This week’s links and internet. Put together through a mixture of cut and paste and ifttt procedures.

Be kind. Be useful. It’s not complicated. Most other things are a bonus.

There are things after the jump. ↩



Has Artificial Intelligence Cracked the Voynich Manuscript’s Mysterious Code?
“An emotional investment in the Voynich manuscript offers little in the way of return. For hundreds of years, this 15th-century document full of indecipherable writing and cryptic illustrations has sat dark and inscrutable. Attempts to figure out its code tend to be swiftly debunked by the scholarly community, whether they’re as sensible-seeming as “It’s a woman’s health manual!” or as outlandish as “I think an alien did it.” Alan Turing and the Bletchley Park team’s attempts to decode it were unsuccessful. Now, at the University of Alberta, Canada, researchers have taken a new tack to try to illuminate the manuscript, named for 19th-century Polish bookseller Wilfrid Voynich. Where humans have failed, artificial intelligence is attempting to pick up the slack. It’s a predictably vexing development to medievalists and other experts.”

Illustrations show leaves, roots, and other flora. PUBLIC DOMAIN

In Haringey the people have taken over, not the hard left
“In many respects the HDV resembles the other big story of this week, Capita. The outsourcing multinational, now in deep financial trouble, has embedded itself in the British state: it runs GP services, hospital parking, the government’s food research agency. In the London borough of Barnet, which neighbours Haringey, the council has outsourced the vast bulk of its services to Capita. Ring your local library and the call is first directed to a Capita centre in Coventry. If you’re a council employee with a payroll query, that’s handled by Capita in Belfast. Residents have labelled Barnet “Capita-ville”. Until this week, Haringey was on the verge of giving the giant multinational Lendlease joint control over local housing, planning and regeneration strategies.”

Smart glasses are coming this year, and I’m not ready
“Roughly five years after the unveiling of Google Glass, it looks like hardware brands are getting close to bringing a consumer-friendly pair of smart glasses with an augmented reality display to the market.”

Cyclographic Transformations, Crystal Morphologies & The Paths of Mars’ Moons
“Selected tweets from Twitter:@MrPrudence combined with a few short posts taken from the Dataisnature Facebook page.”

The Color Printer: A Treatise on the Use of Colors – John Franklin Earhart [1892].
Interactive Musical Hexagons
“A two-dimensional spatial arrangement of the chromatic musical notes”

The female price of male pleasure
“They’ve worked in industries where their objectification and harassment was normalized, and chased love and sexual fulfillment despite painful conditions no one, especially not their doctors, took seriously.”

Mapping the Journeys of Syria’s Artists
“Last year, as I began to map where Syrian artists had gone, a sculptor friend of mine who is based in Berlin insisted that I speak to Khaled Barakeh, who was engaged in a similar but much more ambitious project of his own: the Syria Cultural Index, “an alternative map connecting the Syrian artistic community around the globe and showcasing their work to the world.” A global Yellow Pages that any curator or film director can use to find and hire Syrian talent, the index also connects artists to one another.”

Bitcoin’s Inconvenient Truth
“It’s hard to imagine Chia eclipsing Bitcoin. It’s one of more than 1,300 cryptocurrencies developed to suit different needs (there’s a cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar for use on eBay as well as a cryptocurrency to trade virtual items in video games). Some cryptocurrency experts, like Eric Voskuil, a former principal architect at Microsoft, wonder what’s to stop Chia farmers from buying thousands of cheap hard drives and running them 24 hours a day, burning electricity just like Bitcoin miners. That will only be an issue, Cohen says, if the currency Chia issues annually becomes worth more than a trillion dollars. “And, uh, it’s a little weird to criticize something by saying that it will start to encounter problems if it becomes a trillion-dollar-a-year industry,” Cohen says.”

