Samm Griffin's blog

Hunchworks Harnesses Social Networking with a Scientific Twist

Experts can share their hypotheses with their peers.

What happens when you take the philosophy behind social networking and use it for something other than catching up with old friends and sharing funny videos of your cat?

Hunchworks is an online tool that allows experts from a variety of fields to submit a hypothesis (or hunch) that they wish to examine further. This hypothesis can then be viewed and commented upon by other experts.

The goal is that when these experts get together, their experiential knowledge, gut feelings, and their expertise will coalesce and allow them to discover whether or not to accept or reject the posted hypotheses.

In addition to promoting a space in which researchers and their ideas can come together, Hunchworks also exists to make the exchange of knowledge and information both inside and outside the United Nations more effective.

Here’s how it works:

Data Bodies to Real Bodies: the Aesthetics of Online Activism

Ricardo DominguezI’m sure it was intentional that Ricardo Dominguez wore a shirt emblazoned with the symbol of DC comics’ super-speedy hero The Flash to a seminar on the aesthetics of code and internet activism. His lecture touched on flashmobs and hyperspeed internet communication, and the swiftness and dexterity with which he moved from topic to topic suggested a mind that moves at super-speed as well. It was only appropriate that he had a symbolic graphical representation of the content of his discussion splashed right across his chest.

This Friday, co-founder of the Electronic Disturbance Theatre Ricardo Dominguez delivered his last lecture in a three-day long series of workshops on the intersection of art and code at Ryerson University. He jumped right in and seemed to begin his lecture in medias res, and I quickly realized the disadvantages of missing the previous seminars. As he seemed to be finishing off a topic that he had started in the previous day’s lecture, there were many fleeting references to concepts and terminology previously defined. What ended up being covered was a brief history of “browser-based aesthetics” followed by a response to an earlier demand for practical avenues that could be taken by aspiring cyber activists.