SciFly // 157 // Remote Speculations Week 61/62

Speculative Events, News & Resources | Sent 5/17

Hey SciFly Readers!

These last two weeks have been filled with increasingly nice spring days as I eagerly awaited my vaccine to 'fully kick in'. Even so, had a chance to soak in some sun in the backyard of a couple of coffee shops while getting work done, and felt myself relax more fully than I have in a long time.

This week, I want to shout out an awesome program coming up in June from my friends at The Futures School. I've been lucky enough to take their Accelerator course in the past, and it was a life-changing experience. Just this week I caught myself using causal layered analysis in my head while reading articles on algorithmic inequality (I'm a nerd). I'm also super excited to soon be taking their Certified Foresight Practitioner exam 😅which this course will also help you prepare for.

I highly recommend you check out their workshops! Frank and Yvette are amazing teachers and make even virtual training fun (and I took the APAC version, so that is saying something since they had me up until 4:30 am for 3 nights in a row!). 

The Futures School | Applied Foresight Activator / Experimentation Labs


Join the Futures School this June for 6-months of live online learning labs!

The Futures School Applied Foresight Activator - Experiment program allows people from across the world to access on-demand, virtual, live content to support their foresight capacity building. It is designed with the mission of "democratizing foresight", providing a bridge between foundational classroom training and real-life implementation.

The program takes place over the course of six months and features twelve 90-minute labs where you will deep-dive into Natural Foresight® tools that help drive impact in strategy, innovation, change, and personal development. At the same time, you will have the opportunity to work with a diverse cohort of people from around the world to contribute to a global trend data management program.

This program is great if you are new to foresight, or if you are looking to bridge the foresight implementation gap by doing a deep dive into foresight tools.

Program Features

  • 12 live-online, tool-based labs across 6 months, for a total of 18 interactive contact hours
  • 90-minute sessions, held at 9:00 am Eastern the first and third Thursday of each month.
  • Hands-on experience with foresight tools that focus on impacting strategy, innovation, change, and personal development.
  • An international cohort of professionals.
  • A year-long membership to our global trend data management platform with optional "Scanning Happy Hours."

Program Details

Tuition for the Applied Foresight Activator program is $2,000 USD and applications are due May 20th. It includes:
  • Registration Fee 
  • Upgraded year-long Diigo membership
  • Digital copy of The Guide to the Natural Foresight Framework®
  • Digital copy of the Wicked Opportunities® Creator Economy Trend Card Deck
  • Digital program resources 
  • TFS alumni access, including the ability to join The Future Speaks program
As I mentioned earlier, this is also an Eligible program for those interested in pursuing the Certified Foresight Practitioner designation like me. 😁

Sounds like a great time, and I hope I'll have an opportunity to join in the future. Being able to both spread out the learning and do hands-on work contributing to trends sounds like a great opportunity to dig deep. Check it out if you have a chance!
Apply Now
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!


"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, May 18th - Monday, May 24th

Tuesday, May 18

Decolonising Futures in Design Education // 5/18, 9am- 5/20, 12:30pm EDT // Free
Join us for a 3-day event for design futures literacies educators, researchers, and practitioners. Each day we have a lecture and panel of renowned experts connecting design futures literacies with aspects of decolonizing design. These are followed by training capsules on resources developed in FUEL4DESIGN and tutoring introducing futures methodologies and knowledge into your educational practice. This event is part of FUEL4DESIGN (Future Education and Literacy for Designers) which aims at developing knowledge, resources and methods to help young designers designing for complex tomorrows.
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The Future of Funding // 4pm - 5:30pm EDT // $0 - $20
Passion and non-monetary resources are plentiful when working in the arts. But how can artists and culture-bearers get the financial support they need to realize ambitious projects and achieve sustainability? How do grantmakers engage in systems-change work that addresses root causes rather than systems of inequality? Where can we look for community-based, non-extractive financial models? Nati Linares and Caroline Woolard asked these questions and many more in their 121-page report, Solidarity Not Charity, commissioned by Grantmakers in the Arts and released in March of 2021. Together they’ll discuss their research processes, the report’s findings, specific recommendations for grantmakers and funders, and introduce attendees to two important models for democratizing philanthropy and building the solidarity economy: Boston Ujima Project and The Working World.
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Smart Cities Part 4: “What’s fueling our Smart Cities” // 9am - 11am EDT // Free
In the 4th event in our series of Smart City oriented seminars we are going to look at one of the aspects that most people associate with ‘smart’: energy consumption. Smart electronics systems and sensors help us to prevent wasting precious resources. Solar cells and windmills, for example, have turned individual consumers into prosumers. In that way, they not only use electricity, but also produce it and deliver it back to the electricity grid or store it for future use. As energy production- and consumption patterns are fundamentally ‘out-of-sync’, solutions have to be found to store energy for shorter (days) and longer (months) periods. More microgrid- and off-the-grid solutions are developed, not only driven by sustainability, but also by a sense of individuality and freedom to live independently.
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Thinking in the 21st Century with Kenneth Cukier & Viktor Mayer-Schönberger // 1pm - 2pm EDT // £9.99 – £21
An industrialist looks at a rain forest and sees trees to cut down and sell, while an environmentalist sees the 'lungs of the planet’. To one person, complying with a mandate to wear a face mask in public during a pandemic is an act of communal responsibility. To another, it’s a denial of personal freedom. Same data, but opposite conclusions. The reason for this, believe internationally acclaimed authors Kenneth Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, is that we all look at the world through different ‘frames’. By recognising the frames that we are using, they say, we can all learn to rethink them and make better decisions. We can see the world in entirely new ways. In conversation with science writer Timandra Harkness they will explain how our ability to adjust our vantage point on the world is the essential skill humanity needs for the 21st century and will help us address the looming challenges we face, from pandemics to populism, AI to cyberattacks, wealth inequality to climate change. 
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Building Post-Pandemic Innovation Communities with Erik Martin // 5pm - 6pm EDT // Free
How can individuals and companies build truly innovative and inclusive communities that propel us into the technological future we all want and need? Erik Martin (Chief Community Officer, Teal) joins Charlie Oliver (CEO of Tech 2025 and host of Fast Forward: the Post-Pandemic Innovation Podcast) for this livestreamed episode of the podcast to discuss what he has learned building and managing communities over the past 20 years. What did he learn building and managing communities for Reddit, WeWork, Nike and Teal and what does he think the post-pandemic innovation communities will be like?
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Wednesday, May 19

