There are whole generations of moviegoers for whom jetpacks don’t mean shit, whose first memories of NASA are the Challenger…

“There are whole generations of moviegoers for whom jetpacks don’t mean shit, whose first memories of NASA are the Challenger disaster. And you know what? Those same generations believe in driverless cars, solar energy, smart cities, AR contacts, and vat-grown meat. They saw the election of America’s first black president, and they witnessed a wave of violence against young black men. They don’t want the depiction of an “optimistic” future. They want a future where their concerns are taken seriously and humanely, with compassion and intelligence and validation. And that’s way harder than optimism.”

No one cares about your jetpack: on optimism in futurism - Dangerous to those who profit from the way things areDangerous to those who profit from the way things are (vianataliekane)

It has long been believed that these “hemp rituals” were nothing more than a myth, but it is a fact this ceremony did occur. In…

“It has long been believed that these “hemp rituals” were nothing more than a myth, but it is a fact this ceremony did occur. In 1929, Professor S. I. Rudenko and his team of archaeologists were digging some ancient ruins near the Altai Mountains, on the border between Siberia and Outer Mongolia. They unearthed a 20-foot deep trench about 160 square feet in size.

Around the trench, they found the skeletons of horses and inside the trench was the embalmed body of a man and a large cauldron filled with the residue of cannabis seeds. It is interesting to note that the sacrifice of a horse was considered the most “prestigious” sacrificial gift to their pantheon of seven gods.”

Karen Graham at the Digital Journal, “Ancient Scythians spread the use of cannabis in death rituals.” (Originally viaarchaeologicalnews.)

What we need, then, is more uncommon futurism. A futurism that cares not a whit about what’s hot right now, who remain stoically…

“What we need, then, is more uncommon futurism. A futurism that cares not a whit about what’s hot right now, who remain stoically unimpressed by drones and wearable IT, and who instead take it as their job to shock and awe CEOs with visions as radical as those of the futurists of yore. We need futurism that is less interested in agreeing with contemporary futurists and their ongoing circle-jerk, and who takes pride in offending and disgusting those futurists who would like to protect the status quo.”

Alf Rehn

The Future Is A Confidence Trick

prediction, futures, social fabric, telegrams, communication, Warren Ellis

Prediction is an industry, and its product is a persuasive set of hopes and fears that we’re trained or convinced to agree upon. It’s a confidence trick. And its product comes so thick and fast that, like a plothole in an action movie, we’re carried on past the obvious failures and the things that didn’t even make sense if we had more than five seconds to think about them.

http://morning.computer/2015/05/the-future-is-a-confidence-trick/

No one cares about your jetpack: on optimism in futurism

jetpacks, futures, design, innovation, Madeline Ashby, optimism

America’s problem is not that it needs more jetpacks. Jetpacks are not innovation. Jetpacks are a fetish object for retrofuturist otaku who jerked off to Judy Jetson, or maybe Jennifer Connelly’s character in The Rocketeer. “We were promised jetpacks!” they whine. Yeah, dude, but what you got was Agent Orange. Imagine a Segway that could kill you and set your house on fire. That’s what a jetpack is. Jetpacks solve exactly one problem: rapid transit. And you know what would help with that? Better transit. Better telepresence. Better work-life balance. Are jetpacks an innovative solution to the problem of transit? Nope. But they sure look great with your midlife crisis. But railing against jetpacks isn’t an answer to the question. Why so negative?

http://madelineashby.com/?p=1809

There’s a funny moment toward the end of the book when Vertesi pays a visit to a researcher named Ross, who was known throughout…

“There’s a funny moment toward the end of the book when Vertesi pays a visit to a researcher named Ross, who was known throughout the Rover community for his image processing skills. Vertesi asks Ross to demonstrate his vaunted decorrelation stretch technique; a little perplexed, he opens the image processing suite on his computer, loads some sample images, and explains: “I just push this button.” The distinctive greens and purples that recalled, for Vertesi, the palette of Andy Warhol were the result of a software macro applying a mathematical formula. In fact, Warhol’s critique of art’s singularity and his embrace of the readymade in some ways anticipated the relationship between Ross and his images. When Vertesi wanted to include one of Ross’s signature stretches in an article she was writing, another scientist told her not to worry about tracking down permission. In a pinch, Ross’s colleague offered, he could recreate the image on the spot and give her permission to publish that one instead. Even as the aesthetics of Ross’s technique were admired, what made his images scientific was precisely the ability to reproduce them.”

Pushing Pixels (viaiamdanw)

A Plea for Culinary Modernism

food, cooking, history, local, slow food, fast food, ethics, globalism, industrialisation, labour

Culinary Luddites are right, though, about two important things. We need to know how to prepare good food, and we need a culinary ethos. As far as good food goes, they’ve done us all a service by teaching us to how to use the bounty delivered to us (ironically) by the global economy. Their culinary ethos, though, is another matter. Were we able to turn back the clock, as they urge, most of us would be toiling all day in the fields or the kitchen; many of us would be starving. Nostalgia is not what we need. What we need is an ethos that comes to terms with contemporary, industrialized food, not one that dismisses it, an ethos that opens choices for everyone, not one that closes them for many so that a few may enjoy their labor, and an ethos that does not prejudge, but decides case by case when natural is preferable to processed, fresh to preserved, old to new, slow to fast, artisanal to industrial.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/05/slow-food-artisanal-natural-preservatives/

The Yamnaya were nomadic herders from the steppe in what is now Ukraine and Russia. Archaeological evidence shows that they…

“The Yamnaya were nomadic herders from the steppe in what is now Ukraine and Russia. Archaeological evidence shows that they swept into Europe around 4,500 years ago, bringing with them horses, wheels, their famous “kurgan” burial mounds and quite possibly Proto-Indo-European, the ancestral tongue of most European, as well as many South Asian languages. Just like farming before it, their package of resources, technologies and behaviours gave them an advantage over the pre-existing Europeans and they seem to have left a substantial genetic legacy across Europe.”

Daniel Zadik in War in Context ( The Conversation).A handful of Bronze-Age men could have fathered two thirds of Europeans (viaprotoslacker)