robertogreco + charliestross   11

ORBITAL OPERATIONS: Weird Shit International - OO 14 May 17
"More recently, I learned of Black Mountain College, from one of Iain Sinclair's better latter-day books, AMERICAN SMOKE (UK) (US).  Black Mountain College interests me because it seems mostly metaphorical: it's the idea of a strange cross-contamination zone of a college. Even the name! More interesting to me than, say, the idea of a Hartlib Circle [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartlib_Circle ]
or Invisible College -- even though I'm a member of one or two of those, and run a private newsletter speaking to, in the immortal words of Charlie Stross, "the people, corporates, collectives, and bots I currently favor."  I like the invisible-college networks - information gets moved around, work gets done, contacts are maintained. But they are, by definition, not open. And all things good should (eventually) flow into the boulevard.

That's what this newsletter is, for me."

My friend Kyoko Kitamura sent me this recent quote from musician/composer Anthony Braxton:
"Each of you need to write about your music. "What are you doing?" "What do you think you are doing?" If you don't write about it, whatever you think you are doing, you might forget it. Maybe you need to sit down and ask the question "What am I doing?" and write it out...Me, I'm always taking notes on my system...Each of you, in my opinion, would do a very good thing by sitting down and asking yourself "What the f- am I doing? I say I like music, I'm not even sure if I like music, but maybe I do like music. What am I doing? Where am I going with it? Is it just about a gig?"...Each of us has to take that responsibility. That's a RESPONSIBILITY. If you're going to be broke and crazy, at least do your best. And part of doing your best is defining things in a way where it's possible to EVOLVE. If there's no clarity, if everything is murky, then you might not be using all of your forces in the best possible way depending on what you are looking at and depending on what you want for yourself...I would say, "Hey, don't be such a nice a person." You need to get angry about something... You need to remember that we don't live in heaven. THIS IS NOT HEAVEN. THIS IS COMPOSITE REALITY. It's much better than the concept of heaven. With composite reality, everything is happening. This is why you have to navigate through form. Part of navigation is including yourself and your life..."

The Weird Shit International. Black Mountain College. Everything is happening. Navigating from the Thames Delta."
warrenellis  blackmountaincollege  2017  iainsinclair  networks  invisiblecollege  hartlibcircle  newsletters  bmc  charliestross  collectives  howwelearn  howwmake  anthonybraxton  kyokokitamura  compositereality  responsibility 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Russell Davies: blog all kindle highlights: The Rhesus Chart
"Read The Rhesus Chart by Charles Stross a while ago. Only one highlight. Again, not because it's a bad book, just not that sort of book. This was a resonant expression though.

"A bureaucracy is all about standardization, so that necessary tasks can be accomplished regardless of the abilities of the human resources assigned to it.""
charliestross  russelldavies  2015  standardization  bureaucracy  humanresources  design  organizations 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Snowden leaks: the real take-home - Charlie's Diary
"The big government/civil service agencies are old. They're products of the 20th century, and they are used to running their human resources and internal security processes as if they're still living in the days of the "job for life" culture; potential spooks-to-be were tapped early (often while at school or university), vetted, then given a safe sinecure along with regular monitoring to ensure they stayed on the straight-and-narrow all the way to the gold watch and pension. Because that's how we all used to work, at least if we were civil servants or white collar paper pushers back in the 1950s.

But things don't work that way any more. A huge and unmentionable side-effect of the neoliberal backlash of the 1970s was the deregulation of labour markets and the deliberate destruction of the job for life culture, partly as a lever for dislodging unionism and the taproots of left-wing power in the west (yes, it was explicit class war by the rich against the workers), and partly because a liquid labour market made entrepreneurial innovation and corporate restructuring easier (I love these capitalist euphemisms: I swear they'd find a use for "final solution" as well, if only some naughty, bad people hadn't rendered that clause taboo two-thirds of a century ago)."



