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YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF EVERYTHING SPECULATIVE

DESIGN // FICTION // TECHNOLOGY // ART

 
   
 
 
 

SciFly // 135 // Remote Speculations Week 17 - Important Announcement!

Speculative Events, News & Resources | Sent 7/6


Hey SciFly Readers!

This week, wanted to give you some big news. 

SciFly is going to go  BIWEEKLY .

What does this mean?
I will be publishing SciFly every 2 Weeks, still at 8:30AM on Monday mornings.

Each edition will now contain 2 weeks' worth of events. I'm also switching up what days are included in those two weeks.

From now on, each issue will start with events on Tuesday after SciFly is published (so the next day) and will end with the Monday that is two weeks later, the same day the new SciFly is published.

This is to avoid listing events that are taking place on the day SciFly is published. I've gotten some great feedback that this can make it very hard to attend them.

Why go Biweekly?
I have been thinking about switching to this schedule for quite some time for a couple of reasons:
  • Events are often sold-out or hard to schedule when sent the same day SciFly is published. By listing events in 2-week intervals, and starting on Tuesday after SciFly comes out, I hope to give people more time to save stuff on their calendars. Since it will take 2x as much time to compile 2 weeks of events, doing it biweekly will help me manage everything.
     
  • I will be taking on more responsibility with the upcoming DFI x TFS Speculative Futures course,  working closely with Ayo to ramp up Speculative Futures NYC events, and I've promised a couple of friends we will finally meet up to work on our Decetraland project, So I need some of my Sundays back to work on others stuff.
     
  • SciFly is a total labor of love, and 100% my forever-free passion project, even though it has somewhat unexpectedly morphed from an NYC-specific Speculative events newsletter to a remote publication covering Speculative events, news & resources from around the world. As such, I really take time to curate it, and usually spend several hours to put it together just right. Lately, I've been finishing up super late at night, and as a result, haven't had the time to put together the types of intros that I used to when I had more time. I really miss doing more in-depth discussions looking into speculative practice, emerging tech, and a couple of my favorite rotating themes like Doc's Download, Themed Book Lists, etc.
     
  • Finally, I'm trying to be a good partner. As you can imagine, spending every Sunday writing a newsletter doesn't make for the best company, and I've promised my wonderful fiance that we can spend more time doing things on the weekends, like going away places that span into a Sunday, without me staying up all night finishing my newsletter :P
So, in conclusion...
Same amazing content. Slightly different schedule. More thoughtful, researched, and fun intros!

What Comes Next?
Starting next weekend, SciFly will only be published every two weeks.

So you will be getting a SciFly in your inbox on Monday mornings, 8:30 am EDT on these upcoming dates: July 13th, July 27th, August 10th & August 24th.

What do YOU think?
Thank you to those who have emailed me or messaged me in the Speculative Futures slack with suggestions for the newsletter! Your feedback has been super helpful and integrated into this new approach.

Like most media, SciFly is iterative, malleable, and responsive, so let's try out this new cadence and tell me what you think after you check it out a couple of times. Prefer the weekly cadence? Let me know! Love the new biweekly spread? Tell me!

Feel free to email me or hit me up on the Speculative Futures slack.

Now, let's change it up a bit and end with some fun photos of what Brooklyn looks like these days as we finish up Phase 2 of NYC COVID-19 Re-opening plan.

Lot's of outdoor seating springing up in parking spaces everywhere, protest-art & street-art, and weirdly I found a chainmail shirt at our local hardware store last week...
 
I hope you are all doing well, wherever you are!

Don't forget you can find me on the Speculative Futures Slack (which I pseudo-moderate) if you want to chat! @DocMartens

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

❤️Doc

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

Doc Martens


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

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, but I'll add things as I find them so you have some time to plan!
 

Monday, July 6th

Digital Dialogues: with Andrea Hadley-Johnson & Sally Sheinman // 10:30am - 11:30am EDT // Free

Join CVAN EM Director Elizabeth Hawley-Lingham as she talks to Northampton-based artist Sally Sheinman and Creative Producer Andrea Hadley-Johnson about their practice and their project linking the National Justice Museum and Nottingham Prison. Sally and Andrea are both contributors to CVAN EM’s interview series Meet the Artist and Curating the East Midlands. Sally Sheinman is a prolific painter with an interest in contemporary technology and its potential uses in art production. She is a conscientious artist with a deep concern for communities (past, present, and mythical), people, science, and the role of the individual as a contextual starting point for creating accessible but thought-provoking work.
Learn More

