MachineMachine /stream - tagged with society en-us LifePress <![CDATA[When The World Isn’t Designed for Our Bodies | The New Yorker]]>

“What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World,” a new book by the artist and design researcher Sara Hendren, opens with a challenge. A curator named Amanda has come to Hendren’s classroom at the Olin College of Engineering, where the author teaches courses on technology and disability.

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 08:13:14 -0700
<![CDATA[‘Collapse of civilisation is the most likely outcome’: top climate scientists – Voice of Action]]>

Australia’s top climate scientist says “we are already deep into the trajectory towards collapse” of civilisation, which may now be inevitable because 9 of the 15 known global climate tipping points that regulate the state of the planet have been activated.

Tue, 30 Jun 2020 19:13:15 -0700
<![CDATA[BBC - Future - How Western civilisation could collapse]]>

The political economist Benjamin Friedman once compared modern Western society to a stable bicycle whose wheels are kept spinning by economic growth.

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:01:34 -0700
<![CDATA[The Collective Intelligence of Women Could Save the World - Future of Life Institute]]>

Neil deGrasse Tyson was once asked about his thoughts on the cosmos. In a slow, gloomy voice, he intoned, “The universe is a deadly place. At every opportunity, it’s trying to kill us. And so is Earth. From sinkholes to tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, tsunamis.

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:21:26 -0800
<![CDATA[Does climate change make it immoral to have kids? | Dave Bry | Opinion | The Guardian]]>

Bringing children into a disintegrating environment used to be a theoretical fear. Now it’s a very real one The decision whether or not to have a child is one of the bigger ones a person will make in life – often the biggest.

Sun, 17 Apr 2016 06:02:54 -0700
<![CDATA[How to Make a Bot That Isn't Racist | Motherboard]]>

Really, really racist. The thing is, this was all very much preventable. I talked to some creators of Twitter bots about @TayandYou, and the consensus was that Microsoft had fallen far below the baseline of ethical botmaking.

Thu, 31 Mar 2016 02:36:50 -0700
<![CDATA[The end of progress | New Philosopher]]>

David C. Wood is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy and Professor of European Studies at Vanderbilt University. Interview by Zan Boag, editor of New Philosopher. Zan Boag: Contemporary society places great weight on the importance of progress and growth.

Tue, 26 May 2015 05:08:23 -0700
<![CDATA[Turing Test success marks milestone in computing history]]>

An historic milestone in artificial intelligence set by Alan Turing - the father of modern computer science - has been achieved at an event organised by the University of Reading.

Wed, 29 Apr 2015 16:19:44 -0700
<![CDATA[12 Futuristic Forms of Government That Could One Day Rule the World]]>

As history has repeatedly shown, political systems come and go. Given our rapid technological and social advances, it's a trend we can expect to continue. Here are 12 extraordinary — and even frightening — ways our governments could be run in the future.

Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:55:59 -0800
<![CDATA[Use of The City as a metaphor for the Internet/Web]]>

I am looking for examinations of the Internet and World Wide Web that use the structure and/or history of the city as a metaphor. I'm afraid I have no original example of this phenomenon to kick things off. I have this image in my head of 'the city' that always goes back to Plato and his Republic. Plato's city was a physical, social construction, as well as a philosophical metaphor, at one and the same time. It feels that many have talked about the Internet in similar, overlapping, terms.

(It need not be 'the city as metaphor', rather any social, physical space that humans build and live in will suffice. Also, metonymy rather than metaphor would be great.)

Writings that explore the political history of the city, it's technological expansion, that consider the city as a nexus for theories of human civilisation, of emergence perhaps, of structure, social and political control and, perhaps most importantly, of space vs place - all as a way to think about similar phenomena taking place online. The Internet as emerging network with similarities to the city; the World Wide Web considered as spatio-social metaphor?

etc. etc.

Any ideas?

Fri, 12 Apr 2013 10:19:31 -0700
<![CDATA['Bigfoot DNA' Study Seeks Yeti Rights : Discovery News]]>

A team of researchers led by Melba Ketchum, a Texas veterinarian, claims to have not only conclusively proven the existence of Bigfoot through genetic testing, but also that the mysterious monster is a half-human hybrid, the result of mating with modern human females about 15,000 years ago.

Fri, 08 Mar 2013 03:54:35 -0800
<![CDATA[Interview with a writer: John Gray » Spectator Blogs]]>

In his new book The Silence of Animals, the philosopher John Gray explores why human beings continue to use myth to give purpose to their lives. Drawing from the material of writers such as J.G.

