When a system is set up to accomplish some goal, a new entity has come into being -- the system itself. No matter what the "goal" of the system, it immediately begins to exhibit system behavior; that is, to act according to the general laws that govern the operation of all systems. Now the system itself has to be dealt with. Whereas before, there was only the problem -- such as warfare between nations, or garbage collection -- there is now an additional universe of problems associated with the functioning or merely the presence of the new system.

Large systems usually operate in failure mode.

The larger and more complex the system, the less the resemblance between the true function and the name it bears.

What the system is supposed to be doing when everything is working well is really beside the point because that happy state is never achieved in real life. The truly pertinent question is: How does it work when its components aren't working well? How does it fail? How well does it function in failure mode?


Any change in status quo prompts an opposing reaction in the responding system.

Le Chatelier's principle

(All of this via Paper Bits)

Revision 1.2.

  • Fixed the voltage regulator pinout.
  • Added a 6 pin ICSP header.
  • Attempted to put together a star ground.

I guess double checking component footprints is not enough. Hopefully the third try is it.

10. Holy relics, attributes of sainthood and divinity; transubstantiated Hosts, Arks of Covenant, teeth of Buddha

9.5 Supernatural objects and services associated with elves, vampires, fairies; magical charms, garlic, silver bullets etc

9.4 New age crystals, lucky charms, protective pendants, mojo hands, voodoo dolls, magic wands

9.3 Quack devices, medical hoaxes

9.3 Fantasy "objects" in fantasy cinema and computer-games

9.2 Physically impossible sci-fi literary devices: time machines, humanoid robots

9.2 Perpetual motion machines; free-energy gizmos, other physically impossible engineering fantasies

9.0 State libels, black propaganda, military ruses; missile gaps, vengeance weapons, Star Wars SDI

8.9 "Realplay" services, "experiential futurism" encounters, military and emergency training drills, props and immersive set-design, scripted personas

8.8 Online roleplaying scenario games

8.7 Net.art interventions, diegetic performance art, provocative device-art scandals

8.6 Guerrilla street-theater; costumes, puppets, banners, songs, lynchings-in-effigy, mock trials, mass set-designed Nuremberg rallies, propaganda trains

8.5 Fake products, product forgeries, theft-of-services, con-schemes, 419 frauds

8.0. For-profit frauds and false commercial advertising

7.9 Rube Goldberg and Heath Robinson devices, chindogu "unuseless objects", parodies, whimsies and comical contraptions; Albert Robida satirical prognostications

7.0 Vaporware; "Fear Uncertainty and Doubt" campaigns

6.0 "Design Fiction" diegetic prototypes from sci-fi media, "concept cars," "conversation pieces," provocative laboratory curiosities

5.9 Blue-skying Internet-based "theory objects" and congealed techie pundit scuttlebutt; socially-generated rumor and tech speculation; crowdsourced speculative objects and services; Kickstarter projects

5.0 "Brand Management" by design

4.9 Design pitches to the board of directors; untested business-models

4.8 The plans and schematics for as-yet-unborn yet genuine objects and services

4.0 Real-life product descriptions and users instruction manuals

3.5 Product reviews and opinions; user feedback, public assessments

3.0 Design criticism; material-culture assessments; scholarly studies

2.0 Legal regulations and government protocols concerning objects and services

1.0 Engineering specifications, software code

0.5 Historical tech assessment of extinct technologies, the "judgement of history"

0.0 The ideal and unobtainable "objective truth" about objects and services

via Bruce Sterling

1. Technological determinism & defeatism

Or, the cultural belief that technological development and progress is inevitable, and we have to adapt.

2. Technological solutionism

Or, the cultural belief that technology is the best solution to life's problems.

3. Quantification imperatives

Or, the cultural belief that everything can and should be measured, and that everyday life would be better if all our decisions were based on these data.

4. Connection & sharing imperatives

Or, the cultural belief that everyday life would be better if more information was transmissible and accessible to people.

5. Convenience & efficiency imperatives

Or, the cultural belief that people would be better off if there were more technologies to make daily life more convenient, and common tasks more efficient.

More at the Design Culture Lab

 <a href="/2013/05/05/captcha/letterboxd.png"><img src="/2013/05/05/captcha/letterboxd.320.png"></a>

This is a great idea for a domain specific captcha.

Via Little Big Details

This is an interesting talk on the internet of things, and the role of network-aware objects in society at large. These two slides stood out for me:

 <a href="/2013/05/02/cities/slide-4-728.jpg"><img src="/2013/05/02/cities/slide-4-728.320.png"></a>
 <a href="/2013/05/02/cities/slide-7-728.jpg"><img src="/2013/05/02/cities/slide-7-728.320.png"></a>

This kind of ties in with something that Warren Ellis pointed out...

 <a href="/2013/05/02/cities/ellis.jpg"><img src="/2013/05/02/cities/ellis.320.png"></a>

Cities are very slow time machines; they let us live longer, see more... They make our environment more hospitable, provide emergency services. As technology progresses, those services may be more autonomous and less centralized.