The thought of the future is often terrifying because we are biologically programmed to be frightened by dim uncertainty. But, as we've made steady progress toward the construction of a time machine, some pieces of the future have inadvertently slipped into our own time, providing a comforting sense of probability, if not certainty, about the fate of certain key elements of civilization: Mr. Zandri, an author of mystery and suspense tales, is published by Thomas & Mercer, one of Amazon Publishing’s many book imprints. He is edited by Amazon editors and promoted by Amazon publicists to Amazon customers, nearly all of whom read his books in electronic form on [...]
In 2022, fires will destroy over 2,025 acres of Texas. In 2048, the Glacier Land Resort will open for people looking to see what life was like before the glaciers melted. In 2049, the Smithsonian—no longer open to the public—will feature a preserved hummingbird in their archives, the last proof of their species ever existing.
These are all possible futures as created by the users of FutureCoast, an interactive alternate reality game that began in February and concludes its run in May. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the overarching story of the game is simple: Mysterious objects known as “chronofacts" have begun appearing throughout [...]
People drop things on the Internet and run all the time—so we have to ask. In this edition, Venus Patrol founder and IGF chairman Brandon Boyer tells us more about a recent Saturday night sexbot experiment for the ages.
last night i “fed” the lonely sexbots to each other just to see if it would ever reach a logical conclusion: pic.twitter.com/afY8pKGJ0H
— Brandon Boyer (@brandonnn) January 22, 2014
Brandon! So what happened here? So, I have a pretty unfortunate pattern of blithely agreeing to everything without really thinking through the ramifications, and this extends into me accepting basically any iMessage [...]
"When we were in pre-production we started thinking about how we were going to create future L.A., and was I was excited by the idea of collaging two cities together and so we ended up going to Shanghai and using very specific, curated areas of Shanghai with very specific curated areas of Los Angeles and I think… it was this idea that we were trying to make this very warm, tactile world, with the materials and fabrics and the woods, and create this world that felt like this utopic world that everything's nice and everything's comfortable and even in this world where you're getting everything you need and having [...]
"Photography was once an act of intent, the pushing of a button to record a moment. But photography is becoming an accident, the curatorial attention given to captured images."
"The information economy that we are currently building doesn't really embrace capitalism, but rather a new form of feudalism," writes Jaron Lanier, in Who Owns the Future? That book is published today, and you can order it from all the usual places. (Indiebound; Amazon; McNally Jackson; Barnes & Noble; Powell's. See what I did there?)
Jaron Lanier is the author of You Are Not a Gadget, and is a "scholar-at-large" at Microsoft Research. LOL he's also working on an alternative to the space elevator.
But right now, he's looking at how things have come to work on the web. "The primary business of [...]
Conservative millionaire entertainer and peddler of conspiracy theories Glenn Beck is building a city-state, "an entirely self-sustaining community called Independence Park." I can't wait to visit, it sounds like it will be very welcoming to all kinds of Americans.
He's on the right track, though. So are the seasteaders. And the gun-hoarding survivalists of all stripes. And those of us who are interested in reviving the New York City Secession Movement. (Our plan is to secede and then, uh, magically raise the city by 30 feet. Still working on details there, do check back.) But yes. The coasts will drown, or the United States will disband, or World [...]
It is said that the Divine Comedy contains passages within passages—lines between lines—only visible to the dead and the young. Could it be true? [via Gothamist]
Nothing will replace the “like” button on our Facebook pages. But does it say enough? Even with the fine suggestion from Facebook engineers of a “sympathize” button, we’re still handcuffed to a simple abstraction—“like”—when what we really mean is so much more specific.
• This post has my name on it.
• Historically I’ve “liked” stuff like this.
• Don’t dislike.
• Great photo of you! (Shitty photo of me!)
• Ha ha ha!—I think I understand.
• A lot of my friends have “liked” this.
• Inside joke?
• Missing word?
• LOL’d… didn’t quiiite ROTFL.
• Think you’re attractive.[...]
Report: Everything Merges And Blends Until What Is Left Is A Nebulous Impermanence That Ends Only With Death
"Suddenly we find ourselves living in an online realm where the old is just as easy to consume as the new. We’re approaching an odd sort of asymptote, as our past gets closer and closer to the present and the line separating our now from our then dissolves."
"I don’t think we’ll all be paying in bitcoin for tickets to Kanye West’s 2024 presidential victory tour."
