Site visit to world builders, Improbable
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/dissonanceofthings/logistics-violence-empire-resistance
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Kirsty Young’s castaway is Dr Demis Hassabis. An artificial intelligence researcher and co-founder and CEO of DeepMind, he is also a neuroscientist, a computer games designer, an entrepreneur, and in his youth, a world-class chess player.
Born in 1976, he was introduced to chess aged four and, by the age of twelve, was the world’s second-highest ranked player for his age. With his winnings, he bought himself a PC and taught himself to code. After taking his A Levels two years early, before going to university he worked on one of the most successful computer games of the 1990s, Theme Park. He graduated from Cambridge with a double first, and returned to the computer games industry, founding his own company in his early twenties.
His passion had long been artificial intelligence and he says everything he’s done has been part of a long-term plan to "solve intelligence" and then use intelligence "to solve everything else". He gained a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience where he deliberately chose to study topics where AI had failed so far: memory and imagination. After stints at MIT and Harvard, he co-founded his company in 2010, which was then acquired by Google in January 2014. In March 2016 their computer programme, AlphaGo, beat a world champion Go player at the game having taught itself how to play through a combination of two techniques - deep learning and reinforcement learning.
Producer: Cathy Drysdale.
Richard Gillis challenges the myth of sports leadership.
The artist Yinka Shonibare meets international architect Sir David Adjaye, to consider how architecture can shape the world for the greater public good.
David Adjaye’s most notable recent building is the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, which was opened by President Obama in September 2016. Since then, well over a million people have visited. David Adjaye reflects on the creation of a building which had to act both as a monument and a museum, and reveals the important role water played in his thinking, partly influenced by the words of Martin Luther King.
He also discusses how his travels throughout Africa have influenced his ideas about the fundamental role of buildings within specific landscapes and climates, and reflects on how the political power of architecture can establish a civic or national identity, using the long history of Rome as an example.
Producer Clare Walker
With original music by Brian Eno.
Jay Owens argues that dust is a lot more interesting than we think, and we ought to pay more attention to it.
Jay has spent years researching dust, and produces a popular newsletter on the subject. In this fascinating Four Thought, recorded at the Design Museum in London, she shares some stories from the field of dust research that up until now have only been known to other ‘dust people’, as she calls her fellow dust researchers.
Producer: Giles Edwards.
The Podcast for Social Research, Episode 17: Reading Donna Haraway in the Anthropocene - Brooklyn Institute for Social Research
Danya’s note: Thinking about our conversation, I am also thinking about the politics of (im)purity that runs throughout Haraway’s work, which is very committed to not fetishizing an originary purity of any kind, biological or social. That’s another place where the “circuits” come in: she is concerned with the looping, hybridizing, cyborgian connections across boundaries of kind, class, and matter. Another book along these lines that I’m looking forward to reading is Alexis Shotwell’s Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times.
Ajay’s point about “the diaspora” as the basis of politics in this book is revealing here as well. Not only should we stop telling stories about science and technology that assume an originary purity of type or species, we should also stop telling stories that assume an origin point. In the twenty-first century, our times, a mythic time, we are all cyborg, and we are also all diaspora. I think this is a challenging politics to realize, because it undermines the politics of the post-Enlightenment nation-state, which assumes a stable population of like-minded and like-bodied individuals who are easy to follow through society. So this is another way into thinking about the real-world political challenges Haraway presents us with, here and elsewhere, concerning the question of how do you live well while staying with the trouble? How do you embrace a politics of impurity yet live ethically, in tough but fair “earth-wide projects of finite freedom, adequate material abundance, modest meaning in suffering, and limited happiness” (Haraway 1991, “Situated Knowledges”, in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women, 187)? This is a politics of vision, and of envisioning, as well as of remembering, engineering, travelling and settling, producing and reproducing. It is, quite emphatically, a major political question of our time.
Ajay’s note: Mckenzie Wark’s Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene (linked below) thinks about and with Bogdanov quite productively. But this was also there in several other Soviets from scientists like Vladimir Verdanksy to Bukharin himself. Re: Bukharin please see Stephen Cohen’s Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution (also linked below).
And the Heidegger line I was thinking of is: “the world worlds” from this piece of perfect pseudo-mystical nonsense: “The world worlds, and is more fully in Being than the tangible and perceptible realm in which we believe ourselves at home” from “The Origin of the Work of Art.”
Technical Details: This episode of the Podcast for Social Research was recorded at The Workmen’s Circle on January 27th, 2017 (a short day in the long anthropocene) and edited by Susan Lee.
Bruce Sterling - author, journalist, editor, critic, theorist, futurist, and blogger – rattles the future’s bones in his annual SXSW rant. He’s the legendary Cyberpunk Guru. He roams our postmodern planet, from the polychrome tinsel of Los Angeles to the chicken-fried cyberculture of Austin… From the heretical Communist slums of gritty Belgrade to the Gothic industrial castles of artsy Torino… always whipping that slider-bar between the unthinkable and the unimaginable.
Original video: https://soundcloud.com/officialsxsw/the-future-history-that-hasnt-happened-yet-sxsw-2017
Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Sat, 18 Mar 2017 16:44:34 GMT Available for 30 days after download
Forty percent of everything that the United States imports — car parts, bananas, lumber, jet engines, grain, shoes, phones, sofas, and so much of what fills the aisles of Nordstrom, Walmart and Home Depot — comes through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
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