Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Friedrich Nietzsche disses women

A woman may very well form a friendship with a man, but for this to endure, it must be assisted by a little physical antipathy.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Admiration for a quality or an art can be so strong that it deters us from striving to possess it.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Although I'm specifically looking for Nietzsche's statements about scientific method, I was interested in his prioritizing of science as the brawn for the philosopher's brain in the attribution of a hierarchy of values (quote not included here).

The quotes posted here show a serendipitous call and response regarding gender relations, I think. So, rather than having better spectacles (as quoted as his cure for love) to induce the necessary physical antipathy, it would seem that to appreciate a woman's friendship, it is only necessary to have BETTER BLOODY RESPECT & ADMIRATION!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Why I Miss bell hooks : Ms Magazine Blog

This one's for Tina! Why we all miss bell hooks and how we can become as kick ass as her (or perhaps already are!). As the article goes on to say.... "For years, she has courageously taken to the front line and, with her academic sword, deconstructed everyday occurrences as evidence of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy."

This article was in response to recent overwhelming US public support for a white cop punching a young black woman in the face, in an act for which the young black woman subsequently apologized.

I had the luxury of not asking for more details or getting too upset about it. But I feel ashamed about being silent, when I see the cost imposed on those few who do speak out whenever culturally sanctioned injustices are perpetrated, in which ever country that may be.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fun and games

Freeplay sounds great... like GameJam. But I want the 3G girl, games, gender version.

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feministfrequency's Channel

www.feministfrequency.com%2F&status=ok&fs=1&watermark=http%3A%2F%2Fs.ytimg.com%2Fyt%2Fswf%2Flogo-vfl107009.swf%2Chttp%3A%2F%2Fs.ytimg.com%2Fyt%2Fswf%2Fhdlogo-vfl101609.swf&sourceid=r&timestamp=1282092088&has_cc=True&iv3_module=http%3A%2F%2Fs.ytimg.com%2Fyt%2Fswf%2Fiv3_module-vfl183159.swf&fmt_map=22%2F1280x720%2F9%2F0%2F115%2C35%2F854x480%2F9%2F0%2F115%2C34%2F640x360%2F9%2F0%2F115%2C5%2F320x240%2F7%2F0%2F0&cc_asr=1&hl=en_US&iv_module=http%3A%2F%2Fs.ytimg.com%2Fyt%2Fswf%2Fiv_module-vfl181903.swf&ttslisturl=%2Fajax_timedtext%3FvideoId%3DyL0aGv45vGM%26type%3Dlist&cc_module=http%3A%2F%2Fs.ytimg.com%2Fyt%2Fswf%2Fsubtitle_module-vfl175721.swf&iurl=http%3A//i2.ytimg.com/vi/yL0aGv45vGM/hqdefault.jpg&endscreen_module=http%3A%2F%2Fs.ytimg.com%2Fyt%2Fswf%2Fendscreen-vfl183282.swf&fmt_stream_map=22%7Chttp%3A%2F%2Fv6.lscache3.c.youtube.com%2Fvideoplayback%3Fip%3D0.0.0.0%26sparams%3Did%252Cexpire%252Cip%252Cipbits%252Citag%252Cratebypass%252Coc%253AU0dXR1FMUl9FSkNNN19JRlZJ%26itag%3D22%26ipbits%3D0%26sver%3D3%26ratebypass%3Dyes%26expire%3D1282114800%26key%3Dyt1%26signature%3D8B062579D40F2DC4D6E6B085CBE3499EE3B4A487.2F8E40D2DE34DA763B8DAEB5F7484B540B1504E8%26id%3Dc8bd1a1afe39bc63%7C%7Ctc.v6.cache3.c.youtube.com%2C35%7Chttp%3A%2F%2Fv11.lscache1.c.youtube.com%2Fvideoplayback%3Fip%3D0.0.0.0%26sparams%3Did%252Cexpire%252Cip%252Cipbits%252Citag%252Calgorithm%252Cburst%252Cfactor%252Coc%253AU0dXR1FMUl9FSkNNN19JRlZJ%26algorithm%3Dthrottle-factor%26itag%3D35%26ipbits%3D0%26burst%3D40%26sver%3D3%26expire%3D1282114800%26key%3Dyt1%26signature%3DC98B4CD0E785CD0827C7D73685BA48105006FB66.1E72DF1CC13E3D2E91B7BA9C8CB1614AF9264875%26factor%3D1.25%26id%3Dc8bd1a1afe39bc63%7C%7Ctc.v11.cache1.c.youtube.com%2C34%7Chttp%3A%2F%2Fv2.lscache3.c.youtube.com%2Fvideoplayback%3Fip%3D0.0.0.0%26sparams%3Did%252Cexpire%252Cip%252Cipbits%252Citag%252Calgorithm%252Cburst%252Cfactor%252Coc%253AU0dXR1FMUl9FSkNNN19JRlZJ%26algorithm%3Dthrottle-factor%26itag%3D34%26ipbits%3D0%26burst%3D40%26sver%3D3%26expire%3D1282114800%26key%3Dyt1%26signature%3D3D3953B9917CDFE178AB19063BC5DBD78AA63A85.047993BA4F79520C88C48F7C13F30DDF3027CC71%26factor%3D1.25%26id%3Dc8bd1a1afe39bc63%7C%7Ctc.v2.cache3.c.youtube.com%2C5%7Chttp%3A%2F%2Fv8.lscache3.c.youtube.com%2Fvideoplayback%3Fip%3D0.0.0.0%26sparams%3Did%252Cexpire%252Cip%252Cipbits%252Citag%252Calgorithm%252Cburst%252Cfactor%252Coc%253AU0dXR1FMUl9FSkNNN19JRlZJ%26algorithm%3Dthrottle-factor%26itag%3D5%26ipbits%3D0%26burst%3D40%26sver%3D3%26expire%3D1282114800%26key%3Dyt1%26signature%3DC33962276F43623BD42363966213D6A788A16DDE.54450E5A3051E5A5076096C0A762EB0F0697D576%26factor%3D1.25%26id%3Dc8bd1a1afe39bc63%7C%7Ctc.v8.cache3.c.youtube.com&ss=1&referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.feministfrequency.com%2F&avg_rating=4.76296296296&video_id=yL0aGv45vGM&tts_watch_url=%2Fwatch_ajax%3Faction_get_caption_track_all%26v%3DyL0aGv45vGM&vq=auto&token=vjVQa1PpcFOrtQQSK1A0sHS8g_3zAdggPRA1D48WAEA%3D&thumbnail_url=http%3A%2F%2Fi2.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FyL0aGv45vGM%2Fdefault.jpg&sk=jN-IGOCD9B3HM-BMgzWqylAK1RahsCz4C&eurl=http://www.youtube.com/user/feministfrequency&showsearch=0&autoplay=0&playnext=0&ad_eurl=http://www.youtube.com/user/feministfrequency&enablejsapi=1&jsapicallback=onChannelPlayerReady" quality="high" width="500" style="" />

