Informatics: our cyber world

Today I was defeated by machinery: the Forum roof-garden access is now controlled by a swipecard located far enough from the actual door that you need two people to successfully exit the building. Once I’d figured that out, it was kindly pointed out by my helper that the door was also double-locked. So I gave up.

On a more positive note, I had a really fruitful meeting with the MSc student on the Auditory Feedback project, Mohammed Kheezar-Hayat, and the main supervisor of the project, Matthew Aylett. We talked through the aims and timelines of the project. I’m not going to go into much detail here since hopefully some of you reading this blog will choose to take part in the online writing exercises. But the end result is that I’m to go away and design two writing exercises for the project, both based on initial photo prompts (which I’m hoping the lovely Samantha will be able to help me with), one aimed towards descriptive writing and one towards dialogue.

I spent most of the rest of the afternoon thinking about the term ‘cyborg’. As a member of the transition generation between analogue and digital (I played with traditional boardgames as a small child, not digitised versions. I shared my adolescence with the rise of common consumption of internet, my iPhone is practically grafted onto my hand. I can remember a less technologised world, but I’d be lost in it), I consider myself to be capable of functioning without modern technology. However, taking it a step further back, any augmentation of the human body can be seen as part of the ‘cyborg’-isation of society, from contact lenses to shoes: they’re tools designed to help us function more efficiently.  So I tired scaling it back to thinking about the relationship between humans and machines. Here’s a small photo-diary of some of the machines I managed to interact with over the course of ten minutes today, starting with my brother’s iPhone in Peter’s Yard (coffee break), stopping in at the Library briefly, then back into The Forum:

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