The video series “Dissolving Realities” by digital artist Ruben Fro are disturbing, yet fascinating. Via @Kottke.
The “Institute of Human Obscolescence” is creating thought provoking speculative fiction artwork about changes in labour from advances in artificial intelligence and possible “human obscolescence”.
One project is called “biological labour” and envisages how bodies may produce elecricity for mining cryptocurrency:
A single human body at rest radiates 100 watts of excess heat. We created a body-suit that uses thermoelectric generators to harvest the temperature differential between the human body and ambient and converts it into usable electricity. The electricity generated is then fed to a computer that produces cryptocurrency.
Two important news updates via Tv5Monde’s 7 jours sur la planète emission of 30 March 2019:
- “La Suède, l’autre pays du cyborg”: in Sweden it seems to become more common to have an RFID chip implanted under the skin. So much so that even in the train it seems to slowly be considered normal to use your hand with the implanted chip to scan your ticket.
- “Nestlé accusé d'épuiser la nappe phréatique”: in France some activist groups are campainging against Nestlé for the water the company is extracting from the ground for their bottled water. I can imagine this happening in a lot more places in the world as water becomes more scarce.
The New Yorker writes on the doomsday preparation strategies of the super rich in America, preparing for survival and escape from the society they helped create.
Survivalism, the practice of preparing for a crackup of civilization, tends to evoke a certain picture: the woodsman in the tinfoil hat, the hysteric with the hoard of beans, the religious doomsayer. But in recent years survivalism has expanded to more affluent quarters, taking root in Silicon Valley and New York City, among technology executives, hedge-fund managers, and others in their economic cohort.
This fear could turn into positive actions, but as they write, a number of these people are simple looking for an escape strategy for when a (environmental or other type of) catastrophe would occur, or if there would be a public backlash against them.
Fear of disaster is healthy if it spurs action to prevent it. But elite survivalism is not a step toward prevention; it is an act of withdrawal. Philanthropy in America is still three times as large, as a share of G.D.P., as philanthropy in the next closest country, the United Kingdom. But it is now accompanied by a gesture of surrender, a quiet disinvestment by some of America’s most successful and powerful people. Faced with evidence of frailty in the American project, in the institutions and norms from which they have benefitted, some are permitting themselves to imagine failure. It is a gilded despair.
New York Times article on Yuval Harari by @NellieBowles “The futurist philosopher Yuval Noah Harari thinks Silicon Valley is an engine of dystopian ruin. So why do the digital elite adore him so?".