Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Self-portrait without me

Obviously, no sociological work is ever about us. It might be about those who surround us, but we ourselves are different, unique.
The idea of the is simple: The beacon continuously relays selected live web searches as they are being made around the world, presenting them back in series and at regular intervals. Both simple and fascinating.
Note: This beacon began in January 2005. I believe a similar device has been working for several years (?) at the Google headquarters. I even tried with some colleagues to use it once to send a message to the people at the company. I wonder what it would have taken to have it work.

The authors are quite ambitious in their way of seeing their work: The beacon has been instigated to act as a silent witness: a feedback loop providing a global snapshot of ourselves to ourselves in real-time.

Watching the new words appear for several minutes, I realized how false that pretension is: all of the quests I saw were in English. What sort of a distorted snapshot is this? It is the snapshot of the internet, of how we see the world, of what our glasses look like and how far (near) they allow us to see. In real-time.

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