Ecological Crisis and the Tragedy of the Commodity

tragedy of the commodity, tragedy of the commons, economics, crisis, ecology, externalities, capita

In a society organized around the logic of capital, human activities tend to be directed toward the production of commodities. That is, capitalism can be understood in a broad sense as a system of generalized commodity production. The institutional arrangements result in particular social arrangements and generate distinct types of human social action. The commodity serves as a basic unit to understand the larger culture-nature relations and capitalism itself. It is a base element of capitalist market processes. […] This fundamental tension between the necessity of quantitative expansion to sustain the economic relations and the qualitatively unsustainable ecological consequences marks the defining characteristic of the modern ecological crisis and the tragedy of the commodity.

http://climateandcapitalism.com/2015/07/21/ecological-crisis-and-the-tragedy-of-the-commodity–2/

What is 21st Century Photography?

Photography, Daniel Rubenstein, Philosophy of Photography, representation, image, algorithms

21st Century photography has nothing in common with the hypocritical moralism of the post-colonial document, that relies on the same representational paradigm that made colonialism possible. In short, 21st Century Photography is not the representation of the world, but the exploration of the labor practices that shape this world through mass-production, computation, self-replication and pattern recognition. Through it we come to understand that the ‘real world’ is nothing more than so much information plucked out of chaos: the randomised and chaotic conflation of bits of matter, strands of DNA, sub-atomic particles and computer code.

In photography one can glimpse how the accidental meetings of these forces are capable of producing temporary, meaningful assemblages that we call 'images’. In the 21st Century, photography is not a stale sight for sore eyes, but the inquiry into what makes something an image. As such, photography is the most essential task of art in the current time.

http://thephotographersgalleryblog.org.uk/2015/07/03/what-is-21st-century-photography/

Kyocera Corporation, K.K. GAIA POWER, Kyudenko Corporation, and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation announced that the companies…

solar, solar power, golf courses, energy, climate, kyocera

Kyocera Corporation, K.K. GAIA POWER, Kyudenko Corporation, and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation announced that the companies have made a joint investment in Kanoya Osaki Solar Hills LLC, a solar power operating company, to construct and operate a 92-megawatt (MW) solar power plant. Planned for construction on a site stretching across Kanoya City and Osaki Town in Kagoshima Prefecture, the project will become one of the largest solar installations in Japan.

Project planning began in January 2014, as the local community expressed interest in effectively using the project site, which had been designated for a golf course more than 30 years ago but subsequently abandoned. Covering a total of approximately 2,000,000m2 (approx. 494 acres), the site will accommodate 340,740 Kyocera solar modules, and is expected to generate roughly 99,230MWh annually — enough electricity to power approximately 30,500*1 typical households, offsetting roughly 35,730 tons of CO2 emissions per year

Web Design - The First 100 Years

intrenet, technology, perspective, social, IoT, singularity, White Nerds Burden, idlewords

These three visions lead to radically different worlds.

If you think the Web is a way to CONNECT KNOWLEDGE, PEOPLE, AND CATS, then your job is to get the people and cats online, put a decent font on the knowledge, and then stand back and watch the magic happen.

If you think your job is to FIX THE WORLD WITH SOFTWARE, then the web is just the very beginning. There’s a lot of work left to do. Really you’re going to need sensors in every house, and it will help if everyone looks through special goggles, and if every refrigerator can talk to the Internet and confess its contents. You promise to hook up all this stuff up for us, and in return, we give you the full details of our private lives. And we don’t need to worry about people doing bad things with it, because your policy is for that not to happen.

And if you think that the purpose of the Internet is to BECOME AS GODS, IMMORTAL CREATURES OF PURE ENERGY LIVING IN A CRYSTALLINE PARADISE OF OUR OWN INVENTION, then your goal is total and complete revolution. Everything must go. The future needs to get here as fast as possible, because your biological clock is ticking!

The first group wants to CONNECT THE WORLD.
The second group wants to EAT THE WORLD.
And the third group wants to END THE WORLD.

These visions are not compatible.

http://idlewords.com/talks/web_design_first_100_years.htm

My painting “The Magus” as a book cover for Stanislav Grof’s "Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness…

My painting “The Magus” as a book cover for Stanislav Grof’s “Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research”.
Stanislav Grof “Psicologia del Futuro: Sviluppi della moderna ricerca sulla coscienza”. Spazio Interiore ©2015. Roma. #waone #interesnikazki #stanislavgrof #bookcover by waone_interesnikazki (via https://instagram.com/p/2lG4TmR4go/)

“Compared with the accuracy of various human judges reported in the meta-analysis, computer models need 10, 70, 150, and 300…

psychology, personality, AI, social media, technology, judgement, personality assessment, Big 5, data driven decisions

“Compared with the accuracy of various human judges reported in the meta-analysis, computer models need 10, 70, 150, and 300 Likes, respectively, to outperform an average work colleague, cohabitant or friend, family member, and spouse (graypoints) […]

Automated, accurate, and cheap personality assessment tools could affect society in many ways: marketing messages could be tailored to users’ personalities; recruiters could better match candidates with jobs based on their personality; products and services could adjust their behavior to best match their users’ characters and changing moods; and scientists could collect personality data without burdening participants with lengthy questionnaires. Furthermore, in the future, people might abandon their own psychological judgments and rely on computers when making important life decisions, such as choosing activities, career paths, or even romantic partners. It is possible that such data-driven decisions will improve people’s lives”

http://www.pnas.org/content/112/4/1036.full.pdf

Better to do nothing than to engage in localized acts whose ultimate function is to make the system run more smoothly. The…

