Bright Green Dystopias – they’re Elemental

Posted by on December 1st, 2013

Banlieue 13 plot device

At Sea in the Future [WATER]

10pts if you noticed who the author of the SoftwareThink is Saving da World yo WIRED propagandaopinion piece was in the first Bright Green Dystopia post.

This guy:

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…calling for Exit, with a 10yr plan to get ahead of a backlash against teh_jobless_recovery and other dystopic variables. SilVal needs to secede to succeed.

David Brin does a decent job picking it apart, nailing it with:

All of his examples boil down to no more than exercises in the kind of freedom that Srinivasan and his peers already have, sheltered and nurtured and encouraged by the legacy nation that he — like an ungrateful, neotenous teenager — openly reviles.  A freedom to experiment that MADE Silicon Valley in the first place…

Brin can pick it apart, because has some practice dissecting these libertarian utopias, like Seasteading. And he has some suggestions:

Clearly there is a shortcut through all the red tape and other dangers. I portray it in EXISTENCE. That trick is to forge alliances with already-existing small, island states. Places like Tonga, Vanuatu, etc are currently terrified of being literally wiped off the map by rising seas. What I show in the novel is an alliance with rich seasteaders that allows them to build their initial pillared paradises on land that is currently relatively dry and already sovereign.

What do the islanders get, in return? Why, the promise of participation – indeed, continued “existence” – as their reefs and beaches gradually drown! Buy the novel (coming in June) to see it illustrated.

Those Ghost States sure do show some real potential for disruption. Take Kiribati:

The people of Kiribati, he said, understand what is coming; already, one family has sought asylum in New Zealand as climate change refugees. “We are working on many different plans. There’s a Japanese company that makes floating islands. We’re looking into that. But people understand they may have to leave forever, and this is hard. We have the wish to survive as a people. I lived in New Zealand once. I thought I was in paradise. I had all of this access to all the different ice creams. But our people like it here. We will lose our homeland unless the ocean stops rising. It’s very simple. We want to stay home. This is where the spirits live. This is where we’re from.”

So there we have it. Prime opportunity for a kindly plutocrat to sweep in and save a dying people from extinction. They can get jobs doing the work that can’t quite be automated yet. Preserve their culture and sing some joyous songs while they toil. Worked out pretty well for these guys:

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(But do not get any sinister thoughts about the Google Barges. They are not Evil. Google loves you so much it wants to keep your data for ever and ever and ever and make happy information babies with it. Just because they no longer have any clue what’s going on in their servers. Which are totally theirs, and not some posthuman AI God that they are now dutiful servants of. Shhhhhh.)

not home to your AI Overlords. Who totally love you

The Wall in the Sky [AIR]

check it out brah
Google are totally not also building flying cars so they can duck over to Whole Foods to get moar kale and quinoa. That would be their neighbour:

There have been stabs at a Jetson-mobile before, but two designs in the Zee.Aero patent put this one on the outer cutting edge: It would be battery powered. But in addition, it is designed to lift straight up like a helicopter — so no need for a runway. Then, as the patent notes, the collection of rotors on top work with two facing backward to allow it to hover for a bit before cruising off to that grocery store.

Fair odds it would at least be licensing some of the tech built next door at GoogleX. Taking the LIDAR system developed for their self-driving cars to the next level. Up!

Where you’re totally welcome. It’s just $99,999 for the beta. Here’s the link to subscribe, click through to confirm and join us at the nearest Google Barge for the launch…

get ready for the launch

Up, up and away. Exit…

But… what is more Brighter and Greener than terrforming a whole planet?

So I started with a crazy idea to spur the national will. I called it the Mars Oasis missions. The idea was to send a small greenhouse to the surface of Mars, packed with dehydrated nutrient gel that could be hydrated on landing. You’d wind up with this great photograph of green plants and red background—the first life on Mars, as far as we know, and the farthest that life’s ever traveled. It would be a great money shot, plus you’d get a lot of engineering data about what it takes to maintain a little greenhouse and keep plants alive on Mars. If I could afford it, I figured it would be a worthy expenditure of money, with no expectation of financial return.

