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YOUR BIWEEKLY DOSE OF EVERYTHING SPECULATIVE

DESIGN // FICTION // TECHNOLOGY // ART

 
   
 
 
 

SciFly // 137 // Remote Speculations Week 22/23

Speculative Events, News & Resources | Sent 8/10


Hey SciFly Readers!

Welcome back to the new  BIWEEKLY  SciFly!!!

This week, I want to give you a quick rundown of some cool speculative initiatives, classes, and personal projects I'm working on this month. 
 


Futuring Peace | Call for Speculative Artifacts from a Future of Sustained Peace


Right now, I'm helping out with a really awesome project through my role as Communications & Special Programming Director with the Design Futures Initiative.

We are partnering with the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) to help celebrate the United Nations 75th Anniversary, through an exciting call for speculative artifacts that evoke futures where we better sustain peace. Under the theme of 'Futuring Peace' we are looking for pieces on conflict prevention, peace mediation, and peacebuilding!

Today’s conflicts cause immense human suffering; they are more complex and more difficult to resolve than at any other time in human history. A surge in violent conflict in recent years has drastically increased human casualties, displacement, and humanitarian needs, often reversing hard-fought political, human rights and development gains and putting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at risk. 

The impact of climate change, new pressures from digital technologies, the virality of hate speech, and disinformation are further complicating conflict environments. Moreover, the geopolitical context has become less conducive to the settlement of disputes, as deep divisions amongst major powers have led to paralysis on catastrophic wars and contributed to a steadily declining faith in multilateralism. 

The purpose of the “Futuring Peace” initiative is to look ahead and think about new solutions and concrete tools addressing the rapidly shifting global landscape.


You can learn more and submit your project on the Design Futures Initiative website.

We will also be holding some info sessions and collaboration spaces for the Speculative Futures community next weekend. Keep an eye on Slack and the website for more information!
 
 

The Futures School | Applied Foresight Accelerator


As I've probably mentioned a million times, I am super super excited to FINALLY join The Future School's Applied Foresight Accelerator next weekend for their APAC (Asia Pacific) session (which means I get to take it from 7:30 pm - 4 am at night, my time 😂).

I have been waiting a long time to take this course since coronavirus put a wrench in the live NYC session, Frank and Yvette, from TFS were supposed to host, and I'm so so happy to finally join!

If you haven't heard of it, Applied Foresight Accelerator is a three-day, immersive, hands-on, project-based program that exists to democratize foresight across disciplines and domains. The curriculum, which showcases The Future School's trademarked Natural Foresight® approach, has been delivered to hundreds of leaders in over 25 countries and has been repeatedly hailed as one of the most exciting, thought-provoking and actionable programs available. 

Because of everything going on with COVID-19, The Futures School will be doing a 2020 Foresight World Tour. For the first time ever, they will deliver their three-day flagship program virtually in various time zones across the globe.

Although I'm pretty sure the APAC session is full (but don't quote me, check the website!), I'm pretty sure that the three following sessions are still open for registration!!! EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) / September, USA/Canada / October, LATAM (Latin America), November.

You can learn more and register on their website.

Also, stay tuned, because I am also helping with a great project between DFI and The Futures School to create a new class on Futures Design that will be piloting late in 2020! If you want to learn more about it, you can check out our website!
 


Diving into Critical Theory | A New Reading Project / Book Club(?)


I just started a fun personal project to take a deep dive into Critical Theory. After looking at what is going on right now in regards to American culture, society, and economics, I kept running into ideas that come out of the vast and complicated body of work that is critical theory, without fully understanding what it is, who is part of it, and how it came to be. In addition, the one subject I never really took in either undergraduate or graduate school was philosophy - although I suppose you could argue that MFADT did engage with philosophy somewhat, usually through a new media art and technology critique lens (and Dunne & Raby DID assign us, Heidegger and Aristotle, for a Speculative AI class). 

Regardless, after reading another article about Critical Race Theory last week, and again running into Critical Theory as a framework for understanding many of the issues we are having today, I finally decided that enough is enough, and it was time for me (after all, I have plenty of time in lockdown... kind of) to finally sit down and dig in.

Except, where to start?!?!

After trying to find a free digital copy of this book, Introduction to Critical Theory: Horkheimer to Habermas First Edition EVERYWHERE on the internet, but to no avail, I started searching at least for collections of books, authors, essays where I could get started.

Which led me to this great find on Reddit, a Critical Theory Reading list!

Only one problem, it is LONG! Also, there is lots of philosophy and challenging reading on it, which, despite my love of reading, can be really hard to process on your own.

So, I decided to bug my best friend (a fellow nerd) into trying to start a book club with me where we go back and forth picking texts from this list (with some rationale as to order/precedence) and reading it together, checking in via text, email, phone, and outdoor bars in the West Village to go over what we learned.

Luckily he agreed (for now), and we started on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, selecting the Preface and Introduction as our first assignment. He says if we make it through this whole reading list and engage back and forth, we should earn a doctorate, lol! I've only made it through the Preface and a bit of the introduction so far, and oof, I forgot how it can be hard to read things! I've already had to look up and highlight several vocab words, as well as go down a couple of Wikipedia rabbit-holes around philosophical concepts Kant likes to toss around (e.g. Universality, Necessity). Luckily I am still reading James Corey's highly entertaining The Expanse series, so I can bathe my mind in some nice relaxing Scifi in between having it torn apart by Kant. <3

I'm planning to push through more this week, and reconvene with the bestie to have some drinks and talk out what we've learned. Let's see how it goes! :D

Also, fun story, I finally got the critical theory book I mentioned earlier by requesting my library to get an e-copy of it (yes, it really works!) and have also started in from that direction as well - I figure it is good to get a secondary review of the major people/publications/ideas as well as some needed historical framing! Unfortunately, somehow between AP Euro and AP US History in High School, we never quite made it to WWI and WWII (I know!) in anything more than a 'cramming for the test' sense, so it has been super enlightening to revisit the 20th century from this POV.

If you have any suggestions for other books or strategies for how we should tackle the Reddit Reading List's plethora of options, I'm all ears!!!

Anyway, that's all for now!

Don't forget, I will be resending this newsletter next Monday morning with just Week 2 events and No Introduction (Week 2 Resend), so if you have something to share, please contact me and I'll be happy to include it!
I hope you are all doing well, wherever you are!

Don't forget you can find me on the Speculative Futures Slack (which I pseudo-moderate) if you want to chat! @DocMartens

Stay safe in your speculations, and catch you next week!

❤️Doc
Hospital Chic 😷

"The future is here, now let's distribute it." 
 