🔥Welcome to the Metaverse // Rhizome // 8pm EDT // Free
Welcome to the Metaverse is a two-part program exploring the emergence of virtual forms in community, economy, and culture. The first session, taking place May 19, brings together designer David Rudnick, artist/curator Aria Dean, and Rhizome's Artistic Director Michael Connor. The point of departure for their conversation is the idea that today, a person's everyday experience, sense of self, job, wealth, and future, may be more deeply tied to digital contexts than physical ones. The second event in the program, which will take place June 16, explores DAOs and other forms of social organizing that are facilitated by the blockchain.
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The Future of Design Education: A conversation with Don Norman // 12pm - 1pm EDT // Free

The format for this seminar is where the moderator collects questions from the audience and selects the best for Don. We will be soliciting questions beforehand, and during the talk, by using the "chat" feature of video conferencing tools. The moderator will sift through the chat questions and selects the ones that seem to be of the widest interest for the group. To set the theme of the conversations we recommend reading Don’s post: To create a better society: The 2020 MP Ranjan memorial lecture ( and Changing Design Education for the 21st Century.
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Museums of the future // 2:30pm EDT // Free
What are museums for? What will they be like in decades to come, and has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the future of museums? On Wednesday 19 May we will be joined by Gus Casely-Hayford - curator, broadcaster, cultural historian and director of V&A East -to discuss this and more.
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WeHo Reads Presents Alternative Futures: James Sie and Skylar Kergil // 9pm EDT // FreeAlternative Futures: The Importance of Seeing Yourself in Young Adult Literature is a reading and conversation between James Sie, author of "All Kinds of Other" and Skylar Kergil, author of "Before I Had the Words". With musical guest Jiaqing Wilson-Yang, whose first novel "Small Beauty" won the 2017 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction.

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How to Queer and to Decolonise: Online workshop with Jack Tan // 4pm - 6pm EDT // Free
Artist Jack Tan leads a practical, participatory workshop on attempts to decolonise or to queer organisational governance. This workshop attempts to decolonise or to queer organisational governance through analysing and reimagining documents such as articles of association or company policies. We will treat bureaucratic documents as if they were performance score or dramatic text, the organisation as actor or performer, and workshop participants as producers/devisers. The workshop aims to be a starting point for legal creativity and to provide participants with the ability to ask the following questions of their own organisations:
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Patterns of Technological Transformation // 1pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
Technology develops in relatively predictable directions. Some of these patterns are widely understood, like exponential change – others are less well known and merit broader recognition. Together, we will explore and document these patterns as well as develop strategies for making them more commonly understood.
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Generative AI models in the arts: a tech perspective // 11am - 12pm EDT // Free
In 2020 was celebrated the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth and we collaborated with composer Alexander Schubert and Ensemble Resonanz in the creation of a piece for the festival PODIUM Esslingen #BeBeethoven. During the creative process it is not possible to define in advance the desired output, so a fast iterative process is crucial to complete the task on time. In this talk, I'll tell you about the neural architecture that we designed for controlling the generation of images, the tools that we built for exploring their latent space, and the musical piece that such images inspired.
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#microplastinar_13 // 12pm - 1:30pm EDT // Free
In this interactive webinar series, we will take a closer look at the wicked problem of plastic pollution and microplastics. Our speakers are experts in plastic pollution and have diverse backgrounds in academia, policy making, civil society and beyond. They will provide unique perspectives on the causes and impacts of the problem and discuss solutions.
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Cities of Tomorrow - Webinar #3.1 - Electromobility and university campuses // 11am - 1pm EDT // Free
The Office for Science and Technology (OST) of the Embassy of France in the US is pleased to announce a third episode in the Cities of Tomorrow webinar series. In this event, we will share the experience of US and French teams working on New Urban Mobility. Redefining urban mobility is a critical strategy for cities to reduce their environmental footprint while enabling greater access to mobility services for citizens. The webinar will look at how cities can harness digital technologies and vehicle electrification to achieve a sustainable mobility transition.
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Thursday, May 20

The Future of Design is Immersive and Really Fun // 2pm - 3pm EDT // Free
The profession of Design has always been about conveying information clearly, beautifully, empathetically, and joyfully. Recent technology advancements have allowed designers to find new methods to do this with their audiences that engage beyond the traditional visual methods. These include systems that use sound (voice-based), vibration (haptic), and immersive visual systems such as VR, AR, and MR (Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality). User Experience (UX) is a significant area of growth and opportunity in a field that is quickly adopting these technologies through agency-focused Design. We will look at some of the growth areas that include User Experience, agency-based storytelling, immersive realities and touch on some skill-sets in demand. One or more guests from these areas will join Scott in the conversation.
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Art/Talk: Future Female Leaders in (Code)Art // 6pm - 7pm EDT // Free
Art/Talks are a series of talks with innovative artists merging Art+Tech in order to inspire girls to pursue computer programming. This year's second Art/Talk will highlight 3 female professionals working in the art & tech sector who are at the forefront of the movement to create a viable and sustainable market for digital art.
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Building the Future with Biotech // 6:30pm - 8pm EDT // Free
Biology has the potential to solve the biggest problems facing human and planetary health. How can scientists develop microbiome-based therapies, create sustainable food systems, and improve infant wellness? Recent discoveries in these and other areas are showing that entrepreneurial scientists can turn lab-scale discoveries into world-changing technologies.
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Challenges and opportunities of sensory augmentation // 12pm - 1:30pm EDT // Free
This series of discussions aims to bring together the community of researchers, practitioners, artists and designers working on sensory augmentation. We seek to advance this interdisciplinary engagement in order to explore the plurality of perspectives on the modulation of human sensory and perceptual abilities. Discussing insights gained on the philosophical, ethical, creative, anthropological, scientific and technological aspects of research.
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Sowing the Future: The Next Epoch Seed Library // 6pm - 7pm EDT // $5
The Next Epoch Seed Library (NESL) is an artist-run institution focused on collecting, saving, and sharing the seeds of wild urban plants (aka weeds). From sculptural installations and workshops to zines and rewilding interventions, they work to create connections between plants and people in landscapes heavily impacted by human activity. In this talk, Ellie Irons and Anne Percoco will discuss how they founded and developed NESL, as well as their recent projects like the Deep Time Seed Burial series and ongoing Lawn (Re)Disturbance Laboratory. Through these experiential, public-facing projects, the NESL centers our plant neighbors as key participants in the struggle for ecologically just urban habitats.
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Countdown to 2025: Problems and Opportunities in the New Digital Era // 2pm - 3pm EDT // Free
It has been just over 400 days since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. With vaccines rolling out across the world and economies reopening, business leaders are now faced with having to define a new vision of the future (one forever changed in unimaginable ways by the pandemic) and lead their workforce ethically through a minefield of uncertainty and more accelerating technological disruption than they could've imagined before the pandemic. Make no mistake, the clock is ticking, but the future is already here. JOIN US for an informative, thought-provoking presentation and discussion based on a new research report by Pew Research Center (The New Normal in 2025) that offers a glimpse into the future, through the eyes of technology thought-leaders, on what we might expect and how we might prepare for the staggering societal changes coming in the next 3.5 years and the emerging technologies that will drive us into the future at breakneck speed.
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Bauhaus of the Seas - NEB Co-Design Event // 4am - 1pm EDT // Free
The first Bauhaus of the Seas co-design event is a conference designated to offer an opportunity of learning more about and participate in the design of the New European Bauhaus initiative while contributing to the Bauhaus of the Seas vision. The ”Bauhaus of the Seas” was the first thematic network proposed in the context of the co- creation phase of the New European Bauhaus. Also known, as “marhaus” (literally “the sea as our home”) or “baumar” (“the sea as a space for creation and impact entrepreneurship”), aims to promote renewed ethical and aesthetic regenerative development from a widely diverse range of dimensions of our continued relationship with the sea. This network will foster a school of interdisciplinary experimentation and entrepreneurship, bound to shape a generation of designers, architects, engineers, artists, managers, and scientists around sustainable design solutions for coastal regions and the sea.
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Friday, May 21

