Das Strafverfahren gegen die Ecstasy-Künstler der !Mediengruppe Bitnik ist eingestellt – aber die Drogen sind weg

!Mediengruppe, Bitnik, art, darknet, automation, drugs, crime, trade, algorithms, bots

Zudem zeigte sich die Staatsanwaltschaft plötzlich wunderbar kunstverständig und sagte, das «übergeordnete Interesse an einer öffentlichen Debatte und die Fragen, die der ‹Random Darknet Shopper› aufwirft, den Besitz des Ecstasy gerechtfertigt». Die deutsche Kuratorin Inke Arns schrieb auf Facebook: «Der Schweizer Staatsanwalt scheint ein guter Kunstkritiker zu sein.» Und Marina Galperina, die Chefredaktorin des New Yorker Online-Magazins Hopes&Fears twitterte: «Schweizer Staatsanwalt: Es ist ok, online MDMA zu kaufen! (so lange man ein Bot in einem Kunstprojekt ist.)»

via http://www.watson.ch/Schweiz/Gesellschaft%20&%20Politik/551303475-Das-Strafverfahren-gegen-die-Ecstasy-K%C3%BCnstler-der-%21Mediengruppe-Bitnik-ist-eingestellt-%E2%80%93-aber-die-Drogen-sind-weg

Earth to Apple: wireless headphones are like a tampon without a string

Technology, Apple, disruption, innovation, compatibility, tampons, cables, consumerism, capital

As far as style goes, the AirPods resemble the EarPods from the Season 2 episode of Doctor Who in which a megalomaniac billionaire has convinced the populace to purchase the wireless devices as a means to conduct communication and receive all their information, only to turn around and deploy them as a weapon that hacked into their brains and turned them into soulless, emotionless, homicidal metal automatons.

via https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/07/apple-airpods-launch-problems-with-wireless-headphones?CMP=share_btn_tw

Donna Haraway : 500 words on ‘Staying with the Trouble’ One of the most urgent tasks that we mortal critters have is making…


Donna Haraway : 500 words on ‘Staying with the Trouble’

One of the most urgent tasks that we mortal critters have is making kin, not babies. This making kin, both with and among other humans and not humans, should happen in an enduring fashion that can sustain through generations. I propose making kin nongenealogically, which will be an absolute need for the eleven-plus billion humans by the end of this century—and is already terribly important. I’m interested in taking care of the earth in a way that makes multispecies environmental justice the means and not just the goal. So I think of making kin as a way of being really, truly prochild—making babies rare and precious—as opposed to the crazy pronatalist but actually antichild world in which we live. It’s making present the powers of mortal critters on earth in resistance to the anthropocene and capitalocene. That’s really what the book is about.

I’ve spent many years referencing Wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases whenever I have a hunch that a certain type of thinking…

cognitive bias, visualization, infoviz, wikipedia, critical thinking, Medium

I’ve spent many years referencing Wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases whenever I have a hunch that a certain type of thinking is an official bias but I can’t recall the name or details. It’s been an invaluable reference for helping me identify the hidden flaws in my own thinking. Nothing else I’ve come across seems to be both as comprehensive and as succinct.

However, honestly, the Wikipedia page is a bit of a tangled mess. Despite trying to absorb the information of this page many times over the years, very little of it seems to stick. I often scan it and feel like I’m not able to find the bias I’m looking for, and then quickly forget what I’ve learned. I think this has to do with how the page has organically evolved over the years. Today, it groups 175 biases into vague categories (decision-making biases, social biases, memory errors, etc) that don’t really feel mutually exclusive to me, and then lists them alphabetically within categories. There are duplicates a-plenty, and many similar biases with different names, scattered willy-nilly.

I’ve taken some time over the last four weeks (I’m on paternity leave) to try to more deeply absorb and understand this list, and to try to come up with a simpler, clearer organizing structure to hang these biases off of.


How Crystal Pepsi Anticipated Silicon Valley

marketing, nostalgia, Ian_Bogost, The_Atlantic, clarity, transparency, complexity, 1990s, Pepsi

Clarity is an ambiguous virtue today. It’s more frequently called “transparency” now, and the naive still advance it as a simple salve for all ills. But the ills of the early 1990s never left us. If anything, they doubled down, demonstrating how comparatively oversimplified issues like ozone depletion, statist territorialism, and rain forest conservation really were—simply being able to see the issues were supposed to lead to the implementation of their obvious remedies. Today that false dream remains, in the form of technological innovation that promises to “change the world” by producing an even more commercialized version of progress than we endured two decades ago. Would it be a step too far to call Silicon Valley one big, compostable bottle of Crystal Pepsi? Probably. The nostalgia you drink when you drink a reissued Crystal Pepsi is not a nostalgia for taste, nor for the gewgaws of the 1990s, nor even for the youth that might have accompanied the original. It is a nostalgia for a moment when a new secular, global righteousness seemed simple enough that drinking a branded cola could legitimately contribute to it.

