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SciFly // 136 // Remote Speculations Week 20/21

Speculative Events, News & Resources | Sent 7/27

Hey SciFly Readers!

Welcome back to the new BIWEEKLY  SciFly!!!

Hope you all have had a wonderful last 2 weeks!

First of all, I want to hardcore apologize. Last time I promised you that I would resend SciFly one week after publication, with just the second-week events. 

To be perfectly honest, I had to get a medical test this week that I was super nervous about (although it totally went fine) and spaced on Monday as I was getting ready and prepping to do everything. In my anxiety, I absolutely forgot about resending SciFly, since it is still a new thing.

So I'm super sorry that I didn't re-post SciFly, but I promise that I will 100% do so this time around. You can expect SciFly to be redelivered to your inbox on Monday, August 3rd at 8:30AM with just the 2nd-week events, so you can have a refresher!

In other news, I've been super busy today revamping the Design Futures Initiative website (take a look if you want to see some of the cool new additions, though still have some things to update) so that we can feature some of the amazing new programs and initiatives we announced at PRIMER20. Luckily, it was the perfect day to hide in the air-conditioned studio (it was like 95 in NYC!) and play with the internet. 

I'll also be working on some new communication initiatives like a newsletter, community calendar, and going through some of the feedback from our Open Forum on Saturday to brainstorm how we might launch some of the ideas that came up.

I'm also super excited to be joining The Future School's upcoming Applied Foresight Accelerator, APAC edition in August. As you may know, I was supposed to take the class back in April in NYC, but due to COVID-19, we couldn't host the workshop. Ever since, I've been pining away that I didn't take the course, and was super excited that new online sessions opened up from August - November! I highly recommend you check it out if you haven't yet, the instructors Frank & Yvette are super awesome, and have done amazing programming with Speculative Futures NYC, other Speculative Futures meetups, and PRIMER.

In the meantime, I am going to try to finish up the IFTF course I started in February and then forgot about with everything going on, as well as to continue my journey through Bruce & Stephanie Tharp's amazing (yet quite long) extensive treatise on Discursive Design

Otherwise, I'm trying to stay cool in the crazy summer heat, hang out with friends who are leaving the city (the number grows), and endeavoring to take my 'fun to do list' and actually put it into some sort of accountability framework so that I can escape the ever-present trap of doom-scrolling through this unreality.

For example, I want to get to a place where I can say something like: "On Monday nights, I'll read Science Fiction I've been meaning to read, on Tuesday nights, I'll work on Speculative Futures/DFI stuff, on Wednesday I'll play a video game, on Thursday I'll read a book about Speculative/Futures Design and do research, on Friday I'll sit outside and drink, listen to music and do whatever, on Saturday I'll work on a Cyberpunk Red Campaign to play with Friends, on Sunday I'll work on Speculative Creative projects and/or my newsletter).

Who knows if it will work, but I feel like unstructured free time these days always magnetically leads me to get sucked into the vortex of crazy news on my phone, inevitably making me anxious. Perhaps if I can at least give each night of the week a 'theme' it will be easier to make a choice within those constraints for something to do...

Anyway, my brain is a total mush after learning the ins and outs of Squarespace this afternoon while doing web design, so going to sign off for now.

If anyone has any recommendations or ideas for how they are creatively and constructively organizing their free time to actually work on the things they want to do/are passionate about, please let me know!
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!

Hospital Chic 😷

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

Doc Martens

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

Online Events 🗓

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

WEEK 1 - Tuesday, July 28 - Monday, August 3

Tuesday, July 28

Machines + Media | Episode #5: The Disinformation Industrial Complex // Streaming 11am EDT // Free
From disinformation and privacy to health side effects and anti-trust concerns, the social media giants face big questions ahead. How can we understand this emerging, shadowy industry in an election year? And what is the right role for government in solving these problems? What are the priorities and outlook for change in the US and abroad?  Moderated by Sarah Kopit, Bloomberg with panelists; Renée DiResta, Stanford Internet Observatory; Jonathan Corpus Ong, UMass Amherst; Craig Newmark, Craig Newmark Philanthropies.
Watch Livestream

RCA2020:VISCOM - Critic/Curator panel #3 - Irini Papadimitriou // 12pm - 1:30pm EDT // Free
Irini Papadimitriou is a curator and cultural manager, whose practice draws on interdisciplinary and critical discourse to explore the impact of technology in society and culture, and the role of art in helping us engage with contemporary challenges. Currently Creative Director at FutureEverything, an innovation lab and arts organization in Manchester, she was previously Digital Programmes Manager at the V&A, where she initiated and curated the annual Digital Design Weekend festival and Digital Futures programmes; and Head of New Media Arts Development at Watermans. Her exhibition, Artificially Intelligent, was on display at the V&A in 2018 exploring our complex relationships with technology, invisible technological infrastructures and boundaries of humanness.
Learn More

Playform Art Insights with Carla Gannis // 12pm - 1pm EDT // Free
As part of Playform's Webinar Series, artist Carla Gannis will talk about her creative process and how she integrated Playform in her works. Carla will talk about her recent solo exhibition of new work in XR, wwwunderkammer, where she extensively used Playform, as well as other projects. The webinar will be in the form of conversation between the host and the artist, exploring her experience integrating AI in her works and diving into her practice.
Learn More

