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Showing posts from May, 2016

Après nous: Élogie De La Démocratie en Amérique

[W]hile the AIDS epidemic affected a real community of mutual support, the heroin epidemic specifically strikes down people whose communities are already gone. -BoingBoing A recent article on the blog More Crows than Eagles: More Coyotes than Wolves gives a name to a new social class: the "unnecessariat".  In one of the follow-up comments, the blog author references William Gibson's (2014) science fiction book, "The Peripheral".  I happen to have read that book so it's a source of interesting images, but in a spoiler-free nutshell, it concerns people who are (apparently) peripheral to the machinations of power, and the ability of those people to project themselves into another frame using a "peripheral" device.  This seems like a good metaphor for the status of the author, who has reached a wide audience with this piece.

The link I've drawn between "Unnecessariat" and the Phatic Workshop lies in the slogan "Silence=Death" …

attention hijacking techniques

This came up a couple times in my Google+ feed and was then posted on BoingBoing.  All sources I trust (explicitly if not implicitly).

The article is about different ways that online media "hijack" users attention.
The average person checks their phone 150 times a day. Why do we do this? Are we making 150 conscious choices? It's been interesting to think these issues over while reading "Metaphatics Metaeverything".  (... I guess this is one benefit of being very slow in reading it -- I can be inspired by a number of different resources as I go along.)

While hardly a scientific or sociocultural breakthrough, one of the main thoughts is that by "aggregating" attention and keeping people involved, social media turns communication into a commodity.   Other recent news is related:…

comments on "clarity"

My paper on "An Institutional Approach to Computational Social Creativity" has passed the "conditional accept" hurdle that was presented in the first reviews I received from the Seventh International Conference on Computational Creativity:

I think the author has made a good effort to improve his paper. My recommendation is to accept it.

But there are still some problems: 

Nevertheless, there are some points that I believe the author should try to improve for his final version.

My thought in this note is to document a few of the remaining pain-points.  I suspect they're likely to come up in other papers I write, too, at least until I get a lot more practice.  In particular, reviewing some of these issues should be useful preparation for the "Phatics, phaticity, and phatic studies" paper.

Here's how the reviewer continues:
The abstract and the introduction can be better. Please, check the following link:…

Phatica 3.1.

Current plan:

1. Introduction
In the introduction, where we simultaneously demonstrate where we are, i.e. where we:
Give a short overview of the strikingly complex history and etymology of the term "phatic"; [effectively a condensed version of chapter 2, where we treat what we want, which is a better understanding of phaticity]briefly describe the matter at hand, i.e. the phaticity in phatic communion, phatic communication, and phatic function; [condensed chapter 3, where we enter into the foreign territory of relevant literature and begin the exposition on the history of phatics]explain the demon of terminological invention and how Phatica has lead so many to coin new phaticisms; [condensed ch. 4, where we adapt to it by demonstrating the wide variety of terms by linking them together somehow, perhaps in light of the textual foundations]summarize the current situation by describing the trends that show most promise for future research; [con. ch. 5, where we get what we want

Response to Phatica3 (2)

As a foreword, let me say that your remarks on "story" were very insightful. I was very surprised at how much sense that version of the plan makes. It looks like a sizeable chunch of it, particularly in the beginning, we've already hashed out (beginning with that awesome paragraph that you intralingually translated into a very easily readable text) so that it would really be a matter of going over the already written material and shaping it into mutually agreeable form. I would still make a few revisions but mostly just elaborate the transformation from middle to end, particularly 8. B., which is something that requires some work - I'm thinking of some schematization of the relationships between various authorities on the subject. We've already attempted to systematize the field a bit by compiling that list of relevant authors, so we could report on the most relevant and promising contemporary trends.

But before getting into responding to your remarks I have…

remarks on "story"

I think the ideas in "Phatic Agency" and "Phatic Interference" give us several potential "New Directions"-style end-points to connect up with (I'm picking up a thought I started in a comment here).

That is, thinking in terms of the Harmon story circle, the upper-right quadrant could be devoted to Foundational stuff, and the upper-left quadrant could be devoted to the more futuristic ideas about agency in objects, AI, and so on.  However, the bottom-half of the story circle still feels a bit blurry for me.

Possibly in the lower-right we would develop the "From six to nine: An elaboration of sign-functions" framework (used in the slide deck) and in the lower-left use these dimensions to develop a survey focusing on "networks" -- not just through our selection of content, but also methodologically, by taking up the idea of a network analysis (in the spirit of "the medium is the message")?


So (following the figure above)…