Post Tagged with: "weird_shit"

Private companies are building their own spy agencies

Private companies are building their own spy agencies

Here’s the description of a talk that happened at Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs:

In today’s world, businesses are facing increasingly complex threats to infrastructure, finances, and information. The government is sometimes unable to share classified information about these threats. As a result, business leaders are creating their own intelligence capabilities within their companies.

This is not about time honored spying by businesses on each other, or niche security firms, but about a completely new use of intelligence by major companies to support their global operations.

The panelists examine the reasons for private sector intelligence: how companies organize to obtain it, and how the government supports them. “Is this a growing trend?” “How do companies collaborate in intelligence?” “How does the government view private intelligence efforts?” “How do private and government intelligence entities relate to one another?” “What does this all mean for the future of intelligence work?”

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs: Intelligence in the Private Sector

I’d love to find out more, or find a transcript or video of the talk.

(Thanks Tim Maly)

February 13, 2014 Comments are Disabled
Alan Moore: I am not the Northampton Clown but it might be my fault

Alan Moore: I am not the Northampton Clown but it might be my fault

Northampton Clown

Alan Moore tells Northampton News:

“Apparently there had been a certain amount of comment on the internet suggesting probably some connection. No it’s not me.

“I am getting kind of used to this. After having a comic strip I wrote 30 years ago spewing masked anarchists across the global political stage for the past couple of years. Things that I write do have a tendency to spill into reality. Since that was one of the principles behind Jimmy’s End [an episode in The Show] – to blur the boundaries between one and the other – I suppose that getting clowns manifesting in my neighbourhood is only to be expected.

“We had only just done that thing on Kickstarter with His Heavy Heart which starts shooting in a few weeks. I had said it was about Strippers and Clowns. The suggestion is that there is some kind of dream time existing under Northampton and that occasionally things will break through from one realm to the other. It is just a demonstration that Jimmy’s End is a kind of a documentary. It’s reportage. We are not just making this shit up.”

Full Story: Northampton News: Alan Moore: I am not the Northampton Clown but it might be my fault

(via John Reppion)

September 19, 2013 0 comments
Moorish American Nationals Attempting to Claim Foreclosed Homes Across the Country

Moorish American Nationals Attempting to Claim Foreclosed Homes Across the Country

The Washington Post reports:

Moorish American sovereigns get their name in part from the Moorish Science Temple of America, a religion formed in the early 20th century that preached obeying laws and had an uplifting message for African Americans: Be proud of who you are, said Spencer Dew, an expert on Moors and professor of religious studies at Centenary College of Louisiana.

But in the years since, a series of Moorish offshoots have twisted some tenets for their own gain — notably the idea that black people lived in what is now the United States long before the arrival of Europeans, Dew said.

Sovereign nationals, law enforcement officials say, use that tenet to justify the assertion that land instruments such as mortgages are not valid and that local laws do not have to be obeyed.

Moving into foreclosed or unoccupied houses is one of the more visible ways sovereign nationals break the law. The gambits are rarely successful, often ending within hours or days when neighbors call the police after noticing unusual activity or “No Trespassing” signs in the windows of the large residences sometimes targeted.

Sovereigns break other laws, too. They sometimes don’t register their cars with the local motor vehicles department, driving around instead with self-styled license tags. And they cause headaches for those who investigate them, targeting officials for retaliation by filing million-dollar liens on their properties. Police officers, judges and other public officials have had to take time off work or turn to lawyers to untangle their land records, several public officials said.

Full Story: Washington Post: ‘Moorish American national’ charged with trying to take mansion

(Thanks Bill)

See also: Moorish American Government website

August 7, 2013 5 comments
Aspirational Weirdness

Aspirational Weirdness

Rahel Aima on “aspirational weirdness”:

Whose future, and in whose name? I’m thinking about Joel Dinerstein’s writings on ‘techno-fundamentalism’ and ‘technology as White mythology’ here, certainly. But also about that particularly futuristy tic of aspirational weirdness. As in, what we want out of the future is not that it’s better or more comfortable or less ecologically destructive or more equitable or more just. What we want out of the future is that it’s weird, please let it be weird. Where does this come from? Is it a particularly classed, gendered, even racinated (?) thing?

