November 28, 2006

More Technopoly

Continued from previous entry...
This is a picture of the area of affect of an EMP over the united states. This relates to the technopoly associated with electricity and electronic information systems. An EMP is an electromagnetic pulse that disables unprotected or unsheilded electronic systems. EMPs are generated by nuclear blasts. As shown in this picture, a nuclear blast at a certain altitude could disable nearly all the electronic systems in the continental united states. Because many people aren't prepared to deal with the long term changes associated with the lack of electricity, there would be casualties and tremendous after effects. This is the same as a rapid climate change in an ecosystem. Some organisms will absolutely not be able to adapt.

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Another example of a technopoly might be the mass production of foods. Processed foods are especially noteworthy. Processed foods are made very quickly and in large quantities. Traditionally, people would grown their own food or buy it from someone they knew. The technology to produce foods quickly, cheaply, and seperately from the consumer is a technopoly. People don't often know where their food comes from or how it is made. This is a very dangerous way to live. If we think of the concept of eating things that we don't know anything about, it's very scary.

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What is a Technopoly?

A technopoly to me is a situation where a technology has outpaced itself. Right now, much of our society is overly dependent on technology because much of our society works with very technical infrastructure. A technology outpaces itself when society cannot exist without it. This sounds a little extreme, but we need to consider what would happen if we were to suddenly lose the technology we have. What would happen to our society and our way of life if we were all to be without electricity for a month, two months, six months, maybe even a year. Society is precariously perched upon electricity and many people aren't prepared to live in a "time of technological drought," so to speak. I think this idea is important as it relates to laws of nature. Ecosystems where a food source or habitat is quickly removed often times leads to the removal of organisms from that environment. Survival of the fitest can turn into survival of the most adaptable. I believe that people, like all organisms, seek comfort and a consistent lifestyle. It allows us to live and to survive. I think if we were forced to adapt quickly such as in the case of lacking electricity, it would cause casualties. Government control would be extremely difficult. Many people would not be able to communicate and work. Humans aren't in biological competition with any other organisms on earth except ourselves, so there would be crime as a result shortages and scarcity. Technopoly to me means that if we were to lose the current level of technology, we wouldn't be able to adapt quickly or efficiently enough to avoid casualties.

I will follow up with pictures shortly and more comments shortly.

November 7, 2006

Designed to be mathematically necessary?

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www.madehow.com
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www.2000networks.com

Design and Mathematics are inseperable when it comes to satellites and satellite dishes. Satellite dishes have a parabolic shape. It's a shape with surfaces that reflect towards a focus point inside of the shape. At this point, most satellite dishes have a receiver to collect the information being received. It's designed this way so that the greatest amount of information being sent to the dish is collected.

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www.koolrides.biz

Another example of parabolas being used in design is headlights. The surfaces are made out of a reflective material that focuses away from the light bulb. The light bulb represents the focus as mentioned in the examples with the satellites. The parabolas allow the light to be more focused and shoot straight ahead. It's the same with flashlights. That's why your flashlight doesn't just shoot light out in every direction like when you turn on a lamp.

October 27, 2006

Update to Opposition

I had mentioned earlier that one opposition I often encounter is the limits of the materials when I'm making origami. here's a paper crane. Photo-0014.jpg

October 24, 2006

Opposition

My favorite medium to work with when I'm making art is paper. I like to make paper art, especially origami. One opposition that is always present when I do this is the oppositions associated with the materials. Paper is not a respectively strong substance. If you think about it, it's made from fibers that were once more orderly and more stoutly arranged. So, what I'm saying is that the oppositions I find in paper have to do with its limitations as a medium. If I'm making a new origami design that I haven't made before, I often have to go back and forth trying to get the folds in the right place and going the right direction. The paper will often tear or be so wrinkled with incorrect folds that the end design will look very sloppy. To overcome this opposition I will have to make the design several times. Each time, my folds will be more exact and I wont have to go backwards. This way, the materials aren't pushed to their limits each time I make the design and therefore, my opposition is removed. I will take some pictures of my artwork and will post them later.

