ISSUE 1.31

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Power and Pain

Power corrupts--and damages the brain. Russian's cyberwar. Apple's war on leakers. The power structures of Facebook.


Power Causes Brain Damage

Power literally causes an inability to empathize and read people even when you're trying to empathize because people start being sycophantic towards you, not delivering you real feedback, and having to follow all your orders. Another great paradox of the world: as you gain in power, you lose that same ability that helped you gain the power in the first place.


How an Entire Nation Became Russia's Test Lab for Cyberwar

This is a phenomenal long-read into the potential of Russia's cyberwar machine, not to just disrupt computers and IT infrastructure but the physical infrastructure that we use to survive. Starting with a depiction of a suspected attack on the Ukaine power grid, blacking out the city, it continues to explore cyber-to-infrastructure attacks over the last several years. If you're fascinated by the Stuxnet virus, you'll be all about this one.


The Human Fabric of the Facebook Pyramid

This is a fascinating (and delectably visual) data research project into the constitution of Facebook's employees and executive leadership by exploring the social structure and power relation within the company. "In short, [it] will deal with the phenomenon of digital capitalism." Tying in the idea of a "knowledge labour aristocracy" and describing employees around The Zuck as those "who rule or serve", this is a fascinating (and incredibly dystopic) read. Also, god, some of the old-school artwork referenced in here is sick. I mean, check out that fucking ruling king guy, holy shit.

OK, this has nothing to do with anything. I just love it so, so much. Although I guess you could argue that a potential future where genetically enhanced bovines and equines have been uplifted to a state of human intelligence alongside the continued farmed slaughter of millions of cows and encountering their own worth as plastic-wrapped, commoditized ground-up meat is possibly the darkest, most Glitchet future imaginable. Oh... I gave myself a sad.


Japanese Sumo Robots

Warning: loud, scrapey, and intense. A compilation of several years of footage condensed into 6 minutes for your viewing pleasure. Also, the way these robots is a little unnerving. Twitchy, jumpy, like violent crickets equipped with massive metal flaps and motors attached. Also, I can't get over my impression of them as tiny printers or paper shredders with attitude. I think they're also pre-programmed, as in not human-controlled, because of how quickly they move and the way some of them make extremely symmetrical patterns. What a weird, neat hobby. I'll be honest, I kind of wish it were more like Robot Arena 2.


Leaked recording: Inside Appleā€™s global war on leakers

Apple has been known for its incredibly secretive intellectual property protection practices (even people working next door to other departments don't know what those departments do), but this expose reveals an anti-leak force involving "former NSA agents, secrecy members on product teams, and a screening apparatus bigger than the TSA". A fascinating look into the secrecy-obsessed culture of Apple--and the people working to circumvent it.


Awesome Generative Art resources, tools, and shiny things

Are you into generative art? Well here's just like a whole huge bunch links on how to make it and various other resources. Happy birthday.