“We shape our tools and, thereafter, our tools shape us.” — John Culkin (1967)
“form follows function”—Louis Sullivan

Sullivan’s credo is still true, but maybe a new expression that is more in line with Digital Age is: function follows human needs, form follows human behavior.

As the situation of the philosophical thought experiment “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”, how should a tool exist when it’s unused? As the physical world, the body of the tool should exist, but how about the function?

There are great examples of mixing animation and graphics, by EYEJACK based on AR technology:

EYEJACK has also released an AR book includes these examples:

I feel it is not such perfect in this period, because of limits of devices and algorithm, but a pleasant way to use AR form in the future, with HMD as Google Glass and etc..

So the problem now is how to achieve this effect with present technology in an easy way that designers with basic coding background are able to do.

At first, I had two ideas:

  1. Using shader to make the background invisible.
  2. Using a video with alpha channel;

The first way works well, I learnt a lot from this tutorial, but the shortage of being tough to locate the video in the ideal place makes me think it might not be a good method. Here is the result:

Feb-04-2018 15-28-47.gif

1. Softwares

  1. macOS 10.13.2;
  2. Unity 2017.3;
  3. Vuforia SDK included in Unity’s installation package;
  4. After Effect CC2017.

2. Video

  1. In AE, use effect/keying/color range to make the background invisible, and export two videos: one with RGB channel and another with Alpha channel.Feb-04-2018 15-48-27.gif
  2. Create a new composition and put two videos together as this, then render it as mp4屏幕快照 2018-02-04 下午3.53.14.png

3. AR

  1. If you don’t know how to set up Vuforia’s ImageTarget environment, please follow this Vuforia official tutorial, it is quite basic and I don’t want to copy it here.
  2. Create a plane in Hierarchy, later it will be used as the platform of video playing, and drag it under the ImageTarget屏幕快照 2018-02-04 下午4.01.18.png
  3. Create a new Material in Project, and drag it on the plane, and also Add Component/Video Player on the plane, and import your video in Project and drag it into the Video Clip which is in the Video Player屏幕快照 2018-02-04 下午4.03.15.png
  4. Create a new Shader in Project, and replace all default codes with these, which I learnt from the mentioned tutorial:
         Shader "Custom/Transparent" {
     Properties {
         _Color ("Color"Color) = (1,1,1,1)
         _MainTex ("Albedo (RGB)"2D) = "white" {}
         _Glossiness ("Smoothness"Range(0,1)) = 0.5
         _Metallic ("Metallic"Range(0,1)) = 0.0
         _Num("Num",float) = 0.5 

    }

    SubShader {
         Tags { "Queue"="Transparent"  "RenderType"="Transparent"}
         LOD 200

        CGPROGRAM
     #pragma surface surf NoLighting alpha:auto
 
     fixed4 LightingNoLighting(SurfaceOutput s, fixed3 lightDir, fixed atten)
         {
             fixed4 c;
             c.rgb = s.Albedo;
             c.a = s.Alpha;
             return c;
         }
     float _Num;

        sampler2D _MainTex;

        struct Input {
             float2 uv_MainTex;
         };

        half _Glossiness;
         half _Metallic;
         fixed4 _Color;
         UNITY_INSTANCING_BUFFER_START(Props)
         UNITY_INSTANCING_BUFFER_END(Props)
     void surf (Input IN, inout SurfaceOutput o) 
         {
             o.Emission = tex2D(_MainTex, IN.uv_MainTex).rgb;            
             

             if (IN.uv_MainTex.x >= 0.5)
             {
                 o.Alpha = 0;
             }
             else
             {
                 o.Alpha = tex2D(_MainTex, float2(IN.uv_MainTex.x + 0.5, IN.uv_MainTex.y)).rgb;                        
             }

        }
         ENDCG
     }
     FallBack "Diffuse"
     }

5. Select the plane, and change the shader in the material part屏幕快照 2018-02-04 下午4.17.53.png

4.Test & Build

  1. If you have finished that Vuforia’s official tutorial, you should know how to play it with your webcam;
  2. If the webcam works well, so you can build it into your mobile device with File/Build and Run;
  3. It will automatically run the Xcode software, and this process you can learn from this Unity official tutorial.
  4. Done

The second way is much easier but it has a shortage that it can only work on apple’s devices because it use Apple ProRes 4444 which is only supported on OSX, check Unity’s official documentation about Video transparency support for more information.

1.Video

  1. It is the same workflow as the first method, in the After Effect you will have the result that video has an transparent background;屏幕快照 2018-02-04 下午6.35.50.png
  2. Then you have to export the video as QuickTime format with RGB+Alpha channels屏幕快照 2018-02-04 下午6.38.16.png
  3. On the same window, there is a button named Format Options, click it and in the new window you have to choose Apple ProRes 4444 as the Video Codec屏幕快照 2018-02-04 下午6.40.28.png
  4. Render it and you will have an Unity-Ready transparent video

2. AR

  1. Import it into Unity and in the Inspector click Keep Alpha and click Apply屏幕快照 2018-02-04 下午6.44.16.png
  2. Drag it into Video Clip of Video Player Component of Plane which has been mention in the first method, and create a new Material for the plane which shader should be selected as Transparent/VertexLit with Z屏幕快照 2018-02-04 下午6.47.56.png
  3. Done

The wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.(Herbert Simon (1971)).


