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Up: Pixar's Defense of Animation 
The philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce used the term "index" to describe things like Ellie's note, things that stand as physical remnants of the causes of their existence. A footprint is the index of a foot, just as a scrape on a fender might be the index of another car or of a guardrail. Ellie's writing, a sign of her physical being, connects Carl to her through this sort of relationship.

In fact, the film characterizes Carl in part through a collection of indexical objects. His most prized remembrance of Ellie is an old photograph; many theorists and philosophers of film have claimed photography and motion pictures to be the pinnacle of indexicality, based on the relationship between the subject of a photograph and the resulting image. The scrapbook, full of photographs and other memorabilia, reads as a kind of collective index of Ellie’s life with Carl. It may also be worth noting here that Carl steers his house with a weathervane, which Peirce himself famously identifies as evidence of the blowing wind.


Wikipedia is bloated with trivia and needs more meat 
In its almost nine years of existence, Wikipedia has achieved unequivocal success: as the fifth most visited website in the world, it features more than 14.3m articles in 270 languages contributed by more than 100,000 volunteers.

Given that this has been done on a shoestring budget, Wikipedia easily puts to shame all other efforts to create and disseminate digital knowledge.

The debates about the truthfulness of entries have also subsided — perhaps a sign that most of us have discovered there are plenty of other lies on the internet. Wikipedia has become the lazy man's Google: why bother sifting through 100 search results if chances are that someone has already done this job for you in a Wikipedia entry?

Most projects would be comfortable with gaining so much power in so little time, but Wikipedians are an ambitious bunch. Their commitment, as codified in the vision statement of the Wikimedia foundation, the legal entity behind the project, is to create a world where "every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge".

New evidence for early life on Mars: NASA 
A new NASA study of a Martian meteorite that made headlines 13 years ago strengthens the original claim that the rock contains evidence of life on ancient Mars. Researchers at the Johnson Space Center used advanced electron microscopes that weren't available in 1996 to re-examine the magnetite crystals on the meteorite.

Where In The World: Computer Scientists Develop Program To Decipher Location Of Photograph 
Computer scientists designed a program that can analyze a photograph to identify where it was taken. The program scans the scene on the photo, noting colors, textures and lines, and uses these elements to compare it to more than six million images previously tagged with locations on online databases. The program has an average success rate of 16 percent, which is better than random chance or a human guess.

Thinking Comics with Danny Fingeroth (of Spider-Man fame) 
John Shelton Lawrence asks analyser of comics and the former editor of the Spider-Man range of titles what makes a superhero, philosophically speaking.
Many of us who grew up with comic books noticed those books growing with us. A literate observer of those transitions is Danny Fingeroth, who began his comics-centered life as youthful fan, became a creator as a young man, and has recently emerged as an important interpreter of the medium. His first job at Marvel assigned him the humble task of 'translating' comics for the UK market – making 'color' into 'colour', 'center' into 'centre', 'while' into 'whilst' etc. He left such mundane tasks behind when he became editor for the Spider-Man character and consultant to the Fox Kids Network for Animated Spider-Man. During his Marvel years he earned writing credits for Avengers, The Deadly Foes of Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man, as well as the entire fifty book run of Darkhawk (1991-1995). His awareness of principles and choices in the world of superheroism has permitted him to become an interpreter for grown-up audiences who want a better understanding of the narrative meanings of the comics world. His interpretive books are Superman on the Couch (2004), Disguised as Clark Kent (2007), and The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels (2008, illustrated by Roger Langridge), which includes a new thirty page graphic novel written by him.

Readers who look at superhero comics will immediately notice the constant physical conflict between extreme-bodied protagonists. But beneath the surface violence, the dialogue expresses moral perspectives that often go beyond the trite 'crime does not pay'. The good-evil polarities are often ambiguously shaded. We see heroes tempted to do ill (The Punisher constantly goes over the edge) and the villains sometimes wonder whether to switch sides (Rhino wants to get out of his thuggish roles, and even prevents the murder of Spiderman). In the spirit of post-World War II existentialism, Marvel's heroes conduct their lives in extreme situations that require hard choices. As Fingeroth told me, as a writer for youthful audiences he has always sought to convey that 'actions have consequences' and that heroes, unlike villains, are persons who channel the impulse for revenge into doing good. He admits his conception of this is at odds with some comics characters aimed at an older audience, where the violence has become "more extreme and vivid." Before exploring Fingeroth's ideas, I will set the conceptual stage for the philosophy of superheroes.

The Meaning of Seattle: Truth Only Becomes True Through Action 
WTO+10: Before 1999, the momentum of globalization seemed to sweep everything in front of it, including the truth. But in Seattle, ordinary women and men made truth real with collective action.

Laughing Squid recommends Roboexotica 2009 
monochrom content info
Roboexotica 2009, an annual festival for cocktail robotics organized by SHIFZ, monochrom and Bureau of Philosophy, takes place December 3-6 at Drinkomat in Vienna, Austria.

Interview with Baburam Bhattarai: Transition to New Democratic Republic in Nepal 
This interview of Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, a leading figure of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, was conducted by the World People's Resistance Movement (Britain).

Enumeration Sensation: Umberto Eco's fascination with lists 
Middle of the night and your head teems with half-formed thoughts: Did I pay the car insurance? Where did I park the car? Is my best dress shirt at the dry cleaners? What time's the wedding on Saturday? Need a map of Vermont to get there. I should frame my vintage maps one of these days. Maybe start with that bird's-eye view of New Amsterdam, or the blue-tinted mariner's chart ...

How stop this ceaseless ticker tape? The mind's associative reflex is as rapid as it is circuitous, myriad things and things-to-do always unspooling in the brainpan. If you get out of bed, though, and grab a pen, you can at least slow it down by making a list. You can rank items in importance, annotate, categorize, and subcategorize—in short, you can give some material shape to and make some order of what Samuel Beckett dubbed "the big blooming buzzing confusion." So somewhere between penciling "Pick up prescription" and "Live a more examined life," a portion of calm might be found.

The notion that unwieldy consciousness can best be tamed by enumerative form has beguiled more than a few writers and artists. Umberto Eco, in The Infinity of Lists: An Illustrated Essay (Rizzoli, $45), recounts his own fascination with lists, lists of lists, and the infinite regress of adding up and counting down any- and everything. In compiling this roster—its own sort of metacollection—Eco ranges widely through Western civilization to include lists verbal (from Homer to Pynchon) and visual (from a fifth-century Greek shield to an installation by Christian Boltanski). Like any good cataloguer, Eco subdivides: His big two kinds of lists are those that evidence the "poetics of 'everything included'" and those that express the "poetics of the 'etcetera.'" The first aims for completeness and closure (provisionally so); the latter takes its cue from the mind's perpetual-motion association machine. It's the difference between a New York telephone directory and, say, J. A. S. Collin de Plancy's nineteenth-century Dictionnaire infernal, which offers a census of demons ("Aamon, Abigor, Abraace, Adramelech ... Xafan, Zagam, Zaleos, Zebos, Zepar"). The phone book includes the more or less fixed number of names of actual phone owners; the roster of devils is limited only by the imagination's disinclination to invent more.

