MonthJanuary 2012

New Psychetect Single: Rosin3

This was recorded by playing a broken to shit cymbal with a cello bow and processing the output from a contact microphone. The signal was split into three bands, each band with its own effects chain. This produced a layered, full spectrum piece from a single input.

Special thanks to Trevor Blake and Justin Landers.

You can download it from SoundCloud or BandCamp.

William Gibson Says His Next Novel Will Probably Be Set in the Future

Your first three books were set relatively far in the future from when they were written –

For my own purposes I assumed that “Neuromancer” was set in 2035, but I was very careful to keep out of the book anything that would allow anyone to date it by internal evidence, which I think was a smart move, considering the longevity that it has strangely enjoyed.

The next three were set in the near future, and your latest three have been set in an “imaginary present.” Are you working your way around to the past?

I once thought I was, but I think I’ve actually worked my way around to the future again. The first three were full-on “This is the future” genre sci-fi books; the next three were like the ‘90s in high cyberpunk cosplay mode. Those [characters], for me, hadn’t been altered by history at all. They were like ‘90s people, but inhabiting this satirical set. I never saw a critic or a reader even remark on that. They accepted them as folk from the very near future, and noticing the lack of response to that was one of the things that emboldened me to write “Pattern Recognition” [2001] and then the next two books ["Spook Country" (2006) and "Zero History" (2010)], which are speculative novels of the very recent past, in that they are each set in the year prior to the year in which the book is actually published, with huge amounts of internal evidence of when it is. A lot of people said to me, “Why are you doing that? It’s going to date it.” I said, “I want to date it. It’s in some way a description of life, and I want to know which month these imaginary events supposedly happened in.”

Salon: William Gibson: I really can’t predict the future

Forthcoming Conference: Sexual Science 2.0

This looks like an interesting conference, November 8-11, 2012 in Tampa, FL:

The Internet and sex go together like Florida and sunshine. Online resources enrich our lives with sexual health and sexuality information, opportunities for relationship formation and sexual connections, sexually explicit materials, and commercial sex products. We can also face unintended consequences from Internet use, including dependence/compulsion, abuse, and inaccurate information and misinformation. However, beyond the Internet, myriad of technologies greatly influence human sexual behavior and sexuality both positively and negatively. Thus, the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) theme is Sexual Science 2.0: Technological innovations in sexuality research. Although submissions from all areas of the scientific study of sexuality are welcomed, we are especially interested in multidisciplinary submissions focused on how technology informs and is a part of the research being conducted by sexual scientists. Potential research topics for plenaries, presentations, and trainings may include:

  • Sex and the Internet (Internet sex-seeking, navigating relationships online)
  • E-dating (finding dates and relationships online)
  • Technology-based sexual health interventions (video, web-based, chatrooms, etc.)
  • Cybersex (sexual interactions mediated by Internet or other electronic technology)
  • Compulsive online sexual behavior
  • Non-monogamy and the Internet
  • Special populations and online sexual communities
  • Sex and new media, social networks, etc. (Web 2.0, Google+, Facebook, Foursquare, etc.)
  • Reproductive and contraceptive technologies
  • Technologies pertaining to pharmaceutical/medical treatments and sexual enhancement
  • Sex toys and other commercial sex products that utilize technology
  • Online sexually explicit material, pornography, and erotica
  • Technologies aiding with sex therapy, sex research, sexuality education, etc.
  • Technologies for measurement and data collection, including new measurement styles
  • Sexual harassment online/cyber-stalking
  • “Sexting” and other innovative ways to communicate about sex
  • Sex and mobile phones/other portable communication technologies (tablet PCs, phones, laptops, etc.)
  • And others…

Sexual Science 2.0 conference

New Electric Sheep Comic: First Word

First Word

Patrick Farley’s Electric Sheep is back with a new comic First Word, a psychedelic meditation on the origin of language.

WARNING: NSFW and contains strobing imagery.

Here’s a favorite old one: The Guy I Almost Was.

Barefoot Bandit Federal Case Finishes Up

Colton Harris-Moore was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison by a federal court following his Washington state sentencing:

The LA Times reports:

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones’ sentence runs concurrently with an earlier 7 1/2-year sentence imposed by a state court in Washington for his crimes under state law. Those offenses included a series of burglaries and thefts that terrorized citizens in several states as the brazen fugitive kept two steps ahead of the law. [...]

Prompted by the judge to share his advice to the thousands of admirers around the world who followed his exploits while on the lam, Harris-Moore downplayed the emails he has written from jail in which he described his aviation exploits as “amazing.”

“I would say that the things I did some, I think, thought was perhaps cool, we’re extremely dangerous and terrifying,” he said. “It wasn’t as if I just jumped in a plane barefoot and started flying around. I feared for my life in those situations.”

LA Times: Barefoot Bandit sentenced: ‘I should have died years ago’

New Online Comic: The Yankee by Jason Leivian and Ian MacEwan

The Yankee (probably not safe for work) is a new serialized online comic by former Arthur Magazine comics editor and Floating World Comics owner Jason Leivian and artist Ian MacEwan (aka Popjellyfish).

“The Yankee is a dumb American. He’s Cosmo Vitelli. He’s Prince Rogers Nelson. He’s a Richard Pryor monologue. Psychedel-economic fiction set in the Nation States of America.”

