All posts by Apoorva Ramakrishnan

Temperature: Low to High

Using the API that we used in class, I created a temperature visualization for the max and min temperatures. Max and min temperature are “deviation from current temp that is possible for large cities and megalopolises geographically expanded.” (OpenWeatherMap) So, because the temperature is not exactly known, I included the lowest, highest, and average temperature at a given point.

To make it make more sense to the human mind, I created a background that went from hot colors at the top to cool colors at the bottom so how humans react to this temperature can be visualized.

Here is my code:

let apiKey = “&appid=b57a680f34f3460d401be2d2f10fefd7”;
let domain = “https://api.openweathermap.org/data/2.5/find?q=”;
let city = “London”;
let units = “&units=metric”;
let url;

let weatherData;
let button;
let userInput;
let size;
let sunrise;
let temp;
let maxTemp;
let minTemp;
function setup()
{
userInput = createInput();
button = createButton(“SUBMIT”);
button.mousePressed(makeRequest);

createCanvas(400, 400);

//console.log(url);
}

function draw()
{
background(255);
noStroke();
fill(0, 31, 188)
rect(0, height/6 * 5, width, height/6);
fill(144, 229, 255);
rect(0, height/6 * 4, width, height/6);
fill(115, 255, 73);
rect(0, height/6 * 3, width, height/6);
fill(255, 255, 40);
rect(0, height/6 * 2, width, height/6);
fill(255, 111, 0);
rect(0, height/6 * 1, width, height/6);
fill(255, 0, 0);
rect(0, height/6 * 0, width, height/6);
if(weatherData)
{
temp = weatherData.list[0].main.temp;
maxTemp = weatherData.list[0].main.temp_max;
minTemp = weatherData.list[0].main.temp_min;
stroke(110);
fill(110);

ellipse(50,(300 – (minTemp * 7.5)), 5, 5);
ellipse(175,(300 – (temp * 7.5)), 5, 5);
ellipse(300, (300 – (temp * 7.5)), 5,5 );

text(“lowest” + ” (” + minTemp + ” C” + “)”, 50 + 5,(300 – (minTemp * 7.5)));
text(“average” + ” (” + temp + ” C” + “)”, 175 + 5,(300 – (temp * 7.5)));
text(“highest” + ” (” + maxTemp + ” C” + “)”, 300 + 5,(300 – (maxTemp * 7.5)));

}
}
function makeRequest()
{
city = userInput.value();
url = domain+city+units+apiKey;
loadJSON(url, getData);
//console.log(url);
}
function getData(data)
{
weatherData = data;
//console.log(weatherData);
}

 

And here is a link to my project!:

https://editor.p5js.org/aramakrishnan/full/rkWd7nFTX 

 

 

Comet Particle System

For this project, I created a comet by following the coding challenge by the Coding Train.

Here is the code:

var cometText;
let particles = [];
function setup()
{
createCanvas(400, 400);
cometText = loadImage(“cometText.jpg”);
frameRate(50);
//let p = new Particle();
//particles.push(p);
}

function draw()
{
background(0);
let p = new Particle();
particles.push(p);
for(let i = 0; i < particles.length; i++)
{
particles[i].update();
particles[i].show();
}
//texture(cometText);
ellipse(mouseX, mouseY, 25, 25);
fill(225);

for(var i = 0; i < 100; i++)
{
var a = random(400);
var b = random(400);
ellipse(a, b, 1.5, 1.5);
//ellipse(a, b, 20, 20);
i++;
}

}

class Particle
{
constructor()
{
this.x = mouseX;
this.y = mouseY;
this.vx = random (1, -1);
this.vy = random (5, -1);
this.alpha = 255;
}
show()
{
noStroke();
fill(209, 115, 67, this.alpha);
ellipse(this.x, this.y, 15);

}
update()
{
this.x += this.vx;
this.y += this.vy;
this.alpha-=10;
}

}

I changed it by changing the color and creating a for loop so that I had stars that looked like they were moving so it looks like the comet is moving through space.

sc

Here’s the link!

https://editor.p5js.org/aramakrishnan/full/rybGu3i0Q 

 