You’re so cray Elon! But how much would we expect to pay? Half a million? Sure… let me just grab a few paintings off the wall (seriously, that was a line I saw in a business piece on philanthropic arts funding).

Now, don’t get the idea that the State is being hollowed out by the allies of the corporate elite, who are increasingly indistinguishable from each other. That what infrastructure hasn’t already been sold off, barely maintained, and is increasingly dangerous to use (was that another train crash today? surely not)… won’t be replaced. That the private space program, and whatever we come to call a stratosphere full of auto-piloted craft containing the remnants of the middle class on their way to and fro their private spaceports and %1er take on Burning Manto “net-positive” corporate arcologies that look like they’re about to lift off

…that this is some epic program to steal the wealth of the Earth and its population to form a Breakaway Republic for the elite, who no longer need a slaveclassworkforce. A republic that isn’t a country, but a network of banking districts, research and development complexes, private islands and corporate retreats and fortified residences. Where they’ve carving the sky into zones of privilege and building outposts in space.

Because you can still go shopping, they’ve just made that way easier too (’cause the sky’s NOT the limit for funding an Exit)

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And don’t worry, you can probably soon earn GoogleWallet currency as a human drone repairman and maybe Tom Cruise was depicting the future. Really, the future is bright and green and everything’s going to be ok… everybody’s happy, underground.

The Earth as a Barrier [EARTH]

– Trailer montage of great just us.

The world of (still) tomorrow, as seen twenty years ago, in Demolition Man: the overly sanitized and heavily policed, corporate future is just too bright for some, who have to retreat underground for true freedom. The man who might save both worlds is back from the past, but what if the wild taken out of him in cryo is just what they need to defeat Simon Phoenix?

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The world of today seen from nine years ago, in Banlieue (District) 13. A wall protects bourgeois Paris from the residents of its feral suburbs. A “clean bomb” (shown above) might cleanse this urban jungle. Can this odd couple of cop and benevolent gang lord team up successfully?

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Æon Flux, the movie. The internal conflicts of the last city on Earth… dare they tear down the wall, end their nightmare stasis, and embrace… teh wild. (Whatever could that be code for?!)

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* But no, we won’t get to Elysium just yet… we’ve a ways to go first.

But there is an FPS of this conflicted vision:

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The Many Posthuman Aspects of PacificRim

Posted by on October 22nd, 2013

Or: the candy-coated man/machine rescue mission.

Pacific Rim is many things. Many shiny, spectacular, immersive, self-aware, monster genre mashing, robot smashing, crowd pleasing, city destroying, heroic dancing things. But apart from its surface appeal, it’s also the delivery system for some incredibly out there, subversive, challenging ideas. This may just be my reading of it, and that’s fine. But I suspect Guillermo Del Toro is guilty of being a clever, clever human and knew exactly what he was doing with this blockbuster movie.

Allow me to explain my thinking here. This is not a review. It’s a “User Guide for Humans”, from barely opened, posthuman eyes. This is an analog mind-meld, I mean drift; an English language sequence as slow-boot brain update. Are you ready to accept Singularity?

Want some Candy?

Taken at face value, Pacific Rim is… completely absurd. And if that wasn’t immediately apparent from its premise, it’s clear by halfway through the film that’s it’s winking hard at you. And shouting at you with Idris Elba’s mandatory “the apocalypse is cancelled” speech at the climax, that amazing actor barely containing the joy on his face in getting to deliver an epic line like this. Pure man-child bliss… just the kind you might expect to find in a mech suit vs kaiju fightfest.

Now those of the Otaku-bent might want to do a detailed analysis of the origins and influences and details of Pacific Rim, and that’s exactly what this post on has done, if you want it.

I’m not anti-Otaku. Hell, I raced home as a kid to watch Robotech, and collected what Transformers I could afford. When I toured Japan in ’09 I stumbled onto the Mobile Suit Gundam arcade game and played it every day I was there. I clutched my pilot card when I walked into the preview screening of Pacific Rim, and wore the pirate Neon Genesis Evangelion tee I picked up in a store in Akihabara.

I have been absolutely psyched for this film, and its complement Elysium, all damn year.

