The Virtuous Cycle process and conclusions

The process of the virtuous cycle was very fast. Jumping from the idea of motion energy to the idea of transportation in the city was a very abrupt one, but an interesting and meaningful one.

What did I learn: I learned some principles of physics I might have studied a long time ago in school. It was really interesting to read about them from my current way of seeing the world, and not as boring physics. I was really fascinated with the infinity of this subject and how it really involves every single moment and action in our existence and even after!

The most challenging part of the process was being able to narrow the subject into something useful and also into an urgent one. I asked myself what was really the way motion was related to my life. I decided it had a very important roll in my life, as I needed to move long distances between home and school almost every day.

So the next step was figuring out how to make this a topic o common interest with more people. Commuting definitely is a subject that affects the great majority. The life quality is linked to a very large degree to the quality of our commute and also to how long it takes. The other subject directly related to it is the environmental problem linked to transportation. This, of course, is an issue that affects all people at a global level and also all living forms on earth.

In the first stage, I started finding resources and reading and about motion and energy and then I started drawing mind maps to try to link the different concepts and ideas. This helped me to narrow down the subject to the idea of transportation in the city. So then I thought about how would I communicate this and to who, and for which purpose. I found many resources, documents and also projects that addressed these topics of transportation and environment problems.

The big question I still don’t know how to solve in the project is the balance between the research, findings, and important facts, and the process of communicating it to others. I feel somehow that the format of the project shifted into a platform for raising questions, awareness, curiosity and a space for debate. It distanced from the idea of a guide to access valuable information that was carefully researched and carefully selected. I still don’t have an answer to solve this paradox.

The feedback I got

I got very useful feedback from the class and from people I talked to. Some of the most important points were the following. It was fun as a game and would be interesting to play for adults. But it could be clearer in terms of the instructions, and also more fun. It had a serious tone, which was adequate for the goal. The design had to be improved, and changed to a smaller one, with less text and information. I learned I had to become a temporary expert in design and grammar.

I also learned how much work a simple field guide has. I put a lot of time and effort into it, but it was never enough. Finding a balance between research for the content, design and playtesting was not something I accomplished successfully. I now understand how much iterations you need to get closer to a final version of a product like this. I found myself printing again and again after finding errors. I also struggled with software problems, I learned how to design a box and to laser cut it, challenges that took a large amount of time.

I still have pending a large amount of time for playtesting. I also think that there’s a lot more room for design improvement also considering the possibility of taking this conversational game-guide to a real audience. The idea would be to create the least expensive way to print it, and finding the most successful or “viral” distribution format.











Every day is exactly the same

botles - 1 botles - 2 copy botles - 3 copy botles - 4 copy botles - 5 copy botles - 6 copy botles - 7 copy

The weekly exercise I decided to do was simple. Every day I would walk for around 25 minutes taking a plastic bag with me. I would look for bottles on the floor, that were not by a trash bin or plastic trash bags. The goal was collecting at least five to ten bottles each day.  At the end of the week, the idea is to put all of this bottles in a proper recycling container where they now belong.

The idea was inspired by artists like On Kawara that repeated gestures every day. But in this case, the goal was to think about how a small, almost insignificant gesture, could make a small change. Maybe not an important one, but more than doing nothing. This exercise served as a metaphor for social change in any possible field of action we can think of. I often make myself this question: As individuals are we capable of changing society in a verifiable way?  I used to think it’s very little what we can do. Now, my point of view has changed. Small actions produce change. We may not notice it immediately, but it’s real. It keeps adding and we eventually see it. It’s simple math but it works.

I thought that it would be easy to find 10 bottles in a 25-minute walk.  But that was not always the case. In the process of doing this, I felt a contradiction. I felt happy when I found each bottle, but at the same time guilty of being happy about a bad action by an unknown citizen.

I found that the most important part of this action was not taking the bottles from the floor and placing them in recycling bins, but the fact that people would watch a stranger picking up a dirty bottle. That gross action (parents usually tell you not to pick dirty things from the street) was in fact not so gross in ethical terms. It creates a modest statement that hopefully will make some people at least think twice before they throw bottles in the streets.


