Utopia now

Commons craft; detail of a plywood farmhouse, built using a CNC machine. Photo courtesy Wikihouse In 1890 William Morris imagined a world free from wage slavery. Thanks to technology, his vision is finally within reach by Vasilis Kostakis is a senior researcher at the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia, and an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University in Massachusetts. He is also the founder of the P2P Lab. His latest book project, Peer-to-Peer: The Commons Manifesto, with Michel Bauwens and Alex Pazaitis, is forthcoming. by Wolfgang Drechsler is … Continue reading Utopia now

Panic Attacks Are Universal Because All Humans Evolved to Feel Fear

Panic attacks are part of the human experience, but what triggers them is personal. By Sarah Sloat They can begin suddenly and peak quickly, with their signature trembling, nausea, and ragged breaths rolling in waves. A panic attack is your body your body being gripped with fear, but what triggers that fear and how often it takes hold of you depends on who you are. The stimuli vary from person to person, but what remains constant is the experience itself — and its prevalence among humans. Most people, at some point in their lives, will experience a panic attack because it’s … Continue reading Panic Attacks Are Universal Because All Humans Evolved to Feel Fear

Cancer Cells Can Go Mysteriously Dormant For Years, And Scientists Are Beginning to Understand Why

(nopparit/iStock) We were wrong about cancer’s uncontrollable growth. FRANCESCO CREA, THE CONVERSATION Cancer has always been thought of as something that grows rapidly and uncontrollably, but this view may be wrong. New evidence suggests that cancer alternatively uses the “accelerator” and the “brake” in order to survive. If you plot the growth of prostate cancer tumour progression over years, you get a graph that looks something like this: The graph shows that prostate cancer cells alternate periods of rapid growth with periods of dormancy. In the above example, the tumour will grow to the point where it starts to produce … Continue reading Cancer Cells Can Go Mysteriously Dormant For Years, And Scientists Are Beginning to Understand Why

J.D. McClatchy on the Contrast and Complementarity of Desire and Love

“Love is the quality of attention we pay to things.” BY MARIA POPOVA We are creatures of such staggering psychoemotional complexity that we are often opaque to ourselves, purblind to the constellation of our own thoughts, our own feelings, our chaotic and often contradictory desires — nowhere more so than in the realm of the heart. “The alternations between love and its denial,”philosopher Martha Nussbaum wrote in contemplating the difficulty of knowing ourselves, “constitute the most essential and ubiquitous structural feature of the human heart.” Perhaps the most disorienting aspect of that interior opacity is that of distinguishing between love and desire, both … Continue reading J.D. McClatchy on the Contrast and Complementarity of Desire and Love

Twitter Ablaze After Most of French Museum Collection Found to Be Fake

CC0 SOCIETY The social media platform quickly responded to news of fakes spotted in a landmark French museum, with a lion’s share of users pegging it ’embarrassing’ and questioning the level of expertise of those who originally accepted the works into the museum’s collection. State-owned Étienne Terrus museum in the southern French city of Elne, near the Spanish border, has discovered that 82 of the 140 works originally thought to have been painted by the renowned artist are in fact fakes, French media reported. An alarm was raised by an art historian after taking note that some of the buildings depicted in the paintings were erected after Étienne Terrus, a close … Continue reading Twitter Ablaze After Most of French Museum Collection Found to Be Fake

The Era of Fake Video Begins

Edmon de Haro The digital manipulation of video may make the current era of “fake news” seem quaint. by FRANKLIN FOER In a dank corner of the internet, it is possible to find actresses from Game of Thrones or Harry Potter engaged in all manner of sex acts. Or at least to the world the carnal figures look like those actresses, and the faces in the videos are indeed their own. Everything south of the neck, however, belongs to different women. An artificial intelligence has almost seamlessly stitched the familiar visages into pornographic scenes, one face swapped for another. The genre is one of the … Continue reading The Era of Fake Video Begins

Communist robot dreams

Detail from the cover of Nikola Kesarovski’s 1983 book The Fifth Law of Robotics. Illustration by Hristo Braykov Tech flourished in communist Bulgaria and so did a body of science fiction asking vital philosophical questions by Victor Petrov is a postdoctoral student on the Max Weber programme at the European University Institute near Florence in Italy. Edited by Sam Haselby The police report would have baffled the most grizzled detective. A famous writer murdered in a South Dakota restaurant full of diners; the murder weapon – a simple hug. A murderer with no motive, and one who seemed genuinely distraught at what he had … Continue reading Communist robot dreams