Tuesday, August 31, 2004
black eyed peas
Plotting relationship space
Without getting into the whole FOAF nightmare that seems to have burnt out faster than you can say "whatster?"
I would like to see a graph of how people organise their relationship-space.
I reckon Flickr is in a good position to do this, since they differentiate between contact, friend and family -- AND more importantly -- they actually have a service to offer. But I'd like to see something with more granularity...
I've organised my outlook contacts into 4 categories... colleagues, friends2(for lack of a better category), friends and family.
'friends2' are for people that I haven't really spoken to in months or years, but I still consider my friends.
Maybe I'll take a stab at doing a static version, then I'll have to make a Jonesesque appeal to the LazyWeb, as much as it pains me to do so, because I just don't have the time to build it right now :(
My source of US news...
To Catch a Catchpole
I've been wondering if one of the reasons I feel so at home in England is due to the fact that my Great-Great Grandmother, Charlotte Catchpole, was English.
She moved to the US around, and eventually settled in Albany, NY, the time of the Civil War, but other than that, my family has no record of her. I think she had a brother that served in the Civil War, on the side of the Union, as well.
Perhaps I will be able to forge a link to our past while I'm here.
You don't have to believe in mumbo-jumbo for my first statement to be true by the way, mitochrondria are passed through the mothers' line, so there may be a very real genetic memory.
Monday, August 30, 2004
Teaching an old IA dog new tricks
As an old (well, in internet or dog years) Information Architect, in my past life, I made a name for myself preaching the hierarchical dogma -- a page shall live in one place, and in one place shall exist that page, and the user shall see this and be pleased. And the user shall know other users, and they shall beget Traffic, and Traffic shall know Stickiness, and they shall beget Profit...
Ok, you get the point. Anyhow, Flickr is teaching me the ways of Tag-space. It's a scary world out there. A fluid universe without a True-North.
Today I learned that if I added 'Wasp' to my pictures instead of 'Wasps' there were other pictures who shared that photostream.
And I saw this. And I was pleased.
Silence of the Wasps
Not sure if anyone has been following my Wasp photostream on Flickr, but I was trying to find out the type of wasp that have infested our flat.
Well, the nice folks at Greensmiths (www.greensmiths.com) answered my question, and told me that they are called 'Cicada Killers' -- which I think is wicked!
And fitting, considering I've moved from a flat next to Cicadas bar and now prefer to hang out in Hoxton Square.
Cicada Killers! Our last defense against city wankers invading Old Street area.
(A losing battle, btw -- Starbucks is being built right off of Old Street roundabout!)
Giving Notting Hill a miss this year...
I giving Notting Hill Carnival a miss this year
In the past I'd make up an excuse for not going -- as in, I really should go, but...
I went the first two years I was here and had a lot of fun. But after that you begin to learn the routine:
- wander around the Carnival route
- look for a toilet
- realise you're on the wrong part of the route, and the main celebration has passed by already
- look for a toilet
- catch up with the Carnival in time to see all the dancers tired and sitting down
- look for a toilet
- stagger through mobs of drunk people and rubbish (sometimes interchangeable)
- look for a toilet
- hear rumours of an 'afterparty'
- look for a toilet
- wander around Notting Hill looking for the 'afterparty'
- look for a toilet
- give up on the afterparty and buy some strange stuff with rice from a food vendor
- pee in some soggy sesspool behind a shop
And people do this year, after year, after year. Why? It seems to be part of the English mentality that says "because that's what we do." But at the same time, even they have to question it. Leading up to the Carnival, there were discussions around "maybe we should move the Notting Hill Carnival outside of Notting Hill" ... yeah, ok.
The problem, I believe, is one of responsibility -- or lack thereof. I'm sure there are event organisers, but i've never been able to figure out who, from casual observation. And I doubt anyone has been asked during, or after, how they are enjoying themselves. It's a self-organising mob, to some extent, and self-organising mobs rarely figure out how to have fun.
If they do it again, it should have clear leadership, and things to-do that appeal to me ... like an afterparty.
Because if they think I'm going to Notting Hill Carnival, just because ... think again.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Stanford's Dirty Trick
Well, it's not Stanford's fault, it's my fault, but it always feels better to put the responsibility on someone else...
I've been thinking about how the University would allow us to sell our books back at the end of a term. I used to take advantage of this, and I thought I'd struck gold with the measly $50 or $100 I got back after selling my books for 40-50% of what I paid for them.
And then what? Did I buy some CDs or video games with that? I don't even remember.
14 years later, and I'm realising that my studies are my mental DNA. While I distanced myself from Computer Science as quickly as I could after graduation, it still influences how I think.
The fact that I can't refer back to those books that I studied is almost a loss of identity.
Students are at a disadvantage, though. It's not like most of us were prepared to store a mini-library at that age.
Still, I wish I had at least kept the syllabi.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Those Effing Adjacency Guys...
Just found out that Matt K. is running his own cool bar called Butter (www.smoothasbutter.com)
Meanwhile Andrew is teaching in Wisconsin, Pete is starting a brewery, Pascal is publishing his songs on iTunes, and Matia is... well, Matia is.
