Should any society that can’t deal with the waste it produces be allowed, allow itself, to produce anything new? Why should we…

“Should any society that can’t deal with the waste it produces be allowed, allow itself, to produce anything new? Why should we be celebrating the creative use of computers, electronics, media systems, when they are simply plastic wrapped condensations of heavy metals and other poisons? Can we imagine a technology that is able to disentangle itself from technocracy, the idea that all the world’s problems can be solved by the application of a narrow band of productised science?”

Matthew Fuller

How to keep bees the easy way

The Idler, bees, beekeeping, urban apiary, ecology, Abbé Warré, The People's Hive

“On my London rooftop I have five People’s Hives, a system devised by a French clergyman Abbé Warré (1867-1951) to be simple, economical and bee-friendly. […] The People’s Hive is a simple series of identical boxes with wooden bars at the top which politely suggest to the bees where they might conveniently start building their comb – no compulsion, the bees are wild animals and will do what they like!”

http://idler.co.uk/article/how-to-keep-bees-the-easy-way/

Немецкий военный бункер, выдолбленный во фьорде глубиной в 200 метров на границе с Россией. Во время 2 Мировой немцы…

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Немецкий военный бункер, выдолбленный во фьорде глубиной в 200 метров на границе с Россией. Во время 2 Мировой немцы обстреливали русских торпедами отсюда. (via http://instagram.com/p/uI003drufS/)

Undulatus Asperatus, a new cloud type

clouds, cloud appreciation, WMO, Cloud Atlas, undulatus asperatus, CAS

In an attempt to codify cloud vocabulary and aid in weather prediction, the World Meteorological Association (WMO) published the first International Cloud Atlas in 1896. The Atlas divides clouds into 10 genus, 26 species, and 31 varieties, and includes important tips for cloud identification as well as appropriately whimsical descriptions—cloud species range from praecipitatio, “to fall (down a precipice)” to castellanus, “a castle of a fortified town.” Though many updates and new editions have been published since, no new cloud types have been added to the Atlas since cirrus intortus (“an entangled lock of hair”) was added in 1951. Until now.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/atlas_obscura/2014/10/10/undulatus_asperatus_a_new_cloud_type.html

Fracking Co. Makes Pink Drill Bits for Cancer

cancer, pink washing, fracking, breast cancer, publicity, philanthropy

Today in “You can’t make this shit up”: Baker Hughes, a giant oil-field services company that provides hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) products and services, has donated $100,000 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in support of breast-cancer research. And in the most egregious example of pink-washing we’ve ever seen, the company is producing 1,000 pink drill bits that will “serve as a reminder of the importance of supporting research, treatment, screening, and education to help find the cures for this disease.” There’s at least one weird little thing about this pairing: Fracking, one of the services that Baker Hughes provides and the drill bits are used for, has some serious links to cancer itself.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/10/fracking-co-makes-pink-drill-bits-for-cancer.html

Monodraw - an ASCII-editor for the Mac under development. It’s presented primarily as a way to model ideas and structures,…

text-mode:

Monodraw - an ASCII-editor for the Mac under development. It’s presented primarily as a way to model ideas and structures, rather than making art.

Monodraw allows you to easily create text-based art – like diagrams, layouts, flow charts and visually represent algorithms, data structures, binary formats and more. 

sourceh/t: prostheticknowledge. (and yes, technically it’s Unicode and not ASCII)

Beyond its impact on human well-being, however, food is equally deeply entwined with ecological health. While Rhinehart…

“Beyond its impact on human well-being, however, food is equally deeply entwined with ecological health. While Rhinehart daydreams about a future in which Soylent is synthesised by algae in energy-neutral bioreactors, for now, its raw ingredients are purchased from a variety of sources across the US and China. An educated consumer might guess at the possible growing and processing conditions behind the eggs, broccoli and chicken thighs in their shopping basket but, in the case of Soylent’s chemical constituents, the dislocation is complete: the world’s largest manufacturer of the ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2 on Soylent’s ingredient list) is a factory in China’s Sichuan province, whose raw material is grease derived from Australian sheep’s wool.”