Metamorphosis | The 2021 MFA Interaction Design Thesis Festival at SVA // 10am - 2pm EDT // Free
Free and online, hear the graduates share their thesis work in a public forum — work that connects the present to the future, bounding us forward into what is pragmatic and possible for the human experience. Join our online Thesis Festival premiere on Friday, May 21, at 10:00am ET, as we showcase the work of the Class of 2021, and follow the event on social media using #IxDThesisFestival21.
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Spaceways // 5/21 & 5/22, Multiple Times EDT // Free
Originating from science fiction, Afrofuturism explores the relationships between cultures of the African diaspora, art, and technology to reimagine the future through a Black lens. Afrofuturism is rooted in Black history, identity, and tradition, and celebrates innovations of Black culture. Start your weekend early with a Thursday evening discussion that shines a light on these innovations, bringing together artists and cultural practitioners to discuss the ways in which Afrofuturist aesthetics and ideologies show up in their work.
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Saturday, May 22

Online Conversation - Imagining New Futures // 5pm - 6pm EDT // Free
Imagining New Futures is a collaboration between the Fine Art Programme at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Amsterdam-based multimedia artist Margret Wibmer which contemplates the social, cultural, and political shifts as well as the deep uncertainty that shrouds the current pandemic. Presented in this showcase are 10 selected projects by second-year students from the Diploma in Fine Art that are diverse in form and expression, but more importantly, shed light on their individual preoccupations and collective concerns, whilst looking towards new futures. This online conversation is an expansion of the thoughts, ideas and creative processes behind the showcase, featuring a discourse between Margret Wibmer, and participating artists Kenenza Michiko Hasan, Nathan Tan Yew Wai, and Vaidya Riddhi Abhijit.
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Artmaking in the Times of Crypto // 1pm - 2pm EDT // $15
In recent months, the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has set the art world abuzz. Within this craze, artists have begun creating artworks to be sold in digital marketplaces and bought by voracious collectors, eager to acquire these new forms of crypto-currency. How do artists stand to benefit from blockchain technology and new exchange platforms? What are the implications of NFTs for artists working in time-based media and ephemeral practices? Can NFTs make the art market less opaque and more democratic? Join artist Iván Sikic as he considers these questions and more through the lens of his own creative practice and experience minting and selling his series Trashed with this new technology that has far-reaching ramifications for the future. 
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Collective Vision of Synthetic Reality // 8am - 10am EDT // Free
In the context of the latest developments in deep learning and neural networks, we are witnessing a fast expansion of AI-generated synthetic media circulating the Internet, including the fake audiovisual information known as deepfakes. The quality of artificially synthesized media is rapidly growing, making it harder to evaluate the authenticity of portrayed information, its origin, and its trustworthiness. Multiple companies invest their resources in finding a technological solution to detect deepfakes or authenticate audiovisual information, however this approach does not lead to a permanent solution. Added the fear that we consume from media deepfakes coverage makes people feel powerless and breaks the trust in spreading information online. As a society, we find ourselves in a paradoxical situation when the credibility of data we produce rapidly devalues, and the information revolution shifts to an era of visual skepticism and general disinformation. Concerned about the disastrous aftermath of such dystopia, we propose a remedy in the form of a future-oriented speculative brainstorming game. We will collectively brainstorm the future scenarios of synthetic media and create rapid prototypes of the actual synthetic information.
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The Future of Fashion - Speculative Design with Genefer Baxter // 1pm - 4pm EDT // Free
Speculative design questions the cultural, social and ethical implications of emerging technologies and systems. It differs from traditional design in that, it creates a problem rather than solves one. The many forms that a speculative design piece can take (product, system, business, etc.), helps to prepare us for imminent challenges and for architecting a path to a preferable future.
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Sunday, May 23

Nothing to Report! 👾

Monday, May 24

An Alternative Helpline for the End of the World // 5/24 - 5/26, various times // Free
Outsourced call handlers at the Coronavirus Response Helpline use a computer system, an algorithm made up of yes or no questions, to 'diagnose' the problem of the caller. I have created a similar network or map of questions, which may or may not lead to some advice for the imminent end of the world. This new web of questions is concerned with the breakdown of ecological and economic systems, the climate crisis, and imagined futures. It playfully explores the relationship between human contact, computer systems, and the use of outsourced workers.
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XR Steps Up: The Future of Storytelling and Entertainment // 4pm - 6pm EDT // Free
In this multi-part series, we gather the top thought leaders of XR to discuss how XR is a driving force powering this incredible period of digital transformation. How are founders, researchers, and creators solving the challenges of today with XR? 
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WEEK 2 - Tuesday, May 25th - Monday, May 31st


