Monthly Archives: July 2010

links for 2010-07-27

Lobster traps

Yesterday I got another Facebook invite from a friend from long ago, and I was less than satisfied with my explanation for declining to participate. This morning good old Doc Searls makes all much clearer as he cites Adam Rifkin:

Facebook is a lobster trap and your friends are the bait. On social networks we are all lobsters, and lobsters just wanna have fun. Every time a friend shares a status, a link, a like, a comment, or a photo, Facebook has more bait to lure me back. Facebook is literally filled with master baiters: Whenever I return to Facebook I am barraged with information about many friends, to encourage me to stick around and click around. Every time I react with a like or comment, or put a piece of content in, I’m serving as Facebook bait myself. Facebook keeps our friends as hostages, so although we can check out of Hotel Facebook any time we like, we can never leave. So we linger. And we lurk. And we luxuriate. The illogical extreme of content-as-bait are the Facebook games where the content is virtual bullshit.

(see Adam’s post for some eloquent links within that passage).

Palimpsestical urbanism

Via Ian McDonald’s The Dervish House I’m enjoying an immersion in Istanbul, an Istanbul of not-so-distant future, replete with realized nanotechnologies. Several times I’ve almost gotten to copying out redolent passages, but this one tickled various bits of the mental spiderweb and tipped me over the edge:

Urbomancer. City witch… [she] discovered that a better living could be made just walking the city’s streets charting mental maps, recording how history was attracted to certain locations in layer upon layer of impacted lives in a cartography of meaning; delineating a spiritual geography of many gods and theisms; compiling an encyclopedia of how space had shaped mind and mind had shaped space through three thousand years of the Queen of Cities. Hers was a walking discipline, like the practices of the peripatetic dervishes. It proceeded at the speed of footsteps, which is the speed of history, and at that speed, on those long walks that are the science’s method, connections and correspondences appear. Strange symmetries appear between separated buildings as if some urban continental drift has taken place. Streets follow ancient, atavistic needs. Tramlines track ancient watercourses; the words of gods and emperors are spoken in stone. Human geographies, maps of the heart; fish markets far from the sea, districts in which trades have become fossilized, or die out in one generation only to return decades later. Subtle demarcations; odd transitions between restaurant cuisines: Aegean on this junction, Eastern down that alley. Cursed sites where no business has ever succeeded though a neighbor two doors down will flourish; addresses where if you live on one side of the street you are ten times more likely to be burgled than the other… (105-106)

…and in a Remarkable bit of Co-Incidence, along comes this blog posting on Tarlabaşi from David Hagerman, one of my favorite photographers (and see recent postings on FOOD in Istanbul at Robyn Eckhardt’s deliriously wonderful EatingAsia).

links for 2010-07-08

  • amazing: "…presents over 6,000 images of major sites in the Silk Road region taken during faculty site seminars led by Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan (Professor, History of Art) under the auspices of the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University in the summers of 2006-2009…"
    (tags: SilkRoad)
  • (very helpful advice for those of us who struggle with iTunes, thanks to the CogDog)
    (tags: istuff geekery)