Luke Sturgeon

  1. Hypothetical Chemical Compounds

    April 23, 2015

    This category contains chemical compounds that exist in theory, but are not yet known to have been synthesized or isolated.

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    Azinamine is a theoretical chemical compound in which azide functional groups (—N3) are attached to nitrogen. The simple ones based on ammonia are unknown, but would be H2N—N3, HN(N3)2 and N(N3)3. The last would be a high energy allotrope of nitrogen.

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    Benzotriyne or cyclo[6]carbon is a hypothetical chemical compound, an allotrope of carbon with molecular formula C6. The molecule is a ring of six carbon atoms, connected either by alternating triple and single bonds or by double bonds.[1] It is, therefore, a potential member of the cyclo[n]carbon family. There have been a few attempts to synthesize benzotriyne, e.g. by pyrolysis of mellitic anhydride,[2] but without success (as of 2011).

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    Bromochlorofluoroiodomethane is a hypothetical haloalkane with all four stable halogen substituents present in it. This compound can be seen as a methane molecule, whose four hydrogen atoms are each replaced with a different halogen atom. As the mirror images of this molecule are not superimposable, the molecule has two enantiomers. As one of the simplest such molecules, it is often cited as the prototypical chiral compound.

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    Calcium bicarbonate, also called calcium hydrogen carbonate, has a chemical formula Ca(HCO3)2. The term does not refer to a known solid compound; it exists only in aqueous solution containing the calcium (Ca2+), bicarbonate (HCO3−), and carbonate (CO32−) ions, together with dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2). The relative concentrations of these carbon-containing species depend on the pH; bicarbonate predominates within the range 6.36-10.25 in fresh water.

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  2. Exotic Matter

    In physics, exotic matter is matter that somehow deviates from normal matter and has “exotic” properties.

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    ANTIMATTER

    The overwhelming consensus among physicists is that antimatter will attract both matter and antimatter at the same rate that matter attracts matter. Most methods for the creation of antimatter (specifically antihydrogen) result in high-energy particles and atoms of high kinetic energy, which are unsuitable for gravity-related study.

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    DARK MATTER

    Dark matter is a hypothetical kind of matter that cannot be seen with telescopes but accounts for most of the matter in the universe. The existence and properties of dark matter are inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter, radiation, and the large-scale structure of the universe. It has not been detected directly, making it one of the greatest mysteries in modern astrophysics.

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    NEGATIVE MASS

    Despite being inconsistent with the expected behavior of “normal” matter, negative mass is mathematically consistent and introduces no violation of conservation of momentum or energy. It is used in certain speculative theories, such as on the construction of wormholes.

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    IMAGINARY MASS

    A hypothetical particle with imaginary rest mass would always travel faster than the speed of light. Such particles are called tachyons. If the rest mass is imaginary this implies that the denominator is imaginary because the total energy is an observable and thus must be real. special relativity implies that tachyons, if they existed, could be used to communicate backwards in time.

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  3. Deleuze Reframed – Damian Sutton

    April 21, 2015

    deleuze

    The “Rhizome”

    The point here, as John Rajchman suggests, is not that creative practise cannot do philosophy, but that to do philosophy is ‘to fabricate concepts in resonance and interference with the arts’. Philosophy cannot do art (in being ‘applied’ to art as a theory) any more than art can do philosophy, but instead they have the capacity to raise new thoughts through the mutual contagion, ‘in which both art and thought come alive and discover their resonances with one another’.

    “How could movements of deterritorialisation and processes of deterritorialisation not be relative, always connected, caught up in one another? The orchid deterritorialises by forming an image, a teaching of a wasp; but the wasp reterritorialises on that image. The wasp is nevertheless deterritorialised, become a piece in the orchid’s reproductive apparatus. But it reterritorialises the orchid by transporting its pollen. Wasp and orchid, as heterogeneous elements, form a rhizome.” [deleuze quote?]

