2 Bits And Open Source

090916

What is the "source code" of Urban Space (for urban designers and Architects)?

Henri Lefebvre 'experimental utopia' 'abstract utopia' - 'the ideal city without connection to definite situations'1

Connection meaning the connection between space and activities, functions and forms, respectively, what does Lefebvre mean(from my own interpretation) is a city where everything could happen anywhere, people can work in garage, on the street, play in the office, on the bridge, there will be no terms as "office" "residential building" "central business district" "campus", because live, work, play, study, eat, drink all those kinds of things u do can happen in the same location just in different time of the day maybe (we all became impulsive, spontaneous, irreponsible, live the day as the day, no organizational nomandic hobos……). In the following, i made an analogy between Architecture and Open Source Software, which is the ramification from Lefebvre's "situational utopia", could we break down the connection between form and function by open source an urban project? does the open source movement in computing is really an digital "experimental utopia" (as said by Lefebvre)?

what is the source code?
1. online blog (Wordpress VS Wikidot): if u'r trying to add a video to your site by press a button, it's not the source code; if u'r trying to do it by typing in text (with html, or whatever kinda language, with ur keyborad not mouse), it's a source (that's my own definition). FORMS r different, one is encoded, the other is not. is that right?? if u r doing the same thing, pressing buttons by get them done is not open source; typing text (a standard language) by get them done is open source? it's all abt whether you r using the tools other ppl gives u to get things done, or u r making ur own tools to get things done by learning how other ppl r making the tools (within the system)
2. urban space?: for urban space, Architects create space to make certain things happen; open source meaning let the ppl create the space to make their things happen with the same tools Architects r using (which seems quite impossible)2 but on the other hand, with the new technology, actually u can change the space (simulate the way architects design it) to create ur own place to get ur activities done? (it deals with the real money cost, i guess)

the financial disadvantages to apply "open source software" idea into "urban projects"
1. Software, it's basically free to build one by just one ppl
2. Urban Space and Architecture, it costs real money to get things built3
3. Conclu: Define the source of Urban Project: it's the way a urban space is built, from feildwork, idea, drawings, plans, constructions….basically u need to pay a lot of money just to build a park, then get ppl use it
How do they make money?
1. Software, by free distribution first, then get money from pro users
2. Urban Space: such as parks - they dont make money at all
3. Conclu: software dont need initial investment, but makes money laters on while urban projects need huge initial investment, but dont make money directly at all

the proprietary issue doesn't seem to exist for urban design projects
"proprietary frameworks for creativity based on strong intellectual property rights."a
proprietary, the right to copy, distribute, but urban projects, how do u copy, distribute?

So what we could do?
1. for users: to use the new technologies to revise those physical urban spaces to make our things happen
2. for Architects?: to make space more flexible more adjustable to those new layers which support the activities?

More for my argument here:
it is the user who decide what they want, not authority (2 bits examples for UNIX and EMACS4)

the example of Connextion5 openess and radical recombination, but it's for individual, i dunot see how does it apply to an urban project which is deem to be shared by "public"

Curiosity doesn't kill a cat, effortlessness does

The prescriptions come in the form of familiar injunctions: follow the inquiry as far as it goes, leave no stone unturned, there is always more to know, the more information the better. “In a world where curiosity rules,” Griffiths declares, “unmasking curiosity as a destructive and offensive device … amounts to nothing less than a … radical critique of superficiality and constant distraction.”

…Curiosity is inherently insatiable; its satisfactions are only momentary; there is always another horizon

…curiosity — sometimes called research, sometimes called unfettered inquiry, sometimes called progress, sometimes called academic freedom — is their God6

(in this article he's kind playing with the words, all depends on how u define the term 'curiosity', however he did mention about the digitalization of everything, but so what? tho i agree that curiosity amounts to constant distraction)

the best example is Wikipedia, our open sourced online free encyclopedia, i think everyone has done this: u Google sth, it linked u to wiki, then u keeps on clicking the embedded hyperlinks, clicking, clicking….ended up with sth totally irrelevant to the word u Googled at first place. So what does it tell us? is it our own fault to not be focusing on a whole piece of wikiarticle, or is it the hyperlinks are so enticing that we just cannot stop clicking them? Should we blame ourselves for not being concentrating or to blame the interface for creating all those "curiosity links"?

Reading a book is a focused and continuous process, from the beginning to the end, that's why they hav and named sth like Endnote or Footnotes, those r the things u read if u'r interested and they r way smaller, put in the corner or end of the book. Reading a wiki or online article, otherwise, is a distracting process (i have to say), u dont find smaller footnotes or endnotes often, but hyperlinks, u dont need to go to the end of the book to find the notes and read it (it takes a lot of efforts, flip the pages, find the right numbers, then flip back), u just click on it and it leads u there. Is it our curiosity or laziness? we'r making things easier and easier to be done. My ramification from Fish's article is: it's not curiosity that kills the cat (at least in the digital websites and our browsers), it's the effortlessness to kill a cat (that kill a cat) =)

(btw, how many links did u click while u'r reading this?)

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