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YOUR BIWEEKLY DOSE OF EVERYTHING SPECULATIVE

DESIGN // FICTION // TECHNOLOGY // ART

 
   
 
 
 

SciFly // 167 // Remote Speculations Week 80/81

Speculative Events, News & Resources | Sent 10/4

Hey Scifly Readers!


This week, I will quickly re-share some updates for upcoming talks, deadlines etc. etc.

Then (can you tell I'm way more excited about this part?) I will talk about something that has been on my mind for a long time, and that recently clicked for me in a big way. As part of that, I have made up a new term (at least as far as I can tell aside from some random unrelated academic papers with the term in it) to try to define what I'm interested in exploring. I call it Futuriography.

NYC Media Labs Future Imperfect Conference: The Metaverse & Storytelling


Join me this Wednesday, October 6th at NYCML's "Future Imperfect" 2021 Summit, where I will be moderating an awesome talk, "The Metaverse & Storytelling"!

When: 12:30-1:15pm ET

Panel Description: As new platforms offer uniquely holistic worlds of virtual existence, a panel of experts will discuss virtual life, the economy of the Metaverse, and, ultimately, its impact on the self. Is the Metaverse today’s Ready Player One? What happens when our virtual and analogue lives blend beyond distinction? Will avatars, digital currencies, and machine-generated content take over the media landscape? This panel dives deep into the ever-evolving world of new media, human interaction, and creative storytelling.Speakers: Dana Martens (Moderator), Director of Communications & Special Projects at the Design Futures Initiative; Edward Saatchi, Founder of Fable Studio; Dirk Lueth, Co-Founder of Upland.

Learn More & Get Your Tickets Here

There will also be lot's of other awesome talks and demoes as part of the two-day conference, 10/6 & 10/7!

Futures x Design Guide & October Workshop!


Earlier this month, I was super proud to help release our Futures
x Design Guide, a free downloadable resource that provides an introduction to the FxD Framework and explains how you can leverage different futures design modes (extrapolate, create, experience & strategize) to undertake speculative projects.

If you haven't gotten a copy yet, you can do so on our Futures x Design website!

❗️REMEMBER - The deadline for our October 22nd & 23rd class is coming up this week!

Make sure you get your registration started if you want to come hang with Jack, Adam and I for our two-day, immersive, design-driven workshop that provides a hands-on introduction to the basics of leveraging speculative futuring for personal and professional success. 

Random Musing: Futuriography


So a couple of weeks ago, I was listening to the Our Opinions are Correct podcast about Pulp novels while driving and ended up having a 30 minute reverie about a new idea when the guest mentioned the historiography of pulp fiction, and described it as the history of it's history and how people interpret/reinterpret historical events over time.

For whatever reason, hearing the term historiography sparked my imagination, and perhaps finally has given a name to  something I have been thinking about for awhile.

As I have written about before, I am super interested in how books, games, movies, music about the future are really a fine balance between what the author is trying to 'predict' or 'extrapolate' and the fact that they live in the present, here, right now, and are influenced not only by what is happening, but also  all of the other stories, ideas, and cultural representations of technology and its potential.

Time and time again, speculative fiction (and I'm broadly defining that to include different types of media like video games, books, movies etc.) has helped fuel my speculations, creating a go-to 'library' of tropes, technologies, consequences, and pre-imagined scenarios for how technology and resulting social changes may influence our future. I've found that being an avid Science Fiction fan has helped me to connect with other entrepreneurs and creators by providing us with a shared vocabulary to talk about speculative futures, or the implication of some new development today using a pastiche of imaginary vocabulary that we have already imagined, inspired by others' visions.

In all of this, I really think that there is something compelling beneath the surface. Maybe it is the beginning of a research project, or a doctoral thesis, or perhaps just a series of random musing here in SciFly to try to define/create a set of frameworks and practices that people could use to dissect speculative fictions and better understand what the author's story says about how people today are envisioning the future. If they, and others, are focused on these shared hopes, fears, and desires, what can these stories tell us about how these speculative ideas (ideals?) may trickle down into the minds, hearts, and hands of people who are actually trying to create the future through technology, design, and social change?

So, I want to try out this definition for the first time with you all to see if you think it is clear, compelling, provocative, and perhaps worthy of future study and definition.
 

Futuriography


The history of the future. The study of how stories about the future were/are told, by whom, and why they were recorded that way. We do this in the service of exploring how the future has been been retold & reinterpreted by people over time and why.

Why is this important?
Everyday, we talk about, think about, tell stories about, and reflect upon our futures. During this process, we develop stories and speculations that guide our personal lives and inform the way our present society functions.

If history is the act of interpretation, then futures is the act of speculation.

Looking at how we have speculated over time, and how different people have actually take completely different things away from these stories can tell us a lot about the societies that have told and retold stories about the future over time.

After doing a little bit of research into historiography, I found that one way to think about the practice is to break it down into 3 core aspects: data, method, and ideology.

To try to give a futures spin on that idea...
  • Data from today shapes how we think about the future. What data do we have access to? What signals, trends, and patterns do we sense, what is hidden from us?
  • Methodology and  theoretical models shape our speculations (just look at the many practices across futures, speculative design, and strategic foresight). They can help us choose which data to analyze, and how we do our analysis.
  • Ideology is a framework for shaping how we interpret the world around us, and what futures we imagine as preferable. All of us have ideologies that inform what we hope for in the future, and what we fear. Some of these are conscious, and others are unconscious. Many times we may not even realize that our ideologies shape both the stories we consume, and the stories we tell about the future. In fact, we are often blindsided when those with completely different ideologies take away something different from the stories we tell than we ever intended (e.g. Red Pill in the Matrix).

Anyway... that is all I have so far as far as a definition goes. I want to keep down along this rabbit-hole a bit longer and think more deeply about what practicing "Futuriography" would look like. What would one do in this sub-discipline?

A couple of random ideas:
  • Develop a method/framework for consuming speculative media that helps to break down the worldview of the authors, and how it correlates with other speculative materials from the same time-period, author demographic etc.
  • Look to the tools that historiogrpahers use and think about how they could be transformed for futures work.
  • Dig deeper into my previous fascination with finding a way to "close-read' speculative fiction (or play or whatever) and pull out different technologies, social arrangements, systems, services, designs etc. for reflection and debate.

Would love any feedback you may have on this idea, if you think it is cool, and any thoughts you might have for expanding it further!!!
As always, 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

"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 🗓

Events are organized chronologically by week with events from Speculative Futures chapters listed separately at the end.

