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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 527 posts for Reflections on Technology, Media & Culture

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

Is blogging obsolete?

Text-based blogging, or weblogging, developed in the 1990s as a medium for recording and presenting date-stamped content, accessed through a single web address, presenting the most recent post at the top of the home page. I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. So it’s time to reflect. Video blogs (vlogs) and audio podcasts have … Continue reading

Visitor rhythms

August 25, 2020 marked the tenth anniversary of this blog site. To mark the occasion I thought I would experiment with visitor statistics and their rhythms. WordPress provides helpful visitor statistics that indicate topics that have most attracted readers — or that people are most likely to stumble across. My most viewed post by far … Continue reading

Tremble and drift

For philosopher Henri Lefebvre, rhythms are influenced by their context. They also vary. The waves on the sea provide an obvious example. Perturbations across water involve counter movements, complex overlays of movement, and the patterns rely on the shape and materials of the shore, the tides, weather conditions, and water traffic. He contrasts rhythm with … Continue reading

Visualising 2D Discrete Cosine Transforms

I’m interested in the Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) method as a means of hiding one image inside another. It’s also a key technique in image compression. I’ve implemented the DCT method on an Excel spreadsheet. The image below is an 8×8 grid of pixel values, in grey ranging from 0 = black to 255 = … Continue reading

COVID-19 Rhythmanalysis

Rhythms permeate the city, and these rhythms overlap, combine, aggregate and interfere with one another. That’s the gist of Henri Lefebvre’s book entitled Rhythmanalysis. By my reading the concept fits within the genre of research concerned with everydayness, the quotidian, which implies a concern with ordinary things and everyday phenomena that repeat. (See post: Time … Continue reading

Beyond averages: DCT graphics

The visual field is full of smooth curves. Shadows don’t have sharp edges but fade out. Colours blend, sometimes imperceptibly. At some level of detail, most things transition smoothly, but to varying degrees. The variation across such transitions is noticeable in a high quality digital photograph, i.e. a pixel image. Here is a random row … Continue reading

The culture of the GIF

GIF image files have 8 bit colour for red (R), green (G) and blue (B), i.e. 256 shades each for RGB. Most smartphone cameras currently provide 10 bit colour. So if you convert your photographs to GIF format they will be of lower quality. Apart from that the GIF format provides lossless compression. So GIF … Continue reading

Subliminal messaging

There’s no real evidence that subliminal messaging works. By most accounts, the experiments of the marketing psychologist James M. Vicary in the 1950s were a hoax. The theory was that we pick up words and images presented to us in ways that defy conscious awareness. Audiences in a cinema could be induced to buy a … Continue reading

Hiding one surface inside another

What’s it like to get inside a surface? I’ve been reading Avron Stroll’s seminal philosophy book Surfaces. He exhausts most of the ways people use the word “surface” in everyday speech. E.g. you can be on a surface or under it, but it’s not usual to speak of a surface inside a surface. And some … Continue reading

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