Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code of Conduct

google, alphabet, code-of-conduct, dont-be-evil, evil, Corporatism, 2018

Google’s unofficial motto has long been the simple phrase “don’t be evil.” But that’s over, according to the code of conduct that Google distributes to its employees. The phrase was removed sometime in late April or early May, archives hosted by the Wayback Machine show. “Don’t be evil” has been part of the company’s corporate code of conduct since 2000. When Google was reorganized under a new parent company, Alphabet, in 2015, Alphabet assumed a slightly adjusted version of the motto, “do the right thing.” However, Google retained its original “don’t be evil” language until the past several weeks. The phrase has been deeply incorporated into Google’s company culture—so much so that a version of the phrase has served as the wifi password on the shuttles that Google uses to ferry its employees to its Mountain View headquarters, sources told Gizmodo.

via https://gizmodo.com/google-removes-nearly-all-mentions-of-dont-be-evil-from–1826153393

Crossing Horizons : Follow this vertical panoramic view from horizon to horizon and your gaze will sweep through the zenith of a…

just–space:

Crossing Horizons : Follow this vertical panoramic view from horizon to horizon and your gaze will sweep through the zenith of a dark night sky over Pic du Midi mountaintop observatory. To make the journey above a sea of clouds, 19 single exposures were taken near the end of night on October 31 and assembled in a mercator projection that renders the two horizons flat. Begin at the top and you’re looking east toward the upsidedown dome of the observatory’s 1 meter telescope. It’s easy to follow the plane of our Milky Way galaxy as it appears to emerge from the dome and angle down toward the far horizon. Just to its right, the sky holds a remarkable diffuse glow of zodiacal light along our Solar System’s ecliptic plane. Zodiacal light and Milky Way with star clusters, cosmic dust clouds and faint nebulae, cross near the zenith. Both continue down toward the airglow in the west. They disappear near the western horizon at the bottom, beyond more Pic du Midi observatory domes and a tall communications relay antenna. via NASA

Ampli: A construction set for medical diagnostics

mostlysignssomeportents:

image

Jose Gomez-Marquez

Our team of researchers at MIT’s Little Devices Lab have developed a pocket sized laboratory for biology that allows anyone to invent and deploy rapid diagnostics to detect diseases like Zika and Dengue, as well as everyday biomarkers like cholesterol. Using plug and play reaction blocks, it can be as easy as snapping Legos together. The current approach to developing diagnostic tools involves shipping out samples to faraway labs for the development of tests that take too long and cost too much - but what would happen if everyone could have the tools they needed to design and make diagnostics? If the ability to diagnose disease was directly in the hands of those who most needed it?

Background

In the last 10 years, one of the most promising tools in global and personalized health has fallen far short of its potential—rapid diagnostics. When it comes to at-home diagnostics, your local pharmacy may not have anything more interesting than a glucose, pregnancy or   drug test, despite the fact that paper tests can easily be made to perform off-the-shelf. At the peak of the ebola crisis, after several million dollars in research funding to companies and academic institutions in America and Europe, only a single diagnostic test was advertised as a available —at around $25 a test. Meanwhile, the populations at the heart of the outbreak live on less than $2 a day.   Ironically, although these tests are developed in labs thousands of miles away, the raw source material is often the blood of those same patients, and the equipment needed to create them is widely available; it’s just the manufacturing process that results in these expensive tests.

The Rise of Mom and Pop Labs

In our travels we were inspired by the availability of “mom-and-pop labs” in global settings—small, neighborhood clinical labs with modest resources but talented technicians who already have the dexterity to design and assemble biological instruments locally. In the same way that breadboards and Arduinos can be used by laymen to dream up robots, smart mailboxes, and DIY drones, anyone can use the easily manipulable and modular Ampli blocks to design, tweak and create diagnostic tests.   The average person doesn’t make their own resistors or capacitors from scratch - they use ones that already exist in order to dream up new circuits. We can do the same thing for antibodies, nanoparticles, and color changing chemical reactions that tell us about our health and environment. Each Ampli block contains a singular chemical reaction that can be combined with other blocks in a way that allows for complex chain reactions. Together, these blocks can make diagnostics for Zika, ebola, dengue, glucose, gluten, and countless other diseases.