Would we opt out of food if given the chance? – Nicola Twilley – Aeon (viaiamdanw)

The Null Hypothesis Loves You and Wants You To Be Happy

science, perception, replication, theory, Meredith L Patterson, Medium, belief, apophenia, pareidoli

Relaxing the null hypothesis makes for great storytelling, but it’s an unsettling way to live. Which information and which perspectives we take into account, when we try to decide whether a pattern we’ve matched is real or an apophenic false alarm, affects our ability to determine whether something has gone away or whether we’ve just stopped believing in it. In the praxis of science we try to keep the false alarm rate down with things like study size and statistical inference and meta-analyses and replication, and we still get it wrong a lot.

https://medium.com/@maradydd/the-null-hypothesis-loves-you-and-wants-you-to-be-happy–3189413d8cd0

“The smoke of the burned witches still hangs in our nostrils.” Certainly the witch hunters are no longer among us, and we no…

“The smoke of the burned witches still hangs in our nostrils.” Certainly the witch hunters are no longer among us, and we no longer take seriously the accusation of devil worshipping that was once levelled at witches. Rather, our milieu is defined by the modern pride in being able to interpret both witchery and witch hunting in terms of social, linguistic, cultural, or political constructs and beliefs.

What this pride ignores, however, is that we are the heirs of an operation of cultural and social eradication – the forerunner of what was committed elsewhere in the name of civilization and reason. Anything that classifies the memory of such operations as unimportant or irrelevant only furthers the success of those operations. In this sense, our pride in our critical power to “know better” than both the witches and the witch hunters makes us the heirs of witch hunting.

Isabelle Stengers.Reclaiming Animism

Reclaiming animism does not mean, then, that we have ever been animist. Nobody has ever been animist because one is never…

“Reclaiming animism does not mean, then, that we have ever been animist. Nobody has ever been animist because one is never animist “in general,” only in terms of assemblages that generate metamorphic transformation in our capacity to affect and be affected – and also to feel, think, and imagine. Animism may, however, be a name for reclaiming these assemblages, since it lures us into feeling that their efficacy is not ours to claim.”

Isabelle Stengers.Reclaiming Animism

Survivors

oldest living things, Rachel Sussman, photography, life, death, decay, growth

Of the thirty ancient living things that Sussman has photographed, two have since died. “One was a thirteen-thousand-year-old ‘underground forest’ outside a botanical garden in Pretoria,” she said. “Apparently, they changed the traffic pattern and just bulldozed right over it. The other was a thirty-five-hundred-year-old tree just outside Orlando, Florida—actually, the original tourist attraction before Disney. Meth heads snuck into it to do meth, and they accidentally burned it down.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/22/survivors–9

INFOGRAPHIC: China’s high-speed rail vision

prostheticknowledge:

INFOGRAPHIC: China’s high-speed rail vision

The South China Morning Post has put together an infographic visualizing a potentional cross-continental high-speed rail network that would not only connect London to China, but also America and Singapore:

China is proposing five high-speed international railway networks that would ultimately connect the UK at one end, America at another and Singapore in the south, with China in the centre. The large number of countries involved requires Herculean efforts of diplomacy, technology and economics.

More at South China Morning Post here

The second thing this question makes me think of comes back to my own definition of the professional artist as a “middle-class…

“The second thing this question makes me think of comes back to my own definition of the professional artist as a “middle-class creative laborer.” Most working people just don’t have any say in the creative content of their own labor; that’s part of the definition of being a worker, you trade your labor to someone else and they get to tell you what to do. So, the idea that there is a category of person in society who both gets to do, to a certain extent, what they want and make money doing it takes on some kind of special aura because it is an exception: precisely because most people are alienated in their work, the dream of being an “artist” takes on some exaggerated societal importance as an image—even though the reality for most “working artists” is more complex, and most people who call themselves “artists” actually make money somewhere else.”

