http://heartbleed.com/ http://heartbleed.com/

  An explicitly illicit use of dimensional data buried in Google Street View, the Urban Jungle project adds eerie layers of post-apocalyptic green overgrowth to major cities around the world.
  
  As in Google Maps, a user can simply drag and drop their tiny avatar in a location of their choosing, then explore a plant-infested, tree-filled, vine-covered alternate version of reality.


See more here, via
weburbanist 
  An explicitly illicit use of dimensional data buried in Google Street View, the Urban Jungle project adds eerie layers of post-apocalyptic green overgrowth to major cities around the world.
  
  As in Google Maps, a user can simply drag and drop their tiny avatar in a location of their choosing, then explore a plant-infested, tree-filled, vine-covered alternate version of reality.


See more here, via
weburbanist

An explicitly illicit use of dimensional data buried in Google Street View, the Urban Jungle project adds eerie layers of post-apocalyptic green overgrowth to major cities around the world.

As in Google Maps, a user can simply drag and drop their tiny avatar in a location of their choosing, then explore a plant-infested, tree-filled, vine-covered alternate version of reality.

See more here, via weburbanist

"

It is interesting how collapse theories mirror broader societal issues. During the Cold War, we had theories ascribing collapse to elite mismanagement, class conflict, and peasant revolts. As global warming became a public issue, scholars of the past began to discover that ancient societies collapsed due to climate change. As we have become concerned about sustainability and resource use today, we have learned that ancient societies collapsed due to depletion of critical resources, such as soil and forests. Now that inequality and “the 1%” are topics of public discourse, we have this paper focusing largely on elite resource consumption.

Models depend on the assumptions that go into them. Thus the first four pages of the paper are the part most worth discussing.

The paper has many flaws. The first is that “collapse” is not defined, and the examples given conflate different processes and outcomes. Thus the authors are not even clear what topic they are addressing.

Collapses have occurred among both hierarchical and non-hierarchical societies, and the authors even discuss the latter (although without understanding the implications for their thesis). Thus, although the authors purport to offer a universal model of collapse (involving elite consumption), their own discussion undercuts that argument.

Contrary to the authors’ unsubstantiated assertion, there is no evidence that elite consumption caused ancient societies to collapse. The authors simply have no empirical basis for this assumption, and that point alone undercuts most of the paper.

The authors assert that there is a “two-class structure of modern society,” and indeed their analysis depends on this being the case. The basis for this assertion comes from two papers published in obscure physics journals. That’s right, this assertion does not come from peer-review social science. It comes from journals that have no expertise in this topic, and whose audience is unqualified to evaluate the assertion critically.

In other words, there is no empirical or substantiated theoretical basis for this paper’s model.

In modeling, once one has established one’s assumptions and parameters, it is a simple matter to program the mathematics that will give the outcome one wants or expects. For this reason, models must be critically evaluated. Unfortunately, most readers are unable to evaluate a model’s assumptions. Instead, readers are impressed by equations and colored graphs, and assume thereby that a model mimics real processes and outcomes. That seems to be the case with this paper, and it represents the worst in modeling.

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"Compared to being in broken Britain, living in a bog-standard average Western country may seem like an impossible, utopian fairy-land, to which only naïve children conned by lying politicians would aspire. But for most of the Western world, the sort of Scotland that the SNP talk about, that most yes campaigners say we can expect, isn’texceptional, it’s not even better than average. I am a radical. I hope we can achieve much more. But the “cloud cuckoo land” aspiration of the Scottish Government is to be an average, run of the mill, bog-standard European country. Compared to where we are now, that would be a great start."
"

Most people in the South East of England never seem to understand this. Blinded by the headlights and headlines of post imperial UK nationalism, the idea that “Britain is Great” pervades. We (I live in the South East at the moment) cling with white fisted knuckles to the notion that Britannia rules, unwilling to let go of our imperial past for fear that we might find we are just another European country. It’s a myth which works much more in England, and which helps explain differences in the tendancy to believe immigrant scapegoatingNorth and South of the border “if Britain is uniquely great” people infer “it can’t be the system that’s to blame, it must be outsiders”.

But the truth is that this is a very sick country indeed. We are investing a net figure of nothing in our future economy, and instead just about keep our head above water by flogging off our assets at a rate which would astonish almost any other country and re-inflating speculative bubbles which suck any wealth we do create into an unproductive black hole London housing market which eats wealth out of the rest of the country, hoovering any investment away from anything productive and then complaining when it’s asked to redistribute crumbs from its table.

A metropolis once at the centre of the biggest empire in human history and now at the centre of a global revolution of money-men over making things, of the wealthy over the rest is disguised by a blanket of post-imperial false confidence. Post-imperial Britain is a very strange, very damaged place. And before the people of these islands, the English in particular, can move on, and find a new place in the world, they need someone to finally point out that not only is this former emperor naked, not only does he no longer rule the waves, but his failure to grapple sensibly with either these facts has led to some pretty unhealthy habits. Telling a difficult truth is what friends are for. In part, that’s what Scotland’s referendum will be about.

