In a week in which both typography and political campaigning reached a simultaneous new nadir, and in which despite everything going on the in the world the news has somehow been dominated by a once-beautiful Portuguese narcissist’s new job, it’s good to know that we have three days of uninterrupted heavy drinking to look forward to. It’s the best of all bank holidays, the one where we’re all pregnant with the possibility of Summer, where the weather might actually be ok and we can kid ourselves into thinking that this will be the year when Summer brings love and laughter and the PERFECT FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE and new beginnings and the sort of fun, friend-filled occasions ordinarily only seen in adverts for heavily-branded snack foods.
Don’t let me be the one to tell you that, just like every other year, this Summer will be characterised by missed opportunities and lost hopes and the sense that once again the perfect summers of your long-ago-remembered youth are vanished, never to be seen again. Don’t. Instead, prepare yourself for a weekend of cirrhosis and drug abuse (remember, kids, you’d best empty that Spice stash!) by plunging your face deep into the heaped, powdery mass of internet here arrayed before you - and don’t worry about the burning sensation in your sinuses, it’s nothing that a good sluicing can’t fix. LET’S ALL GET HIGH ON WEAPONS-GRADE INTERNET - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!
Unproductive Freedom is a new, solo exhibition from Candice Jacobs. The exhibition considers our contemporary, so-called state of "freedom" at a time when every movement that we make is digitally tracked and analysed. This has, surreptitiously, skewed our concept of what free time actually means, to the benefit of marketers.
We caught up with Candice and asked her about the exhibition and what "freedom" represents when we are shackled to the network.
I am naturally inclined to be sceptical about all new technology. I’m the kind of person Kanye was referring to in his recent Ellen appearance, part of a crowd who rejects genius and can’t handle the vision. My first response to most technological advances is anger that they want to replace us with robots, and I continue to believe that Facebook is the largest unchecked dictatorship in the world. As such, the release of the Tilt Brush by Google - a new VR device that allows people to paint in 3D - obviously alarmed me. When I probed the concept further, my imaginative sympathies yielded only to extent that if were to be able to draw bunny eyes and handle bar moustaches onto fellow passengers during my commute, that might prove to be quite amusing.
30 years ago, evolutionary biologist and Twitter archdemon Richard Dawkins wrote a set of Pascal programs to demonstrate evolution in action. Now, Penguin Books has brought them back from the dead.
High-tech tools of exploitation are being repurposed to build a fairer economy. The digital platforms that have become the connective tissue of our lives - the likes of Airbnb and Google - have proven to tend towards monopolies, monetisation of surveillance and disregard for labour standards.
But what stops us from using the Internet’s power for collective action to usurp them? Last week, an evening hosted by Outlandish outlined the prospects of platform co-operativism. Featuring Felix Weth, Sarah Gold, and Nathan Schneider, it covered ways of truly making the concept happen.
We chatted with Nathan and asked him about the prospects of platform co-operativism in a world of monopolistic brands built on centralised capital.
Turns out Copenhagen is lovely, like some sort of LEGO model socialist utopia with lovely food and free, EU-funded coffee (HEAR THAT, BREXIT PEOPLE?). But I’m back now, and although we have a new mayor everything’s still pretty horrid, so what was the point of going on holiday anyway, eh? What? To give you a break from not reading this? Ah, well, quite.
Anyway, totally unrelated by last night I was doing my mentoring thing at a school in East London and we had a quiz with the kids - a pretty easy one, just for lols, asking them to name as many cartoons, or arsenal players, or comedy movies, as they could in 90 seconds. All well and good, though the class of boys were slightly more stumped when asked to name romantic films (“We’s men, we’s don’t watch chickflicks innit” - look, THAT’S HOW THEY SAID IT); the first one to be named by the class of 14 year old boys? 50 Shades of Grey. When confronted by the teacher who suggested that it wasn’t really a romantic film and so didn’t count, one of the kids was so incensed that he felt moved to stand up and shout (and I mean SHOUT) “NAH MISS THERE IS BARE ROMANTIC SPANKING!”.
I mean. Bare romantic spanking. Were I in a band, that would totally be its first EP.
Anyway, you don’t come here for tales of the YOOT. You come here so that I can regurgitate my week’s worth of internet consumption into your hungry, gaping maws, like a mother bird feeding her just-hatched young before pushing you out of the nest and seeing whether you fly or whether you plummet to the ground in a mess of splintered bone and gut and feather - so drink deep of my partially digested webmusings, kids, because time’s a wasting. THIS IS WEB CURIOS!
Arena, the popular BBC arts programme now in its 41st year, is being celebrated at Carroll/Fletcher in London. Entitled Night and Day - the Arena time machine, the gallery will be hosting a video exhibition over 24 hours, using cut-up material from over 600 Arena films.
With $132.4m raised in a little over two weeks, The DAO is currently, and by some distance, the world's most crowdfunded project. Running on the Ethereum blockchain, it could loosely be described at P2P venture capital on crack.
There’s a famous quote from that seminal 1992 movie about sales, Glengarry Glen Ross, in which Jack Lemmon’s character, Shelley, contemptuously dismisses the contact data he’s been given: “The leads are weak!” The movie also coined the unforgettable phrase: “Coffee is for closers!”
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the movie to those just starting out in sales – it’s not exactly a flattering portrayal of the profession. But, the dialogue gives viewers some insight into the importance of leads, which are the lifeblood of selling.
Elon Musk predicts that fully autonomous cars will hit the road by 2023. Governments and car manufacturers around the world are trying to figure out how safe driverless cars are going to be, and how they should be regulated. Being in the business of on-demand parking, we’re asking another question – how and where are they going to be parked?