The new age of DApps is here, and it’s not based on Ethereum

Medium, blockchain, ethereum, bitcoin, DApps, NEO, Qtum, Tezos, 2017

While blockchain is the future, I do not believe the future is what we are living today. We are living among the experiments. What we see around us might be in ruins tomorrow. What we get as our future might not have been invented yet. With hopes still high and a sharp eye on the industry, I am waiting for the ultimate blockchain. Will it be Ethereum? Or NEO? Or Qtum? Or Tezos? Or something else? I don’t know. For now, I am excited to witness one of the largest shifts a human life can live through. Even if the future does not appear to be near, the future is not far either.

via https://hackernoon.com/the-new-age-of-dapps-is-here-and-its-not-based-on-ethereum–2246fc4d9eee

Art and the blockchain: A call for co-operation

Medium, art, blockchain, art market, 2017

The TEFAF Art Market Report, Online Focus 2017 highlighted the importance of decentralised technology within the art market. Pownall’s report includes survey responses from 673 dealers regarding their views on the use of blockchain. She finds that three quarters of auction houses, one third of intermediaries and one fifth of galleries intend to ‘offer blockchain technology within the next five years’. She also finds that almost 20% of galleries, auction houses and intermediaries intend to accept payment in digital currencies in the future. Despite these ambitions, there is an absence of shared research and knowledge and a severe lack of co-ordination about blockchain solutions that would be suitable for the art ecosystem.

via https://medium.com/@JessyBlock/art-and-the-blockchain-a-call-for-co-operation-df554fbe8e3e

Spot a Bot: Identifying Automation and Disinformation on Social Media

Medium, disinfo, disinformation, social media, fake news, bots, 2017

So how do we spot these accounts in the wild? Following are a number of traits we’ve found in our research. As you might expect, many accounts that are not bots or sockpuppets exhibit some of these traits. None of them are foolproof. But the more of these traits an account displays, the more likely it is to be a disinformation account. In our research, we’ve found it far more helpful to look for evidence of these traits in a large collection of tweets, rather than trying to come up with discrete lists of bots, sockpuppets, trolls, and regular users. It’s often these traits that are most dangerous, and it’s these traits that we can look out for when engaging information online ― and when sharing information ourselves. It is also worth highlighting that many of the traits exhibited by bots and sockpuppets are pulled directly from tactics used in online harassment.

via https://medium.com/data-for-democracy/spot-a-bot-identifying-automation-and-disinformation-on-social-media–2966ad93a203

With Federal Funds Dwindling, Climate Scientists Turn to Unusual Partnerships to Study Methane in a Warming Arctic

rjzimmerman:

Excerpt:

Figuring out just how much methane is leaving the lakes is crucial. Though less prevalent in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, methane is roughly 30 times more powerful of a heat-trapping gas, and has already accounted for about one-sixth of recent climate warming according to NASA. Moreover, for every degree that Earth’s temperature rises, methane entering the atmosphere from microorganisms in lakes and wetlands is expected to increase—thus worsening the overall problem.

In the Canadian Arctic, this gas builds up in the lakes each winter beneath a thick lid of ice. Come spring, that lid melts and methane escapes into the air above. Multiply this effect over the astonishing 55,000 lakes within this massive delta—one of the largest in the Arctic—and the weight of the greenhouse gas burbling out each year could balloon to as much as 10 teragrams.

For reference, that’s the weight of more than 1 million elephants.

“That would be a very significant part of the global methane flux to the atmosphere just coming from this one delta,” says Beth Orcutt, an oceanographer at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine and one of Wheat’s collaborators.

Orcutt says “would,” because she and her team thinks that climate models may be seriously underestimating the role that methane in this delta plays in global climate warming. As a result, they see their work as having serious urgency. And yet, even as warming in this region speeds up—with roads heaving and communities scrambling to secure their buildings on thawing ground—federal funding for climate research has become harder to come by.

