Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"To Empathize is to Civilize": An engaging talk on the science behind the empathetic nature of the human race.

As I've said before, one of the things that drives me to photograph is the goal of helping viewers connect with subjects...of allowing viewers to understand a bit of what it's like to be the person in the photograph. By doing that, I hope to reduce the empathy deficit we seem to have in our global civilization today.

This 10 minute YouTube video by author and political advisor Jeremy Rifkin of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) presents an encouraging viewpoint: that we are "soft-wired" by cultural evolution to empathize. He goes on to say that new media technology is giving our global society new ways to connect and empathize, and may in fact be one of the keys to keeping us from destroying our planet.

Scientific proof: using new media to tell the stories of individuals in difficult conditions helps save the world!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Trying my hand at video

My job with Inveneo installing wireless networks in rural and remote regions of the developing world keeps me pretty busy, hence the lack of updates.

Recently, though, I had the chance to edit together some video. It's a timelapse showing the performance of our low power Fit2 PC against a standard desktop when running on identical battery power setups. It's a bit crude since it was shot with a consumer point and shoot...but definitely does a solid job at getting the point across.

As a sidenote, after some initial learning curve pains I found Apple's iMovie '09 to be a pretty full featured editor. I've worked with Premiere in the past, but for this simple project iMovie got the job done.


Goat*Net: Bleating Edge WiFi Mesh Networking from Inveneo

In the tradition of Google, ICTWorks (a platform to encourage collaboration between ICT practitioners in the developing world) needed a good story for April Fool's Day.

I haven't been writing as much as I'd have liked lately, but I'm pretty happy with this short piece on Goat Powered Mesh Networking I put together with Wayan Vota, Inveneo's Senior ICIP Director.

The WiFi hackers at Inveneo, famous for their long-distance network in Haiti, are piloting a new Internet connectivity solution that they hope will bring Internet access to currently unreachable corners of rural Africa. Deploying collar-mounted wireless transceivers on a herd's worth of goats, they've created a mobile, self-healing, self-configuring network they've dubbed the Goat*Net.

To learn more about Goat*Net, read the full story here.

Note this is not my photo, it's courtesy of Eliya, thanks to a CreativeCommons license on flickr.