Yesterday, we experienced three different modes of public engagement. We started our meeting at one of the POPOS (Privately Owned Private Open Spaces) at the 1 Kearny building. We then headed to meet with Mona Caron, a visual artist, muralist, and illustrator residing in San Francisco. After hearing talk about her process, we headed to the event “Flipping the Switch to Light Up Central Market.”
Rule 1: Define a Cone of Uncertainty A cone of uncertainty delineates the possibilities that extend out from a particular moment or event. The most important factor in mapping a cone is defining its breadth, which is a measure of overall uncertainty. In other words, the forecaster determines what range of events or products the cone should encompass. Drawing the cone is a dynamic process, and what we see here is just one iteration.
Rule 2: Look for the S Curve Change rarely unfolds in a straight line. The most important developments typically follow the S-curve shape of a power law: Change starts slowly and incrementally, putters along quietly, and then suddenly explodes, eventually tapering off and even dropping back down.
Rule 3: Embrace the Things That Don’t Fit The novelist William Gibson once observed: “The future’s already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” The leading-edge line of an emerging S curve is like a string hanging down from the future, and the odd event you can’t get out of your mind could be a weak signal of a distant industry-disrupting S curve just starting to gain momentum.
Rule 4: Hold Strong Opinions Weakly One of the biggest mistakes a forecaster—or a decision maker—can make is to over rely on one piece of seemingly strong information because it happens to reinforce the conclusion he or she has already reached. This lesson was tragically underscored when nine U.S. destroyers ran aground on the shores of central California on the fog-shrouded evening of September 8, 1923.
Rule 5: Look Back Twice as Far as You Look Forward Marshall McLuhan once observed that too often people steer their way into the future while staring into the rearview mirror because the past is so much more comforting than the present. McLuhan was right, but used properly, our historical rearview mirror is an extraordinarily powerful forecasting tool. The texture of past events can be used to connect the dots of present indicators and thus reliably map the future’s trajectory—provided one looks back far enough.
Rule 6: Know When Not to Make a Forecast It is a peculiar human quality that we are at once fearful of—and fascinated by—change. It is embedded in our social vocabulary, as we often greet a friend with the simple salutation, “What’s new?” Yet it is a liability for forecasters to have too strong a proclivity to see change, for the simple fact is that even in periods of dramatic, rapid transformation, there are vastly more elements that do not change than new things that emerge.
Even in periods of dramatic, rapid transformation, there are vastly more elements that do not change than new things that emerge.
Chapter 1 is entitled “The Neuronal Power” and sets out with the claim that frames the entire essay: “Every age has its main maladies.” Han differentiates the bacterial age that ended (at the latest) with the discovery of antibiotics, the viral age that ended with the advance of immunology, and finally the present age: the neuronal age. Its dominant maladies are neurological illnesses like depression, ADHD, borderline personality syndrome and burnout syndrome. The crucial difference between maladies of the viral age and the neuronal age is that between infection and infarction. An infection is caused by the negativity of the immunological other, whereas an infarct is the result of an excess of positivity. Unlike a virus, neuronal illnesses cannot simply be warded off like an outside attacker. Text Via axylus
Ubiquitous Photography by Martin Hand. 1st Edition.
Ubiquitous Photography provides a critical examination of the technologies, practices, and cultural significance of digital photography, placing the phenomenon in historical, social, and political-economic context. It examines shifts in image-making, storage, commodification, and interpretation as highly significant processes of digitally mediated communication in an increasingly image-rich culture. It covers debates in social and cultural theory, the history and politics of image-making and manipulation, the current explosion in amateur photography, tagging and sharing via social networking, and citizen journalism. The book engages with key contemporary theoretical issues about memory and mobility, authorship and authenticity, immediacy and preservation, and the increased visibility of ordinary social life.
Smartphones, laptops, tablets, and e-readers all at one time held the promise of a more environmentally healthy world not dependent on paper and deforestation. The result of our ubiquitous digital lives is, as we see in The Anthrobscene, actually quite the opposite: not ecological health but an environmental wasteland, where media never die. Jussi Parikka critiques corporate and human desires as a geophysical force, analyzing the material side of the earth as essential for the existence of media and introducing the notion of an alternative deep time in which media live on in the layer of toxic waste we will leave behind as our geological legacy.
“History is not an exclusively human affair, quite the opposite…It is unthinkable as well as unlivable outside the multi-species cat’s cradle games.” –Donna Haraway.