WEEK 1 - Tuesday, October 5th - Monday, October 11th

 

Tuesday, October 5


FEMMES & THEMS // 6:30pm - 9:30pm EDT // Free
Join us investigating feminist and queer creative practices at RMIT School of Art for the Femmes and Thems Symposium. In the 21st century, feminist and queer cultural practices are turning increasing towards new materialism, posthumanism and social practice to interrogate the agency of things and the culturally constituted hierarchies of objects and subjects. This area of focus is driven by a focus on the process of making as the method of research to generate reparative actions by gently holding together intersecting alliances of practice, ideology, politics and lived experience. We advocate praxis as a method for generating new knowledge.” The symposium will feature a keynote presentation by the brilliant artist, filmmaker, and writer Zach Blas, Assistant Professor of Visual Studies in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. “Blas’ work exemplifies the rigorous integration of material practice with theoretical investigation. His fierce engagement with the conceptual implications of creative practice is inspiring” says Dr Alison Bennett, theme leader of the CAST Queer(y)ing Creative Practice research project. 
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DT Cloud Salon - Decoding Stigma: Maggie Oates & Lena Chen // 7pm EDT // Free
This Cloud Salon is co-hosted with Decoding Stigma. Guests Maggie Oates (she/her) and Lena Chen (she/her) will talk about their process creating OnlyBans, an interactive game that critically examines the policing of marginalized bodies and sexual labor to empathetically teach people about discrimination faced by sex workers online. Lena Chen is a Chinese American writer and artist creating performances and socially engaged art in live and virtual contexts. Her practice has been informed by her experiences as one of the earliest documented survivors of revenge porn and her work in the sex industry as a stripper, cam performer, and fetish provider. The most legible title for Maggie Oates is "creative technologist." On odd days, she's a caregiver, a privacy nerd, a performer, an aspiring transformative justice practitioner, and an artist. Her academic and personal research focuses on the intersection of privacy and The Arts, particularly on how artists and institutions (over/under/mis/lovingly) use digital data. She is based indefinitely in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. This talk will begin with a 20-minute presentation by Lena Chen and Maggie Oates, followed by a 40-minute conversation with participants, moderated by Decoding Stigma.
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Microprocessors: From Transformative to Pervasive—and What’s Next // 7pm - 9pm EDT // Free
Microprocessor technology has enabled us to transition from a world with only a small number of computers, designed and used for specific missions and purposes, to a world seemingly awash in microprocessors—in data centers and cloud computing facilities, in laptops and smartphones, in smart devices and game consoles in our homes, in our cars and vehicles, in urban infrastructure and sensors of all types, and embedded in devices of all types—if you look (and count) closely enough. In fact, the amazing technological devices are so common that we even throw them out, when newer, better, cooler devices come along. What exactly are they, and how did they become so essential and ubiquitous—and disposable? How are they designed and made—and where? Why are we seeing a global supply shortage now, affecting availability and shipping times of computers, consoles, cars, and more? What does the global supply chain really look like, how fragile is it, and what are the risks? What does this future of this technology look like, how will it evolve, and what may alter, augment, or supplant silicon microprocessor technologies?
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Wednesday, October 6


NYC Media Lab Summit 2021: Future Imperfect // 10/6, 10am - 10/7, 3:30pm EDT (2 Day Conference)
Explore the future of media & tech in NYC and beyond! We'll cover AI & local news, green tech, outer space, and more. New York City’s tech and media sectors have been fielding many curveballs. And yet, in the face of disruption we continue to innovate, no matter how uncertain the future may seem at times. In the spirit of endless innovation and exploration, NYC Media Lab is thrilled to host “Summit 2021: Future Imperfect”. The two-day online conference will bring together 1,000+ virtual attendees from NYC Media Lab’s core community—including executives, university faculty, students, investors, and entrepreneurs—to explore the future of media and tech in New York City and beyond. 
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Indigenous Science and Knowledge Driving Transformative Solutions // 1pm - 3pm EDT // Free
Indigenous-led sustainable development and conservation projects grounded in Indigenous Science and Knowledge offer transformative pathways to address the climate crisis and ongoing inequality. Amidst brilliant successes in Canada, there are also challenges for Indigenous Peoples, including issues around Rights and Responsibilities, scientific and academic data sovereignty, access to broadband connectivity, and inclusion of Indigenous voices in policy change. We will explore the potential of digital technologies in this space to disrupt systems, while fostering constructive dialogue to align Indigenous and non-Indigenous science in various fields and environmentalism. What do we need to do to create more inclusive socio-economic development in Canada?
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Deplatforming Sex // 10am - 11:30am EDT // Donation
Join us for a discussion of recent actions and consideration of their impacts on sex workers and performers and the futures for digital sexual content. Our speakers are: Danielle Blunt (she/her) is a sex worker, community organizer, public health researcher and co-founder of Hacking//Hustling, a collective of sex workers and accomplices working at the intersection of tech and social justice to interrupt state surveillance and violence facilitated by technology. Dr. Stefanie Duguay is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal, Canada. She is Concordia University Research Chair in Digital Intimacy, Gender and Sexuality and Director of the Digital Intimacy, Gender and Sexuality (DIGS) Lab where her research focuses on the intersection of digital media with representations and practices pertaining to relationships, gender, and sexuality. Tarleton Gillespie is a senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research, an affiliated associate professor in the Department of Communication and Department of Information Science at Cornell University. His most recent book is Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions that Shape Social Media.
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Tribe Talks: Decolonising the Civic: Redefine, reclaim, relegate? // 12:30pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
This event is set to be a unique, honest and frank uncovering of the civic role of theatres from an empire and race perspective, and how the arts and civic spaces within it, are inextricably intertwined by the enterprise of colonialism and empire-building. We will seek to understand what legitimacy these civic spaces have in our modern, race-conscious times, and debate the very nucleus of what it means to be civic; should the word be redefined, reclaimed or relegated?
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Things You Never Got Taught #8 Decarbonising your Creative Practice // 1:30pm - 3pm EDT // Free
In this session of TYNGT we invite artists to think about their practice in the frame of climate impact. Eco-anxious artist Sean Roy Parker will make a presentation and open the session for debate! A short exercise to provoke thought and new understanding will be issued prior to the event, with a chance to share and discuss our own position and responsibility in relation to the looming apocalypse. Sean Roy Parker is decarbonising their practice, exploring the lifecycle of materials, complexities of civic responsibility and how to tackle waste culture through collaborative problem-solving. Sean's approach is driven by radical amateurship, awareness of natural abundance and the possibilities that exist within collaboration and community activity, like supper clubs, litter picks and fermentation workshops.
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Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley: Archiving what was left out // 1pm - 3pm EDT // Free
In this talk, the artist Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley will evaluate archiving as a process of trust in the context of Black Trans people’s experiences. By exploring Danielle’s practice, we will consider the historical context of erasure of Black Trans people’s existence, the role of contemporary archives in storing histories for the future and producing new narratives. Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley uses the forms and imagery of video games to create works that consider "what archives have left out and how we can archive now.” Danielle works predominantly in animation, sound, performance and Video Games to communicate the experiences of being a Black Trans person. Danielle's practice focuses on recording the lives of Black Trans people, intertwining lived experience with fiction to imaginatively retell Trans stories. Spurred on by a desire to record the "History of Trans people both living and past" their work can often be seen as a Trans archive where Black Trans people are stored for the future.
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Thursday, October 7