“Caras vemos, corazones no sabemos”

Physiognomy’s New Clothes

by Blaise Agüera y Arcas, Margaret Mitchell and Alexander Todorov 

“Caras vemos, corazones no sabemos” (Faces we see, hearths we don’t know) Popular proverb.

“The idea that there is a perfect correspondence between a person and their image is a psychological illusion fueled by our experience with familiar faces. We instantly recognize images of familiar people, and this recognition evokes our memories and feelings about them. But there is no equivalent process when we look at images of strangers. Each image generates a different and arbitrary impression.”

The misperception of the gestures of people can lead to discrimination and mistakes made by us, common pedestrian, by the police force, by judges, by hiring companies, visa expedition process, people responsible in universities in the admissions process and many other fields.

There are many examples of this kind of mistakes. A few weeks ago I was labeled as a criminal suspect while walking home. I was walking home after eleven p.m. I was walking in the same direction as a young lady of about 25-35 years old, who I never saw her face. She was walking in the same direction as I was, and also at a similar pace. She was about 15 meters ahead of me. When she noticed my presence she started looking over her shoulder very frequently. So it was clear she assumed I represented a danger to her. I felt very bad when this happened. I understand how women feel unsafe, and off course I didn’t take this personally. I have also done the same many times in my country, where you can easily get robbed in the streets. The conclusion is that this misunderstanding is very common, and if made by the authorities or people with guns, the consequences are very bad.

The problem with making assumptions about people based on their appearance is a dangerous mistake. In different cases injustices have been perpetrated because of this. Judges and jury often make decisions that change individual lives, based on how these people look, and not only on what their story is, their context they came from or their psychological profile. Criminals responsible for the same offenses often get different sentences because of how they look. Black people are common victims of this kind of injustice. It’s very common that they get more time in jail when they are sentenced for the same crimes as white people. Also when it comes for choosing between the death penalty or the life imprisonment, decisions are affected not only on the profile and expedient of the inmates but on how their faces reveal a more “dangerous nature” or “evil” one.

If we are not conscious of how we are judging people by their looks, expressions, color of their skin, the way they dress, if they have tattoos or not, their size and weight, etc., we will be training machines to perpetuate this vicious way of judging, leading to more injustice and inequality. This is very present in our human nature. The popular sentence “Tell me who you hang out with, and I’ll tell you who you are” reveals exactly that tendency.

“Our existing implicit biases will be legitimized, normalized, and amplified.”

That could happen if we are careless when we train A.I to make judgments like we do and allow computers to perpetuate our own biases and use them as we enforce them as valid and scientific fact based.

The following case is another example that reveals the dangers of using these systems of machine learning and so-called objectivity.

Predictive policing” (listed as one of TIME Magazine’s 50 best inventions of 2011) is an early example of such a feedback loop. The idea is to use machine learning to allocate police resources to likely crime spots. Believing in machine learning’s objectivity, several US states implemented this policing approach. However, many noticed that the system was learning from previous data. If police were patrolling black neighborhoods more than white neighborhoods, this would lead to more arrests of black people; the system then learns that arrests are more likely in black neighborhoods, leading to reinforcement of the original human bias. It does not result in optimal policing with respect to actual incidence of crime.”

The idea of physiognomy has survived the test of time and is a treat in our present time. The belief of the facial forms and expressions of people having a correlation with their moral qualities is a misconception that often leads to discrimination and injustice. There is a study that is taking this system of thought, and using machine learning to reinforce it, claiming accuracy and objectivity. It’s very dangerous because the law and authorities could agree on its validity and that way implements it as a tool to make decisions that will affect many peoples life.

“Wu and Zhang are able to use a variety of techniques to explore this in detail. This is especially tractable for the simpler machine learning approaches that involve measuring relationships between standard facial landmarks. They summarize,

“[…] the angle θ from nose tip to two mouth corners is on average 19.6% smaller for criminals than for non-criminals and has a larger variance. Also, the upper lip curvature ρ is on average 23.4% larger for criminals than for noncriminals. On the other hand, the distance d between two eye inner corners for criminals is slightly narrower (5.6%) than for non-criminals.” [7]

We may be able to get an intuitive sense of what this looks like by comparing the top row of “criminal” examples with the bottom row of “non-criminal” examples, shown in the paper’s Figure 1:


Figure 3. Wu and Zhang’s “criminal” images (top) and “non-criminal” images (bottom). In the top images, the people are frowning. In the bottom, they are not. These types of superficial differences can be picked up by a deep learning system.


