open-hearted.”
  • “Some suggest that we should actively limit our reliance on technological props and aids, not just to protect our privacy but to control our own destinies and preserve our essential humanity.”
  • Human-machine symbiosis is natural.
    • Clothes, cooking, bricklaying, writing
    • Capacity to distribute labor between biology and designed environment
    • Conscious mind exercises gentle, indirect control.
  • Super-Cannes, J.G. Ballard depicts engineered environment Eden-Olympia-the first intelligent city.
    • Because technology makes decisions, we have “achieved real freedom, the freedom from morality.”
  • Two ways of viewing relationship to technology
    • “Fears retreat and diminishment, as our scope for choice and control is progressively eroded.”
    • “Anticipates expansion and growth, as we find our capacities to achieve our goals and projects amplified and enhanced in new and unexpected ways.”
    • Both depend on sensitive appreciation of our own nature.
  • Rather than fearing loss of control, we should “acclimatize ourselves to a much more biological relationship with our technologies.”
    • We never had control in the first place, essential control was based on “tweaks and nudges”
  • Semi-autonomous: acting independently to some degree.
    • We should not give complete control to technology, nor should we fear loss of control. We should “simply factor their capacities into our own work and projects.”
  • Complementary skills from multiple technologies will make human intelligence greater.
  • “The danger of slowly drowning in a sea of contact.”
  • Mail e-stodge, or the filling without necessary or nourishing.
    • Neil Gershenfeld states that the root cause of e-stodge “is a deep but unnoticed shift in the relative costs, in terms of time and effort, of generating messages and reading them.”
  • Some have decided “e-nough is e-nough” and have chosen to remove email by having someone else screen through it
    • Donald Knuth, a computer scientist, did so and quoted Umberto Eco, a novelist that remarked, “I have reached an age where my main purpose is not to receive messages.”
  • Instead of removing all contact, simply apply a “007” principle, by only writing what is necessary in a short manner, and sending it to as few people as possible, only when action is required.
  • Fourth International Conference on Cognitive Technology took place in August 2001 at Warwick University.
  • Biggest fear was that interacting with “agent technologies” would affect our ability to function as human and relate to other humans.
    • John Pickering of the Warwick University Psychology Department listed different examples of how technology replaces human interaction, and believes that while allowing technology to have more humanistic qualities will “grease the wheels” of interaction, these “technologized social interactions” will never be as emotionally fulfilling as actual interaction.
      • Web-searching agent tracking activity and preferences
      • “Chat-bot” that you call when lonely or depressed
      • Talking to graphics program in English to discuss the knowledge of how it can and can’t help you with a task.
    • Pickering particularly is concerned with children’s interactions with technology, for if they are around technologized emotions their ability to feel and relate to others may be diminished.
      • “Spheres of responsibilities will be affected”, causing humans to be treated more like software agents, dumbing down the interactions
      • Kirstie Bellman of the Aerospace Corporation “spell checker vocabulary”, even if we know a word, we may refrain from using it because the dictionary doesn’t know the word we want to use.
  • While we may need to consider that technology changes us, we should not be afraid of it.
    • N. Katherine Hayles, University of California professor states “when the body is integrated into a Cybernetic circuit, modification of the circuit will necessarily modify consciousness as well. Connected by multiple feedback loops to the objects it designs, the mind is also an object of design.”
    • The ability for our minds to better understand how technology works with the biological technology of our body in a progressive outweighs the threats of desensitization, overload, and confusion.
  • “Either software agents would be good enough to really engage social skills, or they wouldn’t”
    • Either child will receive what is necessary from technological socialization, or they will retreat to parents to receive proper socialization skills, much as with a pet.
    • Bellman suggests that many that question technology taking over social relationships happen to be in a certain professional class, such as working parents that need something to substitute for children.
    • Many others, such as Pickering, build on this, saying that often the enthusiasm comes from those with more advanced technology, but those without fear the advancements.
    • Bellman replies saying that it is equally often that the lucky few who have the luxury of technology are also the ones fearing the effects of such technology (such as dishwashers)
      • Toy that helps children learn to share by having a 3D computer-animated playmate projected onto the screen of a castle. The speaker tells stories, but politely objects if children reach for a toy that is currently in use.
  • Steve Talbott of the Nature Institute.
    • Disagrees with most of author’s views, but provides a guide to “the dangers of alienation inherent in the biotechnological matrix.”
    • NETFUTURE is his monthly electronic publication.
    • #124, he argues that technology for distant communication (phones, email) is a double-edged sword, by helping us feel close while also contributing to us being distant, for it makes it easier to stay in contact far away.
      • “We would recognize that the underlying forces of disconnection at work in these tools are fully as powerful as the forces bringing us together.”
