recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : kazysvarnelis   54

Cassandra Plays the Stock Market | Quiet Babylon
"I imagined her playing the stock market. She starts buying dot-coms in 1994 and gets out in 2000. She sees the housing crisis from miles away and has sold all her subprime holding by early 2008.

But her story is a tragedy, so then I imagined her getting put away for insider trading. They don’t have any solid evidence, but no one believes her defence and the jury becomes certain she’s guilty. She’s the only person punished for the collapse of the banking system. Thankfully, it’s a white collar crime so pretty soon, she gets out. She’s like Martha Stewart.

I feel like I know a lot of people who kind of see themselves as a Cassandra. I feel that way sometimes, myself. We look at the world, we notice a lot of obviously terrible decisions that people and institutions are making, we point out that things won’t go well, no one listens to us, and then things don’t go well. We console ourselves that we’d seen it coming. It’s kind of a romantic feeling. You feel like you’re smarter than most people.

I was talking to my wife Pamela about all this and she gently pointed out that in my white-collar retelling, I’d missed the whole point of the Cassandra myth. In the story, things don’t go at all well for Cassandra. Her city burns. She is assaulted and kidnapped and eventually killed by the invaders. Cassandra doesn’t get to insulate herself from the worst of it. She suffers the consequences along with everyone else.

She is bound to the fate of her people. As we are bound to the fate of ours.

It’s not good enough to be right.

A funny thing has happened in my professional circles since the election.

In the wake of these terrible events, pretty much all of my colleagues have discovered the renewed importance of whatever it is we were working on in the first place. I, of course, have discovered the renewed importance of understanding the role of fiction and speculation in shaping the future of the world. I think we should be suspicious about this.

At the place where I work — a university — there has been a particular renewal in talking about how important it is that we teach everyone more critical thinking. The feeling is that the outcome of this election is the result of people being duped, and that if they’d had better critical thinking skills, that people would have been somehow inoculated against the bad ideas, and better able to think for themselves (and vote the way we thought they should).

I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit hanging around the online communities of the kind of people we are worried about reaching here, and I am here to tell you: They are using their critical thinking skills.

They are fully literate in concepts like bias and in the importance of interrogating sources. They believe very much in the power of persuasion and the dangers in propaganda and a great many of them believe that we are the ones who have been behaving uncritically and who have been duped. They think that we are the unbelieving victims of fraud.

Which is not to set up some kind of false equivalency between sides. But I do want us to consider the possibility that we don’t need to talk across that barrier, and that it might not be possible to talk across it. That we need to consider that if it’s true that vast swaths of the voting populace are unbelieving victims of fraud, that there’s not much we can do for them. That we may need instead to work to invigorate our allies, discourage our enemies, and save the persuasion for people right on the edge.

But, again, I’m saying all of this to you as someone who has not figured this out."
timmaly  future  futurism  speculation  cassandra  2017  fraud  kazysvarnelis  robertsumrell  gigurdjieff  belief  criticalthinking  allies  persuasion  speculativefutures  predictions 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Empires Revolution of the Present - marclafia
"The film and online project brings together international philosophers, scientists and artists to give description and analysis to the contemporary moment as defined by computational tools and networks.

It states that networks are not new and have been forever with us in the evolution of our cities, trade, communications and sciences, in our relations as businesses and nation states, in the circulation of money, food, arms and our shared ecology.

Yet something has deeply changed in our experience of time, work, community, the global. Empires looks deeply to unravel how we speak to the realities of the individual and the notion of the public and public 'good' in this new world at the confluence of money, cities, computation, politics and science."

[Film website: http://www.revolutionofthepresent.org/ ]

[Trailer: https://vimeo.com/34852940 ]
[First cut (2:45:05): https://vimeo.com/32734201 ]

[YouTube (1:21:47): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaTw5epW_QI ]

"Join the conversation at http://www.revolutionofthepresent.org

Summary: The hope was that network technology would bring us together, create a "global village," make our political desires more coherent. But what's happened is that our desires have become distributed, exploded into images and over screens our eyes relentlessly drop to view.

REVOLUTION OF THE PRESENT examines the strange effects — on cities, economies, people — of what we might call accelerated capitalism. Set against a visually striking array of sounds and images, 15 international thinkers speak to the complexity and oddity of this contemporary moment as they discuss what is and what can be.

