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SciFly NYC // 125 // Remote Speculations Week 8

Speculative Events, News & Resources | Sent 5/4

Hey SciFly Readers!

Hope you are all doing well as we continue down this crazy road together. 

Here in Brooklyn, the weather is getting nicer (which is great but also sucks), trees are bursting with leaves, and people are going about their lives in a variety of colorful masks and face-coverings as they try to enjoy the nice weather, 6 feet apart.

This week, I want to shout out an awesome upcoming event way ahead of time, so you can have time to go. This event is super near and dear to me, as someone who once particpated, and even though it's going online, it promises to be one of the coolest things you've seen this year.

I'm talking, of course, about Parson's Design + Technology 2020 Thesis Show, Hindsight!!!

HINDSIGHT | Parsons DT Thesis Show 2020

Tuesday May 12th, 6PM EDT - Thursday, May 14th, 8:30PM EDT // Various Times for Events & Talks 
Check it out!!!

This year the even, naturally, is going to be virtual, so the students in MFADT and BFADT program. Between May 12th and 14th, you can tune into their virtual festival that will feature a series of talks, panels, and other exciting presentation formats. As the event says, "This is not what you'd expect, folks. Grab some popcorn or a martini and tune in!"

You can also check out the digital exhibition on a special website showcasing work in the context of six general themes. Memoirs that ask that the self be re-examined, the site will reflect upon consumptive habits, discover new avenues for self-care, create new solutions for problems, articulate ourselves in new ways, and generate fresh questions to be explored.

I remember the stress, excitement, and unbridled co-creativity that led up to my own thesis show, so I can just imagine how this year's students must feel trying to prepare while locked down at home. :(

I highly highly encourage you to check out the event schedule and tune in for some of the talks and programming. DT students are always some of the most speculative, innovative, fun, and downright cool people I have ever met, and I promise that you will have a great time hearing what they have to say!!!

Register Here!

Otherwise, here are a couple of pictures from my last week.

Truth be told, I didn't get out and about as much as I was feeling pretty sick most of the week and stayed inside curled up on my couch when not working, so I'll have to catch up on my daily observations of Brooklyn during the Lockdown series!!!
Top: My wonderful 19-year old childhood kitty, Lord Neko-chan has come to stay with us for a few weeks while Mom heads to our condo in Florida.

Middle Left: I make some Omurice, one of my favorite foods to make when I'm feeling sick. Basically an omelette over mild fried rice.

Middle Right: Saw this guy smoking in a mask staring at this closed business and just thought it was super compelling.

Bottom Left: More graffiti from around Crown Heights addressing Covid19.

Bottom Right: Gloves and masks, a frequent find our the streets in my neighborhood these days...

Anyway, I hope you are all doing well, wherever you are!

Don't forget you can join me on the Speculative Futures Slack (where I pretty much live right now) if you want to chat!!!

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

I photobomb my friend's Grand Army Plaza shot on a late night walk last weekend. So happy it's warm enough to just wear a t-shirt!!!

"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.

News, Resources, Events, Fun Things to Keep You Occupied

Online Events

Running list of online events that I will update weekly. These won't all be taking place this week, rather I'll add things as I find them so you have some time to plan!


RTC2020 (Real-Time Conference) // Mon May 4, All Day // Free
Created by industry veterans from DreamWorks, FMX, and Weta Digital, RTC 2020 is a new cross-industry, event devoted to the impact real-time is having on Art, Technology, Business, and Society. With real-time technology growing at an unprecedented pace and shaping countless industries in its wake, the need for a unifying event to bring together the pioneers of today with the leaders of tomorrow has never been more important.
Learn More

🔥Pandemic as Portal: Exploring the in-between // Cooper Hewitt // Mon May 4, 1:00PM - 2:30PM EDT // Free
“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.” The idea of the pandemic as a portal captured imaginations globally, helping to frame an uncharted reality inside a simple metaphor. But the transition between the pre-COVID world and whatever comes after is not immediate. We can, and should, take time to construct and explore our collective view from inside the portal. What kinds of experiences and interactions might we want to create? What kinds of systems might we build, and whose priorities will those systems reflect? Our intention is to create space for us to explore these ideas in conversation, and together use this time of pause to explore what kinds of experiences, cultural and otherwise, we'd like to build into whatever comes next.
Learn More

