re: why a high level of chaos is needed for consciousness to function

They go on to suggest that the emergence of consciousness itself may have a relatively simple physical explanation: our minds are the locations where matter has temporarily sorted itself into a sufficiently complex state on its way to maximally disorganized equilibrium. …Consciousness might arise when the largest amount of possible connections are achieved within a given set of restraints. In the harsh language of thermodynamics, “consciousness (like biochemistry) may represent thus an optimal channel for accessing sources of (free) energy.”…As the Internet becomes something approaching an infinitely interconnected library, there may come a time when the bits align themselves in such a way that they emerge as something we recognize as truth, beauty, and being.

Over at his blog Kevin Buist explored how Consciousness Emerges from the Archive; in a post that references Jorge Louis Borges, bots such as Metaphor-a-Minute or @horse_ebooks, the uncreativity of poet Kenneth Goldsmith, The Library of Babel and finally “a very bizarre and complex computer game called Dwarf Fortress”.

re: stack platforms aka “earth, cloud, city, address, interface, user”

Platforms offer a kind of generic universality, open to human and non-human users. They generate user identities whether the users want them or not. They link actors, information, events across times and spaces, across scales and temporalities. They also have a distinctive political economy: they exist to the extent that they generate a platform surplus, where the value of the user information for the platform is greater than the cost of providing the platform to those users

Via McKenzie Wark On Benjamin Bratton’s The Stack for Public Seminar

re: the logisticalization of contemporary supply chains,

For No. 43 / Shelf Life of Harvard Design Magazine, Clare Lyster (author of ‘Learning from Logistics: How Networks Change Our Cities’) wrote Storage Flows: Logistics as Urban Choreography.

Wherein she argues

To fully comprehend contemporary mechanisms of flow, we need to explore the manner in which logistics shrewdly appropriates other external networks and spaces as a means to enhance its supply chain operations. For example, many logistical networks hijack familiar forms of urban infrastructure to further conquer the spatiotemporal gap between supply and demand. Piggybacking on other systems to optimize flow by collapsing supply and distribution into one seamless system has many implications for the city, changing how distribution typologies appear in the urban landscape and thus the landscape itself.

Note: There are a number of spots where I assume “ow”/”ows” should be read, as a typo, as “flows”…

Also, no surprise that Alan Berger comes up. I immediately thought of his writings on the infrastructural leftover spaces or dross. The spaces/places where “Storage flows” happen. Transit through.

What is different today, in particular is the role of algorithms and digital flows.

 

re: assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey

This almost seems iconic. Like Time Magazine or Life circa post WW II.

While the violence of Aleppo, terrorism or even drones is in today’s contemporary digital culture not uncommon, the above seems more noteworthy somehow. Sure for it’s geopolitical implications but also because the violence is visited on a political class and power that is so often not visited by violence.

h/t Talking Points Memo

re: Landscape architecture, Indigeneity studies and Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Rod Barnett published an essay over at Places Journal. He begins with the observation

Indigeneity is scarcely mentioned in the field’s seminal texts nor discussed in its conference halls and online forums….My project investigates how indigenous communities are represented (or not) in this process of contemporary American landscape-making.

He then draws on the work of Brian Davis

who places the modern practice of landscape architecture within the ‘long, sophisticated tradition of landscape-making in the Americas,’ thus establishing continuity and dissolving the boundaries between us and them, then and now.

to make the case for transculturation, decolonization and an awareness of the indigenous experience as a continual contact zone, as guiding principles for Designing Indian Country.

On a related note, this recent piece by Annalee Newitz for Ars Technica digs into the medieval city of Cahokia. As I noted elsewhere, the piece led me to recall a great post (also by Brian Davis) from 2011 re: mounds as “precedent for responding to floods.” and a pre-Contact form of indigenous #infrastructuralurbanism.

William Gibson w Ken Goldberg, at JCCSF

Back in 2012 William Gibson sat down to chat with Ken Goldberg, craigslist Distinguished Professor of New Media, UC Berkeley.

I recently watched and Tweeted these quotes;

 

Also, love how he explains why his last three (at his time) novels “are science-fiction”?

They are set in “speculative novels of very recent past…they are…made out of the stuff of science fiction…picture’s of our world made out of the stuff of science fiction“…

Back in August, Business Insider published a fairly extensive interview with him.