Documentary Synopsis:
Humanity seems to be stuck in the perpetual now that is our networked world. More countries are witnessing people taking to the streets in search of answers. Revolution of the Present, the film, features interviews with thought leaders designed to give meaning to our present and precarious condition. This historic journey allows us to us re-think our presumptions and narratives about the individual and society, the local and global, our politics and technology. This documentary analyzes why the opportunity to augment the scope of human action has become so atomized and diminished. Revolution of the Present is an invitation to join the conversation and help contribute to our collective understanding.

As Saskia Sassen, the renowned sociologist, states at the outset of the film, 'we live in a time of unsettlement, so much so that we are even questioning the notion of the global, which is healthy.' One could say that our film raises more questions than it answers, but this is our goal. Asking the right questions and going back to beginnings may be the very thing we need to do to understand the present, and to move forward from it with a healthy skepticism.

Revolution of the Present is structured as an engaging dinner conversation, there is no narrator telling you what to think, it is not a film of fear of the end time or accusation, it is an invitation to sit at the table and join an in depth conversation about our diverse and plural world."

[See also: http://hilariousbookbinder.blogspot.com/2014/09/rethinking-internet-networks-capitalism.html ]

[Previously:
https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:ec1d3463d74b
https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:9f60604ec3b3 ]
marclafia  networks  philosophy  politics  science  money  cities  scale  economics  capitalism  2014  kazysvarnelis  communication  communications  business  work  labor  psychology  greglindsay  saskiasassen  urban  urbanism  freedom  freewill  howardbloom  juanenríquez  michaelhardt  anthonypagden  danielisenberg  johnhenryclippinger  joséfernández  johannaschiller  douglasrushkoff  manueldelanda  floriancrammer  issaclubb  nataliejeremijenko  wendychun  geertlovink  nishantshah  internet  online  web  danielcoffeen  michaelchichi  jamesdelbourgo  sashasakhar  pedromartínez  miguelfernándezpauldocherty  alexandergalloway  craigfeldman  irenarogovsky  matthewrogers  globalization  networkedculture  networkculture  history  change  nationstates  citystates  sovreignty  empire  power  control  antonionegri  geopolitics  systems  systemsthinking  changemaking  meaningmaking  revolution  paradigmshifts  johnlocke  bourgeoisie  consumption  middleclass  class  democracy  modernity  modernism  government  governence  karlmarx  centralization  socialism  planning  urbanplanning  grass 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Empires: The Film by Marc Lafia — Kickstarter
"…feature length documentary film and new media project which explores the impact of networks on histories and philosophies of political thought. We have spent the last year interviewing an extraordinary array of leading international thinkers on the ideas, philosophies and technologies including social and capital movements that are shaping our sciences and social structures, in our networked world."

"No formal system of power has lasted forever." —Saskia Sassen

"It's way easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of the current order." — Michael Hardt

"It's not even that we've bought into the notion of our own enslavement by capitalism. We bought into winner-takes-all syndrome. … We don't rebel against the system. It's not even a question as to wealth anymore. It's a question of believing that you can be at the center of the network…winner …losers… We are not individuals any more — we are brands." —Greg Lindsay

[via: http://varnelis.net/blog/empires_a_film_on_networks ]
hacking  selfbranding  branding  communication  facebook  twitter  technology  global  web  internet  scaling  scale  scienceofthenetwork  individualism  corporatism  capitalism  media  film  power  documentary  documentaries  kickstarter  2012  geertlovink  nishantshah  michaelhardt  anthonypagden  manueldelanda  jamesdelbourgo  cathydavidson  alexgalloway  wendyhulkyongchung  floriancramer  nataliejeremijenko  kazysvarnelis  saskiasassen  marclafia  networkculture  networks  unfinished  incomplete  cities 
june 2012 by robertogreco
The Oversaturation Project
"“The Oversaturation Project. Travel Under Late Globalization” is an initiative of the Network Architecture Lab at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and Ralph Appelbaum Associates.

