Gravity v.2 – Multiple, independently moving balls

For this week’s project, I wanted to make my bouncing ball project from last week more complex. Initially, the concept I had in mind involved creating a new independent ball each time the user clicked the mouse. This seems like it is too complicated for the current tools at my disposal, but even if not I could not figure out exactly how to do it. Instead, I figured I’d have a set number of balls each moving independently. This seemed doable, and once the code was all finished it only took an additional 3 lines to add another ball to the mix. In this way, it would be fairly easy to create 10, 20, 50 or 100 balls that all move independently.

At first, I was trying to construct the code without objects, but soon realized I would definitely need to create each ball as a separate instance of a ball() function. It took a lot of trial and error to realize that much of the work was simply restructuring my existing code within a function, replacing variables used for a single ball with this.[variable]. I also had to work through nesting functions within ball to move and draw them without having their position reset every frame.

I wish I had more documentation this week, but it was mostly just working through the process of making an existing sketch more complex.

See the sketch here Continue reading

Digital Input & Output, Analog Input Labs

This week’s labs brought with them some issues, but I seem to have a handle on successfully wiring the breadboard at this point. ┬áThe digital input/output lab asked for a slightly more complicated LED and switch configuration than we ran through in class, but I didn’t find it too difficult to figure out.

Digital Input/Output Lab – ITP PComp from Ian Gibson on Vimeo. Continue reading

Signage Analysis

I’m going to start with the sign I really liked:


My enjoyment of the design of this sign isn’t necessarily the aesthetics, but rather the layers I see between the lines. In addition to an image at the top, the sign limits barriers to understanding by including the text in multiple languages. I really like how tuned into the local community this sign seems to be. Without knowing anything about the process that went into the sign, I assume that the designer(s) narrowed down the number of languages somehow. This meant delving into the demographics of the community and anticipating the neighborhood’s needs, creating a sign that is much more human than most. Continue reading

InQuery: Why isn’t cultural capital valued as highly as economic capital?

Within a capitalist system, the most commonly thought of form of capital is economic – essentially the net worth of an individual or entity, consisting of money, property, stocks, etc. There are, however, many forms of capital beyond this. I use the term cultural capital here to refer to things like skills, knowledge of all sorts, networks and affiliations, experience, etc. that can also be referred to as capital. The supremacy of economic capital can be seen in the way in which various forms of cultural capital are defined by how they affect and are affected by economic capital. Some take economic capital to develop (as in the skills at ITP, “bought” with tuition $$$), most enhance the ability of an individual or entity to generate economic capital, and for many both are true.

There are other ways in which we can see economic capital being prized over cultural capital. One is the discrepancy of salaries between the nonprofit and for-profit sectors; staff at organizations that work to build cultural capital on both a micro and macro scale are expected to work just as hard for less pay than those performing similar roles at organizations looking to sell products and provide a payday for investors. Embedded in this is the notion that economic capital increased in value via a transformation to cultural capital is an inferior investment when compared to economic capital used to generate additional economic capital. It is valued so highly that we generally don’t bat an eyelash at economic capital used to fund ventures that have a decent chance of losing money, but a nonprofit must have a nearly risk-free program idea with solid outcomes and returns in order to even think about finding funding.

In many ways, we are all affected. Innovation is just as important to organizations involved in the development of cultural capital as it is to those devoted to the generation of economic capital. When an organization is forced to take the less risky path in order to secure funding, we all lose out on whatever may have come from a more adventurous solution. Consider Majora Carter’s conversation about coding workshops vs. her work with StartupBox, and how much easier it would have been to find support for the less effective but safer solution. Continue reading