Does aspirational weirdness assume the same kind of techtopianism as Clarke, where all the inequalities and injustices of today will somehow get vectorised and smoothed over? Or is it that these struggles frankly not on the radar for folks who aspire to—long for—weirdness? And now I’m wondering, how do you arrive at a praxical synthesis of weirdness and social justice? (Because undoubtedly, there’s something enticing and seductive about «weirdness» for me too.) I want to emphasise the praxical, because it’s all too easy to arrive at something that feels fresh, directional, transformative, but never manages to transcend the realm of aesthetics, especially with regards to ethnifuturisms. (Not that aesthetics aren’t equally as important. A future featuring people who look like me? Radical) And what’s more directional and transformative than social justice?

Full Story: The State: july 20, 1969 // 2019 & aspirational weirdness

I wish she’d included some examples here because I’m not quite sure I know what’s meant here. Like Rahel, I do long for MORE WEIRD. But I’m not I’ve come across anyone really saying “what we want out of the future is not that it’s better or more comfortable or less ecologically destructive or more equitable or more just. What we want out of the future is that it’s weird, please let it be weird.” On the other hand, unlike Rahel, I’m a white male and might just not be seeing it.

One thing I can say, though, is that sometimes it seems that people end up fetishizing certain types of futures, even if they sound unpleasant. One can’t help but think that the people stocking up their bunkers for the proverbial “big one” really do want it to come. Likewise, those obsessed with certain ultra-controlled, Orwellian futures also seem to actually look forward to them at some point — perhaps because they really want to have someone else make decisions for them in their lives, or perhaps because they want to be a part of the struggle against it. In that regard, it’s not hard to think that there are those of out there who fetishize weirder possibible futures — without much, if any, regard for social justice.

July 22, 2013 1 comment
Sky TV May Pump Ads Straight Into Your Skull

Sky TV May Pump Ads Straight Into Your Skull

The Verge reports:

Sky Deutschland, the German wing of TV provider Sky, is testing a marketing concept that may be pure evil genius, or possibly just pure evil. The BBC and others report that Sky Deutschland and advertising company BBDO have tested a concept that would pipe messages directly into the heads of people who try to rest or sleep against train windows. The idea, which was first unveiled at the advertising-focused Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in late June, is known as the Talking Window. It uses bone conduction like that found in headphones, hearing aids, and Google Glass to send vibrations through a window.

When a commuter leans against the window, he or she will hear a message that nobody else can, asking if they’re bored and want to download Sky’s mobile app.

Full Story: The Verge: Sky Deutschland campaign will pipe ads straight into train passengers’ skulls

(Thanks Skry)

Sky TV used to be co-owned by none other than Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, but it looks like they sold their share earlier this year.

For more on this technology see: New Hearing Aid Uses Your Tooth To Transmit Sound

July 19, 2013 2 comments
Kook Komix Debuts with “Mister Probert in Etherland”

Kook Komix Debuts with “Mister Probert in Etherland”

Kook Komix by Juan Ochoa and Brendan Simpson

Juan Ochoa revealed the first installment of Kook Komix today: Mister Probert in Etherland. Juan is working with Kook Science — which includes Technoccult alum Brendan Simpson — on this project.

Here’s some background on Probert, from Brendan:

Who was Mark Probert? By his own accounting, he was a drop-out and a drifter, skipping from the Merchant Marines to horse jockeying, serving a stint as hotel bellhop then as a Vaudevillian song-and-dance man, before finally settling into his role as a “Telegnostic from San Diego”. Mr. Probert is scarcely known today, but, in his time, his “sleeping psychic” mediumship was the prime link between the later days of California Spiritualism and the nascent Ufology of the post-war period, and he served as forerunner to all the Space Brother contactees who soared to prominence in the early years of the 1950s. Probert saw himself as ultimately a humble servant to outside forces, ever self-effacing, quite unlike many of those he later inspired, and alway offering all credit to the voices he believed he channelled, and to his partner and wife Irene Probert.

Full Story: Juan Ochoa: Mister Probert in Etherland

July 8, 2013 0 comments
Slender Man: 21st Century Campfire Tale

Slender Man: 21st Century Campfire Tale

slender-man

Michael Rose write:

Where then, does the internet age turn to for it’s vicarious scares? The answer arrived on the popular forum SomethingAwful in 2009 in the imposing form of Slender Man. The site was running a contest in which participants were instructed to photoshop images to contain supernatural entities. User Victor Surge entered two photos of distressed children to contain an unusually tall, thin man with a pale featureless face and added text describing purported eyewitness accounts to the man’s strange powers over those around him and linking him to the disappearance of 14 children. The second of these two texts referred to the eerie figure as ‘The Slender Man’. The posts quickly caught the attention and imaginations of other members, who began to supplement the story with their own words and images. What had begun as a contest entry was to become a worldwide phenomenon.

