What if Millennials’ aversion to car-buying isn’t a temporary side effect of the recession, but part of a permanent generational shift in tastes and spending habits? It’s a question that applies not only to cars, but to several other traditional categories of big spending—most notably, housing. And its answer has large implications for the future shape of the economy—and for the speed of recovery.
Read more. [Image: Kagan McLeod]
It’s safe to say that a decent number of Tumblr users are a part of the Millennial generation. So, tell us: Do you own a car or house? If not, why?
it’s because we have no money and no opportunity you stupid fucking assholes
Contemporary literature’s dyadic and subtle writing is nearly passive aggressively avoidant on the net. It isn’t a meaningful way to talk about the networked self, because by definition you aren’t just yourself when you’re on the network. You are a smeared entity, multiply identitied. You are different in every packet, sometimes the receiver, sometime transmitter, mostly all at once. You are a node, like a forgotten memory to everyone else, just as they are to you. The sum of human knowledge is your latent, unthought thoughts, the words of all the other humans your memories to never be remembered. Your potentiality is diffuse in the ocean of human imagination, and all of it is there for you to drink.
We often fall into a trap: if we make net life just like real life, we can write about it! But net life is real life. It deserves its own aesthetic of language, and it only suffers the paucities it’s accused of when clumsily translated to our old ways of being in the world.
And if ever we needed evidence, it is this: when it steps back into real life it brings its strange back with it. These are examples of graffiti from the Egyptian revolution, they are values of an incorporeal world, made corporeal, to the great disruption of accepted political structures. This is the Polish parliament, taking on the momentary identity of a 4chan based non-group that first materialized four years earlier to harass the Church of Scientology, to protest an intellectual property treaty. These protests eventually destroyed the international treaty, and no one really knows how it happened.
Consider the case of Pepper Spray Cop. We know it as a meme, a sudden idea that went across the network and was integrated by thousands of people into every scene and every artwork people could reach for. We could describe it in terms of people getting the idea and sitting at their computers, carefully redrawing Lt Pike in one scene after another, uploading and downloading him in his brief, infinite, variety. But have we captured anything there? Are we defeated by of computer interaction that can’t discern Pepper Spray Cop from a love letter, and neither of them from the day work of an insurance adjuster?
We are defeated. We are stuck with facial expressions at a monitor, the little clicking and tapping of prone hands, maybe if we’re daring, even a description of the screen. We are further cursed by the fact and an insurance adjuster could very well be penning a love letter while making her own pepper spray cop. As writers and artists our literal tools are not only locked out of the loop between humans and their computers, but distantly removed from the drama of their networks.
But what if we reached for the language of myth and magic to describe Pepper Spray Cop?
What if, instead, we say his sin was so shocking that it scarred the collective dream of the net, that it reverberated so widely it was heard from heaven to hell, pressed its way into the imaginative ocean, from Guernica to Star Wars? We can call it more, we can call it a moment where the net collectively dreamed of police brutality, and the networked creatures were ever so slightly changed. A new signal received, a new wariness, perhaps undreampt of yet by any particular network creature, but at the very least latent for all.
We could say more… we can say the net reared back and laughed, horrified, and cursed him. It placed on him a terrible form of one of its many kinds of fame, such that everywhere he goes in life, all he will be known for is his inescapable moment, like some ancient greek disfigured by the gods. In this, haven’t we said many more true things than if we counted the number of pepper spray cops, or remarked how they were made, or even the apparent mindstates of those who made them?
The network is a place of corporeal metaphors, intellectual landscapes painted out of math. Perhaps we should write about network life like we write about art. Or see it as a kind of magic, best approached with mystical description. We don’t understand what we’re doing, what we’re writing about, our own creation has surpassed the methods of reductionism we used to create it. Isn’t it more honest and true to write about it with a kind of vetted mythology?
At the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, scientists have been experimenting with sound waves and pharmaceutical solutions, levitating soluble drops between two speakers facing each other. While their research has produced some visually fascinating results, it has also led to the discovery of a far more effective method for creating amorphous drugs, which happen to be the more desirable of two forms that pharmaceutical drugs can take.Watch Video Here.
GIFs by Science-llama
It’s a cold January day and you’re walking down a street in Brooklyn gnawing on a piece of gum that just passed the point of flavorful into the realm of tastelessness. In a hurry, you spit it on the ground without a second thought and continue about your day. Hours later a mysterious woman arrives and surreptitiously collects the sticky gum from the sidewalk and drops it into a clear plastic bag which she carefully labels. Flash forward a month later: you’re walking through an art gallery, and there, mounted on the wall, is a familiar face staring back at you. Astonishingly (or terrifyingly) it’s a 3D print of your face generated from the DNA you left behind on that random piece of gum that now appears in a petri dish just below the portrait. A few years ago this would seem like science fiction, the stuff of films like Gattaca, but to information artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg it’s how she makes her artwork here in 2013.