CHM Live | AI 2041: Kai-Fu Lee Explores Stories of Our Collective Future // 10pm - 11:30pm EDT // Free
How will artificial intelligence change our world within twenty years? Leading AI expert Kai-Fu Lee and novelist Chen Qiufan joined forces to create ten science fiction stories that show how AI might shape our lives.All set in 2041, the stories span the globe, including: In San Francisco, a new industry, “job reallocation,” arises to serve displaced workers and calls into question the nature of what work might be in the AI future. In Tokyo, a music fan is swept up in an immersive form of celebrity worship with her idol’s “ghost” brought back to life through AI and VR. In Munich, a rogue quantum computer scientist imperils the world with his revenge plot with AI-enabled autonomous weapons.
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Indigenous Futurism: Choosing Which History We Repeat // 3:30pm EDT // Free
Bring your imagination for this workshop, because participants will sketch out a fictional narrative based on a story from their people's history or mythology! Indigenuity is all about building on traditions through innovation! Create an innovative and futuristic narrative though using your knowledge of the past! Weyodi OldBear was born on the shores of Long Island Sound among her father’s people but raised among her mother’s people, The Comanche Nation of Oklahoma, where she is an enrolled voting citizen. After the death of her grandparents in 2013 and 2014 she left Oklahoma for other parts of traditional Comanche territory. She’s written 4 novels, hundreds of poems, numerous speculative fiction and science fiction short stories in addition to a historical play about her great great grandparents Weckeah OldBear and Quanah Parker, and is one of the principal writers for the groundbreaking Indigenous Futurist tabletop Role Playing Game Coyote&Crow.
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Black Museum: Black Mirror and Technological Dysto // 7pm - 10pm EDT // $50
As an anthology series with wholly new characters and storylines in each episode, the connecting thread in Black Mirror is the individual technological dystopias created in each episode. From social credit scores to artificial realities to the dangers of transhumanism, perhaps no other current cultural text speaks so directly about the most ubiquitous to the point of invisible and under-discussed aspects of our current lives: the unprecedented influence of technology over our lives. This course will place the political realities of our present moment into a discussion with the more fully realized near-future dystopias created in the series. We will consider technology from a philosophical standpoint as well as a more pragmatic one. Technology will not be considered as a wholly material object but also for its function as a symbol and metaphor for human culture itself.
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Using Green Screen to Make-Believe New Worlds // 10/7 - 10/14, 12pm - 2pm EDT
Imagining a new story or world is one thing, but it can be difficult to make that world come to life on a digital screen. Artist Natalie Paneng hopes to change that with her workshop on accessible world building. This workshop is focussed on using models against a greenscreen to make exciting, playful, and digital stories. It requires just a few arts and crafts materials, all of which can be found easily and affordably, to help workshop attendees gain perspective onrealizing their world to scale. These models can then be digitally translated and accessed through virtual means.
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Brain-computer interfaces and the future of human-machine interaction // 11am.- 12pm ET // Free
Dr. Maryam Alimardani (Tilburg University, the Netherlands) will share research-based insights and her own experience about brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). In recent years, there have been a lot of interest and progress in BCI technology. Does this mean that all the challenges have been overcome and BCIs can now be used in practical applications? What are the practical use cases of BCIs? What does the development of BCI technology mean for the future?
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The Metaverse Demystified | Distinguished Innovator Series: Cathy Hackl // 8pm - 9pm EDT // Free
Dearly disrupted, we are gathered here to talk about the future metaverse we will inhabit. From AR, VR, to NFTs, to Brain-computer interfaces, digital twins and even space. In this age of exploration and expansion where are we headed, what technologies will aid us, and why? Join us to take a walk on the future side with a renowned tech futurist and top tech voice on LinkedIn, our Distinguished Innovative speaker, Cathy Hackl. Let's discover the metaverse and the technologies that will take us there.
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Things we could design: Ron Wakkary & Paul Dourish in conversation // 1pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
Over the past forty years, designers have privileged human values such that human-centered design is seen as progressive. Yet because all that is not human has been depleted, made extinct, or put to human use, today's design contributes to the existential threat of climate change and the ongoing extinctions of other species. In Things We Could Design (MIT Press, 2021), Ron Wakkary argues that human-centered design is not the answer to our problems but is itself part of the problem. Drawing on philosophy, design theory, and numerous design works, he shows the way to a relational and expansive design based on humility and cohabitation. Wakkary says that design can no longer ignore its exploitation of nonhuman species and the materials we mine for and reduce to human use. Posthumanism, he argues, enables a rethinking of design that displaces the human at the centre of thought and action. Weaving together posthumanist philosophies with design, he describes what he calls things—nonhumans made by designers—and calls for a commitment to design with more than human participation.
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Friday, October 8


Art Somewhere: Zines of the future! // 7pm - 8pm EDT // $15
Zines are a low-cost, DIY form of self-publishing, creative expression and sharing ideas. This is a fun and easy zine-making workshop which will focus on the theme of futures. How might we use zines to guide us towards better futures? To explore alternative futures or dream up utopias? Your zine might be a speculative guide to life on Mars, a manifesto on sustainable living, or a tale of life on earth after humans. Estee Sarsfield is an illustrator, designer and educator with an interest in sustainability and design futures. She is a director of non-profit printing co-op, the Rizzeria and teaches design theory and visual communication at the University of Sydney.
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Saturday, October 9


Art is Not an Island: on Interdependence and Complicity // 9:30am - 10:45am EDT // Free
Held on the occasion of British Art Show 9 in Aberdeen, this event forms part of Kathrin Böhm’s work for the exhibition, which questions how art and culture both depend on and shape the economy we live in. The panel will discuss diverse economies, local culture, the dominance of oil and art’s possible contribution to systemic change. The panel members will speak about the context of Aberdeen, bringing a wide range of perspectives that connect curatorial, political, activist and organisational knowledge. The conversation will cover: How do important local economies underpin and shape local culture? Where and how can a new practice of acknowledging complicity take place, whilst also shifting away from extractive and destructive economies? Can the concept of interdependence offer a practical and theoretical approach? How can new approaches create lasting support systems?
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Faith in the Future Talks // 10/8, 12am - 5/13/22, 4pm EDT // $0 - $30
What is the church of the future? Will church—as we know it—even exist? Author and noted futurist Bob Johansen, a distinguished fellow with the Institute for the Future, will join a small audience from around the church to look at current trends, future trends, possible disruptions, and why a new way of thinking is required for leaders of the church. Rather than a fearful future, we should embrace it as an opportunity for new spectrums of meaning-making. It will be a fascinating, yet practical, conversation. Part 1 - 10/8. Part 2 - 1/14/22. Part 3 - 5/13/22.
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Sunday, October 10

