Friday, May 25, 2018 | RECENT NOTES

Alexa wants to gossip

Alexa is Amazon’s AI-ish household assistant. It lives inside a device called an Echo, and acts as a hub. You connect it to other devices from televisions and phones to heating systems.It sits listening to everything you say, waiting to hear you say “Alexa”, at which point it interprets the next thing you say as a command and does what it thinks you have told it to do.

Once in a while it might like to tell someone else about this.


Decentralising September

Today I sent an email to Sophie Hope and Nick Mahony to bring them up to date with the plans Oliver and I have so far devised for the Convivial Mechanics event in September. In part I said that

We will organise a two-day event. The overall topic will be around decentralising culture and cultural decision-making in a networked world. Ideas of cultural democracy are central to this, as are a set of practical tools and strategies for the decentralised decision-making that cultural democracy will require.

I feel hopeful that this might help us take the ideas we have discussed, and the workshops we have held so far, and boost them into orbit or, even better, past the moon and in the direction of the nearest faraway star.


Thursday, May 24, 2018 | THE TIME OF DAY


Monday, May 16, 2011 | ESSAYS

Marinetta Ombro: a culture not a classroom

In 2002 Arcada began an experiment that aimed to develop a learning laboratory in the form of a virtual culture embodied in an online world. This essay examines how and why this was attempted; the opportunities that it offered; and the reasons why the experiment was ended.

The essay is a (slightly) revised version of a chapter included in Transforming Virtual World Learning, edited by Randy Hinrichs and Charles Wankel. The book was published in 2011 by Emerald: London.