Sunday, June 22, 2008

Neoliberal Geography Souffle

You take one part psychogeography, one part mass observation, and sprinkle liberally with condensed data mining, stir with latest GPS enabled communication device (Blackberry or iPhone preferred). Combination will become a doughy substance called "reality mining".
Caution, may rise too fast and deflate unexpectedly.
OK, enough with the silly metaphors (sorry food is on our minds). "Reality mining" is described by its founder, Sandy Pentland, of MIT:
The science behind reality mining is that subtle patterns in how we interact with other people reveal our attitudes toward them. These biologically based “honest signaling” mechanisms, including a person’s activity level and how the timing of their actions is influenced by others, offer an unmatched window into our social life, intentions, and health. By understanding these subtle patterns we can better understand ourselves, and begin to engineer our society to be a happier, more human place to live...
Locative Media meet genetic determinism. Apparently a "right to the city" isn't as important as a profitable index of it in these people's utopian vision of a "more human place to live."
The real beneficiaries of the US Government's requirement for all mobile phones to carry GPS location awareness are becoming more and more apparent.

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