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SciFly // 138 // Remote Speculations Week 24/25

Speculative Events, News & Resources | Sent 8/24

Hey SciFly Readers!

Welcome back to the new  BIWEEKLY  SciFly!!!

Just finishing up a wonderful week-long vacation, starting with taking the Future School's Applied Foresight Accelerator. It was such an amazing class, not only for the content but also as a glimpse into what great online training and education may look like in the future using online platforms and collaboration tools. So inspired, have so many things to follow-up on, so many thoughts (especially around intersections with social impact entrepreneurship), and so many resources to dig into more deeply when my brain is working again. :P

It was also a very unique experience to take a class in Asia-Pacific time that was completely online. The schedule was from 7:30 pm - 4:00 am, and I basically just reset my sleep patterns for a couple of days. Even so, jumping online with people in weird time-zones led me to have this feeling of non-time/non-space where the class took on a dreamlike quality, as I tuned in and tuned back out into my present reality when on break. Really happy I took the time off to give it my full focus, that schedule would have been brutal if I had to get up and work in the morning!


This week, I want to talk about some awesome events coming up this week in the Speculative and Creative Tech community!

Resilence 2032 & Drunk Futurists Event

First up, is an awesome event sent in from Casey in the Speculative Futures community. Casey is part of Resilience 2032, a social media theatre experience produced by a futurist collective & informed by experts across industries from climate science to AI. 

Since February, Resilience has hosted over 40 events & workshops featuring experts in various fields including climate scientists, AI engineers, tech ethicists, and social justice activists.

The team was also selected for the Cannes XR challenge & awarded the Next Generation Foresight Practitioner's award!

But this is just the beginning. The team recently launched a Kickstarter to bring their true vision to life!

Donate at or follow along on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and TikTok.  

This week the team will be holding a HILARIOUS event that sounds super fun!

Drunk Futurists Event
Wednesday, 8pm

Join on Facebook Live

This Wednesday at 8pm, tune in on Facebook live to watch the Resilience 2032 team play Drunk Futurists (kinda like Drunk History, but stories of the future)!

If you'd like to play with the team (drunk or sober) as a guest futurist, email

Telepresence - Parsons MFA Design + Technology

August 27th - 29th

Zoom & Instagram Live
Learn More

This week is also the premier of an awesome event from my alma-mater, showcasing the work of rising thesis students. If you have a chance, MFADT always puts out wild stuff, and you should def check out their talks and expo!!!

In this period of closures and uncertainty, we are proud to open up TELEPRESENCE, an event of communal creative resilience in the form of a three-day long showcase for exhibiting and experiencing art and design, made remotely by rising thesis graduate students of Design & Technology at Parsons, The New School.

TELEPRESENCE is an exploration into what it means for MFA Design & Technology’s large, diverse, and international student body to open up the potential of the nonphysical – to organize and share work collectively in an exclusively digital space. The festival will encompass seven themes and bring together interactive pieces, immersive digital worlds, panel discussions, and workshops to create a cultural space that becomes something bigger than just the sum of its parts and propel us into the vanguard of digital resilience.

Day 1 –– Thursday, August 27 

  • 11am-12pm, Hosted on IGLIVE @mfadt - Cardboard Prototyping with Mia Meusburger
  • 12pm-1pm, Hosted on Zoom - Co-Design and Issues in Image Labeling with Sheethal Shobowale
  • 1pm-2pm, Hosted on Zoom - In Conversation: Morehshin Allahyari, Sougwen Chung on Defragmented Identities and Uncoded Territories, Moderated by Livia Foldes.
  • 3pm-4pm, Hosted on IGLIVE @mfadt- Textile Tools with Rosa Ng
  • 4pm-5pm, Hosted on IGTV - Hip-Hop with Grasshopper with Jill Shah
  • 6pm-6:40pm, Hosted on Zoom - In Conversation: Kevin Gotkin on Neophysical Connections, Moderated by Bhavya Gupta.

Day 2 - Friday, August 28th

  • 11am-12:30pm, Hosted on Zoom - Poly Surface in Reality with Peilu Fan
  • 1pm-2pm, Hosted on Zoom - In Conversation: Ingrid Burrington, Ruha Benjamin, Mutale Nkonde on Cybernetics of Culture, Moderated by Mary Ann Badavi and Zisiga Mukulu
  • 4pm-5pm, Hosted on Zoom - Intro to Shader Graph with Jason Li
  • 5pm-6pm, Hosted on Zoom - Prototyping in Figma with Emi Sato

Day 3 - Saturday August 29th

  • 1pm-2pm, Hosted on Zoom - In Conversation: Carla Diana on Neophysical Connections. Moderated by Bhavya Gupta
  • 3pm-4:30pm, Hosted on Zoom - CSS Power Hour ( and a half!) with Ege Uze
  • 5pm-6pm, Hosted on Zoom - In Conversation: Lauren Goshinski on Activism by Design and Build Your Own Club. Moderated by Mia Meusburger
You can also visit for more detailed information!!!

Futuring Peace Ask Me Anything Session

If you are interested in submitting to DFI & UN's Futuring Peace call, this is your chance to ask questions about the submission process, theme, etc.

We will host an Ask Me Anything with Martin Waehlisch from UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs on Monday 8/24 (our time, so really Tuesday in some places)

Monday, 8/24 at  6pm PDT (1AM  Tuesday GMT)

Monday, 8/24

6pm San Francisco / 9pm NYC

Tuesday 8/25
2am London / 3am Berlin / 6am Karachi / 6:30am Delhi / 8am Bangkok / 9am Singapore / 10am Tokyo / 11am Sydney

You can learn more and find the zoom link on the DFI website, it will be put up before the session!