Writing and Designing in the Face of Hard Times with Warren Lehrer // Mon May 4, 6:30PM - 8:00PM EDT // Free
Writer/Artist Warren Lehrer ruminates on making art in the face of adversity. He will show some inspiring examples of other artists, writers, makers of visual literature who practiced their craft under unthinkable conditions, then focus on examples of his own solo and collaborative works that explore the effects of trauma and hardship on individuals and communities.
Learn More

Planet Microbes: Environmental Microbiology Discussion Group // Genspace // Tue May 5, 6:30PM - 8:30PM EDT // Donation
Microbes are the invisible engines that keep the planet running. They were the first lifeforms to arise on early Earth 3.5 billion years ago, and they’ll likely exist long after we’re gone...but it's here and now we’re interested in. How do microbes influence our climate, and how are they responding to climate change? Join ocean microbiologist Kyle Frischkorn, Ph.D. for an informal discussion of environmental microbiology research that’s hot off the press.
Learn More

Immersive Experience: Poised to revolutionize how you interact with visuals // Mon May 4, 6:55PM - 8:30PM PDT (9:55PM - 11:30PM EDT) // Free
The emergence of advanced imaging display technologies, either existing or highly anticipated, has motivated new ways to contemplate the production and service delivery of media in order to enable new and immersive user experiences. Whether it be VR gaming, telepresence, spatial computing, lean-back viewing, or experiencing the reality of a futuristic holodeck scene, the applications facilitated by emerging advanced-imaging displays have begun to test the limits of existing 2D video workflows and formats. This presentation summarizes the history of media leading to the emergence of immersive media and displays and considers the impacts of the emerging ecosystem on media production, standards, and distribution workflows.
Learn More

Jump Into Unreal Engine // Playcrafting // Mon May 4, 5:00Pm - 7:00PM EDT // $0 - $30
Please join us for a 90-minute Unreal Engine overview and primer, with the Epic team. This class will cover: Hi-level overviews of the Unreal Engine User Interface, Material System, Lighting, Blueprints, and Rendering Systems
Learn More

Ecofeminism: gender, justice, and planetary health // Tue May 5, 6:00PM - 7:30PM BST (1:00PM - 2:30PM EDT) // Free
We're taking our Beyond the Binary seminar series online with a special panel discussion on ecofeminism and planetary health.
The climate crisis draws into sharp perspective the interconnectedness of the physical environment, human health, and social justice. Ecofeminism has, over many decades, constructed a notion of “planetary health” that weaves together systems of human, non-human and environmental health through a critical, justice-oriented framing.
Learn More

NYC Media Lab Open House - Episode 1 // Tue May 5, 10AM - 11AM // Free
The NYC Media Lab Open House! Come meet our teams, and explore the work. Today: NYC Media Lab and The New York Times are working with six university teams to explore the opportunities that spatial computing might create for the future of journalism. 
Learn More

DENSE+GREEN CITIES : Architecture As Urban Ecosystem Webinar // Tue May 5, 6:00PM - 8:00PM SST (6:00AM - 8:00AM EDT) // Free
Presentation in conjunction with Dense+Green Cities exhibition exploring the interaction between buildings and the city as ecological system.
Learn More

Author Talk: #HashtagActivism // MIT Press Live! // Tue May 5, 12:30PM - 1:30PM EDT // Free
Join authors Sarah J. Jackson, Moya Bailey, and Brooke Foucault Welles to look at how marginalized groups use Twitter to advance counter-narratives, preempt political spin, and build diverse networks of dissent.
Learn More

ITA introducing Prof. Dr. Sascha Roesler | Urban Climate // ETH Zurich // Tue May 5, 6PM - 8PM CEST // Free
Prof. Dr. Sascha Roesler is an architectural theorist, working at the intersection of architecture, ethnography, and science and technology studies. Since 2016, he is the Swiss National Science Foundation Professor for Architecture and Theory at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio, Switzerland. Together with his team, he conducts a long-term research project on design-based approaches to urban climates.
Learn More

Virtual Worlds & Digital Twins Startup Showcase // Verizon 5G Lab // Wed May 6, 4PM - 5:30PM EDT // Free
Verizon's 5G Lab and WXR Fund are partnering on a three event series (all in VR!) exploring virtual worlds & digital twins, the future of live streaming, and remote creative collaboration. In our first event, we'll join a virtual venue in AltSpace where you'll hear from five startups working at the forefront of virtual worlds and digital twins. Each featured company will deliver a 5-minute presentation, including a product showcase, followed by plenty of time for networking in AltSpace.
Learn More

