Mirror's Edge LARP

When I first saw this video, I couldn't decide if it was real -- in which case, it's amazing -- or if it was a motion-captured render and/or composite -- in which case it's amazing.

But my second thought, as someone who has spent far too much time embroiled in construction projects, was perfectly encapsulated by this comment:

no no look out for that SOLAR PANEL oh christ there's a duct BE CAREFUL WITH THAT DUCT it's just aluminum you can't stand on that oh god ANTENNA ANTENNA WATCH OUT fuck you're going to break that window sill right off aren't you SATELLITE DISH DON'T TRIP ON THE SATELLITE DISH do you have any idea how long it takes to calibrate those fuckers AAAAH COMPOSITE SHINGLES those things are more delicate than they look you're going to fuck up the shingles and that roof is going to start leaking DON'T STEP ON THE LOOK OUT SUNROOF WINDOW LOOK OUT oh hell now you've loosened the caulk by yanking on the frame and it's going to leak too dammit

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In Which Civil Society is Caught Between a Cop and a Spy

Law enforcement surveillance is inseparable from state intelligence, and civil society has misunderstood both the dual nature of surveillance and the size of the demand they're making.

The role of surveillance in law enforcement is to gather evidence required for a conviction. Enforcement of law requires the state to either know of or suspect a violation of the law has occurred. State intelligence has no such requirement; instead, it operates in the territory of unknown unknowns, attempting to parse the world in whatever ways the decisions of the state require.

Intelligence is a fundamental requirement for the modern state. Without it, the state is blind, unable to understand its place in an inherently adversarial structure. The state, which must attempt to preserve its territorial integrity, territorial monopoly on (some) force, and sovereignty of action, requires information about the actions of those adversaries known and unknown who may attempt to infringe on any of these structures. [...] In a more perfect world, international law and treaty would guarantee this space of action, but the dream of rule of law at the geopolitical level died with Oppenheimer. [...]

This need for intelligence is implicit but unstated in the Westphalian compromise. The Peace of Westphalia, brought about in 1648, defined the agency of the state and a theory of non-interference. In practice, however, the Westphalian state set the rules around the power monopolies that the state must attempt to maintain. If a state cannot fulfill its Westphalian duties, it ceases to perform statedom; we call it a failed state if it is still independent and see it annexed into another state if it is not. [...]

In asking all states to confine themselves to only surveil as a law enforcement tactic, and to in effect do no international intelligence work (for intelligence can clearly not operate within these bound), the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communication Surveillance ask for nothing less than the end of the Westphalian compromise and the creation of a new fundamental theory of geopolitical power and the monopoly on violence. [...] However, we dismantle the state without understanding the structures we propose to replace it at our extreme peril, and the principles do not speak to this topic at all.

If we wish to have a debate as to the basic structure of power we'd see replace the Westphalian state (and, necessarily also the structure that replaces the capitalist entity, for the two cannot be replaced separately), by all means, let's do so. However, if we pretend to the utopian notion that we can decline this debate while still proposing the end to surveillance and thus intelligence, we reveal ourselves to not understand the first thing about the world in which we're playing. As civil society, we do ourselves no favors by demonstrating our irrelevance.

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U jelly, ocean?

They are turning OUR atmosphere ocean into THEIR atmosphere ocean:

We are creating a world more like the late Precambrian than the late 1800s -- a world where jellyfish ruled the seas and organisms with shells didn't exist. We are creating a world where we humans may soon be unable to survive, or want to. [...]

Even sober scientists are now talking of the jellification of the oceans. And the term is more than a mere turn of phrase. Off southern Africa, jellyfish have become so abundant that they have formed a sort of curtain of death, "a stingy-slimy killing field," as Gershwin puts it, that covers over 30,000 square miles. [...]

Jellyfish reproduction is astonishing, and no small part of their evolutionary success: "Hermaphroditism. Cloning. External fertilization. Self fertilization. Courtship and copulation. Fission. Fusion. Cannibalism. You name it, jellyfish [are] 'doing it.'" But perhaps the most unusual thing is that their eggs do not develop immediately into jellyfish. Instead they hatch into polyps, which are small creatures resembling sea anemones. The polyps attach to hard surfaces on the sea floor, and are particularly fond of man-made structures, on which they can form a continuous jelly coating. As they grow, the polyps develop into a stack of small jellyfish growing atop each other that look rather like a stack of coins. When conditions are right, each "coin" or small jellyfish detaches and swims free. In a few days or weeks, a jellyfish bloom is observed. [...]

The question of jellyfish death is vexing. If jellyfish fall on hard times, they can simply "de-grow." That is, they reduce in size, but their bodies remain in proportion. That's a very different outcome from what is seen in starving fish, or people. And when food becomes available again, jellyfish simply recommence growing. Some individual jellyfish live for a decade. But the polyp stage survives pretty much indefinitely by cloning. One polyp colony started in 1935 and studied ever since is still alive and well in a laboratory in Virginia.

One kind of jellyfish, which might be termed the zombie jelly, is quite literally immortal. When Turritopsis dohrnii "dies" it begins to disintegrate, which is pretty much what you expect from a corpse. But then something strange happens. A number of cells escape the rotting body. These cells somehow find each other, and reaggregate to form a polyp.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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3-Sweep: Extracting Editable Objects from a Single Photo

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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NY takes its "speakeasy-style" bars very seriously.

Scouting NY: The 8 Best Fake Storefronts & Phony Building Facades In New York City

Head down Doyers Street, one of the most interesting streets in New York and at the bend, you'll see a small pharmacy: A CHEMIST sign hangs just above the door with old medicine bottles stacked on ancient shelves in the window.

Go inside, and you'll actually find the mixology bar Apothéke. Back when I wrote about Doyers Street in 2010, Apotheke was disguised by a great old Chinese restaurant sign proclaiming it to be the Gold Flower Restaurant.

Previously, previously.


We Know This Thing Is Not True At All But Pageviews So Question Mark?

I was blissfully unaware of the existence of "Techmeme" in the first place, but this parody account of it is universally applicable. Techmeme Heds:

  • A Post By A White Man About How White men Should Be Allowed To Write About Anything
  • 500 Words On A Deleted Tweet
  • This Startup, The Plorker Of Grillerps, Gets $6B To Be Your Fuzznuckle
  • We Reached Out To The Company For Comment About 30 Seconds Before We Published This
  • Startup Raising Another Round Serves Caviar And Gold Filigree Burritos For Lunch
  • There Hasn't Been Anything Published For An Hour So Here's This
  • Check Out This Parody Twitter Account Before It Jumps The Shark
  • Good Luck Finding The Via Link
  • Warning This Post Contains That Louie C.K. Quote About Everything Being Amazing And No-One Being Happy
  • Stats Provided By But Not Attributable To Google/Apple/Microsoft PR
  • Things That Apple Won't Do Next Week

Previously, previously, previously.

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