Science, pop culture & comedy collide on StarTalk w/ astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-hosts, celebrities & scientists.
Tagged with “culture” (105)
Dr Who has been on television for fifty years. Professor of philosophy Andrew Brennan tells a tale which raises interesting questions regarding the Doctor. Taking into account the fascinating scenarios made possible by travels in space and time, Andrew Brennan asks where Dr Who came from. Could there really be an Australian connection?
Andrew Brennan, Professor of Philosophy, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), La Trobe University, Melbourne VIC
In the 1980s geophysicist Andy Hildebrand was working for Exxon analysing seismic survey data. Hildebrand created digital signal processing software that took recordings of waves travelling through the ground from dynamite explosions and processed them to find hidden pockets of oil.
In 2013 the software has a new name and a very different purpose. You can hear its output on the radio, on YouTube and on X-Factor. No longer a tool for geophysicists but for pop stars. Auto-Tune uses the same process that identified underground rock layers to make vocals sound pitch perfect. To an algorithm there is no difference between Kanye’s voice and an oil deposit.
Auto-Tune isn’t the only technology shaping our lives in unexpected ways. In this talk we’ll look at our software mediated world, it’s consequences and our role in it as creators.
Dan W. makes things. Sometimes those things are made of atoms. Sometimes they are made of bits.
Display Cabinet is a mixture of both. And even the purely digital services Arrivals and When Should I Visit? are designed to make smooth your journey through the world of atoms and matter by giving you easy access to information from the networked world of bits.
Dan works at Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol. You can find his scrapbook on Tumblr where he documents the seemingly science-fictional collisions of technology and society that he sees happening all around.
The web community is one of the most vibrant and fun groups Iâve ever been lucky enough to be a part of. Like any vibrant community, sometimes people donât play nicely.
What happens when you build a nice website, and a real community shows up that doesn’t meet your expectations?
Since the earliest days of Usenet, fandom has wandered the Internet, finding remarkable ways to assemble websites, plug-ins, and online forums into tools for sharing and organizing erotic fiction. Often ostracized and ridiculed for their hobby, this community of rather gentle people has learned to work with the materials at hand, building for themselves what they could not get from others, in the process creating a culture of collaboration and mutual respect other online projects can only envy.
Fans are inveterate classifiers, and the story of how they have bent websites to their will (in a process reminiscent of their favorite works) may change the way you think about online communities, or at the very least, about librarians.
Maciej Cegłowski is my favourite writer on the web.
But don‘t take my word for it. Have a read through Idle Words and see for yourself. Travel, food, jellyfish, and space shuttles are just some of the subjects he has tackled. Perhaps you‘ve heard about Argentina on Two Steaks a Day or maybe you‘re familiar with The Alameda-Weehawken Burrito Tunnel.
When he‘s not lovingly crafting words, Maciej lovingly crafts Pinboard—the bookmarking service with the radical business model of actually charging customers money (see also: the revolutionary Pinboard Investment Co-Prosperity Cloud that offers startup funding of $37 to successful applicants).
His pragmatic approach to building a sustainable and scalable business is a breath of fresh air in the fetid miasma of most startups, and his observations and updates on the Pinboard blog are almost as good as Idle Words.
Jaron Lanier is a technology inventor and philosopher who has been dubbed the prophet of the digital age. He coined the phrases ‘Virtual Reality’ and ‘digital Maoism’. His last book, You Are Not A Gadget, was a hugely influential and hotly debated critique of the ‘hive mind’. Here he talks about his new book, Who Owns the Future?, with artist and writer James Bridle.
Digital technologies dawned with the promise that they would bring us all greater economic stability and power. That utopian image has stuck. But, Lanier argues, the efficiencies brought by digi-techs are having the effect of concentrating wealth while reducing overall growth. He predicts that, as more industries are transformed by digital technologies, huge waves of permanent unemployment are likely to follow those already sweeping through many creative industries.