“Better to do nothing than to engage in localized acts whose ultimate function is to make the system run more smoothly. The threat today is not passivity, but pseudo-activity, the urge to “be active”, to “participate”, to mask the Nothingness of what goes on. People intervene all the time, “doing something”; academics participate in meaningless “debates,” etc.; but the truly difficult thing is to step back, to withdraw from it all. Those in power often prefer even “critical” participation or a critical dialogue to silence, since to engage us in such a “dialogue” ensures that our ominous passivity is broken. The “Bartlebian act” I propose is violent precisely insofar as it entails ceasing this obsessive activity-in it, violence and non-violence overlap (non-violence appears as the highest violence), likewise activity and inactivity (the most radical thing is to do nothing).”

 Slavoj Žižek | In Defense of Lost Causes.
(viavulturehooligan)

How Britain and the US decided to abandon Srebrenica to its fate

Srebrenica, masacre, genocide, ethnic cleansing, Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Mladic, Miloševic, Dayton, Bild

Not a single politician, diplomat or senior soldier saw fit to resign over the betrayal of Srebrenica. It will be interesting to see if anything approaching an apology - let alone a reckoning - by Britain, America or France is spoken next weekend. Most of those involved were promoted or moved on to lucrative positions. After he had left the government, the former British foreign secretary, Douglas Hurd, who had chastised attempts at intervention to help Bosnia, along with Neville-Jones, famously beat a path to Belgrade to engage Milševic - just before he was indicted for genocide - on behalf of the NatWest markets bank.

The reaction of Akashi to the killing, as it began on 13 July, was to assure that the UN “should not fear an international outcry as at no time have Unprofor drivers or vehicles assisted in the evacuation”.

Toby Gati, the US assistant secretary of state for intelligence, told the current US ambassador, Samantha Power, for a book: “Ethnic cleansing was not a priority of our policy. When you make an original decision you are not going to respond, then I’m sorry, these things are going to happen.”

The then UN secretary general, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, told the BBC on 11 July 1995, when Mladic entered Srebrenica: “We have been humiliated and duped. We will have to live with it. But in several days, it will belong to the past.”

Bildt, in his memoirs, insists that: “They [the Bosnian leadership] knew that the peace settlement would mean the loss of the enclave. So from this point of view what happened made things easier.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/04/how-britain-and-us-abandoned-srebrenica-massacre-1995

This Is Your Brain on Silence

silence, noise, Finland, branding, nautilus

Silence is a peculiar starting point for a marketing campaign. After all, you can’t weigh, record, or export it. You can’t eat it, collect it, or give it away. The Finland campaign raises the question of just what the tangible effects of silence really are. Science has begun to pipe up on the subject. In recent years researchers have highlighted the peculiar power of silence to calm our bodies, turn up the volume on our inner thoughts, and attune our connection to the world. Their findings begin where we might expect: with noise.

http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/this-is-your-brain-on-silence

Object Lessons in Freedom

AI, AGI, DeepMind, Google, Ethics, learning, development, parenting, robot apocalypse, mind children

So let’s address our children as though they are our children, and let us revel in the fact they are playing and painting and creating; using their first box of crayons, and us proud parents are putting every masterpiece on the fridge. Even if we are calling them all %E2%80%9Cnightmarish%E2%80%9D–a word I really wish we could stop using in this context; DeepMind sees very differently than we do, but it still seeks pattern and meaning. It just doesn’t know context, yet. But that means we need to teach these children, and nurture them. Code for a recognition of emotions, and context, and even emotional context. There’s been some fantastic advancements in emotional recognition, lately, so let’s continue to capitalize on that; not just to make better automated menu assistants, but to actually make a machine that can understand and seek to address human emotionality. Let’s plan on things like showing AGI human concepts like love and possessiveness and then also showing the deep difference between the two.

http://www.afutureworththinkingabout.com/?p=4906

Unknown photographer, Sept. 2/3, 1941, Royal Air Force bomber command Vertical night aerial photograph taken during a raid on…

burnedshoes:

Unknown photographer, Sept. 2/3, 1941, Royal Air Force bomber command

Vertical night aerial photograph taken during a raid on Berlin, showing bombs exploding in the vicinity of the central cattle-market and railway yard (middle right), east of the city centre. The broad wavy lines are the tracks of German searchlights and anti-aircraft fire can also be seen.

Also illuminated by the flash-bomb in the lower half of the photograph are the Friedrichshain gardens and sports stadium, St. Georgs-Kirchhof and Baltenplatz. A mixed force of 49 aircraft took part in the raid, of which 5 were lost. (+)

The Soyuz LV operated at CSG is the most recent of a long line of Soyuz family vehicles  that taken together, are acknowledged…

“The Soyuz LV operated at CSG is the most recent of a long line of Soyuz family vehicles  that taken together, are acknowledged to be  the most frequently rockets launched in the  world. Vehicles of this family, that launched both the first satellite (Sputnik, 1957) and the first man (Yuri Gagarin, 1961) into space, have been credited with more than 1780 launches to date.”

Soyuz CSG User’s Manual (March 2012)