    Video games are social safety valves. They let people experiment with their identities, imagine ideal identities, or simply let off steam by breaking rules and destroying things they would usually have to respect. On the other hand, some critics of video games see this as a dangerous illusion that can lead to serious antisocial behaviour. More to the point, the idea that gamers deterritorialise their identity and become other people when immersed in the game is easily criticised.

    Examples of this type of rhizome are found in MMORGs such as EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, WarCraft and Ultima Online. When playing these games the gamers may never physically meet, but there may be thousands of online users involved simultaneously, interacting in the same virtual environment.

    We as subjects – as learners, users, viewers, consumers – are called into being by the systems within which we grow up, and which give us our ideology. No matter how independent we think we are, no matter how much we resist what we see as the cultural mainstream, we will eventually become part of it. We will eventuality become good little capitalists, because even the means of resistance involves consumption.

    Political empowerment comes not from the complete deconstruction of the apparatuses of ideology, but from an effort to realise the promises that their technologies make. This involves new connections and new types of social interaction, and also involves recognising their power before the state does, before capital does.

    An artwork must intervene in art as well as society, it must question the use of materials as well as the culture and situation of the work.


  4. Born Digital – John Palfrey

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    unlike most Digital Immigrants, Digital Natives live much of their lives online, without distinguishing between the online and the offline. Instead of thinking of their digital identity and their real-space identity as separate things, they just have an identity (with representations in two, or three, or more different spaces).

    Online friendships are based on many of the same things as traditional friendships – shared interests, frequent interaction – but they nonetheless have a very different tenor: They are often fleeting; they are easy to enter into and easy to leave, without so much as a goodbye; and they are also perhaps enduring in ways we have yet to understand.

    We too often overestimate the ways in which the online environment is different from real space, to our detriment.

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    They are connected to each other in terms of how they relate to information, how they relate to new technologies, and how they relate to one another.

    For a typical girl living in a wired society, the digital environment is simply an extension of the physical world.

    Digital Natives almost never distinguish between the online and offline versions of themselves. They establish and communicate their identities simultaneously … in digital space she can experiment with self-representation, sometimes in modest ways and sometimes dramatically.

    For digital immigrants, this is one of the greatest puzzles. What drives Digital Natives to post so much information about themselves in digital publics? Why do Digital Natives share all this information about themselves online?


  5. Connected – James H. Fowler

    connected

    You cannot opt out of the network entirely, but at the very least, you can try to be connected a little less. You can provide your own negative feedback. You can regulate your own contributions to the system that is regulating you. What’s needed for this, no doubt, is a kind of ironically distanced, self-conscious asceticism.

    A network is a self-generating, self-organising, self-sustaining system. It works through multiple feedback loops. These loops allow the system to monitor and modulate its own performance continually and thereby maintain a state of homeostatic equilibrium. At the same time, these feedback loops induce effects of interference, amplification, and resonance. And such effects permit the stem to grow, both in size and in complexity.

    The really important thing about dreaming is this: it is the most antisocial activity I ever engage in. Dreaming is the one experience that I must go through alone, that I cannot possible share with anyone else.

    We’re moving toward control societies that no longer operate by confirming people but through continuous control and instant communication [Deleuze 1995, 174]

    [on the new control society] is immanently self-organising; that is to say, it operates according to “just-in-time” cybernetic feedback mechanisms. There may well be more surveillance than ever, but this surveillance no longer leads to an archive of “permanent documentation” that doubles actual existence. Instead, the results of surveillance are immediately fed back into the system. Surveillance records do not merely record past behaviour, nor do they provide typological models to be applied to future behaviour. Rather, the accumulated data works to manipulate behaviour directly, in real time, in the immediate present. There is no longer any duality between data, on the one hand, and bodies to which those data would revere, on the other.

    Surveillance records are performative instead of constative; it is not what they say that matters, but what they do. Representation gives way to simulation, creation ex nihilo is displaced.

    The more cameras there are, the less crime there is for them to record. More and more video footage is gathered, but less and less ever happens on the tapes.