Tuesday, May 25

The Future of NFTs // 6pm - 7:30pm EDT // $0 - $20
Processing the media attention around NFTs from the last several months is akin to drinking from a firehose. Are these sales any different than the digital art sales that have been happening for over a decade through TRANSFER gallery and others like it? If you’re anything like us, you’ve heard a lot, read a lot, and still have questions regarding how NFTs actually fit into the art market/world beyond a handful of high-profile sales. We get the basics, but what are the long-term legal, financial, archival, and activist ramifications of packaging and selling work this way? If NFT hype has the power to mainstream already occurring digital art sales and practices such as resale royalties that empower visual artists, we’re all ears. How do we all fit in moving forward? What are we getting wrong?
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Mid-Century Matters: Understanding the Architecture of an Era // 2pm - 3pm EDT // Free
What does it mean to characterize something as mid-century modern? Is it a style? An era? A fad? The popularity of this movement endures on the strength of its clean, simple lines and honest use of materials. Encompassing everything from single family homes to public buildings, furnishings, art, and media, it continues to define much of the American cultural landscape.
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Art in cities: A short history & current predicaments with Suhail Malik // 1pm - 3pm EDT // Free
Suhail Malik will speak about how cultural and artistic production can no longer be concentrated in the 'world cities' that nonetheless use art and culture to sell themselves. Considering the conditions of contemporary art and its critical uncertainties, Suhail will discuss what happens next, where it might happen, and how it can be different from what has come before.
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Mars Innovation Forum // 5/25, 10am - 5/27, 3pm EDT // $30 - $95
Explore Mars, Inc. is pleased to announce the first Mars Innovation Forum (Mars-IF), which is scheduled for May 25-27, 2021. This virtual conference will examine the many innovations that are required for an achievable and sustainable human presence on Mars and how these technologies/capabilities will benefit life on Earth. The Mars Innovation Forum will be the first of a series of programs (conferences, workshops, webinars) that will (1) define the challenges of sustainability on Mars, (2) recruit new, diverse communities to humanity’s efforts to explore deep space, (3) create new strategies to solve the defined challenges, and (4) identify potentials benefits and markets on Earth.
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Wednesday, May 26

Rae Johnston, Queens of the Drone Age / How Inclusive Podcasting Can Shape // 10pm - 10:40pm EDT // Free
Queens of the Drone Age is a new, inclusive podcast providing an insider look at the latest topics of conversation on the tech landscape. There are four ‘Queens’: Rae Johnston (Science and Technology Editor, NITV and SBS), Angharad Yeo (Presenter, Good Game Spawn Point), Tegan Jones (Editor, Gizmodo AU), and Amanda Yeo (Mashable’s Australian Reporter). Queens of the Drone Age offers behind-the-scenes tech insights from four experts who talk us through where tech was, where it is and where it’s headed. Join host Rosy Mobbs for a conversation with Rae Johnston (other ‘Queens’ might pop in)!
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In Pursuit of Luxury Conference: Luxury in the Age of Technology // 7:30am - 11:30am // £10 – £40
As with our previous three conferences we look forward to welcoming contributions from various disciplines and practices, across the academic and commercial sectors, including automotive, architecture, engineering, fashion, product, digital design, retail, and hospitality. Our aim is to explore all of these subject areas through a critical lens, to encourage debate about changing notions of luxury. We will be hosting 4 live discussion panels including two Podcast Live sessions with our panels of Visionary Women from Season One.
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The Gaze: Objectification in Film and Media // 5pm - 8pm EDT // Donation
In this lecture, we will explore the ways in which society makes and consumes video, film, and media through a critical feminist lens. Who has been privileged to be the spectator, who has been subjected to the viewed and how does that impact how the viewer sees the world around them? This lecture will focus on the feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey’s theory of the “Male Gaze” which describes the ways in which the female body is often represented as the passive object for the active view and consumption. We will discuss how the “Male Gaze” has been the default setting through which most modern media has been experienced and consumed by all viewers through analyzing a range of historic films as well as the responses from female filmmakers to this theory. We will also explore the ways this concept intersects with race through the fetishization/exoticization of racialized women, as well as the sexualization of Queer women.
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Thursday, May 27

Future Proof #1: How to become future literate // 1:30pm- 3:30pm // Free
Future Proof is a programme series that explores ideas about desirable futures and the ways in which those ideas are constructed. Which assumptions and prejudices, stories and sci-fi images influence our ideas about desirable futures? What do we know about future thinking, and how can it affect the present? During the first episode of Future Proof, we will discuss future literacy, and how to become future literate ourselves. We will imagine different futures and explore the questions that arise from them. Special guests and future thinkers Marleen Stikker and Nicklas Larsen will join us to offer their insights and practices.
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Future of Work. How AR/VR can change our jobs? // 10am - 12pm EDT // Free
Pandemic heavily changed the way we work every day. Today we operate remotely using paradigms know for decades. We use text, images, and video to control, communicate, and learn from the distance. Technology evolves rapidly approaching a new Spatial paradigm shift. When we get their existing, flat solutions will look unusable and silly. We will gain unlimited presence capability whether it is a factory, office, or training facility. When we are there we won't need to look for stickers or browse tons of instructions - it will be there all in front of you so you can focus on what matters the most.
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Signals from the Future #11: A.I. & Love // 1pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
Voice assistants, smart homes, social media algorithms - artificial intelligence has long since arrived in our everyday lives. But how close can artificial intelligence really get to humans - emotionally and even sexually? The British computer scientist Kate Devlin engages with questions like these in her work. She is Senior Lecturer in Social and Cultural Artificial Intelligence in the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London, specialising on human sexuality and robotics and founder of UK's first sex tech hackathon. How ethical can and should A.I. be when it comes to love and sexuality? How far can technology and emotions be connected? And how diverse and accessible can sex tech be when A.I. is largely programmed by white men?
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Holochain: Becoming the Artists of the Invisible // 7pm - 9pm EDT // Free
Today, we’ve reached the limit of our society’s growth due to extreme levels of complexity, which is why it is time to move from top-down siloed structures to more neuro-distributed systems that foster cooperation among individuals. In the search for new business and social collective structures, Holochain has appeared as an open-source framework for building fully distributed, peer-to-peer applications, promising new forms of governance and collaboration in supply chain, social networks and social media, and the emergence of new relationship economies with sharing Economy, social communities, and platform co-ops apps just to name a few. At the end of this interactive workshop, you'll become the artist of the invisible, a phrase coined by Alan Kaplan. You'll have the opportunity to brainstorm in small groups on new emerging business models for a new economy and an evolving society.
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Bloom: Ancestral Ceremonies // 5pm - 6pm EDT // Free
Ceremony is an ancestral technology that gifts us the room to transmute violence backwards and forwards through time. In this session, Lead to Life invites you to witness their new ritual film “between starshine and clay” as a practice in decomposing violence together across distance. By honoring the land, reflecting on its history, and reaffirming our relationship to our ancestors in blood and soil, we will explore afro-diasporic ceremonial practices as a strategy to heal our past, present and futures.
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Friday, May 28