FUTURE LOOK: Navigating the Personal Effects of the COVID Economy // 4:30pm - 6pm EDT // $0 - $5
The COVID pandemic has reshaped life on a global scale, and every person feels the impact in different ways. Leaders continue to navigate unemployment and make ends meet, and people of all ages cope with loneliness and social isolation. But when you understand where we are now, you can look ahead to building a better future... together.  A panel of experts will share their insights on how the pandemic has affected the economy, offer educated predictions for the future, and present ideas to consider as we move forward in creating our future. 
Learn More

Jorge Camoes: Dataviz lessons from the pandemic // 6pm - 7pm EDT // Free
The greatest dataset of our lifetime is embarrassingly simple and small: it reports the number of daily positive cases and deaths by Covid-19. You can add a few additional details like region, number of tests or people in ICU beds, but it can still fit into an Excel sheet. One day we'll play with it like we play today with the Titanic dataset. But scratch the surface and you'll discover there truly is a lot more to it than meets the eye. In this presentation, Jorge Camoes argues that the pandemic forced us to take a look behind the scenes, and realized the importance of data cleaning, clear concepts, statistical and subject data expertise, and find ways to communicate a complex reality.
Learn More

Using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Architecture Offices // AIA Brooklyn // 6pm - 7:30pm EDT // $15

Gaming engines are increasingly being used in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industries to create real time architectural visualizations. Using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, these visualizations can come to life, allowing designs to be overlaid on top of real context or users to experience and interact with spaces from within. Not only do these technologies present novel means of communicating design intent, but they allow for changes, edits, and options to be viewed instantly. This series will provide a lecture to introduce participants to AR and VR technologies and their current and future applications in the architecture industry.
Learn More

Textual Bodies: Online Studio Visit with Adam Walker // 7pm - 8pm EDT // Free
Adam Walker will show current and recent performances, texts, moving-image and digital projects, sharing his ongoing critical exploration of the relationship between the human and abstracting, increasingly textual structures affecting contemporary life. In conversation with curator Hang Li, Adam will discuss the urgent need for speculative profferings of other ways of being in addressing and contesting self-perpetuating structures of inequality. Our human messiness, irrationality, desire and relationality will be considered in both vulnerability and also the potential for resistant agency. The studio visit will respond to the interests of those who attend, with questions and comments being welcome.
Learn More

Wednesday, July 29

Ferment TV | 09. Technology, Power & the People // 1pm - 2pm EDT // Free
Natsai Audrey Chieza will moderate a conversation between Sasha Costanza-Chock and Céline Semaan on community-led strategies that can expand who design, biology and technology are for, and how else they can be practiced to bring about models for equitable and just futures.
Learn More

Living Practice: Ingrid LaFleur on the Afrofuture // 1pm - 2pm EDT // Free
Performance director Molly Feingold speaks with curator, artist, pleasure activist, and Afrofuturist, Ingrid Lafleur, who is on a mission to ensure equal distribution of the future—exploring the frontiers of social justice through new technologies, economies, and modes of government. LaFleur is the founder of the Afrofuture Strategies Institute, which implements Afrofuturist foresight and approaches to empower Black bodies and oppressed communities. As a thought leader, social justice technologist, public speaker, and cultural producer, she has led conversations and workshops at Centre Pompidou, Harvard University, Ideas City, New Museum, and Oxford University, TEDxBrooklyn, and TEDxDetroit, among others. LaFleur is the host of the podcast Decolonize Your Destiny and the video series What Does The Afrofuture Say?
Learn More

Theatre and Plagues: The history and future of masks // 4pm - 5pm EDT // Free
Hanna Cormick hates masks. And loves them. And has spent the last two decades trying to escape her reliance on them, only for a pandemic to shift them mainstream. In this scratch for a new work, David Finnigan interrogates mistress of masks, Hanna Cormick, in a bid to uncover the mix of theatrical, cultural, psychological and medical knowledge she has accrued over her twenty-year love-hate obsession, and how that translates to this moment in history.
Learn More

London College of Fashion Presents: The Future of Fashion // 6pm - 7pm EDT // Free
Exploring the potential futures that could emerge from the current context, experts from London College of Fashion take on three speculative scenarios and debate what they could mean for the future of creative and fashion industries. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, speculative scenarios have become real. Fashion and creative industries are rapidly adopting practices previously confined to the realm of speculation and fast-forwarding the innovation curve. But will they last or become a 2020 throwback meme?
Learn More

Doing the Work: Radical Solidarity for a Collective Future // 6pm - 8:30pm EDT // $25 - $100
This workshop explores solidarity through power sharing, mutual aid, and risk taking through the lens of anti-racism. Situated within a Black feminist praxis, the session challenges the mainstream understandings of “allyship” and dares to imagine an intersectional approach towards a collective future.
Learn More

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Workshops for Remote Collaboration // AIA Brooklyn // Wed Jul 29, 6pm - Fri Jul 31, 8pm EDT // $85 - $125 (2 Sessions)
This workshop builds upon the concepts introduced in the XR lecture held on July 29, 2020 . In two distinct workshops of two hours, held over two days, participants will engage in the application of XR technologies for all phases of project communication using webcam and marker based Augmented Reality. Participants will learn the basics of Augmented Reality (AR) development using Unity and Vuforia, create a simple architectural AR scene, and build that scene as a standalone Windows application. Finally, the workshop leaders will share resources for further developing an understanding of Unity and Vuforia for AR development.
Learn More