October 10, 2006

The Moving Rocks of Death Valley

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Picture from jonsullivan.com

The phenomena I picked were the Moving Rocks of Death Valley.
I've documented it from http://sophia.smith.edu/~lfletche/deathvalley.html

"Actively studied for 50 years, the rocks that mysteriously move around the dried lake bed playa in Death Valley, called the Racetrack, are yet to have an unquestionable explanation for their movement.
In 1955 George M. Stanley first proposed the theory that the rocks move with the assistance of ice sheets forming after the playa surface is flooded.

There have been times when the playa is flooded with standing water up to 7 cm deep and temperatures commonly drop below freezing at the Racetrack (elevation is 3,708 feet so it has cooler temperatures than the valley floor which has the lowest elevation and the highest recorded temperature in the western hemisphere) in the winter and early spring.

In 1976 Robert Sharp and Dwight Carey disputed the ice-sheet theory. They analyzed the tracks and concluded because of track characteristics and the geometries of the tracks relative to each other that ice sheets could not have been involved in forming the tracks and moving the rocks.

Sharp and Carey also did an experiment using a circle of stakes around rocks to test the ice-sheet theory. At one time the one rock within the stakes (called "the corral") moved out leaving a distinct track; another time two rocks were placed inside the corral and the smaller rock moved out while the larger remained within the stakes. Sharp and Carey concluded that this would be an impossible result if ice was necessary for moving the rocks.

In 1976 they stated, "It is concluded that wind moves the stones when conditions are just right, that this normally happens at least every one to three years on Racetrack Playa, and that ice sheets are not necessary." (Sharp and Carey, 1976).

In 1995, John B. Reid, Jr. and other geologists from Hampshire College disagreed with Sharp and Carey's conclusion. Using data from seven Death Valley visits in the late 1980s through 1994, they support Stanley's original ice sheet hypothesis. Reid et. al. compared tracks and the similarities of tracks and doing careful mapping saw that most of the tracks formed during the 2 major movement events had congruent paths. Some tended to deviate near the end of the trail and they justified this by explaining that the ice sheet would break into smaller pieces as it melted and the imbedded rocks could separate."

I would recommend going to this site for more information and pictures.
I first heard about these rocks from an old show on the Sci-Fi channel. Many people have very good theories on the reasons that the rocks move, but none are definitive. The most important objects having to do with this phenomenon are obviously the rocks. There's nothing particularly special about the rocks themselves. They're made up of the same materials and elements commonly found in rocks from the Southwest United States.

The valley and the rocks are composed of Saline deposits, formed from evaporation of intermittent stream waters, include sodium borates and sulphates, gypsum, and rock salt, mixed with mudstones, carbonates, and floodplain sediments.
(http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect9/Sect9_7.html)

The clockwork of this phenomenon is a little harder to explain because there isn't a definitive answer to why the rocks move. Some say that there is moisture that causes the rocks to move slightly and gradually over time. Some say that ice forms and moves the stones. In any case, the process is slow and it repeats itself over and over again in order to move the stones

October 6, 2006

Genius Loci

These are the pictures i promised.
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October 3, 2006

Finding a feeling and not walking very far to find it. Genius Loci

Every place I go has an immediate impact on how I feel and how I respond. My favorite places are the ones that give me feelings and responses I like. My back yard is probably the most meaningful place to me. As soon as I step through the sliding door, it fills my senses and beckons my interest.

Sound, sound, sound is the first thing I notice. I hear the wind chimes, I hear people in the distance, I hear the water. The water running is so peaceful. I hear the birds, I hear trees hitting each other and leaves falling.

The next thing I notice is the smell. I smell the water, the leaves, and it's a very earthy, very tranquil smell. The sound stays the same wherever I go, but the smell is very different wherever I go. Faint odors get stronger in one direction, and weaker in one direction. The smell changes with the seasons.

The last thing I try to trust is my vision. I don't often trust my eyes because they tell me things I know cannot be true. My eyes tell me that my back yard is the same as it was yesterday, the day before that, the week before that. My eyes are so short sighted that they cannot see the changes in light and life that happen. However, they are interested by the back yard. The sculptures, the metal, the rust, the fountain, the pond, the fish, the plants, the wood, the earth, the grass, the paint, the elevation, the shape, the line, the form.

It is a refuge. It's a spiritually peaceful place. It's also a place that can be quantitatively measured. The amound of water, the number of trees, the ground area, the number of boards, the number of sculptures, the facing and mass of all things.

i will get some pictures and post them at a later time.