Right on, sister! However, the issue is not simply that this exists and that women don't want it, because many men don't want it either. What can be done to combat institutionalised sexist society and gendered technogeek culture?

Sad but true, most people I raise this issue with say, "yeah, and...?"

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Did I mention searching for images of bots and finding only pictures of women? Some without any obvious technology. Feminist Frequency has some things to say about the playing out of misogynistic fantasies in the robotics popular culture.

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Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Archives: Girls, Gaming, and Gender: An Interview with Game Designer and Researcher Jennifer Jenson (Part Two)

And finally, it has been the case for nearly 30 years now that women have not chosen to enter computer science and engineering fields, that they have stayed away from programming courses and careers in computer-based industries, and the fact that so few women are a part of the games industry means that the above two issues persist. This inequity falls on the shoulders, I think, of educators and educational institutions who have (with a few exceptions) not been able to turn the tide of so few women participating in the kinds of secondary and higher education that might lead them to career paths as game designers, and here I don't mean by assuming that that inequality will be made up through the 'art production' side of things. We in education need to examine how it is we teach those subjects and who we encourage and at times actively discourage from those related areas, as well as actively promote programs of the kind that we are participating in like the 3G Summit, as at the very least, for a short period of time, it puts girls roles chances are they might not have experience before.

The dearth of women in technology can not be said often enough. This stagnation, if not decrease, has been measured for 30 years now. Theoretically at least, women in general have improved their overall position of power and wealth during that time. That makes the lack of movement in this particular area very interesting. Next question though is tricky. Where to from here?