That's it for this week!

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!


"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 25 - Monday, August 31

Tuesday, August 25

🔥Nesta talks to... McKenzie Wark // 7am - 8am EDT // Free
As we face global crises - who are the people that might help us understand the ever-changing world we live in? In this conversation, McKenzie Wark suggests the pivotal thinkers that could navigate us towards a brighter future, including Achille Mbembe, Hito Steyerl, Cory Doctorow, Keller Easterling and Jackie Wang. In exploring the thoughts, work and theories provided by these diverse and inspirational minds, Wark will examine how we might implement ideas that could provide a roadmap for how we can work towards a better tomorrow.
Learn More

Designing a feminist Alexa – an exercise in empathic design // 8pm - 9pm EDT // Free
Chatbots and Personal Intelligent Assistants (PIAs), such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, are increasingly present in our daily lives. This talk will look at the potential societal impact of anthropomorphising these new technologies. We will focus on their frequent personification as an obedient female and their inability to respond constructively to abusive language as a way to explore gendered AI. We will bring together interested members of the general public to design a more inclusive bot by inviting attendees to submit drawings of how they envision Alexa’s physical embodiment via a drawing challenge. The outcomes of this activity will inform research funded by the UK Research and Innovation council.
Learn More

BRCvr: {CYBER DREAMS} // 8/30, 2pm - 9/6, 6:30pm EDT // Free
This year many things went virtual and so did Burning Man, spreading across 8 virtual universes! {CYBER DREAMS} is Raspberry Dream Labs’ thematic camp located in BRCvr (Black Rock City VR) - a fully realized virtual recreation of Black Rock City brought to your computer screens and VR headsets! Our camp is set in the post-apocalyptic future where humans have merged with technology and are now revitalising Earth with innovative technologies. We harvest sexual energy from the dreams and use it to power our intergalactic cross-species circuits. {CYBER DREAMS} not only celebrates sexuality of all forms and types but also unites art, technology and sustainability, as, in our vision of the cybersex future, there is no separation between these.
Learn More

Society, Robots & Us // 9pm EDT // Free
Following our "COVID-19, Robots and Us" series, we're continuing the conversation about important robotics topics and socio-technical issues. We'll be inviting domain experts and interesting thinkers to discuss topics relating to robotics innovation, commercialization and inclusivity.
Learn More

Wednesday, August 26

Broken Hearts 2035: A post-pandemic experience // 8/26 & 8/27, 4:30AM EDT // Free
It’s 2035 AD, and the world looks very different from the way it did in 2020. After Ryan and Rachel bump into each other during a protest march, a decade and a half after their last kiss, they face extraordinary obstacles as time and fate march them towards their hopeful happy-ever-after. Join us to navigate the strangeness of 2035, and explore the consequences of the choices we’re making today in the world of tomorrow.
Learn More

The liminality in the Digital Art - Snow Yunxue Fu and Wade Wallerstein // 1:30pm - 3pm EDTD // Free
Liminal is a term borrowed from the field of anthropology, as anthropologist Victor Turner described as “the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage,” which “serves not only to identify the importance of in-between periods but also to understand the human reactions to liminal experiences. Those are essential terms in understanding the post-internet culture we are increasingly living in. Fu’s work draws parallels between the physical, virtual, metaphysical, and multi-dimensional, setting the viewer in a liminal space at the threshold of each in what Turner called “a period of scrutiny for central values and axioms.
Learn More

Distributed Technology for Digital Cooperation // 7pm - 9pm EDT // Free
How do distributed technologies, peer-to-peer, and blockchain-based currencies provide corrective measures to ailing economic and political systems? To what extent do these new technologies re-inforce the same power dynamics and abuses as our current systems? In this skill-share, Eric Barry Drasin will introduce projects that use decentralized technologies to affect progressive social change. Drasin will discuss projects such as Bailbloc, which mines cryptocurrency to pay for bail funds; CirclesUBI, which attempts to create a mutual credit solidarity economy; and discuss how blockchain technology has exacerbated the economic and political conditions it was supposed to disrupt.
Learn More

Thursday, August 27

Every-Body: Technology // 11am - 12pm EDT // Free
As part of our Festival exhibition for Inspace- Every-Body: City, Technology and the Body, we have invited 3 prominent scholars to respond to the works of pioneering design studio Universal Everything. Our final response is from Lilian Edwards. Lilian Edwards is Professor of Law, Innovation & Society at Newcastle University and is a leading academic in the field of Internet law, including work on Artificial Intelligence. She also specialises in privacy and data protection, especially as applied to AI and algorithms. Lilian will be reflecting on Universal Everything’s Future You which was part of the hugely successful exhibition AI: More than Human which was held at the Barbican in London in 2019.
Learn More

LW&D: Designing for human rights // 1pm - 3pm EDT // Free
How do we empower people in the global south or ‘developing countries’ to access topics like genocide, democracy, gender-based violence and extremism? Eriol will be talking about how to approach UX design research for technology and services that give access to those difficult topics. Eriol is an experienced non-binary, queer designer and has spent the last 10 years working for for-profits, NGO's and open source software organisations. Working more specifically on peace building and crisis response technology.
Learn More

FLUX Social: Publics // 1pm - 3pm EDT // £2.74 – £9.21
Media arts question the relationship between authorship and audience. New forms of interaction put the audience at the heart of artistic production. The term public has undergone questioning by artists, appearing as a fragmented, multi-layered hybrid of different audiences, different communities, different publics. Hosted by our FLUX co-founders Maria Almena, Oliver Gingrich and Aphra Shemza, our FLUX Social will provide a relaxed space for the facilitation of new ideas and collaboration. Our aim is to encourage discourse and create a space for communication and the exchange of ideas, providing some much needed advice for artists working in the field of the media arts.
Learn More