Re-engineering cities to meet future needs // 2:30pm - 4pm EDT // Free
This talk will look at ‘what makes a place’ and how we can engineer cities to deliver on our aspirations. We will discuss city disruptors and how they are accelerating change in our cities, COVID-19 being foremost amongst them. Shrinking retail, walkability, the value of green space, etc
Learn More
 

Tuesday, July 7th

International Conference on Construction Futures 2020 // 8:30am - 3pm EDT // Free
The broad spectrum of the conference will allow researchers and practitioners to ‘future gaze’ into the construction industry. The construction sector around the globe is experiencing an unprecedented time and this has the potential to lead the industry into a transformational era in the short and medium-term. The industry is continually evolving with respect to its exploitation of emerging technologies and the use of increasing amounts of digital data. Aligned with this is the need for a more sustainable built environment for the future, which is leading researchers, practitioners and policymakers to develop a wide range of innovative future-looking solutions.
Learn More

🔥 AIGA NY & Queer Design Club ~ QX // 3pm - 4pm EDT // Free
AIGA NY has teamed up with Queer Design Club (QDC) to host an online conversation around the queer experience in design. QDC Co-founders Rebecca Brooker and John Hanawalt will kick off the digital event by sharing the results of the first-ever Queer Design Club Count, a field-wide survey of LGBTQ+ people across industries and disciplines. The survey aims to amplify queer voices and highlights the challenges and friction these designers often face in the workplace. After the report, we’ll hear from the QDC community directly, as a vibrant group of creatives from various corners of design will come together to discuss these findings and share their experience navigating the industry.
Learn More
 

Wednesday, July 8th

Design Talk: Session Four, Design Future Now - Episode 9: David Caroll on Data Rights
Design Talk is an event series focused on having conversations about design. The conversations can focus on any design topic from different resources such as books, podcasts, articles, community members, creative leaders, and more. For the next few weeks, we will be listening to 5 episodes of the podcast, Design Future Now, produced by AIGA National. Listen to the assigned episode and join the Zoom meetup to have a discussion about it with fellow creatives. Join us for all sessions or pick and choose.
Learn More

Professor Deirdre Heddon’s Borderlines 2020 Keynote: 'Future Forests: hopeful speculations // 8:30pm - 9:30pm EDT // Free
This paper, a work-in-progress towards my monograph, Performing Forests. focuses on three case-studies to think through the relationship of forests to time, and specifically to conjectural futures. Joseph Beuys’ 7000 Oaks (Germany), Agnes Denes’ Tree Mountain (Finland), and Katie Paterson’s Future Library (Norway) are future-oriented ‘live’ artworks of various durations (800 years, 400 years, and 100 years respectively). Their speculative realizations are dependent on imagined human performers of the future...
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Lecture by Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: 'Countryside, The Future' // 11am - 2pm EDT // Free
Richard Armstrong, will provide a historical survey including the architectural evolution of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York as well as previous exhibitions of architectural subjects and discuss the Guggenheim's current exhibition, "Countryside, The Future", that addresses and explores the identity and transformation of the concept of the "countryside" in today's contemporary age. This lecture will be in relationship to the 2020 Architecture Residency theme "Transformation of Consciousness," which is centered around the relationship between architecture and nature in a changing world. Following, there will be a short question and answer period moderated by this year's Residents. This event is free and open to the public."
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Beyond the Physical: A Conversation w Julia Christensen & Tom Hall // 7pm - 8:30pm // Free
Sit in on a conversation between Fulcrum Arts’ AxS Incubator Resident Julia Christensen and programmer Tom Hall, moderated by artist, researcher, and educator Laetitia Sonami. These three artists––united in their investigations into sonic translation––will discuss what it means to engage the physical world in electronic music and art, with particular attention to Christensen’s Tree of Life project.
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Ghost Light in Conversation: On Art and Sensory Research // 12pm - 1pm EDT // Free
Multidisciplinary installation artists and former Mana Residents, Mark Niskanen and Jani-Matti Salo are joined by cultural anthropologist Inkeri Aula, to discuss their recent project Ghost Light. The work shares observations on the interconnectedness of species through an undulating light on an empty theater stage, urging the viewer to pause, to observe, and to listen to what our surroundings may have to tell us.
Learn More

