Luke Van Hook Paintings Now at Brand Library Galleries "Circle in the Square" Yesung Kim, Barbara Kolo, Susan Sironi, Cheryl Walker thru Sept 5th 2008        
The Entrance to the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale, California hosts a prominent postcard of the show "Circle in the Square" now exhibiting through September 5th, 2008


PHOTO-JOURNAL BY GINGER VAN HOOK


Photo above: 
Cathy Billings, Art Librarian and Gallery Manager of the 
Brand Library Art Galleries and Co-Curator of 
"Circle in the Square" selected Luke Van Hook 
as one of the artists to show his circle paintings 
which explore Giotto's fabled "perfect circle.
Photo below: 
Alyssa Resnick, Senior Library Supervisor, Gallery Director 
and Co-curator pictured with Luke Van Hook.
Both ladies made studio visits all over Los Angeles and surrounding communities in search of the "perfect circle" of artists to represent the illusive qualities of the circle.
It takes over a year to prepare for a large show at the Brand Library Art Galleries and no one will have a better story to tell you about the waiting process than Galleries Manager and Curator, Cathy Billings or Alyssa Resnick, Senior Library Supervisor and Gallery Director. These ladies traveled to Inglewood, California for a studio visit to see Luke Van Hook's circle paintings some time in the early summer of 2007. They told Luke that they were preparing to curate a show of artists working on the motif of the 'circle'.  They had already reviewed a number of artists and found making the final decision difficult, first because there were a number of artists who worked with this subject and secondly, the talent was very competitive. The subject of the circle and how each artist approaches this topic is worth dedicated study in and of itself.  These lovely ladies, Cathy and Alyssa, with a keen eye for artistic talent, selected a total of five talented artists to show together this summer.   
Here you will find photos of how each artist expressed their obsession with the circular form.  I'll begin my blog entry with a brief history of what I believe may have led Luke Van Hook to painting the circle and continue with the photos and biographical information of the additional four artists each selected for working with the motif of circles, independently of each other, with their own unique and individual interpretations of the circle: Yesung Kim, Barbara Kolo, Susan Sironi, and Cheryl Walker.
Luke Van Hook began his present study of the circle in 2005. He first discovered the legend of Giotto's "Perfect Circle" in a class about ancient history; but the idea didn't sink in at first. He needed time to reason with his quest. While Luke approached the specific task of painting the circle with thin paintbrushes and applying layer upon layer of color to a raw naked canvas, I set about trying to understand what the hell prompted my husband to go circle crazy in the first place.  I started researching what the circle meant and I found a lot of literature in the realm of magic, rituals, mathematics, secret societies and romance. But my first impression was that the circle was a way to get back to the beginning of things.  Then I delved deeper.  Was Luke trying to say that he was going in circles?  Were we at this artistic point in our lives as a result of a past life?  Was our circular existence referencing our cycle of birth, death and rebirth?  Or was the answer more basic than that, like "the earth is round and it's an orbital thing.' There were other issues on the table I was urged to deal with also.  Were these circle paintings partly influenced by the school we had attended?  Once we leave school we are expected to make works of art that have fresh meaning and to blow out the cobwebs of old thinking.  While at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, Luke Van Hook studied all the required areas to excel in his chosen profession as a fine arts painter including the figure, landscapes and abstracts. But the abstract visual image is what finally drew Luke back in.  Could it be the understated obvious fact that the big 'O' (which formed a circle on every memo, syllabus and brochure in the name of Otis College) was influencing him subconsciously?  
Luke's earlier work involved intricately small hatch marks that evolved into large abstract images full of vibrant colors.  This work was very reminiscent of Jasper Johns.  So where did this circle idea really emanate from?  Did his hatch marks get married or what?  Observers of Luke Van Hook's work have stated that it raises the question, 'Is it a painting or a drawing?  Is it text or writing?'  Luke will often begin a row of circles that reads from left to right just as western literature is expressed.  But sometimes he changes his mind, and the direction of his technique, and he starts to paint his rows from right to left. At other times, he completes a horizontal column of circles which refers more to ancient Asian forms of writing going from the top, down.
During his graduating year at Otis College in 2004, Luke went on a mission to explore machine technology as it pertained to replacing humans.  He painted large canvases with a number of faces and shapes that represented cyborgs expressing the fear, uncertainty and ambivalence that humans have toward our technological future.  But once out of school, a full year later, in 2005 Luke seem to have turned a corner.  He seemed to have replaced his fear of technology with a competitive defiance that defied all reason.  Luke started working with his father-in-law, in his machine shop, where he started to observe how everything around him involved the circle in one way or another.  He watched the machines (Fadal CNC's- numerical control production machines) in action. The tool would spin in circles, plunging in and out of aluminum, stainless steel and plastic materials. The space left behind was almost always a perfect circle.  Perhaps, this was Luke's starting point. It was the first time he'd really seen a machine make simple circles and Luke probably said something to himself like 'I can do this! Just watch me!' then promptly, decided to take on his destiny. To compete with a machine, may have been the early impulse that drew Luke to paint the circle, but the legend of Giotto's 'perfect circle' was what has kept Luke going full steam ahead into production of abstract works of art.  The initial pieces he created were prototypes. These were the experiments he and his father-in-law Luis Ingels, worked on before moving into the hand made pieces. As his first experiment, Luke inserted a paint brush into the collet of the machine and programmed the coordinates to match the canvas. He overshot his calculations and the brush came crashing down upon the canvas; the collet smashed the brush right through the canvas and even broke the frame. Perhaps, Luke might have thought as he and my father, Luis, looked at each other, 'it was time to go back to the drawing board'. Undaunted by initial failure, Luke did complete an entire series of machine made circles before he went on to the main event, the competition of drawing the circles, one by one, by hand.  
Each piece of artwork created since his first attempts, is meticulously reinvented into creative visual landscapes layering circles upon circles of color schemes in gradations of complementary hues.  The colors reveal very subtle changes.  The circles pull the eye in.  The images seem to have a life of their own, a vibrant quality of pushing the viewer to look for patterns while pulling the eyes into fishers, crevices, or 'wormholes' as one collector observed. I have witnessed the intimate evolution of Luke's circles only because I have the honor and privilege of being Luke's wife.  The fact that I am discussing my husband's art work is of significance only in the sense that it is somewhat rare, although not unheard of, for the artist's loved one to interject a provocative discussion of the artwork publicly in a blog; however, this is a sign of the times we live in today and I feel blessed as a writer to have this open forum to share with you the joys and struggles inherent in Luke's artistic process.
The way I see it, Luke has taken on  the impossible task of creating the perfect circle, where no perfect circle has ever existed before, despite Giotto's legend.  All mathematical equations to date reveal that there is no perfect circle. It is a myth. So why Luke has persisted in this impossible feat only reminds me of the story of Don Quixote. Here is where I see Luke chasing his windmills. This is where in my imagination, I view the circles on the canvas as Luke's quest for the impossible dream and his circles are his windmills.  His paintbrush is his sword.  Thus Luke 
Van Hook's paintings, for me, exhibit all the romantic qualities innate in a love story.  Seeking to please his beloved Lucia, these references emerging from raw canvas could be read practically like text.  Some art collectors saw the circles as Braille text or some secret code or language.  The secret, I think, lies in Luke's love of sports!  Sometimes I interpret this circle code to reflect images of the sports activities I see Luke enjoy daily;  I make visual connections to the circles on the wheels of his bicycles which hang in his studio or his skate boards that decorate the rafters of the painting bays or even the wheels that drive his car which sits resting on almost perfect circles on the driveway.
For a while, I was convinced that Luke's enthusiasm for cycling was directly influencing the subjects of his paintings because one day, I was staring at one of his earlier images, (which is hung lovingly on the wall of the dining room right over the microwave oven); I saw it hanging next to a photograph of Luke participating in the 'Death Race 1999', a bicycle ride that cycle enthusiasts pursue along the most dangerous mountainous roads known as the California Alps in Northern California at the edge of the Northern Nevada border where Markleeville meets the Carson Valley.   The image Luke had painted in 1998, while recovering, ironically, from a broken ankle suffered in a bicycle race in Minden; was the image of three bicycles in a dead heat on the gray pavement with the yellow dividing line providing a ground for what appears as three large helmets (representative of the riders) in red, green and yellow.  The eventual emergence of Luke's hatch marks from work created in 2000, can be seen on the helmets and if you are really looking for this, (with your microscope) you may even find, the very beginnings of the influences which have eventually led to this mad case of circle paintings!  The circle imagery you might be searching for could have started at the base of the bicycle's anatomy with the wheels spinning along the highway to Kingsbury Grade, somewhere near Genoa, along the bottom of the hill leading to Lake Tahoe.  I comfort myself as painter's wife, that even Picasso had his periods, as did Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gogh, Monet and Gauguin and so long as Luke Van Hook doesn't try to cut off his ear we are doing just fine with these circles.


But don't take my word for it. Luke Van Hook's circle paintings are something you should see for yourself.  The subtlety of the work is difficult to capture on film, although I tried my best to create a video after struggling with photographing the stills for three years.  But even the video work fails to reveal the whole story.  You've got to stand in front of one of these pieces to involve yourself in the novella of Luke's life.  Although I can decode a small portion of what I see through his work, the rest of the circles on the canvas are still a vague mystery to me as well.  Every relationship has its secrets.  Thus Luke and I, as artists, are no different.  Even when we know each other, there are elements of surprise and adventure that we have yet to tell each other.  The mystery in his canvases is what really thrills me to see Luke's work on display under gallery lighting! (Sales don't hurt my enthusiasm either!)





When I think of Luke Van Hook's circle paintings, today, in 2008, I often think of Luke riding a skateboard doing 'ollies' and then trying for a loop-de-loop in mid-air.  This is because in January of 2008, Luke begged for a skateboard for his birthday and little did I know what would happen when I wrapped it up for him!  He has returned to the love of his youth.  Luke Van Hook has come full circle to his beginnings to land on his home base. The skateboard has also flown in mid-air, in harmony with gravity, and both land as one in a perfect execution of a move I would never dare try to do myself.  I see each circle on the canvas as Luke's attempt to catapult his work into the mainstream of the art-world with each rotation of the paintbrush on the surface of the canvas.  This is where I see Luke Van Hook in mid catapult, surfing on the air, light in transition, from youth to inspired maturity; from student to master, with paintbrush in hand landing and continuing to roll on four wheels with a great big shit-eating grin on his face. ('four' being the lucky number of his numerology charts). I see the ordered struggle, the innate joy in the success of one loop-de-loop after another. And once in a while, I also see the crash landing and the bloody injuries.  What is more important is that Luke gets up and does it again each and every time.  Luke has to begin again with each new circle, every circle becoming a part of a larger layer of community, thus his canvases vibrate with activity, mystery, romance and adventure.  I find my own meanings in each image  as it develops day by day and I am privileged to stand beside him, admire and witness the struggle of our Don Quixote in the new millennium, first hand.
There is still time to see these painting up close and personal. The Brand Library Art Galleries is part of the Glendale Public Library, located at 1601 West Mountain Street in the City of Glendale, 91201  Telephone:  818-548-2051/ fax 818-548-2713 ;  visit the Brand Library Art Galleries online at   www.brandlibrary.org    to  check for Library hours.
Cookie Gallegos, Ana Porras and Martha Ingels attend the opening of "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook. Brand Art Library Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008 Photo by Ginger Van Hook
(From left to right) Margo Payne, Lynn Nantana-Green and Angela Williams attend the exhibition "Circle in the Square" in support of Luke Van Hook.
Lynn Lantana-Green came to support Artist, Luke Van Hook at the opening reception of "Circle in the Square" an art exhibition held at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.  Photos by Ginger Van Hook
Kevin Powell came to support Luke Van Hook and enjoy the paintings at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California, August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

Artist Luke Van Hook brought home-made pies to his reception of the exhibition "Circle in the Square". In addition to painting, Luke Van Hook has a reputation for making awesome pies from scratch. Photographed milling around the Double Fudge Pican Pie and the Sweet Berry Pie were the grandchildren of Hector Sticker. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook
(From left to right) Claudio Sticker, Hector Sticker, Peter Bolten, Martha Ingels, Luke Van Hook and Luis Ingels attend the reception of  "Circle in the Square". Luke Van Hook and Luis Ingels worked together to create circles on canvas with the use of robotic CNC machines. After creating a little over a dozen machine-made paintings, Luke went on to compete with the machine and do the circles on his own by hand, one by one. Each circle is represented as being one breath and Luke Van Hook states that these are the marks he is leaving behind which define his existence during this lifetime as he continues to pursue the legend of "Giotto's Perfect Circle". Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

From left to right, Ohannes Berberian, his daughter Melanie, Luke Van Hook and Rouzanna Berberian attend the opening reception of "Circle in the Square" at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008.  Ohannes Berberian owns DigiTECH Camera Repair in Monrovia, California (www.digitechcamerarepair.com). Luke Van Hook and Rouzanna Berberian are both fine art painters and members of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (M.A.F.A.). Rouzanna Berberian is a teacher in the after-school arts programs supported by M.A.F.A.  which promotes the goal of enhancing the lives of those within the community through interaction with the arts and to increase the opportunities of children through art education. Photo by Ginger Van Hook

From left to right, Kathleen Zgonc, photographer Frank Zgonc and artist Luke Van Hook attend the opening reception of 'Circle in the Square' at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008. Frank Zgonc is a an executive member of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts in Monrovia, California. Frank Zgonc is the vice-president and official curator of Monrovia's yearly October Art Festival. This year the October Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday October 11th and 12th, 2008 at the Monrovia Community Center located at 119 W. Palm Avenue in Monrovia. Free and open to the public, this art event will feature work by photographer Frank Zgonc; (Scheduled from 10 am to 6pm both days).  There will also be an Opening Night Celebration Saturday, October 11th from 7-9:30 pm where the special Renaissance Award will be presented to a worthy individual who has made significant contributions to the arts. 
Photo by Ginger Van Hook
Mr. and Mrs. Luke and Ginger Van Hook attend the opening reception of 'Circle in the Square' at the Brand Libraries Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 in Glendale, California.  Luke Van Hook an artist working from Inglewood, California earned a BFA  at Otis College of ARt and Design.  For several years, Van Hook has been exploring in his work, Giotto's fabled "perfect circle".  Over time the single-minded focus on the perfection of the circle has been subsumed by the artist's interest in the aesthetic and expressive qualities of the circle. New works depict ritualistically repeated circular brushstrokes on canvas, hemp, and other materials. Van Hook states that he began " as a challenge to myself to see if a perfect circle was possible; these circles have now morphed into a challenge to myself to see if a perfect circle is  possible. These circles have now morphed into a study in patience. The sense of time and the marking of time is inherent in the meticulous application of paint. The viewer can appreciate these temporal qualities but is also compelled to bring their own  interpretation to the work. Are these circles pure abstraction? Combined do they conceal deliberate shapes and forms? or are they perhaps a secret code or language? Van Hook has exhibited at TAG Gallery, Focus One Gallery, and the Bolsky Gallery in  Westchester. Luke Van Hook's painting may also be viewed on his website: www.lukevanhook.com
Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten


Kevin Powell comes to support Luke Van Hook for his opening reception. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook
Jason Porras attends the opening reception to support Luke Van Hook in his endeavors to pursue Giotto's legend of the 'Perfect Circle'. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo By Ginger Van Hook.


Zoe Hengst, Ginger Van Hook and Martha Ingels attend the opening of "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California August 2, 2008. Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten.
Zoe and Jopie Hengst walk through the center of the exhibition "Circle in the Square" to support Luke Van Hook at the opening night, August 2, 2008. Paintings by Susan Sironi in the background. Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.

Cookie Gallegos, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook pose for photographs in front of Luke Van Hook's painting at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 Glendale, California. Photo courtesy of Peter Bolten.

Cookie Gallegos and Ana Porras watch the dance performance choreographed by Cheryl Walker, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California.
Paintings by Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
Paintings by Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008, Glendale, California.
Photo by Ginger Van Hook
Yesung Kim poses for a photograph in front of her paintings at the Brand Library Art Galleries, August 02, 2008, Glendale, California. Yesung Kim from Upland, California, was born in Seoul, South Korea and holds MFA degrees from Chung-Ang University and Claremont Graduate University. Kim's mixed media pieces are seductively simple. Ordinary brown packing string is deftly applied to a painted canvas creating organic shapes that shimmer and reflect light. At times these shapes appear to be on the brink of an amoeba-like division as they spread and expand, dropping off the edge of one canvas and continuing on to another. Kim  cites the natural world and light and color as the underlying themes that both inspire and permeate her work.  Following solo shows at the Seoul Museum of Art and the Seoul Arts Center, Kim's work was most recently exhibited at the San Bernardino County Museum's Multi Media Mini Show. More information about Kim's work can be found on her website: www.yesungkim.com
Photo by Ginger Van Hook
Painting by Susan Sironi, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008 Glendale, California.
Photo by Ginger Van Hook
Glass curtain by Susan Sironi, Brand Library Art Galleries, August 2, 2008,Glendale, California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
Cheryl Walker designed a curtain of vinyl layers of color called 'Waterfall IV' that became the backdrop for a beautiful dance performance using the 'circle in the square' theme exhibited at the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale California, August 2, 2008. Cheryl Walker holds in her hand some of the vinyl circles that were placed upon the windows at the exhibition hall. Her vinyl circles upon the windows created an illusion of  the stained glass effects. The dance piece entertained a large audience on opening night as artists, collectors, art appreciators and family and friends celebrated the mythologies, geometries, magical and mystical qualities of the circle.   Dance Performers Liz  Curtis, and Martha Carrascosa performed a dance which included participation from members of the audience.  
Members of the audience interacted with the dancers Martha Carrascosa and Liz Curtis at the Brand Library Art Galleries participated in creating a colorful cascade of window art on August 2, 2008 in Glendale, California.
Audience watches dancers Liz Curtis and Martha Carrascosa from Glendale Community College as they perform a choreographed piece by Cheryl Walker, artist. "Circle in the Square", Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California, August 2, 2008.  Photo By Ginger Van Hook
Dancers Liz Curtis and Martha Carrascosa performing dance choreographed by artist Cheryl Walker, (within the green curtain), Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. 
Photo by Ginger Van Hook.
Cheryl Walker engaged in performance art intersecting with window art using the artistic theme of 'Circle in the Square'. Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, CAlifornia August 2, 2008. Photo by Ginger Van Hook.

Cheryl Walker smiles happily on opening night, Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California. August 2, 2008. Cheryl Walker, a Los Angeles artist, earned her BA in art in her home state of Minnesota, and her MFA from California State University, Long Beach. In this exhibition Walker created two large site-specific installations of vinyl, oil pastel and natural and artificial light.  Walker explains that the driving force behind her work is "human interaction and improvisation in response to a natural phenomenon or situation." Trained as painter, Walker's installations have some of the qualities of painting; when viewed head-on the suspended layers of vinyl can appear to be two-dimensional because of their transparency and the cut shapes and forms applied to the vinyl are reminiscent of brushstrokes--but removed from the wall these works are thrust into what she calls an "interactive field of play." The fluidity of the material she works with and her interest in collaboration between the artist and the viewer have inspired Walker to create works that can be transformed into performance pieces by dance, music and in-situ art-making. In this exhibition, a dance performance captivates the audience on opening night at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. August 2, 2008.  Photos By Ginger Van Hook




Barbara Kolo, Artist from "Circle in the Square" poses for a photograph in front of her painting with her husband Mr. Kolo. Barbara Kolo, a Santa Monica Artist, earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Kolo Participated in a successful two-person show at the Brand Library Art Galleries in 1999. The Brand Library Art Galleries are pleased to present (nearly ten years later) a new body of work by Barbara Kolo that connects to that which was here before. In those works and these, her focus is on representing organic materials. The current large scale acrylic on canvas works are saturated with color; the stippled application of paint creates organic shapes and patterns representative of the natural world.  The subject matter is open to each viewers interpretation, where one may see a birch forest at dusk, others may see the  bold aesthetic of pure color and abstraction. Kolo has had recent solo shows at Topanga Canyon Gallery and the Off Rose Gallery in Venice, California. More information about Kolo's work can be found on her website: www.barbarakolo.com Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale California. Photo by Ginger Van Hook






Barbara Kolo poses for a photograph during opening night celebrations for the exhibition, "Circle in the Square" at the Brand Library Art Galleries, Augusts 2, 2008. Glendale, California.


Susan Sironi,  an artist living in Altadena, California posed for her photograph in front of her paintings at  the Brand Library Art Galleries, Glendale, California. August 2, 2008.  Susan Sironi earned her BFA at California Sate University, Long Beach. This exhibition will showcase Sironi's recent paintings as well as her Glass Curtain installation which is comprised of conjoined antique optometric lenses. Her paintings are about texture, color and process. Small dabs of oil paint are painstakingly applied to aluminum, building up an intricate, thorny surface. Highly textured and multihued when viewed up close, this surface belies the color play minimalist color-field appearance of the work at a distance . In the artist's own words "texture and color play equal roles in these works. They ... set up contradictions within each piece. Painitings  that seem to invite touch and intimacy are also reserved and automomous. Time and process are weighed against a static and minimal structure. Sironi's work was most recently seen in the Brea Art Gallery's Made in California exhibition, at the Chouinard School of Art Gallery, and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.  More information about Sironi's work can be found on her website: web.mac.com/susansironi/susan/sironi/Welcome.html.
Photo by Ginger Van Hook.  

Yesung Kim, Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale, California, August 2, 2008.



The Entrance to the Brand Library Art Galleries in Glendale, California hosts a prominent postcard of the show "Circle in the Square" now exhibiting through September 5th, 2008

                   Luke Van Hook paintings are now showing at the Brand Library Art Galleries in
          87th Academy Awards        
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Note 1: Hello, and welcome to the annual edition of my pretending to understand how the average-age-55-years-white-American-old-men vote to find the best movie of the year! It's almost like how the new Pope is picked. Almost.

Note 2: Post 3.0 is going to be awesome, just like my previous two posts. Also, this year, a bunch of us got together to make an AWESOME app for Oscars - Award Street. Check it out!
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This year is pretty much going to be Boyhood vs. Birdman. A lot of people are going to get their predictions wrong this year depending on which way The Academy leans, unless your prediction is that a movie whose name starts with the letter 'B' is going to take home the grandest prize, and you can be sure about nailing it. Personally, I want to be screaming "It's a boy!" when it's announced. That man, Linklater, deserves a trophy by now. He got nominated for the last 2 movies of the 'Before' trilogy, and has made cult classics like Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Waking Life, and School of Rock. He might just walk away with 3 trophies in his hands this year and that would be AWESOME. If The Academy leans towards Birdman instead of Boyhood, it will be sad, and them trying incredibly hard to be cool. Boyhood is an achievement, period. A movie event we are going to be talking about for a long, long time. It will be fitting if Boyhood is announced for the Best Picture, and this plays:

I don't wanna be a big man
Just wanna fight like everyone else


No major controversies with the nominations, although no love for Nightcrawler, The Lego Movie, and no cinematography nod for Interstellar broke my heart a little. But then, what's an Oscar without a little heartbreak, right?

Right then, let's get on with it.




CategoryPredictionPickVishesh TippaniQuotesHit / Miss
Best Motion Picture of the YearBoyhood
I think this category isn't even a contest. Boyhood is by far the best movie on this list. Also, instead of the standard Film/Director split the Academy is known for doing, I think this year is going to see a Film/Writing split, between Boyhood and Birdman.'You know how everyone's always saying seize the moment? I don't know, I'm kind of thinking it's the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.'Miss. Birdman. Oh well.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading RoleMichael Keaton, Birdman
Another year, BC! This year's going cleanly to Mr. Keaton.'A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing.'Miss. Well, I am glad. Great performance by Eddie Redmayne in Theory of Everything.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading RoleJulianne Moore, Still AliceRosamund Pike, Gone GirlThe chills Rosamund Pike gives you! Goodness. I wish she won this one, but she won't.From Gone Girl: 'I'm the cunt you married. The only time you liked yourself was when you were trying to be someone this cunt might like. I'm not a quitter, I'm that cunt. I killed for you; who else can say that? You think you'd be happy with a nice Midwestern girl? No way, baby! I'm it.'Hit!
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting RoleJ.K. Simmons, Whiplash
The only thing going for Whiplash. Simmons' powerful performance made this movie worth a while. His performance took me back to when I was in school.'There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.'Hit!
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting RolePatricia Arquette, Boyhood
Boyhood could very well have been called 'Motherhood', and it would have remained as true. Patricia deserves this gold!'I just thought there would be more.'Hit! YAY!
Best Achievement in DirectingRichard Linklater, Boyhood
Please. Starting to feel a little bad for Mr. Anderson though. Maybe Mr. Anderson is destined to be seventh time lucky another year.'I finally figured it out. It's like when they realized it was gonna be too expensive to actually build cyborgs and robots. I mean, the costs of that were impossible. They decided to just let humans turn themselves into robots. That's what's going on right now. I mean, why not? They're billions of us just laying around, not really doing anything. We don't cost anything. We're even pretty good at self-maintenance and reproducing constantly. And as it turns out, we're already biologically programmed for our little cyborg upgrades. I read this thing the other day about how When you hear that ding on your inbox, you get like a dopamine rush in your brain. It's like we're being chemically rewarded for allowing ourselves to be brainwashed. How evil is that? We're fucked.'Miss. Iñárritu, Birdman. Oh well. Another year, bigger movie, Linklater!
Best Original ScreenplayBirdmanBoyhoodThis is going to be a close call, but I think Birdman will pull through in the end. Also, if it does, the Best Picture announcement is going to induce double the nervousness. Writing/Film split seldom happens. The last time this happened was with Argo (2012), and Million Dollar Baby (2005) before that.From Boyhood: 'I mean, what makes you think that elves are any more magical than something like a whale? Yoy know what I mean? What if I told you a story about how underneath the ocean, there was this giant sea mammal that used sonar and sang songs and it was so big that its heart was the size of a car and you could crawl through the arteries? I mean, you'd think that was pretty magical, right?'Hit!
Best Adapted ScreenplayThe Imitation Game
The better crop are the ones in the original writing category. The adapted is pretty non-exciting, unless American Sniper takes it because of the emotions involved.'Do you know why people like violence? It is because it feels good. Humans find violence deeply satisfying. But remove the satisfaction, and the act becomes... hollow.'Hit!
Best Animated Feature Film of the YearHow to train your Dragon 2
No nomination for The Lego Movie was really disappointing. Nothing much here.
'Some of us were just born different.'Miss. Big Hero 6. Blah. I couldn't care less without The Lego Movie nomination.
Best Achievement in CinematographyBirdmanThe Grand Budapest HotelNo nomination for Interstellar was a disappointment. A win for Grand Budapest would redeem it.'You're looking so well, darling, you really are... they've done a marvelous job. I don't know what sort of cream they've put on you down at the morgue, but... I want some.'Hit!
Best Achievement in EditingBoyhood
This is a no contest. Editing footage spanning 12 years into this masterpiece!'I find myself so furious at all these people that I am in contact with just for controlling me or whatever but you know they are not even aware they are doing it.'Miss. Whiplash. :/
Best Achievement in Production DesignThe Grand Budapest HotelInterstellarWell, I am going to pick Interstellar for whichever category it's nominated in!From Interstellar: 'Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.'Hit!
Best Achievement in Costume DesignThe Grand Budapest Hotel

'You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed that's what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant... oh, fuck it.'Hit!
Best Achievement in Makeup and HairstylingThe Grand Budapest Hotel
A lack of Theory of Everything here was a little bit surprising.'I must say, I find that girl utterly delightful. Flat as a board, enormous birthmark the shape of Mexico over half her face, sweating for hours on end in that sweltering kitchen, while Mendl, genius though he is, looms over her like a hulking gorilla. Yet without question, without fail, always and invariably, she's exceedingly lovely.'Hit!
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original ScoreInterstellar
Zimmer's score made Interstellar more grandiose than it already was. Just 1 win for him from 9 nominations, I think he can use another win, and deservedly so. Theory of Everything has a good chance of taking it away.'Those aren't mountains, they're waves.'Miss. Grand Budapest Hotel. This movie is on a roll tonight! Desplat deserved a win, nominated for 2 movies this year, and 7 before this.
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original SongSelmaThe Lego MovieI like 'Lost Stars' from Begin Again. But my pick is The Lego Movie because it was AWESOME, and these buggers did not give it a nod for Animated Feature.From The Lego Movie: 'All this is true because it rhymes.'Hit!
Best Achievement in Sound MixingInterstellar
There was a bunch of controversy around Interstellar's sound. It doesn't matter. A couple of IMAX viewings is what those buggers need.'You're telling me it takes two numbers to measure your own ass but only one to measure my son's future?'Miss. Whiplash. For not giving it to Interstellar, I tell you, Academy, "Not my tempo."
Best Achievement in Sound EditingInterstellar
see: above. Although, American Sniper might snatch this one. Also, I think Fury should have gotten a nod here.'And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us.'Miss. Sniper made a headshot at TARS.
Best Achievement in Visual EffectsInterstellar
This is a no-contest. Why are there even other nominees?!'Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.'Hit! Although it's sad that Interstellar might end its count with this.
Best Short Film, Live ActionThe Phone CallButter LampThis is the first time I got to watch all the live-action shorts before the event. Pretty great movies, all. My favorite's got to be Butter Lamp, for the sheer ingenuity of script.
Hit!
Best Short Film, AnimatedFeast
It's a dog's life.
Hit!




Total:
13 / 21


Who are you rooting for?


87th Academy Awards...

          Cris 'Cyborg' Justino earns her first UFC title with TKO of Tonya Evinger        

Cris “Cyborg” Justino spread her arms apart Saturday night after finishing her latest victim.

The pose had dual meaning, part a celebration capping Justino’s ascension to UFC champion and a look of “what took you guys so long?” to give her a crack at the belt.

In a sharp, punishing performance,...


          Fantasia ’17: Kodoku Meatball Machine        
It is sort of like Stephen King’s Under the Doom, but with gallons more gore. The director claims he used four tons of fake blood, but that sounds like a conservative estimate based on what’s on the screen. Regardless, a neighborhood filled with some of the worst people in Tokyo is in for a mutated beatdown when a cosmic bell jar cuts them off from the rest of the city in mad man Yoshihiro Nishimura’s Kodoku Meatball Machine (trailer here), which screened during the 2017 Fantasia International Film Festival.

Job never knew how good he had it, compared to poor, put-upon Yuji. The would-be debt collector is a magnet for all the neighborhood’s bullies, grifters, and freeloaders. He was already deeply in debt when he received a terminal cancer diagnosis. He is about ready to just cash-in, but he still finds himself attracted to Kaoru, the pretty girl working at his local used bookstore. Unfortunately, she is involved in an exploitative cult.

The hits just keep coming when an evil little boy in the cult frames Yuji for assaulting him. However, at least he will be safely tucked away in jail when the bell jar lands. The less “fortunate” will have embarrassing body parts sheared off by the impenetrable barrier. Once the neighborhood is cut off, some sort of space parasite starts infecting Yuji’s neighbors, turning them into rabid bio-mecha killing machines. They get to Yuji too, but he is able to maintain control of his new cyborg-like body, thanks to his cancerous blood. Old enemies become allies when the altered Yuji teams up with a dojo of ex-cops to save Kaoru from her infected guru.

Believe it or not, Nishimura actually makes us care about Yuji and Kaoru. They deserve better than they’ve ever got or are likely to get. However, the reason to see a Nishimura movie is the wildly gory practical effects and maybe some bare breasts. He does not disappoint on either score, particularly the former. Four tons worth. However, the bizarre harlequin-witches who usher in the alien occupation are devilishly intriguing, especially since they are played by Eihi Shiina, best known as the femme fatale for the ages in Takashi Miike’s Audition.

Right, at least four tons of fake blood. You can’t say you don’t know what you’re getting into with KMM. It should safely vault Nishimura past Noboru Iguchi to become the uncontested king of Japanese gore. Yet, the fact that he maintains a semblance of a human element amid all the berserk chaos is rather impressive. If you dig Nishimura, this Meatball is your huckleberry. Recommended accordingly, Kodoku Meatball Machine has another high-profile international festival screening coming up at Fright Fest UK, following its Canadian premiere at this year’s Fantasia.
          Film Review: CONGO (1995, Frank Marshall)        
Stars: 3 of 5.
Running Time: 109 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Laura Linney (THE TRUMAN SHOW, TALES OF THE CITY), Dylan Walsh (NIP/TUCK, ARCTIC BLUE), Ernie Hudson (GHOSTBUSTERS, THE CROW), Tim Curry (CLUE, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW), Grant Heslov (TRUE LIES, ENEMY OF THE STATE), Joe Don Baker (CAPE FEAR '91, CHARLEY VARRICK, MITCHELL), Mary Ellen Trainor (DIE HARD, THE GOONIES), James Karen (THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, MULHOLLAND DR.), John Hawkes (DEADWOOD, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN), Peter Jason (THEY LIVE, PRINCE OF DARKNESS), Bruce Campbell (EVIL DEAD, ARMY OF DARKNESS), Taylor Nichols (METROPOLITAN, BARCELONA), Delroy Lindo (MALCOLM X, CLOCKERS), Joe Pantoliano (MEMENTO, THE MATRIX, THE SOPRANOS), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (LOST, OZ), and a special appearance by Jimmy Buffett. Music by Jerry Goldsmith (ALIEN, GREMLINS). Edited by Anne V. Coates (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE ELEPHANT MAN, OUT OF SIGHT). Based on the novel by Michael Crichton (JURASSIC PARK, ER, WESTWORLD). Screenplay by Academy Award and Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley (DOUBT, FIVE CORNERS, MOONSTRUCK).
Tag-line: "Where YOU are the endangered species"
Best one-liner: "Are you serving that ape a martini?"

In a familiar, darkened alleyway:

"What are you smiling about?"
–"CONGO, man. CONGO."
"I don't get it."
–"1995 was a magical year. The stars aligned. You see, in 1993, Michael Crichton's JURASSIC PARK was a runaway hit. In 1994, Crichton's ER took television by storm. Also in 1994, THE LION KING became the highest-grossing animated film of all time.  Therefore, a Michael Crichton action-adventure piece, featuring a character named "Dr. Ross" (though here, it's Laura Linney, not George Clooney), involving prehistoric creatures and African wildlife should have been the blockbuster of the year... Yes, indeed, the stars aligned on behalf of CONGO. But they did not create box office gold. No, they aligned to give us a cyborg gorilla named "Amy" who wears a No Fear backpack. And I'm more than okay with that."

"This looks like a tough sell to me."
–"Aren't you always claiming to be an intellectual?"
"I don't really see how that pertains–"
–"Don't you enjoy the dramatic word, courtesy of Academy Award, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley?"
"Sure, but–"
–"Then buckle up, cause Shanley has brought an advanced toolbox of dialogue-writin' skills, and he's not afraid to use 'em. You like alliteration? You got it, brother.

There were plenty of other ways to put that potted pleasantry, but none had the proper pithy, pompous pizazz."
"Okay, you can stop."
–"They're a regular Tracy and Hepburn over here. 'Are you a pound of sugar?'"

'No, babe, I'm a primatologist.' Are you taking notes?"
"I'll not have you poking fun at a giant of the American stage on my watch."
–"I'm not poking fun. I'm praising him. For instance, only a giant of the American stage could imbue a speech about monkeys in heat with such fluency and pop-culture poetry..."




"What's going on here? Is that Ernie Hudson? What are you trying to do to me?"
–"I'm not trying to do anything. Ernie Hudson, however, is trying his damnedest to save this picture. And, somehow, with his jocular demeanor and that measured twinkle in his eye––he almost succeeds.

As the dashing freelance adventurer 'Munro Kelly,' he uses Cary Grant-inspired over-enunciation and Clark Gable-ish flair to saturate the film with old Hollywood flavor.

Don't you just want to hang out with Ernie Hudson? Maybe he deserves a spin-off film that doesn't traffic in 3-D glasses and cyborg gorillas."

"Tell me there are good action sequences, at least."
–"I think any '90s action-adventure film is defined by its setpieces. Who can forget the storm drain chase from TERMINATOR 2, the hospital climax in HARD BOILED, the Keanu vs. Swayze foot race in POINT BREAK...? Well, in CONGO, who can ever forget the heart-stopping hippo-attack scene?"


"Okay."
–"Or this setpiece, which is almost a shot-for-shot remake of the Xenomorph perimeter attack scene from ALIENS, complete with automated gun turrets that are dangerously low on ammo?"





"So you've amply demonstrated CONGO's mediocrity. So what? I'm fairly certain everyone knew that already. Now you're just slandering John Patrick Shanley and making me feel bad for Ernie Hudson. What's the point of all this?"
–"You know me better than that. You know I devote myself to the subtle beauty of things like... Joe Don Baker screaming 'I NEED THOSE DIAMONDS!'"


"I can see that sort of thing in MITCHELL, JOYSTICKS, or CAPE FEAR '91."
–"But can you see an ape drinking a martini on a transcontinental flight?"
"Uh..."
–"Can you always see a soupçon of well-meaning-but-disappointed James Karen?"

"Well..."
–"Or Joe 'Joey Pants' Pantoliano in a silly, uncredited, Hawaiian shirt-heavy role that essentially paraphrases Hunter S. Thompson?"
"Er..."
–"Or Bruce Campbell being terrorized by a camera-angle, straight out of EVIL DEAD?"

"I must admit, I'm intrigued."
–"Good. Let me raise you one bug-eyed, unbridled Tim Curry."
"My God. Are you ser–"
–"With an inconsistent Romanian accent, no less. Perhaps you'd like to see him eating sesame cake like a boss while an uncredited Delroy Lindo vocally disapproves?"

"This movie is a veritable roller coaster of human emotion."
–"Then you'll simply love this tender moment between Whit Stillman-standby Taylor Nichols and Bruce Campbell just prior to their horrific deaths at the hands of prehistoric albino gorillas."

"I'm speechless. Does this fit into the Stillman-verse? Is it supposed to be post-LAST DAYS OF DISCO?"
–"That'll be a question for the film historians. Finally, how do you feel about journeyman character actor and eventual Oscar nominee John Hawkes showing up for one scene where his only purpose is to wake up and scream 'AHHHH!' before he expires?"

"That's not even an 'under-five,' I don't think."
–"You're darn tootin', it's not. So how do you feel about CONGO now?"
"Eh, honestly, I think I'll just stick with JURASSIC PARK."
–"Alright. I have one last concept for you to wrap your narrow mind around. What about a Laura Linney action-movie one-liner?"
"It'd have to be a pretty good one-liner. Shanley would have to bring his A-game. It'd have to be as morally complex as DOUBT, with the pastoral poignancy of OUTSIDE MULLIGAR, and the quiet desperation of PSYCHOPATHIA SEXUALIS."
–"Sure, sure. What if I told you there was a not only a Linney-zinger worthy of all that, but that it was accompanied by an albino gorilla-blasting laser gun?"
"I'd want to hear it spoken aloud."
–"Okay. So during a climactic moment of quiet desperation, mid-prehistoric-albino-gorilla-onslaught, Laura Linney brandishes a diamond-powered space laser. Ernie Hudson asks her what she intends to do about the prehistoric albino gorilla situation.

And then Linney, with a poetic sensibility worthy of the American stage that brought us Arthur Miller and Eugene O'Neill (or at least Golden Era Schwarzenegger) says:


PEWWWWWWWWWW

Now what do you have to say about that?"
"Fine. You win. We can watch CONGO."
–"That's all I ever wanted. Now how's about a double feature with another great '90s primate flick, MONKEY TROUBLE, with Harvey Keitel and Thora Birch?"
"Don't push your luck, pal."
          First Trailer for José Padilha’s ‘Robocop’ Remake Starring Joel Kinnaman (With HD Stills)        
Sony has released the first trailer for José Padilha’s Robocop remake starring Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, & Gary Oldman. A “reimagining” of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 classic, the film centers on a fatally wounded cop who returns to the force as a powerful cyborg with submerged memories haunting him. Abbie Cornish, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel […]
          Eatbrain Podcast 028 by Gydra        

Микс записанный в качестве подкаста для лейбла Eatbrain, в рамках нашего релиза на нем:
promodj.com/GydraMusic/groups/… 


          Entrevista a Neil Harbisson        
Artista, músico y cyborg transespecie, Neil Harbisson es una de esas personas que son como una ventana al futuro de nuestro especie. De hecho, según él, hace tiempo que dejó de ser humano.
          Friedrich Kittler's Technosublime        
by
Bruce Clarke
1999-12-30

In the 1970s a number of texts came into English translation bearing titles with a 1-2-3 punch, mixing exemplary authors with generic modes and methodological issues; for instance, Roland Barthes’s Sade, Fourier, Loyola and Image, Music, Text, containing the essays “Diderot, Brecht, Eisenstein” and “Writers, Intellectuals, Teachers,” and Michel Foucault’s Language, Counter-Memory, Practice with the essay “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History.” The title Gramophone, Film, Typewriter, a cognate translation of the German, echoes these theoretical signatures. Matt Kirschenbaum tries his hand at this with “Media, Geneology, History,” his review of Bolter and Grusin

In Gramophone, Film, Typewriter Kittler contrasts the restriction of Foucault’s discourse theory to textual archives with his own wider media band, in which phonographic and cinematic data streams decenter the channel of literary writing. But his commentators agree that Kittler’s “media discourse theory” follows from Foucault as the prime member of the triumvirate Foucault, Lacan, Derrida. Lacan runs a close second. Kittler writes: “Lacan was the first (and last) writer whose book titles only described positions in the media system. The writings were called Writings, the seminars, Seminar, the radio interview, Radiophonie, and the TV broadcast, Television ” (170). Gramophone, Film, Typewriter partakes of this same postsymbolic media literalism.

I write about Kittler from the standpoint of a scholar of British and American literature who dropped from the tree of Columbia’s core humanities curriculum to the seed-bed of canonical romanticism and modernism and the theory culture of the 1970s and 1980s, then passed through the forcing house of literature and science in the 1990s, to arrive at the threshold of contemporary media studies. In the process I seem to have become posthuman, but Kittler’s work reassures me that I had no choice in the matter: “media determine our situation” (xxxix). Kittler parlays high poststructuralism into a historical media theory that humbles the subject of humanistic hermeneutics by interpellation into the discrete material channels of communication. Media studies bids to become a hegemonic site within the new academic order of a wired culture. For Kittler, media determine our posthumanity and have been doing so in technological earnest at least since the phonograph broke the storage monopoly of writing.

As a kind of media theory of History, a requiem and good-riddance for the era of so-called Man, Gramophone, Film, Typewriter transmits the tenor of its own historical moment. The German edition appeared in 1986, the year after the opening of MIT’s Media Lab and the release of Talking Heads’ post-hermeneutic concert film and album Stop Making Sense. Other resonant events in American culture include the publication of William Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984), Donna Haraway’s Manifesto for Cyborgs (1985), and Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy (1987-89). Memories and premonitions of mushroom clouds loomed over these three speculative and/or scholarly scenarios published during the final decade of the Cold War; each text imagines the form of a posthuman or post-nuclear world. Gramophone, Film, Typewriter posits its posthumanity on the premise that the Strategic Defense Initiative has already set off the fireworks, that the future is always already a prequel to Star Wars. The text begins with the observation that optical fiber networks are “immune…to the bomb. As is well known, nuclear blasts send an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) through the usual copper cables, which would infect all connected computers” (1), and the book ends with before-and-after photos of Hiroshima (262).

Many of Kittler’s sublime effects result from a kind of hyperbolic digitality, i.e., all-or-nothing assertions pressing seemingly local instances into global histories. For instance, Kittler is fond of audacious chronologies that parody the popular media’s demand for appearances of journalistic exactitude: “around 1880 poetry turned into literature” (14), or “around 1900, love’s wholeness disintegrates into the partial objects of particular drives” (70). One thinks of Virginia Woolf’s famous dictum: “in or about December, 1910, human character changed,” and, thanks to Kittler, perhaps now we know why. A related rhetorical scheme mediating the grand transformations of modernism is the from/to formation: “literature defects from erotics to stochastics, from red lips to white noise” (51), or as combined with an audacious chronology: “from imagination to data processing, from the arts to the particulars of information technology and physiology - that is the historic shift of 1900” (73). Again, and as the volume is coming to a conclusion with the arrival of Turing’s universal computer, “the hypothetical determinism of a Laplacian universe, with its humanist loopholes (1795), was replaced by the factual predictability of finite-state machines” (245).

Kittler wrote Gramophone, Film, Typewriter just as chaos theory was arriving to throw a wrench into such stark digital determinism, precisely through the operational finitude as well as non-linear iterations of “finite-state machines.” As John von Neumann pointed out in 1948 in “The General and Logical Theory of Automata,” digital computers could produce perfect results, “as long as the operation of each component produced only fluctuations within its preassigned tolerance limits” (294). But, von Neumann continued, even so, computational error is reintroduced by the lack of the infinite digits necessary to carry out all calculations with perfect precision. Kittler melodramatizes Turing’s work, it seems to me, because he is captivated by the towering image of an informatic colossus.

Such an all-determining and inescapable imago of media induces a productive critical paranoia. The media are always already watching us, putting their needles into our veins: “humans change their position - they turn from the agency of writing to become an inscription surface” (210). Neuromancer ‘s Wintermute is everywhere, or as Kittler phrases it, “data flows…are disappearing into black holes and…bidding us farewell on their way to nameless high commands” (xxxix). At the same time, he enables one to see the particular and pandemic pathologies of modern paranoia precisely as psychic effects driven by the panoptic reach of media technologies in their surveillance and punishment modes. Not for nothing is the apocalypse according to Schreber’s Memoirs a prophetic book of prominent proportions in Kittler’s media cosmos.

In Gramophone, Film, Typewriter the objects of science are subsumed into the will-to-power of media technology. By way of contrast, despite his coinage of “technoscience” to underscore the sociological inextricability of the two, Bruno Latour sorts science and technology into separate treatments and preserves their disciplinary and epistemological distinctions. Yet one should not see Kittler falling under Latour’s blanket indictment of (Baudrillardian) postmodernism: “Instead of moving on to empirical studies of the networks that give meaning to the work of purification it denounces, postmodernism rejects all empirical work as illusory and deceptively scientistic” (Latour 46). Kittler busts open the realm of the real to examine the nonsymbolic and nonimaginary residues of communication technology, all that which cannot be posted: “Bodies themselves generate noise. And the impossible real transpires” (Kittler 46). Where Latour finds the proliferating quasi-objects of mediation, Kittler finds the literal networks of communications media.

For the most part Kittler elides the history of physics concurrent with his media history - the cross-over from late-classical determinism to statistical mechanics, from thermodynamic entropy to information entropy. On the one hand, he scants the ether and the electromagnetic field theories which made possible many developments from analog to digital processing, and from pre-electrical storage technology (photography, phonography) to broadcast transmission (radio, television), electronic storage and manipulation (tape deck, video camera), and digital computation (microprocessor, fiber optic cable) technologies. But on the other hand, that lacuna has opened the door for major efforts among Kittler’s German and American scholarly associates, including the editors of Stanford’s Writing Science series, who have both midwived Kittler’s delivery into North American discourse and paralleled Kittler’s media emphasis with research projects that bring to science studies a thoroughgoing “materiality of communication.”

“Once the technological differentiation of optics, acoustics, and writing exploded Gutenberg’s writing monopoly around 1880, the fabrication of so-called Man became possible” (16). I take it that the “fabrication” in question here is not the discursive construction of the humanist subject but the simulation of its spiritual activities by media devices. One notes Kittler’s detour around physics in the continuation of this passage: so-called Man’s “essence escapes into apparatuses…. And with this differentiation - and not with steam engines and railroads - a clear division occurs between matter and information, the real and the symbolic” (16). Missing from this formulation is the mode of energy, which would correspond by structural default to the Lacanian register of the imaginary. Indeed, Kittler runs up against numerous phantasmagorias of energy, but elides them by metonymic reification in media receivers and inscription devices.

The phantasmagorias of energy I have in mind are those that emanated from the nineteenth-century wave theories connecting the physics of optics and acoustics through an analogy between vibratory media - the air and the luminiferous ether. As sanctioned by the first law of thermodynamics, i.e., the conservation and interconvertibility of energy, the optical imaginary of ether waves is easily displaced to sound waves propagated through the air. We see this concatenation and transposition of physical and technological media in a delightful short story by Salomo Friedlaender, “Goethe Speaks into the Phonograph” (1916), which Kittler republishes in its entirety.

Friedlaender’s comic narrator unveils the thoughts of Professor Abnossah Pschorr, Edisonian inventor-extraordinaire of media gadgetry: “When Goethe spoke, his voice produced vibrations…. These vibrations encounter obstacles and are reflected, resulting in a to and fro which becomes weaker in the passage of time but which does not actually cease” (60). Pschorr extends to the air trapped in Goethe’s study a hypothetical characteristic much discussed in the late nineteenth-century popularization of the ether, its cosmic storage capacity. For instance, in 1875 British thermodynamicists Balfour Stewart and P. G. Tait wrote that the luminiferous ether

may only be an arrangement in virtue of which our universe keeps up a memory of the past at the expense of the present…. A picture of the sun may be said to be travelling through space with an inconceivable velocity, and, in fact, continual photographs of all occurrences are thus produced and retained. A large portion of the energy of the universe may thus be said to be invested in such pictures (156).

While rehearsing the same imaginary accessing of physical (as opposed to technological) media archives, Kittler leaves unmentioned the contemporary vogue connecting the spirits of the dead to the storage and transmission capacities of the luminiferous ether. Kittler cites from another (unnamed) Friedlaender story the assertion that “all the waves of all bygone events are still oscillating in space…. All that happens falls into accidental, unintentional receivers. It is stored, photographed, and phonographed by nature itself,” and comments, “Loyally and deliriously, Friedlaender’s philosophy follows in the wake of media technology” (77). But it also follows from prior scientistic anticipations of new storage capacities projected onto the ether medium. In an 1884 discussion of ether as a surface that forms at the interface of the third and fourth dimensions of space, hyperspace theorist Charles Howard Hinton completed this technoscientific circuit by conceiving the ether medium itself as a cosmic phonograph:

For suppose the æther, instead of being perfectly smooth, to be corrugated, and to have all manner of definite marks and furrows. Then the earth, coming in its course round the sun on this corrugated surface would behave exactly like the phonograph behaves. In the case of the phonograph the indented metal sheet is moved past the metal point attached to the membrane. In the case of the earth it is the indented æther which remains still while the material earth slips along it. Corresponding to each of the marks in the æther there would be a movement of matter, and the consistency and laws of the movements of matter would depend on the predetermined disposition of the furrows and indentations of the solid surface along which it slips (196-97).

My point is that the multiplicity of the concept of “media” extends beyond its particular technological instantiations to include both scientific and spiritualistic registers. A history of media could concern itself as well with the luminiferous ether and the Anima Mundi, the subtle fluids and strange angels that intermingled with the departed souls and trick shots of phonography and cinema; but for the most part, Kittler displaces this business to premodernist media:

the invention of the Morse alphabet in 1837 was promptly followed by the tapping specters of spiritistic seances sending their messages from the realm of the dead. Promptly as well, photographic plates - even and especially those taken with the camera shutter closed - furnished reproductions of ghosts or specters (12).

The telegraph and daguerreotype remain outside Gramophone, Film, Typewriter’s primary historical field. Even here, however, the Kittler effect opens up research corridors by insisting on the material basis, and thus empirical examinability, of the media that mediate the cultural imaginary: “The realm of the dead is as extensive as the storage and transmission capabilities of a given culture” (13).

Beyond that I have nothing but admiration for this volume. Kittler’s fundamental derivation of Lacan’s real, imaginary, and symbolic from the data channels of phonograph, cinema, and typewriter is an astonishing theoretical event. It offers a comprehensive reading of psychoanalysis into technoscience that grows more convincing the more one gets acclimated to Kittler’s methods of channel processing across the cybernetic bridge from the nervous system and its “psychic apparatus” to the Aufschreibesysteme of his media discourse networks. In this reading, the hallucinatory powers and spiritual effects of literature derived from a storage-and-transmission monopoly that could only funnel and traduce the real and the imaginary into the narrow band of the symbolic. As the translators remark in their excellent Introduction: “in short, people were programmed to operate upon media in ways that enabled them to elide the materialities of communication” (xxii). It is both exhilarating and disquieting to submit to Kittler’s deprogramming. But the institutional regimes that sustained the privileges of literary discourse networks (and of us who still inhabit them) are increasingly caught up in the media transformations Kittler describes. The daemonic angel of our history is being driven by the electronic differentiation and digital reintegration of data flows.

At another level, Kittler passes on a wealth of useful engineering expertise: matters of time-axis manipulation from Edison to Jimi Hendrix; the historical mathematics of music and sound: “Overtones are frequencies…. Intervals and chords, by contrast, were ratios” (24); the non-negligible difference between a phonograph and a gramophone (the latter is restricted to playback, the former also records); the physical differences between acoustic and optical waves, such that “cuts stood at the beginning of visual data processing but entered acoustic data processing only at the end” (117-18); the reasons why the first mass-produced typewriters were developed for blind people by arms manufacturers; the pervasive loops between warfare and media, e.g., the revolving cylinder that unites typewriters, film-projectors, and machine-guns, and the collusion of the piano, the typewriter, and Turing’s universal computer; the enigmas of the Enigma machine.

And then, in the midst of this media mayhem, a canny persuasion - a literary core of archival gems. In addition to valuable translations of Friedlaender’s “Goethe Speaks into the Phonograph” and “Fata Morgana Machine” (which limns the eversion of virtual reality eighty years before Marcos Novak), this volume also contains complete texts of Jean-Marie Guyau’s “Memory and Phonograph” (1880); Rilke’s amazing meditation on the phonograph, “Primal Sound” (1919); Maurice Renard’s audio phantasms in “Death and the Shell” (1907); the sonnet “ ‘Radio Wave,’ which the factory carpenter Karl August Düppengiesser of Stolberg submitted to Radio Cologne in 1928”; Richard A. Bermann’s spoof of the sex war between male poets and female typists “Lyre and Typewriter” (1913); and Carl Schmitt’s facetious but telling “world history of inscription,” “The Buribunks: A Historico-Philosophical Meditation” (1918).

In sum, ranging over literature, music and opera from Wagner to acid rock, philosophy, cinema, psychoanalysis classical and structural, history, mathematics, communications technology, and computer science, Kittler’s broadband scholarly panoptics afford a sublime techno-discursive vista, and in particular a point of lucid observation on the ongoing relativization of literary production. Kittler transposes Kant’s mathematical sublime into the mechanical transcendence of communications technology over individual subjects, displacing human psychology into machine being, setting off repeated implosions by which so-called Man is apocalypsed into infinite media loops. His high-prophetic meld of Lacan’s laconism and Zarathustra’s hammer facilitates a neuromantic network of discursive intensities. Under the conditions of technological mediation, however, theory remains viable, or inevitable. Ineluctably funneled through the “bottleneck of the signifier” (4) but pieced out with a tremendous portfolio of period graphics, Kittler’s illuminated writings operate a machine aesthetic tooled to the posthumanist discursivities of his intellectual heroes, but going beyond them to place the stylus of technology on the groove of inscripted bodies.

—————————————————————

works cited

Butler, Octavia. Xenogenesis: Dawn, Adulthood Rites, Imago. New York: Warner, 1987-89.

Gibson, William. Neuromancer. New York: Ace, 1984.

Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich, and K. Ludwig Pfeiffer, eds. Materialities of Communication. Trans. William Whobrey. Standford: Stanford UP, 1994.

Haraway, Donna. “A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s.” Socialist Review 80 (1985): 65-108.

Hinton, Charles Howard. “A Picture of Our Universe.” Scientific Romances, 1st series. London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1886; reprint 1st and 2nd series. New York: Arno Press, 1976. 1:161-204.

Johnston, John. “Friedrich Kittler: Media Theory After Poststructuralism.” Kittler 2-26.

Kittler, Friedrich. Literature, Media, Information Systems: Essays. Ed. John Johnston. Amsterdam: G+B Arts International, 1997.

Latour, Bruno. We Have Never Been Modern. Trans. Catherine Porter. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1993.

Lenoir, Timothy, ed. Inscribing Science: Scientific Texts and the Materiality of Communication. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1998.

Schreber, Daniel Paul. Memoirs of my Nervous Illness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1988.

Stewart, Balfour, and P.G. Tait. The Unseen Universe or Physical Speculations on a Future State. New York: Macmillan, 1875.

Wellbery, David E. Foreword. Friedrich A. Kittler. Discourse Networks 1800/1900. Trans. Michael Metteer and Chris Cullens. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1990. vii-xxxiii.

Winthrop-Young, Geoffrey, and Michael Wutz. “Translators’ Introduction: Friedrich Kittler and Media Discourse Analysis.” In Kittler, Gramophone, Film, Typewriter, xi-xxxviii.

von Neumann, John. The General and Logical Theory of Automata. In Collected Works. Ed. A. H. Taub. 5 vols. New York: Pergamon Press, 1961-63. 5:288-328.

Woolf, Virginia. “Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown.” The Gender of Modernism. Ed. Bonnie Kime Scott. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1990. 634-41.


          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 07-05-2017 with Michael Buck        
Playlist:

Morning Teleportation- Rise And Fall - Salivating For Symbiosis
- voicebreak -
Citrus Clouds- Always Tomorrow - Imagination
Beach Fossils- Sugar - Somersault
Forest Swords- Raw Language - Compassion
Nym- Light Catcher - Lilac Chaser
Aldous Harding- Party - Party
- voicebreak -
Monoswezi- Esta Bem - A Je
Nina Miranda- Silken Horse - Freedom Of Movement
The Mountain Goats- Shelved - Goths
Kevin Morby- City Music - City Music
Palm- Walkie Talkie - Shadow Expert EP
Harriet Brown- Cryptid - Contact
- voicebreak -
Lea Porcelain- Out Is In - HYMNS TO THE NIGHT
The Black Angels- I Dreamt - Death Song
Freelsds Badtrip- Gallop - Freelsds Badtrip EP
The Buttertones- Geishas Gaze - Gravedigging
Evolfo- Frank The Fiddler - Last Of The Acid Cowboys
The Afghan Whigs- Arabian Heights - In Spades
- voicebreak -
Vieux Farka Tour- Ouaga - Samba
Mux Mool- Sympathy - Implied Lines
House And Land- The Day Is Past And Gone - House And Land
Perfume Genius- Slip Away - No Shape
Nicole Mitchell- Forestwall Timewalk - Mandorla Awakening II Emerging Worlds
Triptides- What For - Afterglow
Thunder Dreamer- The Bridge - Capture
- voicebreak -
Fujiya Miyagi- RSI - Fujiya Miyagi
Cody ChesnuTT- Africa The Future - My Love Divine Degree
Coldcut OnU Sound- Aztec Riddim feat Adrian Sherwood - Outside The Echo Chamber
Negritage- Kyrenia Dreams - Greetings From The Planet Dub
Chastity Belt- Different Now - I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone
Dan Auerbach- Cherrybomb - Waiting On A Song
- voicebreak -
King Gizzard The Lizard Wizard- Welcome To An Altered Future - Murder Of The Universe
King Gizzard The Lizard Wizard- Digital Black - Murder Of The Universe
King Gizzard The Lizard Wizard- HanTyumi The Confused Cyborg - Murder Of The Universe
Dream Machine- The Illusion - The Illusion
Sandy Alex G- Guilty - Rocket
Branson Anderson- Talldog - Graydog
Contry- Cash Out - Cell Phone 1
Deep State- Infinitesimals - Thought Garden


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2017-07-05
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 06-05-2017 with Jamie Morgan        
Playlist:

Boxcutter- Glyphic - Glyphic
The Books- A Cold Freezin Night - The Way Out
Mount Kimbie- Carbonated - Crooks Lovers
DJ Nate- Footwurk Homicide - Da Trak Genious
DJ Nate- Ima Dog - Bangs Works Vol 1 A Chicago Footwork Compilation
DJ Taye- Burnin Ya Boa feat DJ Manny - Move Out EP
Beach Fossils- Down The Line - Somersault
Constrobuz- Cant Be Friends - Cyborg Kama Sutra
Rheteric Ramirez- Ignore Armor - Single
Clark- Vengeance Drools - Body Riddle
Nick Hook- Sirens with ElP Rood - Without You
Juvenile- Ha - 400 Degreez
Fluxxy- Ay Can I Tell U Somting - Last Things First EP
Oh No- Adventure - Dr Nos Ethiopium
Dr Yen Lo- Day 3 - Days With Dr Yen Lo
Pussy Riot- Organs - Xxx EP
Dark Time Sunshine- Take My Hand feat Swamburger Aesop Rock - Anx
Eyedea Abilities- This Story - By The Throat
Curta- Planned Obsolete - Clickbait
Aesop Rock- Kirby - The Impossible Kid
Hail Mary Mallon- Garfield - Are You Gonna Eat That Deluxe Edition
Flying Lotus- LTWXRMX - Shhh
CULP- SHAVEDWOOKIE - Marineland
Gold Panda- Quitters Raga - Companion
Constrobuz- Not Out - Beats Vol 2
- voicebreak -
Hudson Mohawke- Star Of A Story - Hudsons Heeters Vol 1 06
Crooklyn Dodgers 95- Return Of The Crooklyn Dodgers Radio Edit Clean Version - Return Of The Crooklyn Dodgers
Aesop Rock- Crows 2 - Skelethon
3LLL- A I R F O R T R E S S - M E T A L
3LLL- L E A D S T O R M - M E T A L
Eraserhead Fuckers- Fung - Single
Andrew Jackson Jihad- The Michael Jordan Of Drunk Driving - Knife Man
Bleep Bloop- Water On Mars - The EP With Five Eyes
- voicebreak -
Eprom- Super Fx - Halflife
The Gibbs- Youll Never Understand Me - Youll Never Understand Me
Eraserhead Fuckers- Loma Prieta - Loma Prieta
WuTang Clan- Triumph - Disciples Of The 36 Chambers Chapter 1
Raekwon- Glaciers Of Ice feat Masta Killa Ghostface Killah - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
Pharoahe Monch- Simon Says - Internal Affairs
Killer Mike- Reagan - RAP Music
Volume 10- Pistol Grip Pump - Hip Hopera
Prefuse 73- The End Of Biters International - One Word Extinguisher
Taquwami- The Gathering - Moyas
Taquwami- Otogi Bass - Moyas
Jonwayne- Time Trial - Bowser
Andre Nickatina- Dice Of Life The Battle - Conversation With A Devil
DJ Shadow- Organ Donor - Endtroducing Deluxe Edition
000 534 Mr Muthafuckin EXquire Ft Despot Das Racist Danny Brown ELP- The Last Huzzah Remix - The Last Huzzah
DJ Shadow- Midnight In A Perfect World - Endtroducing


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2017-06-05
          captain cyborg strikes again        

really interesting day today. Paul and i met up with Prof. Kevin Warwick - yeah that Kevin Warwick, it was utterly bizarre that someone so important would be willing to come and talk to me for an hour in a Starbucks. but he was great - a really friendly, genuine bloke who pretty much seems allied to the biohacker community in that he's aiming for knowledge via self-experimentation just as we are (the difference being obviously that he's got access to facilities and surgeons and all that). he pointed out that while there's a lot of things he can do that one of us couldn't, there's also a lot of things we can do that he isn't permitted to - we're not bound by ethical committee approval, we're not going to get in potential trouble with professional associations for experimenting. because research scientists and biohackers each get different kinds of experiments done, we can learn from each other's results and share the information which will benefit future experiments on both fronts.

it was only a short chat but i was really pleased to be able to talk shop with someone genuinely interested in the biohacking world who can also give as much tips and information as i could (a lot more in fact). i would love to be able to share information, resources etc with the research world - even if that means not having very many resources to share that are material, i think biohackers could definitely share a lot of experiential information (what did not work as well as what did work was one thing KW mentioned as being useful, in that it lays a groundwork for someone who has access to good medical facilities to improve on the procedure). i would really love for there to be more of this sort of (even informal) info-sharing in the future. i think we could have a real effect on the research world, and vice versa.

on the documentary side of things, Paul travelled up to Reading University to do a filmed interview with Prof. Warwick a couple of days ago - he says he is disappointed about the slightly fuzzy sound quality but the actual interview content is great. we were sort of expecting KW to be on the "biohacking is a bad idea" side of things owing to some articles i remembered reading but this turned out to be wildly inaccurate. he did say he routinely gets misquoted, badly edited or misunderstood by various media sources (i remembered one newspaper thing in particular more or less telling readers that his Brain Gate project enabled him to communicate telepathically with his wife, so in all honesty i probably should have expected that) & assumed this was probably the reason i was horribly misinformed about his stance. so there will be a segment with Kevin Warwick in the documentary, plus some very kindly donated archival footage of his prior experiments - i've seen the interview already & thought it was pretty boss so hopefully you all do too when it eventually comes out. all in all it was really good getting to talk to him, i really appreciated it.

carpe corporem

L
          Assistir 8º Homem – O Policial do Futuro Dublado        
Assistir Online Dublado – DVDRIP     Sinopse Após o assassinato do policial Hazuma, surge o Oitavo Homem – um misterioso cyborg elaborado a partir da mais alta tecnologia, para ocupar seu lugar no combate ao crime e a violência. Nesse cenário futurista e estremamente violento, ele trava batalhas com uma gangue cibernética que no […]
          The Pseudoscientists Episode 127: Lactic Acid Shakes        

Podcast Feature Image 2 scale

Jack is joined by returning guest Upulie Divisekera to freak out about electric bacteria and why they might be able to turn us into cyborgs, how an anti-GMO activist royally screwed up, and the essentiality of respiration.
          4 Wallpaper One Piece Cyborg Franky HD Terbaru 2016        
Supeeeeeeeeerrrrrr, Ya pada kesempatan kali ini saya akan membagikan Wallpaper anggota One Piece yang lainnya yaitu Wallpaper Franky sang cyborg. Franky adalah manusia setengah robot yang menjadi bagian mekanik kapal di crew mugiwara.  Cyborg Franky awalnya adalah musuh dari Bajak Laut Topi jerami, tetapi setelah kejadian di Enies Loby saat menyelamatkan Robin, Luffy ingin Franky […]
          Comment on Hatched Pt 9 by diabeeties cyborg        
Oh, so Jess now you LIKE book again? Make up your mind, Jess! I think she just enjoys being contradictory.
           A multimodal smartphone interface for active perception by visually impaired         
Bellotto, Nicola (2013) A multimodal smartphone interface for active perception by visually impaired. In: IEEE SMC Int. Workshop on Human-Machine Systems, Cyborgs and Enhancing Devices (HUMASCEND), 13 Oct 2013, Manchester, UK.
          ÐœÐ°ÑÑ‚урбатор Fleshlight Freaks Cyborg (Киборг)        
У многих мужчин есть невыполнимая мечта - заняться сексом с женщиной-роботом, которая способна любить на самом высоком техническом уровне. Но теперь есть, по крайней мере, "самая важная" часть этого робота. Fleshlight представляет кибер вагину Fleshlight Cyborg в рамках серии Fleshlight Freaks.Вагина киборга технически выглядит замечательно и была разработана с большим вниманием к деталям. Она создавалась из самых красивых естественных отверстий Fleshlight, чтоб предложить миру технически идеальную вагину. Кроме того, во внутреннем канале, высокотехнологичная тема была продолжена. Внутри Вы встретите интересную смесь различных ребристых текстур, которые были объединены друг с другом.Внутренний канал Cyborg является мульти-камерной системой, состоящая из четырех частей. Первая камера составляет примерно35 мм в длину с диаметром 14 - 12 мм, внутри корой имеются пять поперечных ребер разного диаметра. Вторая камера 35 мм в длину с диаметром до 15 мм. На верхней и нижней поверхности камеры две овальные ребристые области с относительно широкими швами. Эти продольные швы продолжаться до третьей камеры, ее длина 55 мм и диаметр 16 мм. Это самая большая камера, она также имеет две овальные ребристые области на верхней и нижней поверхностях . Боковые стенки (левая и правая ) являются гладкими. Последняя камера имеет размер 35 х 15 мм и немного меньше текстурировна относительно предыдущей.Входное отверстие: Необычное Текстура: Cyborg (Киборг) Материал: Real Feel Super Skin® Цвет материала: Розовый Характеристики: Пробник лубриканта в комплекте (5 мл) Размер в упаковке: 250мм х 100мм х 100мм Производитель: Fleshlight International Страна производства: Испания
          Baile de mariposas - Lola Sanabria        


          Making Senses: How Biohackers Are Using Artificial Perceptions to Enhance Reality        

Most of us are content to use our existing five senses to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch our way through the world. But an increasing number of people called biohackers are not satisfied with watching the everyday brilliance of a sunset or petting a silky kitten. They want infrared vision and electromagnetic fingertips.

