December 5, 2006

Gershenfeld and Khan

As I read through Gershenfeld's article it has become very apparent to me that technology in his mind has shaped our past, present and future. The whole article is based on a program at MIT called "How To Make (almost) Anything". Withing this program the main point that has been expressed is how important machines are to create other machines. The Fab program points out that you can make almost anything you want with the new tools that technology has brought us to this point. Although the beginning usually starts off with arts and crafts, it always progresses into advanced engineering. There are definitely alot of emphasis on how computers in general has a lot to do with the world around us. "The universe is literally as well as metaphorically a computer. Atoms , molecules, bacteria, and billiard balls can all store and transform information." I took this as Gershenfeld's strong opinion on how technology surrounds us and keeps us moving foward.

Khan's ideas on technology and the environment around us als talks about technology and how it has shaped our world. The main difference that I saw comparing to Gershenfeld was that Khan seems to embrace nature, thought, and our human bodies in relation to the machine and technology. " Surely the machie is merely a brain which we get as potluck fro nature. But a mind capable of realization can inspire a technology, and humiliate the current one". With this Khan strongly suggests that without the human mind, there would be no new technology. The human mind is the foundation of how we move foward. Our human senses was expressed to be essential to our built environment, that without these senses our world would not be where it is today. Rather than emphasizing that machine is what makes new machine, he actually returns to a more simple approach giving credit to our human minds and bodies as the first step of developing new things.

Gershenfeld and Khan both express their thoughts on machine in relation to the world. I can see and relate to both of these views. The world around me does consists of one machine after another, it is never ending. If something is built, there is always thought as to how to make it better. Reflecting back on both thoughts I would have to agree with Khan more. I think that we forget how powerful our own human bodies as tools. I think that we rely to much on the machine. To be able to move foward we have to use ourselves as tools, it is the foundation to the changes around us.

November 28, 2006

Technopoly Everywhere Around Us

Technopoly to me is a never-ending process. Technology is always developing more and more as time passes us by. It has come to the point that the mass amount of human beings in the world are never content with what they already have. There is always a drive to be better and more powerful. It has always been this way since the beginning of time which can date all the way back to the Pyramids of Giza, the bigger it is symbolizes the more powerful and the hierarchy of the structure is. Today we can see technology drive by looking at our daily uses such as a computer, every year there is a faster and better model, a computer that you got 3 years ago would be completely outdated in comparison to the models that came out this year.

All this change and drive for better technology does not seem to faze us much. In fact it seems that we all change our interactions as technology changes around us. It is apparent that our esthetics has changed throughout time with technology. What was once a standard in teaching of architectural concepts such as what they taught in the Ecole des Beaux-arts is now obsolete. Today the beauty of architecture has changed due to modern technology; it is rare to see columns for buildings that have been built the past decade, which was something that was standard for buildings back then.
Nature has been changed drastically through technology. Through technology I believe we have gotten a better a better understanding of nature, but also through nature we have gotten a better understanding of technology. Everything goes hand in hand when dealing with technology and nature. When one-thing changes about technology, everything shifts through nature, whether it is something we can see with our naked eyes or not. One thing that I have been noticing a lot more is global warming. The past couple days the temperature has been pretty nice, the other day it was in the mid 60s. This was shocking considering by the end of November it should at least be in its 20s. This is huge thing that has changed with the environment around us throughout history due to technology.
Technopoly is something that affects us daily. It may seem that it affects us very little, but in reality if you look back at all the changes throughout history there has been a big change on how we live our lives. We all need to start re-considering our daily agendas and start thinking about how our activities effect the environment around us. I do strongly believe that as technology changes, everything else around us shifts in its own way. Technology may make our lives easier temporarily, but there are a lot of negative long run effects if we are not careful.

November 7, 2006

Mathematics in Gardening

One thing that I’ve seen all my life is my mother and father gardening and landscaping. This is something that I see a lot of mathematics included in the activity. Depending on the person, your beliefs, even your culture or just personal style, the mathematics in gardening can go from simple to complex. Gardening has a lot of aspects. From the size rocks you want to the amount of flowers or plants you want to put into your garden. In the end there is a lot of thought as to where you want to place your items in the lot your trying to place it in.
In Asian gardening such as Japan for example there is a lot of thought about wealth, serenity, symbolism, etc. into their gardening. The rocks are placed asymmetrically and they often pick an odd number of rocks to follow with the tradition of Zen. Also, the more tradition gardens are raked out with perfect lines and circles into them. This seems to be simple mathematics, but yet it is something that has been carried down for centuries and being borrowed by many people in the West.
zen_garden_kyoto.jpg images.jpg

Others may seem a more symmetric approach to be more esthetically pleasing. The size, amount, and where a rock is placed matters. Again mathematics takes into place because there is a lot of measuring dimensions and trying to fit items where it needs to be in the lot allowed. The more items put into the garden the more complex it becomes. In the end it depicts an own personal taste.