But digital hubs are designed on the principle that people don’t get paid for sharing. Every time we apply for a loan, update Facebook, use our credit cards, post pictures on Instagram or search on Google, we work for free says Lanier. He argues that artificial intelligence over a network can be understood as a massive accounting fraud that ruins markets. Past technological revolutions rewarded people with new wealth and capabilities. He will explain why, without that reward, the middle classes - who form the basis of democracy as he sees it - are threatened, placing the future of human dignity itself at risk.
Lanier discusses his analysis of the deep links between democracy and capitalism, and shares his thoughts for how humanity can find a new vision for the future.
This event was part of The School of Life’s ‘In Conversation’ series and took place at Conway Hall on 6th March 2013.
Audio rip, original here under CC by-nc: http://vimeo.com/61418990
How Cooking Can Change Your Life 30th May 2013;
Cooking involves us in a dense web of social and ecological relationships: with plants and animals, the soil, farmers, our history and culture, and, of course, the people our cooking nourishes and delights. Cooking, above all, connects us.
And yet many people now spend a lot more time watching other people cook on TV than doing it themselves. And the outsourcing of this work to corporations has had disastrous effects on our health, our family life, and even on our agriculture.
Renowned journalist, activist and author Michael Pollan presents a compelling case that cooking is one of the simplest and most important steps people can take to improve their family’s health and well-being, build communities, help fix our broken food system, and break our growing dependence on corporations. Approached in the proper spirit, Pollan suggests, cooking becomes a political act.
Speaker: Michael Pollan is a food activist, and the author of Second Nature, A Place of My Own, The Botany of Desire, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defence of Food and Food Rules.
Chair: Tim Lang, professor of Food Policy at City University London.
Blogger Anil Dash says we tend to trumpet the tech revolution, with its vast social networks and slick smartphones, as a triumph of usability and empowerment. But Dash says a spirit of collaboration and emphasis on the user experience has been lost along the way.
He wrote about this shift on his blog in a post called The Web We Lost.
“There is an ignorance or a lack of history to the way that a lot of people that build the social networks, especially the young engineers, think about this because they weren’t around to see it any other way,” Dash told Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC’s New Tech City.
Dash cites as example Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram. “The first thing that happened as soon as Facebook bought Instragram was they shut off the ability for you to import your friends and find your friends through Twitter because Facebook and Twitter are enemies now.”
Dash says that may be good for Facebook’s shareholders, but it’s not good for users who want to Tweet photos to their friends. He adds that the walling off of content wouldn’t have happened in the earlier days of the Internet.
“There used to be a time when you put the goals and desires of the user ahead of the corporate infighting and battles,” he said.
Dash believes technology’s new vanguard should take a look at the philosophies that drove their forbearers.
“There are cycles to this stuff,” he said. “The pendulum swings back and forth.”
RSA Keynote 7th Feb 2013; 18:00 (full recording including audience Q&A)
Technologist and writer Ben Hammersley explores the role of the internet and digital technologies in today’s workplace.
As social media, mobile devices, constant communication, online sharing, and open collaboration become the norms in the rest of our lives, the traditional workplace is failing to adapt.
How do our traditional workplace models conflict with our new internet-driven expectations of how we might live and work to our full potential, and how might companies and organisations learn to adapt in the 21st century?
Speaker: Ben Hammersley, Prime Minister’s Ambassador to TechCity, contributing editor, Wired UK, innovator in residence, Goldsmiths, University of London and author of ‘64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then’.
Chair: Matthew Taylor, chief executive, RSA.
A History of the World in Maps - Late Night Live - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Throughout history, maps have always been as much about their creators and their worldviews as about reproducing an accurate replica of the world. Early maps were also about the unknown and how to display the borders of the known world. Monsters in illustration were often used to represent what lay beyond the edge of the world, and cartographers competed to create the best and scariest monsters on their creations.
Professor and BBC documentary presenter Jeremy Brotton has produced a study of the cultural values embodied in maps and collected them in a book called A History of the World in Twelve Maps.
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