Tristan Harris, the co-founder of the nonprofit group Time Well Spent, calls

a world dominated by the race for attention.

According to Harris, an ex-design ethicist at Google who The Atlantic described as “the closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience,”

we all “live in a city called the attention economy.”

That’s what is shaping everything about contemporary life, Harris says, particularly our increasingly surreal politics.

So what to do? How to make this new community more habitable?

  1. All of us should recognize that we are all vulnerable and for us to all “curate our own lives”.
  2. The platform companies should recognize that their users have “vulnerable minds” and for them to make a conscious effort to avoid feeding our “lizard brains”.

Want to succeed in the Attention Economy—without losing your soul? Here’s how:

1. RIDE THE NEWS, AND THEN RISE ABOVE THE NOISE

A top executive at a large industrial company recently marveled to me that one of Fast Company‘s competitors was tweeting more than 150 times a day; I didn’t have the heart to admit that we weren’t much more restrained. To get people to engage with content, you need to be in front of them. Even more, you need to be constantly assessing what others are doing, and adjusting your tactics and your output in real time. While data can be useful, the critical factor if you want to separate yourself is organizational metabolism: rapid, streamlined decision making. The most distinctive, impactful content requires taking some risks without losing sight of your north star. As Anthony Bourdain, host of the hit travel and food series Parts Unknownsays in this issue, “What’s good for you in the short run is not necessarily good for you in the long run.”

2. CREATE EMOTION

Controversy is one way to gain attention: Brashly challenge convention. (You might call this the Trump Doctrine.) Violence and sex works, too. But such engagement is often shallow and short-lived. To understand what anchors deeper, longer-lasting connection, recall how Hamilton became a global phenomenon. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda used a 200-year-old story to tap into core human truths. The best creative linking of ideas and feelings looks effortless, but it is an art. The best advertising has always done this, whatever the medium. Giphy’s success is built on enabling our creative expression, providing just the right, nuanced image to capture a mood.

3. USE WHAT’S NEW

Once upon a time, we made fun of hapless smartphone users who forgot to turn their cameras to landscape perspective before making videos. And then Snapchat turned those “mistakes” into a new, booming format. From GIFs to chatbots, the tools available continue to proliferate. Even what’s old has become new, like audio, thanks to podcasts and digital assistants like Alexa and Siri.

4. BELIEVE IN SOMETHING

If you’re going to streamline decision making, take creative risks, and connect emotionally using new tools, it helps to have guiding principles. That’s not just about style guides and preferred, brand-appropriate words and images. It’s about clarity of purpose, the mission of your enterprise, what it is you really want to get done. A great example of this can be found in our first-person story about Trader Joe’s work culture from the latest issue. The word “authentic” gets thrown around, as if it’s something to be managed (or, in the worst cases, manufactured). But there’s no substitute for actually believing in something. Whether we kneel, link arms, or stand on the sidelines, our actions reveal who we really are.

Red Dots

New and flourishing modes of socialization amount, in the most abstract terms, to the creation and reduction of dots, and the experience of their attendant joys and anxieties. Dots are deceptively, insidiously simple: They are either there or they’re not; they contain a number, and that number has a value. But they imbue whatever they touch with a spirit of urgency, reminding us that behind each otherwise static icon is unfinished business. They don’t so much inform us or guide us as correct us: You’re looking there, but you should be looking here. They’re a lawn that must be mowed. Boils that must be lanced, or at least scabs that itch to be picked. They’re Bubble Wrap laid over your entire digital existence.

Late last year, a red badge burbled to the surface next to millions of iPhone users’ Settings apps. It looked as though it might be an update, but it turned out to be a demand: Finish adding your credit card to Apple Pay, or the dot stays put. Apple might as well have said: Give us your credit card number, or we will annoy you until you do.

“The thing that people, I think, don’t appreciate right now is that they are already a cyborg. You’re already a different creature than you would have been 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. You can see this when they do surveys of like, ‘how long do you want to be away from your phone?’ and – particularly if you’re a teenager or in your 20s – even a day hurts. If you leave your phone behind, it’s like missing limb syndrome. I think people – they’re already kind of merged with their phone and their laptop and their applications and everything.“

So Neuralink would end up taking all the external devices that make us a cyborg, and put them straight into our brain.

Dan Brown said “Transhumanism is the ethics and science of using things like biological and genetic engineering to transform our bodies and make us a more powerful species”.

The History of ‘Transhumanism’ 

Human enhancement technologies (HET)

Emerging technologies[edit]

Speculative technologies[edit]

  • Mind uploading, the hypothetical process of “transferring”/”uploading” or copying a conscious mind from a brain to a non-biological substrate by scanning and mapping a biological brain in detail and copying its state into a computer system or another computational device.
  • Exocortex, a theoretical artificial external information processing system that would augment a brain’s biological high-level cognitive processes.
  • Endogenous artificial nutrition, such as having a radioisotope generator that resynthesizes glucose (similarly to photosynthesis), amino acids and vitamins from their degradation products, theoretically availing for weeks without food if necessary.