Algorithms

Algorithms run our lives because algorithms are in everything. Algorithms are just the equations that decide behavior. Every decision you make is based on your personal algorithm. Other algorithms like ones to predict weather and traffic also run our lives because we make decisions based on what these algorithms say, whether or not they are always correct. Especially with the rise of machine learning, algorithms become more and more important so that computers can learn how to do things, for example, recognizing faces as mentioned in the Joy Buolamwini TED talk. As machines learn to do more and more, it is important to look at how people are deciding what constitutes as what. The people that make these algorithms are not immune to biased tendencies as all human beings are, so it is important that they look at how they choose these data sets that they use to teach machines carefully with an eye for keeping everything diverse. They make these algorithms by setting up parameters and giving machines sets with things that the machine has to identify and things the machine is not supposed to identify. The machine then goes through the set is told whether they identified things correctly or not. Then, they learn from before and when given a new set, they will try again with more success. With more diverse sets, computers will learn to recognize more, which is important for inclusion for everyone in these new technologies. This is what Joy Buolamwini was talking about when she advocated for taking selfies and sending them in so people could make bigger sets for face-identifying robots. Through a community of people that want to make technology more inclusive, people are able to create more sets that better teach computers.

 

Prototype

For our prototype I’m working on the code in p5. Here is my code so far:

let angle = 0;
let sunRatio = 400;
let sunDistance = 200;
var mercText;
var earthText;
function setup()
{
createCanvas(windowWidth,600, WEBGL);
background(20, 20, 20);
sunDistance = (-windowWidth/2) – 400;
mercText = loadImage(“mercuryTexture.jpeg”);
earthText = loadImage(“earthTexture.jpeg”);

}

function draw()
{

background(0);
stroke(255, 255, 100); //sun
fill(255, 220, 0);
translate(sunDistance ,0, 0);
//rotateY(frameCount * 0.01);
sphere(sunRatio);

stroke(255,220,165); //mercury
fill(85, 55, 20);
translate(200 + 22.7, 0 ,0);
//rotateY(frameCount * 0.01);
texture(mercText);
sphere(sunRatio/277);
angle += 0.01;

fill(211, 113, 0); //venus
stroke(255, 155, 0);
translate(200 + 35.9, 0, 0);
//rotateY(frameCount * 0.009);
sphere(sunRatio/113);
angle += 0.01;

fill(127, 208, 255); //earth
stroke(235, 235, 255,200);

translate(200 + 50.8, 0, 0);
//rotateY(frameCount * 0.008);
texture(earthText);
sphere(sunRatio/108);
angle += 0.01;

fill(231, 133, 0); //mars
stroke(255, 155, 0);
translate(200 + 75.4, 0, 0);
//rotateY(frameCount * 0.007);
sphere(sunRatio/208);
angle += 0.01;

fill(188, 136, 84); //jupiter
stroke(150, 150, 90);
translate(200 + 256.1, 0, 0);
//rotateY(frameCount * 0.006);
sphere(sunRatio/9);
angle += 0.01;

fill(214, 163, 61); //saturn
stroke(224+20, 173+20, 71+20);
translate(200 + 492.6, 0, 0);
//rotateY(frameCount * 0.005);
sphere(sunRatio/11.4);
angle += 0.01;
// fill(255, 0,0);
//sphere(sunRatio/9, 10, sunRatio/9);

fill(127, 208, 255); //uranus
stroke(220,200,200);
translate(200 + 1003.5, 0, 0);
//rotateY(frameCount * 0.004);
sphere(sunRatio/26.8);
angle += 0.01;

fill(100, 100, 255); //neptune
stroke(74, 44, 12);
translate(200 + 1502, 0, 0);
//rotateY(frameCount * 0.003);
sphere(sunRatio/27.7);
angle += 0.01

}

 

Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like when I run it:

example

Some of the planets are hard to see from here but they are much easier to see when actually on the computer.

Here is the link to the online version:

https://editor.p5js.org/aramakrishnan/full/Sy_QGV8aX

(The rotate is commented out on this code because  I commented it out so I could make sure the texture on the planets looked right.)

