December 4, 2006

Blog 8: Connections

As I read the last two articles of the text I could only seem to focus in on the smaller correlations within the reading. Though many parts of the reading connect the more subtle forms of speech caught my eye the most.
In Gershenfeld’s article he talks about the class at MIT called “How to Make (almost) Anything.? On page 7 of the article he states, “these students were doing much more than taking a class, they were inventing a new physical notion of literacy.? In Kahn’s article he speaks of architecture as literacy. Architecture has structure, logic, sensing, actuation, and display.
“Today we talk about technology as though our minds will be surrendered to the machine. Surely the machine is merely a brain which we get as potluck from nature. But a mind capable of realization can inspire a technology, and humiliate the current one. This was a passage that I linked from Kahn’s writing to the talk Gershenfeld’s emphasis on personal fabrication. We are the minds that build the computers. Yet, we want computers to work as a mind. Do we really need the things we build?
The question brings me to another realization from the reading. On page 231 of Kahn it states, “ Need comes from the known. Giving what is lacking brings no lasting joy. Did the world need the Fifth Symphony before Beethoven wrote it? He desired it and the world needs it. Desire brings new need.? This really connected in my head with the class on how to make (almost) anything. Students of every major wanted to take this class not to necessarily learn but to expand on their needs. To express their imagination and possibly create something that someone may find useful.
When reading these articles I feel that many connections can be made. When I think about what connections Ozayre wants us to make I feel they can be endless. This seems to me like a perfect end to the open ending answer to this class. The mind is an important think. Opinion is precious and connections we make can change the world.

November 27, 2006

Quiz #3 Makeup: The Web of Life

As I read the Web of Life I really was amazing at the things I knew but never thought about. So many connections of simple and complex concepts were made in this article. “It sees the world not as a collection of isolated objects, but as a network of phenomena that are fundamentally interconnected and interdependent.? This statement found on page 7 of the article sums up what I think this article is trying to portray.
One question I asked myself while reading was the concept of cultures affecting other cultures. Does the way I act have an impact on another culture? When I really thought about this I came to think about how I live. The clothes I wear possibly could be made in a sweatshop. That is hard labor inflicted that is forced on another culture. When I leave the sink running, am I wasting water that could be used to quench the thirst of people in another society? Every action by one culture ultimately has an effect on another culture.

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In relation to this I asked another question. Is culture simply embedded in us? Do we have a perception of the world that is false? When I grew up I could ask for something and we were able to travel to a nearby store and purchase it. Not every culture has that power at the tip of their fingers. Can we use things in our everyday life that will not harm others? On page 4 of the article the author writes, “A sustainable society is one that satisfies its need without diminishing the prospects of future generations.? This is our challenge of our time; to create sustainable communities- that is to say, social and cultural environments in which we can satisfy our needs and aspirations without diminishing the chances of future generations.
The sustainable society has great purpose to life on this planet. Does everything have a purpose? Why do we do anything? We go to school to educate ourselves to better the world around us. We raise children so they can grow up and become important in the world today. Purpose is defined as, the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc. It makes me think about the reason that I am on this earth. I have a purpose even though I do not know it yet. Does everyone achieve his or her purpose in life? Maybe or maybe not, but the fact is things happen the way they do for a reason.
As I get older I feel that I change. Change is not a bad thing. It is just a fact of life. In the article on page 18 it states, “There is a continual flux of matter through a living organism, while its form is maintained. There is development, and there is evolution.? I am in anthropology 1001, the study of human evolution, currently. I try to answer the question of an ever-changing world. I am changing along with the world around me. With one change throughout the world another change occurs as a result. It is an never-ending ‘web’ in which we live. For example, when flight was invented the safest mode of travel soon became air travel. One could go many miles in a much shorter amount of time than in the past. The world is evolving. Who knows how far it will go.

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With new inventions comes the question of how ideas came about. “As psychiatrist R.D. Laing put it emphatically: We had to destroy the world in theory before we could destroy it in practice.? What I take from this is the realization that for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction (Newtons Law). In science we create new medicines. How are these medicines tested? Animals are used very often in the testing of early medicines. We are sacrificing another living thing for the sack of our being. We are all apart of this world.
We as a people are big part of this world. Everything from the ground we walk on to the clouds in the sky is connected to us. There is this enormous web of life we are all stuck in. Finding a way to sustain the places we live in will help other cultures around us. If we don’t realize we are all connected we are eventually going to destroy the world we live in. Then there will be no web and no life to live.

Blog 7: File Sharing

I would like to continue with our discussion on Monday and talk about file sharing as a technopoly. File sharing are as us in the U of M network would know it better as ‘The Hub’. The hub is a file sharing program only available to those on the U of M network. This is an amazing program where students and possibly even staff share files over the web. Anything from music, movies, documents, pictures and even other programs can be shared on this network. Some only know file sharing as the illegal program once called Napster. Now The Hub is not at all legal but there hasn’t seemed to be any problems with it yet.

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As we talked in our discussion section we began to see what file sharing really does. It is what we considered the ‘lazy man era’. This is a program where you don’t even have to get out of your chair and you can have any CD available, or any movie right at the click of a button. There is no going to the movies store or best buy to acquire these items. This really became apparent when I came across the quote in the reading stating, “Technology discloses man’s mode of dealing with nature? and creates the “conditions of intercourse? by which we relate to each other. We as people look for the easiest possible way to do things. Now we are shying away from the face-to-face contact we may have when purchases these files from a store. We are simply satisfied with becoming a technological based world.
Another part of this program again relates the lawful aspects of this program. These are being acquired illegally and the artists or producers are not gaining anything from the downloading of these files. The term ‘stealing’ came to mind but most of us in class really don’t see it as stealing. It is ways to work around the system and even save a little money. We are saving money but those in production of these files are losing. The question of ethics comes in here.
Right or wrong file sharing is a technology used in today’s world. It is a technopoly part of the growing computer and Internet revolution. Like it or not programs like ‘The Hub’ are going to be sucking dollars from many people for years to come.

