The latest installment of MIT Press series Software Studies has an unusual title, at least for the non-coding population. It is a single line of BASIC that, if the code is executed, prints an infinite string of consisting of two characters, selected at random. The last instruction at the end of the program line (GOTO 10) instructs the computer to go to line 10 of the program and execute its instructions and generate and spit out another character based on the algorithm.
Written as a collaborative effort by ten authors, who point out that it is an unusual book “in its focus on a single line of code, an extremely concise BASIC program that is simply called 10 PRINT throughout.”
The authors describe their approach and methodology as follows:
“The eponymous program is treated as a distinct cultural artifact, but it also serves as a grain of sand from which entire worlds become visible; as a Rosetta Stone that yields important access to the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture.”
The many connections the authors draw between this little piece of software and large, cultural themes are astonishing and--even though not always completely convincing--very stimulating. The authors connect the single line of code to Duchamp's droppages, to cultural memes like the figure of the maze, to the familiar screensavers. In the process, the authors provide an insightful and stimulating commentary on the evolution of programming languages and the cultural parameters in which this evolution took place.
Posted by HRay on Friday, December 21 @ 19:47:35 EST (499 reads)
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Everything for Peace - John Lennon in I met the Walrus
In 1969, fourteen years old Jerry Levitan managed to sneek into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto and persuaded John to grant him an interview. The animated short film I met the Walrus is based on the recording of the interview made by Jerry and features pen illustrations by James Braithwaite and computer animations by Alex Kurina.
Posted by HRay on Monday, August 13 @ 22:11:48 EDT (680 reads)
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11 Eleven Project
To the music communities of the world,
We at the 11Eleven Project would like to offer you and your music community a once
in a lifetime opportunity to be part of an global creative-arts project. For 24
hours on 11/11/11, anyone who has access to a video camera, digital camera,
microphone, mobile phone or email will be asked to create a snapshot of their day;
to define their day in a creative way.
This is a chance to collaborate with artists all over the world, including our
Grammy award-winning executive music producer, Imogen Heap.
If it’s the sound that wakes you, the song in your head, the words you’ve never put
down on paper or the defining image or footage that paints your experience, we want you to share it with the world! This is your chance to be part of something big,
The footage, audio, text, visual and photographic material will be collated and used as the ingredients for a variety of 11Eleven Project initiatives, including a 2 hour cinematic documentary, photographic book and world music collection, all of which
will be available worldwide.
The 11Eleven Project is completely not-for-profit and the sales of our projects and
merchandise will go to support a variety of charities including The Hunger Project,
Save the Children, World Wildlife Fund, Global Voices, Opportunity International and
The objective of the project is to plant a seed of compassion, to allow all people
to gain perspective of our world as a whole. It is a time capsule, a human snap shot
of life in the 21st century - a unique global perspective told by the people, for
the people. By bringing the world together as one, we open up the opportunity for
people to view our planet as a singular entity. 11/11/11 is an occasion to
illustrate the commonalities amongst all people and to witness the shared experience amongst every human being living on planet Earth. With this representation may come an enlightened sense of global awareness, responsibility and recognition.
Posted by HRay on Monday, October 17 @ 19:26:15 EDT (2512 reads)
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Guy Laliberté’s Poetic Social Mission in Space
During his current 12-day stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS),
Guy Laliberté’s unique social/humanitarian mission will have one clear purpose: to raise humanity’s awareness of water-related issues.
The first Poetic Social Mission in Space is a symbolic moment for Laliberté. After 25 years, Cirque du Soleil will be introduced to Russia, the country where Laliberté is training for his voyage and from where the Soyuz TMA-16 rocket will launch him and the Expedition 21 crew into space. The timing could not be more appropriate!
The purpose is also clear... Laliberté’s mission in space is dedicated to making an impact on how water, our most precious resource, is protected and shared. And he will be applying tools he has used so well for most of his life to bring about change: arts and culture.
Posted by HRay on Thursday, October 08 @ 12:22:56 EDT (3538 reads)
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EARTH HOUR 2009 - It's About Time
If you think the global financial crisis is bad, think again. The looming environmental collapse associated with global warming will make the current depression in global greed seem like child's play.
Earth Hour 2009 aims to give a voice to all people across the globe and invites everyone to participate in the creation of a stunning and vivid image of our home planet with its lights turnedd off. Be part of the message!
Switch off your lights (and everything else for that matter: tv, radio, ipod, and yes, your computer, too) for just one hour, enjoy the silence, do something in the dark (ideally something that raises our collective consciousness, the choice is yours ... ), and join the world for Earth Hour.
More than 1,858 cities, towns and municipalities in 81 countries have already committed to VOTE EARTH for Earth Hour 2009, as part of the worlds first global election between Earth and global warming
Posted by HRay on Sunday, March 22 @ 01:20:19 EST (3710 reads)
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KIVA.ORG: How to use the web to change the world – one micro loan at a time
This year’s People’s Voice Webby Award winner KIVA.ORG is a truly remarkable website. With its innovative use of Web2.0 social networking and other technologies, KIVA.ORG provides a platform that connects people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.
The well-designed and thought-out website provides a data-rich, transparent lending platform that enables individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.
KIVA.ORG allows visitors to browse entrepreneurs’ profiles, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community.
Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), the lender can receive email journal updates and track repayments. By leveraging web2.0 social networking technologies, KIVA.ORG is able to facilitate one-to-one connections that were previously prohibitively expensive.
Few things are changing as rapidly and dramatically as the Internet. A recent Pew Foundation sponsored study shows that the global use of digital networks continues to grow at an amazing pace.
The study offers some interesting insights, especially in comparison to the Elon University / Pew Foundation project Imagining the Internet: A History and a Forecast, which aims to map the social, cultural, economic, and technical evolution of networked communication systems in an attempt to chart how the accelerating impact of these technologies will change our lives and our world.
Here a few anonymous quotes from participants in the history and forecast surveys:
"Global distribution of information and knowledge over the internet at lower and lower cost will continue to lift the world community for generations to come."
"Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy. The Net will wear away institutions that have forgotten how to sound human."
"There will be a move toward networked individualism … in work, neighborhoods, kinship, and even households."
Instead of the social and qualitative interpretations of the participants' comments, the new Internet study by the Pew Global Attitudes Project emphasizes quantitative data. As before, the division between rich and poor nations determines the availability of Internet access, and educational background is another significant factor in Internet use. Consequently, the digital divide is growing deeper.
Posted by hray on Wednesday, November 23 @ 16:56:01 EST (7486 reads)
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Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents
More than a third of the world’s people live in countries where there is no press freedom.
Fourty-two media professionals lost their lives in 2003 for doing what they were paid to do — keeping us informed.
More than 130 journalists around the world are in prison simply for doing their job. In Nepal, Eritrea and China, they can spend years in jail just for using the "wrong" word or photo.
Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure.
Only they provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest.
Reporters Without Borders has produced this handbook to help them, with handy tips and technical advice on how to remain anonymous and to get round censorship, by choosing the most suitable method for each situation.
The handbook also explains how to set up and make the most of a blog, to publicise it (getting it picked up efficiently by search-engines) and to establish its credibility through observing basic ethical and journalistic principles.
Posted by hray on Friday, October 07 @ 20:29:28 EDT (4759 reads)
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From the Archive
Where you live should not decide whether you live or whether you die.
Bono/U2 from How to Defuse a Nuclear Bomb