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Asperger Syndrom and me

Today I stumbled over an Artikel in Telepolis (german) about the Asperger Syndrom. I never heard of it before but what I read reminded me of myself so much that I did further studying and I think all things point to a direction that I have a light form of Asperger and that this was already highly visible in my youth and the subsequent years. Some of my eccentricity, my fear of large groups, the telefon and that I rather sit in front of the computer alone then go out with friends might be attributes to that. Asperger is to be believed a "mild" form autism without the complete lack of the surrounding that autism patients have but with a lot of other things in common. There is a test (in german) where you can check if tend to Asperger symptoms. It is nothing people canīt live with and most who where diagnosed with it still had a successful live but we are different eccentric, alien sometimes it seems we are "cold" and have no respect yet we are just trying things different and do not adhere so much to society. Funnily enough there is a group called "Institute For the Study of the Neurologically Typical" that portrays the "normal" persons as beeing mentally ill. You can even test if you are NT (neurologically typical). From their website:

Neurotypical syndrome is a neurobiological disorder characterized by preoccupation with social concerns, delusions of superiority, and obsession with conformity.

Neurotypical individuals often assume that their experience of the world is either the only one, or the only correct one. NTs find it difficult to be alone. NTs are often intolerant of seemingly minor differences in others. When in groups NTs are socially and behaviorally rigid, and frequently insist upon the performance of dysfunctional, destructive, and even impossible rituals as a way of maintaining group identity. NTs find it difficult to communicate directly, and have a much higher incidence of lying as compared to persons on the autistic spectrum.

NT is believed to be genetic in origin. Autopsies have shown the brain of the neurotypical is typically smaller than that of an autistic individual and may have overdeveloped areas related to social behavior.

Before you send me money so I can get treatment. The best treatment for Aspies is more learning to work on social skills (looking people in the eyes) and just get along with others and some open mindedness of the other that yourself is a bit different.


Cellular Automata Musical Compositions

Steven Wolfram predicted in his book A New Kind Of Science that cellular automatons and surrounding mathematics can be used to create art and music. Everyone who does not believe this can listen to some very classical jazz like (but not noise and actual harmonic tunes) compositions completly automaticly generated through cellular automata science.
The Automatous Monk is even offering a mp3 radio that you can tune in around the clock and listen to this computer generated music all day if you happen to like it. His comment:

Turn off that smooth 'jazz' FM nonsense and listen to some AM Radio for a change, Automatous Monk Radio, that is.


The future of the web is not the browser

incompixow1_0.pngMaking tools myself that take information in form of rss feeds and xml streams etc. and putting them into new cloth I get more and more the feeling that the future of the web sits not inside the browser window. As more and more information comes available this information craves for the attention of the world population and to distant itself from other information the browser seems not the best tool. I am not talking about flishy flushy flash sites I am talking about proper use of this information and using them in a manner that presents the information so its easier and faster to understand and comprehend. Its tools like widgets screensavers blogtvs tickers and tools that will yet have to be invented that will take the web to a version 2.0 where information is not only many and pretty to look at but also will be presented in a form that will make it easier to follow the information trail that is of interest to the viewer. For now take a look at my screensaver that I did for the incom workspace tool of the University for Applied Science Potsdam to see a concept of what I mean. Pictures and user definable RSS streams are mixed to give an outsider an overview of the school and its workwebsite presence, the newcomer a way to find use for the tool and for the insider user a nicely way to follow what is going on while taking a break. I am not saying its anything new I just come to the conclusion that this is where part of the web is headed and I really like this.

PS:The screensaver is programmed in Apples Quartz Composer and runs only under MacOSX 10.4.1 Tiger and with a graphic card of at least 16 MB. I would like to thank Pierre-Olivier Latour the Quartz Composer Architect for his help throughout the little project.


First Quarz Composer VJ Application

Roger Bolton also known as Dr. Eskaton who I recently meet in London has finished his first Quartz Composer Based VJ application. You can download it here.
He also introduces a special Quartz Composer for VJ Website. What is interesting on this website he uses a QuartzComposer Patch as design element on top. Anyone who has a windows machine and Quicktime7 installed care to tell me if he sees this?