Designing Socially Inclusive Products // 10pm - 11pm EDT // Free
No matter how large or small are the projects technology designers contribute their skills to; the technological products that we develop can impact people’s lives at cognitive, motor and socio-cultural levels. Products, services and information systems become inclusive, if the common functional capabilities of all the people who will be interacting with them are considered during the process of feature design. How can I develop more socially inclusive products? This question will be answered using key concepts and principles, which will be illustrated using cases drawn from varied sources including my own design practice. During the talk, you will be able to use the principles to evaluate ongoing, completed or future projects.
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Trains, Texts and Tits: Sex work, Technology and Movement // 5/7, 4/14, 5/21, 5/28, 12pm - 2pm EDT // $0 - $100
If necessity is the mother of invention, that mama was clearly a hustler. Whether trains, texts or tits on film, sex workers have been some of the greatest innovators on the possibilities of harnessing technology and making news spaces desirable. While it seems like Congress has ramped up criminalization of sex workers who use technology over the last few years, sex workers crafting new spaces and then being legislated out of them is a story as long as American history. In this four part course, Hacking//Hustling is bringing you the history of sex work and tech in the US from the 1800s to today. We’ll explore how sex workers made the west liveable, the web accessible, and the criminalization and online censorship that followed with readings, videos and experts from the sex worker community.
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Saturday, May 29

Film Screening: Notes From The Subsurface // 10am - 11am EDT // Free
Charlie Tweed presents a film and performative lecture developed from his recent EarthArt Fellowship at Bristol University. The film, Notes From The Subsurface (2020), interrogates deep subsurface environments and the extremophiles that live within them, considering how they can function within challenging conditions. Through sci-fi narratives, it exposes non-human perspectives, drawing out a proposal for future forms of life.
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Science Hack Day Eindhoven 2021 // 5/29, 4am - 5/30, 12pm EDT // Free
This year we will be entertaining the idea of creating a fully communicative platform for a Rover... Imagine working on creating accessories, open communication integration, web development, popular vote decisions, Virtual Reality exploring mars with your own eyes through Rover mapping and nearly anything else you believe the rover can perform. MAD emergent art center Eindhoven Netherlands will work to transition Science Hack Day to an online workspace utilizing online tools and digital spaces. This directly corresponds to one of the two main event themes "Digital Reality" perhaps thinking of a future for work and home solutions and the second theme "Extensions of a Mars Rover". Perhaps imagining a virtual reality exploration based on a 3D model- choosing which way to move and then being out voted!
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Sunday, May 30

CONNECTEDkind: The Art Vaccine for a Sustainable Future // 9am - 10:30am EDT // Free
CONNECTEDkind is a conscious drawing practice focused on transforming the mindset of humankind through art. Rooted in natural objects and their shadows, it creates a framework and provides tools to reach a place of silence within to feel empowered to truly respond rather than act. This groundbreaking yet simple method unlocks new ways of seeing and engaging the world by unleashing the kind human and the artist within.
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Monday, May 31

Nothing to Report. Happy Memorial Day! 🏖

Upcoming Speculative Futures Meetups 

Speculative Futures of Farewell – What you leave behind [Digital Panel] // Speculative Futures Berlin // Wednesday, May 19th, 12:30pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
How can we design the futures of farewell?
In our Western culture, the idea of finiteness and the impossibility of influencing what will happen after our own passing is occupied with an oppressive heaviness.
Join us in the exploration of the end of life through the speculative design project "What you leave behind". In this digital panel Henrik Rieß and his students of FH Potsdam will present provotypes of different futures with evolved technological and societal rules. Shedding light on new angles of observation to soften the stigma and create a space for debate.
While diving deep into the topic, we open it for other contexts of leaving someone/something behind. Particular emphasis is placed on the influence of rituals as temporal markers of closure as well as their increasing disappearance from our society. To what extent can future farewell rituals prepare us for goodbye and guide us through the process of parting in a strengthening way? Is our modern product and service culture – filled with communication noise – superior to the more dusty-looking sequences that have to be strictly practiced, or could new hybrid customs even emerge from them?
Works by Gesine Thränhardt, Peter Schwarz, Maryna Honcharenko, Rosa-Sophie Hamburger, Lena Hoffman, and Lena Zagora will be shown, among others.
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Bald | Was bedeutet(e) Zukunft? (Vortrag) // Speculative Futures Frankfurt // Wednesday, May 19th, 1:30pm - 2:45pm EDT // Free (In German)
🛎️ Bald ist es wieder soweit! Unsere Vortragsreihe “Spectacular Futures" geht in die zweite Runde.Normalerweise imaginieren wir Zukünfte, indem wir uns konkret vorstellen, was (vielleicht) noch vor uns liegt. In Edition 2 von Spectacular Futures wollen wir über das Konzept von Zukünften sprechen. Oder vielmehr über die Konzepte von Zukunft. Am 20. Mai werfen wir, Michael und Vitalia, einen Blick auf den Zukunftsdiskurs im Wandel der Zeiten. Wir stellen uns die Frage, wie die Idee von Zukunft sich verändert, je nachdem aus welcher Perspektive wir sie betrachten. Wir reden darüber, was Zukunft mal bedeutete. Und was sie womöglich heute bedeutet.🔮
🛎️ It's that time again soon! Our lecture series “Spectacular Futures” goes into the second round.
Usually, we imagine futures by concretely imagining what (maybe) still lies ahead of us. In Edition 2 of Spectacular Futures we want to talk about the concept of futures. Or rather about the concepts of the future. On May 20th, we, Michael and Vitalia, will take a look at the future discourse through the ages. We ask ourselves how the idea of the future changes, depending on the perspective from which we look at it. We talk about what the future meant. And what it might mean today

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3# Meetup – Climate as a driver for change // Speculative Futures Zurich // Thursday, May 20th 12pm - 1:30pm EDT // Free

It's time for us to get together again, to create better futures with Speculative Design!
We are very excited that joining us is Chris Luebkeman, leader of the Strategic Foresight Hub in the Office of the President at ETH Zurich and the former global director for foresight, research, and innovation at Arup. He is an inspiring speaker with many insights on the drivers of contemporary global change in our cities and societies.
After getting inspired with Chris, we will collaboratively identify possibilities and drivers of change in our cities or immediate surroundings. Perhaps one or the other idea takes off after the meetup when you meet the right people there.
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Speculative News & Resources 📰