What I am saying is there’s a lot more going on below the surface of Pacific Rim. Just don’t expect it to cohere into a logical whole.

Go Borg or Stay Human

First we have the “dance-dance pilot systems”. With its shiny video game aesthetics, and drama engine device, it is first and foremost pro-Borg; celebrating the union of more than one human conscious into a greater whole. There’s been a lot of Borg-hate going on since Google Glass dropped into the world, and I’m looking mostly at Stop the Cyborgs.

Mind you, I walked into this movie with my head having been resident inside in Ramez Naam’s Nexus’verse for a good month. One of the elements of that future world is human hate of anything group-mind (not unlike the linear future world of the Star Trek-verse’s Federation), following various terrorist attacks and cult fiascoes.  So to immediately recognise that there were Borg heroes, front and centre in this film was yet another joyful moment.

Then we have the Robo/Borgsexuality.

Posthuman Gender & Robosexuality

It’s fair to say there are fans going into this already fetishising being inside giant robots…

…which brings us to the giant confusion of posthuman gender. Because what does that even look like from a human perspective? Maybe it’s two buff guys in shiny suits merging through a shared childhood to form a union with a rocket punching, sock’em bot? Maybe it’s also some weird, ritualised staff fighting sequence that isn’t a romantic, courtship sequence… because that would make the two brothers incestuous and homoerotic and is anyone else getting uncomfortable thinking deeply about this?

Let’s cut to the heroic scientist “drifting” with a random chunk of giant alien brain… why on Earth would a Kaiju fanboy ever be turned on by humongous glial cells of extra-dimensional origin?

Chief prosecutor for the homoerotic subtext of jockeying flightsuits argument, thinly fictionalized Quentin Tarantino, explains:

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you want subversion on a massive level…


Those of us raised on Robotech also obsessively watched Top Gun as teens. Hell, my gaming nick was Maverick for much of my youth. So the reconciliation scene at the end of Pacific Rim, the begrudging acceptance of the owner of worst Aussie accent ever and our hero… totally recapitulates Top Gun.

And if you’re still not convinced, you haven’t been watching True Blood; same actor, explicitly homoerotic mind-meld:

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Message received collective unconscious!

Make what you will of the fact that I really hope we get to see the bulldog don a mech suit and borg it up with friendly, genetically engineered Kaiju in a sequel. Plot that on your human linear Kinsey scale!

Move over Seven of Nine, the new borg sexiness is definitely here.

Posthuman Battlesuits

Once you’ve accepted that, the “city as a battlesuit [Matt Jones guest post on io9]” is a not a stretch of the brain meats at all. The mech suit as embodiment of the merger of humanity and its infrastructure; the champion of the Anthropocene. Especially visible when you’ve got ships being used as baseball bats and “Gipsy Danger [using] shipping containers like brass knuckles”.

Each Jaegar is built to defend a city, but really, it’s manifesting its surrounds, even merging with them.

As Matt Jones quotes from a British architecture journal:

While Batman’s Gotham City and Superman’s Metropolis largely reflect the character of the superheroes who inhabit them (Gotham is grim, Metropolis shines)

And as he compares to a hero of The Authority:

“Hawksmoor defeats the giant, monstrous sentient city by wrapping himself in Tokyo to form a massive concrete battlesuit.”

Posthuman defense systems with local characteristics.

And while we’re stretching that long bow of your mind, let’s add that you can argue that its also a recapitulation of one Earth’s oldest tales: Marduk the City God vs the Serpent. The Jaegar as the city turned God-like, and if the Kaiju aren’t the contemporary incarnation of the “monster of primeval chaos”, than what is?

“It’s not Posthuman without going Post-State”

It’s not a posthuman tale without things going post-state. The foolish, political human types gripped by their illusions of control decide that building a giant wall trends much better in the polls, and it’s within that construction effort that we find our hero lurking at the film’s commencement. Kaijus walk right through megastructures dramatis (or thinly disguised metaphors at the political penchant for building barriers to keep out unwanted arrivals). Anyway… our pragmatic, military leader, Idris Elba (TV’s Luther), unencumbered by the requisite trope of giant wall of video-screened suits ordering him turns to… “extra-legal funding sources”, continuing the rescue mission by any means necessary.