The curse of the lobster man
“To be a leftist means to endorse history as science (Marx), to take the idea of critical and rationalist science seriously. Ultimately, I believe Tahir is right. Nothing is going to change in the public arena unless the left puts forward its own public intellectuals who are not afraid of science (broadly understood), but fully submerged in it. To use McKenzie Wark’s term, what we need is vulgar marxism (not to be confused with kitsch marxism that I have criticized in the past)—that is, a popular marxism i.e. vulgar in the positive sense of the people. We need vulgar leftists who can once more bridge the gap between science and egalitarian ideals, who can demonstrate that the ideas of Peterson and his ilk are not just ethically problematic but above all, are patently false on scientific and methodological grounds. Short of that, we are in every respect doomed.”

Colour Variation with the Instancer and Arnold
“Using Arnold, it’s extremely easy to add colour variations to particle/ MASH instances. This works in a similar way to the MASH Colour node, which is only available when using MASH in Repro mode (when the output is a mesh). When you’re working with instances, the job of colour variations is down to the renderer.”

Geometry of Intelligence — BIOGENIC
“I designed this for Ash Thorp’s “Edifice”. The intention was to show how a digital thought evolves, how AI becomes self aware and re-structures its physiology, constructs layers of digital consciousness, creating a tapestry, architecting a new law of physics.”

EDIFICE Short film from Ash Thorp
“Edifice is an experimental short film inspired by personal beliefs of who we are, where we come from, and where we are heading; it’s a journey from stardust to singularity. This purely cinematic film is intended to stimulate your mind and senses, while provoking further thought about our passage and presence in this world.”

Here’s Your Chance To Read This Year’s Oscar-Nominated Screenplays
“As you watch an Academy Award-nominated film, you can clearly notice the acting, editing, set design, and a variety of other categories that end up getting nominated. However, as you watch the film, there’s one thing you can’t judge – the screenplay. Sure, you can listen to dialogue, and understand the story’s structure, but for the most part, the screenplay is a mystery.”

Hand-drawn how-to instructions using zero words
“Inspired by Dear Data, the data drawing pen pal project, designers Josefina Bravo, Sol Kawage, and Tomoko Furukawa use the postcard medium to send each other weekly how-to instructions for a wide variety of everyday things. The only rule is that they can’t use words. As of writing this, they’re on week 37, which covered how to roll maki, how to eat an apple like a boss, and how to make mayonnaise.”

Postmodernism Did Not Take Place: On Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life – Viewpoint Magazine
“His blus­tery objec­tion to the gen­der-neu­tral sin­gu­lar “they” puts Peter­son him­self in oppo­si­tion to “West­ern civ­i­liza­tion,” giv­en that the con­struc­tion appears through­out canon­i­cal Eng­lish lit­er­a­ture, includ­ing the works of William Shake­speare and Jane Austen. Peterson’s fix­a­tion on the chem­i­cal foun­da­tions of bio­log­i­cal sex and mea­sure­ments of cog­ni­tive intel­li­gence is not prag­mat­ic, but meta­phys­i­cal, attempt­ing to extract essen­tial qual­i­ties from social behav­ior.”

Directing Daniel Day-Lewis: ‘I know. I’ve killed off the world’s greatest actor’
“There is no Hallmark card or self-help brochure that says “so you’ve ruined Daniel Day-Lewis”, but if there were I’d be handing one over to Paul Thomas Anderson right about now. The American auteur slinks down into his chair, and half-jokingly – though only half, mind – hides behind his fingers.”

Gav Strange shares his thoughts on why we never have enough time
“In his latest column for Inkygoodness, designer Gav Strange says we need to take responsibility for how we spend our time – or risk wasting it.”

The Making of the Deep Ocean Episode in ‘Blue Planet II’
“The producer Orla Doherty talks about malfunctioning submersibles, toxic lakes at the bottom of the ocean, and being literally out of her depth.”

