TripSense – Quick Notes

TripSense. I first wrote a little bit about this about six months ago. My car insurer asked if I would plug this data recording module into the special data port on my car — that port that the mechanic plugs into when your Check Engine light comes on.

These are some quick notes based on an experiment on myself and some notes that were developed during the reboot8 conference and presentation that Nicola and I gave.

What is TripSense? It gives me my data. Weak signal for near-future Blogjects.

More than the consequence of fossil fuel consumption as seen in the correspondence between gallons and dollars.

Need to see the consequence in other terms pounds of exhausted particulates, where they are likely to go?

How many pounds, based on my driving behavior, will be exhausted by the collective of all cars along my route, based on how much fossil fuel i’ve poured into my car?

The relationship between our individual activities and their role/participation in the world s important to register — we need to know about the imbricated, intermingled cloud of consequence our activities impart upon ourselves and others.

“Objects that blog”/Blogjects are not about self-autonomous activated, robots in the wild that are there to vacuum our rooms and tell us how well they did, or give us GPS tracks about where thigns in the world are. Blogjects, in their most effective, most life-affirming mode, help us “hack” our world into a more sustainable, habitable environment in which life is precious, difference is a good thing and no consequence is inevitable. The most affirmative aspect of the “hack” is the ability to change the way things are and remix the way things will be.

There is no quick fix. This isn’t a matter of patching the world’s operating systems and seamlessly averting a global system crash. It _is_ about finding ways in which the digital networks, the participation of alternative and multivalent sources of insight, data and representations of the world can provide a renewed perspective on our activated participation in the world.

So, the Blogject is not merely a materialized instrumentality – an object that is merely disseminating measures of its activities. Blogjects are cohabitants in the world because they offer life-or-death decision points. They reflect their activities in ways that make our ears perk up.

They do so not as an engineering hack – this isn’t about the most clever use of the latest sensor technologies, or nanotech or any such. This isn’t engineering just “’cause.” In the world of DIY hacking practices, we make use of whatever is cheap, accessible, robust and easy to work with. Legibility of practice is of paramount concern. This can’t _only_ be an elite exercise, only accessible to a few people, or a specialized technical practice. This isn’t about securing a large grant and having to spend it or loose it. We need to find a way to divert the traditional practices of making things cause we can, or cause there’s a lot of grant money to spend toward a practice that is focused on the goal of averting any of a number of catastrophes immediately. Forget 5 year grant/research cycles. I’m talking about 9 month, 18 month projects.

We need to hack conventional social, business and political practices that leave no room for more habitable futures.

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