Scattered thoughts can still be organized.
Last week, I explored the idea of “Collective Enlightenment” which, essentially at it’s core is similar to the idea of church, minus the dogma and politics. I wondered if it was possible to devise something that would be able to capture the “goodness” level of people. Of course, the idea of goodness is relative and I cannot say that it’s possible to generate a real device that can capture values, morals, karma, etc. But…are there ways we can get people to be more accountable or conscious in a non-obstrusive way? And if so, what will that do for individuals and communities?
I brainstormed random words and ideas to help me begin to shape my direction. Here are some examples from my sketch book:
– Batman’s Bat Call
– capturing aura (according to Walter Benjamin)
– Blood/Heart rate measurements
– the metaphor of the terrorist threat levels in the media (red, orange, yellow…)
– sacred spaces
– spirituality as social change
– an invisible world
– temperament of a community or gathering space
– SMS text messaging
– confession boxes
– spaces that represent meditation, the edge of the world, solitude, reflection
Light, space, data capturing devices…these are three main elements that arose from my brainstorm. I also thought about interfaces outside the realm of the screen, in particular walls, ceilings, domes, corners, small looking pools, etc.
What if it’s about a new space for reflection? What if it’s about a social network specifically meant to make people more conscious or accountable to one another? What if it’s about both? If Spimes, as mentioned in the entry on Collective Enlightenment, were capable of collecting an overall level of “goodness”, we could essentially send that data to a network designed to be viewed by the masses. From there, that network could be constructed to stimulate members to “check in” on each other with the intent to make the community relatively “better”. I’m using these words loosely, with the intent that terms will be tightened over the course of this year’s exploration.
I came up with a sketch of the beginnings of a social network. In this scenario, one can see themselves in the center (large green circle), in relation to his/her network. Each person in the network has a color which indicates a level of “goodness” (almost like the terrorist alert level provided by Homeland Security).
In this second image, you can click on a person in your network and see the overall “goodness” levels of the people in his network. So, for instance, Jerome is blue, but so are a lot of people in his network, which may indicate a commonality in his community worth being addressed.
In this last sketch, a viewer can see the overall state of the entire social network. These are all just quick ideas yet to be hashed out, but may suggest a direction embedded in interface design.