How instrumental is a scientific apparatus? This week we explore interfaces available for getting in touch with the world at various scales — micro or macro. Topics include universal geometry, mental models, graphic diagrams, functional interfaces, and manipulable physical devices, all pointing to what we can call object-dependent ways of knowing the world.

  1. Chaucer, A Treatise on the Astrolabe, from Riverside Chaucer (on reserve)
  2. Anon., The Equatorie of the Planetis (within Peterhouse, Cambridge, MS 75.I), from Kari Anne Rand Schmidt, The Authorship of the Equatorie of the Planetis (Cambridge, 1993), on reserve
  3. Online virtual model of the Equatorie
  4. Anon., The Shippe of Venys (from Trinity College, Cambridge, MS 0.5.26), in Kari Anne Rand Schmidt, The Authorship of the Equatorie of the Planetis (Cambridge, 1993), on reserve.
  5. Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway (pp. 134-61 and more if possible) — ebook
  6. Recommended: Drucker, Graphesis; Clark, Natural-Born Cyborgs; Rotman, Mathematics as Sign; Parikka, A Geology of Media

Further Links

View Eamses’ Powers of Ten

See what Michael and Cary Huang have done here (an update on the Eamses)

See ChronoZoom (the first timeline tailored to understanding all of the past—from the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, to Today—in a single comprehensive view)

Al Jarnow’s “Cosmic Clock” (another non-human scale of time)

Videos of Ptolemaic system (e.g., here and here)

Visualization of the parts of the Astrolabe

DIY Astrolabe!

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