ISSUE 1.10

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Two and A Half Minutes to Doomsday

The Doomsday Clock ticks closer. Scientists splice a human-pig embryo. Big data staring at your personality. Tons of community content, and more!

[npr.org]

The Doomsday Clock Is Reset: Closest To Midnight Since The 1950s

[Content warning: anti-Trump. Because I got yelled at for it once.] Can't imagine why. Something to do with international law and communication, security, the cybers, etc. etc. No, you look worried! (I would really love to get paid to proclaim the end of the world. Someone hook me up.)
[newyorker.com]

Doomsday Prep For The Super-Rich

Anyways, you don't have anything to worry about if you're super rich like me! Ha-ha-ha. That's a joke. Anyways, this is a freaking ridiculous article about the lengths that extremely wealth people can go to to prepare for the apocalypse, including getting LASIK, gas masks, bug out bags, building bunkers, keeping a helicopter on standby, secondary back up economies, hiring an armed militia... you know, rich people stuff. (Admin note: We got a number of new subscribers due to a mention in Exolymph (hi there! and thanks, Sonya!), where this article was also featured. Sorry! This one's just so good.)
[motherboard.vice.com]

The Data That Turned the World Upside Down

Fluffy title aside, this is a great article on how big data and psychometrics (constructing a psychological profile from your data) can be used to determine who you are - and even influence elections or the exit of entire countries. Here's some teaser text: "For example, men who 'liked' the cosmetics brand MAC were slightly more likely to be gay; one of the best indicators for heterosexuality was 'liking' Wu-Tang Clan. Followers of Lady Gaga were most probably extroverts, while those who 'liked' philosophy tended to be introverts. ... In 2012, Kosinski proved that on the basis of an average of 68 Facebook 'likes' by a user, it was possible to predict their skin color (with 95 percent accuracy), their sexual orientation (88 percent accuracy), and their affiliation to the Democratic or Republican party (85 percent). But it didn’t stop there. Intelligence, religious affiliation, as well as alcohol, cigarette and drug use, could all be determined."
Glitchet Community: Random Art with Benjamin N. Summerton
[16bpp.net]

How Random Art Works

Benjamin N. Summerton (@DefPriPub on Twitter) did a fantastic writeup of how the http://random-art.org site works. It's an interesting technical (but fairly accessible) dive into the world of random art generation from a random text input. Essentially, it utilizes an algorithm that takes an input value, and from that value generates a section of the algorithm that then takes in every x/y coordinate (or a single value mapped over the X/Y coordinates) and renders it. I'm not doing it justice - check out the description inside, and a video that Benjamin made from the concept.
Glitchet Community: Photographer and artist Igor Morales
Varations in Noise and Space, Igor Morales
This work is produced by Glitchet subscriber, photographer and artist Igor Morales. He didn't provide an explicit description, so here's my take. There's something eerily nostalgic about the pieces as the grain and unposed sense of the shots remind me almost of the film roll of a disposable camera from the 90s, but with extra glitch-artifact superimpositions and an earthy tone behind all of them.
[washingtonpost.com]

Scientists create a part-human, part-pig embryo — raising the possibility of interspecies organ transplants

Holy fucking what? Science. That's what. These people are covering this and literally talking about "chimera embryos" with a straight face. I LOVE THE FUTURE
[kickstarter.com]

Attack of the Cyber Octopuses

Speaking of doomsday, what are you gonna do when cyber octopuses attack in the year 2079? Who you gonna call? (Seriously, who do you call?) This is a cool bit of cyberpunk scifi with a retrofuturist aesthetic that's currently on Kickstarter. Man, am I glad that people are still doing retrofuturist cyberpunk. That which is dead may never die. (Wait, I'm mixing my genres...) Thanks to polyducks for the link!
Glitchet Community: Markov Poetry by Sebastián Lalaurette

Sebastián Lalaurette reached out to me to talk about Markov chains because I love them so much. I asked him to share some examples of Markov generation that he's done, and he told me that he's generated from Spanish poetry (translated to English for your reading pleasure). He works with the pieces and lifts some and fashions them into other pieces of poetry. (The line from Sunspring, the sci-fi short film written by a recurrent neural network, "He looks at me, and he throws me out of his eyes", STILL gets me.) Here are some selected segments he sent me:

  • ah, the party in your mouth
  • he was in love with the wet ashes
  • floating over the meaning of the party
  • my father and I entered a wide bothering
  • to the left of that uncertainty
  • I am the following: a smile.
  • I could survive in the hollow core of the daily possibility
  • they kill here and they help here too and a general universe opens in small occupations
  • she's very representative of the feet
  • a dignified sister of the commotion I've suffered
  • they compressed the air and nobody notices a thing.

"I could survive in the hollow core of the daily possibility"? Wow! That's straight up good advice.

Sebastian Lalaurette is publishing an ebook soon called Defeating zombies with social media which is a dream journal with some slight glitch stylistics. Check it out if this is your kind of thing!

[aeon.co]

Datagasm

"Ever-faster feedback loops and micro-targeted digital porn are pushing human sexuality into some seriously weird places". A really fascinating read into how internet pornography has changed how we get our freak out. Shit, I remember downloading stuff over Limewire when I was... I mean, what? Internet porn? Never heard of it.
[arstechnica.co.uk]

Chatbot lawyer that overturned 170,000 parking tickets now helps fight homelessness

That chatbot lawyer from a while ago that was overturning parking tickets? Now it's helping with homelessness. What a great application of bot-as-UI tech to provide information! Of course, I always just wonder if a detailed flowchart wouldn't have been better, but maybe talking to a bot is helpful for the person getting the help, too. Thanks to Niels L. for the forward on this one!
Glitchet Community: Visual artist Nikzad Arabshahi
[derivative.ca]

Refactor: An Autonomous Generative Painting Factory Mapping the Artist

This one is submitted directly by visual artist Nikzad Arabshahi! From the site's abstract:

"In 'Refactor' the painterly experience of the visual artist is mapped into computer codes that make possible a painting factory without any presence of the painter. The platform is an interwoven spatial-visual-aural sculpture that redefines space through the arrangement of generated recurring images and sounds. Visual images are immersed in the soundscape and sounds are emerged from visual images. Painting becomes sound and fades away from our sight like sound. Compositional algorithms of the painter are brought to life by compositional algorithms of the sound artist."

Definitely check out the video to see the strange, layering effects of the video feed and the dynamic, emerging visuals of the drawn lines that create something deliciously glitchy and chaotic. There's also some really neat coverage of how the work is actually done under the "process" section, including screencaps of the software at play. Super cool! Thank you, Nikzad!
Yoshitoshi Kanemaki
Loads of fantastic analogue-implemented glitch effects with wood past the image. Thanks to Aneel for the forward! (Like, forever ago. I'm catching up.)