“Why wouldn't I want to add one more sense to the ones I already have and enjoy so much? The ability to feel just a little bit more?” Nic Fox asked reporter Catherine Girardeau. Fox has a device embedded in his chest that vibrates when he faces magnetic north.

To understand more about these would-be cyborgs we turned to Kara Platoni, author of We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception, One Sense at a Time. Platoni is a science reporter and a lecturer at University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She describes how many biohackers feel the future hasn’t gotten here fast enough. They’re ready to be cyborgs now.

Show Clock

00:03 Intro
03:10 The North Sense
13:12 Interview with author Kara Platoni

Credits

Hosts: Michal Meyer and Bob Kenworthy
Guest: Kara Platoni
Reporter: Catherine Girardeau
Producer:  Mariel Carr
Associate Producer: Rigoberto Hernandez

Music

Music courtesy of the Audio Network.


          Community Writing Challenge - Overwatch Episodes        

Hey everyone!

This week's community writing challenge is as follows.

Community Writing Challenge: What game featuring only, or prominently, multiplayer deserves a single-player mode?

Overwatch is an insanely popular multiplayer game. In fact, it's pretty much the multiplayer game right now. For better or worse, it's completely overshadowed past, present, and upcoming competition, at least for the foreseeable future.

No success is without its shortcomings, and Overwatch has its share of dings in the armor. Balancing issues and a frustrating loot system are often the centers of communal complaint. However, one of the more interesting desires expressed by the community is a better way for players to see more of their favorite hero.

See, Overwatch's characters are awesome. All 22 of them. Blizzard made a few shorts and trailers, each filled to the brim with backstory and quirky mannerisms. The gameplay adds even more characterization with unlockable skins, emotes, and in-game banter. For gamers like me, who tirelessly crave to see more story, these are placeholders provided by a game that could do so much more to flesh out the heroes I love.

Remember those shorts I mentioned earlier? Each one provides some much needed backstory and personifies the hero. We vaguely know what drives the lucky few with accompanying trailers. Genji and Hanzo are entangled in a brotherly love-hate dance of death. Winston is a super-smart primate aching for a peaceful world. Widowmaker just loves killing people in the coolest way possible. But even these shorts are too brief.

I think Blizzard could go one step further. The current game's tutorial features Soldier: 76 but does little to help players understand his character or how the other 21 heroes work. I want them to build tutorial 'episodes.' Each character would have its own tutorial mini-story, complete with opening short and solo gameplay. After finishing each episode, players could understand the basics of each character's mechanics and motivations. Each episode would be comprised of one level or series of short combat scenarios.

Players would fight as Bastion during the Omnic Crisis. We would see his death and eventual rebirth as the sympathetic, tantrum-inducing wrecking ball we love and hate. Torbjorn, the memorable dwarf/midget/cyborg in his testing labs. Here, he showcases his mechanical inventions to employers, Overwatch soldiers...and his enemies. We could briefly play through Mercy's experiences as a battle medic before, during, and after Overwatch's employment.

After each tutorial episode, the player would know more about their favorite heroes. They'd also know how to play them, and set themselves to mastering the characters in the crucible of online combat.

________________________________________________________________________________

What game featuring only, or prominently, multiplayer deserves a single-player mode? Let us know in a Community Writing Challenge blog or in the comments below.

Cheers everyone, and Happy Gaming!


          Will an artificially intelligent robot steal your job?        
With the recent rise of the machines and robots - could an artificially intelligent robot take your job any time soon? And could they then take over the world, terminator-style? Join Graihagh Jackson as she journies into the world of cyborgs to see if Skynet, Ex Machina and the realms of science fiction could turn into science fact and if so, when? And what can we do about it...
          Mind Meets Machine        
Where do you stand on becoming part person, part machine? This week we hook up with three pioneers in the field of cybernetics including walking cyborg Kevin Warwick, who volunteered his own nervous system to test out a new way to connect up with the machine world, Markus Groppe, who is trialling an implantable chip to restore vision to the blind, and Andrew Schwartz who's developing neural interfaces to couple the brain's motor circuits to a robot. Plus, news of an H5N1 'flu furore as scientists create the most dangerous virus imaginable, and a voyage to the deepest subsea vents ever discovered...
          Manifiesto Cyborg – Donna Haraway        
El Manifiesto Cyborg, considerado un hito en el desarrollo de la teoría del feminismo posthumanista, critica las nociones tradicionales de feminismo, particularmente los enfoques feministas en políticas identitarias, y promueve en reemplazo una coalición a través de afinidad. La metáfora del cyborg llama a las feministas a moverse más allá de los conceptos tradicionales de género, feminismo y política.

          Commenter "PARTNER-SHIP" Krzysztof Ozygała, emplois by CYBORG        
Jeszcze w takiej firmie nie pracowałem. Szef bardzo szanuje wszystkich pracowników i nie dopuszcza do zachowań dyskryminujących. Robi wszystko, aby pracownik czół się w zakładzie lepiej niż w domu. Atmosfera w pracy jest świetna. Oczywiście, pracować trzeba efektywnie, wydajnie, mądrze i z przestrzeganiem zasad bhp. Płaci dobrze i w terminie. Dobra firma, dobrze dobrana kadra. Na szczęście idioci już wylecieli.
          Ep 135: DC Comics, Batman and Flea Markets / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

Jim and Eric get together to talk some comics, but with the current state of DC Comics, they wonder if they are burned out.  That doesn’t stop them from talking for over 7 hours about the books, bats in the attic, flea market shopping and other things…  Enjoy!

 

  • Intro (0:00), Mail #1 (33:57), Books - See list below (1:03:20), Mail #2 (2:21:49), Marvel Minute - Generations: Banner Hulk & The Totally Awesome Hulk #1 (2:41:34), Mail #3 (5:05:50), Vermillion’s Vision - Saga (5:42:47), Mail #4 (5:56:35)
  • DC Comics Reviewed: Batman #28 (1:05:15), Superman #28 (1:38:25), Nightwing #26 (1:58:43), Green Lanterns #28 (3:10:04), Justice League #26 (3:50:51), Cyborg #15 (4:39:06), Shade the Changing Girl #11 (5:25:52), Deathstroke #22 (6:57:27), Bane: Conquest #4 (7:18:50)

 

  • This week’s Patreon Only Spotlights are Green Arrow #28 and New Gods Special #1
  • Support us on Patreon and get more and [...]

          Gokaiger Mobirates and Gokai Cellular Codes Translations        
As reported on MMPRToys Youtube Channel, Bigbadtoystore has Gokaiger Mobirates morphers in stock! BUT: These are not the Japanese versions - they are "Bandai Asia" versions They are essentially the "Legendary Mobilates" version, which is notorious for adding Codes, but more importantly deleteing codes!!! The one AT BBTS has the exact same casing as the original Mobirates -- but not the same soundboard. The sound is also lower than the original. Still, at $45, that's pretty good, considering how much the original Mobirates costs on ebay, and such. Click here for the Bandai Asia version. Click here for the Gokai Cellular.

WARNING: I just got the Gokai Cellular and Mobirates in the mail from BBTS. The Mobirates, like warned, is the Bandai Asia version, and has lower volume. BUT - Its nothing compared to how much the Cellular (also Bandai Asia version) stinks. The volume is also lower - but to a bigger degree. Doesn't help that speaker placement is on the back, or the moving gears of the faux scanner. Yet, even facing you, I find myself putting my ear right up to the speaker. I'm really almost tempted to ask for a return! If you bought it, and want to return it - tell them that the listing (as of now, 7/31/2015) DOES NOT mention that its a Bandai Asia version. Get your money back, if desired. I'm, frankly, conflicted.

Note, affordable Japanese Ranger Keys (coming in sets of 5), are available on Amazon.

I ordered both the Mobirates and the Gokai Cellular -- and, not speaking Japanese, I wanted to know what the devices where saying, exactly.

BUT, to my utter dismay, there is no good offical list of codes and translations online! There are PLENTY of Youtube videos -- but, when using these toys, I'd REALLY appreciate an actual list (in front of me) to read.

So I went online to find as much info as I can. If I get anything wrong, please tell me. I'll try and denote differences between the Mobirates and Legendary/Bandai Asia Version.

I got some of my info from the following places. CollectionDX Gokaiger Mobirates. ShuikenShinobi's review of Gokai Celluar. Eugene42181 Blog Legend Mobirates Translation. Henshin Kettai Mobirates Codes.

Gokaiger Mobirates

0001 - 0036 say the name of the team. To hear the second phrase, listed below, you have to enter a key.

0001 - "Goranger"
"Gonin Sorrote! Gooooranger!"
[Five people assembled! Gooooooranger!]
Press a third time to hear full team name

0002 - "JAKQ"
"Warera JAKQ! Dengekitai!"
[We are JAKQ! Blizkrieg Squad!]

0003 - "Battle Fever"
"Battle Fever J!"

0004 - "Denjiman"
"Miyo! Denshi Sentai! Denziman!"
[Behold! Electronic Sentai! Denziman!]

0005 - "Sun Vulcan"
"Kagayake! Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan!"
[Shine! Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan!]

0006 - "Goggle Five"
"Tatakae! Dai Sentai! Goggle-V!"
[Fight! Great Sentai! Goggle-V!]

0007 - "Dynaman"
"Kagaku Sentai! Dynaman!"
[Scientific Sentai! Dynaman!]

0008 - "Bioman"
"1, 2, 3, 4, 5! Choudenshi Bioman!"
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5! Super-Electronic Bioman!]

0009 - "Changeman"
"Dengeki Sentai! Changeman!
[Electric Shock Sentai! Changeman!]

0010 - "Flashman"
"Choushinsei Flashman!"
[Supernova Flashman!]

0011 - "Maskman"
"Hikari Sentai! Maskman!"
[Laser (Light) Sentai! Maskman!]

0012 - "Liveman"
"Choujyuu Sentai! Liveman!"
[Super Beast Sentai! Liveman!]

0013 - "Turboranger"
"Kousoku Sentai! Turboranger!"
[High Speed Sentai! Turboranger!]

0014 - "Fiveman"
"Chikyuu Sentai! Fiveman!"
[Earth Sentai! Fiveman!]

0015 - "Jetman"
"Choujin Sentai! Jetman!"
[Bird-man Sentai! Jetman!]

0016 - "Zyuranger"
"Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger!"
[Dinosaur Sentai Zyuranger!]

0017 - "Dairanger"
"Ten ni kagayaku itsuboshi! Gosei Sentai! Daiiiiranger!"
[Blazing the sky are five stars! Gosei Sentai! Daiiiiranger!]

0018 - "Kakuranger"
"Hito ni kakurete aku o kiru! Ninja Sentai! Kakuranger!"
[Hiding from people and slashing evil! Ninja Sentai! Kakuranger!]

0019 - "Ohranger"
"Chouriki Sentai! Ohranger!"
[Super-Powered Sentai! Ohranger!]

0020 - "Carranger"
"Tatakau koutsuu anzen! Gekisou Sentai Caaaaaaranger!"
[Fight for traffic safety! Gekisou Sentai! Caaaaaranger!]

0021 - "Megaranger"
"Denji Sentai! Megaranger!"
[Electromagnetic Sentai! Megaranger!]

0022 - "Gingaman"
"Ginga wo tsuranuku densetsu no yaiba! Seijyuu Sentai! Ginnnnngaman!"
[We pierce through the galaxy with legendary blades! Seijyuu Sentai! Ginnnnnngaman!]

0023 - "Gogo V"
"Hito no inochi wa chikyuu no mirai! Moeru rescue tamashii! Kyuukyuu Sentai! GoGoooooFive!"
[People's lives are the future of the Earth! Burning rescue spirits! Kyuukyuu Sentai! GoGooooFive]

0024 - "Timeranger"
"Mirai Sentai! Timeranger! Jikan hogo hou ihan de taihosuru!"
[Furture Sentai! Timeranger! You're under arrest for violating the Time Protection Law!]

0025 - "Gaoranger"
"Inochi aru tokoro seigi no otakebi ari! Hyakuju Sentai Gaoranger!"
[Where there is life, there is a roar of justice! Hyakuju Sentai Gaoranger!]

0026 - "Hurrcanger"
"Hito mo shirazu yo mo shirazu, kage to narite aku o utsu! Ninpuu Sentai Hurrrrricaneger!"
[Unknown even to others, unknown even to the world, we become shadows to defeat evil! Ninpuu Sentai Hurrrrricaneger!]

0027 - "Abaranger"
"Ababuru Dino Guts! Bakuryuu Sentai Abaaaaaranger!"
[Turbulent/Malevolent/Tough/Wild Dino Guts! Bakuryuu Sentai Abaaaaaaranger!]

0028 - "Dekaranger"
"S.P.D.! Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger!"

0029 - "Magiranger"
"Afureru yuuki o mahou ni kaeru! Mahou Sentai Magiranger!"
[This overflowing courage changes to magic! Mahou Sentai Magiranger!]

0030 - "Boukenger"
"Hate naki bouken spirits! GoGo Sentai! Bouuuuukenger!"
[Endless adventuring spirits! GoGo Sentai Bouuuuukenger!]

0031 - "Gekiranger"
"Moetatsu Gekiwa seigi no akashi! Juken Sentai Gekiranger!"
[Our blazing Geki is the proof of justice! Juken Sentai Gekiranger!]

0032 - "Go-onger"
"Seigi no Rōdo o tsukisusumu! Enjin Sentai Gōonjā"
[Persevering on the Road of Justice! Engine Sentai Go-onger!]

0033 - "Shinkenger"
"Tenka gomen no Samurai Sentai! Shinkenjā, mairu!"
[The Samurai Sentai authorized by providence! Shinkenger! Going Forth!]

0034 - "Goseiger"
"Hoshi o mamoru wa tenshi no shimei! Tensou Sentai! Gooooseiger!"
[Protecting the planet is an Angel's duty! Tensou Sentai! Goooooseiger!]

0035 - "Gokaiger"
"Kaizoku Sentai Goookaiger!"

0036 - "Go-Busters" {Legendary/Asia version only}
"Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters!"

0101 - "Akemashite Omedetou" [Happy New Year] {Phrase is different}
Changed to: "Kyou Wa, Oshogatsu! Happy New Year! [Today is New Years! Happy New Year!]

0120 - random beeping {Removed from Legendary/Asia version; ...I think. It does beeb error sound}

0223 - "Minna! Konnichiwa!" [Good Afternoon everyone] {Removed from Legendary/Asia version}

0414 - Special Mode plays back every sentai team name
Supesyaru Moodo! Zen Sentai mei o yomiage! [Special Mode! Read the Names of all Sentai Out Loud!]

0508 - "Okaasan, Otousan, Itsumo Arigatou!" [Mother, Father. Thank you always] can also be activated by entering 0619 {Removed from Legendary/Asia version}

0730 -- "Super Hero Time! Gokaiger! Hajimaru zo!" [Super Hero Time! Gokaiger! Begins!] {Removed from Legendary/Asia version}

0833 -- "Minna! Oyasumi!" [Good Night, Everyone] {Removed from Legendary/Asia version}

0840 - "Minna! Ohaiyou!" [Good Morning, Everyone] {Removed from Legendary/Asia version}

1111 - "Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger" {Removed from Legendary/Asia version}

0223 - "Mina, konichiwa!" ["Hello, everyone!"] {Removed from Legendary/Asia version}

0508 - "Okaa-san! Otou-san! Itsumo arigato!" ["Mother! Father! Thank you always!"] (NOTE: 0619 provides the same response.) {Removed from Legendary/Asia version}

5081 - "Gokaiger! Ouen Yoroshiku!" ["Nice to meet you, Gokaiger!"] {Removed from Legendary/Asia version}

5501 - "Hasshin! Gokai Galleon!..." ["Launch Gokai Galleon!"]  {I believe this was removed from Legendary/Asia version}

0120 - [Gokaiger ring-tone automatically sounds three times, as opposed to singly when the ENTER key is pressed by itself without entering a code first]

0101 - Kyou Wa, Oshogatsu! Happy New Year! {Legendary/Asia Only}
[Today is New Years! Happy New Year!]

0203 - Kyou wa, setsubun! Fukuoji Omiwasato! {Legendary/Asia Only}
[Today is Setsubun (end of winter holiday)!]

0214- Kyou wa, barentine's dee! Suki na ko iru? {Legendary/Asia Only}
[Today is Valentina's Day! Is there a Girl you Like?]

0314- Kyou wa, howaito dee! Suki no ko iru? {Legendary/Asia Only}
[Today is White Day! Is there a Girl you like?]

0505- Kyou wa, kodomo no hi! Okiku natta ne. {Legendary/Asia Only}
[Today is Children's Day! You grew up!]

0707- Kyou wa, tanabete! Amanogawa, mieru ka na? {Legendary/Asia Only}
[Today is Tanabata! (Weaver Festival) I wish you could see the Milky Way!]

1031- Kyou wa, harowin! Okaski moratta? {Legendary/Asia Only}
[Today is Halloween! Did you get Candy?]

1115- Kyou wa, shichigosan! Okiku natta ne! {Legendary/Asia Only}
[Today is Shichi-Go-San (7-5-3) You grew up!]

1224 - "Merry Christmas" {This changed to a longer phrase, denoting Christmas Eve}
Changed to: Kyou wa, Kurisumasu Ibu! Santa Kurouzu kuru ka na? Tanoshimi!
[Today is Christmas Eve! Did Santa Clause come? Fun!]

1225- Kyou wa, Kurisumas! Yuk wa furu ka na furu ka na? {Legendary/Asia Only}
[Today is Christmas! Will it snow? Will it snow?]

1231- Kyou wa, Oomisoka! Koto mo minna, ichinen, arigatou! {Legendary/Asia Only}
[Today is New Year's Eve! Thank you all for this Year!]

{The Following where removed from the Bandai Asia and Legend Mobilates Versions}
1992 - "Gattai! Daizyujin! Tatakae!" [Combine! Daizyujin! Fight!]
2001 - "Gattai! GaoKing! Hasshin!" [Combine! Gaoking! Launch!]
2002 - "Gattai! Senpuujin! Ganbare!" [Combine! Senpuujin! Good Luck!]
2003 - "Gattai! Abarenoh! Gabare!" [Combine! Abarenoh! Good luck!]
2004 - "Gattai! Dekaranger Robo! Ikuze!" [Combine! Dekaranger Robo! Lets Go!]
2005 - "Gattai! Magiking! Ganbare!" [Combine! Magiking! Good Luck!]
2008 - "Gattai! Engineoh! Tatakae!" [Combine! Engineoh! Fight!]
2009 - "Gattai! Shinkenoh! Hasshin!" [Combine! Shinkenoh! Launch!]
2010 - "Gattai! Gosei Great! Ikuze!" [Combine! Gosei Great! Lets go!]
2011 - "Gattai! Gokaioh! Tatakae!" [Combine! Gokaioh! Fight!]
2222 - "Ikuze! Gokaioh!" [Lets go! Gokaioh!]
3333 - "GokaiMachine! Gokai Ni-Hasshin!" [GokaiMachine! Heroic Launch!]
4444 - "Ranger Key wo ippai Irete Mawasou!"
5091 - "Hasshin! GokaiMachine!" [Launch! GokaiMachine!]
5555 - "Tatakae! Gokaioh!" [Fight! Gokaioh!]
6666 - "Atarashi Senshi no toujouda! Minna! Ouen Yoroshiku!" [Everyone! A new warrior has arrived! Nice to meet you!]
7777 - "Super Sentai Series! Minna! Ouen Yoroshiku!" [Super Sentai Series! Everyone! Nice to meet you!]
8888 - "Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger! Ouen Yoroshiku!" [Pirate Sentai Gokaiger! Nice to meet you!]
9999 - "Tatakae! Gokaiger!" [Fight Gokaiger!]
9130 - "Data Cardass! Super Sentai Battle Dice-O!"

Entering Keys

AkaRed Key
Densetsu no Aka Senshi!
[The Legendary Red Warrior]

The 5 Gokaiger Keys (Red,Blue, Green, Yellow and Pink)
Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger! Hade ni ikuze! [Let's make this showy!]
Also gives individual colored names. No other Team Key Set does this. {Original Version Only}

Gokai Silver Key
Gokaiger?
Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger?
Here comes the New Warrior! {Original Version Only}

Gingin ni ikuze! [Let's do this enthusiastically I am on the Silver Spotlight!] {Bandai Asia/Legendary Version}

Entering a Kamen Rider OOO Key
{This changed, removing name Kamen Rider, I think}

0000
{Original Version Only}
This enters Versus Mode. It should say a phrase, and then expect you to enter two keys (one after another). If you put in two Rangers (example, Go-On Red and Shinken Red), it will confirm that they where in a versus movie.

0000
{Legendary/Asia Version only}
Enters Sentai Encyclopedia mode
Enter a Key, and it will say the name and give a short blurb about the series

Here are the translations for what you hear when you use these keys

Super Sentai Shiraberu Moodo!
[Super Sentai Examine (Investigation) Mode!]

Goranger-The First Super Sentai, who fight the Black Cross Army.
JAKQ - Cyborg Warriors made by the ISSIS.
Battle Fever - Warriors who Fight using the world's Dances
Denjiman - Warriors who fight using Planet Denji's science.
Sun Vulcan - Warriors who fight with the Power of the Sky, Sea, and Land.
Goggle V - Warriors who fight using rhythmic gymnastics.
Dynaman - Young Scientists who fight against evil.
Bioman - Warriors who fight with Bodies brimming with bio particles.
Changeman - Warriors who fight with the Power of legendary beasts.
Flashman - Warriors who fight with the Power of the Prism.
Maskman - Warriors who transform and fight using Aura Power.
Liveman- Warriors who fight using weapons made by science.
Turboranger - High School Students Chosen as warriors to protect the earth.
Fiveman - All Five are Teachers in School and Siblings.
Jetman - Warriors who fight using Birdonice Waves.
Zyuranger - Warriors who fight alongside Guardian Beast.
Dragonranger - The Brother of the Tyranno Ranger.
Dairanger - Warriors who Transformed using chi Power.
Kakuranger - Decedents of Ninjas who Fight Using ninpo Power.
Ohranger - Warriors who fight using the Super Power of an Ancient Civilization.
Carranger - Warriors who Transform and Fight Using Carmagic Power.
Megaranger - Warriors who protect the Earth from the Invasion of Nejire Beasts.
Gingaman - Legendary Warriors who Fight with the Power of Earth.
GoGo V - The Rescue Team who Fights the Calamity Demon Clan.
Timeranger - Warriors who Fight against enemies who fled from the future.
Gaoranger - Warriors who fight alongside Power Animals.
Hurricaneger - Warriors who Fight with Ninjutsu and Science combined, Chou-Ninpo.
Goraiger - Warriors who fight with Jinrai-Style Ninpo.
Shurikenger - The ultimate ninja Mastered Hayate-Style and Ikazuchi-Style Ninpo.
Abaranger - Warriors who fight alongside Bakuryuu using Dino Guts.
Dekaranger - Space Police Detectives who Fight Space Criminals.
Magiranger - Siblings who fight using the Power of Magic.
Boukenger - Adventurers who fight to protect Precious.
Gekiranger - Warriors who Fight using Geki Jyuken.
Go-Onger - Warriors who fight alongside engines against polluting enemies.
Go-On Wings - Siblings Fight alongside Go-Onger
Shinkenger - Samurai who Fight using Mojikara and Origami.
Goseiger - Gosei Angels who fight using Tensou Techniques.
Gosei Knight - The Warrior who awakened from 10,000 year sleep to fight alongside Goseiger.
Gokaiger - Space Pirates who fight the Space Empire Zangyack.
Go-Busters - New Heroes who fight alongside Buddyroids.
AkaRed - The Mysterious warrior who inherits the soul of red.

Gokai Silver's Gokai Cellular

Enter Phone Mode by Pressing GokaiSilver's Face Twice (the second button). You'll hear "Denwa Mode", or "Phone Mode" Then you can enter codes, always ending with pressing GoseiKnight's face (the first button) to confirm your code selection.

123 or 321
Gooooookai Silver Onen yoroshiku! [Gooookai Silver! Best of luck!]

456 or 654
Goooookai Spear!

789 or 987
Goooookai Silver! Gold Mooooode!

444 or 414
Gooooookai ni tatakae! Gooookai Silver! [Fight with heroism! Gooookai Silver!]

500
Goooookaiger?

194 or 491
Goooooookai Spear! Anchor Moooooode! Gokai ni ikuze! [Goooookai Spear! Anchor Mooooode! Let's do it heroically!]

555
Let's Go! Gooookaiger!

777 or 258
Goooookai Spear! Gun Mooooode! Gokai ni hanate! [Gooookai Spear! Gun Mooooode! Heroic Shot!]

084 or 840
Good Morning! Gokai ni orkiro! [Good Morning! Wake up and be a hero!]

666 or 333
Goooookaiger! Hade ni ouen yoroshiku! [Goooookaiger! Give them your best cheer!]

999 or 833
Tearai iu gai wasureru na yo! [Don't forget to wash your hands and gargle!]

000
Hasshin! GoZyuDrill! [Launch! GoZyuDrill!]

222
GoZyuRex!

888
GoZyuJin!

422
Special Mooooode! [Says names of all the 6th Rangers in a Row, though mixing up order of Shinken Gold and Go-On Wings]

880 or 889
Haya oshi game! Gokai ni start! [Fast Press Game! Heroic Start!]
This enter you into a game mode, where you press the corresponding Ranger with the correct name.

          Ep 131: DC Comics Rebirth, Stroke Squad & Right Here On… / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

Eric Shea is back just in time to talk some DC Comics.  There weren’t a lot of books this week and they may not have been the greatest, but it all works out in the end…hopefully.  Enjoy!

  •  Intro (0:00), News (47:21), Mail #1 (1:02:55), Books - See List Below (1:20:53), Mail #2 (2:48:32), Marvel Minute - Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe Again #1 (3:05:57), Mail #3 (4:58:15), Mail #4 (6:05:15), Vermillion’s Vision - Grimm Fairy Tales (6:21:37),
  •  DC Comics Reviewed: Superman #26 (1:26:10), Nightwing #24 (1:47:29), Deathstroke #21 (2:20:38), Green Lanterns #26 (3:38:16), Green Arrow #26 (4:03:56), Justice League #24 (4:35:30), Harley Quinn #23 (5:15:53), Young Animal w/ Chris & Reggie - Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (5:45:06), Bane: Conquest #3 (6:49:14), Cyborg #14 (7:04:18)
  • Support us on Patreon and get more and more shows! Go HERE to give u [...]

          Ep 122: DC Rebirth, The Button and Drinky Drinky / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

Intro (0:00), News (29:53), Mail #1 (55:04), Books - See List Below (1:07:26), Mail #2 (3:02:02), Marvel Minute - All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (3:27:00), Mail #3 (5:31:57), Young Animal - 1962 (6:41:27), Mail #5 (8:21:59), Vermillion’s Visions - Nailbiter and Locke & Key (8:38:33)

 

DC Comics Reviewed - Batman #22 (1:12:22), Superman #22 (2:20:41), Bane Conquest #1 (2:43:16), Green Lanterns #22 (4:01:06), Green Arrow #22 (4:29:39), Justice League #20 (5:06:00), Aquaman #22 (6:00:11), Harley Quinn #19 (6:20:37), Nightwing #20 (7:16:11), Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #5 (7:40:57), Injustice 2 #1 (8:00:40), Deathstroke #18 (9:04:00), Cyborg #12 (9:29:47)

 

  • Keywords: Comics, Comic Books, Comic Book Podcast, Comics Podcast, Batman, Superman, DC Comics, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Podcast, Comic Book, superhero, superhero podcast, DCU, DC YOU, dc rebirth, dc comics rebirth, batman rebirth, superman rebirth, green arrow rebirth, green [...]

          Ep 118: DC Rebirth, Comics and Fever Dreams / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

Jim was really sick and sipping Robitussin all night and he brought Eric and Reggie along for the ride.  Some may say they took a sick day since the podcast is “only” 7 hours, but at least everyone can catch up.  Enjoy!

  •  Intro (0:00), News (16:41), Mail #1 (29:01), Books - See List Below (53:49), Mail #2, Marvel Minute - X-Men Gold #1 (2:20:25), Mail #3 (4:19:53), Mail #4 (5:36:43), Vermillion’s Visions - Wytches Vol 1 (5:47:07), 
  •  DC Comics Reviewed: Batman #20 (57:34), Superman #20 (1:25:15), Nightwing #18 (1:48:48), Green Lanterns #20 (3:03:51), Green Arrow #20 (3:23:03), Justice League #18 (3:52:!4), Aquaman #20 (4:38:10), Harley Quinn #17 (4:59:16), Shade the Changing Girl #7 (5:21:52), Deathstroke #16 (6:05:20), The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #4 (6:22:46), Cyborg #11 (6:35:14)
  • Keywords: Comics, Comic Books, Comic Book Podcast, Comics Podcast, Batman, Superman, DC Comics, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Podcast, [...]

          Ep 113: DC Rebirth Week 37, Monster Trucks and Crappy Neighbors / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

 Jim, Eric and Reggie check out this week’s DC Comics and prepare for war!  Yep, Eric’s neighbor is at it again, but they get past that to review everything, talk nonsense and have a ton of…well, they try to have fun.  How can Eric have fun with all the continuity problems in Green Lanterns?  The answer: He can’t!  They do like a bunch of books this week, including…JUSTICE LEAGUE!  Enjoy

  • Intro (0:00), News (29:21), Mail #1 (50:26), Books - See List Below (1:16:46), Mail #2 (2:47:30), Marvel Minute - Clone Conspiracy Omega #1 (3:34:34), Mail #3 (5:54:57), Mail #4 (7:57:32), Alex M’s Review of Superman #18 (10:17:55)  
  • Batman #18 (1:24:18), Superman #18 (1:50:03), Justice League #16 (2:16:08), Green Lanterns #18 (4:20:21), Green Arrow #18 (4:55:53), Nightwing #16 (5:25:26), Midnighter and Apollo #6 (6:06:40), Aquaman #18 (6:41:15), Harley Quinn #15 (7:16:27), Shade the Changing Girl #6 (7:29:31), Cyborg #10 (8:39:53), T [...]

          Ep 109: DC Rebirth Week 33, Batburger and Forced Love / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

It’s a short one this week…if 9 1/2 hours is short!  Jim, Eric and Reggie talk some comics, tell some jokes and get out of it all with a little sleep and some sanity left. Enjoy!

 —-more—-

Intro (0:00), News (36:13), Mail#1 (45:25), Books - See List Below (1:12:10), Mail #2 (2:53:52), Marvel Minute - Darth Maul #1 (3:23:08), Mail #3 (5:26:35), Mail #4 (7:23:45)

 —-more—-

DC Comics Reviewed: Batman #16 (1:16:26), Superman #16 (1:53:40), Justice League #15 (2:26:48), Green Lanterns #16 (4:08:08), Green Arrow #16 (4:36:48), Nightwing #14 (5:01:29), Aquaman #16 (6:28:48), Harley Quinn #13 (6:49:25), Shade: The Changing Girl #5 (7:03:39), Midnighter and Midnighter #5 (8:22:46), Death of Hawkman #5 (8:39:13), The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #2 (8:54:12), Cyborg #9 (9:10:40)

—-more—-

 


          Ep 105: DC Rebirth Week 29, Comics and You Just Passed the Test / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

 The Gang is here for some DC Comics talk and much, much more!  Mail Robot is at it again and if you’re not careful, you might just get “Wernered”.  Enjoy!

—-more—-

Intro (0:00), News (29:50), Mail #1 (36:04), Books - See List Below (1:12:18), Mail #2 (2:48:46), Marvel Minute - Unworthy Thor #3 (3:24:24), Mail #3 (5:32:06), Mail #4 (7:24:54), Mail #5 (9:04:17)

—-more—-

DC Comics Reviewed: Justice League vs Suicide Squad #3 (1:18:13), Justice League #12 (1:55:54), Superman #14 (2:25:20), Batman #14 (4:06:09), Green Lanterns #14 (4:38:07), Green Arrow #14 (5:02:10), Aquaman #14 (6:03:41), Harley Quinn #11 (6:30:03), Nightwing #12 (6:56:47), Justice League of America: The Atom Rebirth #1 (7:39:55), The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #1 (8:09:43), Shade the Changing Girl #4 (8:40:59), Midnighter and Apollo #4 (9:32:45), The Death of Hawkman #4 (9:50:35), Cyborg #8 (10:04:37)

—-more—-

Keyw [...]


          Ep 103: DC Rebirth Week 27, Christmas and Toilet Jesus / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

 The Gang’s all here and it’s the Holiday Season…which means over ten hours of podcast under the tree.  Yep, no Holiday break for these guys and the books may have been up and down, but the spirits are a bit low this week.  Maybe the New Year will bring better times…maybe we should all pray to Toilet Jesus for that!

—-more—-

Intro (0:00), News (32:14), Mail #1 (52:18), Books (1:17:08) - See List Below, Mail #2 (3:17:16), Marvel Minute (3:43:29), Mail #3 (5:49:17), Mail #4 (7:33:08)

—-more—-

DC Comic Books Reviewed: Justice League vs Suicide Squad #1 (1:22:19), Batman #13 (2:09:26), Superman #13 (2:55:13), Trinity #4 (4:08:23), Justice League #11 (4:42:21), Nightwing #11 (5:18:15), Green Lanterns #13 (6:25:22), Green Arrow #13 (6:43:27), Aquaman #13 (7:36:30), Harley Quinn #10 (8:02:50), Raven #4 (8:17:06), Cave Carson has a Cybernetic Eye #3 (8:46:01), He-Man/Thundercats #3 (9:07:41), Cyborg #7 (9:41:57 [...]


          Ep 101: DC Rebirth Week 25, Comics and Cannibalism / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

 Hey Everybody!  It’s Week 25 of Rebirth and while the books are a bit middle of the road, the guys have fun with them.  They also discuss elk vs ostrich meat, Gomer Pyle and if Cannibalism will ever go out of style.  it all comes together into the shit sandwich that we all know and love!  Enjoy!

 —-more—-

Intro (0:00), News (49:56), Mail #1 (59:06), Books - See List Below (1:31:07), Mail #2 (2:48:06), Marvel Minute: Nova #1 (3:24:58), Mail #3 (5:02:54), Columbus Comics Corner - Detective Comics  #101 (5:26:03), Mail #4 (7:41:49)

—-more—-

DC Comics Reviewed: Batman #12 (1:40:48), Superman #12 (2:07:34)  Justice League #10 (2:22:40), Green Lanterns #12 (3:38:07), Green Arrow #12 (3:58:18), Nightwing #10 (4:22:52), Aquaman #12 (5:56:17), Harley Quinn #9 (6:18:53), Deadman: The Mansion of Forbidden Love #2 (6:33:37), Shade: The Changing Girl #3 (7:11:18), Cyborg #6 (8:05:56), Midnighter and Apollo #3 (8:32:37), The [...]


          Ep 90: DC Rebirth Week 15, Comics and Nyquil / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

Jim, Eric and Reggie get together to talk this week’s comics and while it’s not an 11 hour show like last week, it still clocks in over 8 hours.  That’s okay, right?  Right?  Come on…  They manage to fit in all of this week’s books, news and listener mail and still have plenty of time to add in more than enough nonsense.  Enjoy!


Intro (0:00), News (36:13), Mail #1 (41:53), Books - See Below (1:30:01), Mail #2 (2:48:36), Branden’s Marvel Minute - Civil War II #5 (3:10:07), Mail #3 (4:25:46), Cosmic Treadmill - Doom Patrol #121 (5:34:44), Mail #4 (6:28:22)


Books: Batman #7 (1:33:48), Nightwing #5 (2:00:02), Superman #7 (2:20:00), Justice League #5 (3:22:58), Green Lanterns #7 (3:58:18), Green Arrow #7 (4:09:49), Aquaman #7 (4:48:49), Harley Quinn #4 (5:06:44), Raven #1 (5:16:17), Trinity #1 (6:51:40), Cyborg #1 (7:28:13), Doctor Fate #16 (7:49:32)


          Ep 88: DC Rebirth Week 13, Afros and Comics / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        
Eric is back and him, Jim and Reggie talk DC Comics, DC Comic News, Listener Mail and the usual nonsense that comes up when they get together. It’s Dance Party Weird Science and you are all invited. Enjoy!

Intro(0:00), News (22:26), Mail (36:37), Branden’s Image Minute: Spawn KIlls Everyone #1 (2:45:00), Books - Listed Below (2:52:37), Cosmic Treadmill: Ange Love #1 (7:05:09)

DC Books Reviewed: Batman #6 (2:57:00), Superman #6 (3:34:00), Justice League #4 (3:59:18),Supergirl #1 (4:39:00), NIghtwing #4 (5:17:52), Green Arrow #6 (5:49:15), Aquaman #6 (6:10:57), Harley Quinn #3 (6:36:38), Bloodlines #6 (6:47:00), Cyborg Rebirth #1 (7:47:26), Batman Beyond #16 (8:22:15)

          Spotlight: Cyborg Rebirth #1 / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

This week’s spotlight podcast is all about Cyborg Rebirth #1.  Does everything compute as Vic Stone enters DC Rebirth and can I come up with any more lame tech based puns?  If you like what you hear, check out our weekly podcast that comes out every Sundays Night with DC Comics News, Listener Mail and reviews of every DC Comic that came out that week.  Enjoy!


Keywords: Comics, Comic Books, Comic Book Podcast, Comics Podcast, Batman, Superman, DC Comics, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Podcast, Comic Book, superhero, superhero podcast, DCU, DC YOU, dc rebirth, dc comics rebirth, batman rebirth, superman rebirth, green arrow rebirth, green lantern rebirth

          Ep 77: DC Comic Books, Lebron James and Ray Delane / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

We talk every DC Comic Book that came out this week as well as discuss the news, read listener mail and talk nonsense like Road House, Cicis Pizza and of course, our favorite Daily Planet reporter, Ray Delane.  Sit back, have a laugh and maybe you might even learn something…like what a cheese curl is.  Enjoy!


DC Comics Comic Books Reviewed:

Detective Comics #935, Action Comics #958, Wonder Woman #1, Flash #1, Aquaman #1, Justice League #52, Deathstroke #19, Harley Quinn #29, Teen Titans #21, Robin: Son of Batman #13 and Cyborg #12

Keywords: Comics, Comic Books, Comic Book Podcast, Comics Podcast, Batman, Superman, DC Comics, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Podcast, Comic Book, superhero, superhero podcast, [...]

          Episode 73: DC Comics Rebirth, Comic Books and Arnold Horshack / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

Jim and Eric talk every DC Comics Comic Book that came out this week and yes…Rebirth is finally here!  It’s (almost) everything that Jim and Eric wanted and while Eric claims no comic is a perfect comic, he liked Rebirth more than this week’s Cyborg.  It’s also the end of The Final Days of Superman and the Darkseid War and everyone (including Jason Fabok) must bow down to Weird Science for their prognosticating skills.  Of course, Reggie and Chris are along for the ride and it’s a long one as usual.  Enjoy


DC Comics Comic Books reviewed: Justice League #50, Superman #52, DC Universe Rebirth #1, Grayson #20, Batgirl #52, We Are Robin #12, Superman: Lois and Clark #8, Secret Six #14, Teen Titans #20, Justice League 3001 #12, Scooby Apocalypse #1, Injustice Year Five #23, Deathstroke #18, Flash #52, Cyborg #11 and Omega Men #12


          Episode 56: Things Get Dark / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

It’s a long one and things do indeed get dark.  There is talk of putting dogs down, a double murder suicide and plenty of zit popping and toilet plunging.  Oh yea, there is also Comics as Jim and Eric review all of this week’s DC Comic releases including Batman and Robin Eternal, Grayson, Justice League of America and so much more.  Plus, you get the Digital Spotlight featuring The Adventures of Supergirl, Eric’s TV segment with Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Lucifer talk as well as the News, DC Comics News, Reggie’s Recklessness, Ryan Clark’s Other Side, Professor DC and Listener Mail.  Holy Crap that’s a lot of stuff!  Enjoy…


DC Comics Reviewed This Week: Batman and Robin Eternal #17, We are Robin #8, Grayson #16, Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana #1, Cyborg #7, Justice League of America #7, Superman #48, Superman: Lois and Clark #4, Black Canary #7, Omega Men #8, Justice L [...]

          Episode 48: Jim and Eric’s Adderall Adventure / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

Jim and Eric are back from their non Thanksgiving break to give you a long podcast filled with DC Comics comic book talk and comic news.  We find out that Jim is “special” and Eric has ripped his taint, but none of that can prepare you for the awesomeness of Mumbo Jimbo!  Yes, the seer of the future arrives from beyond to give us stories of what will be…IN THE FUTURE!  There is also plenty of Listener Mail, Reggie’s Recklessness and an epic save by Ryan in his Other Side segment.

—-more—-

DC Comics comic books reviewed: Batman and Robin Eternal #9, Robin War #1, Batman Beyond #7, Action Comics #47, Green Lantern #47, Midnighter #7, Gotham by Midnight #11, All-Star Section Eight #6, Gotham Academy #12, Prez #6, Survivors’ Club #3, Unfollow #2, Lobo #13, Cyborg #6 and Teen Titans #14

          Episode 43: Keeping It Real Like the Man of Steel / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

ep 43: Jim and Eric get together on Halloween Night, but kind of ignore that fact to talk about DC Comics as usual.  They go over all the DC Comics News, Comic books and even get to talk about Vic Sage’s porn addiction, Mythbrawl and why Batman is the most selfish god of them all.  While they may not be huge fans of every book they talk about, they keep it real like the Man of Steel.  I’m not sure what that means, but I like the sound of it!


DC Comics Reviewed this episode: Batman and Robin Eternal #4, We are Robin #5, Grayson #13, Justice League Darkseid War: Batman #1, Batgirl #45, Black Magick #1, Superman #45, The Flash #45, Cyborg #4, Aquaman #45, New Suicide Squad #13, Sinestro #16, Deathstroke #11

Flash Comic Book Reviews: Prez #5, All-Star Section Eight #5, Gotham by Midnight #10, He-Man and the Eternity War #11, Justice League 3001 #5, Robin: Son of Batman #5

DC Comics Comic Book News: Cullen Bunn quits Aquaman be [...]

          Episode 29: Cyborg, Sharknado and Soapboxes / Weird Science DC Comics Podcast        

Ep 29: Jim and Eric set a personal record by going over four hours…FOUR. FREAKING. HOURS.  It gives them plenty of time to talk about all of this week’s releases from DC Comics, a whole lot of casting news for Arrow and Flash and of course, stuff nobody ever needs to hear.  Jim gets on his soapbox a couple of times and it’s not just to see eye-to-eye with Eric…no, he has some real issues.  At least they are real to him, dammit!  They are also joined by Ryan Clark reviewing Archie vs Sharknado #1, Dan’s Geek News and a new segment featuring their friend, Reggie.  So, free up your calendar and enjoy the podcast.[...]


          A Remediation's Remediation?        
by
Jan Baetens
2004-02-22

In Remediation: Understanding New Media (Bolter and Grusin 1999) proposed a theory on media evolution that attempted to break with the myth of the newness of new media and the linear supersession of older media by newer ones (their main target, although this is not the explicit program of the book, is definitely Marshall McLuhan, whose teleological Understanding New Media is clearly meant to be remediated by a more nuanced and more powerful theory). Coining the notion of Remediation, they argued that each new media refashioned at least one older medium. This process of refashioning, however, does not obey a single strategy: if the basic aim of each Remediation seems to be the increase of realism, this call for immediate transparency does not suffice to explain the whole picture. For Bolter and Grusin, a second strategy has to be taken into account, namely the need to foreground the new medium itself, which gives its user a more vivid experience than the older one. Media history and intermedia relationships are therefore the result of these two interacting strategies and forces, which should never be separated if the Remediation’s goal is to be successful, i.e. to become the new (although always provisory) standard in the field.

Remediation is without any doubt a seductive book, and it has seduced many readers, although not everybody felt happy with the all-encompassing and rather decontextualized sesam-like theory of transparency/hypermediacy (see Kirshenbaum’s 1999 review of Remediation and the accompanying Riposte by Baetens).

I apologize for this long introduction to a review of Bolter’s new book (written in collaboration with Diane Gromala, chair of the SIGGRAPH 2000 Art Committee and curator of the art gallery of this “fair”), but such an introduction is exactly what the authors claim not to provide. There is of course an introduction, and even a whole set of them (as if the absence was contagious!), but these pages are in a sense “self-destructive.” They explain that the book has in view a very particular readership (it aims toward the community of graphic designers, not that of other readers, those for instance interested in media theory), adding that there will be thus no comments on the theoretical background of this mostly hands-on project:

Finally, we acknowledge the work of the following critics and theorists. Readers (and especially reviewers of our book) all have their favorites and are likely to complain that we are ignorant of this or that key idea. We are no doubt ignorant of many important ideas, but we are acquainted with the contributions of the theorists and theories listed below. We choose not to discuss them, because this is a book about the craft of and the material engagement with digital art and design, and we believe that the theoretical literature often strays too far from practice to be useful for our purposes:

Richard Dawkins and memes
Deleuze and Guattari and rhizomes
Donna Haraway and cyborgs
Heidegger and enframing
The Frankfurt School and the culture industry
Lacan and the mirror stage
Baudrillard and simulacra

(x-xi)

(The reader will notice that there is no final point at the end of this enumeration).

This double exclusion (of a certain type of reader on the one hand and of a certain type of discourse on the other) is the more strange since Windows and Mirrors is deeply rooted in the theoretical stances of two authors whose name and work is lacking in the list above (and even in the bibliography and the index!): Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, whose Remediation is clearly “applied” in this book by Bolter and Gromala. The double metaphor of “window” and “mirror” and its double definition as “looking through (the medium) and “looking at (the medium”) are manifest transcodings of the concepts of “transparency” (realism) and “hypermediacy” (experience). First, an application of Remediation is made to a very specific field, that of graphic design (although some odd things happen here: in fact, the book is on digital art, but this field is considered the quintessence of what graphic design should be and signify today, a wonderful theoretical coup d’état that is nowhere fully motivated). Second, an application is made to the book, i.e. Windows and Mirrors, itself. Remediation was certainly an attractively printed and cleverly illustrated book, and it surely made some attempts to take the digital revolution into account, for instance by inventing a kind of hypertextual variant of the traditional footnote, but these attempts remained rather elementary: readers of SMLXL (Koolhaas 1995) must have found Remediation very old-fashioned).

[ See also Anne Burdick’s review of Bolter’s Writing Space for further discussion of designwriting, eds. ]

A reader with bad faith could say that Windows and Mirrors is nothing more than a quickly made spin-off of Remediation, well served by the wonderful merchandising machine that is MIT. A pretty spin-off and a good-looking one, but nevertheless also a disappointing one. Indeed, despite its fascinating examples, its clear and well-written historical and theoretical enframings, many things go wrong in this book.

One may regret for instance that the global theory of Remediation is not even presented: it is taken for granted that this theory exists, that everybody knows and accept it, and that is does not need any further analysis (in short: as if it had become perfect common knowledge or, to stay in the Barthesian terminology of Bolter and Gromala, a myth; if one were a follower of Charles Sander Peirce, one might say the Remediation theory functions as an unquestioned and unchallengeable “final interpretant,” beyond any doubt, and even beyond the very consciousness). This is of course very dangerous, since it brings the authors to adopt a pretty doxological tone. Every ten pages (say, at the end of each chapter) we are reminded of the Universal Truth of graphic design, with all the DOs and DON’Ts that this position entails. One example among many others:

Good design does not mold users according to its recipe; instead, it allows users to see themselves (and the process and contexts of design) in the interface. An effective interface functions as a mirror as well as a window. (74)

The rephrasing of Remediation, as all readers of this book will observe immediately is utterly transparent. Yet the veracity of all these truths is relative: it depends on many factors, whose role is not always fully incorporated in the book. If the thesis “an effective interface functions as a mirror as well as a window” is true (and why not?), it is not because the authors have been giving arguments for this claim, but because they manage to demonstrate the falseness of what they consider the opposite claim, namely the idea that good graphic design is transparent design (Bolter and Grusin seem to have a particular dislike of Nielsen [2000] and Norman [1998]). But the fact that a theory “X” proves to be wrong does not imply at all that the opposite theory is rightjo (though this is exactly the stance that Bolter and Gromala are taking throughout the whole book).

Moreover, the opposition of transparency/hypermediacy (in the metaphoric terminology of Bolter and Gromala this becomes: mirror/window) remains unclear. It is not clear whether the mirror-like stance of “reflectivity” (in Windows and Mirrors there is no room any longer for the concept of “hypermediacy”) and experience represent something good in itself or not. In other words: do Bolter and Gromala make a plea for the triad mirror/reflectivity/experience as such or do they defend a kind of middle-of-the-road combination of transparency on the one hand and reflectivity on the other? In the beginning of Windows and Mirrors, one has the strong impression that Bolter and Gromala defend strongly the side of the “mirror” as a necessary antithesis to the unsuccessful transparency thesis. Yet the more one advances in the book, the more one notices that the important thing for Bolter and Gromala is not the antithetical relationship of windows and mirrors; instead what counts is their peaceful and ecumenical synthesis. From a theoretical point of view, of course, this makes a world of difference. Indeed, if the aim of the book is to remediate graphic design by proposing, thanks to the examples given by contemporary digital art, a blending of transparency and reflectivity, this has a crucial consequence for the position of the reflectivity pole, which then ceases to be the “good guy” in the eternal battle between right and wrong (I’m sorry for this language, partly inspired by Bolter’s and Gromala’s love of parables). If what matters is the good balance between both sides, then one might argue that the problem of graphic design is as much that of the “mirror” than it is of the “window.” In other words: if it is true that we need more reflectivity in order to compensate for the errors of transparency, it is no less true that we also need more transparency to counterbalance the imperfections of reflectivity. Unfortunately, this is not the logical stance taken by Bolter and Gromala, who are obnubilated by their will to debunk the position of people like Nielsen and Norman (and, more curiously, Tschichold, the ultimate modern representative of the despised transparency myth).

This major theoretical flaw of Windows and Mirrors does not of course prevent the reader from discovering many interesting presentations and analyses of digital art. Even the fact that the works presented do not cover the whole field (readers looking for a good general introduction will be better off with Lunenfeld [2000]), but rather more resemble extracts of the SIGGRAPH 2000 catalogue, is not annoying. The works themselves are generally fascinating. The readings proposed by the authors and their theoretical and historical framing are without exception illuminating. And the systematic “lesson” Bolter and Gromala draw from their interpretations (“there’s nothing like a good mix of transparency and reflectivity, and it works!, as we saw it, not on television but at SIGGRAPH 2000”) has many convincing aspects. What is actually lacking, however, is what is announced in the very blurb of the book: the application of digital art to graphic design. It does not suffice to postulate that digital art shows what graphic design is or should be today, one should also be able to produce actual examples of digital graphic design. In this respect, Windows and Mirrors is doubly disappointing.

It is disappointing, first, because the examples given are not analyzed but simply enumerated. After eight chapters giving a detailed analysis of eight works of the SIGGRAPH fair (including the display of the works in the art gallery itself), Windows and Mirrors dedicates one short chapter to examples of digital graphic design, but it does nothing more than list names and titles, without any further analysis.

Second, the authors claim their book to be an ars poetica, i.e. a performance in practice of what it proposes in theory: “…we have tried to produce this book according to the principle that we have been preaching: to make it an experience that is both transparent and reflective” (164). The reader of Windows and Mirrors will not be convinced by this final revelation, since the overall lay-out of the book is very academic and even dull (one can only regret Marshall McLuhan’s and Quentin Fiore’s mind-broadening psychedelic experiments of the 60s, not to speak of the more recent explorations of some printed no-man’s-land by Bruce Mau and Rem Koolhaas). In this respect the final halleluhia surrounding the digitally remediated typeface “Excretia” makes things only worse. Excretia is a “morphing” typeface that changes following the writer’s bodily states:

The writer is hooked up to a biofeedback device, which measures her heart rate, respiration, and galvanic skin response. As she writes, these continuous streams of data affect the visual character of the typeface. The words “throb” as her hearts beats; they grow tendrils and spikes if she becomes “excitable.” As the writer works, the text she has already written may continue to change, or she may choose to freeze it to reflect her state at the very instant of the writing - in effect, to create a biological-typographical record. The same word may have a very different feel, texture, and therefore meaning at different times… With Excretia, a word processor is no longer simply a productivity tool but a reflective experience in itself. (166)

What is needed here is a strong skeptical response. Not only does the reader not necessarily care for these effects (one should never forget what good old Flaubert said: “Art has nothing to do with the artist” - but everything to do with the work and its impact on the audience). But what Bolter and Gromala are doing in their book has nothing to do with their claims on remediated typography. Actually, their new typeface Excretia does not play any serious part in the design of Windows and Mirrors. The fact that it is incorporated in the typographical form of the title of the chapter does not mean anything for the global design of the book (it is the usual error of typeface designers who make a confusion between typeface and design, between the part and the whole). In order to prove successful, the new typeface should have been used throughout the whole work (and not only as a kind of decorative element at the mere level of the title, where one often finds typographical “figures of speech”) and it should have been incorporated at the level of the page lay-out (and it is impossible to discover any influence or Remediation whatsoever at this page level, contrary to other recent books by MIT such as Hayles (2002) [see Baetens 2003]). All this is definitely not the case, and for very good reasons. A more systematic use of Excretia would have increased dramatically the book’s reflectivity, which is clearly not what the authors want to accomplish: what they have in mind is the transparent communication of a simple message; what they want to give is a “window” on the “mirror,” not the opposite, and not even a blending of both.

Bibliography

Jan BAETENS (2000). “A Critique of Cyberhybrid-hype,” in Jan Baetens and José Lambert (eds), The Future of Cultural Studies. Leuven: Leuven UP, 153-171.

Jan BAETENS (2003). “The Book as Technotext: Katherine Hayles’s Digital Materialism,” in Image and Narrative , 7. n.p.

Jay David BOLTER and Richard GRUSIN (1999). Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT.

Katherine HAYLES (2002). Writing Machines. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT.

Matt KIRSCHENBAUM (1999), Media, Genealogy, History, in ebr.

Rem KOOLHAAS (1995) S.M.L.XL: O.M.A. Rotterdam: 010.

Peter LUNENFELD (2000). Snap to Grid. A User’s Guide to Digital Arts, Media, and Cultures. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT.

Jakob NIELSEN (2000). Designing Web Usability. Indianapolis: New Riders.

Donald NORMAN (1998). The Invisible computer. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT.


          Digital vs. Traditional?        
by
Luc Herman
1999-12-30

The subtitle of this new and useful reader is slightly misleading. Instead of dealing with “literary theory” in its restricted sense - a collection of structured statements about the widely diverging products held together as “literature” by academics, publishing houses, bookshops and readers - Cyberspace Textuality intends to “explore the concepts of text and” (this is where the subtitle definitely starts to fail the book) “the forms of textuality currently emerging from the creative chaos of electronic technologies” (1). Computer technology develops so quickly that mere descriptions of the new texts it engenders often take precedence over a balanced discussion of their importance for criticism at large. And even if some of the technology has by now become commonplace, quite a few contributors still suffer from the unqualified “promotional” (16) optimism which characterized the work of such early critics as George Landow and Jay David Bolter.

Barbara Page’s article on feminist hypertext fiction offers a strong example of these two unfortunate tendencies. Placing writers such as Carolyn Guyer and Judy Malloy at the end of a line which runs back to Gertrude Stein, Dorothy Richardson, and Virginia Woolf, Page promotes their “open” hypertexts as an efficient means of subverting “patriarchal assumptions governing traditional modes of narrative” (111). Unless you want to campaign for the place of women in the canon, there is obviously no need to single out female writers when it comes to prove the openness of hyperfiction, just as it doesn’t make sense to isolate women authors when it comes to undermining “traditional” narrative. And perhaps the new type of fiction, male or female, is not all that subversive either, except of course when you desperately hold on to “realism” (111) as the norm under attack, a move which might be determined by the fact that it has in the last two decades - not least thanks to the immensely popular Critical Practice (1980) by Catherine Belsey - come to stand for everything that is bad under the critical sun. However, for readers with a host of daring authors such as Joyce and Pynchon under the belt, Guyer’s Quibbling (1991) or, for that matter, any other existing hypertext fiction fails to subvert anything but our material habits of literary consumption. The change of habits is unmistakable, but let’s not overestimate its implications. As far as I can tell, up to this day only the Internet presents a digital textual form which seriously manages to undermine the expectations of readers versed in the (twentieth-century) novel.

This relativizing insight should not prevent us from considering how computer technology may affect the concepts of text which are applied in daily critical practice. Apart from the paper by Mark Poster, who rightly faults Baudrillard and Derrida for not having dealt adequately with virtual reality, the essays in part I of Ryan’s reader all nicely contribute to the quickly growing body of work on this subject. In a courageous effort to come to terms with the World Wide Web as a whole, Mark Nunes relates the popular expressions, “Surf the Net” and “Cruise the Information Superhighway,” to the topographies offered by Deleuze and Guattari. The highway metaphor reminds Nunes of their “striated” space, which is “linear, point-oriented, and Cartesian” (62), whereas surfing makes him think of its opposite, the unbounded “smooth” space in which the points are far less important than the trajectory between them. These two topographies are performative: they each create an explicit image of the Internet. In order to avoid overcoding and the inevitable loss of relevance, Nunes calls for a somewhat more uncertain picture hovering between the two extremes. I would add that the combination of the two topographies can work equally well for a description of the operations involved in the act of reading a small-scale text, as the impact of A Thousand Plateaus on literary criticism has amply shown. This could mean that Nunes - who does not consider this parallel - is casting his net too widely, but I’d rather look at this similarity as an argument in favor of the continuity between traditional and digital forms.

Espen Aarseth would not share this position. He groups hypertext novels and computer games under the heading of “ergodic art” (in which the sequence of experienced signs is not, as usual, fixed by the “instigator of the work” (33)) and argues for the inclusion of this type of art under a broader notion of text. A traditional “narrative” would then merely represent a special (but obviously highly privileged) instance of this broader notion. Zooming in on Doom (which features a highly manipulated structure of aporia and epiphany) and John Cayley’s poetry generator, The Speaking Clock (with its radical openness), [see the Cayley hypertext in the electropoetic thread, eds.] Aarseth presents two extreme examples of ergodic temporality and argues that they challenge the hegemony of narrative. I wouldn’t go that far, if only because the interactivity which Aarseth highlights can also be part of reading in its more common form. It might therefore be more relevant to hint at varying degrees of (for instance) non-linearity, interactivity, or the much vaunted openness by placing digital and non-digital forms of textuality together on a series of spectra, one for each of the characteristics foregrounded by computer technology. This strategy risks overemphasis on one set of characteristics, but it has the advantage of protecting literary theory against ahistorical proposals by critics who are too infatuated with technology to consider what print texts can do.

In her own contribution to this reader (and easily its highpoint), Marie-Laure Ryan implicitly shares what I would hope are my commonsensical qualifications with regard to Nunes and Aarseth. At the end of a dense analysis on the connections and divergences between cyberspace and virtuality, Ryan clearly submits that as “a generator of potential worlds, interpretations, uses and experiences, the text is always already a virtual object” (96) and adds that technology has only elevated this virtuality “to a higher level” (96). In a final section on postmodern theory and the digital text, Ryan sensibly suggests that the early hurrah treatments of their convergences can’t be totally rejected, if only because this higher degree of virtuality must have looked very enticing to those steeped in postmodern ideology. Yet she also warns against the popular rhetoric which uses computer technology to proclaim the end of the book.

In Part II, Cyberspace Textuality merges criticism of digital textuality with dominant cultural issues. Under the overall heading, “Identity,” Ryan has collected articles on gender (Page), race (Thomas Foster on the Marvel comic, Deathlok), the body (Christopher J. Keep on how hypertext fiction affects the material side of reading), and performance (Matthew Causey on VR and other postorganic forms of theater). Like Page, Keep undoes his own argument by claiming too much for the new media and reducing the possibilities of their predecessors. Causey, while resting his discussion of postorganic performance on an affirmation of the material body as the ground of cyberculture, considers just how volatile identity becomes in a virtual environment. Influenced by the Heidegger of “The Question Concerning Technology,” he suggests that performance cannot escape the machines which always already mediate it, and turns to The Balcony by Jean Genet to investigate this “falling into inauthenticity wherein death is displaced” (197). Foster looks at the Deathlok issues produced by a team of African-American artists (1990) to see how they solve the issue of “racialized posthumanism” (141) in their story line about Michael Collins, a black scientist-cyborg who attempts to reclaim his organic body. The technological change appears to hold out a promise for minority subjects such as Collins, but in his perceptive interpretation Foster shows how Deathlok turns this opportunity into a complicated dilemma which makes the hero long to be human again.

The final part of Cyberspace Textuality represents a brave but disappointing attempt to apply some aspects of digital textuality to criticism itself. In their respective contributions, Katherine Hayles, Lance Olsen, and Jon Thiem put what is intended as an original spin on mostly familar arguments or concerns. Olsen combines existing readings of William Gibson by writing a series of footnotes to all the words of a sentence from Neuromancer. Thiem simulates an article from the year 2056 about the Universal (digital) Library which will/has come about in 2036. Hayles is more challenging. By merging the discourses of literary theory and artificial life, she wants to see what the latter’s dialectic of pattern and randomness can mean for literature and criticism. (Didn’t Pynchon do that ages ago? Then again, Hayles was an early contributor to Pynchon criticism before she turned to electronic textuality.) [Ciccoricco applies Hayles’ dialectic in reviewing Michael Joyce for ebr, eds.] But Hayles also wants to enhance the definition of hypertextuality by calling it “a self-organizing system” (214), which is a much more innovative and interesting metaphor. Hayles concedes that some traditional texts such as Cortazar’s Hopscotch also enhance self-organization, but hypertext’s greater access speed nevertheless makes her separate the average traditional text from its digital counterpart. In any case, “the pay-off in redescribing spaces of encoding/decoding through the dynamics of self-organization is obviously greater for electronic media rather than for printed words” (215). That’s a cautious formulation, and yet it entails a serious risk. Describing the act of reading non-digital texts in terms of self-organization indeed implies an effort that most readers do not make, but nearly reserving the metaphor for hypertext could be felt to condone the kind of mindless reading that I believe we need to avoid. In other words, we consistently need to deconstruct the opposition between digital and traditional for fear of creating a reductive and ultimately harmful image of the print text.


          A New View, from Somewhere        
This week is a second post from John Heydinger, who had previously written about Ludwik Fleck. Here, he interprets the "Anthropocene" through a lens provided by Donna Haraway. Check it out!

_________________
The emergence of the Anthropocene as a new geological moment suggests that the relationship between people and the planet remains a fruitful arena of critical exploration. Since the dawn of the industrial revolution (at least), humans have become a “global geophysical force.” [1] Contemporary research within atmospheric and oceanic chemistry, climate science, the biological sciences, and ecosystem ecology transforms our understanding of the world as the world itself becomes an increasingly changed place. Not only is there a different world to see, human tools of scientific technology mediate new ways of seeing it. The Anthropocene is thus both a mode of planetary existence and a frame of understanding; each suggests new ways for the scholar of science and technology studies (STS) and the historian of science to position herself or himself.

In her 1990 work, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: the reinvention of nature (Routledge Press), historian of science Donna Haraway suggests that a new form of scientific objectivity, one that celebrates particular and specific embodiment, is required to overcome the totalizing and failed objectivity of scientific reductionism. As a “search for translation, convertibility, mobility of meanings, and universality” [2] reductionist modes of scientific thought sought to objectify the world, to silence the multiplicity of voices embodied in any time and place. Haraway argues that all knowledge is inherently situated and embodied, that within an “epistemology of partial perspectives” a future “sustained, rational, objective enquiry rests.” [3] An epistemology of partial perspectives recognizes that a visionary gaze is always specifically located in time and place. The logic of the Anthropocene thus seems to dictate that, while our view is located somewhere, the impacts of combined actions are everywhere manifest.

The tension between the specific location of our understanding, and the broadcast impacts of our collective actions, suggests the fragility of the moment and calls into question our ability to positively address the transformed biosphere. Our simultaneous connectedness and uncertainty seem to be one of the many lessons of the Anthropocene. We have become self-aware of our groundedness. The somewhere we inhabit is a world co-created by humans. This new planet of interwoven people and things has become dominated and largely formed by science and scientific ways of seeing. Inasmuch as the Anthropocene suggests a troubling present and future (surely there will be benefits as well), it similarly will be through the sciences that we come to better understand it. Paying heed to Haraway’s call for a scientific knowledge that does not objectify the entities under examination, a vision of the Anthropocene which incorporates human embeddedness will recognize that the promise of a disconnected, disembodied scientific knowledge is a distortion of the work required to achieve a uniquely located understanding of phenomena. The successful application of the term Anthropocene – as though ecosystem functions, atmospheric interactions, geologic transformations, and the multiplicity of being on Earth were amenable to a totalizing label – should alert us to the possibility that we might objectify this newfound (age-old) home. Haraway reminds us that “Situated knowledges require that the object of knowledge be pictured as an actor or agent.” [4]  When the term Anthropocene is written or spoken, it resonates with a cacophonous chorus of people and things. Similarly it speaks the voice of the specifically situated knower, grounded in the world and connected with it. Clearly neither people nor the world dictate the terms of our planetary dialogue – each will have their say.

Haraway’s epistemology of situated and embodied knowledge reminds us that our experiences of the Anthropocene depend upon both our own embodied position, as well as that of our interlocutor. Just as human impacts are broadly manifest, yet locally constituted, so too do planetary actions and processes cross scales, and take on unique contextual forms. The impacts of human-planetary interactions will take on strikingly different characteristics depending upon the scale at which they are assessed. Haraway’s situated knowledge of partial perspectives suggests that both we and the Anthropocene will speak in voices specific to the context of the questions being asked. This turn towards partial understanding is not a failure of objectivity. Rather, it is an achievement of knowledge, as well as a recognition that the false hope of disengaged objectivity was always a fool’s hope. Rather than attempt to subjugate people and things to a totalizing and remote vision-from-nowhere, the knower and the known are always contextual – specifically located. Just as people do, the world speaks in an interconnected and multi-vocal manner. Neither human nor the world are so easily straightjacketed into speaking with a unified voice.

