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jeff lieberman « Plebian Design: Blog

Archive for the ‘jeff lieberman’ Category

kickstarting with jeff and dan, moore kits and farmlapse

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

We have heard about this crowdsourced fundraising thing and we’re trying it out. Check these two projects out (within the next 20-40 days):

Get a Moore Pattern Kit from Jeff (or make it your self from supplied engineering drawings):
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/xercyn/moore-pattern-a-kinetic-optical-illusion-sculpture

Help Dan make a timelapse farm movie (and get some doodle art):
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1464315496/1113721417

where do you apply your logic?

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

push play on first video and wait till intro is over(about 30 seconds in).
then push play on second video.

The Internet as Playground and Factory - Saskia Sassen from Voices from The Internet as Play on Vimeo.

something about this idea of the logic of technology and/or progress in general, the investment mindset, technology vs nature, distributed networks vs consolidations, etc…

of course it’s fine to watch them separately but i figured you were probably in a rush…

Grandpa’s Information

Monday, June 1st, 2009

A guest post by Danielle Applestone.

rhett in my laundry basket

rhett in my laundry basket

This happened about six months ago, and I just had to get up in the middle of the night and write it down. My son was about 3.5 years old at the time.

*************

Last night, while my son and I were laying in bed, we were talking and then he fell silent. I was glad that he was finally relaxing. Then he said, “momma, where are you when you die?” I’ve been thinking about what I would say to him for several weeks now. I thought I would just tell him things that were concrete. It occurred to me in a microsecond that if I tell him about ‘heaven’ and all that, that is what he will probably believe his whole life. I realized that at this moment, whatever comes out of my mouth is going to turn into complete reality for him, at least for many many years.

This is how our conversation went, more or less:
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Church is Our Classroom, Part VI Church of Latter Day Saints

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Church of Latter Day Saints
Mormon
May 17, 2009
Website

There was a light rain as we ascended the the stairs into the Church. Jeff noted that the building looked more like a school than a Church. It did, with its solid white Jeffersonian columns. Inside the pews were packed. We did not know at the time, but today was a special event. Almost four hundred people were there to participate in a thirty-four state wide conference being simulcast from Utah. We grabbed the last row in the balcony section.

Their mastery of technology was impressive; the live media show was carried out with precision. A small digital clock counted down on the projection screen as a Church official carried on with public thanks and votes of hands. There was much talk of brothers, wards, high priests, and voting on various offices. When the clock hit 00:00, Bruce D Porter of the Seventy took the podium onscreen and began his speech, all the way from Utah.
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Church is our Classroom - Part IV.2 Christ the King

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Christ the King Presbyterian Church
Sunday, May 3, 2009

(I am writing this deliberately without referencing or reading Eric’s post about the same church, hopefully we offer different viewpoints).
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Church is our Classroom: Part III Faith Lutheran Church

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

April 19, 2009
Faith Lutheran Church, Cambridge, MA
Lutheran

After Easter Sunday we were looking for a smaller, more intimate, but still very feelgood/positive environment [I've heard a lot about some stern services and really am working my way into that]. The point here is that they’ve all got different methods of creating a viable meme, so how do we look into the details and figure out what they’ve got right? How do we design something based on these inherent attractions people have to certain rational or emotional responses? They have already studied this for 5,000 years, with the advantage of only the most basic scientific method [trial and error] and have come up with some very useful rules of thumb, however implicit.

Science has the potential to lift our spirits as well; as Carl Sagan said:

“In some respects, science has far surpassed religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed”? Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.” A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.”
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Church is Our Classroom

Friday, April 17th, 2009

If we ever want to turn our classrooms into churches, we must first make church our classroom. Before you vehemently counter that our classrooms should not be turned into anything like a church, allow me to explain. We are at a point in history not only where the scientific method can shed light on the origins of religion, its adaptive value in our species’ evolution, the efficacy of its rituals, its neurological bases, and so on, but where religious fruits can grow in scientific soil.