Creating a Global Biology Construction Set

There are thousands of published articles on paper based detection devices, but the methods are usually difficult to understand. Our team worked on matching those assays to a library of plug and play blocks that replicate the assays without using a laboratory. Want to use the 1970 Arkansas Test for detecting TB drugs?

Good luck interpreting:

KSCN + C7H7ClNO2S·Na (3H2O) → CNCl + C₅H₄N → [Intermediate] → Barbituric Acid → Polymethine blue dye

A little bit easier? Place 4 Ampli blocks in a row with the right color combinations - you’ll get the same result. Take a picture of them, and someone else on the other side of the world can replicate your experiment, including the millions of mom and pop labs around the world. This doesn’t just mean that it’s easier to create diagnostic tools quickly for new diseases, or that it’s cheaper to create them where they are needed instead of waiting for someone else several countries away to develop and produce them - with such easily replicable experiments, tests can also be quickly and efficiently improved and tailored, increasing their efficacy. Add in the fact that the blocks are reusable, and we have on our hands an entirely new and streamlined process for diagnostic development

Our hope is that in the next outbreak of disease, when foreign scientists come flying in with expensive rapid diagnostics, hawking them for $25, a local scientist will pull an Ampli out of their pocket and tell them they’ve already created exactly what they need, for less than $2.


https://boingboing.net/2018/05/16/ampli-a-construction-set-for.html

Profiles of flat earthers: report from the front lines of weaponized media literacy

mostlysignssomeportents:

Tom Usher went to a flat earth conference in Birmingham, England; he met an array of people who believe that the Earth is flat, because they believe that powerful people have conspired to control the information they receive in order to secure benefits for the elite, and this belief (which has a wealth of evidence to support it!) has been weaponized by crackpots and cynical manipulators to convince them the world is flat (despite the wealth of evidence against this!).

Usher’s brief interviews with the attendees are perfect examples of the weaponized media literacy identified by danah boyd: using the idea that you should consider the incentives of a speaker when evaluating the truthfulness of their speech to push denialist messages about climate change and guns, but also flouride and the flat earth.

To get a sense of what this looks like in depth, check out Ross and Carrie’s interview with flat earther Mark Sargent, which is some of the most chilling audio I’ve heard in the past year.

https://boingboing.net/2018/05/14/cui-bono-boners.html

“Weddings are the bread and butter of the rental-relative business, perhaps because traditions that dictate the number of guests…

frankfurtschooldropout:

“Weddings are the bread and butter of the rental-relative business, perhaps because traditions that dictate the number of guests haven’t changed to reflect increasing urbanization and migration, shrinking families, and decreased job security. Laid-off grooms rent replacements for co-workers and supervisors. People who changed schools a lot rent childhood friends. The newly affianced, reluctant to trouble one another with family problems, may rent substitutes for parents who are divorced, incarcerated, or mentally ill. One Hagemashi-tai client simply didn’t want to tell his fiancée that his parents were dead, so he rented replacements.”

— Elif Batuman, “Japan’s Rent-a-Family Industry”

A.I. scream for ice cream

lewisandquark:

Or, the time a class of middle schoolers kicked my butt at neural network ice cream naming.

image

The other day I got an email from Anita Johnson, who teaches coding classes at Kealing Middle School in Austin, Texas. She explained that her students had been reading the neural network experiments on my blog and had decided to do their own.

The middle schoolers (about 11-14 years old) had downloaded textgenrnn and had generated some new flavors that they wanted to share with me. Did I want to see them?

As it turns out, I had just trained textgenrnn on ice cream flavors myself. But there were some problems with my attempt:

1. I only had a dataset of 200 flavors (that I had a dataset at all is thanks to Salli Wason of Rosanna’s Ice Cream in Portland).
2. textgenrnn allows transfer learning, meaning that it remembers some of what it learned from its previous dataset.
3. My previous dataset had been metal bands.

