In his TED moment of fame, medical ethicist Dr. Harvey Fineberg presents three paths forward for the ever-evolving human species: 1. to stop evolving completely, 2. to evolve naturally, or 3. to control the next steps of human evolution using genetic modification, to make ourselves smarter, faster, smaller, better. According to Fineberg, the third scenario, also denoted as neo-evolution, is within our grasp. But what will we do with it? From a next nature perspective, which I guess Dr Fineberg is not familiar with, the term co-evolution is the elephant in the room.
This mesmerizing drone ballet was brought to you by Kmel Robotics and Lexus. Although, if you are living in Afghanistan or in some other gloomy future, the idea of drones entering your living environment while you sleep might feel less poetic and the waking face of the car at the end may evoke anthropomorphobic shivers.
Thanks Liam Young.
While vegetarian food products typically mimic existing meat products, the meat flower reverses this principle: In vitro technology is used to grow meat in the shape of a flower.
The Meat Flower is illustrative for the diminishing of borders between ‘meat’ and ‘vegetarian’ due to emerging technology: although the cultured meat is grown from animal cells, no animals are hurt and injured in the process.
Back in 1955 French cultural anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss0 published Tristes Tropiques, a book documenting his encounters with Brazilian tribes. Some 65 years later, artists Laurence Aëgerter & Ronald van Tienhoven set out for a reenactment with a group of inhabitants from Beetsterzwaag, a village in the region of Frysia (NL).
The photo’s learn us that, although we might feel our lives differ greatly from those of our ancestors, some of the most important aspect of life remain unchanged.
So you might have heard about the Technological Singularity, but did you ever wonder what happens after the fact? Black Sky thinking is a term that is being developed to shape an approach for dealing with unfamiliar territories – both real and conceptual.
Black Sky thinking seeks to understand more about our situation without prejudging or even needing to know the future. It travels into the unknown, not as a reckless gesture but as a creative act, so that we may envision the world we wish to inhabit. This does not mean that anything goes, but rather, signals a fresh exploration of things we thought we knew, so that we can look and imagine afresh.
This whole week you can come and taste meat ice at Le Bistro In Vitro in the main hall of Eindhoven University of Technology. Curious to hear what your favorite scoop is: Meat Fruit? Dragon? Polar Bear?
Our in vitro meat visions are also still on display at the Future Food house in Rotterdam. Want to help us explore the food culture lab grown meat could brings us before we decide if we accept it? Support our in vitro meat cookbook.
At the end of his TED talk, tissue engineer and entrepreneur Andras Forgacs receives presumably the very first standing ovation on the TED stage for a speaker arguing that lab grown meat and leather is a civilized way to move beyond slaughtering animals for hamburgers and handbags.
Forgacs is the co-founder and CEO of Modern Meadow, a company developing novel biomaterials. These include cultured meat and leather which, as they put it, “will require no animal slaughter and much lower inputs of land, water, energy and chemicals”.
According to Forgacs, bioengineered victimless leather is a gateway towards the acceptance of bioengineering meat. Could be, yet before we can decide if we will ever be willing to eat bioengineered meat, we need to explore the food culture it will bring us.
Behold the first pictures of our Bistro In Vitro ice bar in the Future Food House.
During the World Food Festival, from September 19 to October 27, chefs, restaurants, artists and scientists share the latest developments in Rotterdam’s food culture, and in the world at large.
In our culture, nature is generally depicted as a beautiful spectacle that is romanticized as a positive force. Time to shed some light on its darker sides. Meet Cymothoa exigua, aka the tongue parasite. You’ll never be alone again once it crawls into your mouth (if you’re a fish). This parasitic crustacean will eat and replace your tongue:
When one of these crustaceans encounters a rose snapper, it enters the fish’s mouth and steadily devours the fish’s tongue. Once it has done this, the crustacean uses hooks on its underside to attach itself to the floor of the fish’s mouth and thereafter serves as a replacement tongue.
Cymothoa exigua is strictly speaking off-topic as it is an old nature rather than a next nature phenomenon. Nonetheless it is a good example of the extreme crudeness of old nature, which we hardly ever encounter among the biomimic marketed products in the supermarket.
Readers question: Does a next nature equivalent of Cymothoa exigua exist and if so, what would it be?
The rise of digital currencies reduces the need for physical interaction and communication between people. At the same time every payment method still leans on trust. But how can we trust what we can not physically touch, smell or hear?
Artist Heidi Hinder envisions a payment method that brings back personal contact between people: hug & pay. Indeed, paying with a hug. But also pay with a handshake, a high five, and even with a tap dance.
For her project she uses RFID tags and readers that are worn by the customer and the seller. The payment data is transmitted by physical contact.
The project was awarded with a grant from the Awesome Foundation London, which allows Heidi to develop her concept further. We are already anticipating bithugs as a new digital-physical currency.
According to a study by brain researchers, regular gamers identify so strongly with their avatar – the character that executes their action in the game – they have the same emotions for their avatar as for their best friends.
Emotionally the avatar has a similar position as ones best friend, despite its “virtual” presence and the often longer lasting relationship with ones best friend, says neuroscientist Shanti Ganesh, who just defended her phd thesis on the topic.
Remember those good old days days when you were actually carrying goods out of the racks in a shop? If the Korean Virtual Shopping Store becomes a success, all shop shelves will soon be LCD Screens.
Customers simply choose their desired items by touching the LCD screen and checkout at the counter in the end to have all their ordered stuff packed in bags. Image consumption in the overdrive. Thanks Arnoud.
By crafting brick objects in the shape of traditional stones, artist Maarten van den Eijnde, makes us realize that human presence has expanded the variety of stones found on the planet.
According to the artist these bricks will probably survive us, since they have been regarded as one of the longest lasting and strongest building materials used throughout human history. Peculiar image of the week.
For those who “eat meat, but don’t like in-vitro meat, because it is so unnatural”. Please spend 5 min to watch this video and change your thinking.
Thanks Arnoud, Thanks Ehsan.