Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
We are investigating the problem and will update you shortly.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.




organisational support without over-digitising your life
  (+14, -2)(+14, -2)
(+14, -2)
  [vote for,

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

The next level of this ... https://questionabl...view.php?comic=4865
By which I mean, the linked cartoon shows the next level of this idea, and not the other way around. I mean, you would expect the state of the imaginary and unrealised art to advance over sixteen years, and it has. [pertinax, Sep 02 2022, last modified Sep 03 2022]


       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


       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


       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

Heathera, Jun 19 2006

       You lost me at // mnemonic objects//
Voice, Sep 02 2022

       Objects that remind you of things.   

       Have I found you again?
pertinax, Sep 02 2022

       So like, if you want to remember to pick up bread next time you're at the store you have a little plastic bread loaf?
Voice, Sep 02 2022

       If that works for you, yes. However if you used the empty wrapper of the old loaf, that would save you the trouble of making a loaf on your 3D printer
pertinax, Sep 03 2022

Voice, Sep 03 2022

       What if you have to buy another blob but your mnemonic blob is broken?
4and20, Sep 03 2022

       Well, what did you do last time?
pertinax, Sep 03 2022


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle