Massimo Pigliucci reports.
Unfortunate it may be, but despite the spectacular successes of modern science, there is no ultimate foundation for our knowledge of the world. This was David Hume’s great insight, when he formulated his famous problem of induction. Hume realized that all knowledge about the world is ultimately derived from a process of induction, ie by generalization from specific instances to broader rules. But how do we know that induction works? Because it has worked in the past, obviously. Yet this itself is an example of inductive reasoning, which makes the justification of induction and science itself perilously circular.Link
New: Laptop orchestras bridge the distance
Laptop performances have been around since the '80s, when they became de rigueur in trend-setting clubs from L.A. to Berlin. But laptop orchestras are quite new. Wang co-founded the first one in 2005, at Princeton University, where he was a doctoral student in computer science. Stanford's laptop orchestra was founded by Wang just last year.Link
Why Does the Brain Need So Much Power?
New study shows why the brain drains so much of the body's energy.
Wired, Arse Elektronika and "Why Your Boss Should Send You to Sex Conferences"
Wired's Regina Lynn writes:
When it comes to technology, it's the great unfulfilled needs that matter most. That's where the next fortunes will be made. But if you're in the tech biz, how do you know what users want if you're hanging out with techies all the time?Link
Polar Bears? Don't kill them, they may save us from McDonald's
To protect the health of humans, save other species. That's the message from Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein from Harvard Medical School in Boston, who say that human health depends crucially on biodiversity. Chivian gives the example of polar bears, which are threatened by pollution and global warming. Unlike most mammals, they can both gain and shed fat very rapidly with no health consequences. "When we lose polar bears we may be losing the single best research model for understanding obesity-related diseases," he says.
Torture and the Ticking Time Bomb
Gordon Hull posted a version of his paper, "One View of the Dungeon: The Ticking Time Bomb between Governmentality and Sovereignty"...
The paper is a critique of one of the standard justifications for torture: "what if there were a ticking time bomb about to blow up Manhattan, and you have the terrorist. Would you torture him to save the lives of millions?" Versions of this argument show up in most efforts to justify torture, and its soundness has been thoroughly criticized by writers such as Kim Scheppele and David Luban. My paper takes a different tack, and tries to understand how the TTB functions as a rhetorical device. The gist of my argument is that it sanitizes the torture question of any real world difficulties, thereby making it appear as an act of governmental efficiency. I frame the paper in terms of Judith Butler's work on administration detention policies, and in particular her appropriation of Foucault in that essay.Link
Percival Lowell: The Man Who Invented Mars
Long before the space race and space shuttle, a brilliant, wealthy, charming Boston Brahmin named Percival Lowell popularized the idea that we are not alone in the universe. As the next US spacecraft prepares to descend upon the Red Planet, it's an idea worth revisiting.
Forget 'Brain Age': Researchers Develop Software That Makes You Smarter
Brain researchers for the first time claim to have found a method for improving the general problem-solving ability scientists call fluid intelligence, otherwise known as "smarts."Link
Chernobyl: the great cover-up
For 50 years dangerous concentrations of radionuclides have been accumulating in earth, air and water from weapons testing and reactor incidents. Yet serious studies of the effects of radiation on health have been obscured – not least by the World Health Organisation.
Next Step In Robot Development Is: Child's Play
The team behind the iCub robot believes it, like children, will learn best from its own experiences.
What is the Gift of Grace? On Lars von Trier's "Dogville"
Great essay by Lorenzo Chiesa (University of Kent), published on Film-Philosophy.
The term 'grace' designates a key-notion of Christian theology. 'Grace' derives from the Latin 'gratia', which is the translation of the Greek term 'charis' as used in the New Testament. In the Bible of the Seventy, ‘charis’ renders in its turn a similar notion which is already present in the Old Testament in the guise of the Biblical term 'hén' / 'chén'. In his philological review of Lars von Trier's film Dogville, Charles Baladier (2003) reminds us that this Hebrew term has three different intertwined meanings: it refers to the abstract favour that is awarded by a high rank personality to one of his subjects, the concrete witnessing of this benevolence on the part of the benefactor who thus fait grâce, as well as the charm that the beneficiary receives from the fact of being in the benefactor's good graces. Grace can never be attributed to just one person. The dialectical character of this notion is even more evident in the Latin term 'gratia', which can signify both generosity in giving and gratitude for having received. To put it simply, both the Biblical and the Roman pagan grace are ultimately based on a continuous exchange of favours, or gifts, in which what Marcel Mauss named the gift-exchange of primitive societies still resonates.Link (PDF)
Where Have All the Racists Gone?
Excellent new blog called "Racism Review" (via SGRP). Here is an excerpt of a nice post by Adia Harvey.
Over the last year, several celebrities have gone on media rants where they let slip (or unleashed) racial slurs and tirades that are typically relegated to backstage social spaces. Among the most notable: Michael Richards' tirade at the Laugh Factory where he used the "n-word" repeatedly, Duane "Dog" Chapman's use of the same racial slur in a telephone call to his son, and Mel Gibson's verbal barrage of anti-Jewish stereotypes when pulled over for a DUI.Link
monochrom 1998: FringeWare!
Jon Lebkowsky just twittered that Scott Casey has published a history of FringeWare, Inc.
Wow. Flashbacks! Memories! Nostalgia! Brrrr!
monochrom's first performance in the US of A was staged at the FringeWare Store in Austin in September 1998.
FringeWare is pleased to announce our in-store presentation of Austria's culture-jamming heroes from "monochrom" magazine, currently travelling throughout North America on their 1998 "monochrom bringt amerika den sozialismus tour". The illusive and infamous "der jg" and company of media subversives will appear for a special signing of their publication, and also spin as DJs for a show featuring "a really strange mixture of austrian and german music scores..." FringeWare will provide the beer.
What elevators can teach us about superstition
In the old system—board elevator, press button—you have an illusion of control; elevator manufacturers have sought to trick the passengers into thinking they're driving the conveyance. In most elevators, at least in any built or installed since the early nineties, the door-close button doesn't work. It is there mainly to make you think it works. (It does work if, say, a fireman needs to take control. But you need a key, and a fire, to do that.) Once you know this, it can be illuminating to watch people compulsively press the door-close button. That the door eventually closes reinforces their belief in the button's power. It's a little like prayer. Elevator design is rooted in deception—to disguise not only the bare fact of the box hanging by ropes but also the tethering of tenants to a system over which they have no command.Link
Cat and Dog: Or: How to deal with an attacking philosopher
"Feminist philosophers" writes:
Below we have a cat demonstrating an effective strategy for dealing with an attacking philosopher (as discussed here and elsewhere): keep your cool and soon he'll be going around in circles.
Conference: The Place of Epistemic Agents
Upcoming concerence in Madrid: "The place of epistemic agents: Autonomy and dependence in epistemology".
Among the intellectual ideals inherited from the Enlightenment, autonomy is considered the most valuable and essential in the pursuit of a rich intellectual life. But this ideal contrasts with the reality of our permanent dependence in epistemic matters. We constantly rely on others and need to place our trust in them in order to epistemically secure most of our more cherished beliefs. Some recent versions in virtue epistemology emphasize the role of the agent in the acquisition of epistemically valuable beliefs. No doubt, the cognitive character of epistemic subjects and how they are involved in the task of knowing are crucial in our understanding of the very value of knowledge. Moreover, a reflective turn suggested by certain foundationalist trends in epistemology has shaped under a new light the question of the normativity of our epistemic agency, specially in cases of judging and other active epistemic tasks performed by the subject. What is then the place we have to give to agents in epistemology? The aim of this conference is to discuss both the role of the autonomous epistemic agent in the acquisition of knowledge and the role that the dependence on others (and also on artifacts) has in our epistemic endeavors.University Carlos III, Madrid (UC3M) -Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). October 2-3, 2008.
Regrowing lost limbs
The Pentagon is participating in a $250 million research institute focused on regenerating tissues and whole limbs. The Army's surgeon general says he can see a future in which stem cells taken from soldiers will be used to replace limbs lost during combat.
Link (via Bioethics Blog)
Maker Faire: "I can count every star in the heavens above but I have no heart I can't fall in love..." -- The image of computers in popular music
A talk (with examples) by monochrom, presented by Johannes Grenzfurthner
@ Maker Faire Bay Area 2008; Saturday, May 3, 8:30 PM, main stage.
Bourgeois culture was paralyzed and finally overrun by modern technologies which broke through the traditional class barriers. It went into a panic and produced these very stupid technophobic manifestos and images e.g. of "the computer". Pop music discovered and explored the computer not only as a musical instrument but also as something to sing and reflect about in a less aversive way. In doing so it influenced the conception people had of computers. The public image of computers was shaped by groups such as Kraftwerk as well as through obscure Schlager songs such as France Gall's "Computer No. 3". Not only was that image influenced by high culture computer panic but also by naïve technomania, and so it delivered the very dialectics of the computer as a means of cultural technology in capitalist society.
Trepanation News: Incan skull surgery
When Incan healers scraped or cut a hunk of bone out of a person's head, they meant business. Practitioners of this technique, known as trepanation, demonstrated great skill more than 500 years ago in treating warriors' head wounds and possibly other medical problems, rarely causing infections or killing their patients, two anthropologists find.
Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools Of Us
Rose Shapiro's excellent book, Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools Of Us All, won't be read by the people who would most benefit from it. It's a potted history of alternative medicine, as well as a thorough rebuttal of it, and her research is both fascinating and illuminating. Did you know that traditional Chinese medicine, described so often as dating back thousands of years, was actually a rag-bag of ideas put together under Chairman Mao to try to fill in the gaps left by a shortage of "the superior new medicine"? Me neither.Link
Scanning world's every book means turning many, many pages
Inside Google's Book Digitization Project...
Many libraries began digitizing books a decade ago to preserve them. Funding from Google allows the 28 libraries it's working with to cut their digitizing costs because they don't have to pay for scanning the books Google wants to include in Book Search. More than 1 million rare or fragile books have been digitized through the Google-Michigan partnership since it began in 2004, with an estimated 6 million to go.Link
monochrom's Innermost Unifier @ World-Ex-Position Vienna
Johannes Grenzfurthner will present a talk/audio performance @ World-Ex-Position Vienna (LABfactory, Praterstrasse 42/1/3, 1020 Vienna). Saturday, April 26, 7:30 PM.
The Innermost Unifier: Today it's the Corporate Anthem
Lynchings in Congo as penis theft panic hits capital
Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.
Link (via Uncertain Times)
Reminder! monochrom's Prixxx Arse Elektronika
An unobjectionable award for sex machines, orgasmotrons and teledildonics.
This is an open call for machinery.
Please send us a PDF containing description and pictures of your working device or a detailed proposal by April 30, 2008.
We plan to present the winners of Prixxx Arse Elektronika in autumn 2008 @ Arse Elektronika.
The winners will be honored with the "Golden Kleene" (*)
A team of specialists
Ozone Hole Recovery: Warmer Antarctica?
A full recovery of the stratospheric ozone hole could modify climate change in the Southern Hemisphere and even amplify Antarctic warming, according to scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.
If God Is Dead, Who Gets His House?
The fastest-growing faith in America is no faith at all. And now some atheists think they need a church.
The 10 worst musicals of all time
As the knives come out for 'Gone with the Wind', Dominic Cavendish looks back on the history of stage disasters.
#1: Carrie (1988)Link
Conference in Vienna: The Islamic Republic, Israel's struggle for existence and the European Reactions
Upcoming conference in Vienna.
I would like to invite you to the international conference "The Iranian threat - The Islamic Republic, Israel's struggle for existence and the European Reactions", which will be held on May 3rd and 4th at the Vienna University. Details concerning the program can be found on our website www.stopthebomb.net.Link
Coca-Cola rips off Evan Hecox' Artwork
Even if you don't skate you probably came across Evan Hecox artwork sooner or later. Well, Coca-Cola has. Their ad-agency asked him to do a billboard-campaign for Diet Coke and he declined. So they just ripped him off. Nice one.
Link (via crailtap)
monochrom in Oakland: "I Can't Be Blamed For Transfiguring History But For Laziness, Though"
May 9 we will have a performance in Oakland, California.
I Can't Be Blamed For Transfiguring History But For Laziness, ThoughAt 21 Grand gallery, Oakland, CA; 415 25th St. / Friday, May 9 2008 / 8 PM
Heaven is Hotter than Hell
The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed. Our authority is Isaiah 30:26, "Moreover, the light of the Moon shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days." Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition 7*7 (49) times as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or 50 times in all. The light we receive from the Moon is one 1/10,000 of the light we receive from the Sun, so we can ignore that.... The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation, i.e., Heaven loses 50 times as much heat as the Earth by radiation. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann law for radiation, (H/E) temperature of the earth (-300K), gives H as 798K (525C). The exact temperature of Hell cannot be computed.... [However] Revelations 21:8 says "But the fearful, and unbelieving...shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." A lake of molten brimstone means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point, 444.6C. We have, then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C.~From Applied Optics, vol. 11, A14, 1972
"Krach der Robot" on Boing Boing TV
Good news! Our good friend Andreas "Krach" Stoiber is featured on Boing Boing TV. I'm so happy that I got Xeni into contact with His Shiny Robotness.
Al-Qaeda is stuck in Web 1.0
A new study by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty examines how Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups use the Internet to spread their message of global jihad.
Al-Qaeda, which was very, very advanced and very, very impressive in its use of new technology, is, I think, a bit behind the curve," Kimmage says. "They are sort of stuck in Web 1.0. They are producing what they think is the coolest content, the best videos, the most impressive press releases. And they are creating the most sophisticated — the best network — to distribute it to the web. What's missing is interactivity in user-generated content — a world in which users generate a lot of the content and in which people what to interact with others. Al-Qaeda really seems stuck in the old model.Link
Helvetica: The Film
Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. Helvetica is currently screening at film festivals, museums, design conferences, and cinemas worldwide, and is now available on DVD.