Reimagining the Museum: Open Letters and a Decolonial Framework // 8pm - 9pm EDT // Free
In the midst of a global pandemic, which has caused mass furloughs and layoffs, and the growing movement for Black lives sparked by the violent and unjust police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless others, art and cultural workers are calling for an end to systematic racism, anti-blackness, and structural injustices within art institutions and museums across the nation. Artists, curators, educators, frontline staff, art conservators, and others are using public-facing strategies such as open letters to demand the resignation of leaders, defunding the police, diversification of staff and collections, and an overall acknowledgment of practices that uphold colonialism and white supremacy within art spaces. In order to examine the questions and demands that seek to provide a decolonial framework for the future of art spaces, this conversation examines three texts that were recently crafted and signed specifically by Black artworkers.
Learn More

Thursday, July 30

Future Human Interactions // 11am - 12pm EDT // Free
Robert Pearce, Sophie Horrocks & Romy Snijders are Global Innovation Design graduates from the Royal College of Art & Imperial College London. Join them for an interactive panel discussion where they will be talking about how we can design a future which enables humans to be more connected to their environment.
Learn More

The Future Cubed: Space is the future (but it's not rocket science) // 11am - 12pm EDT // Free
In these 40-minute sessions, panels of ‘’futurologists’’ from around the globe will each highlight 3 ways in which the future built environment could be different and what we should be doing in response. In this session, Space is the Future, three practitioners engaged with the design and delivery of public space in towns and cities pick their top three things that will drive change in the use, design and volume of public space. 
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. The show was devised by award-winning writer/ director Rik Lander and conversational AI expert Phil D Hall. Marie-Helene Boyd is the echoborg.
Learn More

Liberating Structures Speculations // 8pm - 10pm EDT // Free
To inject some more fantastical and imaginative experiences into our portfolio, we’re starting a set of sessions we’re calling Liberating Structures SpecuLations. These events are meant to fulfill our own selfish need to dip into the absurd, ridiculous ideas and opportunities that infinite virtual space and finite physical space makes available to us.
Learn More

Radical Sustainabilities // 9pm - 10pm EDT // Free
A sustainable future requires radical reformulations of society at every level. How can fashion put forth new narratives to help us bring about a better world? Fashion Roundtable are delighted to support the graduates of the MA Fashion Futures at London College of Fashion, who will discuss how they have explored this question through their work, digging deeply into issues of meaning, society, gender, digital spaces and new technologies.
Learn More

The Future of Virtual Reality and the Augmented Human // 2am - 4am EDT // Free
Join Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality pioneer Professor Mark Billinghurst, Dr Alys Clark and Associate Professor Suranga Nanayakkara from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute as they discuss their latest projects and vision for the future. How can technology recognise our emotions and help us better understand what other people are seeing, hearing and feeling? How can we design devices and technologies that learn and adapt to us instead of the other way around? How can a virtual pregnancy save lives?
Learn More

Friday, July 31

Ruskin Community Festival: Critical & Creative Thinking // 2pm - 3PM EDT // Free
Anyone who’s ever solved a lateral thinking problem will have engaged with (at least) two modes of cognitive processing; critical and creative thinking. This short course explores how critical and creative thinking techniques are used to solve complex problems as well as helping to create innovative solutions to life’s everyday challenges. During the session, you’ll be using an innovative technique that will enable you to creatively respond to a brief to design a school for creativity for young school children.
Learn More

Class of A // Bradford Fringe Festival // 3pm - 4pm EDT // Donation
Set in a dystopian future, where euthanasia for some is mandatory, Class of A. Darkly humorous, written pre Covid yet unnervingly prolific. In order to cut down on financial strain on the health service, the government has issued a policy of euthanasia for anyone diagnosed with a disease classified as 'Class A'. These are the last conversations between three strangers in that category.
Learn More

Saturday, August 1

The Afrofuture is Now: Black & BIPOC Immersive storytelling, Art &Gaming // 8pm - 9:30pm EDT // Free
Join us in an online conversation with these Creative Directors, Audrey Williams, Jasmine Wade (Ancestral Futures), Nina Woodruff-Walker (Museum of Children's Arts, Nour Batnye (Resilience2032), and facilitated by Lonny Avi Brooks (Afro-Rithms From The Future) as they speak to their Afrofuturist and Black Speculative responses to re-envision broken systems and bring the spirit of the Black Panther Party and Wakanda/Okanda into reality and shape-shifting form. What does Oakland look like in 2030 with more Black Storytelling and more Black Feminist Leadership? Explore with us as we play Afro-Rithms From The Future, a world building game where Black Futures matter!
Learn More

Sunday, August 2


Monday, August 3

Future of You: Futures Thinking session // 6:30am - 7:30am EDT // $3
The world around us is opening us to infinite possibilities and new ways of being. This is a time of constant reflection for all of us and we thought we will help you with that by having these regular sessions on Self-reflection/Visualising/Decision making/Conscious creation using Futures Thinking tools and frameworks as our prompts. 
Learn More

Augmented Reality: An Experiential Medium for Art // 4pm - 5pm EDT // Free
Join Shacole Hamlett of Art House, for a brief introduction to the world of augmented reality (AR), which presents new opportunities for creative storytelling. This 1-hour workshop will introduce guests to the fundamentals of AR and provide live demonstrations using the Art House App. Through the presentation and discussion, Shacole will present key concepts in an accessible and fun format, while also sharing expert tips to effectively incorporate AR into your future projects.
Learn More

Digital Doulas Virtual Art Camp // 9pm - 10:30pm // Free
Judit Navratil proposes a collaboration for building a virtual reality Art Camp together. She will be the tour guide of Szívküldi Lakótelep  (a virtual social neighborhood) while participants move in’ with their own treasures and together we   plant the seeds of the next area: The Art Camp. The Art Camp could be a virtual artist residency, a platform for sharing art, ideas, critique, care, or experiment with performance. Judit invites her communities to readjust their connections, to elevate the shift of their up-scaling digital existence and to alternate the horizons of the Metaverse together.
Learn More