Ferment TV | 06. Science in the Making // 1pm - 2pm EDT // Free
Biodesign--the design of and with biology--is a growing multi-sector industry involving both the sciences and the humanities. Carole Collet is a Professor in Design for Sustainable Futures at Central Saint Martins, Director of Maison/0, and co-director of the Living Systems Lab. In the next installment of Ferment TV, she will be in conversation with Dr. Brenda Parker, a scientist, and lecturer in Sustainable Bioprocess Design at the Department of Biochemical Engineering UCL, and the Co-Director of the MSc Bio-Integrated Design (Bio-ID) at the Bartlett School of Architecture. Moderated by Natsai Audrey Chieza, they will deep dive into the emergence of biodesign over the last two decades and new approaches to interdisciplinary education that expands the possibilities for the thinking and making of biology.
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Ensuring Humanity's Survival w/ Lord Martin Rees // Futures Podcast // Wed Jul 8, 2PM - 3:30PM EDT // Free
Humanity has reached a critical juncture. During the next century, we are likely to face a number of existential threats from cyberattacks, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and climate change. Surviving these scenarios will depend on our collective ability to adapt to new ideas and plan accordingly for tomorrow. Current methods are hampered by short-term thinking, polarising debates, alarmist rhetoric, and pessimism. For us to successfully leverage science to solve our greatest problems - while avoiding the dystopian risks - we must learn to think rationally, globally, and optimistically about the future.
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Designing Futures of Money and FinTech: DIS 2020 Workshop Show & Tell
 On July 7th and 8th, a group of Human-Computer Interaction and design researchers will participate in a DIS 2020 workshop on Designing Futures of Money and FinTech. The workshop will culminate in developing 'pastiche scenarios' to demonstrate the role of design research on topics of money and FinTech. Pastiche Scenarios are a fun and engaging technique where the experience of new technologies is explored by situating them in the world of familiar characters, for example, from a TV show, film, or novel. Join us for the final hour of our workshop, where we Show & Tell examples like these developed during the workshop, and reflect on exciting opportunities for design research on FinTech and Money.
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Transhumanism - The Next Logical Step in our Evolution // Wednesdays, 7/8, 8/12, 9/9, 10/14 // SingularityU Australia // Free
This live online workshop will cover some of the latest breakthroughs that will pave the way for humanity to extend the healthy human lifespan, to merge with artificial intelligence, and to expand our wellbeing through abundance. It will emphasize why now is the most important time in human history to shape the future of our species through the Transhumanist movement – why we need to embrace it, accelerate it in a positive direction for society, and make the technologies available for everyone.
Learn More
 

Thursday, July 9th

Decolonizing Graphic Design: a conversation with Kim Sutherland
Design Book Club facilitates conversations about the intersection of design, ethics, and social change between university students. Co-authored by Kris Blackmore and Ariel Fogden of Portland State University, the project seeks to supplement industry-focused university [graphic design] curriculum by critically investigating the ways that design affects society. July's Design Book Club, facilitated by Kimberly Sutherland, focuses on what it means to—and how we can actively—decolonize graphic design.
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The Future We Create, a Salon Series by Collective Future and Verdant.AI // 7pm - 8pm EDT // Free
Ronni Kimm, Founder of Collective Future and Brian Dolan, Founder of Verdant.AI will discuss what’s needed to dispel the myths around AI and highlight the positive potential of technology to be an agent of positive change. How can we use data to help us create the compelling stories we want to see in the world? What is the ripple effect those stories have? And when does the story become the technology?
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Space & Satellites Artist Residency - Talk: Stacey Hunter & Ben Hymers // 11am - 12pm EDT // Free
As part of the Space and Satellites Artist Residency program, we are running a series of Work in Progress events for our research webinar series and each week we will hear from the artists on their experiences so far and a glimpse as to what is to come for our exhibition in July. In the fifth of our talks curator Dr Stacey Hunter, and weaver Ben Hymers, will talk through their data-derived tapestry project ‘EVERYONE: Making data tangible through material cultures’. Stacey and Ben will be joined by their scientific collaborator Professor Roy Thompson, an environmental geophysicist.
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The Long Time Sessions - Deep Time Culture: Future Art Ecosystems // 8am - 9am EDT // Free
The Long Time Sessions is a fortnightly Zoom talk series on cultivating care for the world beyond our lifetimes. It will bring together leading thinkers and doers from art, culture, philosophy, science, technology, law, finance and politics to take a longer view. Speakers will explore how engaging with the long-term can change the way we act in the short term. Thursday 9th July marks the inaugural event in the Long Time Sessions, as well as the launch of the Serpentine’s report, Future Art Ecosystems on Art and Advanced Technologies (FAE: AxAT)co-produced with Rival Strategy.
Learn More

Experimental Scent Summit // Thu Jul 9, 1 pm - Fri Jul 17, 10:30am EDT // Donation
Presented in a collaboration between Los Angeles-based The Institute for Art and Olfaction and Berlin-based Smell Lab, the 4th annual edition of the Experimental Scent Summit will take place over four days (and four sessions) in July. For this edition, we have invited a selection of speakers to discuss issues that relate to the field of olfaction. Topics covered reflect research into social justice, technology, history, creative practice, and much more. Part of the summit includes space for attendees to share their work, in two open mic sessions.
Learn More
 

