Friday, August 22, 2008
The University of Nevada Digital Conservancy has some amazing stuff in it's collection. I just found these amazing old photos of Winnemucca. The one above of downtown is from 1915 but other pictures are from the 1800s!
Compare the above to this photo from almost the exact same place only 41 years later.
Postcard - Downtown Wimmemucca, Nevada - 1956
Originally uploaded by kocojim
Funnily enough I can't seem to find a modern image from about the same place.
The UNR Digital Conservancy really is worth a look. You can use their search to find whatever interests you.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
But here is an application that is a good example of what is possible.
It shows recently posted sunset photos from wherever in the world the sun is setting right now.
To do this it,
Knows where the sun is setting right now
accesses the Flickr API
looks only at photos that are geotagged (the owner said "this was taken here")
of those looks for ones that also have the tag "sunset"
finds one geotagged in the band of the earth where the sun is setting right now
and pops it on your screen.
Simply because the sun is always setting.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
It's probably a good thing I'm not going. It would just be awkward when I ask them to sign my chest.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Deductive reasoning might be interesting in a site. With inductive you are always looking for the right answer. With deductive, you are just eliminating what is not right. And seeing from what is still available, what is likely. So often you are not going to know the right answer. But you can look at what is not right. When I was in college, I was looking out the window one day watching a shadow walk down the sidewalk. I thought "is that Danielle? No that doesn't seem right. Jolen? No not her. Mary? that girl I have a crush on from the 3rd floor? Ester? Yes, I think Ester."
The shadows were streched and distorted so it was not the shape so much (although there was a little of that) as the movement. I wasn't looking for it but somewhere in my mind the motion of people's walks was stored and the familiarity of the shadow movement caused my brain to recognize it.
I looked out my dorm window a lot in college and I got used to recognizing shadows before the person came around the juniper bush. Sometimes my brain would jump to a conclusion and was wrong. With practice I could tell when I wasn't sure but was just looking to hard for an answer, giving me a false conclusion.
What you see in a shadow is interesting too. male/female speed, amount of energy, confidence, attitude. These are not things you usually pay attention to in someones movement (although I think you see it unconsciencely ) because their actual appearance is more natural to pay attention to. But when you know someone you know their attitude and demeanor and in the movement you see what matches what you know about them.
That is important, I was terrible at guessing the identities of people I had seen around but had not talked to.
If I were to play by play my mind i would say I used the more obvious big buckets first to whittle down the list.
male/female - you know what this means
Speed/energy - easy buckets, some people are in a hurry or are usually excited, and some people are taking it easy.
Confidence - not a yes or no but on a rough scale you can roughly place your possibilities.
Attitude - After narrowing it down a little this is the real test. This is where just letting your mind flow free and ask "What is that shadow telling me?" It is not a scale of attitudes or a list of types of attitudes you are looking for. Is it happy, sad, goofy, weird, bogged down, cold? That is trying to apply random concepts to it. Instead, all the things that you might wonder about the movement of someones shadow you just let bounce off the images of the people you know. They look like they are hurrying to get out of the cold today. This looks familiar but slower, I wonder if they are tired? Looks carefree. This person is lurching, i wonder if they have a big backpack.
The more things you can see the better. There might be a handful of males that are downtrodden but not as many are downtrodden, usually travels with others, and swings their arms with an odd momentum.
This is interesting to me because it is an example of understanding something about the world, not a truth, and not through not exact proof, but with the evidence you have. And importantly by testing your assumptions. My guess was tested every single time when that person came into view. Without that your disciplined guessing is worthless. This is interesting to me because I wonder if something like this might be worth more than the bullshit in the news that I am coming to trust less and less. Despite journalistic integrity. I am beginning to think people are getting too good at understanding the rules that journalists need to play by and using that against them. I'm not saying I have an alternative. But I am looking for one.
That really was a fun dorm room. I took the screen off the window so I could look out and talk to people walking by. Sometimes saying hi before they saw me.