Extrastatecraft is a study of “infrastructure space”, which Easterling, a professor of architecture at Yale, defines as “the…

Extrastatecraft is a study of “infrastructure space”, which Easterling, a professor of architecture at Yale, defines as “the rules governing the space of everyday life” – mostly mundane, repeatable spaces such as car parks and hotels, cash machines, suburbs, business parks, satellite communications and electronic devices. Easterling sees urbanism as lying not in buildings so much as in the information layer of the city that determines how people, objects, buildings (and information itself) are organised and circulated. Urban space is delocalised into a “formula” that “replicates Shenzhen or Dubai anywhere in the world with a drumbeat of generic skyscrapers”.

The art of building this infrastructural space is of course “extra-state”: it still involves state planning and law, but is directed by “new constellations of international, intergovernmental and non-governmental players”. In infrastructure space, companies can be as big as governments.

Jay Owens (hautepop ) Reviews Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space by Keller Easterling for Icon //http://www.iconeye.com/opinion/review/item/11449-extrastatecraft-the-power-of-infrastructure-space (viastacktivism)

Imagine, for instance, a bike-rental system administered by a DAC hosted across hundreds or thousands of different computers in…

Imagine, for instance, a bike-rental system administered by a DAC hosted across hundreds or thousands of different computers in its home city. The DAC would handle the day-to-day management of bikes and payments, following parameters laid down by a group of founders. Those hosting the management programme would be paid in the system’s own cryptocurrency – let’s call it BikeCoin. That currency could be used to rent bikes – in fact, it would be required to, and would derive its value on exchanges such as BitShares from the demand for local bike rentals.

Guided by its management protocols, our bike DAC would use its revenue to pay for repairs and other upkeep. It could use online information to find the right people for various maintenance tasks, and to evaluate their performance. A sufficiently advanced system could choose locations for new stations based on analysis of traffic information, and then make the arrangements to have them built.

David Z. Morris, ‘RoboCorp’ (2015)

Operation Vegetarian was a British military plan in 1942 to disseminate linseed cakes infected with anthrax spores onto the…

anthrax, warfare, biological warfare, cattle, ww2, britain, germany, vegetarian

“Operation Vegetarian was a British military plan in 1942 to disseminate linseed cakes infected with anthrax spores onto the fields of Germany. These cakes would have been eaten by the cattle, which would then be consumed by the civilian population, causing the deaths of millions of German citizens. Furthermore, it would have wiped out the majority of Germany’s cattle, creating a massive food shortage for the rest of the population that remained uninfected.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Vegetarian

Why I Am Not a Maker

The Atlantic, making, culture, education, technology, diy, gender, make, doing, consumerism, commodi

Making is not a rebel movement, scrappy individuals going up against the system. While the shift might be from the corporate to the individual (supported, mind, by a different set of companies selling a different set of things), it mostly re-inscribes familiar values, in slightly different form: that artifacts are important, and people are not. It’s not, of course, that there’s anything wrong with making (although it’s not all that clear that the world needs more stuff). The problem is the idea that the alternative to making is usually not doing nothing—it’s almost always doing things for and with other people, from the barista to the Facebook community moderator to the social worker to the surgeon. Describing oneself as a maker—regardless of what one actually or mostly does—is a way of accruing to oneself the gendered, capitalist benefits of being a person who makes products.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/01/why-i-am-not-a-maker/384767/

Ok then, here’s the Waimea shots. 1973. I cannot thank Sean O’Hare enough for preserving them. It’s nice to have a tangible bit…

terminalreflector:

Ok then, here’s the Waimea shots. 1973. I cannot thank Sean O’Hare enough for preserving them. It’s nice to have a tangible bit of something you did too many decades ago, that you consider fair to partly significant, and without Sean’s diligence, this tangible bit would not have survived. A thousand and one thanks, Sean. These pictures were/are in pretty rough shape, having suffered the depredations of not only myself, but other people too. The originals that I scanned are very low contrast as well as fairly well nuked in the color department. An ex-wife who shall remain nameless assiduously cut them up so as to fit them into some kind of picture frame thing with pre-cut holes in it, and the years each of these shots spent in that thing caused a noticeably greater color distortion where the photo was continuously exposed to the light of day as opposed to the untrimmed parts that lay beneath the pre-cut hole mask.