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Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Archives: Girls, Gaming, and Gender: An Interview with Game Designer and Researcher Jennifer Jenson (Part One)

Girls, Gaming, and Gender: An Interview with Game Designer and Researcher Jennifer Jenson (Part One)

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Mindy Faber, the co-organizer of The 3G Summit: The Future of Girls, Gaming and Gender which she described to me as "a visionary 4-day initiative that brings 50 urban teenage girls together with five leading women game designers and scholars for intensive dialogue, inquiry, game-play, and mentorship. It is organized by Open Youth Networks, Interactive Arts and Media and The Institute for Study of Women and Gender in Arts and Media at Columbia College." The designers involved with the event look like a who's who of women who have been doing cutting edge thinking about gender and games and who have also been demonstrating the potentials for developing alternative models of game and play (including two associated with the University of Southern California):

    via Feminist Frequency, via Kathy Cleland - this is a great post and finally! someone is noticing things like the conflation of girl behaviour and novice behaviour in studies. Also of great interest to me, having just been reading the debunking of Levitt's 'access to abortion post Roe v Wade caused big drop in crime in US' by Kahane, who did a large international follow up which found no correlation between abortion access and crime rate.

    What Kahane found was a significant drop in crime round about the same time in many other countries. Larry Katz, a labor economist, suggests that the proliferation of video games at that time as a low cost activity for youth of criminal potential may be responsible for drop in crime rates.

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    rosiefuture, tiphereth: Maslow’s Hierarchy of #Robot Needs...

    i just want to know what robot food is?

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    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Emmeline Pankhurst - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Emmeline Pankhurst (c. 1913)

    Emmeline Pankhurst raised her daughters to help her fight for women's rights. This included jail time, bombing, arson and hunger strikes. This is a story worth a tv series!

    I've finally watched Deadwood after hearing so many rave reviews from friends and have to say I found it disappointingly wordy, almost whiny, although I'm enjoying Calamity Jane. I'm only 2 eps into season 1 though.
    Mad Men is returning to small screen tonight and that's another show I've rather enjoyed at times. If neither Deadwood or Mad Men suffice an evening without World of Warcraft, then I can always watch the next episode of the Guild.

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    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Video: There’s Sexy Technology, Then There’s This… | Cult of Mac

    I have seen this with my own eyes. A side note: searching for 'sexy technology' throws up heaps of stock photos of women with bits of metal or plastic attached somewhere. Not a single male image in the search. Also interesting... there were one or two photos included where I could find no external technology at all. So the woman must have been the 'sexy technology'. Cyborg much?

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    Hot or Not - some interesting stuff

    In 2005, as an example of using image morphing methods to study the effects of averageness, imaging researcher Pierre Tourigny created a composite of about 30 faces to find out the current standard of good looks on the Internet (as shown above). On the popular Hot or Not web site, people rate others’ attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10. An average score based on hundreds or even thousands of individual ratings takes only a few days to emerge. To make this hot or not palette of morphed images, photos from the site were sorted by rank and used SquirlzMorph to create multi-morph composites from them. Unlike projects like Face of Tomorrow where the subjects are posed for the purpose, the portraits are blurry because the source images are low resolution with differences in posture, hair styles, glasses, etc., so that here images could use only 36 control points for the morphs.[6] A similar study was done with Miss Universe contestants, as shown in the averageness article, as well as one for age, as shown in youthfulness article.

    A recent 2006 "hot" or "not" style study, involving 264 women and 18 men, at the Washington University School of Medicine, as published online in the journal Brain Research, indicates that a person's brain determines whether an image is erotic long before the viewer is even aware they are seeing the picture. Moreover, according to these researchers, one of the basic functions of the brain is to classify images into a hot or not type categorization. The study's researchers also discovered that sexy shots induce a uniquely powerful reaction in the brain, equal in effect for both men and women, and that erotic images produced a strong reaction in the hypothalamus.[7]

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    DIY Portable Augmented Reality Headset « Tailor Made Toys

    Okay. I'm madly wanting to hack this for halloween at the kid's school. Toy lust. I know I have deadlines... but with a little help from my friends, we can do it, right? It would be so cool... sexy... whatever. I am starting to feel a need to write a paper on the use of the word 'sexy' when coupled with technology. Speaking of which, is there a 'hot or not?' for technology? If not, why not?

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    Monday, August 9, 2010

    IS robots Parade

    http://isparade.jp/222236 = \ robots !! /

    It's great twitter visualization and just shows what fun you can have with content scraping!

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    Rachel Maines | Technology Historian | Big Think

    This is great! Of course, this has just made my Masters Thesis completely unnecessary. I am absolutely getting the 'Technology of Orgasm' and the 'Hedonizing of Technology' from Rachel Maines, however.