WEEK 2 - Tuesday, August 4 - Monday, August 10

Tuesday, August 4

Game Developers Conference: Summer (GDC) // Aug 4th - August 6th // Multiple Sessions // $50 - $500
The GDC Summer conference program will feature multi-disciplinary educational and inspirational talks alongside high-quality technical content. The event will also host a new series of career development sessions covering topics such as: how to pitch your game, effective communication strategies, how to land an investor/publisher, and business development strategies...
Learn More

Speculative Thinking // 2pm - 3pm EDT // Free
Kevin Brazil's essay 'In Search of a Gay Planet', published in The White Review No. 28, interrogates the utopian possibilities - and dangers - of science fiction's reproductive fantasies, from Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland to the work of Octavia Butler, Lois McMaster Bujold and William Burroughs. He is joined by writers Ama Josephine Budge, Sara Saab and Sophie Mackintosh to discuss fictional world-building and the radical potential of speculative thinking.
Learn More

Bitesize Ideas for Our Future by XR and Friends // 2pm - 5pm EDT // Free
Join us for an hour each fortnight for introductions to current thinking (and action!) in the UK environmental movement and non-profit world. Each session will have a different theme and guests from 2-3 different organizations or movements and offer us a bitesize summary of their work. After each presentation, we open the floor for an interactive Q&A. This session is focused on Oppression and Climate Justice: Discussions about the intersection between race/class/ethnicity and environmental justice.
Learn More

Wednesday, August 5

Performing Black Futures: the 2020 PSFG at ATHE Postconference // Wed Aug 5 - Sun Aug 9 // Multiple Times
The Performance Studies Focus Group (PSFG) at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) invites you to Performing Black Futures, the 2020 PSFG Postconference. How might performance frame, archive, and expand notions of Black aesthetics and geographies, Black feminist and queer futures, and Afrofuturism? Performing Black Futures takes up this central question through a keynote event with Detroit-based artists Salakastar, Franchesca Lamarre, and Biba Bell; performances, panels, and embodied engagements; and an anti-racist professionalization roundtable.
Learn More

Future Forces That Will Disrupt Sustainable Business // 1:15pm - 2:45pm // Free
In early 2019, the Global Environmental Management Institute (GEMI) and the Institute for the Future (IFTF) began a ten-year forecast project to examine the challenge of doing business in a rapidly changing world, where the definition of ‘sustainability’ is broadening every business wants to build and maintain a ‘sustainable’ business model. Building on the foresights in this new forecast, GEMI is planning a new Sustainability Disruption Project to bring corporate sustainability leaders together to continue to understand and develop strategies to help business to efficiently respond and lead through emerging disruptions such as those identified by IFTF.
Learn More

Astronomical Endeavours w/ Kathy Sullivan // Futures Podcast // 2pm - 3:30pm EDT // Free
The Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionised the way we understand our place in the universe. It took an incredible team of astronauts, engineers, and scientists to ensure the world’s most productive observatory was launched, rescued, repaired, and maintained. Part of this extraordinary NASA team was Kathy Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space, and recently the first woman to reach the deepest known spot in the ocean.
Learn More

Homeward Bound Open House // The Weekly Weekly // 7:30pm - 10:30pm // Free
We invite you to join our virtual art party to experience and test the platform before we go live to the public. It's your art, your show, your party, and we need your feedback. Join us and help us make this platform the best that it can be.
Learn More

Thursday, August 6

Every-Body: City, Technology and the Body Launch // 11am - 12pm EDT // Free
We are delighted to announce our virtual Festival exhibition for 2020. Universal Everything is a collective of digital artists and experience designers who explore the relationship between humans, technology and futures. We bring their work to Inspace to stimulate discussion about how the body is shaped through AI and the city. The exhibition will launch on the 6 August with a keynote talk from Joel Gethin Lewis, interactive creative director of the interdisciplinary design studio Universal Everything, will present his thoughts on how modernity birthed new thinking around Cities, Technology and the Body and how UE's collaborative studio practice brings them into the 21st century.
Learn More

Friday, August 7

Creative Challenge #2: SynBioPunk 1836 // 9am - 10am EDT // Free
Imagine an alternative history where instead of the industrial revolution there was a Biorevolution! With inventions from 1836 onwards based on breakthroughs in genetics and biotech to enable the creation of a biosteampunk world than runs on biology instead of machines of coal, oil, and gas. Your story can take place anytime thereafter either in 1836 or beyond to an alternative present-day or future. We are looking for a creative piece, it could be poetry, writing, film, and art of your own creation. Something short (very short) and casual! We’re going to have fun with this :)
Learn More

Saturday, August 8

Sunday, August 9

Cli-Fi for beginners: Imagination for climate solutions // 6am - 7:30am EDT // Free
Climate Fiction and its positive sub-genre Solar Punk are emerging… And as we find ourselves in a unique moment in time, can we re-write the story? Join a flash fiction workshop to build confidence in writing and flex your imagination. We'll be doing a warm-up exercise then have a go at writing fiction based on some climate science.
Learn More

