For Marshall McLuhan in 1964, it was clear that electricity was a way for humans to externalize their nervous system. I’ve yet to grasp how he could be so prescient. While his main lesson remains “Medium is the message”, we are far from being able to understand what societal transformations we will live.
- 🔑 3D printed guns are a reality since a few years. 3D printed assault rifles are a reality now. It’s now legal in the USA to provide digital files to 3D print guns (this is considered as free speech). These rifles are of course unregistered and untraceable.
- 🔑 Any data is just a number (Big or small). If any data is illegal, it means that the number is illegal. Can a number really be illegal?
- 👩💻 The Free Speech Flag was created by John Marcotte in 2007. It was a subtle way to propagate the cryptographic key used for copying HD DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.
- 🔑 The 0,1% is afraid that the apocalypse is coming. They are so afraid that they don’t know how they’re gonna protect themselves from their own employees. This surrealist meeting lived by Douglas Rushkoff is a must read.
- 🔑 Since the American election in 2016, We all know that social networks are heavily used by political forces to influence the mass. This article by a French hacker uncovers foreign trolls trying to influence French elections on Twitter.
- 🔐 Twitter leaks so much metadata that it is possible to identify anonymous users with a 96.7% accuracy.
- ℹ️ A reminder of how cool tech is when it is inclusive: Apple’s AirPods and Live Listen are a revolution for the hearing impaired.
- 👩🎨 The mechanical keyboard hype is raging. People are so enamored with their keyboards that they are willing to pay for artisan made keycaps. You have to admit, these are beautiful keycaps.
- 👨💻 A real browser in the terminal? Yes, please!
- ℹ️ The German police raided homes of „Zwiebelfreunde“ privacy activists this week. Reasons are dubious to say the least.
- 🎧 Martyn’s new album Voids is out on Ostgut Ton. I love his music.
- 🔑 Protecting cryptocurrencies correctly is hard. This talk about “Building Crypto Castles” raises interesting points about new security models coming with the Information Age.
- 👨🏻💻 Cryptocurrencies is not only about money. It is also about rare digital collectibles. Collectibles can be purchased on specialized marketplaces like OpenSea or Known Origin. Technically, collectibles are defined by the ERC-721 standard. Don’t know how to code? Don’t worry, the fine people of Smartz provide free smart-contract code.
- 👩💻👩🎨 Crypto-collectibles are huge opportunities for digital-minded artists as they can help expand Patronage Collectibles for Creators.
- 📺🇫🇷 La nouvelle saison d’Au Service De La France est disponible sur Arte+7. C’est du bonheur! Jean-François Halin prouve encore qu’il est un des meilleurs auteurs comiques Français.
The digital age we enter is full of promises and new-found dangers. Our brains are given unique possibilities to learn and create everyday. They are also constantly under attack. Rogue companies trick our brain chemicals for profit. Just like fast-food is engineered for elevated levels of sugar and fat, information delivery is engineered to provide dopamine hits. As our brain is dedicated to information processing, we have to be aware of what gets in. In the context of our brain, Brillat-Savarin’s aphorism also rings true: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are”.
- 🔑 We live in a hyper-personalized digital world. The more data you give to companies, the more tailored your experience with their product will be. Is this a fair balance of power? Terence Eden’s doesn’t think so: Personalisation is Asymmetric Psychological Warfare.
- ⚡️ The Lightning Network aims to fix the scaling problem with Bitcoin. If it reaches further adoption, it will revolutionize the entire payment experience on the internet. This excellent post covers the User Experience of the Lightning Network while this one gives more technical information about routing payments through multiples nodes.
- ⚡️ People are building stuff on the Lightning Network. Check out Satoshi Place, a mix between The Million Dollar Homepage and Reddit Place.
- 🤖 Do you want to have home-made Indian Food at home but are too busy to even take time to cook? The MechanicalChef is here for you! Not for me though, I love cooking. The video is impressive and hilarious at the same time. We’re far away from kitchen automation.
- 👨💻 What if you had your own open-source self-hosted version of IFTTT? That’s what Huginn wants to be. It’s still a bit rough on the UX side, but has great features and a promising future!
- 🔑 This post from Paul Graham about cities and ambition raise good points about how a city’s dominant culture influences its economic power. According to him, Paris is style-focused, NYC is money-focused, and Silicon Valley is… power-focused. Surprising, heh?
- 🎧 This festival in the South of France is now on my watch list. Pointu Festival gives a hell of a line-up, in a dream location, for free.
- 📺 Netflix released a new documentary series that immerses viewers in the artists, makers, designers, players and coders who are revolutionizing the new digital worlds through screens all around us. Watch at least the first episode!
In case you lived under a rock for the past few weeks, let me break the news for you: a 72 year old man separates children from their parents and locks them up in internment camps. Sometimes it’s really hard not to think this world is completely fucked up. We take borders as granted. But it’s only our current way of organizing us as human that make borders. The question is here: How should we organize ourselves to collectively achieve a higher level of freedom? I think the web was one answer, but is now ultimately working against us. I now hope a greater privacy and decentralization movement will help us in our quest.
