Filed under book | Tags: · artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, robotics, technology
Robots, androids, and bionic people pervade popular culture, from classics like Frankenstein and R.U.R. to modern tales such as The Six Million Dollar Man, The Terminator, and A.I. Our fascination is obvious and the technology is quickly moving from books and films to real life.
In a lab at MIT, scientists and technicians have created an artificial being named COG. To watch COG interact with the environment to recognize that this machine has actual body language is to experience a hair-raising, gut-level reaction. Because just as we connect to artificial people in fiction, the merest hint of human-like action or appearance invariably engages us.
Digital People examines the ways in which technology is inexorably driving us to a new and different level of humanity. As scientists draw on nanotechnology, molecular biology, artificial intelligence, and materials science, they are learning how to create beings that move, think, and look like people. Others are routinely using sophisticated surgical techniques to implant computer chips and drug-dispensing devices into our bodies, designing fully functional man-made body parts, and linking human brains with computers to make people healthier, smarter, and stronger.
In short, we are going beyond what was once only science fiction to create bionic people with fully integrated artificial components and it will not be long before we reach the ultimate goal of constructing a completely synthetic human-like being.
It seems quintessentially human to look beyond our natural limitations. Science has long been the lens through which we squint to discern our future. Although we are rightfully fearful about manipulating the boundaries between animate and inanimate, the benefits are too great to ignore. This thoughtful and provocative book shows us just where technology is taking us, in directions both wonderful and terrible, to ponder what it means to be human.
Publisher Joseph Henry Press, 2004
ISBN 0309089875, 9780309089876
Length 238 pages
Filed under book | Tags: · acoustics, electroacoustic music, electronic music, plunderphonics, radioart, sound recording, technology
Technology revolutionised the ways that music was produced in the twentieth century. As that century drew to a close and a new century begins a new revolution in roles is underway. The separate categories of composer, performer, distributor and listener are being challenged, while the sounds of the world itself become available for musical use. All kinds of sounds are now brought into the remit of composition, enabling the music of others to be sampled (or plundered), including that of unwitting musicians from non-western cultures. This sound world may appear contradictory – stimulating and invigorating as well as exploitative and destructive. This book addresses some of the issues now posed by the brave new world of music produced with technology.
Contents: Introduction, Simon Emmerson; Part One: Listening and interpreting: Through and around the acousmatic: the interpretation of electroacoustic sounds, Luke Windsor; Simulation and reality: the new sonic objects, Ambrose Field; Beyond the acousmatic: hybrid tendencies in electroacoustic music, Simon Waters; Part Two: Cultural noise: Plunderphonics, Chris Cutler; Crossing cultural boundaries through technology?, Simon Emmerson; Cacophony, Robert Worby; Part Three: New places, spaces and narratives: Art on air: a proile of new radio art, Kersten Glandien; ‘Losing touch’? the human performer and electronics, Simon Emmerson; Stepping outside for a moment: narrative space in two works for sound alone, Katharine Norman; Index.
Publisher Ashgate, 2000
ISBN 0754601099, 9780754601098
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Filed under book | Tags: · artificial intelligence, biology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, neuroscience, quantum computing, robotics, technology
For over three decades, Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations.
Publisher Viking, 2005
ISBN 0670033847, 9780670033843
Length 652 pages
Larry Gross, John Stuart Katz, Jay Ruby (eds.): Image Ethics: The Moral Rights of Subjects in Photographs, Film, and Television (1991)
Filed under book | Tags: · cinema, docudrama, documentary film, film, mass media, photography, privacy, television
This pathbreaking collection of thirteen original essays examines the moral rights of the subjects of documentary film, photography, and television. Image makers–photographers and filmmakers–are coming under increasing criticism for presenting images of people that are considered intrusive and embarrassing to the subject. Portraying subjects in a “false light,” appropriating their images, and failing to secure “informed consent” are all practices that intensify the debate between advocates of the right to privacy and the public’s right to know. Discussing these questions from a variety of perspectives, the authors here explore such issues as informed consent, the “right” of individuals and minority groups to be represented fairly and accurately, the right of individuals to profit from their own image, and the peculiar moral obligations of minorities who image themselves and the producers of autobiographical documentaries. The book includes a series of provocative case studies on: the documentaries of Frederick Wiseman, particularly Titicut Follies ; British documentaries of the 1930s; the libel suit of General Westmoreland against CBS News; the film Witness and its portrayal of the Amish; the film The Gods Must be Crazy and its portrayal of the San people of southern Africa; and the treatment of Arabs and gays on television. The first book to explore the moral issues peculiar to the production of visual images, Image Ethics will interest a wide range of general readers and students and specialists in film and television production, photography, communications, media, and the social sciences.
