Your future as a black hole
TFSR: “The Inspection House”, surveillance, Bentham, Foucault & intentions (with Emily Horne & Tim Maly) | The Final Straw Radio (AshevilleFM)
Jeremy Bentham (died 1832) on display at London College into the 1970’s.
Note his mummified head between his feet…This week William speaks with Emily Horne and Tim Maly about their book “The Inspection House; An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance”, which was published in October 2014 by Coach House Books in their Exploded Views series. This interview comes right before the authors book tour of locations in Canada.
From the book’s website:
“In 1787, British philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham conceived of the panopticon, a ring of cells observed by a central watchtower, as a labor-saving device for those in authority. While Bentham’s design was ostensibly for a prison, he believed that any number of places that require supervision—factories, poorhouses, hospitals, and schools—would benefit from such a design. The French philosopher Michel Foucault took Bentham at his word. In his groundbreaking 1975 study, Discipline and Punish, the panopticon became a metaphor to describe the creeping effects of personalized surveillance as a means for ever-finer mechanisms of control.
Forty years later, the available tools of scrutiny, supervision, and discipline are far more capable and insidious than Foucault dreamed, and yet less effective than Bentham hoped. Public squares, container ports, terrorist holding cells, and social networks all bristle with cameras, sensors, and trackers. But, crucially, they are also rife with resistance and prime opportunities for revolution.”
In the interview, Emily and Tim talk about Jeremy Bentham’s life, the intended and actual uses of the panopticon, the dangers of the well intentioned, and more!
The book has a lot of good stuff in it, history and analysis and humor. For more info about “The Inspection House” and about the author’s Canadian tour, you can visit http://www.chbooks.com/catalogue/inspection-house
The Panopticam (live streaming & timelapse from the top of the cabinet in which Jeremy Bentham sits)
Metro.UK article on Jeremy Bentham’s attendence record at the University College of London since his passing in 1838.
Episode playlist: www.ashevillefm.org/node/11859
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Bruce Sterling Closing Talk - SXSW Interactive 2015
published on 2015/03/18 22:53:30 +0000
World traveler, science fiction author, journalist, and future-focused design critic Bruce Sterling spins the globe a few rounds as he wraps up the Interactive Conference with his peculiar view of the state of the world. Always unexpected, invented on the fly, a hash of trends, trepidations, and creative prognostication. Don’t miss this annual event favorite. What will he covered in 2015?
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Channel Fireball provides comprehensive content about Magic: the Gathering singles, strategy, cards, decks.
A careen through grassroots innovation, speculative design, supply chains and sexual healthcare provision, lashing down over-caffeinated flailing into the grit of socio-technical systems.
Georgina Voss is a writer and researcher working on the interplay of technology, politics and culture. She sometimes writes for The Guardian, and she’s currently in residence at the lovely Lighthouse Arts right here in Brighton working on a design fiction project that asks “what could digital fabrication and hyper-local manufacturing offer to the provision of sexual healthcare?”
She also holds a doctorate from Sussex Uni, so that’s Doctor Georgina Voss to you.
George has a knack for exposing the networks underlying the most normal-seeming activities. Usually “logistics” isn’t a word that conjures up much excitement, but George can make you look at shipping containers in a whole new light.
Oh, and she also hosts a great podcast called Gin and Innovation which has featured dConstruct alumni Dan Williams and James Bridle.
Thomas Pynchon. The Anthropocene. Ferguson. Geoheliocentrism. Teju Cole. Thomas Kuhn’s theory of paradigms. Antigone. A wall. The sixth extinction.
The ways we transmit information—and the ways in which that information accumulates into narratives—is changing. And if we aren’t careful, it may not change in all the ways we want it to.
Mandy Brown is a wordsmith. She takes other people’s words and hammers them into shape.
Mandy edited Frank Chimero’s The Shape Of Design. She has edited articles for A List Apart and books for A Book Apart (including the particularly handsome first book).
More recently, Mandy assembled a dream team to work on her startup Editorially, an online platform for collaborative writing and editing. That didn’t work out in the end, which is a shame because it was a lovely piece of work.
Before that, Mandy worked as product lead at Typekit, whipping their communications into shape.
She is one of the Studiomates crew in Brooklyn, where she lives with her husband, Keith and her dog, Jax. They’re both adorable.
Inventing the next twenty years, strategic foresight, fictional futurism and English rural magic: Warren Ellis attempts to convince you that they are all pretty much the same thing, and why it was very important that some people used to stalk around village hedgerows at night wearing iron goggles.
Warren Ellis is a writer. He is not the violinist in the Bad Seeds.
Some of the things he has written have pictures in them, like Transmetropolitan, Planetary, and The Authority. Some of the things he has written are constructed entirely from words, like Crooked Little Vein and the best-selling Gun Machine.
Gun Machine is currently being developed for television. His book Red was adapted for the big screen in 2010. We shan’t hold it against him.
You can find him on Twitter, on Tumblr, on This Is My Jam, and you used to be able to find him in Second Life, but most importantly, he has his own website because he’s down with the Indie Web.
The first in this series features James Bridle and Ingrid Burrington, discussing "The Black Chamber". As technology advances and becomes increasingly networked and integrated with our daily lives, it tends towards a greater invisibility, a seamlessness and an unreadability. From the Cipher Bureau to Room 641A, from the datacenter to the iPhone, from the drone command module to the shipping container, the black boxes of the network litter the contemporary landscape. Unable to see inside them, we construct fantasies about their use, develop new ways of thinking about them, and attempt to probe them through techniques legal, technical, and magical. Eyebeam Residents Ingrid Burrington and James Bridle will explore the aesthetic and imaginative space of the black box, and outline some of their own practices for approaching them.
In which George talks about copper in Zambia and China, and James Bridle drops by to talk about museums, party balloons, surveillance, and his experiences flying a blimp (‘kite’) over London. Intro and outro music courtesy, as ever, of Chris Arkenberg.
Links and works referenced:
‘Mining Copper in Zambia’ (Fast Company)
‘China’s giant pile of copper is inflating its credit bubble’ (Quartz)
‘Why a collapse in copper prices is a worrying sign for China’s financial system’ (Quartz)
‘Americans and Chinese are buying houses so you should buy copper’ (Quartz)
‘Chinese mining firms in Zambia under fire for mistreating workers’ (Guardian)
‘FTSE4Good Index Series: measuring environmental and social standards’ (Guardian)
Mollas-Gallart, J. 1997. ‘Which way to go? Defence technology and the diversity of ‘dual-use’ technology transfer’, Research Policy 26 (3): 367-385.
Grätz, T. 2003. ‘Gold-mining and risk management: A case study from Northern Benin’, Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology 68 (2): 192-208. [Benin rather than Zambia, and gold rather than copper; whoops.]
Rapid Response Collecting (V&A)
‘Rapid Response Collecting at the V&A’ (Icon review)
‘3D-printed guns: easy to print, a nightmare to import’ (Wired.co.uk)
‘Why all the fuss over the V&A’s 3D-printed gun? It’s a symbol - not a threat’ (Independent)
Digital Revolution (Barbican)
Disobedient Objects at the V&A (Icon)
Talk to Me (MoMA)
‘@ in Context: Criteria for an Acquisition’ (MoMA)
Right to Flight
‘The right to flight: why I’m flying a balloon over London this summer’ (Guardian)
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