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You searched for "Failure". Your search returned 27 results.

Unsuccessful failure

It’s impossible to fail utterly. Years ago, before they were usual practice, a colleague and I organised a postgraduate recruitment open day for our department. It was a great innovation, with a substantial turnout of staff. The five or so potential applicants who appeared included a boy still at school, a couple inquiring on behalf of a … Continue reading

Trash talk

Like most urban commuters I have learned to tune out other people’s mobile phone conversations. But when I’m forced to attend to one-sided overloud jibber-jabber the interlocutor may as well be speaking in code. “She said that? … He did it then. … Ask him to give it to me when I’m there.” Deixis Deictic … Continue reading

What a mess!

Anyone with a sense of order can’t help but notice that problems frequently occur at the seams, where things join, or don’t join, or don’t quite align as they should — where the joins don’t survive successive adaptations. Sociologist Richard Sennett illustrated the demoralized state of crafters in the former Soviet Union. Once when shown … Continue reading

AI and advertising

Most prominent web publishers such as Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Reddit and news sites, generate revenue by placing banner, side-bar and in-text adverts on their pages. The ads are tailored for your eyes, and may differ from what others see on the same pages. Programmatic advertising directs what ads you see on web pages and social … Continue reading

Politics as art

Art can bring into sharp relief aspects of life and the world to which people (some of us) previously paid little attention. Art can accomplish this through an ecology of signs — pointing stuff out i.e. by making direct reference. But art also informs by presenting the opposite to what we art lovers might expect as the object of … Continue reading

Brainwalks

How can EEG (electroencephalography) help us understand people’s responses to outdoor environments? Due to its constraints, the technology lends itself to two tasks. The wearer of the head-mounted EEG technology is either (1) stationary in the environment, passively observing and listening, or (2) mobile. In the latter case, the EEG wearer just walks, slowly and deliberately. I … Continue reading

What happens when the machine stops?

Watching the graceful slow motion “crash” of the Airlander 10 at Cardington Airfield on the news this week prompted me to think about what happens when the machine fails. In the case of an airship it might drift, or fall gently to the earth, even if it lands with a thump. The classic science fiction short story by E.M. Forster, The … Continue reading

Nature in retrospect

I’ve just caught up with Thunderbirds Are Go, the recent remake of the futuristic 1960s Thunderbirds marionette series. This new series meshes CGI models of puppet-like humans with physical models of rockets, cars, roads islands and cities. So it’s very high tech (from Weta) made to look like tech from 50 years ago. The CGI … Continue reading

What’s wrong with post-digital cultures

It’s salutary to see familiar common sense placed under a new heading (e.g. post-digital). Headings turn the familiar into something strange, and jar matters into consciousness again. Technorationalist, technoromantic, post-human, and post-apocalyptic fill a similar role. Here’s a Google Ngram showing the frequency of the term “post-digital” in Google’s book repository over time, till 2008. But we move into a different discussion when headings over-reach, … Continue reading

When did we become post-digital?

Eighteen years ago Nicholas Negroponte wrote in Wired that “the digital revolution is over.” Digital technology was already so woven into the fabric of everyday life that it no longer needed a special label, nor social commentary, nor propagandists (like Negroponte). It had gone the way of the plastics business –– once regarded as revolutionary, but now taken for granted, and … Continue reading

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