STS’s detailed accounts of the construction of knowledge show that it requires infrastructure, effort, ingenuity and validation…

post-truth, STS, knowledge, social constructivism

“STS’s detailed accounts of the construction of knowledge show that it requires infrastructure, effort, ingenuity and validation structures. Our arguments that ‘it could be otherwise’ (e.g. Woolgar and Lezaun, 2013) are very rarely that ‘it could easily be otherwise’; instead, they point to other possible infrastructures, efforts, ingenuity and validation structures.”

Sergio Sismondo, ‘Post-truth?’ (2017)

SEOUL: The assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother in broad daylight at an international airport sounds…

Kim Jong-nam, LOL, assassin, DPRK, North Korea

SEOUL: The assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother in broad daylight at an international airport sounds like a scene from a spy movie, featuring a fugitive high-profile figure and undercover agents in action.

The two female assassins – presumed to be highly-trained special agents – seem to harken back to the 20th century when purging individuals by guns and poison was not uncommon in the political arena.

(via )

Scientific topics receiving prominent play in newspapers and magazines over the past several years include molecular biology,…

“Scientific topics receiving prominent play in newspapers and magazines over the past several years include molecular biology, artificial intelligence, artificial life, chaos theory, massive parallelism, neural nets, the inflationary universe, fractals, complex adaptive systems, superstrings, biodiversity, nanotechnology, the human genome, expert systems, punctuated equilibrium, cellular automata, fuzzy logic, space biospheres, the Gaia hypothesis, virtual reality, cyberspace, and teraflop machines….Unlike previous intellectual pursuits, the achievements of the third culture are not the marginal disputes of a quarrelsome mandarin class: they will affect the lives of everybody on the planet.”

John Brockman (viainthenoosphere)

“10 hours video of Arctic ambience with frozen ocean, ice craking, snow falling, icebreaker idling and distand howling wind…

arctic, soundscape, delta

video link

“10 hours video of Arctic ambience with frozen ocean, ice craking, snow falling, icebreaker idling and distand howling wind sound. Natural white noise sounds generated by the wind and snow falling, combined with deep low frequencies with delta waves from the powerful icebreaker idling engines, recorded at 96 kHz - 24 bit and designed for relaxation, meditation, study and sleep.”

The New Gulliver - Directed by Aleksandr Ptushko, Soviet Union. The world’s first feature length stop-motion animation film….


The New Gulliver - Directed by Aleksandr Ptushko, Soviet Union. The world’s first feature length stop-motion animation film. Released in 1935 to widespread acclaim it earned Ptushko a special prize at the International Cinema Festival in Milan. (image via In Search of Pagan Hollywood). View the film in it’s entirety on YouTube:

How to Read the News to Reduce Fake News Consumption

Medium, news, fake news, media literacy

The skill of intelligently reading the news is one that is not taught in our schools. But with some easy tricks, and a change in awareness, you can help protect yourself against fake news, hoaxes, and even poor reporting. It takes time to develop these skills, but it is not difficult or labor intensive.


NanoNets : How to use Deep Learning when you have Limited Data

Medium, Machine Learning, deep learning, transfer learning, small data, AI, cats, Van Gogh

With transfer learning, we can take a pretrained model, which was trained on a large readily available dataset (trained on a completely different task, with the same input but different output). Then try to find layers which output reusable features. We use the output of that layer as input features to train a much smaller network that requires a smaller number of parameters. This smaller network only needs to learn the relations for your specific problem having already learnt about patterns in the data from the pretrained model. This way a model trained to detect Cats can be reused to Reproduce the work of Van Gogh


Make America Bohemian Again

Medium, USA, NYC, art, bizniz, The Chelsea Hotel, co-working, co-living, communal production, value creation, economics, bohemian, MABA, culture

The Chelsea thrived because it stuck to Philip Hubert’s original vision: to house and nurture New York’s creative community — and do so while still being affordable and open to all. It is unlikely that the Chelsea will house the next wave of American creativity (the hotel was closed in 2011, and the new owners are converting it into a pricey boutique hotel. Many of the rooms, including Bob Dylan’s, have since been destroyed.) Yet while New York city’s greatest art colony is all but dead, its structure and ethos continue to enrich American culture — albeit in a different way, and on an entirely different coast.

Yet despite the lucrative returns of Y Combinator and other startup accelerators sprouting up around the USA (like TechStars, 500 Startups, AngelPad and SeedCamp) no ambitious community-building projects exist for American arts like they do for American tech. While most talented tech gurus can find a startup accelerator to join (and fund them), aspiring artists are told to get a bedroom in Brooklyn or move to Iowa for an MFA — both of which cost upwards of $40,000 a year and don’t come with a patron.