Robocop becomes reality

JapaneseRobotGuardstoPa.jpgWell not quite as advanced as the film version but apperently the Japanese are deploying robots in malls and busy downtown areas to spot "sign of trouble". The robot then sends a signal to a human security team together with camera feed. Guardrobo D1 made by Sohgo Security Services Co., Ltd. is 1.09 meter tall and will detectsintruders, fires, or even water leaks and is aimed at controlling the uncontrolled youth that is becoming a minority in Japan. (however you want to understand that...)


The worlds first VJ Widgetcast plus Artificial EyeTunes

artificialeyetunes.pngiTunes 4.9 is incorporating podcasts - means you can download rss feeds of your favorite podcasts - normal rss feeds with an Audio embed - and have them uploaded to your iPod all automatically.
With the functionality of AudioPodcast came the quite introduction of videocasts for the growing number of videoblogs. So Apple acknowledges not only that VideoBlogs are the next big thing but also give a huge boost to this still young scene around the net.

Now get the worlds first vjCast in eyeTunes for our Artificial Eye VJBLOG. (simply copy the this link and add to your podcasts in iTunes via the Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast menue option)

Widgetcast.pngAnd while you are at it making use of cool Apple Tiger Technologies you can also download our highly experimental ArtificialEye VJWidget that displays the last five entries in an experimental interface. (skins to follow ;)

More information on the Artificial Eye

The minimalist society

Square Boxes, clearly readable "helvetica like" typography, cutout black figures, square boxes shallow easy to swallow short messages oh and square boxes are all that is successful these days and that is most that is primarely visible. Trying to bring complexity to a live that in the 21st century is reflected by its design, readings and open public "opinion" seems to be taken more and more as insult and offense. The success of the iPod like products, boxy layouts on the net and the overall trend of "less is more" that started with the bauhaus early in the last century seems the winner in all aspects of life at the moment. I always hoped that at some point I see a return to the ornaments that make this life complex, that add wonderful flowing depth and curiosity to life as a whole – that reflect the complexity of the world.
Yet the world seems to adjust to the minimalist current state by spreading ideas that are best reflected with the "good or evil" speeches of President Bush. It seems "thinking out of the box" is putting you out of the squares that form the social chessboard. Everyone wants to be famous, rich and powerfull and all that fast and easy and a good way to do it is to take everything out of ones thoughts, work and action that could be interpreted or that could lend depth or that could take time away from an audience. The most successful blog on the net are those that talk about dogs or celebrities sex life or about simplistic "good or evil" schemes. The most successful product of our times is a music player that has been stripped of all functionality other then playing tunes and presented in a "revolutionary" white square.
I am personally offended that companies and individuals think that all people on this earth are these one dimensional creatures that donīt want to think. That donīt want to hack through life discovering new stuff the longer they spend time on it and I predict that the future will not be any better as "statisics" show the humans have less and less time - even though they live about 20-30 years longer then in earlier periods of its existence. So the clear thinking is "make it fast – make it easy – make it simple and take out everything that could lead someone to explore or get its own message out of it".
I think because of this easiness the attention span of modern people shrinks more and more and I think this harms society as a whole. Most kids are not used to read longer then half a page text, are not used to decipher crazy ornamental typography - they mostly donīt even try and complain that it is unreadable. They are sucked in by the easiness presented to them to what at times seems lazy producers with not enough time on their own hands to produce or think about more complex products or specifically targeting this short attention span as a big viable market leading to a spiral that already leads to absurd one dimensional word combination without any explanation and square boxes.
But there is a limit. Not all company logos can become a black circle on white background not all commercials can have a black silhouette on a one color background not all products can be squares with one button not every idea can be presented in a one liner. Will we soon live in world that is "push one button" functional without any deeper longer thinking - will this world still considered "creative" and leave things to explore. Will they shape all of nature the way that it looks and feels less complex then it really is just to please the mind of those not thinking multidimensional. Will the majority become one dimensional consumers with only work and party at their main concern in life? I clearly think that this is happening but are there ways out of it? I think you can find very bright people around the world that are working on a multitude of branches and enforcing this but they are clearly the minority and are constantly being put in corners and oppressed only few make it out of their corners only to let their messages get "simplified" so they are understandable in the first dimension. I am just a little sad to see no deep and organic ornamental smooth round approaches to life in general - approaches that would suit the complexity of our surrounding - approaches that leave room for exploration, mind wandering and self conclusion - approaches that give space to multidemsional thinking and critical observation.