Human obsession with order & classification

Inventions such as animal husbandry, irrigation, writing and mathematics are  viewed as the hallmarks of early civilization. These advancements separated us from other earth species by taking advantage of our ability to self-organize and further ensure our survival.

Yet these advancements – and the many that followed – required humanity to develop a deep bias and obsession with order and classification.

Note: this post was written based on reading from Mycelium Running (Paul Stamets), A Thousand Plateaus (Deleuze, Gilles & Guattari), and Unruly Edges  (Anna Tsing).

It is also inspired by the lessons learned while playing Sid Meier’s Civilization.

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The Perception Test: Higher Order Beliefs

Economics is regarded as a ‘soft science’ because it studies a field that is heavily influenced by human behavior.

Despite developing rigorous models the world depends on, precise measurements that move markets, and insights for how humans behave, economics is dependent on some key assumptions (such as rational actors).

For this reason, it is often a target of criticism from the ‘hard sciences’:

Economists even study how rational we can be with the information we have, a branch of game theory involving higher order beliefs.

I made a small web project to demonstrate the concept of higher order beliefs. It uses memes to make it more fun. Please check it out and participate!

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Net Net – Fungus Online

As part of a workshop-style course called ‘The Fungus Among Us’ I have developed a conceptual use for Mycelium networks called Net Net – Fungus Online. Here is the presentation I gave:

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Cybersecurity Report: Connected DIY Devices

The instant an Arduino or Raspberry Pi connects to the web (with a public IP) it is out there for anyone – or anything – to detect.

In our connected devices class, my classmates and I all saw this vulnerability firsthand. After leaving our connected thermostats on for a week, we experienced our devices being scanned and sometimes attacked by machines from across the globe.

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A Simple Connected Thermostat

The connected thermostat I was building earlier is now complete! 🌡🌡🌡

This thermostat works like a Nest Thermostat (though clearly not as pricey); collecting the current temperature and sending that information to an online server.

Here is the repo for the project.

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I’m a VJ now

Over the past few weeks I have been working on my first ‘patch’ – an interface for controlling an audio-visual performance. Here is a still-shot of something made by the patch:

A patch runs in program called Max – also known as Max/MSP/Jitter. It is my first use of a new tool to link sight and sound, as I have done with p5, processing, and animation in the past.

UPDATE: I performed using this patcher

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‘Hacking’ the Hue: Control Interface for the API

I have Phillips Hue at home, so using the nice instructions from ITP Light & Interactivity I was able to connect to my home’s hue setup as a developer. Here is a snapshot of my home’s current setup (collected through a GET request after connected):

5 lights and a bunch of scenes

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