via http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/08/when-crystal-pepsi-saved-the-world/495506/

Whakaari, also known as White Island, is an active stratovolcano, situated 48 km (30 mi) from the North Island of New Zealand in…


Whakaari, also known as White Island, is an active stratovolcano, situated 48 km (30 mi) from the North Island of New Zealand in the Bay of Plenty. Whakaari is New Zealand’s most active volcano, and has been built up by continuous eruptions over the past 150,000 years. The island is approximately 2 km (1.2 mi) in diameter and rises to a height of 321 m (1,053 ft) above sea level.

37°31′S 177°11′E

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2bwq30d

Tor’s Branding Pivot is Going to Get Someone Killed

Medium, Tor, privacy, transparency, human rights, politics, USA

In western liberal democracies (where Tor is overwhelmingly based, and by raw numbers, largely serves) human-rights advocacy has better optics than privacy. But the opposite is true in the regions that Tor aims to serve. Privacy empowers the individual. Empowering the individual naturally dovetails with human rights, so its plausible that greater human rights is a natural byproduct of privacy advocacy. However, Tor’s pivot from “Privacy Enthusiasts” to “Human Rights Watch for Nerds” substantially increases the risk of imprisonment to those operating a Tor relay or using the Tor Browser Bundle from less HR-friendly regions.

via https://medium.com/@virgilgr/tors-branding-pivot-is-going-to-get-someone-killed–6ee45313b559

NASA: Earth Is Warming at Rate ‘Unprecedented in 1000 Years’


This map represents global temperature anomalies averaged from 2008 through 2012. NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) top climate scientist announced Tuesday that the Earth is warming at a pace not seen in at least the past 1,000 years, making it “very unlikely” that global temperatures will stay below the 1.5 C limit agreed to in the landmark climate treaty negotiated in Paris last December.

“Maintaining temperatures below the 1.5 C guardrail requires significant and very rapid cuts in carbon dioxide emissions or coordinated geo-engineering,” he continued, referring to controversial environmental manipulations. “That is very unlikely. We are not even yet making emissions cuts commensurate with keeping warming below 2 C.”

The announcement comes amid a growing body of research—month after month after month—that shows 2016 is shaping up to be the warmest year in recorded history.

Over the past century, temperatures began to rise at a rate that is 10 times faster than historical averages, according to research by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). That means the Earth will warm up “at least” 20 times faster than historical average in the coming 100 years, NASA said.

NASA: Earth Is Warming at Rate ‘Unprecedented in 1000 Years’

Suspended at a junction in time: Australia, Silent Running, The Drowned World and the University of Queensland


As with elsewhere in Brisbane — say the heavy-bricked Tudorbethan houses in New Farm’s Abbott Street — an imported, imposed European sensibility always hangs a little askew here. The artificiality of a giant ornamental pool of water, carefully scooped out of sweeping lawns, in a city with an apparently permanent water shortage, is exaggerated by the sight of giant lizard, lying in the sun, perfectly still, delighting a small child. A turtle is equally static atop its manhole cover island. You half expect a couple of squat robots to come waddling round the corner, ready to trim the herbaceous borders.

via https://medium.com/iamacamera/suspended-at-a-junction-in-time-australia-silent-running-the-drowned-world-and-the-university-of-e0e055c3572

See The Music: The Evolution of Visual Albums


Musicians today understand the need to create “events” around their albums, capturing our digital “fomo” and giving us reasons to interact. It’s why we’re dealing with an exhaustive number of surprise albums — they force us to pay attention, at least for now.
But Beyoncé changed the conversation by making her latest album a must-watch event, not a must-listen. It may seem obvious, but it’s an important distinction. By capitalizing on our obsession with TV, Lemonade was treated to the same coverage you’d expect to see for Game of Thrones.
Though visual albums have existed conceptually for the past half-century, we’ve never truly defined what these albums actually consist of. The VMA’s clunkily-named “Breakthrough Long Form Video” is a testament to the cultural impact of Lemonade and provides us with an opportunity to understand and appreciate how visual albums have evolved over time.

via https://medium.com/cuepoint/the-history-and-evolution-of-visual-albums–77592e14304

Dozens of massive cargo ships and tankers - some weighing up to 300,000 tons - are anchored outside the Port of Tanjung Priok in…


Dozens of massive cargo ships and tankers - some weighing up to 300,000 tons - are anchored outside the Port of Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, Indonesia. The facility is the country’s busiest and most advanced seaport, handling more than 50% of Indonesia’s trans-shipment cargo. The port is also among the least efficient in all of Southeast Asia, due to slow customs handling and limited docking capacity.