Friday, July 10th

< > connectedness: interactions, provocations, collaborations // 5pm - 11pm EDT // Free
Arts, Design and Media research comprises many moments of connectedness than in turn create turning points in the research process, be they intellectual, practical, artistic or methodological. Whilst perhaps many are planned, others arise when they are least expected amongst the praxis of research. < > connectedness: interactions, provocations, collaborations is an experimental one-day online conference that seeks to unveil and explore the multiple possibilities and nuances of connectedness in Arts, Design and Media research.
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The Future of Decentralized Identity // 12pm - 1:15pm EDT
Join us for a discussion with Rouven Heck, Executive Director of the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) and Identity Lead at ConsenSys. DIF is developing the foundational components of an open, standards-based, decentralized identity ecosystem for people, organizations, apps, and devices. 
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{Epictech Talk} Augmented Reality #2 // 8pm - 9pm EDT // Free
For those who missed the first AR Talk, this is a second chance to learn more about the basics regarding Augmented Reality. First of all, we will talk about the history of Augmented Reality, when it was created, its evolution in time, and what it is today. You will have an introduction to the current tools to do AR, such as Spark AR, Vuforia, or Lens Studio. We will also talk about the future of Augmented Reality and why it might be more and more part of our daily life.
Learn More
 

Saturday, July 11th

Alice Wong | Disability Visibility with Rebecca Cokley & Jen Deerinwater // 6pm - 7pm EDT // Free
One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent--but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people.
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FabMeetup Vol. 2: Mushroom. Material. Future. // 3AM - 4AM EDT // Free
In our second online Fab Meetup surrounding our FabFuture exploration with the focus on waste, we have Mycotech a bio-tech startup from Bandung, Indonesia that aims to create high-performance materials by utilising agricultural wastes of mushroom farming while empowering the farmers at the same time.
Learn More

Afrofuture Now: Artists Speak on Radical Possibilities for a world on fire // 8pm - 9:30pm EDT // Donation
Join us in conversation with the exhibiting Artists, Kytana Winn, Malik Seneferu, David Huffman and Alan Clark as they speak to their Afrofuturist and Black Speculative artistic responses to re-envision broken systems and bring the spirit of the Black Panther Party and Wakanda/Okanda into reality and shape-shifting form. This participatory virtual panel is the opening event of the physical exhibition The Future Emergent at Dream Farm Commons.
Learn More
 

Sunday, July 12th

Cli-Fi for beginners: Imagination for climate solutions // 2nd & 4th Sundays, 6am - 7am EDT // Free
Climate Fiction and its positive sub-genre Solar Punk are emerging… And as we find ourselves in a unique moment in time, can we re-write the story? Join a flash fiction workshop to build confidence in writing and flex your imagination. We'll be doing a warm-up exercise then have a go at writing fiction based on some climate science. This will take place every 2nd & 4th Sunday on Zoom.
Learn More
 

Monday, July 13th

Designers as Allies: a way to Act during times of injustice // 6:30pm - 8:30pm EDT // Free
We may not be able to change the world, but maybe we respond to its challenges. As designers we have the ability to influence cultural dynamics and shine a brighter light on the artifacts, systems and practices that have perpetuated inequities. Recent innovations often overlook large groups of people and communities resulting in disparities within almost every aspect of the human experience. Are you frustrated by what's going on, but not sure what to do? Come as you are, and understand your role as an ally when it comes to these imperceptible power differences and imbalances. Join our speakers, Dr. Dimeji Onafuwa and Jabe Bloom as they share a framework for allies. Learn how as a designer you can identify symbolic violence and begin to address injustices through your work.
Learn More
 

Coming Up!

