What we read this week (24 May)

Drones and what they represent in our society, fully digital lifeforms, a new take on smart cities, Morozov critique, musing about social networks and the a take on what it means to buy cheap clothing.

Quote of the week

We need a new language and framework for understanding the world as it actually is, rather than a world underserved by old metaphors, or confused by notions of remote, cartoonish capital-F “Futures”.

James Bridle

Articles of the week

  • Is This Virtual Worm the First Sign of the Singularity?
    A small, independent team is attempting to build the first digital life form based on the basic principles of the brain. A fascinating tale about the creation of a digital worm that re-evaluates the definition of being alive.
  • U MAD??? Evgeny Morozov, The Internet, And The Failure Of Invective
    A detailed dissection of Evgeny Morozov, his latest books, but more specifically his methods. The conclusion to which Maria Bustillos and a growing number of other writers are coming about the Belarus-born writer is that his intentions are not to start a comprehensive, transformative discussion, though on the exterior they may seem to be.
  • The too-smart city
    Top down vs. bottom up – the future of the term “smart city” seems to be up for grabs. On the one side, we see corporations like IBM and Cisco, on the other side advocates like Adam Greenfield and Dan Hill who argue that that smart city governance would use technology to find new ways to build and govern our cities in the future.
  • The Next Facebook
    Josh Miller muses about what and how the next Facebook will emerge. While we are not particularly interested in the basic premise of the article itself, Josh does make very good observation about the current state of affairs in the field. Recommended reading for near-future product development.
  • The Hidden Costs of Buying on the Cheap The collapse of the factory in Bangladesh, the cost of buying cheap clothing has been made obvious in a rather dramatic and cruel way. Naturally, this sparked a debate about buying clothes on the cheap. On a more fundamental level, we need to ask ourselves where our priorities are, what we value and how we want to use the money that we have accordingly.