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EDITOR'S BOOK SELECTION
EDITOR'S VIDEO SELECTION

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Sunday
28Dec

Slow News Day

With Israeli strikes on Gaza raising temperatures over the weekend, you'd think major outlets would have their hands full of real material to fill the pages. Not the New York Times, which published a piece by Dan Bilefsky entitled "Islamic Revival Tests Bosnia's Secular Cast" (sic). I'd like to think the spelling of "cast" this way was deliberate, but that would be a stronger attribution of talent than I'm qualified to comment

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Saturday
27Dec

Take the Blue Pill

Waltz With Bashir, an animated movie about memory and Israel's 1982 war in Lebanon, looks compelling, and reviews have been positive.  Andrew O'Hehir, in his Beyond the Multiplex blog at Salon, writes that the movie's depiction of "war as a bad acid trip" is, "stunning", "...the year's most singular visionary experience available at the movies, and catapults Folman from the obscurity of Israeli TV onto the world stage." The New York Times' reviewer A.O. Scott notes that it's "by no means the world’s only animated documentary... But

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Saturday
27Dec

In Memorium: Samuel P. Huntington

Details are scant, but according to Anderson Cooper's blog, political scientist Samuel P. Huntington has died at the age of 81.


Wednesday
24Dec

How to Make the Kessel Run in Less Than 12 Parsecs

At the risk of convincing people that this is the blog for a serious virtual research group cum think tank, I wanted to post one of the most important finds of the day here. My own Managing Editor will probably kick my ass for not explaining the theoretical implications or practical relevance to readers, but seriously, I would think that it's pretty obvious: with this, who needs those pesky, high maintenance, prone-to-getting-shot-down UAVs? And if it was good enough to get Solo there, back and around again, then it's good enough for the troops.

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Tuesday
23Dec

It Was Just a Matter of Time...

It would have happened sooner or later. It's already happened to lesser bloggers.

That's right. Drezner has sold out.

He explains what it means here. Errrr... except for one liiiittttle detail: what's he getting paid to do this?


Tuesday
23Dec

Too Much For Blood-Stained Fossil Merchants

Following on from Mike's post about resilient and sustainable communities, Bruce Sterling links to an award-winning scheme for Gwanggyo in South Korea by Dutch architects MVRDV: "This diverse program has different needs for phasing, positioning and size", say the architects. "To facilitate this all elements are designed as rings. By pushing these rings outwards, every part of the program receives a terrace for outdoor life."

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Tuesday
23Dec

You'll Never Need to Remember Anything Ever Again

...except maybe another password...

H/t MIT Media Lab


Monday
22Dec

Brave New Architect

One of the great neglects of my relatively short blogging career has been the, err... failure to communicate with John Robb. And one of our characteristic eclecticisms here at CTlab is the war and architecture nexus. So when I stumble across a John Robb op-ed at Archinect, on "Global Systems vs. Local Platforms", I take notice. Go read it.


Monday
22Dec

Hack Artist With a Power Grudge?

This interview is remarkably short on interview material, the reasons for which become obvious by the end of it. I hesitate to reference any specific details, including tags, for the same reasons. I want to address how its subject interfaces with the science as art debate (or at least artistic visualization of scientific output); I want to suggest something about the frustrated megalomania of hack artists with a power grudge; I want to mention something along of the lines of "this is what happens when stupid people have enough money to act out...".

But basically, this is too bizarre for critical commentary. I'm even  a bit surprised that Seed carried it - but I guess it's more important to expose this sort of nonsense, the kind that  conveys "meaning" on a grand scale while thumbing its nose at reality.


Saturday
20Dec

Schooling and the Old School

I love being an historian.  At least I love being an historian sometimes.  When I read things like Benjamin Schwartz’ review of Barry Cunliffe’s Europe Between The Oceans, I think it is good to be an historian.  For once, we are understood.  Most often, we are at odds with the world.  Academics, journalists, politicians, they want to mark new eras every twenty-five minutes or so.  Everything is a radical departure from what came before it.  My students are particularly given to pointing out how radical and different their era is

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