Our goal, which we will begin to explore in this research blog, is to investigate the changing landscape of travel at a crucial juncture in world history. It’s our hypothesis that globalization as a process has reached a new condition, akin to that reached by modernization in the 1950s. In using the term “late globalization,” we are referring to Ernst Mandel’s concept of late capitalism, the point when capitalism was everywhere, saturating the world. WIth the spread of the Internet and mobile telecommunicational devices the disconnected world of the past is now gone and is rapidly becoming unfamiliar to us, a past that recedes rapidly day by day. Soon, like the premodern world, the disconnected world will become unintelligible to us."
cross-bordercommunication  sustainability  peakoil  shipping  trade  gloabltrade  timventimiglia  leighadennis  peaktravel  urbanism  urban  architecture  modernization  latecapitalism  telecommunications  ernstmandel  jetage  globalization  networkarchitecturelab  networkarchitecture  kazysvarnelis  oversaturation 
february 2012 by robertogreco
How Aerotropolis May Destroy Us Yet | varnelis.net
"One of the most annoying & pervasive myths pundits like to spout today is that living in cities is, de facto, greener.

All things is being equal, yes, it would be.

It disturbs me, however, that these same pundits spend jet around the globe much of the year, bragging about how many miles they've logged.

Check out Getting There Green, a fascinating report from the Union of Concerned Scientists that I came across in our research for rebuilding the Port Authority Bus Terminal. It turns out that plane travel is much, much worse for the environment. Try it out for yourself at the Terrapass Carbon Footprint Calculator. Alas, that calculator doesn't include first class travel, which pundits prefer, but if we can assume that one first class trip is equal to two coach trips (it may be worse than this), all it takes is 2 first class trips from NY to Europe to equal a year of carbon output from an SUV. 

Is there a surprise in Getting There Green? Yes, the bus is the greenest mode of travel."
buses  myths  gettingtheregreen  green  carbonfootprint  2012  kazysvarnelis  petpeeves  environment  sustainability  aerotropolis  hypocrisy  travel 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Regarding the Euro | varnelis.net
Comment from Ana María León, "Looks pretty close-minded to me": <br />
<br />
"european schengen visa paperwork and border control in europe are the most humiliating, racist experiences i've gone through in my life, and i speak as a south american woman that travels in and out of the united states often. europe might be open, but only as long as you're white.<br />
<br />
i understand this is an unfair argument, based on personal experiences--but it has happened to me every time i've gone. i'm traveling to europe twice this fall (if i get the stupid visas) and i'm already cringing at the thought of what i may have to go through.<br />
<br />
i don't mean to accuse a whole continent of racism, of course--only referring to the way states manage their borders."
anamaríaleón  kazysvarnelis  europe  travel  racism  eurozone  us  travellers  2011  euro 
september 2011 by robertogreco
All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace Episode 1 | varnelis.net
"But I had high hopes for this series. It had been some time since he had made a new one and I thought that by now he would have reworked his style and produced something of striking originality. I had hoped for a fresh take on network culture. After all, I will be the first with my hand in the air to accuse network culture of promoting elitism and individualism. Its influence on our society, particularly on the academy and the creative fields, has been pervasive and pernicious.

All Watched Over, alas, almost descends into self-parody. The first episode seems to loosely take Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron's fifteen year old Californian Ideology article as a reference point (although he fails to mention that they coined the term in a critical essay and misses the point about the critical influence of the counterculture in forging Silicon Valley's libertarian mindset) but he veers off into a protracted discussion of Ayn Rand."
aynrand  kazysvarnelis  allwathedoverbymachinesoflovinggrace  adamcurtis  networkculture  networks  californianideology  andycameron  richardbarbrook  alangreenspan  wallstreet  chicagoschool  billclinton  geoffwaite  davidharvey  cyberculture  fredturner  thecenturyoftheself  2011 
june 2011 by robertogreco
The Faux-Vintage Photo: Full Essay (Parts I, II and III) » Cyborgology
"I am working on a dissertation about self-documentation and social media and have decided to take on theorizing the rise of faux-vintage photography (e.g., Hipstamatic, Instagram). From May 10-12, 2011, I posted a three part essay. This post combines all three together."