AIES Reading Group | Technology and the Virtues Part 1 | Shannon Vallor // AI Ethics & Society // Wed May 6, 3:00PM - 4:30PM BST (10AM - 11:30AM EDT) // Free
Join us for the first session of our reading group series. We will read and discuss together Shannon Vallor's Technology and the Virtues. A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting. Sessions will take place online once a month from 3 to 4.30 pm, with Zoom links provided closer to the sessions. This series is supported by the Edinburgh Futures Institute.
Learn More

🔥V. E. Schwab, Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Charlie Jane Anders For Books Inc. // Wed May 6, 12PM - 1PM PDT (3PM - 4PM EDT) // Donation
This event will be a discussion between Charlie Jane Anders, V. E. Schwab, and Maggie Tokuda-Hall (for whom this is also a launch party).
Learn More

🔥Spiritual Ecology and Regenerative Economics // Wed May 6, 7:00PM - 9:00PM PDT (10:00PM - 12:00AM EDT) // Free
In these uncertain times, there are many pressing questions being posed to ourselves and society about our individual and collective futures. Now more than ever, it has become apparent to many of us that the economy is not something external to ourselves, but something we participate in and co-create every day. This great pause can be a time for reflection and visioning. What world do we really want? What economic futures are possible now that weren’t before? Join regenerative economics expert Della Z Duncan and social justice activist Gopal Dayaneni for a conversation that explores these and many other deeply relevant questions.
Learn More

🔥Pandemics | Existential Threats & Endablers of Change // Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies // Wed May 6, 3:00PM - 4:00PM CEST (9:00AM - 10:00AM EDT) // Free
For all its tragedy, the COVID-19 pandemic will also be an enabler of change with wider societal implications. Although it is still uncertain how and when this change will come about, historical pandemics can teach us much about how disruptive to society a rapid spread of disease and loss of life can be, and what long-term effects – both positive and negative – this can have.
Learn More

The Future of Human Relations with Voice-First Technology // Acid Tango // Thu May 7, 6:30PM - 9:30PM CEST (12:30PM - 3:30PM EDT) // Free (not sure if in Spanish or English)
People are engaging with their voice-activated speakers as if they were human, perceiving these devices as more than just an electronic toy, they’re more akin to another person or a friend. In this session, we will reflect not only on the evolution of human communication, but also on the impact of voice-first devices on social relations. Will this technology revolutionize society as much as writing did?
Learn More

Visible Futures Lab Virtual Information Session // SVA // Thu May 7, 6:30PM - 7:30PM EDT // Free
This session will provide details about the Visible Futures Lab, SVA's state-of-the-art digital fabrication lab and the opportunity to ask questions and meet lab staff. Additionally, you will learn about our continuing education course offerings in physical computing, 3D modeling, digital and hands-on prototyping, soft circuits and fiber arts, and mechanical design.
Learn More

Feminist Cyborg Reading Group // Genspace // Fri May 8, 6:30PM - 8:30PM EDT // Free
Curious about cyborgs and feminism? Join our Cyborg Feminist Reading Group to discuss the ethical and social implications of emerging technologies with artist Kathryn Hamilton and other Genspace community members.
Learn More

PA-RT: "1984" // Fri May 8, 8PM - 10PM EDT // Donation
By destiny or coincidence, we were inspired by Orwell's 1984 months before the pandemic. Let's produce it NOW. All proceeds go to charity! While following the guidelines of social distancing, we decided to create a performance-art event for New York City, in New York City, with participants from around the globe.
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Existential Medicine #7: Data Patient Privacy // New Lab + JLABS // Fri May 8, 10:00AM - 11:30AM EDT // Free
In the next installment of Existential Medicine, we will explore the intersection of digital health records and patient privacy. The rise of digital health records has ushered in an era of new health technologies: From EHRs that facilitate the transfer of patient information across offices to connective technologies like wearables to machine learning on big data sets. But amidst all of the excitement exists an array of challenges to patient privacy and data security.
Learn More

Processing Community Hangout // Sat May 9, 11:00AM - 5:00PM PDT (2:00PM - 8:00PM EDT) // Free
The Processing Community Hangout is organized by worldwide Processing community members and will have a different facilitator and presenters share what they are working on related to art and code, followed by casual discussion.
Learn More

