Mapping Ocean Swells with Marshall Islands Stick Charts

Until World War II, Marshallese islanders mainly used stick charts to navigate canoes between the islands of Oceania. Lacking astrolabes, sextants or even a compass, they instead constructed maps from the midbribs of coconut fronds. Lashed together to form an open framework with islands represented by shells, the maps encoded complex information about ocean swells, the prevailing ocean surface wave-crests, and the directions they followed to approach an island. In this way, the stick charts captured data not traditionally included in navigation maps, but integral to safely navigating the seas. Furthermore, each map was unique, interpretable only by the navigator who made it. The maps were not taken along during navigation, but studied and memorized prior to a trip. Once on board, the navigator would would crouch down or lie prone in the canoe to feel how the hull was being pitched and rolled by underlying swells. 

by socks-studio.com

"There are two types of people: type A and type B. Type A is much more frequent. Type A is the expert, the one who knows everything. They come to you with a plan with all the ideas and details worked out. They want to make sure that everybody participates in a consensus of what they are doing – these are the people I run away from as fast as I can. Type B however, you rarely see often. They have a vision, but are honest about the predicament and usually admit they have no clue how they will reach their end goal. This person has the strongest vision, and knows they will fail, but doesn’t mind failure."

– Sebastian Thrun, research professor of computer science at Stanford University, a Google fellow, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the German Academy of Sciences (read full article here)

by inthenoosphere


Long exposure of a helicopter landing at night.


Long exposure of a helicopter landing at night.

by blazepress

"Through sharing files via offline systems, and the copying and exchanging of these offline systems, a new device has come to the fore – the Personal Portable Library. Because it focuses on the sharing of e-books, the Personal Portable Library doesn’t only refer to Sneakernet, but to the key function libraries had for thousands of years prior to the invention of the printing press: Libraries as centers for copying data. Libraries as warehouses where books are stored are a comparatively recent phenomenon. A Personal Portable Library takes the contemporary notion of warehousing knowledge to the hard drive and feeds into its own history. The library-as-warehouse is now a copy, but while scrolls or codices of centuries ago took years to copy – today, many thousands of books can be copied in minutes."

Radical Tactics of the Offline Library”, Henry Warwick (2014)

by networkcultures.org

Visualizing algorithms


Bostock Maze

In an adaptation of a talk he gave at the recent Eyeo Festival, Mike Bostock talks about visualizing algorithms.

Algorithms are a fascinating use case for visualization. To visualize an algorithm, we don’t merely fit data to a chart; there is no primary dataset. Instead there are…

by jkottke

Luigi Ghirri, Scandiano, Italy, 1971

Luigi Ghirri, Scandiano, Italy, 1971

by strawberriesgonewild

by kamamore

by kamamore

by withoutyourwalls

by theparisreview

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