Games 4 Change (G4C) Festival // Tue Jul 14, 9:45AM - Thu Jul 16, 6:50PM EDT // Free
G4C is excited to announce that the 17th annual Games for Change Festival will be virtual! For the first time, registration will be free to all participants – drawing a global audience to explore how video games and immersive media foster resilience, connectedness, and well-being. Developers, educators, policymakers, and non-profits from all over the world are invited to share and learn how they can leverage the power of games and immersive media for positive social impact!
Register Now
 

Speculative Futures Meetups 

How to think like a futurist, even in turbulent times // Speculative Futures Orlando // Tue, Jul 7, 7pm - 9pm EDT // Free
Join us as we gather in Zoomland to catch up, share futures insights, and learn the basic practices to fuel innovative decisions during the pandemic. Dr. Sarah Skidmore, DSL, MA (she/her/hers), will be our host for this interactive exploration of techniques you can use to become a Futures-Minded Innovator, even in a pandemic. She’ll show us how foresight can improve your business strategies, innovation practices, and even your personal planning. The session will introduce the fundamentals used by professional futurists to become more effective, future-minded leaders.
Learn More

Future of Work: Work-Life Balance during and after a Pandemic // Speculative Futures, The Hague // Tue Jul 7, 1pm - 2:30pm EDT // Free
The current pandemic has a major impact on our lives and schedules. For over 3 months now, we’ve been Zooming, Skyping and Teaming for work meetings, online pub quizzes, and digital sports classes. We have grown accustomed to working from home and remote-lifestyle by now. With the schools reopening and the bars serving again, many share a sigh of relief. Life is slowly getting back to normal! But one thing that might silently become part of our new normal is working from home. After all, large scale mobility and office work is not possible yet and seems to be pushed somewhat to the end of the horizon. Although we have become fluent in ‘Can you hear me now?’ and all its variations, have we really become fluent in working from home?
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Conversations from the Futures // Speculative Futures Milan // Thu Jul 9, 1pm - 2pm EDT // Free
Three designers will join us to discuss and speculate about topics they have found on the internet. It will be a one-hour informal discussion to cover weird ideas and new possibilities around non-COVID topics. Attendees will join as spectators with the possibility to ask questions. If you want to contribute to the discussion, send us some links to interesting topics at milan.speculativefutures@gmail.com.
Learn More

Futures Dublin Speaker Session // Futures Dublin // Thu Jul 9, 2pm - 3:30pm EDT // Free
Futures Dublin is hosting their first event with guest speaker and Foresight Strategist Jayar La Fontaine (@athwart_futurity). Jayar is a foresight strategist that helps organizations to develop their capacity for future-thinking so that they can respond more flexibly and creatively to change and disruption. As VP of Strategic Foresight at Idea Couture, Jayar assembled and managed the largest team of futurists in Canada. The group challenged their clients to critically and imaginatively explore worlds in which aging is defeated, work is automated, cities are connected, medicine is tailored, and meat is obsolete, among many other possible futures.
Learn More
 

Ongoing Events

Art & Animals in the Age of CRISPR, Cloning, and Cellular Agriculture // Mondays, 5 weeks, 7/13 - 8/17 // From €176.68
How do artists, designers and activists use robotics, synthetic biology, performance, tissue culture, photography or gaming to probe and communicate techno-scientific developments? To investigate the shifting paradigms of the living, thinking world? To make us accept that time has come to co-evolve in a more sympathetic and mutually beneficial way with other living entities, whether “natural”, lab-grown or hybrid?
Learn More

The New Normal Virtual Series // AI LA // Thursdays, 5/7 - 9/3 // Free
The AI LA Community's new virtual series The New Normal invites experts from around the world to share their perspective of the future. Each episode begins with a short talk by an esteemed guest speaker and transitions into 20 minutes of audience participation in Zoom breakout rooms.
Learn More & See Upcoming Events

Technologies of the Future (Weekly LIVE Webinar and Q & A) // SingularityU Australia // Thursdays, 7pm EST (9am Friday in Australia) // Free
Weekly live webinar of 30 minutes with 20 minutes Q&A The SingularityU community's predictions for the countdown to the Singularity.
Learn More

WORLD 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!

THIS WEEK'S THEME: MADE IN PORTLAND
We're headed to Stumptown to showcase games and creators from Portland. Let's get weird!
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 hello@wonderville.nyc if you want to join!

Check out Wonderville's Livestream!
Support Wonderville on WithFriends

Speculative News, Articles, Resources 


Cool news and articles about emerging technology, speculative practice, and futures design. In the past, I chose not to include anything about COVID-19 in here to give people a break, but since it has suffused every aspect of our lives, including lot's of speculative practice and emerging technology, that is kind of not working anymore. So, everything will be here now, but I'll try to put explicitly COVID related articles towards the end. 