I’m still working on getting the planets to rotate in place instead of around the sun, getting all the textures on the planets, and being able to zoom in with the click of the mouse. The rotation just needs a little bit more research into WebGL, the textures are easy to put in place, and the clicking will be the most work but it is all doable!

Researching Prior Art

There are many other artists that have created projects similar to ours. Since our idea is an interactive 3D solar system, there are many examples out there already that can be drawn from. However, this also means that to makes this project unique from the mob of other interactive solar systems, we had to research them and see what we could do that they have not already done.

Here are some models that are online:

Esfandiar Maghsoudi – http://project-metis.com/SolarSystem/

#1

Michael VanDaniker, Andrew Lund, and Douglas Hamilton – https://janus.astro.umd.edu/SolarSystems/

#2

Dominic Ford – https://in-the-sky.org/solarsystem.php

#3

Here are some physical models:

solar sys

 

The difference between our project and these projects are that we have a profile view of the universe without the planets rotating around the sun all the time so the planets are always easily in view in a different view than what is normally given. The interface that we are going to create will be different also in that we are planning to design the website so that it zooms in on the planets when clicked and is an easy interface to use. Also we are including physical computing which sets us apart from all these purely online models.

 

Some more people in the realm of what we are working on from the project Solar System Scope (https://www.solarsystemscope.com/about):

solar sys 3

Adrian Bayer – designer and developer

Marian Bayer – programmer

Gabriel Oksa – researcher in the field of parallel numerical linear algebra

 

Congratulations

I decided to make something with a sound output for this project.

Ever since we started working with p5, the creation of shapes and movement reminded me of those pop ups that I always used to get on my home computer that said: “Congratulations, you are the 999,999th visitor! Claim your prize!”

I always wanted to know what happened if you actually clicked those, probably viruses for your computer so I never actually clicked them. But, since I’ve always wanted to click the button and see and I never can truly know what would happen, I created my own reimagining of it.

screenshot

here is my code:

var video;
var button;
function preload()
{
video = loadSound(“iykyk.mp3”);
}
function setup()
{
createCanvas(400, 400);
button = createButton(“Click here to claim”);
button.mousePressed(plays);
}

function draw()
{
textSize(10);
background(255);
fill(4, 0, 122);
stroke(220);
rect(100, 150, 200, 20);

fill(220);
rect(100, 170, 200, 150);

rect(255, 155, 10, 10);
rect(270, 155, 10, 10);
rect(285, 155, 10, 10);

fill(0);
rect(257, 163, 7, 2.25);

stroke(0);
fill(220);
rect(272, 157, 7, 7);

fill(0);
text(“x”, 287.5, 164);

fill(255);
textSize(15);
text(“Congratulations!”, 105, 165);

fill(255, 0, 0);
noStroke();
ellipse(140, 200, 20, 20);

fill(255);
textSize(15);
text(“x”, 136, 204);

textSize(17);
fill(0);
text(“You are the”, 155, 205);
text(“999,999th visitor:”, 136, 230);
text(“Congratulations”, 140, 253);
text(“you WON!”, 159, 275);
}

function plays()
{
if(video.isPlaying() == true)
{
video.stop();
}
else(!video.isPlaying() == true)
{
video.play();
}

}

 

And finally, here is the finished piece:

https://editor.p5js.org/aramakrishnan/full/rJW712UaX  

 

Globalization: Pros and Cons

Technology did not cause globalization. It may have facilitated it, but people have always been spreading ideas and moving from place to place whether it was via airplane or the Silk Road. Without the desire to globalize and the previous peoples travelling to far off places, technology would not be used in globalization. Otherwise innovation would advance in other directions than being able to share information and ideas. Globalization is the spreading of beliefs, ideas, information, and material goods throughout the world. Globalization is a powerful force that has always been driven by the human want to go farther than what they know and the spirit of trading. Technology is created after to facilitate this globalization, but it is not the driving force. Globalization is a very tricky subject because it has good aspects and bad aspects. There is no direct answer to whether or not globalization is definitely good or definitely bad. Globalization allows ideas to spread so that innovation is spurred. The sharing of ideas is helpful because it allows people to apply each other’s ideas to their own life that may be very beneficial or even expand on projects made by others. Furthermore, through globalization, material goods are cheaper. The dark side of this is how the prices are driven down. Using labor from countries where labor is not regulated and profits off child labor is a tactic used by large companies to be able to make their products cheaper. As explained in the article about the Amazon horror stories, being able to make things so quick and fast is through globalization, but it employs tactics that cause the suffering of others. The Amazon workers worked in inhumane conditions so that we can get our things for free and cheaply.