So the flavors I had generated were not, shall we say, appealing.

image

Silence Cherry
Strawberry Cream Disease
Chocolate Sin
Bloody Coffee
Sock Caramel
Chocolate Raven
Moan Chocolate
Chocolate Chocolate Blood
Colon Bane

The 11-14 year olds, however, had collected nearly 1,600 flavors, due in part to their coding skills, and in part to sheer numbers, time, and motivation. Their results were  significantly better than mine.

Lots of the flavors they produced were sweet and fun. The kind you might find  at a trendy ice cream or yogurt shop near you.

It’s Sunday
Cherry Poet
Brittle Cheesecake
Honey Vanilla Happy
hmmm
Bubble Bun
Triple Bun
Holy Lemon Monster
Cookies & Red Hot Lover
Vanilla Nettle
Sundana Rainbow
Team Cherry
Cherry Cherry Cherry
Chocolate Breath
Pig Nut
Bumble Cookie
Oh and Cinnamon

Other flavors sounded a bit weirder. Approach with caution.

Chocolate Finger
Rainbum
Caramel Book
Cupsie Core
Washing Chocolate
Peanut Cinnamon Budge
the United Bacon de Vanilla
Texas Boy Nut
Key de Smoke
Crackberry Pretzel
Middlenut
Salted Pie Breekberry Sundae
Texas Charlie Covered Stunt
Seat Strawberry
Butter Sweep
Bunny Out
Strawberry Moons
Pretzel Egg

Others: a quite worrisome level of ambiguity

Nuts with Mattery
Brown Crunch
Sticky Crumple
Cookies and Green
Sea Cheesecake
Mango Cats
Lemon Cream Grassplay

image

Whereas these are almost certainly bad news.

Pumpkin Trash Break
Peanut Butter Slime
Walnut Dirt
Peanut Skin Tuesday
Gravy Cashew
Bug
Lament
Ants-Almond Cheesecake
Chocolate Gingerbread Bum
Strawberry Turfle
Cake Pitt
Caramel Livers
Elk Peanut Southe
Sand & Cream
Toffee Frog
Snake Vanilla Cream Cheesecake

image

The 6th graders (the 11-12 year olds) tended to favor the very weird flavors.

Garamel Phankie Cookies & Peach
Cark Nutty Banana Croced Banana & Crazz
Vervette’s Caramel Borfle
Oatleak with Ninterbise
Barming French Cambarcot
Chocolate Blackbumple
Herbetures with The Chillin
Pie Lime Mint Thrippine
Praline Pelletral Liver
Banana Cookies & Jarange Core
Peach Peacket Marsh Blue

The 13-14 year olds, though? They preferred my first attempt, actually. And added a few of their own to the list.

Death
Brain
Orange Chocolate Killa
Blood Chip
Explosion Stick
Die White Pistachio
Funge Ecide

For the complete list of the coding class’s ice cream flavors, as well as a few PG-13 flavors that weren’t quite appropriate for the main blog, enter your email here.

“While the apparatus is granted a special position in media art, the art machine cannot exist without the artist. Even if art…

carvalhais:

“While the apparatus is granted a special position in media art, the art machine cannot exist without the artist. Even if art can be produced without the artist’s physical engagement, this can only happen according to the algorithms or the poetry that the artist has equipped it with and under the circumstances it is installed. This further implies that in media art artisanal skill is often superseded by intellectual ability, with the idea as a centrepiece of the work, illustrating its kinship to conceptual art.”

Wagner, Sophie-Carolin. Poietry: Challenging Solitude and the Improbability of Communication. Trans. Benedek, Daniel. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2017.

Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in northeast India, covering 111 square miles (287 sq km) in Manipur state. The lake…

dailyoverview:

Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in northeast India, covering 111 square miles (287 sq km) in Manipur state. The lake is famous for its phumdis — floating masses of vegetation, soil and organic matter that are unique to its waters. The largest of the phumdis is 15 square miles (40 sq km) in size and contains Keibul Lamjao National Park, the world’s only floating national park.