Golden Gate Bridge As Sanctioned Climbing Site? 
Taking a cue from "the Bridge Climb at the Sydney Harbour Bridge, where visitors pay about $200 for a guided trek along catwalks, up and down ladders and along the outer arch of the coat-hanger-shaped bridge," Golden Gate Bridge officials see a possible source of revenue in an interactive visitor experience. They draw the line, however, at bungee jumping.

The Muppets: Bohemian Rhapsody 

Zombie Turkey! 
Gobble! Gobble!


Brain scanner can tell a Dali from a Picasso 
Patterns in brain activity can be used to determine whether someone is looking at a surrealist landscape by Salvador Dali or the cubist lines of Pablo Picasso.

Yukiyasu Kamitani of ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, and colleagues showed 12 students dozens of Picassos and Dalis while scanning their brains using functional MRI. A program then identified patterns in activity that were unique to each artist.

When fed brain scans produced by students looking at fresh paintings by the same artists, the program correctly identified the painter better than chance alone: it was correct 83 per cent of the time among the six students who were art majors and 62 per cent of the time among the others.

Should We Defend Undocumented Workers? 
One winter morning in 1996, Border Patrol agents charged into a Los Angeles street-corner clinic where 40 day laborers had lined up to be tested for AIDS. One worker, Omar Sierra, had just taken his seat, and a nurse had inserted the needle for drawing the blood. As agents of the migra ran across the street and sidewalk, Sierra jumped up, tore off the tourniquet, pulled the needle out of his vein and ran.
Sierra escaped and made it home. Shaken by his experience and determined never to forget his friends who were deported, he wrote a song.

I'm going to sing you a story, friends
that will make you cry,
how one day in front of K-Mart
the migra came down on us,
sent by the sheriff
of this very same place ...

We don't understand why,
we don't know the reason,
why there is so much
discrimination against us.
In the end we'll wind up
all the same in the grave.

With this verse I leave you,
I'm tired of singing,
hoping the migra
won't come after us again,
because in the end, we all have to work.

Sierra states an obvious truth about people in the US without immigration papers: "We all have to work." Yet, work has become a crime for the undocumented. That Hollywood raid took place 13 years ago, but since then immigration enforcement against workers has grown much more widespread, with catastrophic consequences. In the last eight years of the Bush administration in particular, a succession of raids treated undocumented workers as criminals.

Starts with candy, ends in napalm 
Barack Obama once described the operations in Afghanistan as a "necessary war". That war has lasted eight years and General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the US forces there, appointed by Obama, is urging him to deploy 40,000 more troops.

In Indochina, the US supported corrupt and illegitimate puppet governments, to no avail. In Afghanistan, Britain and the Soviet Union failed to subdue the country, despite all their efforts. US military losses have been relatively small (880 since 2001, compared with 1,200 a month in Vietnam in 1968) and anti-war protests have been low-key, but have the western armies any chance of winning, lost in mountains, surrounded by drug traffickers (1), and suspected of crusading against Islam?

The French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner still hopes to "win hearts and minds with a bullet-proof vest" and McChrystal assures the world that "the American goal in Afghanistan must not be primarily to hunt down and kill Taliban insurgents but to protect the population". Apart from their cynicism, these statements are based on a common assumption that social development can be combined with military operations in a country where it is impossible to distinguish between insurgents and civilians. In Vietnam, the US journalist Andrew Kopkind summed up this kind of "counter-insurgency" in 1966 as "candy in the morning, napalm in the afternoon".

Armenia excels at chess: The lion and the tiger 
Armenia excels at chess. Its top player now has a shot at becoming world champion. How did this tiny country become a giant at the game?
Levon Aronian likes to sleep late. But at 11am on a weekday in August this year, his dreams were disturbed by what sounded like people chanting his name. In a semi-conscious state he got up, looked out of the window and saw a large group of people outside where he was staying. "You must win for Armenia!" shouted the crowd. They were there because in his native country, Levon Aronian is a megastar. He is 27 years old, charming, handsome, wealthy and the best in his nation at chess. And his countrymen take chess very seriously. The patriotic zeal focused on him during the August tournament was more intense than usual. If Aronian did well, he might one day become world champion.

Monsanto: Biotech bonanza 
Last year's global food crisis made millions for agro-giant Monsanto. Tim Hunt of Ethical Consumer magazine fails to find any redeeming features in this corporate behemoth.
Try looking objectively at biotech firm Monsanto, a company that only ever seems to receive a negative press, and see if you can find any redeeming features – any ray of light emanating from this seeming black hole of corporate misanthropy. You will struggle. Monsanto is the exemplar of all that is wrong with the world's corporate-controlled food system.

Monsanto has a damning history. It worked on the atomic bomb in the 1940s and produced the chemical weapon Agent Orange during the Vietnam war. More recently its herbicides have been used to devastating effect against coca-producing peasant farmers in Colombia.

But nightmarish weapons have never been the company's primary money-spinner. The big bucks come from industrialised agriculture. When it comes to food, never before has so much been controlled by so few – a situation that is worsening as genetically modified (GM) crops and patents are pushed further into agriculture.

Like humans, ants use bacteria to make their gardens grow 
Leaf-cutter ants, which cultivate fungus for food, have many remarkable qualities.

Here's a new one to add to the list: the ant farmers, like their human counterparts, depend on nitrogen-fixing bacteria to make their gardens grow. The finding, reported Nov. 20 in the journal Science, documents a previously unknown symbiosis between ants and bacteria and provides insight into how leaf-cutter ants have come to dominate the American tropics and subtropics.

What's more, the work, conducted by a team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison bacteriologist Cameron Currie, identifies what is likely the primary source of terrestrial nitrogen in the tropics, a setting where nutrients are otherwise scarce.

A History of 20th-Century Russia, Warts and All 
A new two-volume history of Russia's turbulent 20th century is being hailed inside and outside the country as a landmark contribution to the swirling debate over Russia's past and national identity.

Written by 45 historians led by Andrei Zubov, a professor at the institute that serves as university to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the weighty history — almost 1,000 pages per volume — was published this year by AST Publishers and is already in its second printing of 10,000 copies.

Retailing at the rough equivalent of $20 a volume and titled "History of Russia. XX Century," the books try to rise above ideologically charged clashes over Russia's historical memory. They are critical both of czarist and Communist Russia, and incorporate the history of Russian emigration and the Russian Orthodox Church into the big picture of a chaotic, violent century. While written from a clearly Christian perspective -- one author is a Russian Orthodox priest -- the history avoids overt nationalism or anti-Semitism.

Eminent historians in the United States and Poland who often take a critical view of Russia's passionate, partisan discussion of history lauded its balance.

