Archive for the ‘RESPONSES’ Category

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STORMPROOF: Open International Design Competition for Building Resilient Cities

March 8, 2013

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

ONE Prize Award aims to explore the social, economic, and ecological possibilities of urban transformation. This year’s competition is set in the context of severe climate dynamism. How can cities adapt to the future challenges of extreme weather? The ONE Prize is a call to deploy sophisticated design to alleviate storm impact through various urban interventions such as: protective green spaces, barrier shorelines, alternative housing, waterproofing technology, and public space solutions. We wish to reinvigorate infrastructure and repurpose spaces towards environmental adaptation in order to put design in the service of the community.

The ONE Prize seeks architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, scientists, artists, students and individuals of all backgrounds.

How can urban ecosystems be enhanced to prevent flooding?
What can restore Rockaway Beach social infrastructure and public space?
When can the New Orleans community change to accept storms without losing character?
What can protect Asian Coastal Cities against the unforeseen?
Where can shorelines be storm surge barriers as well as interactive zones?
How can storm proofing be seen as an opportunity to rethink the future of our cities?

The ONE Prize Award is an international competition and it is open to everyone from professional to students. The teams can have one or more members. The proposals can be for real or speculative projects, at one or more actual sites. Projects can be located either in the U.S. or abroad, but should be applicable to the U.S. Proposals need not be generated exclusively for this competition, provided that they address the intent of the competition.

PRIZES

Since 2010, One Prize has awarded over $40,000 in in prize money. We continue to promote all the winning projects and explore the possibilities of implementation in New York City and around the world.

1st place US $5000
2nd place US $2000
3rd place US $1000

Press coverage by One Prize media sponsors.
Presentation of Designs at Lectures and Exhibitions.
Prominent Year-Long Exposure on the Competition Website.

Early Registration by June 30, 2013
Registration and Submission by August 31, 2013

Text and Image via ONEPRIZE

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George Dvorsky: On video-gaming pets, the future of nonhuman animals, and cultural uplift.

December 28, 2011

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George Dvorsky, is a Canadian futurist, ethicist, and sociologist, who has written and spoken extensively about the impacts of cutting-edge science and technology—particularly as they pertain to the improvement of human performance and experience. A founding member of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, he is the Chairman of the Board and is the founder and program director for its Rights of Non-Human Persons program. In addition, George is the co-founder and president of the Toronto Transhumanist Association and has served on the Board of Directors for Humanity+ for two terms. George has been interviewed by such publications as The Guardian, the BBC, Radio Free Europe, and Beliefnet. He made an appearance on the CBC’s The Hour and has been profiled in NOW and This Magazine. His work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times, Forbes, and Slate. He has also written for such publications as The Humanist, Canadian Freethinker, Cryonics Magazine and a number of Thomson & Gale university texts. He is also an avid CrossFitter, an ancestral health enthusiast, and an accomplished music performer, composer, and recording engineer. He blogs at Sentient Developments.





Wanderlust: There has been a recent increase of Internet videos (the ones above) that depict humans enabling their pets to “play” video games on smart-phones and video game consoles. Similarly, in order to gain new insight into animal behavior, scientists have been experimenting with multimedia-enabled devices in the last decades. Today, along scientists, game designers are trying to merge human spaces with pet spaces through pervasive computing interfaces.

Could these new technologies reduce anthropocentrism and blur the gap between different species?

G.D: There is no question that new technologies are allowing humans and animals to interact in more profound and novel ways. As a result, we are getting increasingly able to peer more deeply into the psyche of animals and gain a better understanding of how they perceive and engage in the world.

In some cases, these interactions re-enforce our suspicion that many animals are more intelligent and thoughtful than we have previously thought. We are finding that animals are quite ‘human-like’ in many respects. We share many traits, including the joy of play, applying skill, and winning games. No example captures this more effectively than the video of Kanzi, a bonobo ape, who discovers the sheer bliss of playing Pac Man. There is something intrinsically universal, at least among primates, about chasing and gobbling-up annoying little ghosts.

By showing that animals like to play as much as we do, our sense of empathy in increased. It helps us to relate more, and acquire an enhanced sense of the other.

But because we have previously suffered from a communications gap, and even a kind of interspecies disconnect, it has been all too easy for the dominant species to subjugate animals and belittle their capacities. By playing games with we are forced to interact with them in more intimate sort of way, which can only impart a stronger sense of their moral worth.

Now, that said, there is a risk that these sorts of technologies can be taken too far. In most of these cases, these are human games designed for humans. Or, they are designed for animals for the purpose of entertaining humans (take the iPad mouse game for cats — those poor cats are getting tortured!). It would be more interesting to see games that are strictly designed for a specific species. If we are going to do this right, we need to engage animal minds. Again, the challenge is to understand animal psychology, and cater to their particular tendencies and talents (including different sensorial bandwidths).

