A statue with a beehive-head, a fistful of idiots and Twitter as suspended hell

I thought of writing about Berlin-Hacker-Bullshit. Enjoy a baby tiger quoll instead.

This San Francisco Statue Is Doubling as a Beehive | The Bold Italic

Located in the museum’s Sculpture Garden, the statue’s head is covered by a beehive — occupied by a live colony of bees. (The concrete sculpture depicts a crouching woman, the posturing based on a small statue by the Japanese sculptor Tobari Kogan [1882–1927], whose work was influenced by European modernism.) Over the past few months, beekeeper Marc Johnson, who’s a member of the San Francisco Beekeepers Association, has been tending to the statue, ensuring the existing (and growing) colony of bees are alive and well. “I don’t know if I’m an artist, but I’m the chief beekeeper for this project,” says Marc Johnson to the California News Times. (...)

Pierre Huyghe’s Exomind (Deep Water)—a sculpture of a crouched female nude with a live beehive as its head—is nestled within the museum’s garden. With its buzzing colony pollinating the surrounding flora, it offers a poignant metaphor for the modeling of neural networks on the biological brain and an understanding of intelligence as grounded in natural forms and processes.


Die vielen Fehlschläge der „Querdenker“: So oft irren sich die Verschwörungsideologen und das detailierte Google Doc: Prophezeiungen der Querdenker.


Noahpinion
The Shouting Class
One topic I keep coming back to, when thinking about America’s social unrest, is Twitter. Not “social media”, not Facebook, but Twitter specifically. I believe that this one platform is qualitatively different from others, and is a far more important cause of our age of discord than people generally realize. Here are some posts I’ve written about Twitte……
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Suspended Hell | n+1

What makes Twitter so axiomatically hellish? It’s a place where even the most well-intentioned attempts at intellectually honest conversation inevitably devolve into misunderstanding and mutual contempt, like the fruit that crumbles into ash in the devils’ mouths in book 10 of Paradise Lost. It amplifies our simultaneous interdependency and alienation, the overtaking of meaningful political life by the triviality of the social. It is other people. But mostly Twitter is Hell because we—a “we” that, in Twitter’s universalizing idiom, outstretches optimistically or threateningly as if to envelop even those blessed souls who have never once logged on—make it so. It’s our own personal Hell, algorithmically articulated and given back to us, customized enough that I can complain to another very online friend about something that’s “all over Twitter” and he can reply, in confusion, “hmm, not my Twitter,” but shared enough that another friend can affirm, “on my Twitter too.” Pathetic fallacy subtends the most viral memes, either on the individual level (“it me”) or from the perspective of the willed collective of Twitter itself. Twitter fashions itself as a metaphor for everything in our lives, and everything is a metaphor for Twitter, the machine that turns everything into discourse and where discourse tends to turn in on itself. The ocean is on fire? Looks like Twitter. Climate change? A giant dumpster fire in Earth’s mentions. Golfers going on with their game, seemingly oblivious to the raging wildfire in the background? Ha, that’s just like us on Twitter.


Pro-Trump social network becomes safe haven for ISIS

The social network — started a month ago by members of former President Donald Trump’s inner circle — features reams of jihadi-related material, including graphic videos of beheadings, viral memes that promote violence against the West and even memes of a militant executing Trump in an orange jumpsuit similar to those used in Guantanamo Bay.

The rapid proliferation of such material is placing GETTR in the awkward position of providing a safe haven for jihadi extremists online as it attempts to establish itself as a free speech MAGA-alternative to sites likeFacebook and Twitter. It underscores the challenges facing Trump and his followers in the wake of his ban from the mainstream social media platforms following the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots. Islamic State “has been very quick to exploit GETTR,” said Moustafa Ayad, executive director for Africa, the Middle East and Asia at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank that tracks online extremism, who first discovered the jihadi accounts and shared his findings with POLITICO.


The Horrors of Being a Facebook Moderator | Informer


Japan’s virtual YouTubers have millions of real subscribers — and make millions of real dollars

Before the coronavirus pandemic forced the world into internet isolation in 2020, VTubing was a niche medium, largely confined to Japan’s overactive subculture of fanboys and otaku. The pandemic’s disruptions to everyday lives, and to the entertainment industry, have broadened VTubing’s appeal. Last August, Playboard, the YouTube financial stats aggregator, reported that seven of the world’s 10 top Super Chat earners were Japanese VTubers. (YouTube launched Super Chat in 2017, allowing users to pay to have their comments highlighted and pinned to the top of live chats during streams.)