Fri, 08 Mar 2013 03:54:02 -0800
<![CDATA[Foucault - Remarks on Marx]]>

Interview with Michel Foucault originally published in Italian, then in French in 1994

Sat, 25 Aug 2012 02:43:00 -0700
<![CDATA[‘Time-wars’ by Mark Fisher]]>

Time rather than money is the currency in the recent science fiction film In Time. At the age of 25, the citizens in the future world the film depicts are given only a year more to live. To survive any longer, they must earn extra time. The decadent rich have centuries of empty time available to frit

Tue, 14 Aug 2012 03:41:00 -0700
<![CDATA[DISSIMULATIONS by Andy Cameron]]>

The form of the story permeates every aspect of our cultural life. History, politics, memories, even subjectivity, our sense of identity, are all representations in narrative form, signifiers chained together in temporal, spatial, and causal sequence. Narrative is a component of those deep structures with which we construct ourselves and our universe; true stories through which, in the manner of certain Aboriginal legends, the world is dreamed into existence. Narrative appears to be as universal and as old as language itself, and enjoys with language the status of a defining characteristic of humanity and its culture. A people without stories seems as absurd an idea as a people without language, (a people with language but no stories even stranger, for what is language for if not to tell stories?)

Over the past few years there has been a tremendous investment in the idea of digital media, the use of computers as the site of culture rather than just tools for business or science. This

Sat, 02 Jun 2012 09:51:42 -0700
<![CDATA[Face-reading software to judge the mood of the masses]]>

Systems that can identify emotions in images of faces might soon collate millions of peoples' reactions to events and could even replace opinion polls

IF THE computers we stare at all day could read our faces, they would probably know us better than anyone.

That vision may not be so far off. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab are developing software that can read the feelings behind facial expressions. In some cases, the computers outperform people. The software could lead to empathetic devices and is being used to evaluate and develop better adverts.

But the commercial uses are just "the low-hanging fruit", says Rana el Kaliouby, a member of the Media Lab's Affective Computing group. The software is getting so good and so easy to use that it could collate millions of peoples' reactions to an event as they sit watching it at home, potentially replacing opinion polls, influencing elections and perhaps fuelling revolutions.

Wed, 30 May 2012 01:55:58 -0700
<![CDATA[The idea of following in the age of Twitter]]>

With regard to the relativity of value, Karl Marx expressed this function of ideology in the clearest terms in Volume I of Capital: "... one man is king only because other men stand in the relation of subjects to him. They, on the contrary, imagine that they are subjects because he is king" (Karl Marx, Capital, vol. I. London: Penguin, 1974, p. 63).

It is up to us to translate Marx's dialectical insight into a couple of simple formulas, according to which

the balance of your influence is positive if you have more followers than the number of people you, yourself, follow this influence resides not in the one followed but in the recognition of her followers Now, to "unfollow" or to "unfriend" someone is a huge insult, a gesture that breaks the distorted looking glass of ideology and demonstrates the power of the follower over the one followed. No wonder, then, that the media treat celebrities unsubscribing from the feeds of other celebrities as newsworthy events!

Mon, 21 May 2012 10:39:58 -0700
<![CDATA[People see sexy pictures of women as objects, not people]]>

Sexual objectification has been well studied, but most of the research is about looking at the effects of this objectification. "What's unclear is, we don't actually know whether people at a basic level recognize sexualized females or sexualized males as objects," says Philippe Bernard of Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. Bernard cowrote the new paper with Sarah Gervais, Jill Allen, Sophie Campomizzi, and Olivier Klein. Psychological research has worked out that our brains see people and objects in different ways. For example, while we're good at recognizing a whole face, just part of a face is a bit baffling. On the other hand, recognizing part of a chair is just as easy as recognizing a whole chair.

Thu, 17 May 2012 03:28:58 -0700
<![CDATA[Inheriting The Hoard]]>

“I knew as a kid I’d have to take care of it. I had prepared myself for it – for this moment,” Greg M., 41, says rather stoically of the overwhelming hoard that he inherited four months ago. Even so, “this is beyond what I thought it would be.”

Fri, 04 May 2012 04:36:06 -0700
<![CDATA[The social cell]]>

A single cell, such as a bacterium, is the simplest thing that can be alive. In addition to the materials from which it is constructed, it needs three features: a way of capturing energy (a metabolism), a way of reproducing (genes or something like genes) and a membrane that lets in what needs to come in and keeps out the rest.

Mon, 30 Apr 2012 10:46:07 -0700