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The Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time #207 - Sentinel Education

07.17.13

One or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives
for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities,
and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the
encounters they find there.

It's a bike ride.

Started by user nathansnider and user theroyalacademy.

It meets every Wednesday at 8:30pm
at California Donuts #21.
We ride at 9pm.
We'll endeavor to return before the last red line trains (around midnight).

On this bike ride, you might expect:
- inconvenient passageways
- oblique strategies
- Oulipian constraints
- disorientation
- reorientation
- "cover" versions of other people's rides, performed with amateurish enthusiasm
- amateurish enthusiasm
- pool halls
- bowling alleys
- karaoke
- geocaching
- full moon picnics
- traffic median tea parties
- rivers that no longer exist
- smell tourism
- Couchwick v2.0

Furthermore:
- usually 20-35 miles
- usually some hills
- a medium pace (probably not for beginners; certainly not a hustle)
- few stops, short stops
- but we're not in a rush; we don't need to run every light
- victory donuts!

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This week:

Sentinel Education


Vigilance has always been an important part of security. In order to respond
to threats, one must first identify them. One must keep an eye open.

These days, this generally means an electronic eye peering down into the
data abyss. They are scanning our communications, of course, but also
following the information footprints we leave in the sand. (Silicon comes from
sand, right? So surely that data abyss is lousy with sand in which footprints
can be left.) They go way overboard with this, sweeping the virtual dragnet
over basically everyone and everything, looking for patterns. Search histories,
social network connections, transaction records -- they're probably always
there, looking over our shoulders, quietly watching. It's just software
somewhere in a plastic box, churning away; omniscience is only questionably
more effective but it is certainly more efficient. Setting up reasonable limits
is difficult.

This wasn't always the way. Following all the information in an analog world
would've entailed following all the people, taping all the phone calls. They
couldn't do that. They would've ended up with a Borgesian map, reduplicating
the world. So they had to focus on the big targets. This meant tracking
movements and communications selectively, with some degree of precision.
But it also meant setting up on the top of a tall hill and watching out for literal
big targets hurling towards us through the sky. Quaint!

This week we make some decidedly non-virtual movements up some
decidedly non-virtual hills and see what we can learn.

(21 miles; serious -- seriously fun? -- uphills; rather unsatisfying downhills;
views aplenty)

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For the latest information about each week's ride, join our mailing list:
groups.google.com/group/the-passage-announcements

For more information about past rides, visit our website:
ThePassageRide.com

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The changing of landscapes
from one hour to the next
will result in complete disorientation....
 


Posted by theroyalacademy