Weeknotes 12: Limited Content Edition

This one's been in incubation for about three weeks. Not all news is guaranteed fresh. Here we go again...

Who Even Needs Countries?

A question I've often asked. My spin on it is usually more positive. I've always considered countires to be inherently conservative mechanisms, designed to preserve tradition and support worst-case hypothesis. Part of my distaste is framed in the fact that we each have enough individual agency for some type of techno-anarchism to prevail. Or some sort of drastic localism. Or mass-something or other. Regardless, world leaders of the political nature are usually bad news in a basket.

The alternative post-state is the more nightmarish mass libertarian for-profit institutionalism outlined here. Look back at that whole spiel I did about the balance of power between nations and business and we're all on the same lines. This power is shifting. Most importantly is the outline that nation-state and government have become synonymous, when they are not. Take example from the Church, Mafia, Second Life and Facebook. Italians and Californians seems particularly bent toward extra-territorial governance, though the Italian scooter and Aperol-based ideology seems preferable to me.

Amazon's 3D Printers

Amazon is selling 3D printers from it's US store. The latest dive of normalisation for the technology. It's still buried under the 'industrial and scientific' category and as far as I can tell has missed the omnipresent 'Father's day' lists. The greatest, most dizzying heights of normalisation will be that day (quite probably this time next year) when they're knocked down to under $100 and pumped out at the top of father's day lists. You hand it to him with a brief exchange of, 'Oh yes, I've read about these.' He dutifully scans the instructions and prints off a handful of the stock objects that come with the software that day. Then it sits in the garage for ten or twenty years.

Again, much like with the Little Printer, this whole thing is backed up with headlines proclaiming 'Amazon embracing the future.' Neglecting the fact that by setting up this potential 2014 marketing bonanza, they're the ones writing the future in the first place and laying the trap for thousands of misunderstood and unused 3D printers littering suburban garages and sheds.

Space is the place.

Benedict Singleton is the kind of guy with a cheerful skip, a malevolent but harmless sense of humour and a dark glint of something genuinely terrifying and exciting in his eye. This essay for eflux is that dark glint. I share studio space with the guy so I'm often bombarded with the tail end of theories about escaping the bonds of death and gravity, but to actually read it written down and performed in text makes it eminently quotable and quite a supportable, if insane, theory.
Fedorov has no time for proclamations that human beings must “love Nature.” This was, to him, the characteristic indulgence of those he contemptuously described as “the learned”—an elite who could spend their time singing Nature’s praises, because their everyday lives were substantially insulated from it, by precisely the kinds of technology—from agriculture to medicine—that act to counter the “natural.” Out in the field—literally as well as figuratively—no such niceties prevail. This does not mean Fedorov promoted a project of “overcoming” nature, in the sense of “destroying” or even “dominating” it. He is aware that the same processes that lay waste to life are deeply implicated in life itself, even if—in the later words of a Fedorov acolyte, the economist Sergei Bulgakov—“life seems a sort of accident, an oversight or indulgence on the part of death.” His mission is instead to convert or transform the natural, to bring reason to it, carving out a larger and more hospitable environment for life.