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Ideo-Blob

organisational support without over-digitising your life
  (+13, -2)(+13, -2)
(+13, -2)
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Imagine a large volume of gel (at least a cubic metre) inside a membrane. The gel is riddled with narrow but flexible tubes whose lining is capable of electronically controlled peristalsis.

You can push mnemonic objects of various shapes and sizes into the network of tubes through orifices in the membrane. Then, you use that membrane like a touch-screen to control the positioning of those objects within the gel.

In this way, you build three-dimensional mind-maps out of real objects.

When you leave them in there, they move.

Some of them are moving because you have specified, through a conventional computer interface, that they should draw attention to themselves. These might oscillate or dance a bit.

Others are moving because they are simply reflecting the passage of time so that, in the blob, your deadlines physically loom towards you out of the gel until they fall on your carpet with an angry belch.

If all the things you have to do are imposed on you by others, then you would be better off with existing personal organisation technologies. The blob comes into its own for people trying to pursue self-imposed tasks, especially tasks which require creative inspiration.

The blob allows you to use the proustian power of physical objects to remind you, not just of facts, but of why you care about them. It therefore combines organisation with self-motivation through sympathetic magic (that's an anthropological term, not the [m-f-d] kind of magic).

Supplementary thoughts:

1. Maybe it could supplement its power supply by grazing on and digesting household rubbish through an orifice in its underside.

2. The same mechanism which performs peristalsis on the internal tubes could also be made available at the external membrane, to give head massages.

3. Optional custard interface; it performs no known function, but some evidence suggests it may attract croissants.

4. The apparatus would require cleaning, so as not to attract transparent cockroaches.

pertinax, Jun 12 2006

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       This one is way out there somewhere. In the ether.
RayfordSteele, Jun 13 2006
  

       Renamed, to make it look more interesting
pertinax, Jun 16 2006
  

       Croissant for supplementary thought number three. Though I don't understand how this is a computer input device.
methinksnot, Jun 16 2006
  

       *Giggles*   

       This is so weird that I have to bun it!
froglet, Jun 16 2006
  

       //Maybe it could supplement its power supply by grazing on and digesting household rubbish through an orifice in its underside//   

       Woah. Easy tiger, you're right on the lip of hand-wavy pseudo-science as it is, no need to push it.   

       And I'm not even going to dignify the custard thing with a response.   

       +
moomintroll, Jun 16 2006
  

       This is a computer peripheral which performs both input and output tasks, [methinksnot]. The touch-screen membrane is the input part, and the peristalsis is the output function, sometimes in a very literal sense. I think it would be desirable to associate physical objects in the blob with data objects in the computer's file system, and this was what I had in mind when I originally named this 'Filing Blob'.   

       //right on the lip of hand-wavy pseudo-science//   

       You have a point, [moomintroll]. Would it help if I took my hands off my lip and waved my feet instead? I've been practising... <demonstrates>
pertinax, Jun 17 2006
  

       Bonkers. (no vote)
david_scothern, Jun 17 2006
  

       <waits patiently for [pertinax] to fall off chair while waving feet>
moomintroll, Jun 17 2006
  

       <thud>   

       OK, joking apart, I did check that peristaltic pumps exist. I anticipate some problems with flexibility and miniaturisation.   

       As regards the grazing, I was just thinking about the role of peristalsis in nature. I confess plainly that I have no idea how to emulate, say, a pig's stomach inside a blob of gel. Even if I could, I probably wouldn't want to accept a head massage from a blob that had a swallowing reflex.
pertinax, Jun 18 2006
  

       <nitpick> Strictly speaking, [BrauBeaton], in the phrase 'mnemonic objects', the word 'mnemonic' is an adjective; hence, from your dictionary, 'objects relating to, assisting or intended to assist the memory' - look Ma, no rhymes! </nitpick>   

       <seriously, though> Stuff reminds you of stuff. Some stuff might have to be wedged into, say, a chemist's ignition tube with a stout bung, to minimise wear and tear. Other stuff might be doodled on tablets of rubber, smellier and more tactile than post-it notes. Other stuff again might be carefully scrunched up as if for the bin. Infrequently used car-keys could go straight in as you find them. The letter you've read, and dread to read again, but know that one day you must? Back in the envelope, curl it up, and into the blob with it!</seriously>
pertinax, Jun 19 2006
  

       //peristaltic pumps do exist// I used one on my Alimentary My Dear Watson idea.... You can look it up, if you can be bothered [+] for blobby idea which appeals to me - goes back to sleep on top of unread Sunday Observer
xenzag, Jun 19 2006
  

       Beautiful.
Heathera, Jun 19 2006
  
      
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