30 August 2011

Five Years.

Yesterday marked five years since I drove one-way to New York.

I don't talk about New York much – whenever I start to, I lose all of my words. Enjoy the song – for various reasons, Bizarre Love Triangle is the one that reminds me of the city the most.

17 August 2011

Dropbox as carrier pigeon

Several months ago, I shared a song with my friend Mike via Dropbox.

Days later, I was doing some hard drive housecleaning, and noticed a new file in my Dropbox folder called hi hi.txt. Inside was a line of text:

hello toky toky! -MLE, 1/17/2010

So, I responded.

oh my goodness, hello! -Johanna, 1/26/2011

Over time, another text file appeared.

And another.

We never talked about this, but kept adding to hi hi.txt little by little over time. This is what it looks like now (please excuse my too many exclamation points):

I love how we got used to and felt the medium out by mirroring each other's writing styles – first with writing our name and date after each message, and later evolving to just including the date.

To me it feels a little like long-distance, long-term message exchanges, like playing a game of chess with someone else via mailed letters.* Mike brought up how crazy it was that we were communicating by physically making changes to each other's hard drives over time. So sci-fi (especially since we live across the country from each other). Usually people who opt for slower communication do it in a way that purposefully ignores new technologies – the thought of slower communication existing within the very channels that its participants strive to distance themselves from had never occurred to me.

* How much would you scream if chess-by-mailed-letter became the next "thing?" I would never stop laughing.

12 August 2011

Visual Cues of a Collective Experience

A month or two ago, Laura and I walked down the High Line in a heat wave. As the sun was setting and it was still 100°F out, we literally ran to a frozen fruit bar vendor we saw near the 30th Street staircase. As we walked away with our spoils, we noticed them melting a lot more rapidly than we had expected – it was like someone had turned a faucet on in our hands. So after fumbling around for a few steps, we stopped at one of the benches that line the park to finish our popsicles before they disappeared completely. We were only half successful:

Visual cues @ The Highline


And then I noticed something pretty awesome when we got up and kept walking – visual evidence of all New Yorkers getting outside in this heat, having the same idea, and getting through it in the same way that we did.

Visual cues @ The Highline

Visual cues @ The Highline

Visual cues @ The Highline

The popsicle puddles continued for several steps and several benches. I bet there's some cool calculation you could run here – involving the temperature, size of popsicle, rate of melting, steps taken, average walking speed per person and opportunity cost – that would predict or dictate when the puddles would stop.
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