Doc Martens


SciFly is a design studio dedicated to leveraging speculative design and science fiction to imagine and prototype alternative futures enabled by today's emerging technology.
 
 
   
 
 
 

Online Events 🗓

Running list of online events that I will update biweekly. Events are organized chronologically by week, with ongoing events and Speculative Futures events listed separately at the end.

WEEK 1 - Tuesday, August 11 - Monday, August 17

Tuesday, August 11
 

Work Reimagined: XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling and the Future of Work // 12:30pm - 1:30pm EDT // Free
What does it look like to blend real world problem solving, science fiction, and collaboration across sectors? It's work, reimagined. Join CMU's Entertainment Technology Center, the exquityXinnovation lab, KnowledgeWorks, Partner4Work, PGH.AI, Remake Learning, and XPRIZE for a conversation and information session about the future of work and the upcoming $5M XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling competition. Together, we'll explore the not-too-distant future of the "Algorithmic Hiring Center," and how XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling gets us thinking about new forms of skills assessment, credentials and pathways to employment (including new hiring practices).
Learn More

Pandemic as Portal: preparing to emerge // Cooper Hewitt // 1pm - 3pm EDT // Free
While Cooper Hewitt has been closed, the Interaction Lab has been exploring deep questions about how to reimagine our offerings for a physically distanced world. We have the opportunity to meet and interact with audiences in new ways, from the truly global to the hyperlocal. As part of the Lab's work, we're gathering information about the kinds of experiences we might create for and with our various communities. Join us for a conversation about the role of museums and museum experiences in this dramatically altered landscape. What kinds of museum interactions might you seek at a distance and in person, now and in the future? How might we reimagine delivering the work of our museum at a distance or via some kind of hybrid model?
Learn More

Lean Times: How a Global Pandemic Could Shape the Future of Meat // 1pm - 2pm EDT // Free
With the onset of Covid-19, the meat industry faces a long-overdue reckoning of its function within the global food supply chain. What does it mean for the future of meat if processing plants shut down due to rampant coronavirus infections in plant workers and contract farmers are considering the destruction of thousands of animals due to lack of demand? What changes could we see in the domestic and global food systems? Will Americans need to redefine their relationship to meat? Do recent innovations in plant-based options offer a realistic alternative?
Learn More

Abolitionist Futures | Reading & Discussion Group // 1:30pm - 3pm EDT // Free
There has been a huge uptake in interest in abolitionist principles as we see abolition enter mainstream conversation. Particularly in response to the killing by police of George Floyd, global solidarity and protests of Black Lives Matter and the violent police responses to these. Let’s come together in imagining a world that prioritise community, safety and health, over policing and punishment.
Learn More

Was, Is, An Eclipse: Kasem Kydd at Thompson Gallery // 5pm - 6pm EDT // Free
The exhibition, "Kasem Kydd—Was, Is, An Eclipse" confronts viewers with a rumination on the roots of white supremacy and its persistent effects on black people(s). Kydd exhibits assemblages, collages, installation, and video works that address this sensitive and timely topic with directness, irony, and poetic allusion. "To me, the most important things to be centered in any conversation (especially around race) are black trans women and black trans men, reparations, and abolishing the structures of white settler colonialism," Kydd says. "This includes police and prison reform, ICE, giving land back to native peoples, and reimagining the structures of the art world and other cultural institutions." Kydd's metaphoric work is about the past and the future, and it leaves a lasting impression that anchors their practice in the present moment.
Learn More

Sustainability Post-Covid 19: Designing + Building for the Future // Columbia SPS // 5pm - 7pm EDT // Free
Join experts as they share their insights and intelligence on how to design and build with sustainability in mind post-Covid-19. In this session, we will discuss: Sustainability paradigms in construction post-Covid19 - have they changed? Key trends in climate change, society, technology and resources, Decarbonization and operations, Built Ecology / How cities have been approaching sustainability globally during Covid-19.
Learn More

Drone Futures Seminar 1: Ronak K. Kapadia // 8pm - 9:30pm EDT // Free
Seminar 1: On the Skin: Drone Warfare, Collateral Damage, and the Human Terrain with Ronak K. Kapadia
This seminar will explore Kapadia's research into the contemporary multimedia art works by Iraqi American artist Wafaa Bilal and American artist elin o’Hara slavick, as a meditation on how the violence of US imperial and aerial warfare across the long twentieth century has devastated humans, animals, and social ecologies in the Greater Middle East.
Learn More
 

Wednesday, August 12

ASK A FUTURIST: XR and Simulation with Toshi Hoo
Join us Wednesday, August 12th at 9:00am PT for a conversation with IFTF Research Director Toshi Hoo and IFTF Vantage Research Director Vanessa Mason exploring XR, simulation, and other experiential technologies will transform how we relate to the world and each other...
Read More

Ferment TV | 11. AMA // Ginkgo Bioworks // 1pm - 2pm EDT // Free
In our penultimate episode of this season of Ferment TV, and in the spirit of online communities, we want to try something a little different. In recognition of the valuable contribution our audience has made to the series, and the diverse perspectives you represent, we open the floor to the Ferment TV audience. This broadcast is an opportunity for you to air your thoughts and to question the world of synthetic biology and the role it plays in our society, as well to respond to the topics we have covered alongside our fantastic speakers throughout the series.
Learn More

The Future of VR/AR in Education is Now // 3pm - 3:30pm EDT // Free
Today, students are using 2020 tools like SnapChat, Tik Tok and YouTube, yet when they enter the classroom most of the tech is usually outdated at best. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) learning experiences are becoming more common not only in K-12 but also in Higher Ed and CTE. Examples include virtual science experiments, interactive holograms for role-playing soft skills and internships, 3D hands-on simulations of models/equipment). Learn more from Dr. Ivan Gris in this webinar.
Learn More

Zoom in with Sci-Fi Author, Cory Doctorow // 6:30pm - 8pm EDT // $0 - $20
It seems most appropriate to welcome our first guest science fiction author to Muskoka Authors Association via ZOOM video conferencing. Also, a technology activist, Cory Doctorow is known for his “post-cyberpunk” speculative fiction about the impact on society of our current and future technology. On Wednesday, August 12, join other writers and sci-fi fans to hear Cory share what he knows about writing: why stories are a fugly hack, habits are things you get for free, “rules" are just "things that are easy to get wrong", how to futureproof science fiction. He explains, “I'm not a big believer in teaching writing; I think the vast majority of what makes writers better comes from critical, focused practice, not instruction. That said, I know a few things.”
Learn More