Space in Videos – 2016 – 01 – Best view yet of global gravity
“ESA’s GOCE mission has delivered the most accurate model of the ‘geoid’ ever produced, which will be used to further our understanding of how Earth works. The colours in the image represent deviations in height (–100 m to +100 m) from an ideal geoid. The blue colours represent low values and the reds/yellows represent high values. The geoid is the surface of an ideal global ocean in the absence of tides and currents, shaped only by gravity. It is a crucial reference for measuring ocean circulation, sea-level change and ice dynamics – all affected by climate change.”

Don’t feed the troll
“It’s so important a lesson, learned so many times by so many people, through so much pain, that it has been codified into a mantra, so we never forget. Don’t feed the troll. Don’t feed the troll. Don’t feed the troll. Don’t feed the troll. Don’t feed the troll. Etc.”

Him Too? How Arthur Miller Smeared Marilyn Monroe and Invented the Myth of the Male Witch Hunt.
“If the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements were actual witch hunts, the accused might be jailed in basement cells and kept from physical contact with other prisoners. They might be stripped naked and examined for evidence of third nipples. If they had moles, or physical “abnormalities” they would be pricked with needles. They might be tied to chairs and submerged in water, to see if they could float. They might be put on trial. They might be executed, in an American trial by hanging, not burning, as is more usual in the popular imagination. The accused would not be witches. None of them. Without exception, they would be innocent.”

Walking While Black
“My love for walking started in childhood, out of necessity. No thanks to a stepfather with heavy hands, I found every reason to stay away from home and was usually out—at some friend’s house or at a street party where no minor should be—until it was too late to get public transportation. So I walked.”

The Cursed Paintings of Zdzisław Beksiński
“During his long career, Zdzisław Beksiński worked in many fields of art: sculpture, photography, graphic art, drawing, and last but not least, painting. All of Beksiński’s paintings are untitled – he wanted to avoid any metaphorical interpretation of his paintings. As an artist, Beksiński was fascinated with death, decay and darkness. But those weren’t his only fascinations. He was also known his interest in eroticism, abstractionism and Eastern mysticism. From the mid-60s onwards, he was very popular in Poland. In the 80s and 90s Beksiński’s paintings were exhibited abroad, amongst others in France and Japan, and he became an internationally recognized artist. His style is sometimes compared to that of Hans Giger, the Swiss painter who designed the extra-terrestrial creatures for the famous 1979 film Alien.”

Stewart Lee on the ‘nerveracking thrill’ of being a fan of the Fall
“Tributes to artists often end up being more about the person writing them, but MES provided me with an alternative education, looping me into Camus, and Arthur Machen, and William Blake, and Can, and dub and old garage punk and rock’n’roll. I saw the Fall 52 times and without MES my life would have been utterly different and nowhere near as much fun. What on earth are we all going to do with ourselves now?”

Top academy schools sound alarm as cash crisis looms
“The revelation will worry Tory MPs, many of whom blame pressures on school budgets for the party’s disastrous election result last year. It comes with the prime minister already under intense pressure over NHS funding and facing internal criticism over a lack of focus on domestic issues.”

How to write a comic book by Greg Pak
“1. Outline the whole thing. 2. Break the outline down into pages. 3. Write from the beginning, but if I get stuck, skip around and write the easier scenes first. 4…”

A Lover’s Discourse | Bright Wall/Dark Room
“On their first date, Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) sponges the makeup from Alma’s (Vicky Krieps) lips. He wants to see what he’s looking at. This is no ordinary seduction, for though he persuades the young waitress to go back to his country house and to remove her dress, he desires only to remake her. He prompts Alma to jump onto a table so he can slink a muslin sample onto her body. His sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) arrives, surprised to find this new guest, but somehow also unsurprised, and gamely opens her notebook. She underscores Alma’s name and takes down the young woman’s measurements. When Reynolds informs Alma she has no breasts, she sputters an apology. Reynolds smiles. “I can give you breasts. If I want to.” He is creating a second skin—and what he loves is what he’s created.”


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