Note — Dec 12, 2021

No.200 Asides

Thoughts on Web3. My latest Dispatch sent to members this week, available for everyone on the site. “A couple of months ago this Dispatch might have been called ‘WTF Web3?’ Today, it should be quite a bit more informed. Still, I’m in no way any kind of specialist on the topic, just spending a bit more time exploring, which is what I’d like to share here. Just a list of thoughts and things to read.”

  • 🤯 🤯 🤯 🌎 🏢 🛢 Visualizing the Accumulation of Human-Made Mass on Earth. “In 2020, the amount of human-made mass, or anthropogenic mass, exceeded for the first time the dry weight (except for water and fluids) of all life on Earth, including humans, animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms.”
  • ☀️ 😲 ☀️ 😲 A Massive Composite of 150,000 Images Reveals the Swirling, Feather-Like Details of the Sun. “From dark spots and wispy flares to coronal loops that burst upward in brilliant arches, a giant new composite by Andrew McCarthy (previously) exposes the intricate, swirling patterns that cloak the sun’s surface. ‘Fire and Fusion’ is a 300-megapixel image captured at 2 p.m. on November 29 and the Arizona-based photographer’s most detailed shot of the celestial matter yet.”
  • 📰 🔮 Always some good stuff in there. Predictions for Journalism 2022. “Each year, we ask some of the smartest people in journalism and media what they think is coming in the next 12 months. At the end of a trying 2021, here’s what they had to say.” Already, Print makes a comeback, but not in the way you think is intriguing and gave me an idea. “In 2022, we’ll see more community zines being produced as an effective way to make news more accessible, amplify diverse voices, and help us collaborate with communities to make news — together.”
  • 🤓 📚 👾 29 of the Best Science Fiction Books Everyone Should Read. “Looking for your next sci-fi must-read? Cyberpunk, space operas, dystopias – we’ve pulled together some of the WIRED team’s favourite science fiction novels. Some are eerily plausible, others are wild trips of the imagination, but all present compelling visions of our possible future. Listed here in chronological order for completists.”
  • 🤖 📚 (Also shared for the publisher’s model and their other books.) Fake AI, Frederike Kaltheuner, Meatspace Press (2021). “From predicting criminality to sexual orientation, fake and deeply flawed Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rampant. Amidst this feverishly hyped atmosphere, this book interrogates the rise and fall of AI hype, pseudoscience and snake oil. Bringing together different perspectives and voices from across disciplines and countries, it draws connections between injustices inflicted by inappropriate AI.”
  • 🤖 Artificial Aesthetics: A Critical Guide to AI, Media and Design. “You may be wondering how AI will affect your professional area in general and your work and career. This book does not aim to predict the future or tell you exactly what will happen. Instead, we want to offer you a set of intellectual tools to help you better navigate any changes that may come along.”
  • 🤔 🚜 🪨 🌽 Farmland could be a sponge for greenhouse gas with mineral weathering. “What is enhanced weathering? The idea is simple — accelerate farmland’s naturally occurring chemical reactions by adding minerals in the form of crushed rocks. The chemical processes that break down the stones simultaneously trap atmospheric carbon.”