Taking time (continued)

This entry is an addition to my previous entry. In the previous entry, I mentioned family health care, it's challenges and it's benefits. I promised documentation on the issue also. So, here it is:

Family care of patients at the Marcy State Hospital
Journal Psychiatric Quarterly
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Subject Behavioral Science and Medicine
Issue Volume 11, Number 2 / June, 1937
Online Date Monday, May 16, 2005

Sidney W. Bisgrove1
(1) Marcy State Hospital, Marcy, USA
Conclusions Family care is an economic measure. It is less expensive than hospital care and every bed made available by this form of treatment makes a bed available for active mental cases in the hospital.
Family care is, for many patients, a successful form of treatment.
Family care admits progressive adaptation to social life.
Family care constitutes and adequate preparation for return to normal life as it specifically trains the patients for this goal.
Family care represents, for the convalescent and rehabilitation type of patient, the bridge between the hospital and parole.
Family care is especially valuable for homeless patients.
Family care is a means of educating the public to mental hygiene.

This is only a partial from a larger document, but it represents some authority on the issue of family health care.

September 26, 2006

Taking time

This week my class was asked to choose a social design issue and to be an advocate for it. My topic has to do with long term care of friends and relatives. When someone close to us becomes ill or disabled, we're often forced to make very difficult decisions about their care. Decisions that can become even more difficult if the person we're helping cannot help or make decisions for themselves. Taking care of someone can consume many hours out of each day and be an extreme financial burden. Because of this, many families choose nursing and long term care homes. However, I don't think this is the best solution for the person being cared for. I advocate working individuals having paid leave and job security to take care of friends and relatives who are severely or terminally ill or injured. This topic is especially important to me because my mother had a long fight against cancer, and my family had to choose how to take care of her. The reason that people who are severely injured or ill need others there with them is so that they can have someone speaking on their behalf. When my mother was living in the hospital, this became apparent very quickly. The nurses and doctors would often keep her overmedicated. So much so that she couldn't make clear decisions or converse with anyone. When my father monitored her amount of pain and gave her drugs accordingly, my mother was able to be alert, and awake and actually talk to the people who came to visit her. Another advantage to having personal care from family is that the patient's personal dignity is preserved. When my mother lived at home and my dad was taking care of her, he was often the only person giving her medicine and food in the course of a whole day. This was far better compared to the hospital where in the course of a day, there might be several different nurses and doctors coming in and having much of their care be redundant. My family was extremely fortunate that my dad's employer allowed him to take six months off of work for the necessary care. He was unpaid during this time. Again though, we were very fortunate that we had friends from our church who volunteered to spend time taking care of my mother and who brought food and gifts. This isn't common though and not everyone can take six months off of working. I think that personal family care is the best but it is the most difficult. That's why I also think there should be incentives or breaks for working people who want to take care of relatives who are severely ill. I will follow up later with any documentation I can find on this issue.

September 22, 2006

Midtown Public Market Madness

When I work to define something, even if it's from my own experience, I'm drawn to look at textbook and dictionary definitions. I'm not sure why, but I think it's a self audit. A way of telling myself how correct I am. I think today though, I'm going to forego this and speak my impressions. My lecture was asked to define energy in respect to the Midtown Public Market. I had a difficult time getting to the Midtown Market, and I think it's going to affect my definition.
When I was at the Market, I was immediately struck with the state of energy around me. The people, the rain, the cars moving outside. I saw the potential for energy when things were standing still, and the expression of energy when things were in motion again. My belief is that the energy to do something is all around us. Sometimes it's active, moving, changing form. Othertimes, and most times it's standing still, like it's waitng for something. I would have to define energy then as the state of being. Either the energy is active, or it is potential.
In my traveling to the Midtown Market, there was a lot of traffic. Things were moving very slowly. I'm not going to say that there was a lack of energy, only that there was a lot of potential energy that wasn't being expressed. By contrast the rain, and the people in the rain were always moving, always active, always expressing.
I don't think that this energy is created, I think it is always there. We always have opportunities to express and move, but I also might use energy to make someone's day better. I could buy them lunch or make a piece of art for them. If I did then I think I would be giving them energy. This exchange would allow them to go and give energy to others.
Energy can be changed by time also. If you want to observe a lot of potential energy, go to the Midtown Market during rush hour. If you want to observe more active energy, go there when events are happening.