the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise

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A detail of a cacao sculpture by Jéréˆmie Mabiala. CreditLéonard Pongo, via CATPC, Lusanga, Democratic Republic of Congo

An art collective made of plantation workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo,  who harvest raw material for international companies that manufacture chocolate and palm oil, and make sculptures with cacao as a primary material.

h/t NYT

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”.

‘The Littlest Jackal’

Practically every entity that Starlitz found of interest was involved in the Bosnian scene. UN. USA. NATO. European Union. Russian intelligence, Russia mafia (interlocking directorates there). Germans. Turks. Greeks. Ndrangheta. Camorra. Israelis. Saudis. Iranians. Moslem Brotherhood. An enormous gaggle of mercs. There was even a happening Serbian folk-metal scene where Serb chicks went gigging for hooting audiences of war criminals. It was cool the way the Yugoslav scene kept re-complicating. It was his kind of scene…Now it’s different. This time Russia has a kind of craziness that is truly big enough and bad enough to take over the whole world. Massive; total, institutional corruption: Top to bottom: Nothing held back. A new kind of absolute corruption that will sell anything: the flesh of our women, the future of our children. Everything inside our museums and our churches. Anything goes for money: gold, oil, arms, dope, nukes. We’ll sell the soil and the forests and the Russian sky. We’ll sell our souls.

A strong novella, bringing back Bruce’s continuing character, Leggy Starlitz via RuLit