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SciFly NYC // 130 // Remote Speculations Week 13

Speculative Events, News & Resources | Sent 6/8

Hey SciFly Readers!

I'm writing to you from Brooklyn where I have been witnessing one of the most important moments of my life, and our history as Americans, firsthand, as my neighbors and community took to the street night after night, weathering rain, curfews, and blatant police brutality over and over to protest hundreds of years of systemic racism in our country, made evident yet again by the recent tragic death of George Floyd last week at the hands of police.

As I said in my last newsletter, I really want to limit my time talking right now, so as to make space for other voices.

However, I'd also like to lift up some actionable ways you can get involved, and articles/resources that discuss some of the issues in more depth. I know this is nowhere near comprehensive, but I'd like to share what I can as I work on being a better and more vocal ally in the weeks and months to come.

First, Wonderville posted an AMAZING list of things we can do to help. I'd like to re-share their list below.

A Few Actionable Ways You Can Help:

  1. CALL your NY State lawmaker and tell them you support repealing Statute 50-A - a statute that shields policy misconduct and failed disciplinary processes from public records. For more information, check out the Brooklyn NAACP website.
  2. DONATE bottled water, medical supplies, and snacks! Wonderville will be open from 2pm-8pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In addition to our new takeout booze menu, we'll be collecting these supplies to distribute to the protesters. Swing by this weekend and drop some things off and we'll make sure it gets where it needs to go.
  3. MONITOR + SHARE INFO about the police scanners. There are several twitter accounts already doing great work here. Install the Signal app and help relay useful information to the protesters, including road closures and places where violence is breaking out.
  4. DONATE to bail funds. Here is a comprehensive list of bail funds in major cities. You can also call NY State reps and ask them to redirect funds from police unions to bail funds. Many have pledged to do so already.
  5. STAY SAFE! If you plan to march, please be careful. There's a great article about how to prep your phone just in case it gets confiscated. Stay away from tear gas and pepper spray, and make sure you have adequate medical supplies just in case

I also found a couple of great articles and resources while putting together the newsletter this week:

🔥Digital privacy and security measures for staying safe while protesting // Adafruit Blog
Digital privacy and security measures for staying safe while protesting may feel like a confusing, moving target. That’s because your adversaries in this scenario are a combination of greedy companies, broken and corrupt authorities, and people who simply don’t know how to do their own privacy and security.
Read More

158 Resources to Understand Racism in America // Smithsonian
Amid escalating clashes between protesters and police, discussing race—from the inequity embedded in American institutions to the United States’ long, painful history of anti-black violence—is an essential step in sparking meaningful societal change. To support those struggling to begin these difficult conversations, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture recently launched a “Talking About Race” portal featuring “tools and guidance” for educators, parents, caregivers, and other people committed to equity.
Read More

🔥Algorithmic Accountability Policy Toolkit // AINow
Algorithms are widely used in society to make decisions that affect most aspects of our lives, including which school a child can attend, whether a person will be offered credit from a bank, what products are advertised to consumers, and whether someone will receive an interview for a job. Federal, state and local governments are increasingly using algorithms to conduct
government services...
Read the Toolkit

Legal Experts: How Can Police be Held Accountable? // Futurity
Horrifying images of George Floyd dying on a Minneapolis street while a police officer knelt on his neck have sparked peaceful protests and rioting throughout the country. The latest in a string of killings of unarmed black Americans, the incident once again raises questions about training and the use of force by police and the ability of prosecutors to hold police accountable. Here, Ron Tyler, professor of law and director of Stanford Law’s Criminal Defense Clinic, and Suzanne Luban, clinical supervising attorney and lecturer in law, discuss the Floyd case and offer suggestions for a way forward...
Read More

Finally, here are some of my pictures from Brooklyn over this last week.

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!


"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!


