One of the ways I'm trying to get "better" at using Are.na is being more conscientious about titling and/or adding descriptions to my blocks and channels. It's easy to not do this because I've become used to privileging speed over long-term use (i.e. it's easy to add things, but harder/more time-consuming to label them, particularly if it means having to actually research the content). Also, I might have a pretty good idea of where I've put everything, but no one else will. This, to me, is key to making Are.na a more communal project than an individualistic one. Labeling helps make what you've added more useful to others (and yourself in the long term!). By creating a culture around "tending to" / "taking care" of the things we add, Are.na becomes more useful for everyone, like a community garden :^). I should note that I would not want Are.na to go the direction of Pinterest where users are required to add titles/descriptions because forcing it down your throat doesn't actually engender care (this is a key distinction for me). I imagine it might be possible to encourage this behavior more through UI/UX, but I think the desire and behavior should ultimately come from the users themselves.
Through its concentration of physical and cultural power, the city heightened the tempo of human intercourse and translated its products into forms that could be stored and reproduced. Through its monuments, written records, and orderly habits of association, the city enlarged the scope of all human activities, extending them backwards and forwards in time. By means of its storage facilities (buildings, vaults, archives, monuments, tablets, books), the city became capable of transmitting a complex culture from generation to generation, for it marshaled together not only the physical means but the human agents needed to pass on and enlarge this heritage. That remains the greatest of the city’s gifts. As compared with the complex human order of the city, our present ingenious electronic mechanisms for storing and transmitting information are crude and limited.
Looking at history, one can make the argument that the greatest periods of economic growth and productivity have occurred when we have integrated innovation into the physical environment, especially in cities. The steam engine, electricity grid, and automobile all fundamentally transformed urban life, but we haven’t really seen much change in our cities since before World War II. If you compare pictures of cities from 1870 to 1940, it’s like night and day. If you make the same comparison from 1940 to today, hardly anything has changed. Thus it’s not surprising that, despite the rise of computers and the internet, growth has slowed and productivity increases are so low. … So our mission is to accelerate the process of urban innovation.
I consider the algorithm as a political object, as an assemblage of forces that imprints itself on the social as something like “algorithmic governance.” Intrinsic to the design of an “algorthim” are decisions that, when routed through the technocratic administration of computation, transform from ideological commitments into material accounting.
The “algorithm” is not an idealization, a linguistic tool, or an emergent dispositif. Instead, it collects under its anima concrete materialities. Undeniably, the “algorithm” bends historical materials towards its service.
at the same time that “the algorithm” actively mobilizes concrete social relations, it occludes these relations by reformatting what qualifies as the social. In its technocratic utopianism, data analytics systems render multidimensional processes into numbers subject to mining, dependent upon a logic of smoothness in order to function.
One characteristic of new cybernetics is that it views information as constructed by an individual interacting with the environment. This provides a new epistemological foundation of science, by viewing it as observer-dependent. Another characteristic of the new cybernetics is its contribution towards bridging the "micro-macro gap". That is, it links the individual with the society. Geyer and van der Zouten also noted that a transition classical cybernetics to the new cybernetics involves a transition form classical problems to new problems. These shifts in the thinking involve, among others a change emphasis on the system being steered to the system doing the steering, and the factors which guide the steering decisions. And new emphasis on communication between several systems which are trying to steer each other.
Hanakotoba (花言葉) is the Japanese form of the language of flowers. In this practice, plants were given codes and passwords. Physiological effects and action under the color of the flowers, put into words from the impressions of nature and the presence of thorns with the height of tall plants, flowers and garlands of flowers through the various types. These are meant to convey emotion and communicate directly to the recipient or viewer without needing the use of words.
The language of flowers, sometimes called floriography, is a means of cryptological communication through the use or arrangement of flowers. Meaning has been attributed to flowers for thousands of years, and some form of floriography has been practiced in traditional cultures throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
What is real about me is what I discover about myself (usually in the form of fresh desire), not what I already know, which I have consumed already.
So the self, as a product, loses its enchantment for us and needs to be revitalized to the extent that it becomes familiar, known, understood. We love ourselves only as a novelty, a mystery, not as a staple product. We want to be able to apprehend ourselves as a new, desirable thing that we can consume and enjoy. This makes us feel relevant, marketable. We can imagine someone buying into the idea of us, and that helps us buy into ourselves. But inevitably our desire for ourselves needs to be renewed, and we will need to be repackaged.
The countryside is inhabited in a more provisional way. It can be defined as a process of "thinning" – an increase in the area covered alongside a diminishing intensity in its use.
Wu wei is an important concept in Taoism that literally means non-action or non-doing. In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu explains that beings (or phenomena) that are wholly in harmony with the Tao behave in a completely natural, uncontrived way. The goal of spiritual practice for the human being is, according to Lao Tzu, the attainment of this purely natural way of behaving, as when the planets revolve around the sun. The planets effortlessly do this revolving without any sort of control, force, or attempt to revolve themselves, thus engaging in effortless and spontaneous movement.