What I would like to see in the next generation of animal-and-human video games is a greater opportunity for collaboration between two players. The Pig Chase experiment is an early but unfulfilled attempt at this. For greater impact, game developers will need to learn about animal psychology and cognition. I am imagining, for example, a game in which success is dependent on the various strengths of two different species. It has been shown, for example, that some primates can perform memorization tasks better than humans (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/12/071203-AP-chimp-memory.html). And obviously humans perform a number of cognitive tasks better than primates. It would be quite profound to create a game in which inter-species co-operation is a necessary requirement for success (to increase sense of bonding and camaraderie), and at the same time, still be a lot of fun.

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IRENE CAESAR

August 20, 2010

……… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .“Self portrait with a fur collar fragment” – Irene Caesar

Responses is presented to you by Sebastian Alvarez (Wanderlustmind.) Using the internet and this flat rectangular box that stores binary numbers and manipulates data, the objective of Responses is to establish a dialogue with remarkable individuals and collectives by posing them with a series of questions that allows them to describe their creative work, their lives, and the questions they are asking themselves. Contributors to Responses own the copyright to their original writing posted on this site and their posting is in effect an authorization permitting Wanderlustmind the electronic use of this material. In the event Wanderlustmind wishes to use the work in a print medium it will it will seek writen consent of the author.
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The first questionnaire/interview in the series is with Irene Caesar, a conceptual artist, philosopher, poet and provocateur who puts to the test major concepts of the human civilization by creating absurd performances documented by photography. Irene has generously contributed her substantial knowledge (in subjects such as the New World Order, the catastrophe-model, The Skull and The Joker, Luciferianism and Christian Fundamentalism in the US, The Matrix, nano-chipping of the population, the DNA Phantom effect phenomeon, and much more) and some images from her most recent work, “People of Art as Objects of Art.”

Irene Caesar participated in the decedent movement against the communist regime, was invited to make a speech at the founding conference of the Free Democratic Party of Russia in the days of the 1991 Putsch, and, finally, after 10 years as an artist in Russia, she emigrated to the US in 1994 with a visa O of extraordinary ability on the invitation of Chuck Levitan Gallery in SoHo, NYC.

In the US, Irene Caesar transitioned from the traditional media to the digital media, and refined her conceptualist vision of art by getting a Ph.D. in philosophy in 2009 from the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. Her book ‘Why we should not be unhappy about happiness via Aristotle’ was published in 2010 by the Lambert Academic Publishing in Germany. She is also the author of the book of poetry ‘Confined Verse’ (St. Petersburg University Press, 2004). Irene Caesar lives in New York. To know and see more about Irene Caesar click HERE.

“Self-portrait as The Three Graces” – Irene Caesar.

Vitaly Komar contributes to Transhumanism” – Irene Caesar

Questions:

1. What place does wrongness occupy in rightness?

The wrong and the right are the opposites. By asking me “what place does wrongness occupy in rightness,” you essentially ask me whether I accept dialectics, i.e., the unity of opposites within one and the same thing, which goes all the way back to Heraclitus of Ephesus with his notion of inner strife. I do accept dialectics, and I believe that its understanding is crucial, because the secret globalist power uses “controlled conflict” as a specific application of dialectics. Now we come to the point in human history when the question about dialectics becomes the question: should the historical dialectics remain under the secretive control of oligarchy, or should it become the democratic process? Essentially, it is a question: can it become a democratic process in principle?
The present point in history consists in the final realization of globalization, with one-world government, one-world money, and one-world socio-economical structure and ideology. The question is not simply whether each country can in principle deal with global problems locally; the question is whether humankind can make a global techno-logical break-through, for example, to venture beyond its earthly limits on a mass scale, without becoming one unified whole. Indeed, the approaching singularity, and the technological revolution of nano and biotechnology that we are going through right now makes globalization its necessary condition and inevitable consequence. The unfolding of globalization will be precisely the dialectical process of bringing together the different and even opposite national cultures into some one-world synthesis. The ultimate question is: will this synthesis happen as a democratic free and open discussion to establish a new constitution and financial one-world money structure, or will it happen as the staged catastrophe claiming millions and millions of lives? Will the end-result of globalization be oligarchy or democracy? Will it be the democratic confederation of diverse national entities, or will it be a Third Reich, the ultimate fascist totalitarianism, with the rejection of family, former national allegiance, and individual freedom, and based on the superiority of the white race? Or will it be a continuation of the present political paradigm – with a democratic facade hiding the secretive oligarchic one-world power-center? Can democracy in its present form handle the historical dialectics of globalization in principle? And does the ruling oligarchy understand the historical dialectics correctly, though it already uses it for centuries? As of today, how much wrongness ought we to accept in the rightness of the controlled conflict, secretively staged by the oligarchy?

