Black ships and samurai
In 1853 four ships under Commodore Perry anchored off the coast of Japan against the wishes of the Japanese. According to historian John Dower, "This initial encounter between the United States and Japan was eye-opening for all concerned, involving a dramatic confrontation between peoples of different racial, cultural, and historical backgrounds. We can literally see this encounter of "East" and "West" unfold through the splendid, yet little known, artwork produced by each side at the time." This beautiful exhibition includes many examples of this artwork, juxtaposing scenes of the encounter from Japanese and American artists' points of view. (Part of MIT's open courseware initiative.)
posted by carter
on Mar 14, 2004 -
Turning immigrants into cyborgs. A small video monitor and loudspeakers are installed at the center of the instrument and in front of the user's mouth. The monitor and the loudspeakers replace the real act of speech with an audio-visual broadcast of pre-recorded statements.
posted by riley370
on Nov 6, 2002 -
Lying with video.
Researchers at MIT have created videos of people uttering sentences they never said that consistently fool viewers and are accepted by them as real. Once upon a time, it was a lot harder to be false with film, but whether the medium will be in any way trustworthy going forward seems doubtful. What will it mean when you can't even believe your own eyes?
posted by zoopraxiscope
on May 15, 2002 -
MIT's Erotic Computation Group.
"By developing advanced sexual appliances and techniques, we seek to broaden the range of human amative expression and heighten our potential for sexual gratification." Good to see that at least some people are doing research that will benefit all mankind.
posted by Eloquence
on Nov 25, 2001 -
Scientific American has an interesting article on brand loyalty
on the web. Researchers at MIT are concluding that people stick with familiar commerce sites. Even though the web is supposed to enable shoppers to choose from any site, they instead stay with their favorite, even paying more for the security and familiarity. The researchers also concluded that $20 off coupons and bargain deals aren't going to bankrupt top sites, because it's a considerable investment (from a user's prospective) to shop at a new commerce site, and the offers offset that cost accordingly.
posted by mathowie
on Feb 21, 2000 -