Quantum Tech Talk w/Researchers at Harvard, MIT, and Yale // Sat May 9, 11AM - 12PM PDT // Free
Researchers from MIT, Harvard, and Yale will discuss everything students have ever wanted to know about quantum computing, including: what it is, cool research projects they're currently working on, and give advice for students who may want to pursue a career in quantum.
Learn More

🔥🕹🖥Hindsight | Parsons Design & Technology Annual Thesis Show 2020 // Tue May 12, 6:00PM EDT - Thur May 14, 8:30PM EDT
Hindsight is he digital thesis show for all 2020 graduating MFA and BFA DT students. Between May 12th and 14th, we will be hosting a virtual festival with a series of talks, panels, and other exciting presentation formats. This is not what you’d expect, folks. Grab some popcorn or a martini and tune in.
Learn More

Author Talk: Technologies of the Human Corpse, by John Troyer // MIT Press Live // Tue May 12, 12:30PM - 1:30PM EDT // Free
MIT Press Live! presents a virtual author talk with John Troyer, author of Technologies of the Human Corpse. is book explores the relationship of the dead body with technology through history, from nineteenth-century embalming machines to the death-prevention technologies of today.
Learn More

Digital Futures: Taking Fashion Online // Fashion for Good // Tue May 12, 11PM CEST (5PM EDT) // Free
Join us for an inside look at the link between digital design, fashion & sustainability, with The Fabricant Creative Director Amber Slooten. Amber will be sharing insights into The Fabricant's design process, as well as her take on the wider role that digital design is set to play within the fashion industry and beyond.
Learn More

PDF-OBJECTS, Shelter in Place // Mana Contemporary // Fri May 15, 6:30PM - 8:30PM EDT // Free
Initiated in 2016 by Florida-based artist Jason Lazarus and New York-based artist Sean Ward, PDF-OBJECTS is a growing collection of embedded text-object sculptures. Conceived in partnership with Mana Contemporary, Shelter in Place will be the first PDF-OBJECTS exhibition without a physical installation, and is curated by Lazarus.
Learn More

Stringlism: Textures, Threads & Identity // Thu May 14, 5PM MDT (7PM EDT) - Sun May 17, 3PM MDT (5PM EDT) // Free
Maren Kathleen Elliott, an Edmonton native, is excited to launch her solo art exhibition, ‘Stringlism: Textures, Threads & Identity’ online. Will include a virtual gallery, opening night performance, yoga, artists talks, afro dance class and more!
Learn More

🔥Fostering Community Resilience Part 2 // Speculative Futures Austin // Wed May 20, 7:00PM - 9:00PM CT (9:00PM - 11:00PM EDT) // Free
Let's start acting on aspects of what our April discussion around fostering community resilience in the midst of a global pandemic surfaced. This will be a continuation of our collaboration with members of the Design Futures Initiative to establish and respond to a series of emerging prompts that focus on our communal future as a global super-organism as we adjust to convening our local and global communities in a remote, virtual, or decentralized manner.
Learn More

Ongoing Events

🔥Parsons MFA Design + Technology Cloud Salon // Fridays 3PM - 4PM EST // Free
We are excited to announce Design + Technology Cloud Salon, a Zoom webinar that invites artists, designers, technologists, and industry professionals to present projects and engage in direct conversations with participants
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

EPISODE 003 | Responsible AI
"Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral," said tech historian Melvin Kranzberg. In recent years AI has been proving him right again, as the many benefits of these technologies are undercut by a plethora of negative human effects. They range from unfair biases in hiring algorithms to concerns about surveillance capitalism to social polarization from online filter bubbles. The tech industry has been scrambling to respond, so far without much success. Can AI better reflect human values? How do we make that happen?

🔥Interdependence Salons // Metabolic Studio // Thu Apr 30, 1:00PM - 2:30PM PDT (3:00PM - 4:30PM EDT) // Free
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” - Buckminster Fuller. As we live through these uncertain times, we hope as a community to collectively support one another and share our knowledge and voices. Please join us every Thursday at 1PM PST for a series of Interdependence Salons virtually on Zoom as we take inspiration this season from Buckminster Fuller’s 1976 Bicentennial Declaration of Interdependence. Metabolic Studio will be hosting specially invited guests discussing their work in this new reality we are facing.
Learn More