In this case, dealing with a bizarre caricature of a bad guy with great shoes; the hybrid Spy Kids enemy / Bond Villain. (Ranking the film just above Contact on someone’s “Top 10: Projects funded by an absolute Bond Villain?” list)

But let’s not miss the metaphor of the real villains; the Kaiju themselves. Thomas Hobbes described the State as a Leviathan. And what better way to portray the entities that have really destroyed the climate of this planet for their own ends, what more apt depiction of rogue geoengineers than as giant monsters?! It’s definitely how the various manifestations of corporate-democratic empire looks to the rest of the world.

And this is the most subversive element of all snuck into the subconscious of the audience for a gigantic popcorn flick by a Mexican director. Perhaps no surprise then that the film did terribly in the US, but made serious bank globally.


Maybe it’ll take the US a decade or so to appreciate it, as critics are just now accepting Southland Tales, but when you’re watching Elysium wondering why augmented super soldiers are battling with swords and chainsaws over the rights of a breakaway civilisation to exist, remember that Ron Perlman probably said it best in the post-credits scene:

where is my other shoe? -^

When will it drop?

Disproving its antecedent film on things that lurk in the cracks of the earth, beneath the waves, The Abyss: “They want us to grow up a bit, and put away childish things. Of course, it’s just a suggestion.

With Del Toro it’s posthuman man-children dancing off to the rescue, and that’s just super by me.

“it’s a Sleepless world, they’re just awaking to it”

Posted by on June 9th, 2013

Warning [SPOILERS]: if you care about the plots of Nikita, Iron Man 3, The Bourne Legacy… stop now, go watch ‘em all then come back. Hi!

Philosophy so physical makes for a very handsome tribe.

This scene from Canadian science-fiction drama show Orphan Black is the best rendering of a Grinder Bar yet seen on screens small or large. In fact, I’m not even sure what the others are.

And it’s a good reason to take a whip-around look at the world of pop culture as serious business, and re-examine the state of the #transhumanfuturepresent.

First we have the latest season of the spy soap, Nikita. Referring in-show to its “spy fi” plot elements, the absolute transhuman drama of cyborg hand upgrades and cutting edge transplant dramatic problems. Don’t bring a possibly evil hand to a knife fight or something.

The settings of Iron Man 3 and The Bourne Legacy are both unquestionably transhuman. Neither film is a journey of a character to science-fictional state (see recent highlights: Limitless, Chronicle), but rather their starting condition.

(We can wedge Hanna in here too, though it’s more properly a genetically engineered super-solider girl coming of age fairy tale, innit).

In Iron Man 3, Tony Stark (1.0) not only has upgraded-girlfriend-dramas (well, Red She-Hulk solutions) but the plot driver is a conflict between two competing paths of self-directed human evolution: man/machine co-evolution and direct genetic hacking (hopefully not precluding the eventual arrival of Zeke Stane (Tony Stark 2.0) onto the big screen, that plot having been mined from The Five Nightmares arc of The Invincible Iron Man).

Speaking about playing Aldritch Killan, Guy Pearce mentions that Extremis also upgrades the subject to become one of the beautiful people:

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In The Bourne Legacy, our hero, who totally isn’t being chased by the mutant wolves of The Grey as it opens, is the latest iteration of the super-soldierspy program. His motivation is to hold onto his upgraded self, lest he reverts back to being the guy from The Lawnmower Man, or something.

Once you’ve gone transhuman…

Back in Canada, and actually set-in-Canada Canadian drama Continuum, which apart from featuring an absolutely bad-ass tech suit rather a lot like Deus Ex: Human Revolution‘s (itself a bridge between its low-grade #peakcyberpunkfuture and today, a cyborg hand reaching back to the present), combines transhuman future cop trapped in the present drama, with standard procedural drama, and excellent sociopolitical critique. Honestly, the first show on TV that I wish I was writing for ([blink]%HIRE ME%[/blink]).