The Future of Time: Predictive Analytics and Incarceration // 5pm - 7pm EDT // Free
In this Abolition Reading Group session, we discuss prediction-making in the public sphere and the theft of time by the state. Reading Jackie Wang's “This is A Story About Nerds and Cops,” we will discuss the current obsession with and consequences of prediction-making in the public sphere. We will also read Artist's “Colored Time” to process the theft of time by the state and the relativity of time as a result of different people's proximity to captivity.
Learn More

Monday, August 10

Play NYC // Aug 10 - Aug 16 // Free
Founded in 2017, Play NYC is New York City’s premier game convention. It’s an annual celebration of games and the people behind them, featuring the latest from indie developers and larger studios from both the New York area and all around the world. For the first time, this year’s Play NYC will be online, free to attend, and a full week long. It’s our love letter to New York, from Playcrafting and beyond.
Learn More

Upcoming Speculative Futures Meetups 

Reimagine: Using Art and Design to Imagine Alternate Worlds // SF Chicago // Wednesday July 29, 7pm - 8pm EDT // Free
Join Chicago Speculative Futures for a moderated panel with Chicago artists where we will discuss the power of art and design to imagine alternate neighborhoods, societies, and worlds.
Artists & Projects:
  • “Dissecting Gang Lettering”, Sir Charles (Artist)
  • "South Side Speculations", Astha Thakkar (Designer)
  • “The Fictional Nations of Föhn, Delta, and Afterlife”, Claire Rosas, Will Wright, Miguel Perez (artists), Heather Snyder Quinn (professor), Laura Rossi Garcia (exhibit designer)
Learn More

Meetup 03, 2020 // SF Guadalajara // Wednesday July 29, 8pm - 9pm EDT // Free (In Spanish)
Entrevista con Andrea de la Peña y José de la O, ambos de delaO design studio, creadores del challenge global "plastic, villain or hero" (dinámica presentada en nuestro evento global, PRIMER 2020). Platicaremos sobre la iniciativa, la experiencia de organizar un reto mundial y los resultados; conoceremos también la herramienta diseñada por el estudio llamada "Prediction Generator Canvas". // Interview with Andrea de la Peña and José de la O, both from delaO design studio, creators of the global challenge "plastic, villain or hero" (dynamic presented at our global event, PRIMER 2020). We will talk about the initiative, the experience of organizing a global challenge and the results; We will also know the tool designed by the study called "Prediction Generator Canvas"
Learn More

Reimagining BlueIndy Stations // SF Indianapolis // Thursday July 30, 5:30pm - 7pm EDT // Free
Hello! We are reintroducing ourselves to the Indianapolis Community with a fun brainstorming activity with potentially real world application! This will be an event held online - all are welcome to attend (parking is free! 😜) In May 2020, Blue Indy closed their operations in the city. Leaving one fewer public transportation methods in a city where there are so few already. Left behind is the infrastructure built to supply the cars with electricity. The city of Indianapolis has put out a public call for ideas about how this infrastructure could be reutilized and turned back into an asset for the city (yay!) Who better than futurist thinkers to brainstorm ways to make Indianapolis an even more interesting and inviting city?
Learn More

Design Futures: Learning at Parsons / Speculative Futures TOKYO #1 // SF Tokyo // Friday July 31, 6:30pm - 8:30pm EDT // Free
"Designing Japan" is one of the visions of the Musashino Art University Social Creative Research Institute. From the perspective of Japanese design, we opened a policy design lab at this institute in April 2020. This time, we will focus on studying at Parsons College of Art, completed by Naoki Hashimoto of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, who is also a member of the Policy Design Lab. With Mr. Masaki Iwabuchi, a designer who graduated from the university, and Mr. Dai Habata from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, he introduced his research at Parsons College of Art, discussed the position of Japanese design in the world, and discussed future practice in Japan. Deepen.
Learn More

Ongoing Events

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

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


News, Articles, Resources 📰

News 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!

Github Just Sealed All its Open Source Code in an Apocalypse Proof Vault // Futurism
Earlier this month, the code management platform GitHub sealed away its archive of open source software in an Arctic vault so deep that they say it could survive a nuclear blast. The mildly-outlandish idea behind the move, Engadget reports, is to give a boost to future generations after a hypothetical civilization-ending catastrophe. Should that happen, whatever civilization emerges from the ashes won’t have to start from scratch and could instead tap the knowledge of modern-day coders and engineers...
Read More

Machines + Media | Episode #3: Tech Ethics: Diversity, Bias, Inequality, & Privacy [Video]
The COVID-19 pandemic and recent events around policing in America have brought the concerns around diversity, bias, inequality, and privacy to the front lines. The need to address systems of racial injustice and gender inequality is more important than ever. How do we ensure new and emerging technologies help these efforts, and don't perpetuate bias? Moderated by Erica Matsumoto, NYC Media Lab and featuring panelists: Ian Allan, Camber Systems; Cathy O'Neil, Author of 'Weapons of Math Destruction'; Riley Jones, Join The Bloc.
Watch Video

Machines + Media | Episode #4: Emerging Tech & New Media Platforms [Video]
A new generation of media makers are exploring new tools and techniques to express themselves. Perhaps the biggest story in the media industry at the dawn of the new decade is the move to new platforms and services. Many companies have staked the future on these services, and are investing a great deal in developing and refining the user experience. What are the emerging economies of this market? What challenges still remain in the areas of personalization, recommendation, and user interfaces?
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Airline Uses VR To Reduce Travel // Forbes
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is setting a course to a brand new destination—-virtual reality. KLM, the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands, merged with Air France in 2004, and now has over 95,000 employees with offices located in Paris, France, Toulouse, France, Valbonne, France, and Amsterdam, Netherlands. The company has now landed in Glue, a Helsinki-based remote collaboration virtual reality (VR) platform, to aid their now virtual meetings...
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Check Out This Amazing Design for an Underwater “Space Station” // Futurism
Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, wants to build the equivalent of the International Space Station (ISS) — but on the ocean floor deep below the surface, as CNN reports. With the help of industrial designer Yves Béhar, Cosuteau unveiled his bold ambition: a 4,000 square foot  lab called Proteus that could offer a team of up to 12 researchers from all over the world easy access to the ocean floor. The plan is to build it in just three years...
Check It Out

