Anthropocene Imaginaries: Climate Fiction as Communication Infrastructure

Early reviews for Adam McKay’s new film Don’t Look Up are out, and they are decidedly mixed. This new movie seems to continue McKay’s trend of real-world-oriented comedies that engage with current socio-political events. McKay has transitioned from broad comedies including notable collaborations with Will Ferrell to a series of based-on-a-true-story/ripped-from-the-headlines entertainments. His films adopt … Continue reading Anthropocene Imaginaries: Climate Fiction as Communication Infrastructure

Metaverse Madness

Late last month Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was changing its name to Meta Platforms Inc., or simply Meta for short. The timing of the announcement led many commentators to interpret the re-branding as an attempt by Facebook leadership to direct attention away from the leaked documents and whistleblower testimony that were … Continue reading Metaverse Madness

Further thoughts on online education

This week I will be returning to an in-person classroom setting for the first time in more than a year and a half. It was evident last spring, and it remains evident now, that students are burnt out on online classes and eager to return to the classroom. My own feelings are a bit mixed. … Continue reading Further thoughts on online education

Pokemon Go & post-pandemic mobility expectations

I haven’t played Pokemon Go since the early days of its release. It was nearly impossible to avoid the buzz surrounding the game’s launch. And as I wrote back in July 2016, the hype around the game was infectious and the game itself offered an exciting new way of interacting with public spaces in your … Continue reading Pokemon Go & post-pandemic mobility expectations

Virtual Horizons & Futurology for 2021: Žižek on The Great Reset

With much ballyhoo and bellyaching about the absurdly miserable year of 2020, our collective calendars have finally turned to 2021. The year-end was marked by effusive declarations of relief and hope, even though these admissions of optimism were often tinged with cynical self-awareness reflecting the continuing complexities of our current moment (i.e. coronavirus vaccines are … Continue reading Virtual Horizons & Futurology for 2021: Žižek on The Great Reset

Hiroki Azuma’s General Will 2.0 and Urban Planning

The Japanese cultural critic Hiroki Azuma has contributed some of the most inventive contemporary propositions for the use of information and communication technologies for democratic practice. In General Will 2.0 (2014), Azuma argues that democratic ideals should be “updated on the basis of the realities of information society” (p. iii). Simply stated, the proliferation of … Continue reading Hiroki Azuma’s General Will 2.0 and Urban Planning

The Soul in Cyberpunk: Consciousness, Higher Selves, and the Tarot of 2077

“The tarot will teach you how to create a soul.” Jodorowsky, The Holy Mountain Cyberpunk 2077 released last week, and like so many others I’ve been exploring the game (to the best of my ability considering the performance issues on my console hardware...but that’s currently being discussed ad nauseum across the Internet, and I am … Continue reading The Soul in Cyberpunk: Consciousness, Higher Selves, and the Tarot of 2077

MISC Monday: MLK media literacy; social media stress; the attention economy, and more

Almetria Vaba of PBS Learning Media has posted a collection of resources for exploring media literacy through the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr.: Examine the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement with hundreds of PBS LearningMedia resources.  Here is a sampling of resources from the … Continue reading MISC Monday: MLK media literacy; social media stress; the attention economy, and more

Smart Cities: India’s initiative; technologized transport; democratic dilemmas and dystopian dangers

Smart cities continue to be a hot topic for urban designers and commentators, even as the very definition of the term is debated. Kieron Monks at CNN recently addressed this in an article on the next generation of smart cities: The urban planning equivalent of a Rorschach test, a "Smart City" can be taken to … Continue reading Smart Cities: India’s initiative; technologized transport; democratic dilemmas and dystopian dangers

Mind-controlled exoskeleton opens World Cup; AI will crash the stock market; Cortana’s personality

The 2014 World Cup kicked off yesterday with a futuristic twist on the opening ceremonies. A paraplegic kicked a soccer ball using an exoskeleton designed by the Walk Again Project: The exoskeleton -- a system comprising a helmet implanted with a microchip that sticks out from the underside; a T-shirt loaded with sensors; metal leg … Continue reading Mind-controlled exoskeleton opens World Cup; AI will crash the stock market; Cortana’s personality