Full Story: Mysterious Universe: Slender Man: 21st Century Campfire Tale

(via Cat Vincent)

June 29, 2013 0 comments
Teach The Controversy: Mermaids Edition

Teach The Controversy: Mermaids Edition

I don't know; therefore, mermaids

Jim Vorel on Animal Planet‘s bizarre Mermaids hoax:

‘Mermaids: The New Evidence’ is the worst thing I’ve ever seen on TV

There’s absolutely no hyperbole in that title. Last night on Animal Planet I caught the replay of “Mermaids: The New Evidence,” the follow-up to Discovery Channel’s abysmally bad, misleading and rage-inducing “docufiction” from last year, “Mermaids: The Body Found.” It’s the worst TV I’ve ever seen. Nothing else comes even close.

Last night’s special was even further from reality from the first documentary, which at least went through more trouble to appear legitimate-looking. Instead of being comprised of talking head interviews, it was done almost in the style of an extended round-table on a 24-hour news network, which I suppose is fitting in an odd way. A shill of a host acted as the “moderator,” asking canned questions to our returning star and conquering hero from the past program, “Dr. Paul Robertson,” a man touted as being “a former researcher for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.” Other guests were brought forward to share their own mermaid revelations and screen poor CGI footage of supposed mermaid encounters.

I’ll start out by simply pointing out the stuff that anyone with access to Google can discover immediately — “Dr. Paul Robertson” is not an actual person, but an actor. His name is Andre Weideman. Here’s his IMDB page. It’s safe to assume that all the other supposed researchers and government officials on the special were also actors, or they wouldn’t be there.

Full Story: Herald Review: ‘Mermaids: The New Evidence’ is the worst thing I’ve ever seen on TV

See also:

I Wanted the Story to Seem Real, Says “Mermaids: The New Evidence” Producer

Science Channel Refuses To Dumb Down Science Any Further

Monster mummies of Japan

May 31, 2013 0 comments
Tunguska Event Meteorite Fragments Finally Unearthed

Tunguska Event Meteorite Fragments Finally Unearthed

Tunguska rocks

MIT Technology Review reports:

The Tunguska impact event is one of the great mysteries of modern history. The basic facts are well known. On 30 June 1908, a vast and powerful explosion engulfed an isolated region of Siberia near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River. [...]

That changes today with the extraordinary announcement by Andrei Zlobin from the Russian Academy of Sciences that he has found three rocks from the Tunguska region with the telltale characteristics of meteorites. If he is right, these rocks could finally help solve once and for all what kind of object struck Earth all those years ago.

Full Story: MIT Technology Review: First Tunguska Meteorite Fragments Discovered

The catch: Zlobin collected the samples in 1988, and waited 20 years to analyze them, casting some uncertainty on his research.

May 8, 2013 3 comments
3 Weird Art Machines

3 Weird Art Machines

Tangible Sound Lab’s Skintimacy

The Tangible Sound Lab’s site seems to be down, so all I’ve got to go on is description of the video:

With ‘Skintimacy’ we present a skin-based interface for a collaborative musical performance. The experimental setup is intended to be both an evocative tool for interpersonal interaction and touch, as well as an alternative digital musical instrument. By integrating the human skin and touch into the musician-computer interface, we propose a bodily-close haptic and emotional experience.

(via Sara Hendren via Warren Ellis)

Destroy Angels’ Light Machine

How to Destroy Angels light show

A bit less weird, but still interesting: How to Destroy Angels’ light instrument:

Rob Sheridan, the art director for Trent Reznor’s side project How To Destroy Angels, is up on stage, but he has no instrument. More accurately, he is playing an instrument, but it doesn’t play music — it plays light.

Smeller

smeller

Those not weird enough for you? Check out Smeller:

SMELLER is a genuine organ, an olfactokinetic art device for composing, producing, interpreting, programming, recording, storing and playing back compositions made up of scents and scent chords.

The SMELLER 2.0 project encompasses
The production of the hardware
The production of the control software
The production of the notation system
The production of the scent sources (basic components)
The creation of olfactokinetic scent compositions (“Smellodies”)

(via Rahel)

April 24, 2013 0 comments