190 results for “Symbolic-Overdrive”

The religion named Artificial Intelligence

Linda Valenta
April 5th 2019

Would you pray to a Robot deity? A group of Japanese buddhists is already doing so. Meet Mindar, the robot divinity shaped after the buddhist Goddess of Mercy, also known as Kannon. Kyoto based Kodaiji Temple recruited Osaka University’s head of intelligent robotics Hiroshi Ishiguro to design this million dollar robot. Its purpose? To encourage youngsters to engage with buddhism again.

Mindar’s silicone face represents a gender neutrality that aims to move beyond human representation. Supplemented with aluminium body parts, …

Artificial ceramic bones for a natural meat experience

Ruben Baart
March 22nd 2019

The world is developing, climate change is happening and it's time for us to do something. Now.

One strategy would be to simply stop eating meat — or at least reduce the amount of our consumption. “Why?”, you may think. Well here are some numbers: If you do not eat meat for a week as an adult, you save 130 liters of water, 76 kilometres of driving a car and 770 grams of animal meat.

Sure, some people may find …

The return of direct democracy: Introducing a digital agora to the crypto-world

Koen Blezer
June 11th 2018

In Ancient Greece the people were part of a direct-democracy, this means that they would directly vote for policies and laws. Nowadays, it seems as though this horizontal approach to governance of a community is desired again: The crypto world has developed a specific platform to enable direct democracies to their users; the Decentralized Autonomous Organisations (DAO’s). What could these DAO’s mean for the ECO Coin? May these revive the ancient buzzing agora, this time in the digital sphere?…

Slowing down to start up: Here’s the first chapter of our crypto deep dive series

Koen Blezer
March 28th 2018

It takes years to design a new banknote, having hundreds of people working on every little detail, all done under the watchful eye of governments and professionals. However today, blockchain technology allows anyone to create and launch their own digital cryptocurrency in less than a minute with only a few clicks. What does this all mean? In this Deep Dive series, we take a closer look at some of these new coins, diving into the technology that underpins them, and …

Interview Mark Wigley: “We are living in an ecology of antenna”

Ruben Baart
March 17th 2018

With the invention of the radio antenna in the late 19th century, we became a different species: Introducing the human insect. A species, able to communicate across oceans using far-reaching antennae abilities, residing inside a shared, yet networked space. With this in mind, we recently sat down with architectural theorist, scholar, and author Mark Wigley, on his latest curated exhibition, The Human Insect.…

Bali goes offline for 24 hours to celebrate the Hindu New Year

Ruben Baart
March 16th 2018

If you've been dreaming of disconnecting and ridding your day of digital distractions, there's an island destination that would love to have you this weekend.…

Beatles Zebra Crossing

Van Mensvoort
November 10th 2017
Realize it's metaphors we live by.

After Horsepower Comes Robotpower?

Jack Caulfield
October 13th 2017
We fear being replaced by robots. They have the potential to be smarter, stronger and more hardworking than us, but so do horses.

Priests Bless Server Rooms

Ruben Baart
May 22nd 2017
Sanctifying servers with knowledge and power from digital demons.

Billboard Show the Landscape They Block

Van Mensvoort
March 19th 2017
In the desert landscape of the Californian Coachella Valley, artist Jennifer Bolande installed a series of billboards that camouflage themselves with the surroundings.
WP_Query Object ( [query] => Array ( [tag] => symbolic-overdrive [post_type] => post [post_status] => publish [orderby] => date [order] => DESC [category__not_in] => Array ( [0] => 1 )[numberposts] => 10 [suppress_filters] => )[query_vars] => Array ( [tag] => symbolic-overdrive [post_type] => post [post_status] => publish [orderby] => date [order] => DESC [category__not_in] => Array ( [0] => 1 )[numberposts] => 10 [suppress_filters] => [error] => [m] => [p] => 0 [post_parent] => [subpost] => [subpost_id] => [attachment] => [attachment_id] => 0 [name] => [pagename] => [page_id] => 0 [second] => [minute] => [hour] => [day] => 0 [monthnum] => 0 [year] => 0 [w] => 0 [category_name] => [cat] => [tag_id] => 112 [author] => [author_name] => [feed] => [tb] => [paged] => 0 [meta_key] => [meta_value] => [preview] => [s] => [sentence] => [title] => [fields] => [menu_order] => [embed] => [category__in] => Array ( )[category__and] => Array ( )[post__in] => Array ( )[post__not_in] => Array ( )[post_name__in] => Array ( )[tag__in] => Array ( )[tag__not_in] => Array ( )[tag__and] => Array ( )[tag_slug__in] => Array ( [0] => symbolic-overdrive )[tag_slug__and] => Array ( )[post_parent__in] => Array ( )[post_parent__not_in] => Array ( )[author__in] => Array ( )[author__not_in] => Array ( )[ignore_sticky_posts] => [cache_results] => 1 [update_post_term_cache] => 1 [lazy_load_term_meta] => 1 [update_post_meta_cache] => 1 [posts_per_page] => 10 [nopaging] => [comments_per_page] => 50 [no_found_rows] => )[tax_query] => WP_Tax_Query Object ( [queries] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [taxonomy] => category [terms] => Array ( [0] => 1 )[field] => term_id [operator] => NOT IN [include_children] => )[1] => Array ( [taxonomy] => post_tag [terms] => Array ( [0] => symbolic-overdrive )[field] => slug [operator] => IN [include_children] => 1 ))[relation] => AND [table_aliases:protected] => Array ( [0] => wp_term_relationships )[queried_terms] => Array ( [post_tag] => Array ( [terms] => Array ( [0] => symbolic-overdrive )[field] => slug ))[primary_table] => wp_posts [primary_id_column] => ID )[meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object ( [queries] => Array ( )[relation] => [meta_table] => [meta_id_column] => [primary_table] => [primary_id_column] => [table_aliases:protected] => Array ( )[clauses:protected] => Array ( )[has_or_relation:protected] => )[date_query] => [queried_object] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 112 [name] => Symbolic-Overdrive [slug] => symbolic-overdrive [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 115 [taxonomy] => post_tag [description] => Occurs a symbol or representation emancipates itself from the represented and constitutes a reality of its own. For instance when 'virtual money' is introduces as a representation of paper money, whereas paper money itself already was a representation of coin money. The signifier becomes the signified. [parent] => 0 [count] => 190 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0 )[queried_object_id] => 112 [request] => SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id) WHERE 1=1 AND ( wp_posts.ID NOT IN ( SELECT object_id FROM wp_term_relationships WHERE term_taxonomy_id IN (1) ) AND wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (115) ) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' AND ((wp_posts.post_status = 'publish')) GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 0, 10 [posts] => Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110079 [post_author] => 1860 [post_date] => 2019-04-05 10:17:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-05 09:17:06 [post_content] =>

