Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Among Ari N. Schulman's many amusing and provocative Assorted impressions and scenes from the H+ Summit was the evergreen hilarity of this by now inevitable observation:
The talks on the first day were plagued by various technical problems, particularly on Apple computers, that delayed the presentations. The organizers joke this off by noting that at least it’s not as bad as Steve Jobs’s recent embarrassment with Apple products not working at an Apple conference. Yeah, except Steve Jobs is only suggesting that we purchase his computers, not that we literally live in them.


jimf said...

The picture on
labelled "The scene outside the conference, in Harvard meatspace."
which links to
is a photo of **the** coolest place on the Harvard

I have a friend who lives north of Boston and who is a
Harvard alumnus, one of the perks of which is that he
has a library card. So sometimes when I visit him we
go to the Cabot Science Library, and that fountain always
amazes and delights me.

From _Harvard A to Z_
by John T. Bethell, Richard M. Hunt, Robert Shenton
p. 147

"Harvard has **one** first-rate fountain: a pleasingly mystic
assemblage of druidical stones and water vapor, situated north
of Harvard Yard, between Memorial Hall and the undergraduate
Science Center. It consists of 150 large field stones from
western Massachusetts, arranged to form a slightly lopsided
circle about 60 feet in diameter, along with 70 spray jets,
which, in timed cycles, can produce dense mist about five
feet in height. When the sun is out, its refracted light
yields a rainbow in the horizon of mist. The fountain can be
lighted at night; in winter it operates with low-pressure
steam. Anonymous donors gave this remarkable water-work
to Harvard in 1984. The planners included Peter Walker,
adjunct professor at the School of Design, and his SWA Group,
a Boston firm. Walker explained that the planners had aimed
to create the feeling of 'mist at the bottom of a crashing
waterfall, but without the crashing,' and to provide a
venue that would 'encourage sitting, playful entry, and
even, in the summer heat, immersion.' At the time of its
dedication, a news release made reference simply to
'An Original Fountain.' Robert and Grace Tanner were
eventually revealed as the imaginative donors, and it is
now officially called the Tanner Rock Fountain."

Summerspeaker said...

How is this remotely surprising? Of course computer have problems and there's no reason to expect tranhumanists to magically be free from this. Nor is anyone I know of suggesting that we upload ourselves onto present hardware.

Dale Carrico said...

I suggest you read Jaron Lanier on cybernetic totalism.