z---->

          

"...if reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn't we really be talking about plural realities? and if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others?"  -philip k. dick

i'm not that interested in talking specifically about different kinds of cameras and why one is better than the other. but i do think the lytro is an intriguing piece of technology because it tries, in a new way, to address the disparity between the way we see things with our eyes and the way we capture them as an image.  a photographic image can be a beautiful thing that represents part of something we saw for a fraction of a moment.  what i find compelling about lytro's "living stories" as they call them, is that a single "story" seeks to represent the multiple ways an object was seen in a single moment. the multi focus and perspective shift are no doubt clumsy approximations of what our eyes are capable of.  yet the technology does indicate that there was more going on than we can capture, and by doing so it opens up our representation of reality[or realities]  just a little bit more.

the dog ate my internet

 

in 1961 newton minnow declared television a "vast wasteland."  america was just on the other side of the golden age of television and cable tv had not quite hit our public consciousness. so when i spied wired magazine's latest issue declare "the web is dead," i cynically paused, considered it among the other grandiose comments predicting the demise of one media outlet or another, and moved on.

yet, despite an argument that is nestled deep within incendiary statements, wired magazine is onto something. they make an important distinction between the content of what we know as the internet and the distribution of it on the web. this relationship goes back to a central argument surrounding the discourse of the internet- free and open web browser based systems and their closed paid for counterparts- apps.

all this is interesting and true. but it got me thinking about how it's part of a larger media cycle in general. wired doesn't talk specifically about television or radio or even film, but the pattern is nearly identical. tv and radio both began as mediums that had the potential to develop as open two way user based systems. ultimately commercialization and perhaps america's desire to passively consume and be entertained rather than create content won out. the internet has continued to battle with this tension between user driven content and commerce. for now it's both. but apple and other app driven agendas are very much running counter to this. and our gadget fixated culture is squeezing out the internet by sidestepping it, because apps access the content of the internet without using the web's protocols.

i like my iphone and my kindle and my netflix enabled blue ray player. but as wired points out, these devices while convenient, are sending the internet hurtling towards a closed pay as you play system. and i feel a bit ambivalent about it because while right now we're still in the transsionary stage, eventually these devices and their offspring will contribute to the demise of the free web and thus, it's death. as a consumer i'm part of the problem.

and finally, to confound the entire paradigm, an illustration of the fallacy even of apps- in order to read about how the web had died i tried to download WIRED magazine on my kindle, only to find it is is not available. it is available on the web, but i couldn't be bothered to sit at my desk and read it. so i gave in and bought it at the supermarket while waiting in line. mundane, and analog. perhaps we should hold judgement about the death of anything for a while yet.

r.i.p. spirit

"Spirit is not dead; it has just entered another phase of its long life..."

-Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

 

 

surpassing it's original 90 day mission which began in 2004, spirit [along with it's counterpart opportunity] has been roving around mars for 6 years now. last month however, spirit's wheels became embedded in sand and scientists determined he [is he a HE? i assume he is] would no longer be mobile. additionally, as mars is heading into winter, the angle at which spirit is now stuck prevents him from gathering the solar energy he will need to continue to function normally. so he will essentially have to go into a sort of hibernation for the winter, perhaps resuming eventually to gather stationary data.

these photos are actual martian landscapes snapped by spirit. spirit himself has been digitally comped in by nasa to represent what he most likely looked liked when they were taken.

i don't know, maybe i've watched wall-e a few too many times. but this little guy seems so cute. and he worked so hard for so long. it seems quite sad to just leave him out there all alone for the long cold martian winter.

 

photos from jpl