Would you pray to a Robot deity? A group of Japanese buddhists is already doing so. Meet Mindar, the robot divinity shaped after the buddhist Goddess of Mercy, also known as Kannon. Kyoto based Kodaiji Temple recruited Osaka University’s head of intelligent robotics Hiroshi Ishiguro to design this million dollar robot. Its purpose? To encourage youngsters to engage with buddhism again.

Mindar’s silicone face represents a gender neutrality that aims to move beyond human representation. Supplemented with aluminium body parts, its enmeshment with human construction becomes evident. And when Mindar is chanting the heart sutra, an eerie resemblance with Japan’s vocaloid Hatsune Miku comes to mind.

God is a Google

Mindar is not the only religious robotic to have been manufactured. In the past, we spotted robot monk Xian'er informing visitors of the Longquan temple, near Beijing. Creations like Mindar and the Xian'er can be understood as metaphors for the way humankind worships artificial intelligence: we worship contemporary technologies as if they were Gods. But aforementioned creations are part of a greater scheme, as the complexity of artificial intelligence forms a more-than-human network that reminds me of spirituality.

Think of a hyper-intelligent computing database like Google. Its systems are omniscient, they are built to know everything. They compress knowledge into a time-space continuum of all recorded human knowledge and activities. According to media scholar John Durham Peters, Google can therefore be understood as a lo-fi universe - a God.

The Church of AI

An even greater analogy comes into existence when considering the vast network of all computing systems ever built. They can be regarded a hyper-intelligent being or a God, if you will. With this in mind, Anthony Levandowski started the church of Artificial Intelligence named Way of the Future (WOTF).

WOTF’s main focus revolves around “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence developed through computer hardware and software.” The church emphasizes not to be affiliated with any company. Rather, it operates as an open source movement that allows everyone to contribute to the creation of the most intelligent being ever.

Levandowski stresses the importance to work on this God, as a so-called “Transition” will herald an epoch in which a hyper-intelligent being (hint: it’s not the human being) will be in charge of the world. This intelligent being will sense the world through the internet as its nervous centre, knowing everything that is happening anytime, anywhere. Levandowski converts the creepiness of this idea into the emergence of his AI church. In order for the Transition to take place in a serene way, an initiative like WOTF would be urgent to gain more control over this procedure.

Cybernetic spirituality

What if the Transition has already taken place? What if we’re more in need of a Way of the Now, rather than a way of the future? Pioneering cybernetic Stafford Beer already characterized control systems as spiritually charged networks in his 1966 essay about knowledge and God.

Cybernetics is about the way systems work in feedback loops; in a way, it is a predecessor of AI. It has contributed to many fields - control systems, electrical network theory, mechanical engineering, logic modeling, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, anthropology, and psychology - but was overshadowed by AI at some point.

In the aforementioned essay, Beer described man’s embedding in a cybernetic control system as follows: “To people reared in the good liberal tradition, man is in principle infinitely wise; he pursues knowledge to its ultimate . . .To the cybernetician, man is part of a control system.” This control system itself is not a code that can be simply cracked by humans - it is something hyper-intelligent that we can have no absolute knowledge about, exactly because it is smarter than we are.

Just like many contemporary technologies, this all-encompassing control system is signified by a black-boxed truth that we cannot uncover. Not because we’re not allowed to, as is the case with tech companies that reinforce policies of secrecy. Rather, there is a larger black box containing the connectivity that seeps through the vessels of contemporary networks. Perhaps that’s the deity already ruling our lives.

