"The concept of swarm intelligence is borrowed from nature, and in this interview with Eric Bonabeau, that's where the conversation begins--with ants and other social insects. Dr. Bonabeau takes us from his childhood nightmares of carnivorous wasps to applying the theories of swarm intelligence to solving real problems in the business world."
"Like the Citröen and the cathedral, the London Underground Map was produced in relative anonymity, the lifework of an unacknowledged, if not unknown, artist. It, too, has been consumed "devoured" in one accountby "a whole population" both as an object-in-use as well as a way-of-imagining space. Its magic is such that it, in turn, "consumed" the spatial relations which existed before its creation."
"By selling handsets on the basis of craftsmanship, style and service, rather than whizzy features, Vertu is taking a different approach to that of the technology-obsessed mobile-telephone industry ..."
Strolling along at the back of last weekend's peace march, stepping through the debris left in its wake, I absent-mindedly recalled Matt's observation about the professionals who have to construct Colin Powell's Powerpoint, and their design choices. I'd often wondered about what goes through the minds of news illustrators, whilst working on explanatory infographics for 9/11, say. But then I've done morally objectionable work myself: building websites which make Genesis look good; airbrushing out a Spice Girl's cellulite.
Anyway, to contrast this glossy design around the phony war, I thought I'd capture some of the home-grown user-centred design decisions made by the marchers last week.
There's been plenty of photos of the marchers, and of the sea of posters.
Defining one's geography and culture seemed important (as ever in this city) e.g. this placard (outside the site where an anaesthetic was first administered in England - don't think there's an irony there).
Moreoever, could this sign be in any other country? I don't think so. "This sort of thing" indeed.
English eccentricity too - here, into the frankly surreal (along the crease it says "we love see saws").
This march felt different to the recent anti-globalisation rallies too - and it wasn't just this obvious dissonance of commerce along the way. There was something slightly surreal about the march, arranged as it was alongside London's shopping streets. One could do a bit of shopping, have a bit of a march, bit more shopping, march, shop, march, shop. What this says about contemporary politics I'm not sure. Maybe it's a good thing that the march was so accessible that Saturday afternoon; perhaps politics can be postively realigned alongside leisure activities, as a tacit recognition of the commodification of all culture. Yet how sad that that political expression en masse seemed - to me - to be tainted in some way due to making protest so accessible. Then again, would a degree of inconvenience have made the protest more real? Maybe it was just good to let people buy a tube of Clarins to protect against the biting easterly (only kidding).
Perhaps I shouldn't have been skirting round the edges of the march, camera dangling towards the ground and the discarded tools of protest. I could've gone on, grabbing images of home-made banners, kids propped in the air, the crowd denouncing the war with polite good-nature. But I ran out of SmartMedia, and y'know what? Tottenham Court Road was at least a block away. All of which says more about me, really ...
If you can ignore the dreadful intro, there's a cute little Flash thing here which compares Harry Beck's original 1933 London Underground map with the 2003 version, and then the geographical 'reality'.
"Watching them compete against each other is like watching the last propeller plane in a dogfight with the first jet, and the rest of us can only feel privileged to witness such an historic, era-defining spectacle. Slowly but surely, the ingrained habits of English (and Scottish) football are giving way to an approach more in keeping with the way lives are lived in the new century. Just as corporal punishment disappeared from schools, so fear is no longer the weapon with which to persuade young footballers to give their best."
Richard Williams on Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson. Williams articulates what I've thought for a while (though he's done so elegantly, clearly, and, er, actually): Ferguson and his ilk are the last of a dying breed, and that managers like Wenger, Houllier, and Eriksson represent the truly progressive spirit in football, standing for intelligence, reason, studied dignity, and the smart appliance of science, whilst simultaneously wedded to a genuinely humane approach and a real sense of passion.
Oh, and in other anime news, there's a new trailer up at the Animatrix site. Quicktime, and hi-bandwidth required. Click on 'The Second Renaissance'. Not sure who it's by, but the style is reminscent of Rintaro's Metropolis - though things get more violent.