Archive for the ‘discussion’ Category

A book review of Thomas de Zengotita’s Mediated.  “Saying it’s just more of what we had before is like saying a hurricane is just more breeze”. Culturally, the media form the air we breathe. They have such a widespread presence in modern life that stepping back and form theory of media in society has become nearly impossible. […]



Reading Kim Zetter’s “Countdown to Zero Day” You might not find it shocking news there is a digital weapons race going on between secret service agencies of nation-states like the US and other countries. Either you knew, or you expected it, or you wondered why you should care about this stuff at all. In all […]

This post is part of a short series on the benefits and shortcomings of ‘networks’ as an explanation of many things in our world. In previous editions, I first gave a short introduction to mathematical network theory and secondly I discussed whether explanations in terms of networks have added value over more simple explanations. In […]

A review of the book “Ubiquitous Photography” by Martin Hand. I have a notebook somewhere with an old advertisement for camera phones. The ad shows a woman in sexy lingerie, sending a picture to her partner to ask for his (her?) opinion. It must have been 2001, camera phones were new and the telephone providers […]

Imagine having a device which can post sound bites from your home to your Facebook wall. Now and then it will record the sounds in your home, scramble them – so listeners cannot recognize specific sounds, and it will make an audio post for you. Most people I talk to, think this is a stupid idea. […]

Something fairly insignificant happened on the train the other day, when it occurred to me there is something wrong with the way we think about (and design for) privacy. It wasn’t long after the introduction of the “OV-chipkaart”: an electronic payment system for public transport in the Netherlands. I was minding my own business, when […]

As “Gamification” is on the top of the Gartner Hype Cycle, you can hardly have missed the term. The idea is captivating too. Games can motivate people to do boring and repetitious tasks over and over again. So, if you can harness these incredible powers of game dynamics, you can get people to do almost […]

Are the N-Geners different after all? Is the swift, social media enabled, coordination of mass protests in the “Arab spring” or the “London Riots” a sign of a rising “culture of cooperation”, inspired by the Internet?  In their book Wikinomics netoptimists Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams claim the Net- Generation, born after the invention of […]

Penguins move swiftly in water, but slow on land. Influence has similar peculiarities. If you show your new smartphone to colleagues they want to buy it right away, but somehow you mother reacts differently. Or try to start a Mexican wave in a shopping mall: at times it easy to influence others, but sometime it […]