I am Echoborg Online // 3pm - 4:30pm EDT // Donation
From the comfort of your own sofa, will you join a team of brave souls and negotiate the future of humanity with an Artificial Intelligence? Perfectly well adapted from the stage to the Zoom screen, this participatory show is created in real-time by your conversations with a state-of-the-art self-learning AI from Robo-Recruit. It speaks through a human, an echoborg, and it wants you to become an echoborg too. Who is in charge here? In this high-stakes encounter you are challenged with agreeing the best possible outcome for the relationship between humans and intelligent machines. 
Learn More

SingularityU Miami Chapter Talks: Smart Cities & Applied AI // 5pm - 6:30pm EDT // $7.50
Smart Cities & Applied AI is the second event in our three part series on Applied Artificial Intelligence. Join us for an in-depth discussion of current and future prospects of the intersection of cities and technology. Speakers will be addressing several questions including: What does AI mean for the future of cities? What can AI learn from the modern city?”
Learn More

Printing Optical Materials // 8pm - 9pm EDT // Free
Will the future of smart lighting and window coatings enable energy-efficient cooling in smart buildings? In this talk Professor Fang will report his recent efforts on controlling light harvesting and conversion process using scalable micro/nanofabrication. These emerging optical materials show promise to a range of important applications, from optical networks and chip-scale photonic sensors to lasers, LEDs, and solar technology.
Learn More

Friday, August 28

Whats The Future: An interactive, digital experience // 8/28, 5pm - 8/30, 8pm EDT // $15
UnderBelly + queer.IRL bring you WTF: a choose-your-own-future art experience. Enter new worlds designed by local artists and musicians. This immersive art experience is intended to reimagine what a digital festival can be. Be ready to discover hidden easter eggs and navigate between worlds as you make your way through.
Learn More

Street Fight Radio 3000 AD // 8pm EDT // Donation
Street Fight Radio is ready to make plans for the future and we've got an entire World's Fair of ideas. Regular listeners to the show will know we advocate for grain silos full of Lucky charms, cart corrals with free bikes to use, and every lunch being provided by your boss. We will be discussing and plotting a better future for everyone with all the chatters on the zoom call. Come hang out with the #1 Anarcho-comedy show, it benefits People's Justice Project and the staff of Littlefield (us too).
Learn More

Saturday, August 29

Capturing Reality: crash course in photogrammetry - Summer Sessions // 8pm - 9pm EDT // Free
Trajectory Theatre introduce you to photogrammetry, the process for creating 3D objects from a series of images. It has been used by everyone from game studios to museums to capture photo realistic-looking, virtual assets. But it can also be done at home by anyone with a camera and a computer! In this session we will show you quick techniques for getting started, look at ways to create the best looking 3D objects we can with the resources we have and look at how to get creative when things don’t go to plan.
Learn More

Sunday, August 30

Dating Sim Beta // 7am & 9am EDT // Donation
DATING SIM (beta ver.zoom) is a 60-minute participatory theatrical experience that takes the form of an interactive dating simulation game come to life, allowing the audience a closer examination of their agency and prejudices in modern dating and relationships. In a not-so-distant future, the worldwide conglomerate ARC controls everything from cradle to grave. To boost fertility rates, ARC is beta-testing Mate-Match, an algorithm designed to find perfect matches for everyone. Groups of beta-testers will participate in a dating simulation where they’ll be asked to make choices collectively.
Learn More

Building Interactive Installations // 81pm - 3pm EDT (Series on Sundays, 8/30, 9/6, 9/13, 9/20, 9/27) // $25 - $125
Learn how to build interactive installations in this series of 5 workshops! Pick up skills to build the next Meow Wolf or Museum of Ice Cream using Arduinos and TouchDesigner! Explore how sensors and inputs can be used to trigger meaningful shifts in LED lighting, projection, and sound. Bring your imagination to life with steps to grow an interactive art experiment to a robust show piece. Each session can be taken alone, but you'll get the most out of joining for the entire ride. The workshops are suitable for beginners to both Arduino and TouchDesigner. They will also be helpful to seasoned developers and designers looking to expand on their existing knowledge of interactive systems.
Learn More

Monday, August 31

Art & Animals in the Age of CRISPR, Cloning, and Cellular Agriculture // 8/31, 1pm - 9/28, 3pm EDT // From €176.68
How do artists, designers and activists use robotics, synthetic biology, performance, tissue culture, photography or gaming to probe and communicate techno-scientific developments? To investigate the shifting paradigms of the living, thinking world? To make us accept that time has come to co-evolve in a more sympathetic and mutually beneficial way with other living entities, whether “natural”, lab-grown or hybrid? Each week, the class will give a broad overview of the debates, state of knowledge and possible controversies surrounding a specific theme. Part 2 will be dedicated to works of art and design that illustrate, contest or investigate that same topic.
Learn More

The Virtual 2020 Humans to Mars Summit // 8/31, 9am - 9/3, 1:30pm EDT // $25 - $295
As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and with the desire to assure the health and safety of our attendees, speakers, sponsors, and other guests, the 2020 Humans to Mars Summit will now be virtual. The Humans To Mars Summit embodies the core mission of Explore Mars, Inc. to advance humanity to the Martian surface by the 2030s.
Learn More

WEEK 2 - Tuesday, September 1 - Monday, September 7

Tuesday, September 1

Intro to JavaScript: Learn the fundamentals by building your own game // 6:30pm - 8pm EDT // Free
Join us for a 101: Intro to JavaScript! Learn from our talented Associate Instructor who will walk you through the JavaScript course and answer questions for you along the way. This is designed for beginners, tech aficionados, and those looking to change their careers.
Learn More