Summing up the net worth of the Chelsea’s most famous residents […] the Chelsea Hotel was responsible for more than 2.1 billion dollars of value creation while it was open. That estimate is only going off of the net worth of the artists themselves — not all of the downstream albums or paintings or ticket sales they contributed to (i.e. a single painting by Pollock fetched $200M and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey took in more than $190M at the box office. A single room of de Kooning paintings was estimated to be worth as much as $4B.) The funny thing? Despite their obsession with wealth, most startup accelerators don’t even come close to matching the economic impact of the Chelsea Hotel — much less its cultural impact.


Thoughts on Software for the Visual Arts

Medium, Processing, software, artware, programming, sketching

It’s hard to pin down what Processing is, precisely. I admit, it can be confusing, but here it is: it’s both a programming environment and a programming language, but it’s also an approach to building a software tool that incorporates its community into the definition. It’s more accurate to call Processing a platform — a platform for experimentation, thinking, and learning. It’s a foundation and beginning more than a conclusion. Processing was (and still is) made for sketching and it was created as a space for collaboration. It was born at the MIT Media Lab, a place where C. P. Snow’s two cultures (the humanities and the sciences) could synthesize. Processing had the idea to expand this synthesis out of the Lab and into new communities with a focus on access, distribution, and community. Processing is what it is today because of the initial decisions that Ben and I made back in 2001 and the subsequent ways we’ve listened to the community and incorporated contributions and feedback since the beginning. Processing was inspired by the programming languages BASIC and Logo in general, and specifically by John Maeda’s Design By Numbers, C++ code created by the Visual Language Workshop and Aesthetics and Computation Group at the MIT Media Lab, and PostScript. Processing wasn’t pulled from the air, it was deeply rooted in decades of prior work.


3quarksdaily: Deep learning dead languages

music, Language, linguistics, machine-learning, Espen-Sommer-Eide

I turned my experiments back towards language again. Would it be possible to train a deep learning network for a dead language? I have in my previous art projects worked extensively with languages that are endangered or already extinct – so called dying languages[4]. Every ten days a language disappears, and at that rate, within a few generations, half of the approximately 6000 languages in the world today will be extinct. The concept of a dying language is a highly complex mechanism. In order for language to survive, it is of central importance that the language is in use, especially in normal households, and between generations of a family. Can a language be kept and conserved for future generations, or is a language alive only when actively used and spoken between people in a society? Can a language be detached from a people’s culture, knowledge and identity? Among the family of Sámi languages (of the indigenous groups of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia), several of the languages are already extinct or with very few and old speakers left, but efforts are being made to help revive some of them.


Researchers use music and LSD to understand how we attribute meaning.

meaning, LSD, neuroscience, psychology, salience, psychedelics

Attribution of meaning and personal relevance is important for our everyday lives. In psychiatric disorders, the attribution of meaning is often altered, and the mechanisms causing this were unknown. LSD has also been shown to alter the attribution of meaning and personal relevance to the environment and our sense of self. However, the exact mechanism and brain structures had not been investigated yet. Therefore, LSD offered a unique opportunity to investigate these phenomena.


Meet your earliest known ancestor: Saccorhytus

evolution, Saccorhytus, biology, paleontology

How is Saccorhytus related to humans? Humans are vertebrates and so are one of the major groups that collectively define the deuterostomes, a group that also includes animals that are quite different from humans, such as sea-urchins and sea-squirts, all ultimately descended from an original deuterostome. Our argument is that Saccorhytus is close to this ancestral form, and so is the most primitive known deuterostome.


The Dadaab Refugee Camp in Northern Kenya is the largest facility of its kind in the world, with a total population of 400,000…


The Dadaab Refugee Camp in Northern Kenya is the largest facility of its kind in the world, with a total population of 400,000 people. Hagadera - seen at the right of this Overview - is the camp’s largest section and is home to 100,000 refugees. To cope with the growing number of displaced Somalis arriving at Dadaab, the UN has begun moving people into a new area called the LFO extension, the gridded area filling with white tents on the left in this Overview.


Why Do We Believe Anything, Anyway?

Medium, belief, religion, philosophy, reality, perception, worldviews

navigating the limited piece of physical reality we encounter in life, and remaining mentally and emotionally secure enough to survive, find mates, and propagate the species, requires an unquestioning, and when you think about it, strikingly unreasonable confidence in ourselves and in the world. Since full awareness of reality as-it-is was not an option for our ancient ancestors (as the overwhelm caused by so much data would have diminished, rather than enhanced, their chances of survival), evolution equipped them –and, as their descendants, us too — with brains capable of generating a convincing illusion of the reality of our own small words.


Trial Balloon for a Coup?

Medium, Yonatan Zunger, USA, politics, coup d’état, coup

That is to say, the administration is testing the extent to which the DHS (and other executive agencies) can act and ignore orders from the other branches of government. This is as serious as it can possibly get: all of the arguments about whether order X or Y is unconstitutional mean nothing if elements of the government are executing them and the courts are being ignored. Yesterday was the trial balloon for a coup d’état against the United States. It gave them useful information.