Plus in the actual RL, we have Google Glass, already getting surpassed by the Meta. Pioneers like Steve Mann and Neil HarbigesenSports stories speculating on specific upgrades already being outdated… and other things I’m sure I’ve missed. So tell me!

and while we’re talking, let’s discuss the anti-posthuman agenda of Star Trek, most recently seen in Into the Darkness:

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Litmus test: who is the real villain in X-Men: First Class?

And we leave you with the trailer for Elysium, grinder revenge pr0n if ever there was one:

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An identity shattering prescription for heavy weather nights

Posted by on May 25th, 2013

A complementary, double-shot prescription for those heavy weather nights, as the Earth seems too hot or too cold almost everywhere, slipping outta the Goldilock Zone and well into the Anthropocene Age.

Take one-hour of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and the Lady Jaye:

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(Here’s some longread material for later that captures her world-view.)

Then follow it with Shane Carruth’s follow up to Primer, Upstream Color:

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(Here’s an interview, of sorts, with him over on TWITCH.)


#droneculture news special 09/12/12

Posted by on December 9th, 2012
  • From io9:

    In the first trailer for Tom Cruise’s post-apocalyptic film Oblivion, Cruise is a drone repairman walking the shattered remains of Earth. But as he explores the planet humanity was forced to leave behind, he finds something he never expected to find, something that makes him question everything he’s been told about the conflict that destroyed the Earth.

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  • CNN Money’s look inside Israel’s drones:
  • Newly Released Drone Records Reveal Extensive Military Flights in US (EFF):

    The capabilities of these drones can be astounding. According to a recent Gizmodo article, the Puma AE (“All Environment”) drone can land anywhere, “either in tight city streets or onto a water surface if the mission dictates, even after a near-vertical ‘deep stall’ final approach.” Another drone, Insitu’s ScanEagle, which the Air Force has flown near Virginia Beach, sports an “inertial-stabilized camera turret, [that] allows for the tracking of a target of interest for extended periods of time, even when the target is moving and the aircraft nose is seldom pointed at the target.” Boeing’s A160 Hummingbird (see photo above), which the Air Force has flown near Victorville, California, is capable of staying in the air for 16-24 hours at a time and carries a gigapixel camera and a “Forester foliage-penetration radar” system designed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). (Apparently, the Army has had a bunch of problems with the Hummingbird crashing and may not continue the program.)

    Perhaps the scariest is the technology carried by a Reaper drone the Air Force is flying near Lincoln, Nevada and in areas of California and Utah. This drone uses “Gorgon Stare” technology, which Wikipedia defines as “a spherical array of nine cameras attached to an aerial drone . . . capable of capturing motion imagery of an entire city.” This imagery “can then be analyzed by humans or an artificial intelligence, such as the Mind’s Eye project” being developed by DARPA. If true, this technology takes surveillance to a whole new level.

    Another scary aspect of the Air Force’s drone program is the number of times Predator and Reaper drones have crashed. The Washington Post wrote about crashes at civilian airports abroad a few days ago, and the Air Force presents some statistics on actual incidents and the potential for crashes in New Mexico in a document titled “Operational Risk Analysis of Predator/Reaper Flight Operations in a Corridor between Cannon AFB and Melrose Range (R-5104A).” This document notes that “8 incidents [involving Predators] occurred over a period of 79,177 flying hours.” (p. 8). A risk analysis table from the report is below.

  • Police drone crashes into police SWAT team (SALON):

    The Montgomery County sheriff’s office in Texas had planned a big photo opportunity with their newly acquired surveillance drone. It all went horrible wrong when, according to the Examiner, “[The] prototype drone was flying about 18 feet off the ground [and] it lost contact with the controller’s console on the ground. It’s designed to go into an auto shutdown mode … but when it was coming down, the drone crashed into the SWAT team’s armored vehicle.” (The SWAT team had suited up, armored vehicle on hand, for the purpose of the photo.)

    “Not only did the drone fail, and not only did it crash, it literally crashed into the police. It’s no wonder we’re not able to find a video of this spectacular publicity failure,” noted Gizmodo.The CRP–Hearst report explicitly listed collisions as a concern insufficiently addressed by lawmakers in the so-called “drone caucus,” who have pushed an agenda to hurry drones into the hands of police departments and private corporations.