Wednesday, September 2

🔥Collaborate 2020: Association of Professional Futurists Conference // 9/2, 7am - 9/5, 12pm // $10 - $39
Come collaborate with us. Out of the box, experiential learning opportunities, considering the future from several different perspectives and looking at a way forward. Event details: Mission of Collaborate 2020: “Create an open collaborative space for members to ask big questions appropriate to this current moment, but also to connect and share experiences, discuss methods and learn from each other.”
Learn More

'Exploring the Queer Artwork of World-Famous MoMA' Webinar // 1pm - 2:30pm EDT // $10
Why is Frida Kahlo wearing a man's suit? What do two clocks on a wall have anything to do with sexuality? And why did artist Robert Rauschenberg stick a stuffed eagle into his painting? It's time to virtually roam the halls of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and discover the queer interpretations behind some of its most famous artworks.
Learn More

Rewiring the Brain w/ David Eagleman // Futures Podcast // 2pm - 3:30pm EDT // Free
The human brain is not hardwired it’s live-wired. Exciting new discoveries have revealed that the three pounds of wetware found inside of our heads is a dynamic system, constantly modifying its own circuitry. This unique property - known as neuroplasticity - allows the brain to adapt, recreate, and formulate new ways of understanding the world we live in; enabling us to gain the skills, facilities, and practices that make us who we are. But it also offers a host of new opportunities for those willing to test the limits of perception. What has synaesthesia and dreaming taught us about the human senses? How can a blind person learn to see with her tongue, or a deaf person learn to hear with his skin? Might it soon be possible to control a robot with our thoughts? In what way can we leverage the brain as a platform for innovative new neurotechnologies?
Learn More

Future of Food Technology and Innovation // 4pm - 5pm EDT // Free
By 2050, global food systems will need to feed more than 9 billion people sustainably and nutritiously. Emerging technology, innovation, behavioural changes, and multi-stakeholder collaboration have the potential to improve global food security and nutrition to drive rapid progress in the sustainability, inclusivity and efficiency of food systems. This webinar aims to facilitate the discussion on how the ongoing and future research collaborations between industry leaders, research agencies and startups from both countries will result into more innovative and sustainable ways to produce food for a growing population, whilst reducing the carbon footprint of the entire food value chain.
Learn More

Thursday, September 3

Symposium on the Digital Person - Digital Identity in a Post-Pandemic World // 5am - 1pm EDT // Free
The 4th Annual Symposium on the Digital Person. This year’s symposium’s theme is: Digital Identity in a Post Pandemic World. The use of personal data is of enormous global concern. Symposium participants are drawn from industry captains, policy makers, government representatives, combined with thought leaders from the sciences, humanities and social sciences with discussions relating to law, computer science, history, sociology, entrepreneurship, business, economics and the global society. The symposium is chaired by 3 eminent professors in the field, Professors John Naughton, Jon Crowcroft and Irene Ng.
Learn More

Future Cool Singapore // 2pm - 3pm EDT // Free
Every city, and Singapore in particular, is a complex system. Due to an imbalance between urban geometry, material, and active anthropogenic heat input into the urban complex system, outdoor and indoor thermal comfort are declining rapidly to the point that they become a threat to productivity and health of the citizens. No simple means are enough as a remedy: As the Covid-19 related slowdown demonstrates, the reduction of anthropogenic production of energy, pollution, heat and noise can lead to more outdoor thermal comfort, but it also threatens the economic basis of most citizens. With Cooling Singapore 2.0, we suggest a Digital Urban Climate Twin, or DUCT. The DUCT is a federation of models, data and computing resources that allows the simulation of urban climate states. High performance computing has an important role to help planning for a balanced urban climate system.
Learn More

Friday, September 4

Creative Challenge #3: SynBio Frozen Worlds // 9am - 10am EDT // Free
Prompt: Imagine an lost world or civilisation frozen under ice - how has SynBio helped this place survive? How was it re-discovered? What secrets does it hold? What we’re asking for: A creative piece, it could be poetry, writing, film, art of your own creation. Something short (very short) and casual! Everyone is welcome! Especially beginners, and non-artists/writers. At the end, we’ll share our pieces with each other and gain feedback.
Learn More

Saturday, September 5

If We Ruled The World... Rethinking Global Systems Thru Speculative Design // 9/5, 1pm - 10/10, 3pm EDT // From €176.68
School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe presents a six-week live online program exploring global systems and speculative design. If we ruled the world... is a strategy workshop in which players rethink global systems using tools from speculative scenario planning. The live session updates Buckminster Fuller’s World Game, proposed in 1961, for the era of the global crisis and economic emergency. During the sessions, participants will analyze current problems, identify trends while imagining probable, possible, and preferable future scenarios for our current crisis. In the end, we will negotiate preferable futures and develop strategies that might get us there.
Learn More

Sunday, September 6

GENESIS 37: An Immersive Sci-Fi Performance over Zoom // 12pm - 1pm EDT // Free
Humanity is facing the fear of extinction. The F.Deceas- 37 autoimmune syndrome has created a global state of uncertainty and terror. Three quarters of the female population is now dead while hundreds of mammals are on the brink of extinction. As of today, this syndrome has not affected the male population, and the cause is unknown. Be part of Genesis. Be part of the future.
Learn More

Monday, September 7

🔥Hackaday U: Art + Code // 12pm - 1pm EDT, Series on Mondays (9/7, 9/14, 9/21, 9/28) // Donation 
HackadayU is pleased to offer Art + Code, with instructor Casey Hunt. In this course, we will build creative code through a series of explorations with the P5.js library. Over the 4 week class, students will grow their technical skills through mastery of the JavaScript library, and will also learn about aesthetics and art history in the digital space. This course is a software-only course. The course will consist of four sessions total. Each section will contain a pre-recorded video component and a live office hour component where the instructors will be available for questions.
Learn More