Die, Cusack, die!? 
John Cusack deserves his reputation as a likable actor. Back in 1985, you wanted him to get the girl more than most teen actors. But 2012 is so dumb you only want to cheer, Die Cusack, Die! Ditto Amanda Peet. And their children. You don't want this family to reunite, to make good on broken promises, or to carry the American flame forward into the reset future. You don't want them to do any of that. You just want them to do what they're supposed to do at the end of the world, and that is experience a brief moment of bone-chilled terror, then die like everyone else.

Modern Architecture and Complaints about the Weather, or, 'Dear Monsieur Le Corbusier, It is still raining in our garage….' 
Historians of Modern Architecture have cultivated the image of the architect as a temperamental genius, unconcerned by issues of politeness or pragmatics—a reading reinforced in cultural representations of Modern Architects, such as Howard Roark, the protagonist in Ayn Rand's 1943 novel The Fountainhead (a character widely believed to be based on the architect Frank Lloyd Wright). The perception of the Modern Architect as an artistic hero or genius has also influenced the reception of their work. Despite their indisputable place within the architectural canon, many important works of Modern Architecture were contested on pragmatic grounds, such as cost, brief and particularly concerning issues of suitability and effectiveness in relation to climate and weather. A number of famed cases resulted in legal action between clients and architects, and in many more examples historians have critically framed these accounts to highlight alternate issues and agendas.

"Complaints about the weather," in relation to architecture, inevitably raise issues regarding a work's "success," particularly in view of the tensions between artistry and functionality inherent in the discipline of architecture. While in more recent decades these ideas have been framed around ideas of sustainability—particularly in relation to contemporary buildings—more traditionally they have been engaged through discussions of an architect's ethical responsibility to deliver a habitable building that meets the client's needs. This paper suggests these complaints often raise a broader range of issues and are used to highlight tensions inherent in the discipline. In the history of Modern Architecture, these complaints are often framed through gender studies, ethics and, more recently, artistic asceticism. Accounts of complaints and disputes are often invoked in the social construction (or deconstruction) of artistic genius – whether in a positive or negative light. Through its discussion of a number of famed examples, this paper will discuss the framing of climate in relation to the figure of the Modern Architect and the reception of the architectural "masterpiece."

Why do human testicles hang like that? 
[...] the first big question is why so many mammalian species evolved hanging scrotal testicles to begin with. The male gonads in some phylogenetic lineages went in completely different directions, evolutionary speaking. For example, modern elephants' testicles remain undescended and are deeply embedded in the body cavity (a trait referred to as "testicond"), whereas other mammals, such as seals, have descended testicles but are ascrotal, with the gonads simply being subcutaneous.
Gallup and his coauthors jog through several possible theories of our species' testicular evolution by descent.

Red Cosmos: K.E. Tsiolkovskii, Grandfather of Soviet Rocketry 
The details of Konstantin Tsiolkovskii's life, as James Andrews explains in his new study of the man, are more complex and far more interesting than the legend.
Anyone who has studied the history of the space age has come across the name Konstantin Tsiolkovskii (1857–1935), often under the more common alternative spelling Tsiolkovsky. He is generally credited with the development of the basic mathematical formulae for space travel. Other than that, he is often described as the man who after the revolution inspired a small group of space enthusiasts, including Glushko and Korolev, to begin serious work on rocket technology. The details of his life, as James Andrews explains in his new study of the man, are more complex and far more interesting than the legend.
The details are interesting in and of their own right. Herman Oberth wrote to Tsiolkovskii in 1929: "I am sorry I did not hear about your work prior to now, or I may have been further along with my own analysis and discoveries." Certainly the paper the Russian wrote in 1903 on rockets fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen was far ahead of its time. His speculations about what would happen to the human body in weightlessness were equally prescient.

How Downloading Is Changing Music? 
Digital downloading and distribution, illegally or otherwise, has had a greater effect on the recording industry than anything in its history. As the legal variety grows rapidly, driven most significantly by iTunes, so those old-school players are having to adopt radical new business plans to compete in the brave new world of music.

Arse Elektronika: Interview with Kyle Machulis on Sex Toy Tech 
monochrom content info
Recording of Kyle's interview on Sex Toy Tech with FM4 Radio, Friday, November 20, 2009.
Intro is in German, interview in English language.
Link (MP3)

Reflections On Epilepsy 
Raymond Tallis applies his mind to his mind.
My experience with neurological patients has underlined what ordinary life tells us: that a brain in some working order is a necessary condition for human consciousness. Unlike mind-brain identity theorists, however, I do not believe that consciousness is identical with neural activity in the cerebral cortex, the brain stem, the thalamus or wherever. This does not mean that I think I have an immaterial soul; nor do I subscribe to a 'ghost-in-the-machine' Cartesian dualism. Rather, I am a non-Cartesian atheist who just can't help noticing that however hard you look, you will not find sensations, affections and reasons in bits of the brain, or even distributed throughout the brain. So although a functioning brain is necessary for every aspect of consciousness, from the simplest twinge of sensation to the most exquisitely constructed sense of self, it is not sufficient for consciousness – and certainly not for the kind of consciousness you and I enjoy.

A necessary condition, or set of conditions, of something happening, is that without which it will not happen; a sufficient condition, or set of conditions, is that which is enough to ensure that it happens. In order for me to be knocked down by a 97 bus in London, it’s necessary for me to be in London. However, being in London is not sufficient – otherwise I might be even more inclined to avoid the place. Something else is required – for example that I should be in a certain street; that a 97 bus should be in the same street; that, preoccupied with the mind-body problem, I should walk in front of the bus; and that the driver, who may also be pondering the mind-body problem, should fail to see me in order to stop in time.

Paying Off the Warlords: Anatomy of an Afghan Culture of Corruption 
Kabul, Afghanistan -- Every morning, dozens of trucks laden with diesel from Turkmenistan lumber out of the northern Afghan border town of Hairaton on a two-day trek across the Hindu Kush down to Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. Among the dozens of businesses dispatching these trucks are two extremely well connected companies -- Ghazanfar and Zahid Walid -- that helped to swell the election coffers of President Hamid Karzai as well as the family business of his running mate, the country's new vice president, warlord Mohammed Qasim Fahim.

Some of the trucks are on their way to two power stations in the northern part of the capital: a recently refurbished, if inefficient, plant that has served Kabul for a little more than a quarter of a century, and a brand new facility scheduled for completion next year and built with money from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Afghan political analysts observe that Ghazanfar and Zahid Walid are striking examples of the multimillion-dollar business conglomerates, financed by American as well as Afghan tax dollars and connected to powerful political figures, that have, since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, emerged as part of a pervasive culture of corruption here. Nasrullah Stanikzai, a professor of law and political science at Kabul University, says of the companies in the pocket of the vice-president: "Everybody knows who is Ghazanfar. Everybody knows who is Zahid Walid. The [government elite] directly or indirectly have companies, licenses, and sign contracts. But corruption is not confined just to the Afghans. The international community bears a share of this blame."