What Did 'All Men are Created Equal' Mean in 1776? // Futurity
When Thomas Jefferson penned “all men are created equal,” in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, he did not mean individual equality, says historian Jack Rakove. Rather, what the Continental Congress declared on July 4, 1776, was that American colonists, as a people, had the same rights to self-government as other nations. Because they possessed this fundamental right, Rakove says, they could establish new governments within each of the states and collectively assume their “separate and equal station” with other nations. It was only in the decades after the American Revolutionary War that the phrase acquired its compelling reputation as a statement of individual equality...
Read More

MIT Deletes Database That Taught AI to Be Racist, Sexist // Futurism
A machine learning algorithm is only as good as the data it’s trained on. Unfortunately, a massive and popular training dataset from MIT taught a bunch of algorithms to use racist and misogynistic slurs. MIT just took down the offending database, 80 Million Tiny Images, for some much-needed sanitation, The Register reports. The dataset has been used to train image-recognition AI since 2008 but had never been probed for racist or offensive content, meaning a major source of algorithmic bias was flying under the radar...
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New Trump campaign tee says America First, but Nazi symbol is front and center // FastCompany
A new T-shirt in the Trump campaign’s online store is stirring up controversy—and not because of what it says, but because of what it depicts. The “America First” T-shirt shows an eagle with wings spread out, head facing to its left, feet closely tucked under it, clutching a circle filled in with the American flag. There’s a banner underneath that reads “TRUMP 2020,” and “AMERICA FIRST” is plastered above it. The symbol bears a striking resemblance to a Nazi-era eagle, which has since become a neo-Nazi symbol, according to the Anti-Defamation League...
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Deepfake Technology Enters the Documentary World // NYTimes
A film about persecuted gay and lesbian Chechens uses digital manipulation to guard their identities without losing their humanity. The step raises familiar questions about nonfiction movies...
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A plan to redesign the internet could make apps that no one controls // MIT Technology Review
In 1996 John Perry Barlow, cofounder of internet rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote “A declaration of the independence of cyberspace.” It begins: “Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.” Barlow was reacting to the US Communications Decency Act, an early attempt to regulate online content, which he saw as overreaching. But the broad vision he put forward of a free and open internet controlled by its users was one that many internet pioneers shared...
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Stanford research brings EVs one step closer to wirelessly charging on roads // The Driven
Imagine never having to plug in an electric car to recharge, but instead simply take the highway on-ramp to get a range boost. Researchers from Stanford University have published a new demonstration of highly efficient wireless charging that could allow the technology to one day be scaled up to boost driving range of electric vehicles on highways of the future...
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The Weather Channel's new studio brings immersive mixed reality to daily live broadcasts // Unreal Engine
The Weather Channel television network has been bringing expert weather forecasts and analysis to viewers in the United States for nearly 40 years. Recently, the company has looked to new ways to engage and educate viewers, working with The Future Group in 2018 to create special immersive mixed reality segments on lightning and tornadoes, and later in the year on storm surges and wildfires. But what if The Weather Channel could bring live immersive mixed reality (IMR) to their forecasts every day? On June 2, 2020, the network debuted its new IMR weather studio with exactly this goal...
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Human-Centered Design for AR & VR: A Call to Action for Designers // RLab
As an interaction designer, design researcher and educator who specializes in AR and 3D, Sam Brewton is at the leading edge of the next wave of computing. RLab recently spoke to Brewton about the evolution of spatial computing, the opportunities this new medium presents for designers across disciplines, and how a human-centered approach can help designers adapt to the affordances of emerging technologies...
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Super-sticky surgical tape patches up organs and peels off harmlessly // New Atlas
Researchers at MIT have now managed to create surgical tape that can stick to wet surfaces like organs, and more importantly, be removed safely when it’s no longer needed. Last year, the team developed an impressive new alternative to sutures. Their double-sided tape could be used to patch up incisions or wounds in organs, working within a matter of seconds. It could also be used to attach implantable medical devices to tissues...
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This NASA-developed tech turns billboards into air purifiers // FastCompany
Newly installed banners at the Guggenheim Bilbao and around its home city of Bilbao, Spain, have been treated with a special coating called Pureti Print, which turns them into air purifiers. The treatment is based on photocatalysis, a natural process with an air-purifying effect similar to that of trees. Estudios Durero implemented the treatment for the Guggenheim Bilbao campaign, which advertises a newly installed Olafur Eliasson exhibition at the museum...
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Weaving A New Prehistory to Rewild The Future – Michael Garfield at Earth Frequency Festival 2017 [Podcast]
This week’s episode is over three years in the making: my talk from Earth Frequency Festival 2017, about a revised narrative of prehistory from which we can grow new myths better suited for our times. I almost didn’t post this episode at all, even after nearly two full days of editing, because it felt tone-deaf to zoom out so far and discuss topics like mass extinctions, the evolution of plant-pollinator symbiosis, my critiques of transhumanism and SpaceX, and how fish and clams represent complementary strategies for dealing with turbulent environments.
Listen

