So the internet got me a bicycle. It’s both a long and a short story. Here is the bicycle.
It’s basically a purple bicycle with a cell phone and a solar powered battery charger. The cell phone has a camera and a GPS unit and is mounted behind the handlebars. The bike takes a photo a minute when it’s moving. It arrived today. You can see some videos of the people building them. There are 20 or 30 of them getting sent out to various people. You can follow the ybike tag on Flickr to see some photos, there’s not that much there yet.
The bike says Yahoo! on the side of it and at some level it’s a Yahoo! marketing project. You’ll notice that this appears to be my Sellout Week for whatever reason. Please note that while I get to keep the bike — a sort of cruiser-y type bike which is fun to ride but not very practical around here — I’m not otherwise employed by the Yahoo! machine. If I had to guess why I got this bike I’d say it’s because I know some of the Flickr folks, I take decent pictures and seem to understand the Flickr system, and I live in the most beautiful place on earth. Also it is my birthday soon. Really, I have no idea, but that’s different from it being random manna that falls from the sky. At some general level, the internet gave me this bicycle.
I had to promise to ride the bike every day. We’ll see how that goes. The last time I rode a bike more than three days in a row this decade I was at Burning Man. That said, I’m probably in the best shape I’ve been in all decade, so this will be an interesting experiment. You can go friend my bike if you want to but as you can see from some of the recent photos, the photo stream isn’t that exciting, especially at night.
I’ll save my analysis of the panopticon and the erosion of personal privacy and my place in that whole equation for another day likely in the not-too-distant future. For now I’m just like “Hey purple bike!”