The non-native interlopers who’ve taken up residence in the harsh urban environment of Bushwick aren’t pushing out native species, they’re filling empty niches. Adapted to difficult conditions, with flexible reproductive habits and opportunistic growth patterns, these urban plants are much better-suited to living side by side with Homo sapiens, despite our indifference to (or even aggressive dislike of) them.
I did some light maintenance on something I made a few years ago on a previous Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Mainly I replaced the QuickTime embed with the more modern <audio> tag and hooked it up to an interactive transcript. This makes it possible to deep-link into the speech:
We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
This was something I built when I was a student at ITP and making one-off web pages. At the time I was doing a daily exercise of creating a novel online artifact, figuring out the best way to express an idea in HTML/CSS/JS.
I’m happy to start tidying & conserving this old code. And glad to have an excuse to meditate on Dr. King’s speech at Riverside Church.
Ellie wrote about the climate debate within the climate movement:
After the failures (Copenhagen) and painfully slow progress (Cancun, Lima) seen at recent U.N. Climate Summits, we know we can’t trust our political leaders to get us there. The mass movement Naomi Klein speaks of shows its face here and there, but in my milieu, I see much more of the infighting, cynicism and turning away. Of course the movement Klein describes has to come from the grass roots level, not from academia, but we can’t just fight the status quo without a solution in mind. As she acknowledges, we need a destination to aim for, and a set of solutions to put in place once we get there.
From Jason Kottke’s weblog:
Today I learned that the US government considers the US border as extending 100 miles into the country. This means that states like Maine, Michigan, and Florida are entirely within the border area and 2/3 of the US population lives within the border.
In an update to the post he explains that the border is actually more complicated than that. “Precise” and “linear” seem not at all how you would describe how borders actually behave in the world. There’s the 100 mile wide extended border, the functional equivalent border, and within those, the physical terrain where border stops occur and humans start getting involved. What your rights to privacy are in these areas seems pretty open to legal interpretation, and those rights are often abused by border patrol officers.
In addition to the This American Life episode he links to, it also reminds me of the On The Media series about the experience of being detained. It also makes me think of Francis Alÿs’s performance/video The Green Line where he physically traced the “green line” border through Jerusalem using a can of green paint.
I am a big fan of pretty much all of the women who appear in this video. It’s worth setting aside 18 minutes and listening to what they’ve been up to. There is also a book, available in both pulp and downloadable PDF formats.
An automated online shopping bot with a budget of $100 a week in Bitcoin, is programmed to do a very specific task: go to one particular marketplace on the Deep Web and make one random purchase a week with the provided allowance. The purchases have all been compiled for an art show in Zurich … the programmers came home one day to find a shipment of 10 ecstasy pills, followed by an apparently very legit falsified Hungarian passport.
The article is mainly concerned with the question of “is it legal?” This, to me, seems like a terrible metric for an art project.
The first workshop will show students how to create a website with shared hosting where students can learn how simple it is to start their own social network and edit pages with a shell account. In the second workshop, students will build a “darknet” or private network independent of the Internet. Using a simple wifi router, students will be able to communicate in an anonymous forum.
Via Aaron Straup Cope’s excellent littlenets post (which I intend to write more about!):
So, according to theory, if two godlike omnipotent probably hairless illuminati space people—perfect players—went head to head, the second player would never be capable of taking the crown, no matter how flawless their performance. So despite all of chess’ finesse, this folly takes it down to the same peg as Connect Four. “Essentially, my solution is, what if you don’t know what the game is when you start playing?” Sommer says.