How Small It Actually Is, Alex Zafiris interviews Ben Davis - Guernica / A Magazine of Art& Politics (viaphotographsonthebrain)

NATS - Guardians Of The Sky

video link

ourcorporatevision:

NATS - Guardians Of The Sky

From the gigantic white woman in heels roleplaying ‘Attack of The 50ft Woman’ on an airport to the assurances that she holds millions of lives in her hands, this Omnipotent Air Traffic Being clearly has our best interests at heart and yet she insists on remaining ‘unseesn and invisible.’ If infrastructure fiction did dream sequences, this would be it.

Our invisible flight controller waxes lyrical on ‘big data’ and robot planes. What exactly is the difference between ‘air traffic control’ and ‘dynamic air traffic management?’ No one knows. Doesn’t matter, it’s the future baby, which is essentially the same thing with the names changed.

The future is also ‘quieter and more efficient.’ Presumably this is because the overlord has reduced the other former populace of planet Earth to white silhouettes aimlessly milling about the code/space of airports. I guess if you’re just the blasted silhouette of a former human you don’t actually need to eat or consume or do anything at all really except pose for design fictions.

Of course, later we see the reason for the silhouettes as she boards the Hypersonic Jet Of The Future; no-one else is on it. Those silhouettes can’t recognise each-other, all familial relationships have broken down, they don’t know who they are or what to do and so they just wait, ghost-like in the airport wondering what happened to the cries of their children.

-

At NATS we believe we’re a little different. We’re best known for providing air traffic control in the UK, particularly at London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports, the busiest single and dual runway airports in the world. But that’s not all we do.

We support airport and airline customers in over 30 countries globally to aid in achieving their objectives. Growth. Efficiency. Safety enhancements. Using big data to transform how air traffic control affects economies, affects people.

We’ve created a short film that asks you to consider us differently and to wonder with us what the future might hold.

© AP Photo/NOAA, Corey Accardo In this aerial photo taken on Sept. 27, 2014, and provided by NOAA, some 35,000 walrus gather on…

arctic, climate change, walrus, habitat, alaska

© AP Photo/NOAA, Corey Accardo In this aerial photo taken on Sept. 27, 2014, and provided by NOAA, some 35,000 walrus gather on shore near Point Lay, Alaska. Pacific walrus looking for places to rest in the absence of sea ice are coming to shore in record numbers on Alaska’s northwest coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirms an estimated 35,000 walrus wer photographed Saturday about 700 miles northwest of Anchorage. The enormous gathering was spotted during NOAA’s annual arctic marine mammal aerial survey.

"After extensive training, we wanted to find out if the talent in trading might be rooted genetically and crossed the top…

Marcovici, rats, training, trading, futures, chance, randomness, breeding, pedigree

“After extensive training, we wanted to find out if the talent in trading might be rooted genetically and crossed the top traders with each other. After only 20 days, we had 28 new rats (15 males and 13 females) , and we soon started to train again (even reducing the training time). The results were astounding: the second generation of top traders had a much better performance than their parents, but undoubtably, further research will be necessary to confirm this finding of ours.”

Mining Bitcoin with pencil and paper by Ken Shirriff

algopop:

Mining Bitcoin with pencil and paper by Ken Shirriff

Bitcoins are mined using a cryptographic algorithm called SHA-256. This algorithm is just about simple enough to be done with pencil and paper as shown in a video (embedded below) by Ken Shirriff. It is obviously impractical but exposes the process of bitcoin mining. It consists of repeatedly performing a cryptographic operation called hashing until an extremely rare hash value is found - one that begins with around 17 zeros. Only one out of 1.4x1020 hashes will be successful. Using a pencil and paper approach you would only be able to mine about 0.7 hashes per day.