Seven Takeaways from the 2020 Virtual Beings Summit // Michael Zhang, LinkedIn
Animal Crossing, dancing babies, and the future of AI & virtual worlds. Led by Edward Saatchi from Fable and Alice Lloyd George from Rogue VC, over twenty-five industry leaders shared their experience through talks, panels, demos, and live performances. Unlike previous Virtual Beings Summits which took place in Los Angeles or San Francisco, Edward emphasized that rather than simply talking about the future of virtual beings, Saatchi wanted to frame them in the context of just part of our everyday lives. He concluded by saying "today is not about showing a feat of engineering, but rather to take everyone on an emotional journey through virtual beings."...
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Disney's new AI is facial recognition for animation // Engadget
Disney’s massive archive spans the course of nearly a century of content, which can turn any search for specific characters, scenes or on-screen objects within it into a significant undertaking. However, a team of researchers from Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer & International Organization (DTCI) have built a machine learning platform to help automate the digital archival of all that content. They call it the Content Genome...
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Are We Addicted to Technology? // Communications of the ACM
It's easy to think the world is suffering from full-blown technology addiction. We read daily headlines about how social media platforms threaten our mental health, our relationships, and even democratic society itself. We hear smartphone addiction is the latest scourge sweeping the nation's youth, and we even see tech leaders like Chris Hughes, who co-founded Facebook, publicly call for the break-up of the firm he created because of its addictive content and features. It certainly seems like "technology addiction" is a real condition and that it is everywhere. But the truth is a little less black and white...
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The Spatial Web and Web 3.0 // Deloitte
As futuristic as it sounds, early-stage applications of the Spatial Web or Web 3.0 are already here. Now is the time for leaders to understand what this next era of computing entails, how it could transform businesses, and how it can create new value as it unfolds...
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DeepMind’s Newest AI Programs Itself to Make All the Right Decisions // SingularityHub
When Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, it may have seemed artificial intelligence had finally arrived. A computer had just taken down one of the top chess players of all time. But it wasn’t to be. Though Deep Blue was meticulously programmed top-to-bottom to play chess, the approach was too labor-intensive, too dependent on clear rules and bounded possibilities to succeed at more complex games, let alone in the real world. The next revolution would take a decade and a half, when vastly more computing power and data revived machine learning, an old idea in artificial intelligence just waiting for the world to catch up...
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New York bans use of facial recognition in schools statewide // VentureBeat
The New York legislature today passed a moratorium on the use of facial recognition and other forms of biometric identification in schools until 2022. The bill, which has yet to be signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, comes in response to the launch of facial recognition by the Lockport City School District and appears to be the first in the nation to explicitly regulate or ban use of the technology in schools...
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OpenAI’s new language generator GPT-3 is shockingly good—and completely mindless // Technology Review
“Playing with GPT-3 feels like seeing the future,” Arram Sabeti, a San Francisco–based developer and artist, tweeted last week. That pretty much sums up the response on social media in the last few days to OpenAI’s latest language-generating AI. OpenAI first described GPT-3 in a research paper published in May. But last week it began drip-feeding the software to selected people who requested access to a private beta. For now, OpenAI wants outside developers to help it explore what GPT-3 can do, but it plans to turn the tool into a commercial product later this year, offering businesses a paid-for subscription to the AI via the cloud...
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Why Computing Belongs Within the Social Sciences // Communications of the ACM
In the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, there were calls for reforms, not only of the financial services industry but also within universities, where it was thought that unrealistic models and assumptions within economics departments20 and business schools11 were also responsible for inculcating a worldview that led to the crisis. It is time for us in computing departments to do some comparable soul searching. This article is one attempt at this task. It argues the well-publicized social ills of computing will not go away simply by integrating ethics instruction or codes of conduct into computing curricula. The remedy to these ills instead lies less in philosophy and more in fields such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, communications, and political science...
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Scientists: Climate Change is Going to Suck, But it Won't be Armageddon // Futurism
A new study has both good and bad news for the future of the planet. If atmospheric carbon dioxide levels double, things probably won’t get as bad as the doomsday, absolute worst-case projections some scientists have made — but, at the same time, we’ve already screwed the environment up too much for the best-case outcomes, Scientific American reports. The study is “the most important climate science paper that’s come out in several years,” Texas A&M University’s Andrew Dessler, who didn’t work on the research, told SciAm...
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Population in more than 20 countries to halve by 2100: Study // Aljazeera
More than 20 countries, including Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Spain and Thailand, will see their numbers diminish by at least half by the year 2100, according to projections in a major study. China's population will fall from 1.4 billion people today to 730 million in 80 years, said the study led by an international team of researchers, published in The Lancet on Wednesday...
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The ADA passed 30 years ago. Why are cities still horribly designed for people with disabilities? // FastCompany
It’s been 30 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law. A landmark piece of civil rights legislation, the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and mandates the removal of barriers to equal participation in public life. Those barriers are often physical—buildings only accessible by stairs, crosswalks unsafe for those with low or no vision, steeply sloped walkways that put wheelchair users at risk. Getting rid of these physical barriers lies at the heart of the ADA’s intentions...
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Samsung: Expect 6G in 2028, enabling mobile holograms and digital twins // VentureBeat
Just as the earliest 5G networks began to go live two years ago, a handful of scientists were eager to publicize their initial work on the next-generation 6G standard, which was at best theoretical back then, and at worst an ill-timed distraction. But as 5G continues to roll out, 6G research continues, and today top mobile hardware developer Samsung is weighing in with predictions of what’s to come. Surprisingly, the South Korean company is preparing for early 6G to launch two years ahead of the commonly predicted 2030 timeframe, even though both the proposed use cases and the underlying technology are currently very shaky...
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How Artists Are Trying to Solve the World’s Problems // NYT
A cohort of 30 artists have received funding to find creative solutions to 21st-century problems like surveillance, digital inequality and inherited trauma. With $300,000 raised from the Henry Luce Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Eyebeam is providing significant resources to its artist cohort tasked with responding to “a time of crisis and systemic collapse” during the coronavirus pandemic. Each artist will receive $5,000 to develop their projects and a select number will receive an additional $25,000 in October...
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This Company Is Sucking Carbon From the Air and Making Soda With It // Global Citizen
The same carbon that’s heating up the planet could soon be making your soda fizzy.  Climeworks, based in Switzerland, is one of several companies working to pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as a way to fight climate change — and soft drinks happen to be one of many destinations for the retrieved element. The majority of the CO2 that Climeworks removes gets stowed deep underneath Iceland, in natural formations made of basalt...
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Would Space Colonization Be Good or Bad? // Next Big Future