Religion is often called upon by scientists to adjust its theology to new scientific discoveries. This bending process happens at a snail’s pace, so slow that most of the time it doesn’t even look like it’s happening. It is time for science to step into the classroom of religion; not just to empirically take note of its place in cultural life, its modes of teaching and dissemination, its leveraging of emotion, and it’s long journey from evolutionary origins to culture, but to apply the knowledge gleaned to itself.

The pursuit of turning science and evolution into a new religion is easy to misconstrue. Jerry Coyne writes, “Scientists fear that if evolution became anything like a religion, it would be abandonment of its main tool for understanding nature: the resolution of empirical claims with empirical data.” There are strategies, however, for attaching emotion to scientific empiricism and for making it special by leveraging our innate aesthetic response, without compromising its core principles.

Efforts are underway. The science museum. The integration of art into the classroom. Sesame Street. 321 Contact. Seed Magazine. Carl Sagan. Discovery Channel. Time Warp. PBS. Unweaving the Rainbow. (Stay tuned for links.)

It is not the monotheistic conception of God that we must find in evolution and science, but the spiritual realities that our hominid ancestors discovered. Perhaps it is better phrased as finding spiritual realities in science or imbuing science with a mystic glow. Einstein felt it. Carl Sagan felt it. Francis Bacon, too. E.O Wilson sees it.

In ethological terms we realize that science is a baby, born only 500 years ago. On top of that, it is one of the most unintuitive modes of thought. The first stirrings of religion can be seen as long as 100,000+ years ago. It was in this early period that the myth was born as an effective compressor of emotional information.

The new myths must tell the awe-inspiring stories of science. The new hymns must breathe the true depth of our history into our bones. Religious rituals incorporated artistic activities into a highly effective positive feedback loop. The new rituals can use art in the same way to create emotional involvement in science; not to incorporate emotional involvement into the scientific method, but to link emotion -  to quote E.O. Wilson, the modication of neural activity that animates and focuses mental activity - with the mental activities of science.

In our personal efforts to understand religion, we recently embarked on a church tour. Each Sunday, we will visit a different church in the Boston / Cambridge area. Part anthropologist / part student, we enter with open minds, observe, and participate in holy rituals. It is a vital piece of our conversation with religion, art, and science.

Can science assuage the existential anxieties that religion has so adeptly adapted to deal with? If it is to ever come close, science and evolution must be made to inspire the deep sense of mystery and wonder that the world’s religions have articulated for thousands of years. The way to find these spiritual realities in science is the same way religion found them, through art and ritual.

Plebian Design. 2009-02-25.

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

2008.12.10: Plebian Design in 10-250

2008.12.10: Plebian Design in 10-250, MIT

Statement Update. 2009-02-25.
Attendance: Jeff, Dan.

::shortest story:
evolution

::short stories:
evolution increases information compression.
sharing information is free. this enables acceleration.

everything is evolution. evolution requires mutation.

next level of consciousness is universal awareness of the process of evolution in all things.

awareness creates feedback.
highly levels of feedback lead to ever accelerating

informational big crunch

does consciousness = memory = perception of time = feedback?

plebeian design: physical evolution overtaken by cultural evolution overtaken by ?

a full consciousness of evolution leads to enlightenment?

::how do we transfer/convert/etc:
knowing->learning
product->process
randomness->opportunity

::short storylines:
ev theory
information->big bang ->earth ->life ->consciousness->anxiety->intellect->?
information->big bang->earth ->life ->consciousness->anxiety->knowledge->learning->?
science
math ->physics ->chemistry ->biology ->psychology->religion->atheism->enlightenment
information theory(levels of consciousness)
big bang ->chemistry ->bio/life -> consciousness(cultural life/memes) -> digital consciousness -> energy
another storyline, art/aesthestics?

::medium story:
evolution
open source
process over product
broad rather than tall structure
appreciation of mutations
feedback loops
process documentation
unfiltered data feeds
conservative market economics
neurobiology
enlightenment
personal consciousness
societal consciousness
anxiety (personal and society)
religion -> atheism -> ?
time perception
randomness
desire to be in control
spike reward systems
boranj

UPDATE:
Plebian Design statement musings. 2009-02-25.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ybWFZwCKrc (see at 1:14 on so, abstract screencast)