"We human beings are primates. We have a deeply ingrained set of cultural and interpersonal behavioural rules which we violate only at social cost. One of these rules, essential for a tribal organism, is bilaterality: loyalty is a two-way street. (Another is hierarchicality: yield to the boss.) Such rules are not iron-bound or immutable — we're not robots — but our new hive superorganism employers don't obey them instinctively, and apes and monkeys and hominids tend to revert to tit for tat quite easily when unsure of their relative status. Perceived slights result in retaliation, and blundering, human-blind organizations can slight or bruise an employee's ego without even noticing. And slighted or bruised employees who lack instinctive loyalty because the culture they come from has spent generations systematically destroying social hierarchies and undermining their sense of belonging are much more likely to start thinking the unthinkable.

Edward Snowden is 30: he was born in 1983. Generation Y started in 1980-82. I think he's a sign of things to come.

PS: Bradley Manning is 25."
culture  employment  society  2013  charliestross  loyalty  genx  geny  generationy  millennials  edwardsnowden  government  intelligence  nsa  generations  neoliberalism  economics  hierarchy  behavior  work  policy  politics  bradleymanning  security 
august 2013 by robertogreco
How low (power) can you go? - Charlie's Diary
"Today we are used to the public sensors around us being noticeable if you know what to look for. In 20 years time this may no longer be the case, and the social implications are worth exploring. … Let's look at London, a fairly typical large capital city. London has a surface area of approximately 1570 square kilometres, and around 7.5 million inhabitants (not counting outlying commuter towns). Let us assume that our hypothetical low-power processor costs 10 euro cents per unit, in large volumes. To cover London in CPUs roughly as powerful as the brains of the Android tablet I'm reading this talk from, to a density of one per square metre, should therefore cost around €150M in 2040, or €20 per citizen. … "It has been said that the internet means the death of privacy — but internet-based tracking technologies aren't useful if you leave your computer at home and switch off your smartphone. In contrast, the internet of things — the city wallpapered from edge to edge with sensors and communicating processors — really does mean the death of privacy. You'd have to lock yourself in a faraday cage and switch off all the electrical devices near to you in order to regain any measure of invisibility. … we're going to be subjected to more monitoring than most people today can possibly imagine. … The logical end-point of Moore's Law and Koomey's Law is a computer for every square metre of land area on this planet — within our lifetimes. And, speaking as a science fiction writer, trying to get my head around the implications of this technology for our lives is giving me a headache. We've lived through the personal computing revolution, and the internet, and now the advent of convergent wireless devices — smartphones and tablets. Ubiquitous programmable sensors will, I think, be the next big step, and I wouldn't be surprised if their impact is as big as all the earlier computing technologies combined."
charliestross  2012  sensors  future  tracking  surveillance  ubicomp  everyware  privacy  internetofthings  via:Preoccupations  iot 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Start-ups and Slash Fiction | booktwo.org
"My talk from NEXT Berlin 2012, in which I talk about ways of making meaning and fiction online (Original video on the NEXT site).

The quote at the the end, that “the history of the Internet is a history of metaphors about the Internet”, which I mistakenly attribute to Sherry Turkle, is actually by Christine Smallwood, as quoted in Andrew Blum’s Tubes (below), and appears to originate in an article called “What does the Internet look like?” in The Baffler, no longer online but preserved by the Internet Archive."

[Video also here http://nextberlin.eu/2012/07/james-bridle-metaphors-considered-harmful/ and here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1Y_g8jOQus ]

[Phrases of note:

* post-geographical position (William Gibson)
* notional space (William Gibson)
* Borges wrote fanfiction
* Gibson was always a Beat writer

]
libraryofbabel  mapping  maps  metaphors  metaphor  allaboard  slashfic  writing  collaborativewriting  omegle  forourtimes  tlönuqbarorbistertius  fiftyshadesofgray  twilight  pierremenard  andreafrancke  storytelling  stories  steampunk  allenginsberg  jackkerouac  charliestross  belatedness  hplovecraft  fanfiction  change  memory  startups  fiction  slashfiction  books  imagination  jamesbridle  videogames  notionalspace  context  walkman  postgeography  internet  christinesmallwood  scifi  sciencefiction  nextberlin  nextberlin2012  2012  williamgibson  borges  thelibraryofbabel  from delicious
july 2012 by robertogreco
Wicked (1) - Charlie's Diary
"…our biggest challenges are no longer technological. They are issues of communication, coordination, & cooperation. These are, for the most part, well-studied problems that are not wicked. The methodologies that solve them need to be scaled up from the small-group settings where they currently work well, & injected into the DNA of our society…They then can be used to tackle the wicked problems.