The Future of Reality // Mon Jun 8, 3PM - 4PM EDT // Free
Digital technologies seem to offer up infinite possibilities: we can connect with people on the other side of the world; we can control our heating from our mobile phone; we can ask Google the answer to any question. But what happens when our previous interactions determine the information we see? If technologies are tailoring a reality just for us, what are we missing out on? What if we only ever see what we’d like to see?
Learn More

Synthesis Mapping 2020 SFI #1 -- Systems Thinking // Mon Jun 8, 6:30PM - 8:30PM EDT // Free
Synthesis maps are rich visualizations that illustrate the real-world complexity of systemic challenges, and typically used to not only “map system problems” but to propose design recommendations for systems change and policies (from health to public policy, from service experiences to social change) from evidence gathered in stakeholder research. Policymakers and organizational stakeholders use synthesis maps for strategic advising, long-term planning, and considering interventions for social and systemic challenges (wicked problems).
Learn More

Gameplay - 100 ways for the future (P1) // Mon Jun 8, 12PM - 12:30PM // Free
Over 3 days, you will be invited to practice “futures thinking” to boost your creativity, sense of optimism and feeling of agency. We’re taking The Institute for the Future’s game “100 Ways ANYTHING could be DIFFERENT in the future” by Dr. Jane McGonigal and adding a few challenges of our own. Your experience and curiosity is all that you need to join in.
Learn More

"Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow - 2012 World Premiere Recording // Mon Jun 8, 3PM  - Tue Jun 9, 2:30AM EDT // Free
Watch Custom Made's runaway hit, Josh Costello's masterful adaptation of "Little Brother", a dystopian novel by NYTimes bestselling author Cory Doctorow. In “Little Brother” 17-year-old hacker Marcus plays electronic cat and mouse games while skipping school in San Francisco. When the city is the victim of a terrorist attack, he finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and is suddenly apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security for days of merciless interrogation on Treasure Island. When no one besides his friends believes his story, Marcus is left with only one option: take down the system himself. “Little Brother” is a near-future thriller, a teenage romance, and a frightening predictor of things to come.
Learn More

🔥Speculative Futures Vienna #1 – Virtueller Workshop // Tue Jun 9, 12:30PM - 3PM EDT // Free (In German)
Wir freuen uns nun das erste Event des Speculative Futures Chapter Vienna virtuell nachzuholen. Lasst uns gemeinsam über verschiedene Zukunftsvisionen spekulieren und diskutieren!
Learn More

Author Talk: Coding Democracy by Maureen Webb // Tue Jun 9, 12:30PM - 1:30PM EDT // Free
Hackers have a bad reputation, as shady deployers of bots and destroyers of infrastructure. In Coding Democracy, Maureen Webb offers another view. Hackers, she argues, can be vital disruptors. Hacking is becoming a practice, an ethos, and a metaphor for a new wave of activism in which ordinary citizens are inventing new forms of distributed, decentralized democracy for a digital era.
Learn More

Off Limits? Art, social media and censorship // Tue Jun 9, 3PM - 4PM EDT // Free

Join us for a panel discussion on art censorship in the age of social media. While on the surface we live in a culture that appears to be ever more permissive, restrictions on the circulation of images is increasing at a very fast rate. In particular, demands for social media companies to show responsibility is leading to many images being removed. But what are the implications of this for artists who increasingly need to use social media to build their audiences and careers? 
Learn More

Daniel Leithinger - Shape Displays for Remote Togetherness // Tue Jun 9, 6PM - 8PM EDT // Free

We need physicality in computing now more than ever, and shape displays may help us reclaim it. During this time of remoteness, our daily experience of work and learning is a stark reminder that videos on a flat computer screen cannot replace the intimacy of touch and the feeling of presence when sharing a room. Shape displays challenge this status quo by transforming their physical shape to represent information and people. I will discuss how we can use these interfaces to enrich remote experiences, and what advances will be needed to turn them from lab prototypes into reality. 
Learn More

FILM: ART/new york – Nam June Paik: Prisoner of the Cathode Ray // Tue Jun 9, 4PM - 5PM EDT // Free
The Halsey Institute is presenting a virtual film screening of ART/new york – Nam June Paik: Prisoner of the Cathode Ray (2000). The film will be available to view for free on our Vimeo channel with a password from June 1-10. In this event, the director Paul Tschinkel will join us on Zoom for a live Q&A.
Learn More

🔥🔥Dismantling the Apocalypse: Speculative Futures in Pandemic Time // Speculative Futures Bangkok // Wed Jun 10, 6PM - YPM UTC+7 (7AM - 8:30AM EDT) // Free

