How Much Work is Too Much?

Facebook COO Sharyl Sandberg has kicked up a mini-controversy by admitting to Makers.com that she leaves the office at 5:30PM every day, and has done so for years. In the Valley, where work is a religion, leaving early is heresy. Earlier this week “Jon” published The 501 Developer Manifesto, a call for developers to spend less time working. These calls for less time at the office are counter balanced by a recent talk by Google executive Marissa Mayer at an 92|Y event.

What are blogs good for?

tobias has a great post up about blogging. I don’t take issue with the thesis of the post, but there’s something there that I’ve been thinking about: Blogs tend to not express or reflect on political action, taken or organised by the blogger; rather, the act of writing the blog is considered to be political and active in itself. Blogs are not reports. This is not a new position–it is the turf of the political writer (Voltaire, Rousseau, etc.

Ransoming content

Another idea which it seems like someone must have come up with already: ransoming art/content/whatever. The idea is simple: a content provider sets up a donation box and publishes material enough money has been made. It seems this may only work for someone with an established reputation as a good content provider, but as long as the goals set are reasonable it could work. This solves a couple problems: it prevents there from being a toll box on the information superhighway as some people have put it (a real problem considering that what’s a micropayment in the US could be considerably larger in a third world country, where even getting internet access is very expensive).

Idea-blogging: games as musical interface

I’m gonna do some idea-blogging over the next few days, trying to get some ideas out there for some feedback (or at least so I don’t forget them). I’ve had this “games as musical interface” idea for a couple years. A number of “generative” and “fractal” music programs out there (check out this listing). Mostly the interfaces consist of typing in numbers, moving sliders around, or dragging something around the screen randomly.

Audience participation in music

Einsturzende Neubauten had a subscription program through their web site through which subscribers could watch and listen to the band’s studio sessions and then leave comments in a forum. So essentially they were letting their fans have a say in the album before it was completed. This wouldn’t work for a lot of bands, but it makes sense for Neabauten. Pigface should do this as well. Some things Pigface have done: let audience members call up and leave messages on the office answering machine for use in an album (Feels Like Heaven, Smells Like Shit) and more recently let fans send in tapes and CD-Rs of them saying “fuck [something]” to be collaged on a Pigface record (not sure if that stuff ever got used).

Writing Game

This message is for Brenden Simpson – I don’t have access to ICQ right now, and I’m never sure what your e-mail address is. But, anyone interested is welcome to reply. While I’m waiting for the perfect Live Journal narrative idea and video graffiti idea to strike me, how about: We write an outline, with say 10 landmarks (more might be necessary). We setup a content managment system.

Live Journal as an interactive narrative tool

Thoughts on the Live Journal interactive narrative idea: I don’t want to do “the story game” (where each person writes a piece of the story). I don’t want to do a simple novel serialization like Class of 91 or a “writing in public” exercise like Listener by Ellis or Unwirer by Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross. But, I wouldn’t rule out the idea of doing a project using Movable Type, a wiki, or some other collaboration ware.

Notes on the Spectacle and the Panopticon

Just to collect some of my notes and materials in one place: Current thesis: While the authorities are installing surveillance systems as mechanisms of control, rather than protection, the effects may have the opposite effect. “Surveillance society” may lead to a form of liberation. surveillance camera players – camera phone predictions Bowling Alone Douglas Rushkoff: The myth of the conservative point of view is that we have somehow lost a sense of family values in this country.