Like Bringing a Gantt Chart to a Casino

productivity, creativity, economics, ethics, reflection, clowncar, 2017

I imagine a spectrum where at one pole we have an assembly line worker, and on the other we have a mathematician trying to prove a famous conjecture. The productivity of the former is constrained only by physics, and may glean a few percent here and there with better tools, methods, and discipline. The latter, by contrast, may have the best tools, methods, and discipline, spend an entire career working diligently, and still not succeed. We live somewhere in between.

what does it mean to be productive if what you are producing is bad? Or even if it is good for you, it may be bad for others, who may endeavour in turn to make it bad for you.


UnSchooling The Pioneers of Change

Medium, Leyla Acaroglu, interview, design, complexity, unschooling, education, 2017

Leyla Acaroglu —  It’s an experimental knowledge lab that I set up three years ago to help overcome what I call the knowledge-action gap, the difference between people knowing that there are problems in the world, feeling that they want to address them, but not knowing how to take action. I really struggled a lot with the mainstream structural system of education, I did a lot of research in pedagogy and the way in which we teach and the way in which the brain works, how a lot of the experiences we have in life educate us, and how actually a lot of those experiences de-educate us.


‘History in the Making’: Tesla Switches on World’s Largest Battery



South Australia officially activated the world’s biggest battery on Friday. The feat was achieved much to the credit of Elon Musk, who made a daring bet to “get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free.“

Musk was responding to a challenge from Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes to help fix the Australian state’s electricity woes. Losing the bet would have cost the Tesla CEO ”probably $50 million or more.“

Not only did the Musk win the bet, his company built the football field-sized facility in Jamestown (about 125 miles north of Adelaide) about a month and a half ahead of schedule.

“The completion of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in record time shows that a sustainable, effective energy solution is possible,” Tesla said in a statement Friday at the battery’s launch.

The 100-megawatt Powerpack system is designed to power 30,000 houses for an hour during a blackout. The Australian state was hit by a string of power outages last year.

“South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy. This is history in the making,” South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said Friday of the Tesla battery.

‘History in the Making’: Tesla Switches on World’s Largest Battery

The Critical Zone. Earth’s permeable near-surface layer… from the tops of the trees to the bottom of the groundwater. It is a…

“The Critical Zone. Earth’s permeable near-surface layer… from the tops of the trees to the bottom of the groundwater. It is a living, breathing, constantly evolving boundary layer where rock, soil, water, air, and living organisms interact. These complex interactions regulate the natural habitat and determine the availability of life-sustaining resources, including our food production and water quality.”

Critical Zone Observatories, (viainthenoosphere)

Puerto Rico, abandoned by Trump and facing disaster capitalism looting by big business, turns to socialist and anarchist collectives to rebuild


Disaster capitalism depends on the idea that “There is No Alternative” and that the populace can only sit by passively while their infrastructure, government, homes and schools are hijacked and sold off to low-bidder corporations to financially engineer and then extract rent from.

That’s certainly the model that started to play out after Hurricane Maria, when Trumpist cronies were handed sweetheart deals and the people were left to die in droves while captains of industry carved up the loot.

But the populace need not be a flock of sheep waiting passively for the shear: instead, they can rise up and take care of themselves, through systems of solidarity and mutual aid, and that’s what’s happening in Puerto Rico, where Molly Crabapple reports on the smashing success of anarchists and socialists whose collectives are filling in the humanitarian relief that has been denied to them by Trump’s incompetent state and the shareholder firms who are more interested in their bottom lines than the human lives they are being paid to ease.

So you’ve got the radical black feminists of Taller Salud, rebuilding homes in Loíza; Colectiva Feminista en Construcción, handing out “food, supplies, and money for tarps”; there’s the punks of Santurce’s El Local, feeding 600 people a day from a community kitchen; and many others – often these groups date back to the incompetent bungling of the Hurricane Irma relief, and have gone from strength to strength, forging ties with the diaspora in Miami and New York, showing people that there is an alternative.

