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The curious rise of the ‘white left’ as a Chinese internet insult | openDemocracy
 baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”;
politics  china 
6 days ago
Accelerationism: how a fringe philosophy predicted the future we live in | World news | The Guardian
Yet for decades longer than more orthodox contemporary thinkers, accelerationists have been focused on many of the central questions of the late 20th and early 21st centuries: the rise of China; the rise of artificial intelligence; what it means to be human in an era of addictive, intrusive electronic devices; the seemingly uncontrollable flows of global markets; the power of capitalism as a network of desires; the increasingly blurred boundary between the imaginary and the factual; the resetting of our minds and bodies by ever-faster music and films; and the complicity, revulsion and excitement so many of us feel about the speed of modern life.
accelerationism  transhumanism  fringe  futurism  theory 
9 days ago
Is the Gig Economy Working? - The New Yorker
Seth F. has been hired to assemble five jigsaw puzzles for a movie set, to write articles for a newspaper in Alaska, and to compose a best-man speech to be delivered by the brother of the groom, whom he had never met. (“The whole thing was about, ‘In the future, we’re going to get to know each other better,’ ” he explained.) Casper, the mattress company, booked him to put sheets on beds; Oscar, the health-insurance startup, had him decorate its offices for Christmas.
work  sharing-economy  labor  task-rabbit 
13 days ago
White Elephant Art and Termite Art (1962)
Most of the feckless, listless quality of today’s art can be blamed on its drive to break out of a tradition while, irrationally, hewing to the square, boxed-in shape and gemlike inertia of an old, densely wrought European masterpiece.
criticism 
19 days ago
Hot takes and “problematic faves”: the rise of socially conscious criticism - Vox
if you look at the older movies that helped inspire Get Out — satirical, unsubtle horror-comedies like The Stepford Wives and They Live — you'll find their critics had much less enthusiasm for social commentary.

When John Carpenter released They Live in 1988, his attack on the selfishness and commercialism of 1980s America (the white family in Get Out has the same name, Armitage, as one of the characters in They Live), the Washington Post sneered that "the heavy artillery of sociological context and political implication" was just a distraction from a silly plot.
thebook  sharing  criticism 
23 days ago
The Cult of Bayes' Theorem
The theorem owes its present-day notoriety to Cold-War-era research into statistical models of human behaviour [1], the same research movement that gave us the Prisoner's Dilemma, Mutually Assured Destruction and Fuck You, Buddy. Statisticians in the 1950s and 1960s, initially concentrated around the University of Chicago and the Harvard Business School, decided to interpret probability not as a measure of chance, but as a measure of the confidence an agent has in its subjective beliefs. Under this interpretation, Bayes' Theorem acquired great prescriptive power: it expressed how a perfectly rational agent should revise its beliefs upon obtaining new evidence.
cold-war  bayes  rationality  silicon-valley 
28 days ago
This Easton business turns your kid into a hologram, statuette | lehighvalleylive.com
You can get a 3D printout, a downloaded 3D scan, a fruit bowl or a nightlight with a 3D image of anyone or anything you want at 3D Reactions in Downtown Easton.
hologram  weird 
28 days ago
With Neuralink, Elon Musk Promises Human-to-Human Telepathy. Don’t Believe It. - MIT Technology Review
Putting an implant in healthy people? That would require extraordinary evidence of safety. And that’s hard to picture, because as soon as you open someone’s head you put that person’s life at risk....Another thing in favor of Musk’s proposal is that symbiosis between brains and computers isn’t fiction. Remember that person who types with brain signals? Or the paralyzed people who move robot arms? These systems work better when the computer completes people’s thoughts. The subject only needs to type “bulls …”
junk-science  elon-musk  telepathy  ai  neuroscience  wetware  autocomplete  thebook 
28 days ago
Uber’s C.E.O. Plays With Fire - The New York Times
They spent much of their energy one-upping rivals like Lyft. Uber devoted teams to so-called competitive intelligence, purchasing data from an analytics service called Slice Intelligence. Using an email digest service it owns named Unroll.me, Slice collected its customers’ emailed Lyft receipts from their inboxes and sold the anonymized data to Uber. Uber used the data as a proxy for the health of Lyft’s business. (Lyft, too, operates a competitive intelligence team.)
data  uber  lyft  consent 
29 days ago
#520: Oculus’ VR Privacy Policy Serves the Needs of Facebook, Not Users | Voices of VR Podcast
For example, in Oculus’ response to Al Franken’s question as to whether Oculus is sharing information with third parties including it’s related companies they said, “Oculus does not currently share location information with third parties or related companies.” Their privacy policy certainly allows this sharing to happen at any moment, and so Oculus is basically just saying that we’re not sharing this data yet.
facebook  oculus  vr  privacy 
4 weeks ago
What killed Service Merchandise? - Nashville Business Journal
The Brentwood-based catalog retailer's demise was intricately related to its antiquated business model and inability to successfully transform into a traditional retailer.