CSDL Presents: Three Spheres: East, West & Digital -- Man & the Machine - The Lost Cause // 3pm - 5pm EDT // Free
Globalism is Dead but most haven't got the memo. It has been replaced by a new structure, Three Spheres: East, West & Digital. Understanding this fundamental change is critical for anyone evaluating the opportunities and risks they are facing today. The chaos we are experiencing is the result of the shift from Television (Fantasy) to Digital (Memory) as paradigms. Coming to grips with this shift, however destabilizing it may be, has become mandatory. Overview - The Lost Cause: Nothing can be understood without grasping its causes. But causality has largely been removed from modern thinking (often replaced by statistics) -- fatally wounding our ability to comprehend change. How can we retrieve causality--particularly Formal cause -- so we can understand the world around us?
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Monday, October 11

Healing our future: Indigenous wealth building for seven generations // 7pm - 8pm EDT // Free
Join Native Governance Center on Indigenous Peoples' Day for our free virtual event, "Healing our future: Indigenous wealth building for seven generations." The event will provide attendees with an overview of Indigenous wealth concepts and a deep dive into how Indigenous people are building wealth in their communities. We'll also explore how Indigenous ideas about wealth can help all of us heal for the next seven generations. The event will feature stories from three Indigenous wealth building leaders: Dallas Nelson, Tasha Peltier, and Dani Pieratos. "Healing our future" is geared toward beginners and open to all: come with your questions!
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How Mass Migration Will Reshape the World – and What It Means for You // 1:30pm - 2:30pm EDT // £10.72 – £22.52
In the 60,000 years since people began colonising the continents, a recurring feature of human civilisation has been mobility - the constant search for resources and stability. Seismic global events - wars and genocides, revolutions and pandemics - have only accelerated the process. The map of humanity isn't settled, not now, not ever. What will the map of humanity look like in 2050? Which areas will people abandon and where will they resettle? Which countries will accept or reject them? As today's world population, which includes four billion restless youth, votes with their feet, what map of human geography will emerge? In conversation with broadcaster and host of the GlobalGoalsCast, Edie Lush, global strategy advisor Parag Khanna will provide an illuminating and authoritative vision of the next phase of human civilisation - one that is both mobile and sustainable.
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WEEK 2 - Tuesday, October 12th - Monday, October 18th

Tuesday, October 12


Ada Lovelace Day 2021: The Science of Hypersleep // 2pm - 3pm EDT // Free
Hypersleep is a common theme in science fiction, but what does science have to say about putting humans into suspended animation? This discussion will focus on the realities of hypersleep and will ask questions such as: What can we learn from hibernating animals? What’s the difference between hibernation and sleep? What health impacts would extended hypersleep have? Ada Lovelace Day and The Clarke Award invite you to join science fiction author Anne Charnock, sleep and memory expert Prof Gina Poe, Prof Kelly Drew, who studies hibernation in squirrels, and Dr Anusha Shankar who studies torpor in hummingbirds, for a discussion of whether hypersleep in humans is possible.
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Uncomfortable Interactions // 6:30pm - 8:15pm EDT // $0 - $15
UX and HCI have typically been concerned with comfortable interactions that are efficient, ergonomic, satisfying, legible and predictable. However, an increasing focus on cultural experiences, from highbrow arts to mainstream entertainment, changes the game. Our experience of artworks is often far from comfortable. Our engagements with games and sports may push our minds and bodies to the limit. In this talk, Steve Benford will argue for deliberately and systematically designing uncomfortable interactions to deliver entertaining, enlightening and socially bonding experiences. He will reflect on interactive artworks that have deliberately employed discomfort to create powerful and provocative interactive experiences. He will explore four strategies for designing with discomfort - visceral, cultural, control and intimacy.
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That place you go to play, out of the way // 2pm - 3pm EDT // Free
Weaving together speculative narratives and historical accounts, Leaving Biosphere 2 is a role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic future. Holly’s late grandfather was a paleo-botanist who helped to develop a scientific facility and fully-enclosed ecological system in the Arizona desert in the 1990s. Drawing on conversations and books from his library, Holly reimagines Biosphere 2 through the eyes of a resident, Danny, who has grown up in a community squatting the abandoned site. To launch the game and accompanying publication, Holly White will be in conversation with Rowan Lear, Glasgow Seed Library, and writer Beth Bramich, who will read extracts from an essay commissioned for the publication. You can play the game online from Monday 11 October, before and after the event, on CCA Annex. 
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Wednesday, October 13


Computers With Bodies: The Contemporary Impact of Cybernetic Approaches in Cognitive Science // 12pm - 2pm EDT // Free
Joe Dewhurst explores cybernetics and cognitive science while Carl Sachs discusses Wilfred Sellars as Philosopher of Cybernetics. The cybernetics movement included many key founding figures of what would eventually become known as cognitive science. Despite this connection, the cybernetic origins of cognitive science are often downplayed in accounts of the discipline’s history, and it is only relatively recently that cybernetic principles have come to be seen as once again relevant to contemporary cognitive science.
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Art and technology today: the new frontiers // 6pm - 7pm EDT // Free
This lecture explores the very latest intersections of art and science, looking at how the new technologies of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Augmented Reality, 3D printing and Big Data, wearable tech, location-tracking and more are changing the way art is made and experienced. We explore where technology will take artists and the art world in the next decade as these technologies – currently seen as futuristic and experimental – are set to become ever-more integral to our daily lives. Along the way, we’ll discover some of the most powerful examples of immersive tech art, from virtual reality firework displays over China’s Forbidden City to 3D mappings of a Pharoah’s tomb, and reveal how technology is transforming the ways in which art is promoted and discovered, bought and sold, archived, experienced and understood.
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John Von Neumann: the Lost Genius Who Invented Our World // 1:30pm - 2:30pm EDT // £10.72 – £22.52
Smartphones, nanotechnology, artificial life and nuclear weapons. All bear the fingerprints of one remarkable man: John von Neumann. Born in Budapest at the turn of the century, von Neumann is one of the most influential scientists to have ever lived. His colleagues believed he had the fastest brain on the planet – bar none. He was instrumental in the Manhattan Project and helped formulate the bedrock of Cold War geopolitics and modern economic theory. He created the first ever programmable digital computer. He prophesied the potential of nanotechnology and, from his deathbed, expounded on the limits of brains and computers – and how they might be overcome.
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DesignMeets: AI and New Directions in Design // 12pm - 1pm EDT // Free
We live in a world driven by complexity, data volume and information. Design is increasingly data-driven and it is the cornerstone of our understanding of user experience, product development and service design. Designers increasingly rely on data visualization in their problem-solving and critical thinking as they grasp complexity in the process of uncovering insights and meaning for users. The growing AI impact on design is profound. Designers are adapting core conventional skills (problem-solving, critical thinking) to develop technology-centric practices more relevant and meaningful to users. In this process, the design will need to transition bridge the gap between it and science and evolve into a more multidisciplinary, agile practice if it is to remain a creative solutions provider. As AI becomes more embedded in daily life, designers must accept responsibility for the ethical dimension – designing ethically and navigating the challenges of co-design and diversity to ensure these issues are properly addressed.
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Dean Spade – Mutual Aid: Survival and Resistance in Times of Disaster // 8pm - 9:30pm EDT // Free
Dean Spade has been working to build queer and trans liberation based in racial and economic justice for the past two decades. He is the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law, the director of the documentary “Pinkwashing Exposed: Seattle Fights Back!,” and the creator of the mutual aid toolkit at BigDoorBrigade.com. This event is co-presented by CCA@CCA and the Visual & Critical Studies Forum | 2021/2022 Series. The 2021–2022 Creative Citizens Series will focus on four pillars of the Communal Flower, a model for understanding communality in the ancient philosophy and daily practice of various Indigenous nations in southern Mexico: land, communal responsibility, assembly and joy. This event explores the pillar communal responsibility.
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Guest Speaker: The Cyborg Jillian Weise // 4pm - 5pm EDT // Free
The Cyborg Jillian Weise is a poet, video artist and disability rights activist. Cy’s first book, The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, was reissued in a 10th anniversary edition with a new preface. The Book of Goodbyes won the 2013 Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and the 2013 Gardner Award from BOA Editions. Cy’s speculative novel, The Colony, features Charles Darwin, James Watson and Peter Singer. Cy’s fourth book, Cyborg Detective, won the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award. Cy has been awarded residencies from the Fine Arts Work Center, the Fulbright Program and the Lannan Foundation. Cy worked in editorial at The Paris Review and The Iowa Review. In Fall 2020, Cy worked with disabled publisher Red Mare/Su Zi. They collaborated on the sold-out textual art chapbook Give It to Alfie Tonight. Cy’s memoir, Common Cyborg, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
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Thursday, October 14