Solar system will remain stable for just 40 million years
How will life on Earth end? The answer, of course, is unknown, but two new studies suggest a collision with Mercury or Mars could doom life long before the Sun swells into a red giant and bakes the planet to a crisp in about 5 billion years.Link
Mars Radar Instruments Work Together To Discover Hidden Martian Secrets
A radar instrument co-sponsored by NASA on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter has looked beneath the surface of Mars and opened up a new dimension for planetary exploration.
30 Years Ago Haiti Grew All the Rice It Needed. What Happened?
Riots in Haiti over explosive rises in food costs have claimed the lives of six people. There have also been food riots world-wide in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivorie, Egypt, Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan and Yemen.
The Economist, which calls the current crisis the silent tsunami, reports that last year wheat prices rose 77% and rice 16%, but since January rice prices have risen 141%. The reasons include rising fuel costs, weather problems, increased demand in China and India, as well as the push to create biofuels from cereal crops.
Laser Pointers Classed as Weapons in Australia
New South Wales (of which Sydney is the capital) will prohibit the possession of certain types of laser pointers, defining them as weapons, and make it an offense to carry any laser pointer "without a lawful reason."
Marx and the philosophy of time
By Peter Osborne.
What is Marx's contribution to the philosophy of time? Or, to put it another way, what has a temporal reading of Marx's writings to contribute to the understanding of the philosophical aspects of his thought? How, for example, might it reconfigure the relationship between the historical, analytical and political dimensions of his work? These are not merely, or even primarily, historical questions, but constructive and critical issues about the philosophical present: constructive, because with only a couple of notable – and notably partial – exceptions (Antonio Negri and Moishe Postone), the temporalphilosophical side of Marx's thought has yet to be systematically disinterred; critical, because of the light such a construction promises to throw on a range of issues, not least the specific contemporaneity of Marx's thought. This is a propitious time for such an investigation, for a number of reasons.PDF link (on Radical Philosophy)
"Demographic Winter" -- the title of a new film -- denotes the worldwide decline in birthrates.
From their FAQ site:
What is population stability, and why is the number 2.1 so important?Here is the link to the film's homepage (via Metaphilm).
"Times & Seasons" weblog is wondering...
...to what degree this is a Mormon project. A fellow named Smoot appears to be a major sponsor and Merril Jenson is listed as doing the music and I get a "strengthen the family" vibe. For another, the production values look high and what discussion there is on the website looks credible (though a 1.3 TFR for Europe as a whole is on the low side, if I recall) but I'd like to get some sense for the scholars and sources they rely on before I spring for a copy of the DVD.See discussion here.
Sensitive military items for sale on eBay
Investigators from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) wanted to know if it was possible for countries or organisations opposed to the US to obtain sensitive items of military equipment over the internet. They were astonished to discover how easy it was.Link
On Not Choosing The Alternative: Raymond Tallis reflects on living longer
Woody Allan once observed that he didn’t like the idea of getting old until he thought of the alternative. For those who don’t like the alternative, there is good news. According to a recent report from the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, life expectancy in the UK is increasing at the rate of about two years for each decade that passes. Hang around long enough and you’ll live for ever. These trends are almost certainly going to continue. The dramatic decline in mortality from cardiovascular disease will be sustained as the identification and treatment of people with risk factors becomes more comprehensive and effective (in the UK, deaths from coronary heart disease below 65 have fallen by nearly 50% in the last decade).Link
"Campfire At Will": Best of Boing Boing TV
Wrapping up our week-long retrospective of the most crowd-pleezin' episodes in Boing Boing tv's first 6 months of existence, we revisit an episode in which...Link
Portal - "Still Alive" - Credits Song
Portal's closing credits song "Still Alive" is a really great piece of music.
The song was written by Jonathan Coulton and sung by Ellen McLain as the GLaDOS character.
MP3 (thanx, johl!)
Runglish (Ruglish, Russlish Russian), is a neologism increasingly used to denote at least three different interferences of Russian and English languages: pidgin, spoken manner, and informal latinizations of the Cyrillic alphabet.
The following joke vividly illustrates some of the grammatical issues presented above. It is patterned on the famous dialog from Casablanca (film)You can find a sentence-by-sentence explanation of the dialogue on Wikipedia (via Languagehat).
From Jamestown to Virginia Tech: Colonization and Massacres
By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.
What does it mean, if anything, that a student, child of Korean immigrants, killed thirty classmates and faculty at a Virginia university while nearby celebrations of the onset of colonialism was taking place?Link
Edward Lorenz, father of chaos theory, dead at 90
Edward Lorenz, the father of chaos theory, who showed how small actions could lead to major changes in what became known as the "butterfly effect," died of cancer on Wednesday at the age of 90, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said.Link
The Pirate Bay Launches Uncensored Blogging Service
In their ever continuing battle to free the Internet, The Pirate Bay has now launched an uncensored blogging service, called Baywords. The service is intended to be a safe haven for bloggers who want to be able to write whatever they want, without being afraid to get shut down by their blog host.
The End of the World as You Know It ...and the Rise of the New Energy World Order
Energy of all sorts was once hugely abundant, making possible the worldwide economic expansion of the past six decades. This expansion benefited the United States above all -- along with its "First World" allies in Europe and the Pacific. Recently, however, a select group of former "Third World" countries -- China and India in particular -- have sought to participate in this energy bonanza by industrializing their economies and selling a wide range of goods to international markets. This, in turn, has led to an unprecedented spurt in global energy consumption -- a 47% rise in the past 20 years alone, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).Link
Terahertz speed circuits get closer
Tools to direct and combine signals carried by terahertz radiation are bringing super-fast data-processing closer, say US researchers. Their new devices are to high-frequency waves what wires are to electricity.Link
Who Owns Captain America? It Seems Not The Guy Who Drew Him
On the frontier of a new industry, [comic book] writers and artists are creating scores of characters, but publishers profiting from them. These days creators have learned from the past by self-publishing or otherwise securing the rights to their progeny. But some of the founding fathers of American superheroes are still seeking justice.Link
monochrom best-of CD / LP wanted? / Survey!
As some of you probably already noticed, we've been working on a best-of-compilation of our old and more recent monochrom hits - and will make them available as mostly new and improved versions on a CD. To ensure high standards of quality, we got support from lots of musicians, like Hans Nieswandt, Gamejew, Matthias Kertal, Gerald Votava and many more...
The CD is ready and should be available in May 2008.
Now we additionally consider releasing a limited small vinyl edition (most likely a double LP) and now we want to survey the demand for such a product.
If you might be interested in purchasing a monochrom-best-of-double-LP, we would therefore ask you to send a short e-mail (subject: double lp) to frank.apunkt.schneider at gmx.net until Friday.
The mail will not oblige you to actually buy the LP, it will only help us figure out if our target group is interested in vinyl at all.
We would on the other hand collect the mails and in case of an actual purchase the senders will qualify for special conditions. Price and release date of the LP are yet to be determined.
Best regards and thanks a lot.
Dept. of Applied Office Arts: New Submissions
We got new submissions for the Dept. of Applied Office Arts. You don't know the Dept.? Well...
Office art (especially office drawing) is a regular technique used by people in white-collar working situations. There may not necessarily be a creative impulse to create office work, but the impulse of overcoming general work boredom or the necessity to help office workers keeping focus during telephone conversations and/or office meetings. This page is dedicated to collecting office art.
Whose Environment Is It?
By Joel Marks.
A peculiarity about the contemporary discussion of the proper human treatment of other animals is that, when the topic is broached at all, it often falls under the rubric of 'environmentalism'. No doubt this is an unintended consequence of the otherwise welcome prioritizing of an ‘environmental crisis’, which was highlighted in the last issue of this magazine. It is peculiar nonetheless because it begs a rather key question: whose environment is it?Link
Feeling Machines: Engineers Develop Systems For Recognizing Emotion
Emotions are an intrinsic part of communications. But machines don't have, perceive or react to them, which makes us – their handlers – hot under the collar. But thanks to building blocks developed by European researchers, machines that 'feel' may no longer be confined to science fiction.
Flaws of Gravity: Netwon about sex, gold, and religion
Even the idlest stroll through Cambridge, England, calls to mind a pantheon of great scientific minds, but none is greater than Isaac Newton, who revolutionized the world of "natural philosophy" while the rest of England was paralyzed by the plague. Reading an enlightening new biography by Peter Ackroyd, Christopher Hitchens learns that Newton probably didn't get bonked on the head by an apple—but he did have some pretty funny ideas about sex, gold, and religion.
The Cracked Ambience: new and recommended sounds for your personal space
DUSTCOVERED CARPET - rerededust the doubts I trust (beatismurder)
WERNER KITZMÜLLER - proximity (beatismurder)
MESHUGGAH - obZen (Nuclear Blast)
VALINA - a tempo! a tempo! (Trost)
Michael Jackson will Thrill you
Michaeljackson.com is pushing a viral marketing campaign to promote something or other. The upswing is you can upload a photo of yourself (or a friend or a duck) and they will insert you (or them or it) into the "thriller" video.
It is somewhat poor quality and takes an hour.
But with enough camera angles and computer power I'm sure an artist could insert a viewer into classic movies such as "The Passion of the Christ" or that Rick Astley music video.
monochrom's Toyps / new entries
Toyps is a collection of aesthetically beautiful typing errors of the so-called >English< language. An unpretenitous listong. And we got new submissions! Such beautiful and involuntary creations as "System of a Dow", "canilla sauce" or "border feces"...
We need your errors!
