Rough notes for Jyri Engeström — Blind Men’s Baseball

Part 2 of three-part track. Last one’s Chris Heathcote’s one.

Why base­ball?

Not beer, hot­dogs, hat etc.

It takes a long time… Lot of it is pre­tend­ing to pitch etc. Pitch­ers are glanc­ing all the time. That’s the aspect that’s inter­est­ing to him.

Impor­tant social con­se­quences.

1 Spa­tial

See­ing sur­round­ing space in the present. Focussing, see­ing the whole at once while you’re in it your­self. (Reminds me of Japan­ese mar­tial con­cept op zan­shin.) Con­cept of thee whole: when you lack it — exam­ple of the three blind men and ele­phant. What if they decid­ed to go play base­ball? They’ll only be able to com­mu­ni­cate about their posi­tion by shout­ing.

No periph­er­al vision = nav­i­gat­ing in the dark

Link with tech:

Phone: assump­tion is that you know who you’ll call.

Except: before dial­ing you make a lot of oth­er choic­es about tim­ing etc: where are they, what are they doing?

Phones don’t tell you much cur­rent­ly…

Oy! Where u at?”

IM: state indi­ca­tors, place indi­ca­tors, etc. (Plazes plu­g­in).

Cross pol­li­nate mobile with IM inter­faces.

Anal­o­gy to dri­ving in traf­fic, con­stant­ly pay­ing atten­tion to what oth­er dri­vers are doing and adjust­ing.

When info is out there, peo­ple will start being more polite.

This is all about spa­tial aspect, which is about present tense.

Oth­er aspect: time.

Hock­ey: great play­ers play where the puck will be. Antic­i­pa­tion.

See­ing each oth­er as vec­tors, spa­tial and tem­po­ral at the same time.

Space­balls clip.

Orga­niz­ing life: cal­en­dar designed with assump­tion that only your won cal­en­dar mat­ters…

Mobile 2.0 isn’t about mul­ti­me­dia. It’s about social inter­ac­tions. Bet­ter social periph­er­al vision.

Where will this lead?

Look­ing to WoW for exam­ples of ways to enhance periph­er­al vision.

Ques­tion: what will this look like in mobile device?

His social sci­ence back­ground isn’t always help­ful, but it allows him to look at the oth­er side of the coin — those that are left behind.

Peo­ple who are left out will seem more and more out of it social­ly.

Exam­ple from Abbott and Costel­lo.

Ques­tions Q Why don’t oper­a­tors inno­vate more? A He thinks it’ll come from 3rd par­ty devs that get the web. He doesn’t have much con­fi­dence in oper­a­tors. Tech­ni­cal­ly more and more is becom­ing pos­si­ble (Python, Flash, WiFi).

Q Oth­er people’s cal­en­dars: Inti­ma­cy, are we using tools to replace our innate abil­i­ties to track things. A Out­sourc­ing men­tal activ­i­ty to devices. You for­get how to do it your­self. Phone num­bers, you can’t remem­ber them any­more. Tech­no­log­i­cal inno­va­tions are built as bleed­ing edge as long tech chains. If stuff breaks they become use­less. E.g. Kat­ri­na, box­ing day tsuna­mi. Elec­tric­i­ty goes out, the rest is use­less.

Q Exam­ples shown are only for close­ly tied peo­ple. What are appli­ca­tions for larg­er groups, fil­ter­ing, etc.? A Absolute­ly, third aspect miss­ing is past: rec­om­men­da­tions, com­ments on places vis­it­ed. Flickr is about the past. Web is good at orga­niz­ing that stuff. That’s why mul­ti­me­dia won’t take off on mobile.

Q On tech­no­log­i­cal replace­ment: scale of things is increas­ing. How do you man­age that? Reminds him of Wild­fire. Pro­gram­ming devices on reach-abil­i­ty. A Pri­va­cy set­tings will lim­it our range. It’ll keep increas­ing (pos­si­ble range) become more and more ad-hoc. Instead of net­work­ing, not­work­ing.

http://reboot.dk/wiki/BlindMen%27sBase­ball

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Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.

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