View north from the summit of Gunung Besar (Daniel Quinn, October 2011)
The Meratus Mountains is a mountain range in the Indonesian province of South Kalimantan, on Borneo island. The mountains run in a north-south arc that divides South Kalimantan province into two almost equal parts.
Ethnosphere refers to both the accumulation of living cultures and the ancient lineages from which they evolved. Ethnobotanist and anthropologist Wade Davis coined ethnosphere in his book Light at the Edge of the World.
“Indigenous people are neither sentimental nor weakened by nostalgia.There’s not a lot of room for either in the malarial swamps of the Asmat or the chilling winds of Tibet. But they have, nevertheless, through time and ritual, forged a traditional mystique of the Earth that is based not on the idea of being self-consciously ‘close’ to it, but on a far subtler intuition: the idea that the Earth itself can only exist because it is breathed into being by human consciousness. Now, what does that mean? It means that a young kid from the Andes who is raised to believe that that mountain is an Apu spirit that will direct his or her destiny will be a profoundly different human being and have a different relationship to that resource, or that place, than a young kid from Montana raised to believe that a mountain is a pile of rock ready to be mined. Whether it’s an abode of spirit or a pile of ore is irrelevant; what’s interesting is the metaphor that defines the relationship between the individual and the natural world.”–Wade Davis
ALUNA is made by and with the KOGI, a genuine lost civilization hidden on an isolated triangular pyramid mountain in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, nearly five miles high, on the Colombian-Caribbean coast.
“While the political theory literature on historical injustice often addresses questions of what is owed to indigenous peoples, there is limited direct engagement with how—specifically—being indigenous might influence particular rights or duties. Focusing on the ways that indigeneity is defined and used might influence accounts of historical injustice, many of which assume that indigeneity is a legitimate, important feature of rights claims, without fully exploring what indigeneity might entail.
This is problematic, because defining indigeneity has at least two important consequences. First, it affects who has access to resources or rights reserved for indigenous peoples. While defining oneself or being defined as indigenous may have negative implications—such as those detailed above—increasingly, it may offer certain privileges in terms of rights, resources, and access to economic and symbolic reparations. Second, it shapes the kinds of privileges and resources available to indigenous peoples, including redefining development policies that are culturally appropriate, developing monitoring mechanisms to improve accountability of policies, and promoting non-discrimination and inclusion of indigenous peoples in local, national, and international laws, policies and projects. Certain conceptions of indigeneity may be driving some of these policies, thus affecting the kinds of programs organizations like the UN choose to support. For example, linking indigeneity to spiritual understandings of the land may require particular kinds of reparations not frequently considered in liberal, Western frameworks, which tend to privilege property rights over non-tangible resources or opportunities.”
Fuck for Forest is a non-profit environmental organization founded in 2004 in Norway by Leona Johansson and Tommy Hol Ellingsen. It funds itself through a website of sexually explicit videos and photographs, charging a membership fee for access. A portion of funds are donated to the cause of rescuing the world’s rainforests.
Directed by Imre Azem, Ecumenopolis tell the story of Istanbul and other Mega-Cities on a neo-liberal course to destruction. It follows the story of a migrant family on their on-going struggle for housing rights, and provides an in-depth context into the ongoing protests currently going on in Turkey. In this way, it presents an insightful picture of the history urban development, the pursuit of modernization, and the resulting effects.
“Based on the work of famed architect and urban planner Jan Gehl and his visionary work transforming urban environments from traffic-congested streets and cold urban landscapes into havens for people and real human interaction. Gehl has been leading a revolution in urban planning that has been transforming cities worldwide. From the expanded pedestrian spaces in New York’s Times Square, to Copenhagen’s famed bike lanes, to the rebuilding of earthquake devastated Christchurch New Zealand, Gehl’s team bring real solutions that promise a more humanistic dimension to cities where people are not displaced by congested streets, skyscrapers, and the car-centric urbanism of the 1960s and ’70s.”
“The NYU Stern Urbanization Project is working on a stunning new series of animations, showcasing the expansion of 30 global cities over the last 200 years. The animations, created using information from The Atlas of Urban Expansion, clearly show the extremely rapid expansion in global cities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Particularly striking is the growth in the latter half of the 20th century, in which many cities increased their built-up area by more than 10 times.
This is in keeping with the theory of falling density, which holds that as cities have grown bigger and the world has urbanized, densities have been steadily falling. As a result, cities require more urban land per person, meaning total growth in the city area is much greater than population growth.” Text via NYUStern