The Human-Human Interface

RFID for Medical Records

Personal Infrastructure

Don’t want to carry a laptop all the time. Don’t even want to carry a PDA (even though it’s your cell phone?) I’m more interested in how I can access the world’s information, but this is how it cuts the other way.

“RFID chips would relieve doctors of having to spend hours searching for the identities of unknown patients and the confusion over unknown patients’ treatment preferences, he said. This would make RFID chips ideal for people who engage in extreme sports and do not carry their wallets, or for people with medical conditions that make them unable to communicate – although Halamka said the latter situation poses ethical dilemmas involving the issue of patient consent.”

(I found this in FuturEdition from the Arlington Institute (

Power to the People

Personal Infrastructure

The promise of personal access to the vast resources of the Internet seems tantalizing when wielding today’s powerful PCs. But for portability, battery life is still limiting. This research may serve to power the increasingly wired yet mobile individual.

“Rome et al have devised a machine that recovers energy that is otherwise wasted. They

have modified a backpack by introducing a vertically moveable weight that

rises about 5 centimeters with each step and then turns a gear as it falls.

This device can be used to recover some of the energy used in carrying

supplies–a load of 38 kilograms produces up to 7 watts of electricity,

compared with about 20 milliwatts from shoe-based devices.”

(subscription required)

Organic Evolution of Infrastructure

Network Infrastructure for the Neurosphere

Wi Fi technology looks like the most organic source of development of network infrastructure. Like phototropism, the bandwidth grows and develops in the direction of the most interest and need.

The Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN) has built a communications network using wireless networking equipment. This is essentially the same “WiFi” equipment used in homes and offices, but we put it on rooftops to connect neighbors and form a high-speed community network.

One with Google?

Wholeness and Virtual Communities

I wasn’t sure where to classify this news item – World Right Now, Network Infrastructure? But perhaps a stitching together of the world’s knowledge by this technology is more about wholeness.

“As part of its effort to make offline information searchable online, Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced that it is working with the libraries of Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the University of Oxford as well as The New York Public Library to digitally scan books from their collections so that users worldwide can search them in Google.”

A Tangible Need for Better Awareness of The World Right Now

The World Right Now

In the wake of Katrina, I found these older items.

“Plans were announced today to expand the U.S. tsunami detection and warning capabilities as a contribution of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS—the international effort to develop a comprehensive, sustained and integrated Earth observation system. The plan commits a total of $37.5 million over the next two years.”

The above announcement followed by a day UNESCO’s announcement of a global system that includes more than U.S. participation. Upon questioning, Bush Administration officials said GEOSS was “compatible” with UNESCO’s approach, but their concern seemed limited to American victims of the tsunami.

“UNESCO is working towards the establishment of a global tsunami warning system that would be operational by June 2007, said UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura. Speaking at a press conference at the Mauritius International Meeting on Small Island Developing States on Wednesday, Mr Matsuura said that assessment missions are already being undertaken to concerned countries as a step towards the creation of the first regional component of the global system, in the Indian Ocean, foreseen for June 2006.”

Wherever I Go, There I Am

Personal Infrastructure

In The World Right Now, I try to track technology that allows us to sense what’s going on at a distance from us. This is sort of the inverse of that.

“Migo software is available for iPod® mobile digital devices or pre-loaded on USB flash drives in 64MB, 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB configurations.

Migo keeps your personal information and settings at your fingertips. Send and receive Outlook email from almost anywhere. Migo captures your desktop wallpaper and Internet favorites as well, so you will always have your personal look-and-feel wherever you go. Access your email, contacts, files, MP3 files, presentations and more — all on Migo.”

WiFi Writ Large


“The Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN) has built a communications network using wireless networking equipment. This is essentially the same “WiFi” equipment used in homes and offices, but we put it on rooftops to connect neighbors and form a high-speed community network.”


Wholeness and Virtual Communities

Environmental activists have always been driven by visions of wholeness. A new flavor of activity called neurogreens seems to more consciously fuse vision with tactics.

Aware of living in the cataclysmatic 21st century, neurogreens want to bring to life an ecoactivist identity which is to be egalitarian

against social precarity and libertarian against digital monopoly, and is to feed upon the experiences and practices of the

Seattle-Genoa-Mumbai movement. Neurogreens look at and absorb latest developments in environmental science, neuroscience, social science, media technology, in order to be able to fight back resolutely and effectively against global war and environmental destruction, both for our sake and our children and grandchildren’s.

The World Right Now

Below I wrote, “Currently, RFID tags are stapled to the ears of cattle in big ranching operations for “inventory control”. You’re next.” Well, it’s that time.

Joseph Feldman, MD, Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Hackensack University Medical Center, said “We look forward to using the VeriChip System to assist in patient identification and access to medical information. Particularly beneficial to patients with chronic illnesses…”

The Ethics of Personal Infrastructure


So, before I could say George Orwell, I found that the European Commission has built into their infrastructure sociological, political and ethical analysis of information technology, well before it gets to the stage of broad deployment.

The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE), chaired by the Swedish philosopher, Göran Hermerén, adopted on 16 March 2005 Opinion N° 20 on the ethical aspects of information and communication technologies (ICT) implants in the human body and presented this to the Commission. The EGE is an independent, multidisciplinary and pluralist advisory group, which is composed of twelve members. Its role is to advise the European Commission on how ethical values should be taken into consideration in the regulation of scientific and technological developments.