Daniel Deudney is a professor of political science and international relations who wrote a book called Dark Skies where he makes the case that colonizing space will increase the risk of human extinction. Al Globus writes a rebuttal to Daniel Deudney, where Al analyzes the various risks mentioned by Deudney with or without space colonization. There are some serious general problems that play a role in generating Deudney’s conclusions...
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Cars have run their course in U.S. cities. Here’s what’s next // FastCompany

Sticking closer to home because of COVID-19 has shown many people what cities can be like with less traffic, noise, congestion, and pollution. Roads and parking lots devoted to cars take up a lot of land. For example, in Phoenix, Los Angeles, and New York City, these spaces account for over one-third of each city’s total area. When stay-at-home orders went into effect in many parts of the U.S. in March, streets and parking lots went dormant seemingly overnight. Within days, municipalities across the U.S. started shifting these spaces to other uses that better suit people...
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The 3D Printed Homes of the Future Are Giant Eggs on Mars // SingularityHub
Last month, a 3D printed house that can float on a pontoon was unveiled in the Czech Republic. Last year, work started on a community of 3D printed houses for low-income families in Mexico. While building homes with 3D printers is becoming more scalable, it’s also still a fun way to play around with unique designs and futuristic concepts for our living spaces...
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How New Tech Will Change The World In The Next 50 years //
According to The Emerging Future, every 12 to 18 months computers and machines double their capacity. This means that the speed of technological development is very high. In the past, we already went through disruption with the Industrial Revolution. But this time is different—we’re experiencing a higher level of technology disruption, one that’s faster and more sophisticated. So what would our world look like in 50 years? We’ve put together a list with some of the changes we will see according to Elon Musk’s prediction of the “city of the future”...
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At Magazzino, Social Distancing Devices Vibrate. So Does the Art // NYT
I’ve been cheating, and it’s likely you have been too: Six feet apart is a lot farther away than most people seem to hope it is. I know this because at the recent reopening of Magazzino Italian Art, the museum of postwar and contemporary work here in the Hudson Valley, I wore a piece of social-distancing hardware called an EGOpro Active Tag. It was attached to a lanyard around my neck. The tag is required for all visitors, and it’s programmed to vibrate for a few seconds every time the wearer is closer than six feet to a tag worn by another person...
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COVID-19 has opened the floodgates for smart cities—whether we like it or not // FastCompany

The COVID-19 pandemic will be “a lubricant for the smart city,” according to one urban planning expert. From banal city service digitization efforts to ubiquitous urban surveillance systems, the smart city may be materializing faster than expected, says Klaus R. Kunzmann, a professor emeritus and the former head of the Institute of Spatial Planning at the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany...
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German Scientists are Hosting a Concert to Study How Covid-19 Spreads // Futurism
In order to figure out how COVID-19 spreads among large groups, a team of German scientists decided to throw a big concert and, well, see what happens. The concert experiment, dubbed RESTART-19, will involve a cohort of 4,000 volunteers acting out three-concert scenarios, each with a different degree of mandated distancing between audience members and safety measures, in order to see what actually helps limit disease’s spread...
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Gulf states using COVID-19 contact tracing apps as mass surveillance tools, report says // The Verge
A new study analyzing COVID-19 contact tracing apps conducted by Amnesty International has found that Bahrain and Kuwait are using their public health apps as mass surveillance tools. The study analyzed a collection of contact tracing apps, which are designed to inform and monitor physical contact between people in the event someone contracts COVID-19, from 11 countries. It found three particularly egregious apps that collected satellite location data from users, instead of relying simply on Bluetooth signals, and matched accounts with real identities...
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Need a place to squat? This map plots out buildings that COVID-19 emptied out // FastCompany
The economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have been devastating for many businesses around the world. For squatters, it may create an unexpected opportunity. As businesses go bankrupt and close up shop, they’re leaving behind a glut of empty commercial buildings and warehouses. This gave Amsterdam web developer and leftist Sjerp van Wouden an idea. “I was just drinking with a friend, and I said what if I took all data of bankruptcies and cross-referenced that with Chamber of Commerce data. Would we get a map of all the squattable places?” van Wouden says. His friend was skeptical, but van Wouden decided to try anyway...
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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