Instagram: https://bit.ly/2jMf44H

24°32'56.9"N, 93°50'28.4"E

Source imagery: DigitalGlobe

Chinese filmmaker stuns Cannes Film Festival with documentary revealing horrors of Mao’s gulags Clocking in at more than eight…

film, Wang-Bing, dead-souls, china, cannes, Mao, re-education, 1957, 2018

Chinese filmmaker stuns Cannes Film Festival with documentary revealing horrors of Mao’s gulags


Clocking in at more than eight hours, Wang Bing’s latest outing, Dead Souls, is probably one of the longest films to have taken a bow at the Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered on Wednesday, in two parts, with an hour-long intermission in between. The work’s length is, in a way, a reflection of Wang’s own odyssey in completing the documentary. Based on interviews and footage he gathered over 13 years, Dead Souls recon­structs the pain and suffering of those condemned to “re-education” – a euphemism for hard labour – in a gulag in northwestern China at the start of Mao Zedong’s Anti-Rightist Campaign, in 1957.

via http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/arts-music/article/2145299/chinese-filmmaker-stuns-cannes-film-festival

‘Transparency’ Is the Mother of Fake News

NYT, fake-news, transparency, free-speech, politics, oppression, 2018

At first glance the bias in favor of unlimited speech and information seems perfectly reasonable and even unassailable. What arguments could be brought against it? An answer to that question has been offered in recent years by a small, but growing, number of critics. In a 2009 essay in The New Republic titled “Against Transparency,” the law professor Lawrence Lessig (known as an apostle of openness), asked, as I just have, “How could anyone be against transparency?” Lessig responds to his own question by quoting a trio of authors who in their book “Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency” observe that by itself information doesn’t do anything; its effects depend on the motives of those who make use of it, and raw information (that is, data) cannot distinguish between benign and malign appropriations of itself. Misunderstanding and manipulation are always more than possible, and there is no way to assure that “new information is used to further public objectives.” Another way to put this is to say that information, data and the unbounded flow of more and more speech can be politicized — it can, that is, be woven into a narrative that constricts rather than expands the area of free, rational choice. When that happens — and it will happen often — transparency and the unbounded flow of speech become instruments in the production of the very inequalities (economic, political, educational) that the gospel of openness promises to remove. And the more this gospel is preached and believed, the more that the answer to everything is assumed to be data uncorrupted by interests and motives, the easier it will be for interest and motives to operate under transparency’s cover.

via https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/07/opinion/transparency-fake-news.html

Here’s to Unsuicide: An Interview with Richard Powers

literature, review, interview, LARB, Richard-Powers, overstory, trees, HPI, nature, 2018

One of our great errors in thinking — another aspect of that unfortunate idea of human exceptionalism that makes it so hard for us to be at home in this world — is that the natural and the man-made are distinct entities. Like all other parts of the branching experiment, we make and are made by the living environment, and we have done so since before we were us. Without the forests of the Santa Cruz mountains, there would be no Silicon Valley. But Silicon Valley will make or unmake the forests of the future. No nature story, no account of environmental struggle would be complete without bringing on-stage all the human technologies that are to us what the invention of flowers and nuts and chlorophyll and mycorrhizal networks are to the forest superorganism. Just as the emergence of tree intelligence forever changed the planet, so the emergence of consciousness (which long predated humans) forever changed the nature of evolution. Cultural transmission is orders of magnitude faster than genetic transmission, and digital transmission has accelerated the speed of culture a hundredfold or more. We may soon seem, to our artificial intelligence offspring, as motionless and insentient as trees seem to us. And here we live, trying to make a home between our predecessors and our descendants.

via https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/heres-to-unsuicide-an-interview-with-richard-powers/

Dyed isopropyl alcohol atop a thin layer of acrylic medium spreads in a fractal fingering pattern. Although the shapes are…

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

Dyed isopropyl alcohol atop a thin layer of acrylic medium spreads in a fractal fingering pattern. Although the shapes are reminiscent of the viscous fingers seen in in the Saffman-Taylor instability, these patterns are most likely a result of surface tension. The lower surface tension of the alcohol causes Marangoni forces to pull it outward. The branching shapes indicate an instability, likely driven by surface tension, but the details of the mechanism behind it are unclear. (Image credits: J. Nahabetian)