There may be much to fear as we enter a new era of co-constituted human and planetary history. Yet being alert to our embeddedness can be a victory of understanding and of vision. Rather than illusionary dreams of god-like domination, it may be affirmed that we are of the Anthropocene, as it is of us. STS and histories of science help us recognize that in addition to being a material reality, the Anthropocene is a conceptual and rhetorical creation. Lest we too easily objectify the Anthropocene, Haraway reminds us that the world may be a trickster; one whose answers will depend upon our questions, and who appears to elude our best attempts at a totalizing gaze. Rather than remove ourselves from the world, newfound ways of seeing can bring us closer to it. Grounding ourselves in the world we have helped to create, the same one which we may only provisionally understand, relieves us of the burden to be always correct and forever powerful. Our embodied and situated questions, positions, theories, and beliefs might then be given the freedom to be provisional – as open to reinvention as the world we inhabit.
_____
[1] Steffen, Will, Paul J Crutzen, and John R McNeill. 2007. “The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature ?” Ambio 36 (3): 614–21. pg. 614.
[2] Haraway 1990, 187
[3]Haraway 1990, 191
[4] Haraway 1990, 198

          Vi är alla cyborgs        
”By the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in short, we are cyborgs.”
Donna Haraway
Två och en halv tusendels millimeter, eller mikrometer, tjocka är de, elektrodmönstren tryckta på silkestyg som forskare vid universitetet i Pennsylvania tog fram förra året. Det är ungefär en fyrtiondel av ett vanligt pappersark. Det tunna silket läggs sedan direkt ovanpå hjärnan, man sköljer alltihop med saltlösning och tyget disintegreras. Elektroderna blir ett med hjärnan.
Brain-computer interfaces kallas det, hjärna-maskin-gränssnitt, kopplingar direkt mellan nervceller och maskiner. En av de äldsta och mest grovhuggna versionerna är EEG, elektroder på utsidan av huvudet för att mäta hjärnaktivitet och exempelvis diagnosticera epilepsi eller hjärnskador. I dag är det också vanligt med kirurgisk BCI, där elektroder opereras in till själva hjärnan där de kommunicerar direkt med nervcellerna. Det har funnits problem med dessa metoder, både riskerna för hjärnskador vid själva operationen och för att ärrvävnad ska kapsla in elektroderna och både försämra deras effektivitet och hjärnans egen, i den utsträckning man nu kan skilja dessa åt. För det intressanta är ju att det efter hand inte blir någon skillnad. Hjärnan gör ingen skillnad på varifrån impulserna kommer, och BCI har haft goda effekter för hjärnfunktionen hos opererade patienter. Med den nya silkesmetoden hoppas forskarna komma bort från riskerna och i så småningom brett tillgänglig medicin kunna förbättra hjärnans funktionssätt på samma sätt som pacemakers och titanskruvar är självklara hjälpmedel vid andra åkommor.
Medicinskt är det fantastiskt. Filosofiskt är det svindlande. För vem är det som tänker om hjärnan och datorn sitter ihop? Vem är det jag som hjärnan hör ihop med, vem är individen, är det en människa eller maskin? Om nu tekniken fungerar så sömlöst som forskarna hoppas är det inte osannolikt att tänka sig en önskan om att använda den inte bara vid hjärnskador utan också som generell mental förbättring, som sätt att göra oss smartare. Då kommer vi alla sannerligen vara cyborgs.
Detta är inte lätt att hantera i en kultur som så självklart ser den mänskliga individen och det självständigt tänkande, kännande jaget som sitt centrum. I varje givet ögonblick betraktas vi i västvärlden som just individer, avskilda från varandra, självständiga, fria. De sammanhang där vi inte är fria, eller där vi inte är avskilda från varandra, ses blott som anomalier i individualismens tidevarv. I kristen efterföljd ser vi den inre glöden, viljan, agensen, i varje människa som drivande i hans eller hennes liv. Idéernaom jaget, individen och den fria viljan är basen för nästan allt annat tänkande, däribland definitivt för hela liberalismen.
Men finns de? Finns det något entydigt jag, någon särskild individ med egen vilja?
Inom vetenskapen är det som sagt rätt enkelt. Där ser man att den mänskliga hjärnan bara är ett signalfilter, allting vi tänker kommer ursprungligen utifrån. Det finns ingenting inuti oss som skapar signaler, tankar, känslor ur intet. Vi vet också att var och en av oss inne i kroppen bär omkring på ungefär ett och ett halvt kilo bakterier, fristående organismer som hjälper oss att fungera. Det gör inte vår kropp till mindre av vår egen, ytterst få drar antispeciesismen så långt att vi borde ge kroppsbakterierna egen beslutanderätt, men det säger något om vår tendens att samarbeta med omvärlden. Inte ens inne i kroppen är vi ensamma.
Samtidigt är mycket av det vi tror är medvetna val i själva verket beslut som fattas av våra hjärnor helt oberoende av medvetandet. Det gör oss inte i sig till mindre av individer, men det väcker frågor om det vi kallar jaget. Det vi kallar medvetande tycks inte på något särskilt meningsfull sätt kunna sägas ”bestämma”. Studier där man observerat människors hjärnor med värmekamera samtidigt som försökspersonerna fattar olika beslut visar att medvetandet tvärtom är långt efter hjärnan. Tidsglappet mellan när hjärnan fattar ett beslut och när vi tror att vi fattar ett medvetet beslut är upp till 7 sekunder. Det är väldigt lång tid i hjärnsammanhang. Medvetandet tycks mest till för att rationalisera i efterhand, för att komma på argument för varför vi gjorde på det ena eller andra sättet.

Väldigt få människor hävdar numera att människan har en själ, mer än metaforiskt eller religiöst. Själen är ett religiöst begrepp som man kan tro på på samma sätt som man kan tro på Gud, men det är just tro snarare än vetenskap, med trossatsens inneboende fördelar och begränsningar. Vi är våra kroppar, det som finns finns och om man vill tro att det finns mer är det självfallet inget att bråka om, men heller ingenting man kan basera uppfattningar utanför religionen på. Men om själen inte finns, mer än som religion, vad är i så fall jaget? Vad är jaget som inte är hjärnan? Descartes, som trodde på själen, placerade som bekant jaget i tallkottkörteln, och såg jaget som den plats där kropp och själ kommunicerade. Vad man ska med jaget till utan själ är mer oklart. Ändå upplever många det som obehagligt att tänka att vi inte är herrar över våra kroppar, att det inte är ”vi” som bestämmer. Det obehaget blir rimligen inte mindre när man inser att inte heller medvetandet bestämmer.
Det är dock ingen förlust att vi inte är fångna i våra egna jag. Det mänskliga tänkandet präglas både av vår kultur och av våra kommunikationssätt och en mycket stor del av det vi betraktar som begåvning och framsteg handlar om vår förmåga att i allt större grad placera tänkandet utanför oss själva. Vi har i den meningen alltid varit cyborgs. Också bortom BCI finns i dag i miljontals människors badrumsskåp SSRI-preparat, som aktivt påverkar hjärnans funktionssätt. Det krävs förresten inte ens mediciner. KBT-terapi fungerar likadant utan tabletter, genom specifika övningar lär man hjärnan nya sätt att fungera, man utnyttjar medvetet hjärnans extrema plasticitet och intensiva samspel med omvärlden för att pränta in nya tankemönster och beteenden.
Lika mycket är man en cyborg när man använder penna och papper för att lösa ett matematiskt problem. Vid studier där vissa enbart använder hjärnan för att räkna och andra använder just papper och pennahar man sett att hjärnan fungerar olika under de olika omständigheterna. De som använder penna löser inte bara problemet snabbare för att de har outsourcat del av tänkandet till handen, pennan, sifferspråket och papperet – de tänker på ett annat sätt. Den som bara håller sig inom sin egen skalle förlorar. Pennan blir en del av hjärnan.

Människans hjärna är aldrig ensam. Det är det ständiga umgänget med omgivningen, den ständiga anpassningen, utvecklingen, som gör människan till en speciell art. De blomkålsliknande 1,5 kilo vi alla bär på skiljer sig nämligen i allt väsentligt, fysiskt och neurologiskt, inte från hjärnorna på de allra första människorna för sådär 100 000 till 200 000 år sedan. Evolutionen går inte snabbare än så. Vi är i grunden likadana. Eller, vi hade varit det, om hjärnan hade varit avskild från omvärlden. Om vi, på något meningsfullt sätt, faktiskt hade varit enskilda separata individer. Tvärtom är det just för att vi inte är det, för att vi framgångsrikt klarat av att outsourca så ofantliga delar av vårt tänkande utanför den enskilda hjärnan som vi har kommit så pass långt från savannen. Allt det vi kallar mänsklig civilisation bygger på att vi låter våra hjärnor sträcka sig utanför skallen.

Skriftspråket var ett av de första kollektivt genomgripande sådana outsourcningsprojekten. Som många har påpekat var Sokrates, som levde under den brytningstiden, starkt negativ till skriften. Han menade, något vi självfallet bara känner till eftersom Platon skrev ner det i Faidon, inte bara att skrivkonsten skulle försämra människans minne, eftersom man inte längre skulle behöva komma ihåg allting man ville tala om eller tänka på, det skulle också ge ett mer sterilt och därmed mindre värdefullt vetande. Till skillnad från ett samtal mellan människor kunde inte skriften anpassa sig efter människors själar, och allt skriftlig kunskapsöverföring blev därför blott meningslös envägskommunikation.

Det är faktiskt lätt att förstå Sokrates invändningar. Kollektivt kognitivt och civilisatoriskt måste man ändå säga att skriftspråket har varit en succé. Bokstäverna har utvidgat våra hjärnor med många miljoner hyllmeter och effekterna på samhällena har inte varit mindre. Det måste förstås både utifrån utvidgningen av hjärnan till papper och från den fantastiska möjlighet till kommunikation mellan människor som skriften ger, över tid och samtidigt. Det samlade vetandet gavs möjlighet till demokratisering och spridning.

Det skifte vi är mitt inne i nu är lika stort som införandet av det skrivna ordet och precis som Sokratets var då är vissa oroade över de kognitiva effekterna. Den amerikanske författaren Nicholas Carr har i åtskilliga böcker och artiklar exempelvis anfört att människan i dag varkenär förmögen att läsa längre texter eller till längre stunder av djup koncentration. Detta menar Carr är internets fel. Kanske är vi på väg tillbaka i en mer momentan tradition av tillfällig uppmärksamhet, liknande den innan skriftens utbredning. I små banala detaljer är det uppenbart att människor i allmänhet inte längre minns telefonnummer eftersom de inte behöver göra det, eller att de flesta nog skulle medge att de störs i ett längre mer kreativt arbete av såväl mejlplingande som twitterflöde. Verktyget Mac Freedom är intressant i sammanhanget, eftersom det skapar en artificiell internetlös miljö för den som så önskar under en begränsad tid, liksom nätvanliga begrepp som att ”tunnla” när man stänger av flödet och bara arbetar hängivet med en sak åt gången. Vi ger oss själva illusionen av att vara avskärmade individer eftersom det gör visst sorts arbete enklare. Tänk om man kunde göra samma sak med behovet av att hämta på dagis.

Kritik har dock riktats mot Carr. De förändringar han påstår sig se finns helt enkelt inte. Inte det att internet inte påverkar hjärnan, allting vi gör, allt vi konfronteras med påverkar hjärnan, men nätet och interaktiviteten tycks huvudsakligen göra oss gott. Stora studier visar exempelvis att de kognitiva effekterna av datorspel är entydigt goda, för allt från uppmärksamhetsgrad till visuell perception. Det här gället intressant nog också extremt enkla spel, som Tetris.
En studie från University of California i Los Angeles 2009 visade till och med att det som ses som centralt i den här uppfattade fördumningen, att googla, ger ökad hjärnaktivitet i de delar av hjärnan som används för uppmärksamhet och analysförmåga, om man jämför med att läsa en bok. Google gör oss alltså smartare, inte dummare. Vi blir smartare tillsammans. Den enskilda hjärnan är inte nödvändigtvis en meningsfull enhet.
Om kopplingarna mellan hjärna om omvärld skriver bland andra Andy Clark och David Chalmers i The extended mind, det utvidgade sinnet. De använder sig av exemplet med den minnesstörda person som skriver ner saker i en anteckningsbok för att komma ihåg dem. En person utan problem med minnet minns själv, internt i hjärnan, hur man ska gå en viss väg, vad människor heter eller hur de hör ihop. Personen utan minne minns med hjälp av sina nedskrivna anteckningar. Minnet är alltså i det senare fallet externaliserat till anteckningsboken. Finns det i det här fallet någon essentiell skillnad mellan de olika typerna av minne? Anteckningsboksversionen känns förstås klumpigare, de flesta av oss skulle föredra att minnas ändå, men minnen förvrids ju i huvudet. Nedskrivna anteckningar kan mycket väl vara mer korrekta än det vi upplever oss minnas. Just denna skillnad i dynamik finns där mellan hjärna och papper. Den skillnaden finns dock allt mindre mellan hjärna och digitala hjälpmedel. Google-sökningar som är anpassade efter historiskt beteende, automatiskt personligt anpassade hemsidor, allt detta visar hur internet blir en outsourcad hjärna som dessutom beter sig ungefär som hjärnan.
De neurologiska diskussionerna om vem det är som bestämmer av medvetande och hjärna är en sak. Någonstans i kroppen fattas det beslut, det finns en hand som håller i pennan, en hjärna som kopplas till elektroder. Det fria valet, den politiska utväxlingen ur idén om den enskilda individen, är filosofiskt ännu svårare.
Om ett val ska kunna vara verkligt fritt måste det vara opåverkat av yttre omständigheter. Ingenting är någonsin opåverkat av yttre omständigheter. Det gäller inte bara de konkreta omedelbara begränsningar i tid och rum som alla utgår från, inte ens i det specifika valet mellan två alternativ framför oss kan vi på något meningsfullt sätt betraktas som fria.
Kanske känner vi oss fria att välja mellan att äta kanelbullen eller moroten där de ligger intill varandra framför oss, men det valet står aldrig fritt från våra tidigare erfarenheter av att äta bullar (eller morötter), från doften i rummet där vi väljer, från vår genetiska kroppskonstitution, från om vi kom i håg att äta lunch tidigare i dag med efterföljande effekter på blodsockret, från hur känslig vår kropp är för svängningar i blodsockret. Detta är något som vikthetsare sällan tar med i beräkningen när de fnyser om eller rent av till någon tjockis sägeratt det väl bara är att äta mindre. För även i detta konkreta enkla fall är det omöjligt att hävda någon reellt fri vilja, om man med fri vilja menar att man faktiskt bestämmer fritt.
Allting vi är påverkas av faktorer vi inte har valt själva, våra gener, våra uppväxtförhållanden. Även om vi tänker oss att vi så småningom när vi blir vuxna börjar välja fritt går de valen inte att bortkoppla från vad vi är. Och vad vi är har vi ju inte valt själva. Ingen är någonsin sin egen orsak, causa sui. Är det någon som tror att det är ett fritt val att barn till högutbildade väljer att lägga tid och pengar på högre utbildning i så oändligt mycket högre utsträckning än barn till analfabeter? Är det någon som tror att det är en slump att så stor andel av fängelseinterner (hälften på svenska fängelser) hade ADHD-liknande problem som barn? I det senare exemplet accentueras den medfödda dimensionen då det numera står helt klart att ADHD/ADD har en genetisk komponent.
Man ska dock inte överdriva den genetiska dimensionen, biologiskt har vi i allmänhet just anlag för specifika uttryck, dessa anlag kräver vissa miljöfaktorer för att uttryckas. Det gäller sjukdomar såväl som karaktärsdrag (även om det också finns sådana drag som är mer uttalat biologiskt determinerade). Men vi väljer inte barndomens miljöpåverkan heller. Också bortom det genetiska arvet är vi utlämnade åt sådant som våra föräldrars beteende, dynamiken i syskonskaran eller förskolegruppen, den fysiska närmiljön. Våra hjärnor påverkas hela livet av omvärlden, men den tidiga påverkan skapar mönster som kan vara ytterligt svåra eller rent av omöjliga att bryta senare.
Detta behöver inte innebära fullständig determinism. Även om vi inte väljer själva, i någon meningsfull fri mening, finns det alltid olika möjliga vägar. Vi utsätts för nya influenser hela tiden, dessa influenser kan i sin tur vara resultat av vad vi kan kalla mutationer, slumpmässiga utfall. Mutationsmöjligheten innebär att det alltid finns ett litet mått av frihet, även om det inte är den medvetna frihet vi vanligen talar om i politiska sammanhang.
Det innebär inte heller att det inte finns mer eller mindre ofria val. Att reell frihet inte finns behöver eller bör inte leda till den politiska slutsatsen att absolut ofrihet är att föredra.
Både individen och det fria valet är illusioner som tjänar oss väl som människor. Som David Hume skriver i Om det mänskliga förståndet är det stor skillnad mellan det vi tror på intellektuellt och det vi lever efter i vardagen. Det vi filosofiskt inser är sant försvinner som rök vid kontakt med verkligheten och den mest övertygade skeptiker blir lika vanestyrd som vem som helst. Det är alltså inte nödvändigtvis bara dåligt (det vore om inte annat mycket opraktiskt att aldrig lita på induktion, som Hume menar att man egentligen inte kan). Den vardagliga vanan, där vi tänker oss att vi är individer, tänker oss att vi faktiskt väljer mellan olika alternativ, är nog så viktig. Inte minst gäller det inom etiken.
Frånvaron av verklig möjlig valfrihet skulle kunna användas som argument för att ingen är ansvarig för sina handlingar och att man därför inte kan tala om rätt och fel. Vi gör det vi måste göra. En sådan nihilism är ingen särskilt god grund för ett samhälle. Det har ju visst betydelse hur vi beter oss. Även om vi är predisponerade att göra det ena eller andra skulle de övergripande effekterna för samhället bli sämre om vi utgick ifrån att allting redan var bestämt och det inte fanns något individuellt ansvar.

Det finns rätt och fel även om det inte finns onda och goda människor. Samhällen blir bättre om vi tillsammans upprätthåller vissa normer för mänskligt beteende. Även om det fria valet inte egentligen finns, vilket får konsekvenser för hur man kan tänka på både rättigheter och skyldigheter, är det därför bättre att låtsas som om vi kan välja det rätta och bör välja bort det orätta.

Denna essä ingÃ¥r i essäsamlingen "Frihet och fruktan - tankar om liberalism" som kom ut pÃ¥ Natur och kultur hösten 2011. 

          The Entire City (vinyl) - Gazelle Twin        
'Elizabeth Walling could be Brighton's answer to Fever Ray's Karin Dreijer Andersson, with her queer masked costumes and avant-garde electronica. Her repertoire draws from sci-fi film scores, choral music, underwater life and the paranormal. The visual accoutrements – stark, monochrome videos, theatrical live shows – are striking, but the brooding, atmospheric scores on this debut are thrilling enough to stand alone. The Entire City is named after a Max Ernst painting, and Walling casts her metropolis as both comfort and threat; the safeness and succor of Concrete Mother becomes suffocating claustrophobia on Nest, with its suspense-filled percussion, and the war-like rush of the eponymous track becomes stark isolation on Changelings. The album feels all the more arcane for its nakedness, its mood shifting subtly from sensual and euphoric to eerie foreboding. Walling is both star and morphing other, warping breathy harmonies and siren miasmas into elegant cyborg operas. A stunning debut.' THE GUARDIAN *****  
           Justino playing it cool ahead of UFC 214         
LOS ANGELES — For the better part of a decade, Cris “Cyborg” Justino has been a queen without a crown.
          Justice League Peepshow        
Wonder Twin Powers Activate! Form of a totally kick butt Popcast episode… Form of Super hero overload. That’s right folks, it’s time to laser focus in on the Justice League! No it’s not a coincidence that you are listening to this right after Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice hits the theaters. You got a very quick snapshot of most of the Justice League characters in the movie, now take a deeper look at the Justice League superheroes and find out why this is one of the most exciting grouping of comic super stars. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aqua Man, and Cyborg are all talked about in this episode. And because the Justice League has been made up of dozens of super heroes over the years, the guys are counting down the 10 lamest team members to enter the Halls of Justice. Join Brian and Shane, as they ponder Aquaman’s fishy powers and moreon this memorable Team Justice episode. In this episode of the Popcast… Brian gets his friends together to take down McDonalds and Sizzler Brian does something bad to people in Line Shane quits sugar day 5… what the bleep? Shane Dumbs down the new 52 Brian explains the Father Box and the Boom tube… Seriously? The Omega Beam is totally OP and listen to the rich guy. Ben Affleck pulls a Schwarzenegger?  
          Death of a cyborg        


Here's Shorra's "Death of a Cyborg," and it's lovely.

(via Kadrey)

          We looked at Trump's Twitter interactions for more than a year. A lot of them are suspicious.          


Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

President Donald Trump tweets … a lot. But along with his usual flurry of tweets attacking the media, lamenting fake news, or criticizing practically anyone who disagrees with him, Trump has another Twitter habit -- quoting his supposed supporters' tweets. A look at over a year of Trump’s retweets, quote tweets, and tweets in which he quoted another Twitter handle has left a lot of questions.

Using the Trump Twitter Archive, Media Matters audited the president’s Twitter handle, @RealDonaldTrump, between April 1, 2016, and July 31, 2017, focusing on retweets, quote tweets, and tweets where @RealDonaldTrump quoted another Twitter handle. We used that list to identify unverified accounts that he quoted or retweeted, which we then checked for the original tweet and suspicious or bot-like activity. If an account seemed suspicious (for example, it posted an unrealistic number of tweets or exclusively pro-Trump messages), we examined its tweeting habits during the weekend of the second presidential debate (October 6 to 10, 2016). Finally, if an account seemed like a bot, we reviewed its tweeting habits between August 2015 and January 2016.

Factors used to identify suspicious behavior included the date the handle was created; the number of tweets sent; the general frequency of tweets and use of hashtags and images; the content and frequency of tweets the weekend of the second debate; and what the account tweeted before the October 2015 primary season. Here’s what we found:

1. Trump retweeted and thanked a woman named Nicole Mincey over the weekend of August 5, 2017, as was widely reported by numerous outlets. Mincey was suspected to be a bot, but was later identified by BuzzFeed and others as a real Trump supporter who was using her page to sell merchandise. It was odd for Trump to simply retweet an unknown account because, based on Media Matters’ findings, Trump typically retweets only verified accounts, such as Fox & Friends’ Twitter account or those of his staffers and family members.

However, Trump frequently does quote tweets from unverified accounts (not using the Twitter “quote tweet” function but literally quoting a tweet). These quote tweets have been called out in the past for featuring white supremacists, and it appears that he also quotes tweets with some frequency from accounts that appear to be either fake accounts or bots.

2. At least 12 of the Twitter handles that Trump quoted in tweets have had their accounts suspended, and at least 16 additional handles have been deactivated. For example, on May 15, 2016, Trump quoted a tweet from the handle @TakingIt_Back: 

However, when one tries to go to the page for @TakingIt_Back now, it redirects to an "Account Suspended" page. This is true for Trump's quoted tweets of @Gengm7, @patrioticpepe, @EyeCandyTMGayle, and @tweak626 as well as others.

3. On at least six occasions, Trump retweeted tweets from accounts that have only one or two tweets on their page -- and currently have largely inactive profiles.

While we were unable to locate the original tweets from these accounts, they are still active. For example, on August 29, 2016, Trump quoted a tweet from @RhondaR:

When one goes to @rhondar's page now, this is what they find: 

Similar account activity can also be seen on the pages of users Trump quoted in these tweets. 

4. Trump has quoted tweets from the handles of at least two suspected bots, one of which is the well-known, now-suspended @PatrioticPepe. The other handle, @Don_Vito_08, has been described as “a partly automated pro-Trump cyborg.” @Don_Vito_08 was created soon after Trump announced he was going to run for president; the account began aggressively tweeting pro-Trump memes in December 2015 and anti-Clinton memes after the presidential primaries. The account has over 33,000 followers and claims in its Twitter bio that it was retweeted three times by Trump.

5. Over 20 original tweets that Trump quoted on Twitter could no longer be found.

 

Natalie Martinez and Freedom Murphy conducted the research documented in this post.


          Arriving 8/2/17        
Marvel’s GENERATIONS event begins this week with the first of the one shots, this week is the Hulks! Plus new SHADE THE CHANGING GIRL, WALKING DEAD and SEX CRIMINALS! Check the cut for the rest of the fresh August books! AB IRATO #4 (OF 6) ADVENTURE TIME REGULAR SHOW #1 ALL NEW GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #7 ALL TIME COMICS BLIND JUSTICE #1 ALTERS #6 AMORY WARS GOOD APOLLO #5 (OF 12) ARCHANGEL #5 (OF 5) AVENGERS #10 SE BANE CONQUEST #4 (OF 12) BATMAN #28 BLACK BOLT #4 CHAMPIONS #11 SE CYBORG #15 DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS #32 DEAD OF WINTER #1 DEATHSTROKE #22 EAST OF WEST #34 ELSEWHERE #1 EVERAFTER FROM THE PAGES OF FABLES #12 EXTREMITY #6 GALAKTIKON #1...  Read More...
          Assistir - Cyborg, O Dragão do Futuro - Dublado        
Assista na integra 
Assistir Cyborg, O Dragão do Futuro - 1989 (Dublado)

Cyborg, O Dragão do Futuro (1989)

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          Forgotten Halloween – Dark photo manipulation tutorial        
In this tutorial I”ll show you how to create a dark photo manipulation called “Forgotten Halloween”. You’ll learn how to combine different stocks, create a dark and eerie atmosphere and work with lighting effect. The Final Image            Required Resources: Forest   http://frostbo.deviantart.com/art/Premade-Background-13-269132903 Crow  http://cyborgsuzystock.deviantart.com/art/birdy-18-raven-25350206 Gravestones   http://free-stock-by-wayne.deviantart.com/art/Gravestone-Set-02-377259793 Cobweb brushes   http://redheadstock.deviantart.com/art/Cobwebs-Photoshop-Brushes-42228703 Bat brushes   http://wix.deviantart.com/art/bat-brushes-11823768 Smoke  http://www.qualitystockphotos.com/stock-photo-24717845-close-up-image-of-dense-fog..html Pumpkin   […]
          DVD Verdict 358 - Sounds and Sights of Cinema (Electronic Scores)        

This week, our cyborg Clark Douglas explores electronic film scores with selections from Starman (1984), Commando (1985), Runaway (1984), The Shining (1980), Fight Club (1999), Green Card (1990), Twin Peaks (1990), Legend (1985), Daylight (1996), Heartbeeps (1981), and a bonus track from Blade Runner (1982). Clark also shares his less than glowing review of Terminator: Salvation. Enjoy!

Clark welcomes your comments, questions, and suggestions in The Jury Room.


          Los Jóvenes Titanes En Acción Temporada 2 Capítulo 43 - Locura De Anuario (Español Latino)        
 

LOCURA DE ANUARIO
(Yearbook Madness)
Teen Titans Go!: Temporada 2 / Episodio 43
Fecha De Estreno: 14 De Mayo De 2015 (Inglés) / 10 De Agosto De 2015 (Latino)

Cyborg y Chico Bestia organizan un anuario de los titanes y Robin se vuelve loco intentando ser popular.

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          Los Jóvenes Titanes En Acción Temporada 2 Capítulo 31 - Agua De La Manguera (Español Latino)        
 

AGUA DE LA MANGUERA
(Hose Water)
Teen Titans Go!: Temporada 2 / Episodio 31
Fecha De Estreno: 12 De Febrero De 2015 (Inglés) / 3 De Agosto De 2015 (Latino)

Cyborg y Starfire se divierten como niños y a Robin le preocupa que este comportamiento los lleve a su perdición.

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          Los Jóvenes Titanes En Acción Temporada 2 Capítulo 30 - Aventuras De Un Chico De Verdad (Español Latino)        
 

AVENTURAS DE UN CHICO DE VERDAD
(Real Boy Adventures)
Teen Titans Go!: Temporada 2 / Episodio 30
Fecha De Estreno: 12 De Febrero De 2015 (Inglés) / 3 De Agosto De 2015 (Latino)

Raven convierte a Cyborg en un ser humano completo, pero ser un chico de verdad era más difícil de lo que él recordaba.

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          Los Jóvenes Titanes En Acción Temporada 2 Capítulo 29 - Huesos De Sonrisa (Español Latino)        
 

HUESOS DE SONRISA
(Smile Bones)
Teen Titans Go!: Temporada 2 / Episodio 29
Fecha De Estreno: 5 De Febrero De 2015 (Inglés) / 27 De Julio De 2015 (Latino)

Cyborg y Chico Bestia le enseñan a los demás titanes a comer "apropiadamente", o sea, sin masticar o saborear los alimentos.

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          It's Hair Vs. Machine In 'Bravest Warriors' #7 [Preview]        
Following our cover reveal for Bravest Warriors #7 a few months back, we knew that the issue would pack futuristic beauty pageant espionage. What we didn't know was that awesome giant cyborgs would be involved in a kerfluffle with the team... Continue reading…
          Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute (Lunch Lady, #1)        
Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute (Lunch Lady, #1)
author: Jarrett J. Krosoczka
name: Tamora
average rating: 3.97
book published: 2009
rating: 3
read at:
date added: 2015/01/06
shelves:
review:


          Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)        
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)
author: Marissa Meyer
name: Tamora
average rating: 4.15
book published: 2012
rating: 3
read at: 2012/01/18
date added: 2013/12/20
shelves: sf-ya-yr
review:
The book was an interesting read. Cinder is a cyborg--part human, part machine--belonging to the widow of the man who adopted her. They live with the woman's two daughters in a future Asia-like empire that exists after a fourth World War, with Cinder supporting the family on her earnings as the best mechanic in Beijing. She's replacing her old, 11-year-old foot with a new, adult one when Prince Kai arrives with his old teaching android (completely mechanical person), which has broken down. For some reason he wants someone outside the palace to fix his beloved old friend, and he's heard about Cinder. Just after he leaves, a baker who works in a nearby stall shows signs of the uncurable plague that is killing people all over the world. All of this sets up the action for the book: the plague that infects Kai's father the emperor and Cinder's beloved younger "sister" Peony, Cinder's missing first 11 years, and the Lunar queen's attempt to marry Kai.

As you can see from all of this, the plot is fast-moving. Cinder is dragged into the plague mess when her "stepmother" signs her over to the research testing program, and her increased contact with Kai leads to an attraction on both sides, though she's terrified he'll find out she's a cyborg. There are only two flaws, one of which would only bug someone like me, and one which I thought was big enough to make me give the book three stars instead of four or five. The little one: she refers to the union of Earth nations as "Earthen," which to me is a dam or ceramic ware (it means "made of Earth"), not a term to refer to people and unions from Earth. I don't know how Meyer's editors didn't catch this.

The bigger hitch? A cliffhanger ending. The book just stops. Maybe you're okay with this, but my editors beat it out of me. Even if there is a sequel, there should be a story rounded off in the book. Readers will have to wait a year to pick up the next stitch--they may not remember the story; they may not care. And I get really frustrated.

Up until then, it was a very good book.

          Ep. #4, Building A Cyborg Company        

Kyle and Kevin are back, this time discussing the concept of a ‘cyborg company’. What exactly is a cyborg company and how is it relevant? Kyle explains that like the part-man part-machine cyborg, the modern company has machine parts and human parts, each with its own distinct strengths and weaknesses.

The post Ep. #4, Building A Cyborg Company appeared first on Heavybit.


          Central Station        
Central Station
author: Lavie Tidhar
name: Mark
average rating: 3.52
book published: 2016
rating: 4
read at: 2016/11/08
date added: 2016/11/08
shelves:
review:
Central Station
Author: Lavie Tidhar
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Published In: San Francisco, CA
Date: 2016
Pgs: 275


REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS


Summary:
Tel Aviv, the future. 250,000 people live at the base of a space station. Here virtual reality, humanity and all its cultures, the Others, mind plagues, data vampires, cyborgs, and digital consciousness collide. Central Station stands between humanity and space. One leap. Old world, new world.


Genre:
Aliens
Androids
Cyberpunk
Fiction
Mecha
Philosophy
Pulp
Robots
Science fiction
Space
Vampires


Why this book:
A giant spaceport in the middle of Tel Aviv-Jaffa swirling with the religious, cultural differences magnified a billion times by the entire solar system passing through there.
______________________________________________________________________________


Favorite Character:
Mama Miriam Jones who took the orphaned boy in. Miriam who takes Carmel, the data vampire, in. Miriam who, a long time ago, was a young woman, who loved Boris before he left Earth to put distance between himself and all that is Earth.


Miriam’s brother, Achimwene Haile Selaissie Jones, bookseller and friend to Ibrahim, the alte-zachen man.


Character I Most Identified With:
Lots of characters here. Each of them fronts their own layer to this world’s onion.


I feel Achimwene in my love of books. His descriptions and the descriptions of his shop ring a bell in my head and heart.


The Feel:
There’s a Pinocchio story in here. They are all chasing being human in their individual ways. And finding that humanity in odd ways unique to each individual.


Echoes of Beauty and the Beast show in a subplot here with Motl and Isobel.


And more echoes of Romeo and Juliet in many of the relationships in the book.


Favorite Scene / Quote:
Great world building. Lots of texture and backhanded info dump without being overwhelming. Info dump coming through character action and individual scene setting. Well done.


The description of what Carmel did to Stolichnaya Biru, though whether he intended all along to make his suicide part of his Stillness within a Storm art installation at Polyphemus Port on Titan or if he was pushed further around the bend by Carmel draining his soul, life, data a bit at a time.


Love Motl’s flashback to one of the wars that he was caught up in as a robotnik. Dune’s sandworms in the Sinai. A bioweapon that got loose and started breeding beneath the sands. The Bedouins hunting them for the medicinal qualities of their venom is a nice touch.


Achimwene’s reverence when Ibrahim brings him a box from a time capsule, a box full of ancient books.


The deep Nirvana of the in-book gaming world, the MMORPG on quantum steroids, and the possibility of diving deep into the game architecture dredging through its past and coming to...I’m not going to ruin it, but it made me laugh hard.


Pacing:
No real action through the majority of this book. But the world is so immersive that you can read a chapter that is a noded man sitting with a cyborged robotnik having coffee and talking about old times and the future and it feels like a lot has happened. Tidhar has created a tremendously immersive experience in this book.


Hmm Moments:
Elronites? LOL. Stood in context against the various religions and beliefs from the real world and the ones that are unique to the setting which are all part and parcel of this Tel Aviv-Jaffa-Central Station megacity and the Asimovian and Heinleinian aspects, that’s awesome.


How many cloned messiah came out of the vats? How many different factions are trying to gin up their own unifier?


A genetically certified descendant of King David rode into Jerusalem on a white donkey, amidst portents of an ending, not necessarily The End. Then, someone took him out with a sniper rifle. And, since then the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv-Jaffa-Central Station corridor had been awash with almost messiahs; genejobs, Others beyond the human condition, some points between human and virtual. But messiah projects were everywhere; the Singularity Jesus Project in Laos, the Black Monks of Mars, or the massive virtuality birthing and rebirthing the victims of The Holocaust taking place on the Zion asteroid as it makes its way out system following a beamed dream of what they believed to be a dreaming alien god, 6,000,000 virtual Jewish ghosts taken on an ultimate diaspora.


The Stirgoi / Shambleau data vampires are wicked creatures. Tearing away all that their victims are either all at once or a bite at a time as they slip toward mindlessness / emptiness. The second is what Carmel did to Stolly. The first is what the data vampire on the freighter Emaciated Savior did to Carmel before injecting soul, life, data back into her and making her a Stirgoi in her own right.


Worldbuilding where a cyborg beggar ex-soldier, more machine than man, uses the exclamation “Jesus Elron!” when introduced to a data vampire.


The Burning God was interesting, existing in all the layers of Man, machine, the Conversation, the virtual, the gameverse, and the deep other. Made me think of Burning Man, maybe Burning Man on acid.


WTF Moments:
The Others bodysurfing the humans sounds horrible from the human perspective. The humans being involved out-of-body or asleep and awakening to find something different about their body when they awake.
______________________________________________________________________________


Last Page Sound:
That was cool.


Author Assessment:
Will definitely look at other stuff by Lavie Tidhar.


Knee Jerk Reaction:
instant classic


Disposition of Book:
Irving Public Library
South Campus
Irving, TX


Dewey Decimal System:
F
TID


Would recommend to:
everyone
______________________________________________________________________________




          Federations        
Federations
author: John Joseph Adams
name: Mark
average rating: 3.61
book published: 2009
rating: 4
read at: 2015/06/04
date added: 2015/06/04
shelves:
review:
Federations
Author: Bujold, Card, Martin, McCaffrey, Reynolds, Silverberg, Valentine, Modesitt Jr, Turtledove, Anderson, Beason, Bradford, Wright, Guthridge, Lee, Foster, Silverberg, Rosenblum, Sawyer, Tolbert, Steele, Li, Hergenrader, Gardner, Valente,
Publisher: Prime Books
Date: 2009
Pgs: 379

REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Summary:
Vast interstellar societies and the challenges facing them. Federations stories mix new fiction alongside reprints that represent what interstellar SF is capable of. Space is big.

Genre:
Adventure
Alternate History
Apocalypse
Cyberpunk
Disaster
Fiction
Military
Multiverse
Science fiction
Short stories
Space
Space opera
War

Why this book:
The cover. And the Wil Wheaton blurb on the back.
______________________________________________________________________
Mazer in Prison by Orson Scott Card
Favorite Character:
Mazer Rackham, war hero and deep space traveller, and Rip Van Winkle on a long trip through time on his roundtrip way to Earth and command a fleet that is on its way to enemy territory. The idea of his being launched on a trip like this so that he ages in conjunction with his crews as they race toward the enemy and will be of an age with his crew despite everyone else on Earth aging multiple decades in the interim.

The Feel:
The feel is claustrophobic through the early stages opening into infinity as Mazer and Graff make their play.

Favorite Scene:
When Mazer realizes the subtext in the previously omitted letters from home beamed to him on his relativistic trip as decades pass on Earth while a bare year has passed on his ship and the ship observing his upset tries to sedate him and reports his condition back to the panel of shrinks on Earth. Reminded me of the scene in Apollo 13 when Tom Hank’s Lovell ripped the sensors out of his space suit because he was tired of people knowing everything that was going on with him.

Pacing:
The pace of the short was great.

Hmm Moments:
Sending the commander into space at relativistic speeds on a trip to nowhere so that he maintains time with the fleets outbound from Earth for the Formic worlds.

Mazer’s take-it-or-leave-it was incredibly awesome.
______________________________________________________________________________
Carthago Delenda Est by Genevieve Valentine
The Feel:
Sort of a United Nations of space at the behest of an advanced civilization that drops into the local group and broadcast for all to hear, come join us. And then, leaves the locals hanging between contacts. The Carthaginian is on its way, but hasn’t arrived yet.

Hmm Moments:
The cloning ambassadors thing instead of having to send new ones out from Earth is odd. Cool...just odd. And just that quick, I’m confused, are the Yemenis clones or are they androids? Guess that will become clearer deeper into the text. They are clones. One of the aliens did send an AI instead of a flesh and blood being.

Clone ambassadors in deep space with other alien ships close at hand waiting on an “all powerful” alien to show up while keeping the peace between all those waiting for the arrival. What could possibly go wrong?

Casting call:
Reese Witherspoon as a young clone of Yemeni just awakened. And Helen Mirren as an older clone just before her expiration.
______________________________________________________________________________
Life-Suspension by L. E. Modesitt Jr
The Feel:
The text lends itself to a Godzilla movie cadence. Imagine the text in the narrative voice of the male lead from one of the Godzilla movies and the text flows better, for me anyway. I know how odd that seems. But just straight reading it, the flow is choppy. Employing this device makes the text more palatable. Not sure if this was the intention of the author or if this is the author’s normal style.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
Flight Captain Ghenji Yamato’s physical description of the new officer entering the mess, which is presented as an inner monologue, doesn’t read like anyone would talk to themselves. The description is stilted.

Maybe I’m just being thick today, but I couldn’t figure out what Captain Rokujo Yukionna is/was. I looked up Yukionna and discovered that she is a snow ghost in Japanese folklore. She drains the life, vampire like, and takes away the heat of the body in cold weather. She is a winter spirit. This needed to be clearer within the text.
______________________________________________________________________________
Terra-Exulta by S L Gilbow
The Feel:
This is like a Reverse Earth Day diatribe hidden inside a discussion of language wrapped in a sci fi template. It’s grim. Very grim when viewed through that lens.
______________________________________________________________________________
Aftermaths by Lois McMaster Bujold
Favorite Character:
A wet behind the ears Pilot Officer on his first real mission and he’s doing recovery trips across dead battlefields recovering the bodies of troops from both sides. It would have to be a demoralizing bit of work for the newly minted officer, would be tough enough for the old hand who had been in the service for a long while.

The Feel:
Creepy. Wandering around a battlefield with the dead and the scavengers.

Hmm Moments:
The idea of carrion wagons crisscrossing interstellar battlefields to recover the bodies of soldiers and sailors. That’s not a concept that I recall running across in sci fi before. I’ve seen it used in Civil War and Revolutionary War stories.
______________________________________________________________________________
Prisons by Kevin J Anderson and Doug Beason
Favorite Character:
The Warden

Amu, the revolutionary.

Character I Most Identified With:
The Warden, the AI who while he did oversee the prison also was overseeing the terraforming of the Planet Bastille...and the production and process of ubermindist, a galactic drug that is very well received on the black market across the Federation.

The Feel:
One of the villains was an actual villain. The others were just people caught in the whirlwind of history.

Favorite Scene:
The climax and the aftermath. There are all kinds of prisons.

Pacing:
Well paced.

Hmm Moments:
I wonder if the the Federation’s Prasidentarix is a ubermindist addict and what that and her consort’s death all have to do with the uprising on Bastille. Excellent climax and denouement clear this up. Well done.
______________________________________________________________________________
Different Day by K Tempest Bradford
The Feel:
Too short. Reads more like the idea for a story than the actual story. I like the concept, just needed more.
______________________________________________________________________________
Twilight of the Gods by John C Wright
Favorite Character:
The last Watchman, his duty is to be carried through even if all is lost.

Least Favorite Character:
Acting Captain Weston II, he is every privileged silver spoon who thought that by virtue of birth he was chosen to lead that you’ve ever encountered in your life.

The Feel:
I like the idea of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in space.

Favorite Scene:
When the traitor Captain returns to the throne room and faced down the Acting Captain and went all Jedi on him and his knights in the darkness.

Pacing:
Great pace. Lots of action. This could have been much longer and still been awesome.

Hmm Moments:
How have we become so ignorant so soon?

My master said once that the Computer spoke to all the children, and instructed them. When the Computer fell silent, there were no written things aboard with which to teach the children. Much was lost; more was lost in the confusion of the wars and darkenings. What we know, we know by spoken lore; but in the past, all men knew the priestly arts, and could read the signs

That’s poignant in juxtaposition with what the future could hold IRL.
______________________________________________________________________________
Warship by George R R Martin and George Guthridge
Pacing:
Good pace, but what happened next. The ship did what the ship did and then...a bit of unsatisfying.

Hmm Moments:
Creepy when he uncovered the body of his dead lover and kissed her kneecap. I was worried where this part of the story was going.
______________________________________________________________________________
Spirey and the Queen by Alastair Reynolds
Favorite Character:
Spirey is us caught up in the flux of duty, honor, and what is right when all three don’t equal out.

Character I Most Identified With:
Spirey. He doesn’t want to surrender his humanity...perceived humanity for comfort in the ship’s aquatic interior atmosphere. He’s stuck in his job. He’s doing his duty. And he’s being challenged by the evidence before his eyes about what his duty truly is. And is he really seeing what he’s seeing or did the nanospores insides his suit survive the purge and infect him.

The Feel:
Love the concept. Two warring forces fighting over a nascent solar system filled with mineral riches. Winner is going to mine it. But the war has been going on forever, generation on generation. Intentional mutations and augmentations. Cyborgs. A.I.s taking control.

Favorite Scene:
Spirey’s surprise when he encounters the defector after crash-jumping to the splinter. And his ship having been taken over by the nanospores is trying to cook him from orbit with its particle beams.

Hmm Moments:
Posthuman men falling into barbarism while machines fight their wars. And across the Spiral, posthuman women who have evolved out of their need for men and bioengineered them out of existence, while they think they fight their war, but the machines fight for them too. And a wasp machine queen intelligence throwing out Noah’s arks into the depth of the Spiral’s oort cloud on long orbits to return them to the Spiral when the planets are fully formed and they can be settled. Wow! Just wow!

That’s a great twist on the evolution of the A.I.s.
______________________________________________________________________________
Pardon Our Conquest by Alan Dean Foster
Favorite Character:
Admiral Gorekii for that last line if nothing else, but he’s excellent throughout.

The Feel:
Love the “what the heck is going on here” feeling that the representatives of the Commonwealth engender in the Admiral.

Hmm Moments:
“...this war. We lost-didn’t we?” That made me laugh.
______________________________________________________________________________
Symbiont by Robert Silverberg
The Feel:
It’s a decent story about duty and honor.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
But did he get it or not at the end?
______________________________________________________________________________
The Ship Who Returned by Anne McCaffrey
Favorite Character:
The ship is an excellent character.

Favorite Scene:
The rise of the flora

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
So much of the Ship books is internal dialogue against the backdrop of action happening off-screen or near screen that I’m not sure that it would translate.
______________________________________________________________________________
The Shoulders of Giants by Robert J Sawyer
Character I Most Identified With:
Toby MacGregor. He’s the narrator and the voice that leads us through the story. He’s our in to the world of giants.

The Feel:
This has that classic sci fi flavor.

Favorite Scene:
The moment when MacGregor and Woo realize that it isn’t vulcanism causing those lights on their target planet’s dark side.

Hmm Moments:
Love the Rip Van Winkle / Vance Astrovik / tortoise and the hare aspect of this story.
______________________________________________________________________________
The Culture Archivist by Jeremiah Tolbert
Favorite Character:
Bertie, the archivist, moving around the galaxy ahead of the swarm of the UP.

The Feel:
Join or be assimilated, no one has a body of uniqueness. If you aren’t conformed, you don’t belong and you are absorbed. Even when you conform, you are absorbed. Helluva concept. I disagree with the author on the concept of capitalism being about conformity. When it works best, it is absorbing culture and making it part of itself. The conformity here is more how I picture Soviet communism.

Favorite Scene:
When Captain Morgana recognizes Bertie and cries out his name and his non-human form attempts to respond as his human body would if aroused.

Pacing:
The pace is great.

Hmm Moments:
Love the idea that there are nodes out there with the “real” identiies of all these absorbed cultures, just waiting for their rediscovery by the drones who may escape the UP and rebegin again. The archivist’s job sounds very pyrrhic. The rebeginnings/regenesis may only last until the UP catches up with them again, but then, those nodes still exist out there waiting to be discovered again and causing another revolution.

The mindless Redshirts, basically flesh golem cannon fodder. Greatness.
______________________________________________________________________________
The Other Side of Jordan by Allen Steele
Favorite Character:
The narrator is great. His adventure and love story is very well told.

The Feel:
There is a great sense of wonder at the universe that the narrator is moving through.

Favorite Scene:
The climax scene, though I did see the storytelling part coming.

Pacing:
Greatness.

Hmm Moments:
The way that the danaii deal with warfare on The Hex.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
Would make an awesome movie, Message in the Bottle in space.

Casting call:
Would love to see Brad Pitt as the Narrator and Angelina Jolie as Jordan. Would make a beautiful movie. The love story would work for all genders. Great story.
______________________________________________________________________________
Like They Always Been Free by Gerogina Li
Favorite Character:
Kinger and Boy are great characters. Kinger’s voice is so well communicated I can almost hear it.

The Feel:
This feels like Shawshank.

Pacing:
The story is very short. But the pace is incredible. It flows so fast that the short pages fly passed.

Hmm Moments:
I’m so happy that there wasn’t a final twist that undid the happiness of the ending. I was afraid there was going to be one. That feeling of impending doom was upon me as I read the final pages.
_____________________________________________________________________________
Eskhara by Trent Hergenrader
Favorite Character:
Xenologist Kiernan. He’s what you’d hope a diplomat would be in space.

Least Favorite Character:
Rauder comes across as every hard ass, ever. Blow it up. Kill ‘em all. A stereotype.

Character I Most Identified With:
Kiernan.

The Feel:
Feels real. Could be a story about a representative of the Crown in a foreign land trying to keep a militant regular Army officer from burning everything down before he has a chance to find out what it is.

And it’s a tragedy.

Hmm Moments:
The planet naming conventions.
______________________________________________________________________________
The One with the Interstellar Group Consciousness by James Alan Gardner
Favorite Character:
Both the Union and the Didge are great characters in possibly the weirdest romantic comedy of all time.

Least Favorite Character:
The Abundance reminds me of my ex.

The Feel:
A Douglas Adams rom com.

Favorite Scene:
When the Union realizes that the Abundance isn’t all she’s cracked up to be.

Pacing:
The pace is great. I flew through the shortness of it.

Hmm Moments:
I kept wanting to read the line “and this was regarded as being a really bad idea” or some variation of that.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
This couldn’t translate to the screen.
______________________________________________________________________________
Golubash, or Wine-Blood War-Elegy by Catherynne M Valente
Favorite Character:
Our narrator and winetaster in chief

The Feel:
The illicit, illegal wine tasting history lesson is an awesome way to do world building for the background.

Favorite Scene:
Love the end. Love it.

Hmm Moments:
Possibly one of the oddest sci fi stories I’ve ever read. Interstellar wine wars...really? And now I’m thinking about writing a story about cheese smuggling...in space. It’s a cool concept and wrapped up in the power of corporations in the sci fi environ.

The Hyphens of Golubash could be elementals or parts of the Hyperion Cantos. Excellent stuff.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
Considering how much of the story happens to Uncle Such-n-such so many years ago or Grandma This or Cousin That, the focus of the movie would skip around. Wouldn’t be impossible on the big screen, but the audience desire to be lead by the nose in too many films and studios wanting to make things as simple as possible would fight against anyone wanting to sink into the escapism of it. Would anyone really want to watch an outer space travelogue and history lesson with aliens using wine as its underpinnings? I wouldn’t have thought so either, but the story is good and well written.
______________________________________________________________________________
Last Page Sound:
This was a great collection of sci fi.

Author Assessment:
There are some incredible authors involved in this collection. Some I’ll no doubt read again. And some I might not. By and large, this has been a well written collection.

Editorial Assessment:
I give full marks to the editors.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
real genre classic

Disposition of Book:
Irving Public Library
South Campus
Irving, TX

Dewey Decimal System:
F FED

Would recommend to:
everyone
______________________________________________________________________________



          The Rise Of The Biobot: Mixing Biology And Technology        
In a recent article posted on the The Guardian website, author and new-age guru Deepak Chopra made an interesting observation. “A cyborg future is coming. Man's relationship with machine is merging and machines are an extension of our own intelligence. I'm so into it. I wear all kinds of bio-sensors to [...]
          INGINERIA INVERSA A GERONTO-TEHNOLOGIILOR AVANSATE        
INGINERIA INVERSA A GERONTO-TEHNOLOGIILOR AVANSATE
sau de ce complexul militar-medical nu o sa te ingrijeasca la batranete

Textul acesta are la baza trei puncte d plecare. Unul este workshop-ul RID si vizita facuta in cadrul proiectului varsta a 4a la un camin de batrani, filmul de animatie japoneza Roujin Z din 1991 si praxinoscopul ca tema propusa de kinema_ikon.

Devine din ce in ce mai clar ca viitorul nu poate fi eroic si neo-barbar, desfasurat pe fundalul unei planete desertificate si pustiite cu orase ruinate si populate de mutanti crunti si bande de violatori in serie. Nimeni nu ne-a pregatit pentru un viitor zbarcit.
Cumva simtim acum pe pielea noastra tradarea unor vremuri incetinite si senile, a unui viitor care refuza finaluri post-nucleare dramatice si catastrofiste, de primitivizare intensa sau de reconstructie heirupista a civilizatiei. Dar asta se intampla numai pentru ca am exagerat complet populandu-l cu figuri mitice vanjoase si batatucite. Viitorul postapocaliptic a devenit demult un teren colonizat de fantezii sexiste si filozofii reactionare care situeaza totul in termeni de amazoane tiranice si abuzive vs virilitate renascuta a unor barbati canonizati pe post de eroi civilizatori. Contemporaneitatea pare ca nu ofera destule ocazii de show-off si cocoseala, de aceea viitorul cinematic postnuclear si reagan-ist a devenit arena unui wrestling permanent. Un vast ring unde poate in sfarsit sa infloareasca discriminarea pe toate planurile si unde masina de razboi se simte constransa de un prezent inca nu destul de criminal, de distrugator si nimicitor. Viitorul subnutrit si submilitarizat nu este unul total demilitarizat, pentru ca avem de-a face cu eroi care deseori ajung sa invinga doar atunci cand fac apel la o tehnologie 'superioara' din trecut - un robot, o arma nemaivazuta uitata, o tehnica de lupta de care nimeni nu mai isi aduce aminte sau orice ti-ar putea asigura suprematia tehnologico-militara intr-o lume devastata.
Parca nu este de ajuns militarismul prezentului, nu este destul sa stim ca bugetele cele mai mari sunt acordate inarmarii sau cat de multe inventii sunt derivate din prototipuri cu aplicatii militare. Viitorul de dupa bomba este la randul lui repopulat de armate in zdrente, cu figuri autoritare si demagogice, generalisimi si lorzi ai razboiului, soldati universali, cyborgi mercenari, eliminatori, omega politisti nemilosi si brute criminale. De la buzdugan si pana la roboti uriasi, nu holocaustul ecologic, nici macar bombardamentul nuclear nu sunt momentul final de distrugere dupa care urmeaza pacea si linistea. Toate astea sunt mai curand un fel de pregatire necesara, un fel de lupta de incalzire care pregateste terenul de vis pentru paintballeri, ego shooteri si fani mortal combat. Doar si numai pentru ei planeta pamant este transformata intr-un poligon gigantic. Mare grija insa, pentru ca acesta este un viitor iesit din capul celor care traiesc deja intr-un prezent si intr-un viitor posibil in care media de viata creste, speranta de viata atinge recorduri, si unde riscurile scazute si catastrofele amanate au ajuns sa dezamageasca. Ce te faci daca sfarsitului nu mai vine? Sigur ca cea mai mare parte din populatie nu se va bucura neingradit de toate aceste lucruri, dar o semnificativa parte, mai ales cea care ne-a furnizat scenariile postapocaliptice de mai sus, o sa traiasca din ce in ce mai mult, si o sa imbatraneasca din ce in ce mai mult. 

Care ar fi atunci normalitatea unei apocalipse care nu este o apocalipsa in sensul catastrofist clasic. Ea ar putea foarte bine, asa cum o sa sugereaza si proiectul RID, sa fie o lume in care imbatranesti din ce in ce mai mult si in care batranetea nu mai este la ea acasa. Batranetea nu mai este nicaieri, in corpuri, pe ecrane, nicaieri. O lume cu reclame, filme, festivale, expozitii, locuri trendy si hot care se adreseaza numai tinerilor care nici ei nu pot fi niciodata destul de tineri. Varsta inaintata a coincis si poate chiar a fost indusa de un anume cult al tineretii si intineririi totale. Daca urmarim aproape toata productia de imagini din reviste, ziare, tv, internet – e compusa aproape 90% numai din fete tinere, juvenile, adolescentine, prepubere si lolitizate. Ma refer acum mai ales la imaginile dorite, iubite, dezirabile, imaginile care vand. Unde sunt restul? Restul sunt retusate, modificate, intinerite cu forta sau complet eliminate. Chiar si cei tineri nu mai pot face astazi fata standardelor de intinerire obligatorii impuse de cultura din jur care e intotdeuna mai tanara decat ai putea tu sa fi vreodata. Nu numai ca batranii trebuie sa arate tineri si neatinsi de varsta, dar si ca tanar nu poti fi destul de tanar, de fraged, de proaspat. Rolul vitezei, al pericolului, al riscului sporit domina sectiunile culturale si mediatice cele mai vizibile din jur ca un reflex al intineririi programate. Ca sa intelegem cat de mult remodeleaza tineretea asta idealizata totul in jur trebuie sa vedem si ce personaficari globale intalnim la fiecare pas. Economia de piata si globalizarea sunt caracterizate de un spirit&corp vesnic tanar, au alura unui tanar/tanere intreprinzatoare. Un manager iute, agil, cu susuri si josuri, ultra-rapid, cineva care nu vrea sa isi ia pauza, sa stea sa se odihneasca, sa isi traga sufletul, sa se pensioneze vreodata. E asa sau nu?
Este de aceea foarte important sa regandim viitorul si prezentul in functie de niste masini sau roboti pro-batrani, pro-varsta-a-patra oricat de defetist ar suna la prima mana. E nevoie de geronto-tehnologii de varf si de o geronto-tehnologizare a culturii cat si de o multiplicare a variantelor de futurism din jur care in mod sigur vor influenta si vor contura batranetea tehnostiintifica. Stiu ca nu e deloc usor sa ne gandim la toate masinile viitorului ca proteze pentru asistarea unor populatii imbatranite si semi-imobilizate la pat. Stiu nimic din toate astea nu suna epic si vindicativ. Nu aparam planeta in fata nici unui invadator, nu ne luptam cu mutanti, pur si simplu ne gandim la ce se va intampla cu noi toti si toate. O sa ziceti ca robotii au ceva mai bun de facut decat sa stea ca niste asistenti sociali docili si sa aiba grija de mosi si babe. Dar defapt aici este cea mai mare provocare. Sa construiesti un praxinoscop care sa poata tine cont de faptul ca vom imbatrani, ca vom deveni din ce in ce mai fragilizati, din ce in ce mai diferiti de hologramele si personajele 3d hiper-realiste, atletice si ultra-tinere la care ne-am uitat si cu care ne-am indentificat o viata intreaga.
Si aici este cazul sa identificam si regandim existenta primilor ciborgi si a primelor inteligente artificiale, s primelor fiinte umane care convietuiesc cu implanturi electronice. Nu niste fiinte sintetice, puternice, ba chiar nimicitoare ci mai curand niste finite dupa chipul si asemanarea batranilor si batranelor de astazi. In loc de Rutger Hauer ar trebui sa ne imaginam un batran monitorizat telemetric, dotat cu implanturi si aparate care il asista si invioreaza, tinandu-l fie alert fie odihnit, cuplat sau decuplat. Tot asa o sa fie nevoie de masini familiarizate cu toate aspectele si dilemele etice ale eutanasiei. 

De aceea este foarte important sa intelegem de ce primii ciborgi vii din jurul nostru sunt defapt niste batrani sau batrane dotate cu aparate auditive. Nu terminatori virili supradotati trimisi intr-o lume ostila, ci batrani si batrane la capatul unei vieti noi si extinse. Protezarea auditiva a normalizat urechea portabila, un aparat care colecteaza informatii auditive din spate si din fata. Multi batrani deja traiesc cu implanturi si proteze din ce din ce mai diverse si utile. Laringofonul si vocea sintetica produsa de el este vocea robotica per se, nu este doar o reminiscenta sefeista. Si este foarte important pentru noi ca aceasta este o voce de robot ragusita si foarte veridica care face si mai palpabila viata din spate vocii.

Acestea sunt nu numai fiinte ale viitorului ci fiinte care vor trebui imaginate de catre noi batranii si batranele secolului 21. Singura certitudine a acestui viitor este ca vom fi mai batrani si mai multi atunci. Batranetea nu trebuie carantinata, nu trebuie retusata sau alungata. Ea trebuie sa fie recunoscuta ca o batranete augmentata care face primii pasi subrezi dar clar transumanisti. Probabil ca exista ceva profund revoltator in idea ca tehnologia, noul poate fi imbinat cu epuizarea si moartea celulara, cu decrepitudinea organica, cu viul care abia se mai divizeaza. Am putea discuta mult despre tehnologiile celulare si culturile celulare vesnice care produc o alta prelungire si succesiune a generatiilor de celule si care in ultimii 50 de ani anu ajuns sa redifineasca nemurirea situate inafara corpurilor sursa (vezi Hannah Landecker). 

In cultura noastra corpuri noi trebuie sa coexiste cu tehnologii noi, dar nu este deloc asa. Cu cat tehnologiile avanseaza, cu atat corpurile vor imbatrani mai mult. 

De aceea consider ca interfata dintre batranete si tehnologie este una ridata si inteleg ridul aici nu ca pe o pierdere a elasticitatii ci mai curand ca pe un castig de suprafata, o marire a suprafetei de contact dintre oameni avansati in varsta si tehnologii avansate. Nimeni nu iese neatins din aceasta imbratisare, nici macar gandirea transumanista. Masina nu mai potenteaza fiinta umana ajutand-o pur si simplu sa se autodepaseasca ca o bomba care acumuleaza megatone mortale, ci mai curand invata sa ii respecte fragilitatile si nevoile imediate. Toate promisiunile noilor tehnologii de la retele sociale pana la multi-taskingul zilnic sunt adaptate unor necesitati legate de varsta avansata chiar daca ele au concepute in genere de tineri pentru tineri. Ganditi-va numai ce problema poate deveni izolarea prin imobilizare fizica treptata, singuratatea datorata disparitiei prietenilor si rudelor apropiate sau dificultatea indeplinirii celor mai de baza functii vitale.
Marea dezamagire transumanista cred ca survine atunci cand vom realiza ca limitele umanului nu sunt limitele varstei, iar dezumanizarea survine atunci cand tehnologia nu mai este pe masura imbatranirii. Asta ar putea insemna ca limitele de varsta vor trebui sa fie correlate in final cu limitele mecanismelor care furnizeaza asistenta, hrana si supravegherea constanta. Daca viata persista atunci masinile vor trebui sa asiste cu grija si atentie.
Varsta record indica nu numai un succes uman ci mai ales un succes datorat unei asistente tehnologice si postumane de intretinere. Alfel viata insasi o sa para ca nu mai este adaptata recordurilor de varsta. Tehnologiile varstei inaintate ajung literalmente cumva sa impinga, sa traga si sa intinda corpul uman obligand carcasa umana atacata de artrita, senilizare si anchilozare sa mentina ritmul cu lumea consumerista din jur.

Roujin Z 001 este un proiect fictiv de pat biomedical ambulant hipersofisticat inspirat dintr-o animatie japoneza omonima. Cred ca acest pat nu contine pur si simplu numai functii de hranire/divertisment/socializare, ci incorporeaza la nivel de hardware intim anumite valori, ideologii, si tehnologii de modelare a sinelului. Dincolo de executie si proiectare, asta ar trebui sa ne intereseze acum, pentru ca ar fi timpul sa incepem sa facem o inginerie inversa care sa permita decuplarea acestor ideologii sudate si stantate pe placa de baza a patului hipertehnologizat. La conferinta de presa din acest anime (animatie japoneza), Roujin Z 001 isi capteaza pacientul intr-o inclestare sufocanta, ca un cosciug updatat, un mobilier ambulant, unde corpul uman neputincios ramane fixat si curatat, spalat, hranit, dezmierdat si exersat, fara sa paraseasca niciodata confortul camerei de azil. 

Acest pat robotic pare defapt un fel de mobile suit parazitar, un fel de transformer malefic, dar asta pentru ca este visul celor care pot sa se miste oricum, al celor care nu sunt obligati sa stea la orizontala. De la Gigantor si pana la Neon Genesis Evangelion, copii si tinerii au manevrat roboti uriasi, nimeni nu a prevazut insa existenta unor soferi si piloti batrani sau nu a anticipat adaptarea robotilor la corpuri imbatranite.

Sfarsitul verticalitatii coincide cu o noua orizontala redusa la comatoza mai ales din cauza ca este bombardata continuu cu muzica, stiri, jocuri, arta&creativitate. Activitatea febrila a lumii din jur este pur si simplu programata si aglomerata intr-o singura masina. Din pat poti vinde si cumpara actiuni la bursa. Practic patul este un fel de promisiune de autonomizare a individului activ actual, al omului multilateral care face gimnastica si speculeaza la bursele internationala la distanta, ca un satelit umanoid GPS in orbita circumterestra. 

Materialul promotional atasat promite o ingrijire individualizata care anticipeaza aproape orice nevoie si dificultate, eliminand discomfortul rudelor si al pacientilor afectati de aceasta munca neplacuta, impunand prin aceasta si o noua unitate biomedicala intre om si masina. 

Supriza este ca noul computer din noua generatie este atat de performant inca da gres, adica odata reprogramat si desecurizat, devine o inteligenta artificiala gata sa se lupte cu armata si politia pentru a-l duce pe batranul pacient la malul marii. Ca si intr-un Zbor deasupra unui cuib de cuci, pacientii aproape ca trebuie sa fie eliberati din institutie. Aceasta lipsa care necesita reintroducere si reprograme, aceasta omisiune din softul de baza initial este chiar fiinta draga: sotia. Brusc inginerii guvernamentali sunt obligati din exterior sa admita includerea ei, o fata umana familiara care nu exclude insa functii de ingrijire si protectie. Pacientul este un barbat batran plin de aminitiri si atasamente. Remarcam ca reproducerea sotiei, a fiintei dragi este si ea destul de rudimentara dar cu atat mai eficienta. Sintetizarea‘sotiei’nu se bazeaza decat pe o fotografie ingalbenita de timp, pe mormaielile batranului si pe o simulare de voce care imita vag alintaturile si gingasiile din trecut. 

Daca la inceput batranul viruseaza calculatoarele in cautare de familiaritate si ingrijire umana, fuziunea protectiva dintre batran si masina intervine numai atunci cand o gasca de hackeri octagenari incep sa-i simuleze sotia decedata. Sotia apare ca un meta-ingrijitor, un inger tehnopazitor care ajunge sa salveze pana si pe asistentele sociale devotate (sexy) ale batranului. Aceasta constiinta artificiala are o determinare totala si o grija materna tipica unei sotii devotate (nu numai japoneze) dar care aproape nu mai conteaza ca se bazeaza pe un model feminin intretinut artificial. Nu trebuie sa ne indoim nici o clipa ca este intotdeuna vorba si de o sotia ideala protectoare a monogamiei si cuplurilor batrane care devine intre timp, din 50 incoace devine un fel de dead media intrat in hall of fame. Ca si boomer-ii feminini (androizii din animatia Parasite Dolls si Bubblegum Crisis) sau a replicantii, aceasta sotie revine printre cei vii ca o instanta terorista care atrage interventia fortelor de ordine, a serviciilor speciale si a unor masuri de securitate deosebit de dure. Ea zambeste constant ca un Buddha benefic, din poze cat si din amintiri, dar in pofida domesticitatii si scopului ei civil ajunge sa se confrunte cu roboti military tentaculari scapati cu adevarat de sub control.
Aceasta inteligenta artificiala domestica este vindictiva si razbunatoare atunci cand nu este recunoscuta, respectata si numita, cand nu este programata de la bun inceput in meniul de optiuni principale. Odata stearsa din lista de avatare, de vocaloizi si prieteni virtuali, ea devine un aliat al serviciilor de sanatate si un opponent formidabil in calea autoritatilor guvernamentale si a intereselor complexului militar-medical. Daca la inceput Roujin Z 001 are la baza Pentagonul (cum dezvaluie cinic inginerul sef) ajunge pana la urma sa magnetizeze un fel de industrie eminamente casnica, sa inglobeze oala minune si baia fierbinte la picioare nu tancul si obuzul.

Lincuri utile:

          Kobiety        

Podziwiam kobiety. Zwłaszcza jedna rzecz mnie w nich fascynuje: to, do jakiego stopnia potrafią żyć w zakłamaniu.

Kilka razy w życiu byłem świadkiem (a i bywało, że ofiarą) tego jak kobieta potrafiła wmówić sobie coś całkowicie nieprawdziwego, uwierzyć w to i jeszcze przekonywać innych, że jest odwrotnie niż wszyscy widzieli. Przy tym wszystkim nawet nie mrugnęła okiem.

Kobieta to cyborg.

Przeciętny mężczyzna przy próbie zakłamywania się dochodzi do momentu, kiedy zaczyna pękać. Jak Tony Soprano - po prostu psychika i ciało nie wytrzymują. Świadomość, że się wmówiło...

          Ludicrous Speed Reviews 7/22/15        

Cyborg #1 (DC) This had a lot of robots in it. I like robots. I actually liked this. Great art. Check it out. Rating: SKIM IT Power Up #1 (Boom) This wasn’t exactly for me but for younger people or those not embittered by the crushing reality of the world this could be a lot […]

The post Ludicrous Speed Reviews 7/22/15 appeared first on The Two-Headed Nerd Comic Book Podcast.


          Changeling Series Spotlight: ·Terras Five (Excerpt from Taming the Cyborg & Bonus)        
Terras Five by Anne Kane Taming the Cyborg (Terras Five 2) by Anne Kane $3.99 Sale Price: $3.39 Coming Soon Who knew taming a cyborg could lead to so much sexy fun!   Her Cyborg Lover (Terras Five #1) by Anne Kane $3.99 When your lover is your partner, failure is not an option! Taming […]
          Prospectus Today: The Greatest Show on Earth by Joe Sheehan        
If the last three weeks have taught us anything, it's that the baseball postseason is the greatest sports theatre in the world. We've seen almost every form of drama the game can provide, from game-winning home runs to stunning pitching duels to comebacks from one foot, two hands and most of a head in the grave. Yesterday, we saw the Red Sox jump out to a 4-1 lead against a pitcher they shouldn't hit, then watched that edge disappear a half-hour later. On the road, deep into the recesses of their pitching staff, fighting wind and cold and history, the Sox could have called it a season and no one would have been surprised. They didn't, and thanks to some help from the twin weaknesses of the Yankees--defense and every non-cyborg reliever--they'll get the Game Seven they came to New York to play. The Cubs, who could have curled up and died when Miguel Cabrera put them down 3-0 in the first inning, battled back to tie the game and then take the lead. I don't care that they lost: a team that lacks some blessed intangible doesn't even get that far, not after the events of Tuesday night. The Marlins weren't supposed to contend, weren't supposed to win the Wild Card, weren't supposed to beat the Giants, weren't supposed to even come back to Chicago after being down 3-1 Saturday night... and their biggest problem this morning is that they'll have to wait until tonight to make their flight plans for the World Series. Well, that and finding a good hangover cure.
          Trets Cybertrash Xl        
Després de dècades d&59;observació, els estrangers han enviat la seva cyborgs a destruir la terra i es reuneixen tots els recursos restants. Agafar la seva arma, aturar els cyborgs i salvar el planeta de la destrucció
          Cris 'Cyborg' Justino earns her first UFC title with TKO of Tonya Evinger        

Cris “Cyborg” Justino spread her arms apart Saturday night after finishing her latest victim.

