2.8.14

data pools and lacunae and the mystery of rue maunoir

It might be of little relief to we the surveyed to know that the state and corporate data project that gives the illusion of a complete compass or spectrum of knowledge is fatally flawed because it is created purely within its own terms and cannot embrace anything outside those limits. The permanent trace that is gathered from the passage of our bodies and thoughts that purports to form a digital mirror through which our character and intentions may be scried that stalks us like a shadow from cradle to grave and beyond bears little resemblance to reality - unless our reality starts shaping itself with reference to this burgeoning limbo. No amount of data can make things fully knowable, either in the realm of objects or systems, because, philosphically, objects cannot be fully known. (On an astronomical scale we are only able to observe 20% of matter - the rest is inferred). In chess Bobby Fisher drove himself insane trying to memorise the outcomes of possible chess positions. Deep Blue was the first machine to beat a reigning chess world champion using brute force computing and since then machines have become much better at defeating humans. Both chess number crunching and big data are operations within a defined set of outcomes that computers do well. The weather remains reliably unpredictable. The issue here isn't in the respective capacity by computers and humans for data analysis, it is what this analysis represents to us as social, cultural and political beings beyond the banal desirable outcomes envisaged by Silicon Valley. This is well discussed here: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/20/rise-of-data-death-of-politics-evgeny-morozov-algorithmic-regulation

The development of Street View into a real time mapping project, like a real time extension of the Borges map described by Baudrillard as a metaphor for simulation, where images will be updated from photos and CGI moment by moment, is a matter of time. An immersive seamless representation is some way from Street View's present deployment as a series of panoramic views arranged along GPS nodes. As a metaphor for data collection, the visual data gathered by the Google cars has the same stuttering incomplete aspect that any other form of data gathering might have - Street View makes it visible. Glitches in the technology and Googles own editing of the panoramas - blurring out faces and words - as well as faults in the cameras themselves - produce specious images. There isn't a self checking algorithm for them.

Here is a stitching glitch in Carden Avenue
















Image void. This is the castle where a scene from The Vikings was shot
















Here voids, fragmented bodies and truncated cars traverse Checkpoint Charlie
















These images of legless bodies and bodyless legs are from a node in Century Park, Shanghai, but are in fact a nearby plaza.





























Baxters Ridge Trail
















Mount Ventoux
















A Google camera car is snapped in Geneva. In the foreground is a figure dressed in black. One might suppose that the Street View panorama would contain the photographer in the act of snapping the car.





However the particular node corresponding to the position of the car has been removed. From the next panorama down the street a figure stands on the left close to the spot where this photograph was taken.
















In the next panorama, from which the following two images are taken, the figure has vanished and the shadows on the road indicate that it is a different time of day.





























Round the corner the figure in black can be clearly seen in the same position they were photographed at with the Google car. Perhaps the second figure is the photographer, but if this is the case how come the Google car is now photographing them from behind? It is intriguing to try and piece together the movements of the car from these sets of data.
















The progress down the street is a fairly common Street View compilation of panoramas from different days,


















more evident when viewed facing the other way along the street. The figure in black is nowhere to be seen.






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