whatknows :: do you?

June 20, 2011

Words from my Father

Filed under: Personal — Jed @ 12:35 pm

I remember Marvin… who lived his adult live in a house surrounded by a quiet forest of tall pine trees.  Until-I-15 came through right next to him.  When asked about how horrible his lot (no pun) was, he simply replied that he was happy for the many years he had enjoyed in the quiet.

November 11, 2010

A Life on Facebook

Filed under: Technology — Jed @ 2:29 pm

This came streaming across my Facebook newsfeed, and I thought it worth of a share. Apprently life on Facebook involves many visits to Las Vegas, and when that life is over? Well… we “logout.”

November 9, 2010

Over the weekend someone asked me what I am studying…

Filed under: Academic,Personal,Technology — Jed @ 12:08 pm

This about sums it up.

October 30, 2010

When our memories are algorithmic

Filed under: Academic,Technology — Jed @ 9:19 pm

Last week on Mashable, I read a blog post stating, “Facebook is doing its very best not to make you terribly sad.”

I expect you have noticed the new “Photo Memories” box that appear in the upper right-hand side of Facebook’s interface — basically a photo including you and one of your friends. Although I rarely click on them, I kind of like the addition. I had not, however, realized that this addition might be making scores of Facebook users depressed by showing them painful photos including their exs.

So Facebook has fixed this, and its all well and good. But it did give me chuckle given my propensity to rant about attempts to turn our social lives into algorithms.

The day before I read this post, I gave a lecture on “Remembering, Forgetting and the Challenges of Representing Humans” in Social Implications of Information Systems. During  this lecture I talked to students about the ways in which the design of a site like Facebook can help us share details from our lives, but in doing so it also restrains what can be shared.  When talking about Facebook’s Relationship Status I made the point that a drop-down box of values is probably too limited to capture the full range of our relationship experiences (something I have blogged about before).

One of my students explained that even when we do use the system Facebook designs, sometimes the information we provide is an outright lie. On her Facebook profile, apparently, she is married to her “best gay friend.”

So back to the photos. It’s great that Facebook is no longer making people depressed. Also, I kind of like the new feature. But it seems that Facebook is once again relying on the data people provide in ways that might be problematic. After all, I suspect my student will eventually meet the man of her dreams, and when the time is right they’ll update their Facebook and let the world know. However, this also means she’ll have to break up with her best friend, and Facebook will no longer remind them of the fun times they have had over the years.

September 8, 2010

If I wasn’t the pastor’s son…

Filed under: Personal — Jed @ 1:33 pm

Random internet find from FOUND Magazine.

From the site, Greg found this note in a middle school:

This was left in class one day as I was getting ready to go. I student-teach at the middle school for 5th and 6th graders. I’m glad to know that even in the Bible Belt South love of any gender can exist. I’m going to keep it.

August 3, 2010

Turducken Cookies… well kinda

Filed under: Personal — Jed @ 12:06 am

Alright, I didn’t really shove a bird in a cookie, but I thought I should share a fun new dessert that I tried for the first time last night. Technically, they are called “pillow cookies.” However, given that the basic idea is to shovel a brownie inside of a chocolate chip cookie, I think “turducken” is more appropriate.

I learned about them when my colleague David challenged me to take my cookies to a new level last Friday, and produced a blog post by Bakerella. I think “new level” might have meant more layers (David kept suggesting we find a way to deep fry them as well), but I decided to surprise them with an invitation to turducken-it up.

More pictures after the jump…


July 31, 2010

Hipsters love Missed Connections

Filed under: Personal — Jed @ 12:37 am

Sent by Judy… it is so true. 😉
(From Jeffro’s Anatomy of a Hipster series.)

March 19, 2010

Visiting day for new Anteaters!

Filed under: Academic — Jed @ 4:14 pm

There has been a lot of prospective student activity this week. Not only has my dear CCT friend Margarita been here giving the antro department one last look, but I have been on the recruitment committee for Informatics so there have been a lot of new faces.

I just sat down in LUCI for a few minutes to take a break from today’s schedule, only to have Meg remark: “They must be exhausted.” I suspect she meant the prospective students, but I think it could apply to any of us.

Visiting student days are always intense and there is just too much information to process. It is just impossible to describe the immensity of choosing your PhD program. That said, these students look great, and I certainly hope they all choose to come play with us in Irvine. In just a few minutes, they will get to relax as well: We are all piling in cars and heading to the beach.

For today, I leave you with this picture in honor of our prospectives. A baby anteater — fresh-eyed, full of ideas, and ready to do some research! (You can see it, right?)

February 6, 2010

Off to Savannah!

Filed under: Academic — Jed @ 8:37 am

And were off! Early this morning, Ellie, Leslie and I braved the weather, hopped in Meg’s car, and splashed our way to the airport en route to CSCW. Lilly just texted to let us know about the swimming pool waiting for us — ah, Savannah in February. Glad we’re not on our way to DC.

February 4, 2010

In dedication “to cookies”

Filed under: Academic,Personal — Jed @ 1:26 pm

Free Macro Chewy Cocolate Chip Cookies Creative Commons

So cookies basically helped me make it through my thesis. As Margarita and I madly typed, sitting across from each other at her dinning room table, she buttressed herself against the pain with power smoothies while I sublimated it with coffee and cookies.

During a recent dissertation defense, a colleague joked that she was tempted to dedicate her dissertation “to tea.” While every laughed at the ridiculous and endearing joke, a mild horror crept over me as I realized that I, in fact, had mentioned cookies in the acknowledgements section of my thesis. (more…)

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