Thursday, April 30th | James Oliver, Radical Mycologist
James Oliver is a radical mycologist at the Metabolic Studio’s Farmlab and an advocate for fungi, some of the most neglected and poorly understood organisms. Under Farmlab’s mission to combat climate change and mass extinction through the study and applied science of living systems, James’s work at the Metabolic Studio explores the many roles that fungi play in remediation, restoration, food systems, soil building, and community science. 
Check It Out

Foresight Sanity Preserver // Foresight Institute Daily, 9AM - 10AM PST (12PM - 1PM EST) & 6PM - 7PM PST (9PM - 10PM EST) // Free
A daily free online salon hosted by Foresight Institute to connect over positive futures, COVID-19, and beyond by... 1. Creating a community for isolating folks across the globe and connecting on shared topics of interest. 2. Making sense of COVID-19 and surface projects in need of support. 3. Leveraging the current crisis for change toward long-term beneficial futures
Check Out the Events Schedule Here

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

GLOBAL GAME NIGHT (Virtual) // Wednesdays, 5pm - 7pm EST // Free
Playcrafting is hosting a weekly Global Game Night series every Wednesday to demo and spotlight games and creators from around the world! Games have the power to transcend boundaries and connect people across the globe no matter who they are or where they're from. Tune in from the comfort of your computer as we take you on a world tour of games. Each week, you'll meet a lineup of game developers from a different place as they show you their latest and greatest. We'll have time for Q&A each week and will feature some surprises along the way!

Sixty Minutes Back to the Future // Future Based // Thursdays, 8:00PM GMT +2 (2:00PM EDT)  // Free
Sixty minutes back to the Future’ series is a new series in which we reflect on the bottlenecks and challenges of today’s society and contemporary issues that have already been addressed by numerous philosophers and scientists: What can we learn about the future by looking at history?

Thursday, May 7th // Sixty minutes into the Future with Aldo Houterman: Philosophy of the virus
In this webinar introduction of the philosophy of the virus, philosopher of the body Aldo Houterman explains why he thinks viruses are philosophically important. In these 60 minutes, he will discuss four philosophers and their views on the concept of ‘virus,’ and how viruses have influenced the shaping of our society over the centuries. After the webinar we will share the texts that Aldo will discuss with you.
Learn More

Thursday, May 28th // Sixty Minutes Back to the Future: Ethics of human enhancement
In this webinar ‘Ethics of human enhancement’ biohacker Peter Joosten explains the different philosophical ideas on improving humans with the use of science and technology. In these 60 minutes, Peter will discuss a couple of scientists, thought leaders, and authors and their view on upgrading the human species, and what visions they have for the future of homo sapiens.
Learn More

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

Check out Wonderville's Livestream!
Support Wonderville on WithFriends

Speculative News, Articles, Resources (General)

Cool news and articles about emerging technology, speculative practice, and futures design. Will try to put nothing about COVID-19 here to give you a break, see below for news/resources on that topic.

Electronic Skin Powered by Sweat Can Monitor Health, Serve as Human-Machine Interface // Communications of the ACM
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)'s Wei Gao has developed a perspiration-powered electronic skin (e-skin) that can be applied directly to human skin, with embedded sensors to monitor the wearer’s vital signs. The e-skin's built-in biofuel cells absorb lactate from the wearer's sweat, which combines with air to generate water, pyruvate, and electricity, powering the sensors and a Bluetooth device...
Read More

An ESPN Commercial Hints at Advertising’s Deepfake Future // NY Times
Unable to film new commercials during the coronavirus pandemic, advertising agencies are turning to technologies that can seamlessly alter old footage, sometimes putting viewers in a position of doubting what they are seeing...
Read More

Fortnite’s new experimental mode is about partying, not fighting
It’s time to party in Fortnite. Epic just launched a new, violence-free mode for the game, dubbed “party royale,” which removes two of the biggest elements from the experience: weapons and buildings. The mode introduces a new, smaller map, and Epic describes it as an “experimental and evolving space.”...
Read More

Why smartphones are digital truth serum // Science Daily
Researchers from University of Pennsylvania published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that explains that the device people use to communicate can affect the extent to which they are willing to disclose intimate or personal information about themselves...
Read More

Brain Implant & Signal Decoder Have Done The Impossible and Reversed Paralysis // SyFy
Back in 2010, Ian Burkhart suffered a devastating injury that would leave him mostly paralyzed. Even though he was still able to move his shoulders and elbows, he had lost sensation in his hands. That was until Patrick Ganzer at Battelle Memorial Institute fast-forwarded biotech into the future by developing a brain implant that would turn Burkhart’s life around. When the implant connects to a specialized brain-computer interface, it does something that has never been done before and has restored both movement and touch in his right hand.
Read More