    The Internet and the World Wide Web are no longer places for pioneers to explore and stake their claims; they have been absorbed into the texture of our everyday life.

    “I will suppose therefore that not God, who is supremely good and the source of truth, but rather some malicious demon of the utmost power and cunning has employed all his energies in order to deceive me. I shall think that the sky, the air, the earth, colours, shapes, sounds and all external things are merely the delusion of dreams which he has devised to ensure my judgement. I shall consider myself as not having hands or eyes, or flesh, or blood, or senses, but as falsely believing that I have all these things” [Decartes Evil Genius, 15]

    Each time we extend ourselves technologically, some part of the real gives way to the virtual. This is why every cultural innovation is attended by an ambivalent sense of loss. And this is also why we tend to equate virtual with disembodied, even though it would be more accurate to use it as an equivalent for prosthetic.

    On the one hand, the world seems phoney, or unreal, precisely because so much of it is virtual. Things have been hollowed out, reduced to mere facades, replaced by simulacra of themselves. This is the America of shopping malls and theme parks and media spectacles, so powerfully described in the writings of Philip K. Dick and Jean Baudrillard.

    The problem with virtuality from this point of view, is that it is both too little and too much.

    Machine intelligence might well be qualitatively different from ours, as well as quantitively deeper and faster, yet ultimately, the differences between machine and human perspectives are cultural and political matters rather than metaphysical ones.

    Proximity is no longer determined by geographical location and by face-to-face meetings, but rather by global flows of money and information. The predominant form of human interaction in this space is networking.


  6. The Filter Bubble – Eli Pariser

    filter

    Google CEO Eric Schmidt enthuses that the product I’ve always wanted to build is Google code that will guess what I’m trying to type. Google Instant, which guesses what you’re searching for as you type and was rolled out in the fall of 2010, is just the start. Schmidt believes that what customers want is for Google to “tell them what they should be doing next”

    Personalistion could easily have a hand not only in who goes on a date with whom but in where they go and what they talk about. The algorithms that orchestrate our ads are starting to orchestrate our lives

    Three dynamics of the filter bubble.

    First, you’re alone in it. A cable channel that caters to a narrow interest (say golf) has other views with whom you share a frame of reference. But you’re the only person in your bubble.

    Second, the filter bubble is invisible. Most views of conservative or liberal news sources know that they’re going to a station curated to server a particular political viewpoint. But Google’s agenda is opaque. Google doesn’t tell you who it thinks you are or why it’s showing you the results your seeing. You don’t know if its assumptions about you are right or wrong – and you might not even know it’s making assumptions about you in the first place.

    Finally, you don’t choose to enter the bubble. When you turn on Fox News or read The Nation, you’re making a decision about what kinds of filter to use to make sense of the world. It’s an active process, and like putting on a pair of tinted glasses, you can guess how the editors’ leaning shapes your perception. You don’t make the same kind of choice with the personalised filters. They come to you – and because they drive up profits for the Web sites that use them, they’ll become harder an harder to avoid.

    it was nearly impossible to guess how the algorithms would shape the experience of any given user. There were simply too many variable and inputs to track. So while Google can look at overall clicks, it’s much harder to say how it’s working for any one person.

    Our bodies are programmed to consume fat and sugars because they’re rate in nature … In the same way, we’re biologically programmed to be attentive to things that stimulate: content that is gross, violent, or sexual and that gossip which is humiliating, embarrassing, or offensive. If we’re not careful, we’re going to develop the psychological equivalent of obesity. We’ll find ourselves consuming content that is least beneficial for ourselves or society as a whole. [Danah Body, speech 2000 Web 2.0 Expo]

    By definition, a world constructed from the familiar is a world in which there’s nothing to learn. If personalisation is too acute, it could prevent us from coming into contact with the mind-blowing, preconception-shattering experiences and ideas that change how we think about the world and ourselves.