How can we use speculative futures to think about systems and enterprise in the COVID-19 era? In this part-science, part-art, part-design talk, Catherine Sarah Young elaborates on her experimental practice that explores our environmental and collective futures, and how using a systems-led way of thinking and global perspectives can help shape the new world emerging from the pandemic.
Learn More

🔥LunchBreak: Pat Pataranutaporn // Wed Jun 10, 1PM - 2PM EDT // Free
LunchBreak is a series of live, online interviews with artists who have shown in SciArt exhibitions. Pat Pataranutaporn is an antidisciplinary technologist-scientist-artist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is part of the Fluid Interfaces research group at MIT Media Lab , which specializes in designing on-body technology for human enhancement. Pat's research is at the intersection of biotechnology and wearable computing, specifically at the interface between biological and digital systems. His work appeared in our "The Future of Food" exhibition.
Learn More

Drawing in the Computer Age // Wed Jun 10, 3PM - 4PM // Free
During the 1960s, a number of artists became keenly interested in the nascent field of computing. Mainframe computers on college campuses and collaboration with industry provided unprecedented access to this new technology. Rachel Federman, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawings and curator of the 2019 exhibition By Any Means: Contemporary Drawings from the Morgan, will investigate the intersection of drawing and computer technology and its impact on contemporary art.
Learn More

The Future Is Coming or "What The F*&% Is Going To Happen Next?" // Wed Jun 10, 3PM - 5:30PM EDT // $99 - $149
The Future Is Coming offers you a glimpse at what might lie ahead. This custom-designed card deck can randomly generate potential future states. The accompanying five-step process allows you to scan the horizon for what might lie ahead and craft a possible response that allows you to turn threats into business opportunities. In this interactive 2.5 hour workshop, we will use a newly developed online version of the Future Is Coming facilitation card deck to share your insights about the future of work over the next year.
Learn More

Ferment TV | 02. Emergent Ecologies in Art and Science // Wed Jun 10, 1PM - 2PM EDT // Freedeep dive into emergent ecologies — both conceptual and territorial — that are shaping art and science at multiple scales.
Learn More

The art and history of Italian Futurism // Wednesdays, Jun 10 - Jul 22 // 6PM - 7PM // $50

Learn about Futurism’s beginnings in literature and poetry, and how the movement transcended into an artistic movement with numerous followers who engaged in photography, film, sculpture and painting. We will explore the political and social impetus behind the movement’s foundation and how the World Wars affected its trajectory until its ultimate decline.
Learn More

🔥Progressive Data and Anti-Racism - Launch Event // Thu Jun 11, 5PM - 6PM EDT // Free
Data can, has, and currently is used to uphold systems of oppression. Scholars such as Dr. Ruha Benjamin, Virginia Eubanks, Cathy O'Neil, and many others have written about various Big Data tools that are weaponized against People of Color. There are books, podcasts, and conference talks that illuminate the dangers of surveillance technology, policing algorithms, and search engines. Since so much of the conversation about data and racial justice is centered on Big Data (for very, very good reasons), the organizers of this call were inspired to convene the progressive data community to discuss how our work intersects with racism.
Learn More

Feminist Cyborg Reading Group // Genspace // Thu Jun 11, 6:30PM - 8:30PM // Donation
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

TEDxMelbourne: PluggedIn | The New Future // Thu Jun 11, 5:30AM - 7:30AM // Free
Everyone is discussing a "new normal". What does "normal" even mean? What we need is a New Future. One we want to create rather than one that has happened to us. One with less consumption. One with a renewed focus on connection and community. One with hope for a better world.
Learn More

Redefining Work| A Future by Design Webinar Series // SingularityU Australia // Thu Jun 11, 3AM - 4AM EDT // Free
Automation seems to be sweeping through companies relentlessly, canceling out obsolete jobs, creating new types of jobs. How can we prepare for that and how should we educate the future generation for such an indistinct future? What jobs are secure and what jobs are destined to be replace, and how much should we care and how should we prepare?
Learn More