Indeed, the tale of the "reconstruction" of Kabul's electricity supply is a classic story of how foreign aid has often served to line the pockets of both international contractors from the donor countries and the local political elite. Unfortunately, these aid-financed projects also generally fail -- as the Kabul diesel plants appear destined to -- because of a lack of planning and the hard cash to keep them operating.

It's Really a War on the Poor: A War on Coca Nobody Believes In 
Since their systemic targeting of producer nations through militarized methods of eradication, government officials in Washington have regularly brandished bogus data when concerning the effectivoeness and validity of the US's so-called 'war on drugs'. Dating back to the 1980s, Colombia became a figurative and literal battleground in this war, as the world's principal cultivator of coca. As liberalized economic policies debilitated Colombia's rural political economy hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized producers, campesinos, and landless farmers gravitated toward the narcotic industry, via cultivation, as a way of life and survival. The United States, denounced such activities a threat, as drugs were proclaimed a risk to 'national security' (White House, 1986). In turn, Washington devoted a great deal of time, money, and military resources to curb coca 'at the source'. Yet this militarized approach toward eradication has consistently produced incredibly poor results. Rather than facilitating a decline the narcotic industry witnessed an enormous expansion over the past two decades.

A fascinating shift related to this historic debacle was reported in early November. The United States Embassy in Bogota announced a miraculous 29 per cent decrease in Colombian coca cultivation and an estimated 39 per cent drop in cocaine production in 2008 alone. Such figures are incredible, for rates of coca cultivation have, in actuality, significantly risen since Washington embarked on its war on drugs in Colombia. Throughout the 1980s, when Colombia was identified as a threat to US national security, cultivation averaged 46,000 hectares. [1 hectare = 2.47 acres.] By the 1990s levels had reached 61,000 hectares, while the past decade saw median rates hovering at 140,000 hectares. Taking the subject a step further, when one situates rates of coca cultivation in conjunction with rates of coca eradicated via manual and aerial techniques it becomes glaringly apparent that growth rates have done anything but declined. To the contrary, coca accelerated – especially under the administration of Alvaro Uribe Velez [2002-2010]. Such information devastates the 'success' Washington (and Bogota) today claim.

Who drafted and released the information to the public? While formally released through the US Embassy in Bogotá, the report and findings came from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – specifically the US Director of Central Intelligence, Crime and Narcotics Center (CNC). What is unique about this is the unspoken absence of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). For the greater part of the last decade, the ONDCP has been the principal medium for formally releasing information related to coca cultivation levels within Colombia. The fact that the CIA/CNC released this report and not the ONDCP should spark some question and debate.

Arse Elektronika and qDot on FM4 
monochrom content info
Kyle has a second site just for the projects based on his hobby of breaking sex-toys. Slashdong. If you feel uncomfortable viewing pictures of sex-toys in various states of deconstruction, you may want to avoid it. If that type of thing doesn't bother you, then you might find it an entertaining read about all sorts of things you probably didn't know existed.

Right now Kyle is an Artist in Residence for Monochrom. Tonight they will be combining forces in Raum D in the MuseumsQuartier to present the most recent Arse Elektronika anthology Do Androids Sleep With Electric Sheep and Kyle will be giving a talk entitled: "What is the sex of the future, and why aren't we having it yet?".

The Universe According to Scrooge McDuck 
A profoundly thorough history of Scrooge McDuck and his effect on world culture, by Wiley Wiggins.

Oceans' Uptake of Human-Made Carbon May Be Slowing 
The oceans play a key role in regulating climate, absorbing more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide that humans put into the air. Now, the first year-by-year accounting of this mechanism during the industrial era suggests the oceans are struggling to keep up with rising emissions -- a finding with potentially wide implications for future climate. The study appears in the November 19 issue of the journal Nature.

Dancer Plans To Induce Epileptic Seizure In Performance 
A dance artist with epilepsy is to try to induce a seizure on stage - but has been urged to reconsider by a charity.

Rita Marcalo has stopped taking her medication ahead of the event at The Bradford Playhouse, which the audience will be invited to film.

Arts Council England, which is funding the performance, said it aimed to raise awareness about the condition.

But the Epilepsy Action charity expressed concerns and urged Ms Marcalo to reconsider the event.

Ms Marcalo, the artistic director of Leeds-based dance company, Instant Dissidence, plans to induce a seizure as part of the 24-hour Involuntary Dances event on 11 December, which will also include dance and poetry readings.

Ben-Hur: The Book That Shook the World 
"Hate keeps a man alive."

Those famous words do not actually appear in the original 1880 novel Ben-Hur by General Lew Wallace. Karl Tunberg, or more likely Christopher Fry or Gore Vidal (there was a dispute over the screenplay credit), gave that line to Roman patrician Quintus Arrius as he confronted the magnificent, nearly-naked galley slave Judah Ben-Hur, played by Charlton Heston, in the 1959 Hollywood blockbuster. The film cost MGM $15 million to make, won the studio a record eleven Oscars, and was seen by ninety-eight million people in cinemas across the United States. It was the only Hollywood movie to make the Vatican's official list of approved religious films, and, like clockwork, it is rebroadcast on network television every Easter. And yet the movie's acclaim still does not compare to the waves of religious ecstasy that followed the publication of the novel, which is the most influential Christian book written in the nineteenth century.

Since its first publication, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ has never been out of print. It outsold every book except the Bible until Gone With the Wind came out in 1936, and resurged to the top of the list again in the 1960s. By 1900 it had been printed in thirty-six English-language editions and translated into twenty others, including Indonesian and Braille.

The novel intertwines the life of Jesus with that of a fictional protagonist, the young Jewish prince named Judah Ben-Hur, who suffers betrayal, injustice, and brutality, and longs for a Jewish king to vanquish Rome. It has the appeal of a rollicking historical adventure combined with a sincere Christian message of redemption.

The National ID Cards website 
This website contains a comprehensive listing of national ID cards by geographic region worldwide allowing users to study and compare specific national policies regarding identity cards.
Link (via Hans Christian Voigt, bagasch)

A Teledildonic Soiree: Arse Elektronika Vienna Special 
monochrom content info
Arse Elektronika Vienna Special

Friday, November 20, 8 PM @ Raum D/Quartier 21, Museumsquartier, Vienna
== What is the sex of the future, and why aren't we having it yet? ==

In this talk about the current state of sex toy technology, including computer controlled toys, teledildonics, and whatever weird stuff he had to bring through customs with him, Kyle Machulis (of Nonpolynomial Labs and http://slashdong.org) covers what's available to the consumer currently, why it sucks, and what's coming in the near and far future. Outlining the thoughts and strategies that go into designing the interface to a sex toy, he asks the question: What can the DIY and open source community do to help further everyone with a access to a computer getting laid?

About the speaker:
Kyle Machulis, aka qDot, is a researcher of alternate input mechanisms and haptics, which is really a fancy way of saying he breaks sex toys. Through his Slashdong webpage, he uses the topic of teledildonics (remotely actuated sexual experience) to teach the basic concepts of software, electrical and mechanical engineering. He also tracks the convergence of sex and technological advances in toys and interaction, building on the idea that paradigms for interfaces people would use for intimate encounters on computers can be extended to other usage experiences. He is one of monochrom's collaborators at Arse Elektronika in San Francisco.