🔥IFTF Foresight Talks: Decolonizing Futures: Exploring Inclusive Futures Storytelling Methods // 12pm EDT // Free
What does it look like to create an equitable futures practice, through a non-western lens? Join our conversation with award-winning futurist and designer Pupul Bisht, who is pioneering the use of the Kaavad storytelling tradition of Rajasthan, India for developing transformative futures visions. Pupul will share examples from her work with youth, women, and communities in the Global South and Africa, including designing participatory games. Pupul is a multidisciplinary designer, futurist and the Winner of the Joseph Jaworski Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Award 2018. She founded the Decolonizing Futures Initiative in 2018— a global project that aims to engage marginalized communities in imagining their preferred futures.
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What Science Fiction Got Wrong...and Right! (and how you make the future) // 11am - 12:15pm ET // Free
In the 1950s and '60s, scientists and engineers were hailed as saints of progress. People believed that technology would solve all of the world's problems. But the science fiction and mainstream prognosticators of the same era also foresaw technology causing the world's imminent end: by nuclear war, overpopulation, global unemployment, environmental catastrophe...and plague. How accurate were the futurists and science fictioneers of the last century? What predictions didn't materialize, and what visions may yet come true? And do we, today, have the ability to change tomorrow?
Join Hugo Finalist, Gideon Marcus for "What Science Fiction got wrong...and right! (and how you make the future)".
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The Mental State of Noise & The New Frontiers of Cognition // 12pm - 2pm EDT // Free

Rationality has historically been modelled on the power of calculation (ratio- Lat. reor, to count, calculate). Artificial intelligence, in turn, is commonly mapped onto received ideas of human intelligence. Suggesting a perfect if unequal fit between human and artificial intelligence, this narrow vision of intelligence conflates both with the power of calculation and logical deduction. But what if we turn the question around? Rather than focus on the quantifiable performance of both human and artificial intelligence, we may ask: what qualitative aspects of intelligence are foregrounded, if we look at the specific ways humans and machines malfunction or capitulate before noise? This seminar calls on thinkers from all disciplines, from philosophy to mental health and engineering sciences, to tackle the outstanding conceptualisation of noise specific to the context of cognition.
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Ben Grosser talks with Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Matthew Fuller and Joana Moll // 2:30pm - 4pm EDT // Free
This event aims to discuss software as culture, the politics of interface, and the power (im)balance between user and corporation within today’s digital technologies and social media platforms. Ben Grosser creates interactive experiences, machines, and systems that examine the cultural, social, and political effects of software. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is a writer and professor at Simon Fraser University. Her scholarly work investigates the relationship between cultural formations and technological artifacts, between theoretical concepts in the humanistic and technological disciplines, and between popular perceptions of technology and technological protocols. Matthew Fuller is a writer and professor at Goldsmiths University. He is involved in a number of projects in art, media and software and is the author of How to Sleep: The Art, Biology and Culture of Unconsciousness. Joana Moll is a Barcelona/Berlin based artist and researcher. Her work critically explores the way techno-capitalist narratives affect the alphabetization of machines, humans and ecosystems.
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GynepunkLAB as Medical Performativity // 10/14 - 10/11, 12pm - 2pm EST // €187.64 – €321.32 (5 Week Class, Thursdays)
How can we subvert medical violence dynamics through radical labs, toolkits, open diagnosis and supportive networks? Medical violence it’s a practice imprinted for centuries which inherits abuse from its tools to its rituals. Medical violence is happening, and it's an unfortunate and continuous cycle. Can we imagine a "future of health" where temporal hierarchies can be subverted as they relate to health issues? How can we create open spaces to inform ourselves and practice prevention, treatment, and healing of our "health/illness" conditions? How can biohacking and DIY knowledge and practices provide strategies and speculative scenarios for effective disruptions?
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Type for Justice with Andy Chen and Waqas Jawaid // 1pm - 2pm EDT // $2.50 - $5
Isometric Studio partners Andy Chen and Waqas Jawaid will share their recent work at the intersection of typography, architecture, and social justice. This includes brand identities and exhibition design projects for major educational and cultural clients including Google, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, Center for Reproductive Rights, and the Museum of the City of New York. The partners will discuss the opportunities and complexities associated with navigating this work as queer people of color, engaging with complex social issues including gender equity, climate change, racial justice, LGBT identity, and immigrant rights.
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Friday, October 15

ASTEROIDS: How Love, Fear, and Greed will Determine our Future in Space // 2:30pm - 4pm EDT // Free
The biggest industry that could come into being in space is the mining of the asteroids. Enabling this to happen will lead to a new flourishing of astronomy and planetary science (love), will protect Earth from dinosaur-killer asteroids (fear), and will lead to a time of material abundance (greed). I will discuss how this all may come about. Dr. Martin Elvis is an astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian and is an expert on the supermassive black holes we see as quasars. Concerned about the future of astronomy he has turned research on asteroid mining, covering both technical and legal/policy issues. 
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Artist Talk: Tintin Wulia // 4pm EDT // Free
Artist/researcher Tintin Wulia discusses aesthetics, the public space, and social transformation – within the tangle of imagination, emotion, and sociopolitical institution. Wulia urges seeing beyond the trope of usefulness in socially engaged art, to focus on the mechanisms of social change that are specifically aesthetic. Her argument is that imagination and emotion – two aesthetically-prone mental phenomena – have been entangled with the transformation of sociopolitical institutions for millennia. Citing results from her aesthetic fieldworks in urban public spaces during her Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship (2014-16), amongst others, Wulia discusses how the tangle of imagination, emotion, and sociopolitical institutions can especially pivot on aesthetic objects. Finally, she proposes an analytical method drawing mainly from sociology and artistic practice-based research, which includes repurposing Charles Tilly’s semantic grammar to analyse currently uncollated archives comprising three-decade worth of 900 socially engaged art projects globally.
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How to Lead a Team at an Inter-Dimensional Space Station // 10/15, 1pm - 11/1, 2pm EDT // $20
In this post-mortem, researcher, designer, game developer, and artist F. Ria Khan explores how they managed a team as they built the Galactic Autoquarium for Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station in Denver, CO. They will talk about what kind of attitudes make for the best collaboration and how sometimes having the most experience doesn’t necessarily mean you are the best person for the job. They will also reflect on other projects they’ve done that prepared them to lead this team and the things they would’ve done differently.
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Saturday, October 16