Figure 4. Stereotypically “nice” (left) and “mean” (right) faces, according to both children and adults.

Another interesting case was the misconception of women being bad at math’s, during the nineteen century and before. Philippa Fawcett managed to get the top score at an advanced math exam, “Cambridge Mathematical Tripos exam”, in 1890 in England. This was perceived, assumed as an error, an exception to the rule. People’s beliefs in Victorian England could not believe and accept that the elite of the British gentleman where beaten by a very intelligent woman. If we think about this case in terms of numbers, we can get their point. As there were practically no women attending universities and academic contexts, there was no data that could reveal the skills or lack of skills of women in math’s, as a group. There could be statistics without numbers. So when this result was obtained, it was seen as an anomaly.

This could happen if we trained a computer without the amount of information we need it to have, in order to get results that come close to the average, what we sometimes call the truth. If these men had allowed more women to learn math’s and to take exams, they would have thought in a very different way as they did. If we think of them as the computer making decisions, and having to choose one person for a job that required high mathematical skills among the people doing the exam, the computer would have chosen any other than the most suited one for the job.

Hell-ectronic music


Hell-ectronic music is the result of a combination of data produced from the interaction of a cyclist and a bicycle on a bike simulator and three sound samples produced by cars.

The inspiration sources are the train music by Pierre Scaffer and the Ufo Sightings piece by  Hanna Davis.  I wanted to bring these ideas along to the idea of noise vs music that I started to think about when I did the traffic jam, an “Instrument of torture” to produce and listen to car sounds. You can play different sounds of cars at the same time, producing a chaotic and sometimes relaxing sound piece.

I produced the data making different sessions of 5 minutes each on the bike simulator, trying to create different rhythms int he variable I used: speed, pedaling cadence and heart beats per minute.

This variable where taken into the P5 code. They affect the looped samples from car sounds, so they create rhythms and different pitches of them as they also affect the duration of the looped samples.  I used the P5 Library  play sound.rate for this purpose.

The result was very noisy and interesting in some ways. But I think I need to work it a lot more to make it more inclined into the listenable spectrum.

I’m also thinking about possible ways of taking data from cars.

I want to implement other functions from the library as Reverb to make the sound more interesting and dynamic.


Ride#3 (Riding hard mode)

Project ideas

The idea is to create a new version of one of the following works, using the laser cutter as the main tool. Also to create a design that can allow something like LED colored lights to replace the painting and ink that were used to make this works. That would allow them to change in time and also would open into a different aesthetical dimension. We could see how the process by which the  “works of art”, or image get completed as a sequence. That’s part of what’s missing in the existing pieces, we can only imagine how they were done, but we only get to see the final result of hundreds of repetitive simple actions.

The first is called “Spin wheel of fortune”  By spinning a roulette, we start collecting the results of the roulettes and also we begin to fill an empty grid with colors to visualize the results, and that way,  also revealing the tendency of the roulette.

We might build a new led displaying roulette and why not our own routes!

In any case, the goal is designing a piece that could be easily built and refurbished.  Meaning that the LEDs could be replaced easily.


3O LED lights instead of 30 shades of gray



ALEA JACTA EST Installation.



Another possibility would be doing an installation with laser cut cardboards with this pattern, that would be lit by a source coming from behind. The pieces would be hanging on the top of the space.

The space to be used could be dark, like the ITP documentation space.

People would be laying down on the floor to look at the piece hanging above them.

Maybe doing a Roulette clock?



The vituous cycle

 “The virtuous cycle”


Introduction: How do you introduce the guide? What do we need to know? Is the guide a part of a larger system we do not see or are unaware of?

Introduction text about energy, resources and transportation and cycling and energy.

How to use:

Rules could be to play with other player or players in turns.

