Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Practices like geocaching and geotagging rely on this receptivity. Geocaching asks the user to be an active participant in seeking, and to seek something unknown. Viewing geotagged photography may impel us to go forth into the world and seek with our own eyes what the images present to us, thus claiming them in some way for ourselves. It is a tricky balance: as always, photographs, especially when so readily viewed at the very places they were taken, hold the potential to substitute for rather than deepen our own awareness. But these practices at least give some idea as to how location-based technologies can encourage us to orient ourselves to the world in its primary, phenomenal sense — as a realm of places.But GPS navigation, in its present form, seems to do quite the opposite: it dulls our receptivity to our surroundings by granting us the supposed luxury of not having to pay attention to them at all. In travel facilitated by “location awareness,” we begin to encounter places not by attending to what they present to us, but by bringing our expectations to them, and demanding that they perform for us as advertised. In traveling through “augmented reality,” even the need for places to perform begins to fade, as our openness to the world gives way to the desire to paper over it entirely. It is an admission of our seeming distrust in places to be sufficiently interesting on their own. But in attempting to find the most valuable places and secure the greatest value from them, the places themselves become increasingly irrelevant to our experiences, which become less and less experiences of those places we go."
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Mena Cinco, a community leader here, volunteers to take me in - but only about 50 yards. After that, she cannot guarantee my safety. At the bottom of a ladder, the central mystery of the Estero de San Miguel is revealed: a long tunnel, four feet wide, dark except for the occasional bare bulb. It's just like an old coal mine, with rickety joists, shafts of light and pools of what I'm hoping is water on the floor. All along the tunnel are doors into the homes of as many as 6,000 people. . . .
Monday, August 15, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
The alarming pressure of high-grade working conditions has obliged the courts in Japan to recognize and define a new coroners’ category of “death by overwork.”