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November 6, 2006

Blog 6: Origami

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When I first started to look for images that referred to math I didn’t necessarily know what I was looking for. I honestly just searched math on google to see what it showed me. I saw this origami flower on the first page and was mesmerized by its beauty. I would have never thought of origami as math without the lecture from last week. Origami is math based on Geometry. It is folding paper into something that is not just paper anymore. Origami is an expression. As Ozayre put it Math is a consistent way of mapping the world. Origami is a symbol; it is mapping a culture within the world. Every piece of paper can be folded or constructed. It is designed to look a certain way and sometimes represent a certain something. Architecture is the process of folding. We construct thoughts just as origami. We may not know what we are making at first but in the end it becomes a beautiful symbol. Origami is calculated through math but most certainly math and origami can create design.

October 23, 2006

Blog 5: Oppostion of Change

As I read through my notes about oppositions I had a hard time picking what to write about. I wanted to take a different approach to this topic. As i read the opposition of Materials and tools I began to think about my anthropology class. In this class we are learning about chimps and how they use tools to gather food and other materials. We talk about this because they are the only known species like us to use tools. As I thought about the tools we as humans use my mind went wild. Really what I was thinking about was how tools evolve much like the human does. The opposition of materials and tools refers to things "with my own hands". But not many tools are just simply executed with just your hands. Cars are tools. Buildings are tools. Even our feet are tools. We see all these things everyday but we don’t realize that they are all tools. The opposition comes in to affect when there are new tools made. When new cars are made to get better gas mileage. When a house is built to circulate heat more efficiently. In essence the world is a tool. Its just how you as a person want to take advantage of the world and its opposition of tools.

Blog 4: The Not So Simple World

The other day I was working on my project for arch 1281. We were supposed to make a location for a building in one of our projects. The teacher suggested using Google Earth. I had never used this program before but wow was I amazed what it could do. I can search any address in the entire world and it would show me a aerial photo from a satellite revolving the earth. As I put in different destinations such as my apartment and my home in Andover Minnesota I began to realize the amazing phenomena that is the earth. I know that seems fairly broad but to me I really never began to even comprehend the magnitude of this earth. I never thought of all the people that live on this planet. In one of the recent Ozayre said that the U.S. had reached a population of 300 million people. That is a concept that my mind can’t even comprehend. It is truly a phenomena in my mind. It may be a simple concept to some people but I find it astonishing. All the people and places in the world yet I live here in Minnesota and go to the U of M. Why do I act the way I act. One reason is because I grew up here and not someplace like California. Culture defines us but to really understand all the different cultures, places and people in the world is a great phenomena.

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September 29, 2006

Blog 3: "The Barn"

Ever since I was a young boy I have wanted to go to the University of Minnesota. My dad is an alumni of the U who has season tickets to the men’s Basketball. Since I was about 10 years old he would bring me to the games. I remember those days at the Barn watching college basketball players battle to the end of every game. That raised floor and that high round ceiling gave me an amazing sense of joy. As the fans stood for every timeout and sang the rouser I saw myself one day singing with the students in yellow.

Now that I attend the University of Minnesota I look at Williams Arena or the “Barn? as a place of meaning. I am a student cheering on the gophers in the student section now. To think, I was once a young boy looking on toward the student’s section, mimicking their chants and cheers. Now I am a proud member of the Barnyard. I still see my parents in our same seats at every game. I have a sense of pride that I made to college and I am living the dream I had many years ago. Meeting my parents at halftime I see how I have grown and really enjoy being who I am today.

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September 25, 2006

Blog 2 - Washington Ave may cause ROAD RAGE!

When I first wrote this prompt down on paper I really had no idea what I was supposed to do. In some aspect I still don’t know what I am supposed to do for this prompt. This evening I looked over a few peoples prompts and realized there are many different ways you can define “social design issue?. I see everything in my everyday life as social design. From the ground I walk on the food I eat. So what do I choose?

This weekend I was driving my car down Washington Avenue. I found myself very frustrated with traffic. There I was stuck in the middle of the intersection, being honked at, trying to merge into the left lane to move around a parked car. The car I was trying to move around was parked at a meter in front of subway. These cars are legally able to park there but force traffic to commute on the one lane. If the street was 1-2 feet wider there would be plenty of room for both lanes to function properly.

Although this is not a problem I may able to do much about, I still plan on finding out information to possibly petition for a change. Those who drive downtown know that traffic is rough. But I see this as a design issue that can one day be resolved.

Blog 1 - Midtown Market?

Last week I planned my day around finding the Midtown Market. I looked up the name on Google and eventually found a farmers market website. I wrote down the address and was on my way. When I reached my intended destination I was very puzzled. There was no market to be seen. It was an empty parking lot. Being cramped for time I had to move on not knowing if I had gotten wrong directions or just plan screwed up. The area I found was very diversified. The surrounding area had a lot of development and traffic going on. Even though I didn’t experience the midtown market I really feel I saw energy in a different manner. I saw people working in restaurants. Kids playing soccer at a nearby school. People expand energy in many different ways. During this experience I realized that energy everywhere and experienced in everything.