With Federal Funds Dwindling, Climate Scientists Turn to Unusual Partnerships to Study Methane in a Warming Arctic

Spectres in change. Fieldnotes #1

Seili, Spectres in change, fiednotes, FoAM, 2017

Seili, a tiny island in the Archipelago Sea. The island is a geologically young and interconnected ecosystem, historically laden with accounts of illness, death and isolation. It seems serene and benign yet harbours hidden disturbances, spectral hostilities. Plagues of ticks and microplastics overlaid with psychic memories of the oppressed and abandoned. Ecological monsters and anomalies hover on the edges of human perception, cunningly invasive even to a casual visitor. A haunted island covered by soft green mosses, lapped by gentle brackish waves. The sea is sparsely populated with dwindling biodiversity, beset with its own “ecological ghosts of oceans past.” The island bides in silence, weathering the changing weather. The landscape is on its way to becoming something else, without resistance. Things come, interfere for a while and eventually go. Sail away, disappear or die out. Other things remain, as ambivalent hosts or liminal lingerings…. Real but not necessarily physical, real but not always measurable. Whether invaded by crabs, humans or ticks, the island continues its slow and steady rise above the shallow waters, unperturbed.

via https://medium.com/p/spectres-in-change-fieldnotes–1-b47a213a902c

The New Patterns of Culture: Slow, Fast & Spiky

Medium, Matt Locke, attention, 2011, slow, fast, spiky, media

Alongside the familiar patterns of mainstream attention, there are a huge number of new patterns that could only exist in digital culture. Some of these patterns are very slow, with attention accruing over months or years, as social recommendation or small groups of fans gradually accrue around content. Some are extremely fast, synchronising audiences’ attention around a piece of culture within days, before moving on just as quickly. Some are driven by deliberate plans, orchestrated between broadcast channels and social media. Some emerge via the organic connections of lots of smaller drivers, from blogs and niche channels to SEO and twitter accounts.

But, regardless of the pattern itself, the difference is that they’re Spiky — there are no technical or economic constraints keeping the spotlight in one place anymore, so attention can move on as quickly as it arrived. This is the major shift that we are missing when we are nostalgic for the 20th century. We’re only just beginning to learn what culture looks like in spiky networks, and only just beginning to invent the companies and institutions that can survive long enough to support and invest in culture in this landscape.


via https://medium.com/a-brief-history-of-attention/the-new-patterns-of-culture-slow-fast-spiky-e18f2bc83a46

We are wrong to believe that the true and the false can only be brought to bear on solutions, that they only begin with…

“We are wrong to believe that the true and the false can only be brought to bear on solutions, that they only begin with solutions. This prejudice is social (for society, and the language that transmits its order—words, ‘set up’ ready—made problems, as if they were drawn out of the ‘city’s administrative filing cabinets’, and force us to ‘solve’ them, leaving us only a thin margin of freedom). Moreover, this prejudice goes back to childhood, to the classroom: it is the schoolteacher who ‘poses’ the problems; the pupil’s task is to discover the solutions. In this way we are kept in a kind of slavery. True freedom lies in the power to decide, to constitute problems themselves. (Deleuze 1988: 15)”

Bergsonism,  Gilles Deleuze
(viasyntheticphilosophy)

Grey literature (or gray literature; see spelling differences) are materials and research produced by organizations outside of…

“Grey literature (or gray literature; see spelling differences) are materials and research produced by organizations outside of the traditional commercial or academic publishing and distribution channels. Common grey literature publication types include reports (annual, research, technical, project, etc.), working papers, government documents, white papers and evaluations. Organizations that produce grey literature include government departments and agencies, civil society or non-governmental organisations, academic centres and departments, and private companies and consultants.”

Wikipedia (viainthenoosphere)

You won’t like what these stunning sculptures are made of Mike Thompson and Arne Hendriks have developed a knack for turning…

fatberg, Arne Hendriks, Mike Thompson

additivism:

You won’t like what these stunning sculptures are made of

Mike Thompson and Arne Hendriks have developed a knack for turning fatbergs - congealed lumps of fat and waste from sewers - into works of art. Their bizarre installations are made from a delightful combination of fat, wet wipes, tampons, condoms and various household products.

“Words have power, and in systems thinking, we use some very specific words that intentionally define a different set of…

systems thinking, design, economics, systems, Leyla Acaroglu

“Words have power, and in systems thinking, we use some very specific words that intentionally define a different set of actions to mainstream thinking. Words like ‘synthesis,’ ‘emergence,’ ‘interconnectedness,’ and ‘feedback loops’ can be overwhelming for some people. Since they have very specific meanings in relation to systems, allow me to start off with the exploration of six key themes.”