Three Ideas for the Final Project

  1. Create the interactive solar system that I wanted to on the p5
    1. When you click on a planet, it prints out information on the planet
    2. Maybe get it to zoom in on the planet as well
    3. Try to get the planets turning in place
  2. Sensor for a dog door
    1. Makes a noise when the sensor is hit so that you know when your dog comes in or goes out
    2. Have two different sensors on each side of the door that connect to different sounds so that the “in” sound is different than the “out” sound
    3. Have a p5/website output as well
  3. Character creator
    1. In p5, have buttons on the side
      1. For example, different head shapes, eye shapes, eye colors, etc.
    2. Can use a slider for width/size
      1. Can be used to resize the eyes, nose, and mouth

 

Online Cello

For my project, I wanted to create a cello online that could be controlled by the potentiometer. My idea was to have it so that when the potentiometer was cranked back and forth, the bow would move back and forth.

Here was my set up for the potentiometer:

second first

This is just the set up that was used in the lab.

I used the code for the lab also so that I could connect the Arduino and p5.

code

This gave me the window that it was supposed to:

?

 

I was not able to figure out how to connect these two together properly but I did create the cello and had the bow move along with the mouse instead.

Here’s the p5 code:

var x = 165;
var speed = 10;
function setup() {
createCanvas(400, 400);

}

function draw() {
background(181, 74, 13);
fill(0);
quad(275, 0, 125, 0, 100, 200, 300, 200);
fill(235, 178, 144);
noStroke();
rect(75, 300, 250, 10);

fill(84, 84, 84);
quad(132, 0, 136, 0, 121, 225, 117, 225) // c
quad(117, 225, 121, 225, 116, 300, 112, 300)
quad(116, 300, 112, 300, 112, 400, 116, 400)

quad(170, 0, 173, 0, x, 225, x – 3, 225); //g
quad(x, 225, x-3, 225, 158, 300, 162, 300);
quad(158, 300, 161, 300, 161, 400, 158, 400);
play();

quad(210, 0, 212, 0, 223, 225, 221, 225); //d
quad(223, 225, 221, 225, 226, 300, 228, 300);
quad(226, 300, 228, 300, 228, 400, 226, 400);

quad(250, 0, 251, 0, 275, 225, 274, 225); //a
quad(275, 225, 274, 225, 282, 300, 283, 300);
quad(282, 300, 283, 300, 283, 400, 282, 400);

fill(0);
rect(mouseX, 210, 450, 10); //instead of mouseX, connect to
//potentiometer
fill(240, 221, 194);
rect(mouseX, 225, 450, 3);
}

function play()
{
if(x < 175)
{
speed = – speed;
}
x = x + speed;
}

And here’s how it looks in p5: https://editor.p5js.org/aramakrishnan/full/H1PVJloom 

And here’s the link to the editor: https://editor.p5js.org/aramakrishnan/sketches/H1PVJloom 

 

Jump to Universality

As time goes on communication systems become more efficient. Communication is all about making sure that both parties involved are informed as quickly as possible. Like in the reading, the author explained that roman numerals are arranged in descending order. This is so that numbers have to be written in the same way because otherwise the same number could be written differently and not be immediately recognizable. This is making communication more efficient because instead of having to do all the math in your head, you can recognize when numbers are not the same. Another example is tally marks. When the fifth tally mark is written, it is a slash through so that instead of looking at 11 straight lines, one can see two groups of 5 and a group of 1, which is much easier to recognize as 11.

Communication becomes more powerful when it becomes more precise and more quick. Quick communication makes communication more powerful because humans do not have the longest attention span and are not always willing to use their time to understand things that they do not find interesting. Making communication of ideas quicker means that more people are willing to listen, making the communication have a much wider audience, therefore making the communication more powerful. Furthermore, when communication is more concise, it is more powerful. Making sure to use images and words that mean exactly what you are trying to convey is important in communication. Extra information only muddles the communication.

