Measuring Brainwaves to Make a New Kind of Bike Map for NYC is a title of a wired article that talks about an attempt to use measurements for indicating qualities of bike ride paths.
I think its kind of curious or even telling that the ability to produce numbers in relation to a given activity via an automated – algorithmic process, is given a certain extra kudos.
Say someone just walked in an area – or indeed cycled – and indicated their feelings along the way. I think, with bit of justification it would be taken as some sort of possible idiosyncratic map, with a possible interest depending upon the individual’s intelligence and insight.
However, an algorithmic production seems somehow to have a rather more social wide appeal instantaneously – be it without a significant insight nor creative cultural critique.
It is seen as a useful indication of where to go and feel yes/no relaxed – for example.
Apart from being an interpretation of numbers, the numerical data in itself, from its own perspective can be biased by elements like whether, time of day, the cyclists’ last conversations, music that might be around, etc..
In that sense, I think sure its a novel map, however if we made a map of the numbers that came up every time we through a plastic calculator – it would be novel as well..
Am not sure why the kudos given to the process. Perhaps am wrong, however, the fact in the article there is a certain critique – be it academic – and the title is about the measure-ability and its consequences, am thinking that perhaps there is a wider cultural sequence here.
A sort of preference for one Expression over another based on a non acknowledged imagination that one is true – or more sort of correct – than another..
Perhaps I should check if there are other similar expressions.. (Mind, am a bit disturbed recently by expressions as a way to communicate.. But that is for some other post perhaps..)