(via https://medium.com/disruptive-design/tools-for-systems-thinkers-the-6-fundamental-concepts-of-systems-thinking-379cdac3dc6a)

The Radioactive Man Who Returned To Fukushima To Feed The Animals That Everyone Else Left Behind

psychedelicsex:

psychedelicsex:

friendlycloud:

revolutionary-afrolatino:

forever-my-sun-and-stars:

Naoto Matsumura is the only human brave enough to live in Fukushima’s 12.5-mile exclusion zone

image

He fled at first but returned to take care of the animals that were left behind

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He returned for his own animals at first, but realized that so many more needed his help, too

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Matsumura, who is 55 years old, knows that the radiation is harmful, but he “refuses to worry about it”

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“They also told me that I wouldn’t get sick for 30 or 40 years. I’ll most likely be dead by then anyway, so I couldn’t care less”

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Matsumura discovered that thousands of cows had died locked in barns

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He also freed many animals that had been left chained up by their owners

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Many of them now rely on him for food

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The government has forbidden him from staying, but that doesn’t stop him either

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He started in 2011 and is still going strong 4 years later

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He relies solely on donations from supporters to work with and feed the animals

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His supporters are calling him the ‘guardian of Fukushima’s animals’

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The man clearly has a sense of humor as well

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source

This hero deserves way more notes.

There should be a way to donate to this guy

Actually I spent some time and I found a link to donate to him. Click here to be sent to a website where you can donate to his efforts

OPERATION MINDFUCK WAS TOO SUCCESSFUL — R.U. Sirius Interviewed by Douglas Rushkoff

Medium, R.U. Sirius, Douglas Rushkoff, Mondo2000, Wired, OM, internet, high society, mindfuck, discordianism, russia

“I always blamed Wired magazine and the investment ethos for changing the internet from an anything-can-happen, new human-potential movement that was represented so well by MONDO 2000, into the same old expansion of capital through IPOs and digital companies. I hate to even term it like this, but what went wrong? Why didn’t we get the whole everything changing at once for the human better that we were all imagining up in the Berkeley hills in the MONDO 2000 living room?”

via https://medium.com/@StealThisSingul/operation-mindfuck-was-too-successful-r-u-sirius-interviewed-by-douglas-rushkoff–6607e4edc522

Salton Sea geothermal plant canceled by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy

rjzimmerman:

Excerpt:

Beneath the southern shore of the Salton Sea lies a reservoir of mineral-rich water, heated to temperatures as high as 700 degrees Fahrenheit by the Earth’s natural heat. The area’s geology allows that heat to rise near the surface, creating one of the world’s most potent geothermal energy hot spots. Eleven power plants, 10 of them operated by CalEnergy, already convert a portion of that geothermal potential to carbon-free energy, using steam from the super-heated brine to turn turbines and generate electricity.

But even as renewable solar and wind power have boomed in California, the geothermal industry has lagged. The high up-front costs of building a geothermal plant have kept investors at bay, with only one new plant opening in the Salton Sea area since 2000.

CalEnergy, which is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy, asked the California Energy Commission earlier this summer to terminate the license for Black Rock.

Dennis Kaspereit spent 10 years as CalEnergy’s director of geothermal resources and now works at the Geothermal Resource Group, a Palm Desert-based consultant. He said Black Rock faced the same headwinds as all geothermal projects in the region — the difficulty of securing financing and a power purchase agreement with a utility.

But a couple of other developments are either in the pipeline, or peeking from behind the fence waiting for financing to pop up:

Other developers are still trying to build new power plants at the Salton Sea.

An Australian company called Controlled Thermal Resources is doing seismic testing for a massive geothermal plant known as Hell’s Kitchen, with plans to drill exploratory wells this year and start construction by 2019. Controlled Thermal doesn’t have financing yet, a key hurdle before construction can begin. But the firm has partnered with a startup that claims to have developed technology to extract lithium— a valuable mineral used in batteries for electric cars, cell phones and laptops — from the brine that flows through the pipes of Salton Sea geothermal plants. If that technology can make lithium extraction economically viable, it would make Hell’s Kitchen a lot more attractive to investors.