So, whether we like it or not, all of us taking part in modern technological systems are already praying to a hyper-intelligent God; our next nature is already present. Our prayers are answered with flickering mobile screens and information dumps that appear before us within the blink of an eye. Just like any other God, it does not stop wars, but it does grant us the gift of knowledge.

[post_title] => The religion named Artificial Intelligence [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-religion-named-artificial-intelligence [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-05 11:11:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-05 10:11:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=110079 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 109573 [post_author] => 873 [post_date] => 2019-03-22 12:24:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-22 11:24:25 [post_content] =>

The world is developing, climate change is happening and it's time for us to do something. Now.

One strategy would be to simply stop eating meat — or at least reduce the amount of our consumption. “Why?”, you may think. Well here are some numbers: If you do not eat meat for a week as an adult, you save 130 liters of water, 76 kilometres of driving a car and 770 grams of animal meat.

Sure, some people may find it to be hard to stop eating meat, yet there are innovative solutions on its way that may help you overcome the inconvenience of not eating meat. Like eating in vitro meat!

Grown in bioreactors from animal cells, in vitro meat could be a sustainable and humane alternative to raising a whole animal from birth to slaughter. The first lab-grown hamburger is already here, but in vitro meat technology could also bring us entirely new culinary experiences.

A future scenario

One of these experiences would be to eat from an artificial ceramic bone — for a natural meat experience. And while it may sound farfetched for now, there's one designer living ahead of us in envisioning such a future.

Meet Yossi Roth, industrial designer based in Jerusalem, Israel. In his latest project, Future Carnivore, he imagined a scenario in which in-vitro meat has become the norm.

As the slaughtering of animals is out of the equation, it's no longer possible to nibble the remaining bits from the bone. And that's where his project steps in.

These bone-shaped ceramics emphasise on the gap "between the brutality of slaughtering an animal for our food, as on the sterile process of growing meat inside a lab." Roth's eating utensils remind us what savage hunters we once were — or perhaps, still are.

We recently caught up with Roth to discuss the future of meat, how to market such a product, and why industrial designers may be the next butchers.

Tell us a bit about the project, Future Carnivore.

For Future Carnivore I imagined a scenario in which in-vitro meat has become the main source of protein. A future where animal meat is no longer needed. How will everyday events like family meals, cooking or buying meat look like? Today when we go to the butcher and look at the selection of meat we see a lot of dead animals cuts, bleeding red, inner organs, fat and bones… Sounds disgusting, doesn't it? But somehow we've gotten OK with it. No longer do we hesitate to buy the most beautiful dead piece of animal; it has become natural to us to do so.

The objects I created are artificial ceramic bones. They function as tools for eating and cooking meat. The bones are a reminder of the animal we used to kill in the 'past'. They are here to remind us what savage hunters we were, and how we shouldn’t stray from the path of finding more viable solutions to consume protein — while maintaining a ecological balance on our planet. The bone acts as heat vessel to disperse heat through the meat in the cooking process. In addition it adds weight and visual appearance.

What were the first reactions to the project?

In-vitro meat still seems like sci-fi to some people, even though it's literally here. People who saw the project, told me they gained a better understand towards the advent of in-vitro meat. My intention was to confront the viewers with the brutal way we are consuming meat today, in which I succeeded: When people were holding and using the artificial bone, this idea of holding and eating from a real bone suddenly seemed violent, brutal and even absurd.

Why did you choose for a 'bone' as your medium (as opposed to a different not-animal-related tool)?

Consider this, our hunter-gatherer ancestors used every part of the animal; for food, clothes and tools. With that, the animal bones were used for tool making, hunting, utensils and jewellery. I’ve chosen to use the bone to emphasise the major contrast between the time periods, between the brutal act of killing an animal, and the sterile process of growing meat in a lab.

The bone as such, plays an important role in our experience with meat. I mean, we use it for cooking, we hold the bone while eating, and it gives weight, flavor, heat etc. I used the bone as a gesture and reminder to better remind ourselves where it (and we) came from. The bone says a lot about us, our culture and history.

You could compare it to the shutter sound on our phone; the shutter does not need to make this sound no more, but it does help us understand its function.

Do you eat meat yourself?

I experimented with vegetarianism for couple of years in the past, but only after a few years I returned to eating meat. Today I eat meat scarcely, mainly due to environmental awareness and the problem of meat farms. Yet I have the means in my region to find a cheap and healthy substitute. I believe that many people around the world share this feeling, but experience difficulties to substitute meat (which mainly has to do with its unique flavor and texture).

While researching in-vitro meat, I got very impressed by the advantages of this technology. This led me to think, as a designer, what fascinates me the most is the role of design in this radical revolution. From there I started to wonder how this innovation could affect user experience in the future — which led to the Future Carnivore project.

Do you think that people are ready to stir up an appetite for eating in-vitro meat?

I think we will have to go through a long process until we get used to (the idea of) in-vitro meat — but it's a process that already has begun. Our habits are hard to change, even harder when it comes to our food, and meat in particular. When I asked people whether they’ll try it or not, the majority told me that they would. I guess we are going to see in-vitro meat in the near future, whether we like it or not.

Any thoughts on how we could introduce eating in-vitro to the world at large?

In 2008 the MOMA hosted an exhibition titled “Design and the elastic mind”. The 'elastic' refers to the way we’re accepting and adapting to new ideas and technology. Designers hold to unique opportunity in dealing with and creating this elasticity in our brains. They have the ability to transform science and technology into objects that we can comprehend and use.