  • Selection of new books and music by that of a simple software agent
    • Recommendations based on:
    • a) Knowledge on passed purchases of CDs and books
    • b) Feedback on likes and dislikes of CDs and books
    • c) Its own knowledge acquired from collaborative filling and data-mining techniques
    • Also recommends by what other people with similar interested likes a well
  • Patti Maes of MIT
    • Warns of a communal tunnel vision
    • Software agent’s will recommend the same type of things more and more to the same types of people
    • Danger of positive-feedback-driven purchases, possibly ill-chosen
  • Compare to visit at a bookstore or Detective Fiction
    • Eye appealing items may catch the eye
    • Real world offers more of a semi random exploration than virtual counterpart
      • Less stock available
      • Less organized
  • Online purchases will continue to add to online electronic profile
    • Gives software agents and collaborative filters more avenues of exploration
  • Moral is simple but important:
    • To make the most of the wired world, understanding it is key
      • Understand how it works
      • Further on from understanding, be able to measure its weakness and strengths
      • Adjust our own role as human participants
  • Technological education will be essential if human-machine is too be lauded instead of berated
    • Lesson seems clear, “Know Thyself, Know Thy Technologies.”
  • 1996 Article in Emerge Magazine
    • “Trashing the Information Highway: White Supremacy goes High Tech”
    • Revealing of the internet for devious smear campaigns
    • White Supremacist Posed as African-Americans
      • Posted for the legalization of Pedophilia
      • Abuse of the freeness in the internet
      • Such abuse is usually uncommon, protected by laws
  • Persona of a sexual nature different than that of actual biological nature by use of an internet profile
    • Chat rooms
      • Filled men posing as women and women posing as men
      • Varied actual sexual nature than portrayed in chat room
      • Permutations seem endless, a kind of Goldberg Variations on all the rich sexual, social, and physical complexity the nonvirtual world has to offer.
      • False identities: woman posed as double amputee in chatroom
  • What to make of all this?
    • Those who use media this way resort to quick and dirty early checks, like an impromptu request for an immediate telephone conversation.
  • Many do not see the cross or divide
    • People believe the real them is combination of online personalities
      • Combination of certain personas
      • Adaptation of conditions and constraints to biological form
      • Do this new individuals have their own rights?
  • Deeper concern of successful integration of multiple personas
    • The need to balance multiple personas
    • Recipe for displaying multidimensional personal identity presented to the world
      • Allow for overlap of biological and cyber self in real world situations without degrading true self for personal growth and exploration
  • More people will become accepting of new forms of personal contact
    • Ability to look passed stigmas and see as a new form of real-world relationships
    • Present at a distance
  • Disturbing realization of nonhuman bots in chat rooms pretending to be humans
    • Yahoo! Chat 2001
      • Infested by nonhuman cyberbots
      • Cyberbots logged into chat rooms and Instant Message individuals directing them to certain websites
      • Cyberbots can pass themselves off as individuals in voting/contest situations
  • Prevention of cyberbot abusers
    • Carnegie-Mellon’s Aladdin Center have created what they nicely dub CAPTCHA—Completely Automated
    • BAD BORGS? 185
    • Fig. 7.1 CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing-Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart). CAPTCHA aims to unmask web-bots posing as humans by asking them to recognize words and shapes against a backdrop of noise. Illustration by Christine Clark.
    • Public Turing-Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart
    • Potential for deceit dissimulation is balanced by the very real power of new communications regimes to spread important truths quickly, without the usual impediments of censorship and bureaucracy
  • E-mail by Tamin Ansary on September 12, 2001 to twenty friends and colleagues
    • Afghan-American living in San Francisco
    • Sent out widley after the attack on the Twin Towers
    • E-mail argued that any U.S. response that involved “bombing Afghanistan back to the stone age” would be misplaced
    • Already been done by the Soviets, many of their buildings were rubble
    • Message not tested by gatekeepers for authenticity
      • Sent out to websites like and
      • Reached millions of people providing new insight into complex political and social realities upon which simplistic talk of evil and retribution is all too easily overlaid.
      • Stands as a testimonial for the power of the internet and its ability to reach a massive audience
  • Deceit, misinformation, truth, exploration, and personal reinvention: the internet provides for them all. As always, it is up to us, as scientists and as citizens, to guard against the worst and to create the culture and conditions most likely to favor the best.
  • Lack of quality control, close cousin to Deceit
  • Anyone can publish their thoughts and ideas on the internet
    • How do we separate fact from false?
    • Very real problem of overload
    • Time is a precious resource, and we cannot afford to read everything everyone has to offer us in order to decide—even assuming we could tell— what is most authoritative or important.