Hong Kong and the Future of Promised Autonomy // 6:30pm - 7:30pm EDT // Free
Since the end of British control in 1997, Hong Kong has been governed as a semi-autonomous, special administrative region of China. The growing tension among pro-democracy activists, the Hong Kong Government, and Beijing, exemplified in the recent security law prohibiting the promotion of democratic reform in Hong Kong, has brought into question the sustainability of a "one country, two systems" approach where Hong Kong would exercise a "high degree of autonomy." Where do Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China go from here, and what do these developments mean for other semi-autonomous governments? University of Notre Dame Associate Professor of Political Science Victoria Tin-bor Hui will examine the nature, benefits, and challenges of autonomy, survey the forces at play in the struggle for Hong Kong's future, and discuss the journey ahead.
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Virtual Lecture: NYC Chinatown's Historic Signage // 7pm - 8:30pm EDT // Free
The streets of Chinatown have historically been defined by an intensity of urban life whose vitality almost overwhelms the senses of visitors from less frenetic places. Commercial signs and outdoor advertising have long been a key feature of Chinatown's unique urban landscape. But with so much to look at in these streets, signs tend to get lost in the mix. Taking a moment to spotlight Chinatown's unique history of outdoor advertising, this virtual program by design historian Thomas Rinaldi will explore the ways in which graphic design, technology, and cultural undercurrents converged to produce one of New York's quintessential urban landscapes.
Learn More
 


Thursday, August 13

WKSP: Imagining Future Innovative Facades // Multiple Dates (8/13, 8/17, 8/18, 8/20) 12pm - 2pm EDT // $25
This workshop will focus on innovations in facade systems, particularly addressing materials, technologies, and innovative design methods. The workshop will be delivered fully online and will be offering a virtual platform for presentations, discussions, and interactive learning opportunities. The workshop will be scheduled over a 4-day period, with 2-hour meetings each day.
Learn More

Climate Vision 2050: Moving Towards a Brighter Future // 12pm - 1:30pm EDT // Free
Our mission is to empower youth to raise awareness about and take action against climate change as well as advance the goals of the Houston Climate Action Plan. We believe that our youth are the medium for change, and through Climate Vision 2050, we will inspire young leaders and changemakers to take the initiative to increase sustainability in their communities and contribute to a global impact. This organization will provide a vast and diverse community of young activists interested in climate change, resources for sustainability, informative webinars and workshops, and, perhaps most importantly, a platform to advocate for climate change and share our voices on climate issues.
Learn More

Climate Change and Sustainable Food Futures // 1pm - 2pm EDT // Free
Rebekah Moses leads Impact Strategy at Impossible Foods, a company addressing climate change and sustainable food futures through plant-based meat. Her work focuses on how product innovation and consumer behavior can maximize environmental outcomes through business growth. Rebekah’s research contributions can be found in journals like the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and Journal of Applied Ecology, as well as via the USAID Water and Livelihoods Initiative online. Join Rebekah in conversation with Amy Hall to learn how Rebekah and Impossible Foods think about impact and a future reliant on plant-based nutrition.
Learn More

Sound and Electronic Artist Vicky Clarke & VARC Director Helen Pailing // 1pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
The talks are designed to address issues that are relevant for artists across Cumbria who are interested in exploring digital and expanding their practice. The series continues with 'How networks and collaborations can expand your practice.' With Sound & Electronic Media Artist Vicky Clarke, part of the Noise Orchestra, Helen Pailing Project Director of Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC) and the Signal Film and Media team.
Learn More

The Alternate Future Summit // Thu 8/13, 5pm EDT - Fri 8/14, 11am EDT // Free
This conference calls on industry experts and thought leaders to give talks on how the tech and career landscapes are changing and the vision of the future.
Learn More

The Future We Create, a Salon Series by Collective Future and Verdant.AI // 7pm - 8pm EDT // Free
Join us in this series of fireside chats with future visionaries as we examine the role of technology in storytelling. Our next conversation features David Delgado, an artist and creative director working at the intersection of art, science, and outer space. We will explore the role of storytelling for space and why those stories matter for the Earth. How can we approach challenges in the face of new unknowns? What are starting points for making the intangible, tangible? What role do stories have in creating the positive change we need?
Learn More

The Future Emergent: Only from new words can new worlds emerge // 9:30pm - 11pm EDT // Free
This live reading event featuring artists Alicia Escott, Ari Kalinoswki, Connie Zheng, and Serena JV Elston, part of The Future Emergent exhibition, will give you a unique insight into the work in which they live the unimaginable and seek radical possibility for the future.
Learn More
 


Friday, August 14

 


Saturday, August 15

Writing Workshop: Exploring Speculative Fiction, w/ Anjali Sachdeva // 1pm - 4pm EDT // $50
Speculative fiction encompasses a wide range of writing styles and subjects, with one common feature: a focus on experiences that diverge from reality. This genre includes science fiction, fantasy, surrealism, magic realism, alternate histories, futurism, and more. In this course you’ll have the chance to “sample” three types of speculative fiction through both discussion and writing. We’ll explore re-tellings of fairy tales and legends, science fiction, and surrealism. In each case, we’ll look at examples, talk about common approaches to writing this type of fiction, and cover some practical craft advice for doing so successfully. 
Learn More

AfroFuturism Lounge 2020: Black Futures Matter // 1pm - 5pm EDT // $0 - $20
Our Vision is to provide an educational, entertaining, and informative space for creative and critical thinkers alongside community builders. Topics: Being a Creative in the Time of COVID-19, Disrupting School 2 Prison Pipeline,, Reimagining Wellness ^3 (3rd Power), Makes Me Wanna Holler But I'll Build Up My Community Instead, Transforming Black Businesses to Thrive While Social Distancing and Beyond.
 Learn More

 


Sunday, August 16

Unending, Globose: The ITP Residents' Show // 5pm - 9pm EDT // Free
The real was too precarious. Is the virtual any better? The 2019-2020 Researchers in Residence at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) aim to test the virtual’s limits, with a group show beginning on August 16th and ending… never. Well not never, after all, one day there will be no one to donate to Archive.org and the dust that used to be Amazon’s data centers will form part of a thin geological substrate in the Earth’s crust, the Internet’s billion cables left to curl, shrivel, and crack like an octopus left too long on a grill. The best to be hoped for then is until the end of the human era*. Unending, Globose is located in yorb.nyc, a digital environment currently taking the form of the ITP department floor. The show includes performance, conspiracy, oral history, virtual worlds, digital sculpture, data visualization, and new programming languages, and draws on the diverse experiences of the residency’s cohort.
Learn More