== Do Androids Sleep With Electric Sheep? Critical Perspectives on Sexuality and Pornography in Science and Social Fiction ==

Johannes Grenzfurthner will introduce you to the brand new Arse Elektronika Anthology "Do Andoids Sleep With Electric Sheep?"
Taking up where the successful first part of the Arse Elektronika book series left off, this anthology stands under the motto "future" -- and the ways in which the present sees itself reflected in it. Maintaining a broadened perspective on technical development and technology while also putting special emphasis on its social implementation, this anthology focuses on Science and Social Fiction. The genre of the "fantastic" is especially well suited to the investigation of the touchy area of sexuality and pornography: actual and assumed developments are frequently depicted positively and approvingly, but just as often with dystopian admonishment. Here the classic, and continuingly valid, themes of modernism represent a clear link between the two aspects: questions of science, research and technologization are of interest, as is the complex surrounding urbanism, artificiality and control (or the loss of control). Depictions of the future, irregardless of the form they take, always address the present as well. Imaginations of the fantastic and the nightmarish give rise to a thematic overlapping of the exotic, the alienating and, of course, the pornographic/sexual as well.

Featuring essays and stories by Rudy Rucker, Richard Kadrey, James Tiptree, Jr., Allen Stein, Sharing is Sexy, Jason Brown, Cory Doctorow, Annalee Newitz, Tina Lorenz, Reesa Brown, Karin Harrasser, Isaac Leung, Rose White, Mela Mikes, Viviane, Susan Mernit, Chris Noessel, Kit O'Connell, Jens Ohlig, Bonni Rambatan, Thomas Roche, Bonnie Ruberg, Mae Saslaw, Violet Blue, Nathan Shedroff, 23N!, Benjamin Cowden, Johannes Grenzfurthner, Daniel Fabry.
Edited by Johannes Grenzfurthner, Günther Friesinger, Daniel Fabry, Thomas Ballhausen.
Published by RE/Search Publications (San Francisco) in cooperation with monochrom.

On Killing Ideas 
An illustrated treatise.


Roboexotica 2009: The new poster 
monochrom content info
This year's Roboexotica poster was designed by monochrom's Anika Kronberger.

(Click to enlarge)

ORNL's Jaguar is world's fastes computer 
Ever since it debuted in 2005 with a capability of (what now seems modest) 26 teraflops, the Jaguar at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been something special among the world's top supercomputers. For the past year, it has been rated the second fastest computer on the planet.

Now, after a series of upgrades and additions, Jaguar is unquestionably No. 1. That was made official today with the release of the Top500 rankings.

Money as we knew it? A political history of cash and its disappearance 
As coins and banknotes are displaced by credit cards and virtual transactions, Joachim Kalka conjures twin visions of money's sensuous effects—prompting mystical revulsion or cartoonish delight—from the disappearing world of cash.
Money gives us pleasure, Brecht needlessly told us, but that is not what will be meant here—not the kind of pleasure ignited by money because we lust after the unlimited opportunities it promises. We should rather be thinking of something more banal and mysterious: of the intrinsic sensuousness of the actual money itself—small metal discs, or oblong strips of rustling, crackling paper. In Balzac, an artist tries to marry into a bourgeois family; he carelessly remarks that money is there to be spent—since it is round, it must roll. The father of the family, reacting with the deepest mistrust, replies: 'If it is round for prodigals, it is flat for economical people who pile it up.' The opposite approaches of the bohemian and the rentier (by the end of the tale they have comfortably fused) converge in images of the concrete pleasures of money. Both are thinking of the ways in which hands unconsciously encircle coins, a physical sensation. One man high-spiritedly lets them roll loose, the other deliberately stacks them on top of each other, with greedy precision. The spendthrift and the miser both feel the coins between their fingers.

The object of the following capriccio is the invisible stamp of this physical contact in our daily lives—and its gradual disappearance. Its concern is with the experience caught in one of the finest stories by Karen Blixen: 'Mr. Clay said, "The sailor told the others that he had held a five guinea piece in the palm of his hand, and that he felt the weight and the cold of gold upon it"'.

The Taliban aren't so tribal 
Patrick Porter talks to George Miller about his article in November's Le Monde diplomatique, "Culture wars in Afghanistan". He explains that the US has suddenly realised it needs to better understand the Taliban, but has failed to do so.
Link (MP3)

Sam Spade, Existential Hero? 
Michael Rockler scrutinizes the private investigator's existentialist credentials.
Perhaps the most popular existential work of the 20th century was written by a man who has not usually been identified as a philosopher, but whose work clearly embodies existential themes. Dashiell Hammett, creator of the hard-boiled detective novel, applied an existential viewpoint to his writing. His novel The Maltese Falcon is an excellent example of literature in which existential themes run through the story.

The Maltese Falcon begins when a young and very attractive women, Brigid O'Shaughnessy, approaches private detective Sam Spade and his partner, Miles Archer. She wishes to hire them to rescue her sister from Floyd Thursby, whom she believes has her sibling under his control. Spade and his partner take the case, but it results in the murder of Archer. It also compels Spade into a hunt for a mysterious statue in the shape of a Falcon, which is allegedly encrusted with jewels. In the end, Spade solves the murder of Archer and turns the perpetrator over to the police even though it may ultimately not be in his best interest to do so. But as Spade says, "when a man's partner is killed, he has to do something about it."

Existentialism, as defined by Sartre, Camus, Kierkegaard and others, begins with the premise that 'existence precedes essence'. For many other philosophical systems, the essence of a person is present at birth. For existentialists, however, an individual must define his or her own reality.

The Paradox of Wealth: Capitalism and Ecological Destruction 
By John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark.
The core argument on the paradox of wealth here was first introduced in a paper by both authors, entitled "Marx's Ecology in the Twenty-First Century," presented by Clark at the International Symposium on Ecological Civilization, Sanya, Hainan, China, June 23, 2009.


Today orthodox economics is reputedly being harnessed to an entirely new end: saving the planet from the ecological destruction wrought by capitalist expansion. It promises to accomplish this through the further expansion of capitalism itself, cleared of its excesses and excrescences. A growing army of self-styled "sustainable developers" argues that there is no contradiction between the unlimited accumulation of capital — the credo of economic liberalism from Adam Smith to the present — and the preservation of the earth. The system can continue to expand by creating a new "sustainable capitalism," bringing the efficiency of the market to bear on nature and its reproduction. In reality, these visions amount to little more than a renewed strategy for profiting on planetary destruction.

Behind this tragedy-cum-farce is a distorted accounting deeply rooted in the workings of the system that sees wealth entirely in terms of value generated through exchange. In such a system, only commodities for sale on the market really count. External nature — water, air, living species — outside this system of exchange is viewed as a "free gift." Once such blinders have been put on, it is possible to speak, as the leading U.S. climate economist William Nordhaus has, of the relatively unhindered growth of the economy a century or so from now, under conditions of business as usual — despite the fact that leading climate scientists see following the identical path over the same time span as absolutely catastrophic both for human civilization and life on the planet as a whole.