Yoshua Bengio: Attention is a core ingredient of ‘conscious’ AI // Venture Beat
During the International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) 2020 this week, Turing Award winner and director of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms Yoshua Bengio provided a glimpse into the future of AI and machine learning techniques...
Read More

Reducing the carbon footprint of artificial intelligence // MIT News
Artificial intelligence has become a focus of certain ethical concerns, but it also has some major sustainability issues...
Read More

Other Cool Stuff to Learn/Watch/Read/Play/Know About

News, Articles & Interesting Projects

NYC Media Lab Innovation Monitor Newsletter // Erica Matsumoto
Again, Erica has compiled an awesome list of considerations for life after COVID-19! She looks at how the pandemic will accelerate new technologies in the workplace, retail, and more. Highly suggest you take a look!!!
Check It Out

A Deep Dive into William Gibson’s Neuromancer #cyberpunk // Adafruit Blog
The team takes a deep-dive into some of the interpretations and details of one of my favorite Science Fiction books, Neuromancer. Such a good read!
Check It Out

Move over, Zoom. This magic interface is the future of videoconferencing

Do we need to settle for the Zoom-from-the-couch home office we have today? Not necessarily! The design firm Argodesign has created a concept called the Square. It’s an artificial window, created from an LCD screen that goes on the wall next to your desk. When you raise the shade, you can see a coworker, or two, working right there next to you. You can strike up a conversation, or ignore them. You can gossip, or hold a productive meeting. Just like a real office.
Check It Out

Solar Wind Flows in "Switchbacks and Spikes" // Futurity
Continued analysis of data from the Parker Solar Probe creates a clearer picture of the sun’s magnetic activity and may bolster our ability to predict dangerous solar events, according to a new study...
Read More

This MIT app makes self-care as addictive as a video game // FastCompany
What if there were something that could help snap you out of the rut, be it a temporary funk or actual, clinical depression? And what if this something were designed to make doing good things for yourself as addictive as a video game? That’s the premise of The Guardians: Unite the Realms, a new app developed by the Affective Computing group at MIT Media Lab.
Check It Out

Jay Z tries to use copyright strikes to remove deepfaked audio of himself from YouTube // The Verge
Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z has become an unlikely source of inspiration within the budding community of artificial intelligence-powered impersonation, known colloquially as deepfakes, and the rap icon’s record label has taken notice and issued copyright strikes to shut some of it down....
Read More

Reclaim Futures Conference | Call for Participants [CALL]
ReclaimFutures is a technology and culture conference around the broad subjects of post-capitalist desire, utopian exploration, ecology and alternative computing. As networks of algorithms drive hyper-consumption and bolster deeply questionable political agendas, the once radical utopian vision of the future offered by the internet is rapidly fading into a nostalgic throwback. How can we reclaim these narratives for non-capitalistic aims?
Check It Out & Submit!

COVID-19 Control Wars- collaborative worlding and the invocation of futures-to-come [PARTICIPATE]
Suspending futures, gaming transitions and opening portals to other worlds.  Control Wars (CW) is an open-source game and experimental research framework that develops a code to invoke, vivisect and intervene in some of the futures vibrating within our present. It is a tool that combines collaborative fiction, performance, play and low-frequency conflict to recursively simulate emerging scenarios in relation to technologies + biosphere + citymaking + post-human governance + markets. Covid19-CW (C19-CW) is an iteration of this ↑ device adapted to times of confinement. It is programmed to help a number of actors to collectively navigate the uncertainties in current psychic, social and institutional changes.
Check It Out!

🔥Eyebeam's Open Call | Rapid Response For a Better Digital Future [CALL]
Eyebeam is acting immediately to invigorate artistic creation of digital futures at this moment of systemic collapse. As economies and everyday routines are disrupted around the world, Eyebeam is taking action to support artists who are imagining a more humane digital realm. We aim to help artists who will create new ways of interacting through the internet, new ways of engaging with each other, and more equitable relationships for sustainable arts practices and creative economies. It is based on the fundamental notion that radical imagination, led by artists, is a key step in building for the long term. The guiding question for this call is: how do we begin to exit surveillance capitalism as the dominating form of digital life and what can replace it?
Check Out the Call