In the future, I think that communication will be like communication today but with more pathways to do it. Instead of just face-to-face, phone, and online interactions, maybe there will be more ways to communicate such as telekinesis through technology or something along those lines. Communication will probably be faster and more reliable in places with less service and access to things like internet in the future through the work of people that want to make a difference in the lives of people that are less fortunate.

Cultural evolution is different than biological evolution because cultural evolution can happen much quicker. As technology advances, our modes of communication advance and or culture shifts to accommodate these changes. Biologically, evolution happens over hundreds of thousands of years. Culturally, we have changed over the past 20 years with the introduction of social media. However, if we wanted to change so that we had webbed toes or something, it would take much more time.

Digitize Everything

I believe that my thinking is nonlinear because I don’t follow a straight line. When I’m reasoning, my thoughts are a little all over the place. My connections between concepts and ideas are a little weird sometimes and I don’t always take the quickest, straightest path to understanding things. I do get to the end, the end being understanding a concept or idea, but I when I’m thinking about things I get sidetracked and go around the concept before I can fully grasp it. Ideas that are more nebulous and unsure are times where thinking is nonlinear. However, in some cases, my thinking can be very linear. For example, when ideas are simple and straightforward or have a definitive answer, my mind goes from one step to the other in a straight line. This is because if a concept cannot be argued there is no need to struggle with it by thinking around it to understand. For example, math versus english. In math, there is one right answer that has no room for argument. My thinking is linear when I’m doing math because I do not have to struggle with deeper meaning and ideas. English is different because English requires an indepth look. Also, there is no correct answer. The answers of course have to be backed up by the text, subtext, or context, but there is so much more interpretation and room for deviation in English.

Hypertext is special because it neatly categorizes thinking. It allows one small phrase to be taken from anything online, like articles, and link to more information. So, hypertext is a bridge to a larger understanding because it can be used to provide more articles to substantiate the understanding of the first article. Hypertext is used to keep articles understandable but also allows them to be more concise because any extraneous explanation can be neatly included in a separate link so that viewers that already know this information or believe it is not important to their understanding and enjoyment can avoid the extra time that it takes to view what is linked. Furthermore, hypertext is like a title, it can give information about what it is going to share without giving away too much, and is usually more informational than a title because it is not trying to sell you anything. Titles are made to interest readers so they are not as informational as most hypertext is.

Anything online is already accessible by URL, as long as you know how to find the URL. Things are already computational accessible, but it is hard sometimes because to find a certain URL is impossible without searching it up. Therefore, search engines are the way to make everything computational accessible by URL because engines like Google allow users to search up keywords and find URLs that are relevant to what the person is trying to find.

Interactive Tears

At first, I tried to make a program that mapped our solar system that had a sliding bar that would control a pointer that said what the planet name and number was. Here’s a screenshot of the solar system I created.

Solar System

However, P5 crashed and the autosave was not on so I lost all my work so I decided to edit my eye crying from last week.

Now, when pressing the “cry” button the tear moves down the cheek. The slider moves the tear up and down the face.

 

Here’s the code:

var x = 70
var cry
function setup() {
createCanvas(400, 400);
button = createButton(“CRY”);
button.mousePressed(tear);
slider = createSlider(70, 400, 12,1);
slider.changed(crying);
}

function draw() {
background(255, 229, 229);

noFill();
bezier(315, 20, 50, 10, 90, 45, 20, 80);
bezier(315, 20, 40, 100 , 100, 40, 20, 80);

fill(128, 77, 0);
ellipse(150, 40, 37, 37);

fill(0);
ellipse(150, 40, 15, 15);

fill(255);
ellipse(155, 35, 5, 5);

fill(182, 184, 246);
ellipse(70, x, 10, 15);
button.mousePressed(tear);
}

function tear()
{

x = x + 50;
if(x > 400)
{
x = 70;
}
}

function crying()
{
x = slider.value();

}

 