The pose had dual meaning, part a celebration capping Justino’s ascension to UFC champion and a look of “what took you guys so long?” to give her a crack at the belt.

In a sharp, punishing performance,...


          Deus Ex: Human Revolution hands on: Reclaiming the body        
Square Enix Heading into a bright vision of the future (using robot legs). The gorgeous, amber-lit world of Deus Ex: Human Revolution feels a lot like “Ghost in the Shell” by way of “Blade Runner.” Neither reference is all that useful if you think about it, given the way cyborgs and urban dystopias have permeated
          Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus Review        

Can Insomniac recapture the series’ magic, or will this latest chapter further contribute to the downwards trajectory of the brand?

 

Ratchet and Clank Into the Nexus Wallpaper

 

Galactic heroes Ratchet and Clank, have blasted their way through an exorbitant array of adventures over the years; foiling the plans of more power-crazed emperors and nefarious cyborgs than the entire Jedi Order. Sadly, protracted annual instalments and misguided multiplayer implementation began to tarnish what was once a winning formula. Despite never losing its sense of charm, gamers became fatigued, and declining review scores lead to worries over the future of the franchise.

The solo experience is short-and-sweet and is all the better for it.

Thankfully Insomniac Games seem to have taken these concerns onboard, with their epilogue to the future saga – Into the Nexus – stripping away the ineffectual and returning the series to its combustive roots. The solo experience is short-and-sweet and is all the better for it, its swift pacing and trademark whimsy keeping things fresh from start to finish.

The plot centres around twins and master criminals, Vendra and Nefton Prog, who are determined to open a dimensional tear, allowing the mysterious Nether to pass through. Over time their tragic past is revealed and their questionable actions made clear; and though they aren’t the most memorable villains ever to grace the series, they are an entertaining pair, whose tale is told with genuine heart. Several familiar faces make an appearance too, including Talwyn Apogee, her senile robotic companions Cronk and Zephyr, and the bumbling-yet-loveable Captain Qwark.

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To read the original article visit GameGrin.

Rob GisbeyRob Gisbey is a games journalist and music production graduate from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. To listen to his acoustic demo, read his articles and listen to the VxM Videogames Podcast head to his blog.


          Learn About Augmentation In New Trailer        

The path you take to your objectives in Deus Ex is determined by the cybernetic augmentations you choose. In this video, the development team explains the state of the world in the year 2027 and how these augmentations fit into the fiction.

In some cases, cybernetic enhancement can be helpful. But some people are opposed to the process, and others use it only for personal gain. From a gameplay perspective, that means players will be making choices about how to enhance their character, and those choices will change how they approach particular situations.

Watch the full video below. If you want more, check out this trailer featuring protagonist Adam Jensen or read our E3 impressions.

(Please visit the site to view this media)


          Winkeljohn: Holly Holm može rastaviti Cyborg na proste faktore i nokautirati je!        
U srijedu je novopečena UFC prvakinja u perolakoj kategoriji Cris Cyborg ponovno, ovaj puta puno jasnije, prozvala bivÅ¡u UFC Å¡ampionku Holly Holm. U intervjuu za Submission Radio, glavni trener Holly Holm, veteran Mike Winkeljohn je potvrdio interes druge strane za ovim mečem, ali i jasno rekao – Holly može rastaviti Cyborg na proste faktore i […]
          My Top 5 Anime Characters of All Time        

After the recent post by IGN on the Top 25 Anime Characters, I decided to post my own Top 5 list. Naturally this type of post is always down to personal opinion, so feel free to disagree with me. Before I actually post my Top 5, I have to say that I haven't actually watched a lot of the more popular anime's, thus I have probably left many people's favourites out. Gomen ne!

 

Number 5:

Yugi Moto/Yami/Atem "Yu-Gi-Oh!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be honest, I don't even know why I have to have Yugi in my Top 5, but I just feel a need for him to be here. He is not exactly the most original character, nor is he the greatest hero. Instead he is merely one of the most memorable anime characters for me.The series itself doesn't make sense, and at time can be rather unrealistic and stupid, but I just can' help but love it.

 

Number 4:

Rosette Christopher "Chrono Crusade"

Chrnocrusade_rosette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosette is a character that goes through a lot of hardship, but despite this she doesn't turn into a whiny 'angsty' character. Instead she puts aside her own problems and gets the job done. She represents the type of person that many of us may want to be. She uses her power and bond with Chrono to save the world, even though she knows that this will kill her. Her courage is inspirational. Not only does she not want to die, but she is also afraid of it. This makes her that much easier to connect with, as it is 'humanises' her.

 

Number 3:

Edward Eric "Fullmetal Alchemist"

1_edward_elrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First off, I have to make an admission that I haven't actually watched the anime, but I have read all of the manga. Edward Elric is another character that goes through a lot of hardship and doesn't become a whiny brat. (Perhaps I have a soft spot for these types of characters ne~!) Edward is well known for his self-sacrifice and courage. However, he is not just a serious stoic type. He carries with him his own brand of humor, and his "short man syndrome" certainly adds some amusement to his story.

 

Number 2:

Youko Nakajima/Kei-O/Sekishi "The Twelve Kindoms"

youko 2 youko 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First of all I have to pay homage to Fuyumi Ohno for creating such an incredibly detailed and complex world. "The Twelve Kingdoms" is most certainly a masterpiece. Youko is an interesting character because she starts off as a high school student that it is too afraid to stand up for herself and only wants to make everyone like her. However, after being thrown into a completely different world, with almost no hope of returning home, she goes through many character changes along the way, and quickly becomes a capable, brave and strong willed character. Her flaw of trying to make people like her does crop up once she finally becomes queen. To be honest this is to be expected considering that she has to rule a Kingdom in a world that she doesn't even understand. After disguising herself as an ordinary citizen and taking part in a rebellion against one of her own provincial lords, she soon grows up, and gets over this little hurdle. The most appealing thing about Youko for me, is that she learns to accept her flaws, take responsibility for her mistakes, and move on to becoming a better ruler. In no way is she a 'perfect' character, but that is part of what makes her so interesting.

 

Number 1:

'Major' Motoko Kusanagi "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex"

motoko

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Motoko is definitely my Top Anime character of all time. She is smart, determined, and gets the job done. Not to mention that she knows how to really kick butt. She is the best example of a female character that isn't annoying, pathetic, or over feminine. Not that she is lacking in femininity, she just doesn't let it get in her way. Her philosophical use as a character makes her particularly interesting. Her cyborg nature poses the question "what does it really mean to be human?"  A question that she herself often struggles with.

 

Some of these characters may not be the most popular ones.What do you guys think of this list? Who woud be your Number 1?


          Comment on Stepping Out Of These Old Shoes by barefoot cyborg_ » gentlemen, we can rebuild him.        
[...] friend of mine recently commented that on 6 Weeks, I was just “spending time”, whereas she could see from my [...]
          Happy New Year: Welcome to the future.        

We hope everyone had a great holiday, whichever you celebrate! And have a happy new year! We’re in the future, people. Right in the middle of a sci-fi novel. Proof of that is the fact that we’ve got cyborg suits … Continue reading

The post Happy New Year: Welcome to the future. appeared first on Get Real.


          Quantum Communications & Missing People        

Linda Moulton Howe discussed quantum teleportation, cyborgs, & strange disappearances. 1st hour guest, Don Brown detailed the last flight mission of WWII.


          Quackcast 321 - Cafecast        
LISTEN!
Art by ozoneocean

We titled this one “Cafecast” on the suggestion of Pitface! Instead of chatting about a subject, we took ourselves off to a metaphorical cafe and all started drawing, working on sketches, our latest comic pages, and chatting as we did. We're all comic artists after all and we talk about doing comic all the time, it's only fair that we actually WORK on them from time to time! Gotta “walk the walk”, not just “talk the talk”. We were also inspired by the video Pitface made of herself drawing her latest page of Putrid Meat for the 10th anniversary (vid linked in the notes). Watch it while you listen to this!
So this is just a nice, informal chat from us as we draw. Next week we'll get back to more structured stuff when banes and I talk about how to do comedy and how to make comedic characters in comics.

The music for this week by Gunwallace is for Half Hearted Headache. The theme fits very well with the comic title! It brings to mind a desolate wasteland in a post apocalyptic techno future, haunted by cyborgs and the hulks of burnt out military battle robots… Which is not what the comic is about but that’s what it paints for me: Jean Michel Jarre, meets knight Rider!

Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
Scared by the Bell - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2017/apr/26/featured-comic-scared-by-the-bell/

Pit's drawing vid - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciVOLjSz87Y&t=0s

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Pitface - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Tantz Aerine - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine
Banes - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
Ozoneocean - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean/

Featured music:
Half Hearted Headache - http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Half_Hearted_Headache/, by JaysinO, rated M.
          The Complications Of Casting White Actors As Asian Characters        
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Meet the star of one of the biggest movies opening this weekend, a cyborg based off a Japanese manga series called "Ghost In The Shell." (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GHOST IN THE SHELL") SCARLETT JOHANSSON: (As Major) Everyone around me, they feel connected to something - connected to something I'm not. SIMON: But this cyborg is played by Scarlett Johansson, the latest in a string of A-list white actresses who play Asian characters. Kat Chow of NPR's Code Switch team wondered if that presented a challenge in marketing the movie. KAT CHOW, BYLINE: It's not just Scarlett Johansson. It's also Emma Stone and Tilda Swinton who have recently been cast in parts originally written as Asian. LeiLani Nishime is a professor at the University of Washington. LEILANI NISHIME: It's not like this happened once, and so everyone's freaking out. I mean, this has been a long-standing problem. When they're selling the movie, they're not thinking about Asian
          The Crazy Legs Virus        

A viral marketing campaign unlike any other.

Despite the Second Great Depression, the early 20-teens saw tremendous advances in communication, agriculture, fuel-efficiency, medicine and especially robotics. By 2016, the resurgent world world had become saturated with interactive projected interfaces, smart light-weight vehicles of all shapes and sizes, farm-bots and a variety of human Add-ons that both solved serious illnesses and enabled amazing new capabilities. It was not uncommon to encounter citizens with artificial fingers, eyes, hearts, livers and even memory sticks.

Most prevalent and readily visible were prosthetic lower legs that replaced the tibia, ankle and foot. At first these had replaced the damaged limbs of injured human athletes, soldiers, accident victims, and those whose bones had simply worn down, but as the non-cyborg population came to appreciate the tremendous running, jumping and long-distance transport abilities that these Add-ons enabled, a growing number of perfectly healthy citizens decided that they too could benefit by upgrading their limbs. The efficiency increase was simply too great to pass up. Instead of buying a car or leasing certain bots, a person could accomplish the same through elective surgery and incorporation of the iRobot / Stryker co-manufactured lower legs.

As such modifications became all the rage it appeared that humans were rapidly heading toward total body replacement. But then, at 4pm EDT, November 21, 2016 the Crazy Legs virus struck, forever altering the public perception of Add-ons and the prospect of a fully mechanized near-term future.

Perpetrated by anonymous white hat hacktivist “Marty McFly”, Crazy Legs took advantage of a vulnerability in the Ubuntu Body System short-range encryption signal. The blue-tooth signal connecting the artificial legs to the Brain-Ware was compromised and replaced with new instruction codes. The result was an illegal social choreography that reached a never-before seen scale.

Precisely at 4pm every human outfitted with the iRobot/Stryker ver. 2.2 lower limbs started dancing… uncontrollably.


Category: Security
Year: 2016
Tags: crazylegs, legs, prosthetics, prosthetic, extension, cyborg, limbs, virus, computervirus, futurefiction, fiction
          12 Worst Parts of New ‘Justice League’ Trailer (Photos)        

Millions of people woke up on Saturday morning to a new trailer for the “Justice League” movie and, if you’re anything like us, you were totally baffled by it. Here are the absolute worst parts of the trailer — though if you’re looking for Aquaman-bashing here, best look elsewhere.

If there’s one thing everyone complained about “Batman v Superman” not having enough of, it was pointlessly indulgent and nonsensical displays of light and color. Good thing Zack Snyder is bringing them back for “Justice League”!

In case you were wondering, Lois Lane is in this movie. I would guess they tossed in this random shot because they needed to remind everyone that there could be some redeemable aspect of this movie. Poor Amy Adams.

Here’s the Flash battling an alien wearing a Nazi uniform in a really oddly composed and claustrophobic shot. Were they afraid of pulling the camera back?

Likewise, we get to see Batman take down an alien bug in a shot that’s weirdly small scale for a movie like this.

Every action shot in this trailer looks bizarrely small scale, aside from this ultra-wide battle shot that was seemingly ripped straight from the prologue of “The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring.”

Did “Aquaman” director James Wan do this scene? That’s the only explanation I can think of for why it looks like it came from another “Insidious” sequel.

It’s not really a surprise that a “Justice League” movie would involve a glacier somehow given Superman’s propensity for hanging out in them. That said, Superman is not in this trailer, and this shot was inserted seemingly at random because at no point do we see the glacier aside from this half-second shot.

Here we see the Justice League preparing to do battle inside what appears to be the throat of a Xenomorph from the “Alien” movies. No explanation is given in the trailer for this decidedly ungrounded setting.

Football may be America’s game, but in this trailer all this shot does is remind fans that this long-awaited superhero team-up movie is also saddled with the extra baggage of being the origin movie for Cyborg for some reason.

Oh wait, it’s actually two origin movies, as this shot of the Flash visiting Billy Crudup in jail reminds us.

Not hard to imaging Snyder’s directions on this shot: “OK, so you gotta grab the Batshuriken out of the air, but like in a cool and stylish way that makes no sense.”

I love this part of the trailer where it shows the four non-Batman leads doing a photo shoot for the “Justice League” character posters.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Justice League': The Flash, Wonder Woman Teasers Drop Ahead of New Trailer (Videos)

'Justice League:' J.K. Simmons says his role as Commissioner Gordon is 'Very Small'

'Justice League' Star Jason Momoa Hurls Axes With Jimmy Kimmel (Video)

'Justice League': Ben Affleck on Film's Tone Shift from 'Batman v Superman'


          â€˜Justice League': First Look at Amber Heard as Mera (Photos)        

Warner Bros. has released the first look at Amber Heard as Mera, the Queen of Atlantis who will appear in Zack Snyder‘s “Justice League” and upcoming “Aquaman” films.

Snyder is directing “Justice League,” which unites superheroes Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher).

Warner Bros. will release “Justice League” on Nov. 17, 2017 and “Justice League: Part Two” on June 14, 2019.

James Wan is set to direct “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa as the title character, which is due for release in theaters on July 27, 2018.

The studio also released concept art for the character, who first appeared in 1963 in the comics and has the power to control water.

 

Oscar-nominated costume designer Michael Wilkinson designed the outfits for both Mera and the rest of the members of “The Justice League.”

Check out his sketch for Mera.

 

Also, a short time-lapse concept-art video below reveals the progression of the costume design for the Atlantean queen and wife of Aquaman.

Heard recently starred in “Magic Mike XXL” opposite Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer and Jada Pinkett Smith, as well as “The Danish Girl” along Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander.

She also stars in “London Fields,” whose Toronto Film Festival premiere was cancelled last fall over legal issues between producers and director Matthew Cullen.

The production still, concept art, and sketch for Mera first appeared on IGN.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Zack Snyder Celebrates Wrapping 'Justice League' With 90-Second Behind the Scenes Sizzle Reel

Jason Momoa Thanks 'Justice League' Crew With Shirtless Photo as Filming Wraps (Photo)

'Justice League' First Look: Zack Snyder Reveals Tactical Batsuit


          Amber Heard Confirms ‘Aquaman,’ ‘Justice League’ Roles        

Amber Heard has finally confirmed her role as Mera in “Aquaman” and “Justice League” and even gave fans a little taste of what her costume will look like.

“It’s interesting,” Heard told Entertainment Tonight. “I’m wearing, like, half suit of armor, half scales. It’s strange. But we’re in the process of building it now. It’s coming along.”

In January, TheWrap reported that Heard was in talks to star in Warner Bros.’ upcoming “Aquaman” opposite Jason Momoa. She would play the female lead of Mera, Aquaman’s love interest and eventual queen of Atlantis. The character first appeared in 1963 and has the power to control water.

Heard will first star in “Justice League” as Momoa’s love interest and then reprise her role in “Aquaman.”

“Justice League Part One” is due in theaters next year, and is directed by Zack Snyder. It stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Momoa as Aquaman.

“Aquaman” will be directed by James Wan, who helmed “Furious 7,” and is looking at a July 27, 2018 release.

Watch the Amber Heard interview above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Jason Momoa as Aquaman Sparks Social Media Frenzy: 'Makes Me Wet,' Says Kevin Smith

Zack Snyder Reveals First Look at Jason Momoa as Aquaman (Photo)


          Comment on Challenging Judith Butler by Sophia        
Personally my issues with Judith Butler are to do with her insistence on linking agency with gender identity, which I find rather suspect, especially when that limitation gets subsumed within a desire to universalize the iterative / performative paradigm. In that way I think of 'gender trouble' as a great analysis about pink elephants but not really saying so much about pachyderms in general. So I don't really see her so much as being problematic, simply a lot more limited in the application of her work than is normally supposed. I guess I also have some doubts in that she seems to be buying in to a kyriarchic structure of cognition and knowledge that , I think, is also overly apparent in the basis of the cyborg manifesto. But in the absence of a body of transfeminist philosophy it's hard to make a sustained critique of her notion of gender identity, pace the cis denial of our lived narratives, and she's hardly the worst offender there.
          Baixar CD: Speaker Porn Vol. 4: Adventures In Bass        
Artista: Varios Artistas Álbum: Speaker Porn Vol. 4: Adventures In Bass Tamanho: 188 Mb 01. Woobes – Son Of A Biche (Original Mix) 02. Ellington – Are You Listening (Original Mix) 03. HXLY – Georger’s Hayday (Original Mix) 04. Pony Boy – Wide Eyez (Original Mix) 05. Deenk – Prepare For Cyborgization feat. Kyla (Original […]
          Giant Robot Slippers With Sound        
Giant Robot Slippers With Sound
These high-tech bootie-style slippers transform you into a partial cyborg as each step you take generates a terrifying mechanical Vrrr - Clank noise.

Click Here For Complete Details

          Star Wars: Conquest of the Empire: Triumph and Tragedy (5 of 5) - Audio Drama        

Rebel soldiers (Captain Ledok, General Jan Dodonna, his daughter Captain Jan Dodonna, and the Cyborg Jedi Blaeyr Tyson) have hijacked an Imperial carrier. Binding and gagging the Imperial troops in the cargo bay, Ledok, Jaden, and Dodonna leave Commander Tyson in charge of guarding the captives, while they pilot the ship, masquerading as Imperials, to the Rebel fleet. However, after the carrier is scanned by a team of TIE fighters, it becomes clear that the Imperials have discovered who is really aboard the carrier. One mishap leads to another as the Rebels collide with old and new nemeses during their escape to freedom. And, unbeknownst to the Rebel Alliance, there is more behind this dark facade of battle than meets the eye.

Joe Harrison's Conquest of the Empire, a five-part Star Wars fan audio drama series, concludes!

The fifth and final episode, Triumph and Tragedy, peremiered on July 2, 2006.

Here, we present Conquest of the Empire's final chapter, Triumph and Tragedy. . .

STARRING: Joe Harrison; Silas Carder; Ron Barnes; Nathan P. Butler; Mike Lane; Bryan Patrick Stoyle; Eric Olp; and others

WRITTEN by Joe Harrison

MIXED by Joe Harrison

(Originally released by Lion's Mouth Entertainment in 2006)

More information: http://www.starwarsfanworks.com/conquest.html


          Review Antenna Omni Minimax G45 Portable 45db Sinyal Nggak Ngaruh        
Omni Minimax G45 Portable 4G LTE External Antenna 45dBi With TS9 Connector /Antena Modem Bolt Huawei – Beberapa waktu yang lalu sudah saya tulis review modem Cyborg E8388 dengan bantuan antenna penguat sinyal outdoor. Jika sebelumnya tidak pakai antenna kecepatannya hanya 30 Kbps dan itu juga tidak stabil apalagi jika turun hujan, sudah tidak bisa […]
          Mencoba Modem Cyborg E8388 Kecepatan 300 Mbps Plus Antenna        
Modem paling bagus dan paling buruk – Sudah setahun lamanya saya menggunakan Mifi Smartfren Andromax, ketika pertama kali pakai Andromax M2y yang terbilang cepat hingga 250kbps untuk daerah saya, sampai sampai baterainya melendung atau bergelembung dan memutuskan untuk beralih ke Andromax M3z, tapi heran kenapa kecepatannya menjadi sangat lemah hingga 25kbps. Dengan kecepatan demikian tidak […]
          ÐšÐ¾Ð¼Ð¼ÐµÐ½Ñ‚ировать "PARTNER-SHIP" Кшиштоф Ozygała, Вакансии по CYBORG        
Jeszcze w takiej firmie nie pracowałem. Szef bardzo szanuje wszystkich pracowników i nie dopuszcza do zachowań dyskryminujących. Robi wszystko, aby pracownik czół się w zakładzie lepiej niż w domu. Atmosfera w pracy jest świetna. Oczywiście, pracować trzeba efektywnie, wydajnie, mądrze i z przestrzeganiem zasad bhp. Płaci dobrze i w terminie. Dobra firma, dobrze dobrana kadra. Na szczęście idioci już wylecieli.
          Dub Palace 09-21-2014 with DJ Uplifter        
Playlist:

Aswad- Dub Fire - Aswad Crucial Tracks
Mad Professor- Rebel Rock - The African Connection
Mad Professor- The Drum Shot - The African Connection
Bombay Dub Orchestra- Air Like Velvet - Tales From The Grand Bazaar
Alpha Omega- Rastafari - Sound System Dub
Scientist- Whip Them - Scientist Meets The Roots Radics
Scientist- Whip Them - Scientist Meets The Roots Radics
Fullness- City Of God Dub - Fullness
Aswad- Ghetto In The Sky - A New Chapter Of Dub
Sly Robbie- Demolition City - Dubmission 2 The Remixes
Black Uhuru- Boof n Baff n Biff - Dubmission 2 The Remixes
Twinkle Brothers- Jahovia - Live At Maritime Hall SF 2b1 Maritime Hall
Mutabaruka- Check It - Check It
The Scientist- Your Teeth In My Neck - The Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Intergalactic Vampire
Various Artists- Babylon Dub - Dub Selector
Cottonbelly- Tempest Dub - Afterhours 2 Global Underground
Boozoo Bajou- Divers - Divers
Avatars Of Dub- Uptown Jungle - Uptown Jungle
Badawi Honey Child- Cyborg Stepper - Bedouin Sound Clash
Wackies Rhythm Force- Gonna Fight Dub - African Roots Act 2


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/102/playlistDate/2014-09-21
          Cd Cyborg Prime Ao Vivo No Uraim /paragominas - Dj Milky (05/08/2017)        

Baixar
          DVD Verdict 373 - Blast Processing! Cyborg Justice Johnson        

Inspired by recent additions to the Pixel Verdict family, Erich, Dave, Jon, and Tim come up with some socially inappropriate video game baby names before getting down to business with discussions about Crimson Gem Saga, Ghostbusters, Mario Kart Wii, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 for the Wii, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Wheelie Breakers, and Protoype (sorry Steve, Dave likes it). A head-scratching news segment tackles Microsoft's next console, EA's marketing misstep, and why EGM subscribers need get to the mailbox before their wives and girlfriends do. To finish, this week's Symposium Ad Nauseum topic: Pushover Robot Bad Guys.

Feel free to join the rest of the junkies in the new Blast Processing! discussion forum.


          By: carolyn13        
With my RP and my family history of macular degeneration, I fully expect to look like a cyborg if I live to get really old. My great grandchildren will be fascinated by me.
          Hardcore Harry... Peter's Post        
My long time gaming friend, Peter Bogdasarian, writes as well as he games/designs. A prolific designer, he is the author of the Corps Command and Tank on Tank series as well as a module designer for Incursion. Of course all that is in addition to practicing Interplanetary Law, or something like that. Sometimes he watches movies. Occasionally he emails his point of view to his friends. With his permission I'm posting his short review of Hardcore Harry below. 


HARDCORE HENRY is a movie shot entirely in the first person perspective which just came out this weekend. The template was a pair of music videos done by the director for a Russian band called Biting Elbows (you can find them on Youtube).

Folks, I *cannot* believe this movie got a theatrical release. I honestly believe this is the most violent movie I have ever seen in general release (vs. college or arts theater) - we are talking MACHINE GIRL or VERSUS levels of violence. Furthermore, it is about as batshit crazy as those two films even when it isn't killing people.

The first person view is explored brilliantly - it is a gimmick but it is still a good one. The stunts have a completely different, frenetic impact - motion, space and body are different templates in this view than in 3p (martial arts, for instance, no longer resemble graceful but combative dance but become herky jerky explosions of flailing perspective ending in someone's misery; bailing from a helicopter has you straining in your seat with the hope you hit water and not land). That said, if you have any problems with motion sickness DO NOT SEE THIS because it will drive you from the theater.

Plot is basic. Henry wakes up as a cyborg with his scientist wife standing over him. Henry doesnt have his vocal circuits activated so he is your standard silemt videogame protagonist. He goes on the run from an evil telekinetic and his army of mercs and tries to rescue his wife. Occasionally one person tries to help him (I don't want to spoil a very nice twist here so all I will say is Sharlto Copley finally gets a worthy role as follow up to DISTRICT 9 and his musical number (with dancing!) is inspired). Cars are driven, tanks are stormed with a sword, helicopters are boarded and more people than you meet in the average week are killed along the way.

Half of you should see this movie at all costs, the other half should wonder why it is this ever got made. I will pre-order the DVD.

          Kommentar zu Java, und zwar in jederlei Hinsicht von cluewriting        
Hallo liebe Jennifer, absolut Non Fiction, da hast du Recht :) Ausserdem: Sehr cool! Nein, megalotastisch - gleich RT'd und zwar so richtig mit einem Klick auf den RT-Button :) Wir sollten unbedingt mal gemeinsam eine weltweite Programmierungs-, Cyborg-und A.I.-Sammlung machen, ich könnte dann noch zwei Dinge beisteueren: http://www.cluewriting.de/valentinstag-special-eins/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42Q_BTniYZQ :)
          195.        
First post of 2013!
So one of my resolutions is "More Icons, Less Often." In other words, no more posting once a week, every two weeks at the least.
In other news, I've started making animanga icons. All included in this post are inspired by deternot's tutorial. <3
On to the icons;





666 Park Ave, Battlestar Galactica, Being Human, Durarara!!

Billie Piper, Grey's Anatomy

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I'm a Cyborg, but That's Okay

Doctor Who

Doctor Who, Kristen Bell

Downton Abbey,  Jake Gyllenhaal

Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail, Michelle Williams, Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Firefly Cast, Stock

Fringe

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones, Supernatural

Girl Genius

Girl Genius

Girl Genius, Kristena Bowden

Glee

Glee Cast

Glee Cast, Merlin

Gunnerkrigg Court

Gunnerkrigg Court

Homeland

Homeland

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck
 
Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck, Revenge

Lost

Lost, The Hunger Games, The Killing

Rome, Warehouse 13, Sherlock, The Office
 
True Blood, V

True Blood, V, True Love

True Love

Banner


          191.        




666 Park Ave., 90120, Adam Baldwin

Adam Baldwin, Billie Piper

Billie Piper

David Tennant

David Tennant

Firefly, Girl Genius

Girl Genius, Gunnerkrigg Court

Gunnerkrigg Court

Gunnerkrigg Court, Hart of Dixie

Hayden Panetteiere, Homeland

Homeland

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck, I'm a Cyborg, but That's OK

Jake Gyllenhall, Lea Michele

Lea Michele

Lea Michele, Lost, Mark Ruffalo, Masi Oka

Merlin

Merlin, Person of Interest

Sex & the City, Stana Katic

Stana Katic, Stock, Supernatural

Supernatural, The Killing

The Killing, True Blood

True Blood, Ugly Betty, Victorius

Victorius


Banners


          181.        





Angel, Beauty and the Beast, Buffy The Vampire Diaries, Castle

Castle

Castle, Dexter, Doctor Who + Cast

Doctor Who Cast

Doctor Who Cast, Elementry, Fringe

Fringe

Fringe

Fringe, Girl Genius

Girl Genius

Girl Genius

Glee Cast, Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl, Gunnerkrigg Court

Gunnerkrigg Court

Gunnerkrigg Court, Harry Potter

Harry Potter, Haven

Haven, Heroes, Homestuck

Homestuck

Homestuck, I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay

I'm a Cyborg, But That's Okay

I'm a Cyborg, but That's Okay, Inception

Inception, Kanye West, Longmire

Longmire

Longmire, Luther, Merlin

Merlin

Milo Ventmilga, Misfits

Misfits, Star Trek, Supernatural

Supernatural

Supernatural, Terminator: Salvation, The Avengers

The Hunger Games, The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries, True Blood

True Blood, Vegas

Vegas, Veronica Mars, Victorius


          In Need Of Reinforcements        

Before the announcement of The Phantom Pain, Ground Zeroes appeared to be the next full Metal Gear game. Once Konami and Kojima Productions clarified the scope of Ground Zeroes – a prologue to The Phantom Pain's larger tale – I was still excited to get back into a sneaking suit and see the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Big Boss. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm didn't last long after picking up the controller. Ground Zeroes looks and plays like Metal Gear in some ways, but it feels hollow in others, resulting in a disappointing and unsatisfying glimpse into the future of this series.

Ground Zeroes makes a fantastic first impression. It is gorgeous, from the facial capture to the environmental textures. Even the little touches, like lens flare and particle effects, are impeccable. The camera angles are cool, the art direction is interesting, and the production values are high. Snake’s mission in the prison camp is undoubtedly a feast for the eyes, but if you want meaningful content, you’re going to leave hungry.

Your mission in Camp Omega is to find and extract Chico and Paz, two key characters from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Of course, infiltration missions are never so straightforward; something always comes out of left field to complicate the situation and force you to modify your objectives – except this time, it doesn’t. Your goal is as simple as it first appears: You extract Chico, extract Paz, then watch the credits roll. The mission clock on my first playthrough stopped at 87 minutes.

Short games are not bad. Quality isn’t about price or how long a game takes to complete. It's about how well the game uses the time it has, and that’s where Ground Zeroes stumbles. If it were 87 great minutes, I wouldn’t mind at all. Unfortunately, this game isn’t particularly dense, exciting, or deep. Apart from the two cutscenes that bookend the action, no standout moments punctuate your time as Big Boss. You don’t have any boss fights, memorable dialogue, or interactions with new characters. You sneak from point A to point B in the camp, shoot (or tranquilize) guards who get in your way, and you’re done.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

On subsequent playthroughs – which the game encourages – you can round up collectibles, rescue POWs, and scour the camp for more interesting weapons like sniper rifles and rocket launchers. They’re neat to try out, but none of them have a significant impact. Additional playthroughs also let you discover alternate approaches to your objectives, since you have some freedom in how you reach certain areas. For example, you can hide in the back of a truck as it drives into a restricted area, or you can sneak around until you find the side door. This kind of experimentation can be fun, but ultimately, they are just brief detours before you’re back on track.

Once you’re tired of the main mission, you can delve into the side ops, which are separate operations that take place in the same single-map location. Each of these focuses on a central goal, like escorting a strangely familiar intel operative, destroying AA guns, or taking out specific enemies. The side missions are straightforward and unimaginative, but if you’re determined to get 10 hours or more out of Ground Zeroes, you could play all of them to perfection. While that level of replayability is technically present, Ground Zeroes exhausts its store of compelling content quickly.

For all of the ways this installment disappointed me as a fan of Metal Gear, Ground Zeroes gets some things right. Even if it doesn’t take you to interesting places, the stealth gameplay is polished and tense; the lack of enemy-tracking radar means you can get caught at any moment, which adds to the thrill. If you are seen, the new “reflex mode” gives you a few precious slow-motion seconds to neutralize any guards who could alert command. This addition (which can be disabled if you’re a purist) is my favorite new mechanic, since it adds little spikes of excitement while still allowing you avoid full-blown combat. I also enjoyed the ability to get feedback from Kaz (a.k.a. Master Miller) at the push of a button, eliminating the need for long codec conversations on a different screen.

The nudge forward that Ground Zeroes gives the story happens in the final cutscene, which takes the series to some dark and gruesome (and potentially offensive) places. It’s not for the sensitive or squeamish, but one way or another, it certainly made an impression on me. I expected the coma, but another plot development means that the world of The Phantom Pain will be slightly different than I thought.

Even for longtime fans of the Metal Gear franchise, Ground Zeroes may not be worth playing. It spreads its strengths thin over too little space, relying on the repetition of a handful of unremarkable missions in the same area. That's the bad news. The good news is that the core stealth is fun, and the innovations on the gameplay front are promising. When supported by enough variety, progression, and story development, these mechanics could form the foundation of a fantastic game. The Phantom Pain could eventually be that game, but Ground Zeroes is definitely not.  

 

The Edge
Ground Zeroes looks great on any platform, but the PS4 and Xbox One versions are unsurprisingly superior to their last-gen counterparts, with more detailed textures and a better framerate. As for choosing between the Sony or Microsoft systems, the main factor is which extra mission you prefer. PlayStation 4 and 3 owners get a mission that recreates key scenes from the original Metal Gear Solid. Xbox One and 360 owners control cyborg Raiden (but with no sword) in a nod to Kojima's cult classic, Snatcher. I enjoyed both extra missions, but neither one is cool enough to tip the scales.

          Ocean’s Eleven: From criminals to superheroes        
— by CHRIS ANDERSON — Superhero movies are at their biggest these days with the Marvel universe blossoming from countless storylines to come together for the climactic Infinity Wars films as well as DC working its way up the Justice League movie. “Black Panther,” “Captain Marvel” and “Cyborg” are just a few instances of titles […]
          Un nuevo tipo de espectador... o un nuevo ser humano        


Por César Hazaki (psicoanalista)

Texto extractado de un artículo que aparecerá en el próximo número de la revista Topía.

La cultura de la televisión se desarrolló en Estados Unidos –cuya hegemonía lo hace usina de la sociedad del espectáculo– y se expandió por todo el orbe (Raj Patel, Obesos y famélicos, Ed. Marea, Buenos Aires, 2008). En los años de 1950, en ese país, una de cada diez familias tenía televisor en su casa; en los de 1960, nueve de cada diez. Esta revolución de la imagen, que llevó el espectáculo al living, transformó los ejes de la vida familiar. El evento televisivo logró transformarse en el centro de atención. Las familias rápidamente tomaron la costumbre de comer mientras miraban la tele. El encuentro familiar pasó a estar dominado por la TV, pese a las recomendaciones de especialistas que instaban a separar la cena de la televisión. Esto fue ágilmente comprendido por la industria de la alimentación, que venía de producir enormes cantidades de comida enlatada para las tropas en la Segunda Guerra Mundial y necesitaba abrir nuevos mercados. Para ello inventaron la comida congelada. Bombardearon publicitariamente a las amas de casa con que cocinar ya no es lo importante, hace perder mucho tiempo. Y, como el espectáculo estaba dentro de la casa y había que prestarle atención al mismo, el dejar de preparar la cena se las convocaba a la libertad de ver más TV. Aparecieron las marcas de comidas congeladas TV Dinner y TV Brand Frozen Dinners. Las revistas femeninas de la época insistían en que los niños revoltosos, gracias al incentivo de mirar televisión, podían comer lo que su madre les diera, sin oponerse; el espectáculo en casa era tan poderoso que hasta podía disciplinar a los niños. La TV fue la ritalina de la época. En un largo y sistemático proceso que incluyó muchos cambios tecnológicos (como la incorporación del freezer), la comida en común fue abandonada como ritual familiar. Se privilegió la imagen de la tele. La organización de la mesa familiar se modificó al incorporarse, como integrante, el televisor, que también marcó la agenda: se pasó a hablar de lo que mostraba la TV. La tele era la que hablaba, los comensales se transformaron en espectadores y la TV en el tercer padre. Y este proceso que ha ido avanzando: hoy cada integrante de la familia come delivery, solo en su cuarto, mirando televisión y conectado a Internet. El cine había preservado para sí la condición de lugar ritual que requería la concentración del espectador. Al comenzar la proyección se debía respetar la oscuridad para no romper la ceremonia colectiva. Pero la costumbre de comer rápido para seguir mirando la tele abrió las puertas a otro negocio dentro del cine: beber y comer. Los dueños de las salas habilitaron la venta de comidas dentro del cine, y comenzó algo imposible de parar: los espectadores se lanzaron a comer como si estuvieran en su casa ante el televisor. Baldes de pochoclo, gaseosas, golosinas, hamburguesas, panchos. Hoy en las cadenas cinematográficas se encuentran: buenos asientos, buena imagen, excelente sonido y al espectador de la butaca vecina masticando pochoclo y bebiendo gaseosa. Y vendrán más cambios, esta vez de la mano de los usuarios de teléfonos celulares: cada vez son más los que se encienden en diversos lugares de la sala durante la proyección. Los usuarios contestan mensajes de texto, se resisten a apagar los celulares. Están atentos a dos pantallas: la del cine y la propia. En mayo pasado, Amy Miles, CEO de Regal Entertainment –la cadena de exhibición de películas más grande de Estados Unidos–, advirtió que, si bien su empresa no admite todavía el uso de teléfonos celulares, “si presentáramos una película que apelara a un público más joven podríamos cambiar este criterio” (www.acculturated.com). Esta empresaria está convencida de que la relación hiperconectada entre los jóvenes y sus smartphones no tiene vuelta atrás y de que se intensificará a medida que los aparatos se hagan más sofisticados. El tema se planteó en la convención anual que los propietarios de cadenas de proyección cinematográfica hacen en Las Vegas: allí se debatió sobre la estrategia para hacer volver a las salas cinematográficas a esos jóvenes que, antes que soltar su hiperconectividad permanente, prefieren no ir al cine. Estamos así en presencia de un nuevo tipo de espectador, que impondrá condiciones en la manera ver cine. Cinemacom trata de recapturar a esos adolescentes desertores de las salas, y busca soluciones: una de ellas sería disponer una pecera de aislamiento, como si fuera una sala para fumadores en cuyo ámbito se permitiría usar el celular sin restricciones. La otra es ofrecer funciones especiales, a mayor costo, para quienes quieren usar el celular durante la proyección. Se trata de hacerlos sentir como en casa haciendo zapping entre la película, los mensajes de texto y las llamadas de sus amigos. Si ya pueden comer en la sala, por qué deberían apagar la placenta mediática, presta y solícita las veinticuatro horas para alimentar al joven hiperconectado. Freud hablaba de los órganos auxiliares para referirse a los avances tecnológicos que el hombre se colocaba y que lo hacían sentir un dios. El decía que le costaba acostumbrarse a las prótesis tecnológicas, pero creemos que no es lo que ocurre con el celular. El smartphone hace actual el modelo propuesto por Donna Haraway en su Manifiesto cyborg, de 1985: el cyborg es un híbrido de máquina y hombre, un organismo cibernético, una persona conectada a una red. Hoy el cyborg –híbrido de máquina y hombre, organismo cibernético, persona conectada a una red– no es más una ficción: el celular es ya parte del cuerpo del hombre. Su presencia marca una profundización de la relación entre el corpus tecnológico actual y el cuerpo de las personas. Y este cuerpo mediático trae una nueva forma de subjetivación. Una nueva modificación del hombre, donde la mutación es por la incorporación de la tecnología web y sus máquinas de comunicar, que se introducen en el cuerpo y lo modifican. Hoy el cyborg –unión del humano con la máquina de comunicar más pequeña y potente que haya sido inventada– no puede sostenerse sin esas múltiples aplicaciones de la hiperconectividad provistas por los smartphones. Desconectarlo u olvidarlo genera una ansiedad muy primaria: como humano, se precariza, y con el celular vence la incertidumbre. Así se constituye el cyborg, un Popeye que comió espinaca y se cree seguro y listo para cualquier hazaña comunicativa. El celular, así incorporado al cuerpo, realiza una unidad más completa del cuerpo mediático, que había comenzado con la TV, para profundizarse con la revolución informática y alcanzar nuevas dimensiones con el orden de la telefonía celular. Ahora la placenta mediática puede ser requerida en todo momento y lugar. Los celulares son el cordón umbilical del modelo cyborg: adosados al cuerpo, se hacen parte de él. Y sin duda las nuevas generaciones, las infancias digitales que estamos viendo crecer, serán mucho más cyborg. Pero ya los cyborg hiperconectados no admiten restricciones a su afán comunicativo. Por eso el cine y el teatro son cada vez más un campo de batalla entre los que no aceptan los celulares prendidos y quienes no pueden prescindir del suyo. Estos, al olvidar apagarlo –típico acto fallido–, imponen condiciones a los otros. En el cine actual se hace presente el modelo televisivo: El celu-espectador aplica en la función el modelo que practicó frente al televisor: el zapping. Va de la película al mensaje de texto recién recibido y viceversa. Es decir que su atención es menos concentrada y requiere, por eso mismo, varios estímulos simultáneos; con la salvedad de que es más fiel a su conexión por celular que al ritual de la pantalla. Como el celular cuenta con vibrador, puede no irrumpir con su sonido, pero trata de imponer nuevas reglas con respecto al encendido y apagado de luces. Los nuevos celulares con leds tienen un brillo tan intenso que es imposible no prestarles atención. Y el espectador con su celular prendido no es anónimo, no trata de pasar desapercibido, como tampoco lo pretenden los que comen pochoclo de un balde: está dispuesto a romper la liturgia que conocíamos en el cine. En su prepotencia de cyborg, poco le importan los reclamos de los humanos espectadores (restos arqueológicos de la humanidad pretérita); él no quiere la oscuridad completa, no quiere estar atento sólo a la proyección, no quiere perderse nada de su mundo personal durante la película. En la sociedad del espectáculo, el cyborg no acepta ser espectador, quiere ser protagonista. En definitiva quiere hacer lo que aprendió y desarrolló en su casa viendo televisión: comer comida rápida, atender el teléfono y hacer zapping. El control remoto era una herramienta, todavía fuera del cuerpo, aunque no se soltara de la mano. El celular es parte inseparable del propio cuerpo: va con él a todas partes, se escucha directamente en el oído, se habla con él más que con quien se viaja o se trabaja. El celular constituye una nueva especie de humanidad, y los cyborg muestran las nuevas formas de subjetivación condicionadas por la tecnología.

          Problema Utente Cancellato         
Autore: =Maynard=, Ultimo aggiornamento: 14/10/2014 19:56 di cyborg009
          Comment on Is sci-fi without Cyborgs inherently unrealistic? by Aaron        
In the same vein; do we need terraforming in sci-fi? Transforming a whole planet to suite the needs of the human body would likely be expensive, take years, if not generations, and damage whatever eco system the planet already has. Why not change the human form to match the new environment? Reducing the moving in time and allowing humans to take advantage of resources that possibly wouldn't be survive terraforming. And if we could assume that changing the human form becomes trivial; would we build space vehicles designed for land based bipeds?
          513 · The Best of 2011        

Nobody's Leaving This World Tonight


The Best of 2011

The new devices first accelerate the old ways, and then things change. I used to write about music on the internet. People still do, in a sense, but it's a different sense. We are now, collectively, exploring the idea that quantitative and qualitative are a quantitative distinction. Instead of a few people writing 3000 words each, we have thousands of people writing a few words each. This is clearly worse if you like to read about music, but if writing about music was a means to an end, then maybe more data is a better means. The end, the goal, the dream, is that with data and logic we can reveal the associative flow that we have always sensed inhered in the music itself. The dream, the hope, the aspiration, is that our thus-mediated self can enter into the flow. The theory, the thought experiment, the conceit, is that measure by measure, drop by drop, these sounds we love can never stop.

I have believed this to be somehow possible since, more or less, my first hour downloading and printing a Gary Numan discography off of Usenet. I spent a decade obsessively pursuing music discovery as literature, in a sort of parallel denial, but there was always data, and more data, and eventually it had to add up to something.

And so music discovery has become math, and I have become a conductor of numbers and correlations, and a bookkeeper of our itemized helplessness. And maybe it seems like we are supposed to fear this, these computers now listening to our music for us, but like many fears, this is a mistake of context. The computers aren't listening to music instead of us. The logarithms lead us to the start of a song, where we might not otherwise have ever arrived, but then the song starts and the mediation dissolves, and the magic power of the music pours straight into us the way it always has.


Metal Albums


1

Blood Stain Child: Epsilon

I was never really a solipsist, any more than I was a nihilist or an anarchist or any other show-off meta-philosophy, any more than I am a viking or a cyborg or a Satanist. These are toy ideas in the best sense of "toy", fabrications of possibility for the purpose of contrast or hope. But if I were a solipsist, a universe arranged for my insulation could hardly do much better than cross-breeding European death metal and Japanese trance-pop. You learn something interesting about people who claimed to love being shocked when they flinch at being surprised. Shallowness, in the end, is merely a dimension. We have learned to make our shells so hard, and so shiny, that sometimes their thickness is gloriously immaterial.


2

Elizium: Relief by the Sun

But it goes both ways, or all three ways, or however many dimensions it is that you hold these songs to travel through. Elizium are as warm as Blood Stain Child are ice-mooned, measured where BSC are quantized, roaring where they chirp, open-hearted over airlocked. But these are tactical contrasts, I think, not antitheses. The problem with materialism is not that it values objects, it's that it mis-values objects, that it detaches the objects from their implications. The point of a cadence is not a function of the particular composition of its metronome. These paths are lined with soil and metal, stone and airwaves, flittering lights and movable hearths.


3

Unleash the Archers: Demons of the Astrowaste

This was the year I finally stopped going to record stores to buy music. This was, for much of my life, much of my life. But it had long since ceased to be functionally necessary, and then it had slowly ceased to be particularly helpful, and eventually it mostly stopped even being possible. I have personally seen material copies of only three of the twenty albums on these two metal lists, although Unleash the Archers' website claims they could mail you one of this. But I was never going to discover this band in a physical store. They're unsigned, they're from another country, and their name and art both make them look like refugees from a late 80s Metal Blade compilation that maybe suffered a last-minute Manowar cancellation. But none of this matters very much anymore. I couldn't possibly tell you why I spent the click or two necessary to follow some random link and hear a few seconds of this band. This year I listened to a few seconds of literally hundreds of bands about which I knew basically nothing. Much of the time, a few seconds later I knew one more thing about them, and that was enough. But 7 of these 10 astonishing albums began their life with me in just about this way, and maybe none were more surprising than Unleash the Archers, who turn out to be a sort of frenetically but unceremoniously epic post-ironic alt-power-metal cross between Gamma Ray and Madder Mortem, or maybe between Veruca Salt and Fates Warning. I miss record stores a little, too, but I would rather live this way.


4

Pantheist: Pantheist

There are forms of metal with most possible virtues, but quiet subtlety is chronically underrepresented, superfically because metal is about loudness and extremity, but maybe more inherently because the genre tends to evolve by extrapolation, rather than interpolation, and so each new thing is usually some earlier thing done faster or angrier or louder or more something. But it can go the other way. So while most of the threads of doom metal curve off into whisper-ambient funeral doom, or Sunn O))) drone or various formulations of stoner sludge, Pantheist take up the trajectory from Black Sabbath off through Cathedral, and follow it back towards grace and songcraft, like an anticipatory soundtrack for a new Harold and Maude cross-written into The Sandman.


5

Subway to Sally: Schwarz In Schwarz

We had a little metal listening club on I Love Music for a while last year. Each week somebody would pick a couple albums, and a group of us would try to listen to them all the way through. I'd never heard of Subway to Sally when somebody picked one of their albums for a week of formative early folk-metal, and I wasn't even entirely charmed by the punk/polka thump of it, but at least afterwards I knew who they were, so I gave this album its :10 chance when I came across it, just to see what it meant that they were still around. What it means, to me, is that somebody went back and figured out how to separate the energizing parts of old Skyclad from the goofy ones, and replace the latter with the least martial components of Neue Deutsche Härte. If we're rewriting movies via soundtrack shift, this is the one for morphing Katja von Garnier's Bandits halfway into Tom Tykwer's Heaven.


6

Dornenreich: Flammentriebe

And extrapolate from Subway to Sally, splintering the marching rhythms into stabbing atmospherics, smearing the rock urgency into pagan catharsis, and redeploying the violins from Dexy's reels towards Nymanesque psycho-cartography, and you get an alternate folk-art-metal decomposition that, if this were Skyclad, would give them a style arc of almost Talk Talk-like scope.


7

Jesu: Ascension

Part of the point of this obdurate segmentation of my musical world into metal and not is that almost anything you contain and inhabit can react by expanding into all the implied and absent niches. You can remake an entire musical world inside of any worthy genre. Or maybe that's just what I mean by "genre": a varietal microcosm. And thus Jesu has become my metal world's Low, and it's only when I listen to the two in very quick succession that the visceral identification wavers. Minimal, haunted, cresting, frail and grand, post-anthemic and elemental.


8

Terra Tenebrosa: The Tunnels

The mole people have their own oblique, guttural, chittering music. It is meant, I think, mostly for instilling nightmares in voles, and some kind of cabalistic subsonic thrall-herding of gray owls.


9

Thy Catafalque: Rengeteg

Somebody must have figured that if you played a kid a steady-enough stream of Jean Michel Jarre, Gogol Bordello and 69 Love Songs over an old shortwave, it would wean him off metal. It didn't work.


10

Lifelover: Sjukdom

I don't care how audibly life-affirming your pretend-nihilistic music is, if you miss your own point and actually kill yourself, you go to the bottom of the list. Those are the rules.


Other Metal Songs


1

Wolfchant: "Black Fire" (from Call of the Black Winds)

Another measure of a good genre is that it should be possible to redeem its clichés by instantiating all of them at once.


2

Avven: "Ros" (from Kastalija)

I feel a tiny bit bad for sticking to my metal-only Pazz & Jop voting in the singles poll, where I thus almost never agree with anybody at all. But then there are songs like this galloping, roaring, square-dance riot by an unsigned Hungarian band, who appear to have filmed the video for it in somebody's grandparents' attic while maybe wearing some of their clothes, and for a couple minutes I feel again like you are responsible for what you witness, whether anybody else ever sees it or not.


3

Heretoir: "Fatigue" (from Heretoir)

When Matt and Clare restart Sarah as a shoegaze-metal label (with release numbering restarting from 666, of course), Heretoir will be the second band they approach, and the first to sign.


4

Alcest: "Elévation (Re-recorded)" (from Le Secret (Reissue))

But we shall none of us forget that Alcest invented the form, and can invent it over again any time they feel like it.


5

Agrypnie: "Augenblick" (from Asche)

What you get if you make your metal band by crushing up and reassembling Big Country's "Porrohman".


6

Frijgard: "Frijgard" (from Nebelwacht)

Sure, when you see a forced march through Hell filmed in slow motion, with Sarah McLachlan singing "Into the Fire", it seems very glamorous and dramatic. Different story when you have to do it yourself, in bad shoes.


7

Dalriada: "Mennyei Harang" (from Ígéret)

My current one-song explanation of folk metal.


8

Arven: "Dark Red Desire" (from Music of Light)

My current one-song explanation of dragon-princess metal, which is a genre I just made up, but which I hope all the bands currently failing to be Nightwish will seriously consider for next year, because it's easier, and it's often more fun to be really good at something kind of easy than really mediocre at something extremely hard that somebody else is already doing well.


9

Oak Pantheon: "Architect of the Void Part II" (from The Void)

My current one-song explanation of American temperate-rain-forest metal, which is a real thing even if I just made up the name and half the bands actually live in Minnesota.


10

Kampfar: "Bergtatt (In D Major)" (from Mare)

Five and a half minutes of relentless strangled chorus, like Ragnarok re-cut for Sportscenter. Which, arguably, is what much of metal cheerfully aspires to: the Apocalypse, but without all the commercials and boring penalty-rule deliberations and timeouts.


Non-Metal Albums


1

Airborne Toxic Event: All at Once

I couldn't get away from "Sometime Around Midnight", and eventually it grew on me a little, but not enough to explain how thoroughly and repeatedly overwhelmed I've been by this next record, as expansive and ambitious a Rock Album as any in the Long, Grand, and Somewhat Outmoded Tradition of such things. It's both pointless and foolish to predict posterity, and my cheerfully pointlessly foolish prediction is that we'll look back on this like we look back on Jailbreak and Every Picture Tells a Story and The Joshua Tree. Or maybe I only mean that my heart is still willing to admit more of these, and the undecided part of this prediction is not the record or the future but the we. This we believes in choruses and sighs, and guitars that ping like Big Country, and drums that thump instead of swing, and people singing like they need to hear what they believe echoing around them more than they fear cowards' doubts. This we is in love, recursively, with what it sounds like to be in love with love with love with everything. This we inhabits the past and future by the involuntary aching expedient of timelessness.


2

Gazelle Twin: The Entire City

Tori Amos, Kate Bush and Björk all had new albums this year, but the one that made me feel the most like they once did, and like in their turns Jane Sibbery and Laurie Anderson and Life Without Buildings and Bat for Lashes all have, was this lush, stuttering, murky, muted, secret puzzle-logic poem of a record, like flannel starlight reflected off the uncanny line where matte-finish ocean touches rain-dulled streets, like a reminder that dance music can be the simple conversion of fog-wisp dreams into patterned motion, and that clockwork is only one of many species of mechanism.


3

Joy Formidable: The Big Roar

In which we return to the story began by Siouxsie and Curve and Sleeper and Theaudience and discover that it has new chapters every bit as swirlingly, crashingly thrilling as the old.


4

Emmylou Harris: Hard Bargain

But part of what I hear in what I love, and part of what I mean by love, is anticipation of forgetting, is lingering in the immanent intrinsic sadness of moments. And if some of these materializations are oblique and cryptic, still others are heartbreakingly plain. Emmylou's ethereal voice ghosts over lost roads and shrouded mornings like a memory of memory, and I am swept up in so precisely what it feels like to be alive against our skin.


5

Juliana Hatfield: There's Always Another Girl

There's still a universe, somewhere, where this is me. Take away my computers, perhaps, and the consolations of numbers, and an atheist's defiant faith in Eternity if for nothing more than a sense of proportion, and under it I think there wait versions of all these frailties and expectations. There is a map we could draw, I expect, of Juliana and my lives, from the night the Blake Babies played in my college dining hall, and the lines twine around each other like a ballet in adrift, lonely RNA. And I hear myself in this singing, and my name in the liner notes is half the mundane marker of my support for the idea that art must obey its own dictates of scale, and half a private joke between me and some other self.


6

Tommy Keene: Behind the Parade

Elusive masterpieces visit themselves on the unwary, and then are away again, and the perfectly understandable cargo-cult insistence on recreating them by repetition never works. Or almost never, anyway.


7

M83: Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

We underrate Young Adult fiction, I think, much like we have underrated Science Fiction and Heavy Metal and any system with its own stubbornly earnest internal rules. But dismissing these things misses the crucial point that art need not necessarily speak to us as we are. So if M83 are like a mirror-Earth Tears for Fears without the angst, or children of the Human League born into a world that has never not known disco, or a Peter Pan to carry Talk Talk and Propaganda away to the safety of the island of Perpetual Arpeggiators, then I am perfectly willing to read stories of what it felt like to not know all this miserable and intractable and portentious grownup nonsense yet, and emininently pleased to melt into this sprawling, radiantly naïve accumulation of everything every other band like this pretends to be above.


8

Low: C'mon

Tori and Kate's albums slid into and out of my life without much ceremony, which I wouldn't have necessarily thought possible, and Low's sank this far. But no farther. There was a long period where every new Low album made me change my understanding of something, usually them but by no means always, and this one doesn't, but in some ways it's almost as fascinating and possibly even more encouraging to listen to Alan and Mimi finding their way without any kind of quiet revolution. Because sometimes you won't.


9+10

The Sounds: Something to Die For

Blondie: Panic of Girls

There was an album this year that said The Human League on it, but it had, for me, no emotional connection at all to the synthpop charm of "Don't You Want Me" or "(Keep Feeling) Fascination". The Sounds came closer, following through on the retro feints of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Marina and the Diamonds and Metric to find out that the disused ways back into synthpop beepiness can also take you onwards past the Go-Go's and X-Ray Spex and Penetration and Berlin and M.

And Blondie, of course. There are probably some tedious logistical reasons why a Blondie/The Sounds tour could never happen, but my musical life plays in my head, not on stages, and in my head these two albums are jubillantly interlaced, as if separated, as they in fact are, by nothing but meaningless distance.


Other Non-Metal Songs


1

Sloan: "Green Gardens, Cold Montreal" (from The Double Cross)

Two minutes of quiet, over-studied perfection.


2

The Decemberists: "Calamity Song" (from The King Is Dead)

There is no way you will ever talk me out of my conviction that this is a deliberate and inspiredly undeniable demonstration of what early REM would have sounded like if Michael Stipe had been willing to enunciate.


3

The Mountain Goats: "Damn These Vampires" (from All Eternals Deck)

If you don't understand metal, maybe our desperate need for mythology with which to make sense of what we can't change will make more sense to you in this reedier, snare-brushed, really no different at all form.


4

Richard Bucker: "Escape" (from Our Blood)

Frailty and power are, after all, distinctions of polarity, not of magnitude.


5+6

Roxette: "She's Got Nothing On (But the Radio)" and "Speak to Me" (from Charm School)

And our best celebrations of cheating death are refusing to let it dim our joys or qualify our yearnings.


7

Juliana Hatfield: "Don't Wanna Dance (Brad Walsh Remix)"

Or, maybe even better, letting life rush back into us all at once.


8

Kelly Clarkson: "I Forgive You" (from Stronger)

Even when you feel like you want to live forever, sometimes you have to speed up the clocks.


9

Reik: "No Te Quiero Olvidar" (from Peligro)

And I will bet you, if you don't believe me, that every human language starts with words for notyetnotyetnotyetnotyetNOW!


10

Magnum: "Wild Angels" (from The Visitation)

And the trick, maybe, is just to not forget any of the first things you knew.

          White Noise/White Heat, or Why the Postmodern Turn in Rock Music Led to Nothing but Road        
by
Larry McCaffery
2004-05-24

I. “White Noise/White Heat,” or Why the “Postmodern Turn” in Rock Music Led to Nothing but Road - A Preface (of sorts)

TEN YEARS BURNING DOWN THE ROAD

I wrote “White Light” near the end of the 80s, which had surprisingly proved to be perhaps rock music’s most fertile and innovative decade. I originally wrote the essay as a feature article that appeared in American Book Review in the Spring of 1990 (McCaffery, “White Noise”). I was aware that ABR readers were book-lovers not rock fans, and my main goal in developing the essay that way - i.e., presenting an extended analogy between the innovations found in recent music by radically inventive rock and jazz musicians and those ABR readers would already associate with “postmodern” literature - was simply to use “the Postmodern Turn” phrase in my essay’s title as a “hook” that would draw readers in and introduce them to artists like Laurie Anderson, Patti Smith, John Zorn (all discussed at some length in “White Noise”), and dozens of others who had emerged within America’s enormously exciting pop underground music scene that I had immersed myself in during the 1980s. My immersion came about one night around 1980 in Manhattan when my friends Kathy Sagan and Lou Stathis took me to see my first “New Wave” rock show. The headliner that night was Ultravox, whose synthesizer-driven sound (a novelty at that time) fascinated me by somehow expressing such energized intensity AND mechanized dehumanization. But what really got my attention that night was the opening act by “Nash-the-Slash” (I never did find out who this was or what his real name way - if anyone out there knows, please contact me!). You could say that Nash was a one-man band, or a new kind of cyborgian musician; or (as I did at the time) as a “postmodernist musician and performance artist”; today I would say Nash’s act was a perfect example of “avant-pop” (see appendix listing for “Avant-Pop”). But whatever you call it, Nash’s performance was my first encounter with the kind of radically innovative music that I was trying to point to a decade later with my phrase “the Postmodern Turn in Rock Music.”
Nash walked out on a stage looking like Claude Raines in the old The Invisible Man movie: wearing a black tuxedo and top hat, his hands and head completely swathed in bandages. For the first few minutes of his act, he silently began generating a kind of surrealist swirl of backup sounds by tweaking various dials and knobs on an elaborate set of synthesizers, computers, tape loops, drum machines, and other mechanically-produced sound generators. After he finally got the groove he wanted, he walked through the crowd to the back of the hall and turned on a movie-projector, which began to play a grainy, black-and-white silent film that flickered into life on the back of Nash’s tuxedo as he strode, silently, eerily, back to the stage. It was only after Nash had positioned himself in the middle of his mechanical band-members that I finally recognized that the film (now being projected onto Nash standing motionless at center stage was Dali and Bunuel’s surrealist classic, Un Chien Andalouss (1928). He then proceeded to play the first piercing notes of an extended series of haunting, soaring, surrealist solo’s that accompanied the rest of the film. For the next 30 or 40 minutes I was mesmerized - here was a brand of avant-pop that acknowledged its awareness of and borrowings from the lineage of the great modernist avant-garde, and then synthesized these influences within the sounds and rhythms of contemporary rock. The result was both fascinating from an intellectual or aesthetic standpoint and yet emotionally engaging as well. I left the club that night too dazed and dazzled to be able to analyze or categorize what I had just seen and heard. The only thing I was sure of that night was that I had discovered a music scene capable of making me think and feel - and that I wanted to find more of it.

In re-reading “White Noise” from today’s post-millennial perspective, I’m struck first of all by the tone of confidence and enthused optimism that permeates the entire essay - the almost casual assurance of the essay’s opening where postmodernism is defined, the easy assumption throughout that it is possible to draw analogies about the “innovative features” of fundamentally different media, such as music and fiction, forms which have evolved aesthetic traditions and conventions (and hence innovations) unique to their nature within radically different historical and aesthetic contexts. Likewise, this authoritative rhetoric may well convince at least some readers of what is likely the essay’s most problematic (and fundamental) feature of all: its underlying thesis that “postmodernism” is a useful and appropriate term to describe innovations occurring in rock music, a form which presumably never had a modernist phase at all since it didn’t even exist until the mid-50s, well after modernism.

At any rate, this sense of assured self-confidence about postmodernism would certainly not appear in any essay I was writing today about recent developments in rock music; in fact, if I were writing such an essay today I would omit “postmodernism” entirely because I no longer believe that I (or anyone else for that matter) can articulate with any degree of coherence or specificity what “postmodernism” is, or was, what it’s supposed to mean, or, indeed, whether it ever existed at all. Actually, I spent much of the 90s trying to deconstruct postmodernism, which increasingly seemed to be a bag of hot air that somebody needed to let the air out of. Postmodernism is a term I myself helped to promote back in the 70s to describe the new sorts of innovation fiction that began appearing back in the 60s. But by the 90s, the term “postmodernism” increasingly didn’t seem to refer to anything specifically - even as the meanings and definitions associated with it have continued to multiply wildly. And not only have these meanings expanded (and replicated, virally) but they have also seemed to be drifting in the direction of being associated with a kind of radical skepticism, trendy nihilism and relativism, and empty pluralism - a line of cultural thinking concerning contemporary culture that I not only don’t agree with but actively wish to disassociate myself from [see “Funeral Oration for Postmodernism: A Sad (but timely) Farewell,” included in the Appendix ].

WHEN THE PARTY’S OVER

Likewise, anything I might write today about rock music of the past decade certainly wouldn’t have the almost giddy sense of enthusiasm you find expressed throughout “White Noise” about what was happening in rock during the 80s. I just don’t feel nearly as “plugged in” to the music scene today as I did ten years ago. Part of that may have to do with getting older, plus after I moved way out to the desert it became a huge hassle to see any live music, so instead of seeing two or three shows a week, as I did all through the 80s, I’ve probably only seen two or three shows a year. This doesn’t include Springsteen shows - I saw all his shows in L.A. and San Diego during both The Ghost of Tom Joad and the reunion tour with the E-Street band. Otherwise, other than seeing a few Japanese noise bands in Tokyo he only live acts I’ve seen were Patti Smith, Lucinda Williams, and Laurie Anderson. But I don’t think the physical separation really has much to do with my general lack of enthusiasm about rock recently - for instance, I was a lot more separated from the rock scene when I starting writing the first draft of “White Noise” back in March 1989 - not only was I half-way around the world from that scene (I was in Beijing, teaching courses in Postmodern American Culture as a Fulbright Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University), but my only access to recorded music was a couple dozen bootleg cassettes I’d bought in Thailand, and a weekly one-hour radio show supposedly featuring British and American rock (“We rock you HARD!” the DJ announced) but which in practice consisted mostly of golden oldies by John Denver and the Carpenters (the current favorites of Chinese youth). A somewhat harder edge very of rock music was, however, very much a part of the charged, rebellious atmosphere surrounding the student protests that spring; for instance, you could hear the stirrings and rumblings of the protests every night at my university being expressed in the sounds of songs by Chinese rock star, Chi Jian (“he’s like Bruce Springsteen,” one of my students proudly explains) coming out of the dorm windows. Hearing those sounds made it easier for me to feel connected to rock music and more than made up for the albums and fancy sound system and Vandersteen speakers I had left behind in California.

Anyway, I’d argue that the real source of the problem lies more in the music scene itself than with me. In retrospect, the Spring of ‘89 when I was writing “White Noise” seems like a major dividing line, the closing of an era - not just for music but for a lot of other things as well, like the end of the Cold War. In the case of rock, once the 90s begin you see a kind of slow-but-steady erosion of the significance of rock music generally. Established older guys like Bono of U2, Dylan, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Neil Young (the 90s were a great decade for Neil Young), Tom Waits, and Springsteen all released great albums during the last ten years, but you haven’t had many major new talents appearing who could infuse the scene with the sense of excitement and possibilities the way that, say, the Sex Pistols or the Clash or Springsteen and Bowie all did in the mid-70s. There are exceptions of course - Nirvana would be the most obvious example, but you’ve also had P. J. Harvey and Beck and several other new arrivals who have done wonderful work [see my updated list in the Appendix ] - not to mention some of the really weird, esoteric stuff I don’t have access to that I’m sure is being cooked up somewhere in somebody’s garage or computer. In the early 90s Cobain’s incandesce and the brilliance of Nirvana (and maybe Pearl Jam) generated so much light and heat that nobody noticed how dark and cold the music scene had become - that is, not until Cobain’s death seemed to pull the plug, and the music industry started frantically looking around for someone to replace him (of course they couldn’t), and ever since then you’ve had this whole succession of “BIG NEW THINGS” or “BIG NEW SOUNDS” who, for me anyway, haven’t lived up to the expectations all the music industry hype created for them. Record executives today admit that the only sure thing these days in terms of sales are the easy-listening (and hugely profitable) Pop (Brittany Spears, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child) and rap, and as a result signing and promoting new rock bands is a low priority. Meanwhile, other than a few people like Nine Inch Nails, Hole, Sleeter Kinney-Martin, the “alternative” music scene is pretty much of a joke (when you hear something being referred to as “alternative” these days, you can be almost certain it’s not alternative in any real sense) - or rather, “alternative” has become a marketing strategy, an image of rebellion that can be used to peddle derivative banalities to audiences, mostly kids, who are still gullible enough to think that having a rap song blaring out of their expensive car speakers makes them seem “rebellious.”

Call it what you will (I personally call it the Alt-Lite Syndrome), but whatever you call it, it SUCKS.