Z 2° αlphα // 7am - 8:15am EDT // Free
"In a world of growing division and displacement prompted by conflict, climate crisis and injustice, can we find hope and common ground in conceptions of ‘home’ and in attachments to place?” Dr Sarah Fine, King’s College London. This interactive dance workshop, led by choreographer Sivan Rubinstein, King’s College London, artist in residence 2019-20, draws on philosophy, dance, music and visual art. Participants are taken on a journey about our planet, in relation to our body and home.
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NO PLANET B | New Nordics Festival // 2:30pm - 4pm EDT // 
£5
NO PLANET B is a dark Danish comedy about the state of the climate crisis and where we as individuals fit into it all. Two women lead a performance lecture on climate change to brazenly inform us about the current situation of our planet. They embark on a frantic journey to solve the crisis once and for all. Listing the facts and statistics of what is happening to our planet – and expressing their concerns for their children, families and jobs – they try to find a solution here and now, with you, the audience. But as the information becomes more and more overwhelming, and the solutions seem further and further away, the two women spiral into absurdity in search for a plan(et) B.
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Sunday, October 17

Innovation beyond our borders // 9am - 11am EDT // Free
Augmented reality for engineers in Peru, to environmentally friendly leather production in Kenya, through to faster, earlier detection of kidney disease in Thailand, innovators across the world are helping to solve some of our greatest global challenges. Meet the people behind these world-changing projects and understand how Oxford and the UK are helping global innovators to transform the health and wealth of people and our planet.
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Monday, October 18

Muże.X: Shaping Museum Futures // 10/18 - 10/20, multiple times // €40 - €145
As museums navigate uncertain times, we might ask whether museums can morph into genuinely democratic, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical conversations about pasts and futures. We could also question whether museums can ever be fully integrated within communities, acting as co-catalysts for radical changes in ways of seeing and living. Indeed, will a human-centred museum, in harmonious existence with the natural environment, ever see the light of day? This conference seeks to present the latest thinking, actions and initiatives that modestly or radically depart from the traditional museum idea, to rethink the museum of the future. We are keen on showcasing the latest developments in the museum landscape, be they reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, conceptual initiatives that have been in the pipeline for a while or tangible projects happening and evolving in the now, and which may well inform, influence and define the museum of the future. 
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Upcoming Speculative Futures Meetups 


Reverse Archaeology: Designing things from the future // Speculative Futures Sydney // Tuesday, October 5th, 3:30am - 4:30am EDT // Free
In this talk, Sam will walk through ‘Reverse Archaeology’, a project conducted for his Honours research in 2019. The aims of this project were two-fold: exploring the notion of ‘re-anticipation’ and the role of product design skills and knowledge within emerging speculative practice.
Reverse archaeology is the practice of designing objects from the future. Diegetic prototypes were developed from co-created speculations into the future of lab-grown meat technology, exploring the potential implications on food production and consumption practices.
This talk will discuss and reflect upon the research methodologies and design approaches behind the speculative process.
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Speculative News & Resources 📰

News, resources, and musings about emerging technology, speculative practice, and futures design and related topics.

Scientists Created Holograms You Can Touch—You Could Soon Shake a Virtual Colleague’s Hand // SingularityHub
In the 21st century, holograms are already being used in a variety of ways, such as medical systems, education, art, security and defense. Scientists are still developing ways to use lasers, modern digital processors, and motion-sensing technologies to create several different types of holograms that could change the way we interact. My colleagues and I working in the University of Glasgow’s bendable electronics and sensing technologies research group have now developed a system of holograms of people using “aerohaptics,” creating feelings of touch with jets of air. Those jets of air deliver a sensation of touch on peoples’ fingers, hands, and wrists...
Read More

