So I mentioned this in passing yesterday when I finally remembered to note the existence of Civic Signals, but I wanted to come back to that professor studying the “unwritten code” of riding the bus. The key to Amy Hanser’s thesis is that such a compact public place “forces us to negotiate space with one another”. Because the question of analogues is always on my mind when it comes to place and space, I do wonder to what degree it’s possible to force us into that same negotiation when online. I also wonder, now that I’m thinking about it, whether or not Hanser or anyone else has compared and contrasted similar-but-different compact public places, e.g. the train and the plane. I’d think one fundamental difference is that for many people the public bus is a daily experience “where we are in close proximity, visible to others and stuck with each other for a while, a place where we can be together without having to be alike” on a regular basis. That sort of thing doesn’t especially translate to online life; we don’t tend to have regular yet transient places.

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Hello. My name is Bix. @bix