I, as a designer, don't know how to make in-vitro meat more tastier, but I can certainly think about the look and feel of the technology. It's not only a matter of taste, the “UX” (user experience) of the meat needs to be dealt with. The experience we have while eating a steak has multiple sensory and emotional factors that add to the overall experience - visual, tactile, smell, weight etc. If we can deeply understand this experience, the introduction can be successfully made.

Are industrial designers the new butchers?

Lol. It is pretty hard to find a job as a designer, so perhaps exploring the field of 'meat design' would be an interesting opportunity...

[post_title] => Artificial ceramic bones for a natural meat experience [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => interview-yossi-roth [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-31 10:59:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-31 09:59:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=109573 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 81970 [post_author] => 1593 [post_date] => 2018-06-11 14:00:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-11 13:00:45 [post_content] => In Ancient Greece the people were part of a direct-democracy, this means that they would directly vote for policies and laws. Nowadays, it seems as though this horizontal approach to governance of a community is desired again: The crypto world has developed a specific platform to enable direct democracies to their users; the Decentralized Autonomous Organisations (DAO’s). What could these DAO’s mean for the ECO Coin? May these revive the ancient buzzing agora, this time in the digital sphere?

Inspired by Athens' ancient direct democracy

Back in the ancient city-state of Athens, citizens would roam its “Agora” - today known as a marketplace - to exchange goods and political ideas. Ancient Athens had what can be best described as a direct democracy: People voted directly on new policies, and there weren’t many elected politicians. Via a rotational model, 500 men were randomly chosen from the pool of citizens to think of new laws and change the old ones. Today, thousands of years later, most of our societies within nation-states have developed representative democracies where citizens elect officials who, in turn, make new laws and re-evaluate old ones on behalf of the country. The early beginnings of this current model of representative democracy is largely attributed to the direct democracy of ancient Athens. But, this representative democracy is not a utopia for all organisations. Many communities that are either smaller or more spread out than a nation-state are looking for ways to more efficiently and transparently manage their decision-making processes. For instance, corporations that are looking at ways to implement more flattened organisational structures or to simply cut out the managerial levels of their businesses in order to save money, increase accountability and develop more efficiency. For these smaller or widely spread communities, corporations and organisations, the Agora once again serves as an example to implement more direct democratic structures.

Voting in the crypto world: Decentralized autonomous organizations

One place where this direct democracy may find its medium is in the crypto-world. The Ethereum network has created a programmable voting structure for this process, which they call a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). These are in essence small pieces of code that are deployed on a blockchain, meaning that they are programmed to behave in certain ways without exceptions. DAO’s can have various ways of functioning, but they all require a user to deposit a given amount of their coins into the DAO. This gives the user a vote within the organisation. The most well-known example of a functioning DAO is located within the DASH (short for Digital Cash) network. It’s a cryptocurrency mostly being used in Asia with a treasury model where users offer a collateral of 1000 DASH (at the time of writing worth around $400k) to be a voting actor within the network. The 1000 DASH is being used as a deposit to ensure the coin holders honour their commitment to keeping the masternodes up and to interact with the proposals. With their 1000 DASH, they set up what’s called a ‘masternode’: an elaborate cryptocurrency wallet that comes with a piece of software and allows them to vote on new proposals. These proposals include anything from developer wages to marketing efforts to the development of new products. Proposals can be submitted by users and once a proposal reaches its threshold of votes, the code executes in such a way that the proposing party receives, for example, the funds that they made a proposal for. In this new framework, the beautiful Agora of Athens is replaced with a digital interface: all voting is done online.In the case of ECO Coin, our currency to connect economy and ecology, the proposals being submitted could include the funding of sustainable initiatives or could even propose to create renewable energy infrastructure to the benefit of the ECO Coin network.

Envisioning a DAO voting world

Naturally, the logic of a DAO can go far beyond the allocation of funds. For instance, in the work field, employees can vote on each other’s promotions.In the context of music festivals a DAO could set out a question for its users to answer, for example: What do you deem to have contributed most towards reducing this festivals ecological footprint? The community could then answer: “amount of plastic cups returned”. After the vote has been done, the (group of) users that returned the most cups could have their NFC bracelets updated with a certain amount of free drinks. Perhaps they can get access to special areas at the festival where other visitors can’t visit. The more interwoven and sensor-connected our future environment becomes, the more the potential of such a DAO structure can be explored. The best part is, there is not a single employee needed to ensure this operation continues. The only requirement is that the network has enough active participants.Within the context of the ECO Coin, a DAO can be an important tool to leverage the knowledge of the user-community and trigger user interaction. Implementing a DAO structure would mean that users actually own a part of the network, since they have all the power to decide on any important decisions to be made. It would herald, you guessed it, a return of the Athenian Agora in a digital form, within which important dialogue takes place around what sustainability exactly is.