These gloves let you ‘hear’ sign language // FastCompany
An estimated half a million Americans with hearing impairments use American Sign Language (ASL) every day. But ASL has one shortcoming: While it allows people who are deaf to communicate with one another, it doesn’t enable dialogue between the hearing and the nonhearing. Researchers at UCLA have developed a promising solution. It’s a translation glove. The glove, which slips onto your hand like any other glove, features stretchy, polyester-wrapped wires that can track the positions of your fingers.
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Report: Hydrogen for fuel-cell vehicles likely to reach price parity with gasoline by 2025 // Green Car Reports
Hydrogen fuel-cell cars face many roadblocks to mass adoption, but a new report claims they could achieve price parity with gasoline by 2025. Drafted by the California Energy Commission, the report lays out a plan for the development of renewable hydrogen production plants in the state, predicting that future demand and costs will make this new infrastructure worthwhile...
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Doomscrolling Is Slowly Eroding Your Mental Health // WIRED
Checking your phone for an extra two hours every night won’t stop the apocalypse—but it could stop you from being psychologically prepared for it. IT’S 11:37 PM and the pattern shows no signs of shifting. At 1:12 am, it’s more of the same. Thumb down, thumb up. Twitter, Instagram, and—if you’re feeling particularly wrought/masochistic—Facebook. Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic left a great many people locked down in their homes in early March, the evening ritual has been codifying: Each night ends the way the day began, with an endless scroll through social media in a desperate search for clarity...
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Once There's a COVID-19 Vaccine, Who'll Get Access? // Futurity
When a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, there will be a struggle around the world to get it to the public, an ethicist warns. With something in the order of 150 COVID-19 vaccine candidates now in different stages of testing and development, a global public health strategy needs to be thinking several steps ahead, beyond the science. Once a vaccine is proven safe and effective, how will it reach everyone in the world who needs it, and on what kind of timeline?
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Study: Horror Movie Fans Were Better Prepared for the Pandemic // Futurism
A team of psychologists sought out to learn who was coping well during the coronavirus pandemic, and found that an unusual group rose to the top: horror movie aficionados. Horror movie fans — and those who were deemed more “morbidly curious” by a personality test — seem to be less psychologically distressed by COVID-19, New Scientist reports. The study, which was shared online this week, doesn’t answer why that’s the case. But the finding suggests that those who seek out terrifying fiction may have been better prepared, or at least more readily able to stay positive, as a nightmarish pandemic unfolded around them...
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There is too much News // Columbia Journalism Review
What constitutes “too much news” might seem obvious: loads of important stuff happening all at once. But that’s an over-simplification. Some massive stories—hurricane season, for instance (hello, the second half of 2020)—are to some extent random, and even those stories are usually tied to broader, omnipresent forces and threats that demand constant vigilance. (By the way, the Arctic just had its hottest day on record.) Other big stories that may appear separate are actually intimately connected, as my colleagues Betsy Morais and Alexandria Neason demonstrated recently...
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Other Cool Stuff to Learn/Watch/Read/Play/Know About


News, Articles & Interesting Projects

The Thing From the Future Digital Edition
A very quick prototype of a digital version of Situation Lab’s Things From The Future by Julian Ellerby, who created it as he wanted to explore a digital version that had adjustable content/words to allow for it to be tailored to a specific context, or for workshop participants to generate the content themselves.
Try It Out

COVID ZINE: Pandemic Special // Near Future Laboratory

The emergence of the coronavirus and attendant COVID-19 disease has exerted untold change on every financial system, industry, and community on Earth. At the time of writing, around 491,000 people have died from over nine million confirmed cases. Huge numbers of the global workforce are unemployed, with many jobs predicted not to return. Cities have scrambled to adjust, introducing new coping mechanisms around hygiene and social interactions. Lives have been irrevocably changed in the space of a few months. Design Fiction is a technique pioneered by the Near Future Laboratory which helps explore, understand, and ultimately prepare for the future. In periods of massive change, this work becomes increasingly useful but increasingly complex...
Get Yours

