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Movies by Michael Betancourt
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archives begin in 1996


Digital Inflections

story © Michael Betancourt | published June 15, 2010 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

theory: working notes

CTheory Global Online Seminar on Critical Digital Studies
June 17, 1pm PDT (Pacific Daylight Time), 3pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)

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Innate Characteristics vs Ambiguity

story © Michael Betancourt | published March 18, 2010 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

theory: working notes

Looking at the political and other divisions in the United States, more and more I am struck by a minor issue that came up while researching The State of Information: the idea of ambiguity. It didnt seem like a particularly significant issue at the time, but more and more its becoming obvious that how someone responds to ambiguity determines much of their outlook on the world around them.

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theory fragment

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 30, 2009 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

theory: working notes

The accumulation and preservation of information has been a fundamental condition of human society throughout its entire history; to a lesser or greater extent, this history is coincident with the preservation, propagation and presentation of specific information sets and the paradigm-technologies they enableculture and society being simultaneously the vehicles and contaners for these specific information sets, described by the horizons they produce. Information differentials scale between the microlevel of the individual within a society in competition with other members for status, wealth, authority to groups within societies, to different paradigms jostling for dominance. The aggregate actions of each level of this construct depend on the indivdiual choices and actions of specific members whose cumulative impacts emerge at with variable coherence at different levels of organization. Because success depends specifically on both access to relevant information, and the more specific ability to apply and employ it, the organization as a whole has an in-built bias towards the accumulation and concentration of information maximally: the baseline condition for success within such structures historically has been one determined by an information differential: those lying at the greater end of the gradient tend towards success and dominance, with those falling at the lesser end tend to fail, excluding such mediating factors as already established positions and authorities that tend to replicate themselves.

Music and Speech

story © Michael Betancourt | published March 22, 2009 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

theory: working notes

The Not Exactly Rocket Science blog covers a new paper on the links between musical intervals and speech. Interesting read, very suggestive for experimental sound work.

Technesthesia and Synaesthesia

story © Michael Betancourt | published January 9, 2009 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

theory: working notes

There is an analogous relationship between technological translations of data from one type to another with synaesthetic responses: the transcoding of electromagnetic telemetry by Dr. Donald Gurnett is one a striking and direct examples of this type of sonification of non-sound data; however, it is also, in many ways, a non-significant transfer: the data in question are readings of wave-form encounters. The electromagnetic information produced from the Cassini mission, among others, has a long-recognized analogous relationship to sound, so the transfer from light waves to sound waves should come as no surpriseeach is a physical phenomenon whose transfer is less dramatic than the cross-modal sensory transfers familiar from synaesthesia.

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