whatknows :: do you?

January 31, 2010

Ten Reflections for 2009

Filed under: Academic,Personal — Jed @ 1:20 pm

Those who have known/tolerated me for at least a year probably know this story. It’s the same one I told last year. As children my dad would make us play a game — guess what the local news thought the 10 most notable stories of the year were, and then try creating  a list of our own news.

Top 10’s were popular this year, perhaps inspired by the end of a decade: Top 10 LOLCats, Romantic Comedies, One Hit Wonders of the ’90s, ’80s, ’70s and so on.

One might almost think top 10s passe, but as one friend of mine explained: “I’ve been loving it! I have been looking at all these top 10 movie lists, revisiting favorites, and catching the ones I never got around to.”

Last year was particularly important for me. Particularly with my graduation from Georgetown, and a move to UC Irvine, a lot has changed. How funny — I just realized that a decade ago (1999) was the year I graduated from high school and moved away to college. New beginnings, new opportunities, I suppose.

Well, without further delay, 2009 in 10 bite size pieces. (more…)

December 23, 2009

PatientsLikeMe is in, Savannah here I come!

Filed under: Academic — Jed @ 6:40 am

Looks like I am going to Savannah! I received word a couple days ago that my paper on PatientsLikeMe was accepted for the “CSCW Research in Healthcare: Past, Present, and Future” workshop at CSCW 2010. The paper, co-authored with Caitie Lustig and my advisor, Gillian Hayes, is the start of some research engaging with issues around the representation of patients via PatientsLikeMe’s health data system.

The project is still in its formation, but if you would like to read more, you can find information on my personal page, where you will also find a copy of the workshop paper.


In the meantime, any thing I just can not miss while I am in Savannah?

December 11, 2009

Death and the Panopticon

Filed under: Academic — Jed @ 11:24 pm

Quick and crazy factoid for the night:

Upon his death, Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) (of Panopticon fame) asked to be permanently embalmed and kept at the University of London, where his corpse “now fitted with a head made of wax, is regularly wheeled into college meetings, where it is duly recorded in the minutes as ‘present, but not voting’” (Hijiya, 1983, p. 356)

Talk about persistence. A-mazing.

Discovering the big cube off I-5

Filed under: Personal — Jed @ 2:22 pm

December 3, 2009

Ubiquitous Identity?

Filed under: Academic,Uncategorized — Jed @ 1:24 pm

I am currently sitting in a lecture on ubiquitous computing, and sensors is the name of the game.

I have recently been thinking again about the engineer’s role in reinforcing essentialized notions of identity. This is particularly relevant in the ubiquitous computing space where the focus on sensors explicitly aims to sense the body.

There is a complicated theoretical argument to be articulated, but honestly, I am writing final papers, and Derrida has been keeping me up at night. So, for today, I will summarize my thinking with the following comic from ThreePanelSoul, lovingly sent my way by Daniel.

Enjoy. I’ll see you next week.

On I/O Ports

December 1, 2009


Filed under: Technology — Jed @ 9:38 am

Line of Sight

“Why do we feel like we need to keep visiting the archetype over and over and over again?” asks Karim Rashid, a New York designer. The camera, for example, which since digital photography’s complete obliteration of film has absolutely no reason to remain a metal rectangle.

Flying back from Chicago last night (and admittedly procrastinating a certain final paper), I threw open on of my favorite archetypes (the laptop) and watched the documentary Objectified. I had missed the chance to see it when it was screened at the Corcoran last summer (tickets were scarce, even for Steve) but decided to make up for lost time. (more…)

November 25, 2009

Turkey or Bust

Filed under: Personal — Jed @ 7:46 am

Morning flight to Chicago. The anteaters will have to deal without me until Monday because I have some very important meetings to attend…

Anteater baby taxi

November 23, 2009

Stress Habits

Filed under: Academic,Personal,Technology — Jed @ 8:35 am

I have a strange habit. When things get really stressful, I start fantasying that I am somewhere else. This is nothing unique, but in my case, studying technologies that actually allow people to be somewhere else, it expresses itself in slightly strange ways.

When writing the literature review for my thesis, for example, and having spent so much time researching virtual communities, I decided that I should do more than read about them — I should live in one too! And so off I went to LambdaMOO, one of the most famous text-based virtual communities.

Sitting in my DC condo, I would slide my LambdaMOO existence off to one of my screens, while continuing to typing away in Word. A quick glance to the terminal with its black screen and white text was enough to remind me that somewhere else, some portion of me wasn’t enduring the pain of writing a thesis. This worked, kind of, but not for very long. (more…)

November 20, 2009

Links for your Friday Fun

Filed under: Technology — Jed @ 8:39 am

A couple links for your Friday fun. Some new, others fall under the “in case you missed it.”

From the “technology is so cool” department: 10/GUI

Dear mouse, you suck. Monitor, you too. See what happens when one goes about “rethinking the desktop to leverage [new] technology in an intuitive and powerful way.”

From the “let’s create an infrastructure no one needs” department: Project ‘Gaydar’

At MIT, an experiment identifies which students are gay, raising new questions about online privacy.

From the “Jed just really likes flash mobs” department: Madonna Celebration flash mob in Shinjuku, Tokyo

I particularly love the ballet girl at around 1:50. For CCTers out there — musicals and utopia? I think so. For Megan, who says networks are “unhuman”? :)

(via Towleroad, and omg, I just found another — in case you want to know what one look like when a drag queen takes control.)

And just because I am running around at UCI Medical Center this morning: Computer detects abuse before doctors

Victims of domestic abuse can hide the truth from doctors, but they leave clues in their medical records that a computer program has now learned to follow. The program could save lives by acting as an early warning system for domestic violence, flagging up possible cases of abuse to doctors months or even years before they would otherwise be detected.

November 19, 2009

Digital Technologies of the Self — on the shelves!

Filed under: Academic — Jed @ 8:26 am

When considering “What is an author?”, Foucault describes writers as hollow shells destined to shuffle around drafty apartments, stare vacantly across town squares, and presumably come into the unknowing ownership of a large number of cats.

Alright, some of that is me. He does say:

..it is a voluntary obliteration of the self that does not require representation in books because it takes place in the everyday existence of the writer. Where a work had the duty of creating immortality, it now attains the right to kill, to become the murderer of its author.

Given the number of papers I am writing this week, I might be putting this to a literal test. However, I just received some exciting news that is deserving of an interruption: Digital Technologies of the Self is out, and along with it, my chapter on craigslist Missed Connections.

Image courtesy of Yasmine Abbas' hand, and the helpful birds on Twitter.

Image courtesy of Yasmine Abbas's hand, and the helpful birds on Twitter.

You can find information about it on the publisher’s site, and it has even shown up on Amazon, where you can (as I have – tehe) sign up to be notified when they have it ready to be shipped to your eager hands!

What is the book about, you ask? (more…)

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