Hi, I'm Matthias. I work at Intuity Media Lab where I'm handcrafting interfaces and helping others to shape new ideas. I enjoy music, tinkering with web stuff, nonsense and people that don't take life seriously. You can talk to me on Twitter. This tank is full of random things I stumble across and enjoy. Stay hungry, stay foolish - never settle.
Hunter-gatherers have nothing akin to school. Adults believe that children learn by observing, exploring, and playing, and so they afford them unlimited time to do that.
The Sudbury Valley School and a hunter-gatherer band are very different from one another in many ways, but they are similar in providing what I see as the essential conditions for optimising children’s natural abilities to educate themselves. They share the social expectation (and reality) that education is children’s responsibility, not something that adults do to them, and they provide unlimited freedom for children to play, explore, and pursue their own interests. They also provide ample opportunities to play with the tools of the culture; access to a variety of caring and knowledgeable adults, who are helpers, not judges; and free age-mixing among children and adolescents (age-mixed play is more conducive to learning than play among those who are all at the same level). Finally, in both settings, children are immersed in a stable, moral community, so they acquire the values of the community and a sense of responsibility for others, not just for themselves.
The practice of taking an intentional break from technology and civilization is probably as old as technology and civilization. But it seems increasingly urgent now, in an era when the Internet—and thus most of the planet—is as close as an iPhone. We go to seek waldeinsamkeit, as the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson described it—the feeling of being alone in the woods.
The phone isn’t the problem. The problem is us—our inability to step away from email and games and inessential data, our inability to look up, be it at an alpine lake or at family members. We won’t be able to get away from it all for very much longer. So it’s vitally important that each of us learns how to live with a persistent connection, everywhere we go, whether it’s in the wilderness or at a dinner party.
Technological Disobedience – I really like this term. Originally coined by Ernesto Oroza to describe the inventive talent of Cubans during a sad but ingeniously creative period of Cuban history.
“People think beyond the normal capacities of an object, and try to surpass the limitations that it imposes on itself.” Ernesto Oroza on MotherboardTV
“The accumulation of products led workers to radically question industrial processes and mechanisms. They started looking at objects not with the eyes of an engineer but those of an artisan. Every object could potentially be repaired or reused, even in a different context from its original design. Accumulation separated the object from the Western intent and lifecycle it was destined for. This is technological disobedience.” Ernestor Oroza on mkshft.org
“After opening, breaking, repairing, and using them so often at their convenience, the makers ultimately disregarded the signs that make occidental objects a unity, a closed identity. Cubans do not fear the emanating authority that brands like Sony, Swatch, or even NASA, command. If something is broken, it will be fixed—somehow. If it could even be conceived as usable to repair other objects, they might as well save it, either in parts or in its entirety. A new future awaits.“ Ernestor Oroza on mkshft.org
Opening things up. Manipulating things. Turning things upside down. Using objects in ways the original creators not even dreamed of. This is the kind of spirit we should be teaching kids at our schools. Program or be programmed!
From our “Skynet has become self-aware” folder, the University of Tokyo has posted a new video about it’s Janken robot (Janken is the Japanese version of Rock, Paper, Scissors, and in their culture it is taken a bit more seriously). They first posted about their robot about a year ago, but a new video touting a much increased speed (around one millisecond?) in recognizing and reacting to the opposing human players choice. With this incredible ability to recognize nearly instantly, what other applications could a robot like this be used for? Read more about the robot from popular Science here.
The rapid adoption of WebRTC provides a dramatic opportunity for a turning point: here is the first communication API to be added to web browsers—and, even better, it’s peer-to-peer (once you have signaling in place). And undoubtedly, the concerns the XMPP community has focused on for years have become suddenly and powerfully relevant to the web. An imperfect, but battle-hardened and well-distributed standard is exactly what we need to avoid the poison of 15 people reinventing the wheel.