  • Inbox sometimes can hold items from a trusted source, friends or companions
  • In the case of public announcement, bulletin board or an unpoliced newsgroup
    • Regression into old trusted sources like the Times
    • Confront unsorted, unfiltered barrage of information, misinformation, and innocent but time consuming spam
    • Hope springs eternal, choices may not be so stark after all
  • Consider case of Slashdot
    • Bulletin board serving, at first, a small group of friends
    • Small town Holland, Michigan
    • Board worked well at first with shared interests like Star Wars, video games and the like
    • Only posted subject matter the group wanted to see
    • Traffic increased, control of the board contents decreased
    • Boards orginiator Rob Malda
      • Enlisted the aid of lieutenants for filtering purposes
      • had an added power: the power to rate the remaining contributions on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the best).
      • Users dictated the quality level they wanted to inspect, locking out those that fell below their level of tolerance.
      • Gradings encouraged good posts since everyone wanted a 5 Star rating
  • Steven Johnson reports
    • It was the kind of thing that could only have happened on the web. A twenty two-year-old college senior, living with a couple of buddies in a low-rent house—affectionately dubbed Geek House One—in a nondescript Michigan town, creates an intimate on-line space for his friends to discuss their shared obsessions, and within a year fifty thousand people each day are angling for a piece of the action.
  • Malda made entire group collectively responsible for its own quality control
    • Position of moderator given after a few visits to Slashdot
      • Shifting subset of users will hold this position at one time
      • Moderator ranks 1-5
      • Each moderator is allowed only so many points, and once they are awarded, the moderator ceases her role
    • Malda introduced a system he called Karma
      • A specific user would accrue Karma according to how many of the person’s past postings had achieved high ratings
      • “good karma” got special rewards
  • New postings from these users would begin with a higher default rating than the others, and the users would more likely be chosen as moderator
  • In recent years, Amazon, eBay, and other large web-based concerns have all implemented their own versions of these so-called meta-feedback systems (ones using feedback about the usefulness and quality of feedback)
  • Steven Johnson notes, there is no need to fear that such systems must tend toward narrowing and conservatism
    • underlying algorithm could be altered to favor moderators whose choices have sparked the most feedback
    • The possibilities thus exist for an open-ended variety of new and potent forms of swarm intelligence, with meta-feedback reconfiguring our filtering routines to suit the different types, moods, of users.
  • The importance of the body in sciences of the mind
    • Book name “Putting Brain, Body and World Together Again.
    • The body didn’t matter and the mind was something ethereal and distinct.
  • Present work flows directly from this stress on the importance of body and world
  • Human biological brains are incomplete cognitive systems
    • Naturally geared to shift around ever changing world and body
  • Human minds problem solve by cooperating in a spaghetti like matrix
    • Everything we do speaks to that analogy
      • Writing pen and paper
      • Texting with cell phone
      • Mind Control cursors
      • Swarm based data mining
      • telepresence guided house-minding devices
  • Intimacy of brain and body is evidenced in the very plasticity of the body-image itself
    • Our brains care so much about the fine details of our embodiment that they are ready and willing to recalibrate those details on the spot, again and again
      • It is this tendency that allows them sometimes to be fooled by certain tricks
      • it is because of this that the physical feeling of remote presence—and even of remote embodiment—is sometimes quite easy to achieve
      • The brain is just one player on
  • Where do the fears of disembodiment arrive from
    • One root of the worry is the popular image of the lonely keyboard-tapping adolescent
      • Take the company of video games instead of human interaction
      • No interest in sex
      • Identifies more with their personal avatar than the real them
      • Isolated, disconnected, disembodied, desexed
  • University of Warwick
    • Survey
    • heavy internet surfers are more likely not less to belong to some real-world community group, and less likely to spend time passively watching TV
  • Isolation is often a matter of perspective
    • Individuals spend quality time in her own chosen community.