Invented Religions

hermeticlibrary:

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith by Carole M. Cusack

Cusack Invented Religions

Carole Cusack’s Invented Religions is a scholarly survey of several key examples of the phenomenon that I once labeled “meta-religions”–where the sense of meta– is “beyond” or “after.” Such cultural configurations use religious tropes and advance religious claims, but they violate conventional (Christianity-based) religious definitions by rejecting solemnity, theological coherence, singularization of religious identity, and/or pre-modern historical narratives of validation. Cusack wants to grant the unqualified status of “religion” to such transgressors of religious norms, rather than treating them as pseudo-religions or “parody religions” as had been done in those rare cases where academics had previously deigned to notice them at all.

Her cardinal case studies are the Discordian Society, the Church of All Worlds, and the Church of the SubGenius. I have sympathy and somewhat more than anecdotal experience with all three of these, and I think that Cusack’s treatments of them are quite sound on the whole. She recounts their actual origins and development, itemizes their principal doctrines, and characterizes their practices. In brief, Discordia is the cult of Eris, goddess of Chaos; the Church of All Worlds is a neopagan sodality inspired by Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land; and the SubGenii are seekers of Slack and heralds of the OverMan.

In addition to these three exemplars (begun respectively in the decades of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s), Cusack supplies a further chapter on “Third-Millennium Invented Religions” that treats Jediism, Matrixism, and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. These are all less than twenty years old, and their long-term social resilience and cultural fecundity is relatively untested. Moreover, they have largely germinated through the instrumentality of the Internet, and critics often doubt whether the dilute social fabric of ‘net-mediated associations can support durable religious development. Finally, all three express a far lower tension with the larger “host” culture than the Discordians, SubGenii, or CAW do. Jediism and Matrixism are rooted in corporate-owned mass-media cinema properties, and thus mired in a consumer-fan identity. Jediism as census-protest and the Church of the FSM both oppose themselves to establishment religion, but neither offers any resistance to the ethos of rational secular liberalism.

In a remark at the outset of her concluding chapter, Cusack proposes that earlier examples of “invented religions” might include the Victorian Theosophical Society, if we are to suppose that the Mahatmas or their teachings were a product of Madame Blavatsky’s imagination (141). But why pick on Theosophists? Surely such skepticism could as easily be trained on Joseph Smith and the angel Moroni for the Latter Day Saints, on Muhammad and Gabriel for Islam, or on Paul and Jesus Christ for Christianity. A far better example of occultist meta-religion from the end of the long nineteenth century can be found in Aleister Crowley’s “Liber LXI vel Causae A∴A∴” point 7:

“Some years ago a number of cipher MSS. were discovered and deciphered by certain students. They attracted much attention, as they purported to derive from the Rosicrucians. You will readily understand that the genuineness of the claim matters no whit, such literature being judged by itself, not by its reputed sources.”

This “proof of the pudding” attitude dovetails perfectly with Cusack’s repeated observation that invented-religionists are “more likely to ask ‘does it work?’ than ‘is it true?‘” (9-10) The empirical prioritization of result ties into her theoretical framework regarding modernity and secularization. Invented religions are deliberately in-credible, typically advancing their outrageousness in contrast to traditional “faiths” that expect belief as a fundamental condition–an insistence largely originating in Protestantism, as Cusack notes (46). Instead of qualifying adherents through belief, invented religions, like most religions known to scholars, qualify them through practices and experiences.

Cusack’s theoretical considerations use invented religions to demonstrate the imagination as a religious faculty, and she does go some way towards connecting this faculty to the religious function of narrative and (by implication, at least) to the essentially fictive nature of most specifically religious “beliefs.” Despite her application of a Situationist idea of “counter-spectacle” to the Church of the SubGenius (84ff.), she does not go as far as she might have in terms of connecting the religious imagination with visionary experience.

