New Home

I have transferred this blog to a new address  to reflect my developing interests in personal futures and self knowledge. All future posts will be found at FutureOfSelfKnowledge.org

links for 2011-06-11

  • Visitors will be able to view a collection of artifacts, ephemera, costumes and images that document not only the history but the living tradition of Britain’s annual and seasonal customs in all their archaic glory. The range is extraordinary: at this point, over 700 annual customs are still in practice across the country.
  • The AlloSphere is a one-of-a-kind scientific instrument that bridges the worlds of engineering, science and art. Created by Professor JoAnn Kuchera-Morin and architect Robert Venturi in 2007, the AlloSphere allows researchers to come face-to-face with their scientific data, thus providing an entirely new way to see, hear and interpret information.
    Located in the 62,000 square-foot "California Nanosystems Institute" building at the University of California Santa Barbara, the AlloSphere is essentially a giant digital microscope hooked up to a supercomputer. Here, researchers can walk onto a bridge in the center of a "virtual reality chamber" and watch their scientific data come to life.
    Using mathematical and scientific formulas, raw data is mapped out and converted into three-dimensional experiences. Electrons appear as fluorescent green orbs

links for 2011-05-29

  • A Toronto couple are defending their decision to keep their infant's sex a secret in order to allow the child to develop his or her own gender identity.Kathy Witterick and David Stocker have been widely criticised for imposing their ideology on four-month-old Storm.
  • Directed by Harely Cokliss (no imdb page exists) and features Ballard talking about some of the ideas which would coalesce into his novel Crash, published in 1973. Intercut with footage of test motor crashes and Ballard himself are semi-dramatised scenes with actress Gabrielle Drake. Remarkably effective and disturbing.
  • The UNKNOWN FIELDS DIVISION is a nomadic studio that travels on annual expeditions to the ends of the earth exploring unreal and forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and obsolete ecologies. Each year we navigate a different global cross section and map the complex and contradictory realities of the present as a site of strange and extraordinary futures. We are both visionaries and reporters, part documentarian and part science fiction soothsayers as the otherworldly sites we encounter afford us a distanced viewpoint from which to survey the consequences of emerging environmental and technological scenarios. This is our blog or click here for our main website.

links for 2011-05-17

  • Intelligence tests are as much a measure of motivation as they are of mental ability, says research from the US.
  • As a designer with a penchant for thoughtful science fiction movies, I get all giddy when a sci-fi flick is interesting enough to require a visualization and when someone actually makes a visualization about it. Here’s a few of my favorite diagrams for mind-bending sci-fi movies. Know of any others? Tell me in the comments please.
  • These structures were commissioned by former Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito in the 1960s and 70s to commemorate sites where WWII battles took place (like Tjentište, Kozara and Kadinjača), or where concentration camps stood (like Jasenovac and Niš). They were designed by different sculptors (Dušan Džamonja, Vojin Bakić, Miodrag Živković, Jordan and Iskra Grabul, to name a few) and architects (Bogdan Bogdanović, Gradimir Medaković…), conveying powerful visual impact to show the confidence and strength of the Socialist Republic. In the 1980s, these monuments attracted millions of visitors per year, especially young pioneers for their “patriotic education.” After the Republic dissolved in early 1990s, they were completely abandoned, and their symbolic meanings were forever lost.
  • This collection is made up of animal traps from different parts of the world. These animal traps serves as a profound metaphorical sculptures that holds a testimony to our relationship with animals.
  • Society for Scientific Inquiry of Paranormal Atmospheric and Cosmic Anomalies (SSIPACA) came about through researching the vast databases available on the internet regarding UFO sightings, abductions, and conspiracies. I found it intriguing that despite all this information we are still none the wiser in terms of where we stand in the universe. This zine is half objective scientific data, half tongue in cheek absurdities. I was inspired by scientific journals, a 1960s Carl Sagan book, and loony conspiracy theories.
  • We’re not just suggesting things that people would be interested in, but we’re also helping them discover new stuff,” says Anderson, whose app relies on a combination of natural language processing and network mathematics. The more data the system has on a large number of people, the easier it becomes to find commonalities between individuals.

links for 2011-05-16

  • Scans of human embryos have been used to construct this digital time-lapse video of how the human face develops from age one month to 10 weeks. The early human embryo looks very similar to the embryo of any other mammal, bird or amphibian – all of which have evolved from fish. Your eyes start out on the sides of your head, and have to move into the middle. The top lip along with the jaw and palate rotate from the neck where they originated as gill-like structures. Your nostrils and the middle part of your lip come down from the top of your head.

links for 2011-05-08

  • What do we teach our kids and how is this learning relevant to a rapidly changing and unpredictable future? Is it necessary to be able to recite the kings and queens of England since 1066, to complete a quadratic equation before breakfast? In recent years concerns have been raised over the value of the content of the education delivered to our young people. According to figures from the OECD, secondary pupils in United Kingdom are slipping behind their international counter parts
  • In the late 1990s while studying at the Royal College of Art in the Design Products department, I came across a box of hangers discarded on the street in South London. Some were familiar but others were quite unusual, with strange crooked shapes, extraordinarily long hooks or company names embossed into their wooden surfaces. Struck by the variety of characters expressed by this one type of product I appealed to friends to bring more into college, however strange or ordinary, so that I could make a record of them.
  • We should not forget that the term of “esthetics” was introduced into English for the first time by Thomas De Quincey to translate the German terms used by Kant and Schiller. This was in "Murder considered as one of the fine arts," the essay that established De Quincey’s name among British humorists. It begins by stating that murder has two handles. It can be seized by the moral handle, which can be left to priests and judges, or by the esthetic handle, which is used by everyone else. That esthetic handle turns death into spectacle since it allows us to treat it purely "esthetically." 


    For instance, let's imagine that a victim has been killed: we should only consider whether it makes a good or a bad show. He writes: "A sad thing it was, no doubt, very sad

links for 2011-05-06