The comically endowed, auburn-haired and horn-eared dragon avatar Kiryu Coco led the way at over $800,000 total, drawing more than $100,000 in a single week. In a year without concerts, conventions, or even café meetups, fans worldwide flocked to virtual entertainment. VTubers, far less virus prone than old-school flesh-and-blood YouTubers, surged in popularity. According to YouTube’s Culture and Trends report, by October 2020, VTubers’ views grew to more than 1.5 billion per month. “The pandemic created a new digital ecosystem of livestreaming homebodies,” says 28-year-old Meilyne Tran, a VTuber fan and COO of GeeXPlus, a Tokyo-based anime YouTuber management company, a subsidiary of the Japanese publisher and producer Kadokawa Corp. “The attraction to VTubers is because they’re not human, not in spite of it,” she says. “People of my generation don’t like humans so much nowadays. We’re plugged in all the time and prefer interacting online, and VTubers keep us in the fantasy universe.”


After writing and deleting a paragraph about psychopathic hackers from the CCC and their asshole friends who read this newsletter, here’s for the rest of us - you know, normal people with conscience and empathy and all - a “baby tiger quoll, a marsupial native to eastern Australia”.


Japan’s virtual YouTubers have millions of real subscribers — and make millions of real dollars - Rest of World

Before the coronavirus pandemic forced the world into internet isolation in 2020, VTubing was a niche medium, largely confined to Japan’s overactive subculture of fanboys and otaku. The pandemic’s disruptions to everyday lives, and to the entertainment industry, have broadened VTubing’s appeal. Last August, Playboard, the YouTube financial stats aggregator, reported that seven of the world’s 10 top Super Chat earners were Japanese VTubers. (YouTube launched Super Chat in 2017, allowing users to pay to have their comments highlighted and pinned to the top of live chats during streams.) The comically endowed, auburn-haired and horn-eared dragon avatar Kiryu Coco led the way at over $800,000 total, drawing more than $100,000 in a single week. In a year without concerts, conventions, or even café meetups, fans worldwide flocked to virtual entertainment. VTubers, far less virus prone than old-school flesh-and-blood YouTubers, surged in popularity. According to YouTube’s Culture and Trends report, by October 2020, VTubers’ views grew to more than 1.5 billion per month. “The pandemic created a new digital ecosystem of livestreaming homebodies,” says 28-year-old Meilyne Tran, a VTuber fan and COO of GeeXPlus, a Tokyo-based anime YouTuber management company, a subsidiary of the Japanese publisher and producer Kadokawa Corp. “The attraction to VTubers is because they’re not human, not in spite of it,” she says. “People of my generation don’t like humans so much nowadays. We’re plugged in all the time and prefer interacting online, and VTubers keep us in the fantasy universe.”


I love these impressive realistic Skull-Masks with moving jawbone. If you are a psychopathic Troll-Hacker from the CCC or their asshole friend, this is what’s coming for you.


All Possible Views About Humanity's Future Are Wild

In a series of posts starting with this one, I'm going to argue that the 21st century could see our civilization develop technologies allowing rapid expansion throughout our currently-empty galaxy. And thus, that this century could determine the entire future of the galaxy for tens of billions of years, or more. This view seems "wild": we should be doing a double take at any view that we live in such a special time. I illustrate this with a timeline of the galaxy. (On a personal level, this "wildness" is probably the single biggest reason I was skeptical for many years of the arguments presented in this series. Such claims about the significance of the times we live in seem "wild" enough to be suspicious.)


The most important century (roadmap)

I think we have good reason to believe that the 21st century could be the most important century ever for humanity. I think the most likely way this would happen would be via the development of advanced AI systems that lead to explosive growth and scientific advancement, getting us more quickly than most people imagine to a deeply unfamiliar future. A bit more specifically,1 I think there is a good chance that: During the century we're in right now, we will develop technologies that cause us to transition to a state in which humans as we know them are no longer the main force in world events. This is our last chance to shape how that transition happens. Whatever the main force in world events is (perhaps digital people, misaligned AI, or something else) will create highly stable civilizations that populate our entire galaxy for billions of years to come. The transition taking place this century could shape all of that.