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

It’s worth studying sci-fi’s false predictions for our terrible dystopian futures // Polygon
 happens to a dystopia that never comes to be? Does a story’s inaccuracy in predicting the future make it kitsch, a curio with no value beyond historic curiosity? Is an unrealized world the science fiction equivalent of a doomsday prophet after doomsday comes and goes? Or is there still something to be gleaned from a dark vision that might have gotten some particulars spectacularly wrong, but still taps into a broader understanding of how the future might go awry, and suggests what we might do to keep that from happening?
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Inside Netflix’s Quest to End Scrolling How the company is working to solve one of its biggest threats: decision fatigue // VultureTen years ago, Netflix got the idea that its app should work more like regular TV. This was early on in its transition from DVD delivery to streaming on demand, and product engineers at the company were still figuring out how the platform’s user interface would work. Netflix believes audiences are ready now. Today, the company is launching Play Something, a new viewing mode designed to make it easier for the indecisive among us to quickly find something to watch...
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DIY Device Zaps Your Balance Nerves To Simulate Real Motion // Kotaku
Large, arcade-style motion simulators (like Sega’s R360) can physically toss you around in response to onscreen action, which can increase the immersion and also just feel cool. But these simulators are big and expensive. YouTuber Mean Gene Hacks decided to use electrodes and a driving game to create his own hacked-together motion simulator for under $50. It worked, possibly too well...
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It Began as an AI-Fueled Dungeon Game. It Got Much Darker // Wired
IN DECEMBER 2019, Utah startup Latitude launched a pioneering online game called AI Dungeon that demonstrated a new form of human-machine collaboration. The company used text-generation technology from artificial intelligence company OpenAI to create a choose-your-own adventure game inspired by Dungeons & Dragons. When a player typed out the action or dialog they wanted their character to perform, algorithms would craft the next phase of their personalized, unpredictable adventure. Then, last month, OpenAI says, it discovered AI Dungeon also showed a dark side to human-AI collaboration. A new monitoring system revealed that some players were typing words that caused the game to generate stories depicting sexual encounters involving children...
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The real story behind TikTok // Vox
About nine months ago, it seemed like TikTok’s wild ride might be coming to an end. In August 2020, Trump signed an executive order to effectively ban the app from US stores. Devastated creators filmed emotional eulogies for the platform on which they’d found community and fame, while newly appointed CEO Kevin Mayer quit the role that had curdled into something he’d never signed up for. That same month, Facebook released its copycat product, Instagram Reels, ready and waiting for the demise of its Chinese competitor. But even then, it was clear to those who’d been paying attention that TikTok was never going to go away that easily...
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Intolerance of Uncertainty Links "Red" and "Blue" Brains // Futurity
Since the 1950s, political scientists have theorized that political polarization—increased numbers of “political partisans” who view the world with an ideological bias—is associated with an inability to tolerate uncertainty and a need to hold predictable beliefs about the world. But little is known about the biological mechanisms through which such biased perceptions arise. To investigate that question, scientists measured and compared the brain activity of committed partisans (both liberals and conservatives) as they watched real political debates and news broadcasts...
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Who is the futurist’s work for? // Hinesight
Short answer: it’s you, not them. “You” is the person/group who hired the futurist. We are typically hired by futures-oriented thinkers to help them do futures work for their organization. This futures-oriented client (direct client) will often tell us the work is for so-and-so internally or for the organization (client-of-client). And together we strategize on how to best please so-and-so or the organization...
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NBCUniversal Teases Augmented Reality-Powered Shopping via TV // Next Reality
Consumers who haven't already delved into the interactive wonders of augmented reality are about to be pushed into the immersive waters by market forces. In the lead up to next week's upfronts, an annual event during which TV networks work to woo advertisers with new shows and marketing techniques for their upcoming programming schedules, NBCUniversal took the wraps off its next big AR initiative...
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3D biomaterial used as 'sponge' for stem cell therapy to reverse arthritis // FutureTimeline
A new biomaterial scaffold, designed to slowly release stem cells, has worked to ensure implanted stem cells can stick around to relieve pain and reverse arthritis in mice knee joints. This treatment reduces the quantity of stem cells needed by 90%, thus avoiding the problems of redness, swelling and scar tissue that can arise from large doses of such stem cells. In the near future, it could potentially lead to reversal of osteoarthritis in humans for the first time...
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It's True. Everyone IS Multitasking on Their Video Calls // Communications of the ACM
If you tend to multitask in video meetings, you're not alone. A new study of Microsoft employees finds that people multitask more frequently in larger and longer meetings. Multitasking takes place six times as often in video meetings lasting more than 80 minutes compared with meetings that take 20 minutes or less. Microsoft shares details of the study of multitasking and remote teams in "Large Scale Analysis of Multitasking Behavior During Remote Meetings," published in the proceedings of ACM's 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Researchers from Amazon, Microsoft, and University College London examined cloud file activity for U.S. Microsoft employees to get a sense of how often people multitask in video meetings and why...
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Walmart acquires virtual fitting room company Zeekit as it makes push into fashion // CNBC
Walmart said Thursday it will acquire virtual fitting room start-up Zeekit as it makes a push into fashion and caters to customers shopping for clothes online. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The retailer declined an interview, citing the quiet period ahead of reporting its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday...
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ISPs claim broadband prices aren’t too high—Biden admin isn’t buying it // Ars Technica
Biden administration officials are not convinced by the broadband industry's claims that Internet prices aren't too high, according to a report today by Axios. The White House announced on March 31 that President Biden "is committed to working with Congress to find a solution to reduce Internet prices for all Americans." Though Biden hasn't revealed exactly how he intends to reduce prices, the announcement set off a flurry of lobbying by trade groups representing ISPs to convince Biden and the public that Americans are not paying too much for Internet access. ISPs even claim that prices have dropped, despite government data showing that the price Americans pay has risen four times faster than inflation...
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Roblox Is Now Hilariously Pretending It Is Not A 'Game' // Kotaku
Roblox is a game, right? It ticks all the boxes, it’s obvious, we all know it is. So why, I wonder, has one of the world’s most popular, uh, entertainment service platforms suddenly stopped calling itself one? As The Verge report, last week Roblox scrubbed almost all mentions of the word “game” from its descriptors, whether they be internal tabs (“games” now says “discover” in Roblox itself) or summaries of the game on the App Store and Google Play Store (where every mention of “game” has been replaced with “experience”)...
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Microsoft Mixed Reality Developer Shows Off the Full Power of Hand Tracking & Occlusion via the HoloLens 2 // Next Reality
The experience of actually using the HoloLens 2 can be difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't had a chance to directly interact with the device in person and be blown away by its immersive capabilities. That's why any new exploration into exposing the augmented reality magic made possible by the HoloLens 2 demands attention as we reveal how computing is about to change for the entire planet. This latest demo is no different...
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Arcturus Raises $5 Million to Expand Volumetric Video Toolset & Streaming // Road to VR 
Arcturus, a company building tools for editing and distributing volumetric video, today announced it has raised a $5 million seed investment. Distinct from stereoscopic video, volumetric video is fully three-dimensional and can be viewed from all angles, which makes it potentially well suited for use in augmented and virtual reality. Volumetric video isn’t yet widespread, owed to challenges with capture, storage, editing, and distribution. With its ‘Holosuite’—HoloEdit, HoloCompute, and HoloStream—Arcturus hopes to streamline the use of volumetric video, by making it easy to edit, manage, and stream...
