Journalist Andrew Blum explains what and where the Internet is physically. His book Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet tells the story of the Internet’s physical infrastructure and chronicles the its development, explains how it works, and takes an in-depth look inside its hidden monuments.
Tagged with “architecture” (99)
In this panel discussion, freelance IAs Sarah Rice, Whitney Hess, Jenn Anderson, and Christopher Fahey argue that Information Architects have an opportunity to structure and evolve their own work environment. There is potential to influence where they work, who they work with, the type of work they do, and for whom they do work.
This panel discusses what it is like to create ones own work environment – the motivation for taking this entrepreneurial path, what it has been like, what we’ve learned, and the ups and downs of such a work life.
What is a Shotgun House? — Shotgun houses are iconic pieces of American architecture: they’re long, narrow, and filled with artistic flourishes. But where did they come from? In this episode, Chuck and Josh explore the mysterious origins of shotgun houses.
William McDonough on Cradle to Cradle, a Terrestrial Space Station, and What Went Wrong in China (Podcast) : TreeHugger
Architect and author of Cradle to Cradle talks about green products, his new buildings, and what happened in China.
Energy efficiency: how does your house rate? - Background Briefing - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Want to avoid big power bills in your next home? The federal government wants all homes for sale or rent to have an energy efficiency rating. We already rate new homes, and the system is weeding out some power guzzling designs. But there are major flaws as well. Some super efficient designs don’t rate—and some six star homes are still substandard. So how do you find an energy efficient home? Reporter: Di Martin
As usual, microbes led the way. Bacteria have swarmed in intense networks for 3.5 billion years. Then a hierarchical form emerged with the first nucleated cells that were made up of an enclosed society of formerly independent organisms.
That’s the pattern for the evolution of information, Alex Wright said. Networks coalesce into hierarchies, which then form a new level of networks, which coalesce again, and so on. Thus an unending series of information explosions is finessed.
In humans, classification schemes emerged everywhere, defining how things are connected in larger contexts. Researchers into “folk taxonomies” have found that all cultures universally describe things they care about in hierarchical layers, and those hierarchies are usually five layers deep.
Family tree hierarchies were accorded to the gods, who were human-like personalities but also represented various natural forces.
Starting 30,000 years ago the “ice age information explosion” brought the transition to collaborative big game hunting, cave paintings, and elaborate decorative jewelry that carried status information. It was the beginning of information’s “release from social proximity.”
5,000 years ago in Sumer, accountants began the process toward writing, beginning with numbers, then labels and lists, which enabled bureaucracy. Scribes were just below kings in prestige. Finally came written narratives such as Gilgamesh.
The move from oral culture to literate culture is profound. Oral is additive, aggregative, participatory, and situational, where literate is subordinate, analytic, objective, and abstract. (One phenomenon of current Net culture is re-emergence of oral forms in email, twittering, YouTube, etc.)
Wright honored the sequence of information-ordering visionaries who brought us to our present state. In 1883 Charles Cutter devised a classification scheme that led in part to the Library of Congress system and devised an apparatus of keyboard and wires that would fetch the desired book. H.G. Wells proposed a “world brain” of data and imagined that it would one day wake up. Teilhard de Chardin anticipated an “etherization of human consciousness” into a global noosphere.
The greatest unknown revolutionary was the Belgian Paul Otlet. In 1895 he set about freeing the information in books from their bindings. He built a universal decimal classification and then figured out how that organized data could be explored, via “links” and a “web.” In 1910 Otlet created a “radiated library” called the Mundameum in Brussels that managed search queries in a massive way until the Nazis destroyed the service. Alex Wright showed an astonishing video of how Otlet’s distributed telephone-plus-screen system worked.
Wright concluded with the contributions of Vannevar Bush (”associative trails” in his Memex system), Eugene Garfield’s Science Citation Index, the predecessor of page ranking. Doug Engelbart’s working hypertext system in the “mother of all demos.” And Ted Nelson who helped inspire Engelbart and Berners-Lee and who Wright considers “directly responsible for the generation of the World Wide Web.”
A panel discusses the work of one of Britain’s most original and enduring architects and explores how his architecture – both built and unbuilt – has left its mark on our imaginations. Contributors include Ptolemy Dean, Iain Sinclair and Elizabeth McKellar. Chaired by Owen Hopkins.
A class taught by Tim Morton, UC Davis, March 8, 2012.