A prior incarnation of the lithium startup, Simbol Materials, failed dramatically in 2015, abruptly firing the vast majority of its staff — but not before drawing a $325-million purchase offer from Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors, which ultimately fell through. Musk’s willingness to make that offer could be a sign that the company’s technology is viable, even if Simbol couldn’t work out the finances.

Salton Sea geothermal plant canceled by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy

The Inside Story Of SoundCloud’s Collapse

soundcloud, startup, music, 2017

Today, SoundCloud appears stuck in no man’s land, according to former executives and employees. Though the company found validation with the major labels and launched a me-too subscription music service, former employees and music industry executives argue it bungled a great opportunity by losing sight of what made it unique: serving as a listening platform for non-label controlled content. Jake Udell, the CEO and founder of TH3RD BRAIN, a management company that represents artists like Gallant and Grace VanderWaal, said that SoundCloud used to be the first place he’d go to post music of his up-and-coming acts. “Back then I would have to fight the labels to have songs on SoundCloud,” he said. “Now it’s not even part of the conversation.”

via https://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanmac/inside-the-storm-at-soundcloud#.lj8N8M1GB

Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are…

Karl Popper, Paradox of tolerance, open society, intolerance, ethics

“Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. […] We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.”

Karl Popper (on theParadox of tolerance in  The Open Society and Its Enemies)

On August 11, 1987, Bill Atkinson announced a new product from Apple for the Macintosh; a multimedia, easily programmed system…

hypercard, multimedia, retrocomputing, archive.org, 1987, 2017, apple

On August 11, 1987, Bill Atkinson announced a new product from Apple for the Macintosh; a multimedia, easily programmed system called HyperCard. HyperCard brought into one sharp package the ability for a Macintosh to do interactive documents with calculation, sound, music and graphics. It was a popular package, and thousands of HyperCard “stacks” were created using the software.

After our addition of in-browser early Macintosh emulation earlier this year, the Internet Archive now has a lot of emulated Hypercard stacks available for perusal, and we encourage you to upload your own, easily and quickly.

(via http://blog.archive.org/2017/08/11/hypercard-on-the-archive-celebrating-30-years-of-hypercard/ )

The Battery is the Message: The Materialities of Powering New Media

Medium, media, battery, thermal runway, Pixelache, Community Power Bank, Li-ion

When media start to explode in your hands, it deserves a description. When it causes airplane evacuations, general panic and hysteria, it warrants an examination. When it quietly dies in your pocket before the end of an eight hour work day just like the other two billion smartphones, it deserves an explanation. It is reasonable to believe that a ‘Thermal Runaway’ event is far more spectacular than a quiet smartphone death. Leakages take place, fire and toxic chemicals are involved, possibly leading to personal bodily injury. It can be traumatic. Thermal Runaway is today one of the prime modes of battery failure. Chemical reactions within raise its internal temperature, and if not dissipated, the temperature keeps rising that will further accelerate the reactions causing even more heat to be produced, eventually resulting in an explosion. Especially a Lithum-ion cell above a certain temperature, its internal chemical reactions out of control, will explode.

via https://medium.com/@samir_bhowmik/the-battery-is-the-message-the-materialities-of-powering-new-media–89ca4107227c

Studying Storms from Air and Space

nasa:

Technology we’ve developed is helping study the movement of storms.  

From satellites that can slice through a hurricane with 3-D vision to computer models of gale force winds, scientists now have unprecedented ways of viewing extreme weather.

This August, we’re sending an unmanned aircraft called a Global Hawk to study hurricanes. This mission is called the “East Pacific Origins and Characteristics of Hurricanes,” or EPOCH. It will fly over developing tropical storms to investigate how they progress and intensify. 

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The three instruments aboard this Global Hawk aircraft will map out 3-D patterns of temperature, pressure, humidity, precipitation and wind speed as well as the role of the East Pacific Ocean in global cyclone formation. These measurements will help scientists better understand the processes that control storm intensity and the role of the East Pacific Ocean in global cyclone formation.

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To better understand hurricane formation and intensity, scientists also utilize models and other observations.

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Satellites such as our Global Precipitation Measurement Mission, or GPM, and computer models can analyze key stages of storm intensification.  

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In September 2016, GPM captured Hurricane Matthew’s development from a Category 1 to Category 5 hurricane in less than 24 hours.  