❤️ You’ve Gotta See Hackers — Essential Cyberpunk Cinema // Cyberpunks, High Tech | Low Life
You youngsters won’t believe us, but there was a time when people didn’t even know what the internet was. Let’s flashback to the early-1990s when people were just learning how to register domains. New users were learning to install their AOL CD-ROMs to dial into services and check their electronic mail. These were halcyon days where the value of the information at scale hadn’t been truly realized and exploited. Enter Hackers, a wild and crazy dive into the subculture the movie not only failed to influence but instead heavily mischaracterized and depicted as juvenile and almost entirely criminal. This action-adventure flick tells the story of a group of teenage hackers who have to clear their own names before they are arrested for crimes they didn’t commit...
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What does Outer Space smell like? NASA designed Fragrance [Kickstarter]
Decades ago, NASA contracted specialists to developed the "smell of space" to help train astronauts before launch into orbit. NASA's goal of simulating Space during training is to eliminate any surprises Astronauts might experience in Outer Space. Practice makes perfect, and it is Rocket Science. The Smell of Space has been locked behind "Need to Know", Astronaut only field training, and Red Tape for years. Through sheer determination, grit, a lot of luck, and a couple of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, we got it out. We've all had Space Ice Cream...this takes it a step further.
Check Out Project

Super Nintendo World Japan is a Mario Level Made Real // Input Mag
If not for COVID-19 literally keeping us grounded and at home, we'd be planning a trip to Osaka, Japan — specifically, to Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Japan. The Nintendo theme park was supposed to be completed in late July, but because of the coronavirus, construction was delayed. Universal Studios Japan says the new attraction will open when it's safe to do so; no opening date or timeframe has been announced yet...
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Queer Superheroes of the Modern Age // SyFy
When we talk about queer superheroes in comics, generally the discussion is centered in the ‘80s and ‘90s, when we first started seeing representation — mostly in subtext, occasionally through text, and almost always leaving something to be desired in its portrayal of queer lives. Over the last two decades, however, there has been significant progress made for greater diversity on all fronts. Though there are still plenty of examples of bad moves and token inclusion, there is no denying that we’ve come a long way, thanks in no small part to queer fans and creators advocating for and writing better stories...
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D-L Stewart Asks What Life Would Look Like If Black Trans* Lives Mattered // TEDx Talk [Video]
What would my life and the world look like if Black Trans* Lives mattered? Race, gender, social class, and disability all intersect to shape Black Trans* lives. How would social institutions, such as education, law, healthcare, religion, and family be different?
Watch It

Xenodesignerly Ways of Knowing // JoDS
This essay argues that human-centered design, which for many years has been the predominant paradigm within the field of design, has in part contributed to contemporary environmental and social problems through its servicing role within the systems that created it. It argues for resisting reduction by developing more inclusive, multi-perspective design practices, taking the complex entanglements of humans and other entities into consideration. The essay introduces the notion of xenodesign, an approach guided by principles and theories from speculative design as well as from xeno discourses and speculative realism, which are characterized by an engagement with experiences and perspectives beyond the human and an understanding of all entities on an equal level — humans, ecologies, bacteria, air, soil, artificial intelligence, etc...
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Gaming, Shows, Books & Other Random Cool Stuff

8 Anti-Capitalist Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels [Book List]
Karl Marx may be famous for his thorough, analytic attack on capitalism (see: all three volumes and the 1000-plus pages of Das Kapital), but let’s be real: it’s not the most exciting to read. What if, just as a thought experiment, our works that reimagined current structures of power also had robots? Speculative fiction immerses the reader in an alternate universe, hooking us in with a stirring narrative and intricate world-building—or the good stories do, anyways. Along the way, it can also challenge us to take a good look at our own reality, and question with an imaginative, open mind: how can we strive to create social structures that are not focused on white, patriarchal, cis-gendered, and capitalist systems of inequity? 
Check It Out

Fortnite will host a discussion of race in America, broadcasting all day on July 4 [Gaming]
On Saturday, Epic Games will host a discussion about race in America inside the popular video game, Fortnite. In partnership with marketing firm Opus United, the event will be hosted by author and commentator Van Jones. Guests will include Jemele Hill, Elaine Welteroth, and Killer Mike. The event will be rebroadcast in-game for 24 hours throughout July 4.
Check It Out

DUST | a Sci-Fi Brand that Presents Thought-Provoking Visions of the Future [SciFi Media Channel]
From feature films to short films, series and podcasts, DUST works with established and emerging voices. The current content library consists of more than 400 cutting-edge stories. Recent projects include the SXSW 2018 feature film Prospect, the Facebook Watch series “Glimpse”, and short film Bad Peter starring Frankie Shaw. DUST has also premiered the George Lucas 1967 short film, Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, followed by legendary filmmaker Robert Zemeckis’ 1972 student short film “The Lift”, as well as Rian Johnson’s acclaimed 1996 student short film Evil Demon Golf Ball From Hell!!
Check It Out
 

What I'm Reading

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

In VR You Can't Escape The Loading Screen
by Zack Zwiezen

The remote British village that built one of the UK’s fastest Internet networks
by Kira Allmann

The US Army is losing the war in Discord
By Patricia Hernandez

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