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"

Santosh Singh, a resident of Sangam Vihar and a worker at confectioner’s shop, was threatened with a gun the last time he talked about water availability in his locality. All he had done to get such a treatment was to seek his neighbour’s support to ask Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to provide a new tubewell for area.

The rogues from Delhi’s tanker mafia, which is paid a handsome amount by the residents for installing a borewell, sarcastically asked his wife whether Santosh had life insurance. He was unable to do anything to get water from DJB and his wife, till today, has to go and fetch water from private tankers amidst catcalls. At times, even glass shards are thrown at his doorstep by the mafia men. Of the Rs 6,000 that Santosh earns, he is forced to pay Rs 400 to the mafia for getting access to water extracted from ‘government’ borewells.

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"For some time now, one of the most successful tactics of the ruling class has been responsibilisation. Each individual member of the subordinate class is encouraged into feeling that their poverty, lack of opportunities, or unemployment, is their fault and their fault alone. Individuals will blame themselves rather than social structures, which in any case they have been induced into believing do not really exist (they are just excuses, called upon by the weak). What [David] Smail calls ‘magical voluntarism’ – the belief that it is within every individual’s power to make themselves whatever they want to be – is the dominant ideology and unofficial religion of contemporary capitalist society, pushed by reality TV ‘experts’ and business gurus as much as by politicians. Magical voluntarism is both an effect and a cause of the currently historically low level of class consciousness. It is the flipside of depression – whose underlying conviction is that we are all uniquely responsible for our own misery and therefore deserve it. A particularly vicious double bind is imposed on the long-term unemployed in the UK now: a population that has all its life been sent the message that it is good for nothing is simultaneously told that it can do anything it wants to do."
Mark Fisher, Good For Nothing, Occupied Times (via varanine)

  African migrants on the shore of Djibouti City at night raise their phones
  in an attempt to catch an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia



http://www.worldpressphoto.org/awards/2014/contemporary-issues/john-stanmeyer

  African migrants on the shore of Djibouti City at night raise their phones
  in an attempt to catch an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia



http://www.worldpressphoto.org/awards/2014/contemporary-issues/john-stanmeyer

African migrants on the shore of Djibouti City at night raise their phones in an attempt to catch an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia

http://www.worldpressphoto.org/awards/2014/contemporary-issues/john-stanmeyer

"In Turkey, folks are painting IP’s of non-Turkish DNS servers onto the posters of the governing party."

https://twitter.com/evacide/status/446823642614083585 "In Turkey, folks are painting IP’s of non-Turkish DNS servers onto the posters of the governing party."

https://twitter.com/evacide/status/446823642614083585

"In Turkey, folks are painting IP’s of non-Turkish DNS servers onto the posters of the governing party."

https://twitter.com/evacide/status/446823642614083585

"

We can carry this dystopian thought exercise through to its ultimate conclusion. Imagine a world where gated communities have become self-contained cantonments, inside of which live the beautiful, rich, Robot Lords, served by cheap robot employees, guarded by cheap robot armies. Outside the gates, a teeming, ragged mass of lumpen humanity teeters on the edge of starvation. They can’t farm the land or mine for minerals, because the invincible robot swarms guard all the farms and mines. Their only hope is to catch the attention of the Robot Lords inside the cantonments, either by having enough rare talent to be admitted as a Robot Lord, or by becoming a novelty slave for a little while.

This sounds like nothing more than a fun science fiction story, but why shouldn’t this happen? Human civilization was somewhat like this for most of our history—aristocrats feasting in their manor houses, half-starved peasants toiling in the fields. What liberated us? It might have been the printing press, or capitalism, or the sailing ship. But it might have been the gun. And if it was the gun that liberated us, then we should be very worried. Because when the Age of the Gun ends, the age of freedom and dignity and equality that much of humanity now enjoys may turn out to have been a bizarre, temporary aberration.

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"

To pay the poor, you have to tax the rich, and the Robot Lords are unlikely to stand for that. Just imagine Tom Perkins with an army of cheap autonomous drones. Or  Greg Gopman. We’re all worried about the day that the 1% no longer need the 99%–but what’s really scary is when they don’t fear the 99% either.

Take a look at countries where the government makes its money from natural resources instead of human labor–Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran. Look at the money and effort those governments spend making sure their people don’t rebel. What will those countries look like when repression starts getting cheaper and cheaper? And why will America and Europe and East Asia be different? Isn’t a nation where the rich can get everything they need from robots essentially suffering from the same “resource curse” as Saudi Arabia?

When we think of the “rise of the robots,” we usually think of Skynet and Agent Smith–the evil of artificial intelligence. But that’s not who we should be worrying about. A.I.’s–if they ever exist–may or may not have any reasonto dominate, marginalize, or slaughter humanity. But we know that humansoften like to do those things. Humans already exist, and we know many of them are evil. It’s the Robot Lords we should be afraid of, not Skynet.

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