======================================================================== Cybernetics in the 3rd Millennium (C3M) -- Volume 4 Number 4, Apr. 2005 Alan B. Scrivener --- www.well.com/~abs --- mailto:abs@well.com ========================================================================

Some Changes

Dear Readers, Last month I got a "day job" after four years of consulting as "Human Interface Prototypes" (HIP). ( www.well.com/~abs/HIP ) I am now a "Field Sales Engineer" for ResMed. ( www.resmed.com ) I will be traveling a lot in this job, and will have less free time. As I have have whined about in a previous 'zine (volume 3 number 1): I earn about $10 per quarter from commissions, and since I spend upwards of 100 hours on this e-Zine, I'm averaging as little as $0.10 an hour. All told I have made $120.52 over 12 fiscal quarters. Lately I've reduced my time investment to about 75 hours per quarter, so I'm up to 13 cents an hour. My new goal is to DOUBLE this to 26 cents an hour, by reducing my publishing frequency to every other month. (I can't seem to find a way to make them shorter.) So starting with May's issue, I will produce these ONLY ON ODD NUMBERED MONTHS. I recently was reminded that in volume 1, number 1, three years ago, I promised: I'm going to devote a newsletter in the near future to science fiction since 1990 and what it teaches us about systems. So next month's e'Zine will be on that approximate topic. My working title is: "Cyberpunks in Cyberspace" ~ or ~ "The Future of Science Fiction" so stay tuned! As I've explained before, I set up this e-Zine with a "double opt in" system for sending my readers advertising emails, following the advice in Robert Allen's 2001 book "Multiple Streams of Internet Income." ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/047121888X/hip-20 ) So far, out of about 150 subscribers I have gotten only one person to "double opt in." Well, I see now that the advice was stale, dating from the pre-Spam-tsunami era, and it probably won't work any more for someone at my scale. So I am changing my privacy promise (see below). The double opt-in is going away, and my e-Zine is turning (ever so subtly) into a little more of an "infomercial." If you can't deal, unsubscribe, and I gratefully say "so long, and thanks for all the mindshare." That's about it for this month. If you still feel like reading, I put together an article recently for submission to SIGGRAPH 2005 ( www.siggraph.org/s2005 ) for client company MindTel LLC, ( www.mindtel.com ) chronicling some of the work I and others have done so far in this new century. (It was not accepted by SIGGRAPH, alas.) It's called, "Visualizing Public Health Threats: Working Results from Operation Strong Angel, the Discover Project, Shadow Bowl, Burning Man, Operation Desert Bloom, the America's Army Game and Other MindTel Projects" by Alan Scrivener, Human Interface Prototypes (HIP); Dr. David Warner, MD, PhD; MindTel, LLC Dr. Steven Birch, PhD, San Diego State University (SDSU); Matt Carbone, Ideations LLC; Mike Fusco, Simgraphics Engineering Corp.; Joh Johannsen, California Institute of Technology; Tim Murphy, Autonomechs LLC; Stephen H. Price, SDSU; Jeff Sale; and Matthew Topper, Synectic Perfectica. ( www.well.com/~abs/HIP/Mindtel/VPHT2.html )
Postscript to C3M Volume 4 Number 3, Mar. 2005 "Skeleton Key to Pop Culture" -- Reader Bruce Webster ( www.bfwa.com ) had this to say: As always, fascinating, erudite, and full of patterns. One nit: "Dobie Gillis" was based on _The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis_, a collection of short stories written by Max Shulman in the late 1940s. ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0891909826/hip-20 ) I suspect Max Shulman didn't use Archie Comics as his inspiration, though I could be wrong. Reader Will A. wrote: Recently some friends of ours from San Diego were passing through [our small town] on their way to Oregon, and parked their camper for a while in our driveway. We decided to leave our front door open overnight so they could use the facilities. I suppose we could have just given them a key, but it didn't seem worth the hassle. This had me recounting one of the few scenes I remember from Petticoat Junction. A city-slicker drove into town, parked his convertible, and pulled his keys from the ignition. A local told him, "You should leave your keys in the ignition. That way you won't lose them." I still remember the look of amazement on the driver's face. That scene always struck me as the archetype of the city-dwellers fantasy of country living. In a similar vein, five years ago I took over management of the family vineyard. The local farmers here often ask me about my farming background. I just tell them, "I'm a city boy doing a Green Acres thing." They always know what I mean. Finally, on the subject of how pop television is sometimes a mirror for our culture, here is my favorite example, which I may have told you before. The characters on Gilligan's Island were all somewhat cartoonish caricatures. And up to that time the stereotypical scientist was nearly always an Einstein knock-off, a kindly but disheveled old gentleman with frizzy white hair and mustache and a European accent. But the creators of Gilligan's Island choose to cast the Professor as a young, good-looking American, which I believe reflected an awareness in the public consciousness that the center of scientific research had shifted from Europe to the US. Another reader pointed me at an unusual pop culture web site. ( www.transparencynow.com/index.html ) In my rush to finish the 'Zine, I didn't use this evocative factoid: The "Pop-Mart" tour by U2, ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/6305166005/hip-20 ) to promote their 1997 album "Pop," ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000001EAQ/hip-20 ) began at K-Mart in Manhattan on Ash Wednesday. these thought-provoking quotes: "The public is never wrong." -- Adolph Zukor, film pioneer "Hip Hop turned into Hit Pop." -- 3rd Bass [white rap group], 1991 "Pop Goes the Weasel" ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000024IW/hip-20 ) and this mind-boggling image: ( www.groscurth.com/archives/Media%20Burn.jpg ) documenting the "Media Burn" by the radical architecture collective "Ant Farm" in 1975. ( www.icp.org/exhibitions/ant_farm/introduction.html ) (They also did the "Cadillac Ranch" on Route 66 in Texas.) ( sunsite.berkeley.edu/T-Shirts/wburnett/cadillac.jpg ) ======================================================================== newsletter archives: www.well.com/~abs/Cyb/4.669211660910299067185320382047 ======================================================================== Privacy Promise: Your email address will never be sold or given to others. You will receive only the e-Zine C3M from me, Alan Scrivener, at most once month. It may contain commercial offers from me. To cancel the e-Zine send the subject line "unsubscribe" to me. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive a commission on everything you purchase from Amazon.com after following one of my links, which helps to support my research. ======================================================================== Copyright 2005 by Alan B. Scrivener