MonthJune 2007

Interview with the Institute for Applied Autonomy

You’re referring to our ‘Rogues Gallery’ project in which we took our GraffitiWriter robot to public spaces across the United States and Europe and offered it for use by the general public. One of the things that was so interesting about this project was that so many people were wiling to participate! We’d simply show up unannounced in a public park or city center, drive the robot around, and invite people to use the machine to spray paint messages on the ground. Virtually everyone we encountered was willing to give it a try, even though what we were doing was clearly illegal. To us, this seemed to be an interesting inversion of the usual narratives about technology extending human abilities. With Rogues Gallery, the robot overcame certain kinds of social conditioning not because of its mechanical capabilities but simply because it was seen as legitimate, based on the assumption that anyone possessing a robot represented some large research institution which probably had the ‘right’ to spray its messages on public space, rather than simply being a couple of crazy people who built a machine in their garage. Imagine if we had tried the same experiment without a robot, using only a few cans of spray paint – no one would have participated because the action would have been clearly understood as an illegal act of public defacement.

Full Story: WorldChanging.

Institute for Applied Autonomy web site.

Mysterious Clouds Creeping Out of the Arctic

A new NASA satellite has recorded the first detailed images from space of a mysterious type of cloud called ‘night-shining’ or ‘noctilucent.”

The clouds are on the move, brightening and creeping out of polar regions, and researchers don’t know why.

Full Story: Live Science.

(Thanks Danny Chaoflux).

Modern Day Mythology: A Talk with James Curcio

The simplest definition I have for “Babalon” is it’s the most leonine, sexual, feminine energy there is. It’s a feminine personality, a feminine energy, but it’s driven somewhat mad with lust. She’s fickle, and most importantly, she’ll break you before she’s through with you. I think that’s really the central part of it; you can fight it or you can go along with it. Either way, you’re going to get broken if you stick by her side. But if you just let go, you can actually come back whole. If you fight it, though, she makes no promises. That’s the similarity we were talking about, between Kali, Choronzon, and Babalon.

Full Story: Reality Sandwich.

(Don’t forget: come see James Curcio at esoZone).

Norway to host Witchcraft Experts

A small Northern European town will host three days of lectures, discussions, and film showings as the International Midnight Sun Witchcraft Conference descends on Vardo, Norway. The conference is being hosted by universities from the United States and Scandinavia, and will also feature discussions on shamanism and on the issue of cultural persecutions of witchcraft, both in a historical context and in examples from around the world in the modern day.

The original article (complete with stereotype-propagating image and obligatory Harry Potter mention) from BBC News.

Business 2.0: Burning Man grows up

Each Burning Man has a different theme, chosen by Harvey. This year’s theme is “The Green Man.” Burning Man, an extravaganza characterized by the consumption of huge quantities of fossil fuel, has discovered environmentalism. It is attempting to offset the 28,000 tons of carbon it estimates the event generates (counting all those flights and long drives for its far-flung attendees), and the organization is belatedly switching to biodiesel generators to provide most of the event’s electricity.

Most controversially, the organization wants to bring as many green-energy companies as possible into what Harvey calls a world’s fair of clean tech. Google (Charts, Fortune 500) is going to help produce an online 3-D search service called Burning Man Earth.

Full Story: Business 2.0.

For those seeking a small, free alternative, Autonomous Mutant Fest starts this weekend. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m going to make it down there this year, but I believe Nick Pell and some other esoZone/Portland Occulture folks will be on hand.

Link-soup 6/28/07

Still don’t have the del.icio.us autopost thing working again, so I haven’t updated in a while… here’s a big ‘ol mess ‘o links:

  1. Everyday Yoga – yoga to do at your desk

    to yogasaved by 6 other people … 18 mins ago
  2. Darfur conflict heralds era of wars triggered by climate change, UN report warns

  3. MizPee

  4. Dynamic Abstraction

  5. Neuroanatomical correlates of brainstem coma

    to science neuroscience … on june 21
  6. Free stuff in Portland

    Platial map

  7. The Takeover Boom, About to Go Bust

  8. Another "Jesus with Dinosaur" pic

    to art humorsaved by 8 other people … on june 21
  9. The pmarca guide to personal productivity

    to lifehackssaved by 1330 other people … on june 21
  10. about.com: project management certification

    to work educationsaved by 20 other people … on june 20
  11. SugarCRM

  12. Songbird

  13. Are SugarCRM, Socialtext, Zimbra, Scalix and others abusing the term “open source?”

  14. Zimbra – open source AJAX based mail server

  15. script.aculo.us – web 2.0 javascript

    script.aculo.us provides you with easy-to-use, cross-browser user interface JavaScript libraries to make your web sites and web applications fly.