 

博尔斯托夫和越来越多的研究者认为,虚拟空间的经历可以反映出玩家线下生活里的状态。博尔斯托夫进一步补充说,人类所经历的一部分生活总是虚拟的。他在写道:“由于通过文化的棱镜体验生活是人类的本性,因此人类自身就具备虚拟性。

何为人类的虚拟性【校对注:virtuality,马塞尔·普鲁斯特给出的定义是:真实但不存在,理想但不抽象(real but not actual, ideal but not abstract)】?博尔斯托夫认为,人们通过共识的符号体验虚拟生活,比如神和宗教。罗伯特·怀特(Robert Wright)在其著作《上帝的进化》(The Evolution of God)一书中,针对这一现象的发展提出过一种理论。他认为长期以来被当作权力工具的宗教,正被法律法典所替代。

 

Drugs, Rape, Massacres: How AI Is Exposing Children to the Worst of Humanity

Totsploitation is in a sense grounded in the same grand tendencies in the history of innovation in the arts. By recombining motifs associated with “pure” children’s entertainment and themes connected with adult situations, the artist provokes a reaction not unlike that invited by Manet’s Olympia. The unconventional brushwork, sloppy from a neoclassical perspective, is even paralleled by the sketchy and unfinished quality of these videos. But while Manet explored the fine line separating pornography and portraiture in nude images of women branded “Venus,” the modern Totsploitation artist elicits a shocked response by dwelling on the ambiguous boundaries that distinguish different types of children’s entertainment.

Totsploitation’s closest cousin is another genre featuring mashups of stock cartoon characters, jump cuts, starling soundtracks, and disturbing hypnotic juxtapositions of kid-friendly content with adult violence: the unfortunately named Youtube Poop. It involves “absurdist remixes that ape and mock the lowest technical and aesthetic standards of remix culture to comment on remix culture itself.” Hurricoaster’s The Sky Had a Weegee is a classic example of the genre, incorporating clips from Spongebob Squarepants and the horrendous DOS version of Mario is Missing. Trajce Cvetkovski drew attention to the video when he wrote about it in 2013 because Viacom claimed a copyright infringement against it. Now, it has over 16 million views on Youtube. One of these days, Disney or Marvel might just immortalize a Totspolitation classic in the same way.

肢體語言的邊界與跨越

當你拿起剪刀把一本小說裡的字句這一點那一點地剪掉,不等於你能把文字的意義拆散,反而,新的語言會產生。讀著那剛剛出生的語言,你可能會覺得有點奇怪,但你也可能漸漸會明白。不明覺厲的樂趣,重點在於不明,那種什麼也不明白,只是被天才拉著手往前跑的感覺,非常愉快。但願大家總有一天都能感受到。

The Joy of Writing

Why does this written doe bound through these written woods?
For a drink of written water from a spring
whose surface will xerox her soft muzzle?
Why does she lift her head; does she hear something?
Perched on four slim legs borrowed from the truth,
she pricks up her ears beneath my fingertips.
Silence – this word also rustles across the page
and parts the boughs
that have sprouted from the word “woods.”

Lying in wait, set to pounce on the blank page,
are letters up to no good,
clutches of clauses so subordinate
they’ll never let her get away.

Each drop of ink contains a fair supply
of hunters, equipped with squinting eyes behind their sights,
prepared to swarm the sloping pen at any moment,
surround the doe, and slowly aim their guns.

They forget that what’s here isn’t life.
Other laws, black on white, obtain.
The twinkling of an eye will take as long as I say,
and will, if I wish, divide into tiny eternities,
full of bullets stopped in mid-flight.
Not a thing will ever happen unless I say so.
Without my blessing, not a leaf will fall,
not a blade of grass will bend beneath that little hoof’s full stop.

Is there then a world
where I rule absolutely on fate?
A time I bind with chains of signs?
An existence become endless at my bidding?

The joy of writing.
The power of preserving.
Revenge of a mortal hand.

By Wislawa Szymborska
From “No End of Fun”, 1967
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanag

Dance Ink – Vol. 8 No. 2

The problem we are facing is not the high-level intelligent invention as AI we all know will be smarter than humanbeings, but if it will have the negative capability which firstly mentioned by John Keats means

several things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously – I mean Negative Capability, that is when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason – Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half knowledge.

From this point, the difference between the organic and the inorganic maybe an interesting ket point. If AI is created in an organic way, will it be easier for it to understand humanbeing as a similar existence?

I’m back to creative coding and try to restart and may start to note the schedule here.

1# When you greet this little robot, it will be happy – Using Arduino with an 8×8 led matrix and a motion Sensor.

2# Add Speech Recognition, when saying “hey” it will smile, “haha” it will be sad, “byebye” it will show a neutral face.