That is all. I have also been drinking and won’t proof read this so apologies for any grammatical oddities.
THINGS WHAT I READ:
1.0 Robin Sloan posted on medium ‘In Praise of the Live Stream‘
The terrible live stream is precious because, of all the formats available to us now, it selects least. It resists the narrative compression of “news.” It shows a scene that, for all its intensity, is mostly slow-moving and confusing. It forces us to sit through the in-between minutes that an editor would cut. The live stream, uniquely among formats, is free to be muddled and boring, with no clear storyline and no assurance that This Is All Going Somewhere.
Just like life.
For a while I was kinda glued to Vice’s live stream in Ferguson. Especially so in the quiet bits. They can make you aware of the happening next-door *reality* of something in a way packaged news reports never can.
1.1 Also at Medium, Paul Ford imagined Wednesday August 20th, 2064. Spot the shiny happy GE corporate future vision. Contains an interesting take on total global surveillance / sensing though:
it’s interesting when you scan old history scrolls to learn just how panicked everyone was about total global micro-surveillance. They just didn’t see it as a means of liberation, like we do now. Of course they lived in the era of giant government-run spying computers like Multivac. No one could imagine the upside of having every human interaction observed by penny sensors at all times. I’m glad to live in a world where a young woman can hop into a self-driving car with a total stranger and not feel a bit of concern.
I think I recall the introduction of CCTV systems being lauded as a great crime reduction tool.
1.2 Street Legal – an article in The Baffler from last year, discussing the security state, militarisation of the Police, and how perpetual war begins at home. And why nothing will change post-ferguson:
Official acts are presumed proper. If proper procedures are followed, no culpability attaches. And the procedures are always proper, because if they’re not, then new ones will be invented to make them so. See?
remind anyone else of:
JG Ballard absolutely nailing it in C21st.
THINGS THAT I LISTENED TO:
2.0 CLIPPING. 2.1 Force Publique. 2.2 TOKiMONSTA. 2.3 SOME OTHER STUFF.
I spent most of my Sunday afternoon/early evening on this. Please to be listening:
Force Publique – Fragile
FKA Twigs – Two Weeks (Drvg Cvltvre’s Percapella Remix)
axion117 – Down to The Forest
Clipping. – Taking Off
CRIM3S – DOSE (Sidewalks and Skeletons remix)
Pe† Ceme†ery – Turn Down For Goth
SHINTAI – 愛だけ
Stwo – Aura
senshi1992 – boys
Mssingno – Brandy flip
Ryan Hemsworth – Gods (with UV boi فوق بنفسجي)
♡kitty♡ – marijuana
TOKiMONSTA – Realla feat. Anderson Paak
Burial – Shutta
Flying Lotus – Ideas ft. Mapei
Death Grips – Billy Not Really
Old Apparatus – Baboon
Fifty Grand – Severed Arm
(in which I display my terrible lack of ability when it comes to naming things, and also steal blatantly from Dan Hon the numbering your items idea)
SOCIAL NETWORK WHAT
1.0 I’ve slowly been turning away from interacting / engaging with and on facebook. For all the usual reasons people give for doing so, and also because it is a bit wanky. I’ve began firehosing all the content from other places (here, twitter, flickr tumblr mainly) using a combination of Buffer and a bunch of IFTTT recipes. It seems to be working for me, and means I am not wasting my time reading timeline updates the day long.
STUFF WHAT I READ:
2.0 Brave New Now, the first in the ‘Close Closer’ series of ebooks from last year’s Lisbon Architectural Triennale which features stories about fictional future cities from authors including Warren Eliis, Bruce Sterling, Tim Maughan, Jonathon Dotse, Rachel Armstrong and others. I picked this up a while ago but didn’t start reading it until now, because reasons. I strongly recommend it and it’s less than £1.50.
2.1 A new term I came across this week is ‘Protopia’ – as opposed to the more common utopia or dystopia. Kevin Kelly writes about it:
Real dystopias are more like the old Soviet Union, or Libya, rather than Mad Max or Bladerunner: they are stifling bureaucratic rather than lawless. Ruled by fear, their society is hobbled except for the benefit of a few, but like the pirates at sea (see The Invisible Hook) there is far more law and order than not. In fact in real broken societies, the outrageous outlawry we associate with dystopias are not permitted. The big bandits keep the small bandits to a minimum. I think our destination is neither utopia nor dystopia nor status quo, but protopia.
