Listen Out!

Went to Listen Out on the weekend. Main acts (or the ones which mattered to me) included Rufus, Disclosure, Duke Dumont, TNGHT, Classixx, Miguel Campbell and many more. Azealia Banks walked of stage with a “f**k this” within a minute of getting on stage, because someone threw a water bottle at her. Apparently, the same thing happened in Sydney. So, unfortunately one bad apple spoiled it for the rest. In saying this, Listen Out as a whole was amazing. My ticket was around $100 from memory (very affordable), drinks were cheaper then most clubs, it began later in the afternoon (could have a sleep in), was located at the Botanical Gardens a mere 15 minute train ride away and the small set up made it easy to get around and find friends. All round it was a GREAT day. 

Week 10

Are there limits to what we define as technology?

Previous theorists have said that technology is anything other than nature. But, Adrian noted that now there is no separation between ‘technology’ and nature. The condition we are in makes it impossible to escape technology. Take camping for example, you drive to your camping spot, set up a tent, and a plane may fly overhead etc.


I hang my clothing. Folding is a timely process and it always looks messy. More importantly folded clothing, is hidden clothing to me. Unless I can see it, it doesn’t exist. Literally, everything on my cupboard shelves hasn’t been touched in several months. This includes clothing I don’t wear but can’t yet part with, books I would like to read but simply can’t because I am over committed to reality television, and other miscellaneous items. The same goes for my jewelry. For this reason, I purchased six lovely hooks (or two sets of three) to hang my necklaces and bracelets on. Not only are these hooks practical, but they display my jewelry like art. They are a nice little feature in my bedroom and one that receives many compliments. I purchased these hooks from ‘Bed, Bath and Table’ because they go with the shabby chic look of my bedroom. Honestly, they were a pain to put on the wall. . . according to the handy man that was paid to hang them. But, not all hooks are tricky. Small hooks like these aren’t difficult to come by. Ikea and other home ware stores usually have them. You could even go to your local hardware store. I highly recommend you invest in some.

How GREEN are you really being?

So, Spirax note books. These are the yellow ones that most people seem to use. You may be familiar with the calendar page that doubles as an advertisement, which is found at the beginning of the note book. Typically, I tear this out without a second thought but this time I didn’t, and I’m glad I didn’t. The other day, whilst at University, I became a little disinterested and read the ‘Did you know?’ section of said advertisement. One really jumped out at me…

“Paper demand increases by 40% in companies that introduce email systems, because employees tend to print emails before reading them.”

So many people champion the Internet and emails in particular, for saving trees and decreasing our carbon footprint. But, this clearly isn’t the case.

Week 9 Unsymposium

An interesting point

Adrian made an interesting point about the Internet being in NO way virtual. He said, and I agree, that we renege all responsibility when saying that the Internet is just virtual. Adrian used the example of our phones, and the landfill this creates.

Why does the 80/20 rule seem to appear universally in the physical world?

In my opinion, this question is more an attempt to generate conversation and less about seeking a genuine answer i.e. asking a question for the sake of asking a question. I think Adrian’s answer – “I have no idea” – exemplifies this. Elliot and Jasmine made reference to Barabasi’s notes on growth and preferential attachment but, Adrian corrected that the 80/20 rule in the physical world is separate from power law distributions.

The long tail

By linking to the ‘long tail’ we are helping it become healthier and thereby avoiding the rich get richer phenomenon. There is more information in the long tail and we need to nurture this. For example, blogs contain specific information about specific topics, whereas A-list broadcasters like The Age only touch the surface in their attempt to cover a broad range of topics.

Lose yourself to Potts

Potts’ ‘Introduction: ‘Culture’ and ‘Technology’ looks at the “complex relationship between culture and technology.” Technological advances have affected studies across the board, from medicine and sciences to new media art. Potts states that “new technologies have played a prominent role – from intellectual property to the changing notion of community.” This prompted a few thoughts. Firstly, the cultural pressures associated with ever evolving technologies and the perceived ‘need’ to have the latest and greatest version of everything – phones, tablets, cars etc. It also relates to something one of my Niki group members told me about; Silicon Valley companies buying intellectual property and patenting ideas (lots of ideas). So what does this me for me? Well, you may come up with a brilliant invention, something you believe is a completely original idea BUT… some company in Silicon Valley has already patented the idea. This company will then charge you a fee for your idea. Here is an article I found about this issue:

For more Potts:

Unimportant Side Note
I was listening to Daft Punk’s ‘Lose yourself to dance’ while writing this post, hence the title.

Does a network have a centre?

This was one of the questions explored in week eight’s symposium. Jasmine said ‘no,’ reasoning that networks function on group behaviours and relations between parts. In this way, we are the centre of our networks because they are based on our decisions and connections. Adrian made a link to the week’s readings which explored scale free networks. Importantly (and logically) he noted that scale free networks cannot be scale free if there is a centre or anything resembling a hierarchy. Instead, these networks continually grow and shape emerges. Adrian compared the Internet and railroads. The Internet is an example of a scale free network, a railroad isn’t. The shape of a railroad needs to be planned in advance or it simply won’t function. In saying this, even though there is no ‘architect’ or planning involved in the structure of the internet, random connections do create structure. This is disproving previous models which suggest all networks need a hub. These models reflect traditional societal models based on hierarchy or status.

Some exploration…

In week 8’s tutorial we discussed ‘the long tail’ in more detail. The long tail is about the Internet but, also about the economics of the entertainment industry and how to make money. Traditional money making is dependent on popularity and getting hits. People are going through catalogs and discovering their preferences are much more niche than they originally thought. Now, through a series of links, peoples niches are becoming more specific. We discussed this in terms of music… you ‘like’ a band on Facebook, they link to a band that inspires them and so on. Adrian comments “This is why linking matters, it is how you build and nurture the long tail (and that the tail is where immense niche value lies).” Though your music list may be expanding, your preferences are not necessarily broadening. 

The 80/20 Rule

This was another interesting read from Barabasi. It began with a look at Italian Economist Vilfredo Pareto and his ‘80/20 Rule.’ This rule is based on one of Pareto’s empirical observations; “he noticed that 80 per cent of his peas was produced by only 20 per cent of the peapods.” Pareto found that “in most cases four-fifths of our efforts are largely irrelevant.” This has since, “morphed into a wide range of other truisms as well.” Though this rule can be applied to a lot of situations, it cannot be applied to all situations. It can, however, be applied to the Web – “80 per cent of links on the Web point to only 15 per cent of Webpages.”

Barabasi notes that the Web network isn’t heaps of random links but “many nodes with a few links only, and a few hubs with an extraordinarily large number of links.” He reasons that “the distribution of links on various Webpages precisely follows a mathematical expression called a power law.” Every time a 80/20 rule applies, there is a power law behind it. “A histogram following a power law is a continuously decreasing curve, implying that many small events coexist with a few large events.” Different from a bell curve, it “does not have a peak.”

Barabasi states that “in a continuous hierarchy there is no single node which we could pick out and claim to be characteristic of all nodes . . . This is the reason my research group started to describe networks with power-law degree distribution as scale-free.”

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