I Tasted the Blood of My Enemies in my Mouth

On Monday, Danny Chaoflux and Nova had their home invaded by a man on the run from the cops. Nova escaped with his son but Danny and the other housemates were taken hostage and had to fight their way free. Now their home is in shambles thanks to the attacker’s gun fire and the police’s tear gas canisters.

You might know Danny as the co-founder of EsoZone, mastermind of Portland Occulture and a Technoccult guest blogger. You might know Nova for his comments here at Technoccult, or for his own blog Third Mind. If you can, please help the mutant community with a donation for cleaning and repairs to their house.

Here’s The Oregonian’s write-up:

A neck hold wasn’t working. Not knowing what else to do, Rafatpanah bit the man’s ear.

“Let go of the gun, let go of the gun!” he yelled through clamped teeth.

“Let go of my ear!” the gunman responded.

The two tore apart, and Rafatpanah spat out a bean-sized piece of ear.

“I tasted the blood of my enemy in my mouth,” he said. “And so at that point you realize the stakes have gone so much higher because blood is being drawn — my blood, his blood.”

Rafatpanah lunged toward the gun and wrestled it away.

He bolted out the front door into a sea of police, his arms reaching skyward with the gun, their guns pointed at him. Unsure of whether he was the suspect, officers tackled and handcuffed him.

After scuffling with the gunman for a few moments, the other two housemates also ran out. Mooney grabbed his own gun and ammo on the way so the man couldn’t use them.

Oregon Live: ‘It’s go time:’ Residents recount struggle with gunman during five-hour standoff Monday at Southeast Portland home

The Vegan Body Building Movement

vegan body builder

“Is it possible to be a good bodybuilder and be a vegan? Yes,” said Jose Antonio, the chief executive of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. “But is it ideal? No.”

Vegan bodybuilders may face challenges getting sufficient amino acids, found in meats, Antonio said, adding that although protein can be found in vegetables and nuts, they must be consumed in greater quantities to get the same amount as their counterparts in meat. “The amount of rice and beans you need to eat would fill up a Mexican restaurant,” he said.

Other nutritionists and bodybuilders have argued that a disciplined vegan diet, consisting of things like hemp-based protein supplements, peanut butter, nuts, vegetables and legumes, can yield similar, if not better, results than a meat- or dairy-filled diet. Carefully monitored, vegans can get the same amount of protein with less fat or toxins, they argue. (For a midafternoon snack, Sitko sometimes eats 10 bananas.)

New York Times: Sculptured by Weights and a Strict Vegan Diet

(via Roope Mokka)

Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2012 (Highlights Part 1)

It’s that time of year again. Some good stuff this year. Sterling starts off talking about what he sees as the key drivers of global change:

I’ve tended to emphasize climate change, urbanization and demographics. Those are big and significant changes in the world, but also pretty easy to measure and quantify. That’s like hunting for futurity under the street-lights where it’s nice and bright.

So I often tell people that the mid-century will be about “old people in big cities who are afraid of the sky.” I think that’s a pretty useful, common-sense, plausible assessment. You may not hear it said much, but it’s how things are turning out.

Sterling then runs through the futurism of various localities, including fringe groups, including:

Chemtrails. These guys are pitiable loons, but they’re interesting harbingers of a future when even scientific illiterates are deathly afraid of the sky. It’s interesting that we have cults of people who walk outside and read the sky like a teacup. I’ve got a soft spot for chemtrail people, they’re really just sort of cool, and much more interesting than UFO cultists, who are all basically Christians. Jesus is always the number one Saucer Brother in UFO contactee cults. It’s incredible how little imagination the saucer people have.

Sterling’s bit on the mud machine of Italy could apply almost equally in the U.S:

The “Mud Machine.” This is the Berlusconi media empire, which engages in the unique practice of suppressing dissent by suggesting that everybody in Italy equally useless and crooked, so why even bother. After all, everybody in Italy would have orgies involving underage illegal-alien Moslem prostitutes if they had the chance, so why get all worked up; mind your own business. The Mud Machine works because Italians enjoy being cynical about themselves. Nobody wants to be seen as the chump, so everybody ends up being victimized.

Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky: State of the World 2012

For an important angle on urbanization check out this Grist interview with professor of urbanism Witold Rybczynski.

Also, the Grinders are running their own state of the world style conversation. You can submit questions for them on Formspring.

Has the Cost of Books Gone Up, Adjusted for Inflation?

The answer, apparently, is no. The Awl looked through the cost of different New York Times best sellers from the past seven decades and comparing the costs using a tool from Bureau of Labor Statistics to convert all the costs into 2011 money. The conclusion? Hardcover books have cost roughly $30 2011 money since 1951, with the exception of some large outliers in 1971.

The article concludes:

And it’s good that we’re doing this now, as the uncertainty looming over the publishing industry is unimaginably big. Both the competitive pricing and release patterns of e-books and the ascendance of Amazon and similar e-tailers (okay, just Amazon, really) threaten to change the business of book publishing into something that will be completely unrecognizable on an historical basis. All this at a time when even members of the Fourth Estate are railing against the horrors of bookstores, even the independent ones. (Needless to say, I disagree with him in a manner that involves the use of profanities: support your local bookstore.) I hope this is not the case, but maybe only James Patterson can save us.

The Owl: How Much More Do Books Cost Today?

(via Matt Staggs)

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