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The Listening Post

Last night, I popped along to the Science Museum for their late night opening.

It's been a while since I last ventured around there and they changed quite a few of the exhibits since I last saw it.

I took advantage of the discounted rate to IMAX to see a film about Van Gogh. I've always been a bit dubious about paying extra for IMAX, given that my left eye is very dominant which can cause issues with some 3d effects, but there was definitely depth there, so I was impressed.

However, the main thing that impressed me all evening was the Listening Post. It's been there for a year now, but I wasn't aware of it until I stumbled across it last night.



It's basically a piece of modern art which scans various internet chat rooms, forums, etc and displays/read a selection of the comments it picks up either on one of its 200 screens (either in large or small font) or by reading them out using speach synthesis and one of the several voices or both. It cycled through various different modes from picking out single key words, to phrases starting "I am" or "I like"/"I love", to general postings about anything and everything.

It gets quite busy at times with several of the several voices reading things at once and messages flashing by in the blink of an eye on the screens.

It takes about 30 minutes to cycle through all of it's modes and I think I ended up sitting there for about an hour just listening to the internet. It was amazing.

However, at that point I realized I'd been sitting listening to the internet for an hour and I should probably get out more, so I wondered off to look at the rest of the exhibits.

It would be fascinating to know which sites it feeds off, but they don't seem to give out that information. I wonder how many places I'd have to post "Hello Science Museum" before it would get picked up...

It's apparently on display until February 2010, so there's a whole year to see it if you haven't already.

Must try to stop myself spending a whole year sitting in the science museum listening to the internet.

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