Pattern Recognition – Alex McLean

slab, slub, algorave, Alex McLean, live coding

Watching him work, chopping and changing the lines of code that controls his loops by changing a number or adding a word to change a function, is like watching a graphic designer who has memorised keyboard shortcuts and can transform an image in seconds. Complexity emerges from simple instructions. With a few keystrokes, McLean transforms an arpeggio and a simple set of beats into complex polyrhythms that pan in decaying arcs across speakers. He granulates sound patterns and reverses them, and creates blobby, queasy Aphex Twin-style textures before switching up samples to produce something nasty and sputtering, like the filthiest work of The Bug. It’s pure concentration and flow, and in an algorave setting it can throw up quite a few surprises.


Classifying Animal(s)

Medium, taxonomy, biology, naming, species, Controversy studies

These names were themselves disputed and used as insults or boasts by either side, as were various taxonomic terms of art. Reading through the pages of Systematic Zoology, it is not uncommon to see authors accuse each other of redefining key terms or to see them attempt such redefinitions (usually in the name of “clarity”) themselves. Determining what a word essentially denoted was a problem not only for naming species of beetles or apes, but also for naming groups of taxonomists. As the advent of genetic sequencing shifted the central focus of biological taxonomy (Woese et al. 1977), determining which side of the debate had “won” became primarily a question of which of their features one took to be definitive. To use a term that anthropologists would later borrow from the taxonomists, the two schools were polythetic classes (Needham 1975) — identifiable through a set of shared characteristics or “family resemblances,” but not defined by any one in particular.


Making as an Act of Caring

Medium, Anab Jain, making, caring, creativity

If we are going to idolise makers and create large-scale foundries, incubators and educational programs to inculcate and embrace the love for making, then lets nourish this idea of making as care-giving too, and ensure that the ‘maker-culture’ we build is diverse and inclusive. And in doing so, encourage a relentless inquisitiveness, integrity, and pliancy that it can bring for us, those around us and the environments we live in.


The Art of Darkness

Medium, art, darkness

For centuries, artists, authors and alchemists have gazed into the void and extracted new ways of seeing and thinking about our place in the universe. Second Home members super/collider invited two experts in dark matter — Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer Marek Kukula and curator Melanie Vandenbrouck — to our Spitalfields campus to discuss the most notable visual examples of darkness in art, science and literature.


“Nothing is Forbidden, but Some Things are Good”

Medium, ethics, morality, preference, vegetarianism, philosophy, choice, taoism

“Nothing is Forbidden, but Some Things are Good” So morality may be a mirage, but it’s a useful mirage that helps us find life-giving meaning in what would otherwise be a desert of pure perception. I found de to be a helpful bridge towards holonic integration, but you might prefer Sharia law, act utilitarianism, or any number of moral or ethical ideas. Whatever your choice, in this way morality serves as an oasis that will sustain you on your journey to find meaning, especially when all meaning seems lost to the harsh winds of an uncaring world.


our interpretations of the world are necessary tools for making sense of it, but fixing onto these beliefs as if they revealed…

reality, perception, chaos, Umberto Eco, the nature of things

“our interpretations of the world are necessary tools for making sense of it, but fixing onto these beliefs as if they revealed the true nature of things can be dangerous. The world is always more chaotic than the order our closed systems of signs impose.”

Brent Ables (on the work of Umberto Eco)

Discrete Time Crystals: Rigidity, Criticality, and Realizations

10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.030401, time-crystals, non-equilibrium, matter, Physics

Despite being forbidden in equilibrium, spontaneous breaking of time translation symmetry can occur in periodically driven, Floquet systems with discrete time-translation symmetry. The period of the resulting discrete time crystal is quantized to an integer multiple of the drive period, arising from a combination of collective synchronization and many body localization. Here, we consider a simple model for a one-dimensional discrete time crystal which explicitly reveals the rigidity of the emergent oscillations as the drive is varied. We numerically map out its phase diagram and compute the properties of the dynamical phase transition where the time crystal melts into a trivial Floquet insulator. Moreover, we demonstrate that the model can be realized with current experimental technologies and propose a blueprint based upon a one dimensional chain of trapped ions. Using experimental parameters (featuring long-range interactions), we identify the phase boundaries of the ion-time-crystal and propose a measurable signature of the symmetry breaking phase transition.


time crystals

Physics, matter, Time, time-crystal, non-equilibrium, oscillation

Normal crystals have an atomic structure that repeats in space - just like the carbon lattice of a diamond. But, just like a ruby or a diamond, they’re motionless because they’re in equilibrium in their ground state. But time crystals have a structure that repeats in time, not just in space. And it keep oscillating in its ground state. Imagine it like jelly - when you tap it, it repeatedly jiggles. The same thing happens in time crystals, but the big difference here is that the motion occurs without any energy. A time crystal is like constantly oscillating jelly in its natural, ground state, and that’s what makes it a whole new form of matter - non-equilibrium matter. It’s incapable of sitting still.