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Extreme rainfall was seen in several stages of the storm, causing significant flooding and landslides when it passed by Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

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By combining model and observed data, scientists can analyze storms like never before. They can also better understand how hurricanes and other powerful storms can potentially impact society.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

the vicarious experience of machine subjectivity

robhorningreallife:

Sherry Turkle’s The Second Self(1984) is about the relationships early personal computer users had with their machines, and how this reciprocally reshaped “what it means to be human.” Whereas once humans defined themselves in relation to animals (which are incapable of rational thought and given over to sensation), now they are beginning to define themselves in relation to machines (which are incapable of feeling). “Where once we were rational animals, now we are feeling computers, emotional machines,” she suggests. 

Turkle is writing about computers that are unnetworked here, so she sees using them as a kind of escape from interpersonal interaction, whereas now computers primarily mediate human interaction in all sorts of ways. So she tends to assume that computer use is a form of safe isolation that simulates interacting with a living being while protecting a person from the uncertainties of that: “Terrified of being alone, yet afraid of intimacy, we experience widespread feelings of emptiness, of disconnection, of the unreality of self. And here the computer, a companion without emotional demands, offers a compromise. You can be a loner, but never alone. You can interact, but need never feel vulnerable to another person.” 

That same analysis has carried through to Turkle’s more recent work, which can make it feel out of touch. The “computer” in the form of an internet-connected phone can allow for all sorts of vulnerability and intimacy, and it opens one to all sorts of new emotional demands. People may feel compelled to always be available to others, always be “present” even when they are geographically distant. You can never be alone in a new and different sense.

That said, I found Turkle’s comparison of then-emerging AI theory with psychoanalysis pretty interesting. 

The question here is not which theory, the psychoanalytic or the computational, is true, but rather how these very different ways of thinking about ourselves capture our imagination. Behind the popular acceptance of the Freudian theory was a nervous, often guilty reoccupation with the self as sexual; behind the widespread interest in computational interpretations is an equally nervous preoccupation with the self as a machine. Playing with psychoanalytic and computational theories allows us to play with aspects of our nature that we experience as taboo.

People are afraid to think of themselves as machines, that the are controlled, predictable, determined, just as they are afraid to link of themselves as “driven” by sexual or aggressive impulses. But in the end, even if fearful, people want to explore their sexual and aggressive dimensions; hence, the evocative power and popular appeal of psychoanalytic ideas. Similarly, although fearful, peo
ple want to find a way to think about what they experience as the machine aspect of their natures; this is at the heart of the computer’s holding power. Thinking about the self as a machine includes the feeling of being “run” from the outside, out of control because in the control of something beyond the self. Exploring the parts of ourselves that we do not feel in control of is a way to begin to own them, a way to feel more whole. 

To extrapolate from this analysis: We like to think about artificial intelligence because we want to vicariously experience the subjectivity of a machine and enjoy, for that time, the idea of being a machine, of not being individually responsible for our actions or their consequences, and to thereby enjoy simply what we are “made” to do. In other words, it is a submissive fantasy of being made into a robot and having to obey orders. It is a way of eroticizing the experience of a loss of agency. That reminds me a lot of the “machine zone” of video-gambling addiction, where fate is mastered by total surrender to it and to the rhythms and determinations of the gaming machine. It feels good because there is only one way to lose, and it is inevitable.

Again, this analysis needs to be adjusted to accommodate the experience of using networked computers, which calibrate our experience of agency with a sense of connectivity and dependence, a sense of inescapable intersubjectivity in which we are always in the midst of thinking with a group. Often in these cases, the lost sense of agency may be a concrete signal of social belonging, a reassurance that one has been permitted to participate in a collective subjectivity. Not only might our self be made up of myriad biological programs running within our brain, producing consciousness as a kind of epiphenomenon, but those programs are interacting with the programs of other brains and are being coordinated beyond our understanding. We are one small machine running a subroutine in an emerging consciousness that is and isn’t our own.

Trying to vicariously experience machine-hood then becomes a way to try to imagine consciousness beyond individualist atomization. Thinking like a machine becomes a matter of thinking unselfishly rather than thinking without feeling.   

Last week a flatbed truck in Oregon overturned and released 3400 kilograms of live hagfish on the highway and nearby cars….

