Why Things Matter – Reading Response

mpm33B blog

Nadja Cada
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Communication with Hybrid Environments
MPM33B
David Green


Reading Response: A Manifesto for Networked Objects – Cohabiting with Pigeons, Arphids and Aibos in the Internet of Things

This reading by Julian Bleecker discusses how ‘things ‘ or ‘objects’ are the best method for collecting information/data. In an attempt to prove this point Bleeker extensively uses the example of “Blogjets”. “Blogjets” work in the physical world and are objects that blog (but not in the sense of a human blogger) that are described as to not only publish, but circulate conversations by, “starting, maintaining and being critical attractors in conversation about relevant topics,” (4, Bleeker).

An example used in the reading to support the notion of objects being the best method of collecting information is, “The Pigeon that Blogs,” project, which was a flock of pigeons that where equipped with telematics and environmental sensors to communication wirelessly to a GPS device to track where it has been flying and monitor environmental behaviour. The data collected from the pigeons was able to show the level of toxins and pollutions that could be viewed on Google Maps (4,Bleeker). This recorded data allows us to know the quality of air in different areas, which shows that ‘objects’ provide useful means to recording data. Another example of gaining meaningful environmental knowledge would be the RSS feed and podcast connected to a school of migrating whales. These data entries from the whales make it very difficult to ignore the toxins in the oceans observed in the data they collected.

It is now not uncommon for objects to be able to be apart human social exchange, for example, Pet’s that blog, which is the practice of pets having ‘human’ names and blog about their life tales. Humans have always been a custom to sharing experience, but now it is world-wide shared through media sources with objects and human agents (15, Bleeker)). Once ‘ things’/’objects’ are connected to the internet they can motivate topics of interest by providing a new perspective on either “a micro and macro social, cultural, political, and personal matters” (16, Bleeker). By allowing and embracing ‘things’/’objects’ to blog they can help us understand environmental concerns such as fossil fuel consumption data collected from automobiles(16-17, Bleeker).

After reading and considering the given article I find that Bleeker makes valid points that ‘objects’ provide the best data information, but I do not agree with this data being considered blogging material. Bleeker describes blogging as, “participants in a network of exchange, disseminating thoughts, opinions, and ideas,” though that is not what objects are providing; they are only providing data. Bleeker continues to refer to, “Blogjets” but fails to provide a true example of a Blogjet. The Pigeons that Blog project is not a blogjet, but rather a object outputting data based on their behaviour (in this case flying). I myself, associate blogging with writing about a ‘dramatic-lifestyle’ and people read the blogs for that dramatic interest. So therefore, “objects” that blog can only be considered this if their data is analyzed and then presented as information that seems valid to humans, such as environmental toxins and their impact on us as individuals; something relatable too.

Bleeker, Julian “A Manifesto for Networked Objects – Cohabiting with Pigeons, Arphids and Aibox in the Internet of Things”.1-17.2005.

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