Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Impressionable human: reassembling IT, reassembles me

" ...impressive observations concern what we have learned about humans based on our interactions with robots rather than the other way around." so claims Adam Kolber
While he cites Sherry Turkle regarding what we learn about being human by studying robotics, i am also aware of what i learn about myself in studying IT. I am in danger of becoming too narssistic, my own reflecting on my own reflecting could see me becoming lost in navel gazing.

Today i am an impressionable human.
I attempted going to work, but the number of parking spaces in excess of the numbers of people needing to park created an opportunity for going to a cafe to read. So, reading Latour, Reassembling the social, I think I finally get it.
" The social has never explained anything; the social has to be explained instead."
Latour uses the analogy of a building site explaining that when seeing a construction site, there is the awareness that things could be different, or at least that they could still fail." Its not that i am socialised to be good , bad or indifferent about my work, there is no social stuff making me behave this way rather than that, but there is an assemblage of factors, all which leave traces that must be accounted for if they are to be considered as having influence.
The social construction of what is 'real', involves being able to discern or to deploy the associations.
In a footnote, (p.95) Latour cites Deleuze as saying "Relativism is not the relativity of truth but the truth of relation."

It is these relations, these constructions, associations, assemblages that creates what is real (for a time). What is discerned may be part of this, may even bolster or strengthen some of the ties that bind.
But all of this can also unravel, and as Latour identifies p. 103. this is a difficult spot.

Monday, July 23, 2007

To the God of small things

Many thanks, I shocked my IT technician Graham today by telling him i loved him!
Such are the small pleasures of being a doctoral student.
My endnote 7 is now endnote X , 3 months of my own incompetence or the softwares incompetence (FAE= fundamental attribution error, suggests i should not blame myself when things go wrong....) had meant i was left with a library that would not talk to my word documents.
Today all is good in the world.
One of the following may be true:
I held my tongue right
I prayed to the God of small things
Graham took out the trash so there was no remnant, no ghost in the machine
Endnote developed, belatedly, a patch to convert endnote 7 to endnote x for macs.
The three pdf files out of more than 200 in the data file that had hieroglyphs incompatible with the software, including question marks and poles, were deleted (I will one day discover where links dont work and say damn...)

I have no idea which, or if all, of these actions can be given credit for what now works, but am soooo happy!
Work does not suck. There are after all IT technicians in my work world.

Blink 182

All the, small things
True care, truth brings
I'll take, one lift
Your ride, best trip
Always, I know
You'll be at my show
Watching, waiting, commiserating

Say it ain't so, I will not go, turn the lights off, carry me home
Na, Na.......

Late night, come home
Work sucks, I know
She left me roses by the stairs
Surprises let me know she cares

Say it ain't so, I will not go, turn the lights off, carry me home
Na, Na......

Monday, July 02, 2007

Resistance is futile / Resistance is duty

I loved seeing this appropriation of the scary and turning it into the fun loving monster that only an ipod can accomplish. Nice to see the inhumane, humanised. But it is also symbolic of the power of web 2.0 advertising. This beauty was made for apple in a competition and is available at the apple galleria as a download for screensaver, wallpaper, feel free to do there advertising for them...
Not only do we have product pushed, we have product pulled.
But please in between the exterminate! exterminate, exterminate.... resistance was futile (not useless).
(Unless as put by HART (Halt all racist tours): When discrimination becomes policy, resistance is duty)
In between the protest movement of the 1970s i also remember learning cognitive dissonance, I must love eating cockroaches if the nice person tells me to do it and I do it (either that or i am incredibly stupid).
In web 2.0 advertising, I must really love the product if I invest time in making their adverts for them (or I'm sucked..)