Event Horizon Symposium // Centre of Visual Art // Sun 8/16, 8pm EDT - Fri 8/21, 3am EDT // Free
Australia’s seminal art journal, Art + Australia, will explore the conjunction of art and science in its next issue, Event Horizon #52.6, which will be released in August. The publication will coincide with a three-day Event Horizon Symposium hosted by the University of Melbourne’s Centre of Visual Art (CoVA) and the Science Gallery Melbourne. The Symposium will bring together artists, physicists and cultural theorists to discuss what an ‘event horizon’ is, across topics ranging from black holes, dark matter, tipping points and new horizons. The Event Horizon Symposium will take place virtually, with new content released on the website across two days, 17 & 18 August 2020. Two live plenary sessions will take place on Friday 21 August via Zoom.
Learn More
 

Monday, August 17

🔥Siggraph 2020 Virtual Conference // Aug 17 - Aug 28 // Free
Explore the latest innovations in your field and connect with a global community of creators and thought-leaders at SIGGRAPH 2020. Experience this year’s top advancements in computer graphics and interactive techniques from the comfort of your home or office. Beginning 17 August, on-demand content will be available. This will allow exploration, learning, and the opportunity for participants to review presentations in advance of interactive sessions with contributors beginning 24 August. Additionally, 24–28 August will include other various “can’t miss” scheduled sessions. All scheduled sessions take place in the Pacific Time Zone (UTC/GMT -7). For the convenience of participants, on-demand content will continue to be available for viewing through 27 October.
Learn More & Register

The WITI Art and Tech Cafe and Gallery Present Tiffany Trenda Art Talk // 6pm - 7am EDT // Free
Tiffany Trenda is an award winning internationally recognized performance artist in wearable tech based out of Los Angeles. Her performances and installations explore the relationship between the body, particularly the female body, to technology. She interchanges her identity and her physical body with screens to represent how we conceal and reveal ourselves through our devices (smart phones, computers, etc.) and how it affects our social behaviors.
Learn More

For a Sustainable Future: The Centrality of Public Goods // 6:30pm - 8:30pm EDT // $7 - $11
In the 2020 Socialist Register “a number of the essays interrogate central dimensions of how we live and how we might live in terms of educating our children, housing and urbanism, accommodation of refugees and the displaced, and (to lean on that all too common phrase) the competitive time pressures for ‘work-life balance’. These are all key questions, of course, of ‘social reproduction,’ a theme that has cut across many volumes of the Register. They are the counterpoint to ‘economic reproduction’ and ‘how we work’ at the heart of several essays here. Today, this involves exploring and exposing all the hype and contradictions of the so-called ‘gig economy,’ where automation’s potential for increased time apart from work is subordinated to surveillance, hazardous waste, speed-up, and much else that makes for contingent work and precarious living. Finding new ways of living cannot but confront both these obstacles.”
Learn More
 

WEEK 2 - Tuesday, August 18 - Monday, August 24

Tuesday, August 18

ASK A FUTURIST: The Hyperconnected World with Mike Liebhold & Nick Monaco // 12pm - 1pm EDT // Free
What does the hyperconnected world of 2030–2040 look like? The hyperconnected world is a future in which 5G networks have been widely and globally deployed, and in which the normal, day-to-day functioning of society depends on billions of connected devices having highly reliable, low-latency connectivity. Explore this world on August 18 with IFTF Distinguished Fellow Mike Liebhold and IFTF Digital Intelligence Lab Director Nick Monaco.
Learn More

Museums of the FutureNow: Environmental Justice // 1:30 - 3:30pm EDT // Free
The Museums of the FutureNow is an evolving series of artworks and participatory workshops designed to explore the web of ecological, cultural, technological and political factors that combine to create complex challenges for society and environment both now and in the future. This online iteration of the Museums of the FutureNow, organised in collaboration with environmental arts charity Creative Carbon Scotland, will use exhibits from a museum set in the future to create speculative scenarios. The scenarios created during the session will open up space for thinking through what a just and green recovery from coronavirus might be and the challenges that this presents. The event will be participatory with plenty of space for conversation and sharing of ideas. Expect to leave inspired and energised with new ideas for engaging in change.
Learn More

Envisioning The Future Of Higher Education In The Arts // 2pm - 3:15pm EDT // Free
In 2020, colleges and universities across the world have rushed to adapt to a new reality that questions the very nature of their work: a pandemic sent students home and protests shone a spotlight on inequality supported by many of our institutions, including those in higher education. Since March, everyone involved in education has had to rethink fundamentals and challenge core assumptions ranging from the format of instruction to what and who creates value. Since arts education is historically vulnerable to funding cuts and much of the instruction relies on hands-on studio classes, specialized equipment, in-person mentorship, and tuition dollars, the systemic changes necessary to thrive require radical, ethical thinking. What are the responsibilities and priorities being considered going into this exceptional academic year?
Learn More

Author Talk: The Perils and Pitfalls of Smart Technology // MIT Press // 5:30pm - 6:30pm EDT // Free
MIT Press Live! presents an author talk with Jathan Sadowski & Meredith Broussard. In Too Smart, Jathan Sadowski looks at the proliferation of smart stuff in our lives and asks whether the tradeoff—exchanging our personal data for convenience and connectivity—is worth it. Who benefits from smart technology? In Artificial Unintelligence, Meredith Broussard argues that our collective enthusiasm for applying computer technology to every aspect of life has resulted in a tremendous amount of poorly designed systems. We are so eager to do everything digitally—hiring, driving, paying bills, even choosing romantic partners—that we have stopped demanding that our technology actually work.
Learn More
 


Wednesday, August 19

The Series - #2 The Future of Fashion // 7am - 8am EDT // Free
What do bacteria, sizing algorithms and CO2 calculations have in common? In combination, they represent the future of fashion tech. Join us as we dive into the future of fashion and technology. Meet a deep tech engineer turned VC, an architect creating waves within synthetic biology and a banker turned and AI for good pioneer - all changing the face and future of sustainable fashion tech.
Learn More
 


Thursday, August 20

IFTF Foresight Talks: Steering Change in a Whitewater World: Working with Wicked Problems // 12pm EDT // Free
We are now living in a whitewater world that is hyperconnected, rapidly changing, and radically contingent. In Design Unbound (MIT Press, 2018), Ann Pendleton-Jullian and John Seely Brown argue that a new approach is needed to address the complex and entangled challenges that are increasingly common in this dynamic world. They describe a new mindset, based on understanding complex systems from an ecological perspective, and introduce a new set of tools to respond to these challenges...
Read More

Programming the Future of Education // Alley 5G Lab // 1pm - 2pm EDT // Free
Classrooms today have endless opportunities for advanced learning with tools like mixed reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, 5G, and more. Technology today is designed with future generations in mind. Join us as we hear from leaders pushing boundaries in education, and discover how today’s technologies are used to enhance student learning and the success of upcoming generations.
Learn More