A Brief History of Exoskeletons
The first patent for a mechanical suit appeared in 1890, but exoskeletons, both real and imagined, took off only recently.
The Mufti and the Holocaust
John Rosenthal reviews "Der Mufti von Jerusalem und die Nationalsozialisten" by Klaus Gensicke.
LinkGermany stands for an uncompromising struggle against the Jews. It is self-evident that the struggle against the Jewish national homeland in Palestine forms part of this struggle, since such a national homeland would be nothing other than a political base for the destructive influence of Jewish interests. Germany also knows that the claim that Jewry plays the role of an economic pioneer in Palestine is a lie. Only the Arabs work there, not the Jews. Germany is determined to call on the European nations one by one to solve the Jewish problem and, at the proper moment, to address the same appeal to non-European peoples.The persistence of widespread Judeophobia in the Muslim world is hardly a matter of dispute, even if many commentators are inclined to dismiss it as merely an "understandable" reaction to Israeli "oppression." Among those who take the phenomenon seriously, however, a debate has been taking place of late about its origins. The debate has been spurred on, notably, by the publication in English translation of the German political scientist Matthias Küntzel's book Jihad and Jew-Hatred: Islamism, Nazism and the Roots of 9/11. The central thesis of Küntzel's book is that anti-Semitism — or, more precisely, modern anti-Semitism as crystallized in the "Jewish world conspiracy" theory — was largely imported into the Muslim world from Nazi Germany.
monochrom's SCULPTURE MOBS: Training Camp @ Maker Faire Bay Area 2008
Counter culture? Art? Your average guy does not go to exhibitions, concerts nor does he get in touch with art and counter culture media. Counter culture and the art world are niche places. And even if people would go there they would consider what happens there to be 'just art'. Art is the place where things might be reflected. But that amounts to nothing because it is not linked to everyday life. Art is a special task and a special place for special people. Many post-bourgeois artists were trying to bring the art back to the people not as a handy service (as it is to the bourgeois elite art consumer) but as a form of irritation. They created many forms of street theatre and pranks. But even art hackers are often helpless against official "art in public space"! Oh, the horror! Those endless atrocities! All of them labeled "sculpture in public space"! Ah! Monstrous "public art installations" on roundabouts, on main streets, in shopping malls!
It is time to reclaim the street art! It is time to create your own public art! Get your hammers! Get your welding equipment!
It is time for SCULPTURE MOBS!
monochrom offers free courses, in-depth training and invites people on a couple of guerrilla field trips.
Where? At Maker Faire Bay Area 2008!
Typhoid Fever dolls
Link (thanx, Mela M!)
Spain/France: Is this the beginning of water wars?
As Barcelona runs out of water, Spain has been forced to consider importing water from France by boat. It is the latest example of the growing struggle for water around the world – the "water wars".
US Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups
Mother Jones reports:
A private security company organized and managed by former Secret Service officers spied on Greenpeace and other environmental organizations from the late 1990s through at least 2000, pilfering documents from trash bins, attempting to plant undercover operatives within groups, casing offices, collecting phone records of activists, and penetrating confidential meetings. According to company documents provided to Mother Jones by a former investor in the firm, this security outfit collected confidential internal records—donor lists, detailed financial statements, the Social Security numbers of staff members, strategy memos—from these organizations and produced intelligence reports for public relations firms and major corporations involved in environmental controversies.Link
Joseph Weizenbaum and Eliza's World
The machine's influence shapes not only society's structures but the more intimate structures of the self. Under the sway of the ubiquitous, "indispensable" computer, we begin to take on its characteristics, to see the world, and ourselves, in the computer's (and its programmers') terms.
Roboexotica 2008 // 10 Years Of Roboexotica!
Finally we can announce a date. Roböxotica 2008 -- and 10 YEARS OF ROBÖXOTICA!! -- will take place in Vienna from December 4 thru December 7.
Roboexotica (or Roböxotica) is the first and inevitably leading festival concerned with cocktail robotics.
Until recently, no attempts had been made to publically discuss the role of cocktail robotics as an index for the integration of technological innovations into the human Lebenswelt, or to document the increasing occurrence of radical hedonism in man-machine communication. Roboexotica is an attempt to fill this vacuum. It is the first and, inevitably, the leading festival concerned with cocktail robotics world-wide. A micro mechanical change of paradigm in the age of borderless capital. Alan Turing would doubtless test this out.
Scientists, researchers, computer geeks and artists from all over the world participate to build cocktail robots and discuss about technological innovation, futurology and science fiction.
Roboexotica is a cooperation with Shifz and 'Bureau für Philosophie', Vienna.
Godzilla: A Tactical Approach
Iran's government shut down 'Zanan'
Iran's government has shut down the magazine 'Zanan' after 17 years and 151 issues, ending its advocacy of women's rights and its fearless exposures of wrongs against women under the current regime.
