WEEK NOTES: 2014 WEEK 30 & 31

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.”

Also read Adam Rothstein (AKA Interdome) at The State on the idea that everything is a computer (albeit with a *very* slow clock speed).

“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/

Robot Rothko (brilliant for a second screen) which is “an application to generate algorithmic “multiforms”, that recall the paintings of Mark Rothko” – see more about Robot Rothko here

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