Reprodutopia

A happy birth day to Louise Brown

Dear Louise Brown,

On behalf of the future I would like to congratulate you on your birthday. It has been 40 years that you where born into this world on July 25th 1978, after conception by in vitro fertilisation, or IVF. A process envisioned and developed by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, who in 2010 won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for this amazing accomplishment. Please allow me to reflect on this special moment.

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Wild Systems

Flock of Drones fly over Amsterdam

There’s nothing more satisfying than watching a murmuration of starlings swirl across a plum-coloured, darkening sky. This Friday, at sunset, you can; but instead of it being real birds, FuturePace artist Studio Drift will present a flying sculpture of 300 luminously lit Intel drones, which will swarm and swoop above the river IJ, Amsterdam, mimicking birds flight. Franchise Freedom acts as an opportunity to show the public how nature and technology can be merged in ways that are startlingly beautiful, rather than frightening and ominous.

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Society of Simulations

‘WFF’ a person who you encountered briefly, but stays in your online life forever

Before social networks, there were episodic characters in our lives – people we’ve only met once or twice, and we haven’t heard from since. Nowadays whoever, we once add a person to our social media circle, we’ll stay in our news feed forever – and we’ll be regularly updated on their life events. They may even become dominant people in our online life.

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Sports in VR
Society of Simulations

Gamers are the new athletes: Sports in video games from Pong to VR

Sports have always had an important place in human societies, providing entertainment, exercise, and a demonstration of the exceptional things the human body can achieve. But in a world of increasingly blurred lines between physical and virtual activities, what new forms of athletics are coming into existence? Let’s look at the games turning sports digital.

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Wild Systems

The future of the ECO Coin

How can we design a cryptocurrency for the better of humanity and ecology? In this last chapter of the crypto deep dive series, we will dissect two kinds of blockchain cryptocurrencies that are currently making waves on the internet and beyond. Furthermore, we explore the waves of the ECO Coin framework that intends to bring humans a democratic system – with living trees – into this sustainable, communal cryptocurrency.

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Augmented Bodies

If you could have another sense, which sense would you choose?

Color-blind artist Neil Harbisson designed a brain-implanted antenna that converts colors into sound. This enables him to hear colors he cannot see, and extends his vision to ultraviolets and infrareds. As technology is rapidly advancing, and the boundaries between the body and technology are blurred and ambiguous, it seems plausible that humans will use technologies not only to enhance, but also to extend their physical capabilities.

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Digital-Presence

The Dictionary of Online Behavior adds a virtual layer to your vocabulary

To some extent, it’s a chicken-and-egg question: Are you unable to think about things you don’t have words for, or do you lack words for them because you don’t think about them? For digital natives, the online realms may become more familiar than aspects of the ‘real’ world – and that’s where the Dictionary of Online Behavior comes in; a growing library for the avid social media user that you need to know to get by.

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Next Nature

Getting rid of that bit of unspoiled green

There it is. A hefty hen, with its head up high and its beak out. And a gigantic VR headset over its beady little eyes. What does this battery hen see? ‘An experience of a free life’, according to American designer Austin Stewart. Second Livestock – shown last year at the ‘Robotic Wilderness’ exhibition of the Transnatural collective – is uncomfortable to watch, but it does uncover accurately the relationship we currently have with nature. Because no, this is not an image that we associate with nature. When we think of nature, we think of a hen freely scratching around a bit of bright and unspoiled green. Not of a battery hen, let alone with a VR headset.

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