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    Thursday, August 5, 2010

    The Robot State - another side of the story

    Through Quartet, Margie Medlin took an artistic approach in creating complex new tools that can be used by humans/artists living in an augmented reality. The resulting 60-minute performance presented to the audience in real time was a highly aesthetical rendering of Margie Medlin’s interpretation of our world as an augmented space.

    The title Quartet points towards the use of technology in various combinations, as does the line up of the different sections on the program. The four instruments: the dancer, the robot, the musician and the virtual dancer played in different combinations together. The duet between the dancer and the robot is visually easily perceivable and rewarding for the audience. An interesting connection between spatial analogies is evident when the camera eye of the robot is projected onto the screen, seemingly having a conscious will to recognize the dancer. On the other hand, the wish of the dancer to understand its own existence is perceptible through its play with the machine.

    After the initial stages of setting up the computer & audio systems involved in this ground breaking project, these systems interacted with live performance by Carlee Mellow. The intention was to show what systems were brought into play in the Quartet project and what can be achieved by the use of such systems.

    via DanceNSW – Critical Path Update.

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    The Robot State

    Merely Human? That’s So Yesterday | Singularity Institute For Artificial Intelligence AU Chapter

    August 2, 2010 · Leave a Comment

    On 13 June, 2010, in Info, by Adam A. Ford

    Art Transhuman - NYT

    The Singularity movement sees a time when human beings and machines will merge and overcome illness and perhaps death.
    “ON a Tuesday evening this spring, Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, became part man and part machine. About 40 people, all gathered here at a NASA campus for a nine-day, $15,000 course at Singularity University, saw it happen.
    While the flesh-and-blood version of Mr. Brin sat miles away at a computer capable of remotely steering a robot, the gizmo rolling around here consisted of a printer-size base with wheels attached to a boxy, head-height screen glowing with an image of Mr. Brin’s face. The BrinBot obeyed its human commander and sputtered around from group to group, talking to attendees about Google and other topics via a videoconferencing system.”…
    The full article can he found here.

    → Leave a CommentCategories: Uncategorized

    The RobotState project is taking shape. One of the goals is to counteract the prevalence of disembodied gendered robotics (as evidenced above - and believe me the Singularity guys are all.... guys) with some of the other sides of robotics, unfortunately usually positioned as art not science.

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    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    My favorite makers at Maker Faire Detroit - Boing Boing

    My favorite makers at Maker Faire Detroit


    I was in Detroit this past weekend for Maker Faire Detroit 2010. It was held at the Henry Ford Museum (look for an upcoming post about this incredible museum) and I'm guessing 20,000 people showed up. There was a great deal of excitement and energy in the air, and I went home with the feeling that Detroit is going to rise to greatness again very soon.

    Sydney has a hackerspace (robotsanddinosaurs.org) just down the road in Rockdale for anyone who's inspired but can't make our own school science/robotics club meetings!

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    Computer Chip Implant to Program Brain Activity, Treat Parkinson’s | Singularity Hub

    I was planning to hack my dad. We were thinking of using a lego robotics motion sensor wired up to a tongue tickler to give him a constant sense of balance. However, this computer chip from University of Tel Aviv/University of Newcastle etc may be more effective, the real deal not the makerfaire/hackspace version.

    An international team of researchers led by Dr. Matti Mintz at the University of Tel Aviv is working on a biomimetic computer chip for brain stimulation that is programmable, responsive to neural activity, and capable of bridging broken connections in the brain. Called the Rehabilitation Nano Chip, or ReNaChip, the device could be used to replace diseased or damaged brain tissue, restore brain functions lost to aging, and even treat epilepsy. The chip is currently in animal testing, but should reach human applications within a few years.

    The ReNaChip will significantly improve an existing technology called deep brain stimulation (DBS), a surgical implant that acts as a brain pacemaker for a variety of neurological disorders. DBS delivers electrical stimulation to select areas of the brain via electrodes; for individuals with Parkinson’s, chronic pain, or dystonia, these induced stimulations can significantly alleviate symptoms (e.g. uncontrolled movement). But currently, the stimulation that DBS delivers is constant and unresponsive to brain activity. Because of this, the therapeutic effects are reduced over time. This is where the ReNaChip comes in, making the system responsive to brain activity and fully programmable.
     .... article continued