    • These eclectic electronic communities often bring together a greater number of like-minded folk than we could ever hope to find in our hometown or even in a large city
  • Online community of folk who gather at sites such as FurryMUCK
    • A MUCK is a multiuser (usually role-playing) environment
    • FurryMUCK caters to those whose imaginative, social, and sometimes sexual pleasure involves adopting animal personas and/or wearing furry animal costumes
    • This once-elusive minority now has hundreds of web sites and their own (real-world) conventions and meeting
      • Would not be possible without online chatting capabilities
  • New danger of marginalization
    • By relying upon an electronic community in which it is easy to speak of unusual needs and passions, people with special interests may find it easier to live out the rest of their lives without revealing or admitting this aspect of their identity
    • This could be dangerous insofar as it artificially relieves the wider society of its usual obligations of understanding and support, creating a new kind of ghetto that once again hides the group from the eyes—and protective social policies—of mainstream society
  • General worry about disembodiment
    • The biological body can seem unnecessary
    • Respected scientists such as Hans Morave
      • The human body (in fact, any body, biological or otherwise) quickly begins to seem disposable—“mere jelly”
      • Moravec himself repeatedly stresses the symbiotic nature of good forms of human-machine relationship
  • The idea that the body and its capabilities are fundamentally irrelevant to the mind and hence the self
  • There is no informationally constituted user relative to whom all the rest is just tools
    • It is, as we argued in chapter 5, tools all the way down
    • We are just the complex, shifting agglomerations of “our own” inner and outer tools for thought
    • We are our own best artifacts, and always have been
  • The agenda of human-centered technology differs in just about every respect
    • such technologies hold out the promise of more mobility, richer interfaces, and richer interactive support
  • Human-centered technology aims to free the user from that whole “box on a tabletop” regime
    • regime of sitting, looking at a screen, and interfacing with the digital world using the narrow and demanding channels of keyboard and mouse
    • Wearable computers, augmented reality displays, and richer interface technologies transform this image beyond recognition
    • Instead of touching tiny and elusive keys to pull up a menu to select a favorite website, you might just move a finger to touch an icon that only you can see
  • Imagine the probable end point of the cell phone revolution
    • receiver will be surgically implanted in order to make fairly direct contact with the auditory nerve or perhaps even the ventral cochlear nucleus
    • you can take the call without anyone else hearing
    • replies need not be spoken aloud as long as you gently simulate the correct muscle movements in your throat and larynx
  • We will still need to communicate data and requests at times, and here the use of a variety of physical embodiment-exploiting interfaces will be crucial
  • Yo-Yo Ma’s
    • communications with his instrument via the bow are rich and nuanced
    • One day soon we will see expert web-surfers and designers able to manipulate data streams and virtual objects with all the skill and subtlety of a Yo-Yo Ma
    • Almost certainly, they will not be using a keyboard and mouse to do so.
  • Anticipation of multiple embodiment and social complexity
    • An individual may identify himself as a member of a wide variety of social groups, and may (in part courtesy of the new technologies of telepresence and telerobotics) explore in each of those contexts, a variety of forms of embodiment, contact, and sexuality
  • The feeling of disembodiment arises only when we are digitally immersed but lack the full spectrum of rich, real-time feedback that body and world provide
  • Katherine Hayles notes
    • it is “not a question of leaving the body behind but rather of extending embodied awareness in highly specific local and material ways that would be impossible without electronic prostheses.”

Chapter 8

  • Conclusions: Post-Human, Moi?
  • The human brain is nature’s great mental chameleon
    • Like a sponge, the human brain is poised for profound mergers with the surrounding web of symbols, culture, and technology
    • Human thought and reason emerges from a nest in which biological brains and bodies
    • acting in concert with nonbiological props and tools, build, benefit from, and then rebuild an endless succession of designer environment
    • new thinking systems create new waves of designer environments, in which yet further kinds of extended thinking systems emerge
    • Some of our best new tools adapt to individual brains during use, thus speeding up the process of mutual accommodation beyond measure
    • Human thought is biologically and technologically poised to explore cognitive spaces that would remain forever beyond the reach of non-cyborg animals
  • Our technologically enhanced minds are barely, if at all, tethered to the ancestral realm.
    • William Burroughs put it, “We’re here to go.”
    • Burroughs’s sights, like those of the scientists who first coined the term “cyborg,” were set on space and on the colonization of other planets

  • It is our shape-shifter minds, not our space-roving bodies, that will most fully express our deep cyborg nature.
  • The word cyborg once conjured visions of wires and implants
  • Weaving of biotechnological webs: the constant two-way traffic between biological wetware and tools, media, props, and technologies
    • have the power to transform our sense of self, of location, of embodiment, and of our own mental capacities.
    • They impact who, what and where we are
  • the human person emerges as a shifting matrix of biological and nonbiological parts
  • Some fear, in all this, a loathsome “post-human” future
    • predict a kind of technologically incubated mind-rot, leading to loss of identity, loss of control, overload, dependence, invasion of privacy, isolation, and the ultimate rejection of the body
    • we do need to be cautious, for to recognize the deeply transformative nature of our biotechnological unions is at once to see that not all such unions will be for the better
  • if it is our basic human nature to annex, exploit, and incorporate non biological stuff deep into our mental profiles:
    • then the question is not whether we go that route, but in what ways we actively sculpt and shape it
    • By seeing ourselves as we truly are, we increase the chances that our future biotechnological unions will be good ones.