    It’s easy to push the “Like” button and increase the visibility of a friends post about finishing a marathon or an instructional article about how to make onion soup. It’s harder to push the “Like” button on an article titled, “Darfur sees bloodiest month in two years”. In a personalised world, important but complex or unpleasant issues – the rising prision population, for example, or homelessness – are less likely to come to our attention at all.

    Your identity shapes your media. There’s just one flaw in this logic. Media also shape identity.

    If a self-fulfilling prophecy is a false definition of the world that through one’s actions becomes true, we’re now on the verge of self-fulfilling identities, in which the internet’s distorted picture of us becomes who we really are.

    We’ve seen the pendulum swing from the anonymity of the early Internet to the one-identity view currently in vogue; the future may look like something in between.

    “Why would I have done x if I weren’t a person who does x – therefore I must be a person who does x”. Each click you take in this loop is another action to self-justify.

    A computer can be made blind to race and gender in ways that humans usually can’t. But that’s only if the relevant algorithms are designed with care and acuteness. Otherwise, they’re likely to simply reflect the social morals of the culture they’re processing – a regression to the social norm.

    Part of what’s troubling about this world is that companies aren’t required to explain on what basis they’re making these decisions. And as a result, you can get judged without knowing it and without being able to appeal.

    The statistical models that make up the filter bubble write off the outliers. But in human life it’s the outliers who make things interesting and give us inspiration. And it’s the outliers who are the first signs of change.

    Big companies represent new loci of power. And while their multinational character makes them resistant to some forms of regulation, they can also offer one-stop shopping for governments seeking to influence information flows.

    “Consciously or unconsciously, deliberately or inadvertently, societies choose structures for technologies that influence how people are going to work, communicate, travel, consume and so forth over a very long time” (Winner 1980) This isn’t to say that today’s designers have malevolent impulses, of course – or even that they’re always explicitly trying to shape society in certain ways. It’s just to say that they can – in fact, they can’t help but shape the worlds they build.

    Technodeterminism is alluring and convenient for newly powerful entrepreneurs because it absolves them of responsibility for what they do.

    While the Internet offers access to a dazzling array of sources and options, in the filter bubble we’ll miss many of them. While the Internet can give us new opportunities to grow and experiment with our identities, the economics of personalisation push toward a static conception of personhood. While the Internet has the potential to decentralise knowledge and control, in practise it’s concentrating control over what we see and what opportunities we’re offered in the hands of fewer people than ever before.

    We live in an increasingly algorithmic society, where our public functions, from police databases to energy grids to schools, run on code. We need to recognise that societal values about justice, freedom, and opportunity are embedded in how code is written and what is solves for. Once we understand that, we can begin to figure out which variables we care about and imagine how we might solve for something different.


  7. Quick video tests

    March 12, 2015

    Working on a new project which requires plenty of learning-by-doing!



  8. Baudrillard Reframed

    January 9, 2015

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    A very interesting book for me. I’m searching for various books that synthesis and explain key concepts or principles relating to an individual, a school of thought or some other idea. This book does a great job of introducing the key principles of Baudrillards philosophy. It provides a introduce to ideas through example and quotation, with suggested further reading. It aims to be a stepping stone in to more philosophical or academic text that can be intimidating.

    Capitalism and consumer culture, mass media and communication technologies have aided the proliferation and multiplication of images in a way never experienced before. Our visual spectrum is choked up with a seemingly endless stream of images, brands, slogans, signs, graphics and labels. [1]

    [hyperreality] when our knowledge and understanding of the world is primarily derived through signs that have come to replace reality. [2]

    It makes reality ‘real’ to us. But what we consider to be ‘real’ is just another form of illusion, albeit a ‘vital illusion’ that Baudrillard says is critical for a function society. What we need to mindful of here is that the challenge to the real posed by seduction and illusion comes from within the same significatory system. [1]

    If it is no longer possible or relevant to speak about the circulation and operation of images in terms of what they represent, then where does this leave art? [1]

