Sunday, October 24, 2010

Visually Mapping the World?

I know it's popular to bag on Microsoft but this is pretty amazing stuff.  Are they going to leapfrog Google in photographically reproducing the world online?  And with crowdsourcing rather than actually investing in a physical infrastructure to do it? This is already being integrated into Bing Maps and it is also a nice showcase for Silverlight.

Click on me

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mapping Information (and life)

It is time to start sharing the groundwork of what I am learning about an affirmative future for media, media consumption and generally, understanding information.  I think this post will be best served by letting the really smart people speak for themselves.  The first video is long and somewhat abstract.  However, I suggest that information, like life, is promiscuous and the parallels are obvious between what he is speaking about here and how we may build our knowledge of using and understanding media/information.

This video is a lot more accessible.  It is a kludgy and preliminary step in the direction that Enriquez lays out in his lecture.  This is not the only group of people mining this territory, but from what I know the efforts seem to be similar.

In ten years, I suspect that this will be as dated as Pong, which was the future when I was a kid.

Finally, I think this does a better job of explaining the theoretical thinking behind the "Sixth Sense" technology.

And, if you want to see the reality of where we are today in the marketplace, here is digital intuition, on your cellphone in 2010.  Don't get too excited.  I've used it quite a bit and sadly, I'd rather sort through all my information manually (actually the more accurate term would be intuitively) still.  But look out John Henry, the machine is gaining on you.

Here are Enriquez' "new rules" for life:

1. It is imperfectly transmitted code.
2.  It happens.
3.  It is promiscuous.
4.  It adapts.
5.  Likely it is common.
6.  Humans increasingly design/control life code.

Life and information are moving ever closer together and at a quickening pace.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Burden of Dreams

I have been a little silent lately.  There is a lot going on, in mid-November I am going to Brazil to help shoot a film in the Amazon about a non-profit that is doing a sustainable development project.  I have also been thinking a lot about what I am doing, professionally.  That, is a dangerous thing in the film business.   It is an industrial workplace, geared towards grinding out film after film, with everyone hoping that each one will advance them a tiny step towards their ultimate goal or at least help them pay their rent.

I have a somewhat unpopular view.  There are too many films being made.  What?  Ok, more precisely, there are too many films being made that are not adding anything to the conversation about film or life, or even the conversation about the potential of technology in media production.  Does the world need 10,000 short films that are basically variations on the same thing, over and over and over again even if they are shot on the newest camera?  Hard question, particularly when the industry of film schools is churning out thousands and thousands of bright eyed graduates who are sold a dream (and very high tuitions) every year and the industry of film festivals is selling the same dream (news flash, most film festivals are about tourism and economic development).  It is a big machine that sucks you up, regardless of your intentions.  I have been disappointed to recently see a few really interesting projects, innovative in structure or process, gradually become "regular" projects because that is where the positive feedback comes from the system.

Anyway, I hope to share some of my thoughts in the not-too-distant future about, well,  possible futures in media creation.  There are a lot of really interesting possibilities out there, even if the current tendency is to milk the present model to death.  I am a firm believer that, for the most part, it is human nature to only change when we must.  In the meantime, I will satisfy my current need to do something that will hopefully be of use on the ground for people doing important, difficult (and unglamorous) work.  I will be working hard to let them tell their own stories, a far harder job than many people realize.  We all like to overlay what we know, or think, instead.  In this age of media over-simplification, vilification of those who think differently and "instant experts," I think we can all use a lot more small dollops of little truths from those who do not have the time to have a media presence.  I don't pretend to have answers, but hopefully I can at least learn to start asking some good questions.

Destroy what we do not understand or,  just try to make money off of it?

Is it me, or does Werner look kind of buff in this?