Monthly Archives: May 2002

exhibit coming along

In less than a week, a collaborative piece that i have been working on will be going up at the Artists Space in NYC (feel free to join me at the opening May 30 6-8PM). I’m quite psyched, actually – it’s going to be absolutely gorgeous… I don’t have actual screenshots from my work quite yet, but as i was websearching, i found the most intriguing image that shows the kind of thing that we’re showing: clusters of people, partially colorcoded, interacting with other people:

(only ours is all text representations of people instead of actual people.. although it would be absolutely fun to have real people)

About a boy who isn’t

The NYTimes is running an article about being a trannyboy in middle school (and passing!!) It made me think back to the work that Peggy Cohen-Kettenis was doing, giving adolescents treatments to stop puberty until they reached an age where serious decisions could be made about hormones and surgery. I really do hope that the world continues to progress and accept people who don’t fit into traditional societal categories.

[cypherpunk login for nytimes: c1ph3rpunk/c1ph3rpunk]

scary socnet visualizations

Hmmm.. i just found out about a scary little socnet visualization tool – Watson. Apparently, it was built for the police in Britain… they would log into the phone company, suck down all the data and come up with social networks visualizations. Fun fun.

articles of the day

Go out and get a piece, son is a nice reminder of how boys and girls are treated differently when it comes to sex and violence. Interesting descriptions that raise ideas about what is a portrait of someone.

Of course, you can be a male model & wear a real face. Female models are supposed to be random; men are supposed to embody power. My friend’s favorite passage: “For women who support themselves walking down runways, vulnerability to changing economic realities is never quite as pronounced. Despite four decades of feminist influence, women are still easily seduced by images of preternatural female beauty. But if women fantasize about what it would be like to possess nothing more than ethereal good looks, the daydreams of men generally follow different plotlines”

[cypherpunk login for nytimes: c1ph3rpunk/c1ph3rpunk]

when spam provides humor

For four years, i dated a boy named Jon and my name has no ‘h’ on it. Yet, when Jon’s roommate received a piece of spam this morning, it took him a bit to realize that it was exactly that, not a real piece of mail. Why? Because the message was from “Dana” about her evil ex “John.” The mail was an advert for a porn site, and a bloody hysterical one at that, particularly considering that it was most likely randomly chosen names. (see email inside)

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sponsor demos

Today was another sponsor demo day at the lab. These are always quite entertaining, often absolutely intriguing, as i babble babble babble about SecureId and Social Network Fragments for two hours. This time, i spent my two hours with three different groups of sponsors – from IBM Research (formerly Lotus), AOL Time Warner, and the DoD. The IBM folks are fabulous – they are academics and researchers and so our conversations are completely in line with research; this time, we talked mostly about social networks and the role they can play in research. Fun Fun. The AOL guy was fabulous, and had intriguing insight on the way that AOLTW and corporations worked. His job is to seek out what are the up-and-coming technologies that can make & break AOLTW, where technology is going and what should be built. I desperately want his job. Finally, my conversation with the DoD guys was almost depressing. They didn’t understand what i was doing, why it was interesting, and they didn’t understand the basic technology that made anything work (like spring systems). Now, i wouldn’t have been so annoyed that they didn’t understand my work (maybe they were management types), but they were so egotistical and in my face “you’re-just-a-little-girl” that i found myself 1) not trusting them; 2) wondering why they were wasting either of our time. (And my negative and frustrated impressions were built before i knew that they were DoD… they succeeded in magnifying my stereotypes.. i hate it when that happens.)

nuremberg files

In an interesting change of direction, a federal appeals court declared that the Nuremberg Files (a hateful anti-abortion site that i’m not willing to link to) is not covered by free speech, as it amounts to illegal threats. I’m intrigued by how limits on free speech are determined and what they mean long term, so i still can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Certainly, i don’t want that site out there; but i also don’t want my speech limited. What are healthy boundaries?

fields of study

The NYTimes printed an interesting article about sociology, written in response to David Riesman’s death.

[cypherpunk login for nytimes: c1ph3rpunk/c1ph3rpunk]

My research is on technology, privacy, identity, individual perception of self/community, etc. And while i know that i want to continue my education into my Ph.D., i have no idea what field i should be studying in, or with whom. Computer Science? Sociology? Media Studies? Communications? Anthropology? Information Sciences? Frankly, i find the whole separation of disciplines aspect of academia disheartening, confusing and utterly aggrevating. Of course, this gets magnified by what is considered valuable to fund (science of course, particularly military-related research). I find this quite problematic, as though there only valid ways of thinking are scientific. Not everything can be understood by measurement, and much of what can’t be measured is still quite valuable. Maybe at a core, everything can be measured, but we aren’t at that core and there are useful ways of understanding the world outside of that which can be measured.

The idea of a society that only values one train of thought is quite disturbing. The most intriguing ideas have always come from a combination of thoughts, a well-rounded perspective for thinking.