The First Animal On Earth Was Significantly More Complex Than Previously Believed
A new study mapping the evolutionary history of animals indicates that Earth's first animal -- a mysterious creature whose characteristics can only be inferred from fossils and studies of living animals--was probably significantly more complex than previously believed.
Films in 3D? *Really*?
Films in 3D are back - and poised to revolutionise the cinema. And even the new-style specs are comfortable. Jeremy Kay reports.
The Show Must Go On? Aging acts = music industry's live performance revenue
Aging acts account for most of the music industry's live performance revenue. What happens when these acts are gone?
Hyper-Americana: Squirrel melts
You know how squirrels like nuts?
That's why you should cook them with pecans!
Link (thanx, Chris Palmer!)
Roboexotica USA! Register now!
Cocktails, art, and bars. It's like heaven, only without the harps. Started 10 years ago in Vienna, this is the first time the show comes to America. If you've got a bar-bot, this is your chance to show it off - it can deliver beer, mix drinks, or just hang out and hit on girls. We'd also like to see your art robots. Whether it hangs on a wall stands against one, this is really fun show and exhibit. The opening party is May 10th in SF, but your bots will get to stick around and be seen by gallery-goers.
Register by emailing D. Calkins: dave AT robogames.net
George Lucas sues over sale of replica film costumes
"Although the last Star Wars movie came out three years ago, the battle over rights and ownership of the costumes used in the films is still raging. George Lucas, the director who dreamed up the lucrative series, is suing the prop designer who made the stormtrooper helmets and suits for the original 1977 film because he is selling replicas to fans for £1,800 a time."
Blood, Copper... Camera?
Wayne Martin Belger is a freaky pinhole photographer who makes cameras out of titanium, brass, wood, glass, human skulls, human organs, formaldehyde, HIV positive blood, and other relics that are tools of what he calls "the horrors of creation and the beauty of decay." Pictured above is a creation of his called The Untouchable, a 4x5 inch camera made of aluminum, copper, titanium, acrylic, and HIV positive blood. The blood acts as a red filter by pumping through the camera to the front of the pinhole.
Link (via Annalee Newitz)
Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium
Underneath their sober lab coats and flannel shirts, scientists hide images of their scientific passions. At Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium they are revealed to all.
Link (thanx, yxynaxen!)
hardhack is a thing that will take place in Berlin, Germany from April 18th - April 20th, 2008. It's a meeting of dedicated hardware hackers without the usual conference bullshit. You should check it out:
You can sign up now. Link
Staring in Vienna inspires incredible Art-Project
Ask anyone who visits Vienna and they will tell you that they can't believe the amount people in public stare at one another. I'm from Vienna and lived abroad for 4 years, and when I returned I couldn't believe the rudeness myself - I saw it with outsider's eyes.
Kevin Connolly from Montana, USA was born without legs and uses a skateboard to travel from A to B. On a trip to Europe he happened to be in Vienna when he felt a man staring at him. His reaction was to just take a photo of the man as he stared at him, and this sparked an long project of snapping gawkers from the hip, thereby holding a mirror at those around him.
It's a very cool project called The Rolling Exhibition, and it's featured in this little film on Yahoo-News. I found it through crailtap, a skateboarding website, but the bit on Vienna gives it a special twist for me. The staring in Vienna just pisses me off a great deal. And here's somebody who got pissed off so much, he made an exhibition out of it. This is inspiring stuff. Thanks Kevin.
The Caped Crusader: Frederic Wertham's campaign against comic books
For comic-book fans, Fredric Wertham is the biggest villain of all time, a real-life bad guy worse than the Joker, Lex Luthor, and Magneto combined. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Wertham was the intellectual spearhead of the anti-comics crusade, arguing in many articles and his 1954 best-seller, Seduction of the Innocent, that comic books stultified the imagination of normal kids (giving them a taste for blood and gore that would prevent them from ever appreciating literature and fine art) and severely damaged the socially vulnerable, contributing to juvenile delinquency. For Wertham, even the most beloved comic-book heroes were suspect: Superman reminded him of Nazi Germany's SS (a cadre of self-styled supermen), the adventures of Batman and Robin had homoerotic overtones, and Wonder Woman threatened to turn healthy young girls into lesbians. At the time Wertham made his attack on comics, the medium was at the height of its popularity, selling between 80 million and 100 million copies every week in scores of genres, ranging from funny animals and superheroes (for kids) to romance and horror (for teenagers and young adults).
The Origin of Menopause: Why Do Women Outlive Fertility?
New research sheds light on why women survive for decades when females in many other species die after they lose the ability to reproduce.
