Archive for » April, 2009 «

Improvisational simplicity

The ball drops and you can draw lines that it bounces off of. It is almost like an improvisational rube goldberg machine. The sounds it makes are pretty too so if you can get a structure set up, you can just listen to it for a bit — especially if you like blips like I do.

BallDroppings found on the Processing website


But this isn’t explicitly feminist, you might say! I’ve been thinking about improvisation and ethnography as a form of knowing during this fieldwork in design methods here in India. I’m allowing for the fact I might respond to something with the senses and without thinking too analytically about it, putting it out there to explore what happens. Maybe you’ll like it, maybe you will contribute a bit of randomness too, or maybe it bores you. Only way to tell is by trying.

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Female-only ant species located

Things have been particularly slow because I’m in India, studying how designers do their thing here. I’m learning a lot about method, improvisation, and platforms for creativity but it’s too early to say anything.

For now, I just thought I’d pass on that Scientists have found a species of ant that reproduces without males by cloning the queen (from The Telegraph).

Reproduction without sex is fairly common in the ant world, but the Mycocepurus smithii is the first known to be a male-free species. The phenomenon takes the stress out of finding a mate and may help keep the peace in colonies, the scientists believe.

I’m not the biggest fan of science journalism since it often uncritically reports speculations based on tropes. Is keeping the piece causal speculation based on metaphors of gender relations in some human cultures or is there something to back it up? Nonetheless, I thought I’d put it out there.

To highlight the serendipity, I will also admit that I found it on Ashton Kutcher’s twitter feed.

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