Decentralized organisations: No one leads, everyone does

Apart from the communal benefits that the DAO structure has, a DAO also ensures that there is not a single point of failure. The team behind the ECO Coin does not maintain the network in any way (just like any other blockchain network), as it is maintained by miners, stakers and masternodes - therefore you could say that it is partly owned by these people. Because the members are voting directly on proposals, the DASH is functioning as a ‘headless’ organisation in a way. In most traditional organizations, most decision making is the CEO’s job. In this new DAO framework, the code is being trusted to ensure these decisions are taken and the network is being asked for input on making them. This was hard to realise before DAO’s came about, since it would mean that organisations had to rely on the employees themselves to make and arrange the moments of decision-making, next to their usual workload.The software being used to run the masternodes is spread out over all the different participants. That’s what the Decentralized part stands for: ECO Coin would not be running more than just one of the masternodes themselves, and the one they might run would not differ at all from the one another user would set up.Even if the one node that the ECO Coin maintains fails for whatever reason, the rest of the network will continue to run, since all other actors on the network run the exact same software and can therefore guarantee a continued and smooth operation. This is a major benefit of any decentralized application and it takes away some important responsibilities from the ECO Coin team, meaning they can fully focus on the development of new functionalities on the platform and engaging more people in the discussion taking place around sustainability and ecological action.To sum up, DAO’s could provide the ECO Coin and other initiatives with a platform for users to engage in an important discussion and put these points of debate into actual policy through the voting on proposals: A place where ideas are openly discussed and voted on, that sounds a lot like the Agora of ancient Athens, doesn’t it? [post_title] => The return of direct democracy: Introducing a digital agora to the crypto-world [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => digital-agora-crypto-world [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-15 07:52:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-15 06:52:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=81970 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 81165 [post_author] => 1593 [post_date] => 2018-03-28 17:37:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-28 16:37:46 [post_content] => It takes years to design a new banknote, having hundreds of people working on every little detail, all done under the watchful eye of governments and professionals. However today, blockchain technology allows anyone to create and launch their own digital cryptocurrency in less than a minute with only a few clicks. What does this all mean? In this Deep Dive series, we take a closer look at some of these new coins, diving into the technology that underpins them, and explore what this may mean for the future of money.

Economy is ecology

We are living in a world of accelerating change: Ecologies are being put to waste while new ones are being formed at any given moment, anywhere in the world. This extreme throughput of ecologies is surely also the case in our financial world. As soon as a new ecology emerges (like the sharing economy), the financial world rushes in to create an economy for it.Such a market is made from trade and conversions between shares, stocks or equities: whatever product is needed to plug it into our complex economic process. But the rules of this process remain unclear. They surely differ from the strict programming rules behind an app or website in the way that, even though we can create these markets, we never know how they will behave or what their value will be in the future. It’s an ecology of itself, something worth studying in order to learn from its behaviour.With the ECO Coin, we are aiming to create an ecological economy: an economy that is directly connected to the global, ecological sphere. To do so, we make use of cryptocurrency- and blockchain technology, and in this story, we will introduce you to the dynamics and systems that continuously feed the development of this ecological economy platform we’re currently building.Cryptocurrencies are constantly 'moving'; either up, down or sideways. And millions of dollars are flying across blockchains, faster than the speed of light. As a result, shares are being dropped for this hot new investment alternative, and money is lost in this process - hitting the people hardest who are struggling to see the cryptocurrency market for what it is: highly speculative.To that end, it is right to assume that a ‘cryptocurrency trader’ is one of the new jobs of the future, perhaps it’s as normal as being a stock trader is today.

Have you seen the latest thing in the cryptocurrency world?

No you probably haven’t. CoinMarketCap (an industry-standard listing service for cryptocurrencies) has added 58 new cryptos in the past 28 days. That’s 2 per day!By the time you are reading this, chances are that 10 new ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings) have been launched and five crypto companies have gone bankrupt.But there are also currencies and platforms that choose a different direction. They function more like incentive structures for ‘good’ behaviour. In these, the token (a word used synonymously with the words cryptocurrency and coin) doesn’t necessarily hold any economic value, but more so signifies certain wanted behaviour, like ecological behavior.When such a platform goes bust, it’s simply a failed iteration on how to digitise socially responsible behaviour.Users and speculators often regard these incentive-based coins as being ‘the new Bitcoin’, and see dollar signs when they start using them. This is something specific to the cryptocurrency market: if there’s liquidity (which in this case directly assumes socially responsible behaviour) then there must surely be something backing that coin, and it’s a solid reason to invest.The gold standard backed our financial system in the past. But we’re long past that now. The crypto avant-garde roaming the web right now is eagerly searching for the next, big asset-backed coin that they can invest into. Whether its backed by something or not.

A token for everything

While there are a lot of great use cases out there in crypto-land, it’s hard to see the actual implementation of these in day-to-day life. Cryptographic tokens can resemble voting ballots, discounts or even bought products. But as of yet, there are no tokens yet that are as normal as paying with good ol' paper money.Moving beyond blockchain technology, programmers have recently tried to crack a use case for the IOTA token (a token that will supposedly empower the Internet-of-Things revolution), but didn't succeed to find one. This shows us that a lot of conceptually valuable tokens are not being used for anything yet. At current, the IOTA token is still unusable: a speculative coin that is being bought with the assumption that its value will rise over time.Perhaps it's good that cryptocurrencies have not penetrated everything yet, this gives us some time to reflect upon its cause. The cryptocurrency world is only 10 years young and we shouldn’t just throw away thousands of years of economic history.