Open Call for Virtual Works of Art // Brooklyn Research The Weekly Weekly [CALL]
We're calling on artists for submissions for an upcoming virtual exhibition. What kind of virtual exhibition? Well, that depends on you. We've got a few options for online platforms, but we're especially interested in exploring this with you. Because of the nature of remote viewing (not the ESP kind), we're accepting submissions for a variety of forms of art including but not limited to:
- Interactive
- 2D (Photography, Illustration, Fine Arts)
- 3D (could be photogrammetry or scans of sculpture)
- Recorded performance
- Live performance
The deadline for proposals is Sunday, May 9, 11:59PM EDT. 
Learn More & Submit

Seeing into the Unknown - Situational Awareness in Dense Urban Environments Online Challenge [CALL]
The world’s population is becoming increasingly concentrated in dense urban areas, with nearly 7 billion people expected to live in cities by 2050. Skyscrapers are filling skylines and infrastructure is extending deeper underground. This creates manifold challenges for first responders and military operators. For first responders, higher urban density creates greater risks associated with structure fires, subway tunnel collapses, and police actions; for military operators it creates challenges for keeping soldiers safe. NSIN, the Department of Defense, and first responders need your help to create new solutions to this challenge.
Learn More & Submit

Gaming, Shows, Books & Other Random Cool Stuff

Top 10 Sci-Fi books on Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (Books)
We compiled a list of amazing books that feature augmented reality and virtual reality as key plot points or part of the setting. If you’re looking for your next read, take a trip into the soon-to-be present with our picks of the best AR/VR science fiction novels out there (in order of publication date).
Check It Out

Death Stranding (Game)
After the collapse of civilization, Sam Bridges must journey across a ravaged landscape crawling with otherworldly threats to save mankind from the brink of extinction. From legendary game creator Hideo Kojima comes an all-new, genre-defying experience for PS4.
Check It Out 

A major new novel from one of science fiction's most powerful voices, Kim Stanley Robinson, AURORA tells the incredible story of our first voyage beyond the solar system. Our voyage from Earth began generations ago. Now, we approach our new home. AURORA.
Check It Out

Speculative News, Articles, Resources (COVID-19 Related)

News, articles, and other writing on signals and trends regarding how the world around us is changing due to COVID-19 and speculations on how the future might be different as a result.

Skip this section if you don't want to hear any more about this right now or focus on something else.