Transition Design: Vision Post-Pandemic U.S. Futures [Project in Progress]
Wanted to share this really awesome project shared by Tim Gasperak and Rainey Straus on our Speculative Futures slack! This project is being undertaken in response to and follow-up to provisional research begun in March 2020 to look at COVID-19 in the U.S. through the lens of Transition Design. Their intention is that this project serves as a sketch to guide future research Additional explorations could include futures visioning workshops, co-creation of everyday lifestyle scenarios, and backcasting to propose ecologies of interventions.
Check It Out on MIro

COVID-19 Response Challenge [Call]
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced unprecedented challenges in public transit. As New York recovers and rebuilds, it is vital to reimagine public transit to meet its new challenges. The COVID-19 Response Challenge calls for technologies and approaches that help to make New York's public transportation system safer, healthier and more responsive to customer and workforce needs. Applications are due August 16, 2020.
Learn More & Apply Now

Neural Synesthesia: When Art Meets GANs // LionBridge
Neural Synesthesia is an AI art project that aims to create new and unique audiovisual experiences with artificial intelligence. It does this through collaborations between humans and generative networks. The results feel almost like organic art. Swirls of color and images blend together as faces, scenery, objects, and architecture transform to music. There’s a sense of things swinging between feeling unique and at the same time oddly familiar...
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Project Hiveminds
Another cool project from the Speculative Futures slack, shared by Mick Jongeling last month (I'm catching up!). Their student team worked over the last 5 months with the speculative topic of Physical Cybersecurity. Physical Cybersecurity is the act of defending your biometric, gait, and other physical datapoints against digital identification methods. Mick is looking for people to explore this topic further, so if you have any questions, hit him up on Slack! 
Check it Out

SciFi Props: From Everyday Supermarket Items [Video]
In this tutorial, Anthony Ferraro takes you through the build process step by step. I show you how to make a sci-fi hand props from a few simple bottles found at a local supermarket for under $10.
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It's a 2-Acre Farm, Packed Into a Shipping Container That Doubles as a Farm Building // Treehugger
The Farm From A Box system is designed to feed 150 people per year, and includes drip irrigation, all of the tools, and its own renewable energy setup. This plug-and-play farming system combines water-smart irrigation, renewable energy, and precision farming technology in a single shipping container that is said to be capable of supporting the cultivation of almost two and a half acres, using regenerative agriculture practices.
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Gaming, Shows, Books & Other Random Cool Stuff

Cyberpunk Webtoons You Should Be Reading Right Now // Cyberpunks {Read}
Comic reading has been around for decades, but a new app has changed the game. Line Webtoons is a digital comic reading app. Instead of reading comics left to right in the form of a book, viewers scroll vertically to read the story. It eliminates page flip, and optimizes user experience, giving us awe-inducing full-page illustrations. They update once weekly, so there is always a new episode to look forward to reading! The genres are vast in the world of web-comics. There are countless dramas, romance, and action-adventure stories. The best news – the number of cyberpunk-themed Webtoons is growing rapidly! They've compiled a list of all of the best cyberpunk Webtoons into this list!
Check It Out

Muslim women are building new worlds in science fiction and changing the confines of the genre // Washington Post {Read}
When blogger Umairah Hussain asked her readers if they would join a book club for science fiction and fantasy novels by Muslim authors, she was overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response — and suggestions for books the club could read. But there was something unusual about two dozen authors on the reading list Hussein compiled, including the writers of her favorite series, An Ember in the Ashes and the Daevabad Trilogy. “Almost all of them were actually published by women in the past few years,” said Hussain, a sci-fi fan who blogs at Sereadipity...
Read More & Check out the Books!

Mario Modder Creates All-New Zelda Game In Ocarina Of Time's Engine // Kotaku {Play}
Kaze Emanuar, who we normally post about thanks to his astounding work modding Mario games, has with the help of some friends only gone and made an all-new Legend of Zelda game. Set in between Ocarina and Majora’s Mask, it tries its hardest to get across that it’s an all-new game, so while some of the gear and characters are familiar, the world and dungeons you play through—complete with cutscenes and story—are all fresh.
Check It Out

Biohackers [Upcoming on Netflix] {Watch}
There isn't much background information available yet on the series (not even on IMDb), other than the identity of the showrunner, Christian Ditter, and the main cast members. The German-born Ditter is best known in the United States for directing the 2016 rom-com How to Be Single and for his work on the 2017 Netflix comedy Girlboss, based on the autobiography of Sophia Amoruso, who founded the company Nasty Gal. (Girlboss received mixed reviews and was cancelled after one season.) Biohackers looks like a significant departure for him and an especially promising one, given the success of the German sci-fi series Dark, which just wrapped a mind-bending third and final season on Netflix. (From Ars Technica)
Watch Trailer

What I'm Reading

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

Watch a 60 Foot Mecha Style Robot Take Its First Steps
by Victor Tangermann

Is Everyone Else Also Discovering the Secret Existential Horror of Animal Crossing: New Horizons?
by Eirik Gumeny

Camouflaged federal agents have descended on Portland. Trump's DHS is out of control
By Trevor Timm

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