OUT of TOUCH: Danielle Braithwaite-Shirley: Speaking Through Plastic // 2pm - 3pm EDT // Free
HERVISIONS at LUX will be hosting Danielle Braithwaite-Shirley’s walkthrough of their interactive game Speaking Through Plastic (2020) which revives and archives untold stories of Black Trans bodies in the pandemic. Speaking Through Plastic (2020) is a game that follows the quarantining of Black Trans bodies after all Black Trans people in history have been resurrected. It is seen as a pandemic, and whilst they are interrogated behind closed doors protest rage outside in defence of their freedom. There are those that are willing to risk their own lives for the future of others.
Learn More

Choosing our future by design, not disaster // 1pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
On 22 August, the world marks Earth Overshoot Day - the day when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that period. Over 80 countries marked Earth Overshoot Day last year, with more set to join the global call for action. The ‘Choosing our future by design, not disaster’ virtual event aims to look at the challenges and opportunities to #MoveTheDate, ask your questions and explore real opportunities to accelerate practical action to lock in sustainable, inclusive growth before the world’s leaders arrive in Glasgow for the COP26 global climate summit in 2021.
Learn More
 

Friday, August 21

E-Viction: A Virtual Art Show/Protest Event // Fri 8/21, 12pm - Sat 8/22, 12am EDT // Free
DEAREST WH0RES, TRICKS, and CURIOUS ONLOOKERS, Veil Machine would like to cordially invite you to: E-VICTION, a digital arthouse wh0re gallery + digital protest platform.E-Viction will exist as a virtual arthouse / wh0re gallery for 12-hours before self-destructing. Log on during that time and be seduced by our virtual p33pshow where you’ll have intimate encounters with s3x workers and artists making art and s3x live on cam. Scroll through performers’ ads, shop art and s3x objects, learn about legislation that threatens SWers and free speech online, join raunchy chat rooms, and RESIST digital gentrification. But be sure to tune in before it’s all gone at midnight.
Learn More
 

Saturday, August 22

Imagination Design // 1pm - 4pm EDT // Free
Imagination Design is an AI-facilitated online workshop that brings together approaches from user interface design and afrofuturism to guide participants in writing socially-aware speculative fiction. In one three-hour session, participants will join exercises to identify social obstacles in their own communities, envision futuristic technology, and write stories that use their fantasy inventions to shed light on the reality of the present. 
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Gender Justice & the Arts 2020: Radical Imagination // 7pm EDT // Donation
Sakhi’s foundation is built on the energy of creatives. For our organization, the arts offer a pathway through which we can reflect, connect, and create. Perhaps most important is this outlet to exercise the imagination. We hope to drum up the practice of imagination through our annual showcase, whose Fifth Anniversary theme is “Radical Imagination.” In an effort to build solidarity and form important bridges between our various communities, Sakhi is featuring all Asian and Asian American artists who identify as women, transgender, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming and have a strong commitment to gender justice as part of their creative work. This will be an evening to come together in celebration of the rich, thought-provoking works of theater performers, visual artists, and writers.
Learn More
 

Sunday, August 23

 

Monday, August 24
 

Upcoming Speculative Futures Meetups 


Preferable AI Futures // Speculative Futures Rotterdam // Thursday August 13th, 11am - 11pm EDT // Free
AI x Design and Speculative Futures Rotterdam decided to pair up in a workshop to collectively explore how AI technologies might be applied in creating better futures! We will focus on exploring AI protopias by imagining how AI might positively contribute to the pursuit and realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and plot these imaginations on the futures cone. In the workshop, we will discuss AI fantasies, speculative strategies and eventually work towards a set of simple speculative artefacts that visualise our imaginations.
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LOS FUTUROS DE LA PAZ Hackathon de Diseño Especulativo // Specualtive Futures Lima // 1pm - 2pm EDT // Free (In Spanish)
Este año se celebra el aniversario número 75 de las Naciones Unidas y para celebrarlo el Departamento de Asuntos Políticos y de Consolidación de la Paz (DPPA) junto con Design Futures Initiative hacen un llamado a todos los interesados en el Diseño de Futuros a crear artefactos especulativos sobre los futuros de la Paz. Con este objetivo Speculative Future Lima los invita a participar en: "LOS FUTUROS DE LA PAZ Hackathon de Diseño Especulativo" donde además de pasarla bien aprenderemos sobre Diseño Especulativo y cómo traer al presente artefactos del futuro. // This year marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and to celebrate it the Department of Political Affairs and Peacebuilding (DPPA) together with the Design Futures Initiative call on all those interested in Futures Design to create speculative artifacts. on the futures of Peace.With this objective, Speculative Future Lima invites you to participate in: "THE FUTURES OF PEACE Speculative Design Hackathon" where, in addition to having a good time, we will learn about Speculative Design and how to bring artifacts of the future to the present.
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Ongoing Events


Reconstruct The Internet ● Digital Adaptation // (multiple dates, July - October) // Donation
"a homage to the limitless future/s possibilities for the internet ecosystem" Reconstruct The Internet is an exploration of our emotional needs in the digital age and a space to speculate alternative internet ecosystems. this interactive workshop sees participants reimagine the internet ecosystem outside the digital economy and instead focus on the emotional needs the internet help us meet ⁠— both individually and collectively.
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The New Normal Virtual Series // AI LA // Thursdays, 5/7 - 9/3 // Free
The AI LA Community's new virtual series The New Normal invites experts from around the world to share their perspective of the future. Each episode begins with a short talk by an esteemed guest speaker and transitions into 20 minutes of audience participation in Zoom breakout rooms.
Learn More & See Upcoming Events

Technologies of the Future (Weekly LIVE Webinar and Q & A) // SingularityU Australia // Thursdays, 7pm EST (9am Friday in Australia) // Free
Weekly live webinar of 30 minutes with 20 minutes Q&A The SingularityU community's predictions for the countdown to the Singularity.
Learn More

🔥Wonderville Livestream Events
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in NYC, Wonderville is closed until further notice. As you may know, this is probably my favorite bar in all of NYC. I highly recommend you check out their new remote content!!! A great way for people not in NYC to get a taste of just how awesome they are! They have set up a Twitch channel to try to stream some of their DJ nights and live music events. Their events page is now 100% streaming. They also have a Discord discussion if folks want to play some games online or talk to us about hosting something. Email hello@wonderville.nyc if you want to join!