One puts one card and other puts another and they develop a conversation based on he relationship between cards that they can find.


Each player shuffle her/his cards. Pick one and put it on the table. The second person does the same. Then they all try to create connections between the two cards that where put in the table. After a minute, one of the players adds another card. They talk to connect the ideas of that card with the other cards. This activity can continue until they place all the cards on the table. The final idea is for them to talk about conclusions of the conversation and questions that the process created.


The map will be a mind system graphic that connects the different topics related to the “Virtue of cycling energy”


How many entries are you doing?

Around 12

How are the entries systemically interrelated? (e.g. select parts of a whole, the whole, a subset)

Non-linear way: they can be shuffled as a deck of cards.

How will you express the entries? What visual / linguistic system are you putting to work?

Relational: Conversation and collaboration (the underlying idea of a discussion as a colaboartive practice and not as an “ego war”

connecting dotsgrowing map.

Playful communication

What visual styles are you using, what are you referencing?

Comics and sketchy kinds of images and also icons used for general use like corporate presentations or instructions of products or academic studies (used for giving facts“serious” communication)


The icons will be common universally used icons such as energy symbols like a flash, wheels of bicycles, cyclist signs, recycling signs and emogis.

Colors to be used will be black (reminds the tires of the bicycles. Also green to address the idea of clean energy and natural resources, renewable energy and ecology.

0ecfe55ac16dc0d012018cfb8483bf29--bike-logo-logo-google 1_-rm08q7mxCa_rlNN7C2XKQ 92927002-electric-bike-icon-e-bike 867308478-1024x1024 942181330-612x612 25245538103_8223e44a03_z depositphotos_89374916-stock-illustration-contact-icon-set FHQFHO3GBVJH04Q.LARGE FV3WIIOGU1I4DQL.LARGE-1 FV3WIIOGU1I4DQL.LARGE images-1 images images
Isolated Electric City Bike Linear Vector Icon


Water cutters

Significant Benefits


Maximizes material yield

The precision with which the water stream cuts creates minimal kerf width allowing for tight tolerance and nesting capabilities. This in turn maximizes the yield of parts created per sheet of material.

You can stack material!

Since waterjet cutting is not a heat process there is no warping of materials cut.

Waterjet cutting can cut through nearly any material and at thicknesses of up to 5 inches. (Some companies claim that it can cut up to 10 inches)

Minimizes tooling costs

Can produce small volume and one-time runs without the added cost of tooling. Also high volume production.

Able to produce precision parts that conform to challenging design and quality criteria. The high-powered waterjet cutters can create complex 2D forms and difficult geometries that would be problematic to die cut or to stamp.

It is a no-heat process, so the substrate retains its integrity, and there is no work hardening, warping, or issues with thermal stress.

Since there is no tooling involved, waterjet cutting useful for small volumes or one-time runs, and with the precision of the water stream, we can make narrow kerf cuts, which enables tight nesting to achieve high material yield.

Can blast through material measuring up to 4.0″ thick while upholding tolerances as close as ±0.003″. Edges are smooth, and there is often no need for additional finishing.

With a 5.0′ long x 12.0′ wide bed size, we can create small to large sized parts quickly, accurately, and consistently.

Local providers


USA-Based. eMachineShop is headquartered in Mahwah, NJ where we not only produce and quality-control custom parts, but also provide world-class customer service. All shipping to the contiguous US is FREE.

FREE CAD Software with Built-in Pricing and Ordering. We changed the game for custom manufacturing with our FREE CAD Software. This streamlines the entire design and fabrication process. eMachineShop gives you the tools you need to quickly and easily design 2D and 3D custom parts in software connected directly to our production facility!