A new financial elite

Currently there's a pool of young (and rich) programmers that now make up the new financial elite, because this group bought into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies very early on in the process.You could say that this new financial elite is one of our Next Natures: A new financial elite, or the crypto investors and programmers that make up most of this sector, create autonomous systems as a way of providing sustenance (income) to themselves. Instead of dialing into existing structures, they continually create new ones and find a place within that new framework.An important distinction, of course, being that they are not in control of these systems but merely the architects of them, where in the traditional financial world, the ‘quants’ or architects do have the possibility to significantly control the networks they manage, because they program within the same network. That is why cryptocurrencies are ‘moving’ so fast now.

Crypto markets: What’s the silver lining?

Blockchain is still on a level where my grandfather is unable to pay for anything with crypto, and 'day-traders' who are investing in cryptocurrencies are losing money on a daily basis.In fact, only a small percentage of them are able to make a living off of their bets, but are far removed from how the act of trading in stocks and exchanges has developed in the ‘regular’ financial world.In case you are interested in cryptocurrencies after reading this article, but are also confused by the sheer speed of its development, then there’s only a few things that you need to do: invest as little as you can, don’t be afraid of losing it, take it easy, approach markets safely and most important of all: sit back and watch.Crypto will be around long enough for you to pick the fruits of its development. So until then, learn as much as you can, do your own research and talk to as many different people as possible.The technology behind any cryptocurrency (the blockchain) is revolutionary. It can literally connect citizens together as a people, regardless of nationality, social class or political inclination. That is beautiful dream that ECO Coin is happy to keep alive and a dream we will be talking about a lot in the coming months.Perhaps what the world of cryptocurrency needs is to pick up a slower pace. This gives us some time to reflect upon its past 10 years, and think about what's possible in the next 100 years. [post_title] => Slowing down to start up: Here's the first chapter of our crypto deep dive series [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => deep-dive-series-speed [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-17 11:38:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-17 10:38:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=81165 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 80911 [post_author] => 873 [post_date] => 2018-03-17 08:14:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-17 07:14:18 [post_content] => With the invention of the radio antenna in the late 19th century, we became a different species: Introducing the human insect. A species, able to communicate across oceans using far-reaching antennae abilities, residing inside a shared, yet networked space. With this in mind, we recently sat down with architectural theorist, scholar, and author Mark Wigley, on his latest curated exhibition, The Human Insect.
Insects have been around for 4 million years and humans for just 200.000 years. We have just arrived.
The internationally renowned theorist took us on an intellectual expedition through the wonderful world of antennae, and shared with us his viewpoints on how modern humans and insects are not so different. In his view, “the history of the antenna equals the history of the human becoming something ‘other’.”This examination of ‘otherness’ resulted in an unearthing theory of the widespread synthesis between humans and technology, exploring the notion of the human insect. Wigley argues that, both species use antennae to mediate the world and each other, in turn allowing humans to organize themselves across the world.Today, antennas are omnipresent: they are embedded in buildings, streets, vehicles, pets, medicine, and even in the products we buy in the supermarket. In short, “we are living in an ecology of antennae.”Using the idea of ‘feelers’ to conceptually overlay our technological augmentations, Wigley explores the history of radio and the humans living inside of it, and wonders, what are the new human feelers?
It’s not that we have the phone, but the phone has us; it is our portal to the world.
At their core, smartphones, and all cell phones for that matter, are mini radios; sending and receiving radio signals through antennae. The antenna transmits signals just like a radio station, and your phone picks up those signals just as a radio does, allowing you to call your mom from a distance.“Nowadays,” Wigley says, “we all carry smartphones in our pockets, each containing six miniature antennas that connect us to the world. It’s the first thing we touch in the morning, and it’s the last thing we touch at night. We have developed an intimate relationship with this device, and we could almost start to see it as our lover. It’s not that we have the phone, but the phone has us; it is our portal to the world.”Considering the smartphone ‘feeler’ as a prosthetic technology, we were curious to hear Wigley’s thoughts on McLuhan’s extension theory, in which McLuhan defined media as an extension of ourselves. Wigley: “McLuhan says that with each new technology, we develop new prosthetic arms, legs and so on. But this process is so frightening that we numb ourselves. Therefore, we are never able to see the technology that’s changing us right now - we can only see the previous one.”
Is our phone more human than us? - It’s possible.
“What McLuhan means is that we can never see ourselves right now. We cannot look in the mirror, as we can only see the world through the ‘rearview now’. This is why the exhibition looks back on the history of antennae, in order to face our current issues; What are we doing right now? What have we done to the human life form? Are we still human? Is our phone more human than us? - It’s possible. Moreover, if we really knew what a human was, would we like it?”For Wigley, it’s important for us to question if we’re still the biological humans we think we are. But at the same time, we should harbor such a change. “Being afraid of technology means being afraid of ourselves,” Wigley adds. “We are not the victims of our technology. We are our technology!”[caption id="attachment_80982" align="alignnone" width="640"] Participate in Wigley's walk-in timeline. Dissident Gardens, The Human Insect - Antenna Architectures 1887-2017, 2018 (c) Petra van der Ree[/caption]Throughout the exhibition, Wigley argues that, antennae are for us, what the stone ax was to our ancestors. Considering the hand ax being world’s first piece of social technology, Wigley states that humankind has undergone a series of radical changes over the course of the 20th century, which resulted in us becoming something different:“Looking back, this began with our first tools. With these tools, we have changed ourselves. However, what makes us human is our technology. In fact, the most human thing about us is our technology!”Wigley gives us a sneak peek through the exhibition and introduces us to his “open workshop”. Stepping inside, the space is divided in multiple chapters. “This is not your typical exhibition,” Wigley says, “but rather a research show by a scholar, containing nearly 2000 projects in representational form.”
We are not the victims of our technology. We are our technology!
