Psychogeography for phones

Psiloc is a futurephone app that activates events and actions on your phone based on your location relative to GSM cells:

“…you can create an event to have an alarm at the moment your phone logs in (or out) a selected cell. So you will be able to sleep calmly in your train to work or school – it will wake you up precisely at your station, even if your train is late?

For places like church, theater, hospital etc. you can set a flight mode event which will just switch the phone part of your P800 off as soon as you come there! No more embarrassing rings during performance!”

» Psiloc miniGPS for SE P800
[via Chris Heathcote on a mailing list found via phil]

What’s an IA? An Internet Angel…

Internet Angels is a government program to create a ‘buddy-system’ of mentors from ordinary people who are comfortable with the web and the internet, to get others, generally friends and family, online:

“He wasn’t sure that he wanted to go on the internet. I said ‘come on, we’ll go on Friends Reunited and find your old schoolmates’. To me, it’s best to hit on someone’s interests. I taught him by sitting next to him and explaining it, one step at a time. I’d say ‘double-click on that’ or ‘type in that box’. Sometimes I’d take the mouse to show him, but usually he’d be in control.”

There’s a two-part info pack which prospective Angels can download to get started, which supports them in mentoring and has another part which supports their subject. A nice idea.

» Internet angel info pack: downloads

Human-centred government

Well, the websites, anyway.

“…a good government website can be defined by compliance with the following points:

  • It has clear input from stakeholders on its aims and audience.
  • Preliminary research should be carried out into what users need.
  • The site is frequently tested to ensure it is meeting users’ needs (especially for usability and accessibility) and that the aims of the stakeholders have been achieved.
  • It will then be continually adapted to meet users’ needs.
  • It will be accessible and usable.”

The points around continuous assessment and adaption are interesting. I hope they publish more detail on how they are going to put in place the processes for this.

» Going simple online

Rocks are slow life.

After purchasing the Super Furry Animals new album “Phantom Power” last week – one line, from one song has been reeling around my head. Singing itself into my mind and my mouth over and over.

It’s from an epic, sinister and beautiful track called “Slow life”, and the line is “Rocks are slow life”. Reflecting on it’s resonance, and thinking that the band had plucked it out of the (probably quite smokey) air, I decided to type it into google.

It’s a chapter heading in Kevin Kelly’s “Out of control”.

Which, also, happens to be the name of Track 9.

I mentioned this to a friend who’s not averse to chewing over The Supercontext now and again, and he mentioned it reminded him of something he’d read once, that all evolution, the biosphere of carbon based life, was just a catalyst for silicon-based evolution on a grander, longer scale.

We’re just part of the process of turning mountains into computers.

From “Out Of Control”:

“A pair of coevolutionary creatures chasing each other in an escalating arms race can only seem to veer out of control. Likewise, a pair of cozy coevolutionary symbionts embracing each other can only seem to lead to stagnant solipsism. But Lovelock saw that if you had a vast network of coevolutionary impulses, such that no creatures could escape creating its own substrate and the substrate its own creatures, then the web of coevolution spread around until it closed a circuit of self-making and self-control.”

And perhaps we’ll end this run of Filth-inspired finds, with this, from “Out Of Control”:

“…if Earth is reduced to the size of a bacteria, and inspected under high-powered optics, would it seem stranger than a virus? Gaia hovers there, a blue sphere under the stark light, inhaling energy, regulating its internal states, fending off disturbances, complexifying, and ready to transform another planet if given a chance.”



The nurse seems to be here with today’s dose of Key 23.

Grant Morrison channels Kevin Kelly.

Quite possibly my dream headline.

Here are some snippets of Matthew Maxwell’s coverage of a panel at the Dan Diego comics convention featuring Grant Morrison.

“Of course, all this tied into the concept of emergence. Briefly stated, once a series of rules/concepts/organisms gets sufficiently complicated, a larger pattern emerges out of the whole. This is the concept behind “smart mobs” and beehives alike. There’s a single mind in a hive, but you couldn’t find it in an individual bee. As an aside, that’s the best way I can describe it; if you want more, seriously, Google ‘emergence’ and prepare to be overwhelmed.”

“He went on to talk about The Filth as sort of a vaccine against the very things that the book is about. The Hand is kind of a defense mechanism/antibody for the psyche of the human race, with each of its divisions being modeled after a particular part of the immune system. Continuing, he described how each body is made up of billions of cells, but in and around all of those cells are some ten times that number in bacteria/viruses/other organisms and how they could be an emergent intelligence in and of themselves. Follow this line of thought if you dare, but the ready implication being ‘Who’s *really* doing the thinking in your body?’”

“When asked to talk about The Invisibles, Morrison referred to it as not only a treatise on how to do magic, but as a wider introduction to a different way of seeing things (which is a mild understatement, for any readers who’ve plowed all the way through it). He went into particular detail regarding looking at 4th+ dimensional perception (assuming that we live in the fourth dimension: i.e., the three that we’re accustomed to plus Time as the fourth). As shown graphically in “The Invisible Kingdom”, he talked about how we leave “trails” through time, that to our perception in the present are inaccessible.”

And finally, from a forum posting on this story, a great candidate for a new .sig:

“Folk, like Disco, served its purpose. Folk was there to help question authority. Disco was there to reverse the effect. Punk saved us all from both.”

[via The LMG]

Flatland / Logocosmos

filthpen.gifAbbas at exerpts this from Scientific American:

“…our universe, which we perceive to have three spatial dimensions, might instead be ’written’ on a two-dimensional surface, like a hologram. Our everyday perceptions of the world as three-dimensional would then be either a profound illusion or merely one of two alternative ways of viewing reality.”



“it works and its FREE – send a text message saying 2 (and nothing else) to 07919 315556 and you get a text message poem sent to your mobile phone. Send 2 again and you get another different one. Funded by the Arts Council so no nasty corporations get any money and its more fun than texting to Big Brother.

Found at the 20six moblog, “fisharepeopletoo”. Some lovely snippets there, including the author’s odyssey through the National Health Service to get a plastercast removed from their arm – including glum and surly waiting room inhabitants and the cheery nurse poking her tongue out at moblogging patient.


» 20six: fisharepeopletoo