In the face of neurotechnology advances, Chile passes 'neuro rights' law // The Straits Times
Chilean lawmakers on Wednesday (Sept 29) approved a law establishing the rights to personal identity, free will and mental privacy, becoming the first country in the world to legislate on neurotechnology that can manipulate one's mind. This Bill, which already passed the Senate last year, could form the basis of future lawmaking in field of human rights in other countries in the face of advances in technology applied to the mind and the brain. During debates preceding the vote, Senator Guido Girardi, one of the most vocal promoters of the law, said its aim is to protect "the last frontier" of the human being: the human psyche...
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Design history has conveniently excluded women. That’s finally changing // FastCompany
Women in the creative world are finally getting some of the recognition they deserve — at least in the cultural domain. This fall alone, expect one of the most comprehensive new books on female designers, a book about the unsung heroines of graphic design, and a book about designing motherhood. In London, the Tate Modern is doing a retrospective of Swiss renaissance woman Sophie Taeuber-Arp (the exhibition will go to the Museum of Modern Art in November). And in Weil-am-Rhein, the Vitra Design Museum is showcasing over 80 women who have the shaped the furniture, fashion, industrial, and interior design worlds over the past 120 years. For many women highlighted in this exhibition – and in the flurry of books we’re seeing on the subject – acknowledgement comes almost a century late, but it brings long-overdue recognition that is essential for the next generation of designers...
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Sustainability May Have Roots in Palau 3,000 Years Ago // Futurity
When people in Palau saw their actions affecting local fish populations, they altered their ways to protect the important food source, evidence indicates. It’s an example of what we now call sustainability. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study combines data from archaeology, history, and paleoecology to gain new insight into human-environmental interactions in the deep past...
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How cultural differences shape online underground marketplaces // TNW
When we think of the dark web or the underground marketplaces where malware or data exchange occurs, often there’s an image of one big bad place. However, there are plenty of cultural divides within these marketplaces too. Anna Chung, Principal Researcher – Palo Alto Networks, said at the TNW 2021 conference that individuals from various regions create their own sub-cultures in these marketplaces: There are individuals from various regions, creating their cultures in the underground marketplace. How do they trust each other, how do they talk to each other, how do they exchange the money, what are they going after, and how do they separate their roles gives us a lot of understanding of how they operate...
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Food systems transformation: what shifts are needed and how do we get there? // Forum for the Future
The world’s first ever Food Systems Summit has intensified the spotlight on the growing need to transform the way we produce and consume food.  But what does a ‘sustainable food future’ look like? What shifts will get us there? And just how can we drive deep transformation with long-lasting potential? Forum’s Associate Director – Sustainable Nutrition, Lesley Mitchell, explores six key shifts urgently needed if we’re to create a just and regenerative food system; one which enables viable, thriving food production using practices that work with nature, support carbon sequestration and renew soils and biodiversity.
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Anil Seth Finds Consciousness in Life’s Push Against Entropy // Quanta Magazine
Anil Seth wants to understand how minds work. As a neuroscientist at the University of Sussex in England, Seth has seen firsthand how neurons do what they do — but he knows that the puzzle of consciousness spills over from neuroscience into other branches of science, and even into philosophy. As he puts it near the start of his new book, Being You: A New Science of Consciousness: “Somehow, within each of our brains, the combined activity of billions of neurons, each one a tiny biological machine, is giving rise to a conscious experience. And not just any conscious experience, your conscious experience, right here, right now. How does this happen? Why do we experience life in the first person?”
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These Modular Prefab Homes Could Be the World's First to Use a Steel 3D-Printed "Exoskeleton" Construction System! // Yanko Design
Museums are social hubs for travelers. They’re cultural and artistic landmarks first, yes. But they’re also guaranteed spots where tourists can take some respite from long hours spent wandering the city. Near the Nivola Museum in Sardinia, Italy, international design studio Mask Architects visualized a cluster of homes to function as a housing development for the surrounding community. Conceptualized as a small village of modular prefabricated steel houses, Mask Architects is the world’s first architecture and design firm to use a steel 3D-printed “exoskeleton” construction system to build the small village, calling it Exosteel.
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Ultrathin Quantum Dot LED Lights That Fold Like Paper // Next Big Future
IBS researchers reported three-dimensional foldable QLEDs, which can be freely transformed into various user-customized 3D structures, such as butterflies, airplanes, and pyramids. Considering the rising popularity of foldable smartphones, the advancement of foldable display technology is gaining greater importance. It is expected this technology can provide unprecedented opportunities for next-generation electronics with user-customized form factors with complex structures, as well as allowing for dynamic three-dimensional display of visual information...
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The Music of Proteins Is Made Audible Through a Computer Program That Learns From Chopin // SingularityHub
There are many surprising analogies between proteins, the basic building blocks of life, and musical notation. These analogies can be used not only to help advance research, but also to make the complexity of proteins accessible to the public. We’re computational biologists who believe that hearing the sound of life at the molecular level could help inspire people to learn more about biology and the computational sciences. While creating music based on proteins isn’t new, different musical styles and composition algorithms had yet to be explored. So we led a team of high school students and other scholars to figure out how to create classical music from proteins...
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How games teach AI to learn for itself // MIT Tech Review (Podcast)
From chess to Jeopardy to e-sports, AI is increasingly beating humans at their own games. But that was never the ultimate goal. In this first episode of season three of In Machines We Trust, we dig into the symbiotic relationship between games and AI. We meet the big players in the space, and we take a trip to an arcade...
Listen Now

Freedom Dreaming: Calvin Williams Answers Your Questions on Afrofuturism // IFTF Blog
How can we think about the future outside the social construct of time? How can we create narratives that imagine new possible realities rather than offer escapist fantasies? Where can you learn more about Afrofutures? On Thursday, August 12th, IFTF hosted a Foresight Talks webinar with Afrofuturist Calvin Williams, Founder of Wakanda Dream Lab, who spoke about freedom dreaming and the methods of Afrofutures (you can find the entire recording here). One hour was hardly enough time to cover the rich and complex topics brought up by the moderator and IFTF faculty Hodari Davis, and our audience. So, Calvin generously agreed to share his responses to a few audience questions which were left unanswered. Read on as Calvin discusses the framework of visionary fiction, organized power, different concepts of time, giving yourself the permission to dream, and more...
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The Hippocampus Weaves Memories into Stories // Futurity
A new brain imaging study shows that the hippocampus is the brain’s storyteller, connecting separate, distant events into a single narrative. “Things that happen in real life don’t always connect directly, but we can remember the details of each event better if they form a coherent narrative,” says Brendan Cohn-Sheehy, an MD/PhD student at the University of California, Davis and first author of the paper in Current Biology...
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Neuralink Co-Founder Predicts That Humanity Will Get “Wrecked” // Futurism
Departed Neuralink co-founder Max Hodak has a grim take on the fate of humanity: the robot uprising is inevitable, and they will leave humans in the dust. Key to his argument, which is admittedly a little hard to follow, is that AI will likely not adhere to humanity’s preconceptions about political and economic models for society. “Humans are objectively bad with socialism (and on the contrary, capitalism is amazingly effective at advancing humanity),” he wrote in a tweet, “but machines might end up reasoning about their identities and communities super differently.” That kind of incompatibility could lead to some irreconcilable differences. “We are going to get so wrecked,” he added.. 
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Google is rethinking search because TikTok and podcasts are taking over the internet // Protocol
One of Google's favorite statistics is that every day, roughly 15% of Google queries are for things that have never before been typed into the search box. And even at Google's impossible scale, the number never seems to go down. "Part of it, I have to admit, is that people find new and creative ways of misspelling words," Pandu Nayak, a Google fellow and the company's VP of search, told me earlier this month. But there are two other reasons, he said: The world changes all the time, and people's curiosity "is quite infinite in its complexity."... 
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Epic Games believes the Internet is broken. This is their blueprint to fix it. // Launcher
To Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, people are tired of how today’s Internet operates. He says the social media era of the Internet, a charge led by Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, has separated commerce from the general audience, herding users together and directing them to targets of the company’s choosing rather than allowing free exploration. “Now we’re in a closed platform wave, and Apple and Google are surfing that wave too,” Sweeney said. “As we get out of this, everybody is going to realize, ‘Okay we spent the last decade being taken advantage of.'" For years now, he has eyed a solution: the metaverse. And steadily, over several years, Epic has been acquiring a number of assets and making strategic moves with the goal of making Sweeney’s vision for the metaverse a reality...
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Technical Perspective: The Real-World Dilemma of Security and Privacy by Design // Communications of the ACM
The Roman historian Tacitus (55 A.D.–120 A.D.) once said "the desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise." In the digital era, providing security and privacy is a noble enterprise, and the entanglement between security and safety systems is increasing. The growing digitization of smart devices has already become an integral part of our daily lives, providing access to vast number of mobile services. Indeed, many people are glued to their smart devices. Hence, it seems almost natural to use them in the context of critical emergency and disaster alerts from life-threatening weather to pandemic diseases. However, despite all the convenience they offer, smart devices expose us to many security and privacy threats...
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Companies are Co-working in the Metaverse to stave off Zoom burnout and spark new types of collaboration // Digiday
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have adopted virtual communication tools to make up for in-person collaboration, but those channels have come with limitations: the nonverbal cues that make in-person meetings useful are difficult to discern on Zoom, and there’s no virtual replacement for water cooler conversations. As the pandemic drags on, some firms are addressing these shortcomings by coworking in the metaverse. Most metaverse platforms, such as Roblox and Minecraft, are designed primarily for fun, not work. But many of the builders of these virtual spaces have organically realized their potential for meeting or coworking...
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AI Futures: Fact and Fantasy // Communications of the ACM
Interest in AI has reached fever pitch in the popular imagination—its opportunities and its threats. The time is ripe for books on AI and what it holds for our future such as Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark, Android Dreams by Toby Walsh, and Artificial Intelligence by Melanie Mitchell.6,8,9 All three agree on the boundless possibilities of AI but there are also stark differences...
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Three ways to design for everyone—and the planet // FastCompany
Over the centuries, design has solved countless problems, but it has created them, too. “How we recognize that and make amends for that is the great work that design has to do,” says Dori Tunstall, dean of the faculty of design at OCAD University. Together with Jake Barton, founder of the experience design studio Local Projects, and Felipe Memória, founding partner of Work & Co, Tunstall took part in a panel at this year’s Fast Company Innovation Festival to discuss design as a force of progressive change...
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Smartphone motion sensors could be used to listen to your phone conversations // CSL Illinois
Track this: A relatively simple device in your smartphone that counts steps, among other things, also has the capacity to be used as a listening device, according to researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Your smartphone’s accelerometer – which is responsible for adjusting the screen’s orientation, among other motion-sensor applications – can capture sound vibrations during a phone conversation, which UIUC researchers were able to partially reconstruct into words using machine learning. That means that accelerometers, which are typically not well regulated by privacy controls, as opposed to say, microphones, could be used by rogue apps to listen into conversations without even asking your permission...
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Algorithmic Poverty // Communications of the ACM
In the past few years, more attention has been paid to algorithmic bias, but there is still debate about both what can be done to address the issue, as well as what should be done. The use of an algorithm is not at issue; algorithms are essentially a set of instructions on how to complete a problem or task. Yet the lack of transparency surrounding the data and how it is weighed and used for decision making is a key concern, particularly when the algorithm's use may impact people in significant ways, often with no explanation as to why they have been deemed unqualified or unsuitable for a product, service, or opportunity...
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Hackers Attacked a Hospital and Allegedly Killed a Newborn Baby // Futurism
A woman who gave birth at a hospital that had been brought to its knees by a ransomware hack is now suing over the death of her newborn daughter. The death appears to mark the first official casualty of a ransomware hack, in which hackers seize control of a computer network and demand payment, usually in cryptocurrency, to restore it — a crime that, clearly, can be lifethreatening when directed at critical infrastructure like hospitals...
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Fun Stuff 🚀