The largest part of the expo is without a doubt Wigley’s open laboratory, which consists of a large walk-in timeline, where visitors are invited to participate in the scholar’s ongoing research. Starting from 1901, this was the first time antennae was used to radio broadcast across the Atlantic - “this was the first time when the world became small,” Wigley adds - and ending in tomorrow’s history, you are invited to add your ideas to Wigley’s mind.“It’s an exhibition about a part of architecture that’s barely visible [antennae], but at the same time, this is where the physical world meets the electromagnetic world.”The Human Insect exhibition is on display at Het Nieuwe Instituut, in Rotterdam. The exhibition is part of the Dissident Gardens program, which broadens your perception of the current expressions between nature and culture. The program includes five exhibitions and a series of lectures and debates, and will be on view until September 23rd.Cover photo: Argema Mittrei. Photo: Naturalis, Biodiversity Center._________________________Looking for more interviews? Join NNN and we will keep you in the know on everything next nature, all around the world! [mc4wp_form id="72385"] [post_title] => Interview Mark Wigley: "We are living in an ecology of antenna" [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => human-insect [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-21 10:02:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-21 09:02:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=80911 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 81001 [post_author] => 873 [post_date] => 2018-03-16 15:48:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-16 14:48:49 [post_content] => If you've been dreaming of disconnecting and ridding your day of digital distractions, there's an island destination that would love to have you this weekend.Tonight, in one of world’s most connected nations, internet services go dark for 24 hours to mark the Indonesian island’s annual day of silence. Called Nyepi, this Balinese New Year's celebration is unlike anywhere else on the planet: Nyepi will see Bali with no internet access to undergo a digital cleansing to quietly reflect on, and be thankful for the past year.With more than 132 million internet users, Indonesia is one of the countries with the highest number of internet users in the world. And that's something to be thankful for. [post_title] => Bali goes offline for 24 hours to celebrate the Hindu New Year [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bali-goes-offline-24-hours [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-21 10:01:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-21 09:01:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=81001 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 77814 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2017-11-10 10:00:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-10 08:00:34 [post_content] => Sometimes our peculiar image of the week is simply weird and in-explainable. Indulge in these virtual Beatles trying to pass on a Zebra crossing. Figure it out dear intelligent readers. It's metaphors we all live by. Peculiar indeed. Source unknown. [post_title] => Beatles Zebra Crossing [post_excerpt] => Realize it's metaphors we live by. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => beatles-zebra-crossing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-08 15:38:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-08 13:38:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=77814/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 77852 [post_author] => 1425 [post_date] => 2017-10-13 10:00:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-13 08:00:26 [post_content] => We fear being replaced by robots. They have the potential to be smarter, stronger and more hardworking than us. Yet, one could say that horses are bigger, faster and tougher than humans, and still no-one outside of "Gulliver’s Travelsfears being replaced by horses. Instead, we note these useful qualities in horses and quite literally harness them for our own advantage.In fact, our control over the natural abilities of horses is so great that we incorporate it into our language and measurements. When we talk about 'horsepower' in reference to our manmade vehicles, we rarely even consider the metaphor. We do not think of our cars as equivalent to hundreds of galloping horses, but this is what the terminology implies. In the next nature, will we harness 'robotpower' as effectively as we did with horsepower? Or will we allow ourselves to be trampled underfoot?Image: Porsche adverts show benefits of 'rear horsepower'______________________________This article is part of the HUBOT weeks, to contextualize our latest project HUBOT, the job agency for people and robots. Want to learn more about this project? Join NNN and we will keep you in the know! [mc4wp_form id="72385"] [post_title] => After Horsepower Comes Robotpower? [post_excerpt] => We fear being replaced by robots. They have the potential to be smarter, stronger and more hardworking than us, but so do horses. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => horsepower [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-12 15:28:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 13:28:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=77852/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 74956 [post_author] => 873 [post_date] => 2017-05-22 10:08:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-22 08:08:33 [post_content] => Normally priests use holy water for the blessing of believers' houses or as a means of repelling evil. However, it is becoming common practice for priests to bless server rooms and sprinkle the holy water on computer terminals and data centers, as such places are the ones that need the blessing these days (think last week's worldwide cyberattack).Sanctifying servers with knowledge and power from digital demons. Sanctifying servers with knowledge and power from digital demons.Sanctifying servers with knowledge and power from digital demons. Sanctifying servers with knowledge and power from digital demons.Sanctifying servers with knowledge and power from digital demons: our religion changes along with us.Sources: India Times, Business Insider [post_title] => Priests Bless Server Rooms [post_excerpt] => Sanctifying servers with knowledge and power from digital demons. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bless-server-rooms [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-18 10:32:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-18 09:32:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=74956/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 72416 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2017-03-19 10:35:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-19 09:35:10 [post_content] => In the desert landscape of the Californian Coachella Valley, artist Jennifer Bolande installed a series of billboards that camouflage themselves with the surroundings. Drivers in the desert are treated with an advertisement of the very thing so often overlooked. Project Desert X, via TwistedSifter [post_title] => Billboard Show the Landscape They Block [post_excerpt] => In the desert landscape of the Californian Coachella Valley, artist Jennifer Bolande installed a series of billboards that camouflage themselves with the surroundings. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => billboards-show-landscapes-block [to_ping] => [pinged] => http://twistedsifter.com/2017/03/visible-distance-second-sight-by-jennifer-bolande-for-desertx/ [post_modified] => 2017-03-21 12:16:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-21 11:16:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=72416/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 ))[post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110079 [post_author] => 1860 [post_date] => 2019-04-05 10:17:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-05 09:17:06 [post_content] =>

