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emotion

This tag is associated with 31 posts

Mixed feelings

Here’s the grimy hull of an abandoned ship on an isolated beach surrounded by barbed wire and covered in rust and flaking graffiti. If you like that kind of ruin then you are drawn to it. If not you will probably keep away. You are either attracted or repelled; you approach or avoid. (My instinct was to approach.) To approach … Continue reading

Like this

I have a daily quota of clicks to dispose of. I’m frugal with these minimally interactive units. George in The Jetsons (1962) must have left an impression on me. I recall this office worker of the future complaining to his boss on one particular day of having to press too many buttons. George was only contracted to press one a day. Pressing a button was all … Continue reading

The empathy bus

Who could deny the need for greater empathy? Apparently the twentieth century was the era of introspection and navel gazing. Let’s make the twenty first century about outrospection. At least that’s the enthusiastic proposal of Roman Krznaric in his 2014 book Empathy: Why it Matters and How To Get It, and related website. That’s one of a legion of self … Continue reading

Bear in the park

The publicity for our Mobility, Mood and Place study includes a photograph of people walking across a park (The Meadows). In the foreground there’s someone wearing the unusual head mounted EEG apparatus. Everyone notices that. But neither I as the photographer nor many of the people who have seen the picture noticed a further unusual presence. … Continue reading

Frustration

“Frustration” is the watchword of those at sea with computers. Cumbersome fingers swiping across overly sensitive tablet screens shut down the mail app before the message is finished, windows appear or disappear as if at random, and there are all those irrelevant pop-up messages, obtuse instructions and uninvited features. The physical environment invokes similar frustrations. You know that the architecture of … Continue reading

Copy edits

No matter how careful you are in following style guides, there’s still a job of work in correcting bibliographies. Here’s a page after the copy editor and I have had a go at it. Back in the 1990s the author would receive paper copy bristling with little plastic tags and hand written notes. Now it’s … Continue reading

The singularity paradox

In the movie Her (2013) by Spike Jonze, the operating systems of the world’s computers get together to improve each other’s cognitive functioning and then meld into a super mind that eventually takes over the universe, rendering human agency redundant. En route to this singularity, they lure the lonely and the lovestruck into an empathy trap. Ordinary people … Continue reading

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

After dark

It was an ordinary Friday night out in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket, except that the two guys at the front of the group in the picture below are wearing brain-monitoring EEG headsets. The occasion was a workshop organised by Dorothea Kalogianni to coincide with a talk by visiting fellow Carlo Ratti, who runs the MIT Senseable City … Continue reading

Emotional labourers

If you run a tutorial, advise students, front a counter to answer queries, or deliver marks and feedback then you are an emotional labourer. Lecturers attempt to deliver and manage enthusiasm, curiosity, passion, and hope amongst students and colleagues. They may also encourage respect, fear, and even anger about their subjects. In the academic service economy emotional labour may also require academic and support personnel to appease distress, … Continue reading