Within Temptation – Elements

 

(Maybe I will blog more this year?)

So this is random. Within Temptation are a band I am very fond of the past couple of years. They announced a big ass fancy 15th anniversary show with a choir and orchestra and additional theatrical performers etc which they were going to film for a DVD. Then afterwards apparently they decided to not release it as a DVD.

So their fans have combined footage from people who were at the concerts and edited it together into a full length (two hour) concert video.

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The video is a pretty good effort. I can see why the band didn’t want to release it, but honestly I think that is 80% due to a weird song selection that inexplicably does not showcase the band at its best. (Though part of what is awesome about them is that they just do stuff that seems like a good idea to them and even when it is daft it is sort of charming. Like release a concept album with a comic book. Great songs. Daft idea.)

Anyway, I am just struck by the surreality of this happening, and being able to watch it on the other side of the world, free. These are the new days. People have more power. What will we do with it?

july mutants

First up, in general, since a few people have asked offline, my feelings about the PRISM and Snowden etc can be summarised as “hmm, donating to the EFF makes a lot of sense.”

this is pretty neat: visualising wi-fi

gross: ads in your skull

How does the ruling class feel when it rules?

Robin’s clearest answer doesn’t come until the volume’s last essay, “Easy to Be Hard.” His argument is straightforward: far from their preferred self-image as the party of law and order, conservative elites relish the disorder and violence of open struggle. Particularly after the casual violence of the organized responses to the various Occupy and austerity protests, this contention may seem like second nature, but Robin pushes his claim even further: conservative elites don’t just enjoy seeing the riot gear deployed now and then, but they believe that they need recurrent doses of violence to avoid folding soggily into decadence or desuetude.

Decent introduction to the life and work of Wilhelm Reich. who is more interesting than most people:

In his quest to dig mankind’s sexual neuroses out by the roots, Reich challenged or broke nearly every taboo of Western civilization, angered almost every establishment force of the time, and died in prison for his efforts. But his influence may be far greater than he is generally given credit for.

Two straight from Nils Gilman/Deviant Globalisation:

CIA is funding a study to investigate whether humans could use geoengineering to stop climate change: http://mojo.ly/1arSmCR
The drugs of war: Heroin in Pakistan more affordable than food http://on.rt.com/tvjtzp

sunday mutants

Just making notes in the margin as the world changes beyond recognition….

Roboearth

At its core, RoboEarth is a World Wide Web for robots: a giant network and database repository where robots can share information and learn from each other about their behavior and their environment. Bringing a new meaning to the phrase “experience is the best teacher”, the goal of RoboEarth is to allow robotic systems to benefit from the experience of other robots, paving the way for rapid advances in machine cognition and behaviour, and ultimately, for more subtle and sophisticated human-machine interaction.

Stewart Brand on “de-extinction”

Death is still forever, but extinction may not be. A dead body can’t be reanimated once it begins to rot, but the essence of a species — its genome — survives rot for centuries, even thousands of years. That DNA knows how to make living animals, once we figure out how to invite it to do so. At the leading edges of synthetic biology the invitation is now being crafted. For some extinct species, regenesis is becoming plausible.

The speed of censorship on China’s version of Twitter

Censorship on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, is near real-time and relies on a workforce of over 4,000 censors who stop work during the evening news, according the first detailed analysis of censorship patterns.

China’s obsession with the Soviet Union

Basically the CCP trying to avoid the mistakes that led to the fall.

The CIA and big data

On Wednesday, the CIA’s chief technology officer detailed the Agency’s vision for collecting and analysing all of the information people put on the Internet.

The wide-ranging presentation at GigaOM’s Structure:Data conference in New York City came two days after it was reported the spy agency is on the verge of signing a cloud computing contract with Amazon — worth up to $600 million over 10 years — that involves Amazon Web Services helping the CIA build a “private cloud” filled with technologies like big data.

After laying out what the CIA does — i.e. collect intelligence, conduct analysis, perform covert action — CIA CTO Ira “Gus” Hunt detailed just how the agency plans to acquire, store, and analyse digital data on a massive scale.

You’re already a walking sensor platform,” Hunt said, referring to all of the information captured by smartphones. ”You are aware of the fact that somebody can know where you are at all times, because you carry a mobile device, even if that mobile device is turned off. You know this, I hope? Yes? Well, you should.”

In fact Hunt noted that based on the sensors in a smartphone, someone can be identified (with 100 per cent accuracy) by the way they walk — implying that someone could be identified even when carrying someone else’s phone.

Why Americans are the Weirdest People in the World – or how cultural differences mean we really don’t know much about human psychology which is based primarily on Westerners/Americans. This article is really worth reading, and ties into Wade Davis etc stuff about culture and language.

Test post from Morocco

Whee

Testing mobile posting

Woo ha from the future

Hitler is angry about the Wellywood sign

I don’t think anything is gonna top that on the issue.

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i am blind

Chicks with Steve Buscemi’s eyes

http://chickswithstevebuscemeyes.tumblr.com/page/3

welcome to the soundtrack for your next half hour

presenting the most addictive and intuitive music interface since ballsdropping
http://mandaflewaway.tumblr.com/post/2057242738

Combust in Unity – screening 9 April @ Wellington Film Archive

An earlyish showing, 4: 30pm.

This will be the last Wellington screening for the forseeable future.

Tickets only $8/$6!

You can see the trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE9H4wf2Obc

(If you can’t make it, it is now available on DVD, see http://www.combustinunity.com/ for details)

(Kind of awesomely, screening straight after it are a couple of particularly weird looking documentaries by Werner Herzog, which I would recommend sticking around for too :) )

3eanuts

3eanuts

Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comics often conceal the existential despair of their world with a closing joke at the characters’ expense. With the last panel omitted, despair pervades all.

This is staggering and inspired. It is as if Louis-Ferdinand Celine wrote 3 panel comics.

Hugely recommended.

It is well worth plugging through the site; it gains power through quantity. (Also, the current landing page has a bunch of april fools tie in strips that are lesser.)

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