80s  retail 
5 weeks ago
POETRY OF FACT by Robert Polito | Graywolf Press
“I write prose with a poet’s head. . . . Without sounding utterly pretentious, I do think of almost everything I write as a poem—certainly all three of my big books. The chapters are strophes. It’s not an account. It’s not a history. I’m not a historian—I’ve never pretended to be one—and I’m not giving a definitive account of anything. It’s a very, very subjective approach to the past, to a certain time and place. It’s carved in a particular way. It favors certain narratives over certain others. It’s intended above all else to be an experience.”
writing  non-fiction  luc-sante 
5 weeks ago
Violent spring: The nature book that predicted the future | Books | The Guardian
Thirteen years ago I described The Peregrine as “not a book about watching a bird, [but] a book about becoming a bird”. Baker himself often suggests a comparable process of conversion, writing of how – by means of primitive rituals of following and mimicking – “the hunter becom[es] the thing he hunts”. Now, though, I no longer believe The Peregrine is a book about “becoming a bird”. Truer to say that it is a book about “failing to become a bird”.
nature  writing  wildlife 
5 weeks ago
AI Literacy: The basics of machine learning – World Writable
“What are the differences between artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks, and deep learning?”
ai  machine-learning  bg 
5 weeks ago
The Movie with a Thousand Plotlines - The New Yorker
Siskel and Ebert might have been willfully severe. But they had identified a cognitive clash that—as the Daniels also suspected—any experiment with the form would have to navigate. Immersion in a narrative, far from being passive, requires energetic participation; while watching movies, viewers must continually process new details—keeping track of all that has happened and forecasting what might plausibly happen. Good stories, whether dramas or action films, tend to evoke emotional responses, including empathy and other forms of social cognition. Conversely, making choices in a video game often produces emotional withdrawal: players are either acquiring skills or using them reflexively to achieve discrete rewards. While narratives help us to make sense of the world, skills help us to act within it
vr  storytelling  workingon  games  film 
6 weeks ago
How to Own a Pool and Like It - Triple Canopy
KJL0 was one of 630 speakers recorded in 1986 at the facilities of Texas Instruments in Dallas, where researchers from the electronics company, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and non-profit research institute SRI International were working to develop the first acoustic-phonetic database of American English—a definitive corpus, or collection of utterances, that would provide an empirical basis for linguistic research. Researchers sampled newspapers, novels, literary fragments, recipes, and self-help guides from an older, text-based corpus to compose 450 unique phrases, known as elicitation cues; these were meant to be short and easy to say, while prompting a comprehensive range of American English accents, dialects, and pronunciations. Researchers had originally wanted to use texts that resembled spontaneous speech, but they were hampered by their lack of time and resources
voice  automation  siri 
6 weeks ago
Radiator Blog: "If you walk in someone else's shoes, then you've taken their shoes": empathy machines as appropriation machines
the vast majority of my players and fans happen to be straight people. This leads to a widely-held but incorrect assumption that I make my games for "straight people to understand what being gay is like" -- and some of the worst homophobes on YouTube even call my games "gay simulators" so they can react with disgust toward it.
vr  workingon 
6 weeks ago
Devin Kenny - I don't want to see... | Facebook
A few things come to mind for me : 1) who is the audience for this painting? 2) what action is this work purportedly, and actually doing? does it inform? shock? build connection? help a new audience understand either emotionally or intellectually the complex set of factors all falling under the umbrella of white supremacy, sexism, and anti-blackness that led to this young person's death? if no, what element of the history is being tapped into and depicted? if not regarding the history referenced in the image, and instead about the culture of photography and its circulation, why was that particular example chosen? 3) how are the formal decisions aiding the aims of the creator of the work?
art  activism  dana-schutz  race 
7 weeks ago
If Day - Wikipedia
a simulated Nazi German invasion and occupation of the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and surrounding areas on 19 February 1942, during the Second World War. It was organized by the Greater Winnipeg Victory Loan organization, which was led by prominent Winnipeg businessman J. D. Perrin. The event was the largest military exercise in Winnipeg to that point.