Publisher Oxford University Press US, 1991
ISBN 0195067800, 9780195067804
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Bruce Sterling: The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier (1992) [English/Czech]
Filed under book | Tags: · cybercrime, cyberspace, hacking, software, telephone
The AT&T long-distance network crashes, and millions of calls go unanswered. A computer hacker reprograms a switching station, and calls to a Florida probation office are shunted to a New York phone-sex hotline. An underground computer bulletin board publishes a pilfered BellSouth document on the 911 emergency system, making it available to anyone who dials up. How did so much illicit power reach the hands of an undisciplined few – and what should be done about it?
The book discusses watershed events in the hacker subculture in the early 1990s. The most notable topic covered is Operation Sundevil and the events surrounding the 1987-1990 war on the Legion of Doom network: the raid on Steve Jackson Games, the trial of “Knight Lightning” (one of the original journalists of Phrack), and the subsequent formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The book also profiles the likes of “Emmanuel Goldstein” (publisher of 2600: The Hacker Quarterly), the former Assistant Attorney General of Arizona Gail Thackeray, FLETC instructor Carlton Fitzpatrick, Mitch Kapor, and John Perry Barlow.
In 1994, Sterling released the book for the Internet with a new afterword.
Publisher Bantam Books, 1992
Length 323 pages
Literary Freeware: Not for Commercial Use
Audiobook by Cory Doctorow.
Czech translation by Václav BártaComment (0)
Emily Thompson: The Soundscape of Modernity: Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1933 (2002)
Filed under book | Tags: · acoustics, architecture, listening, music, sound recording, usa
In this history of aural culture in early-twentieth-century America, Emily Thompson charts dramatic transformations in what people heard and how they listened. What they heard was a new kind of sound that was the product of modern technology. They listened as newly critical consumers of aural commodities. By examining the technologies that produced this sound, as well as the culture that enthusiastically consumed it, Thompson recovers a lost dimension of the Machine Age and deepens our understanding of the experience of change that characterized the era.
Reverberation equations, sound meters, microphones, and acoustical tiles were deployed in places as varied as Boston’s Symphony Hall, New York’s office skyscrapers, and the soundstages of Hollywood. The control provided by these technologies, however, was applied in ways that denied the particularity of place, and the diverse spaces of modern America began to sound alike as a universal new sound predominated. Although this sound—clear, direct, efficient, and nonreverberant—had little to say about the physical spaces in which it was produced, it speaks volumes about the culture that created it. By listening to it, Thompson constructs a compelling new account of the experience of modernity in America.
Publisher MIT Press, 2002
ISBN 0262201380, 9780262201384
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Filed under book | Tags: · aboriginal art, anthropology, art, australia, ethnography, film, photography, postmodernism, television
Bad Aboriginal Art is the extraordinary account of Eric Michaels’ period of residence and work with the Warlpiri Aborigines of western Central Australia, where he studied the impact of television on remote Aboriginal communities.
Sharp, exact, and unrelentingly honest, Michaels records with an extraordinary combination of distance and immersion the intervention of technology into a remote Aboriginal community and that community’s forays into the technology of broadcasting. Michaels’s analyses in Bad Aboriginal Art will disrupt and redirect current debates surrounding the theory and practice of anthropology, ethnography, film and video making, communications policy, and media studies—no less than his work has already disrupted and redirected the cultural technologies of both the Warlpiri and Australian technocrats.
Publisher U of Minnesota Press, 1994
ISBN 0816623414, 9780816623419