Tomorrow with Peter Bishop // Thu Jun 11, 2PM - 3PM EDT // Free
Teach the Future is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing foresight and futures thinking to schools and students around the world. Their work stems from the belief that young people of any age can learn to think critically and creatively about the future and develop the agency to influence it. This is a live conversation between Teach the Future founder, Peter Bishop, and partners of the Tomorrow campaign on the benefits of bringing the future into education.
Learn More

Webinar on the Three Horizons led by Bill Sharpe // Thu Jun 11, 5PM - 7PM EDT // Free
Bill has pioneered the three horizons as a framework for thinking about the future. It helps groups explore systemic patterns to identify which of the dominant patterns are no longer fit for purpose, how the emerging trends can shape the future, and what visionary action is needed to collectively move us towards a viable future.
Learn More

🔥🔥delaO design studio's Speculative Jam // Sat Jun 13, 12PM - 1PM EDT // Free
As part of the "Plastic: ¿Villain or hero?" Speculative Challenge by delaO design studio and Primer Conference, we organized this Speculative Design Jam, where participants could learn to use the Prediction Generator to create concepts aligned for the challenge. The Prediction Generator is an ideation instrument created by delaO design studio to help designers, researchers, and future-thinkers generate, validate, and articulate any design brief research hypothesis, or future scenario.
Learn More

The Future: What is it? Speakers: Donna-Michelle St. Bernard and Jordan Tannahill // Thu Jun 11 // 9PM - 10PM EDT // Free
Two of Canada’s finest playwrights and thinkers take to the stage to share experiences of activism and how those intersect with their work. From Extinction Rebellion, queer politics, anti-racist action to equity, inclusion and diversity work, these late night conversants will be digging deep into possibilities for the future.
Learn More

Fragments of a Hologram Rose - Cyberpunk stories live online // Thu Jun 11, 1:30PM - 2:30PM EDT // Free
Prepared reading of the short, Cyberpunk story, by William Gibson, where a man named Parker has just gone through the bitter end of a relationship. To cope, he finds himself going through her collection of sense-recordings in order to sleep through the night, and through these recordings, we see his past in tiny bits and how the very nature of sense-recordings have shaped his adult life.
Learn More

🔥Alternator Chat: Protest // Thu Jun 11, 6PM - 7PM & Fri Jun 12, 2PM  - 3PM // Free
Art and activism have always had a close relationship. What is the history of protest art look like and what does it look like today? Today, protests against systemic racism and discrimination are taking place internationally. Join us for a discussion about protest art and what it looks like in the context of social change taking place currently in Canada and globally.
Learn More

An Evening With Writers of The Future // Fri Jun 12, 9PM - 10PM EDT // Free
Join us for a virtual evening of fascinating Science Fiction and Fantasy, with two of the winners of Writers of The Future Volume 36 : illustrator, Brock Aguirre and author, Zack Be. 
Learn More

Unintended Consequences, Tech Ethics & Human-Centered Design // Fri Jun 12, 1PM - 1:45PM EDT // Free
How can we get designers and technologists to better consider unintended consequences and ethics will developing products & services? Join All Tech Is Human for this important discussion with two experts working toward a better tech future, along with YOUR comments & questions.
Learn More

Ongoing Events

🔥Z-TOPIA // Design Futures Initiative // Weekends (Fri - Sun) // Free
A webinar-format talk show where designers are invited to muse, speculate and poke at topics they’ve found on the internet. It’s an hour of asking questions and coming up with serious and silly ideas.  The event will be open for anyone to join as a spectator only. Bring a drink and relax. It will be recorded and posted to our Vimeo page and live-streamed to Facebook. 

Check out the full schedule on the Design Futures Initiative website.