fake  simulation 
8 weeks ago
Fictitious Tunes and Revenant Records | Features | No Echo
Written by the book's co-editor, David Smay, the story is about The Daisy Bang, a fabricated act, which—after releasing a slew of psych-pop—recorded a night's meth-fueled practice, nearly inventing hardcore punk (releasing it as The Black Beauty Demos). Those imaginary recordings had a few hundred confused collectors in those pre-search engine days bugging every record store employee they knew—all because they didn't notice the work was in the book's (very) brief section of fictional writing. You can still look it up and find forums where people ask if The Daisy Bang ever were. The band's other albums that people still keep an eye out for, but don't exist, are Daisy Bang Days, Harmony Cathedral, and Cin Songs Seventeen.
fake  music 
8 weeks ago
Kinko's and The Connection | CTheory
10/14: It’s 3:00 in the morning. Nine Inch Nails is blasting from the Kinko’s stereo. After xeroxing his butt for a couple hours, a drunk, scraggly friend of my Connection strips naked and starts posing for photos taken with the passport camera. The photos are enlarged with the color copier and laminated along with left-over hole punches and crayon shavings in a sixteen foot long strip of plastic.
56k  kinkos  wtf 
8 weeks ago
Platform Companies Are Becoming More Powerful — But What Exactly Do They Want? - NYTimes.com
Uber, like so many other successful tech companies in 2017, is a “platform business,” one built around matchmaking between vendors and customers. If successful, a platform creates its own marketplace; if extremely successful, it ends up controlling something closer to an entire economy...An insurgent Airbnb feels as if it’s enabling new types of transactions between previously unconnected people. A dominant Airbnb might come to resemble something between a superintendent and a landlord for millions, not to mention a force reshaping cities in its image.
uber  airbnb  sharing-economy  labor  platforms 
8 weeks ago
Could Robot 'Telepathy' Make Self-Driving Cars Safer? - Greater Patchogue Daily
The researchers at the Boston University and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have come up with a technology that uses brain signals to correct the robotic errors.
telepathy  eeg  drones  self-driving 
8 weeks ago
In Conversation With Robert Silvers -- New York Magazine
My feeling is that there are millions and millions if not billions of words in tweets and blogs, and that they are not getting and will not get the critical attention that prose anywhere should have unless we find a new form of criticism.
tech-criticism 
9 weeks ago
Google launches new effort to flag upsetting or offensive content in search
Google’s quality raters, over 10,000 contractors that Google uses worldwide to evaluate search results. These raters are given actual searches to conduct, drawn from real searches that Google sees. They then rate pages that appear in the top results as to how good those seem as answers.
fake-news  centaur  automation  google  filters  moderation 
9 weeks ago
The Fate of the Critic in the Clickbait Age - The New Yorker
The role of the critic, Scott says, is to resist the manufactured consensus—to interrogate the successful, to exalt the unknown, to argue for ambiguity and complexity. Virgil Thomson immortally defined criticism as “the only antidote we have to paid publicity.”
traffic  criticism  workingon  clickbait 
9 weeks ago
Crie de grrrrr!: Another carrier experiments with child-free zones on planes | The Economist
“Journey in Satchidananda” by Alice Coltrane. Coltrane used a drone in her music with almost the exact frequency as an aircraft’s engine, which has the effect of cancelling it out. Gulliver accepts that experimental jazz is, for many people, the musical equivalent of nails being scratched across a blackboard. Still, it is better that than the yowl of a distressed youngster.
airport  music  sound 
10 weeks ago
Facebook is watching us, but who’s watching Facebook? | Shahidha Bari | Opinion | The Guardian
The stupidity of a social media platform that mistakes a painting for pornography doesn’t deserve our righteous indignation, but we should certainly be concerned with what this reveals about the way women’s bodies are being assessed by algorithms. Just as we have got to grips with the dominant “male gaze” that subjects and contorts the female form, we must now contend with the “machine gaze” – more censorious than an overprotective dad and as relentless as the Terminator.
male-gaze  facebook  censorship  images 
11 weeks ago
Martyrs (2008 film) - Wikipedia
(also house of voices
the divines)
horror  film  towatch 
11 weeks ago
Why Nothing Works Anymore - The Atlantic
It’s common to think of such defects as matters of bad design. That’s true, in part. But technology is also more precarious than it once was. Unstable, and unpredictable. At least from the perspective of human users. From the vantage point of technology, if it can be said to have a vantage point, it's evolving separately from human use.
design  automation  technology  ux  broken 
12 weeks ago
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