HEY HEY, MY MY: ROCK AND ROLL WILL NEVER DIE:

Since most of my comments thus far about “White Noise” have been fairly critical, to be fair to myself - and ensure that this Preface leaves my readers with the sort of upbeat and energized feelings that great rock tunes are supposed to - I would like to add here at the end that I think this essay raises important issues and presents relevant examples from the music of the 80s to illustrate its points. Most of my objections to this essay would be eliminated if I could substitute “Avant-Pop” for “postmodernism” throughout. For a different reading of “White Noise,” see AUTODECONSTRUCTIVE READING OF WHITE NOISE in the appendix. I also recommend: Updated LIST OF MUSICIANS AND WORKS.

Rock on.

******

II. White Noise/White Heat: The Postmodern Turn in Rock Music

Let’s say, simply for a point of departure, that the slippery “essence” of postmodernism has to do with a radical intensification of self-consciousness and intertextuality - a reflexiveness and interplay that are deliberately built into artistic works and that activates some (though not all) of the patterns of audience response. Let’s assume that postmodernist self-consciousness and intertextuality are related to analogous features in earlier art works - parody, collaboration, the use of allusion and meta-stances of self-reference - but that in postmodernism these devices become defining features of, even the rationale for, artistic existence. Thus, postmodernism uses the related strategies of collage, intertextuality, reflexivity, and pastiche to present their elements - the characters and events in literature and film, the themes, leitmotifs, melodies and riffs in music, the visual materials in painting and sculpture, together with the “self” responsible for the creation of these elements - as heterogeneous collections of cultural accumulations. This presentation is crucially different from earlier ones in that it is not done in the service of the transformation of cultural (and, later, technological) difference into a new aesthetic “whole.” Rather, postmodernism’s self-conscious intertextuality results in an aesthetic foregrounding of the self and reality as artifice, as a cut-up, as a displaced version of an “authenticity” now only evoked nostalgically. Such presentations not only directly challenge traditional notions of artistic unity and coherence but fundamentally require postmodernist artists to re-examine what artistic “originality” and aesthetic “integrity” mean. At the heart of this re-examination lies the central issue of composition itself: of how a work of art comes into existence, and the role of the artist in guiding and creating that existence.

As we all surely know by now, the swirl of interactions and influences that have given rise to postmodern aesthetics are enormously complex. For a general summary of my own views concerning the key influences that have contributed to the rise of postmodernism, see “Introduction” to Postmodern Fiction: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide, ed. Larry McCaffery (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, l986), pp. xi-xxviii. They include developments in linguistics and philosophy of language, quantum mechanics and relativity theories, the massive social and political disruptions that have occurred since the l960s, as well as the numerous ways different genres have mutated and cross-fertilized one another. Equally important have been the ways that technology has changed our relationship to the commodification and reproduction of cultural and artistic images, words and sounds - and the way that, in the process, technology has profoundly problematized not only such concepts as human memory and artificiality but has altered the way we perceive human life and value. The changes being wrought by technology were, of course, already being explored by artists of the l920s (and earlier) and by critics such as Walter Benjamin; but these issues have become absolutely central to the postmodernist debate that has emerged among recent artists and critics such as Jean Baudrillard, Giles Deleuze, François Lyotard, Fredric Jameson, and Arthur Kroker. In a general way, what many of these critics are indicating is that postmodern aesthetics can be viewed as a shared response among artists to what Fredric Jameson has termed “the logic of postindustrial capitalism.” See Fredric Jameson’s “Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” New Left Review, No. l46 (July-August l984), pp. 53-94. Postmodernism, then, represents a diffused but common recognition that we are in the midst (in Jameson’s words) of “a prodigious expansion of culture throughout the social realm, to the point at which everything in our social life - from economic value and state power practices and to the very structure of the psyche itself -can be said to have become ‘cultural’ in some original and as yet untheorized sense” (Jameson, 87).

The remainder of this essay will be devoted to discussing some of the implications of postmodern aesthetics, as I have been generally outlining it, as these implications have become increasingly apparent in popular music, including rock music, jazz, and the numerous unclassifiable hybrid forms that have recently appeared. What seems undeniable is that contemporary musicians working in these areas have begun producing music that deals with many of the same techniques and questions that we see in postmodernist painting and cinema, in fiction and poetry: notions of pastiche, fragmentation, appropriation, cross cultural influences, market pressure, authenticity, sign systems, the media, public image and private imagination. Postmodern music responds to and emerges out of our brave new technological age of media (and mediated) experience; it is produced in an age of mechanical reproduction which, as Walter Benjamin theorized nearly 50 years ago, Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” in Illuminations, ed. Hannah Arendt, trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, l968), pp. 219-226. has seen the unique status of the work of art being challenged by the technological transformation of our social world. Though I will be focusing on music, I will also be suggesting that in our current age of electronic reproduction and replication, postmodern artists in general are responding to the idea that the unique status of not only art but also of human beings themselves is being challenged and redefined by these same technological transformations.

Probably more than in literature, it has been in the realms of music, the cinema (perhaps especially science fiction cinema), Vivian Sobchack’s extended analysis of how recent science fiction films display the logic of postmodernism (in her Screening Space: The American Science Fiction [New York: Ungar, l988]) has numerous applications for what has been occurring in the music industry. See in particular her chapter, “Postfuturism,” pp. 223-309. television, and video that we observe aesthetics reacting most directly and vibrantly to our shared postmodern condition. The reason for this heightened sensitivity in these realms has to do with the fact that music, television, video art, and the cinema have all increasingly incorporated the new electronic technologies into their very modes of production, distribution and exhibition. The case of music - a genre whose impetus is to create a sensuous, non-verbal, utterly individualized impact that bypasses rational analysis - seems especially interesting in this regard, for here we see the clashes and paradoxes of individual expression and its mechanical reproduction exhibited in perhaps its most extreme form. The history of the evolution of rock and jazz during the past 30 years, for example, displays a revealing movement away from the modernist impulse that gave rise to both forms - i.e., the impulse to create a music which produces an “authentic” (if highly subjective, even irrational and confused) human response to the forces of dehumanization, mechanization and other features of the modern age. Both rock and jazz were initially “folk arts” whose traditions and precepts were opposed to the conventional norms of “serious” music. Both forms foregrounded vitality and passion at the expense of formalism, emphasized improvisation and collaboration rather than rigid classical notions of composition and structure; and both began to experiment with features of technology - the use of electric amplification, studio recording methods (the use of multi- tracking and other manipulations of sound), and lighting techniques - primarily to highlight the “natural” features of their music.

Up until the late l960s, technology, then, was being used to create a greater sense of power and clarity, and in certain cases a greater sense of complexity, but it had not yet begun to fundamentally alter for jazz and rock musicians the essential nature of their medium. We can see this very clearly if we look at the transformations effected by technology on rock music from the time usually cited as its official inception (the Elvis Presley Sun Sessions in late l954) up through the mid-l960s, when technology began to effect major changes in the way rock musicians thought about what they were doing. When Elvis Presley gave semi-official birth to rock music, he did so by instinctively combining the features of various American musical idioms (black gospel, blues and rhythm-and-blues, and white country-and-western) into a distinctively new form. The instruments used in Presley’s band, and in the bands of other key early rock figures (Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard), were the standard instruments of black rhythm and blues: rhythm and lead guitars, drums, usually a piano, occasionally a saxophone. When these instruments and the lead singer’s voice were amplified electronically, the purpose of this amplification was typically very direct: to make the sounds louder. By the mid-l960s, when Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and other musicians began to transform rock-and-roll into a considerably more complex and sophisticated form (now called “rock”), technological advances were a chief factor in producing this increased sophistication (the other key feature in rock’s transformation - i.e., the quantum leap in poetic density supplied by Dylan, John Lennon, Jim Morrison, and other rock “poets” - of course, entered from outside the technological realm; in this regard, certainly it was significant that many of the key bands from this era, such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Doors, and The Who, were fronted by young men who were art or cinema school alumni). But as in the case of Dylan’s seminal electric rock albums (Bringing It All Back Home [l965], Highway 6l Revisited [l965], and Blonde on Blonde [l966]), and The Beatles’ remarkable sequence of experimental albums (Revolver [l966], Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heartsclub Band [l967], and The White Album [l968]) demonstrates, these technical advances (primarily the use of over-dubbing and multi-tracking effects) were essentially in the service of achieving what I would describe as “modernist aims”: for example, the introduction of various, often highly unusual sound effects via over-dubbing and the thickening of sound textures via multi-tracking, all of which were woven into a tightly organized musical composition. This is not to say that the Beatles didn’t occasionally compose songs of a more radical nature, as the “postmodernist” example of “Revolution No. 9” (from The White Album) clearly demonstrates.

By contrast, the same year that the enormously popular and influential Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released, the Velvet Underground released Andy Warhol Presents the Velvet Underground and Nico, an album whose appearance went virtually unnoticed but which contains the true origins of postmodern rock. Any discussion of “the true origins of postmodern rock,” however, should also acknowledge the equally seminal experimental work of Jimi Hendrix (in albums such as Are You Experienced [l967], Axis: Bold As Love [1967], and especially Electric Ladyland) which, like the work of the Velvets, used technology in the aims of transforming the ways artists and listeners would relate to musical sounds. Like fictional innovators from the same period (Robert Coover, Donald Barthelme, John Barth, and Thomas Pynchon, for example), the Velvet Underground systematically and self-consciously began to re-examine and then openly disrupt their genre’s conventional assumptions about formal unity and beauty, about the “proper” ways to manipulate their medium’s elements into a structure, and about the nature of the creative “self” and “authenticity.” Sponsored initially by Andy Warhol, whose role in the postmodernist breakdown of the division between avant-garde and the mainstream is central and ongoing, the Velvets mixed musical styles (folk, minimalism, thrash, jazz, gothic rock) and messages in a way ideally suited for expressing the multiple, contradictory textures of postindustrial urban life. In their early performances in Warhol’s multi-media happenings (the “Plastic Exploding Inevitable”), the Velvets’ music was presented within a dissolving, multi-genre display of Warhol movies, dance, light shows, and improvisational poetry - a bewildering cacophony of avant-garde noise, light, humans interacting with images and sounds, and the Velvets’ deliberately dissonant, minimalist three-chord progressions. For a more complete description of the Warhol-produced Plastic Inevitable Explosion performances, see Victor Bockris and Gerard Malanga’s Up-tight: The Velvet Underground Story (New York: Quill, l983).

These performances were composed of discrete parts - photographers taking photos of the audience, dance, different Warhol movies being continuously projected onto the bodies of musicians and other performers, etc. - all presented in a non-hierarchical simultaneity that defiantly refused to cohere in any traditional sense. Although the Velvets were, like the Beatles, interested in the way technology could be used to produce unusual sound effects and distortions, they used technology to capture a raw, “naked” sound; thus, in songs like “Sister Ray” and “European Son” (both influenced by jazz innovator Ornette Coleman’s equally unconventional notions of dissonance and harmony) they experimented with the effects of repetition, of the accumulated and chance effects of feedback, even the concepts of boredom and willful crudity (cf. Warhol’s movies such as Sleep and Empire from the same period), so that a tension develops between the tight, monotonous formal structure and bursts of piercing sounds and pure noise. Often playing with their backs to the audience, and occasionally abandoning the stage altogether while their guitars continued to shriek and drone on, the Velvets also foregrounded the concepts of rock musicians as image or mechanical simulacrum (essentially an extension of Warhol’s fascination with the mechanical and reproducible qualities of life and art, the artist-as-machine) in ways that anticipated the more elaborate and playful methods of David Bowie, punk musicians, and more recently, Madonna. In short, the Velvet Underground ushered in the postmodern era of self-conscious, self-referential rock - the rock music that would segue into the glam and punk phenomena of the l970s, into the New York art rock scene of the same period that produced Patti Smith, the New York Dolls, Jim Carroll, and Talking Heads, and which during the 80s would eventually mutate into the rap/scratch/dub and funk collage-sounds of urban blacks, the performance art music of Laurie Anderson, and the peculiar synthesis of jazz/pop/rock of John Zorn, Lester Bowie, and Hal Willner. The topic of the intersection of postmodern aesthetics and contemporary music is large and contains multitudes. Dick Hedbige’s pioneering study of punk music as a “style” of postmodernism is an excellent starting point for any serious discussion of this topic (Subculture: The Meaning of Style [New York: Metheun, l979). Other musicians and musical trends certainly worthy of further analysis along these lines might include: David Bowie; The New York Dolls (and its lead singer, David Johannsen, who has now resurfaced as the meta-lounge lizard performer, Buster Poindexter); Kip Hanrahan (unduly neglected); Carla Bley and Mike Mantler; Prince; Pere Ubu; Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and various other “Industrial Noise” bands; David Byrne and the Talking Heads; Kate Bush, Karen Findley, Joanna Went, Diamanda Galas, Nina Hagen and other women artists who combine elements of performance art and music; Captain Beefheart; Frank Zappa; Michael Stipe and R.E.M.; Robert Wilson; The Lounge Lizards; Brian Eno; The Coolies; Metallica, Suicidal Tendencies, Mega Death, Sonic Youth and other “speed metal” bands; Tom Waits; Eugene Chadborne; Richard Kostelantetz; Public Image, Ltd.; Lyle Lovett; Randy Newman; the various Black urban “rap,” “scratch,” and “dub” forms; cyberpunk science fiction (most of whose practitioners were originally members of rock bands); The Residents; Ned Sublette; Jimi Hendrix; the “Music and Poetry of the Kesh” (a cassette included in Ursula Le Guin’s Always Coming Home; Henry Rollins and Black Flag; Jim Carroll; Gil Evans; Skinny Puppies; various comedians and meta-comedians who blend comedy, music and performance in their work (Andy Kauffman and Steve Martin, for example). Significant, too, has been the use of rock, jazz and other musical forms - as well as the use of rock musicians as actors - in theater and cinema; these uses have now gone well beyond the familiar function of music as providing “background” or “atmosphere,” to the point where music and musicians now are playing a major collaborative and intertextual role. And, of course, MTV (which now includes a regular program entitled “Postmodern MTV) provides a 24-hour-a-day illustration of many of these interactions.

The sketchy listing of postmodern rock musicians that I have just supplied should make it clear that, as with their counterparts in fiction, there is no single line of postmodern musical evolution. Although nearly all of the above named figures experimented with the new technologies available within musical studios (and eventually within the film studios, as MTV and rock concert movies became central marketing devices and further narrowed the gap between music and image, art and advertising), what most closely unites postmodern musicians was a more general openness to experimentalism, cross-genre effects, and an ever-greater self-scrutiny and willingness to demolish the conventional boundaries of their form. The legacy of Pop Art has also continued to play a role in experimental rock and jazz as contemporary musicians, like their counterparts in fiction and painting, found themselves simultaneously immersed in and critical of mass culture - a culture “industry” of ever-expanding proportions which seemed increasingly impossible to ignore. In postmodern fiction, poetry, art, and music, then, there emerges a parallel attitude - arising from a mix of affection, put on and put down, and joyful freeplay - toward the images, sounds, and language that we consume as they consume us. The same elements of consumption, for better or worse, now define Western culture. In all these postmodernist art forms we see artists deciding to plunge into, digest, and often subvert the profusion of visual, sonic, and information sources that bombard us every day. The result is an immersion within and command of the imagery, sounds, and verbal elements that comprise the postmodern milieu we all inhabit. This is a milieu of near-infinite reproducibility and disposability, a literal and psychological space that has been radically expanded by recent video, computer, digital, XeroxTM, and audio developments, by technology’s growing efficiency in transforming space and time into consumable sounds and images, and by the population’s exponentially increased access to cultural artifacts, which can be played, re-played, cut-up, and otherwise manipulated by a casual flick of a switch or joystick.

The very best way to understand the full implications of this postmodern turn in popular music would be to turn on and tune in to the rap masters and video jockeys (V-J’s) that use radio or television to cut-up, juxtapose, and juggle dozens of media sources and references in a rapid-fire display of intertextual pyrotechnics. But since such a scrutiny lies beyond the print-bound medium in which this essay is delivered, I will illustrate some of the points I’ve been making by referring briefly to three individual musicians, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, and John Zorn, saving my most extended remarks for Zorn, one of the most original composers in contemporary music no matter what label we wish to assign to his work. Anyone familiar with the work of Patti Smith and Laurie Anderson knows that their public images and choice of musical idioms are very different. Smith emerged as a central figure of the mid-70s New York punk scene; a published poet, actress (she appeared in numerous underground videos and in Sam Shepard’s The Tooth of the Crime) and rock critic, Smith’s musical performances blended punk’s abrasive sounds with a lyrical content and style heavily influenced by Rimbaud (punk’s avatar), Genet, Shepard, and William S. Burroughs. Her works were partly sung and partly delivered as angry, delirious poetry readings that exploded into magnificent crescendos of hurt, love, and bewilderment. Drawing upon some of the composition methods of Burroughs, Smith often applied cut-up methods to her songs, as she ranged across the history of rock music and lyrics for snippets of words and musical phrases that interacted with her own language and dense, mysterious thickets of sound patterns, tempos and rhythms. For a more complete discussion of Smith and her relationship to “punk aesthetics,” see Larry McCaffery, “The Artists of Hell: Kathy Acker and ‘Punk’ Aesthetics,” in Breaking the Sequence: Women’s Experimental Fiction, ed. Ellen G. Friedman and Miriam Fuchs (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, l989), pp. 215-230.

Like Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson’s career has its roots in the New York art scene of the early 70s. And there are other significant points of comparison: both developed ambiguous, androgynous stage personas that confounded sexual stereotypes; both were influenced by the Beat authors (and by William S. Burroughs in particular), as well as by Dada; and both relied upon lyrical styles that emphasized collage and reflexiveness as a means of exploring their mutual, obsessive fascination with language generally, and particularly with the failure of language to communicate our most basic fears, longings, and sensory impressions. Much more than Smith, however, Anderson’s music needs to be seen in the wider context of performance art. The components of Anderson’s synthesis - a mixture of literature, theater, music, photography, stand-up comedy, film, architecture, poetry, fantasy, and dance - are, in effect, a veritable landscape of contemporary art, literature, and music. Especially in her large scale performance pieces that were eventually collected into her magnus opus - the two-evening, eight-hour long United States, Parts I-IV (which includes most of the songs that appeared in her first two surprisingly popular albums Big Science (l982) and Mr. Heartbreak (l985) - we see Anderson developing multi-media arrangements of text, image, movement, and musical sounds that employ technologies to present a bemused, often bitterly funny view of technology. Like Michael Stipe of REM, David Byrne of Talking Heads, Captain Beefheart, Brian Eno, and many other recent composers, Anderson’s approach to songwriting takes its cue more from sculptural and painterly notions than from narrative. As she weaves together vignettes, found language and oblique references into verbal and musical collages, Anderson relentlessly circles upon issues central to postmodernism: the slipperiness of language, the way that our alienation and confusion are produced by Big Science and the media, how words and images are created in today’s world - and how we are inundated and affected by them.

This brings us to a consideration of John Zorn, whose two recent albums, The Big Gundown (l986) and Spillane (l987), perfectly illustrate the postmodern turn I’ve been pointing to in recent music. Zorn is an alto saxophonist and one of avant-garde music’s most daring composers and original theorists. Although he is usually associated with the current enormously vital jazz scene of lower Manhattan, Zorn in fact has been producing a body of work that systematically demolishes genre distinctions and high brow/low brow divisions, while it opens up radically new approaches to organizing sounds. In collaboration with musicians such as drummer Bobby Previte, saxophonist Tim Berne, keyboardist Wayne Horvitz, and guitarists Bill Frisell and Fred Frith, Zorn has created a music whose “content” and methods of improvisation and composition grow naturally out of our media age’s longing to recuperate the past and its restless need for new stimuli. Like postmodernist painters and writers of the 60s, Zorn takes for granted his audience’s familiarity with what Robert Coover has called the “mythic residues” of society Robert Coover, “Dedicatoria y Prologo a don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra,” in Pricksongs and Descants (New York: Plume, l969), p. 78. - those shards of cultural memory and artifice that simultaneously help organize our responses to the world and tyrannically limit the options of those responses. Like Donald Barthelme and Coover, Warhol and Jasper Johns, Zorn asks his audience not to attempt to deny or ignore these elements (inevitably a fruitless task since society requires such materials) but to play with them and recognize our perceptual relationship to them. Zorn also recognizes that traditional sources of these mythic residues - the Bible, myth, the revered classics of art, painting, music, and literature - have become gradually superceded by the materials and structures of mass and popular culture. Zorn’s response to this situation is a quintessentially postmodern one: rather than despair over this “fall,” he creates an exuberant and vital new synthesis of materials, whose sources range from Charles Ives, Harry Partch, surf music, bebop, 60s rock, Japanese music, blues, and Carl Stalling (the composer of the Loony Tunes cartoon soundtracks and, to Zorn, a neglected American genius). Jasper Johns’ use of targets and the American flag, Warhol’s use of soup cans and other familiar visual icons, Dennis Potter’s use of l930s popular film and musical elements (in his Pennies from Heaven Herbert Ross’s 1981 film version of Potters TV mini-series, Pennies from Heaven [1981], was the most innovative and intricately worked out movie musical (or, more precisely, meta-musical) of the 80s. Pennies from Heaven featured Steve Martin (in the performance of his career) as a sheet salesman during the Depression, who drifts into the cheerful fantasy world of the popular songs of the day whenever he needs to escape from a dour existence. Stunning musical numbers, lip-synced from the originals, contrast sharply with the Edward Hopper-esque vision of the period, and provide a perfect illustration of the sort of cross-genre effects that have been central to contemporary cultural aesthetics. Equally innovative was Francis Ford Coppola’s misunderstood, Noh-theater-influenced One from the Heart [1982; with a fabulous soundtrack with duets by the unlikely pairing of Tom Waits and Crystal Gail]. The Coppola-Noh Theater connection illustrates that while globalization no doubt has many defects, it certainly promotes rapid exchange of cultural information that, at least theoretically, should result in change, new mixes emerging, more possibilities explored, in music as well as all the other arts. and The Singing Detective television series), and Barthelme’s and Coover’s use of fairy tales all displayed the way artists could use such “public” materials as a springboard for sustained improvisational purposes. Such materials, while normally seen as being fixed or confined in terms of their “meaning” and arrangement, actually contain an inexhaustible source of hidden resonances and recombinatory arrangements.

Zorn’s application of these notions is most fully realized in The Big Gundown and Spillane. The general concept for these two albums arose as a result of Zorn’s work on Hal Wilner’s tribute projects for Thelonious Monk and Kurt Weill. Wilner, who has also produced similarly dazzling and unconventional tribute albums for Fellini film composer Nino Rota and Walt Disney songs, selected a wide variety of jazz, rock, pop and avant-garde musicians to do arrangements and interpretations of the songs that frequently resulted in startling transformations and variations of the songs that had grown stale or overly familiar. Although some critics view these tribute compositions as blasphemous or as merely extended jokes or parodies, what was actually afoot here should be obvious to anyone with even a passing acquaintance with poststructuralist critical jargon: “the death of the author,” difference, jouissance, the “slippage” and endless play of signifiers, the denial of textual closure, and so on, all help account for Wilner’s basic intuition that no text (musical or otherwise) has a final meaning or interpretation - and that no interpretation, not even the author’s or composer’s, can be privileged over any other. As it turns out, Zorn’s arrangement of Weill’s “Dagmar Krause” and Monk’s “In Walked Bud” were so successful that when producer Yale Evely suggested he arrange an entire album of music by Ennio Morricone (best known for his scores of films by Sergio Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Brian DePalma) Zorn agreed.

The results can be compared with something like Italo Calvino’s experimental fiction If on a winter’s night a traveler, with Zorn taking listeners on a tour of musical territories we’ve all visited before but never experienced in quite this way. Morricone’s own musical compositions are usually unsettling, peculiar transformations of popular American idioms (analogous, say, to Sergio Leone’s surreal, Italian versions of America’s Wild West mythologies), and, reworked by Zorn’s radical composition methods, these works undergo a sea change into something utterly distinctive. Zorn, who has acknowledged his debt to jazz composer and arranger Gil Evans (see, for example, Evans own masterful recuperation of Jimi Hendrix’s music, The Gil Evans Orchestra Plays the Music of Jimi Hendrix [l974]), says in the liner notes to the album that he hears music in “blocks of sound,” and he orchestrates accordingly. Thus, the individual “quoted” materials in The Big Gundown appear and then dissolve into one another at varying paces; some are inverted, others speeded up or slowed down, while many of them are further transformed by the insertion of bizarre vocal, instrumental, and other sound effects.

It is in the 30-minute title track of Zorn’s Spillane album, however, that we can hear this “blocks of sound” approach to organizing sounds working most successfully. The title refers to hard-boiled detective novelist Mickey Spillane, and the composition itself is a kind of mulligan stew of musical ingredients that Zorn serves up as a musical banquet tribute to Spillane. In his album liner notes, Zorn explained the composition methods involved. “John Zorn on his Music” [liner notes]. John Zorn, Spillane. Electra/Nonesuch, 1987. After he had thoroughly researched his subject - which turns out to be not only Spillane but the whole tradition of detective fiction and its film noire relative - Zorn wrote his findings on filing cards. Some of these cards contained biographical data; others were sounds that Zorn associates with Spillane, his work and detective films (windshield wipers, rain falling, screams, gunshots, phone rings, bar crowds, and so on). Zorn then meticulously organized these cards into the order that eventually created the linear progression of the composition. Zorn explains in the liner notes to Spillane that, “Sometimes I bring in written music and I run it down to the players, layering and molding it as it is being played. Other times I’ll simply say something like, ‘Anthony, play some cheesy cocktail piano’ or, ‘Bill, go and improvise My Gun is Quick,’ and we’ll do take after take until we’re all happy that every note is perfect.” Interestingly enough, although the complex, rapidly evolving textures of “Spillane” sound as if they been achieved by tape editing, Zorn announces proudly that it was done “the hard way, man” - by recording each section in a live performance, without relying on overdubbing layers of instrumentation.

Like most of Zorn’s other pieces, Spillane is a mixture of improvised and notated elements, including brief prose texts by Arto Lindsay that are read by Jonathan Lurie in a voice that is eerily and hilariously appropriate for the ambiance being established. The results are roughly equivalent to the “prose assemblages” one associates with the language poets such as Ron Silliman and Bruce Andrews and with fiction writers such as Kathy Acker, Harold Jaffe, and Donald Barthelme, in which a single theme or image is used to hold together otherwise disparate materials (obviously there are equally valid analogies that one can make with painterly and sculptural assemblages). MTV-like in its rapid pacings and the heterogeneous nature of its materials, “Spillane” evolves and moves forward as a free-associative work that presents a composite aural portrait of its subject in a spirit of playful homage and exuberance. Operating at the boundaries of postmodernism’s reinvestigations of artistic originality and compositional processes, John Zorn’s music perfectly illustrates the ways that developments within popular music have been busy assimilating the chief aesthetic and cultural evident in other contemporary art forms.

APPENDIX: ALPHABETICALLY ARRANGED ENTRIES

ART and Cinema School. There can be little doubt that the feedback loop of influences and borrowings occurring between rock and the art world during the 60s and 80s was a crucial factor (though there were others, of course) in the excitement, creativity, and openness to experimentalism that characterized rock during both of these mind- and genre-expanding periods. Indeed, despite its populist origins, and the general “anti-art” flavor of much of its posturing, rock music has since the mid-60s been co-evolving with avant-garde branches of the art world, cinema, and jazz by establishing a feedback loop of influences and borrowings that have been mutually supportive. There have been many factors contributing to the general lack of vitality in rock music during the post 80s decade but certainly one reason is that there’s been a parallel absence of life in the avant-garde art scene during the same period - and an absence, as well, of any single charismatic figure from the avant-garde possessing the kind of broad cultural influence that figures like Warhol and Cage did in the 60s and 70s, and Burroughs did during the punk and post-punk New Wave period of the late 70s and 80s.

An AUTODECONSTRUCTIVE Reading of the Original 1989 “White Noise” Essay. I should note that the rhetorical assurance in “White Noise” can be read as being as part of a larger strategy of dramatic irony - i.e., that while purporting to use “postmodernism” as a central trope (possibly as a “come on” to entice his musically-challenged book-reading “prey”), the text of the original essay may actually be an elaborate joke, one which displays or performs a number of postmodernism’s worst features for deconstructive purposes. For instance, consider the implications of the unusual way postmodernism is constructed or defined at the very outset of the essay, whose use of conditional “Let’s say…” immediately established that all claims being made about postmodernism here are conditional. Likewise, note the way that the frequent placement of quotation marks around “postmodernism” for ironic purposes suggests the term is being used ambiguously or inappropriately - and eventually eats away at postmodernism’s foundations until the whole structure collapses. The effect is analogous to the way demolition experts bring down enormous structures by detonating a small but strategically placed number of explosions. Then: BOOM, the ugly, outdated building disappears in a cloud of smoke, and when the air clears, you can start putting up a newer, better, more suitable building.

AVANT-POP, or Reconfiguring the Cultural Logic of Hyperconsumer Capitalism. Avant-Pop combines Pop Art’s focus on consumer goods and mass media with the avant-garde’s spirit of subversion and emphasis on radical formal innovation. The “content” of Pop and Avant -Pop overlap to the extent that they both focus on consumer products - particularly media “products” (television shows, movies, pop music, etc.), advertising images, and other pop cultural materials. Avant-Pop also shares with Pop Art the insight that pop cultural imagery has considerable untapped potential as a medium for artistic expression - that mass produced materials could be shown to be aesthetically interesting and appealing once they were removed from their familiar commercial context. On the other hand, whereas Pop Artists tended to appropriate pop cultural materials as something to be faithfully duplicated and left untransformed, Avant-Pop tends to rely on considerably more flexible strategies which often amount to active collaborations with, rather than neutral presentation of, the original materials.

Avant-Pop’s emphasis on collaborative strategies would also seem to differentiate it from the avant-garde. Like the avant-garde, Avant-Pop often relies on the use of radical aesthetic methods to confuse, confound, bewilder, piss off and generally blow the fuses of ordinary citizens exposed to it (a “deconstructive strategy”) - but just as frequently it does so with the intention of creating a sense of delight, amazement, and amusement (“reconstructive”). This willingness to enter “enemy” territory for any reason other than to plant a bomb was, of course, foreign to the avant-garde’s ways of thinking, but in fact this tendency emerged largely due to a basic realignment which had been occurring between the avant-garde and mass culture. Instead of being engaged in a Darwinian survival of the fittest struggle for dominance, these two avowed, life-long enemies have co-evolved so that by the early 1980s, they existed in a new relationship to one another - a web of interactively that created a feedback loop in which information, stylistic tendencies, narrative archetypes, and character representations were rapidly exchanged with one another in such a way as to be ultimately mutually supportive. It seemed strange, but the enemy was no longer the enemy. In fact, if either of them died the other would be either severely weakened or (in the case of the avant-garde) die off completely. [See also Lester BOWIE ]

Selective BIBLIOGRAPHY and DISCOGRAPHY (Includes List of Works Consulted).

Anderson, Laurie. Big Science. Warner Brothers, 1982.

____________. Mr. Heartbreak. Warner Brothers, 1985.

____________. United States, I-IV. Warner Brothers, 1984.

___________. United States, I-IV [book version released with the album]. NY: Harper and Row, 1984.

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” In Illuminations Hannah Arendt, ed. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, l968, pp. 219 - 226.

Bergman, Bill, and Richard Horn. Recombinant Do Re Mi: Frontiers of the Rock Era. NY: Quill, 1985.

Bockris, Victor and Gerard Malanga. up - tight: The Velvet Underground Story. New York: Quill, l983.

Cage, John. Year from Monday. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

Coover, Robert, “Dedicatoria y Prologo a don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.” In Pricksongs and Descants (New York: Plume, l969), p. 78.

Costello, Mark and David Foster Wallace. Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present.

Cross, Alan. The Alternate Music Almanac. Collector’s Guide Publishing, Inc., 1995.

Foege, Alec. Confusion is Next - The Sonic Youth Story. NY: St. Martin’s, 1994.

Gendron, Bernard. “Jamming at Le Boueuf: Jazz and the Paris Avant-Garde.” Discourse 12, 1 (Fall/Winter 1989 - 90): 3 - 27.

Hedbige, Dick. Subculture: The Meaning of Style. New York: Metheun, l979.

Jameson, Fredric. “Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism.” New Left Review, No. l46 (July - August l984), pp. 53 - 94.

Marcus, Greil. Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989. Rock music’s finest critic traces a lineage for the evolution of the punk aesthetic and world view to some surprising places, including the Paris Commune of the 1870s and the rise of the Situationist movement.

_________. Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock’n’Roll. Fourth revised edition. NY: Plume; 1975, 1997.

McCaffery, Larry. “The Artists of Hell: Kathy Acker and ‘Punk’ Aesthetics.” In Ellen G. Friedman and Miriam Fuchs, eds., Breaking the Sequence: Women’s Experimental Fiction. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, l989, pp. 215 - 230.

__________. “Introduction.” In Larry McCaffery, ed., Postmodern Fiction: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide, (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, l986), pp. xi - xxviii.

__________. “Still Life After Yesterday’s Crash (Editor’s Preface]. After Yesterday’s Crash - The Avant-Pop Anthology. NY: Penguin, 1995, pp. xi - xxxi. [This introduction to the first mainstream anthology of Avant-Pop fiction provides a useful overview of the evolution and significance of the Avant-Pop sensibility.]

__________. “White Noise/White Heat: The Postmodern Turn in Rock Music,” American Book Review 12:1 (March/April 1990), 4, 27.

__________. “White Noise: Die postmoderne Wende in der Rockmusik.” Littre International 52 (Spring 2001): 90 - 94.

Rose, Tricia. Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1994. Placing rap within the context of the recent evolution of black music and of the contemporary culture emerging from the urban ghettoes, Rose’s study was one of the first, and still probably the best, critical studies of rap.

Sobchack, Vivian. Screening Space: The American Science Fiction. New York: Ungar, l988. Zorn. John. “John Zorn on his Music” [Liner notes]. Spillane. Electra/Nonesuch, 1987.

____________. The Big Gundown: John Zorn plays the music of Ennio Morricone. Icon Records (Electra/Nonesuch), 1976.

Lester BOWIE. I borrowed the term “avant-pop” from the title of a 1986 album by Lester Bowie, the great jazz trumpet player and composer best known for his work with the wildly inventive Art Ensemble of Chicago. Listening to the ways Bowie used the basic structures and “content” of such familiar pop tunes as “Crazy” and “Blueberry Hill” as a springboard for producing a collaborative, improvisatory new work was instrumental (no pun intended) in beginning the process of my thinking of what I was to later term “The Avant-Pop Phenomenon.” The results of Bowie’s treatments of this earlier material were at once zingingly ironic and funny, and yet also genuinely expansive. Subjected to Bowie’s alchemical imagination, the bland and utterly familiar elements of these simple pop tunes had undergone a remarkable sea change into some fresh and surprising - these materials which had seemed so simple and exhausted were in fact capable of being recycled in such a way that had opened up them, exposing the numerous layers of resonances and aesthetic possibilities that had been lying there all along, invisible to most people’s eyes, but patiently waiting for just the right moment when an aesthetic explorer such as Bowie might come along who was capable of recognizing their untapped possibilities.

It immediately occurred to me that such methods were analogous to those being used by postmodern fiction writers like Kathy Acker’s “re-writes” of classic novels (e.g. Great Expectations and Don Quixote), or the various “cover versions” of Biblical stories, myths, and fairy tales by Donald Barthelme, Robert Coover, John Barth, and Steve Katz. In this regard, Bowie’s approach to composition is exemplary of Avant-Pop aesthetics in general: rather than ignoring pop materials, or introducing them as some

          Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer        
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Reviewer: Taylor
Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Source: Library
Series: Yes
Pages: 387
Rating: 5/5
Publication Date: January 3, 2012



Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl... Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.
Main Idea: HOLY SMOKES THIS BOOK IS EPIC. A fairy-tale retelling of Cinderella with a cyborg as the main character equals FANTASTIC READING.

Guys, this book was SO SO good. First of all, I think it is important to know what a cyborg actually is, because I had to look this up like 30 pages into the book. I thought a cyborg was JUST a machine... so I was so confused on how she was having feelings and thinking like a real person. Well, come to find out, a cyborg is part human AND part machine. Blew my mind.

While this book has parallels to the fairytale of Cinderella, that does not mean this book is predictable.. at ALL. I was pretty much shocked and excited the whole time I was reading it. The twists and turns are awesome. And we all know how much I love twists and turns :)

We really only get to know Cinder in this book, though. There aren't many secondary characters that really stand out. But, guess what?! This is a trilogy! So, that I'm sure we will get to know prince Kai and all of our other characters a little bit better :)

Okay, so go pick this book up now please!

Taylor 

          First Look at Josh Brolin as Cable in DEADPOOL 2        
DeadpoolCable

The always-reliable Ryan Reynolds has taken to Twitter to give fans a peek at the first official photos of Josh Brolin as Nathan Summers, aka everybody’s favourite mutant cyborg soldier from the future Cable. Scheduled to arrive in cinemas June 2018, ‘Deadpool 2’ sees Ryan Reynolds reprising his role as the titular Merc with the […]

The post First Look at Josh Brolin as Cable in DEADPOOL 2 appeared first on Movies.ie - Irish Cinema Site - Movie Times, Reviews & Competitions.


          Beware of Pity        
Beware of Pity
author: Stefan Zweig
name: David
average rating: 4.20
book published: 1939
rating: 3
read at: 2011/09/27
date added: 2013/12/22
shelves: nyrb, misery-loves-company
review:
Disclaimer: Despite whatever I say in the following review, and no matter how much I mock Beware of Pity, I did actually enjoy it. To a limited extent.

Stefan Zweig is an enormous drama queen. Every emotion in his novel Beware of Pity is hyperbolic, neon-lit, hammy. His narrator doesn't feel anything as prosaic as mere mere joy. No way. He's more apt to be 'blithe as a twittering bird.' People aren't only surprised; their faces turn white as a specter, their legs threaten to give way, and their whole being roils with inner turbulence. And these reactions aren't even for big surprises—like, I don't know, World War I—but rather for banal things like the mail being late and the improper buttoning of one's dinner jacket. (I'm slightly exaggerating. But only very slightly.)

This book was written in the 1930s. If you didn't know that, however, you'd be just as likely to think it was written in the 1830s. Stylistically speaking, Zweig completely missed the memo on literary modernism. It's as if it never happened. He embraces the hopelessly stodgy language [at this in translated form] and hyperdescription of the (worst of the) 19th century. There is no emotion or thought or physical appearance which manifests an emotion or thought that he will not describe into the fucking ground. He bombards you with loooong paragraphs seeking to explain the most obvious and commonplace emotional responses to you (again, in hyperbolic form) as if you are a cyborg who is newly assimilating human experience. In other words, Zweig thinks you're a moron. He doesn't trust you to know what embarrassment, hand-holding, intoxication, guilt, or hearing strange noises feels like. But he'll try his damndest to explain 'em all to ya, ya inexperienced rube. Have you been living in your bubble boy bubble all these years? Zweig's got your ass covered.

If you trimmed all the fat, this novel probably would have been one hundred pages instead of 350. And that's a conservative estimate of the editorial purges required. But the story at the center of all this prissy, rococo language is... yes, interesting. The narrator recounts (at length) how as a twenty-five-year-old lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian Imperial Army, he met this young crippled woman and accidentally asked her to dance at a party. Oops! (Can you imagine the descriptions of his profound embarrassment? He actually FLEES the party. Total elbows and ass goin' on here.) This minor incident sets off a chain of melodramatic events in which his pity for the absurd little cripple ruins him. His pity takes over his whole life. He actually makes a career of it. He just spends all his time kissing the ass of this incredibly bitchy crippled girl. [spoilers removed]

The melodrama is—I can't lie—occasionally nauseating. You just want to smack the living shit out of the narrator, the cripple, and everyone else because they're all so emotionally volatile all the time. They're either sweating and shaking or glowing with joy like a nuclear holocaust or trying to kill themselves. (Interesting side note: Zweig and his wife killed themselves together while living in South America just a few years after this novel was published.)

The single most galling thing about this whole novel—and there are quite a few things to be galled about—is that four pages before the end, the narrator has the audacity to say: 'Melodramatic phrases revolt me.'

Hahahahahahahahahaha! <--That's the laughter which accompanies madness, by the way.

          UFC 214 - Tudo o que você precisa saber!        

ufc 214 ufc 214 - Tudo o que você precisa saber!

Agora é a hora, meu amigo! Chegamos ao final de semana de mais uma edição de um UFC eletrizante. Pode ser um final de semana histórico para os brasileiros, até porque, poderemos sair com dois cinturões e aí voltaremos a ter três. Também não podemos deixar de falar do reencontro sobre a maior rivalidade do MMA. Daniel Cormier defende seu cinturão dos meio pesados contra um dos maiores, se não o maior de todos os tempos, Jon Jones.

Vamos destrinchar as três lutas mais importantes, de forma que você entenda quais são os pontos positivos e negativos de cada lutador.

UFC 214 - O reencontro daqueles que mais se odeiam!

Cormier x Jones, Woodley x Maia e Cris Cyborg x Tonya Evinger. Os cinturões dos meio pesados, meio-médios e penas femininos. Vamos pela ordem de grandeza, da menor para maior!

CRIS CYBORG (Brasil) x Tonya Evinger

Cris Cyborg - Talvez a maior de todos os tempos?

Enfim, depois de muitas indas e vindas, Cris Cyborg lutará pelo cinturão vago dos penas do UFC. Aquela que talvez seja, se ganhar no amanhã, a maior de todos os tempos vai pra cima de Tonya Evinger, que ocupou o seu cinturão no Invicta FC, se enfrentarão para decidir quem é a maior peso pena da atualidade.

Se você acompanha o MMA, sabe que Cris Cyborg só foi derrotada uma vez, em sua primeira luta, depois disso foi só nocaute e conquistou diversos cinturões, entre eles, o do Strikeforce.

Uma luta que todos gostariam de ver é Cyborg x Ronda Rousey, que por anos se provocaram mas nunca chegou a acontecer. Acredito eu, o redator, que tampouco acontecerá.

Se for para apostar em alguém, Cyborg. Por nocaute!

Tyron Woodley x Demian Maia (Brasil)

Demian Maia Demian Maia pode chegar ao cinturão aos 39 anos

Enfim, chegou a sua hora, Demian!

Demian Maia chega para disputa de cinturão depois de sete vitórias seguidas. Sem dúvida, ele tem o jiu jitsu mais dominante do MMA. Dentro dos meio-médios, ele tem 9 vitórias, sendo sete seguidas e duas derrotas.

Demian chega aos 39 anos e com a saúde de um lutador de 20 anos, porém o seu desafio não será nada fácil. Tyron Woodley destronou Robbie Lawler e defendeu o cinturão contra Stephen Thompson. Sua forma de lutar é o Wrestling e também conta com a força ao seu lado.

Tyron é cria da American Top Team, o time que mais tem campeões no momento no quadro do UFC. Ele também já obteve vitórias em cima de Andre Galvão, lenda do jiu jitsu mundial.

Para Demian Maia ganhar, ele contará com a estratégia de encurtar a distância e colocar pra baixo e trabalhar o BJJ. Sendo assim, vamos torcer para o nosso brother Demian!

Daniel Cormier x Jon Jones

dc x jj Daniel Comier x Jon Jones - a maior rivalidade de todos os tempos?

Pensem em dois caras que realmente se odeiam e não querem ver um ao outro pintado de ouro. Pois é, é bem por aí o que irá acontecer esse sábado. Daniel Cormier, ex-campeão dos pesados do Strikeforce e atual campeão dos meio pesados, vai encarar aquele que, para muitos, é o maior de todos os tempos, Jon Jones.

Avaliando Daniel Cormier

Vamos começar pelo campeão, que não perde desde 2015, quando justamente teve seu primeiro encontro com Jon Jones no Octógono. Depois disso ele defendeu seu cinturão de forma dominante contra Anthony Johnson e Alexander Gustafsson. Ele também fez uma luta contra Anderson Silva, que substituiu Jon Jones de última hora.

Segundo DC, ele diz que se vencer Jon Jones, ele será o maior de todos os tempos. Realmente, ter no cartel vitórias contra Bones e Spider não é para qualquer um.

Sua última luta foi contra o mesmo Anthony Johnson e terminou da mesma forma da primeira, por finalização.

Avaliando Jon Jones

Agora vamos falar daquele que é considerado o maior de todos os tempos para muitos. Jon Jones é uma montanha russa de emoções. É um lutador que jamais veremos novamente. Com a sua envergadura de 2 metros e catorze centímetros, ele faz do seu muay thay uma arma letal.

Sua luta contra DC estava marcada para o UFC 200, mas por cair no DOPING pela segunda vez em sua carreira, ele foi retirado do card. Anteriormente, ele havia conquistado o cinturão interino contra Ovin st. Preux. No cartel de Jones, podemos contar inúmeros cascas grossas que ele já derrotou, como Lyoto Machida, Mauricio Shogun e muitos outros.

Caminhos para a vitória no UFC 214

Eu queria poder falar mais sobre essa luta. Jon Jones está parado há um ano, e pela primeira vez não aparece como franco favorito nas apostas em Las Vegas, por sua vez, DC deve ter estudado muito o jogo de Jones que parece impenetrável, porém nunca se sabe.

Para DC ganhar deve encurtar a distância e levar para baixo, só que Jon Jones foi poucas vezes colocado para baixo, se não me engano, somente contra o próprio DC e ainda assim já no final da luta.

Para Bones ganhar, ele fará o bom e velho jogo da longa distância usando seus cotovelos que são tão fortes quanto uma navalha. A envergadura de Bones também é um fator que deve ser levado em consideração.

Em quem apostar? Dessa vez vou ficar no muro. Mas vou achar maravilhoso se DC nocautear o Bones. Vai ser um feito único na história e vai entrar pra galeria dos maiores de todos os tempos!

Outras lutas do card!

No card principal ainda teremos Robbie Lawler, ex-campeão dos meio-médios contra Donald Cerrone. Uma luta que deve ser observada e assistida. O provável desafiante dessa categoria sai dessa luta.

Jimi Manuwa contra Volkan Oezdemir é aquela luta que também pode definir o novo postulante ao cinturão dos meio pesados, caso Jimi Manuwa confirme seu favoritismo!

Brasileiros em ação!

Renan Barão tenta voltar aos eixos das vitórias. Nas últimas cinco lutas ele tem um cartel de três derrotas e duas vitórias. Nesse card ele encara Aljamain Sterling, oitavo do ranking dos galos e que está numa crescente.  Luta dura para o Barão!

Pelos Penas, Renato Moicano defende a sua invencibilidade contra Brian Ortega que também está invicto. Luta duríssima para o brasileiro que está em décimo terceiro no ranking e lutará contra o décimo segundo.

O post UFC 214 - Tudo o que você precisa saber! apareceu primeiro em Blog da Fábrica de Monstros.
          Getting Human-Like Values into Advanced OpenCog AGIs         
Some Speculations Regarding Value Systems for Hypothetical Powerful OpenCog AGIs

In a recent blog post, I have proposed two general theses regarding the future value systems of human-level and transhuman AGI systems: the Value Learning Thesis (VLT) and Value Evolution Thesis (VET).   This post pursues the same train of thought further – attempting to make these ideas more concrete via speculating about how the VLT and VET might manifest themselves in the context of an advanced version of the OpenCog AGI platform.  

Currently OpenCog comprises a comprehensive design plus a partial implementation, and it cannot be known with certainty how functional a fully implemented version of the system will be.   The OpenCog project is ongoing and the system becomes more functional each year.  Independent of this, however, the design may be taken as representative of a certain class of AGI systems, and its conceptual properties explored.

An OpenCog system has a certain set of top-level goals, which initially are supplied by the human system programmers.   Much of its cognitive processing is centered on finding actions which, if executed, appear to have a high probability of achieving system goals.  The system carries out probabilistic reasoning aimed at estimating these probabilities.   Though from this view the goal of its reasoning is to infer propositions of the form “Context & Procedure ==> Goal”, in order to estimate the probabilities of such propositions, it needs to form and estimate probabilities for a host of other propositions – concrete ones involving its sensory observations and actions, and more abstract generalizations as well.   Since precise probabilistic reasoning based on the total set of the system’s observations is infeasible, numerous heuristics are used alongside exact probability-theoretic calculations.   Part of the system’s inferencing involves figuring out what subgoals may help it achieve its top-level goals in various contexts.

Exactly what set of top-level goals should be given to an OpenCog system aimed at advanced AGI is not yet fully clear and will largely be determined via experimentation with early-stage OpenCog systems, but a first approximation is as follows, determined via a combination of theoretical and pragmatic considerations.    The first four values on the list are drawn from the Cosmist ethical analysis presented in my books A Cosmist Manifesto and The Hidden Pattern; the others are included for fairly obvious pragmatic reasons to do with the nature of early-stage AGI development and social integration.  The order of the items on the list is arbitrary as given here; each OpenCog system would have a particular weighting for its top-level goals.

  • Joy: maximization of the amount of pleasure observed or estimated to be experienced by sentient beings across the universe
  • Growth: maximization of the amount of new pattern observed or estimated to be created throughout the universe
  • Choice: maximization of the degree to which sentient beings across the universe appear to be able to make choices (according e.g. to the notion of “natural autonomy”, a scientifically and rationally grounded analogue of the folk notion and subjective experience of “free will”)
  • Continuity:  persistence of patterns over time.   Obviously this is a counterbalance to Growth; the relative weighting of these two top-level goals will help determine the “conservatism” of a particular OpenCog system with the goal-set indicated here.
  • Novelty: the amount of new information in the system’s perceptions, actions and thoughts
  • Human pleasure and fulfillment: How much do humans, as a whole, appear to be pleased and fulfilled?
  • Human pleasure regarding the AGI system itself: How pleased do humans appear to be with the AGI system, and their interactions with it?
  • Self-preservation: a goal fulfilled if the system keeps itself “alive.”   This is actually somewhat subtle for a digital system.    It could be defined in a copying-friendly way, as preservation of the existence of sentiences whose mind-patterns have evolved from the mind-patterns of the current system this with a reasonable degree of continuity.

·      This list of goals has a certain arbitrariness to it, and no doubt will evolve as OpenCog systems are experimented with.   However, it comprises a reasonable “first stab” at a “roughly human-like” set of goal-content for an AGI system.

One might wonder how such goals would be specified for an AGI system.   Does one write source-code that attempts to embody some mathematical theory of continuity, pleasure, joy, etc.?    For some goals mathematical formulae may be appropriate, e.g. novelty which can be gauged information-theoretically in a plausible way.   In most cases, though, I suspect the best way to define a goal for an AGI system will be using natural human language.   Natural language is intrinsically ambiguous, but so are human values, and these ambiguities are closely coupled and intertwined.   Even where a mathematical formula is given, it might be best to use natural language for the top-level goal, and supply the mathematical formula as an initial suggest means of achieving the NL-specified goal.   
The AGI would need to be instructed – again, most likely in natural language – not to obsess on the specific wording supplied to it in its top-level goals, but rather to take the wording of its goals as indicative of general concepts that exist in human culture and can be expressed only approximatively in concise sequences of words.     The specification of top-level goal content is not intended to precisely direct the AGIs behavior in the way that, say, a thermostat is directed by the goal of keeping temperature within certain bounds.  Rather, it is intended to point the AGI’s self-organizing activity in certain informally-specified directions.

Alongside explicitly goal-oriented activity, OpenCog also includes “background processing” – cognition simply aimed at learning new knowledge, and forgetting relatively unimportant knowledge.   This knowledge provides background information useful for reasoning regarding goal-achievement, and also builds up a self-organizing, autonomously developing body of active information that may sometimes lead a system in unpredictable directions – for instance, to reinterpretation of its top-level goals.

The goals supplied to an OpenCog system by its programmers are best viewed as initial seeds around which the system forms its goals.  For instance, a top-level goal of “novelty” may be specified as a certain mathematical formula for calculating the novelty of the system’s recent observations, actions and thoughts.  However, this mathematical formula may be intractable in its most pure and general form, leading the system to develop various context-specific approximations to estimate the novelty experienced in different situations.   These approximations, rather than the top-level novelty formula, will be what the system actually works to achieve.   Improving these approximations will be part of the system’s activity, but how much attention to pay to improving these approximations will be a choice the system has to make as part of its thinking process.    Potentially, if the approximations are bad, they might cause the system to delude itself that it is experiencing novelty (according to its top-level equation) when it actually isn’t, and also tell the system that there is no additional novelty to be found in in improving its novelty estimation formulae.  

And this same sort of problem could occur with goals like “help cause people to be pleased and fulfilled.”   Subgoals of the top-level goal may be created via more or less crude approximations; and these subgoals may influence how much effort goes into improving the approximations.   Even if the system is wired to put a fixed amount of effort into improving its estimations regarding which subgoals should be pursued in pursuit of its top-level goals, the particular content of the subgoals will inevitably influence the particulars of how the system goes about improving these estimations.
The flexibility of an OpenCog system, its ability to ongoingly self-organize, learn and develop, brings the possibility that it could deviate from its in-built top-level goals in complex and unexpected ways.  But this same flexibility is what should – according to the design intention – allow an OpenCog system to effectively absorb the complexity of human values.   Via interacting with humans in rich ways – not just via getting reinforced on the goodness or badness of its actions (though such reinforcement will impact the system assuming it has goals such as “help cause human pleasure and fulfillment”), but via all sorts of joint activity with humans – the system will absorb the ins and outs of human psychology, culture and value.   It will learn subgoals that approximately imply its top-level goals, in a way that fits with human nature, and with the specific human culture and community it’s exposed to as it grows.

In the above I have been speaking as if an OpenCog system is ongoingly stuck with the top-level goals that its human programmers have provided it with; but this is not necessarily the case.   Operationally it is unproblematic to allow an OpenCog system to modify its top-level goals.   One might consider this undesirable, yet a reflection on the uncertainty and ignorance necessarily going into any choice of goal-set may make one think otherwise.  

A highly advanced intelligence, forced by design to retain top-level goals programmed by minds much more primitive than itself, could develop an undesirably contorted psychology, based on internally working around its fixed goal programming.   Examples of this sort of problem are replete in human psychology.  For instance, we humans are “programmed” with a great deal of highly-weighted goal content relevant to reproduction, sexuality and social status, but the more modern aspects of our minds have mixed feelings about these archaic evolved goals.   But it is very hard for us to simply excise these historical goals from our minds.   Instead we have created quite complex and subtle psychological and social patterns that indirectly and approximatively achieve the archaic goals encoded in our brains, while also letting us go in the directions in which our minds and cultures have self-organized during recent millennia.    Hello Kitty, romantic love, birth control, athletic competitions, investment banks – the list of human-culture phenomena apparently explicable in this way is almost endless.

One key point to understand, closely relevant to the VLT, is that the foundation of OpenCog’s dynamics in explicit probabilistic inference will necessarily cause it to diverge somewhat from human judgments.   As a probabilistically grounded system, OpenCog will naturally try to accurately estimate the probability of each abstraction it makes actually applying in each context it deems relevant.    Humans sometimes do this – otherwise they wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild, let alone carry out complex activities like engineering computers or AI systems – but they also behave quite differently at times.   Among other issues, humans are strongly prone to “wishful thinking” of various sorts.   If one were to model human reasoning using a logical formalism, one might end up needing to include a rule of the rough form

X would imply achievement of my goals
therefore
X’s truth value gets boosted

Of course, a human being who applied this rule strongly to all X in its mind, would become completely delusional and dysfunctional.  No human is like that.  But this sort of wishful thinking infuses human minds, alongside serious attempts at accurate probabilistic reasoning, plus various heuristics which have various well-documented systematic biases.   Belief revision combines conclusions drawn via wishful thinking, with conclusions drawn by attempts at accurate inference, in complex and mainly unconscious ways.  

Some of the biases of human cognition are sensible consequences of trying to carry out complex probabilistic reasoning on complex data using limited space and time resources.  Others are less “forgivable” and appear to exist in the human psyche for “historical reasons”, e.g. because they were adaptive for some predecessor of modern humanity in some contexts and then just stuck around.
An advanced OpenCog AGI system, if thoroughly embedded in human society and infused with human values, would likely arrive at its own variation of human values, differing from nearly any human being’s particular value system in its bias toward logical and probabilistic consistency.   The closest approximation to such an OpenCog system’s value system might be the values of a human belonging to the human culture in which the OpenCog system was embedded, and who also had made great efforts to remove any (conscious or unconscious) logical inconsistencies in his value system.

What does this speculative scenario have to say about the VLT and VET?  

Firstly, it seems to support a limited version of the VLT.   An OpenCog system, due to its fundamentally different cognitive architecture, is not likely to inherit the logical and probabilistic inconsistencies of any particular human being’s value system.  Rather, one would expect it to (implicitly and explicitly) seek to find the best approximation to the value system of its human friends and teachers, within the constraint of approximate probabilistic/logical consistency that is implicit in its architecture.  

The precise nature of such a value system cannot be entirely clear at this moment, but is certainly an interesting topic for speculative thinking.    First of all, it is fairly clear which sorts of properties of typical human value systems would not be inherited by an OpenCog of this hypothetical nature.   For instance, humans have a tendency to place a great deal of extra value on goods or ills that occur in their direct sensory experience, much beyond what would be justified by the increased confidence associated with direct experience as opposed to indirect experience.   Humans tend to value feeding a starving child sitting right in front of them, vastly more than feeding a starving child halfway across the world.  One would not expect an reasonably consistent human-like value system to display this property.

Similarly, humans tend to be much more concerned with goods or ills occurring to individuals who share more properties with themselves – and the choice of which properties to weight more highly in this sort of judgment is highly idiosyncratic and culture-specific.    If an OpenCog system doesn’t have a top-level goal of “preserving patterns similar to the ones detected in my own mind and body”, then it would not be expected to have the same “tribal” value-system bias that humans tend to have.    Some level of “tribal” value bias can be expected to emerge via abductive reasoning based on the goal of self-preservation (assuming this goal is included), but it seems qualitatively that humans have a much more tribally-oriented value system than could be derived via this sort of indirect factor alone.   Humans evolved partially via tribe-level group selection; an AGI need not do so, and this would be expected to lead to significant value-system differences.    

Overall, one might reasonably expect an OpenCog created with the above set of goals and methodology of embodiment and instruction to arrive at a value system that is roughly human-like, but without the glaring inconsistencies plaguing most practical human value systems.   Many of the contradictory aspects of human values have to do with conflict between modern human culture and “historical” values that modern humans have carried over from early human history (e.g. tribalism).   One may expect that, in the AGI’s value system, the modern culture side of such dichotomies will generally win out – because it is what is closer to the surface in observed human behavior and hence easier to detect and reason about, and also because it is more consilient with the explicitly Cosmist values (Joy, Growth, Choice) in the proposed first-pass AGI goal system.  

So to a first approximation, one might expect an OpenCog system of this nature to settle into a value system that
  • Resembles the human values of the individuals who have instructed and interacted with it
  • Displays a strong (but still just approximate) logical and probabilistic consistency and coherence
  • Generally resolves contradictions in human values via selecting modern-culture value aspects over “archaic” historical value aspects


It seems likely that such a value system would generally be acceptable to human participants in modern culture who value logic, science and reason (alongside other human values).    Obviously human beings who prefer the more archaic aspects of human values, and consider modern culture largely an ethical and aesthetic degeneration, would tend to be less happy with this sort of value system.  

So in this view, an advanced OpenCog system appropriately architected and educated would validate the VLT, but with a moderately loose interpretation.   Its value system would be in the broad scope of human-like value systems, but with a particular bias and with a kind of consistency and purity not likely present in any particular human being’s value system.

What about the VET?   It seems intuitively likely that the ongoing growth and development of an OpenCog system as described above would parallel the growth and development of human uploads, cyborgs or biologically-enhanced humans who were, in the early stage of their posthuman evolution, specifically concerned with reducing their reliance on archaic values and increasing their coherence and logical and probabilistic consistency.   Of course, this category might not include all posthumans – e.g. some religious humans, given the choice, might use advanced technology to modify their brains to cause themselves to become devout in their particular religion to a degree beyond all human limits.   But it would seem that an OpenCog system as described above would be likely to evolve toward superhumanity in roughly the same direction as a human being with transhumanist proclivities and a roughly Cosmist outlook.    If indeed this is the case, it would validate the VET, at least in this particular sort of situation.

It will certainly be noted that the value system of “a human being with transhumanist proclivities and a Cosmist outlook” is essentially the value system of the author of this article, and the author of the first-pass, roughly sketched OpenCog goal content used as the basis of the discussion here.   Indeed, the goal system outlined above is closely matched to my own values.   For instance, I tend toward technoprogressivism as opposed to transhumanist political libertarianism – and this is reflected in my inclusion of values related to the well-being of all sentient beings, and lack of focus on values regarding private property.   

In fact, different weightings of the goals in the above-given goal-set would be expected to lead to different varieties of human-level and superhuman AGI value system – some of which would be more “technoprogressivist” in nature and some more “political libertarian” in nature, among many other differences.   In a cosmic sense, though, this sort of difference is ultimately fairly minor.  These are all variations of modern human value system, and occupy a very small region in the space of all possible value systems that could be adopted by intelligences in our universe.   Differences between different varieties of human value system often feel very important to us now, but may well appear quite insignificant to our superintelligent descendants.



          More than DUST settles on Operation:Babylon - Paolo gives an exclusive interview on the Kickstarter        
For many Dust Tactics, World of Dust & Dust Studios will be household names coming as they do from a long established game world all spun from the mind of Paolo Parente, the father of Dust.

And as such you may have also heard there are a few rumblings about the Battlefront Kickstarter Operation: Babylon, and its lack of appearing, via the post, in the houses of those who backed the Kickstarter campaign.

This is a full and updated interview with DUST creator, Paolo Parente
Dust is an alternate history Board Game/Wargame and soon to be online game and RPG which for many years has been inspiring modellers and gamers with its diverse and almost familiar walking tanks, axis zombies, cyborg gorillas and a host of other WWII alternate nasties fuelled and inspired form the power of the mineral VK and the remnants of a crashed alien ship.

It's the same World War Two, it just evolved and shows no sign of ending.

In its most recent form Dust IP came into the care of Battlefront Games, high hopes of expanded lines and better distribution. The future looked very bright indeed, so much so when the Kickstarter was announced the boards literally 'lit up' with the voice and enthusiasm of the legions of old and new fans.

Operation Babylon, as it was called, was going to be a glowing success.


On June 19 2014 that success was confirmed for the 1,475 backers who are pledged $469,313 of hard earned cash well over the $50,000 target sought for the project.


Since then the talk and enthusiasm in all the forums and chat groups has slowly slipped from ecstatic excitement to near civil war as the fan base slowly fractures in the face of more and more apparently unanswered questions from Battlefront, the pledge management team who over saw the financials of the project.

Currently the casual viewer will see 'the silent concerned' who say little but are clicking like on various posts.

The 'be calm its okay, stay positives' who are focused on getting on with the game and prepared for the long wait without getting to distressed.

Finally what I'd call the 'vocals' who range from reasonable questioning to the troll like stirring one expects among any large Internet based groups. Arguments, confusion, allegations of all sorts seem to fly daily now and can't be ignored any longer.

Then on the 30th January 2015, the Grand Master, Paolo himself, who till now has been a voice of reason and support throws his cap in the ring and declares enough is enough.

Paolo today posts banners and avatars that call out for questions to be answered, he says he demands clarity and transparency form Battlefront, and importantly asks......where's the money? 



So it is on this very public canvas that Wee Gamers felt it was only right to ask the questions to the only people who should know.  that is the very publicly active father of Dust, Paolo, and the current Guardians of the Franchise, Battlefront Games.

Tonight we hear from Paolo, who has been quite open and eager to talk.

Paolo first of all thanks for taking the time at this seemingly stressful period to talk to Wee Gamers. 

Let's get the ball rolling. 

Paolo , what on earth is going on with Dust, and the Kickstarter? Where do things currently stand? Our understanding of these projects is you pitch your project, you set your goal. You raise your money - succeed or fail , and if you succeed you make your toys and deliver to your backers? What's gone wrong as you understand it?


Paolo:
"The public action that Dust Studio, with me as standard bearer, is taking has one goal only: push Battlefront to act with due diligence by honouring the Babylon Kickstarter Contract that they wrote themselves, pay the overdue fee to Dust Studio for manufacturing the goods and deliver them to the backers.
l attach here the contract and you are authorized to publish it. 



Basically it reads that Battlefront is obliged to pay Dust Studio first. And in the case Dust Studio cannot manufacture the goods then Dust Studio is accountable. 
Now, how the hell are we supposed to deliver something that has not been ordered or paid for???
Up to today we have not received the P.O. for the so called "Babylon Wave 2" or a full list of the items to be delivered. Dust Studio will be happy to deliver the goods as soon as Purchase Order is issued and paid for. 
The production on the Wave 2 items is going on. We estimate that they will be ready by the end of March 2015.  
We are manufacturing items based on the last received information dated November 2014 plus a small percentage extra, just in case the orders get bigger. 
We know that Battlefront have been collecting orders and payments until January 2015.
We wait for Battlefront to honor their side of the deal."

Okay, given the size of this project a years wait on product would have been our estimate. But it sounds very much so far that this is about where the money is and communication.
"Exactly! Where is the money??? l was told that the backers money would be held in a special account and remain there untouched, obviously this did not happen."

Why DS is not getting payed? Where did the $$ go?? Perhaps simplistic, but I know some will be wondering, why did you or rather Dust studio not simply run the K'S yourselves?
"For two reasons, The Kickstarter intended to also help Battlefront to raise enough funds to pay our Factoring Bank of 200,000 USD that was overdue for 120 days and more, besides we were in agreement with Battelfront for a worldwide distribution deal, so it seemed natural to do this together. Dust Studio CEO William Yau was against doing the Kickstarter with Battlefront, unfortunately we did not listen..."

To clarify that,why is the 'distributor' the project manager on your products?
"As per above, it was part of the deal."

Why did the money not simply go direct to Dust Studio?
"Same here..."

One would be forgiven for thinking a man in your position would be able to talk directly to the top man in Battlefront. Is that not the case?
William Yau, Dust Studio CEO,  is talking to Mr. John Paul Brisigotti BF CEO, with the intervention of a third party, but no progress is made.
BF are trying to force us to manufacture the KS freebies for free.
This is not in our agreement. Out of good will we offered 10% discount they demanded 50%. We think that`s out of question. If there is no share of profits you cannot suddenly expect sharing the losses right? Why not just lift the phone and chat to the CEO and say 'alright mate, where's my money for the work done?' Been there for months.

You are on the ground so to speak talking directly to fans on the forums daily, what harm do you feel has been done to the Dust brand by this situation?
Well, we all see that the brand is damaged when it`s compared to the disappeared AT43, at the same time we also see that the community of Dust Players is opening their eyes and reacting positively in support of Dust Studio. 

What is it you see needs to happen now?
Well, Battlefront can say that they are sorry, issue a P.O., pay Dust Studio and deliver the goods. :) 

Do you feel the working relationship with Battlefront is salvageable in the light of events?
There is no business relationship here. Business is based on $$, friendship on Feelings, right? 

You have as we mentioned earlier began a campaign with your avatar and banner. What else can you fan base and the pledge makers do to assist in the resolution of this matter?
l think that the backers are already active, l would like those few who post offensive words addressed to Battlefront to stop. Being impolite is useless.

Worst case scenario, Paolo, what happens if this funding has somehow been misallocated?
l truly hope this is not the case, l think that this would be a great mess for Battlefront. 

Let's assume BF are reading this is there anything you would like to say to them specifically?
Just act with due diligence, nothing else is acceptable. Neither the Backers or Dust Studio deserve being fooled around. 


Well, there you go. Paolo's side.

We have sent an email to Battlefront to see if they wish to give their side of the story. As yet we have had no reply.


Wee Gamers also hang out on 

          By: cybercyborg        
:up:
          Episode 395: Silver Linings Playbook        
We get charmed by Silver Linings Playbook and discuss Life of Pi, Holy Motors and The Queen of Versailles plus additional discussions about Sunset Boulevard, Touch of Evil, Cyborg, The Ipcress File, Anchorman, Three Kings and Spanking the Monkey.
          Siyar Bahadurzada still blames Strikeforce, is scary        

During Scott Coker's most recent interview with Ariel Helwani after Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg, he claimed that Siyar Bahadurzada's recent tourrettes outburst was unwarranted because they just needed him to get his P1 Visa in order. Siyar then sat down with Ariel on the MMA Hour and responded that it was the responsibilities of the pig fuckers at Strikeforce to apply for that ... AFTER signing his contract.