The Pandemic Will Change American Retail Forever // The Atlantic
Because the pandemic pauses the present, it forces us to live in the future. The question I asked myself walking east through D.C. is the question so many Americans are all pondering today: Who will emerge intact from the pandemic purgatory, and who will not?
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Hong Kong International Airport deploys advanced technology to fight COVID-19 // Future Timeline
Hong Kong's Airport Authority (AA) is applying the latest disinfection technologies – including airlock-style channels, surface coatings and autonomous cleaning robots – at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to protect staff and passengers from COVID-19 infection...
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Face Mask Designed for a Surreal Future Where Wearing PPE is Humanity's New Norm // Yanko Design
Whether we like it or not, masks are the new normal at least for the foreseeable future. It is now a universal guideline that everyone has to wear a mask when they step out. Designers, architects, fashion brands all over the world are using their software, laser cutters and 3D printers to make mask production faster (mass-k production, get it?) to fight shortages. New York-based designer Joe Doucet envisions the face shield creatively and takes it from being a symbol of our toughest days to a seamless part of our everyday fashion. When asked what influenced him to create the conceptual face shield, it was this question – how do we encourage the mass adoption of an unwanted necessity?
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Cycle power: Bikes emerge as a post-lockdown commuter option // Medical Xpress
As countries seek to get their economies back on track after the devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, bicycle use is being encouraged as a way to avoid unsafe crowding on trains and buses.
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COVID-19 has made living off the grid irresistible. Are these self-sustaining homes the future? // FastCompany
COVID-19 is causing dense, urban areas to lose their luster and making people rethink their lifestyles. Some are fleeing cities for the suburbs, others are taking up gardening, and the majority have stopped driving as they stay close to home. Across the board, the pandemic is forcing people to consider a more self-sufficient future; living off the grid suddenly doesn’t seem so unreasonable.
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Paul Cocksedge designs social distancing picnic blanket for life after lockdown // Dezeen
London-based designer Paul Cocksedge's Here Comes the Sun blanket would allow people to "socialise safely and confidently" outdoors once Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have been lifted. The open-source design comprises a looping section of material in the shape of an outline of a circle and four separate pieces of fabric cut into circles, which can be placed around the outline at six feet apart.
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Upgrade your mask for BioVYZR, a personal air purifying face shield // Design Boom
Toronto-based VYZR technologies was founded by a passionate team of designers, problem solvers, and entrepreneurs, in response to the absence of innovative and effective protective personal equipment (PPE) available to the public. by believing that the real challenge is not COVID-19, but all airborne pathogens and other environmental hazards, they have created BioVYZR — a consumer-grande powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) that filters air and shields the user’s personal space...
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Will the Pandemic Shore Up Inequality or Bring Change?
Throughout recorded history, pandemics have been effective levelers of social and economic inequality, but that might not be the outcome this time around, says historian Walter Scheidel.
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How could COVID-19 change AR/VR’s future? // VentureBeat
COVID-19 is impacting the lives of billions. Early-stage technology markets like virtual and augmented reality are trivial by comparison. However, AR/VR companies are dealing with knock-on effects both positive and negative. This analysis explores the potential future for AR/VR in the context of the silent cyclone we’re all going through...
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Contact tracing has a UX problem // FastCompany
In theory, contact tracing would work in tandem with mass testing to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. In practice, it raises a host of privacy concerns and other problems that appear when viable technical solutions are developed without considering the behavior of real human users. In short, contact tracing has a UX problem...
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This week, Designers created fashionable personal protective equipment // Dezeen
This week on Dezeen, designer Joe Doucet envisioned a face mask that can be worn as a fashion accessory and Production Club unveiled a conceptual PPE suit for clubbing during the coronavirus outbreak. Designed to let people safely gather in nightclubs during the pandemic, the air-tight Micrashell suit would cover the entire upper half of the body – and even include in-built systems that allow the wearer to vape and consume beverages...
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Strip Clubs Are Offering “Drive-Thru” Experiences During Pandemic
Masked-and-gloved adult dancers? We've reached "Cyberpunk 2077" levels of neo-dystopia. A strip club in Oregon called Lucky Devil Lounge has created a “drive-thru” strip club experience to keep its business going during the pandemic.
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Amazon Buys Thermal Cameras to Scan Workers for Fevers // Futurism
In order to try and spot coronavirus infections among its workforce, Amazon bought 1,500 heat-sensing security cameras that it plans to install in its facilities...
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The Path from Virtual to Virtual Reality: Videoconferencing to VR // Medium

During this time of physical distancing, humanity’s need for contact and connection has become even more obvious, and perhaps, more necessary. Use of video services like Zoom are skyrocketing, and not just from people working from home, but also due to the need for social interaction, events and entertainment. Innovation in this space is occurring rapidly. Major tech companies are acquiring other companies and launching products to prepare for a new normal as the economy shifts even more from the physical to the digital...
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Hackaday How You Can Help List & Free Events / Classes
Check out our Hackaday How You Can Help spreadsheet, a comprehensive list of what efforts are currently looking for help, plus what’s out there in terms of Discord and Slack channels, lists of materials you might need if you choose to volunteer to build something, and even a list of recent COVID-19 Hackaday articles if you need inspiration. You’ll also want to check out our calendar of free events and classes, which might be a great way to use the isolation time to better your lot.
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National Emergency Library to Provide Digitized Books to Students and the Public
To address our unprecedented global and immediate need for access to reading and research materials, as of today, March 24, 2020, the Internet Archive will suspend waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in our lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later. 
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Donate your stimulus check to those who need it most.
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How We Feel lets you self-report your age, sex, ZIP code, and any health symptoms you experience. It only takes 30 seconds! Aggregate data is securely shared with select scientists, doctors and public health professionals who are actively working to stop the spread of COVID-19. The app doesn't ask you to sign in or share your name, phone number or email address.
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COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund // WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading and coordinating the global effort, supporting countries to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic. Everyone can now support directly the response coordinated by WHO. People and organizations who want to help fight the pandemic and support WHO and partners can now donate through the COVID-Solidarity Response Fund for WHO.
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What I'm Reading

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

Donald Trump’s China Nightmare Is Coming True For The U.S. Dollar 
by Billy Bambrough

How well can algorithms recognize your masked face?
by Tom Simonite

Everything is Someone - Future fables about people and technology and everything in between
By Joshua Noble & Simone Rebaudengo

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