Tag: Symbolic-Overdrive

Fake-for-Real

Welcome in the Real Unreality

Here is one for our Dutch readers. This Sunday our editor in chief and next nature maven Koert van Mensvoort is interviewed in what is arguably the finest show on Dutch television: VPRO Tegenlicht.

While playing a game of Fake For Real, the documentary investigates our Society of Simulations and its impact on journalism. An English version of the documentary should be online soon and we will of course post it once it becomes available.

If you happen to be in Amsterdam next wednesday you might also want to attend the Tegenlicht Meetup at the Zwijger. Keep it real unreal folks!

scanadu-scout
Symbolic-Overdrive

Scan Yourself With Your Digital Doctor

There seems to be a high demand for the ability to self-diagnose. Consider Scanadu, a company developing a medical device for self-diagnosis, has become the highest funded project in the history of Indiegogo, the crowd funding website similar to Kickstarter. The desire of the average consumer to have more control when diagnosing and checking their health, as well as removing the doctor as an intermediary, has lead to the company amassing more than $1,378,545 for its Indiegogo campaign, aimed at developing the Scanadu scanner.

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televised_sunrise
Image-Consumption

The Sunrise is Now Televised in Beijing

According to the Daily Mail the smog in Beijing has become so thick that only place to hail a sunrise is on the huge digital commercial television screens across the city.

Last week the reading for particles of PM2.5 pollution was 26 times as high as the 25 micrograms considered safe by the World Health Organization.

In response to the poor air conditions Beijing’s mayor pledged to cut coal use by 2.6 million tonnes and set aside 15 billion yuan to improve air quality this year as part of the city’s ‘all-out effort’ to tackle air pollution.

Thanks Andrea Graziano.

Pixel
Digital-Presence

Pixel Nostalgia Leads to Digital Pointillism

For years, we have assisted in the war of megapixels. Smartphones, cameras and tablets do battle offering the most powerful, detailed and high definition displays and pictures. Nevertheless, around the web the opposite trend is spreading: returning to the digital image essence, the pixel. Through an app (I Pixel U) is it possible to transform our snapshots in dots, choosing the subject to blur and leaving the rest intact. It’s a sort of nostalgic action that reminds us at the same time of the painting technique of Pointillism and the oldest video games. Progressive Nostalgia, indeed!

world-of-warcraft
Digital-Presence

Spy Agencies Infiltrate in Online Games

Gamers in on line environments like World of Warcraft and Second Life may have had encounters with secret agents. The Guardian reports American and British spy agencies have infiltrated into major online environments, suspecting that terrorist were hiding among the elves and goblins.

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Fist Bump
Made-to-debate

The Fist Bump Manifesto

European kiss on the cheeks, one, two, three or four times depending from the Country, Asians bow, gentlemen kiss ladies’ hands, and young people give high fives. But soon we all could greet in the same way: fist bumping. As a Society of Simulations we seem to be doing all that we can to remove ourselves from personal interactions on a face to face level. From the perspective of spreading bacteria, fist bumping may be a more sanitary way to greet others. Will it replace the most common of the greeting rituals, the handshake?

The fist bump has science behind it – reason to hasten its integration as a formal gesture of gender-neutral respect. The handshake, its alternative, is unsanitary. The handshake is outdated in most places, born of a time when we might all be expected to be concealing sabers. It would make more sense for us to casually intertwine almost any other part of our bodies with those of strangers”.

Could this evolve to the point that we will just wave to one another from a safe distance?

Read more in The Fist Bump Manifeston The Atlantic

tikker
Design-for-debate

Death Watch Marks the Time of Your Life

Feeling overwhelmed by our Society of Simulation?  Do you need something that reminds you to make the most of your time? The answer is yes to both those questions, according to Swedish inventor Fredrik Colting. He designed Tikker, the wrist watch that, in addition to normal time, counts down your life. It shows the amount of time you are estimated to have left in years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds, just so you can make every instant count. The date of death is based on a series of personal and medical questions.

As Colting explains: “The occurrence of death is no surprise to anyone, but in our modern society we rarely talk about it. I think that if we were more aware of our own expiration I’m sure we’d make better choices while we are alive”.
How would this peculiar object change your life?

Designed-by-Evolution

Buckle up for Black Sky Thinking

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.

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