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Richard Coyne

The cultural, social and spatial implications of computers and pervasive digital media spark my interest ... enjoy architecture, writing, designing, philosophy, coding and media mashups.
Richard Coyne has written 536 posts for Reflections on Technology, Media & Culture

Parallel worlds

He’s making few public appearances but “the pixels of his Twitter feed continued to live in a world of alternative reality,” echoed the Washington Post this week about Trump. Meanwhile, His Dark Materials that also taps into a multiverse of realities is back on the BBC. A helpful entry in Wikipedia under multiverse lists several … Continue reading

Hidden dimensions

Cryptography hides messages from the senses, observation and interpretation. It belongs within an array of practices that fit comfortably within the field of semiotics. I’m content to think that cryptographic practices extend C.S. Peirce’s semiological pragmatism. After all, messages hidden in code are signs. On the subject of messaging, I’m also interested in hiddenness as … Continue reading

How to fail at populism

Twitter replaced some of Trump’s recent tweets about the US election with the message: “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process” — followed by a link to Twitter’s Civic Integrity Policy. As votes for Joe Biden (D) secured the … Continue reading

High energy superstition

My online searches into the mathematical techniques of Hidden Markov Models (HMM) led me to this diagram, known as a numogram. I have redrawn it here from the numerous instances on websites and books connected with the short-lived CCRU (Cybernetic Culture Research Uni) at the University of Warwick, and its legacies. At face, it’s a … Continue reading

Counting letters

A substitution cipher is one of the simplest methods for encrypting a message. A unique symbol stands in place of every letter in the hidden message. The symbol set can be just about anything, as long as each symbol maps uniquely to the letters of whatever alphabet you are using for the message you wish … Continue reading

Speech to text

A city that’s legible is easy to understand and to navigate, i.e. to read. You can read a city’s people, moods, signs, and what it denotes and connotes. In a previous post I explored the prospect that you might write a city, as well as read it. According to this theory, a city participates in … Continue reading

II V I and all that Jazz

With more time spent teaching in front of a computer I’ve learnt more about developments in automated speech recognition. Software that turns speech into text (as transcriptions and closed captions) is a major accomplishment. Practically it’s “artificial intelligence” (AI). Researchers attempt the same with music: turning an audio music track into musical notation: notes on … Continue reading

What’s popular?

What’s it like to be liked? The WordPress blogging platform delivers analytics for each blog post providing the author with stats on visits, likes and comments. You would expect older posts to have more visits than recent visits. So it’s hard to compare the popularity of posts. But you can compare these stats if you … Continue reading

What comes next?

It’s a banal truism: events follow one another in sequence, inexorably. You brush teeth, you wash face, you pour cereal, you eat cereal, you rinse bowl, you attend online meeting, you get dressed … Such sequences often follow patterns. In some cases, a researcher might want to detect those patterns: to predict what comes next, … Continue reading

Hidden beats

The online book City Rhythm published in 2018 explores rhythm to explain cities and their internal diversity, as well as differences between cities. As I have explored elsewhere, mundane and ordinary events are also everyday events i.e. events that occur every day, repeatedly, and relate to people’s habits, their habitual activities. So a rhythmanalysis can focus … Continue reading

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