Check out Wonderville's Livestream!
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Speculative News & Resources 📰

News and resources about emerging technology, speculative practice, and futures design. I'll try to put anything explicitly COVID-19 related at the end, in case you need a break from doom-scrolling!

Science Fiction Explores the Interconnectedness Revealed by the Coronavirus Pandemic // SingularityHub
In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, a theory widely shared on social media suggested that a science fiction text, Dean Koontz’s 1981 science fiction novel, The Eyes of Darkness, had predicted the coronavirus pandemic with uncanny precision. Covid-19 has held the entire world hostage, producing a resemblance to the post-apocalyptic world depicted in many science fiction texts...
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Sex Workers to Host Self-Destructing Digital Variety Show Against EARN-IT (Event Listed Above!) // VICE
On August 21, E-Viction will feature live performances to raise awareness of legislation that harms marginalized communities. Sex workers made the internet what it is today. But as the internet grew, and tech companies started to monopolize the modern world, they've been pushed to the margins and forced off platforms by private interests and harmful legislation. In response, a sex worker-led art collective is putting on a 12-hour virtual peepshow that will educate and titillate—and self-destruct at the stroke of midnight, to protest the proposed Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act.
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How GPT3 Works - Visualizations and Animations // Jay Alammar
The tech world is abuzz with GPT3 hype. Massive language models (like GPT3) are starting to surprise us with their abilities. While not yet completely reliable for most businesses to put in front of their customers, these models are showing sparks of cleverness that are sure to accelerate the march of automation and the possibilities of intelligent computer systems. Let’s remove the aura of mystery around GPT3 and learn how it’s trained and how it works...
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Google’s secretive ATAP lab is imagining the future of smart devices // FastCompany
In 2015, Dan Kaufman, the director of the information innovation office at the U.S. Department’s fabled DARPA lab, began talking to Google about joining the company in some capacity. Maybe he could work on Android. Or take a job at X, the Alphabet moonshot factory formerly known as Google X. And then another possibility came up: ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects), a Google research skunkworks that was “just like DARPA, but in Silicon Valley,” as he describes it. His reaction: “That sounds awesome!”...
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Tomorrowland Unveils Digital Universe for 2020 Event // IQ Mag
The organisers of Belgian mega festival Tomorrowland have revealed the 3D, virtual world that will welcome fans from 25 to 26 July for a star-studded online edition. Tomorrowland Around the World will feature more than 60 artists including Katy Perry, Amelie Lens, David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, Armin van Buuren and Charlotte de Witte performing across eight, custom-designed stages in the the virtual festival site, dubbed Pāpiliōnem...
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Burgers Won't Save the Planet—but Fast Food Might // WIRED
Fast food joints are cheap, convenient, and widely available. And if they swapped out beef for alternative proteins, they could transform the food system. ONE DAY, WE’LL tell our grandkids about the Great Burger Wars. Scientists dueling social conservatives, foodies brawling with tech entrepreneurs, vegans sniping at vegans—burgers are a window on the charged politics of climate change. And low-methane cows, Impossible Whoppers, and cellular agriculture have put fast food on the front lines...
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Some Cities are Combining Basic Incomes with Local Currenices // Slashdot
Bloomberg looks at some interesting local currency programs that have been implemented around the world. And in at least one case money "is literally being made from trees" — the wooden dollars being printed in a small city in the northwest U.S. and distributed to the needy in monthly stipends. "We preach localism and investing in our local community," says mayor Wayne Fournier, "and the idea with this scheme is that we'll stand together as a community and provide relief to individuals that need it while fueling consumption."
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Abandoned mall department stores may become Amazon’s next fulfillment centers // TechCrunch
One of the largest owners of shopping mall real estate in the United Stages, Simon Property Group, has been talking to Amazon about transforming its anchor department stores into Amazon distribution hubs, according to the Wall Street Journal. In the case of Simon Property, the anchor tenants like J.C. Penney and Sears  that used to be stable sources of revenue are now weights around the neck of the retail real estate manager, and transforming their ghostly halls of pale mannequins into warehouses for Amazon orders simply makes sense...
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Will We Someday Write Code Just By Describing It? // Slashdot
Using millions of programs in online repositories, Intel, Georgia Tech, and MIT researchers created a tool called MISIM (Machine Inferred code Similarity) with a database of code scored by the similarity of its outcomes to suggest alternatives (and corrections) to programmers. The hope is "to aid developers with nitty-gritty choices like 'what is the most efficient way to use this API' or 'how can I correctly validate this input',"Ryan Marcus, scientist at Intel Labs, told ZDNet. "This should give engineers a lot more time to focus on the elements of their job that actually create a real-world impact..."
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How to Design Games That Let You Feel the Future // IFTF Blog
Exploring “first person futures” through games Through my work at IFTF (and beyond) I’ve created a handful of foresight games as tools for individuals and groups to explore our relationship to the future.  As my colleague Jane McGonigal has written, our brains are not well-wired to imagine the future. To overcome this cognitive limitation, we can create immersive scenarios that “cast” the player in a role within a particular imagined future. Acting and reacting to these immersive scenarios in real time taps into the aspects of our brains that are well-developed...
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The Neoliberal Looting of America // NYTimes Opinion
“It’s hard to separate what’s good for the United States and what’s good for Bank of America,” said its former chief executive, Ken Lewis, in 2009. That was hardly true at the time, but the current crisis has revealed that the health of the finance industry and stock market is completely disconnected from the actual financial health of the American people. As inequality, unemployment and evictions climb, the Dow Jones surges right alongside them — one line compounding suffering, the other compounding returns for investors...
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People of color are wildly underrepresented in design. This game hopes to help fix it // FastCompany
There’s a major representation gap in the design industry. Deon Mixon, a Detroit-based graphic designer, wants to change that. Mixon, 25, designed a board game called Design Eye that teaches the essentials of graphic design through trivia and creative challenges. It’s aimed at students in middle school and high school—when many young people are first figuring out what they’re interested in and what the heck they can do about it. Mixon wants to help more people of color grow into design professionals by engaging with them as kids—when they might not even know what graphic design is yet. For him, the board game is just a start...
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The Global Work Crisis: Automation, the Case Against Jobs, and What to Do About It // SingularityHub