Damn... why couldn't I be a dotCom millionaire?
I WUZ ROBBED!
The Price of Vanity.
Adwords for the masses!
Learning French ... again...
I did take 6 years in high school, but it's amazing how quickly that disappears. Never having been to France at the time, it seemed as academic as taking Latin.
I bought this beautiful book of Children's Stories. A friend of mine told me that children's books are a good way to learn a language. Last time I tried to refresh my memory, I picked up Nico's copy of L'Alchemiste, and was looking up every other word. Hopefully, I should make more progress with a simple children's vocabulary.
Besides, the illustrations are wonderful.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
I'm collecting 73's
Not as mental as it sounds. Well... maybe it is. But as I wander the streets of London, I had an idea to take a picture of the house number 73 on different streets, as a fun way to explore areas I've never seen before.
Check it out!
Sunday, August 22, 2004
I was. I am.
I've been sorting my notes and journals from the past 4 years, and I came across an interesting question I had after reading Gentle Bridges on my trip around the world...
If all of my cells are renewed completely throughout the course of my lifetime is Kaigani the mind and body, or is Kaigani actually the information shared between neurons, as the brain continually reminds itself "I am." - ?
If that is the case, Death and Rebirth are not abstract, unknowable concepts -- we all experience it regularly. Every morning, perhaps.
My father, who turns 73 next month, told me while visiting last week "I feel like I've led a few lives in this lifetime."
Maybe he's right.
From this perspective, life is less about who you are and more about what you do -- what you create... what information -- which is a form of self, you transmit to other minds. Of course, an ex-information architect would thing that way, wouldn't he.
What's that Uni? Mmeeeeeaaaahhhh!!!
Proving the m****pollen business model of DVD diversification, virgin megastores has a new section called Kids/Cult TV. But they might as well call it Kids/Adult Kids.
It means that I can pick up a copy of the best cartoon ever -- Dungeons & Dragons. Back when Saturday mornings meant watching quality cartoons. Waking up early with a big bowl of cereal, having to watch the Smurfs because it was the only thing on that early (but you know you like it). Then you settled in for hours of enjoyment, like Spiderman with Iceman and Firestar. When Dungeons & Dragons came on, it was bitter sweet. It meant it was noon, and the only show after that was the book show, which might be live action if you were unlucky.
Even the public service announcements were classic. The Bill on Capital Hill. If You Tell One Lie It Leads to Another. The singing pills. Those were childhood anthems.
I reckon if you're British, you didn't follow much of what I've said here -- so go get your dose of Lampen's Culchah
Thursday, August 19, 2004
I was standing on the roof of an open flat, where I lived, telling my father that I don't have to worry about people stealing stuff. When a young Japanese couple came by and he was looking at my television, and mumbled under his breath "I might take something ... given the chance."
I told him "That's not very honorable"
Then he and his girlfriend laughed and taught me the Dancing Princess dance they learned as a child.
note to loz -- ADD AN EFFING ILLUSTRATION TO YOUR DREAM BLOG!
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Re-engineer your brain
My latest obsession is to understand how my mind works.
As you'll see from my feverishmind photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaioshin/tags/feverishmind/) -- I am keeping an evolving moodboard in my work area.
The idea is to take a raw idea and post it right away -- using a crude marker. Then I continue to refine and simplify the idea until I can create a visual icon of sorts.
This not only fixes the idea in my mind but it creates a darwinian process to weed out the good ideas from the half-baked ones. (^_^)
Anyhow... try it... learn how you learn.
Saturday, August 14, 2004
100% more Fever
We interrupt this programming for Kai's photoblog.
Afterall a pictures say so many more words than i can type here.
Check me out
Thursday, August 12, 2004
New Update - 20% more Fever
Friday, August 06, 2004
Pierre Larousse - Information Architect
For those of you who think Information Architecture is a new thing:
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Blogs will ruin us
Yes -- I know this is a blog.
I'm part of the problem. I've decided that blogs are nothing more than an appeal to our conceit (and laziness) -- to think that The World wants to read our thoughts daily.
No. Blogs are noise. Echoes of an original idea repeated until the original meaning is lost. Karaoke. Navel gazing.
The biggest mistake made by the great Internet Architects was that they did not enforce a semantic layer. (Of course, if they had done, the web might not have taken flight.)
My dream for the internet is a structure that would eliminate repetition. More of an academic model of publishing, where it would not be enough to say "here's a cool link" -- instead you would have to actually add a bit of insight.
Problem with CMS designs
As I get closer and closer to building my own damn CMS -- I've realised a flaw in how people usually build CMS's.
I've realised this since Homebase actually, I'm surprised that 4 years later, the techies still haven't changed their thinking.
The problem is that since CMS systems are conceived from a data-up perspective, things like section pages don't actually exist. Section pages are created on the fly by tagged content.
Until now, I've taken for granted that section pages don't exist -- but why? When you are designing a site -- you think about the section page -- it's concept-down thinking.
True - section pages are meta-information, organisational data -- but most of what we use to make sense of the world is meta-information...
anyhow... will someone just build a sensible CMS so I can get on with my life?