Friday, February 10, 2012

Jan 30th, 2008

Jet Blue Terminal, the new one, #5.


Streamlined check-in, place your own baggage. The security checkpoint wide and bright so as not to inspire anxiety. THEN: they released you into 2008 techno-consumer paradise. Sushi! Lacoste! Barnes and Noble! A huge circle of blue flatscreens decorates the potmodern plaza. Like kids in a wi-fi playground, we relax.

I am relaxed.

Sipping green tea. Eating sushi. Emailing Mayuka.

I can play this role.

Because there aren't any poor people here.
Because there is no culture here.
Just products,
and images,
and desires.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


We're trying to figure out what to do with augmented reality, how to build it "right".

The business guys realize how much desire we can build with it. They see dollar signs. I mean I could surround you in a whole arrangement of things you'd want to pay money for. Women, merchandise, pokemon. These are the applications that companies are trying to build and perfect. Desire builders.

Throughout history a few noteworthy individuals have stood up and made some pretty compelling arguments against desire, attachment and past/future wanting. Hindus, Buddhists, even christ himself would have called our digital distractions, simply that. Demonic.

So I have to wonder if there's an augmented reality that doesn't try to augment anything. Can we use this technology to help the user BE HERE NOW, or will we only sell suffering through distraction?

Perhaps if we can tell the user more about their world, more about their surroundings. If we can help them play music, share art, contact loved ones. If we can keep the games we build simply games, and steer away from... steering away, then some day people will look back at augmented reality as a spiritual art form and not a pornographic representation of humanity's mislead dis-satisfaction with the here and now.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Reporting Live

From the front lines of the change we all saw coming, but never felt. They're going to try to blind you, to steer you to buy more, watch more, crave more and sell more of yourself than nature ever asked. It's called entertainment, engagement, virality.

It's really just a distraction. Today I went to their mecca, the headquarters of digital illusion and derangement and witnessed a generation of far-removed air traffic controllers attempt to party. Sad, awkward, insincere. We pretend to have something to party for. Go win a war. Go survive a tsunami. You clap for the iPad 2 and thank them for distracting you with dollars.

Things are going to get a lot worse. I've been working on the edge of it and I should tell you that the tools I feared, exist. The methods I imagined are now retweeted keynotes. The ability to drive masses of individuals to act in controlled, predictable, profitable patterns is being tweaked and perfected every hour, every day, with every fervently ignored breath they allow.

So what can we do? Steel up. Go through the chemical motions of sincere vitality as often as you can. Ignore your own facebook. Look at those who exist around you, try your best to accept that they are real and just as valuable as you could ever be. We pretend to connect with more people using their feed pipes. Connection is energetically, chemically and fundamentally impossible without being in the same "place." Not pysical, not necesarily. Place is solely the product of intention, attention and sincerity. They steal this from us. They take it out of our hands and smear it over their needless products in attempts to solidify their own advantage over the populace. Forgive them.

Fight back. Their illusions and trinkets might satiate in that instant, that 99 cent impulse.

But it won't fill you up.

Only you can.

It takes a lot of humility, complete acceptance and an infinite amount of appreciation.


The computers will never get it.

Lucky them.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

To-Do List

Sterling Advice From ARE:

What are you doing? Think of yourselves as the worlds first pure play experience designers. Whose reality needs to be augmented? Is it the hardcore geeks? Are they the people who need you the most? Whose experiences really need to be redesigned?

The blind. Foreigners in a new reality. Confused, mentally troubled people.

Why do the wealthy need it? What is my $ doing to the world? Think of yourselves as the torch that lights our steps. Without vision the people perish. We could really use a good honest Internet tech boom right now, but you'd better take tactical steps. Get out of the hot bath, get dressed, have a coffee and make a solid to-do list. I'll be watching.

Bath was quite nice, thought about things for awhile. Coffee is brewing. To-Do list reads like this:

1. Fund AR by selling it to as many people as humanly possible. Build fun, attention-grabbing experiences where possible.

2. Take video games, photoshop and blender outside . Help visionaries show the world in ways it COULD be.

3. Provide goal structures (games?) that make this worth people's time. Utilitarian quests. Constructive mechanics. Foster local tribal respect for territory preservation + beautification. Minimize real violence.

5. Write a book about what goes wrong.

6. Tap out.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mobile Marketing, Coincidence Farming and Artificial Intelligence: AR predictions for 2011:

2011 = more people doing more things in more places with their smartphones. Buying things. Finding things. All of these actions will be recorded, analyzed. Used to build what we at metaio will call “coincidences”.

Placetracking applications like foursquare, gowalla, junaio and facebook places will have amassed pools of user data (where, when, how and with whom their users do things) large enough to begin making intelligent suggestions that change the course of our daily lives in different ways. "Go check out this gallery opening," or, "Visit Wal-Mart for 75% off Fishsticks and earn 10 points!" It’s our responsibility to keep these suggestions as “positive” as possible.

Good luck defining “positive”.

As this mobile advice gets better and better, we will listen to it more and more, responding in increasingly complicated ways. Thus the pooling of our intelligence (checkins, user ratings, maps) will begin to respond intelligently itself in real time, to us. Some will call this “artificial intelligence” and fear it, missing the point altogether. See, in 2011 we will begin to take the intelligences we have pooled within the internet and deploy them over the real world as an augmented, living structure which we can read, manipulate and continually improve; Inhabitable, architected structures which process the world in real time.

In 2011 we will begin to develop The Intelligent Edifice.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Concept Art

Can be really, really, really imporant.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

6th Grade Singularity

"We all have a place for improvement in our minds
from the dark corner where the fear waits to be called upon and the machinelike chain of
ideas ever going around.. around so swiftly so swiftly yet slowly.
and the memory in the middle which no one understands until the last moment, slowly
dripping away farther to the back of the mind where all finished thoughts eventually go.
yet the room is only half lit for one side has not yet been born and sits there waiting for

evolution to occur."

I remember how pornographic these words had felt, furiously typed on the family PC late one night. 5th grade? 6th? Printed it out so I'd always have a copy, hid it in my cabinet so it would never be read.

Well there you go: the post-human ____ of a kid on a computer in 1994*. I wonder what the kids are worried about now that the singularity is a such given.

Maybe they aren't as convinced that we'll improve.