In any case, Invented Religions does not claim to be an exhaustive study, but simply an inaugural one. It comes very close, in fact, to being exactly one of the books I imagined writing when I aspired to the ivory tower of religious studies academia. It should form a valuable point of departure for further studies of these important cultural phenomena. [via]

Originally posted on The Hermetic Library Blog at https://library.hrmtc.com/2018/05/08/invented-religions/

Google Duplex

wolfliving:

“Beulah, peel me a grape.”


https://ai.googleblog.com/2018/05/duplex-ai-system-for-natural-conversation.html

Google Duplex: An AI System for Accomplishing Real World Tasks Over the Phone

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Posted by Yaniv Leviathan, Principal Engineer and Yossi Matias, Vice President, Engineering, Google

A long-standing goal of human-computer interaction has been to enable people to have a natural conversation with computers, as they would with each other. In recent years, we have witnessed a revolution in the ability of computers to understand and to generate natural speech, especially with the application of deep neural networks.

 Still, even with today’s state of the art systems, it is often frustrating having to talk to stilted computerized voices that don’t understand natural language. In particular, automated phone systems are still struggling to recognize simple words and commands. They don’t engage in a conversation flow and force the caller to adjust to the system instead of the system adjusting to the caller.

Today we announce Google Duplex, a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out “real world” tasks over the phone. The technology is directed towards completing specific tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments. For such tasks, the system makes the conversational experience as natural as possible, allowing people to speak normally, like they would to another person, without having to adapt to a machine.

One of the key research insights was to constrain Duplex to closed domains, which are narrow enough to explore extensively. Duplex can only carry out natural conversations after being deeply trained in such domains. It cannot carry out general conversations.

Here are examples of Duplex making phone calls (using different voices):

Duplex scheduling a hair salon appointment:

Duplex calling a restaurant:

While sounding natural  (((sort of))) these and other examples are conversations between a fully automatic computer system and real businesses.

The Google Duplex technology is built to sound natural, to make the conversation experience comfortable. It’s important to us that users and businesses have a good experience with this service, and transparency is a key part of that. We want to be clear about the intent of the call so businesses understand the context. We’ll be experimenting with the right approach over the coming months…. (((etc etc talking donkey etc)))

Should I use an algorithm here? EFF’s 5-point checklist

mostlysignssomeportents:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jamie Williams and Lena Gunn have drawn up an annotated five-point list of questions to ask yourself before using a machine-learning algorithm to make predictions and guide outcomes.

The list draws heavily on two essential recent books on the subject: Cathy O'Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction and Virginia Eubanks’s Automating Inequality, both of which are essential reads.

The list’s five questions are:

1. Will this algorithm influence—or serve as the basis of—decisions with the potential to negatively impact people’s lives?

2.     Can the available data actually lead to a good outcome?

3.     Is the algorithm fair?

4.     How will the results (really) be used by humans?

5.     Will people affected by these decisions have any influence over the system?

https://boingboing.net/2018/05/07/math-vs-humans.html

What It’s Like to Be a Bot

phenomenology, AI, bots, bats, perception, consciousness, Damien-Williams, 2018

Our notions of what it means to have a mind have too often been governed by assumptions about what it means to be human. But there is no necessary logical connection between the two. There is often an assumption that a digital mind will either be, or aspire to be, like our own. We can see this at play in artificial beings from Pinocchio to the creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL to Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. But a machine mind won’t be a human-like mind — at least not precisely, and not intentionally. Machines are developing a separate kind of interaction and interrelation with the world, which means they will develop new and different kinds of minds, minds to which human beings cannot have direct access. A human being will never know exactly what it’s like to be a bot, because we do not inhabit their modes of interaction.

via http://reallifemag.com/what-its-like-to-be-a-bot/

Beach Sloth reviews Farmers Manual

music, review, beach sloth, farmersmanual, farmers manual, extreme computer music, committed to the most abnormal of sonic explorations, noise, electronics, GSM, glitch, 2003, 2012, 2001, 2018

Farmers Manual – Mobile FM (AM)

“Done with the utmost of improvised, joyous spirit the two pieces seem to be restrained by absolutely nothing. This total freedom results in something that becomes completely and deeply compelling, a true joy to behold.”