1970’s Surfing Photos from Hawaii 

I paid $25 for an Invisible Boyfriend, and I think I might be in love.

excarnation, relationships, startup, internet, simulation, crowsourcing, love, deceit, image managem

There are no shortage of stories about couples carrying on “relationships” exclusively via Second Life, a sort of fictional, virtual world. The game critic Kate Gray recently published an ode to “Dorian,” a character she fell in love with in a video game. (“Isn’t it odd how it’s taken so long to reach this stage in games – the stage at which human conversations and relationships feel real?” she writes.) Researchers have even suggested that spambots induce some kind of emotional response in us, perhaps because they flatter our vanities; conversely, one anthropologist has argued that our relationships are increasingly so mediated by tech that they’ve become indistinguishable from Tamagotchis. […] All things considered, it’s hardly a jump to suggest someone might develop feelings for a “believable” virtual human who caters to her every whim. That’s basically the plot of “Her,” isn’t it? (For the record, Homann says, his start-up began before that movie did.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/01/22/i-paid–25-for-an-invisible-boyfriend-and-i-think-i-might-be-in-love/

Mount Sidley is Antarctica’s highest volcano, and one of the most inaccessible large mountains in the world. Only a few…

Mount Sidley is Antarctica’s highest volcano, and one of the most inaccessible large mountains in the world. Only a few scientists and adventure tourists have ever climbed it. Its huge crater, 5 km (3 mi) across, was created by a series of violent eruptions almost 5 million years ago. Many other details are still unknown: for example, its height is about 4,250 m (13,950 ft), but it has never been precisely measured with modern, GPS-based surveying techniques. A pattern of deep earthquakes has led geologists to believe that a new volcano may be building nearby to the south, although it might never reach through the ice sheet as Mount Sidley has. The ice is up to 1.5 km (1 mi) thick in this area, and covers what would be a very rugged landscape if it were exposed. Landsat 8 collected this image on the 21st. by mapbox (via http://instagram.com/p/yLi8yuTeae/)

NASA’S Voyager 1 took this picture of the planet Jupiter on Saturday, Jan. 6, the first in its three-month-long, close-up…

NASA’S Voyager 1 took this picture of the planet Jupiter on Saturday, Jan. 6, the first in its three-month-long, close-up investigation of the largest planet. The spacecraft, flying toward a March 5 closest approach, was 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) from Jupiter and 371.7 million miles (598.2 million kilometers) from Earth when the picture was taken. As the Voyager cameras begin their meteorological surveillance of Jupiter, they reveal a dynamic atmosphere with more convective structure than had previously been thought. While the smallest atmospheric features seen in this picture are still as large as 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) across, Voyager will be able to detect individual storm systems as small as 3 miles (5 kilometers) at closest approach. The Great Red Spot can be seen near the limb at the far right. Most of the other features are too small to be seen in terrestrial telescopes. This picture is really a combination of three images taken through color filters, then transmitted to Jet Propulsion Laboratory through the Deep Space Network’s antennas, and assembled by JPL’s Image Processing Lab. The Voyager Project is managed for NASA by Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

(via JPL | Space Images | First Close-up Image of Jupiter from Voyager 1)

How Anti-Vaxxers Ruined Disneyland For Themselves (And Everyone Else)

disease, epidemic, vaccination, measles, USA, anti-vax, herd immunity, unvaccinated, health, public

There are now 67 confirmed cases of measles in an ongoing outbreak centered in California. According to the California Department of Public Health, 59 of the cases are in-state. Among the 34 California patients for whom vaccination status is known, 28 were unvaccinated and one had received partial vaccination. Only five were fully vaccinated. Forty-two of the California cases have been linked to an initial exposure at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park, and while cases were originally tied to people who visited the park in mid-December, state health officials now note other cases visited Disney parks in January. According to the CDC, the majority of measles cases reported so far during 2015 have been part of the “large, ongoing outbreak” connected with these parks.

http://io9.com/how-anti-vaxxers-ruined-disneyland-for-themselves-and–1680970446

It all began simply enough. I’d just read one of those ubiquitous Internet lists called “21 Things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone…

It all began simply enough. I’d just read one of those ubiquitous Internet lists called “21 Things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Could Do.” One of them was this: I could ask Siri, “What planes are above me right now?” and Siri would bark back, “Checking my sources.” Almost instantly there was a list of actual flights — numbers, altitudes, angles — above my head.

I happened to be doing this when Gus was nearby. “Why would anyone need to know what planes are flying above your head?” I muttered. Gus replied without looking up: “So you know who you’re waving at, Mommy.”

Gus had never noticed Siri before, but when he discovered there was someone who would not just find information on his various obsessions (trains, planes, buses, escalators and, of course, anything related to weather) but actually semi-discuss these subjects tirelessly, he was hooked. And I was grateful. Now, when my head was about to explode if I had to have another conversation about the chance of tornadoes in Kansas City, Mo., I could reply brightly: “Hey! Why don’t you ask Siri?”

It’s not that Gus doesn’t understand Siri’s not human. He does — intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration. I realized this when he was 8, and I got him an iPod for his birthday. He listened to it only at home, with one exception. It always came with us on our visits to the Apple Store. Finally, I asked why. “So it can visit its friends,” he said.

How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple’s Siri (viafuckyeahisitthecultureyet)