Salar de Atacama, Chile From the Salar de Atacama salt flat in the east to the Cordillera Domeyko mountains in the west, …


Salar de Atacama, Chile

From the Salar de Atacama salt flat in the east to the Cordillera Domeyko mountains in the west, Sentinel-2 takes us over part of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.

The desert runs along part of South America’s central west coast. It is considered one of the driest places on Earth. Being a ‘coastal desert’, the cold, upwelling waters in the Pacific Ocean inhibit rain from reaching the land. Instead, the winds that blow from the ocean bring fog.

Because of the Atacama plateau’s high altitude, low cloud cover and lack of light pollution, it is one of the best places in the world to conduct astronomical observations and home to two major observatories.

Some areas of the desert have been compared to the planet Mars, and have been used as a location for filming scenes set on the red planet. ESA has even tested a self-steering rover in the Atacama, which was selected for its similarities to martian conditions.

In the lower right, the geometric shapes of large evaporation ponds dominate the Salar de Atacama – Chile’s largest salt flat. At about 3000 sq km, it is the world’s third largest salt flat as well as one of the largest active sources of lithium. From evaporation ponds like the ones pictured here, lithium bicarbonate is isolated from salt brine. Lithium is used in the manufacturing of batteries, and the increasing demand has significantly increased its value in recent years – especially for the production of electric-car batteries.

This image, also featured on the Earth from Space video programme, was captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite on 29 April 2017.

Credits: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Are You a Jerk?

jerkitude, jerk, personality, dark-triad, psychology, nautilus, self-help

The scientifically recognized personality categories closest to “jerk” are the “dark triad” of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathic personality. Narcissists regard themselves as more important than the people around them, which jerks also implicitly or explicitly do. And yet narcissism is not quite jerkitude, since it also involves a desire to be the center of attention, a desire that jerks don’t always have. Machiavellian personalities tend to treat people as tools they can exploit for their own ends, which jerks also do. And yet this too is not quite jerkitude, since Machivellianism involves self-conscious cynicism, while jerks can often be ignorant of their self-serving tendencies. People with psychopathic personalities are selfish and callous, as is the jerk, but they also incline toward impulsive risk-taking, while jerks can be calculating and risk-averse.


In anticipation…

Medium, uncertainty, animism, anticipation, futures, futurism, change, 2017

Experience is interconnected and entangled. Unpredictable. It can never be fully explained. There is always something that slips beyond words. A description or a model of an interconnected world does not encompass all the complex processes of making connections.

While the sense of the moment may be one of accelerated change, there is simultaneously drag, weight and the inevitable delays of change that takes too long. Injustices perpetuated. We find ourselves in situations without an escape velocity.

Is the uncertainty we’re experiencing just a series of erratic oscillations or are we in the free fall toward something more massive? Things are collapsing, and sometimes the best thing to do is let them. Accept the gritty reality of it all.

This doesn’t mean giving up. Quite the opposite.


After nearly 2,000 years of using capes, oiled cloaks, and mantles for protection against the rain, this new-fangled contraption…

“After nearly 2,000 years of using capes, oiled cloaks, and mantles for protection against the rain, this new-fangled contraption was viewed with something approaching disbelief. Who did people think they were, to defy the very skies? To parade their frugality on the streets? Or, to take a slightly different view of it, to pretend to a luxury–sheltered transport–only available to the wealthy?”

Marion Rankin,How Bigotry, Urban Design, And Class Warfare Shaped The Umbrella (2017)

Scientists made robotic bees to one day study the ocean


“Researchers led by a team at Harvard University have developed a tiny, 175-milligram (about two feathers) device with insect-inspired wings that can both flap and rotate, allowing it to either fly above the ground or swim in shallow waters and easily transition between the two. Researchers think it will one day be used for environmental monitoring studies, according to Science magazine, which dubbed the device the “robo-bee.””

