Archive for January, 2012
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Tweenbots: What Technology Can Reveal About Empathy And Cooperation
Tweenbots are human-dependent cardboard robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, they rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal. The Tweenbot’s success is dependent people’s willingness to step outside of habitual actions and engage with a technological object in the city space. As emotive characters placed in the improbable setting of the city, Tweenbots create an unexpected interaction, disrupting the narratives of our everyday experience, and offering a fleeting and playful connection in the context of the city street. I walked out to Washington Square Park on a sunny summer day, placed my first Tweenbot on the sidewalk, and walked away. From a distance, I observed as the Tweenbot––a smiling 10-inch tall cardboard missionary––bumped... Continue Reading
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How Crowdfunding Saved 722 Square Miles of Rainforest
In 2007, Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador, made an offer to the rest of the world. Underneath his country’s Yasuni National Park, one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, lie 846 million barrels of oil valued at $7.2 billion. If the rest of the world could provide Ecuador with half that sum, Correa proposed, the oil would stay in the ground and the rainforest above it would stay intact. By August 2010, with the help of the United Nations Development Programme, Ecuador had set up a trust fund to receive whatever funds it could raise and set a... Continue Reading
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