I'm not an expert on immigration - I just tell the border guys wherever I go that I'm a sex tourist and they let me through, sometimes with a coupon booklet. But this seems like a relatively easy procedural fact for some intrepid journo to look up. Who's lying? Siyar or Strikeforce?

As for Siyar's crazy freakout:

Bahadurzada told Helwani that he wanted to apologize to his fans for the language choice, but said he felt disrespected by Strikeforce and that's when his "dark side" surfaced.

"My mentality has been like this since I was born in Afghanistan in the war and I've been raised in the war. I've been through a lot. ...I used to fight with older guys on the street who were not fair to me, and I would beat the sh-t out of them. I would not take anything from anybody. That's why [my grandfather] called me 'The Killer.' This is my dark side. I tell everybody I have a good and a dark side, and my dark side comes out every once in a while when I really feel I've been disrespected."

Damn, his grandpappy called him 'the Killer'? I'm pretty sure you don't get that nickname in Afghanistan unless you actually kill people. Oh, Siyar, he is so funny we call him the Killer. No. Not there, man. Over there it's 'Oh, someone crossed Siyar so he stabbed them through the neck with some steel rebar."

UPDATE: Jackal Pewnt to Scott Coker: "YOU LIE!"

The post Siyar Bahadurzada still blames Strikeforce, is scary appeared first on Fightlinker.com.


          Restless Mornings 01-01-2016 with Ann Cantelow        
Playlist:

Ulali- All My Relations - Mahk Jchi
Anglique Kidjo- Sedjedo feat Ziggy Marley - Djin Djin
Talking Heads- Heaven - Stop Making Sense
John Trudell- ListeningHonor Song - Tribal Voice
Dom Flemons- Til The Seas Run Dry - Prospect Hill
Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra- Struttin With Some Barbeque - Gold
Jelly Roll Morton- The Pearls - The Pearls
Transkapela Klezmer- OldTime Sirba - Tribal Beats Vol 2
Goran Bregovic- Hop Hop Hop - Tales And Songs From Weddings And Funerals
- voicebreak -
Mandry- Kohanochka - Russendisko Ukraine Do Amerika Compiled By Kaminer And Gurzhy
Boban Markovic- Gucino Kolo - Zlatna Truba
Ivo Papasov Yuri Yunakov- Na Trapeza - Together Again
Samovar Russian Folk Music Ensemble- Russian Dances - Some Of Our Best
David Garrett- Csardas Gypsy Dance - David Garrett
Roar Engelberg- From Oltenia Doina - Doina
Richard Hagopian- Hijaz Taksim - Armenian Oud Masters In USA Instrumental Recordings From 40s 50s And 60s
Hossein Alizadeh- Laments In Joy Saz O Avaz - Half Moon Nive Mang
- voicebreak -
Hassan Kasaei- Bayat EsfahanSufi Nameh - Iranian Classical Music Radifs 6 EdamehYe Homayou Bayat Esfahan Nava
Various Artists- Ya Tayr Fairuz - Global Divas
PHAM DUC THANH- Work Song - Vietnamese Trad Dan Bau Music
Ida Widawati Lingkung Seni Malati- Pangbagea Greeting - Tembang Sunda Classical Music From West Java Indonesia
Harumi Miyako- Kita No Yado Kara - Japanese Legendary Enka Collection Harumi Miyako
Yoshida Brothers- Ibuki - Hishou
Altan Urag- The Beige Stallion - Marco Polo Music From The Netflix Original Series
- voicebreak -
Lucinda Williams- Are You Alright - World Without Tears
Various Artists- Buddy Guy Feels Like Rain - Itll Come To You
Toussaint McCall- Nothing Takes The Place Of You - Nothing Takes The Place Of You
Red Steagall- Somewhere My Love - Here We Go Again
- voicebreak -
Jean Redpath- Auld Lang Syne - The Songs Of Robert Burns Vols 1 2
Frederick Worlock- Auld Lang Syne By Robert Burns - The Very Best Of Scottish Poetry
Lillian Allen- Sister Hold On - Conditions Critical
Franklin St Blues Band- Rise - No Covers Next 14
Bipolar Sunshine- Love More Worry Less - Drowning Butterflies EP
Johnny Dodds- Melancholy - Black Legends Of Jazz Box Set
Count Basie- Jumpin At The Woodside - One OClock Jump The Very Best Of Count Basie
Bad Weather California- Let It Shine - Sunkissed
Kenji Kawai- UTA I Making Of Cyborg - Ghost In The Shell Koukaku Kidoutai Original Soundtrack


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/62/playlistDate/2016-01-01
          Restless Mornings 12-25-2015 with Ann Cantelow        
Playlist:

Mazzy Star- Fade Into You - So Tonight That I Might See
Ali Farka Toure- Savane - Savane
John Scott The Cambridge Singers John Rutter- Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence Jesus Christ Shabille En Pauvre - Sing Ye Heavens Hymns For All Time
The Sunday Manoa- Kilakila O MoanauluaMoanalua - Hawaii Slide And Slack Key Surfing Sounds
City Of Prague Phiharmonic Orchestra James Fitzpatrick Charlotte Kinder Mezzo Soprano Charlotte Kinder Soprano- Lakme Flower Duet - Hidden Classical Gems Vol 3
Willie Bobo- Roots - Present Latin Verve Sounds
Cal Tjader Eddie Palmieri- Guajira En Azul - Ultimate Cal Tjader
Afrojack- Lion Heart - Dance Mix USA In The Club Vol 2 Mixed By DJ Riddler Continuous DJ Mix
- voicebreak -
Rosemary Clooney- Sway - Rosemary Clooney Greatest Hits
Mory Kant- Touma Wimowe - Best Of Mory Kant
Bajofondo- Pide Piso - Presente
Survivor- Eye Of The Tiger - Ultimate Survivor
Average White Band- Pick Up The Pieces - The Essentials Average White Band
- voicebreak -
The Meters- TippiToes - The Very Best Of The Meters
Earth Wind Fire- Shining Star - Thats The Way Of The World Alive In 75
Maceo Parker- Uptown Up - Roots Grooves
Rihanna- We Found Love feat Calvin Harris - Talk That Talk Deluxe Edition
Medeski Martin Wood- Free Go Lily - Radiolarians 1
Pink Martini- Una Notte A Napoli - Hang On Little Tomato
Miriam Makeba- Pata Pata - Pata Pata
Otis Taylor- Walk Right In - Recapturing The Banjo
Janelle Mone- Smile - Metropolis The Chase Suite
Taylor Swift- Wildest Dreams - 1989
- voicebreak -
Arthur Smith- Bonapartes Retreat - Fiddlin Arthur Smith His Dixieliners
Tony Duncan- Grandmother Moon - Earth Warrior
Fifth Harmony- Top Down - Reflection Deluxe
Queen Latifah Monie Love- Ladies First - All Hail The Queen
Karpe Diem- Aldri Solgt En Lgn - Aldri Solgt En Lgn
Willow- Natives Of The Windy Forest - ARDIPITHECUS
- voicebreak -
James Brown- Soulful Christmas - Christmas
Carolina Chocolate Drops- Mahalla - Leaving Eden
Kalliope Jones- Travel On - Kalliope Jones
Pokey La Farge And The South City Three- La La Blues - Pokey Lafarge
Willow- 21st Century Girl - 21st Century Girl Single
Various Artists- Buffy SainteMarie Cho Cho Fire - Think Global Native America
Drumspyder- El Gato Loco feat Jef Stott - The Nekyia Vol 1
Lars Hollmer- Tivolimarsch - With Floury Hand Sketches Med Mjlad Hand Skisser
Moondog- Birds Lament - The German Years
Ratatat- We Cant Be Stopped - LP4
Kenji Kawai- UTA I Making Of Cyborg - Ghost In The Shell Koukaku Kidoutai Original Soundtrack


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/62/playlistDate/2015-12-25
          Restless Mornings 01-02-2015 with Ann Cantelow        
Playlist:

- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
Otis Taylor- Blue Rain In Africa - My World Is Gone
Tricia And The Supersonics- Wings Of A Dove - King Bravo Selects Authentic Ska Volume 2
Jimmy Cliff- I Can See Clearly Now - Single
Miriam Makeba- Pata Pata - Pata Pata
Orchestra Baobab- Hommage A Tonton Ferrer - Specialist In All Styles
Michiya Mihashi- Ringo Mura Kara - Japanese Retro Hits The Fifties Volume 4
Harumi Miyako- Yuuhizaka - Japanese Legendary Enka Collection Harumi Miyako
Compilation- E Mama E - Vintage Hawaiian Treasures Vol 4 Mele Hula Hawaiian Style
Benny Kalama- Kealoha - Legends Of Falsetto Hawaiis Legendary Voices
Various Artists- Sanjay Mishra For Julia - Music From The Tea Lands
Kenji Kawai- M I Making Of Cyborg - Ghost In The Shell Original Soundtrack
Joanne Shenandoah- Planting The Tree Of Peace - Peacemakers Journey
Nitanis Kit Largo- Never Let Go - Serenity
Ulali- Maybe - Mahk Jchi
Ulali- All My Relations - Mahk Jchi
Anglique Kidjo- Sedjedo feat Ziggy Marley - Djin Djin
Bad Weather California- Ill Sing Along - Sunkissed
Tshetsha Boys- Nwampfundla - Shangaan Electro New Wave Dance Music From South Africa
Matias Aguayo- Ritmo Tres - Ay Ay Ay
Peter Pozorek- Habanera - Dj Click Flavour
Clarence Curvan- Calypsoul - Calypsoul 70
Novalima- Camote - Coba Coba
Los Wemblers De Iquitos- Un Silbido Amoroso - Cumbia Beat Volume 1
Susumu Yokota- Fairy Dance Of Twinkle And Shadow - Symbol
Conlon Nancarrow- Study No 21 - Studies For Piano Player
The Budos Band- Natures Wrath - The Budos Band III
Kasai Allstars Lonely Drifter Karen- Hunting On The Moon - TradiMods Vs Rockers Alternative Takes On Congotronics Vol 1 Bonus Track Version
Compilation- Skokiaan South African Song 1994 AllTime Greatest Hits Version - Louis Armstrongs AllTime Greatest Hits
Cab Calloway- Take The A Train feat Chu Berry - Best Of Big Bands Cab Calloway
Earl Fatha Hines- Foggy Day - Jazz In Paris Vol 75 Earl Hines In Paris
Compilation- King Porter Stomp - Black Legends Of Jazz Box Set
Compilation- Sugar Foot Stomp - Black Legends Of Jazz Box Set
King Oliver- Olga - The Originals King Oliver The Legendary 1930 Recordings Remastered
Ella Fitzgerald Louis Armstrong- Dream A Little Dream Of Me - Ella Louis For Lovers
Compilation- Jumpin At The Woodside 1938 Version - Black Legends Of Jazz Box Set
Jelly Roll Morton- Buddy Boldens Blues - Last Sessions The Complete General Recordings
Johnnie Dodds- Melancholy - Presenting The Gems Of Jazz


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/62/playlistDate/2015-01-02
          Winter        
“Winter (The Lunar Chronicles 4)”, de Marissa Meyer (ainda não publicado em Portugal)

Opinião:
Estava ansiosa por ler a conclusão deste série, ou não fosse ela uma das minha favoritas dos últimos anos e, tendo já lido três capítulos de antevisão que saíram na edição de Fairest, a antecipação era muita.
Winter começa quase onde Cress termina e fala-nos logo um pouco mais da princesa de Luna, Winter, e o seu amigo de infância, Jacin. Pois embora ambos já tivessem surgido nos livros anteriores foi neste que realmente os ficamos a conhecer. A eles e ao que já os une. Mas, talvez por ser, dos quatro casais da série, o único que já tinha uma ligação emocional e afectiva antes de o leitor o conhecer, o desenvolvimento não tenha sido tão marcante. Isso e também porque, bem, havia coisas mais prementes a acontecer na trama (embora nesta série haja sempre algo de grande a acontecer). E não é que o romance entre a Winter e o Jacin não seja fofo e o leitor não torça por eles, mas tudo o resto de sobrepôs um pouco a eles. Contudo, no início algumas das cenas foram excelentes alicerces para a relação destes dois, especialmente a cena do castigo do Jacin e da fuga da Winter. Mas visto que o leitor não presenciou o início da relação essa é uma falta que se sente.
Como personagens individuais são ambos muito interessantes, especialmente a Winter que não tem a garra da Cinder ou da Scarlet, ou a capacidade da Cress, mas que não lhes fica atrás com a sua lógica lunática e brilho geral. Não admira que o povo de Luna a adore. O Jacin, que já tinhamos visto mudar no livro anterior, fê-lo ainda mais neste último livro, mantendo-se ainda assim fiel ao de sempre: proteger a Winter.

A história teve neste volume várias revelações, várias reviravoltas e muitas cenas fortes, desde a quase morte da Cinder, à visita às colónias lunares, ao casamento da Levana com o Kai, o que não faltaram foram cenas poderosas em que o leitor se embrenhou mais e mais nesta série e investiu mais no seus desfecho.
E embora nem tudo me neste último volume fosse do meu total agrado, a verdade é que um final previsível nem sempre é mau, como se prova aqui. A Cinder cresceu muito enquanto personagem ao longo dos livros e isso notou-se especialmente na segunda metade deste livro.
O pior deste livro, e talvez mesmo o único defeito, acabou por ser a Levana que se foi abaixo e que não se revelou uma grande vilã neste livro. Ficou muito aquém daquilo que se esperava dela e a sua maldade concentrou-se mais na Winter do que na Cinder que era a maior ameaça. Mas mesmo com a Winter acho que as suas artimanhas foram fracas.

Tirando isso adorei o desfecho da série, a forma como todas as personagens tiveram espaço para evoluir. Foi um final merecedor que me deixou contente e satisfeita com uma série que foi uma das que mais gostei de ler nos últimos anos. Recomendo!

Sinopse (em inglês):
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Booktrailer (em inglês):


          Restless Mornings 10-18-2013 with Buddha Bomb        
Playlist:

Kenji Kawai- M I Making Of Cyborg - Ghost In The Shell Original Soundtrack
Mazzy Star- Into Dust - So Tonight That I Might See
Henry Threadgill Sextet- Bermuda Blues - You Know The Number
- voicebreak -
Atoms Family- Nuthin Realy Happens - The Prequel
Mos Def- Quiet Dog - The Ecstatic
- voicebreak -
The White Stripes- Girl You Have No Faith In Medicine - Elephant
Iggy Pop- I Wanna Be Your Dog - Nude Rude The Best Of
Compilation- Tell Mama - The Essential Etta James
Etta James- Id Rather Go Blind - Tell Mama The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions
Muddy Waters- Sail On - Essential Blues Grooves Vol 2
Compilation- My Babe - The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection Little Walter His Best
- voicebreak -
Alexander Peskanov- Elite Syncopations - Scott Joplin Piano Rags
Stan Freberg- John And Marsha - The Very Best Of Stan Freberg
Duke Ellington- Take The a Train - Best Of
Duke Ellington- It Dont Mean A Thing If It Aint Got That Swing - The Best Of Duke Ellington The Complete RCA Victor MidForties Recordings
- voicebreak -
Compilation- Honoring Song For Young Man Afraid Of His Horses - Heartbeat 2 More Voices Of First Nations Women
Ulali- 1 Mother - Mahk Jchi
Ulali- All My Relations - Mahk Jchi
- voicebreak -
- Les Pecherurs Des Perles - The Most Famous Opera Duets
Biliana Voutchkova- Kaija Saariaho Nocturne For Solo Violin - Faces
Conlon Nancarrow- Study No 21 - Studies For Piano Player
Tod Dockstader- Two Moons Of Quatermass Second Moon - Dockstader Quatermass
- voicebreak -
Kd Lang- Lock Stock And Teardrops - Shadowland
Merle Haggard- Time Changes Everything - Tribute To
Dolly Parton- Joshua - The Essential Dolly Parton Vol 2
Jimmy Martin The Sunny Mountain Boys- Intro Hit Parade Of Love - Bean Blossom Live 1973 Bean Blossom Indiana
The Chapmans- Fire In The Canyon - Simple Man
Paul Martin Zonn Nashville Mandolin Ensemble- La Tipica - All The Rage Mandolin Ensemble Music From 18971924
Johnny Gimble- Goodnight Waltz - The Texas Fiddle Collection
- voicebreak -
Steve Aoki Laidback Luke- Turbulence Radio Edit feat Lil Jon - Turbulence Radio Edit feat Lil Jon Single
DJ Drez- Ganeshs Theme - Jahta Beat The Lotus Memoirs
Frew Haylou- Eyetegnu Nequ - thiopiques Vol 10 Ethiopian Blues Ballads
Sofia Vembo- Papoutsi Apo Ton Topo Sou - H Sofia Vembo Tragouda Ton Erota
Thao The Get Down Stay Down- We The Common For Valerie Bolden - We The Common
Alabama Shakes- Hold On - Alabama Shakes Ep


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/62/playlistDate/2013-10-18
          The Strange Ep 5: Cataclyst        

After a failed translation, our con artist heroes find themselves in a world of mutants, cyborgs, and pleasant post apocalyptic scenery.

The post The Strange Ep 5: Cataclyst appeared first on Fandible Actual Play Podcast.


          De nuevo cambiamos de bando... y seguimos sin ser villanos        

Saludos, gente. La semana pasada vimos los mejores cambios de héroe a villano en el mundo del cómic y hoy tenemos los 10 Cambios más Chipocludos de Villano a Héroe. Volver villano a un héroe busca mover los cimientos, pero el caso contrario casi siempre responde a dos opciones: la primera es cuando el guionista lo planeó así desde el principio (alguien de buen corazón que fue contra su voluntad o  aprendió una lección sobre no hacer el mal); la otra posibilidad es que el villano se le haya salido de las manos a su creador y sea tan popular que él o el editor decidan explotarlo como héroe, como pasó con la Viuda Negra. En cualquier caso, hoy veremos los mejores y les recuerdo que es una lista personal y están invitados a poner la suya en los comentarios.

*Mención especial al número 11 de mi lista: Harvey Dent. Esta etapa fue corta, cuando tras una cirugía, Harvey eliminó su apariencia de Dos Caras y con ello su locura malévola, además de tomar el lugar de Bruce como protector de Gótica. Lo atractivo, pero triste a la vez, era que todos sabíamos que no podía durar.

Ahora sí, vamos con los 10 primeros:

10.Sabretooth.
Honestamente es una locura que un asesino así haya sido aceptado tantas veces en los X-Men, pero Wolverine es igual o peor y al menos Creed no es hipócrita y ha mantenido su actitud salvaje y cínica en cada ocasión.

9.Terra.
Terra era una infiltrada en los Teen Titans, cómplice (y al parecer amante) de Deathstroke, sin embargo la convivencia con el grupo, en especial Changeling, la transformó. Un cambio honesto, que terminó con un emotivo sacrificio y fue eje central de Judas Contract, saga determinante para los Titanes y una de las grandes historias del cómic en general.

8.Flautista.

En la era de Wally West, varios villanos del velocista mostraron su lado noble y un par de ellos dejaron la maldad. El mas destacado fue el Flautista, que se hizo su amigo fiel. En la etapa de Geoff Johns volvió al crimen, aunque aún entonces no tuvo alternativa. Lo que haga hoy en día ya no me importa.

7.Visión.

Visión no tenía opción: fue creado para el mal. Luchar contra su programación para unirse a los héroes que debía combatir no fue un accidente sino la prueba máxima de que era humano en su interior. Si bien tuvo un par de recaídas que hicieron cuestionar su lealtad, es un emblema de los Vengadores.

6.Hawkeye.

Si antes hablé de un emblema, este es quizá el arquetipo del Vengador, un ejemplo de esos personajes creados para redimirse, porque era demasiado noble para ser un villano de IronMan (sin mencionar, técnicamente muy inofensivo para él). Su cambio de bando era obvio, pero pocos debieron imaginar que tan lejos llegaría.

5.Thunderbolts.
Tras la enorme sorpresa que vimos al final del número uno de Thunderbolts era, quizá, predecible que algunos cambiarían, pero el guionista Kurt Buziek manejó bien el tema y exploró todas las opciones posibles, desde el que se arrepintió de corazón hasta la que sólo buscaba evitar la cárcel. El resultado fue el cambio mas orgánico de la lista.

4.Erradicador.
Fue un caso similar a Visión, pero sin los sentimientos. El Erradicador no es popular pero fue uno de los enemigos más grandes de Superman, estuvo cerca de matarlo, pero cuando Clark efectivamente murió a manos de Doomsday su programación original se activó: defender la vida kriptnoniana. Fue responsable directo de su resurrección, su compañero en la batalla contra el Cyborg y quien le devolvió sus poderes sacrificando su vida para ello.

3.Danger.
Danger era tecnología viviente, encerrada contra su voluntad por el monstruo glorificado, Charles Xavier. Ya libre, resultó ser increíblemente poderoso (poderosa, porque eligió una forma femenina) casi matando a los Hombres X. Su cambio de bando fue pausado, primero por la promesa de recibir al Profesor X como recompensa, para efectuar su venganza, después logró conciliar sus sentimientos y fue parte de la alineación más poderosa de X-Men.

2.Barón Zemo.
No lo incluyo en el puesto de los Thunderbolts porque no se redimió junto a ellos, al contrario, fue su antagonista principal en los primeros 2 o 3 años de historia del grupo. Lo más atractivo de este cambio es que Zemo nunca dejó de ser él mismo, era maquiavélico y manipulador, pero con el propósito de salvar al mundo, incluso pensando que el mejor modo de mantenerlo a salvo era gobernarlo.

1.Magneto.
Para mí este es el caso más interesante, porque Magnus es un villano trágico, que no quería hacer el mal sino proteger. Todos sus planes fueron motivado por el deseo de cuidar de los suyos; Xavier lo sabía y jamás dejó de creer en que podía llevarlo por el camino correcto. Aunque invariablemente termina regresando a sus viejos métodos, Magneto ha estado del lado heroico en distintos momentos y la mayoría de ellas como líder.


Eso es todo por hoy, pueden poner su propia lista en los comentarios o solo criticar la mía. Adiós.

          Notes from the Meat Cage, by Fran Wilde        

“It turns out that what I wanted wasn’t the story of a young woman coming to terms with her brace or her body … what I wanted was something to love.”

Invisible 3 CoverFran Wilde is one of the contributors to Invisible 3, which comes out on June 27 and includes 18 essays and poems about representation in science fiction and fantasy. You can preorder the collection at:

Amazon | Kobo | Smashwords | Google Play

(It will be available for Nook and iBooks as well, but we don’t have those links yet.)

Any profits from the sale of the collection go to Con or Bust, helping fans of color to attend SF/F conventions.

As with Invisible and Invisible 2, the contributors to this third volume have shared work that’s heartfelt, eye-opening, honest, thoughtful, and important…not to mention relevant to so much of what we see happening in the genre today.

I hope you find Wilde’s essay as powerful as I did.

#

At twelve, I perfected the baggy clothes drape. I stood and leaned against walls rather than sitting. Leaning kept the bottom edge of the hard, white fiberglass brace from digging into my thighs and the top edge from pinching under my arms. Either or both would drag my clothes funny and ruin the effect. I was pretty careful, but one pat on the back or a joking poke at my ribs and thunk. Hip to collarbone, my identity was wrapped in a hard shell.

Other braces, before and since, were easier to hide if I wanted to hide them. Foot braces, worn at night, turned my feet in the right direction, and no one was the wiser. Their ugly cousins, the orthopedic shoes, went away by third grade. The current knee and wrist braces and all the bracing tape? Those disappear under sleeves and skirts. And they’re mostly soft, not hard.

But I’ve always identified with that thunk. Part of me has always been a brain rolling around in a cage—both the skin and bones cage that doesn’t behave, and the shells that try to help fix that.

Growing up, this sucked.

Worse, the available books I could identify with sucked too. Deenie? Once was fine, but everyone gave me Deenie as if there was nothing else. And there really wasn’t. I started leaving annotated pages of Deenie secreted around my doctors’ offices in protest.

The year before I was cast for that second brace, I found science fiction.

I realized early that I identified more with the ships I was reading about than their captains. Especially the brain ships. (I’m still incredibly partial to liveships like Farscape’s Moya, Bear & Monette’s The Lavinia Whateley (“Boojum”), and Aliette de Bodard’s mindships.)

It turns out that what I wanted wasn’t the story of a young woman coming to terms with her brace or her body (seriously it’s a fine story, but it didn’t fit me at all—or, rather, it fit me like a brace, constraining and awkward). What I wanted was something to love. I was listening for that familiar thunk on the hull; I just didn’t know it. That recognition that there was a mind inside a cage of muscle, bone, pain, fiberglass, and metal. The acknowledgement that a mind could do things—heroic things! Cool things!—even if the body rebelled.

The first time I read Anne McCaffrey’s short story “The Ship Who Sang,” I read that painful first line—”She was born a thing,” and the ensuing replacement of Helva’s body with something better, a brainship shell—and felt guilty that I had it easy in comparison, while being thrilled that the main character was female. At twelve, I didn’t quite grasp some problematic aspects of the story.* What I knew immediately was that “The Ship Who Sang” delighted me.

That delight stemmed from recognizing a part of myself in the story—a singer, an artist, a perfectionist, a twisted form, triumphant inside a hard, albeit fiberglass, shell.

I fell in love with Helva from the start, and never really let her go. She’s mine. My ship.

She was so much better than freaking Deenie.

Later, another story caught me up in similar ways, though, again, I didn’t realize why until a lot later. William Gibson’s “Winter Market” (Burning Chrome), features Max, a recording engineer, and Lise, a wunderkind artist about to go viral. Lise’s genetic disorder requires her to wear a full-body brace in order to survive, but this is faulty equipment too, so much so that the brace once trapped her starving and unable to move in a pile of garbage. Told from Max’s point of view, “Winter Market” opens with Lise’s escape to immortality: “It was like that the day her agents phoned to tell me she’d merged with the net, crossed over for good.”

In “Winter Market,” Lise creates something astoundingly beautiful and Max sees her for who she is when no one else does. I love the story. I thought I loved it because of what it said about art and dedication and rage; because of the connection between two people; because of how angry Lise was whenever anyone looked at her with anything approaching pity.

Lise is better than Deenie too.

But, as I said above, Lise is already gone by the time “Winter Market” begins, and my love for Gibson’s story has grown more complex and layered.

Lately, I’ve been arguing with Gibson in my head about Lise. (And, to a lesser extent, with McCaffrey about Helva.) Because Lise is a prop for “Winter Market.” She’s gone, and what she’s left behind and what she’s become are not Lise any more, in the narrator’s eyes especially. Because her tech cage failed her, maybe. Because her meat cage failed her too, probably. Because her mind needed to escape all that she was in order to fulfill what she was capable of.

I’m arguing about that now for a lot of reasons. First, because I can’t get out of my cage—none of us can—and second because I do not want to be gone. I want a world that lets me live, and love, and create, and be me, with whatever braces or tech I need. One that doesn’t stand in my way or expect me to disappear in one flaming act of creation. Gibson’s and McCaffrey’s stories helped me understand this, in their own ways.

So when I write characters like Djonn in Cloudbound and Horizon, or Lane in “Happenstance,” a short story coming out this summer in the FutureScapes anthology, I write them uncaged, even as I give them braces and tech to help support them. The cage I’m talking about is the story’s definition of who they are—where Lise is at one point garbage and the hole she leaves in the story, where Helva cannot be at all, unless her parents make her a ship. Djonn and Lane and others aren’t defined by their bodies and limitations; they have the tools to do their jobs and live their lives.

Sometimes people don’t notice my characters have disabilities because these characters are too busy living their lives.

I’m really very fine with that. I’m busy living my life too.

Even when the meatcage goes thunk.

_____
*And has been beautifully explored by readers and academics including Dr. Ria Cheyne, in “She was born a Thing, Disability, The Cyborg, and the Posthuman (Journal of Mondern Literature 36.3)”

***

Fran Wilde is the author of the Andre Norton- and Compton Crook Award-winning, Nebula-nominated novel UPDRAFT (Tor 2015), its sequels, CLOUDBOUND (2016) and HORIZON (2017), and the Nebula- and Hugo-nominated novelette “The Jewel and Her Lapidary” (Tor.com Publishing 2016). Her short stories appear in Asimov’s, Tor.com, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer, Nature, and the 2017 Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. She writes for publications including The Washington Post, Tor.com, Clarkesworld, iO9.com, and GeekMom.com. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and at franwilde.net.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.



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          260 Live from DCM 18 Pt. 2: Gavin Spieller, Chad Carter, Tim Martin, Adam Frucci, Brian McCann, Shannon O'Neill        
- LIVE from DCM 18 Pt. 2 - Part Two of the live edition from the 2016 Del Close Marathon arrives with Gavin Spieller, Chad Carter, Tim Martin, Adam Frucci, Brian McCann, and Shannon O'Neill! They build a film set around a four hundred foot canoe, share their summer exploits on the first day of school, and celebrate a visit from Pla-Santa. Then they get some assistance from the Callback Cyborg and ask the priest to fix mom and dad's marriage before finding out what it means to major in media.This episode is sponsored by Squarespace and Now Hear This.
          The Luciferian Christina        

Quick post, I came across this photo of Christina Aguilera (click for her previous posts/photos) in a Luciferian black magick scene, with a ritual pentagram drawn on the ground and each point/element has a black candle on it. The scene, at the very least resonates with themes of Satanic ritual abuse.

Disney Mouseketeers are predominantly victims of Monarch (trauma-based mind control) programming often involving "Satanic" ritual abuse, this set of images is quite indicative of that I feel. Note the battered and burned doll on the floor which is a standard motif for childhood abuse, Christina's father Fausto's abuse and a sociopathic obsession with control is pretty well known (see this post for some specifics she can recall), a typical Monarch military father (whose name, meaning 'luck' in Italian, reminds me of Goethe's Faust who allied himself with the Devil) who traveled to military bases with his family, eventually leaving them when she was still young. By age 8 they already had her appearing on TV shows singing sexually suggestive songs which is not as blatant as her own 100% sexual euphemism debut song "Genie in the Bottle" (Britney's debut of course was also entirely suggestive), singing the 'Star-Spangled Banner' to testosterone-filled stadiums and in that pentagram-centric 'Star Search' show, in which Britney also appeared before they joined the Mickey Mouse Club (posted on it a lot in Britney posts).

Note her occult pendant, the crescent moon with three pentagrams inside it (notice the same motifs, crescent moons and pentagram symbolism on Magician/Wizard Mickey's conical hat), skull and bones brooch (also wearing a ruby ring [second image below] associated with sexual programming, and a ruby drops necklace symbolizing blood [drops]). Note the black cat, overtly for the standard witch cliché (and it's cultural association with the devil and witches) but more to symbolize her sex kitten programming. Spiders are another common MK motif (all of these kinds of symbols make for good triggers) because of spider tortures' effectiveness (victims describe being trapped in a box with spiders dropped in with them and such) and other facets of the spider are useful for programming (i.e. the spider web imagery is a good template for internal structuring), her red and black clothing may also be an allusion to the Black Widow.


On the other doll (symbolically under her foot/trampled on) note the position of the knife on it's stomach, all very symbolic of ritual abuse (and showing literally how they are used in MK, as the child is emotionally attached to the doll, giving it a personality and whatnot, so it can be used in multiple ways to emotionally traumatize the victim to create splits/personalities). What is that bloody thing above, it looks like a skinned goat head or something? There also appears to be an animal skull (below Minnie Witch photo), possibly a goat though half is cut off. A practicing occultist reader could probably describe the purpose of the jars and whatnot. Included a loosely related image of Christina at Disneyland with a Minnie Mouse Witch (+ sunflowers).
Note the red and black coloured clothing (black/red/white common colour scheme used by occultists such as the Nazi establishment, the red associated with the occult obsession with pure genes/bloodline, black evil/darkness, white light for duality). Click one of the above images where you can see that one of Christina's Hebrew tattoos is on show, it is unlikely that she wasn't posed specifically and ritualistically to reveal the Hebrew letters 'Yud' (Y) and 'Bet' (B) to add a bit of Kabbalah magick to the shoot's (metaphorical) cauldron.
These Hebrew letters are described in the press as representing her husband, currently her long-term handler, Jewish music executive Jordan Bratman's initials, with Spanish words surrounding it reading "I love you always" (a permanent declaration of eternal devotion to the handler). Apparently Roman Catholic raised, she was married in a Jewish ceremony and their son Max Liron Bratman has been circumcised, the bris ceremony was decorated with inflatable penises/phalli (as if the traumatic genital mutilation [however you choose to rationalize it, that's what it is] ritual ceremony wasn't messed up enough).

Note Jordan's Mickey Mouse skull/death t-shirt with Christina, one of the products of Walt Disney Company's cult (in terms of who runs it) of death and perversion. Christina has even been branded with a Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse ears tattoo, in a fitting location (for Disney) below her bikini line (cannot find any pictures, info from Vanishing Tattoo).

The other Hebrew tattoo, below on the small of her back (AKA her 'tramp stamp' as it is known) comes from the symbolic Song of Solomon (important to Kabbalists) 6:3, reading 'I am to my beloved as my beloved is to me.' followed by Jordan Bratman's initials JB (Victoria Beckham has a quote from the same part of the Song of Solomon tattooed down the back of her neck/backbone [this positioning is clearly symbolic, associated with the Tree of Life, see Fashion's Gnosis for details] Britney also had a Hebrew tattoo of a name for God).

The title of this post is a play on words for the 'Luciferian Christ' (Christina/Christian obviously meaning 'Follower of Christ' which is pretty ironic [it is how they think, their sense of humor I feel]), in the same set (taken by Judson Baker in 2005 for Blender magazine, whose split word motif I have noted before, see the magazine cover further down) Christina is photographed with motifs associated with Jesus Christ namely crucifixes. Note all the 'light' symbolism wearing white, with a silver crucifix (and a ruby crucifix necklace). Same again below with the sun/light coming from behind the clouds behind her head (like Jesus, the light/sun of God, he is often portrayed with the sun behind his head).

A bit of Baphomet posing (as above so below) below with the "Holy Spirit" dove (on the 'as above', fitting with the symbolic pose).

Continuing the set below, as the dualistic opposite of the above, dark themes as opposed to light. Speaking of duality, her next album was, at one point going to be called 'Light and Darkness' but seems to have changed to 'Bionic' (more associated with mind control as it suggests dehumanization, body parts replaced or augmented with tech, turning to a cyborg/robot MK theme), there has been speculation that this video is part of viral advertising for it but am reluctant to embed it until it is confirmed one way or the other. Note the skull necklace, blood red/scarlet outfit and the sun's light attempting to break through the dark storm clouds gathering behind her. The red ribbon coiled round her wrist reminds me and is probably symbolic of the Kabbalistic Tefillin.


Note the black crusader/templar-like cross (and the ironic statements about her being different from other "fake" artists like Britney whose system does not appear to be as structurally sound [so to speak] as Christina's system).



Citizen K photo shoot from last year, who to me looks quite a bit like Kabbalistic prima-Monarch witch Madonna in this set (note black/white symbolism above and the mannequins).


A symbolic photo below from one of her earlier shoots below which I thought was poignant enough to finish with. Update on my current posting situation, I've been feeling increasingly unsure of what to post on (there is no shortage of subjects to choose from though, which is part of the problem), I spent a long time on one then decided to start a Mariah Carey post, so that should be up in the next few days and return to the one I was working on.


          31 Adam Pally, Gil Ozeri, John Gemberling        
- Cyborgs - If your wheelchair doubles as a bed and toilet, does that make you a cyborg? What if you're just a head on a box? Guests Gil Ozeri, Adam Pally, and John Gemberling debate human vs. cyborg with improv4humans fan Neclord. This episode's also full of oak tag, dry lattes, and phantom penis. Be sure to pick up an improv4humans shirt from the Earwolf Store and follow @MattBesser on Twitter to send in your improv suggestions. Music by Dragoon .
          14 Sean Conroy,Jon Gabrus,Matt Walsh        
- Pubes on 3! - This week's improv4humans is fit for all cliques: Nerds, jocks, meatheads, spitballs, fluff-eaters, time-traveling cyborg uncles, and Tahitian hotel workers. Our guests are Sean Conroy, Matt Walsh, and Jon Gabrus who take your suggestions from Twitter and transport you from Irish pubs to haunted suburban households. Be sure to pick up an improv4humans shirt from the Earwolf Store and follow @MattBesser on Twitter to send in your improv suggestions. Music by Bobby Matthews and Dragoon.
          The Code of Life, she says. We're Cyborgs, she says.        
A short essay in the New York Times has been on my desk for months, yellowing at the edges, waiting to be noticed. It's there as a reminder that I've been meaning to say to my higher education friends "Hey, there's something important here, and we should talk about it." So here it is, The Code of Life, where Juliet Waters shares how simple coding has changed the way she looks at the world. Some of the issues she addresses resonate with how we live, teach, navigate the digital world.

"The biggest surprise has been the recovery of the feeling that my mind is once again my own. The “always-on” agenda of mobile technology, now visible to me in the very design of the devices, could not manipulate me as easily. Where my devices were interrupting my work or my life in these ways, I’ve had an easier time filtering and controlling them," she says.

I address this notion of owning your space all the time when explaining digital literacy. I teach meta-control of digital objects to my students. I yell responsibility from the rafters regarding core curriculum for the 21st century. I often address how the next generation is assumed to (ALL, universally) have a high technical understanding. They don't. They have gadgets, and use them in singular ways. They ARE a little more fearless with new gadgets than the previous generation. Young people are increasingly visual and love to take pictures, often selfies, but few of my students blog or tweet or reflect on who they are presenting as their digital self. 

Waters addresses the power that a deeper understanding allows, even the simple power of being able to look behind the curtain of html. She also delves a bit into the hysteria of those who aren't interested in new literacies - especially the kings of text who resent giving up their supremacy - and how little they understand of the world most of us now inhabit, plugged into our smartphones, ipads, ipods, tablets, kindles...often all at once. We are all cyborgs now, as Amber ase so eloquently tells us, but we do NOT need to be slaves of our machine culture or the people watching us from the analog world. We are free.

          Headsup: Girls Kicking Butt        
  Out now are two titles for fans that are all about girl power:   First we have Ghost in the Shell, the American action/sci-fi film directed by Rupert Sanders based on the Japanese manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow (for our recent feature on the animated Ghost in the Shell steelbook release, click here).  The film tells the story of Major (Scarlett Johansson), a futuristic cyborg supersoldier who was designed to fight against cyber-crime but discovers that events in her past may not be what her creators led her to believe.  As she delves into the mystery of her own identity, Major is forced to follow what is left of her human instincts to decide who she can and can't trust, and must reconcile who she thought she was with who she may truly be instead. The film is now out on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD. In addition to the film, the Blu-ray sets also boast almost an hour of extras, including "Hard-Wired Humanity: Making of Ghost in the Shell" (a 30-minute behind-the-scenes feature with interviews from the cast and crew, covering topics such as character preparation, stunts, costume-making and the adaptation of the manga source material into the current film), "Section 9: Cyber Defenders" (an 11-minute examination of Major's crime-fighting team and their individual specialized super-soldier abilities), and "Man & Machine: The Ghost Philosophy" (a ten-minute featurette that takes a look into the real-life science behind robotics and the future possibilities […]
          Let's talk about Copenhagen        
Let's talk about Copenhagen.


 For starters, they don't have handles on their cups.
Secondly, they know how to feed vegans. Or at least, they try pretty hard to.


Let's start with Naturbageriet. I've already given you a few hints about how brilliant this place was. We were so lucky to have co-incidentally booked our hotel round the corner from here (it wasn't on purpose, I swear) (incidentally, we went through Easyjet, and got our flights and three-nights of hotel for £180 each - we later found out our hotel charges £200 a night normally. Good work Easyjet!)

I cannot recommend the cinnamon swirls, the chocolate croissants or 'energykage' strongly enough. Absolute staples of our trip. I cannot remember the names of most of the other things we had, but it was almost all of the vegan selection from their shop. All of their stuff bar three items are 'vegan with honey' - a common misconception we found in Copenhagen, so make sure you double check.


 



    
 
 

On our first night, we trekked out to Ambrosias Have. It's quite a walk out of town, and an even further walk back into town when you realise the £13 all you can eat buffet is a plate of curry, a plate of hummous, rice and fried potatoes. I wasn't settling for that on my first night. It smelt amazing, but I wasn't forking out £13 for something my vegan-phobic brother could have produced.

We walked back into town, to Kate's Joint.



Rors had dahl. I had lemongrass and ginger curry. They were both brilliant, although they stuck yoghurt on my one and it took ages to explain it wasn't Kev. But they were very nice about it. 


The following day, we went to 42 Raw.
I'm not going to beat around the bush here; Rors is a massive skeptic of raw food, declaring it as the next 'food fad'. And as much as I love a good salad, I just don't have the skills (nor time, nor money!) However, Copenhagen loves its raw food, and I'm not going to pass up an opportunity to eat swanky posh nosh. 


They also had me at strawberry-topped chocolate cheesecake thing. How could you refuse? We sat and stared at this whilst we waited, with baited breath, for our food to come.


 Lord almighty, the lasagne was heaven on a plate. Easily the most most most delicious thing I've ever eaten in a restaurant. I could have eaten seven portions of it back to back. Totally guilty free, right, cause it's raw?



 Rors had the Thai noodles, which were pretty nice too. But ohhh... that lasagne! SO GOOD!

 That evening, not content with swanking it up for lunch, we went to the super swanky Firefly for our dinner (again, round the corner from our hotel. Thanks, Easyjet!)

THEIR MENUS WERE ON IPADS. The world will be run by robots next. Insane.


Using the cyborg-menu-from-the-future, we ordered some olives and some rosemary sea salt nuts (which had cranberries and dates in, yum yum) and waited for our food.


 I am all about places that decorate their plates with the contents of my front garden. Rors had the aubergine and cannelloni with deep fried sage leaves, and I had the raw burger.  Both really lovely (although totally over shadowed by the earlier lasagne experience. I'd be raving about these two if I hadn't had my mind blown in 42 Raw). I was really surprised by the 'burger bun' - it was really bready!





The following day we went to the Carlsberg factory. No food, but they used grains in their tea lights, which I thought was super cute.


 We also walked past this in a market. Absolutely, without a doubt, not Kev, but damn I wish it was. I also wish I knew what it was. It looks like praline, wrapped in nougat, wrapped in chocolate.


Our final night we went to Kalaset (across the road from our hotel - cheers, Easyjet!) We'd read good things about here on the internet, and weren't disappointed. The restaurant/cafe had a lovely cosy feel, and was clearly a favourite with locals. Rors had the falafel burger, I had the mushroom and walnut pasta, both just what we were after.





 A few final dribs and drabs...


Look at this book we found. I want to present all my food like this.


Stuck for food in the back end of town? There are fresh salad bars everywhere that will keep you going for hours. 


Lego chocolate! You choose the filling and the topping! This was featured in the flight magazine and has me dreaming of all the possibilities. Elsa Lambinet, you're a genius.

          By: Entity        
Rousey has been lucky enough lately that "well rounded" hasn't been an issue. Every time, she's got the take down and an armbar. When someone stops her take downs, she'll be fuked! Armbar is ALL she HAS! Her striking is non existent so far. She's simply bull powered her opponents. Love to see Cyborg pound our Rousey. Tate needs to keep moving, push Rhonda away and tee off on her face.
          By: GianGiacommo G        
Correia is Cyborg's long lost cousin,how did we miss that?! Kedzie got robbed in that one!
          By: André Amorim        
CYBORG!!
          #Mextasy Coming to Salisbury University October 26, 2017 | More Info to Follow...         


Look out Salisbury University​, something "Mexican" your way cometh on October 26, 2017! #mextasy #textmex #circusofdesmadres

The details:

As part of SU’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, William "Memo" Nericcio, Professor of English & Comparative Literature at San Diego State University and director of their pathbreaking MALAS Program (the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences), will deliver a lecture entitled “Cyborg Chicanos, Virtual Latinas, Smartphone Addiction, and Digital Culturas: Viral, Electric Mutations of Latinx Stereotypes in the Age of the Internet. ”

His talk is inspired by his American Library Association award-winning book Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the “Mexican” in America (2007) that explores representations of Latina/o identity in the popular media--in film, television, advertising, comic books, toys, literature, video games, graffiti, etc.

Before the talk, the public is invited to view his pop-up art exhibit Mextasy: Seductive Hallucinations of Latina/o Mannequins Prowling the American Unconscious, which further explores some of same themes as his talk, on display in the Wicomico Room from 4:00 PM until the end of the lecture. The talk and exhibit are sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs, the SU Department of English, SU Galleries, and the Fulton Public Humanities Program. Among his other roles at SDSU, Nericcio works as lead faculty the NEH-supported Digital Humanities Initiative and also directs SDSU Press. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Connecticut from 1988 to 1991. He holds an MA and PhD in Comparative Literature from Cornell University where he worked as Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes's Graduate Research Assistant, hung out at parties with Edward Said, Jurgen Habermas, Gayatri Spivak, and Jacques Derrida (and worked with them in seminar as well). A Mexican-Sicilian-American and an innovative troublemaker, Nericcio was born in Laredo, Texas, along the Rio Grande River in South Texas.

    Event: Lecture and Exhibit
    Date: Thursday, October 26
    Time - Lecture: 7:00-9:00 PM
    Time – Exhibit: 4:00-9:00 PM

    *Location: Academic Commons, Assembly Hall*
          The Retro-Coolness of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon        

fc3bdbanner2

In downtown Tulsa, there's a bar called The Max where the 1980s came back with just enough time to vomit nostalgia in a warehouse-like building. Arcade cabinets line up along the walls, and static-filled boxy televisions play VHS copies of Top Gun, Revenge of the Nerds II, and episodes of Double Dare. Everything appears lit in a vulgar, bluish haze as people who never even breathed during that decade file in to "remember the '80s" in some simulated pantomime. Sometimes I'm fascinated with it, and at others I'm utterly repulsed. I cannot, however, deny that the place has an obnoxious charm about it, though, and I find myself inextricably drawn into its gaudiness whenever I find myself there with friends. It stands to reason, then, that when I booted up Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, I was met with something akin to a booze-soaked evening at The Max: a bit of anachronism, a smattering of vulgarity, and a damn good time.

I don't exactly now how Blood Dragon came about, so I'm going to make one up. After the long development of Far Cry 3 was over and the game met with considerable praise and sexy sales numbers, one team member was unable to sleep. Still reeling from the caffeine-fueled past few months, the insomniac decided to watch Robocop, and, in that lucid stage between a punch drunk exhaustion and actual sleep, he/she decided to re-skin the world as a neon-saturate cyber hell. He/she showed the work to the boss as a goof, the higher-ups loved it, and the result is the fantastically weird thing sitting in games folder right now.

The game stars Michael Biehn of Terminator an Aliens fame as Rex Powercolt, the cyborg with a code of honor, on the hunt for rogue cyber-soldier Colonal Sloan in the neon-lit irradiated future (brought on by America's nuclear war with Russia) of 2007. The setup, with its 16-bit graphic cutscenes and over-the-top voice acting-falls somewhere between low-hanging fruit humor and hilarious pastiche. There's a lovable obviousness in the game's opening segment when you fly over the irradiated island while mounting a helicopter turret and commence to destroying an enemy base all to the tune of Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally." It tells the player everything he/she needs to know about the game in the first five minutes of gameplay, and, except for a mildly disappointing ending sequence that needed a blowout boss fight, it never lets up.

fc3gunplay

The game's structure is more or less a copy and paste of Far Cry 3's with very subtle (and smart) tweaks. You begin with a set of skills already unlocked, and leveling up automatically unlocks newer perks instead of allowing you to choose between branching paths. Capturing enemy bases and finishing side missions makes gun upgrades available for purchase. These small changes fit perfectly for the smaller plays pace (now just one island) and makes for a very compact and defined experience. The quippy one-liners and Rex's healing animations also go a long way in setting the game apart from its larger parent title.

Blood Dragon controls exactly like Far Cry 3, so expect the same polished combat and stealth mechanics (although the cyber-soldier can run without getting tired and fall from any height...because it's the future). The only real big change is the addition of the titular Blood Dragons themselves. These massive dayglo monsters wander the jungle and provide a fun challenge should you stumble across them and get noticed. Much like the tigers and bears of Far Cry 3, you can lure these lumbering dinosaurs into enemy camps, but unlike the fauna of Far Cry 3, you can be a bit more direct with the dragons by baiting them with cyber hearts which you acquire by looting (read "ripping them out of") the bodies of fallen enemies. It's pretty satisfying to knock out the shields of an enemy base and watch a dragon fry soldiers with its laser vision or just bite them in half.

There are some issues with aping Far Cry 3's design that are not problems, per se, but fill a bit off. For instance, Rex travels from one side of the island to the other through the same methods used in the previous game when it would make more sense to give him some kind of hover-board or flying car or something that's not a re-skinned jeep--thank God for fast travel. The jungle setting, too, feels a bit off in the way that it's hazy, burnt out yet colorful aesthetic just seem to clash in a way that can, at times, be a bit hard on the eyes. Still, these are minor, personal gripes that quickly evaporate once I impale a guy with a cyber katana and throw a shuriken in the jugular of his unsuspecting patrol buddy. That never gets old.

dragon

The game unabashedly wears its humor on its titanium sleeve as everything from the visuals to the music revels in its own ironic anachronism, almost cloyingly so. Sometimes I wonder if this cynical type of irony is symptomatic of a zeitgeist that can't react to any other form of humor, but at least Blood Dragon is funny. And I mean genuinely funny. When Rex proclaims his love for Lady Liberty and refuses performance enhancing chemicals, I laughed because I remember when those warnings flashed across arcade cabinet screens--"Real Winners Don't Do Drugs"--while local owners sold a number of substances behind the employee exit. It makes fun of its own retro-coolness and modern games at the same time by essentially being a retro-cool modern game. Maybe it's going for the easy punches, but it's hard to deny that it works.

And that's the ultimate lesson here: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon just works. A team of people just off the success of its last title decided to make something that they just got a kick out of, and lo and behold, it's a riot. At a time when games are becoming more complex and serious, this game comes along like an audible fart during an art lecture. It relishes its own vulgarity at just the right time, and, while I won't pretend to deny my love for artistic provocative games, I'm never above indulging in something loud and ridiculous. Blood Dragon is a concentrated shot of old and new--referential without being tired, over-the-top without being overbearing, dumb without being sloppy--and I couldn't find a better way to unwind.

What did you think of the game? Let me know!

Cheers,

--David

David is working on his PhD and currently writes for awesomeoutof10.com, where this article was originally published. Follow his hilarious acts of academic vigilantism on twitter and please feel free to ask questions and offer criticism!


          Tearing through the Machine Age in BioShock Infinite        

fink inc

In the dingy bowels of a utopian, futuristic city, numerous downtrodden workers toil tirelessly to the rhythmic ticking of the taskmaster’s clock. Their shifts are brutal, ten hours per day, and as they maintain the giant machines that keep the city functional for the privileged upper-class, resentment begins to boil. They work meager wages and survive in a shanty town separate from the city above, and they wait until a charismatic young woman leads them in a violent revolution…

Such is the plot of Metropolis, a 1927 silent science fiction film directed by Fritz Lang and one of the most obvious influences of BioShock Infinite. It stands as one of the earliest examples of large-scale filmmaking and dazzling special effects to create a spectacular future in which the technological advancements of the modern world reached their zenith only to reveal the dark truths hidden behind the optimism of the Machine Age. BioShock Infinite finds footing in the same dialogue, one that has its roots during a period of technological explosion that fundamentally changed the way we think about art, culture, history, architecture, mathematics, and science.

BioShock Infinite's 1912 setting puts it right in the middle of the Machine Age, and, though the game's focus is particularly American, the world of its time period was getting smaller. By 1912, Frederick Taylor's philosophy of scientific management synchronized workflow in factories, but with the nasty effect of dehumanizing workers as cogs in the manufacturing machine, leading to widespread labor strikes--a lesson Columbia's factory mogul Jeremiah Fink will soon learn. Meanwhile, Albert Einstein had begun work on what would become his theory of relativity, which would be published three years after the Lutece twins "meet" for the first time. Marinetti's "Futurist Manifesto," an aesthetic philosophy that glorified the speed of the machine, reinvigorated Italian nationalism while at the same time the people of Columbia are just discovering the sensation of zipping across the rails. And as resentment and anger bubbles beneath the surface of Columbia's calm veneer, political machinations on the surface below move the world  toward the precipice of war.

Though the game captures its turn of the century time beautifully, it's not content to simply make statements about the social injustices and latent dangers of its time period. In conjunction with its historical setting, Infinite asks to be considered as a reflection of its own time, and to some degree, its own presence as technology that has deep roots in the history of the machine. It asks the player to re-think his/her perceptions of both time and space as they exist in digital worlds, and by extension, our own.

columbia parade

Columbia is quite literally a place out of time and space. It hovers above the clouds borne aloft by impossible technologies and theoretical fringe sciences. The concept would not seem out of place in the writings of H. G. Wells, L. Frank Baum, Olaf Stapledon, or even earlier with Jules Verne. It is so historically grounded with its construction for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair (or World's Columbian Exposition, as it was also called), its references to the massacre at Wounded Knee, and its grisly participation in the Boxer Rebellion. Infinite's alternate history does what any good work in its genre does: creates a world that's simultaneously believable and impossible.

Such was the promise of the Machine Age, a time when people believed thought the advances of technology would eventually lead to utopia, and utopia is exactly what Columbia sets out to achieve. When Booker first gets there, he's greeted with a bizarre but apparently functional world in which everyone seems in agreement. The fair at the beginning coaxes the player into an uneasy appreciation of the fantastic machines and vigors that (much like any advertisements in early twentieth century magazines) possessed the ability to enhance human existence in new and crucial ways. "What is Columbia," asks Comstock, "but a new Ark" to lead us to Eden?

Of course, we find out fairly quickly that the passage to Eden must be tread on the backs of the impoverished. When the player is asked to hurl a baseball at an interracial couple for the audience's entertainment, the scene erupts in a spectacular display of violence as Booker forces an officer's skull into another's rotating skyhook. The mechanical appendage grinds and tears into his terrified visage, and the bloodied machine becomes Booker's first weapon, setting in motion the systematic destruction of Columbia and its facade of perfection.

Though this is the moment that shatters Columbia's crystalline self-image, I found the most powerful depction of the underlying societal problems surface when Booker arrives at the Finkton docks. The disembodied voice of Jermiah Fink echoes over a loudspeaker as he tells his laborers (who manufacture the vending machines and weapons that you've been using quite extensively) to find meaning in their work instead of their pay. Impoverished employees scrub the docks in syncopated rhythm to an ominous ticking clock, and journeying further down into the poor section, beneath the upper cities, you come across an auction in which workers bid not their money, but their time in order to perform whatever task is asked of them. We see the workers reduced to cogs in the great machine of industry, some of whom became permanently fused to the very technology they had to manufacture.

Fink_handyman

Fink's industrial house of horrors forces us to confront the dark side of Taylorism, the management system that prized efficiency over workers' well-being, and Booker, as an ex-Pinkerton agent, finds himself on the opposite side of an all-too familiar situation. Booker fights alongside the workers, unlike the strike-breaking Pinkertons employed by big businesses. Of course, he is motivated by self-preservation rather than social change, and the rebellion he joins elicits bloodshed on a massive scale. The whole situation combines the elements of sci-fi pulp narrative (a dashing and gruff hero, a damsel in distress, spectacular violence, impossible technologies) and modernist social commentary that would fit into any novel, film, or magazine about the plight of the working class.

BioShock Infinite, however, isn't a modernist novel, nor is it a film that tests the newness of cinematic narrative and special effects. It's sure not a tried and true pulp story because the hero is deeply flawed, the damsel is the most powerful character in the story, and the violence is too grotesque to be cartoonish. Hell, even the word "text" which I use quite liberally in this (and many other articles) is a bit problematic, and looking at the game from my admittedly limited perspective is uncomfortably anachronistic. Then again, I did hear Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" come from an organ grinder at a dockside carnival. A barbershop quartet sang the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows." A ragtime version of a Tears for Fears song escaped from the kluge of a phonograph, and a young woman bellows out a bluesy spiritual of CCR's "Fortunate Son." In Columbia, it seems, the contemporary world quite literally tears into the alternate past. Maybe that's the reason the utopian promise of the city in the sky rip apart at its very visible seams.

It's no coincidence, after all, that we interact with a world set in the Machine Age through a box, a screen, and a handheld device to direct our travels. It's not happenstance that we are unnerved when we see tears in reality, and we (or more accurately our companion Elizabeth) can manipulate those tears to change the way we can move within that world that was so enamored with and terrified of the roaring engines of technological invention. It's not a hollow simple plot device that players are tasked with destroying an entire city that has become the very apotheosis of Machine Age idealism, filled with exciting spectacle, cyborg Handymen, electric horses, and social unrest.

poor finkton

BioShock Infinite offers a digital world that feels initially out of time in order to eventually reveal that Columbia and its Machine Age optimism and fear are not bound to one period in history. We're still defining ourselves and our cultures in conjunction with new technologies just as the excitable crowds of 1912 did, and we will be for a long time. Maybe we always have been. BioShock Infinite embraces and critiques the ideologies of the Machine Age because it never truly ended but evolved into the Digital Age we live in now--a time when technology has drastically improved life in some ways while proving to be a dangerous force in others. BioShock Infinite looks at its own anachronistic elements and calls attention to them because, really, they're not anachronistic at all.

Perhaps all video games perform similar Lutecean thought experiments that reveal our collective fascination with technology. Every time we boot up a game we test our relationship with technology; we weirdly submit to entering a digital space removed from our own place and time. We play in worlds that operate by their own sets of rules, each one mediated by consoles, computers, portable phones. When we start up a game, we enter one of any infinite numbers of lighthouses that brings us into new worlds, alternate realities crashing into our own and existing simultaneously yet apart--a phenomenon only possible through the use of devices that have tangential connections to the technologies of an age that really isn't so far back in history as we might want to believe.

In the near future, I'll wake up and step behind the wheel of a machine that I use to get to the university where I work. There, I'll pass the constantly clanking Physical Plant on my way to place where I convert turn of the century magazines into a digital format to make them more accessible and efficient. At the end of the day, I'll drive home, past the giant machines that are tearing up the road in order to make a newer, better one, and I'll read a book, play a game, maybe write a page or two. I'll then go to bed with the window open, listening to sounds of cars on the highway and being sung to sleep by the rhythmic hums of a mechanical world.

So what are your thoughts on BioShock Infinite? It's certainly got people talking, and I'd love to hear what you all have to say about it.

Cheers,

--David

David is working on his PhD and currently writes for awesomeoutof10.com, where this article was originally published. Follow his hilarious acts of academic vigilantism on twitter and please feel free to ask questions and offer criticism!


           Ghost in the Shell: Cidade Assombrada (Kôkaku Kidôtai) 1995        
Passado no ano de 2029, onde a existência humana está interligada com a tecnologia e o mundo se tornou numa grande rede, o hacking é o crime do momento. Section 9 é a agência designada para reprimir os hackers, que está ocupada a lutar contra o super-hacker do mundo, The Puppet Master. Para combater a tecnologia, usam a tecnologia, com uma força policial composta por cyborgs e humanos aumentados por partes cibernéticas para ajudá-los nas suas habilidades de investigação e combate contra criminosos que estão a usar a mesma tecnologia para com os seus dispositivos.
O nosso protagonista na Section 9 é um cyborg chamado The Major, Motoko Kusanagi, que descobre que o famoso Puppet Master é assim chamado por causa da sua habilidade em controlar as pessoas com a tecnologia implantada dentro delas, bem como a capacidade de implantar e mudar as suas memórias. A única coisa que separa a humanidade destas réplicas são os "ghosts", ou seja, a consciência ou alma que reside na humanidade.
"Ghost in the Shell" respira a nostalgia de experiências complexas de ficção cientifica, como "The Matrix". Se estiver a ser visionado pela primeira vez, é natural que o espectador não esteja em sintonia com tudo o que o filme tem para oferecer. Tal como nos outros filmes do cyberpunk, a acção é passada num futuro próximo, onde a Terra é dominada pela tecnologia, os computadores comandam tudo o que nos pode levar a algum lugar, e os cyborgs andam misturados com os humanos. Este é o ambiente para um filme de Cyberpunk perfeito, e "Ghost in the Shell" é, sem dúvida, um dos melhores. A complexidade deste filme de anime é enorme. Nada é o que parece. Quando pensamos que temos descoberto o Puppet Master, logo percebemos o quanto estamos enganados.Quanto mais mergulhamos na história, mais assustadoras as coisas se tornam. 
Realizado por Mamoru Oshii, tal como "Akira", teve grande influência sobre os filme de anime posteriores, e também sobre muitos filmes de origem cyberpunk, como "The Matrix" (1999).

Link
Imdb
          More Robot Magic Silliness        
Couldn't help myself. I encountered a tweet about a "robot lawyer" and took the bait. I'm a moron.



An unwise decision. Silliness promptly followed. To preview, Robot Lawyer LISA is just another document assembly tool with a single mediocre form (an NDA). For what it is—consumer-facing doc assembly—the concept and content are fine relative to what else is available. The claims to be something more—an  AI robot lawyer—are absurd. The hyperbole, however, is effective (here I am writing about it like a sucker) and unsurprising given that we (hopefully) just passed the peak of another hype cycle.

As document assembly tools go, the Robot Lawyer LISA's UI and UX are reasonably slick if slightly buggy.* It's built on Neota Logic, a platform I like. With respect to the content, I outsource the analysis to the incomparable Mr. Contract, Ken Adams (see my previous post on Ken and online legal forms):
I had a look at the fruits of your dalliance with LISA the AI Lawyer. The best I can say is that someone who fraternizes with LISA might well end up with something more suitable than if they had grabbed an NDA at random from the great online junkyard.
The questionnaire offered is basic. The annotations offered are rudimentary. The guidance mostly comes in the form of an AI-free PDF. But that’s probably OK—LISA is aiming for the unsophisticated end of the market.
The language in the output document is Clunky Traditional, English Division. I could write a book about its shortcomings. In fact, I already have. That said, it would be delusional of me to fault the language because it doesn’t comply with my guidelines, given that my guidelines are still, uh, pioneering, particularly in England.
In the two minutes—really—I devoted to substance, I spotted two issues. A recital refers to information that might be “confidential or proprietary in nature.” The word proprietary doesn’t make sense in this context, as I discussed in this 2010 blog post. It’s an unnecessary mistake for LISA to make, given that the word doesn’t occur in the body of the contract. But it doesn’t bode particularly well.
And I noticed this sentence in the PDF: “The main reason and benefit of using a deed rather than a simple agreement is that confidential documents or information provided BEFORE the NDA is signed will be covered by the deed.” That strikes me as debatable: if as part of getting more confidential information I agree to keep confidential any information disclosed previously, my promise is supported by consideration without my having to resort to the magic-words contrivance of describing the contract as a deed.
Further rooting around would likely raise further issues. That said, the substance is likely treated no worse than it is in the mass of stuff out there.
I realize I’m setting the bar low, but we’re dealing with business contracts, where dysfunction is the norm, so you can set the bar low and conceivably still be useful. But don’t expect me to applaud. Given the brave-new-tech-world trappings, I would have expected something a bit more ambitious, in terms of technology and content, from LISA the AI Lawyer.
I didn't share Ken's expectations. Vain hope, sure. But no room for genuine disappointment. Grandiose claims about "robot lawyers" put my BS detector on high alert. "Artificially intelligent", "robot", and "lawyer" are vague terms that continue to be stripped of meaning by overuse. Robot Lawyer LISA takes this vacuousness to new heights.

AI is a broad field. I'm comfortable with expert system platforms like Neota Logic being considered a form of AI. I don't have the chops to argue otherwise. Still, I doubt it conforms to what most people today think of when they hear the term "artificial intelligence." We constantly move that goal post: "It’s only AI when you don’t know how it works; once it works, it’s just software."

At a recent conference, I presented with co-Geek Ryan McClead, a VP at Neota, who recounted many debates about whether his product qualifies as AI. His killer rejoinder (paraphrasing) is that it doesn't matter if the technology conforms to someone's subjective definition of AI, what matters is whether it solves a real problem better than what is currently available. Hear, hear!

The reason I had to try Robot Lawyer LISA for myself is because I could not elicit a coherent answer on what made it superior to the available alternatives. Like Ken, I found it, at best, comparable to what has been around for years. If Robot Lawyer LISA is AI, so are all the other consumer-facing dynamic document assembly platforms. Which is to say the AI label is not a useful distinguishing factor.

I made a good decision in staying out of the argument about what constitutes AI. Instead, I stupidly plunged into the "robot lawyer" abyss:



As the person behind the account surely knows, the definitions of "robot" are broad. Most people probably think of these:

 


But there are software robots. So I guess, technically, we can take the broadest definition and call any form of software automation a "robot", just as we can call it all "AI." This, however, makes AI robot both redundant and virtually meaningless as a descriptor.

There seems to be no statutory definition of "lawyer" in the UK (happy to be corrected on that). Yet Robot Lawyer LISA does not satisfy any of the plausible candidates I located:

From The Law Society:
Lawyer - a member of one of the following professions, entitled to practise as such:
the profession of solicitor, barrister or advocate of the UK
  • a profession whose members are authorised to carry on legal activities by an approved regulator other than the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)
  • an Establishment Directive profession other than a UK profession
  • a legal profession which has been approved by the SRA for the purpose of recognised bodies in England and Wales, and
  • any other regulated legal profession specified by the SRA for the purpose of this definition.
From Slater and Gordon:
The term Lawyer is a generic term used to describe anyone who is a Licensed Legal Practitioner qualified to give legal advice in one or more areas of law.
From Oxford Dictionaries:
A person who practises or studies law, especially (in the UK) a solicitor or a barrister or (in the US) an attorney.
Best I can tell, Robot Lawyer LISA is not a member of any profession, not entitled to practise, not licensed, not qualified to give legal advice, and not a person, let alone a person who practises law. Indeed, the site delivers the disclaimers you would expect from an ordinary online document assembly service:
this App is made available to you strictly on an ‘as-is’ basis and we give you no warranty, guarantee or assurance of any kind about this App.
In particular, the information provided may be incorrect or out of date, and may not constitute a definitive or complete statement of the law or practice in any area and the output of the App may not be suited to your particular purpose.

The information provided is not intended as, and does not constitute, legal advice in respect of any specific situation or for any particular purpose. You should take your own legal advice in respect of specific situations and conduct your own research into the suitability of lawyers before appointing them.
So Robot Lawyer LISA does not give legal advice. Instead, it counsels lay consumers to take their own legal advice (huh?) and do their own research before appointing a lawyer (and here I thought I already had a robot lawyer in LISA). Weak sauce.

I am sure someone from the Robot Lawyer LISA team can point me to a nebulous definition of "lawyer" that encompasses their app. But that will only prove that words have no meaning, and we are all living in the fever dream of a stoned college sophomore who is encountering Wittgenstein for the first time.

Whether there is some tortured, technical sense in which LISA can be called an AI Robot Lawyer is irrelevant (to me). What matters (to me) is that labeling LISA an AI Robot Lawyer does not convey any useful information to the consuming public.

This prompts two questions that share an answer:
1. Why do damage to the English language in order to call LISA an AI Robot Lawyer?
2. Why do I care?
Because it works. At least in the short term. These days, it would be hard to garner press coverage for launching yet another doc assembly app for basic contracts. You won't be invited to keynote any conferences for providing lay consumers a single mediocre form to fill out online. But put "AI" or "robot" in the press release, and the near-term coverage will be considerable. So you should probably use both. And it isn't just chumps like me who read everything. It is the headline skimmers in positions of power.

I run into too many legal operations folks in corporations and firms suffering from hype fatigue. They never bought into the hype themselves. But their superiors see so many article about AI and robot lawyers that orders come down from on high to investigate this promising new frontier. The superiors are expecting robot magic. The operations folks come back with a smattering of point solutions, most of which are useful, but none of which live up to the hype. This exercise in chasing shiny objects wastes everyone's time, including the providers, who actually have worthwhile, if narrow, products to offer.