What we need…is a Facebook for collaborative decision-making: an app built to compensate for the most egregious cognitive biases & behaviours that derail us when we get together to think in groups. Decision-support, stakeholder analysis, bias filtering, collaborative scratch-pads &, most importantly, mechanisms to extract commitments to action from those that use these tools. I have zero interest in yet another open-source copy of a commercial application or yet another Tetris game for Android. But a Wikipedia's worth of work on this stuff could transform the world."
technology  politics  psychology  philosophy  public  problemsolving  wicketproblems  society  facebook  google+  decisionmaking  collaboration  communication  coordination  cooperation  gamechanging  karlschroeder  charliestross  wikipedia  transformation  worldchanging  2011  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Invaders from Mars - Charlie's Diary
"Corporations do not share our priorities. They are hive organisms constructed out of teeming workers who join or leave the collective: those who participate within it subordinate their goals to that of the collective, which pursues the three corporate objectives of growth, profitability, and pain avoidance. (The sources of pain a corporate organism seeks to avoid are lawsuits, prosecution, and a drop in shareholder value.)

Corporations have a mean life expectancy of around 30 years, but are potentially immortal; they live only in the present, having little regard for past or (thanks to short term accounting regulations) the deep future: and they generally exhibit a sociopathic lack of empathy."

"We are now living in a global state that has been structured for the benefit of non-human entities with non-human goals…In short, we are living in the aftermath of an alien invasion."
politics  government  capitalism  corporations  culture  society  communism  charliestross  empathy  sociopathy  policy  us  economics  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Cars (again) - Charlie's Diary
"By around 2050, I'm fairly sure that the human-driven automobile will be a specialised race-track toy for gear-heads, much as horse-drawn carriages in the developed world are a quaint hobby or a deliberate affectation demanded by certain cultural groups (I'm thinking Amish here). Privately owned cars will exist, but will function more like a chauffeur-driven limo. They won't even need to be parked by your house; whistle and it'll come when you need it. Poor folks won't have their own car, they'll just have fractional reserve part-ownership of a vehicle — after all, even at peak rush hour, 95% of the UK vehicle fleet is parked up; we don't need one car per person, we just need available wheels whenever we want to go somewhere. By 2110, I figure driving a manually-controlled car around will be looked on the way we'd look on someone carrying a sword in public; at best it's a weird and archaic affectation, and at worst — call the police!"
cars  future  travel  robots  technology  cities  trains  transportation  transit  driving  2050  2010  charliestross  predictions  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Space Cadets - Charlie's Diary ["Space colonization is implicitly incompatible with both libertarian ideology and the myth of the American frontier."]
"There is an ideology that they are attached to...westward frontier expansion, Myth of West, westward expansion of US btwn 1804 (start of Lewis & Clark expedition) & 1880 (closing of American frontier). Leaving aside matter of dispossession & murder of indigenous peoples, I tend to feel some sympathy for grandchildren of this legend: it's potent metaphor for freedom from social constraint combined w/ opportunity to strike it rich by sweat of one's brow & they've grown up in shadow of this legend in progressively more regulated & complex society.
2010  exploration  geography  libertarianism  mythology  politics  space  colonization  policy  regulation  freedom  charliestross  americanfrontier  ideology  empire  spacetravel  spaceexploration 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Gadget Patrol: iPad - Charlie's Diary
"The iPad doesn't feel like a computer. It feels like a magic book — like the ancestor of the Young Lady's Primer in Neil Stephenson's The Diamond Age. It's a book with hypertext everywhere, moving pictures and music and an infinity of content visible through its single morphing page. The sum is much weirder than the aggregate of its parts. Criticizing the iPad for not doing Netbook-or laptop-like things is like criticising an early Benz automobile for not having reins and a bale of hay for the horses: it's a category error."
ipad  via:blackbeltjones  charliestross  computing  apple  technology 
may 2010 by robertogreco

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