🔥Hackaday U: Interactive Media Art with Light and Sensors // 1pm - 2pm EDT, Series on Mondays (9/7, 9/14, 9/21, 9/28) // Donation
HackadayU is pleased to offer Interactive Media Art with instructor Mirabelle Jones. 
This course will cover how to develop interactive artworks, installations, and experiences based on sensor input. The course will start by guiding students in designing small interactive objects then later expand into how to develop room-scale immersive installations. Along the way, students will view examples of modern interactive art projects by some of the world's best new technology artists built using the same techniques and equipment they will be learning throughout the program. The course will consist of four sessions total. Each section will contain a pre-recorded video component and a live office hour component where the instructors will be available for questions.
Learn More

Upcoming Speculative Futures Meetups 

Nothing to report!

Ongoing Events

[COMING UP!!!] 🔥ConTamination 2020 // 9/12 - 9/13 // Free
#ConTamination2020 virtual conference specifically centered around 'pandemics' with three themes: speculative fiction, science and social science. Many sci-fi and fantasy conventions have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Others, such as Worldcon/ConZealand, have announced they're going virtual this year, as are the SFWA with the Nebula conference. But long before any of them did that we had the idea of running an online sci-fi and fantasy convention... online. To avoid stepping on any toes, we've narrowed the focus of ConTamination to be a science-meets-speculative-fiction convention. Our aim is to tackle the big questions that many of us are asking about the future, and our place as science fiction and fantasy readers within it.
Learn More & Volunteer to Speak/Help

[COMING UP] IFTF Annual Ten-Year Forecast 2020 // 9/14 - 9/18 
During this year of unprecedented change, IFTF is extending a limited, one time-only invitation for you to join us for our annual IFTF TYF2020 interactive, multi-day Summit on Future Ready Organizations. Each year, for over 38 years, IFTF has immersed participants, futurists, researchers, and experts in a look ahead at the ten-year horizon to better prepare for tomorrow. *The first 25 guests to RSVP will receive our one-of-a-kind TYF2020 Future Readiness Package with a curated selection of research, speaker books, and special secret items that are "signals from the future" that will be revealed at opening sessions each day of the Summit. REGISTER BEFORE AUGUST 31 / Password:  TYF2020-FREE
Learn More

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.
Learn More

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 if you want to join!

Check out Wonderville's Livestream!
Support Wonderville on WithFriends


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!

5 Trends Drive the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2020 // Gartner
The Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2020 highlights 30 technology profiles that will significantly change society and business over the next five to ten years.
In most cities in China, citizens and visitors must download Health Code — an app that indicates COVID-19 status — to access many public and private spaces and services. A green screen means the person is free to travel, yellow indicates required quarantine and red means a confirmed infection...
Read More

How will GPT-3 change our lives? // The Next Web

In recent years, the AI circus really has come to town and we’ve been treated to a veritable parade of technical aberrations seeking to dazzle us with their human-like intelligence. Many of these sideshows have been “embodied” AI, where the physical form usually functions as a cunning disguise for a clunky, pre-programmed bot. Like the world’s first “AI anchor,” launched by a Chinese TV network and — how could we ever forget — Sophia, Saudi Arabia’s first robotic citizen. But last month there was a furor around something altogether more serious. A system The Verge called, “an invention that could end up defining the decade to come.” Its name is GPT-3, and it could certainly make our future a lot more complicated...
Read More

The USPS is under attack all over the United States. Here’s where it’s the worst // FastCompany
The news that U.S. Postal Service was taking away mailboxes and mail sorters took over the news cycle this past week, and with good reason. The coronavirus pandemic is leading many voters to cast their ballots by mail, and it’s putting new pressure on the postal service to serve as the messenger of the American electorate. Slow mail isn’t just another bureaucratic hangup. It’s a danger to democracy—and as one graphic shows, some cities are getting hit harder than others...
Read More