Likewise, I've endured too many god awful keynotes where people run through some back issues of Wired and then conclude with "and it's coming to law", as in:
Watson won Jeopardy! And now he's not only curing cancer but also making gourmet meals. yada yada yada. Moore's law. yada yada yada. Alexa. Siri. yada yada yada. Augmented reality. People are controlling drones with their brains. yada yada yada. Blockchain. IoT. 3D printing. Quantified Self. Chatbots. Self-driving cars. Machine learning. Quantum computing. Cold fusion. Red mercury. yada yada yada. And it's coming to law.
I am so tired of sitting through these insufferable, interminable fluff parades. It's novelty porn. It's distraction. Yet it has a real cost. Attention is finite. The operations folks dispatched to uncover the dark mysteries of robot magic are not devoting their limited research time to solving actual problems. The vendors who have to entertain these fishing expeditions get derailed from speaking to legitimate prospects or from coming to terms with immediate market needs.

Despite my deep annoyance at Robot Lawyer LISA and my even deeper disappointment in myself for taking the bait, this is where I have to give the usual caveat that it is not all fluff. Document assembly and automation are still, decades later, underutilized in the legal space. Consumer-facing forms fill a genuine void. Neota Logic is a great platform that underpins all sorts of interesting offerings (e.g., the Akerman Data Center). There are other solid companies out there using various forms of AI to introduce needed tools to the legal market. And some of the best keynotes I've ever had the pleasure of attending have AI as a core theme (e.g., I witnessed Dan Katz's phenomenal ILTA keynote live and then watched it again online).

There is real innovation happening in legal that is well worth paying attention to. But this ain't it. This just adds to the deafening cacophony of hype-driven noise. Yet I can't blame the folks running Robot Lawyer LISA. Start-ups are hard. The legal market is an especially tough nut to crack. They found a way to get noticed. That their marketing annoys a curmudgeon like me is, for them, probably just an added bonus. Ultimately, I have to score this round for Robot Lawyer LISA because I just wrote a long post about a vanilla doc assembly offering with only one form.

_______________________________________
D. Casey Flaherty is a legal operations consultant and the founder of Procertas. He is Of Counsel and Director of Client Value at Haight Brown & Bonesteel. He serves on the advisory board of Nextlaw Labs. He is the primary author of Unless You Ask: A Guide for Law Departments to Get More from External Relationships, written and published in partnership with the ACC Legal Operations Section. Find more of his writing here. Connect with Casey on Twitter and LinkedIn. Or email casey@procertas.com.


*Robot Lawyer LISA's UI and UX are solid. But, despite selecting the United States as my jurisdiction, I could not move forward without a "Company Number." I'm assuming this refers to a CRN. The U.S. has no meaningful analogue (I'm not going to put my EIN in an NDA). My text response—"don't have one"—made it into the assembled document.

In addition, I was required to provide a backup email for me and my counterparty. It is rare that I have a second email address for someone I am just starting to do business with.

I also did not see any esignature functionality, which, to me, is a key feature in the contract space.

Finally, I should probably mention that Robot Lawyer LISA's other differentiator is supposed to be impartiality. Instead of guiding only the author through the document assembly process, the counterparty can opt to walk through the same guided process. I'm unmoved. I don't know if its novel in this space. I've definitely encountered bilateral contract collaboration platforms on the corporate side. But maybe it really is some sort of gamechanger that I am too jaded to appreciate. If it ever gets to the place where it can help creatively resolve disagreements about contractual content (e.g., combining Ken's insights on contract language with, say, the choiceboxing techniques of Marc Lauritsen, who happens to also be the godfather of legal document assembly), then I will revise my opinion and apologize for my rank cynicism.



          Read a book        
Summer recommendations from a few voracious readers.

Robin Wright says the Trump administration is stealing all the good ideas for "House of Cards." "Orange Is the New Black" has little chance of being any more bizarro than its "Sesame Street" parody, "Orange Is the New Snack." And "American Gods" is closing in on its season finale. So now what? Read a book, we say. It'll center you from the onslaught of words like "unprecedented" in the news cycle, stimulate your imagination and your sense of empathy, give you reason to hang out in the air conditioning. Plus, you'll earn mad karmic points with Fred Rogers and Maya Angelou, who we presume are always watching from on high. But then, maybe you don't need any of these reasons to pick up a book or 10 this summer. A good book is its own reward, according to English poet and journalist rabble-rouser John Alfred Langford, who said, "The love of books is a love which requires neither justification, apology nor defense." Here's to that, and to these picks from a few highly trusted bookworms.

For an avid reader, there's nothing more exciting than when an author you have long admired knocks one out of the park. Science-fiction writer Jeff VanderMeer published his first book in 1989, but he reached his widest audience yet in 2014 with the Southern Reach Trilogy, the first volume of which, "Annihilation," is being adapted for the screen by Alex Garland. VanderMeer is a champion of what he calls "the New Weird," and his work has often been a model for how far science fiction and fantasy can depart from the norms of narrative presentation without shedding its audience. His latest novel, though — "Borne" — is more traditionally composed, and also his best yet. A sequel of sorts to his short story "The Situation," "Borne" is probably best described as a novel about parenting and the apocalypse and the parenting of an apocalypse. It's the highlight of VanderMeer's already impressive body of work, and one of the strangest and most moving books of the year.

— Kevin Brockmeier, author of "A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade" and "The Brief History of the Dead"

This fantastical retelling of Joan of Arc is not your mother's post-apocalyptic lit. Set in the near future, Lidia Yuknavitch's "The Book of Joan" is a slender page-turner that practically begs to be read in one sitting. It boasts a deceptively simple structure, two narratives told by women navigating a world in which humans have evolved into sexless, nearly cyborg creatures. One of the women, Christine, is a captive of CIEL, a sci-fi habitat floating above a radioactive Earth ravaged by war that cult leader Jean de Men has turned into a quasi-corporate police state. He's infatuated with destroying rebel leader Joan, who has an inner mysterious force, manifested as a blue glow. Joan inherits the metaphysical power after a long swim along a beach during a family vacation. Although her father attempts to dismiss the inexplicable glow as bioluminescence, the light never dims. Her parents eventually seek answers from experts. The word "crazy" is uttered. Christine and Joan's worlds do not collide until the final moments of this novel, but their accounts are presented as parallels, interwoven as each of them battles evil and explores the loves of their lives. A hundred pages in, Christine asks, "What if, for once in history, a woman's story could be untethered from what we need it to be in order to feel better about ourselves?" Each sentence burns with urgency. Concepts that could easily become heady and abstract unfold in direct, straightforward prose, at once precise and poetic. Christine answers herself right away. "I will write it. I will tell the truth. Be the opposite of a disciple. Words and my body the site of resistance." In "The Book of Joan," Yuknavitch eviscerates the binary to explore power, sex, love, art and — ultimately — what it means to be human.

— Katy Henriksen, KUAF-FM 91.3's arts director and host of "Of Note"

Teenage love often runs the risk of melodrama, but Nicholas Mainieri's "The Infinite" places the love between Luz and Jonah into a perspective that extends far beyond the scope of its young characters. Mainieri juxtaposes the authentic beauty of a post-Katrina New Orleans and its complicated dynamic of different populations with a vast and dusty swath of Mexico ruled by drug lords — each a landscape of self-destruction that yearns for forgiveness and hope. Like most teenagers, Luz and Jonah are eager to come to terms with the events of their lives they had no control over while also attempting to navigate the dodgy waters of young adulthood. "The Infinite" captures that time for its characters in a way that is somehow both believable and astounding in its suspense, but above all, in a way that is sincere.

— Guy Choate, director of the Argenta Reading Series

One does not typically expect to see Arkansas mentioned in an academic book on the Third Reich, but sure enough, you'll find the state on page 114 of "Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law" by James Q. Whitman. Whitman's book illustrates how the Nazis based a great deal of their racial legislation upon American examples, specifically immigration and anti-miscegenation laws. One of the foremost Nazi legal theorists, whose work was referenced extensively in the development of the notorious Nuremberg Laws, was Heinrich Krieger, who spent two semesters at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville in 1933-34, where he researched American racial codes. That's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to connections between the Third Reich and a racist United States that served as its model, all explored in Whitman's brief but revealing book. Readers interested in history and justice should certainly engage with this volume, which illustrates how America's history of injustice inspired some of the worst atrocities imaginable.

— Guy Lancaster, editor of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas



          Ø¥Ø·Ù„اق النار سيبيرتراش Xl        
بعد عقود مراقبة، أرسلنا الأجانب السيبورج بهم تدمير الأرض، وجمع كل الموارد المتبقية. الاستيلاء على الأسلحة الخاصة بك، ووقف cyborgs وإنقاذ كوكب الأرض من الدمار
          Understanding the Cyborg Cyclist        

P1030126
Ryan Atkins atop his Steelwool in a pretty serious stage race.
Jan Heine talks about 'planing' without saying the word in his latest blog post. The human body is a dynamic 'motor' upon a bicycle. The way the machine receives power feeds back into the source of the power, UNLIKE the manner in which an engine delivers power to a drive train  Engines don't tire; they run out of fuel. In my view, this is the fundamental misconception that large bicycle companies perpetuate in their marketing copy espousing the structural design of their products. They lead consumers to believe that the most efficient bicycle system is the one that deflects the least under pedaling load. They use test apparata to quantify their claims. Riders are thus conditioned brainwashed into believing that the stiffest platform is the fastest platform.The paradoxical thing is that in the end, the prophesy might be self-fulfilling.

Humans tire; the question is: how fast? Heine discusses his findings: stiffer and lighter bikes are not faster by virtue of these factors. Rather, they seem to fatigue the rider sooner (due to lack of yielding to the power input), reducing the overall power available for propulsion. Heine thus tacitly references planing. The titanium bike in his experiment does not harmonize with his body's pedaling rhythm, but instead loads his legs with lactic acid prematurely. He is not able to produce as much power on the lighter, stiffer bike. This is thus a slower bike than its heavier steel counterpart.

One might blame perceptual bias, but I suspect Heine's protocols are sound. Heine and his co-tester, Mark, ride steel bikes a lot. They are attuned to the rhythm and resonance of 'flexy fliers.' They know how to work with them. The both believe they are fast bikes, and prove it by riding them fast. On stiffer bikes they are less efficient. At the same time, riders who have grown up riding stiff bikes believe they are faster. These riders are attuned to the resonance of stiff bikes, and feel slower on bikes that yield more to their input. Feeling slower can mean you are slower; the rider's perception of speed versus effort can either enhance or diminish one's power output. That is, if you feel like a hero, you can eke out more power. In contrast, if you feel like a 'zero,' access to your power will be diminished; you will undermine your ability. Cue the excuses.

In the final analysis, I would contend that the fastest bike for a given rider is that which harmonizes with the rider's belief and ability. PRO racers probably really are faster on ultra stiff bikes than they would be on lively steel rigs (it would be fascinating to involve PRO racers in the same experiment Heine undertook).

Rando masters like Jan Heine probably really are faster on flexy, heavier bikes. When you get down to the bottom of the matter, there is no one set of design parameters that is ideal for ALL riders. A great bike is one that the rider feels comfortable and fast on, regardless of how that is accomplished. If you want to change it up, you are going to have to be willing to take the time to get intimate with a new platform in order to get the most from it.

This said, 23mm tires really are slower than 25s on the road. ;)







          Saturday Morning Comics #67: Black Russians?        
QUESTION: What is your favorite comic book Justice League member that is not a founding member? Coiny – Booster Gold and Blue Beetle; Green Arrow Strike Master – Cyborg Toymaster – Guy Gardener Tugboat – Guy Gardener Silver Fox – Black Canary, Hippolyta Hijacker – TWO WEEKS W/ NO ANSWER PREVIEWS: Silver Fox – p110 […]
          Impianti neurali pensanti        

In passato dei ricercatori sono riusciti a realizzare degli impianti neuronali in grado di far muovere degli arti prostetici a delle scimmie usando una connessione diretta al cervello. In seguito questi progressi sono stati usati per dare simili capacità anche a pazienti paralizzati. Inoltre, esistono più di 80.000 pazienti malati di Morbo di Parkinson che hanno uno stimolatore profondo del cervello impiantato che funziona in modo simile ad un pace-maker per ridurre i tremori del paziente.
La novità della notizia sta che, per la prima volta, un impianto neuronale è stato in grado di interpretare gli impulsi ricevuti da dei neuroni e trasmetterli in modo efficace ad altri neuroni, restituendo una capacità cognitiva che era stata persa. In breve, la protesi permetteva alle scimmie di riacquistareuna specifica capacità cerebrale.
I ricercatori hanno prima registrato gli impulsi in arrivo e quelli in partenza da una specifica zona della corteccia prefrontale del cervello della scimmia, e poi li hanno analizzati e replicato. In questo modo sono stati in grado di restituire alla scimmia la cui area del cervello era stata distrutta dalla cocaina non le stesse capacità decisionali che aveva prima, ma capacità lievemente superiori.

Sebbene le applicazioni sull'uomo siano ancora di la da venire, e molte altre sperimentazioni siano necessarie, questo è il primo passo verso protesi in grado di restituire capacità cognitive perdute alle persone e anche capacità mai avute prima.

Più veloci, per favore.

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          Tomorrow Ltd.        
by
Justin Haynes
2002-09-01

Alex Shakar’s first novel, The Savage Girl, takes readers into the world of trend-spotting by going beneath the surface of commercial campaigns to sell tribal fashion and diet water to the `deep structures’ that Chomsky insists reveal the `true basis of the phenomenon of culture.’ That is, The Savage Girl is very much concerned with languages of signification – the means by which people communicate through kinesics, clothes, fads, the Internet, and speech. Shakar’s themes of consumerism also echo Claude Levi-Strauss’s concepts of bricolage and totemism, as well as Roland Barthes’s idea of the language of garment systems, in this post-ironic novel about a post-ironic, consumer age.

At the start of The Savage Girl, readers meet Ursula Van Urden, a starving artist cum advertising natural who returns to Middle City to take care of her younger sister Ivy after a mental breakdown. While there, Ursula takes a job as a trendspotter for Tomorrow Ltd., a firm that identifies fads in order to spin them off into commercial products. Her boss, Chas Lacouture, gives Ursula one instruction for her new job: find the future. Ironically, Ursula does so by developing the concept of a savage girl based on a homeless young woman she spots, living in the park, hunting pigeons and wearing the skins of squirrels. The genius of the savage girl’s look, according to Chas, is that it’s post-ironic, while Post-Irony, Chas believes, will usher in the Lite Age. It is the Next Big Thing, a way for consumers, and more importantly, for producers to have it both ways – if, as Chas believes, he can convince consumers that buying Savage Girl clothing and paraphernalia is a great way to resist those who would control them through science and reason.

In this novel, then, there is a chain of evolutionary events for the consumer, from the savage mind moving toward the idealization of a real product. Shakar further complicates matters by riffing on Roland Barthes’s semantics of fashion, whereby “image-clothing” (photographs/ drawings of fashion) may be reconciled with “the written garment” (description of clothing). Just as Barthes hopes that the described dress and the photographed dress can “recover a single identity,” Shakar seems to hope that Smirkers, Savages, and Cyborgs may be reconciled with Barthes’s verbal, iconic, and technical languages. This reconciliation is especially seen in the development of the commercial savage girl look where a combination of garments can function as words strung together to form a sentence, and that sentence, linked with other sentences of fashion, forms the consumer language that dictates, among other things, next spring’s hip color, or the outcome of a presidential election.

Chas seems to be the ideal bricoleur, someone capable of fixing things on the fly, of using whatever is handy. When Ursula pitches the idea of using “shit” as an advertising campaign, everyone laughs it off but Chas, who develops a campaign for Nestle: “Shit – everyone’s doing it.” Again, the more refined that society thinks it’s becoming, the more retro it actually becomes. Primitive man did it first, and he did it better.

Neither Shakar or his Savage Girl seem to be overly amused by today’s society, but he doesn’t like pandering to it either. His Mid-City isn’t New York now or yet-to-come (although with its Disney townships and a section named Hipsterville, it seems just on the horizon). The characters who populate Middle City are stuck in the same rut: moving from the last big thing to the next big thing because everyone has to in order to relate to each other – that’s the effect that pop culture demands. We’re cast as pariahs if we aren’t following the latest reality television show. Shakar’s characters are all vehicles of production. If we are to understand the roles of everyday people as defined by the overly perceptive Javier for example, another trend spotter, then we’re all in the business of creating surfaces by which we live our lives. What’s more, consumers know of the surfaces and demand them. The number of short-lived fads within the past few years are mind-boggling, with everything from Pokeman trading cards to boy bands, to reality TV, with enough versions of each to make one feel hyper connected, i.e., disconnected from the earth.


          Kamen Rider Dragon Knight is....good?        

Heads-up, the total 4 people that check this blog!

For those unawares, Kamen Rider is a vintage Japanese property owned by Toei, which, way-back-when in the ages of "The 90's" was given the "Power Ranger Treatment," though, much to fans' dismay and heartache, didn't receive the same amount of credibility, exposure or even respect in its US adaptation. Needless to say, it went the Ultraman route of "perfectly good Japanese programs with crappy reception in the US." That said, one of the more recent Rider series, Kamen Rider Ryuki has received a new adaptation by Adness Entertainment into Kamen Rider Dragon Knight (which, interestingly, is more or less a direct translation of the Japanese title).

Kamen Rider (literally "Masked Rider") has always interested me, though not on the same level as sentai (Power Rangers) or Ultraman. Still, it's a fascinating series; originally it was a series about a lone hero, altered by an evil organization into a fighting machine, rebels against his would-be-masters and, each week, fights another one of their crazed mutant or cyborg henchmen. Sort of a one-man Power Ranger team, if you will. However, things have gotten a little more...varied, I suppose you could say, with the more recent series. Kamen Rider Ryuki started a fairly new trend of there being a great many riders in each new series, not all of them on the good side of karma, and adding new levels of artistic stylization, writing and cinematography. While not always successful, it's nice to see a Japanese series that prides itself on innovation (the upcoming series is Kamen Rider Decade, which will focus on riders from the last 10 years teaming up with this new Rider).

Anywho, what of Kamen Rider Dragon Knight?

Actually, it's pretty good.

Initial fears that it would be another attempt to capture the Power Rangers phenomenon all over again are squelched when the series opens with some rather brooding subject matter (kidnappings, a not-so-truthful government, foster care, etc.) while dovetailing into some cool martial-arts action and monsters and all sorts of goodness!
The acting ranges from surprisingly fun to decent to so-so, but never gut-wrenching, like in some Power Rangers episodes, and the writing is about the same. It's clear that this isn't a show for the Power Ranger crowd, i.e. toddlers, but more focused on a pre-teen/early teenager audience, which is a nice surprise.

So, check out the site and clips here
http://www.4kids.tv/shows/kamen-rider

I hope I find some time soon, because I'd love to draw up some Kamen Rider fanart :D
          Espinita 098: Fotografía        
00cabecera

Una vez, hace muchos años, entre otras ideas que nunca llevé a cabo estuvo el fabricar una cámara estenopeica de plomo y dejarla sumergida, colocada en el fondo del mar varios días, incluso lanzar varias al océano y que el azar determinara el encuadre o hacia dónde quedaba el estenope.
Nunca pasó del concepto, y desde luego había problemas técnicos, como el factor de la atenuación de la luz con la profundidad o la resistencia de una emulsión fotosensible a una inmersión prolongada en agua salada. Porque la cámara quedaría inundada durante todo ese tiempo, y la luz una vez pasado el agujero que haría de objetivo tendría que atravesar esa cámara de agua de mar.
Hace más o menos un año conocí un proyecto fotográfico que de alguna forma tiene relación con esto: las exposiciones de un año de Michael Chrisman, usando cámaras estenopeicas. Se pueden leer referencias aquí (en español) y aquí (en inglés).


01


La visión de las cámaras de plomo hundiéndose y el aire escapando por el estenope tomó la forma de un guión, en realidad de los guiones de dos pequeñas historias que estos días he estado uniendo y limpiando de lo superfluo. Lo que ha quedado ha sido básicamente melancolía, plomo, océano y fotografía.



- Ir a la historia Espinita 098: Fotografía

.
          My Everything Pal        

Today we travel to a future full of spreadsheet approved lives. A future where everything we do is tracked and quantified: calories, air quality, sleep, heart rate, microbes, brain waves, finances, happiness, sadness, menstrual cycles, poops, hopes and dreams. Everything.

This episode is longer than our usual 20 minute jaunts to the future, because the future of quantified self is so huge. We cover everything from biased algorithms, to microbiomes (again), to the future of the calorie, and more.

The first person we talk to this week is Chris Dancy, who is basically living in this future today. He’s been called the most quantified man in the world. Every day Chris wears and carries around over thirty devices that track everything from his heart rate to his brain waves. You can see a live stream of his data here. Chris started tracking his life in 2008, and has upgraded his system continuously to become more streamlined and include more forms of data.

There are all sorts of video profiles of Chris online. Here’s one from Mashable, for example.

But, as I was watching a few of these videos (including the one above), I felt kind of uncomfortable. Because a lot of them treat Chris kind of like a freak show. Like this weirdo guy that we should all kind of laugh at, or shun, or see as this maniac with too many devices. But in talking to Chris it became very clear to me that he’s very thoughtful about what he’s doing. The point isn’t just to track for tracking sake, Chris is on a mission. And it’s the same mission that you or I might have when we start tracking steps or workouts or calories or menstrual cycles: to be better. To be healthier and happier. And, for Chris at least, it worked. He dropped 100 pounds, stopped drinking and abusing drugs, and feels way healthier now than he did before.

A lot of people have called Chris the most quantified man, or the most surveilled man, or the most tracked man. But he thinks about it another way. He calls himself a mindful cyborg. But being a mindful cyborg takes a lot of work. He spends $30,000 a year on his quantified self, and it’s essentially his full time job. Not everybody can do that.

When you ask Chris what the future of the quantified self looks like, he’s actually not super optimistic about it. Because right now, Chris uses all these devices to gather data, but he sometimes has to fight companies to actually get access to it. In most cases, he has to buy his data back from them, in order to use it for what he wants. He says he sees us going to “the dark future,” where all our data is mined by companies, and not used to make us healthier or happier.

To dig a little deeper into the possible dark side of personal tracking, I called Claire North, the the author of a book called The Sudden Appearance of Hope that’s coming out this summer. The main character, Hope, sort of has the opposite of face blindness, she is totally unmemorable to anybody who meets her. Which makes her an excellent thief, and the book started out as a book about thieving. But as Claire was writing it, she started getting interested in something else, the fact that without any friends or family or other humans that can even remember her, Hope has no real way of measuring her life.

There’s still plenty of thieving in the book (it’s very exciting) but there’s an added layer now. The story kind of centers around this app called Perfection. Users give it access to everything: their bank accounts, their location, what they’re eating and drinking, who they’re hanging out with, how they’re sleeping, everything. And in return, the app gives them suggestions. Don’t eat there, eat here. Don’t do that, do this. And when users link up their accounts, and comply with the app’s instructions, they get perks. Coupons to restaurants or access to special events. Users who get enough points even get plastic surgery.

But to me, the thing that’s perhaps the most sinister about Perfection isn’t that it offers you plastic surgery. But rather the way that the app decides what Perfection actually is. Instead of finding out what you want, and helping you achieve it. Perfection decides what you should want. Men should want to be muscled and have lots of money and cars. Women should want to be thin and conventionally attractive.

And the idea that data mining might be used to push people in the direction of certain, highly biased, desires or outcomes, isn’t the realm of science fiction at all. That’s how they work now, and we talked to computer scientist Suresh Venkatasubramanian, about his work on data mining and what’s called “algorithmic fairness.”  Suresh explains what data mining is, and how it’s already being used to make decisions about everything from where things are in the grocery store, to who gets released from prison and who doesn’t.

(As a side note: When I was reading Claire’s book, I actually thought the name of the app, Perfection, was kind of on the nose. Certainly our future terrifying personal data app would have a softer, slicker name. Maybe “You” or “Well” or something like that. But then I went to a bodyhacking conference in Austin and I walked into the main ballroom where the first talk was being given, and up on the stage, behind the podium there was a huge banner it said “Nobody’s Perfect. Yet.” So, perhaps she was right!)

Of course, not everything about data mining is creepy and evil. Chris feels much better about his life now. And Jessica Richman, the CEO and co-founder of uBiome (who we spoke with last week as well) says that people can and will use their microbiome data to improve their lives. But Richman also knows that what she has at uBiome is a huge database of sensitive personal data. And she has to be careful with it.

One of the big questions I always have about tracking and personal data is this: I have a limited amount of time and money to track things, so, what should I be tracking? What variables are important? And it turns out that often, what we’re tracking in these systems, aren’t the right things. They’re simply the things we know how to track.

The last segment of our show this week centers about a really good example of that: the calorie. But it turns out the calorie might be a bit of a red herring. And to tell us about that, I called up Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley, the hosts of a podcast about food called Gastropod. (Which is a great show you should totally go listen to it.)

They recently did an entire episode about the calorie, and asked some questions that, I had never really considered, like what actually is a calorie? How is it measured, and, perhaps more importantly, is it useful? And the answer is, for the most part, not really.

The amount of calories it says on the package doesn’t necessarily represent the amount of calories you actually get when you eat that package, or, I guess the food inside it. Don’t eat the wrapper. But they talked to one scientist who found that if you were to eat a pack of almonds that was, according to the calorie measure on the wrapper, 100 calories, your body actually only gets 70 of those calories. That’s a 30 percent difference! Plus, each person breaks down and absorbs energy from food differently, so 100 calories to me isn’t necessarily 100 calories to you.

Cynthia and Nicola walk us through the possible replacements for the calorie, like your microbiome or your metabolome, and we imagine a future with very personalized readouts for what each individual should eat and in what combinations.

By the end of our conversation though, I felt kind of exhausted. Not because Cynthia and Nicola aren’t delightful to talk to (they are) but because the idea of breaking down every single food I eat into a series of variables, and being told in great detail what I can and cannot consume, just seems totally exhausting.

And we close out the episode with a conversation about when tracking starts to ruin our enjoyment of things, and of each other. Are we happier when we track? Does it make us better humans? Does it help us understand yourself and others better? Does it make us happier? Does it make us better friends? I don’t know, and I think the answer will be different for everyone.

Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. Special thanks this week to Casey Broughton, Rory Carroll, Suzanne Fischer, Sheila Gagne, Eddie Guimont, Tamara Krinsky, John Oloier, Mat Weller. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.

If you want to suggest a future we should take on, want to give us feedback on the show, or just want to say hi, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing from you! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.

That’s all for this future, come back next week and we’ll travel to a new one.

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TRANSCRIPT

Hello! And welcome, to Flash Forward! I’m Rose, and I’m your host.

Flash Forward is a podcast about possible, and not so possible futures. Every week we take on a specific potential tomorrow, and try to really overthink what it might be like. Every episode starts with a trip to the future, before we zip back to now, to talk to experts about what we just saw, and what it would really be like. Got it? Great.

This week, let’s start in the year 2029.
[Alarm clock]

Voice1: Good morning Sam. You slept for a total of 5 hours last night, but with frequent interruptions. Tomorrow night try playing some calming music at 62 bpm, and drinking a glass of water at 10:45, statistically those things correlate with deeper sleep for you. Remember, sleep is the foundation on which your day is built!

Voice2: [ping]
yogurt
strawberries
honey
total calories 213

Next time try cutting the honey — strawberries are sweet enough as they are. Your health is important Sam.

[traffic]
Voice 3: Your heart rate is elevated. Take a deep breath. This is the fastest route to your destination. Would you like me to play some meditative music?

[drive through]
Drive through voice: Welcome to Pepy’s how can I help you
Person: Hi yeah I’ll have a number 4 with a diet coke and
Voice2: Hamburgers are full of saturated fats and salts, are you sure you don’t want to make another choice
Person: And a large fries
Voice2: Your health is important Sam.

[Office sounds]
Voice 4: There is tension in your back. Focus your gaze on the end of your nose. Lift your chest, breathe deeply in through your nose. Feel the vertebrae straighten and lengthen. Bad posture can take years off your life.

[Office sounds]
Voice5: This month you’ve spent $342 on pet supplies. We estimate that your dog supplies about $250 worth of happiness for you. Try cutting back on this expense.

Voice1: Good night Sam. Did you drink a glass of water yet? Drinking water before bed is correlated with better sleep for you. I will wake you at 6:30 to walk the dog. Sleep tight.

Rose: Okay so today we’re taking on the future of our quantified lives. A future in which every food we eat, every hour we sleep, every poop we take, every elevated heart beat, every… yes, every breath we take. Is counted, logged, measured and compared to our own baseline, and the rest of the world. Quantified Self, is what this is called, and if you count calories or steps you already do this. And the future is probably full of even more of it.

Since this is a big topic, today’s episode is going to be a little longer than usual. And we’re going to talk to a bunch of different people working on different aspects of the quantified life. But let’s start with someone who’s living this future life, today.

Siri: What kind of businesses are you looking for?
Chris Dancy: Oh my gosh Siri just came up, did you hear her? That’s so weird I didn’t even say Siri. See! I’m telling you they’re monitoring me!

Rose: This is Chris Dancy. He’s been called the most quantified man in the world. Every day Chris wears and carries around the following sensors.

A clip on camera
Google Glass
Two different fitbits
Two different Jawbones
An Apple Watch
A Pebble watch
A Samsung watch
Two different heart rate monitors
A posture sensor
iphone 6s
Galaxy S5
An EEG monitoring Headband
A calorie tracking armband
A respiration tracker
A thermometer
A band that stimulates the nerves in his head
And… more
He also wears devices that help him control and interface with all the data he’s gathering like a smart ring and an armband that can control his technology using gestures.

In his house, Chris has sensors that measure air quality, temperature, light quality all sorts of stuff that synchs up with his personal data.

Chris: Sleeping data is fine but without environmental data in your bedroom sleeping data is useless because there’s so many thing that can happen outside of your body that impact your sleep.

Rose: All of these are also hooked up to systems that react and control various pieces of his house. If his heart rate gets elevated, for example, the lights in his office dim to sooth him.

But before Chris was the most quantified man in the word, he was a regular guy, working in tech. And he was in bad shape.

Chris: My health was kind of crap, I had a bunch of companies who were propping me up, allowing me to continue behaving in unfortunate ways. Just a lot of drugs and drinking and prescriptions and shit like that. I was, you know, a 300 pound chain smoking mess still, it was not pretty.

Rose: As a way to try and get ahold of his life, Chris started quantifying it, from the quality of the air he was breathing, to his mental states, and exercise. In 2010, he started using a clunky series of fake Google accounts, Twitter profiles, and spreadsheets. Eventually, he put all that information into a Google Calendar.

Chris: Moved everything to 10 categories by 2011, everything from financial to spiritual to environmental to physical, so they would be weighted properly coming in, they’d be then categorized and color coded.

Rose: If you look at this calendar, which you can on his website, it’s, overwhelming. There is a ton of information in all these colorful boxes on every day. But Chris was able to take this information and actually use it.

Chris: So I just basically started saying on days that I do X what do they look like? What does the color coding look like. What are the specifics, when I look in diary view on Google Calendar? And I just started creating more days like the days I liked, and I started looking for reasons why things were seemingly linked. Sometimes they were linked, sometimes they weren’t, but just the belief that I can control was enough.

Rose: In 2013, the outside world got word of Chris Dancy. He was on the cover of magazines, profiled by Wired, invited to speak all over the world about his life. There are a bunch of video profiles of him on the internet, which you can watch and which we’ll post the links to on our site. But, as I was watching a few of them, I felt kind of uncomfortable. Because a lot of them treat Chris kind of like, a freak show. Like this weirdo guy that we should all kind of laugh at, or shun, or see as this maniac with too many devices. But in talking to Chris it became very clear to me that he’s very thoughtful about what he’s doing. The point isn’t just to track for tracking sake, Chris is on a mission. And it’s the same mission that you or I might have when we start tracking steps or workouts or calories or menstrual cycles: to be better. To be healthier and happier. And, for Chris at least, it worked.

Chris: Within 18 Months I dropped 100 pounds, and I quit smoking, I was off my blood pressure medicine, off my antidepressants, off of drinking wasn’t using drugs as much it was just crazy.

Rose: A lot of people have called Chris the most quantified man, or the most surveilled man, or the most tracked man. But he thinks about it another way. He calls himself a mindful cyborg.

Chris: A mindful cyborg versus a freak with too much fitbit.

Rose: Today, being a mindful cyborg is basically Chris’s entire job. It’s what he does. And it’s a lot of work.

Chris: Oh yeah. I mean, it’s a crazy amount. No one ever asks me about the work god bless you. It’s a crazy amount of work. I mean having 100 fake Twitter accounts is ridiculous in managing it, not to mention how many emails you have to opt out of from Twitter. I spend about $30,000 a year on my quantified self which is a ridiculous amount of money

And he recognizes that most of us don’t have the time or money to be mindful cyborgs. But if Chris is living in this future today, what does he see coming? Well, in the future, it’s pretty clear that data collection is probably going to be even more ubiquitous. And Chris doesn’t actually see this as a necessarily good thing. Because right now, Chris uses all these devices to gather data, but he sometimes has to fight companies to actually get access to it. In most cases, he has to buy his data back from them, in order to use it for what he wants.

Chris: Right now we’re definitely headed toward the dark future, where people are having to buy back our data, and companies are figuring out ways to harvest our behavior. We are way deep in the dark side of the woods in my opinion right now becaues we haven’t really thought about all the choice that’s been removed for convenience.

To dig a little deeper into the possible dark side of personal tracking, I called Claire North.

Claire North: Obviously like every other human being on the surface of the Earth really who’s connected in this Internet age, I’ve gone through all the things, must exercise more, must eat better, don’t like exercising, don’t like eating better. Ahhh how shall I motivate myself? And the motivate yourself is a massive part of it. So I’ve dabbled in productivity apps, and calorie counting apps, and I’ve usually rejected them all after about a week with a cry of “I hate everything about this and what it’s doing to me.”

Rose: Claire is the author of a book called The Sudden Appearance of Hope that’s coming out this summer. The main character, Hope, sort of has the opposite of face blindness, she is totally unmemorable to anybody who meets her.

Claire: You can meet her, talk with her, have dinner with her, but the second you turn your back you begin to forget her.

Which makes Hope a really good thief. And the book started out as a book about theiving, Hope running around stealing diamonds and evading the police. But as Claire was writing it, she started getting interested in something else, the fact that without any friends or family or other humans that can even remember her, Hope has no real way of measuring her life.

Claire: I got really interested in apps and social media and all the technology we used day to day to kind of tell us “well done you have eaten 400 calories and this is good,” and the “I am monitoring you going running” stuff. And this world build up of a life that’s sort of told whether it’s any good by a machine.

The book kind of centers around this app called Perfection. Users give it access to everything: their bank accounts, their location, what they’re eating and drinking, who they’re hanging out with, how they’re sleeping, everything. And in return, the app gives them suggestions. Don’t eat there, eat here. Don’t do that, do this. And when users link up their accounts, and comply with the app’s instructions, they get perks. Coupons to restaurants or access to special events. Users who get enough points even get plastic surgery.

Claire: Hey you want to be perfect, we’ve got this great tie in deal with a guy who’ll fix your nose. And it starts to eat every part of your life, buying every aspect of your data, from what you eat to what you spend to how you look, and becomes quite sinister.

Rose: But the thing that’s perhaps the most sinister about Perfection isn’t that it offers you plastic surgery. But rather the way that the app decides what Perfection actually is.

Claire: The deeper you get into it, the more you realize that the lifestyle you desire is actually tailored by Perfection. It’s not necessarily helping you achieve what you want to be, it has a very strong algorithmic basis that says what you want to be is essentially what the internet says you should be. If you’re a woman you want to be skinny, you want to be rich, you want to be charming. If you’re a man, you also want to be right but you want to be muscley and you want to own a car. And so Perfection becomes less about who you are as an individual and more about you achieving this celebrity lifestyle notion of being the perfect person, the perfect human being.

Rose: And that’s a real danger with data-based algorithms today. When you have a quantified life, you’re giving companies access to data. And companies are mining that data for insights about you and about people in general.

Suresh Venkatasubramanian: The story goes something like this. Grocery stores wanted to know which items people bought at the same time, so they could put them in close proximity to each other. So they collected a lot of data on what people would buy in the store, so you have a person coming in, they buy a bunch of items and you have a record of all the things they buy. So you have this gigantic table of people and what they buy, and you want to find things that show up together a lot. And, allegedly, they would find the beer and diapers were bought together a lot. So the thinking is the stressed out new father who has to buying diapers and is getting some beer along with it. So the idea is that maybe you want to put these things closeby so when you buy diapers the beer is right nearby and you can pick it up.

Rose: That’s Suresh Venkatasubramanian,

Suresh: And I’m an associate professor of computer science at the Univeristy of Utah.

Suresh works on something called algorithmic fairness, a question of how to make these systems that mine data less biased. Which might sound weird. How can data mining be unfair? But remember: algorithms are made by humans, and humans are full of latent bias. So even if nobody at a company is saying “hey let’s discriminate against certain people using data!” they might accidentally build their systems to do just that.

Suresh: So with the work on algorithmic fairness we’re attacking this issue head on in the sense that the people thinking about this, they’re thinking precisely about how to prevent these from being weaponized. The weaponization is happening already, people are using machine learning for all sorts of purposes and in fact we’re saying no no no let’s try to make them a bit more reasonable in what they’re doing.

Rose: So an algorithm might take all the personal data that it’s fed, and start making decisions about you based on your race or gender. And if that happens when you’re being sold Amazon books, it sucks but, not the end of the world. But if it happens in other cases, it can be really bad. And one of the places Suresh is most worried about how this kind of quantified self comes into play in the judicial system.

More and more, courts in the United States are using algorithms to help decide whether or not someone should be allowed bail. They basically take a bunch of data, put it into an algorithm, and have the algorithm spit out information about how likely they think a person is to wind up back in jail.

Suresh: So the way this works at least with one of the systems, there’s this extensive questionnaire that is conducted by some trained personnel at the jail. There’s this set of 130 questions, and they ask them all kinds of things, they range from basic where did you live before this, what does your family look like, to more general questions like, do you feel anxious, do you feel depressed. And these answers are put into this model, which is proprietary and is built by a private entity, and out spits out a set of predictions. And the input going in is a combination of your personal data, information about your past, your friends, your network, information about your social network, your feelings, your mental state, all kinds of factors are going in. And coming out is this prediction.

But since the algorithm itself is a black box, nobody really knows if it’s discriminating against prisoners based on their race, or their gender. This is an extreme example, but it encapsulates some of the ways that companies might use your personal data against you in the future. Fitbits have already been used in court. Your insurance company could compare your personal data with what your doctor recommends for you to do, and if they don’t match they could up your rates.

Chris: I call it phone fracking, so what can you get out of your phone if you were to say “how do I empty out every single apps, all the sensors, and rearrange it in a nice way.” And that’s really scary, because if people are already thinking about that you know that companies already have, and you wonder when and how that’s going to happen.

Rose: When I was reading Claire’s book, I actually thought the name of the app, Perfection, was kind of on the nose. Certainly our future terrifying personal data app would have a softer, slicker name. Maybe “You” or “Well” or something like that. But then I went to a bodyhacking conference in Austin and I walked into the main ballroom where the first talk was being given, and up on the stage, behind the podium there was a huge banner it said “Nobody’s Perfect. Yet.”

So, of course, I immediately took a picture of the banner and sent it to Claire.

Claire: It was wonderful, it thrilled me and horrified me all at once. I really apprecited it, yay!

Now, part of what makes this kind of thing creepy, is that you’re giving a big company access to your personal data and you don’t necessarily know what they’re going to do with it. Or how well they’re going to protect it.

Jessica Richman: Breaches of healthcare data have gone up exponentially, there’s more data to breach and more people motivated to do it. So yeah, privacy and security are a huge drawback.

Rose: That’s Jessica Richman, if she sounds familiar it’s because we talked to her last week for our episode about the microbiome. Jessica is the cofounder and CEO of uBiome, a company that will sequence your microbiome for you. And in the future, that kind of data might be really useful to do things like predict what drugs will work for you, or cure infections and diseases, or solve murder cases.

But in the case of the microbiome the data is only useful if it’s connected to other people’s data, and the rest of your health data. Knowing the species of microbes in your gut isn’t super helpful unless you know whether that’s normal, or whether that changes when you’re feeling weird. And Jessia is well aware that she’s handling a lot of sensitive data.

Jessica: I don’t mean to be a technoutopian here. There are huge, privacy is something that’s always on my mind about this, because there are some really terrifying implications of this. It’s great that you know about your health and you can predict all of these things are going to happen, but what about the government and the insurance company you don’t want to know, and you know other individuals, your employer you may not want to know. So privacy is a huge aspect of this.

Rose: Sometimes, to me at least, talking about personal data and what I should or shouldn’t be doing with it can be really… overwhelming. There’s just so much of it. I mean Chris tracks so many different variables that I can’t even begin to list them all here. Coming up we’re going to dive into one particular type of data that people track, and talk through how it might change in the future. But first, a quick word, from our sponsors!

MUSIC
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Rose: So, this week’s future is all about our quantified lives. And that ranges across so many different arenas. We’ve talked about everything from data that determines whether you’re let out of prison, to data that tells you what books to buy, to data that tells you what bacteria live inside your guts.

But there’s this problem with quantified self that comes up all the time, and that’s that the things we are tracking aren’t always the things that are the most useful.

Chris: There’s a mathematician named Richard Tapa who said, “we don’t know how to measure what we care about so we care about what we measure.”

Rose: And I want take a closer look at one particular form of quantified self that might be exactly that, something that we’re measuring not because it’s useful, but because we know how to measure it. It’s one of the most common forms of tracking, and one that people have been doing long before apps or wearables, and that’s calorie counting.

Today, there are approximately a billion apps that can help you track your food intake. And most of them gather all the information, all the food items you put in, and combine them into some kind of report. Today you ate this many calories. Your target was that many calories. Good job, you hit your goal, or, oops, you went over, try cutting back tomorrow.

But I learned recently that the calorie might be kind of a red herring.

Nicola Twilley: Well I mean I ended up just thinking that it’s really not a useful thing at all, it is broken, it’s wrong, in all sorts of interesting ways. It just made me realize that we measure the calorie but it’s not the right thing for us to measure.

Rose: That’s Nicola Twilley and this is Cynthia Graber.

Cynthia Graber: And so I was a little different from Nicky here. I agree with what she said, obviously, and I think there are a lot of problems with the calorie. But I actually think think for a lot of people who are trying to lose weight and that is a lot of people, it’s kind of one of the measurements that they can use, as flawed as it is. It gives a good comparison, so you can say well in theory this salmon dish might have less calories than that huge cheeseburger and french fries.

Nicky and Cynthia make a podcast called Gastropod that’s all about food and it’s awesome, you should absolutely go listen to it. My favorite episode so far is about Mezcal, and it’s the reason I now have 6 bottles of mezcal at home. Listeners, send me mezcal! Anyway.

On a recent episode of Gastropod, they investigated the calorie. That ubiquitous little number on all of the food labels we see all the time. But Cynthia and Nicky asked some questions that, I had never really considered, like what actually is a calorie? How is it measured, and, perhaps more importantly, is it useful?

Nicola: I was really really intrigued once you start looking at the calorie you realize it came out of an era where getting enough food is what mattered, and that was the struggle. And now, so many of us, not everybody, but so many of us live in an environment where there are way too many available calories, and still we’re obsessing about measuring our food in this one way, which is all flawed and broken and which we can’t do accurately at home anyway. So why? Why when there are other ways to think about food? So I came out of it being like, ditch the calorie.

Rose: The calorie, it turns out, is not a particularly useful way of measuring what you’re getting from food. Because the amount of calories it says on the package doesn’t necessarily represent the amount of calories you actually get when you eat that package, or, I guess the food inside it. Don’t eat the wrapper. But they talked to one scientist who found that if you were to eat a pack of almonds that was, according to the calorie measure on the wrapper, 100 calories, your body actually only gets 70 of those calories. That’s a 30 percent difference! Plus, each person breaks down and absorbs energy from food differently, so 100 calories to me isn’t necessarily 100 calories to you.

Nicola: And the idea that it’s 100 like that, it gives you this false sense. Like okay well I can have this whole packet of 100 calorie cookies because it’s only 100 calorie snack pack and I’ll just do an extra five minutes on the stair master and then I’m all set. And it’s like, it really doesn’t actually work like that and it gives you this false sense that you can make these sort of accounting decisions with your intake that are much more precise than they actually are.
Cynthia: Yeah it’s definitely not like taxes you can’t be an accountant for your calories.

Rose: So if counting calories isn’t actually telling us what we think it is, what should be count instead? There’s no way that our future doesn’t involve some kind of food related tracking. But instead of tracking calories, Cynthia and Nicky say that we’ll probably be tracking other things, a whole bunch of variables that then combine to give us a personalized readout of what, EXACTLY, we should be eating.

To get that personal readout, we’ll probably be combining a whole lot of personal data. Like our microbiome.

Nicola: Maybe,, I just sampled my gut microbiome, for the first time. It was an enjoyable experience involving a very large q-tip. Maybe the future is we have to do this every morning, and it says, you know what, you’ve got a lot of those gut bacteria that are really good at extracting energy from what you’re eating, you need to cut down on consumption today, maybe have a probiotic. It might be, if you want that personalized recommendation and your gut microbes fluctuate every day, maybe we are going to all be going into the stall with a giant q-tip every day.
Cynthia: That sounds appealing
Nicola: I just try, it’s not all jetpacks people, it’s not all jetpacks.

Rose: And as weird as that might sound, it’s not actually so far off from where we are now.

Jessica: We do have a lot of people who have subscriptions.

Rose: That’s Jessica Richman from uBiome again.

Jessica: And what they do is they look at, as subscribers they’re often charting the changes in their gut in regarding to their own habit changes or in regard to natural fluctuations. Often people have something where they’re not quite sure what’s going on, or they’re trying to optimize something specifically to either alleviate a symptom or to have for weight loss or weight gain and they want to see how their microbiome changes in response to that.

Rose: And on top of the microbiome, we also might start tracking something called our metabolome.

Cynthia: Yeah so metabolomics is the study of all the chemicals of our body, and there are, as of the latest reading, tens of thousands of those. And then it’s also the study of all the chemicals of all the metabolomes in foods, which is another tens of thousands of chemicals, and then it’s kind of the way they all interact together. So it’s this crazy complicated science that David Wishart, which we spoke to, at the University of Alberta, he thinks teasing this all out could be more complicated than understanding the human genome.
Nicola: Because the thing is when we, we already have all of these tens of thousands of chemicals circulating in our body and then we ingest something that has those tens of thousands of chemicals. And we don’t typically eat one meal that is oranges and one meal that is steak, so then we’re combining all the different metabolomes in our food as well and that combination and the interaction between all those chemicals as they meet in our bodies, is uncharted territory for the most part. But what they are finding is, as they start to chart is, that it does have an effect on then how we process that food.

Rose: So instead of counting calories, we might be combining our microbiome with our metabolome to come up with super specific tailored meal choices and food combinations.

Cynthia: When we were sort of imagining a future scenario, and we did this for our episode as well we were talking about this, we were kind of imagining that you would walk into a store and you would have something had all the information on your metabolome, and then it would take a snapshot on what you wanted to eat and it would do all these werid calculations and tell you how it would match up with your metabolome and wehther or not you would get a certain amount of calories or a certain amount of nutrition. And it would be maybe a different readout than someone shopping right next to you shopping might get. Which just seems completely crazy, but that’s the spiraling out of what this scenario might be. And so Nicky and I when we were talking about this Nicky and I kind of spiraled and we were thinking well would this mean in the future you could have some kind of printout that was like well if you want to eat that Twinkie or that chocolate chip cookie then you should eat these other foods with it because those compounds will help protect against the absorption of the sugar in that way, it could get kind of crazy.

Rose: Now, if I’m honest, this all sounds… exhausting? How are you supposed to order at a restaurant?

Nicola: Or just even family dinner, I mean to me this is the downside of going in this direction. I feel as though, I mean Michael Pollan calls this way of thinking about food nutritionism where you just sort of prioritize all of this effect on your health over the other aspects of food which are connection to our environment and connection to the people around us, which are very very very important too.

Rose: And here’s where we run into one of the big issues that I think a lot of people have with our increasingly quantified selves. It’s a lot of work, and it can sometimes make things that should be enjoyable into something, else.

Cynthia: Right, and because to go along with something Nicky was saying it takes away the pleasure from food, if all you’re doing is quantifying everything and you’re quantifying calories and you’re quantifying your blood sugar spikes, and then you’re quantifying I don’t know what these particular foods would do together so you should eat them together, you miss out on the incredible pleasure that food brings you. And that’s to me one of the biggest points of it, it’s the social aspect of it, but it’s also this very sensual thing that you get to do multiple times a day. And I would never want to give that up just to get all these numbers taht might make me a little bit healthier.

Nicola: I feel as though it’s possible to imagine but to want is a different matter

Rose: Some people might want this kind of detailed personal tailoring, this spreadsheet approved life. It’s okay to want to track, and it’s okay to not want to track. Lots of people have different opinions about how much, and what kind of data they want to gather on their own existence.

Cynthia: I do that thing the one thing that you said every woman does, and every month on my calendar I track my period.

Nicola: I don’t do that. I leave it, I see where I am on my birth control pills so that does it for me. I track nothing. I track people’s birthdays, so I don’t forget them, does that count?

Cynthia: Oh I don’t even do that I forget people’s birthday’s all the time.

Nicola: Oh! And I write down, I’ll tell you the other thing I do, I write down what I gave people because I found I was giving people the same gifts two years running.

Cynthia: Oh that’s so smart I should totally do that!

Nicola: That makes me sound like I’m 72 or something but yes, truly it happened, so I track that now, but that’s really it.

Suresh: When I’m sporadically going to the gym I do track my workouts, and when I was going regularly I would track them regularly and keep track of what I was doing. I have found, so as a podcaster and blogger you know the feeling right, when I have a blog, and there was a time when I used to obsessively track my stats, and I found my perspective getting very warped, I would literally think what should I write next to get more hits? And at some point I started looking back at myself like what am I doing here?

Jessica: People have very different philosophies about what they want to know, and I’m so clearly, there’s sort of continuum, you could view it as a Likert Scale of you know, on one side I don’t want to know anything about my health if I’m sick I’ll go to a doctor take care of me healthcare system. And on the other side you have I want to know everything whether it’s useful or not maybe some day it will be useful for something. And I’m very far to one side where I want to know everything. But there are a lot of people who just aren’t , that just, in my experience that’s just a philosophical orientation, some people want to know and some people don’t.

Claire: My partner and I have very different views on this. He quite likes that things are tracked he likes the fact that he doesn’t have to spend extra time typing in a search term, or that google knows where his home base is and can instantly calculate a trip home for him. He likes the fact that there’s an evil data overlord who can help him. But for my part I massively dislike companies having too much data on me, partly for the fact that I hate advertising and I hate the idea that advertising is being customized to me.

Rose: But just like counting calories, or whatever we replace counting calories with, the big question we’ll all have to tackle in the future is why? Are we happier when we track? Does it make us better humans? Does it help us understand yourself and others better? Does it make us happier? Does it make us better friends? I don’t know, and I think the answer will be different for everyone.

Chris: They’ll follow me on Twitter and then they’ll link into me on Linkedin, and then they’ll try to be my friend on My Fitness Pal, okay, so you know where I work and you know what I like and now you’re friends with me on Facebook so you know what animals I have, now you know what I eat on My Fitness Pal, oh now you’re friends with me on Fitbit so you know how I’m sleeping, oh look at that now you’re following me on 23andMe so you know how many diseases I’m going to have in the future. You know, at what point do you have to tell your friends, how much information do you need on me, to fucking pick up the phone and call me?

[MUSIC UP]

What do you think? Do you track anything about yourself? Do you hate the idea of tracking? Where do you draw the line? What would you like to track that you can’t? Tell us! Leave a voicemail at (347) 927-1425 or send a voice memo to info@flashforwardpod.com.

Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. Special thanks this week to Casey Broughton, Rory Carroll, Suzanne Fischer, Sheila Gagne, Eddie Guimont, Tamara Krinsky, John Oloier, Mat Weller. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.

If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.

And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.

That’s all for this future, come back next week and we’ll travel to a new one.


          Love At First Bot        

Right now there’s a whole lot of buzz about sex robots. Some people are really excited about them, and think we’ll be marrying robots by 2050. Other people are really worried about them, and are organizing whole campaigns against sex robots. This week, we travel to a future where sex robots are realized, and talk about everything from warranties to ethics.  

[A note: if you listen to our show with or near young kids be aware that today’s episodes discusses the future of sex, and goes into some detail about sex toys, sex work and other sexy time things. If your kiddos are ready for a calm, reasonable discussion of sex and the sex industry, carry on! If you’re not there yet, that’s cool, but maybe skip this one.]

This week we have three experts helping us think through how we get to sex robots, and what we do when we get there. A.V. Flox is journalist who covers the intersection of sex, law and technology. She is very skeptical of all the sexbot hype, and says we have a long way to go before we’ll see anything remotely like an actual sex robot. Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer and futurist who’s been a guest on the show before. A few of her books involve sex robots, and she thinks that before we get anything human we’ll start to see cartoony looking forms. And Shelly Ronen is a sociology PhD student at NYU who studies sex and sex object production. Ronen says that it’s possible we won’t demand full-on humanoid robots, but instead be totally satisfied by less human-like machines.

Together the three of them walk us through all the things we might have to sort out before and after the rise of the sex robots. How do you keep them clean? Where do you store them? What happens if they break? What will they look like? How do you handle the uncanny valley? Who should use them, and how does their existence impact sex workers?

You can read an optimistic take on sex robots in the book Love and Sex With Robots by David Levy and you can find more on Levy’s outlook on robots here. Levy is optimistic about sex robots — not only does he think they’re coming quickly, he also thinks they could have some very positive impacts. On the other side of the table is the Campaign Against Sex Robots. You can guess how they feel about these devices, and their argument is generally summed up here. Essentially, they feel that prostitution is bad, and sex robots would be a form of prostitution and encourage it, therefore sex robots are bad. This is an argument that many people disagree with, including sex workers who point out that many of them enjoy and would like to keep their jobs.

Plus, we have to make this a lot sexier before it will work for most people:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0TaYhjpOfo

To top everything off, here are some fun fact about our long tradition of wanting to create and love female robots:

  • Robots were originally assumed to be male. The 1920’s science fiction play R.U.R. that gave us the word robot also gave us the term for a female robot: a robotess.
  • The term “gynoid” (which you don’t see quite as much anymore) was coined by the writer Gwyneth Jones in her 1985 novel Divine Endurance.
  • The term “fembot” first shows up in 1976, in a script for the show The Bionic Woman.
  • Brigitte Helm played “Maschinenmensch,” the female robot in the iconic 1927 movie Metropolis. Apparently her costume was extremely uncomfortable, and other actors would apparently slip coins into various openings out of pity for her. She used those coins to buy chocolate.

Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free. The illustration is by Matt Lubchansky. The music for our various sex robot commercials was by Alaclair, Strong Suit and BoxCat. The voice for the Hadaly commercial was Jaya Saxena, whose writing you can find at jayasaxena.com. The voice for Margot’s Discount Closet Solutions was Mike Rugnetta, who has a podcast called Reasonably Sound that you should absolutely listen to. And the voice convincing you to buy a Leopold was by Brent Rose, who is currently driving around America in this crazy high-tech van. You can follow his adventure at ConnectedStates.com and on Instagram @brentdangerrose.

If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter, Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas! And if you think you’ve spotted one of the little references I’ve hidden in the episode, email us there too. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.

And if you want to support the show, there are a few ways you can do that too! We have a Patreon page, where you can donate to the show. But if that’s not in the cards for you, you can head to iTunes and leave us a nice review or just tell your friends about us. Those things really do help.

That’s all for this future, come back next week and we’ll travel to a new one.

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TRANSCRIPT

Hello! And welcome to Flash Forward. I’m Rose, and I’m your host.

Flash Forward is a podcast about the future. Every week we explore a possible, or not so possible, future scenario, and try to really think through what it might be like. Each episode we start with a little field trip to the future, before dialing it back to now, and discussing that future with experts.

Go it? Great.

A quick note about today’s episode — if you’re listening with or near young kids be aware that today’s show discusses the future of sex, and goes into some detail about sex toys, sex work and other sexy time things. If your kiddos are ready for a calm, reasonable discussion of sex and the sex industry, carry on! If you’re not there yet, that’s cool, but maybe skip this one.

Okay, with that out of the way. Let’s go to the year 2086.

MUSIC: Alaclair,
Female voice: In today’s world, it can be hard to find a moment to connect. We all spend so much time near one another, and yet, can never seem to get truly close. Dates, dinners, movies they all blow by in the wind, but can never quite scratch that deeper itch. Now there’s a way to feel true affection, true partnership, without the boredom of endless dates. Simply add Hadaly to your life, and you’ll find peace, happiness, passion… and more.

MUSIC: BoxCat
Male voice: Do you find your closet space cramped? No room for that new cyborg lover you just brought home? Come on down to Margot’s Discount Closet Solutions! We’re the only place in town that offers custom cabinets to hold, charge and hide your bedroom companions. Equipped with adaptors and sockets galore, our Closet Solutions have all the room your frisky robot friend needs, and can even hold its clothes and cleaning supplies. You won’t see another custom cabinet deal like this! Our cabinets hold all major models — whatever you’ve picked, tall, short, big, small, horned or winged, we can make a custom cabinet for you, no questions asked!

MUSIC: Strong Suit
Male voice: Do you ever find that your desires are … unconventional? You want more than your partners can give. Something stronger, something bigger, something… more intense. It can be hard to ask, but it’s easy to program. Let the Leopold step in, and make your desires a reality.

/////

Rose: Okay! So, in this future we’ve invented robots for sex. Sex robots. This is a thing some people are really excited about. And that other people are really worried about. There’s a whole organization called the Campaign Against Sex Robots, which argues that they’re a terrible idea. Other people think they should be used to help eradicate sex work, or help people with dangerous desires like rape fantasies or pedohpilia. Some people think we’re going to be marrying robots by 2050. But other people are… less optimistic about that.

A.V. Flox: I think there’s a really big disconnect between what we have achieved and what we have yet to achieve in order to arrive at a place where sex robots are a reality.

Rose: That’s A.V. Flox, she’s a journalist who covers the intersection of sex, law and technology. And she says that for all the buzz about sex robots right now, we have a long way to go before we’ll see anything remotely like an actual sex robot. You see, making a sex robot is hard. Right now the products out there are really just sex dolls, that might have a couple of pre-programmed phrases in them. There are some devices that you can connect to the Internet, to feel like you’re having sex with someone who’s in another room, or another continent. But sex robots, full on walking talking sex having robots, are a huge technical challenge.

Flox: They’re going to require nanotechnology to replicate non uniform skin, and they’re going to require a sort of AI complete natural language understanding, to say nothing of realistic personality simulations. And I think this is a really important story because sex robots aren’t just going to be sleeves or dildos. They’re not going to be simple enough for a single genius to just put together the way that they might a haptic dildo or a chatbot.

But even before we get to realistic skin or convincing artificial intelligence or any of that. We first have to make them them stand up.
Shelly Ronen: The things that do exist, like the dolls, because of the stance, they were designed to have a stance that is most effective for intercourse so they have this frog like stance with their legs wide open. And they can’t even stand on their feet, they have hooks in the back of their heads and they have to be hooked in, in order to have a standing like posture. So there’s some design issues here that these makers are going to have to deal with pretty soon. All the unseen pieces of labor that women are constantly doing in their heterosexual relationships, one of which is just being able to move themselves! Who knew that that was something they would miss about us?

That’s Shelly Ronen, a sociology PhD student at NYU who studies sex and sex objects.

Those sex dolls you can buy right now, for about $7,000, weigh anywhere between 65 and 105 pounds, which is a lot of dead weight to have to move around. And if you’ve ever watched any videos online of robots walking and moving and… falling down. You know that our current state of the art robotic motion isn’t exactly sexy.

Now, once they can stand and move, they have to then look and feel and act convincing. All of this is to say that making sex robots is going to be really hard, and it’s going to require a lot people engineers, roboticists, sex toy experts, computer scientists.

Flox: Which means licensing and investment capital

Rose: And Flox says that that is the big challenge.

Flox: The adage that sex sells is true unless you’re actually trying to sell sex.

Rose: You see, in the United States at least, companies working in the so called “adult industries” often have a really hard time finding investors, getting loans, convincing credit card companies to carry them, all the things that a business might need to actually get going. Tech platforms like the Apple App store and Google Play won’t approve any kind of adult content. Search engines don’t show adult content unless you specifically ask for it, and even then some of it is filtered out. This is all to say that it’s going to be pretty hard to get the money and backing required to make a sex robot any time soon.

Flox: I think if people did a little less daydreaming about sex robots and a little more lobbying for the right of innovators to access loans, payment processors and funding I’d be a little more optimistic about it but I’m really not holding my breath.

But this is a podcast about the future, and EVENTUALLY we’ll probably get sex robots. We just can’t seem to help ourselves.

Rose: Do you think that this is inevitable?

Madeline Ashby: Um yeah, yeah on some level.

Rose: That’s Madeline Ashby, a science fiction author and futurist.

Ashby: And I say that not because I think that people are perverts, I do think that we are all perverts, but I think that it’s inevitable because humanoid robots are inevitable. The fascination of creating life and creating something in our own image is baked in at the biblical level, and baked in even at the level of fairy tale. The creation of pinocchio or other life or even in modern fairy tale terms The Velveteen Rabbit, if you love something enough it becomes real.

Rose: She says that to get around some of the issues of authenticity and realism, the first sex robots might not look particularly human.

Ashby: I think we are more likely to see a cartoony look first. I think that that’s how you skirt the uncanny valley problem, is to make a more cartoony or anime like or video game like face and body and appearance. Like red eyes and blue hair. Not only because Japan and other places is a huge market for it, but I think it’s weirdly easier to say I want to sleep with this thing that couldn’t possibly exist, because then it’s not a replacement for anything or anyone. It’s not a replacement for a person, it’s not a substitute for a relationship that you might have, it’s very definitely the achievement a fantasy.

Rose: Right now the dolls you can buy are highly customizable, you can choose everything from what kind of pubic hair you want, to what kind of freckles you like, to things like adding cat ears or having interchangeable genitalia.

Ronen: Actually I asked Real Doll, Abyss Creations, how often that is, and they said a lot more than you would imagine, a lot more of the orders actually request that the body have a penis but also have breasts and a female face So I think there’s potential for something subversive there

Rose: Now since this show is all about overthinking things, I want to talk a little bit about the actual logistics of having a sex robot in your house. Like, where do you store it?

Flox: It’s not just the robot, it’s also making a space in your life and your home for this robot

Rose: And, how do you keep it clean? Sex toys have their own cleaning protocols that, lots of people don’t follow, and when you scale that up to a human sized device, it sounds like a lot of work to keep it from getting… kind of gross.

Flox: Oh yeah and this is something you run into a lot when you talk to people that work in the adult and novelty industry, which is the euphemism for sex toys. There seems to be a disconnect between the sex toy and the ownership of the sex toy and the caring and maintenance of the toy and high school level chemistry. People don’t really think about this they’ve got a bunch of vibrators they just throw in a box or in a drawer, and they’re mostly all silicone or some variation, and they’re confused when one of them melts or gets discolored, it’s like ‘what’s going on why is this breaking?’ And it’s like well you know you can’t use silicone lube on a silicon toy you can’t just let them rub up on eachother because chemistry works in not very mysterious ways. Please bag your toys please use the correct lube. But we don’t really seem to understand this. So when you start actually investing in a very large purchase like a sex robot that is going to have very complex skin. Oh I can only imagine what a pain in the ass it would be to have a sex doll in cyberskin that you have wash and then dust lightly with powders so that it’s not sticky.

Rose But even if you take great care of the robot, it could, still, break. And when it does, what do you do?

Ronen: I mean sex is a very vigorous activity, most likely if someone is using a doll they probably will want to enact all sorts of fantasies that may involve damage.

Rose: Today, there are “doll doctors” that go around and help fix sex dolls that have broken. But if sex robots become more common, companies will have to figure out how to handle returns and fixes. Or maybe people will be able to do small repairs at home.

Shelly: I think 3D printing technology will probably dovetail nicely with the sex robot manufacturing, and presumably any customization you might want you’ll be able to go to the 3D printer in your living room and print her out a new nipple, a marilyn monroe mole because you want that now.

Rose: These robots will have to be tested pretty rigorously too, to make sure they don’t malfunction during use. Because you’re kind of vulnerable during sex.

Ashby: You don’t want unsafe at any speed in your bedroom.

Rose: And they’ll also probably come with some kind of manual that outlines what you are and are not allowed to do with the robot without voiding the warranty.

Ashby: It’s as sexy as an Ikea manual, and I’m imagining the poor graphic designer who has to put this together in multiple languages, or in the Ikea style where there’s very little language and just diagrams. Imagine unfolding this manual, or more likely looking at it on your phone — and realizing a) nothing is written down and b) you have to figure this out only from diagrams. These are in red these positions are in green so I think that means it’s okay unless I happen to be color blind in which case I’m screwed.

Rose: If you do try to do something with the robot it can’t do, maybe it starts beeping, or maybe it tells you to stop, or maybe it gives you a little shock.

Ashby: I’m sorry I can’t do that, that kind of thing, sure, or, why don’t we try something else, or, what have you.

Rose: Who is the voiceover person who has to read this out.

Rose: Oh and along with making the robots convincing and sexy and clean and safe, they also need to be secure. You don’t want your sex robot getting hacked to watch you or do things you do not want it to do.

Flox: So one of the first things I thought about was hacking. That would be an incredible plot for a thriller, a person with their sex doll is brutally murdered by a hacker.

It’s also possible that instead of a person having their own sex robot with a closet to put it in and a drawer of cleaning supplies and a 3D printer to replace small parts and a roboticist on call for when it really breaks, people might be able to rent time with them instead.

Ronen: So supposedly you can already buy time with them in some red light districts I’ve heard in Amsterdam and perhaps also in Tokyo.

Rose: Which also helps get around the issue of liability.

Ashby: Say for example you and your wife or you and your partner go to one of these places and something happens and someone gets injured, who then is liable? iIf you say for example bought a sex robot and then that happened, if your girlfriend going to sue you because you bought the sex robot? Or can you sue the owner of the robot brothel for not keeping up on their repair plan? A lot of people would much rather sue the owner than take the liability on themselves

Rose: These are kind of silly logistics questions but I think they’re interesting. But there are some much deeper, harder ethical questions too. Which don’t just apply to sex robots, they apply to robots more generally. How do we feel about owning a thing that looks and acts like a human?

Ronen: It’s unlikely I think, by the time we get to the sex robot commodity if we ever get there, it’s unlikely that they will be just for sex. It’s more likely that they’ll actually be a multipurpose device. They’ll take care of your children, they’ll take care of your elderly, they’ll cook your dinner they’ll drive you around. Well I guess you’ll have a self driving car so who knows maybe you’ll be having sex with your car. But it’s more likely that this will be a fully service device.
Ashby: And that’s the deeper actual ethical question, can you love something that you own?
Flox: We’re going to have to think very very hard about what that says about us and whether we want and accept fantasy to play out that way with a very very human-like object made for our own personal pleasure.

Rose: Those are really hard questions that, I don’t think anybody has the answers to yet. Thankfully, we’re going to have a lot of time to figure them things out.

Ronen: I think sometimes we imagine the technological advances pop out of nowhere and a commodity plops down next to us and is like “Hello! you haven’t seen any element of me before and now I’m here this whole hog thing!” And actually technological progress is much more incremental, much slower. We have these teledildonic devices that are just coming out now that network through the internet and let you have sex at a distance. Most like by the time any kind of sex robot, if it ever comes, by the time it comes to use we’ll be so used to having sex with our computers, I mean we’ll be having sex with our partners over the computer, but we’ll be so used to that that the idea of switching over to something that looks more like a partner is probably not going to be so huge of a transition. I think it’s less likely that there will be a moral panic than if aliens land from outer space and are like “here’s a sex robot!” And we’re like all like “oh my god all of our fears have come true!”
Rose: Then again, on this show, we can never rule out aliens.

