I wrote a few words about AI and climate action for 𝘉𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘩, a new magazine written by and for people who dream of a sustainable and just internet. The first issue is curated by Michelle Thorne, Chris Adams and Laurence Bascle. Branch is kidly supported by EIT Climate KIC, Mozilla Foundation, Climate Action Tech, and the Green Web Foundation.
A global pandemic has shocked the world, leading to thousands of deaths, economic hardship and profound social disruption. While we worry about our immediate needs, we should remember that another crisis is looming: climate change. The lockdown made it clear that staying at home and slowing down the economy is far from enough to solve the climate crisis. We’re still emitting more than 80% as much CO2 as normal, despite having 17% fewer emissions compared to 2019 — which is one of the most significant drops in recent years (1). …
“We need a dream-world to discover the features of the real world we think we inhabit.”
― Paul Karl Feyerabend, Against Method
This is an effort to consolidate my thinking. I will explore different dimensions of large scale programmes for technical and scientific R&D. My quest is driven by general interest and day to day challenges at the Alan Turing Institute. Below, you’ll find resources and references on moonshots, but the list is by no means comprehensive or final. I will not be drooling over the Apollo project.
These are some questions I explore around mission-led innovation:
Imagine if everyone swallowed a magic substance that deactivates the neurons which give rise to their Ego. How would the world look like? Would we touch the other and feel their perspective immediately? Would we touch their chest and feel our own, as if the two lungs are entangled? Would we breathe differently then?
Floating in the ancient Greek sea, my agency becomes the agency of the waves that determine my thoughts. I become a buoyant consciousness. In this world, phenomenology and ontology are the same.
I am liberated plasma and I exist through the pure physical reality of energy and matter. There is no language or symbols to approach the Absolute- not from here or there, not from the past or the future. I have direct experience of the Absolute. It’s the ego that prevents you from seeing It and it’s language which constructs your ego to explain itself. The experience of timereality is ineffable and can only be grasped through the mechanics of our ancestral intuition. Can I then pause my ego and still exist in this world or is it an unattainable spiritualistic oxymoron? …
This is a project I took part in during the Digital Methods Summer school at the University of Amsterdam, June 2020
COVID-19 has become the perfect facilitator of conspiracy theories (Quattrociocchi in Ball and Maxmen, Nature). Social media being used now more than ever, online platforms have become the marketplace for rumours to spread (Bell and Maxmen; Chandra and Pal, 2019). The pandemic has become part of a “hate multiverse” (Bell and Maxmen) which gives fuel to other conspiracy theories and “focuses an initially rather diverse and incoherent set of messages into a few dominant narratives” (Bell and Maxmen).
One feature that makes these networks interesting to analyse is their “capacity to draw in outside users through what Johnson and his team call “wormhole” links. These are shortcuts from a network engaged with quite different issues. The hate multiverse, therefore, “acts like a global funnel that can suck individuals from a mainstream cluster on a platform that invests significant resources in moderation, into less moderated platforms like 4Chan or Telegram” (Bell and Maxmen). As a result, Johnson says, racist views are starting to appear in the anti-vaccine communities, too. “The rise of fear and misinformation around COVID-19 has allowed promoters of malicious matter and hate to engage with mainstream audiences around a common topic of interest, and potentially push them toward hateful views,” his team says in the paper. This “global funnel” effect has turned social media platforms into a vector for hate and “an entry point into the internet’s darkest corners” (Lorenz, The Atlantic). …
I’m baffled by the reality that’s unfolding in front of my eyes. I feel dizzy, disoriented, confused, drunken with this constant stream of information.
Just in the last three days: There is a massive social upheaval in the US, a CNN reporter was arrested live on TV while reporting, Trump threatens to shoot people & gets censored by Twitter, Trump signs order that could punish social media companies for published content which could change the nature of the internet as we know it, the US leaves the WHO, monkeys stole some Covid-19 blood samples in India (!), which struggles with rising Covid-19 infections on top of an unprecedented heatwave and swarms of locusts that are ravaging crops, Brazil’s coronavirus death toll surpassed 25,000 which was the fifth time the number exceeded 1,000 since the crisis accelerated in Brazil a week ago, and we’re about to see Nasa/Space X launch, which will be the first time that astronauts will be launched from US soil since the Space Shuttle programme in 2011. …
Together with an international bunch, we’ve curated the #CovidCreativesToolkit, a set of crowdsourced mutual aid resources for creative practitioners (including artists, makers, curators, designers, hackers, educators etc) who find themselves needing to migrate their practice onto digital spaces and places. bit.ly/CovidCreativesToolkit
Please enjoy, share what you think, and join us!
Special thanks to Kat Braybrooke who brought us together and Marc Barto, Katy Beale, Andrea Botero, Tanya Boyarkina, Jaz Hee-jeong Choi, Hanna Cho, Sophie Dixon, Tracy Gagnon, Janet Gunter, Lara Houston, Sophie Huckfield, Philo van Kemenade, Jamilla Knight, Helen Leigh, Ann Light, Thor Magnusson, Mauree Aki Matsusaka, Kasia Molga, Dina Ntziora, Mirena Papadimitriou, Annika Richterich, Anika Saigal, Anouska Samms,Tiffany Sia, Andrew Sleigh, Alex Taylor, and the CreaTures network of researchers and practitioners for contributing.
Planetary environmental health is tightly intertwined with human and animal health. In the past 30 years, nearly 75% of human infectious diseases and pathogens have originated from animals. Globally, despite the tremendous progress against infectious diseases, it’s estimated that 2.4 billion cases and 2.2 million deaths per year are attributable to zoonotic diseases and additional burden from vector-borne infections. Covid 19, of course, is one of those cases.
These infections are extremely costly. For example, the SARS epidemic in 2003, spread to 29 countries and cost between US$30–50 billion. Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies at UNCTAD recently said about Covid 19: “We envisage a slowdown in the global economy to under 2% for this year, and that will probably cost in the order of $1 trillion”. …
Disclaimer: i found this story in my notes from 2016. was such a kiddo lol. if you are into psychedelics consider following/supporting London’s Psychedelic Society, the Beckley Foundation and Wavepaths (no affiliation)
It’s Sunday, May 29th, 2016. Panos and I have arranged to spend the day in Hampstead Heath exploring the limits of our consciousness. We grab our bikes and head to the forest. When we get there, we see an amusement park — we look at each and smile mischievously. We agree to visit later on. We are now searching for a leafy and quiet place to sit. …
When I was in NYC in 2018, I went to see Sleep no more, an immersive theatrical production by Punchdrunk Love. It is the darkest and most intense theatrical play I have ever experienced in my life.
It takes place at a repurposed 6-floor building, the McKittrick Hotel and loosely follows the story of MacBeth but with a 1940’s noir nightmare feel. It all starts at the Manderley bar, which looks like a cabaret bar.
We are told to wear our faceless white masks during the performance, like a reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut and we are explicitly instructed to remain silent at all times. The sense of anonymity adds to the mysterious nature of this play and creates a fourth wall between the actors and the audience. …