6.104°S 106.8865°E

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2bVKX78

Mr Ichikawa slides across a picture of a 300-year-old wooden house in Kumamoto that has been gorgeously restored and invisibly…

Mr Ichikawa slides across a picture of a 300-year-old wooden house in Kumamoto that has been gorgeously restored and invisibly fortified by Sumitomo. As a consequence, it survived April’s earthquake.

This, he acknowledges, is at the highest end of what Sumitomo can do for Japan’s millions of ageing — often abandoned — wooden houses. With a little renovation, he suggests, you could be looking at a vast new stock of Airbnb properties.

Out of the woods: an old-economy stalwart pivots in Japan (viaiamdanw)

Corresponding with a Friend, in Pictures


Over the past few months, the photographer Anton Kusters and I have been having a conversation on Instagram and on our respective websites, under the hash #image_by_image. Our original idea came out of a sense that we both wanted an open, playful space for ideas. We decided to simply write to each other in public, and see what might happen. We added the constraints of one image and a tight character limit per post, and no more than one post per day, no less than one per week.

via https://medium.com/vantage/https-medium-com-vantage-visual-conversation-with-a-friend–6d4e8d3d9c6a

No shades of gray. How social media drives us to the extremes.


Yes, there is a data revolution. But we are not seeing the knowledge revolution of e.g. super-educated people because machines are living the knowledge revolution, while we get distracted with hyped facts on social media they feed us. In a growing ocean of data, we are drowning of very shallow waters.

via https://medium.com/@brunosan/follow-the-trump-rabbit-hole-the-disturbing-truth-about-our-social-media-bias–36e7cab09eca

Amateur Rocketeers Are Keeping the Space Age Spirit Alive


Which is more beautiful, or more inspiring: a private company bidding for a contract to send resupply rockets to the International Space Station, or a former Hollywood stuntman building a rocket from scratch and sending it into space for the hell of it? I ask this because, lately, it feels like the way we talk about space has been changing. It’s less about exploration, and more about money. Space has become privatized. Proposals to land on and mine asteroids are justified less for being audacious, and more for being economical. While NASA’s budget for longer-term exploration is squeezed, the organization hands over its more regular work with satellites and space stations to for-profit companies, even when looking to design new ISS compartments. Just this month, the FAA gave clearance for a private company to put a lander on the Moon for the first time. These are all technically impressive things, but they are not necessarily wondrous in the way things used to be wondrous. My hunch is that the old spirit of exploration is still alive and well. It’s just not in the same places it used to be.

via https://howwegettonext.com/amateur-rocketeers-are-keeping-the-spirit-of-the-space-age-alive-b01ecfe001de

’Facebook fires trending team, and algorithm without humans goes crazy’ - The Guardian Just months after the discovery that…

algorithms, facebook, human input, news, trending


Facebook fires trending team, and algorithm without humans goes crazy’ -The Guardian

Just months after the discovery that Facebook’s “trending” news module was curated and tweaked by human beings, the company has eliminated its editors and left the algorithm to do its job. The results, so far, are a disaster.

Over the weekend, the fully automated Facebook trending module pushed out a false story about Fox News host Megyn Kelly, a controversial piece about a comedian’s four-letter word attack on rightwing pundit Ann Coulter, and links to an article about a video of a man masturbating with a McDonald’s chicken sandwich.

The dismissal of the trending module team appears to have been a long-term plan at Facebook. A source told the Guardian the trending module was meant to have “learned” from the human editors’ curation decisions and was always meant to eventually reach full automation.

Things Find Their Own Uses for Streets

Medium, Scott Smith, futures, infrastructure, roads, streets, machine readable, legiblity

As we progress to a point where fewer people are needed to pilot vehicles, and more roads become “robot readable,” we will inevitably see new uses being found for roads, and road infrastructure changing to optimize for machine, not human, legibility and use. Given the substantial role human roads play in shaping our social and commercial environments, like rivers and rails before them, streets, buildings, and towns and cities will gradually reshape to reflect machine uses.

via https://medium.com/phase-change/things-find-their-own-uses-for-streets–1913316e2e1e

Amnesia leads to despair in many ways. The status quo would like you to believe it is immutable, inevitable and invulnerable,…

hope, unknown, amnesia, change, dynamics

“Amnesia leads to despair in many ways. The status quo would like you to believe it is immutable, inevitable and invulnerable, and lack of memory of a dynamically changing world reinforces this view. In other words, when you don’t know how much things have changed, you don’t see that they are changing or that they can change.”

Rebecca Solnit, ‘Hope is a​n embrace of the unknown’ (2016)