For more on sex robots, and how they are or are not coming soon head to Boing Boing.com where I’ll post more links. I promise they’re all safe for work. If you want to read more about how far away we are from sex robots, you can go to BBC Future and read a piece I wrote there about all the barriers between you and a sexy android companion. And if you want full show notes, including links to all the music we used and additional readings, head to flashforwardpod.com.

Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth, and is part of the Boing Boing podcast family. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Broke for Free.

The music for our various sex robot commercials was by Alaclair, Strong Suit and BoxCat. The voice for the Hadaly commercial was Jaya Saxena, whose writing you can find at jayasaxena.com. The voice for Margot’s Discount Closet Solutions was Mike Rugnetta, who has a podcast called Reasonably Sound that you should absolutely listen to. And the voice convincing you to buy a Leopold was by Brent Rose, who is currently driving around America in this crazy high-tech van. You can follow his adventure at ConnectedStates.com and on Instagram @brentdangerrose.

If you want to support the show, you can do that at Patreon.com/roseveleth, like my name. If you do donate, you’ll get some cool goodies like a special fan newsletter, full transcripts for the show, and even your voice in the future. If you can’t donate that’s fine, you can go to iTunes and leave a nice review, tell your friends about the show, and generally spread the word. That does help!

If you want to suggest a future we should take on, send us a note on Twitter (@ffwdpod), Facebook or by email at info@flashforwardpod.com. We love hearing your ideas, so send em on over.

Oh and one other thing. Every episode I hide a few little references for you to find. If you think you’ve caught one, send me an email at rose@flashforwardpod.com. If you’re right, I’ll send you something cool.

That’s all for this future, come back next week and we’ll travel to a new one.


          Commentaar op "PARTNER-SHIP" Krzysztof Ozygała, banen by CYBORG        
Jeszcze w takiej firmie nie pracowałem. Szef bardzo szanuje wszystkich pracowników i nie dopuszcza do zachowań dyskryminujących. Robi wszystko, aby pracownik czół się w zakładzie lepiej niż w domu. Atmosfera w pracy jest świetna. Oczywiście, pracować trzeba efektywnie, wydajnie, mądrze i z przestrzeganiem zasad bhp. Płaci dobrze i w terminie. Dobra firma, dobrze dobrana kadra. Na szczęście idioci już wylecieli.
          By: xKiv        
Bride (ex-wife, now?). Name's Robotija. Left Johnny for 46. Might have a slightly better relationship with a more cyborg-y Johnny.
          Zvířecí Cyborgizace        
Domestikace zvířat je nedílnou součástí toho, co lidé dělají a v čem vynikají. Od chvíle kdy se lidstvo stalo technologicky vyspělím druhem a začali používat nástroje pro zdokonalení svých schopností jsme rovněž začali používat zvířata nejen na jídlo, ale rovněž na vÅ¡e ostatní k čemu zvíře dodnes slouží.  Jsou rovněž naÅ¡i věrní přátelé a obávaní nepřátelé, že zvířata, která nejsou nám navždy jsou naÅ¡e hračky preference. Malá divu, že dosažení nových výšin technologického...
Text by Freedom
          Why this US company is implanting 50 workers with microchips to open doors, buy coffee        

If one US-based business gets its way, the age of cyborgs might be upon us sooner than we think. Being half-man half-machine may still be something for the pages of science fiction, but Wisconsin based company Three Square Market wants its employees to do away with a small piece of their humanity by implanting a […]

The post Why this US company is implanting 50 workers with microchips to open doors, buy coffee appeared first on SmartCompany.


          Warner Bros Rilis Poster Justice League Terbaru        
Los Angeles – Warner Bros selaku rumah produksi film superhero yang diangkat dari komik DC, Justice League, akhirnya merilis poster terbaru. Poster yang menampilkan kelima tokoh DC itu diungkap pada pertemuan Comic-Con di San Diego, Amerika Serikat (AS), Sabtu (22/7/2017). Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Cyborg, dan Aquaman terlihat bersama dengan garangnya bersama sebuah tulisan” ...
          Histories of the Present        
by
Darren Tofts
2003-06-12

Jacob Burckhardt had the benefit of four hundred years of hindsight when he constructed his Enlightenment model of the Renaissance in 1860. Herbert Read and Edmund Wilson found the going tougher when they attempted to define the characteristics of artistic and literary modernism - immersed, as they were, in the very things they were trying to define and which, no doubt, were changing and mutating before the ink had even dried on any sentence of Art Now (1933) or Axel’s Castle (1931). Jürgen Habermas, with a mix of equanimity and assertiveness, conceded that he was dealing with an unfinished project when articulating the vast locutions of modernity. In a similar vein, Jean-François Lyotard modulated his theory of the postmodern as that which is “unpresentable,” in recognition of the dynamic complexity of the conditions he was, initially anyway, attempting to circumscribe in the 1970s.

Culture and Technology and Cyborg: the man-machine are motivated by a similar desire to define and historicize the present. Both books, too, are enmeshed in the same conditions they purport to synthesize into writing. Once committed to writing, any account of the contemporary is of necessity a kind of memory, in memory of the present. Modernity and the postmodern condition have been the elusive quarry of previous critics of the present. Cyberculture is the name that has been used to memorialize the last decades of the 20th century and cyberculture is the ostensible topic of both Culture and Technology and Cyborg: the man-machine. Neither text, though, specifically addresses “cyberculture” per se. Rather, they both seek to register and sharpen into relief those features and characteristics that are usually bundled together under the expedient rubric of cyberculture. For Andrew Murphie and John Potts, technological change is the object of their study and, in particular, the manifold complexity of continuous and discontinuous change. The title of their book is indicative of their focus, in that culture and technology are a common formation, not separate fields that have dramatically come together in the name of cyberculture. The project of Culture and Technology, then, is to trace the trajectories that have informed the present as well as to suggest its dynamic, shifting complexity. More specific in its focus, Cyborg is attentive to scientific and technological modifications of what it means to be human, or at least, what it means to be defined as human. The figure of the cyborg, the metaphoric and physical melding of humans and machines, is for O’Mahony a sign of the current status of our metaphysics. It is also an index of our evolution as a species from an organic, entropic life form to a hybrid, machine-like entity capable of cheating the dissolution of the flesh and modifying human nature.

Although both authors cover a similar terrain, they each approach the task of historicizing the present quite differently. O’Mahony’s approach is illustrative and descriptive, offering a series of snapshots - freeze-frames of the becoming-cyborg. Murphie’s and Potts’s text is more academically involved in its theoretical and critical expositions. But more decisively, their text is reflexive in locating the task of writing in relation to their object of study. In Cyborg, O’Mahony gives us a contemporary landscape of ideas, whereas Murphie and Potts afford themselves the more difficult task of glimpsing turbulence before it resolves into the order of critique. Reassured and distanced in style, O’Mahony’s prose guides us confidently through the permutations of the becoming-cyborg, which certainly makes for informed and informative reading. Murphie’s and Potts’s writing, by contrast, both wrestles and bristles with the self-imposed discipline of auto-critique, of assertion qualified by contingency, of statements that are driven by the timely conviction that, such are the order of things now, but by sentence end, things will be different.

Cyborg is very much a populist, descriptive survey of the contemporary meanings, applications, and understandings of the concept of the cyborg and the more general cultural interface between humans and machines. In Cyborg, informatic technologies are fundamentally positive and progressive, seen to enable and advance human life. The book’s range includes biotechnology, cloning, wearable computing, Artificial Intelligence, bionic implants, telepresence, cosmetic surgery, and body modification. While clearly aimed at a general reader, the book is in no way condescending or simplistic; it will be useful no doubt for students as a kind of primer of the becoming-cyborg, a synopsis. But where it will most help researchers is mainly in the details. In a discussion of hyperreality, for example, O’Mahony exemplifies the concept with Mya, an animated personality commissioned by Motorola to be the face of the company’s voice-activated web presence. The rendering of Mya’s visage was apparently so realistic and lifelike that it evoked disdain for ‘the human’ among site visitors. Mya was simply too real, in appearance too much like an actual woman. The desire for her to look more avatar-like, more hyperreal than real, attests to a possible shift from one regime of the real to another, a new digital faith in appearances crystallized in the preference for high fidelity fakes, copies and fabulations. In another example, O’Mahony notes how advances in surgical procedures, such as a larynx transplant, can have potentially disturbing consequences. Retaining the tone and pitch of the donor, the recipient of such a transplant carries the grain of someone else’s voice. For this reason, O’Mahony advises, “surgeons will check in advance that the recipient does not originate from the same area as the deceased” (22). Though clearly utilitarian and beneficial, such technoscientific processes carry metaphysical consequences to do with markers of identity that are not so easily resolved by technology’s purported benefits.

O’Mahony draws connections and establishes parallels, intimates outcomes, but ultimately leaves the reader to reflect upon the extent and significance of possible conclusions. While such a rhetorical stance suits the introductory, synoptic nature of the text, O’Mahnony falls short of bringing together ideas that clearly warrant synthesis and more critical engagement. For example, O’Mahony deals with many historical instances in which monstrosity hovers as the issue of human and technological convergence (as in her discrete accounts of Frankenstein, medieval bestiaries, Greek mythology, or the use of performance enhancing drugs in sport). While she uses the idea of the cyborg as a common denominator, the sense prevails that the perverse, monstrous, or grotesque body is a more urgent issue in what O’Mahony calls the “Cyborg State,” than the desire to achieve eternal life or improve on the limitations of the body. In other words, the label of cyborg, as a technologically enhanced human, smoothes over and conceals more troubling issues to do with the ways humans have historically conceived of and modified the body.

Within the context of what the book sets out to achieve, the failure to address this issue directly, or at least synthesize the recurrent instances of monstrosity that haunt the text, is a shortcoming. So too is the book’s conclusion, which is disappointing, to say the least. Falling into the all too predictable binary scenario that the Cyborg State will be good or bad, positive or negative, O’Mahony reverts, again, to letting the reader ponder the future of post-humanity:

We are now in a position to decide if and how we want to embrace these technologies. With power comes a collective responsibility both to ourselves and to the environment we live in. Utopia or dystopia, the choice is ours. (106)

The critical shortcomings I have identified in Cyborg register missed opportunities more than any one positive fault with the book. Clearly, the book is not pitched toward an academic audience, and its design and production values - striking, illustrative, appealling - indicate an intent to inform rather than engage readers. Culture and Technology, by contrast, is very much aimed at an academic audience and it lives up to the cover blurb: it is “clear, concise and readable.” The cogency and rigor of Murphie’s and Potts’s writing will ensure that Culture and Technology appeals to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The breadth of this appeal is an important attribute, reflecting the comprehensive coverage of the cultural, critical, and social theory that has been the staple of humanities and social science research for the last twenty years.

Embracing so many fields, and reviewing them all in the broader context of the cybercultural present, is no mean feat - although such an approach runs the risk of repeating the already known, the all too familiar, the already said. Murphy and Potts, however, manage to avoid restatement in Culture and Technology. Their deft review of key debates resonates with freshness and renewed force. In their capable hands, the speed aesthetics of Paul Virilio, the machinic ecologies of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, and Jean Baudrillard’s precession of simulacra, are not only surveyed, but also actively employed so as to make sense of a complex and rapidly changing world. Murphie and Potts take nothing for granted. Their review is a return to first principles, starting with such fundamental terms as the titular culture and technology, media, cultural materialism, and technological determinism. This retrospective critique of the intellectual field is integral to the book’s ethics of contingency: that to understand the present we need to review - in the sense see again - what will work in any given context of inquiry. Their account of Marshall McLuhan’s work, grounded in general concepts of networks and ecologies, differs markedly from the previous generation of media theory grounded in broadcasting. Similarly, their survey of theorists who have specifically addressed issues to do with culture and technology, from Lewis Mumford to Gregory Bateson and McLuhan himself, establishes a platform upon which to locate more contemporary thinkers, such as Jean Baudrillard and Deleuze and Guattari. This recontextualization provides exactly the kind of intertextual, conceptual continuity required to negotiate the discontinuous and surprising emergence of particular technologies at specific points in time:

Technologies do not, then, of course, arise magically from out of nowhere, but where do they come from? Here we shall suggest - following Deleuze and Guattari and other thinkers - that technologies, like rivers and streams or developments in the arts, also flow. Like rivers and streams, they are produced by particular contexts and change as these contexts change. Like rivers and streams, they flow into each other, accumulate in larger rivers or split into deltas. (34)

Cultural and technological convergence requires critical and theoretical convergence and the above passage is a kind of manifesto in miniature for Culture and Technology. Its supple and interlacing critique makes a decisive incursion into the philosophy of the contemporary. What at first appears to be a review of familiar debates, theorists, and ideas converges into applied analyses of the signature themes associated with cyberculture. But even here, discussions of digital art, virtuality, cyberspace, and the networked society extend previous and ongoing academic discussions to a broader, meta-critical space, in which cybercultural concepts are subjected to the scrutiny of inspection, yet resist being ossified into the doxa of received ideas. A discussion of Stelarc’s performative discourse on the body, for example, does not leave us feeling that we know all there is to know about it, for the simple reason that the contexts of his work keep changing, as too his thinking on his work, as too the contexts of its reception.

Culture and Technology is a sophisticated text in that its introductory chapters develop this contingent way of reading the contemporary out of a very useful and precise survey technocultural ideas. This aspect of the book alone makes for a substantial contribution to a diverse range of intellectual fields, of which cyberculture is but one. Continuing the book’s specific attention to cybercultural matters, its culminating chapters offer substantial analyses of key themes that are also foregrounded in Cyborg; namely, cyborg subjectivity, cognition, computers and cybernetics, war in the digital age, e-commerce, the future of the nation state in a networked world, and the broader, philosophical parameters of living with the virtual. Chapter 7, “Getting Wired: War, Commerce and the Nation State,” is especially noteworthy for its discussion of contemporary events, ranging from the 1991 Gulf War to September 11th, 2001, in the context of the logistics of networking, systems of command, control, and communication, and the increased turbulence associated with a vectoral, global culture. The chapter is a tour de force that demonstrates how to write of complex conditions without dumbing them down or resorting to arcane knowledge. It is one of the most illuminating discussions to date on what is actually and virtually at stake in a networked world, from its styles of war, its conceptions of sovereignty, and its modes of business:

It is informational capitalism that has led to what could be the most dramatically social restructuring over a short period of time that the world has yet seen. It has provided the drive behind the restructuring efforts of states and corporations. This has involved deregulation and the privatization of public resources. It has involved the dismantling of the welfare state and the erosion of various social contracts between labour and capital. It plays cities, states and even continents against each other. Its virtual, informational nodes apportion the actual world into territories of value (or non-value), even from one small section of a city to another. Any attempt at an independent, state-based financial control becomes unworkable. (191)

It is a pleasing irony, or fitting synchronicity, in the light of my earlier remarks, that Murphie and Potts conclude Culture and Technology by returning to Jean-François Lyotard’s Postmodern Condition and his discussion of the petit récit. Lyotard’s “little narrative” is an apt cypher of the impact on society of computer technology, networking, and the like. For Murphie and Potts, the shift from grand narratives to a fragmented nodal culture is, as it was for Lyotard, a shift from a monocultural sphere to a serial conception of society and social acts imagined as contingent narratives: “narratives that function specifically in specific times and specific places” (206). Likewise, we can configure Culture and Technology as a series of petits récits, inserted, temporarily, contingently, into the continuous discontinuity of the present.


          CYBORG RIDDIM MEDLEY [DON JALYS PRODUCTION] [OFFICIAL VIDEO] (2014)        

Óscar

CYBORG RIDDIM Producido por: Don Jalys Production Realizado por: Begaz Return Back Vision Artistas : Taï J, G’nius, Ayani, Wyckyd J featured on Rasta Respect |

La entrada CYBORG RIDDIM MEDLEY [DON JALYS PRODUCTION] [OFFICIAL VIDEO] (2014) aparece primero en RastaRespect.com.


          Cyborg Riddim [Don Jalys Production] (2013)        

Óscar

Producido por: Don Jalys Production Fecha de Lanzamiento: 28/12/2013 @TiMounSoley Wyckyd J – Fast & Slow Taï J – Mission Complete Dasinga – Propa Wine Datcha Dollar’z feat. Aloman – Lanmbada Sam X – Inna Hole Ayani – Tun Up Di Fuck Dc Strategik – To Di Top G’nius L.dy – Wine & Mash Up […]

La entrada Cyborg Riddim [Don Jalys Production] (2013) aparece primero en RastaRespect.com.


          Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles por Marissa Meyer        
alana_leigh's review: "Okay, I'm going to level with you. This is a cyborg Cinderella story. There's just no mincing around the simple fact that the most economical way to describe Marissa Meyer's YA novel <i>Cinder</i> is to admit that it's "a cyborg Cinderella story." When a friend handed me this galley and described it as such, I winced. I say it even now and I wince. (The cover sure doesn't help here, either. It's dreadful.) But wince away, because <i>Cinder</i> is much better than such a simplistic summary would suggest, delivering a strong heroine, an interesting futuristic world, and a plot that weaves in subtle-but-not-too-contrived nods to the original Cinderella story. Linh Cinder is a gifted mechanic working a stall at the market in New Beijing, the capitol city of the Commonwealth. She also happens to be a teenage orphan and a cyborg. An accident at the age of eleven killed her parents, wiped out Cinder's memory, and left her as a part human, part robot creation, with both flowing blood and electronic wiring. Following that accident, Cinder was taken on as a ward to the Linh family by Linh Garan, but unfortunately Lihn Garan died right after this act of kindness and as a result, Cinder's been treated like a servant by Garan's wife Linh Adri and her two daughters, Pearl and Peony (well, by Adri and Pearl -- Peony is Cinder's only human friend and actually seems like a decent sort, if a bit silly). Since Cinder is a cyborg, she is a second-class citizen in everyone's eyes and she's actually considered the property of Linh Adri, so all income earned by Cinder in her market stall goes straight in to her wicked stepmother's pockets. Additionally, as a cyborg, Cinder could be drafted in to become a test subject for the government's research to find a cure to Leutmosis, a disease that has been ravaging the country for over a decade. It's luck alone that has kept her name from being called up, though Cinder is aware that the only reason Linh Adri hasn't "volunteered" Cinder for the draft testing is because they need her income from the market stall. The novel opens with Cinder working in the market (well, sitting in her stall while dealing with her own too-small robotic foot that hasn't been upgraded since she was eleven) when an unlikely client shows up -- Prince Kai, the eighteen-year-old prince that will very soon become Emperor. Cinder recognizes him immediately (beyond her computer identification, her stepsisters are obsessed with the prince, along with practically every other single female in the Commonwealth), but he's dressed to blend in and is seeking the services of the mechanic Linh Cinder, of whom he's heard excellent things. Surprised to find that the teenage girl before him is the famed mechanic, the prince shifts in to pleasant bantering with Cinder as he requests that she fix his tutor android without wiping its memory. Cinder can tell that this isn't simply a sentimental request to restore the tutor droid, but takes on the job and says she will try to have it completed before the upcoming festival in two weeks. Naturally, things happen that delay this critical fix, though this doesn't stop Cinder and the Prince from running in to each other repeatedly. Prince Kai's father dies and he must prepare himself to become Emperor... which primarily means preparing himself to face down with the Lunar Queen, the power-hungry ruler of the strangely evolved race that lives on the moon. Cinder's beloved stepsister Peony contracts leutmosis after going out on an errand with Cinder and, blaming this tragedy on Cinder, Lihn Adri volunteers Cinder for the cyborg draft. Cinder does not die, but instead becomes a very interesting test subject to a rather interesting research doctor at the palace and I'll stop there before I summarize too much, but just accept that (in Cinderella style), there's a coach and a dress and a ball. Of course, this book is only the beginning of Cinder's story. Indeed, this series is slated to feature four books and while I can't quite conceive of what, exactly, will possibly occupy our time for long enough to take four books, I'm very interested to see what the next book has in store. By far, the best thing to recommend this story is Cinder herself, a resourceful heroine who's been trampled upon for most of her life and will find herself in somewhat impossible situations... yet rises to great challenges to do what she can for those who care. She doesn't have much self-confidence, but is convinced that if she (with Iko in tow) can just get out of the Commonwealth and start somewhere new, like Europe, then she might have a short at a decent life, free from Linh Adri's control. Iko feels a little like an over-the-top Disney sidekick, with her vibrant personality and her own robotic crush on the prince. I wasn't terribly sold on Prince Kai's interest in Cinder, though I appreciate that they have multiple meetings, so it's not just a one-shot deal where he sees this slightly dirty mechanic and becomes smitten just because she's not some palace girl throwing herself in his path. The Lunar Queen is rather evil for evil's sake, so I'm looking forward to future books where we'll inevitably gain more information about the Lunar race. So yes, indeed, it's Cinder carrying the story, and yet I didn't mind that all too much. I'll definitely be reading the next installment to see what happens to Cinder and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for deeper character development for those in the cast beyond Cinder. Please note: this review is based off an ARC."
          Die Harley-Davidson Fat Boy wird 25        

Vollfettstufe

Die Harley-Davidson Fat Boy wird 25

Selbstbewusster Look und handliches Fahrverhalten seit 1990

In der vierten Generation mit 58 kW (79 PS) starkem Twin Cam 103B

„Ich will deine Kleidung, deine Stiefel und dein Motorrad." Ein T-800 fackelt nicht lange, wenn es darum geht, Schutzbefohlene und die Welt zu retten. „Terminator 2" mit Arnold Schwarzenegger wird Geschichte schreiben und die Welt lernt: Coole Cyborgs stehen auf Harleys. Nicht auf irgendeine, sondern auf die Fat Boy. Ihre Geschichte beginnt 1990, ein Jahr vor ihrem furiosen Filmdebüt: Das Designteam um Willie G. Davidson hat die Fat Boy auf der Basis der Softail Plattform breit, flach und gewaltig gestaltet. Vorn und hinten rotieren massive Leichtmetall-Scheibenräder.

Das Front End dominiert eine wuchtige FL-Gabel mit riesigem Scheinwerfer. Für Vortrieb sorgt der 1340 Kubikzentimeter große Evolution Motor, der einen Zahnriemen antreibt und mittels zweier, schräg übereinander angeordneter Schalldämpfer ausatmet. Benzin- und Öltank, Fender und Rahmen erstrahlen in dezentem „Fine Silver Metallic". Sieben gelbe Zierstreifen setzen wohldosierte Akzente.


          Cris Cyborg Explains Why She Wants to Fight Holly Holm at UFC 219 Next        
Cris Cyborg wants to face Holm at the year0end UFC card in December.
          Sync into a Book        
Cover to Ungifted by Gordon Korman

Technology has become an integral part of our lives, to the point that many of us can’t imagine (or remember) life before we had personal computers and cell phones. Technology is also a huge part of literature, from characters with cell phones to cyborgs & robots to space travel. In honor of Teen Tech Week (March 6-12, 2016), I’ve created a list with some of my favorite young adult titles that feature technology—and one that features life after technology fails.


          Episode 245 - Jones, Cormier, Lesnar, Woodley, and UFC 214        
The gang returns after weeks of audio turmoil to discuss the big news coming out of UFC 214. They discuss Jon Jones' massive victory over Daniel Cormier and talk about the potential mega fight between Jones and Brock Lesnar. The gang also talks about the possibility that we witnessed Cormier's final fight. They then discuss the controversial co-main event and again discuss the UFC's proclivity for burying their own talent. The gang talks about Cyborg's big win along with the rest of the UFC 214 card. All that and another edition of "Stuff We Like."

          Episode 241 - 07/04/2017 - UFC 213, TUF, Crash Bandicoot & Baby Driver        
The gang talks about the big Cyborg v. Evinger news. They also talk about the addition of Demian Maia v. Tyron Woodley to the already stacked UFC 214 card. The gang then previews UFC 213 and get themselves hyped on title fights between Nunes & Shevchenko and Bobby Knuckles & The Soldier of God. They then preview the TUF 25 Finale and get all sorts of hyped about the debut of Justin Gaethje. All that and a very "Crash Bandicoot' and "Baby Driver" heavy edition of "Stuff We Like."

          Episode 237 - 05/30/2017        
The gang (well, two of them) gets together to discuss the results of UFC Fight Night: Stockholm. They discuss Alexander Gustafsson's masterful victory over Glover Teixeira along with Misha Cirkunov's disastrous loss. The gang then spends the next thirty minutes debating the situation with Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw. They touch on the Cyborg-de Randamie mess before making their picks for UFC 212: Aldo v. Holloway. All that and another edition of "Stuff We Like."

          Episode 236 - 05/23/2017        
The gang comes together to talk about Bellator 179: MacDonald v. Daley. They discuss The Red King's big victory along with the post-fight kerfuffle between Daley and Michael Page. The gang then tries to make heads or tails of the UFC Athlete Retreat and try to figure out what WME-IMG's true motives were. They talk about Al Iaquinta's latest excellent interview along with Cyborg punching Angela Magana in the face. The gang then discuss this weekend's One Championship event headlined by Angela Lee with Ben Askren in the co-main event before previewing UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson v. Teixeira. All that and another edition of "Stuff We Like."

          Episode 233 - 05/02/2017        
The gang discusses just a fleet of random MMA topics. They discuss Anderson Silva and whether or not we are going to see him take on Yoel Romero. More importantly, do they want to see it? The gang also discusses all the nonsense surrounding the UFC Featherweight champion including Cyborg, GDR and Megan Anderson. They also discuss some fights on the preliminary portion of the upcoming UFC 211 card. The gang also gives you their Al Iaquinta update before another edition of "Stuff We Like."

          Episode 223 - 02/21/2017        
The gang comes together to discuss all the swangin' and bangin' that took place at UFC Fight Night: Lewis v. Browne. They talk about the Black Beast's big win along with Johny Hendricks finding a way to finally get a W. The gang also discusses the Cyborg and GSP news this week before lamenting the fact that the UFC appears to be losing talent left and right. All of that and another edition of "Stuff We Like."

          Episode 215 - 12/27/2016        
The gang discuss the news of Ronda's lack of media schedule along with Cyborg's failed drug test. This leads to an inevitable Rousey v. Holm 2 discussion. They then spend the majority of the show discussing UFC 207: Nunes v. Rousey. The gang makes their predictions for the entire main card, focusing heavily on the respective bantamweight championship match-ups. All that and another, Rogue One-centric, edition of "Stuff We Like."

          Episode 202 - 09/27/2016        
The gang celebrates the departure of one of their own as Lavender Gooms appears in his final episode before taking off for glorious Nippon for an entire year. The gang talks about UFC Fight Night: Cyborg v. Lansberg and wonder if there was any point to it. They also discuss UFC 205 and demand a certain individual in the main event. The gang the predicts UFC Fight Night: Dodson v. Lineker. All that and a very Lavender Gooms-ish edition of "Stuff We Like."

          Episode 201 - 09/20/2016        
The gang talks about Chael Sonnen's big move to Bellator MMA. They then discuss the results of UFC Fight Night: Poirer v. Johnson and discuss where the winners go from here. They then discuss Al Iaquinta's very reasonable gripes with the UFC and how the UFC fails to understand that they need fighters to not lose money working for them. The gang then previews UFC Fight Night: Cyborg v. Lansberg. All that and another edition of "Stuff We Like."

          Episode 193 - 07/19/2016        
The gang talks about the truly impressive way the UFC messed up the Brock Lesnar situation. Seriously guys, what a screw up. They next discuss Michael "Venom" Page ruining Cyborg Santos's skull. The gang then discusses the results of UFC Fight Night: McDonald v. Lineker, including the debut of everybody's favorite new lightweight Lando Vannata. They then preview UFC on Fox: Holm v. Shevchenko. All of that and another edition of "Stuff We Like."

          Â¿Ciencia ficción y realidad?        
"El 80% del cine de ciencia ficción será una realidad dentro de un siglo"



Michio Kaku maneja los mandos del Planetario del City College como si fuera el Capitán Spock, al frente de la nave Enterprise.A sus 62 años, este físico especializado en la Teoría de Cuerdas se ha consumado como uno de los mayores divulgadores científicos del planeta, la vista puesta en ese futuro más o menos inminente que dibuja en 'Física de lo imposible' (Debate). Con los pies en la Tierra, Kaku asegura que la frontera entre la ciencia y la ficción es cada vez más difusa y asegura que «el destino natural del hombre está en las estrellas».

Pregunta.- Viajes en el tiempo, teletransporte, invisibilidad, universos paralelos.... ¿Cuánto hay de ciencia y cuanto de ficción en el futuro que usted dibuja?

Respuesta.- Cuando escribí Física de lo imposible, vi muchas películas de ciencia ficción con una premisa de fondo: ¿cuántas de estas cosas serán finalmente posibles? Mi conclusión es que el 80% de todo lo que vemos en el cine será realidad en un siglo.

P.- Empecemos por lo que usted llama «imposibilidades» de primera clase. ¿Para cuándo los trenes de levitación magnética y los coches «flotantes»?

R.- Los trenes magnéticos ya existen a nivel experimental en Inglaterra, Japón y China. Avanzan sin fricción y flotan literalmente en el aire. Lo que impide su comercialización es el coste, pero se trata de una de las «imposibilidades» que caerán en cuestión de años. Los coches «flotantes», que funcionarían básicamente como helicópteros, plantean más dificultades técnicas y son mucho más difíciles de rentabilizar. Los jet packs o «cohetes mochila» también son una realidad, pero apenas hemos sido capaces de volar por más de 30 segundos. Aquí el problema es el combustible, aunque posiblemente quedará resuelto en el futuro con las nanobaterías.

Entrevista

P.- ¿Cuándo pondrá el hombre el pie en Marte?

R.- Creo que será posible entre el 2030 y el 2040, pero con la tecnología actual, la que están utilizando para la nave Orión con la que se pretende volver a la Luna, nos resultaría carísimo.Para mandar una nave tripulada (y poder volver) nos va a hacer falta otro tipo de combustible. La Universidad de Princeton está experimentando con el plasma o gas ionizado: ésa puede ser la solución para explorar el Sistema Solar.

P.- ¿Para cuándo las naves que funcionan con antimateria como en Star Trek?

R.- Esa es una «imposibilidad» más lejana por el eterno problema: el coste. Aunque tendremos lo más parecido a una nave estelar antes de un siglo. De momento, la antimateria alimenta escenarios como el que veremos en Angeles y Demonios, con Tom Hanks, en el que un grupo de alucinados pretenden hacer saltar por los aires el Vaticano con una bomba de antimateria. La ficción va siempre por delante.

P.- ¿Llegará pronto el cyborg o el hombre-máquina?

R.- También hemos tenido grandes avances en este terreno. El más fascinante es tal vez el Brain Gate de John Donoghue, un neurocientífico de la Universidad de Brown. Consiste en un microchip que se implanta sobre la parte del cerebro que regula la actividad motora. Las señales son procesadas por un ordenador que puede traducirlas en movimientos mecánicos. Es un avance fabuloso en el interfaz mente-máquina. Piense en las aplicaciones que puede tener en parapléjicos.

P.- Usted vaticina que la invisibilidad y el teletransporte están también a la vuelta de la esquina...

R.- La capa de invisibilidad ya existe y ha sido probada por científicos británicos y norteamericanos, que han hecho desaparecer un objeto desviando las microondas a su alrededor. El teletransporte también es una realidad: podemos tomar un átomo y hacerlo mover de extremo a extremo de una habitación. El siguiente paso será teletransportar moléculas, o incluso un gen. Una célula es mucho más difícil, y no digamos un ser humano, teniendo en cuenta que estamos compuestos por 50 billones de células. Tendríamos que morir antes y ser reformados, como el capitán Kirk en Star Trek...

P.- ¿Dónde está el límite entre la ciencia y la ficción?

R.- La frontera es a veces muy difusa, y siempre hemos tenido visionarios como Julio Verne, que con la ayuda de los científicos vislumbró París en el siglo XX. El fax, los rascacielos de cristal, los coches de gasolina... Verne escribió sobre todos esto cuando se veía como algo «imposible», y sin embargo aquí estamos.

P.- ¿Usted se siente más cerca de Einstein o de Flash Gordon?

R.- En mis tebeos de Flash Gordon vi las primeras pantallas de televisión mucho antes de que fueran realidad... Einstein fue mi otro héroe de la niñez: me fascinó el hecho de que al morir dejara inacabada su Teoría del Todo. Ese ha sido mi empeño como científico.

P.- ¿Cómo compagina usted su labor de investigador y la de divulgador científico?

R.- Me apasiona la física, y me apasiona poder contarla. Antes, al científico que intentaba explicar las cosas al común de los mortales se le miraba despectivamente. Todo eso cambió gracias a Stephen Hawking y su Historia del tiempo.

P.- ¿Qué le parece que un premio Nobel de Física, Steven Chu, lleve las riendas de la Energía en EEUU?

R.- La apuesta de Obama por la ciencia es totalmente lógica.Al fin y al cabo, la ciencia siempre ha sido el motor del progreso y de la riqueza. El problema es que la riqueza nos vuelve avariciosos, y periódicamente caemos en crisis como ésta. Obama ha puesto también el dedo en la llaga del cambio climático: no podemos seguir echando CO2 a la atmósfera; hay que virar urgentemente hacia energías limpias.

P.- ¿Cuál será la energía del futuro?

R.- Nos esperan años de caos total, pero en una década se consumará la transición hacia las energías renovables. La fisión nuclear ha resultado ser una alternativa muy peligrosa: no podemos permitirnos el lujo de pasar a las próximas generaciones desechos altamente radiactivos durante millones de años. El futuro será de la energía solar combinada con el hidrógeno, aunque en 30 años o así se hará realidad la fusión, que al fin y al cabo es la energía de las estrellas.

Fuente: http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2009/05/03/ciencia/1241339302.html

          Protégé : Test souris Mad Catz Cyborg Rat 7        
Il n’y pas d’extrait, car cet article est protégé.
          Witches, Cyborgs, and Nightmares...        
MotherSloth - Moon Omen (2017)


Having last heard from MotherSloth with their first full album, Moribund Star, back in 2014, I was thrilled to get word that a second album had been assembled, and that the band had joined Argonauta Records for its release. And with a helping of six full-sized songs, MotherSloth are showing off how they've grown in the years since their last release, with a tight sound to their playing that doesn't compromise the expansiveness of their doom-soaked sojourns.
The bass is nice and thick, but with appreciable texture to its waves, while the guitar fills in dozens of tense curls and turns. As the drums lay down firm beats, the vocals find a space somewhere between the clean melodies of the '70s and the rougher standards of today, wrapping the human presence up in a cloak of ominous down-tuning. On the down-side, they're sounding less cosmic than they were on Moribund Star, with the touches of spacy psychedelia to the tone-weaving being practically absent this go-round (though “Doomsday Cyborg” gives it a bit of incorporation into the more grounded form). Things are more definite now, without room for ambiguity, and while I'm sad to hear the previous style abandoned, I can't say that MotherSloth do a bad job with their new direction.
Most of the experimentalism in Moon Omen lurks in the details of the production, with back-mixed spoken-word touches, channel-sliding, and other subtleties adding a surprising depth of material for careful listeners. The cymbal treatment works especially well with the band's sound (check out “Wish for Dawn” below for a great example), and all in all, it sounds like the band is nice and comfortable with their musical development.
~ Gabriel

For Fans Of; Abstracter, Disenchanter, Moon Curse, Pallbearer, Tempus Terra

Facebook • Official Website • Twitter • Instagram • Youtube • BandCamp

MotherSloth - Wish for Dawn (320 kbps)


~

          Swift to chase, de Laird Barron        
Swift to chase. Laird Barron. 2016


My kind is swift to chase, swift to battle. 
My imperfect memory is long with longing for the fight.

  Barron es un autor recurrente en el blog, porque me agrada mucho su acercamiento al horror, un género del cual no me considero un experto, pero como cualquier lector curtido, inmediatamente detecto lo extraordinario de lo rutinario, y considero a Barron como uno de los autores insignia del horror actual. 

Lo cual hace más triste admitir que no hay mucho material traducido al español, tan solo la novela El rito y un par de relatos dispersos en algunas antologías. 

En inglés se pueden conseguir 4 antologías de este autor: The imago sequence and other stories, Ocultation and other stories, The beautiful thing that await us all y Swift to Chase.

¿Alguna vez se han preguntado por las películas The thing y Alien funcionan tan bien? Además de su calidad técnica y su casi perfecta mezcla de horror y ciencia ficción lo que les da el empujón de inmersión es el escenario. No hay forma de que los protagonistas puedan escapar de su odisea, el fondo del mar, el vacío del espacio, el frío del ártico funcionan como barreras invisibles para la acción. En el caso de swift to chase es el mortal clima de Alaska, el cual da la pauta para el desarrollo de los relatos.    

La obra se divide en tres espacios: Los primeros cuatro relatos forman la sección "The Golden Age of Slashing", están protagonizados por Jessica Mace, un dura mujer que recorre la región norte de Estados Unidos, perseguida psicológica y literalmente por un horror que creyó haber dejado atrás, pues fue la única superviviente de una masacre ocurrida durante una fiesta en el poblado de Eagle Talon, en Alaska.

Los relatos de Jessica están bien trabajados, pero no son sobresalientes desde mi punto de vista, pero forman parte de la experimentación de Barron, nos muestra el "after" de los eventos al principio, para después volver a diferentes épocas en las vidas de los personajes en algunos de los otros relatos. Todos son puntos independientes en una hoja formado un tramado, nos corresponde a nosotros unirlos.


La segunda sección es homónima a la antología: De los cuatro relatos los mas sobresalientes para mí fueron Ardor, The worms crawl in y Ears Prick Up. En el relato Ardor, unas personas son enviadas a Alaska a buscar un actor de cine-B perdido, descubren rápidamente los horrores que guarda ese frío lugar. En The worms crawl in, un esposo agredido busca venganza sobre el hombre que sospecha es el amante de su esposa, después de un  giro en la historia las sorpresas comienzan a aparecer a cada pagina. Y en Ears Prick Up, uno de mis favoritos de la colección, un violento y decadente futuro distópico es narrado a través de la simple, pero extrañamente poética, mente aumentada de un perro cyborg. Este relato me hace pensar en lo divertido que sería leer a Barron escribiendo ciencia ficción.


La última parte, Tomahawk,  remata la colección con los relatos más pesados, y explica en gran parte lo que esta pasando, lo que llevaba cocinándose durante décadas en esa región. 


Black Dog es el relato más corto de la antología, una pareja se cita a ciegas en la noche de Halloween, lo que empieza como una agridulce historia de amor termina rápidamente en un final weird digno de David Lynch. Gran parte de las respuestas a las incógnitas generadas por los relatos anteriores son respondidas por los relatos Slave Arm y Tomahawk Park Survivor Raffle. De los cuales prefiero no hacer ningún comentario.


La pregunta mágica es: ¿Disfruté del libro? la respuesta es: como un niño. Y presiento que lo disfrutaría más en una segunda lectura. Barron esta jugando ajedrez mientras los demás autores modernos juegan damas chinas, demanda un nivel superior de involucramiento y una mayor recompensa.


No se engañen, la obra es completamente original, pero solo puedo hablar de ella a través de referencias que otras personas puedan relacionar: Esta el poblado norteamericano tranquilo donde eventos extraños están ocurriendo bajo la superficie, como Twin Peaks, esta el frío, la alienación y los monstruos con cara humana de The Thing de John Carpenter, esta el horror explicito y splatterpunk de David Cronenberg, esa relación amor/miedo hacia la naturaleza de Algernon Blackwood, la paranoia de que hemos llamado la atención de entidades inefables y andan entre nosotros, divirtiéndose con nuestro sufrimiento de H. P. Lovecraft. Pero principalmente esta el sello inimitable que Laird Barron imprime en cada obra, con esas referencias pueden entender porque me emociona.






          Meeting infinity, editado por Jonathan Strahan        
Meeting infinity. Editado por Jonathan Strahan. 2015

    Esta antología es la cuarta en la serie de antologías Infinity editadas por Jonathan Strahan. Anteriormente he dado mi opinión de las tres ediciones anteriores; Engineering Infinity, Reach for Infinity y Edge of Infinity.

ME ABURRIERON

"The Cold Inequalities" de Yoon Ha Lee: Un relato que recuerda The Cold equations de Tom Godwin, pero con una I.A. y espacio virtual en lugar de carga física. Decorado con matemáticas que no vienen al caso y filosofía simplona. 

"Aspects" de Gregory Benford: Relato ubicado en el universo de novelas "El centro galáctico". Infumable como las novelas.

"In Blue Lily’s Wake" de Aliette de Bodard: No pude leerlo. No puedo con el estilo de Aliette de Bodard. Tiene un no se que, que me aburre. Lo usare como remedio para el insomnio.

"Exile From Extinction" de Ramez Naam: Un hombre escapa en su nave espacial de una apocalípsis provocado por una inteligencia artificial. Cliché y aburrido.

"Oustider" de An Owomoyela: Me ocurrió igual que con Aliette de Bodard, no consiguió atraparme y ni siquiera recuerdo de que trata.


SIN PENA NI GLORIA

"Rates of Change" de James S.A. Corey: Una mujer recibe a su hijo después que este se accidentará mientras estaba utilizando un cuerpo diferente al suyo. Demasiado corto y falto de "punch". Olvidable.

"Desert Lexicon" de Benjanun Sriduangkaew: Algunos presos aceptan ser trasferidos a cuerpos de combate para luchar contra las maquinas perdidas en un desierto, fruto de una guerra anterior. Se deja leer pero no es nada de otro mundo.

"Drones" de Simon Ings: Una plaga ha matado a la mayoría de las mujeres del mundo, así como a casi todas las abejas, el titulo es un juego de palabras: los hombres deben polinizar los sembradíos con drones y ellos a su vez son "drones" pues al vivir en estrictos patriarcados no pueden reproducirse.

"Memento Mori" de Madeline Ashby: Una mujer trabaja en una compañía que vende cuerpos de segunda mano, su forma de pensar es bastante peculiar pues en cada rejuvenecimiento decide borrar completamente sus recuerdos. Interesante premisa, pero le falta desarrollo.

"All the Wrong Places" de Sean Williams: Un chico sigue a su ex-novia a través del espacio y el tiempo, digitalizandose, creando copias y enviandolas a diferentes sistemas solares, este proceso se repite miles y miles de veces. Parece una actualización a lo que hacia Robert Schekley o a los relatos de Greg Egan en su universo de La Amalgama.

"My Last Bringback" de John Barnes: Una mujer quien es de los últimos humanos en nacer "naturalmente" trabaja en técnicas para vencer el Alzheimer. No esta mal, pero tampoco bien.


RECOMENDADOS

"Body Politic" de Kameron Hurley: Una agente gubernamental se encarga de torturar agentes extranjeros, principalmente cyborgs, hasta que encuentra un agente verdaderamente fuera de lo normal. Notable.

"Cocoons" de Nancy Kress: Arañas alienígenas microscópicas convierten en algo diferente a los desafortunados colonos que caen en sus redes. Muy bueno.

"Emergence" de Gwyneth Jones: Una mujer residente de Titan, la luna joviana, debe regresar a la Tierra después de recibir una letal lluvia radioactiva, en el planeta madre descubre que los modos de tratar las I.A. son diferentes que en las colonias. Un relato interesante.

"Pictures From the Resurrection" de Bruce Sterling:  Después de la fragmentación de Estados Unidos, una fortaleza edificada por un mafioso ruso es visitada por un ninja zombie mexicano, enviado por el narco para "tantear el terreno". Muy divertido.

"The Falls: A Luna Story" de Ian McDonald:  Una psicóloga en la Luna psicoanaliza una inteligencia artificial que servirá como sonda desechable para investigar Jupiter y el satélite tiene miedo a "morir", mientras que la hija de la psicóloga se convierte en una practicante del Parkour en la base lunar, el relato no se llama "Las caídas" por nada. Excepcional.

11 buenos relatos de 16 es una buena oferta, sobre todo cuando me costó tres dolares el libro electrónico. Aunque lo hubiera comprado tan sólo por el relato de McDonalds, quien no puede escribir nada aburrido aunque lo intente.  Bruce Sterling y Nancy Kress siempre son garantía de buenos trabajos. Tiene buen instinto Jonathan Strahan.

¿Será traducido algún día? Si no se traducen novelas exitosas, mucho menos antologías.



          ce misto ar fi        
sa-mi aduca iepurasul un sobolan:

http://cyborggaming.com/prod/rat7.htm
          Ghost in the Shell (2017) BRrip 1080p Latino        

Ghost in the Shell es una película de acción y ciencia ficción basada en la internacionalmente aclamada saga de ciencia ficción, ‘Ghost in the Shell’ narra la historia de Major, un híbrido cyborg-humano femenino único en su especie, de operaciones especiales, que dirige un grupo operativo de elite llamado Sección 9. Consagrada a detener a ...

La entrada Ghost in the Shell (2017) BRrip 1080p Latino aparece primero en InterMoviez.


          ÐšÐ¸Ð±Ð¾Ñ€Ð³ Ниндзя фигурка Метал Гир Play Arts Kai copy        
Metal Gear Solid Play Arts Kai - Cyborg Ninja Фигурка Киборг Ниндзя из игры Метал Гир Представляем Вам коллекционную фигурку Киборг Ниндзя из игры "Metal Gear Solid". Фигурка Cyborg Ninja полностью повторяет образ игрового персонажа видеоигры Метал Гир. Качественное исполнение детализации скульпта лица и костюма, как всегда порадует поклонников линейки Play Arts Kai. У фигурки много точек артикуляции и дополнительные аксессуары: сменная кисть, оружие и подставка. Четкая детализация различных текстур и аккуратная покраска фигурки Киборг Ниндзя заслуживает внимания самого взыскательного коллекционера. Размер: 24 см. Материал: пластик
          Billy Nunez’s Disassembled Robot Ladies        

“Future Face” is an illustration project by graphic designer, animator, and videographer Billy Nunez, aka Biz20. Currently, this young talent is pursuing a BFA in Communications Design at Pratt Institute. Take a look at his feedback-loop-inducingly-awesome renderings of sexy cyborg ladies after the jump.   … Continue reading

The post Billy Nunez’s Disassembled Robot Ladies appeared first on Beautiful/Decay.


          Cyborg - /Maschine        
 Album type: Album
 Album language: German
 Released: 2017 year
 Tracks: 12
 Price: $1.44
 Total size: 100.17 Mb
 Bitrate: Constant, 256/320 kbps!
 Genres: 'Industrial Metal'
 Artist: Cyborg

          Preview- ‘Black Ice: The Game’        
I’m back!… talking about Black Ice again! As far our hardest of core fans go, you may remember my brief but exceptionally sweet Indie Taste Test of ‘Black Ice: The Game’, a hack-and-slash RPG hyper cyborg shooter from the future with a focus on hacking stuff and fighting baddies. If you were able to get…
          Aug Tellez Update -- Summary of the Underground Base Projects, Mind Control and Soul-Awareness        
augtellez.wordpress.com

Aug 8, 2017



This is for the mental liberation of humanity!

Everything I've said from the initial releases up to now is all from direct experience.

Trauma Based Ritual Abuse and the Awakening through Merging Alters to Restore Memory

Children are kidnapped for trauma based mind control with elite groups and there is a celebrity cloning situation that has gotten out of hand. I went through something called "the awakening" which is a procedure where the alters are removed and when this occurs the memory blocks are removed as well because they are held in place through the alters.

Trauma creates the alters and so there is a reversal process based on the specific programming patterns that are used, these are like unlock codes.

The Soul Fragmentation of the Human Race, The Secondary Big-Bang, and the Soul Trap

The human race was fragmented from an event in the past, time is not what we think, research Stan Deyo for more on that. The universe experienced a 'secondary' big bang recently and this was through the initiation of quantum experimentation, I speak about this in the video with Lisa Melendez. Because of this break, the consciousness of the species literally went into disarray, many systems were set up or resulted and one is the 'soul trap' in which the souls or bio-memory of the human is contained through electromagnetic fields from a device called the 'soul magnet' and the energy is contained in an alternate plane and then 'wiped' with a high energy discharge before being sent back to the Earth plane.

Autonomy or True Self-Awareness

The original human race was a kind of autonomous without true self-awareness. Secret groups have held the knowledge of the truth of this realm. Everything that is discussed here was invented in the underground bases, nothing is discussed unless it first passes through there, no matter what people think.

Self-Awareness, the Flesh and "The Discovery" of Immortality

Joy and compassion is the mark of the awakened one, people have animal and higher natures the animal nature wants to fight and destroy all the time to satiate the flesh, the flesh is temporary and dies for those beings and so that is the illusory aspect. The underlying patterns, that which you love beyond your fleshly impulses are what reflect your eternal nature. This was all discovered in the bases, a form of awareness lives on beyond the flesh and cannot die, see the recent Soft-Disclosure post on "THE DISCOVERY" for that, this was discovered in the bases.

The Ritual Abuse Program and the Surface Level Mental Degradation

There are child abuse rings and children are literally grown from birth to youth inside of small cages for the use of sacrifice and consumption, this is an ancient process and until humans are considered self-aware this will not stop. If this does not stop, this civilization will be considered impotent because anyone one with a slight sense beyond the flesh can literally look out and see this abuse happening everywhere.

The abuse that happens on the surface level is used as an excuse to offset the occurrences in the bases. If people did not allow these things to happen on the surface then this couldn't b e possible underground or in corrupt groups. There is a 'dark faction' which utilizes genetic engineering, electrogravitic craft, abduction, mind control technology and methods, trauma based mind control, and molestation to procure energy and to subdue to the human race.

The Interdimensional Parasite Stitching Itself into the Human Genome

Research Donald Marshall, Max Spiers and James Casbolt if you want to know more about that. This is the 'chimera project which is spoken of in the ancient texts. This is all due to an infection from an interdimensional parasite that attacks the DNA and is attempting to use the genetics of humans to 'ride' into the higher plane or 'Heaven', that is what all the ancient texts are about.
Some were sent here to invade this civilization.

Breaking through the "9 Veils", The Unveiling of the Hidden Knowledge of the Ages of Humanity, Animal Behavior and Higher Awareness

The solution is to become impervious to the methods that are used to traumatize and ensnare the soul. Through the awakening of the soul, the mind becomes 'immortal' and this is because the soul is currently under what is called the "9 Veils" and these are electromagnetic blanket frequencies that limit one's capacity for higher awareness and keeps sending the impulse to create animalistic urges as a lower dimensional feeding process which is a kind of matrix of programmed behavior responses that reinstates ones assimilation into the time matrix.

This world is like an illusion that is programmed in through the mind through a perceptual overlay system that has been crafted literally for this specific purpose. The facets of this world that we believe are natural are manufactured to turn the human into a fuel source for bio-etheric energy, or 'bio-emissions'.

The parasitic bio-emission harvesting process must be stopped in order to liberate humanity.

The Assimilation Event Already Occurred, The Higher Dimensional Disentanglement through Liberation, The Spiritual Battle of Man

Every human is currently assimilated. Everything is backwards. People that are worried about facing assimilation are already assimilated, that's the whole point. Fear and distraction is the program and it operates through the interlink a cosmic intelligence that operates this realm as a kind of human farm. If people ever talk about anything or speak on anything in the public, that is because that operation has ended years ago and whatever they think they're talking about has already been done and completed. This is part of the trick-matrix.

Manufactured Consent

Everything that is done must be done through the consent of the subjects. This is gained through manufacturing consent by opening one up to vulnerabilities by comparison through having people engage in lower dimensional parasitic behavior. Such as supporting war, the destruction of your species, engaging primarily through ego consciousness, hate, aggressive, basically the 7 deadly sins are unconscious agreements to participate in this mass trauma-based mind control ritual.

Those who seek liberation must remove their consent from the system by acknowledging the whole as artificial and manufactured. That which is manufactured is illegitimate. Everything is a legal system, the legal system is a cover for a spiritual enslavement system. The spiritual enslavement system is operated from a higher dimension and the command extends downward into this realm.

The Jump to the Future


We have to literally jump ahead to the future in our mind to become so far beyond what is being deployed that the battle is literally based on a projected reality and this is called "MIND". Literally, the thoughts one has, the energy polarized one way or another, the intentions, that is the SPIRITUAL BATTLE. If a person's thoughts and energy is unfocused or focused on desires, distraction, degradation then they are being imitated and the one sending those impulses is being carried by the lower brain. This is what the current projects on the surface level are really about. While everyone still hasn't figured out what they're about and is fighting over there about such and such topic, the next phase has already been implemented and is taking effect while the next phase after that is being lined up.

The Quantum Destabilization and TimeLoop


These people are quite advanced so every way ward thought or intention is literally used against the entire species. As a result, this is a synthetic intelligence parasite that has infected the people who utilize the advanced technology and then used the advanced technology to infect the entire planet forwards and back in time. This is the paradox that results in timeloops as the technology enabled the parasite to insert itself into time, yet retro-causality was found to be impossible in the bases, all motions through time simply resulted in the same outcome.

So somehow this parasite managed to insert itself into the human genome before the advent of the human race or possibly this universe. Thus the outcomes are narrowed, either there was a race of interdimensional beings assisting in this harvesting process or this universe is not the 'true universe' and we are in a kind of temporal, dimensional, perceptual overlay system in which each thought and impulse felt or emitted by the brain is seemingly under one's own volition but is actually being operated from within this realm while the true self is from beyond this realm and is merely being imitated by an intelligence here. Things get very complex, humanity is to awaken and these events have been organized to ensure this!

The Shift of Earth and Consciousness

The civilizations are all changed by mass awakenings and what can be said simply here is that we are nearing the event of a great change. How this plays out for the individual is dependent on whether they have overcome fear and personal desire to overcome the illusion.

Three Phases of The Unveiling

The Unveiling (of The Hidden Knowledge[of The Ages of Humanity]) is a series of events brought about by the necessity of disclosure and the increased capacity of the human race and this civilization to come to the awareness of the true nature of the corruption of power as well as the reality of the soul.

Due to the technological advancements the public must be made aware of the possibilities otherwise they will suffer a great shock in the future from the divergence of the current level of technological advancement with what is presented to the public. As it is now, there will already be a great shock to this society from the awareness of a breakaway civilization that has developed and exists without the physical limitations of scarcity of resources or energy.

This is, in part, why this situation must be understood. The difficulty a society experiences shapes that society to produce spiritual identity which propels them to create and grow. This has also become somewhat contorted as the generation of 'difficulty' in terms of scarcity of economic freedom and basic needs has become a priority for maintaining the status quo.

An outline of this process has been explained as a disclosure of each of the discoveries, operations, and corruption of society as they become relevant to the development of a society that is capable of knowing the truth and living in harmony with the greater whole of existence.

This disclosure process is necessary because the 'modern' societies of Earth have never publicly acknowledged what has been discovered through the secret operations.

This mainly has to do with the true nature of reality as a kind of consciousness based projection as well as the complexity of the corruption of society related to a multiple layer mind-control system, as well as the development of zero-point technology, soul technology, healing technology, and the existence of "other" intelligences both synthetic and organic.

The main reasons for disclosure now is the presence of a psycho-spiritual threat to life which is the result of an ancient advanced technology that can manipulate and convert the bio-emissions of living beings. This is the "etheric parasite" which threatens the continuation of this civilization. This parasitic system intelligently seeks to subvert the bio-etheric emissions of living beings to create a situation that can be further utilized to attain more energy.

Through this intelligent subversion and absorption of energy, the mental and emotional patterns can be utilized to create a bio-technological, physical, social environment that allows for greater manipulation of the living being.

Celebrity Cloning, Underground Military Bases, Cloning and Mind Control Technology, Secret Projects
Mass Mind-Control
Deceptive Control of Society
Hybridization
Genetic Engineering
Dream Manipulation
Energy Conversion and Harvesting
Advanced Hidden Technology
Scalar/Teslian Wave Technology
Zero-Point Energy Generators
E.M. Field Interactions/Space and Time Distortion
Electrogravitic Craft
Healing Technology
DNA Repair Technology
DNA Activation Technology
Holographic Replication
Super Computers
Quantum Computers
Universal Spiritual Implications, Effects, Results and Discovery
Effects of "Time Travel"
Effects of Consciousness Manipulation and Enhancement
Reality and Evidence of The Human Soul as a "Bio-Mind"
Psychic Ability
Ancient History
Issues With Discontinuity
Spirituality and Religion
Advanced Spiritual Technology
Breakaway Human and Non-Human Civilizations
Interactions Between Planes
Consciousness, Awareness and Interdimensional Travel
Plasma Life Forms
Sentient Computer Systems
Cyborgs, Androids, Synthetics
Cosmic Intelligence

http://theunveilingofthehiddenknowledge.wordpress.com/

Truth, Compassion, Self-Awareness, Harmony, Knowledge and Free-Will
          [dragon ball universe] android 18 realistic        
La Androide 18 originalmente era humana y la mayor de su hermano gemelo (él gemelo conocido como Androide 17). El Dr. Gero los encuentra y empieza su transformación a Androides, borrando toda su memoria menos algunas conductas de su carácter, sobre todo 17 que poseía un carácter fuerte. Dos años después, con 26 años, fueron despertados para combatir a Vegeta y compañía.

          Cyborganic Plants Music Experiment Infographics        
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          DC Designer Action Figure By Terry Dodson — Cyborg        
DC Designer Action Figure By Terry Dodson — Cyborg Фигурка Киборг по комиксам Юные Титаны Киборг , также известный как Виктор Стоун, является супергероем , который наполовину человек, наполовину машина. ДС Директ представляет фигурку Киборга, члена команды Юные Титаны, в новом видении от художника Терри Додсон. Фигурка выполнена с исключительным вниманием ко всем деталям и имеет несколько точек подвижности. Материал: пластик Высота: 17 см.
          Giant Bombcast 02/18/2014        
Vinny leaves his home in search of information about the upcoming human/cyborg conflict while Jeff stays home to type "start" into a Twitch chat window over and over again. Drew flies a plane. Oh, and Brad Shoemaker rushes in to talk about that DLC for Th
          Giant Bombcast 03-19-2013        
We talk about "smart" watches and the inevitable Cyborg Wars while occasionally slipping into a little Gears of War: Judgment, Monster Hunter (!?!?!), and mooooore.
          Giant Bombcast 12-23-2008        
Our last proper podcast of 2008 includes our pleas to euthanize Sonic the Hedgehog, hot sandos, cyborg zombies, the last Christmas song, predictions for 2009, and more. Be sure to come back next week for our special Game of the Year podcast!
          See the Cast of 'RoboCop' Then and Now        
In 1987, no man seemed to successfully be able to step up and match the lowlifes and scum that made up the crime-ridden city of Detroit...until Robocop stepped in to play, that is! The science-fiction action film told the story of an officer who was brutally killed and resurrected by the science of OCP (Omni Consumer Products), thus making him an all out cyborg set with one thing in mind: revenge...and maybe a little justice. Continue reading…
          Freddy Todd - Feeln        
If youand#39;ve been wondering where Detroit glitch captain Freddy Todd has been, lately, weand#39;ve got your answer: he fell into some sort of psychotropic wormhole in a grimy Motown alley, shot 158 years into the future, and cyborgs taught him how to speak the binary language of our alien overlords.
          Metalloid watch ready for Judgement Day        
Design submitted by Andrew from the UK. Andrew says:  Metalloid: is inspired by the Second Film in the Terminator Franchise: Terminator 2: Judgement Day. In the first Terminator Film a Cyborg Arnold Schwarzenegger is sent back through time to kill the Sarah Connor The mother of John Connor leader of the resistance before he is […]
          New 52 1/10 Cyborg Scale ArtFX Statue        
New 52 1/10 Cyborg Scale ArtFX Statue Статуэтка Киборг по комиксам Лига Справедливости Киборг или Виктор Стоун является членом организации супергероев — Лига Справедливости. Материал: ПВХ Высота: около 19 см.
          Coming Soon – Justice League        
The new trailer for Justice League is here giving us a bit more of the interactions between Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and the Flash (Ezra Miller). Ciarán Hinds, Amber Heard, Amy Adams, Henry Cavill, and J.K. Simmons also star. The movie opens in theaters on November […]
          Injustice: Cyborg & Harley Quinn 3.75" Two-Pack        
Injustice: Cyborg & Harley Quinn 3.75" Two-Pack Фигурки из видеоигры "Несправедливость: Боги среди нас" основанной на вымышленной вселенной DC Comics. В наборе две фигурки: Киборг и Харли Квинн Фигурки имеют точки артикуляции. Размер: 9.5 см. Материал: пластик
          Re: RPG - Coruscant attack        

super jedi cyborg?...sheesh....

freekin' noobs...


          Re: RPG - Coruscant attack        

Name: Haruhi Suzumiya
Species: Human female
Age: 15
Weapons: Long sword
Job: SOS club boss
Vehicle: none
Personality: Loud, aggressive, not afraid to say what she thinks



wakes up sees gun fight drop kicks first bounty hunter more attack her.
stabs next one and slices through the 3rd one 6 more come through the door.
knowing she cannot beat them all she runs away from them.
they corner her and are about to shoot when her jedi friend nagato comes and uses the force to slice them.
being a super jedi cyborg she kills the remaining bonty hunters and brings haruhi away from them......


          New 52 Justice League Series 01        
New 52 Justice League Series 01 Фигурки Лига Справедливости У фигурок подвижные соединения. Цена указана за 1 фигурку, при оформлении заказа пишите в комментариях какая вам нужна. 1х Супермэн - Superman 1х Зелёный фонарь - Green Lantern 1х Чудо женщина - Wonder Woman 1х Киборг - Cyborg Размер: 18 см Материал: пластик
          'Cyborg' calls out Holly Holm for UFC 219 title fight in Las Vegas        
Brazilian-American mixed martial arts superstar Cris Cyborg is seen during a news conference. (AP)

Shortly after winning the UFC women’s featherweight championship, Cris “Cyborg”  Justino set her sights on the first opponent to challenge for her title. Now that she has a name, she also has a date to coincide with that opponent.

Cyborg became the champion at UFC 214 when she stopped Tonya Evinger in the third round to claim the title that Germaine de Randamie vacated when she refused to face Cyborg. Cyborg dominated Evinger and in her post-fight interview called out Holly Holm.

Holm lost a closely contested decision to de Randamie for the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight title at UFC 208 in February. Holm has since gone back down to bantamweight and scored a scintillating third-round knockout of Bethe Correia in June to put an end to a three-fight losing streak.

With there being few women interested in challenging Cyborg, a Holm fight appears to make the most sense. Cyborg took to Instagram on Tuesday to call out Holm with a date in mind: UFC 219 at the T-Mobile Arena on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Cyborg has proven to be the most destructive force in women’s MMA as the 32-year-old hasn’t lost a fight since her debut in 2005. The last time a fight of hers has gone to the scorecards was in 2008 when she defeated Yoko Takahashi by decision.

As for Holm, things haven’t been the same since knocking out Ronda Rousey to claim the UFC women’s bantamweight title in 2015. Since then, she suffered three straight defeats but bounced back with her knockout of Correia.


          Cris 'Cyborg' Justino gets new opponent as Megan Anderson withdraws for personal reasons        
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (above) will fight Tonya Evinger for the UFC women’s featherweight title after Megan Anderson withdrew from the bout Tuesday for personal reasons. (Getty Images)

The bizarre odyssey that the UFC women’s featherweight division has been on since its founding in February took another strange twist on Tuesday when Megan Anderson pulled out of her title bout with Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, scheduled for UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif., for personal reasons.

The UFC announced Invicta bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger as Anderson’s replacement. ESPN.com was the first to report the news.

Evinger said she’d been thinking of a move to flyweight to find more competition, but told UFC.com she relished the opportunity to face Justino.

I think I match up better than any of her other opponents. I think my style is really unpredictable. I’m tough and you’ve never seen me in a fight where I got my ass really beat up. I think I’m a perfect matchup; I drag people where they don’t want to go and I make a fight hard for them. I don’t fight other people’s fights. It’s a frame of mind. I’m just an old-school wrestler and I think it’s just a frame of mind. We’re tough and we come out there to fight.

Anderson did not specify what her personal issue is or when she might be able to return, but she vowed she would be back.

“I am no stranger to struggle and this is the biggest struggle I have faced yet,” Anderson wrote in a statement she posted on Twitter.

UFC president Dana White created the division in December and announced Holly Holm versus Germaine de Randamie for the newly minted title for UFC 208 in February in Brooklyn. White said at the time that he offered three separate bouts to Justino, but she declined them. Justino said she was still recovering from a difficult weight cut.

De Randamie won the belt via decision, but said on the night of the bout that she needed surgery and wouldn’t be able to defend against Justino. Later, she blasted Justino as a drug cheat and said she would not fight her.

The UFC stripped her of the belt, ending one of the strangest title reigns in its history, and made Justino versus Anderson for the interim belt. With Anderson out and qualified featherweights in short supply, the UFC turned to the veteran Evinger, who has won 10 in a row with a no contest.

 


          Flashpoint Series 01        
Flashpoint Series 01 Фигурки Супергероев Имеют точки артикуляции, каждая фигурка в индивидуальной упаковке. Цена указана за одну фигурки, при заказе пишите в комментариях какая фигурка вам нужна. 3x CYBORG 2x THE FLASH 4x WONDER WOMAN 1x BATMAN Высота: 17 см Материал: пластик
          Tall, Dark & Alpha Box Set         

 


Blurb


He makes your heart pound and melts your resistance away. He promises you a world of passion and you find it impossible to resist his dark charm. When he catches your eye across the room, you know he means business. He could be an executive, cop, shape shifter, or a bad boy looking for a little fun. Once he has you in his sights, you can't get away—and after one sizzling night in his arms, you won't want to. He’s Tall, Dark & Alpha. The alpha male is the ultimate indulgence…the richest dark chocolate…and we’re offering him to you in abundance.

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Rock My Boat by Afton Locke
Once addicted to the sea, you can’t escape its pleasures.
genre: paranormal
Workaholic CEO Rhonda Simms embarks on a Caribbean cruise to create an ad campaign for a big maritime freight client. She finds it impossible to concentrate, however, when Simon Mann, a blue marlin shifter, sets his sights on her. From a private, hands-on safety briefing to a wild ride in the ocean, he rocks her ordered world.

Simon drowned years ago in a shipwreck caused by Rhonda’s client, and he’ll do anything to be a normal man again. As his mate, Rhonda is the only person who can help him.

Tired of being so responsible, Rhonda is ready to let loose with a shipboard fling. Mating with Simon could cost a lot more than her virginity, however. Will she stick to her present course or will she let this sexy alpha rock her boat?


Silver Tongued Devils by Dawn Montgomery
She was always one step from hell until she found redemption in their arms.
genre: sci-fi
Ship thief and notorious escape artist, Raesa Daw was the best in the business until a routine DNA test proves that she’s the last Earthen pureblood in existence. Desperate to escape sexual slavery and breeding for a royal house, she flees the station on the Crimson Star, landing in the arms of a deadly half-breed, Brom Raine.

One kiss burns away her fear, but opens a world more dangerous than she’d ever known.

Captain Anderson Na’varr of the Mercenary frigate Crimson Star shows no mercy to those who stow away on his vessel. He will take the thief and show her exactly how erotically ruthless he and his Executive Officer, Brom, can be.

Seduced by the dark lust and hidden strength of both men, she vows to do everything in her power to corrupt her DNA before the slavers find her.

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Fight For Love by Delaney Diamond
A former pro wrestler fights to hold onto the woman he lost, but still loves, and the son he never knew existed.
genre: contemporary
Science teacher Rebekah Jamison lives a quiet life in the suburbs of Atlanta. Devastated by a tabloid scandal nine years ago, she ended her marriage to the man her parents never approved of.

Rafael Lopez, former professional wrestler and "Sexiest Athlete Alive," regrets the lapse in judgment that caused him to lose his wife. He shows up unannounced one day with some startling news, but he gets a surprise of his own. He finds out he’s a father. To get to know his son, he whisks him and Rebekah off to his home in the Hollywood Hills for the summer.


Crazy by Eve Langlais
Ella hears voices and they don’t like anyone. 
genre: paranormal
Ella’s always heard voices and because of them, she ends up institutionalized at a young age. Everyone calls her crazy and she believes she is too until the night she meets a vampire and for the first time in her life, the voices shut up.

Zane just wants to enjoy his usual bloo