  • California Eyeing Drone Surveillance (WIRED):

    Alameda County is moving to become one of dozens of local law enforcement agencies nationwide to deploy the unmanned crafts. Some of the agencies include the Seattle Police Department, Miami-Dade Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

    The move comes three months after the Government Accountability Office warned Congress that its push for drones to become commonplace in U.S. airspace fails to take into account privacy, security and even GPS jamming and spoofing. The GAO, Congress’ research arm, was responding to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, signed by President Barack Obama in February, which among other things requires the Federal Aviation Administration to accelerate drone flights in U.S. airspace.

    Alameda County, in the Bay Area, is home to Oakland, the scene of violent Occupy protests last year.

    Weeks ago, the sheriff told a local NBC affiliate that it was a “no-brainer” when it came to deploying a drone.

  • Leap and LabVIEW Controlled Quadrotor:
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  • Jame “New Aesthetic” Bridle gives us The Drone Vernacular:

    In the second week at the VFL, I’ve been continuing modelling and printing for the final residency product, which should be completed next week.

    I’ve also been looking at the ways in which drones manifest and are visualised, used and normalised in the world. (This is as good a time as any to note that I’m specifically interested in military drones, not the DIY type, quadrocopters, civilian drones etc – although there are clearly interesting connections to be articulated between these, and the designation of civilian is also problematic.)

    These are some of the first images that got me interested in drones. They are photographs from anti-drone protests in Pakistan, credited where possible…

TRUE SKIN [short film]

Posted by on October 11th, 2012

via Digitalyn

PLURALITY [short film]

Posted by on October 6th, 2012
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via @leashless | falkvinge

wherein I review Technicolor Ultra Mall on Coilhouse

Posted by on September 29th, 2012

Today my review of my good friend Ryan Oakley‘s novel Technicolor Ultra Mall is up on Coilhouse. Here’s a sample:

TECHNICOLOR ULTRA MALL (#TCUM) is a busted neon literary warning sign. Where cyberpunk failed, this must succeed. It alerts us to hyper-capitalism’s end state: the mega-mall as polis. Born to shop, in death do we become commerce itself (“you could usually get more for a dead person than you could pull from their pockets”). Hyper-mediated, people are alienated from their own body, unable to feel anything without the right chemical compound. Corporate colonisation of emotion and sensation.

This is what comes of the “old people afraid of the sky” future, as Bruce Sterling has described it, written before he even uttered the words. Outside may as well be the surface of the Moon (or better yet, Mars); there is only the Mall. The adult version of Nausicaä Valley of the Wind, but with gigantic, hermetically sealed machinery instead of mutant bugs. The malls feed on the garbage of the past, as the book itself mines the midden heaps of the collective refuse of the decadent twentieth century (that still lingers on like a dying fire-breathing dragon stumbling into a village, unaware it’s killing us all.) This is Demolition Man mutated and buried underground by the Umbrella Corporation. This is Plato’s three-souled corporate Republic with its Red (bronze-souled favella), Green (silver-souled bourgeoisie) and Blue (golden-souled ruling class) levels, and twice as sickening.

All written through the visible lens of lived experience. Less Neuromancer, more Metrophage; bringing the punk back into the cyber, like John Shirley and Richard Kadrey before him.

Marbled like Kobe beef with the fat of concepts killer enough to fill a series of grindhouse movies.. garnished with cosmetic grinds like dermal holograms and implants, with a hint of mind transfer and seasoned with gritty GITS‘esque posthumanity distributed into the meat… massaged in perfectly, and served raw.

Go read the whole thing…

Hacking your Enlightenment and other transhuman future titbits

Posted by on August 22nd, 2012
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Particularly fascinating interview with Jeffery A. Martin here, not just for his research into the Enlightened, but for his eventual synthesis towards a speculative life for the newly near-immortal.

Other transhuman future titbits from around the web of late:

The Onion: Preemptive Memorial Honors Future Victims Of Imminent Dam Disaster

Posted by on July 2nd, 2012

Just in case you don’t “get it”, this is about teh Climate Change.