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

Last week a flatbed truck in Oregon overturned and released 3400 kilograms of live hagfish on the highway and nearby cars. Hagfish are eel-like fish known for their impressive slime production. When threatened, the hagfish produce mucins that, when combined with water, form an extremely viscoelastic mucus. As it’s stretched, the mucus thickens and becomes more viscous. Normally, hagfish use this property to clog the gills of fish trying to eat them. The slime is weak, however, to shearing; hagfish actually tie themselves in knots to slide the slime off when there’s too much of it. The Oregon Department of Transportation managed to clear the road of mucus (and hagfish) using bulldozers and fire hoses, but it did take them several hours. For more photos and videos from the incident, check out Gizmodo and the Oregon State Police Twitter feed. (Image credit: Oregon State Police; via Gizmodo)

Murdered but Undefeated

Medium, Wu'er Kaixi, Liu Xiaobo, China, Tiananmen Square, 1989, 2017

Liu Xiaobo, who has died after eight years in jail, despite being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, was a complex human being, but he was bold, an intellectual, and in China he was a threat because he understood that civil society can organize against corruption and autocracy. Beijing released him from jail, not for the medical treatment he deserved, but simply to die. In other words, he was murdered by a murderous regime. It is time for the world to ask itself, are we accomplices, do we appease this, or do we stand up against so-called Chinese values?

via https://medium.com/@wuerkaixi/murdered-betrayed-but-unconquered–5a6dc3c04ccb

This space and time peculiar to the image is none other than the world of magic, a world in which everything is repeated and in…

“This space and time peculiar to the image is none other than the world of magic, a world in which everything is repeated and in which everything participates in a significant context. Such a world is structurally different from that of the linear world of history in which nothing is repeated and in which everything has causes and will have consequences […] The significance of images is magical.”

Towards a Philosophy of Photography

Vilém Flusser 

(vianotesonphotography)

Massive Change — 10 Provocations for the Next 10 years of Social Innovation.

Medium, social innovation, scale, challenges, Indy Johar, 2017

The last ten years have been an important, formative period for the revival of social innovation, we have seen a new generation of actors contribute to the renewal of our societal goods. The work of the Young Foundation, Nesta, McConnell foundation, MaRS, Big Society Capital, SIX, TACSI, Impact Hubs and too many others to mention have been critical in seeding this question and driving its renewal globally.

Much of the work, has been focused on prototyping, understanding where the opportunity for change is and testing out micro additions or addressing edge failures in the welfare model — be it public, private or civic. Modest beginnings, and rightly so. Thereby, the work to date has largely been limited to relatively small scale interventions — tinkering & fixing at the very edges – the so called market or public service delivery failings ( social innovation projects to date have been driven largely by black swan procurement). Simultaneously and slowly over that period the sector has become stuck in the hope that “a theory of scale and impact” borrowed from the VC world and the Silicon Valley start-up landscape would be its structured salvation to societal impact.

This is not to decry an age of testing and discovery but it is also important to collectively recognise we have not gone after and meaningfully challenged mainstream social institutional infrastructure and its associated outcomes — which absorbs not just 100,000s of pounds through, but in the orders of Billions. As a community we have also failed to move any significant chunk of resource that the government allocates to military, technology or business innovation, into social innovation and the everyday services and social structures we most rely on.



via https://provocations.darkmatterlabs.org/massive-change–10-provocations-for-the-next–10-years-of-social-innovation-df4756ed8629

The Gadget that Makes DNA Sequencing Child’s Play

Medium, DNA, sequencing, DIYBio, MinION, 2017, nanopores

The MinION costs $1,000 and is the size of a candy bar. It connects to a laptop computer’s USB port. To have it read a DNA sample, you use a micropipette to drop a “DNA library” (more on that in a minute) through a millimeter-sized opening on the MinION. Inside the device are nanopores, cones just over a billionth of a meter wide, placed in a membrane. A steady ion current flows through these nanopores. Since each nucleotide (A, T, C or G) has a unique molecular makeup, each one is shaped a little differently. The unique shape passing through the pore interrupts the ion current in a specific way. Just as we can infer a shape by analyzing its shadow on a wall, we can infer a nucleotide’s identity from the disturbances it causes to the ion current. This is how the device converts bases to bits that stream into a computer.

