Tags: 2nd reading 4 Week Response ambient informatics ambient intelligence apple t-shirts barbie burroughs Data POV presentation links delicious design intentions dispepsi emotions final project update Fogg internet of things iphone apps ipod lie detector lockton media midterm MIPs Netflix non-human persuasive technology POV Question 1 question2 Question 2 Reading 1 Reading 2 redesigning emotions sadness Sandra's Exposure Presentation sensor networks smart objects social persuasion Spimes technovelgy Technovelgy Group Assignment tv Week 3 Technovelgy Response week 4 non-human post week 4 reading response week 8 emotions

By (February 2, 2009) (,)

The lie detector is an interesting case.  I think that technology, especially in the sciences, is often regarded as infallible.  Machines can measure things that cannot be directly observed and return concrete answers.  There is a sort of reassurance in their perceived precision.  It is not surprising that Marston wanted to find a way to measure something as hard to observe as emotion and intent.  Those old newspaper articles are bizarre and poignant.  The women are strapped into awkward looking sensor contraptions which spit out dramatic graphs.  The confident scientist interprets the graph and tells them who they should marry.  Such a simple, clean solution to a complicated problem!  It speaks to the amount of trust people place in technology and in the scientists/authorities using it.

This American Life has a great story about a lie detector used in a job interview for the defense department:  http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1076   It is a good example of a lie detector not working as intended.  The man being questioned failed the polygraph because he was nervous about the test itself.  In an attempt to explain why he failed, he confessed to a crime he had never committed. 

The apple employee shirt system makes me think of ant castes.  It is rather dehumanizing, but I guess it would help reduce confusion in a large store.  Though the attempt to seem casual and anti-corporate (with friendly names and slogans) makes it seem more sinister and Orwellian to me.  I like that Improv Everywhere used best buy’s color-coded shirts to create more confusion.

I love the house with a puzzle.  I wish every house had a story and a scavenger hunt.


Identify an experience which exposed an attempt to persuade you:
I used to live and vote in San Francisco.  California has a system of direct voter initiatives that can make it really difficult to interpret the ballot.  The ads and ballot measures are usually worded to obscure the identity of the sponsors and their true intent.  
For instance there was a very appealing measure on the ballot to buy and save failing movie theaters.  The sponsors called themselves “save our theaters” and appeared to be a legitimate neighborhood organization.  In the description they romanticized old theaters and their value to the community.  I would have easily voted for this, except that the san francisco film society started an email forward revealing that the sponsor of the bill was a actually poorly organized group with no previous community involvement and no plan or experience with movie theaters.  I believed the film society email because it came from an established group that I trusted. 
I also like this website that is dedicated to fact checking political advertisements in San Francisco: http://wiki.spot.us/election.  I have used political fact checker sites like factcheck.org to look into claims made during the presidential debates, as well.  

February 2, 2009

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