According to Gallup’s World Poll, only 15 percent of people worldwide are actually engaged with their jobs. The current state of “work” is not working for most people. In fact, it seems we as a species are trapped by a global work crisis, which condemns people to cast away their time just to get by in their day-to-day lives. Technologies like artificial intelligence and automation may help relieve the work burdens of millions of people—but to benefit from their impact, we need to start changing our social structures and the way we think about work now...
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This Tool Could Protect Your Photos From Facial Recognition // ACM News
In recent years, companies have been prowling the web for public photos associated with people's names that they can use to build enormous databases of faces and improve their facial recognition systems, adding to a growing sense that personal privacy is being lost, bit by digital bit. A start-up called Clearview AI, for example, scraped billions of online photos to build a tool for the police that could lead them from a face to a Facebook account, revealing a person's identity. Now researchers are trying to foil those systems. A team of computer engineers at the University of Chicago has developed a tool that disguises photos with pixel-level changes that confuse facial recognition systems...
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How to hide from a drone – the subtle art of ‘ghosting’ in the age of surveillance // The Conversation
Drones of all sizes are being used by environmental advocates to monitor deforestation, by conservationists to track poachers, and by journalists and activists to document large protests. As a political sociologist who studies social movements and drones, I document a wide range of nonviolent and pro-social drone uses in my new book, “The Good Drone.” I show that these efforts have the potential to democratize surveillance...
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Zapping the Brain Improved Language Learning Abilities by 13% // Futurism
In a new study published in the journal Science of Learning, researchers showed that small amounts of electrical stimulation through specially designed ear pieces improved the adult participants’ abilities to recognize foreign language tones — an effect that lasted after the stimulation was halted. “Humans are excellent perceptual learners,” the paper’s introduction reads. “Yet, a notable and well-documented exception is the acquisition of non-native speech categories in adulthood.” By stimulating the vagus nerve using the ear pieces, the group was better able to better identify and distinguish between four different Mandarin tones, as Inverse reports...
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Rising Temps Could Kill Millions a Year by Century's End // Futurity
By the end of this century, tens of millions of people could die each year worldwide as a result of temperatures rising due to climate change, a new study shows. The number could potentially match the global death rate for all infectious diseases combined, researchers say. The study shows that as greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere continue to escalate, rising temperatures in the decades ahead could raise annual global mortality rates by 73 deaths per 100,000 people...
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The Great Green Wall of Africa: Is this the Next Wonder of the World? // Euronews
Desertification is a major problem around the world, not least in the Sahel region (which runs from the southern belt of the Sahara to the Sudanian savanna below) where some of the world’s poorest communities reside. Despite the Global North being the most significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, it is people like those living in the Sahel who are paying the price. The Sahel community are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, dealing with persistent droughts, famines, and rapidly depleting natural resources on an ongoing basis. As a result, millions of people across the region, from Senegal to Djibouti, are being left to handle the severe repercussions of the climate emergency without much help. This is where the Great Green Wall comes in, a project that could save an entire region from ecological collapse...
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The Economy of the Metaverse | Interview with Epic CEO Tim Sweeney // ggDigest Medium
A lot has been written, and there has been a lot of discussion about, the potential for a huge new gaming and virtual world paradigm which many are calling the Metaverse. However, very little has been written or yet discussed about how such a platform needs to work. More specifically, in a future Metaverse platform, what kind of economy will be required to support a healthy and vibrant ecosystem for all of the participants: including all players on the commercial side of the value chain and for the future consumers in the Metaverse?
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This is now the world’s greatest threat – and it’s not coronavirus // WeForum
A detailed analysis of environmental research has revealed the greatest threat to the world: affluence. That’s one of the main conclusions of a team of scientists from Australia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, who have warned that tackling overconsumption has to become a priority. Their report, titled Scientists’ Warning on Affluence, explains that true sustainability calls for significant lifestyle changes, rather than hoping that more efficient use of resources will be enough...
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The 6 unholy AI systems thou shalt not develop // TheNextWeb
Artificial intelligence may be the most powerful tool humans have. When applied properly to a problem suited for it, AI allows humans to do amazing things. We can diagnose cancer at a glance or give a voice to those who cannot speak by simply applying the right algorithm in the correct way. But AI isn’t a panacea or cure-all. In fact, when improperly applied, it’s a dangerous snake oil that should be avoided at all costs. To that end, I present six types of AI that I believe ethical developers should avoid...
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To Spark Hope for the Future, Ask These Three Questions // IFTF Blog
Why do we practice foresight? It helps us anticipate and prepare for future challenges. We spot new opportunities for innovation. We build consensus and motivate action around a vision for a preferred future. These are, perhaps, the most common reasons for thinking about the future. But foresight practice has another important benefit that’s often overlooked by foresight professionals. A well-designed foresight tool can help us feel better now, by lifting us out of depression and anxiety - especially during times of uncertainty and crisis...
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How creativity can help us navigate COVID-19: Lessons from the 19th century // FastCompany
Like everyone else, artists have been challenged by new conditions and routines since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have had to adjust what they make as well as how and where they work, coming up with innovative ways to be productive in makeshift studios with limited supplies and in relative isolation. One thing is certain, though: In response to daily headlines of devastating illness, suffering, and death, the need for creative expression and meaningful reflection on loss remains essential... 
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New paradigms for a new world. Video & audio from 8/7/2020 event: Gerd Leonhard & John Eyles // FuturistGerd
Covid19 feels like a giant accelerator – both for the things that were ‘good’ before (working from home, ehealth, elearning, and online conferencing) as well as those that were not so good before (such as rising inequality and healthcare shortcomings). Gerd and John believe that this crisis presents a very unique opportunity to tackle tough issues that seemed like ‘impossible missions’ before, such as climate change, inequality and the future of capitalism. After all, many of us are already getting used to emergency rules and regulations – maybe this is a good lesson for the future?
Watch Videos