1. 📺 Back in the days, the US War Department released educational video to tell Americans not to fall for fascist rhetoric. It was in 1943, and Donald Trump wasn’t born at that time.
3. ❤️ Food is one of the most powerful link between cultures and people. I had the chance to eat at a restaurant participating in the Refugee Food Festival. There might be an edition in your town. And if there isn’t one, you can organize one in your city thanks to their methodology kit.
This week edition is quite small but contains a massive article on Artificial Intelligence. Take your time to read it. The world is changing fast, and it’s only the beginning! People in the future will look at us like we look at the middle-age people.
- 🔑 Ian Hogarth (creator of Songkick) wrote an essay on AI Nationalism. This is a must read on how AI will shape states and nations. He believe that AI should become a global public good with governance mechanics that reflect the interests of all countries and people.
- 🔐 Always remember that AI feeds on data. Here’s a list of alternatives to Google Products.
- 👨💻 What did Earth look like hundreds of millions of years ago? Ancient Earth globe answers that question! You can also put your address and see where it mapped on ancien Earth. Fun!
- 🎧 I’ve updated my Best Of FIP playlist! Enjoy some smooth tunes.
I am still quite unsure how to introduce these weekly collections of links. What do cyberpunk cat-like whiskers for humans, fablabs, a psychopathic A.I. with disturbing Rorschach tests results, infrared macro photography of cactuses, and most-potent-magic-mushrooms trip reports have in common? You tell me.
- 👩💻 Cyberpunk is not about dark future and noir aesthetic. It can be also be cute and fun!
- 👨💻 Fablabs are at the forefront on how to collect data for citizen action. A key tool for smart city projects. How Barcelona shushed noise-makers with sensors. While the finality of the project might be questionnable, it is still remarkable how data can be used by citizens for a change.
- 📸 I published a series on anger. They are all analog photographies, without any editing.
- 🔐 A worrying thread on reddit for anybody traveling to some parts of China near the Uyghur population: Chinese border police install software on a traveller’s Android device.
- 🔑👩💻 Pinar Yanardag, Manuel Cebrian, and Iyad Rahwan , all working at the MIT Media Lab, created an image-captioning AI and fed it with gore images from a subreddit. Once trained, they asked it to caption Rorschach inkblots and compared the results from a standard AI. Results are a bit disturbing!
- 🔑 An interesting idea and point of view by Paul Stamets: “Plants and mushrooms have intelligence, and they want us to take care of the environment, and so they communicate that to us in a way we can understand.” Why us? “We humans are the most populous bipedal organisms walking around, so some plants and fungi are especially interested in enlisting our support. Michael Pollan on what it’s like to trip on the most potent magic mushroom.
- 📸 Suprachromacy is a project by Marcus Wendt who used infrared macro photography of cacti to create images questioning our own sense of perception.
- ℹ️ The cool people at ThePudding ask this question: Are Hit Songs Becoming Less Musically Diverse? and answer with a hell lot of data. Last year, they were also ranking rappers by their vocabulary.
Image Credit: The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula in Cepheus by Stephen Leshin.
Do I want to write an intro? No. So here we go with a very futuristic link selection.
- 👩🎨👨💻🔑 This is the most fascinating article I ever read on Art, AI, and Blockchain: Does AI Art Belong in the Physical, Digital, or Crypto World?.
- 🎧 I love this psychedelic groove: Marhaba by Maalem Mahmoud Guinia, Floating Points & James Holden.
- 🔐 Oli Frost has put all his personal Facebook data on eBay. Yes, you can really bid!
- 🔐 Nathan Toups has wrote a good article on going completely “Unquantified“. He also wrote a censorship resistant deadman’s switch. Do we live in a cyberpunk world? Absolutely!
- 👩💻👩🎨 You have to watch the videos/gifs of Madeline Gannon training industrial robots to use body language to communicate.
- 🔑 If you’re wondering how I often feel about technology: This is how I feel.
- 🎧 For some reasons, I spent a few days only listening to FIP (the best musical radio, and it’s french!). I created a playlist with some tunes I like.
I don’t have much to share this week. I spent less time surfing the web and more time enjoying the real life.
- ?? Joanna Swirska is a tattoo artist from Poland who creates trippy tattoos with neon-like green and blue.
- ?? AMA – a short film by Julie Gautier. A beautiful underwater choregraphy by Julie Gautier, a free diving champion.
- ? L.B. Dub Corp (a.k.a. Luke Slater) released a techno album called Side Effects on his own imprint Mote Evolver. I love his former album Unknown Origin released in 2013 on Ostgut Ton.
- ? SeekSickSound premiered Flore’s Iskaba released on LowUp for their 10th anniversary.
- ??? Mark Burgess released some Promise Theory notes applied to Blockchain / Consensus.
Image Credit & Copyright: The Gum Nebula Expanse by John Gleason.