A Prehistory of n-Categorical Physics 
By J. Baez and A. Lauda:
This paper traces the growing role of categories and n-categories in physics, starting with groups and their role in relativity, and leading up to more sophisticated concepts which manifest themselves in Feynman diagrams, spin networks, string theory, loop quantum gravity, and topological quantum eld theory. Our chronology ends around 2000, with just a taste of later developments such as open-closed topological string theory, the categori cation of quantum groups, Khovanov homology, and Lurie's work on the classi cation of topological quantum eld theories.
Link (PDF)

Mistakes in Typography Grate the Purists 
Dirt. Noise. Crowds. Delays. Scary smells. Even scarier fluids swirling on the floor. There are lots of reasons to loathe the New York City subway, but one very good reason to love it — Helvetica, the typeface that's used on its signage.

Roland Barthes: Presence of Mind 
Roland Barthes died almost 30 years ago, on 26 March 1980, but his works continue to engage new and old readers with remarkable consistency. Books about him keep appearing: literary and philosophical essays by Jean-Claude Milner (2003), Jean-Pierre Richard (2006) and Eric Marty (2006), a gossipy biography of his last years by Herve Algalarrondo (2006), a chapter about his piano-playing by François Noudelmann (2008). And now we have two new/old texts by Barthes himself, transcriptions of his notes on the trip he made to China in spring 1974 with his friends from the Seuil publishing house and the magazine Tel Quel (Francois Wahl, Philippe Sollers, Julia Kristeva, Marcelin Pleynet), and of his so-called diary of mourning, a set of jottings made in the immediate aftermath of his mother's death in the autumn of 1977.

2012 Debunker guide 
Christ on crutches, why does anybody still buy into 2012 Mayan Apocalypse theory? It's like all the new age crystal worshipers joined a death cult.

The Mayans' calendar outlasted their civilization, and that's just not good enough for some people. Don't you over entitled pricks realize how much work it is to carve 5,125 years of calendar into stone? I bet your calendar doesn't go past this year, and it's printed on fucking tree pulp! As Richard Dawkins would say, "Fuck Off".
Here's an illustrated guide to debunking 2012 theories. Enjoy!


The Vatican joins the search for alien life 
The Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences is holding its first ever conference on alien life, the discovery of which would have profound implications for the Catholic Church.


Can Oil Be Recycled? 
A new facility aims to test the market for recycled oil
Changing the oil in a car every 5,000 kilometers or so seems to be the industry standard (and may well be overkill). But that means a whole lot of pouring and draining motor oil into and out of the U.S. auto fleet: 1.3 billion gallons or so, to be precise.

Pakistan creates its own enemy 
The current area of concern for the US, and the world, is the zone between Pakistan and Afghanistan where porous borders allow the free passage of conflicts. The US is pressuring Pakistan to achieve through military means what it has itself failed to do in Afghanistan; and since Pakistan has fewer resources and a larger territory, this can only multiply the problems.

Massive Defense Spending Leads to Job Loss 
There is a major national ad campaign, funded by the oil industry and other usual suspects, to convince the public that measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and slow global warming will result in massive job loss. This ad campaign warns of slower growth and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, possibly even millions of jobs, if some variation of the current proposals being debated by Congress get passed into law.

In fact, standard economic models do show that measures designed to reduce GHG by raising energy prices will lead to some cost in terms of slower economic growth. And slower economic growth implies fewer jobs, although the impact will almost certainly be less than indicated in these scare stories.

However, the oil industry's scare stories about job loss never put it in any context. In these models, any government measure that interferes with market outcomes almost by definition reduces efficiency, leading to less economic growth and fewer jobs. Efforts to slow global warming fall in this category, but so does almost everything else, and many items in the everything else category have a much larger impact.

For example, defense spending means that the government is pulling away resources from the uses determined by the market and instead using them to buy weapons and supplies and to pay for soldiers and other military personnel. In standard economic models, defense spending is a direct drain on the economy, reducing efficiency, slowing growth and costing jobs.

A few years ago, the Center for Economic and Policy Research commissioned Global Insight, one of the leading economic modeling firms, to project the impact of a sustained increase in defense spending equal to 1.0 percentage point of GDP. This was roughly equal to the cost of the Iraq war.

When Sesame Street Was New 
Educators were thrilled that children were entering school with a grasp of letters, colors and elementary numbers. Later, the show was criticized as too winsome, leading children to expect that the elements of reading and math would bounce in bright colors across the classroom. Nowadays, teachers are probably just grateful if kindergartners aren't texting in class.

"Krach der Roboter" on FM4 Soundselection 21 
monochrom content info
A wonderful song by beloved Krach der Roboter will be featured on FM4 Soundselection 21. The song can be found on Krach's first Solo-CD "Hello World!" (released by monochrom).

Link FM4

Thomas Edison - Opening of Williamsburg Bridge 

The Peril of Palatability: Former FDA chief about dangerously delicious food 
Dangerously delicious food, designed by Big Food and by restaurants to taste so good, threatens public health. Congress needs to do something...

What Winnie the Pooh would have done in a swineflu pandemic 

Lakes of Antarctica Isolated for Millions of Years Discovered with New, Unknown Viruses 
Antarctica's icy lakes have been discovered to house a surprisingly diverse community of viruses, including some that were previously unidentified. The finding could shed light on whether microbial life evolved independently in Antarctica, which has been isolated for millions of years, or they were introduced there more recently.

Some of these lakes which are frozen nine months of the year, have little animal life and are dominated by microorganisms, including algae, bacteria, protozoans and viruses.

Rapid Supernova: New Class Of Exploding Star? 
An unusual supernova rediscovered in seven-year-old data may be the first example of a new type of exploding star, possibly from a binary star system where helium flows from one white dwarf onto another and detonates in a thermonuclear explosion.


One more Google Translate Classic: Film Lines Translated to Japanese and Back 

Max Weber: Enemy of the State in Tehran 
An unlikely suspect was fingered at the recent show trials of Iranian dissidents: Max Weber, whose ideas on rational authority were blamed for fomenting a "velvet revolution" against the Islamic Republic. "Theories of the human sciences contain ideological weapons that can be converted into strategies and tactics and mustered against the country's official ideology," Saeed Hajjarian, a leading strategist in the Iranian reform movement, explained in his forced confession.

A political scientist by training, Hajjarian "admitted" that Weber's notion of patrimonial government wasn't applicable to Iran. The theory, Hajjarian declared, is relevant only in countries where "people are treated as subjects and deprived of all citizenship rights," which is "completely incompatible with and unrelated to current conditions in Iran."

Hajjarian's coerced denunciation of Weber is ludicrous but unsurprising. Since the disputed presidential elections of June 12, the hard-line government in Tehran has started a broad campaign against social scientists.