    Images are no longer the mirror of reality, they have invested the heart of reality and transformed it into hyperreality where, from screen to screen, the only aim of the image is the image. The image can no longer imagine the real because it is the real; it can no longer transcend reality, transfigure it or dream it, since images are virtual reality. In virtual reality, it is as if things had swallowed their mirror. [3: 120]

    Art is no different any more from anything else. [3: 18]

    Even the ‘creative’ act replicates itself to become nothing more than the sign of it’s own operation – the true subject of a painter is no longer what he or she paints but the very fact that he or she paints. The painter paints the fact that he or she paints. In that way, at least, the idea of art is saved. [3: 91]

    The viewer literally consumes the fact that he or she does not understand it and that it has no necessity to it other than the cultural imperative of belonging to the integrated circuit of culture … the consumer moves through it all to test his or her non-enjoyment of the works. [3: 91]

    There is something ironic in the way that the art world relies on people subscribing to the idea of art while being expected to reserve aesthetic judgement or avoid making sense of an artwork in a postmodern era where the meaning of things is uncertain. [1]

    Generally, we think that photographs can reveal some essence or truth about the object we are photographing. The photo is considered evidence that someone existed or something happened. [1]

    The worth of an object is not intrinsic to it – it does not have a pre-existing meaning but transcends material value to circulate among a host of other elements in a signifying chain. Consumption thus occurs “at a distance, a distance which is that of the sign”. [4: 33]

    In the end the image and the reading of the image are by no means the shortest way to the object, merely the shortest way to another image. The signs of advertising thus follow upon one another like the transient images of hypnagogic states. [5: 177]

    Using the example of reality TV, Baudrillard argues that through the process of consuming the visual spectacle our relationship to images changes. Whereas in the society of the spectacle there is a distinction between images and reality (images alienate us from reality), in the era of hyperreality, we consumer not only what is represented, but the medium through which it is represented. [1]

    Baudrillard cites DNA, cloning technologies and virtual reality as examples of the way that the body is reconfigured as data in an era of hyperreality. He understands the body to be a simulation or reality effect based on the production of models with no basis in reality. [1]

    He is trying to explain firstly how our understanding of the body is mediated through images and models, and secondly the consequences of this for the body in a simulated landscape that blurs the distinction between material and virtual. [1]

    The ‘message’ of TV is not in the images it transmits, but the new modes of relating and perceiving it imposes, the alterations to traditional family and group structures. [4]

    The problem is we don’t know it’s [reality] an illusion because any semblance of illusion has been eradicated by hypervisibility of the scene, which seems too real not to be true. [1]

    War is not measure by being waged but by its speculative unfolding in an abstract, electronic and informational space. [6]

    For Baudrillard, cinema is no longer an ‘enchanted universe’ that generated a sense of illusion by being different to reality. Baudrillard calls for a return to illusion as an antidote to the ‘integral reality’ we are experiencing, and which he claims creates an indifference to images of suffering. [1]

    1. Kim Toffoletti. Baudrillard Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. 2010.
    2. Jean Baudrillard. Simulacra and simulation. University of Michigan Press, 1994.
    3. Jean Baudrillard. The System of Objects. Verso Books. 2005
    4. Jean Baudrillard. The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures. SAGE Publications Ltd. 1998
    5. Jean Baudrillard. The Conspiracy of Art: Manifestos, Texts, Interviews. MIT Press. 2005
    6. Jean Baudrillard. The Gulf War Did Not Take Place. Indiana University Press. 1995

  9. AI intelligence research

    January 2, 2015

    I have uploaded my artificial irrationality research document. This was a new approach for this project to document and rationalise my thinking and research, daily. By updating and improving a single document / mind-map.

    This process was intrinsic in my coming to a creative direction and concept early on, given the short time frame to produce a project. It also became a tool I used to introduce my concept and direction to collaborators, quickly explaining who, what and why and being able to follow a single line of through that leads to the most logical project proposal based on the theoretical inputs.

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