Arthur Danto with Wise Puffy Cheese Doodles” – Irene Caesar

2. Can you define socio-political dialectics in more detail?

Here is the brief outline of dialectics in relation to human life, as I understand it. If you accept the necessity and inevitability of the inner strife, then you rise above the simple negation and rejection, as well as the primitive concept of progress, either personal or historical. You become aware that there are some fundamental features of human nature, and these features are ever opposed to each other, and are in the state of strife, either on the personal or socio-political level – objectively, notwithstanding subjective beliefs. You are forced to think of human life as the necessity of both finding a peaceful compromise between opposites at some times (so-called synthesis), and, at other times, aggravating the inner strife. Importantly, dialectics is the only way to become or to create a systematic whole: the systematic whole (sustēma) emerges only out of the unity of its constituting parts, with each part becoming determinate in its opposition to or differentiation from the other part. This is the role of wrongness in relation to rightness – the wrong does not exist without the right within one and the same thing. The compromise between the opposites is precisely the admission of some wrong within the right. That is, dialectics is not simply the strife, diversity and opposition – it is the synthesis which starts with the internalization of the extrinsic opposites, the acceptance of them into one’s own inner strife and, then, finding one’s own inner compromise via accepting the wrong within the right.
For the society as a sustēma, these opposites are elite / masses, capitalism / social-ism, libertarianism / egalitarianism, individualism / collectivism, left / right, conservatism / liberalism, globalism / nationalism, democracy / oligarchy, anarchism / totalitarianism, democrats / republicans among others. There can be only two prerogatives in the inner strife either on the personal or social level — not to allow the strife to become destructive, and not to allow the synthesis to become the enforced totalitarian unity of fascism, which suppresses democratic diversity (that is, the opposites and the strife as such – the very dialectics itself). As a recent example, the crush of the rigid Soviet socialism was surely followed by the crush of the rigid American capitalism, and the Chinese model alongside with Keynesian model became an attractive promise to unite the entrepreneurial initiative with the centralized planning, even of such intimate undertakings of human life as giving birth to children. It is clear that the society is a systematic whole if and only if all the above opposites are in the state of healthy non-destructive strife, and there is some geo-political body of power, which rules the society via arriving at the synthesis of all these opposites. It is truly ridiculous that, at the present moment, this geo-political body of power is kept a big secret, and is marginalized and even demonized for the wide masses by such mythologists as Alex Jones and David Icke. The latter undermine the dialectical vision of the masses, and, so, their ability of self-rule. At the same time, it is troublesome that, at the present moment, the globalist power-center demonstrates destructive tendencies towards authoritarianism and totalitarianism. Paradoxically, because both authoritarianism and totalitarianism suppress the dialectical strife within the society, they undermine the very ability of the globalist power-center to rule via separating.

3. How will you describe the interrelation between the dialectics on the personal level and the dialectics on the societal level?

Though the mythologies of Jones and Icke are regressive (in the Christian fundamentalism of the first, and the reptilian mythology of the second), their rhetoric has a grain of truth in it. Essentially, the synthesis of the socio-political opposites is possible if and only if men of power understand the correlation between the society and the individual. Both the society and the individual are inter-dependent systematic wholes: the macrocosm of a society is reflected in the microcosm of a man and viceversa. The societal opposites between the elite and the masses, etc., reflect the strife of the opposites on the personal level between strength / weakness, introversion / extroversion, independence / dependency, interconnection / self-sufficiency, profit / sacrifice, entrepreneurial interest / altruistic disinterestedness, etc. The populist resentment is simply the realization that when power loses this understanding, it becomes authoritarian, even fascist, and, as a result – inhuman and self-destructive. A good example is Friedrich Nietzsche, this exalted ideologist of oligarchy. He scorned weakness, dependency, illness, insufficiency, dysfunction on the societal level as the manifestation of Judaic values of resentment without any anticipation that one day he, Friedrich, would find himself completely deranged and cared for, first, by his mother, and, after her death, by his sister for 10 years. I guess that his mother and sister in their love were better dialectics than Friedrich himself. And I refuse to call their love of him simply “Christian Pity”.
I believe that those politicians, who refuse to sufficiently provide for their tribes-men in need, simply repeat the syndrome of Nietzsche. Even if most of them avoid the scenario of Nietzsche in their personal lives, they surely fail in arriving at the vision of their society as the systematic whole, and so, their personal success is a form of historical blindness – a primitive form of consciousness, almost on the level of a wolves’ pack. They do not understand that, as the individual life necessarily includes weakness, illness and death, so does the life of the society necessarily include dysfunction and failure. People ought to constitute a systematic whole of mutual support not only on the level of family or business partnership, but also on the higher level of national community, and, ultimately, on the global geo-political level. Those in power, who fail to understand this basic truth, fail the historical dialectics, and, so, have no part in history.

