About Venkatesh Rao

Venkat is the founder and editor-in-chief of ribbonfarm. Follow him on Twitter

Spatial Intelligence: Architecture as a Giant Computer

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Guvenc Ozel talks about the latest in architecture research in the use of VR to experience space in radically different ways.

From Pseudoevents to Pseudorealities

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

Next up, Renee DiResta talks about the dark side of reality construction, influencing and shaping consensus realities for political gains. This talk really pulls together Renee’s series of essays on ribbonfarm.

Domestic Cozy: 9

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Domestic Cozy

After a couple of more theoretical entries to this blogchain, time for a roundup of recent phenomenology. I have five exhibits to introduce into evidence.

Exhibit A, these schizophrenic shoes from Patara Shoes (ht Kyle Chayka). They appear to combine the comfort-oriented domestic-cozy appeal (and price point) of Allbirds with a bit of premium mediocre eco-signaling and public narrative construction (“globalist multicultural nomad” living dangerously on the edge of appropriation outrage potential). I’m seeing more and more examples of premium mediocre intersecting with domestic cozy (weighted blankets are a good paradigmatic example), mostly in incoherent ways, though analyzing the incoherence is above my trend-logger pay grade and is probably best done by somebody in Brooklyn.

Exhibit B. There’s a long article out in Buzzfeed News by Anne Helen Peterson that profiles a design firm called Pattern, and its first brand launch, Equal Parts, a cookware line. Take a moment to click through and check out the imagery and price positioning. Note the pastels, soft+rough textures, and sturdy, utilitarian designs. Note the comfy, cozy pictures of the team. This stuff is about the same price band as most things I tag premium mediocre, but the tradeoff seems to have shifted to delivering utilitarian value over signaling woke virtue. This stuff probably is more serviceable than it is instagrammable.

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Plannar — Co-Visioning with AR

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

Next up, Jessy Escobedo talks about Plannar, an experiment in co-designing reality, explicitly looking at political aspects of reality construction, using AR to explore speculative architectural futures with the people who will have to live in them.

The City as Weakly-Escaped Reality

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Drew Austin revisits the thesis he developed in his old ribbonfarm post The Holey Plane, looking in particular at the Los Angeles built environment, and arguing that the Philip K. Dick definition of reality as “that which does not go away when you stop believing in it” does not actually hold as strongly as you might think for physical realities. Also riffing on my post The Design of Escaped Realities along the way.

Introducing Xenoreaction

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this raucous talk, Anders and Moritz perform… something full of memes and gaming and schisms and stuff :)

Value Investing in Cults and Religions

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

Next up, Toby Shorin talks about a framework for value investing in cults and religions, applying the metaphor of stock investing to think about investing in alt realities.

Escape’ Reality Presents – A Timeshare Opportunity

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

Next up, Nolan Gray looks at reality construction from a fractional ownership perspective.

Observability and Time

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Lisa Neigut talks about reality construction from the point of view quantum mechanics, pulling together the thinking of David Deutsch and Richard Feynman.

PermaPunk – Visionary Non/Fictions

This entry is part 2 of 10 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this next talk from Refactor Camp, 2019, Acre Liu talks about about putting permaculture and cyberpunk together in a single vision.