A “Make Your Own Museum” Text Adventure

Charged up from our on-site experience at the San Jose Tech Innovation Museum, I had this funny idea about a museum that would house everything that I thought was cool. I realized that a lot of the things I like have some kind of transformative power, and that a lot of these artifacts were actually devices that were designed to translate from one kind of energy or data to another more convenient form. The idea that you can convert one thing to another is a foundation of practical engineering, and perceptually being able to switch your brain into a more convenient plane of reference is a skill that I’ve been interested in cultivating since the 10th grade.

Examples of Transformation Exhibits

  • Devices that convert mechanical energy to electrical energy, and vice versa!
  • Glassblowing: From sand to shaped glass!
  • Mathematical conversion of coordinate spaces to imaginary spaces: Euler spaces come to mind…Ugh.
  • Extreme Makeovers and Fashion: It’s amazing what you can do with a little bit of applied shadow!
  • Empire Building: The process of integrating cultures is difficult and devious task.
  • Landscaping, Feng Shui, Interior Decorating: Being able to transform the flow of a physical space is pretty amazing
  • Baking Bread: The sheer number of variables involved in creating a great loaf frankly astonishes me. And who wouldn’t want to go to a museum that smelled like freshly baking bread?

Examples of Translation Exhibits

  • Language Concepts, Linguistics, and Psychology of Communication: There are certain common concepts that most languages share. I’d like to know what they are.
  • Codemaking and Codebreaking: Especially physical devices used for this. They’re just cool.
  • Signal Reproduction: From sound to video, the ability to convert physical phenomena into digital form, and then store it in another physical-based media, is pretty amazing.
  • The World of Signals: Everything in Electrical Engineering is a signal, and every signal is arbitrary. If I’d known that when I started engineering school, I might have been good at it.
  • Time and Money: The idea that time = money dates back to Benjamin Franklin. Is it true? How do you measure it?

I’ve decided to call this new institution The Museum of Transformation and Translation (aka THE MOTT). Since creating my own museum and collecting all the artifacts that I’d like to have in it will be prohibitively expensive, I decided to create a Wiki version of it in the Public Wiki area. And because I’m an aging nerd, I am building it to resemble an old-school text adventure. I guess it’s more accurate to say that it’s a hypertext fiction approach I’m taking, but never mind that.

Right now it’s just a placeholder, but if anyone would like to come by and build an exhibit by describing an interesting collection of transformation/translation related concepts or artifacts, come on down!