4. How does the oligarchy use dialectics in your opinion?

It is a big secret that only people who have dialectical vision can undertake an impartial analysis of each opposite within a given duality, and, then, proceed to the manipulation of each opposite, and of a given socio-political duality as a whole. Unmistakably, the understanding of dialectics, money and power always go together, being a prerogative of oligarchy from time immemorial. Oligarchy became notorious for its secretive financing of every opposite within a socio-political duality. For example, the same financial center financed and controlled both Lenin with his dictatorship of the proletariat and red terror, and the surviving Russian imperial bloodline; or, the contemporary example, both the fundamental Christianity and Luceferianism in the US.
Machiavelli summed up this dialectical vision and manipulation in one sentence: atheism is needed where the church becomes too powerful, and the church is needed where atheism becomes too powerful. Oligarchs with the dialectical vision look at the panorama of the human life as if from the height of the birds’ flight – above the opposites, and above the dualities. That is why they can control both the strife and the synthesis. Their ultimate purpose is to become capable of manipulating and balancing in this way the entire geo-political structure of the world. Nonetheless, it is a really good question whether the laudable purpose of balancing the world strife systematically is in principle achievable in secret. Oligarchs claim that they possess the universal global human values and use them to balance the dualities. The universal global values are precisely the ability to see, accept and balance all the opposites within the global system. And it is another really good question whether the universal global human values can in principle be esoteric, available only through initiation and only to a few initiates. To what degree are we willing to accept the transformation of billions of people into stupefied tools of the initiated, who love humankind rapturously, but in secret? But it is a unfortunate fact that at the other extreme are people who do not understand historical dialectics at all. They simply belong to some opposite within this or that socio-political duality. Unfortunately, this is the majority of all the people in the Western world.



“What does it really mean to be homeless, dude? (portrait of Jay Oliver Sax; triptych)” – Irene Caesar

5. How would you define people who do not understand and accept dialectics?

People with no clue about dialectics are either willing or unwilling instruments or victims of the manipulation behind the scenes. Or they are simply the “cattle”, which oligarchs literally call “peasants”. Ironically, the contemporary Anglo-American philosophy with its law of excluded middle, and the Western culture, in general, are not simply indifferent to dialectics – they are aggressively opposed to it. And, most ironically, the very opposition to the secretive manipulation of the society by the oligarchs manifests itself as the opposition to dialectics, e.g., when nationalists reject globalization without understanding that globalization is the creation of the systematic whole for the entire planet, and not the destruction of the local communities. This shows the degree of how much “masses” and even the “non-initiated” intellectuals are incapable of the dialectical thinking, and, hence, of self-rule.
The rigid division into alienated political parties, fixed sexual orientations, rigid religious affiliations and incompatible art styles are some examples for the rejection of dialectics. The novel should belong to a specific genre to sell: biography, dark romance, fantasy, etc. Each opposite within the duality is a negation to its counterpart as being wrong or incompatible. People who do not transcend dualities think of identity only in terms of one’s opposition to one’s enemy. Their “right” should never get mixed with “the wrong” of their opponent. It is clear that dialectics remains the esoteric knowledge not open to the general public – a secret jealously guarded by the various esoteric schools of the elite, most importantly by Freemasonry. And it is clear that, in its present form, democracy is incapable of the dialectical geo-political thinking and acting. Modern democracy institutionalized opposition into parties (like democrats and republicans), which forcefully narrow the freedom of the individual self-determination, and so undermine democracy itself. Evidently, only a senator who calls himself “independent” can approach the flexibility of the secret geo-political power center in his/her compromises in between the political opposites.
The shocking truth consists in the fact that the secretive world-power is, by its nature, neither left nor right, neither radical nor conservative, neither elitist nor populist, neither socialist nor capitalist. People who do not understand its nature, for example, Alex Jones, call it both socialist and elitist, what is a true oxymoron. In his point-and-shoot conservatism and Christian Fundamentalism, Alex Jones is nothing else than the bait to make his fellow Christian Fundamentalists a more defined group for the purposes of early and easy detection and elimination, if they happen to constitute a hindrance to the progression towards the one-world polity. It is truly grotesque that the masses justify their opposition to the secretive rule of oligarchy by the most regressive forms of ideology, while the globalist oligarchy does evidently sponsor and control this opposition in its own attempt to further the progressivist creation of a systematic whole for the planet.

Carter Ratcliff contributes to Deconstruction” – Irene Caesar

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