technology fundamentally human

↑The Next Web links to the ↑Study: Robots inspire new learning & creativity possibilities for kids (the LEGO Group is involved). Here are The Next Web’s closing paragraphs: Taking a deeper look at the stories the children created, the survey found that unlike many adults who see technology as separate from humanness, it seems that “kids tend to think of technology as fundamentally human: as a social companion that can entertain, motivate, and empower them in various contexts.”     While this dreamy perspective is partially the result of childhood imagination (something kids from any generation can have), it is … Continue reading

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rosa

ROSA is an epic sci-fi short film that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where all natural life has disappeared. From the destruction awakes Rosa, a cyborg deployed from the Kernel project, mankind’s last attempt to restore the earth’s ecosystem. Rosa will soon learn that she is not the only entity that has awakened and must fight for her survival. ORELLANA, JESÚS. 2011. ↑Rosa [animated short film]. Barcelona: Orellana Pictures. … Continue reading

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anthropological lego friends

When students or other interested parties ask me what anthropologists could do outside academia, in the industry in particular, I maintain a threefold answer. In the industry anthropologists 1) do research on organizations—amounting to something like consultancy, 2) do market research, and 3) are participating in product design—especially user-centered design comes to mind. Well, as it seems anthropologists had a hand in the ↑meanwhile available new series LEGO friends, which triggered some ↑discussion on gendered toys. Businessweek has a ↑longer story on LEGO friends, and ↑Andrew wrote at ↑the brothers brick: ‘For those of you out there who’ve made statements … Continue reading

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whose arm?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #8 Whose arm is that? The name of the actor will ring a big bell within the science fiction enthusiast—the story of this (today hardly known) movie a whole orchestra.     Just leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next … Continue reading

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cyberanthropology reviews

Now that some reviews of my book ‘↑Cyberanthropology‘ have seen the light of day, it makes sense to begin to collect them [naturally they’re all in German]:     The Titel-Magazin was first with ↑Ein Buch mit System! (27 September 2011). As short as enthusiastic—and it is very short.     Next came Karl-Heinz Kohl’s review in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: ↑Völkerkunde war gestern, Cyberanthropology ist heute (16 November 2011). Unfortunately behind a paywall on the FAZ-server, but buecher.de has the ↑full text of the review online (and perlentaucher.de posted a ↑short notice).     On 30 November 2011 SWR2 … Continue reading

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beyond westworld

Yul Brynner always has been one of my all-time favourite actors. So it is hardly surprising that his impersonation of the Gunslinger in ‘↑Westworld‘ (Crichton 1973) is one of my favourite robots. Marking the naturalistic android to be artificial only by way of the metallic eyes—see above—was a stroke of genius. The sequel ‘↑Futureworld‘ (Heffron 1976) followed. Unfortunately Brynner returned just for a short dream sequence. Both movies I saw as a kid on television and have them on DVD since long. Just recently I got to know that a television series was produced, set out to carry the story … Continue reading

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decommissioned

This vig[nette] by Alex Fojtik simply is called ↑Decommissioned and once again proofs that it is possible to create poetry out of LEGO bricks. It immediately reminded me of the robot soldier turned gardener in ‘↑Laputa: Castle in the Sky‘ (Miyazaki 1986):  Since 2001 a life-sized replica of one of those robot soldiers can be seen ↑in the rooftop garden of the ↑Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo. Life-sized in his case means five meters tall:  ↵Life after people, robots after people, technology after people … here’s what I saw ↑at boingboing this week:  Cory Doctorow writes: ‘The Bughouse Future … Continue reading

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cyberpunkish artefacts listings

In the navigation menu above ↵cyberpunk has appeared as a new element. Here is what the new element and its dropdown menu are all about:     On the pages assembled in this menu I am collecting ↵motion pictures, ↵literature, ↵comics, and ↵computer games which can be called cyberpunk or cyberpunkish. A cultural artefact out of this categories qualifies, and is added to the respective list, if it comprises a sufficiently critical mass composed of peculiar core themes, æsthetics, settings, and protagonists.     At the thematic core there are the reciprocal effects between state-of-the-art technology and culture, society, the … Continue reading

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simroid

More from ↵robotopia nipponica. The Simroid is a training android for dentists. It is developed at ↑The Nippon Dental University and built by ↑Kokoro [a lot more of weird robot stuff there]. After the first version, called Simuloid and presented in 2007, the new Simroid features a higher level of naturalism (↑video at DigInfo TV):     It ‘behaves’ quite like a human patient on a dentist’s torturing chair [‘Brazil’ anyone?], moves, speaks, and reacts—e.g. by simulating gag reflexes, or by expressing discomfort when the doctor accidentally strokes its breasts with the elbow.     Reminds me of ↵mor gui, … Continue reading

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gods and robots

Somehow this one has escaped my attention till today—unfortunately some paywall, moving wall, system bug, or whatyouhave bars my access to it, although my university has subscribed to that publication and pays for the access. Anyhow, it goes together well with ↵the new gods. Here’s the abstract of Vidal’s article: Since the 1980s, a new area of research entitled HRI (Human-Robot Interaction) has been emerging in the field of robotic studies. It focuses on the empirical study of the relationship between robots and human beings. This article aims to contrast the findings of roboticists concerning the interaction between humans and … Continue reading

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