China Issues Guidelines on Developing a Sci-Fi Film Sector [Variety]
Chinese film authorities issued a new document outlining policy measures to boost the country’s production of science fiction movies. Entitled “Several Opinions on Promoting the Development of Science Fiction Films,” the document highlights how the sci-fi genre fits into the ruling Communist Party’s broader ideological and technological goals. It was released earlier this month by China’s National Film Administration and the China Association for Science and Technology, a professional organization...
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‘Zombie’ Microbes Redefine Life’s Energy Limits // Quanta
Energy drives the planet; it’s the currency that all living things use to grow, develop and function. But just how little energy do cells need to get by? Sediment-dwelling microbes below the seafloor — which may outnumber the microbial cells found in the oceans themselves — are providing some surprising answers. The organisms not only challenge what scientists thought they knew about life’s energy needs, but hint at new ways of defining what life is and where we might find it...
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Here's how asteroid mining will transform the world // Boingboing [Video]
Asteroid mining sounds fantastically futuristic, but it is almost feasible with existing technology. We have already landed spacecraft on asteroids and taken samples. Now all of that "simply" needs to be done at a much larger scale mining a well-scouted space rock. The payoff for humanity will be astronomical...
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Meet the Black design collective reimagining how cities get built // FastCompany
In cities across the United States, racism exists in built form. There’s a long history of intentionally racist policies such as race-restricted covenants preventing minority groups from moving to certain areas, and redlining that limited access to housing finance and concentrated nonwhite residents in neighborhoods that were then systematically underserved. These policies have had long-term negative impacts on access to jobs, wealth creation, health, and countless other socioeconomic factors. BlackSpace, a collective of 200 Black designers, architects, artists, and urban planners, seeks to change that. Committed to Black-centered planning and design, the organization works through community workshops, planning exercises, and cooperative design efforts to proactively bring Black voices and concerns into a development process that has long ignored them...
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Ann Syrdal, Who Helped Give Computers a Female Voice, Dies at 74 // NYT
Ann Syrdal, a psychologist and computer science researcher who helped develop synthetic voices that sounded like women, laying the groundwork for such modern digital assistants as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, died on July 24 at her home in San Jose, Calif. She was 74. As a researcher at AT&T, Dr. Syrdal was part of a small community of scientists who began developing synthetic speech systems in the mid-1980s...
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Digitizing Burning Man // TechCrunch
For decades, Burning Man has represented an escape from the current reality. An event for free-er spirits to rethink new age ideals inside a stateless entity where art, music and partying reign supreme on the desert plains. With just a few weeks before the event is set to kick off, the organization is bringing together a group of technologists with backgrounds in virtual reality, blockchain, hypnotism and immersive theatre to create a web of hacked-together social products that they hope will capture the atmosphere of Burning Man...
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These 25 Technology Trends Will Define The Next Decade // Forbes
We may not be living on Mars or traveling to work using jet packs, but there's no doubt the coming decade will bring many exciting technological advances. In this article, Forbes outlines the 25 key technology trends that they believe will shape the 2020s...
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Future of Money: What Happens Next // Quartz (Project)
Anarchy reigns supreme in the future of finance, decentralizing the power of banks and, in some cases, the state. But will cryptocurrencies and the blockchains that underlie them solve our financial woes, or only worsen existing inequalities?
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A New Type of Plastic Could be Recycled Indefinitely // Futurism
Scientists say they’ve developed a kind of plastic that can be recycled an unlimited number of times. Usually, the recycling process takes a serious toll on the quality of plastics. But New Scientist reports that the new material, PBTL, can be broken down and remolded into something new that’s just as high-quality as the original — meaning, potentially, a whole lot less plastic filling our landfills...
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Scientists Found a Way to Turn Bricks Into Batteries // SingularityHub

One of the biggest barriers to the renewable energy revolution is working out how to store power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Now scientists have shown standard construction bricks can be converted into energy storage units, potentially turning our houses into giant batteries. While lithium ion battery technology has seen dramatic price drops in recent years, most experts agree that they will remain too expensive for grid-scale storage. The relative scarcity of lithium also means they’re unlikely to be able to meet all our energy needs...
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A.I. can tell if you’re a good surgeon just by scanning your brain // DigitalTrends
Could a brain scan be the best way to tell a top-notch surgeon? Well, kind of. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University at Buffalo have developed Brain-NET, a deep learning A.I. tool that can accurately predict a surgeon’s certification scores based on their neuroimaging data. This certification score, known as the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery program (FLS), is currently calculated manually using a formula that is extremely time and labor-consuming. The idea behind it is to give an objective assessment of surgical skills, thereby demonstrating effective training...
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The Original Futurists // Journal of Future Studies
In 2016, Albuquerque hosted the very first Indigenous Comic-Con. An idea born by Pueblo of Laguna man. Dr Lee Francis, who imagined and questioned what a Comic convention would look like if all panel members and the convention itself were Indigenous. He imagined Indigenous movies and TV stars, authors and cosplayers from all around the world that could showcase their talent and reclaim stories that had been misused and appropriated through mainstream pop culture and breakthrough the stereotypical characters put on Aboriginal people. He wondered if he was the only Indigenous person passionate about comics, science fiction, speculative fiction and gaming? He was not alone...
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Nreal’s augmented reality glasses are shipping this month in Korea // The Verge
The Nreal Light mixed reality glasses are shipping in Korea alongside Samsung’s newly announced Galaxy Note 20.The Nreal Light (also referred to as “U+ Real Glass”) is a light sunglasses-style headset that tethers to a separate computing device — in this case, the Galaxy Note 20. It uses spatial tracking and projected images to overlay apps onto the real world, and Nreal pitches it as a more spacious alternative to a smartphone when you’re watching videos, playing games, or reading websites. It’s promising to support Chrome, Facebook, and Instagram, among other apps, at launch...
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DiceKeys creates a master password for life with one roll // ArsTechnica
Modern cybersecurity, done with properly paranoid best practices, requires meeting some tough demands: Carry a physical two-factor key to plug in and authenticate yourself on a new computer, but if you lose or break that tiny piece of plastic you could be locked out of your accounts. Use different, totally unguessable passwords for every website, without repeating them or writing them down. And even if you opt for a password manager—as you should—you'll need to remember a long master password for years, or risk losing access to the rest of them. Or you could reduce all of that complexity to a single roll of 25 dice into a plastic box. This week Stuart Schechter, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, is launching DiceKeys, a simple kit for physically generating a single super-secure key that can serve as the basis for creating all the most important passwords in your life for years or even decades to come...
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9 Shifts for After Capitalism // Hinesight
Reflecting on the various arguments he's come across for moving beyond capitalism, Andy Hines thought of one of his favorite change frameworks, Donella Meadow’s masterful “Places to Intervene in a System.” I thought it might be fun to see what is offers to us as we try to imagine “After Capitalism. This is a quick-and-dirty version, so he expect some adjustments will be needed! He briefly characterizes each of the intervention points with a quote from Meadow’s piece. They are listed from lowest to highest, that is, leverage point #9 is the weakest, and #1 is the strongest...
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Moore’s Law Lives: Intel Says Chips Will Pack 50 Times More Transistors // SingularityHub
If you weren’t already convinced the digital world is taking over, you probably are now. To keep the economy on life support as people stay home to stem the viral tide, we’ve been forced to digitize interactions at scale (for better and worse). Work, school, events, shopping, food, politics. The companies at the center of the digital universe are now powerhouses of the modern era—worth trillions and nearly impossible to avoid in daily life. Six decades ago, this world didn’t exist...
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QAnon groups have millions of members on Facebook, documents show // NBC
An internal investigation by Facebook has uncovered thousands of groups and pages, with millions of members and followers, that support the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to internal company documents reviewed by NBC News. The investigation’s preliminary results, which were provided to NBC News by a Facebook employee, shed new light on the scope of activity and content from the QAnon community on Facebook, a scale previously undisclosed by Facebook and unreported by the news media, because most of the groups are private...
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This Fully Functional 9000 Pound Mech Suit Looks Absolutely Amazing // Futurism
Engineering firm Furrion Exo-Bionics has built a massive, four-legged mech suit called Prosthesis, a 9,000 pound monstrosity straight out of “Pacific Rim” — and it wants you to pilot it. The company recently put out a call on Kickstarter, asking enthusiasts if they’d like to help them build a “global racing league that would pit multiple world-class athletes in head-to-head competitions, through complex technical obstacle courses, wearing giant powered mech suits.”
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'Smiles' are the Brightest Fluorescent Materials Ever // Futurity
Materials called small-molecule, ionic isolation lattices, or SMILES, are the brightest-known fluorescent materials, researchers report. The patent-pending materials could address key setbacks to using fluorescent dyes as solid-state materials in academic and commercial applications. “Think of SMILES like a light bulb, but instead of being turned on with electricity, they are turned on with light, including ultraviolet and visible light,” says Amar Flood, professor of chemistry at Indiana University. “These SMILES pack a lot of dyes inside a material that can absorb a lot of light and then re-radiate it as light without much loss...
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6G Will Be 100 Times Faster Than 5G—and Now There’s a Chip for It // Singularity Hub
Though 5G—a next-generation speed upgrade to wireless networks—is scarcely up and running (and still nonexistent in many places) researchers are already working on what comes next. It lacks an official name, but they’re calling it 6G for the sake of simplicity (and hey, it’s tradition). 6G promises to be up to 100 times faster than 5G—fast enough to download 142 hours of Netflix in a second—but researchers are still trying to figure out exactly how to make such ultra-speedy connections happen...
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G4C KEYNOTE - Anti Racism + XR with Dr. Courtney Cogburn [Video]
This session will explore the meaning and practice of anti-racism, the intersection of anti-racism and XR and the role of technology in promoting equity and justice. 1000 Cut Journey an immersive VR experience focused on racism and other work in development in collaboration with the Virtual Human Interaction Lab will be used as case studies...
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Why Microsoft's new Flight Simulator should make Google and Amazon nervous // Protocol
Microsoft, still then an upstart in the fledgling personal computer business, commissioned and acquired Flight during Reagan's first term as a showcase to demonstrate the power of "modern" technology to everyday consumers and to the company's corporate rivals. Thirty-eight years later, on Tuesday, Microsoft is releasing a stunning, groundbreaking new version of Flight — the first since 2006 — for exactly the same reason. Microsoft is no longer an upstart, but Flight may provide the most vivid, consumer-friendly demonstration in years of how the bleeding edge of modern technology can provide fundamentally new human experiences and (quite literally) change how we see our world...
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TESLA Asks USA for Permission to Automatically Detect Kids Left in Hot Car