Great new "Zeigerpointer" entries! Point! Zeig! Point! 
monochrom content info
Great new Zeigerpointers have been added to our collection!
But what's a Zeigerpointer?
The Zeigerpointer (a German-English word-mix tautology that we feel free to give birth to) is the most penurious form of capitulation in the print media. Various people, predominantly in local newspapers or magazines of regional interest, are forced by photographers armed with Zeiss-lenses to indicate occurrences. These people have to point at things. With their bare hands! They have to present occurrences that withdraw themselves through their absence, through optical expiration or simply the course of time. Like car wrecks that have already been recovered, asylum seekers that have fled, or burnt down buildings that were entirely consumed by the fire. Occurrences that elude the media machinery because of visual boredom or a state of simply-not-there-anymore. Well, then let's give our readers a Zeigerpointer! The Zeigerpointer shall zeigerpoint it out!

("Police officer Karin Pömmer shows the manhole that nearly became a death trap for the duckling.")


monochrom's Toyps: new entries 
monochrom content info
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 "beautiflu", "regardning" or "Arseanal Liverpool"!

We need your errors!

Have a seizure? Need a cushion? Get a dog! 
Life as a Labradoodle may sound free and easy, but if you're Jet, who lives in New Jersey, there is a lot of work to be done. He is both a seizure alert dog and a psychiatric service dog whose owner has epilepsy, severe anxiety, depression, various phobias and hypoglycemia. Jet has been trained to anticipate seizures, panic attacks and plunging blood sugar and will alert his owner to these things by staring intently at her until she does something about the problem. He will drop a toy in her lap to snap her out of a dissociative state. If she has a seizure, he will position himself so that his body is under her head to cushion a fall.
Link (thanks, Mitch H)

Unborn children have accents: Babies 'cry in mother's tongue' 
German researchers say babies begin to pick up the nuances of their parents' accents while still in the womb.

The researchers studied the cries of 60 healthy babies born to families speaking French and German.

The French newborns cried with a rising "accent" while the German babies' cries had a falling inflection.

Writing in the journal Current Biology, they say the babies are probably trying to form a bond with their mothers by imitating them.
Link (thanks, Mitch H)

Occupation of Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight: A fight worth having 
Kate Ferguson interviews Ian Terry, a 23-year-old wind turbine worker involved in the occupation of the Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight.

"The Red Shoes" Restored, With Shoes Redder Than Ever 
This born-again version of The Red Shoes, digitally resuscitated from battered prints and negatives, ... is essential viewing because even if you think you have seen the movie before its restoration, if you're under 60, you probably haven't seen it anywhere near its original Technicolor glory.


Michael Clark - Baggy Cool 

More and more robo events: BBC mentions Roboexotica 
monochrom content info
The Harbin robot games will be one among an increasingly crowded calendar for robot sports and other competitive events. One event, Roboexotica, is for robots that can mix cocktails, light cigarettes and chat with bar patrons.

Let's measure in Global Hectares, not in Dollars! Capitalism and the Ecological Footprint 
Samir Amin writes:
Our Ecological Footprint by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees (1996) instigated a major strand in radical social thinking about construction of the future.

The authors not only defined a new concept — that of an ecological footprint — they also developed a metric for it, whose units are defined in terms of "global hectares," comparing the biological capacity of societies/countries (their ability to produce and reproduce the conditions for life on the planet) with their consumption of resources made available to them by this bio-capacity.

The authors' conclusions are worrying. At the global level, the bio-capacity of our planet is 2.1 global hectares (gha) per capita (i.e., 13.2 billion gha per 6.3 billion inhabitants). In contrast, the global average for consumption of resources was already — in the mid-1990s — 2.7 gha. This "average" masks a gigantic imbalance, the average for the Triad (Europe, North America, and Japan) having already reached a multiple of the order of four magnitudes of the global average. A good proportion of the bio-capacity of societies in the South is taken up by and to the advantage of these centers.

In other words, the current expansion of capitalism is destroying the planet and humanity. This expansion's logical conclusion is either the actual genocide of the peoples of the South — as "over-population" — or, at the least, their confinement to ever increasing poverty. An eco-fascist strand of thought is being developed that gives legitimacy to this type of "final solution" to the problem.

The interest of this work goes beyond its conclusions. For it is a question of a calculation (I use the term "calculation," rather than "discourse," deliberately) put in terms of the use value of the planet's resources, illustrated through their measurement in global hectares (gha), not in dollars.

Internet Search Process Affects Cognition, Emotion 
Nearly 73 percent of all American adults use the Internet on a daily basis, according to a 2009 Pew Internet and American Life Project survey. Half of these adults use the Web to find information via search engines, while 38 percent use it to pass the time. In a recent study, University of Missouri researchers found that readers were better able to understand, remember and emotionally respond to material found through "searching" compared to content found while "surfing."

The Berkeley-fication Of Sesame Street 
Alessandra Stanley writes:
Forty years on, this is your mother's Sesame Street, only better dressed and gentrified: … The famous set, brownstones and garbage bins, has lost the messy graffiti and gritty smudges of city life over the years. Now there are green spaces, tofu and yoga.


Wikipedians! Get a life!? 
Wikipedia writer/editors are 80% male, 65% single, 85% without children, about 70% under the age of 30. Does that tell us anything?

Benjamin Cowden: New monochrom artist in residence 
monochrom content info
One more monochrom artist in residence! Yessss!

Benjamin Cowden began working with metal during an undergraduate anthropology project in Cameroon in 1997, where he studied how Baka Pygmies turned worn machetes into utility knives. He later worked as a blacksmith and focused on utilitarian objects and furniture. When he began making sculpture in 2003, Cowden sought to maintain the physical relationship and interactivity of his earlier work. During his graduate studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Benjamin created interactive mechanical devices which explored human experience and the senses. Mr. Cowden now lives in Oakland California where he continues to explore these themes using mechanics, electronics, and other media.

Myth of the Global Safety Net 
Media reports on the economic meltdown have mainly concentrated on the impact of the crisis on the rich nations, with little concern for the mass of the population living in what used to be called the Third World. The current view seems to be that the setbacks in these "emerging economies" may be less severe than expected. China's and India's high growth rates have slackened, but the predicted slump has not materialized. This line of thought, however, analyses only the effects of the crisis on countries as a whole, masking its differential impact across social classes. If one considers income distribution, and not just macro-calculations of gdp, the global downturn has taken a disproportionately higher toll on the most vulnerable sectors: the huge armies of the poorly paid, under-educated, resourceless workers that constitute the overcrowded lower depths of the world economy.

To the extent that these many hundreds of millions are incorporated into the production process it is as informal labour, characterized by casualized and fluctuating employment and piece-rates, whether working at home, in sweatshops, or on their own account in the open air; and in the absence of any contractual or labour rights, or collective organization. In a haphazard fashion, still little understood, work of this nature has come to predominate within the global labour force at large. The International Labour Organization estimates that informal workers comprise over half the workforce in Latin America, over 70 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa and over 80 per cent in India; an Indian government report suggests a figure of more than 90 per cent. Cut loose from their original social moorings, the majority remain stuck in the vast shanty towns ringing city outskirts across the global South.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 
Compiled by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Gland, Switzerland, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species aims to catalogue and highlight those plants and animals that are facing a higher risk of global extinction.