Friday, June 12, 7PM PDT (10PM EDT) // Latin America Leaders - Laura Maceira, Leticia Fernández , Claudia Gallardo, Andres Valencia

Sunday, June 14, 7PM PDT (10PM EDT) // Alisan Atvur - Senior R&D User Experience (UX) Research Lead at Novo Nordisk & Chris Livaudais - Executive Director, IDSA

Wednesday, June 17 at 7pPST  Z-TOPIA “X” 
Special edition show where they will be trying out a new format
Guests TBA

Wednesday, July 1 - Season Finale - Z-TOPIA has been running for 2months. We are taking a short break to prepare to come out of beta with a brand new season of formats, guests and topics 

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

June 11th: EPISODE 007 // "Universal resilience patterns in labor markets" by Morgan R. Frank
Cities are the innovation centers of the US economy, but disruptions from technology (or COVID-19) may exclude workers and inhibit a middle class. Therefore, urban policy must promote the jobs and skills that increase worker pay, create employment, and make their economy resilient to downturns. In this talk, I model labor market resilience in cities with an ecologically-inspired employment matching process on the job network constructed from the similarity of occupation's skill requirements. 

🔥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, June 11 // Interdependence Salon #7: Lynn Fang
Lynn Fang, MS, specializes in soil and compost ecology for the development of community composting and urban farming infrastructure in the Los Angeles region. She works with LA Compost, ECOFARM, Metabolic Studio, and other organizations to raise public awareness and understanding of issues around composting and soil health. She runs her own training programs on soil science and resilient homestead garden design and is passionate about ecological design, environmental justice, and native plants. She is also a writer and artist.
Learn More

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

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!

Join us in the city of brotherly love to showcase games and creators from Philly!
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.

🔥Pandemics have fueled the rise of mega-corporations—and they’ll do it again // FastCompany
The long-term result of the Black Death was the strengthening of the power of big business and the state. The same processes are happening much more rapidly during the coronavirus lockdown.
Read More

From Citizen to Signal, the most popular apps right now reflect America’s protests // Vox
As protests against police brutality have swept across the United States, Americans’ app downloads have shifted. The list of most popular apps right now offers a glimpse into how people are using technology to take action...
Read More

The High Cost of IoT //
It started in the 70s with embedded internet then morphed into the Internet of Things (Iot) in 1999, but the Internet of Things didn’t really gain traction until 2010 when Google started StreetView and the Chinese government announced that IoT would be part of its 12th Five Year Plan. From then onwards, the Internet of Things has gone from strength to strength and become a standard part of modernity... 
Read More

The twisted psychology of militarized police uniforms // FastCompany
At a time when distrust of the police is rampant, the uniforms officers wear can further strain their relationship with the communities they’re supposed to protect...
Read More

How Baidu’s AI produces news videos using just a URL // TheNextWeb
AI for news production is one of the areas that has drawn contrasting opinions. On one hand, it might help media houses produce more news in a better format with minimal effort, on the other hand, it might take away the human element of journalism or take people out of jobs...
Read More

Communism as a Movement // D.Z. Rowan
Communism has never been so bastardized as a theory, and these murky waters were brought on the leftists by themselves. Leftist movements seem so dead today because they’re trying to revive the spirit of radicalism itself...
Read More

Walmart employees are out to show its anti-shoplifting AI doesn’t work
Walmart employees said they were “past their breaking point” with Everseen, a small artificial intelligence firm based in Cork, Ireland, whose technology Walmart began using in 2017. Walmart uses Everseen in thousands of stores to prevent shoplifting at registers and self-checkout kiosks. But the workers claimed it misidentified innocuous behavior as theft and often failed to stop actual instances of stealing...
Read More

Elon Musk Calls to "Break Up Amazon" // Futurism
On Thursday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk sent some angry tweets directed at Amazon — and rival space company Blue Origin — CEO Jeff Bezos, calling Amazon a monopoly that deserved to be broken up. “This is insane,” Musk tweeted to Bezos. He then followed up with “Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!”...
Read More

Japan to build World’s first all-electric tanker equipped with li-ion batteries // The Driven
Japanese shipping company Asahi Tanker has announced it plans to build two “world first” zero-emission electric propulsion tankers which will be powered by lithium-ion batteries...
Read More

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

News, Articles & Interesting Projects

Five Books About Finding Hope at the End of the World // Tor
Hope. Four little letters, yet together they represent the most powerful substance in the universe. Whether associated with Princess Leia or Samwise Gamgee or Gene Roddenberry, “hope” conjures up images of the impossible victory, the candle in the darkness, the moral arc of the universe finally snapping back to its correct path...
Read More