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Wow! MIT’s color-changing paint could make your iPhone look different every day // FastCompany
Color-changing Hypercolor shirts were all the rage in the ’90s. But for the most part, when something is made, its color is set. That’s true for everything from iPhone cases to dresses to cars. New research out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could change the way we look at color forever—not as a permanent finish for a product, but as a temporary identity programmed into it. MIT has developed a new light-sensitive paint that makes it cheap, easy, and fast to update the color and pattern on just about anything. All you need is a special light box and a few minutes of time...
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The Bizarre Story of the Man Who Invented Ransomware in 1989 // Slashdot
To this day no one is sure why he did it, but in 1989 a Harvard-taught evolutionary biologist named Joseph Popp mailed out 20,000 floppy discs with malware on them to people around the world. At the time he was doing research into AIDS and the discs had been sent to attendees of the World Health Organization's AIDS conference in Stockholm. Eddy Willems was working for an insurance company in Belgium and his boss asked him to see what was on the disc......
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Autonomous Taxi Goes Rogue, Escapes from Rescue Crew // Futurism
A self-driving taxi got stuck in traffic in Chandler, Arizona — and when a tech support team showed up to free it, the car absconded and blocked a three-lane road. Joel Johnson was riding in an autonomous minivan operated by Waymo, a self-driving vehicle development company, when the car halted in the street after encountering orange safety cones, according to The Verge. The cones ended up confusing the vehicle enough to stop it entirely...
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What if you could condense all your pills into one? With 3D printing, you can // FastCompany
The objects are almost beautiful. The surfaces appear faceted and woven, catching the light like ornate jewelry. But they are not jewelry. They are pills, and possibly the most high-tech pills ever designed, in fact. These tablets are artisanal, tuned for just one person, to release a small medicine cabinet of different drugs at the right time. Developed by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA), these pills are produced by a breakthrough in 3D printing. Today, that printing is done in a lab. Tomorrow, scientists suggest, the work might be done by a pharmacist, hospital, or almost any entity other than separate pharmaceutical companies, each of which currently churns out millions of doses of the same drugs in one-size-fits-all pill formats...
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A New Gene Editing Tool Could Rival CRISPR, and Makes Millions of Edits at Once // SingularityHub
With CRISPR’s meteoric rise as a gene editing marvel, it’s easy to forget its lowly origins: it was first discovered as a quirk of the bacterial immune system. It seems that bacteria have more to offer. This month, a team led by the famed synthetic biologist Dr. George Church at Harvard University hijacked another strange piece of bacteria biology. The result is a powerful tool that can—in theory—simultaneously edit millions of DNA sequences, with a “bar code” to keep track of changes. All without breaking a single delicate DNA strand...
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From Nintendo consoles to ouija boards: What patents reveal about human ingenuity // FastCompany
A new book by Thomas Rinaldi called Patented covers 1,000 design patents, which Rinaldi narrowed down from the 750,000 patents issued to date. Rinaldi aimed to include the most recognizable design patents, and some under-recognized ones, too, including the first-generation Nintendo console, the iconic Fender guitar, the Delorean made famous in Back to the Future, a 1952 bear-shaped honey bottle, the Motorola Razr flip phone, and even a 1920 ouija board. Together, the patents in this book tell a bigger story: that there’s beauty (and a lot of fun) in the objects we encounter every day but don’t necessarily think of as “designed...
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ehang unveils tree-like vertiports for its autonomous passenger drones // DesignBoom
autonomous air vehicle company ehang unveils ‘baobab’, a large tree-like tower and landing platform for its EH216 passenger drones. designed by giancarlo zema design group (GZDG) with sustainability at the core, photovoltaic panels on the vertiports will generate energy and independent plug-and-play charging points will recharge the drones wirelessly. currently in the development stage, ehang and GZDG hope to enter the emerging global eco-tourism sector with hubs being planned for a lakeside site in china’s zhaoqing city as well as in the maldives, the united arab emirates, and italy...
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Neurable introduces brain-computer interface headphones // Tech Xplore
The neurotechnology company Neurable has revealed plans for brain-computer interface (BCI) headphones, similar to previous products designed to learn from human movement and predict intent. This idea began with the product lead Dr. Ramses Alcaide. Inspired by his uncle's successful engineering of his own prosthetic legs following a horrific automobile accident, Alcaide realized the usefulness of technology that could assist users with physical mobility...
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Apple Glasses could turn any surface into a touch screen thanks to augmented reality // Business Insider
Apple has already had several winks referring to possible smart glasses, the Apple Glasses, of which there are not many certainties, but that point to become a reality at some point in the near future, and that are still an unknown in some ways. However, it seems that little by little some clues about this interesting product are coming to light. In this case, as Patently Apple has revealed , the company could use Thermal Touch technology in its Apple Glasses that would turn virtually any flat surface into a touch screen with augmented reality with which users could interact...
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How algorithms took creativity out of social media // Wired
In early January 2018, a shocking and disturbing video became one of the top ten ‘Trending’ clips on YouTube. The video – which prompted a global backlash and is now an infamous moment in YouTube history – saw then-22-year-old internet personality Logan Paul explore Japan’s Aokigahara forest, known as a site for suicide, before sharing footage of a corpse with his subscribers, which at the time numbered 15 million (now 23 million). After Paul deleted his video, third-party copies also reached YouTube’s Trending page...
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Space Force's Vision Document Is a Like a Pitch Deck for a 1995 Dotcom Startup // Vice
The U.S. Space Force is the newest branch of the American military and it’s still working on nailing down its identity. Its leaders insist the Space Force is not just about mastering the stars but also about protecting cyberspace and assisting the Pentagon in a number of poorly defined areas. Space Force claims, however, that it wants to be an all digital service according to a new vision document which is largely a 17-page collection of buzzwords and phrases that feel pulled from a dotcom startup pitch deck from 1995...
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Move over, solar: The next big renewable energy source could be at our feet // News WISC
Flooring can be made from any number of sustainable materials, making it, generally, an eco-friendly feature in homes and businesses alike. Now, however, flooring could be even more “green,” thanks to an inexpensive, simple method developed by University of Wisconsin–Madison materials engineers that allows them to convert footsteps into usable electricity...
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Geology Students Did Video Game Fieldwork During Covid. It Rocked // Wired
With travel and real-life fieldwork shut down, a couple of enterprising professors started with simulations of Italy and Scotland, then took to the stars. When the pandemic kicked into gear back in March 2020, these both scintillating and stressful field schools were no more. Geology instructors across the world were at a bit of a loss as to what to do. Many understandably concluded that there was no way to replicate this hands-on learning experience and just made do, but Matthew Genge, a planetary scientist at Imperial College London (ICL), had an epiphany...
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Google AI Researchers Are Dreaming Up a New Species of Search Engine // SingularityHub
This is the raw internet in all its unfiltered glory. Which is why most of our quests for “enlightenment” online begin with Google (and yes, there are still other search engines). Google’s algorithmic tentacles scan and index every book in that ungodly pile. When someone enters a query in the search bar, the search algorithm thumbs through its indexed version of the internet, surfaces pages, and presents them in a ranked list of the top hits. In a paper on the arXiv preprint server, the team suggests the technology to make the internet even more searchable is at our fingertips. They say large language models—machine learning algorithms like OpenAI’s GPT-3—could wholly replace today’s system of index, retrieve, then rank...
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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