via https://medium.com/neodotlife/nanopore–6443c81d76d3?source=ifttt————–1

Midimutant: a system that programs synths by artificial evolution

midimutant, foam, aphex-twin, genetic-programming, artificial-evolution, automation, TX7, music

It can be really boring trying to program new sounds on complicated synthesizers. So why not get a computer to do it for you? By a process of what FoAM are calling artificial evolution, the Midimutant can grow new sounds on hardware synthesizers based on your starting sound. Midimutant. Developed, apparently, with Aphex Twin, the video below shows the Midimutant generating sounds on a Yamaha TX7. Something no one in their right mind would want to spend time programming.

via https://www.gearnews.com/midimutant-system-programs-synths-artificial-evolution/

How The ‘Afghan Cameleer’ Campaign Accidentally Hides Diversity

New-Matilda, Aussie, history, Australia, Pashtun, Afghan, Baloch, camels, cameleers, British-Raj

the word Afghan is used in a contemporary sense to refer to someone from Afghanistan. However, this has not always been the case. For hundreds of years, Afghan as a term was primarily used by Persian speakers to describe another ethnic community, known as the Pashtuns (also called the Pakhtuns and Pathans). In the twenty-first century, the Pashtuns made up the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, yet more Pashtuns live in Pakistan, particularly in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the North Western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Karachi. The reason I provide this background is because the Pashtuns along with the Baloch (another ethnic group found in South Asia and Iran), probably played the most significant role in non-Aboriginal explorations of the Australian outback in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as cameleers. For example, the most famous cameleer, Bejah Dervish, was a Baloch.

via https://newmatilda.com/2016/06/13/how-the-afghan-cameleer-campaign-accidentally-hides-diversity/

Our cosmic environment could be richly textured, but on scales so vast that our purview is restricted to a tiny fragment; we’re…

“Our cosmic environment could be richly textured, but on scales so vast that our purview is restricted to a tiny fragment; we’re not aware of the ‘big picture’, any more than a plankton whose‘universe’ was a liter of water would be aware of the world’s topography and biosphere. It is obviously sensible for cosmologists to start off by exploring the simplest models. But there is no more reason to expect simplicity on the grandest scale than in the terrestrial environment—where intricate complexity prevails.”

Martin Rees
(viainthenoosphere)

“There is a fundamental reason why we look at the sky with wonder and longing—for the same reason that we stand, hour after…

parabola-magazine:

“There is a fundamental reason why we look at the sky with wonder and longing—for the same reason that we stand, hour after hour, gazing at the distant swell of the open ocean.

There is something like an ancient wisdom, encoded and tucked away in our DNA, that knows its point of origin as surely as a salmonid knows its creek. Intellectually, we may not want to return there, but the genes know, and long for their origins—their home in the salty depths.

But if the seas are our immediate source, the penultimate source is certainly the heavens… The spectacular truth is—and this is something that your DNA has known all along—the very atoms of your body—the iron, calcium, phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and on and on—were initially forged in long-dead stars.

This is why, when you stand outside under a moonless, country sky, you feel some ineffable tugging at your innards. We are star stuff. Keep looking up.”

―Gerald D. Waxman, a distinguished and enormously popular professor of astronomy and environmental science. From his book, Astronomical Tidbits: A Layperson’s Guide to Astronomy, (Authorhouse, 2010).

Pictured: Vincent van Gogh,  Starry Night Over the Rhône, 1888

GRAVITY: a scalable infrastructure for the crypto-economy

Medium, Gravity, ethereum, world computer, distributed systems, Economic Space Agency

Value production is inherently networked. Therefore, in order to thrive, it needs an architecture as granular, scalable, and flexible as possible in order to accommodate the kinds of diverse applications and interactions that will, in turn, support its self-organization. Here at the Economic Space Agency, we want to build an ecosystem in which everyone can launch and participate in crowdsales, and exchange tokens without breaking the network. For these reasons we are building GRAVITY: a new common infrastructure for the crypto-economy. As mentioned in our previous post, GRAVITY is an open source, general purpose computing fabric based on an object-capability paradigm. The logical decentralization that this affords introduces important innovations in terms of scalability and speed, and also the possibility to host on-chain solutions for multi-blockchain integration.

via https://medium.com/@ecsa_team/gravity-a-scalable-infrastructure-for-the-crypto-economy-f653ca73b881