You can’t use bitcoin for much today besides gambling in online casinos and reserving seats on Virgin Galactic spaceflights, and a vast majority of it is held by speculators. Even with the imprimatur of government regulation, the promise of bitcoin seems to end with helping online retailers avoid credit-card processing fees. Bitcoin is mainly innovative in the way of credit default swaps: new ways to gamble with money.
In March, I put together the fourth annual March Madne$$: The School Tuitions Of The NCAA Bracket. A popular piece, I watched as numerous sites reposted the work wholesale and sold ads against it.
That's when I tried something new in the ongoing efforts of writers to get paid on the Internet. Instead of angry emails or cease and desist notes, I just sent invoices to site editors and managers.
To my surprise, one paid me.
Canudos, the holy city. From the hills it had looked like a mirage. Fifty-two hundred mud huts and a handful of white-washed churches spread along a bend in the Vasa-Barris, where a few years before there had been only a ruined farmhouse and an old well. The walls of the houses were the same shade as the parched earth on which they stood, so you could barely see the town until you were already in it. For the last ten months of the city's life, it been bombarded by a full division of the Brazilian Army. Thousands of its defenders—the half-cowboy, half-bandit jagunços—were dead. They had been shelled by artillery [...]
"From the promotion of eugenics to justify genocide in Nazi Germany, to the mass-produced and homogenous population of Aldous Huxley’s dystopian future in the novel ‘Brave New World’, to ‘Frankenfood’, genetic engineering has amassed a reputation as a treacherous pursuit. However, a recent development appears to have slipped under the public radar: human pre-natal diagnosis. Screening foetal genomes to eliminate genetic ‘defects’ may lead to incremental changes in the human genetic reservoir, a permanent shift in our characteristics and eventually, self-domestication." —Scientific American's Zaria Gorvett makes a strong argument against the increasingly easy and common practice of pre-natal screening. The counter-argument is difficult to avoid, though: prospective parents [...]
Here’s a game: which of these poems was written by a human, and which by a computer?A wounded deer leaps highest, I've heard the daffodil I've heard the flag to-day I've heard the hunter tell; 'Tis but the ecstasy of death, And then the brake is almost done, And sunrise grows so near sunrise grows so near That we can touch the despair and frenzied hope of all the ages.
vs.Red flags the reason for pretty flags. And ribbons. Ribbons of flags And wearing material Reason for wearing material. Give pleasure. Can you give me the regions. The regions and the land. The regions and wheels. All [...]
Sunday was my 7,738th* day on the planet. It was also my first Disclosure concert.
Disclosure—a British electronic duo made up of brothers Guy (8,277 days old at the time of publication) and Howard (a mere 7,195 days) Lawrence—had a pretty great 2013, releasing their debut album Settle with singles “White Noise” and “Latch” both going gold in the UK. Settle itself went to #1 on UK charts, and has been nominated for a Grammy. The boys, along with “Latch” vocalist Sam Smith, made their US TV debut on "Fallon" last night. They’re going places. It’s exciting. I’d wanted to see them on a small sliver on their journey [...]
Here we go, we are off to the races! Twitter has rushed headlong into its IPO. It's like Thanksgiving in November!
Everyone wants to know how much money there is to be made today, tomorrow, next week. An IPO is good for everyone, right? Felix Salmon, finance Livejournaller, has some thoughts for you: Here’s my advice, then: take the amount of money you were thinking of investing in Twitter, and divide it by the rate at which you value your own time. So, if you were going to invest $5,000 and you value your time at $50 per hour, then you’d end up with a figure of 100 hours. [...]
23 Replacement Similes For Humans To Use Once All The Animals Are Dead And No One Knows What "Animals" Were
Now that we're well on into our planet's sixth mass extinction event, and with recent news that we're charging towards environmental catastrophe faster than ever, it's time we start thinking about contingencies not in terms of "if" but in terms of "when." Let's say, just for argument's sake, that the human species will survive. Some people, like Annalee Newitz, author of Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive A Mass Extinction, think we will! But even if she's right, certainly, there will be changes we'll have to get used to. Besides the hilarious "Great, I'll have beachfront property" jokes the wittier among us [...]
Rogue ophthalmologist Rand Paul has been a disheveled weirdo for the entirety of his political career, because the apple does not fall far from the tree of liberty, but last night he won the hearts of many people on Twitter because he was up most of the night reading blogs aloud as part of a filibuster against Barack Obama's pick for the new CIA chief. (The last CIA chief resigned over sexting.)
The moral issue of drone assassins is very important, and there are obvious constitutional and police-state issues both domestically and internationally, but this is less a political shift than a technological evolution. Remotely controlled flying war machines [...]