They say inspiration can strike anywhere and for Dewey-Hagborg that moment happened while sitting in a therapy session. While staring at a framed print on the wall she began to fixate on a tiny crack in the glass into which a small hair had become lodged. As her mind wandered she began to imagine who this seemingly insignificant hair belonged to, and more specifically what they might look like. After leaving the session she became keenly aware of the genetic trail left by every person in their daily life, and began to question what physical characteristics could be identified through the DNA left behind on a piece of gum or cigarette butt.
Stranger Visions is the result of her fascinating if slightly disconcerting line of questioning and experimentation that lead to the creation of 3D printed portraits based on DNA samples taken from objects found on the streets of Brooklyn. Dewey-Hagborg worked with a DIY biology lab in Brooklyn called Genspace where she met a number of biologists who taught her everything she now knows about molecular biology and DNA. Via an interview with the artist:
So I extract the DNA in the lab and then I amplify certain regions of it using a technique called PCR – Polymerase Chain Reaction. This allows me to study certain regions of the genome that tend to vary person to person, what are called SNPs or Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms.
I send the results of my PCR reactions off to a lab for sequencing and what I get back are basically text files filled with sequences of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs, the nucleotides that compose DNA. I align these using a bioinformatics program and determine what allele is present for a particular SNP on each sample.
Then I feed this information into a custom computer program I wrote which takes all these values which code for physical genetic traits and parameterizes a 3d model of a face to represent them. For example gender, ancestry, eye color, hair color, freckles, lighter or darker skin, and certain facial features like nose width and distance between eyes are some of the features I am in the process of studying.
I add some finishing touches to the model in 3d software and then export it for printing on a 3d printer. I use a Zcorp printer which prints in full color using a powder type material, kind of like sand and glue.
The resulting portraits are bizarre approximations of anonymous people who unknowingly left their genetic material on a random city street. So how accurate are the faces created from this genetic experiment? The artist likes to say they have a “family resemblance” and no, unlike the scenario depicted above, a person has never recognized themselves in any of her exhibitions. Yet. There are some things such as age which are virtually impossible to determine from DNA alone, so Dewey-Hagborg casts each portrait as if the person were around 25 years of age.
Dewey-Hagborg will be giving a talk with a pop-up exhibit at Genspace next month on June 13th, and QF Gallery on Long Island will host a body of her work from June 29th through July 13th. You can follow the artist via her website and also her blog. All imagery courtesy the artist. (via smithsonian)
Lovely post by Ken Hollings on the spectral “non-people” haunting twitter:
If you examine their profile a little more closely, these accounts usually have just 22 tweets (occasionally 20 or 21 but I have yet to see one with more than 22). They are usually worth examining, however, as that is where the strangeness really starts. Often the tweets take the form of words in unconnected strings (and I but have but when we but I never but) or selections of quotations from established names, but which have been put through some kind of weird syntactic blender (he need regarding knowledge, such as thirst for money increases previously while using buy it - laurence sterne) - or finally they form themselves into the kind of cryptic arrangement of images that Raudive would have instantly recognized as emanating from another world (organic mathematicians training it carefully).
I… have some thoughts as to their origin: one is that these ‘non people’ started out as being one of the millions of artificially generated followers which were originally intended to enhance the popularity of some corporate enterprise or media sensation. However, they have somehow broken free of their lonely non-existent crowd and are now wandering the Twitter-sphere in search of someone to follow and have fallen into your orbit - or it may be that they have somehow replicated themselves and it is the digital echo of their non-presence that has now decided to follow you. One aspect of their behaviour that supports this assumption is that a ‘non-person’ will sometimes attach itself to a conversation you are having with one of your real followers, as if they were somehow hovering on the edge of your exchange - shy but anxious to take part. Their contribution would, I suspect, turn out to be entirely unsettling if it were allowed to take place.
One thing is clear to me at this stage: just as the digital spectres that haunt architectural renderings of new buildings find themselves occupying a non-existent space that is barely contained within two dimensions, so these digital non-people that haunt Twitter are a new form of being that do not inhabit the same dimension as us. Do they have anything to say to us? That, I would suggest, is another matter for another time.
via Simon Sellers