Tesla is seeking approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to market a sensor that could tell if a child has been left in a hot car, Reuters reports. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 52 children died of heatstroke in cars alone in 2019. To stop that from happening, the Elon Musk-led company wants to use millimeter wave sensors at power levels that aren’t allowed under current laws...
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Algorithm Detects Heart Disease by Analyzing Selfies // Futurism
Researchers have developed a new deep learning algorithm that can detect heart disease just by analyzing four photographs of a patient’s face. The researchers are hoping their new algorithm could be used to screen patients for heart disease simply by asking them to take selfies before they have to visit a clinic. The algorithm looks for specific facial features including thinning or fraying hear, wrinkles, creases in the earlobe, yellow deposits around the eyelids, and white hazy rings in the outer edges of the cornea...
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Reversible Stitches Give Self-Healing Polymers New Powers // Futurity
The new synthetic materials range in texture from ultra-soft to extremely rigid. The researchers say their materials are 3D printable, self-healing, recyclable, and naturally adhere to each other in air or underwater. Nature’s blueprint for the human limb is a carefully layered structure with stiff bone wrapped in layers of different soft tissue, like muscle and skin, all perfectly bound together. Achieving this kind of sophistication using synthetic materials to build biologically inspired robotic parts or multicomponent, complex machines has posed an engineering challenge...
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A Scientific Approach to Education Reform // Communications of the ACM
The Covid-19 pandemic has upended educational systems around the world, from kindergartens through graduate schools. Classes with students packed into seats and a teacher giving lessons from the front were suddenly transformed into some combination of online Zoom lessons, home instruction by parents, or solitary work. When things eventually stabilize and return to "normal," what will that normal be? Sanjay Sarma, MIT's vice president for open learning, sees this unprecedented upheaval as a moment to get rid of outmoded methods with little pedagogical basis, and replace them with new approaches based on the latest scientific research on how learning works...
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MattBall - The Future of Media: Movies, the Metaverse & More [Podcast]
My guest today, Matthew Ball, is a long time coming. He’s the former head of strategy at Amazon Studios, an investor, and probably my favorite business essayist writing today. In fact, I can’t think of another author whose work I read as quickly once a new essay drops. Read his latest on the past and future of Nintendo and you’ll see why. Our conversation is all about the past and future of media. We discuss movies, music, television, video games, and the metaverse. When I re-listened to this episode I couldn’t believe how much information was in Matthew's head and how easily he covered so many topics in depth. Please enjoy this great conversation...
Listen to Episode