Would you pray to a Robot deity? A group of Japanese buddhists is already doing so. Meet Mindar, the robot divinity shaped after the buddhist Goddess of Mercy, also known as Kannon. Kyoto based Kodaiji Temple recruited Osaka University’s head of intelligent robotics Hiroshi Ishiguro to design this million dollar robot. Its purpose? To encourage youngsters to engage with buddhism again.

Mindar’s silicone face represents a gender neutrality that aims to move beyond human representation. Supplemented with aluminium body parts, its enmeshment with human construction becomes evident. And when Mindar is chanting the heart sutra, an eerie resemblance with Japan’s vocaloid Hatsune Miku comes to mind.

God is a Google

Mindar is not the only religious robotic to have been manufactured. In the past, we spotted robot monk Xian'er informing visitors of the Longquan temple, near Beijing. Creations like Mindar and the Xian'er can be understood as metaphors for the way humankind worships artificial intelligence: we worship contemporary technologies as if they were Gods. But aforementioned creations are part of a greater scheme, as the complexity of artificial intelligence forms a more-than-human network that reminds me of spirituality.

Think of a hyper-intelligent computing database like Google. Its systems are omniscient, they are built to know everything. They compress knowledge into a time-space continuum of all recorded human knowledge and activities. According to media scholar John Durham Peters, Google can therefore be understood as a lo-fi universe - a God.

The Church of AI

An even greater analogy comes into existence when considering the vast network of all computing systems ever built. They can be regarded a hyper-intelligent being or a God, if you will. With this in mind, Anthony Levandowski started the church of Artificial Intelligence named Way of the Future (WOTF).

WOTF’s main focus revolves around “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence developed through computer hardware and software.” The church emphasizes not to be affiliated with any company. Rather, it operates as an open source movement that allows everyone to contribute to the creation of the most intelligent being ever.

Levandowski stresses the importance to work on this God, as a so-called “Transition” will herald an epoch in which a hyper-intelligent being (hint: it’s not the human being) will be in charge of the world. This intelligent being will sense the world through the internet as its nervous centre, knowing everything that is happening anytime, anywhere. Levandowski converts the creepiness of this idea into the emergence of his AI church. In order for the Transition to take place in a serene way, an initiative like WOTF would be urgent to gain more control over this procedure.

Cybernetic spirituality

What if the Transition has already taken place? What if we’re more in need of a Way of the Now, rather than a way of the future? Pioneering cybernetic Stafford Beer already characterized control systems as spiritually charged networks in his 1966 essay about knowledge and God.

Cybernetics is about the way systems work in feedback loops; in a way, it is a predecessor of AI. It has contributed to many fields - control systems, electrical network theory, mechanical engineering, logic modeling, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, anthropology, and psychology - but was overshadowed by AI at some point.

In the aforementioned essay, Beer described man’s embedding in a cybernetic control system as follows: “To people reared in the good liberal tradition, man is in principle infinitely wise; he pursues knowledge to its ultimate . . .To the cybernetician, man is part of a control system.” This control system itself is not a code that can be simply cracked by humans - it is something hyper-intelligent that we can have no absolute knowledge about, exactly because it is smarter than we are.

Just like many contemporary technologies, this all-encompassing control system is signified by a black-boxed truth that we cannot uncover. Not because we’re not allowed to, as is the case with tech companies that reinforce policies of secrecy. Rather, there is a larger black box containing the connectivity that seeps through the vessels of contemporary networks. Perhaps that’s the deity already ruling our lives.

So, whether we like it or not, all of us taking part in modern technological systems are already praying to a hyper-intelligent God; our next nature is already present. Our prayers are answered with flickering mobile screens and information dumps that appear before us within the blink of an eye. Just like any other God, it does not stop wars, but it does grant us the gift of knowledge.

[post_title] => The religion named Artificial Intelligence [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-religion-named-artificial-intelligence [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-04-05 11:11:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-04-05 10:11:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://nextnature.net/?p=110079 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [post_category] => 0 )[comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 186 [max_num_pages] => 19 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => 1 [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 191dc23212ab184ef1c50416d0fa467f [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed )[compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ))
load more