October 24, 2006

Oppositions-of Tools and Materials

The past month or so there has been a lot of strong debates about whether Iran should follow through with the process of testing enrichment of new uranium equipment. This has been a big deal on the other side of the world which also effects this side. Many nations have been trying to convince Iran to put a halt to this by suspending it.
Threats have been fired back and forth. For example there has been a claim from the West that it would shun Iran by isolating and putting restrictions on them, similar to what happened with North Korea. Other nations are not happy with the enrichment process as well, which as of today has been confirmed to be taken into effect. What will happen now with the relationships between these nations? In the past it has been proven that improvement of nuclear war has not improved relationships for the better, but a majority of the time for the worst. It seems to be a continous circle, one nation trying to be bigger and better than the other, and this is a very good example of that. A very ideal solution would be to continue to explore these materials and tools but never actually use them to harm one another. But realisticly there is a trust issue and if there was another World War that this would be threathning to many.
xinsrc_28209030319266871594612.jpgLeaders have met back and forth for months now about this subject, but I think they need to continue and come up with a solutions. There should be restrictions and regulations as to how and when appropriate these materials should be handled. The past month, all the dispute had done nothing and people still feel threatened. So it is only logical to continue and put in an effort to come with a middle ground even as impossible as it may seem. We will see what happens in the future with this issue, till then.

October 9, 2006


As I was walking through campus a few days I go I could not help but think to myself how gorgeous the trees looked. My favorite part of fall is the changing colors of trees and plants. Every fall my infuation with the colors around me never ceases to amaze me. I was walking and I had to take a picture of a tree that I spotted which contained different hues of green, orange, brown, and even red.

Therefore, I chose the life of a tree as a phenomena. It is amazing to me how the natural environment changes throughout the year and living organism such as trees changes its appearance as well. The relationship of life with the weather is in harmony with one another that is a continous cycle year after year. In the fall the leaves changes colors and sheds. In the winter the tree is completely bare, which you are able to see the branches intertwining with one another. In the spring the leaves slowly start to blossom, going from dark to more vibrant colors. In the summer the leaves are green and trees are once again completely covered with life. This is phenomena that you can enjoy all year round if you live somehwere wih four seasons. There are scientific reasonings behind all of this change, which lead to all the different appearances that many of us enjoy so much. A life of a tree definitely contain all 3: things, frameworks, and clockworks.

October 3, 2006

Genius Loci

There are many meaningful places to me that i can think of. The first thing i can think of is my hometown of Eden Prairie. Although when I look further back and think of the surroundings I have enjoyed ever since I was a little kid I imagine lakes, specifically Lake Minnetonka. Ever since I was a child I have always enjoyed this lake. I use to live in Excelsior and I use to walk up to the lake almost everyday in the summer and just hang out. When I moved to Eden Prairie I did not come here as often. IMG_0578.JPGOnce my friends and I were able to drive, I found myself visiting this place quite often once again. My friends and I enjoy going out there on a boat and cruising around. Whenever we would go out we would go from daytime till dusk. I love the energy of this lake, and also the calmness it holds, depending where you situate yourself. It is so large that you can easily get lost in it. One of my favorite things about it is the different areas you can go to, there is always a place whatever mood your in. You can find yourself surrounded with a big crowd of people on Big Island or a more calm and serene place at a smaller bay. This is one of the few places I have always come back to ever since I was a little kid with the people I care about. I now look forward till next summer when my friends and I all get together again and go out on someones boat and cruise through the water.

September 24, 2006

Social Design Issue

Parking around the U of M is a social design issue that I have always had in the back of my head. I just think that parking is a hassle around this area as well as downtown. When you need to be somewhere at a certain time you always have to give yourself extra time to find a spot. I think there should be more parking ramps around the Dinkytown area because it is so close to the classes on the East Bank, stores, restaurants, etc. A good spot could be the huge lot that is already on 13th and 5th. Perhaps it would also help if parking was not so expensive as well. If there was a parking ramp around this area, with cheaper prices like $1 an hour it be more feasible for students and the rest of society that occupy this area. In the long run money should not be an issue because the more space to park the higher densilty of cars it can hold. With a reasonable price added to it people would be more willing to park there more often than most parking lots around the area and it would be much more convenient.

September 17, 2006

Energy within Midtown Market

The first thing I noticed as I observed the Midtown Market off of Lake St. and 22nd was the constant flow of traffic. I realized that there was a lot of energy throughout this area due to the constant flow of interactions between humans and the environment.

There were many aspects in which energy is created throughout this area. I do believe that one of the biggest influence is the human race. People have built the surroundings of this area, it does have a sense of community. There is a school, YWCA, stores, homes, etc. all within close proximity of eachother. What has been built has been adapted to it natural environments. People come and go as this built environment continues to be developed.
IMG_0614.JPGThere is an endless amount of energy use within this area. A continuing flow of energy navigates through the roads and from building to building. The lightrail, busses, vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians have taken a big factor of energy consumption throughout this area.

Human interaction has become very apparent to me within this area. Everyone seems to be interacting with one another whether it be intentional or not, in this way we exhange energy. For example, the road has become a big factor of energy exchange with everyone who travels around this area. With such a high density population, it would be almost impossible to disregard everything else that surrounds you. There has been great exchange of energy between natural and built environment.