Matrix Producer Plans Biopic Of Prophet Muhammad -- without Muhammad 
Barrie Osborne is planning a $150 million production, funded by a holding company in Qatar, that "will educate people about the true meaning of Islam." The scholar "Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi [will] oversee all aspects of the shoot. In accordance with Islamic law, the prophet will not actually be depicted on screen.

The Evil of Banality: Troubling new revelations about Arendt and Heidegger 
Will we ever be able to think of Hannah Arendt in the same way again? Two new and damning critiques, one of Arendt and one of her longtime Nazi-sycophant lover, the philosopher Martin Heidegger, were published within 10 days of each other last month. The pieces cast further doubt on the overinflated, underexamined reputations of both figures and shed new light on their intellectually toxic relationship.

monochrom's Massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling @ "Top Sites For Cool Games Using Your Hands" 
monochrom content info
Great... Massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling is hitting the blogosphere again! makeuseof.com reports...
What do you do when the XBox 360 has gone down, your Nintendo DSi is on the fritz, and even your board games aren't around because you sold them at your yard sale? You and some friends, sitting around on your thumbs is no way to spend Saturday night.

What you need are Hand Games! Everyone with hands can play them, and we all have hands! OK, most of us have hands. Those that don't can referee or be enthusiastic spectators!


Maybe you're just all thumbs when it comes to hand games. If that's the case, I'm sure you'd excel at the latest in thumb wars – multiplayer! No more one on one, with your cousin with the freakishly monkey like thumb that reach your thumb even while it's still in the air. Level the playing field by bringing in the rest of the mutated family and friends.


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monochrom is an art-technology-philosophy group having its seat in Vienna and Zeta Draconis. monochrom is an unpeculiar mixture of proto-aesthetic fringe work, pop attitude, subcultural science, context hacking and political activism. Our mission is conducted everywhere, but first and foremost in culture-archeological digs into the seats (and pockets) of ideology and entertainment. monochrom has existed in this (and almost every other) form since 1993.

Booking monochrom:

External monochrom links:
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[monochrom blip.tv]
[monochrom GV]
[monochrom Youtube]
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Soviet Unterzoegersdorf / Sector 2 / The Adventure Game

Climate Training Camp

Krach der Roboter: Hello World!

Slacking is killing the DIY industry (T-Shirt)

Carefully Selected Moments / CD, LP

Freedom is a whore of a word (T-Shirt)


International Year of Polytheism 2007

Santa Claus Vs. Christkindl: A Mobster Battle

Could It Be (Video clip)

Pot Tin God

Hacking the Spaces

Kiki and Bubu and The Shift / Short film

Kiki and Bubu and The Privilege / Short film

Kiki and Bubu and The Self / Short film

Kiki and Bubu and The Good Plan / Short film

Kiki and Bubu and The Feelings / Short film / Short film

Sculpture Mobs

Nazi Petting Zoo / Short film

The Great Firewall of China

KPMG / Short film

The BRAICIN / Short film

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf / Sector 1 / The Adventure Game

I was a copyright infringement in a previous life (T-Shirt)

Brave New Pong

Leben ist LARPen e.V.

One Minute / Short film

Firing Squad Euro2008 Intervention


A tribute to Honzo

Lessig ist lässig

I can count every star in the heavens above -- The image of computers in popular music

All Tomorrow's Condensations / Puppet show

Bye Bye / Short film


PC/DC patch

Proto-Melodic Comment Squad


The Redro Loitzl Story / Short film

Hax0rcise SCO

Law and Second Order (T-Shirt)

They really kicked you out of the Situationist International?

Death Special: Falco

Applicant Fisch / Short film

When I was asked to write about new economy

Taugshow #6

Taugshow #7

Taugshow #9

Taugshow #10

Taugshow #11

Taugshow #14

Taugshow #15

Campfire at Will

Arse Elektronika 2007, 2008, 2009 etc.

The Void's Foaming Ebb / Short film

Remoting Future

When you / Short film


Free Bariumnitrate

Toyps / Typing Errors

ARAD-II Miami Beach Crisis

The Charcoal Burner / Short film

Digital Culture In Brazil


Nation of Zombia

Lonely Planet Guide action

CSI Oven Cloth

Dept. of Applied Office Arts

Farewell to Overhead

Google Buttplug

Fieldrecording in Sankt Wechselberg / Short film

Dark Dune Spots

Campaign For The Abolition Of Personal Pronouns


Space Tourism

In the Head of the Gardener

Entertainment (Unterhaltung) / Short film

Cthulhu Goatse

Nicholas Negroponte Memorial Cable

Coke Light Art Edition 06

Experience the Experience! (West Coast USA/Canada Tour 2005)

April 23

Overhead Cumshot

Irark / Short film


Instant Blitz Copy Fight

A Patriotic Fireman

A Micro Graphic Novel Project

Noise and Talk

The Exhilarator


SUZOeG Training / Short film

The Flower Currency


A Holiday in Soviet Unterzoegersdorf

How does the Internet work?

Paraflows 2006 and up

Special Forces

Coca Cola

About Work

Turing Train Terminal

Me / Short Film

Massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling Network


Some Code To Die For

The Year Wrap-up

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Metroblogging

Project Mendel

Display, Retry, Fail

Manifesto of Ignorantism


Towers of Hanoi



Every Five Seconds an Inkjet Printer Dies Somewhere




We know apocalypses

452 x 157 cm² global durability

A Good Haul

Blattoptera / Art for Cockroaches

Minus 24x

Gladiator / Short Film


An attempt to emulate an attempt

Paschal Duct-Taping

Laptop Crochetication


Somewhere in the 1930s

Soul Sale

The Department for Criticism against Globalisation

Dot Smoke

Georg Paul Thomann

Nurgel Staring

War On

Let's network it out


Mackerel Fiddlers


Disney vs. Chrusov / Short film

Bulk Mail

Easter Celebrations

Mouse Over Matter

Condolence for a Crab

Force Sting

Turning Threshold Countries Into Plows


A Noise

A. C. A.

Hopping Overland

Achy Breaky Heart Campaign

Hermeneutic Imperative III

Holy Water / Franchise

Roböxotica // Festival for Cocktail-Robotics


Engine Hood Cookies


The Watch

Creative Industry 2003

This World

Cracked Foundation For The Fine Arts

Sometimes I feel

Fit with INRI

Growing Money

Catapulting Wireless Devices

Buried Alive

Illegal Space Race

Magnetism Party

Brick of Coke

1 Baud

Scrota Contra Vota

Direct Intervention Engine

Oh my God, they use a history which repeats itself! (T-Shirt)


Dorkbot Vienna