Here’s a link to the program itself:

 https://editor.p5js.org/aramakrishnan/sketches/SJ3_70YcQ 

Tears

https://editor.p5js.org/full/SJ3_70YcQ

Code:

var x = 70
function setup() {
createCanvas(400, 400);
}

function draw() {
background(255, 229, 229);

noFill();
bezier(315, 20, 50, 10, 90, 45, 20, 80);
bezier(315, 20, 40, 100 , 100, 40, 20, 80);

fill(128, 77, 0);
ellipse(150, 40, 37, 37);

fill(0);
ellipse(150, 40, 15, 15);

fill(255);
ellipse(155, 35, 5, 5);

fill(182, 184, 246);
ellipse(70, x, 10, 15);
x = x + 3;}

Computers and Emotions

Our body is important to our understanding of the world because our body is our tool of interactivity. Our body is not just impacted by our mind, but our mind is changed by our body. The mind is a concept and doesn’t physically come in contact with the world like our bodies do. So, our bodies are important because they take inputs from the outside world while our mind makes sense of it.

We use our emotions to think because we are not like computers. Humans are not able to look at something completely objectively. Whether we like it or not, our past experiences will allows cloud our judgement so our emotions will always impact the way we think. For example, if you touch a hot stove, you feel distress and discomfort. These emotions impact the way you think because next time you’ll know better than to touch the stove. This is a less extreme example but this happens on a much bigger scale in the brain. Trauma deeply impacts the human brain and can stop people from doing many things. These emotions that are attached to the memories of actions or anything really can impact thinking so much that people can have mental illnesses like PTSD.

Computers can reach our body through many mediums. The most obvious is the touch input that people give computers to complete commands, like typing. However computers have greatly advanced over the years. Computers can be used for motorized prosthetics and other aids for people with physical disabilities. Computers touch your emotions because they give you access to everything. People can talk to each other through computers and interactions with other people always involve emotions. Also other emotions computers can reach are emotions of awe or anger at the speed of the computer or the trickiness of the inputs in the computer. Interactions with computers many times involve emotions so technically then computers are reaching your emotions.

Variables and the Morals of Technology

Variables are, in a broad sense, anything that changes. Most things aren’t immutable in this world but variables can be more specific than just numbers that change. In programming, variables are more like amounts that change in accordance with changes in input. It is hard to decide what is actually important because sometimes unimportant things seem important and important things seem unimportant. However, any numbers that help classify and keep track of operations are important to measure. This takes computing power but also helps us understand everything that is going on in the equation, not just the beginning and ending, or the input and output.

Making moral decisions is difficult as a human because people are almost always looking out for themselves, and trying to spin it in a way that makes it seem like it is beneficial to others, even if it is not. I make moral decisions by weighing pros and cons for me and everyone that will be impacted by this decision. Machines should not make moral decisions because morals are already very subjective. Computers can only do what they are programmed to do, so they do not have the freedom to make moral decisions that are not controlled by a human being. Furthermore, even if machines were able to understand morals, computers see in 0s and 1s. There is no right or wrong answer to moral questions and computers are built to have two switches, right and wrong. So, they would not be able to make impartial decisions. Technology does not make it easier to make moral decisions because technology allows for people to hide from the truth. People can make decisions very anonymously through technology so they can divorce themselves from the problem, so that they can reap the benefits without having to experience the lows. Technology does allow for the spread of information so that people can make informed decisions, but they could also make decisions based on what other people in separate situations did, which may not apply correctly in real life.

Musical LED

To create something expressive, at first, I attempted to create something with a potentiometer. I was going to have it so that when it hit a certain frequency the LED would flash the tune of twinkle, twinkle which is a fun song that I really like because it was the first song I learned how to play on the cello.

 

Here is the soldering I did for the potentiometer:

soldering

I plugged in everything but I realized I could not get the potentiometer to work so I decided to scrap that idea and try with a button

 

Here are some of the wirings I tried with the button:

Wiring 1

Wiring 2

I’m not sure what went wrong because I tried a lot of troubleshooting but I could not get the LED to flash when I wanted it to. I was able to wire it so that the window showed me when I was pressing the button and display me changing the potentiometer. I’m still trying to see what I need to fix but here is the code that I implemented.