Why College Is Never Coming Back // Forbes
Here’s some great news: one of America’s most broken industries is finally being exposed as a sham. And make no mistake, the end of college as we know it is a great thing. It’s great for families, who’ll save money and take on less debt putting kids through school. It’s great for kids, who’ll no longer be lured into the socialist indoctrination centers that many American campuses have become. And as I’ll show you, it’s great for investors, who stand to make a killing on the companies that’ll disrupt college for good...
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Fun Stuff 🚀

Cool projects, articles, games, books, and other nerdy speculative things that I've discovered recently.

News, Articles & Interesting Projects

"I see more ________ for our future" challenge/ AR Filter // Resilience 2032 [PROJECT]
Sharing a great challenge from the Speculative Futuers slack! Respond to the prompt "I see more ____[fill in the blank]_____ " on any platform, and use our AR filter on Instagram to record a video of yourself saying your response! 
Be sure to tag @resilience2032, #JoinTheResilience #IseeMoore, and invite friends to join in! 
Check It Out

Ventually
Another awesome project shared by Fred Wordie on the Speculative Futures Slack! [PROJECT]

Ventaully is an ongoing project where Fred creates  fictitious but realistic startup companies and then places them in public spaces as if they are real. All in the pursuit of trying to create discussions and debates around technology, culture, and society in our present and possible futures. Fred is looking for other designers to open the project up to!
Check It Out

Call for Presenters: Full Spectrum Futures [CALL]

Futures Festival invites your ideas, knowledge, and experience to come together for Futures Festival 2020 on October 24th. This year they shine a light on people initiating projects of radical unity and full-spectrum representation. Our event sparks questions and conversations exploring inclusivity, transformation, and radical change from imagination and voices across the globe. Deadline is September 5th!.
Learn More & Submit

Meet the teenage 'beauty boys' coming for the cosmetics industry // The Guardian

Gen-Z boys online are chipping away at the taboo against men wearing makeup – with or without the makeup industry’s help. Even in an era of increasingly progressive views of gender and sexuality, boys who wear makeup fear public ridicule and rejection. Like Ceretti, they cannot be sure their families will be supportive. There’s little evidence that the mainstream beauty community will be supportive, either...
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Mary Ann O'Donnell | From Bamboo Curtain to the Silicon Valley of Hardware // e-flux architecture
After World War II, the geopolitical logic of the world system shifted. Where Great Britain (and other colonial powers) had previously secured hegemony by controlling access to investment capital and manufacturing technology, the United States and the Soviet Union relied on economic aid and technological assistance to further their political goals. The main arena for “superpower” competition was Europe, even though proxy wars were fought elsewhere. Indeed, during the Cold War, “East” and “West” referred to Europe, rather than to Euro-America (“the Occident”) and Asia (“the Orient”) as they had during the Colonial Era...
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“Am I going crazy or am I being stalked?” Inside the disturbing online world of gangstalking // MIT Technology Review
Jenny’s story is not linear, the way that we like stories to be. She was born in Baltimore in 1975 and had a happy, healthy childhood—her younger brother Danny fondly recalls the treasure hunts she would orchestrate and the elaborate plays she would write and perform with her siblings. In her late teens, she developed anorexia and depression and was hospitalized for a month. Despite her struggles, she graduated high school and was accepted into a prestigious liberal arts college...
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Three algorithm-less streaming sites revive the wacky Web from days of yore // Ars Technica

Performer Clayton Collins and venue creator Toby Alden (they/them) are a fringe breed, making idiosyncratic websites in the spirit of a bygone Internet. Collins, who sometimes goes by "Clayton Online," has a day job maintaining software that manages bus schedules. Alden is a full-time game developer working on an indie video game. The Portland duo's extracurricular creations are essentially alternatives to social media, and they're being made for next to no money...
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Airships Are No Longer a Relic of the Past; You Could Ride in One by 2023 // SingularityHub
As concern over climate change and rising temperatures grows, the airline industry is taking heat (pun intended). Flying accounts for 2.5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions; that’s lower than car travel and maritime shipping, but still a chunk worth acknowledging. An unexpected potential solution is being floated (again, pun intended) by companies that believe people will be willing to trade a lot of time and money for a more planet-friendly way to travel: by airship...
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Skillbuilder: Midi For Makers // Makezine
In 1982, Hayes released the 1200 baud modem, Microsoft released MS-DOS 1.25, and the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) was announced in Keyboard magazine by Robert Moog with its first implementation in the Sequential Prophet-600 synthesizer. While these days you’re unlikely to use a 1200 baud modem or early MS-DOS, you can still use MIDI to hook up the Prophet-600 to new equipment currently being sold. Even in 2020, few manufacturers would consider producing anything but a novelty synthesizer or drum machine without MIDI connectivity. Digital standards that can compare to this amazing 38 years of mainstream success are few and far between...
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Authors' 'invisible' words reveal blueprint for storytelling // ScienceDaily
The "invisible" words that shaped Dickens classics also lead audiences through Spielberg dramas. And according to new research, these small words can be found in a similar pattern across most storylines, no matter the length or format. When telling a story, common but invisible words -- a, the, it -- are used in certain ways and at certain moments. In a study published in Science Advances, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and Lancaster University in Lancaster, United Kingdom, recorded the use of such words across thousands of fictional and nonfictional stories, mapping a universal blueprint for storytelling...
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Gaming, Shows, Books & Other Random Cool Stuff

Hear the Quintessential Mirrorshades Anthology as an Audio Book // Adafruit Blog [Book/AudioBook]
One of the most canonical books in the cyberpunk cannon is Bruce Sterling’s 1986 Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology. Bruce was known, tongue-in-cheek, at the time as “Chairman Bruce,” thanks in part to his editorship of the pseudo-house organ the Cheap Truth cyberpunk zine and his acting as something of the voice of what had been dubbed “The Movement.” Mirrorshades was something of a coming out for cyberpunk. It was the first time the term “cyberpunk” had been adopted by those who’d been labeled as such. And it would be the last (at least by choice). Sterling’s introduction to this anthology was seen as something of a manifesto for the genre. On the YouTube channel Cyberslicy, they’ve been reading all of the stories from Mirrorshades. Here are four of my favorite pieces from the anthology...
Read More & Watch Videos

Ghostrunner [Video Game, PS4/Xbox One/Steam]
Enter a Hardcore Cyberpunk World...In the ashes of a broken and chaotic world, life is cheap and death is always around the corner. It’s here, in this bleak and miserable existence, that a cyber-warrior must struggle to avoid a bloody end and navigate through the remains of a once-great civilization. A massive tower houses the survivors of the apocalypse and it’s up to you to reveal the mystery…
Check It Out!

neXt [TV Show, Airing 10/6/20]
Silicon Valley pioneer Paul LeBlanc discovers that one of his own creations -- a powerful A.I. called neXt -- might spell doom for humankind, so he tries to shutter the project, only to be kicked out of the company by his own brother, leaving him with nothing but mounting dread about the fate of the world. When a series of unsettling tech mishaps points to a potential worldwide crisis, LeBlanc joins forces with Special Agent Shea Salazar, whose strict moral code and sense of duty have earned her the respect of her team. Now, LeBlanc and Salazar are the only ones standing in the way of a potential global catastrophe, fighting an emergent superintelligence that, instead of launching missiles, will deploy the immense knowledge it has gleaned from the data to recruit allies, turn people against each other and eliminate obstacles to its own survival and growth.
Check It Out
 
 

What I'm Reading

Here is a quick snapshot of my favorite books, podcasts, and articles this week.

Babylon's Ashes (Expanse #6)
by James Corey

🔥Rehearsing the Future
by Google Design

The Fantasy and the Cyberpunk Futurism of Singapore
By Jerrine Tan

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You can also learn more about my work at danamartens.tech.

 


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