Fashion in Cyberpunk and the Making of a “Samurai Jacket” // Adafruit Blog

One of the cool aspects of Cyberpunk 2077 (and the original Mike Poundsmith tabletop RPG upon which it’s based) is that, in that fictional world, the genre of science fiction we know in the real world as cyberpunk from the 1980s, happened in that world, too. Then, in the near-future of its fictional world, as tech (and dystopianism) caught up with the ideas of the 80s fiction, the “high-tech low-life” embraced cyberpunk as a culture, as a style. The fictional “dress” of cyberpunk was assumed as a reality...
Read More

Why we cannot go faster than light [Video]
The Universe has a speed limit and it seems there is no way around it
Check it Out

Whose Voice Do You Actually Hear?
Is it okay for machines of silicon and steel or flesh and blood to erase our contributions? Is it okay for a machine to erase you and me? Is it okay for machines to portray women as subservient? Is it okay Google and others to capture data without our knowledge? These questions and new research led by Allison Koenecke inspired the creation of “Voicing Erasure”: a poetic piece recited by champions of women’s empowerment and leading scholars on race, gender, and technology.
Check It Out

Short Story: The Recursive Grammar of Progress by Marcelo Rinesi (IEET)
It wasn’t terrorism to install robots with machine guns in every schoolyard and street corner.
And it wasn’t terrorism to program them to kill you if you looked and behaved like those the people who paid for the robots had paid others to kill in the past, sometimes with hands and authority, sometimes with much bigger machines...
Read the Story

Watch a Badass Wearable Robot Arm Smash through a Wall // Futurism
A team of researchers from Université de Sherbrooke in Canada have created a badass, waist-mounted hydraulic arm that’s capable of smashing through walls. A video uploaded by the team shows the robotic arm in action. It can move heavy power tools, paint walls, pick vegetables — and even Hulk smash through drywall.
Check It Out

Gaming, Shows, Books & Other Random Cool Stuff

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
In this book, antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.
Check It Out

Furi [Game]
Furi is a character action game in which you fight only bosses. Fight your way free in The Gamebaker’s frenzied all-boss fighter, and discover what’s waiting behind the last gate. Furi is all about the tension of one-on-one fights against deadly adversaries. It’s an intense, ultra-responsive game with a unique mix of fast-paced sword fighting and dual-stick shooting. Each of the formidable guardians —designed by Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki— has a unique and surprising combat style that requires focus and skill to defeat. The high-energy action gets a boost from an explosive soundtrack composed by electro musicians Carpenter Brut, Danger, The Toxic Avenger, Lorn, Scattle, Waveshaper and Kn1ght. (PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC)
Check It Out

Sankofa [Movie]
Ethiopian filmmaker, Haile Gerima, known for the film Teza, which was rated one of the ten "Best African Films of All Time," took the meaning of "sankofa" to an entirely new level. The Twi language of Ghanaian word, "sankofa" meaning "to return, to seek, to take" is applied in his emotionally tolling, yet thrilling film. Sankofa follows a narcissistic supermodel who is sucked back in time to a West Indies plantation as a slave, involuntarily becoming part of a rebellion stirring Maroon colony. 
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 ultimate data story: driving a global newsroom with AI during the COVID crisis // LSE Blog
Newsrooms around the world are facing an unprecedented challenge in reporting on coronavirus. It’s a huge, complex, fast-moving story and it comes at a time when news organisations – like other businesses – face logistical and financial problems...
Read More

What Do Coronavirus Racial Disparities Look Like State By State? // NPR
In April, New Orleans health officials realized their drive-through testing strategy for the coronavirus wasn't working. The reason? Census tract data revealed hot spots for the virus were located in predominantly low-income African-American neighborhoods where many residents lacked cars. In response, officials have changed their strategy, sending mobile testing vans to some of those areas, says Thomas LaVeist, dean of Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and co-chair of Louisiana's COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force...
Read More


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.
Learn More

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.
Learn More

What I'm Reading

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

The Massacre at Tiananmen Square
by Stuff You Should Know Podcast

From Zelda to Civ to Frostpunk—can climate change be fun?
by Steven T. Wright

How Sega hopes to use Japanese arcades as streaming data centers
By Kyle Orland

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