Dan Paluska


Record Keeping, Restaurants, and ‘Roids

Banks keep records of every transaction.
Courtrooms keep records of every case.
Sports games are all recorded and statistics published.
News live from the street.
Libraries, academic lectures, music bootlegs and live recordings, etc.
The carvings on an old desk keep some record of those who worked in that spot.

record keepin doodle, click for source code

So now we also keep records through mobile phone transactions, credit cards, twitter, youtube, version control systems, github, server log files, browser histories, and so much more. Are most of our recent records written from private spaces or private devices?

Courtrooms, sports games, on location news, and rock concerts are notable for their group witness to recording. We can trust media more if we have been part of the audience in a similar situation before?
And how about in our day to day lives, do we trust someone from far away with a mobile phone more than someone close without one?
It’s especially interesting in a dense city how many people you walk by each day and don’t talk to. Do you generally need some sort of third party technical reference to trust them? In a village you know (and trust?) your neighbors but in a city, you need a third party institution to regulate trust?

Is there a small service enterprise like a restaurant, barber shop, or bodega, but instead of serving you food or giving you a haircut, it delivers/collects info from you? And this would build trust and collaboration from bottom up as opposed to coming from the top down like current government or corporate trust systems? By putting collected info into the public domain, you are creating a lake instead of a warehouse full of inventory? And this would be a symmetric shared resource, more liquid than exoskeletal?

How would public record keeping change the dynamic between large product driven companies and small service businesses? Could a public history file for a small farm (local food) or a tailor(custom clothes) or any small service professional counteract the advertising dollars (tv, movies, billboards) of large corporate chains with packaged products?

And what do steroids have to do with any of this? What incentives do you create when you start keeping records? If certain transactions are worth big gains (like home runs), then how far will people go to ‘cheat’ the system in order to get that particular spot?
So if you want to avoid steroids and other abuses, what properties do you want your record keeping system to have?

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if you hold still for 30 seconds, you can capture the moment.

(UPDATE – six month compilation 1, six month compilation 2)

from the five borough tour

the staten island ferry

i carry a timelapse camera with me everyday. when it is turned on, you just need to hold still for 30 seconds and the moment will be captured. i find this to be a powerful concept. one photo every 30 seconds gives you about a 2 minute video at the end of the day. (default playback rate on movies is closer to 5-10fps rather than 30fps.)

the above shot was a posed/planned. i placed it on the ground and we just milled around in that spot for 30 seconds and then moved on. you might not notice it in the context of the movie playing at full speed but it’s a nice frame. it’s from the following movie:

first let me try to summarize a few thoughts i have.
– document more with less opinion.
– more automatic and less filtered by my opinion of what is “worthwhile”
– sped up linear visual representation of how long things take is more useful than writing “5 hours” in a spreadsheet?
– one button simplicity
– in public it is a short conversation starter, sort of like having a pet.
– reflection on process and sharing
– less worry about documentation because it’s always happening anyways.
– don’t want to spend too much time on it but a minute or three each day seems worthwhile.

a little bit more about why timelapse in general:

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