Scientists made robotic bees to one day study the ocean

How Deliveroo’s ‘dark kitchens’ are catering from car parks

Deliveroo, dark-kitchen, urbanism, JIT, shipping-container, on-demand, outsourcing, distribution, fo

A tatty car park under a railway line is squeezed between a busy road, an industrial site and a semi-derelict pub covered in graffiti. It’s one of the grittiest parts of east London and probably the last place you would imagine some of the trendiest eateries in the country to be preparing meals. But the grimy spot is just a short moped ride from the gleaming office towers of Canary Wharf and upmarket docklands apartments, and is therefore the perfect location for the latest idea from Deliveroo, the food courier service. It is setting up dozens of “dark kitchens” in prefabricated structures for restaurants that want to expand their businesses without opening expensive high street premises. Ten metal boxes of a similar size to a shipping container are on this site in Blackwall. They are fitted with industrial kitchen equipment, and two or three chefs and kitchen porters are at work in each, preparing food for restaurants including the Thai chain Busaba Eathai, the US-style MeatLiquor diners, the Franco Manca pizza parlours and Motu, an Indian food specialist set up by the family behind Mayfair’s Michelin-starred Gymkhana. The boxes have no windows and many of the chefs work with the doors open, through which they can be seen stirring huge pans or flipping burgers. Outside there are piles of spare equipment, mops in buckets, gas cylinders for the stoves and large cans of cooking oil.


Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens

social credit score, china, panopticon, nudge, cybersyn, jade mirror, 2017, 2020, Wired

The new system reflects a cunning paradigm shift. As we’ve noted, instead of trying to enforce stability or conformity with a big stick and a good dose of top-down fear, the government is attempting to make obedience feel like gaming. It is a method of social control dressed up in some points-reward system. It’s gamified obedience.


Vinay Gupta On Why Ethereum Is The Future

Vinay-Gupta, leashless, Forbes, blockchain, Ethereum, Bitcoin, cypherpunks, profile, 2017

Vinay Gupta has not raised $257 million in an ICO. He is not yet a Bitcoin billionaire. He is not a Thiel Fellow, nor a Thiel Lad (to translate to his native Scottish vernacular). With Bitcoin reaching new highs monthly, the dominating headlines often miss the point of cryptocurrency because it was never about the money or the brand. It’s about interesting people doing interesting things, and Gupta has quietly impacted the world in his own way, doing a lot of thinking over the years (136,000 tweets worth). Gupta helped coordinate Ethereum’s 2015 release, working as a project manager on strategy and communications. He worked as the strategic architect of Consensys, the leading crypto venture studio, and as the designer of Dubai’s National Blockchain strategy. In addition to being the Blockchain Fellow for Digital Catapult, a UK government-funded initiative to increase the amount of innovation in the country, he has two current projects.


Public Domain: why it is not that simple in Europe

Medium, copyright, public domain, EU, EC, Europa

The rules governing when a piece of creative content enters the public domain may seem initially straightforward, but determining whether something is truly in the public domain can result in a swamp of obscure rules, strange regulations, legal complexity, and varying interpretations of exceptions.

In most countries, copyright term is based on the life of the author plus an additional set duration of protection — usually from 50 to 70 years beyond the death of the creator. In Mexico, copyright protection lasts for 100 years after the death of the author. Within Europe there have been attempts to harmonise copyright terms across the Member States for about 25 years now. In theory, the copyright duration has been harmonised to 70 years after the death of the last surviving author. In practice however, each Member State has different public domain regulations.


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.


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.


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.


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



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.


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.


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

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


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.”


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






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


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


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


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


“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”


Matsumura discovered that thousands of cows had died locked in barns


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


Many of them now rely on him for food


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


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


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


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


The man clearly has a sense of humor as well



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?”


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



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.”


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)