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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."

Click to read more ...


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

Click to read more ...


Saturday
20Dec

Old School

The Atlantic's literary editor Benjamin Schwarz has this to say about Oxford Emeritus archeologist Sir Barry Cunliffe's new book Europe Between the Oceans,

...Cunliffe...has synthesized the voluminous recent record of excavations from Iceland to Turkey, the burgeoning scholarship on DNA and ancient populations, and research on topics ranging from Stone Age shipbuilding to trade in Muslim Spain and from salinity levels in the

Click to read more ...


Saturday
20Dec

What A Bout It?

This week's Economist has an oh-so-nice write up of the Viktor Bout affair, noting, with its usual humour:

He may perhaps have felt a little misunderstood, seeing himself as a canny entrepreneur, not a Bond villain. His accusers put little store in his concern for conservation, his love of animals, his wish to protect Congo’s forests, his earnest desire to help the pygmies of central Africa and his devotion to the Discovery television channel. Some of his critics may even have been jealous. He deployed more aircraft than do some countries.

Boo-boo. Poor muffin. Bout the humanitarian, indeed.


Friday
19Dec

Spatial Research Images as Art

"Ultrasound" Recognition of Spatial Umbilical Cords. Angeliki Malakasiotis.

The image above won first prize in UCL's Research Images competition "Research Images as Art - Art Images as Research". The winner, Angeliki Malakasioti, is based at the Bartlett. Her project write up, which sounds fascinating,  reads:

One can talk about an 'ultrasound' experience of the body, sensing details that are normally invisible, perceiving the inside, the visceral, the intimate...

My research deals with sensory deprivation in an isolation tank as a tool for questioning the body mechanisms behind spatial interpretation. The person undergoing this experience is having sensory impressions produced by the body itself, since his sensory mechanisms are ‘stretching out’ to find stumuli. I explore the altered states of consciousness that are experienced in this contradictory, ‘non-spatial’ space and the possible shifts of perception this might evoke.

In this image I explore how the body is projecting itself on space by making an allegory with the womb. Sensory data is travelling in the reverse through multiple umbilical cords, resulting in a developing sensation expanding into space.

Body in Non-Space. Angeliki Malakasiotis.


Friday
19Dec

Hollow Sovereignties

One of the most cynical dimensions of the Rwanda genocide was the character of internal Clinton administration debates over whether or not to intervene. Disingenuous post facto protestations of ignorance notwithstanding, enough was known at the time about the nature of the ongoing slaughter to inform a robust campaign of political bob and weave. Wrong-headed convictions about the inviolability of state sovereignty were part of the calculus; the only positive outcome of all that was the revised thinking on the issue enshrined in R2P (for whatever that's been worth so far).

Click to read more ...


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