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

Open Calls/Submissions/Opportunities & Cool Projects

Open Calls, Submissions & Other Opportunities

Nothing to report! 👾

Cool Projects

“Wayforward Machine” provides a glimpse into the future of the web // Ars Technica
What could the future of the Internet look like? With the digital world of the 21st century becoming a pit of unwanted ads, tracking, paywalls, unsafe content, and legal threats, "Wayforward Machine" has a dystopian picture in mind. Behind the clickbaity name, Wayforward Machine is an attempt by the Internet Archive to preview the chaos the world wide web is about to become. Whereas Wayback Machine allows you to go back in time, this week's Internet Archive has come up with a "Wayforward Machine" doing the opposite. Those visiting the Wayback Machine are now greeted with the following banner that claims to take you 25 years into the future...
Check It Out

4S: The Society for Social Studies of Science
The Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) is an international, nonprofit association founded in 1975 that fosters interdisciplinary and engaged scholarship in social studies of science, technology, and medicine (a field often referred to as STS). Comprising researchers and practitioners, the field of STS includes Science and Technology Studies; Science, Technology, and Society; and comparable domains of research, teaching, and practice in many languages. They have an upcoming 4S 2021 Toronto conference from 10/6 - 10/9!
Check It Out

Immortalists Magazine (Issue 10)
The first and only lifestyle multimedia magazine and educational initiative focused on radical wellness, life extension, emerging technologies, existential risks, ethics, philosophy, art, space travel and smart living. (🤔)
Check It Out

TikTok Top Moments
Inspired by the creativity and innovation of the TikTok creator community, TikTok is exploring the world of NFTs as a new creator empowerment tool. NFTs are a new way for creators to be recognized and rewarded for their content and for fans to own culturally-significant moments on TikTok. The creation that happens on TikTok helps drive culture and start trends that impact society.TikTok will bring something unique and groundbreaking to the NFT landscape by curating some of these cultural milestones and pairing them with prominent NFT artists.
Check it Out
 

Gaming, Shows, Books & Other Random Cool Stuff

We Are The Caretakers Puts Afrofuturism Front and Center // Wired
We Are The Caretakers is an unapologetically Afrofuturist sci-fi squad-management RPG about protecting endangered animals—and your planet—from extinction. In the game, you recruit, train, manage and build squads of arcane protectors called the Caretakers. Set in the land of Shadra, a fictional nation in Africa, the story revolves around defending Raun, rhino-like creatures, from human and alien poachers. The game tries to go past the usual Western lens of wildlife conservation to see what people who live in areas where poaching is a common way of life go through. Some people need a way to survive, so they’re involved not because they want to be but out of economic need. We also see people who are in it for sport. And in between is the wildlife, on the brink of extinction...
Check It Out

X-rays reveal censored portions of Marie Antoinette’s letters to Swedish count // Ars Technica
Most people associate Marie Antoinette with the affair of the diamond necklace, "Let them eat cake!" and the onset of the French Revolution. The French queen and her royal husband, Louis XVI, were guillotined in 1793, 10 months apart. But her colorful life also included a possible clandestine love affair with a Swedish count, and historians have been diligently working to decipher the surviving letters between the two for years. The letters were cyphered, as was the custom at the time for politically sensitive correspondence. Fifteen of the surviving letters in the collection of the French National Archives also have significant portions redacted, amounting to some 108 illegible lines in all. Thanks to cutting-edge x-ray imaging techniques and data processing methods, the redacted portions of eight of those letters have finally been revealed, according to a new paper published in the journal Science Advances...
Check It Out

RetroPie Cyberdeck  | HackSpace #47
This mostly 3D-printed cyberdeck features a 5-inch 800 × 480 touchscreen display, as well as the usual ports available through the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ that powers it. Quite how useful the screen’s portrait orientation will be for Sonic The Hedgehog is anyone’s guess, but if you’re playing any sort of top-down shooter, you’re laughing. The maker describes this project as a “video game emulator with some edge” – we think it’s pretty impressive for a project that began as an excuse to learn 3D design.
Check It Out

Space Fabric Cloth (3D Print) 
Like chainmail from space. Shared by soontekk on Thingiverse: My own take on the NASA space fabric design.
Made it as simple and light as possible.
Check It Out
 

What I'm Reading

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

A Desolation Called Peace
Arkady Martine

Waste Tide
Chen Qiufan, Translated by Ken Liu

Episode 63: Episode 63: What is Indigenous Futurism?
Annalee Newitz & Charlie Jane Anders

Thanks for Subscribing

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

 


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