  16. Yes Men Strike Oil: Civil Disobedients Make Modest Flesh-to-Fuel Proposal

  17. Pligg CMS system

  18. Watchdog group slams Google on privacy

    to google techsaved by 12 other people … on june 13
  19. Top 100 hottest women – chosen by lesbians

    to sex gender queersaved by 142 other people … on june 12
  20. The truth about recycling | Economist.com

    to environmentsaved by 287 other people … on june 12
  21. Gregory Fong’s Chinese Martial Arts

    to MA portlandsaved by 1 other person … on june 11
  22. The Profit Calculator

    The wild risks, unexpected niches, and day-in-day-out grind behind making a dollar in New York…for everyone from a drug dealer to Goldman Sachs.

  23. Plazes CEO Busted By His Own Product

  24. Mark Pesce and Jimmy Wales

    to business web2.0 … on may 31
  25. Wikipedia and Beyond

Meet the neighbours: Is the search for aliens such a good idea?

Recently, British astronomers told the government that we might find life in space. It is only a matter of time, this year perhaps, before astronomers detect a planet even more similar in size and mass to our Earth, circling another star. And when we find that planet, we may discover a lot more than new oceans and land masses.

Astronomers have been actively looking for intelligent life in space since 1960, when Frank Drake started Project Ozma, using a radio telescope to listen for signals from two nearby sun-like stars – Drake knew that radio waves travel more easily through the cosmos than light waves. He didn’t hear anything back. Since then, our searches have become more thorough thanks to larger radio telescopes and more sophisticated computers that look for fainter signals. But we still have no signal from ET. Should we want to?

Full Story: The Independent.

Straight Talk: Videotaping Police

Last month, Brian Kelly of Carlisle, Pa., was riding with a friend when the car he was in was pulled over by a local police officer. Kelly, an amateur videographer, had his video camera with him and decided to record the traffic stop.

The officer who pulled over the vehicle saw the camera and demanded Kelly hand it over. Kelly obliged. Soon after, six more police officers pulled up. They arrested Kelly on charges of violating an outdated Pennsylvania wiretapping law that forbids audio recordings of any second party without their permission. In this case, that party was the police officer.

Kelly was charged with a felony, spent 26 hours in jail, and faces up to 10 years in prison. All for merely recording a police officer, a public servant, while he was on the job.

There’s been a rash of arrests of late for videotaping police, and it’s a disturbing development. Last year, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly threatened Internet activist Mary T. Jean with arrest and felony prosecution for posting a video to her website of state police swarming a home and arresting a man without a warrant.

Full Story: Fox News.

Straight Talk: Videotaping Police

Last month, Brian Kelly of Carlisle, Pa., was riding with a friend when the car he was in was pulled over by a local police officer. Kelly, an amateur videographer, had his video camera with him and decided to record the traffic stop.

The officer who pulled over the vehicle saw the camera and demanded Kelly hand it over. Kelly obliged. Soon after, six more police officers pulled up. They arrested Kelly on charges of violating an outdated Pennsylvania wiretapping law that forbids audio recordings of any second party without their permission. In this case, that party was the police officer.

Kelly was charged with a felony, spent 26 hours in jail, and faces up to 10 years in prison. All for merely recording a police officer, a public servant, while he was on the job.

There’s been a rash of arrests of late for videotaping police, and it’s a disturbing development. Last year, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly threatened Internet activist Mary T. Jean with arrest and felony prosecution for posting a video to her website of state police swarming a home and arresting a man without a warrant.

Full Story: Fox News.

Podcast round-up

Viking Youth Power Hour: The Vikings Scope ‘Sicko!’

Gspot: Secrets, Cubes and Corporations: An Interview With Douglas Rushkoff.

RU Sirius Show: Free Paris Hilton!.

NeoFiles Show: From Vioxx To Salvia – Everybody Takes Drugs.

RU Sirius Show: Hip Hop & Hyphy Now.

RU Sirius Show: Will We Be Forced To Stop Global Warming?.

NeoFiles Show: Steve Wozniak Talks About His Favorite Pranks.

RU Sirius Show #116: The Kennedy Brothers v. The National Security Establishment.

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