“Employing a greater deal of noise and chaos, Farmers Manual ratchet up the tension to unfathomable degrees while layers veer right into pure cacophony. Distortion layers on top of itself, resulting in an ornate series of patterns. By the latter half Farmers Manual only lets the distortion and noise take over, with any trace of humanity fully scrubbed out.”

http://www.beachsloth.com/farmers-manual-mobile-fm-am.html

Farmers Manual – Sonderzeichenmassaker

“Always ready for a spot of fun, Farmers Manual ensures that they destroy everything in their path. The tension they employ throughout results in a surprisingly great deal of joy, the way they allow everything to burst forth in a tremendous almost flowering of sound. Very much in the noise realm of things, they make sure that the song’s unpredictability allows for a few jump scares, while they increase the volume into uncomfortable degrees. Outright amazing, they prove exactly how to allow sound to completely lose it while documenting the results.“

“Something particularly unique to Farmers Manual, they never make a grand entrance. Their emphasis relies on a steady patience, one that allows a stream of consciousness approach to songwriting, or textural exploration. It feels quite natural what they do, allowing their sound to speak for itself. Over the course of the piece this proves to be true for they take a light touch the sound, only gently nudging it when absolutely necessary. For the most part, it is the sound that does most of the work, growing with an unrealized kind of potential. About halfway through the piece the pulsing rhythm starts to truly assert itself, allowing for a great deal of madness right on the periphery to gain considerable clout. When the piece becomes unruly, it truly becomes all-encompassing, offering no escape from the onslaught.”

http://www.beachsloth.com/farmers-manual-sonderzeichenmassaker.html

Farmers Manual – Stat = Conjecture Pirayune Snart

“Is Farmers Manual, after years of relaxing at art exhibits, finally about to become normal? Considering this particular piece’s main description is“farmersmanual dropped some bluish green squares on the floor” the answer is thankfully no. One of the more unique and sorely missed groups of extreme computer musicians, there is something quite intense about what they do. Rhythms are mangled, textures warped, and any discernible reference point to actual genres a mere accident.”

“Jagged little edges and crackles introduce the piece. From there the tiny textures have a near-funk like element to them. Noise emerges until it virtually collapses upon itself.“

“With “Stat = Conjecture Pirayune Snart ” Farmers Manual prove they are the oddity of all oddities, a group that remains committed to the most abnormal of sonic explorations.”

http://www.beachsloth.com/farmers-manual-stat-conjecture-pirayune-snart.html

“Amazing indeed. Viral Hippo, the BuzzFeed News–created Instagram account that used Fuelgram to rack up more than 1,500 likes on…

iamdanw:

“Amazing indeed. Viral Hippo, the BuzzFeed News–created Instagram account that used Fuelgram to rack up more than 1,500 likes on a photo of a black square, netted almost double that on a photo of a yellow square. It pulled in 1,400 likes on a diagram of the human sinus, and more than 1,200 on an accidentally shot photo of a hubcap.”

Real People Are Turning Their Accounts Into Bots On Instagram — And Cashing In

Wind, water, and gravity are great sculptors of our world. This false-color satellite image shows the Ga’ara Depression in Iraq,…

fuckyeahfluiddynamics:

Wind, water, and gravity are great sculptors of our world. This false-color satellite image shows the Ga’ara Depression in Iraq, which formed some 300 million years ago beneath a shallow sea. The steep cliffs along the southern edge of the depression continue moving southward as they’re eroded by wind and run-off. When infrequent but intense rains pour down the channels of the southern cliffs, it carves away sediment which the water carries onward. In the flatter basin, these sometimes-rivers slow and spread out, eventually dropping the sediment they carry into sandbars. The build-up of sandbars causes the slower-moving water to shift its course back-and-forth over time, creating the alluvial fans seen along the southern and western borders. (Image credit: J. Stevens, via NASA Earth Observatory)