Pandemic-3.0 – from crisis to transformation – Exploring the COVID-19 Challenge // Journal of Future Studies
The COVID-19 global pandemic has caused death and disruption around the world, and also exposes underlying tensions, traumas and conflicts. There are many hard lessons in disaster management, public health, economic recovery and so on. But in this Perspective I would like to look more deeply and widely. I begin some mappings of systemic transformations now in motion, both negative and positive – and then explore what kind of systemic pathways could help steer from one outcome to another...
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Alcove for Oculus Quest entertains pandemic-bound seniors with VR // VentureBeat
One of the largest advocates for senior citizens is diving into virtual reality today with the release of Alcove for Oculus Quest, a free app that helps friends and families entertain themselves — and each other — while sheltering in place. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is unveiling the app for the Oculus Quest VR headset as a family-oriented experience. Built by AARP Innovation Labs and Rendever, the app is a platform for a variety of VR apps — covering everything from photo memories to meditation and world travel...
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People are using Facebook and Instagram as search engines. During a pandemic, that’s dangerous // Nieman Lab
Data voids on social networks are spreading misinformation and causing real world harm. Everyone needs access to credible information during a pandemic. Without it, people die. We are especially vulnerable when we want to know something — such as how to treat Covid-19 — but no credible information exists. At the beginning of the pandemic, confusion about symptoms, causes, and treatments reigned. Viral posts claimed a runny nose was not a sign of the disease, or that garlic, alcohol, or sunlight were good preventative measures...
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COVID-19 just schooled a bunch of universities // The Verge
Colleges got a schooling in virology this week. After ignoring recommendations from the local health department to hold virtual classes this fall, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill started classes on August 10, in person. Within a week, with outbreaks spreading on campus, the school abruptly shifted to online learning. A day later, also facing an outbreak, Notre Dame did the same...
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Pandemic Spurs a Burst of Technology Innovation // Communications of the ACM
While the coronavirus has upended work and play across the United States, it has been a boon for technology, according to University of Miami experts. Technology inventions and innovations are destined to transform business and other facets of life, from how people communicate, educate, recreate, and entertain, to how they seek medical care, design new homes, and perhaps even choose who to live with...
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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

Postwork City [Call]
Cool project posted in our Speculative Futures slack!!! Work has not only dominated our political imaginaries, but also the very landscapes in which we live our lives. Recently, with innovations in artificial intelligence, low-cost networked sensors, and robotics, combined with prolonged economic stagnation for large swaths of the population, there has been increasing interest in policies such as universal basic income as a means of ensuring the economic welfare of all people. These proposals also have a radical utopian dimension that begs the question of what society could be like if all production was automated, the material abundance produced was equitably distributed, and nobody worked at all. Yet, as this possibility is contemplated by more and more people, there has been no significant discussion of the way that our built environments would have to change to accommodate it.
Learn More & Submit

Speculative Edu Online Repository
An awesome repository of speculative and futures methods and tools that was shared through our Speculative Futures Slack! In this folder, you can find some approaches of the practitioners of speculative design, as they emerged from their interviews. Each interview has been analyzed using Natural Language Processing techniques to extract the principal characteristics of each subject's approach.
Check It Out

Homeward Bound Open House | The Weekly Weekly @ Brooklyn Research
An awesome onlien virtual space built by the team over at the Weekly Weekly to hold projects, connect etc. So impressed by this!!!
Check It Out

Model Metropolis | A Look into the History of Microsoft Flight Simulator
Another awesome article shared through the SF Slack!!!  In 1984, the developer Will Wright had just finished work on his first video game, a shoot-em-up called Raid on Bungeling Bay. In it, the player controls a helicopter dropping bombs on enemy targets on a series of islands. Wright was happy with the game, which was a commercial and critical success, but even after it was released, he continued tinkering with the terrain editor he had used to design...
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2020: An Isolation Odyssey [Video]
2020: an isolation odyssey is a reenactment of the iconic finale of 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968). Restaged in the context of home quarantine, the journey through time adapts to the mundane dramas of self-isolation–poking fun at the navel-gazing saga of life alone and indoors. This is hilarious! Thanks to Ben from the SF Slack for sharing!!!
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Gaming, Shows, Books & Other Random Cool Stuff

Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora (Volume One) [Book]
Speculative fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora, including Nicole Givens Kurtz, Dilman Dila, Eugen Bacon, Nuzo Onoh, Marian Denise Moore, Dare Segun Falowo, Rafeeat Aliyu, Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Odida Nyabundi, Mame Bougouma Diene, Michael Boatman, and Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald.
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A dark comic book conspiracy turns out to be all too real in Utopia trailer [Upcoming Series] // ArsTechnica
Last month at the virtual San Diego Comic Con, Amazon dropped the first teaser for Utopia, a reboot (adapted by Gone Girl and Sharp Objects author Gillian Flynn) of the controversial 2013-2014 British black comedy/conspiracy thriller. Now the streaming platform has released the official full trailer, and the series looks like it's going to be quite the wild ride. As we reported previously, the series is about online fans of a dystopian graphic novel called Utopia that seems to have the power to predict the real-world future. The fans are obsessed with tracking down the sequel (which supposedly also predicts future world events). This makes them targets of a secret organization called The Network.
Watch Trailer

What I'm Reading

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

Persepolis Rising (Expanse #7)
by James Corey

Introduction to Critical Theory: Horkheimer to Habermas
by David Held

Futurists forget that we have bodies
By Giles Fraser

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