Code

A Step Peddle that Plays a Rhythm

Using the same switch as last time, I was able to create a blinking pattern for when I hit the switch. Now the switch blinks to the tune of “Hot Cross Buns”

 

So, I started with the same switch as shown below

My Spring

Then I plugged it in so that when the piece of copper touched each other, the circuit was complete and the LED lit up.

 

Working Switch #1

Working Switch #2

Here is some of the code that I used to create the sequence. Because the song is so basic, it was easy to make the LED blink to the rhythm of the song by just turning it on and off for each note.

 

Code

 

And here is a video of my final product!

 

The Universal Machine

Computational Media is an answer to the monotony of traditional media. Computational Media is much more interactive because it relies on the users unlike other media like television where the viewer is not expected to have to interact with it. Computational Media, however, is still not perfect as explained by Bret Victor. Victor wrote about the problem with the future of Computational Media is the lack of interactivity. The only interaction in Computational Media with the human body is the fingertips. This media relies on just scrolling, which is just fingertips sliding on a smooth, glassy surface. This takes away the tactile sensations which are very important to interactivity because they are replaced with vision. Computational Media relies almost solely on interaction with visuals and sometimes audio. Interactions are different from a story because interactions are just pieces of the story. Interactions fuel the plot, but the entire narrative also includes the setting and understandings about culture and time periods that are not accounted for in interaction.

A universal machine is a machine that is supposed to be universally useful. No machine is truly universal because there will always be a problem that a machine can’t solve. While there are machines that could be very useful, there is no way for there to a single machine that is able to solve all these problems. For example, as said before, machines right now do not incorporate the sense of touch, which is severely limiting to any sort of information that would need touch. Furthermore, other senses other than touch are limited as well so the number of problems that machines now could not solve would be even larger. Even if in the future all these senses could be integrated into machinery, computers are no substitute for humans. Furthermore, the amount of computing power it would take to solve this amount of problems is infinite because there are an infinite amount of problems, which is impossible to put into just one machine.

Working While Sitting

When I’m sitting down and something falls off my desk, I always instinctively reach for it with my foot so that I don’t have to get up. Using your legs for reaching is much easier than using your arms while sitting down so I thought wouldn’t it be nice if I could create something that could be activated with your foot instead? So that’s what I designed.

Here’s a design that I tested made out of cardboard:

 

After I tested it out on the cardboard I realized that this is a simple design worked really well, all one has to do is step on it and the two pieces of cardboard (to be replaced with conductors) would touch. So, I created it out of two bronze plates. To ensure that metal wouldn’t touch before the human interaction I made sure to tape the ends of the spring with insulating electrical tape.

Here’s a picture of the finished product with the LEDs working!

And here’s my project in action!

boomerang

So here’s a switch that you can activate from the comfort of sitting or laying down without having to bend over to reach!

 

The View from Inside the Screen

While technology has advanced so much over the last few years a computer only sees in algorithms. The computer can see me repeatedly refreshing Instagram or searching for Indian restaurants. Using all the information that I’ve typed into the computer, a shallow understanding of me can be formed. But the computer doesn’t know that I’m not actually interested in looking at the same picture on Instagram over and over again, I’m just doing mindless things to sate my boredom. The computer can’t see that I actually don’t like Indian food that much, I just miss my mom’s cooking. The computer can look at my recent searches and try to sell me things that I was looking up but I don’t use the internet to find the answer important interpersonal matters in my life. Computers know what I want to know, not what I do and don’t know. To a computer, I look like how I look on the outside, just without any real substance. Humans and human societies are so complex and diverse that no computer could ever understand everything. Computers miss the genuine human contact aspect of society. Sure, computers can facilitate some human interaction with applications such as FaceTime and Skype. However, computers miss the hugging, hand-holding, high fiving, and the plethora of other ways that humans can communicate sans technology. I don’t know if there is any such more inclusive device because no one could ever comprehend and understand your entire life and history and how each and every happening has somehow impacted you, not even yourself. From life-altering events to every minute detail of one’s life, there are an infinite amount of possibilities within every person and no computer could ever include all of that.