Protopia is a state that is better than today than yesterday, although it might be only a little better. Protopia is much much harder to visualize. Because a protopia contains as many new problems as new benefits, this complex interaction of working and broken is very hard to predict.
I didn’t have much time / recall reading much else worthy of note so onwards to:
SHIT THAT I FOUND ON THE INTERNET THAT DOESN’T INCLUDE STUFF WHAT I READ
John Cale plus Drones Drones Drones plus urban landscapes plus interactive digital audio visual performance
Charting the story of a lost drone drifting through an abstract vertical cityscape, players are invited to pilot a virtual craft and remotely explore this imaginary world. The machine vision of the drone reduces the city to pure geometry as flightpath algorithms plot courses along the narrow streets. Samples from Cale’s original soundscape compositions echo across the landscape and we see the city through the eyes of the drone, buzzing between the buildings, drifting endlessly, in an ambient audio visual choreography.
3.1 http://futurecoast.org/ – listen to voicemails sent from a number of possible futures
There’s a lot we don’t know about our possible futures, but one thing we do: it’s got a software glitch in it, in the voicemail system, which is sending their voicemails back to our time. As these futurismo objects we call chronofacts. Huh. Weird.
3.2 http://www.urbanobservatory.org/ – an online tool from the Smithsonian that allows you to compare data between a number of different cities around the world, for instance housing density, impaired water supply, or traffic.
SHIT THAT I LISTENED TO
4.0 I finally remembered to buy the Clipping. LP from Sub Pop.
SHIT THAT I WATCHED
I managed to fit a few films in this week, which is a rarity for me.
5.0 Firstly, the best thing I’ve seen for a few weeks by a long way was the Francis Ford Coppola, Gene Hackman 1972 suspense thriller The Conversation. It was slow to start but through the film you are watching character become increasingly paranoid and coming apart at the seams. There was a point towards the end that makes you sit back and think “oh you clever fucking bastards”.
5.1 Raiders of the Lost Ark was on BBC3. That was quite fun.
5.2 Captain America 2 The Winter Soldier. Yeah that was pretty fun but throwaway at best. Felt like it was trying to cram to much in. I was drinking though when I was watching so take my opinion with a pinch of salt. I dunno, maybe after so many Marvel U films I’m starting to get a little tired of all the smart-talking.
These week notes are my way of keeping track on what I’ve done, read, listened to, or just seen on the internet over the course of a week. Because I missed last week this post will try to capture the last fortnight.
STUFF WHAT I READ:
I started to read Iain M Banks’ Matter on my Kindle, but I had to stop when it magically changed into the text of Stephen King’s Under The Dome when synchronising – Amazon’s customer support then emailed to say they took the title down so there’s a lesson there in buying non-DRM’d ebooks.
Adam Curtis’ most recent blog post on the hidden systems designed to stop us changing the world:
“It is the modern world of power – and it’s incredibly boring. Nothing to film, run by a cautious man who is in no way a wolf of Wall Street. It’s how power works today. It hides in plain sight – through sheer boringness and dullness.
No wonder we find it difficult to tell stories about it.”
“Rather than going smaller, our computers could go bigger. It is possible to replicate the functions of a transistor using water. In what is called the hydraulic analogy, a water transistor has a pressure-actuated valve that either enables or disrupts the flow of another pipe. A computer built with these transistors doesn’t need electricity at all, only water pressure. “
M1k3y rounded up the terrible grim meathook present we find ourselves in, and with a thematic follow up A Brief Tour of the End of the World. Though I sometimes think it was always ever thus and the only novel thing we have now is full spectrum, real time situational awareness of exactly how fucked up the world is. Here is a video of ISIS blowing up the tomb of biblical prophet Jonah in Mosul:
STUFF WHAT I LISTENED TO
There was Katamary Damacy hip-hop:
Two episodes of BBC Radio 4’s series Frontiers. The first on The Anthropocene, which is, to quote from wikipedia “an informal geologic chronological term that marks the evidence and extent of human activities that have had a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems”.
I also listened to an episode discussing Nitrogen fixing in agriculture – which allowed a massive increase in agricultural yields in the 20th century, sustaining a dramaic increase in the population of the planet. Future geologists will undoubtedly discover a Haber–Bosch layer of massively increased nitrogen levels in the ground.
SHIT WHAT I SAW ON THE INTERNET:
Pretty sure there was more to go in this section but these are the only links I can find / remember:
Mapping US Military installations around the world (which wins at best URL): http://empire.is/