AXYZ International – New Jersey 24 World’s Fair Drive, Suite D Somerset, NJ, 08873  (ABOUT 2 hours and 10 minutes using public transportation from New York. Driving 1 hour 30 minutes)



Waterjet Cutter


National providers

2069 New Castle Road Route 422 Portersville, PA 16051 (6 HOURS DRIVE FROM NY

Suported sizes for manufactoring


Waterjet CNC cutting services. Capabilities include cutting sizes up to 275 in. long x 120 in. wide, with thickness up to 12 in., pressure up to 90,000 psi and tolerances to +/-0.003 in. SPECS BY Bassett industries inc

This depends on the machines owned by each company. (still pretty big size)

Software and file types


Free software specially for this matter:


You can also use any program to create vector shapes, such as Vectorworks, adobe illustrator, autocad, etc

File types (most commonly used)


SolidWorks (.SLDPRT)


Adobe Illustrator (.AI)


STL and OBJ files are accepted for 3D printing only.

Pricing, per parts, and if there is a tooling/ setup cost


Get an instant quote for your project:

For cost per hour, maintenance, and other…


Special design considerations (number of axis, strength of material, wall thickness)


The machine is designed for cutting from the zenith position. Some can do 3d cuts to create diagonals.

I inquired a company for carving work (a non cut through) and they said it could not be done.

Cutting Axis is the number of axes of motion a cutting machine is capable of cutting. 2-axis machines are used to cut flat sheet material while a 3-axis machine is used to cut three dimensional parts.



Shapes possible include 2D shapes with cutouts of almost any complexity. Examples of parts that are often cut this way include: Enclosures, Brackets, Robot Parts, Washers, Front Panels, Sheet Metal Boxes, Motorcycle Parts, Auto Parts, mechanisms, chassis, etc.




Almost any material, hard or soft, can be cut by waterjet: Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Soft Gasket Material,Soft Polyurethane,Stainless Steel 304 and 316, Copper, Nylon, Steel, Acetal, Polycarbonate, Polystyrene, Fiberglass, Brass, Carbon fiber, PTFE, Titanium, ABS, PVC, Sterling Silver, Spring Steel, Bronze, Rubber, Foam, Cork

Marble, Laminates, Gasket material, Granite. Ceramics, Thin Foils, Paper, Glass Reinforced Composites, Glass Reinforced Polyurethane, Soft Gasket Material, Carpet, Carbon Fiber,

….and of course, it can also cut cookies!!! Buy it know!!!

Very few materials are impractical including some types of glass and some types of wood


What are the advantages of using our Abrasivejet technology Vs. other machining processes?


Abrasive Waterjet Vs. Wire EDM-

5-10 times faster

Cuts conductive and nonconductive materials

Can pierce directly through material

No heat affected zone

Abrasive Waterjet Vs. Laser Cutting-

Cut parts up to 5″ thick in virtually any material

No heat affected zone

Comparable accuracy

No toxic fumes form unknown or weird materials


Stacking of material allowed


Abrasive Waterjet Vs. Machining Centers-

Quicker setup time

One tool drills, profile cuts, saws, etc

Better utilization of material

Abrasive Waterjet Vs. Stamping-

No tooling required

Quicker turn around

No tooling maintenance

Less taper on thick parts




Meer precision is not interested in your projects. Seems like they don’t care about their customers…

Aural Fractals

Aural fractals 

Artist: Landscape Windscreen

I stumbled upon this piece on Youtube, with no idea about the author or how it was made. It came to me by searching for generative music. I’m glad it did.

The piece gave me a mix of positive feelings like peace and a relaxing sensation. The sounds it was made of where al digital, and not so many notes. I Heard a lot of Sharp and short notes, that had also a reverberation effect. The rhythm was very slow. Around those Sharp shrilled notes, I Heard some kind of arpeggios and also a sound in the lower spectrum of sound, that was creating some kind of surrounding space for all the rest to exist into that space. It really was effective in producing a sense of space. My guess would be that the interaction between the shrill notes, the reverberation effects, the low sounds and the arpeggios, along with a very slow rhythm (or lack of a beat) gave way to that sense of being inside some kind of watery cave or magical cathedral.

The duration of the piece was five minutes approximately. It was more than listenable. I fully enjoyed the five minutes, and at the end, I wished it was longer, but as my grandfather used to say: “If short and good, it’s twice as good”.

By the title a suppose there are some mathematical procedures for composing the piece, but as a non-mathematician as a non-musician connoisseur, I can’t try to guess how would that work. Hopefully, I can someday create something as pleasant as this piece!