The Gift (sf short film)

Posted by on June 30th, 2012

An advertainment from Philips, better than just about everything HollyWood will force upon the masses this year.

via transceiverfreq

Gotye covered by simulated group-mind

Posted by on January 22nd, 2012

I heard you like group-minds, so I got you this simulation:

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SMBC Theater – Blind Date (#hivemindproblems)

Posted by on January 14th, 2012
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via sqrmelon

Michel Collon on the intervention in Libya and elsewhere

Posted by on August 22nd, 2011

Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex.

– Frank Zappa

Forgive this video it’s poor English subtitles, it’s rare that someone on a television program truly tries to capture the complexity of current affairs instead of reducing their argument to a series of emotive, simplistic appeals.

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via @darkoptimism

SyFy’s Alphas

Posted by on July 12th, 2011

They’re the first version of the next stage of human evolution, peope with a “neurological difference that confers some exceptional advantage.” They fight crime.

Alphas is SyFy’s new ‘superhuman’ crime drama - basically a grounded, more constrained version of the X-Men, complete with it’s own Brotherhood of Mutants, Red Flag. It’s far from perfect (it’s certainly no Misfits), but it has potential and is immediately far surperior to Heroes.

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Amon Tobin’s ISAM Stage Design

Posted by on June 7th, 2011

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Polymer Vision Demos SVGA Rollable Screen

Posted by on May 30th, 2011

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From CrunchGear:

Designed and manufactured by Polymer Vision, the screen can be rolled and unrolled 25,000 times. The question, obviously, is why would you need a rollable display? Well, as ereaders become ubiquitous the need for them to be almost indestructible. I could see a day when kids get their own ereaders for the nursery a la the Diamond Age. Interestingly, Polymer Vision isn’t the company of note when you think of e-ink displays so either they will license this technology or they could start taking more and more market shares from leaders like Eink.

Defrag mag: Meet Your Planet

Posted by on April 25th, 2011

Today’s worthy Kickstarter project:

Defrag is an iPad magazine that features creative writing, music, visual art, multimedia and music videos from around the world, introducing you to the vibrant, multifaceted cultural life of your planet. No political soundbites, no celebrity profiles and no corporate propaganda.

In the first issue you’ll discover an indie rock scene in China, fine artists from India and a Heavy metal band from Iran. You’ll read poetry from Egypt, participatory fiction from California and see what club VJ’s are doing in Sweden. You’ll also hear experimental music from the UK, psychedelic blues from NYC, and experience multimedia hip-hop from the West Bank. Not the sort of content you’re likely to find on Fox News or in People Magazine.

It’s Cyberpunk Future Present, and full of There Is No They. And Phase 3 is to move it to Android tablets & PC. I like this a lot.


Posted by on March 29th, 2011

Photographs and written words, The Italian Machine Project is Salgood Sams’ homage to his father, Lionel Douglas.


Back in 1979 Lionel Douglas crashed a motorcycle he was testing. Unlike many others he trashed he didn’t walk away that time.

In his short life, aside from being my father he also did his best to live up to his name and sign [leo]. There’s been past efforts to publish his work, but they remain obscure. Always felt it was down to me to do it now. I’ve had his papers for some time, and a trunk full of negatives. Been meaning to do something with them – it’s taken time, opportunity, and ultimately my own brushes with mortality to get my ass in gear.

The site is called THE ITALIAN MACHINE PROJECT. The why of the name explained here.

On the site you’ll find his words as well, but at this stage it’s dominated by his photos. Here’s a few highlights. The shots link through to sets of photos they come from. I’m going through them more or less in chronological order, so these are all taken around 1969

New pictures will be uploaded, so check back to the Italian Machine Project often.

Jane McGonigal on the Colbert Report

Posted by on February 25th, 2011

Reader Leet Ninja Pirate writes “An interview with Jane McGonigal on the Colbert Report. Subjects include a wider gaming audience, Urgent Evoke, and the phrase “epic win.” McGonigal addresses just about all of the major issues brought up by Colbert about gaming as a worthwhile pursuit.”

Gamification of life is a very interesting strategy, and I’m very much loooking forward to reading Reality Is Broken. For more details, try Cory’s review on BoingBoing.