Since the 2008 financial crisis, there's been a wave of worry that technological progress has slowed down. High-profile proponents of the Great Stagnation include Silicon Valley svengali Peter Thiel, blogging economist superstar Tyler Cowen and distinguished economic historian Robert Gordon. The subject has also piqued the curiosity of economic heavyweights concerned about a wider economic slowdown, including Paul Krugman, Larry Summers and Martin Wolf. As a result, the Great Stagnation debate has, unlike most innovation research, reached a wide audience, spawning New York Times bestsellers and TED talks: the two must-have accessories for any modern Big Idea. But the strange thing about all this discussion is that none of it seems to have cast much light on whether or not the phenomenon is actually happening.
As agencies continue to struggle for margins, and remain unable to successfully cope with the ongoing march of software, why is technology seen as the only way forward for innovation? Are agencies being blind to other more lucrative areas, and are we about to witness a mass extinction in the agency world as more and more of the services they offer are given over to machines?
FINALLY the election comes to life! Finally some SEXY HEADLINES! It's what we've been waiting for - it's almsot as if the press have blown this #cameronette vs #milifandom thing out of all reasonable proportion because even they couldn't face another week of deathly dull non-reportage of non-policies delivered by non-personalities. Heaven forfend!
Anyway, in a week which has seen some incredible new lows in terms of cheap political pointscoring - really, Ed? Migrant deaths? - let's gloss over all that rubbish and instead focus on....well...not the good stuff so much as just the stuff. Come, Webmongs, and kneel in front of the overflowing content-trough; poise your porcine snouts above the overflowing, neverending conveyorbelt of freshly processed infoslurry, and gorge yourselves on my pre-chewed digicud; and don't worry about the gagging and retching, it's perfectly natural. Welcome, one and all, to WEB CURIOS!
We've been tracking the life of Random Darknet Shopper for some time now. The product of wonderful art collective Mediengruppe Bitnik, the Shopper (a bot which trawls the deep web) had its collar felt by the fuzz owing to its purchase of MDMA.
So the main news this week is that all the political parties published their manifestos and Buzzfeed didn't, despite my having CONFIDENTLY predicted this for the past 3 years, turn each of them into a gif-filled explosion of cat-based humour called a 'Manifesticle'. THANKS FOR NOTHING, BUZZFEED. Way to make me look like a dick. On the offchance that any staffers there read this, though, there's still time to use this GEM.
Otherwise it's all been fairly bleak and miserable as is standard in the modern world - anyone notice that it's been over a year now since #bringbackourgirls singularly failed to bring back anyone's girls? Obviously though that sort of stuff pales into insignificance when compared to the amount of column inches it's necessary to spaff on the fact that there's a new film trailer out. Obviously.
Well, sod it all to buggery. The sun is shining, it's Friday afternoon and I get to forget about all this internet crap for the next 36 hours or so. I LIVE FOR THESE 36 HOURS OF FREEDOM. So while I go off and gambol in the sunshine, webmongs, you 'amuse' yourselves with this lovingly prepared selection of links, all of whom want YOUR clicks - choose carefully, and remember that whatever you end up selecting will make little or no difference to the general course of your life, because we live in a largely deterministic universe in which free will and individual agency are largely mythical constructs. HAPPY WEEKENDS!
Since time began, our homes have been places of solace, of rest and recuperation, of a place to shut oneself away from the tribulations of the world. Always-on devices in our pockets make those definitions less cut and dried. Aiming to bring back true privacy in the home is RAM House, an architectural concept from Prokoss-Mobilrot and Space Caviar.
JUST LIKE JESUS I RISE FROM THE (ALMOST) DEAD (and, just like Jesus, only about a dozen or so people care when it actually happens)! That's RIGHT, Webmongs! There has been a stay of execution and Imperica is, for the moment, SAVED! Sincere thanks to all of you who bothered to say nice things and pledge cold, hard cash to keep this particular rickety ship afloat for a little while longer. You are all VERY KIND.
Anyway, enough of the gratitude - as ever, I am expressing my near-boundless love for you all via the medium of about 150-odd links of varying quality, haphazardly 'curated' over the course of the next 6,000 words or so, Which, frankly, if you've ever experienced any of the other ways in which I occasionally express my love, you should be grateful for.
Anyway, webmongs, let us roll back the stone and peer outside the cave once again, as with newly-refreshed limbs we prepare to leave the security of the tomb for the uncertainty of the potentially hostile territories beyond. Watch out for snakes and mountain lions (I confess that my knowledge of Judean fauna circa 33AD is pretty sketchy, so just go with me on this one) - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!
Technology’s promise of wonderful things in the future stretches from science fiction to science fact: self-driving cars, virtual reality, smart devices such as Google Glass, and the internet of things are designed to make our lives easier and more productive. Certainly inventions of the past century such as the washing machine and combustion engine have brought leisure time to the masses. But will this trend necessarily continue?
Manchester-based indie videogame developer Strangethink has a reputation for procedurally-generated work. Beautiful, psycedelic and rather calming, works such as Secret Habitat have developed something of a following. Now, through the power of Twitter, we're learning about Strangethink's next project.
Transmedia. It's a term which has been around for several years now; we first reported on the concept back in January 2011. The BBC has brought it back into focus with The last hours of Laura K, a piece of digital immersion fiction from its Writersroom project.