Sunday Mutants 15/2/11

Heh. Has been a while. Trawling the mutants list, we find:

* Josh Harris (of We Live in Public fame) makes a bid to head the MIT media lab

“If I become director of the MIT Media Lab, the institution’s primary focus will be to build a working singularities effect of the future, now, in order to understand how it all works.”

* Psychedelic sequence removed from Avatar would probably have made it more interesting.

The ritual consists of the initiate having to eat a worm as well as endure the sting of a scorpion-like creature.  The worm is significant as it eats from the “sacred tree,” presumably the Tree of Souls, and contains a psychoactive alkaloid.  The scorpion provides a potent neuro-toxin that brings the Na’vi close to death.  When combined together, the two compounds unleash a powerful psychedelic experience that allows for the initiate to go on a “dreamhunt” and attempt to contact their “spirit animal.”

* The Big Deal. Heavy think pieces from Vinay Gupta, who is way out ahead of the curve, about what the hell is going on.

I’ve recently written four essays, The Big Deal (#thebigdeal) which combine to paint a new picture of the current state of the world and a future picture showing how grass roots political power can achieve what current models of governance, including government, cannot do alone. This work is partly a critique and expansion on the British government’s Big Society concept, but it also draws heavily on my own experience in futures, complexity science and engineering for the bottom billion. It is an attempt to model the world in a new way; a way which reveals otherwise hidden paths to achieve change.

Yet to read them but flag them necessary.

* Ten myths about welfare. Actually not via the mutants, but this is getting around. If you are in NZ you probably need to read this as we roll into election year.

* Uncontacted Amazon Indians face annihilation Kind of amazing that this sort of thing is still happening. Also amazing that it can still happen, that there is anyone left out there.

* According to this fun sliding tool, all income growth in America in the past three decades has gone to the top 10% of the population. Thus income has declined for the bottom 90% of people. (Yay for unfettered capitalism!) The same sort of trend is probably at work here, as these things go.

2 Responses to “Sunday Mutants 15/2/11”

  1.   michael
    February 16th, 2011 | 3:35 pm

    Don’t understand exactly what that last infographic is saying. At least, if it says what it seems to, some calculations are broken somewhere.

    If you choose e.g. 86-08 it says “Income for the bottom 90% declined”, but if you choose 90-08 it says “The bottom 90% shared 5%” of the growth. Does that make any sense? One period says they get zero, a smaller subset of the same period says they get >0.

    If someone reads this differently I’d be curious to figure it out. Was going to email the EPI themselves, but the only address I saw was for their comms types.

    Of course the guts of it is still really depressing.

  2.   billy
    February 17th, 2011 | 12:25 pm

    Hmm. There is indeed some oddness in their interactive thingy. Maybe it does some kind of aggressive rounding down?