STORIES FROM 2050 // Funded by the European Union // Deadline 5/24, Info Session, 4/17
The overall goal of this project is to support the further development of the vision of a Clean Planet 2050 and the implementation of the European Green Deal by creating and harvesting stories. Share your favourite or provoking stories, images and videos from the future and join our online forum to discuss and make sense out of the future. Join one of our Futures Rooms and get transferred into the year 2050 where Earth has become uninhabitable and it is up to you to discover a new planet. Deadline is tight: Info session on Monday, May 17th, and deliverable due by 24th of May.
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MIT Reality Hack XR Hackathon // 6/17 - 6/21 // Rolling Applications
I've participated in this one in the past, and it was a blast!!!

Reality Hack is an annual community-run XR hackathon comprising thought leaders, brand mentors and creators, participants, students, and technology lovers, who come together and attend tech workshops, talks, discussions, fireside chats, collaborations, hacking, and more.Participants of various backgrounds and all skill levels attend from all over the world. It is typically held at MIT co-hosted by a team of community volunteers (alumni, friends, and others) with the Reality Hack Organization 501-c3 and a student org VR/AR@MIT. We all share a common goal: to educate, empower and enable people to be part of the XR industry. This year, things will be different as we host a smaller, hybrid virtual and in-person event.
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Buckminster Fuller Institute Trimtab Space Camp // 4 Week Online Course // 5/3 - 5/28

Buckminster Fuller, the Leonardo DaVinci of the 20th century, was way ahead of his time - he could see the future, anticipated humanity's needs, and thus designed hundreds of artifacts for a world that works for 100% of life, all through looking to nature for design inspiration. His methodology was called Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science. We call it Design Science for short. You can think of it as a mash-up between design thinking, biomimicry, futurism, and regenerative development. It’s time we revisit this lens, bring it to the 21st century, and co-develop a Design Science Toolkit. Join us for a four-week learning journey to dive into Fuller’s Design Science and see how we can apply it to today’s global transition. We’ll learn from leaders in Biomimicry, Design Thinking, Living Systems, and Rapid Prototyping. 
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Museum Futures Conference Call for Projects // Deadline 6/12
As museums navigate uncertain times, some seek to look back in the hope that the new normal will recover the lost publics, most of whom can only be reached online intermittently and in between lockdowns and restricted access procedures. Others have slowly but surely embarked on systemic change. At this point in time, 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-centered museum, in harmonious existence with the natural environment, ever see the light of day? 
Learn More & Apply

Cool Projects

Evoware // Ellen Macarthur Foundation
Evoware, an Indonesian startup, designs food wrappings and sachets (containing, for example, instant coffee or flavouring for noodles) made out of a seaweed-based material that can be dissolved and eaten. The ability of single-use sachets to provide people everywhere with a single dose of instant coffee, shampoo, or medical supplies has many benefits, but because they are so small they often escape collection and end up on beaches, in rivers, or the ocean. Evoware introduces seaweed as a solution, which is a great example of how a biological feedstock can be used for a technical purpose and then safely biodegraded...
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Dark Data Zine // Parsons School of Design Dark Data Students
We all pay an unobservable price for using the internet. Aptly named a web, the hundreds of websites we browse on it every day extract this price from us; from something as innocuous as our favorite color and shopping list to more serious and supposedly private information like our credit card information and our current GPS location. These data points are pieces of us that get stuck on this web; the more we use it, the more we are entangled in it, the more data we leave behind. The three sections in this publication each focus on these core ideas of elucidation, investigation and speculation about Dark Data. Each article is a critical response by the author to a semester worth of rigorous conversations and explorations around this topic and its intricacies...
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Gaming, Shows, Books & Other Random Cool Stuff

This High-Tech Camping Gear Will Make You Feel Like You're in 'Predator' // Vice
Camping season is nigh! We can always smell when it’s time to flee the paved world of sweet, hot city trash for a night with Brood X in the Catskills, the Sierras, or that one park by the Walgreens we probably shouldn’t be camping at, but YOLO. It’s been a rough past 12 (15? whatever) months of this COVID-19 quar life. We are grateful for The Indoors. But now we’re fully 5G loaded up on Pfizer et. al., emerging from lockdown like a less gross version of Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, and ready to camp, and camp hard. We want to feel like we’re in the BTS DVD of Predator. We want to zip up our sleeping bag and feel like a hibernating cosmonaut...
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We Can’t Stop Watching This DIY Ferrofluid Bluetooth Speaker // Make
Ferrofluid is a mesmerizing material, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve seen plenty of various ways of displaying it, from simply globbing it into a jar and waving magnets at it to building complex displays with microcontroller brains. In this absolutely stunning example Seung Hoon Jung has built a bluetooth speaker with integrated ferrofluid display. The technical aspects of this are pretty interesting but mainly it has to be said that their ability to wrap everything up in such a deceptively simple looking package is very impressive...
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Yaw2 Motion Simulator Surpasses $1M On Kickstarter // VRScout
Yaw VR’s smart chair offers a 40-degree motion range for roll, 70-degree for pitch movements, and haptic vibrations. With 34 days left to go in the campaign, Yaw VR’s next-gen motion simulator/smart chair, the Yaw2, this week reached over $1M in funding on Kickstarter, absolutely demolishing its original goal of $100,000. Shipping out to early backers this September, the Yaw2 is able to tilt 70 degrees up and down and 40 degrees side-to-side, allowing for more realistic simulations enhanced by real-world movement. By adding the optional Yaw platform, you can take your experience even further with full 360-degree rotations. There’s also built-in vibration haptics capable of simulating acceleration, speed, an engine’s RPM, and gunshots...
Check It Out

Should I Automate This? // Hackaday
The short answer to the question posed in the headline: yes. For the long answer, you have to do a little math. How much total time you will save by automating, over some reasonable horizon? It’s a simple product of how much time per occurrence, times how many times per day it happens, times the number of days in your horizon. Or skip out on the math because there’s an XKCD for that. What’s fun about this table is that it’s kind of a Rorschach test that gives you insight into how much you suffer from automatitis...
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Katy Perry & Pikachu Music Video - Electric
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What I'm Reading

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

Judge Dredd

William Gibson

Stardew Valley

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