(2011-04-30) Sterling Maneki Neko

Bruce Sterling's Maneki Neko story (from 1998?!?) reminds me of Halting State (the SPOOKS ARG bits) and Daemon. The really big network databases, with their armies of search engines, indexers, and catalogues, had some very arcane interests. The net machines would never pay for data, because the global information networks were noncommercial. But the net machines were very polite, and had excellent net etiquette. They returned a favor for a favor, and since they were machines with excellent, enormous memories, they never forgot a good deed... He had first met his wife at a video store. She had just used her credit card to buy a disk of primitive black-and-white American anime of the 1950s. The pokkecon had urged him to go up and speak to her on the subject of Felix the Cat. Felix was an early television cartoon star and one of Tsuyoshi’s personal favorites. Tsuyoshi would have been too shy to approach an attractive woman on his own, but no one was a stranger to the net... Tsuyoshi offered a hand gesture. The woman gestured back, a jerky series of cryptic finger movements. Tsuyoshi didn’t recognize any of the Gesture-s. She wasn’t from his part of the network. (Network Economy, Real World Game)

Jun'2011 update: Will Wright is working on a Computer Game based on it - actually an ARG?!?

  • Jan'2012: it's going to be called "HiveMind". While the technology and data collection is in place, the game doesn't yet have a release date.
  • Jun'2012: there's a big lawsuit tying things up.
  • Nov'2012: lawsuit settled
  • Jun'2013: will his new Syntertainment startup move this (or something similar) out to market?
  • Sept'2013: Syntertainment raised $5M from A16Z and others. The company will not use the same ideas that Wright talked about with his two previous startups, the Stupid Fun Club and the now shut-down Hive Mind. The Stupid Fun Club is now a shell company that has licensed some of its projects. But Hive Mind ran into a legal dispute among founders, and Wright settled litigation related to it.
  • May'2015: Syntertainment launches THRED IOS Photo Sharing/Story Telling app. Gaming (Computer Game) wasn't the initial Metaphor that inspired Wright to help create Thred, Comic Book-s were. "My initial conception was to take the data we have about you and start turning your life it into a Graphic Novel," he says. "How do we take these different sources of data about you and turn it into a visual story or visual record?" That spark of an idea was born of the concept of quantimetrics or the Quantified Self, Wright says.
    • *Thred was a social media story-telling platform created by Will Wright, the master mind behind The Sims. Though it only lasted for three glorious months, it lives on in the hearts of the content creators. *
  • Mar'2016: Wright has funded "Gallium Artistic Services". CTO Lauren Winter says This is his next thing, SimYou. You, the human, are now going to be the Sim (LifeBox)... we started with the idea of a human memory, which is a tag-based memory with people, places, things, times and activities. But the most important part about the human mind, whether you know this or not, is not your memories. It’s your concept of things that the memories create. Lauren was at Syntertainment, too. Her LinkedIn profile says The game utilizes the players life memories to motivate an AI simulated entity and a world construction play-space. The stack includes a Python endpoint server and Neo4j graph database utilizing Machine Learning and AI micro-services running on AWS servers. Our iOS native client procedurally generates interactive OpenGL ES 2D graphics and the players world is built with Apple 3D SceneKit.

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