India Allows Pakistani Film To Open
A critically acclaimed Pakistani film on Islam has been released across cinemas in India. It is the first Pakistani film to get a wide commercial release in India in over four decades... Officially, India and Pakistan have banned each other's films since going to war in 1965.Link
Heroine Sheik recommends Arse Elektronika
Heroine Sheik recommends Arse Elektronika 2008.
Arse Elektronika, the awesome San Francisco sex tech conference that last year brought us talks like "Fucking Machines" and "Porn, Tech, and Creativity," has opened up its 2008 call for submissions. The event will take place from September 25th-28th, and the theme is "Do Androids Sleep with Electric Sheep?: Critical Perspectives on Sexuality and Pornography in Science and Social Fiction" (so… good…). Interested sex dorks like yours truly can submit presentations in any one of the three "panel" topics: narration, technology, and politics.Link
New Crawling Fish Discovered
A fish that would rather crawl into crevices than swim, and that may be able to see in the same way that humans do, could represent an entirely unknown family of fishes, says a University of Washington fish expert.
Prosecutor investigating reports of trafficking in organs of missing Kosovo Serbs
Serbia's war crimes prosecutor is looking into reports that dozens of Serbs captured by rebels during the war in Kosovo were killed so their organs could be trafficked, the prosecutor's office said Friday.
The Serbian prosecutor's office said it received "informal statements" from investigators at the U.N. tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, that dozens of Serbs imprisoned by Kosovo Albanian rebels were taken to neighboring Albania in 1999 and killed so their organs could be harvested and sold to international traffickers.
Link (via histologion)
Austrian Military "Krocha"
"Krocha" is an ultra-proletarian Viennese jumpstyle dance, and I frequently check YouTube for new "Krocha" obscurities. Here is a compelling video labeled "Bundesheer Krocha 07 presented by checki und leimi"... two Austrian military guys, two gas masks, a Catholic cross, a trash bin and ...well... rhythm.
Link (thanx, Thomas Thurner @ IND06)
monochrom, KPMG and a hero from Argentinia: BBtv
Johannes storms the front doors of various multinational corporations to ask employees (and random folk on the street) if they're aware that these companies have "corporate anthems." Yes, theme songs, sometimes official, sometimes unofficial, always painfully cheesy. KPMG boasts a particularly heinous ditty, and while renditions sometimes pop up on YouTube, none can be quite so rich as the one we paid an Argentinian street musician $20 to sing. "KPMG, we're strong as can be -- a dream of power and energy!" Bet you $20 the song sticks in your brain longer than you'd like.
Internet Movie Cars DataBase
Like one of the fossil fuel wasting devices you saw in a movie?
Welcome to the Internet Movie Cars Database. You will find here one of the most complete list on the web about cars, bikes, trucks and other vehicles seen in movies, image captures and information about them.For example, a Kia featured in "Grey's Anatomy":
Why Isn't There More Science Fiction Theatre?
Good question. I'm happy that monochrom actually wrote and staged a sci-fi theatre play in 2006... "Warten auf Goto"... and there is a good chance we will translate it into English.
As well as being regarded with a certain warmth, there's also a sense of mistrust around the genre. Writers fear that it's somehow a bit uncool - a bit 70s - and so we get interminable plays about Urgent Contemporary Issues rather than coolly speculative projections. It's a shame. After all, some of the 20th century's greatest literature was set in the future - consider 1984, Brave New World and A Clockwork Orange.Link
The Financialization of Capital and the Crisis
By John Bellamy Foster.
With the benefit of hindsight, few now doubt that the housing bubble that induced most of the recent growth of the U.S. economy was bound to burst or that a general financial crisis and a global economic slowdown were to be the unavoidable results. Warning signs were evident for years to all of those not taken in by the new financial alchemy of high-risk debt management, and not blinded, as was much of the corporate world, by huge speculative profits. This can be seen in a series of articles that appeared in this space: "The Household Debt Bubble" (May 2006), "The Explosion of Debt and Speculation" (November 2006), "Monopoly-Finance Capital" (December 2006), and "The Financialization of Capitalism" (April 2007). In the last of these we wrote:LinkSo crucial has the housing bubble been as a counter to stagnation and a basis for financialization, and so closely related is it to the basic well-being of U.S. households, that the current weakness in the housing market could precipitate both a sharp economic downturn and widespread financial disarray. Further rises in interest rates have the potential to generate a vicious circle of stagnant or even falling home values and burgeoning consumer debt service ratios leading to a flood of defaults. The fact that U.S. consumption is the core source of demand for the world economy raises the possibility that this could contribute to a more globalized crisis....
How sweet... universe's tiniest black hole discovered
Only 3.8 times the Sun's mass and spans just 24 kilometres across.
xbiz features Arse Elektronika 2008
Art, sex and technology collide as monochrom discuss the intersection of science, porn and culture in the digital ageLink
External monochrom links:
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