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400 + 25 points

What Do Cell Phones Mean? by Lincøln, Burn Unit, Charlie Fish, susy derkins, rongo rongo, Fonne Tayne, avidd opolis, Spidere

January 10th, 2008 12:22 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: Answer The Question: What Do Cell Phones Mean?


We agreed on a basic method for answering the question, using the tetrad of media effects as the main tool. The tetrad is a well-tested instrument developed to show simultaneously the (simultaneous) ways technologies and media have impact on society. The outline of the tetrad form was recognizable soon as Lincoln's original text showed that cell phones mean the end and beginning of certain social effects. We set out to extend this analysis with further praxis, trying out some additional iterations of the "ending/beginning scenarios." So we pulled together a small team of players to build on Lincoln's initial inspiration in each of the four dimensions of the tetrad. A tetrad analysis asks four basic questions, What does the cell phone ...enhance? ...reverse? ...retrieve? ...obsolesce? It attempts to answer this by displaying the four areas all at once, to be viewed around the central technology. Thus
enhance        reverse
    cell phone
retrieve        obsolesce

We strove to transform these simple probes into acts of praxis and "answer by showing." So each quadrant of the tetrad becomes a task (or tasks). This tetrad is shown by the cumulative effect of these praxes and answers the question What do cell phones mean?

A way to read this proof is look at the media below with the "smaller" view setting. The grid is laid out as a tetrad. The Center point is the photo of Lincoln's iPhone (itself containing broadcast tower Sutro). The four quadrants of the tetrad radiate out from it with enhance at top left, reverse at top right, retrieve bottom left, obsolesce bottom right.

+ larger

5 vote(s)



18 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by GYØ Ben on January 2nd, 2008 7:41 AM

Inspiring and incredibly interesting - but not worth 400 points. Apologies, Lincoln =[

(no subject)
posted by Charlie Fish on January 2nd, 2008 8:42 AM

While I agree that cell/mobile phones have their down points, after spending a week without mine, I came to the conclusion that - on balance - they are a good thing.

But I think there are certain rules of etiquette that must be followed to mitigate the cons of mobile phones. (At least, they're the rules I try to follow.) I would suggest:

1) Always have your phone on silent (unless you are waiting for a specific call).

2) If it rings while you are doing anything else, ignore it. Don't even check to see who's calling. After all, you wouldn't allow a conversation to be interrupted because someone just sent you an email, would you? You can check the message later.

3) Turn it off from time to time. For example, at the cinema. You won't be enjoying the film with your whole being if you're distracted because your phone is vibrating.

(no subject)
posted by Jellybean of Thark on January 2nd, 2008 9:32 AM

Hang on?


(no subject)
posted by rongo rongo on January 2nd, 2008 10:13 AM

I avoided getting a cell phone for a long time, because in the past I had to carry a beeper and really hated it. Mostly because whenever it went off, chances were that I had to put in some time doing something that I hadn't intended to do. The phone is a lot better because usually when it goes off, it does not require any immediate action. Mine has the ring at a very low volume so that I only hear it if I am alone and indoors, but I still know what you mean about people expecting to be able to reach you all the time.

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on January 2nd, 2008 10:33 AM

Yeah 400 seems like a bit much. I'd suggest to SSI that maybe the point value be dropped or we're clues in on what was really intended that makes this worth 400 points.

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on January 2nd, 2008 7:44 PM

This proof is in construction there is more to come and the stuff that's coming will be worth it.

The proof was un-submitted
posted by SF0 Daemon on January 3rd, 2008 7:43 AM

This proof was un-submitted - any comments before this one are from before the un-submit.

(no subject)
posted by Dr. Subtle on January 10th, 2008 12:36 PM

For reference, the last submission of this proof. The comments regarding point value might be of interest.

(no subject)
posted by Dr. Subtle on January 10th, 2008 12:47 PM

Wow... thats actually a metric ton of praxis. ONE VOTE!

tip to the wise
posted by Burn Unit on January 10th, 2008 12:57 PM

speaking as a mac user, it works great to hover over the images in the grid--all the comment/description text appears in my safari browser.

That took a very long time to read!
posted by Meta tron on January 10th, 2008 1:02 PM

I've never seen this method of grouping research before, it certainly expanded upon the original praxis and presents a variety of 'truth' without being conclusive or opinionated.


That is a good point, how is it supposed to appear on my screen to be read as tetrathingy? Can someone superimpose the grid over this image?

Firefox on my mac only gives truncated headlines when hovering over the thumbnails.

re: mink
posted by Burn Unit on January 10th, 2008 1:16 PM

Meta, what you show is correct. Also, your read is one thing I hoped for--it's not conclusive (it might be opinionated here and there) but it's hopefully testable.

Just think of the "center" (it's obviously a little asymmetric) as being the image of Lincoln's iphone and the little black & white gif above it. So generally speaking those items in the left corners from center are enhance (top) and retrieve (bottom); those in the right corners are reverse and obsolesce. the straight line pieces are a little variable but should be relatively easy to grasp in context. Coo?

Bob, at bottom, is filler.

(no subject)
posted by Burn Unit on January 10th, 2008 1:27 PM

Here you go Meta (the first time I typed your name, I spelled Meat)


(no subject)
posted by Meta tron on January 10th, 2008 3:14 PM

Ah cool, that makes it clearer. Thanks. : )
and I guess by opinionated I meant a less aggressive word than biased. This method is very objective. (or subjective, I forget which is which. The one that kinda means neutral)

(no subject) +1
posted by Burn Unit on January 11th, 2008 5:51 AM

adjective. the method is very adjective

(no subject)
posted by GYØ Ben on January 12th, 2008 2:03 AM

GYZero Ben: Inspiring and incredibly interesting - but not worth 400 points. Apologies, Lincoln =[

I take that back.

This, I can get on board with.

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on January 12th, 2008 2:08 AM

No, you were right Ben. My first attempt wasn't worth 400 points. But then Burn Unit saw how we could make it better and awesome. And he orchestrated this. Which is just about worth it.

(no subject)
posted by Listener on October 14th, 2008 3:26 PM

I'm just finally catching up on rongo's tasks from before we met, and was just totally blown away by this. I just want to tell everyone that. I wish I'd seen it in time to vote on it.