[See also (some of the tags reference): http://varnelis.net/blog/atemporality_the_iphone_camera_and_the_hipster ]
photography  twitter  instagram  hipstamatic  2011  nathanjurgenson  self-documentation  faux-vintage  hipsters  nostalgia  nostalgiaforthepresent  atemporality  networkculture  cameras  iphone  cameraphone  kazysvarnelis  timmaly  allegory  comment  postmodernism  modernism  furniture 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Ivory Towers of Debt | varnelis.net
"It's a giant ponzi scheme with little of value for students and, as Harper's described in a notorious graphic about the consequeneces of overbuilding in Brandeis (Brandeis has threatened a lawsuit and has accused Harper's of slander and libel over this piece), can collapse precipitously during times of economic crisis. But while bonds were hot, Wall Street couldn't have enough of them, so universities eagerly complied."
tcsnmy  fundraising  bonds  endowment  universities  highered  money  economics  recession  priorities  shortterm  longterm  kazysvarnelis  javierarbona  cities  architecture  buildings  finance  leadership  administration 
march 2011 by robertogreco
YouTube - UMTaubmanCollege's Channel
"University of Michigans Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning hosted the Future of Urbanism conference on March 19 & 20, 2010. An international roster of speakers academics and practitioners addressed some of the most critical issues facing our cities and their environs in six sessions, comprised of 15-minute segments and a panel discussion. Topics included: Urban and Regional Ecologies; Just Cities; MEGACITY / shrinking city; New Publics / New Public Spaces; Urban Imaginary; and Cities as Theaters for Conflict. The presentations were free and open to the public. For more information about the event: www.taubmancollege.umich.edu/futureofurbanism http://www.taubmancollege.umich.edu/news_and_events/events/special_events/futureofurbanism/ "

[Teddy Cruz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ_FxXZrcDE ]
urban  urbanism  architecture  future  kazysvarnelis  bryanfinoki  saskiasassen  edsoja  bartlootsma  danacuff  christineboyer  benjaminbratton  teddycruz  via:javierarbona  ecology  urbanecologies  megacities  publicspace  urbanimaginary  cities  2010 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Factory Studio, Spring 2011 | varnelis.net
"If modernity is defined by mass production, then the factory is modern architecture’s definitive typology. Early factories were widely understood as sublime, sites of awe & horror that could only be overcome by the exertion of human reason. Spurred by this challenge, from the 18th century onward, architects & social reformers envisioned rational & just factories, not merely workplaces but rather centers of human habitation, places of joy in labor, & envisioned societies built around them.

Today, the factory evokes images of structures either converted to art museums, lofts, or abandoned to decay. With factories outsourced, design has all but abandoned re-imagining this critical site of human activity, the one truly new building type of modernity. Our interest is to use architecture & most advanced thinking in network culture to construct new & better ways of life. In doing so, this studio is engaged first & foremost with institution building and shaping of social behavior."
kazysvarnelis  abundance  factories  architecture  design  modernism  modernity  networkculture  behavior  2011  society  work  social  socialbehavior 
january 2011 by robertogreco
On Ireland, Briefly | varnelis.net
"Why weren't plans drawn up for controlled shrinkage during impending contraction or for how to utilize the massively overbuilt housing? Alas, the answer is simple: such thoughts didn't fit with the mantra that the boom would never end. Ireland was different, I was told time and time again, and unlike the tired old United States, it had discovered the secret for perpetual growth."

[Reminds me of a another promise that came out of Ireland in 2006. Remember Steorn? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steorn ]
comments  steorn  kazysvarnelis  economics  growth  bubbles  policy  2010 
november 2010 by robertogreco
On Black Swans and Realism | varnelis.net
"A couple of weeks back the Planet Money podcast hosted Nassim Taleb, author of the Black Swan. Click here for the interview. I have not read Taleb's book, although I am likely to now, but I am baffled by how the real estate crisis and the crash of the market could be considered a hard-to-predict or rare event. In that, Taleb seems like an apologist for the neoliberal school of thought which is in love with totalizing arguments: "There is no alternative" or "Nobody could have predicted it." So sorry, but there are alternatives and plenty of us predicted it long in advance. Look, I only have a basic training in economics, but it was a good one, and it was obvious to me that the market was out of whack. Unless somehow more training in economics leads to diminishing returns, the idea that the crash was a black swan seems bizarre, even delusional."
kazysvarnelis  housingbubble  nassimtaleb  markets  economics  blackswans 
september 2010 by robertogreco
The Financialization of Everyday Life | varnelis.net
"For future generations, the experience of rediscovering long-lost friends will be unfamiliar. Similarly, new friends are all too easy to make. If alienation was in part the product of feeling alone in a city or in mass society, misunderstood and unable to find others like oneself, today the Internet makes it possible for us to connect to a massive number of dispersed, networked publics brought together around particular taste cultures. Through social networking sites, we come to regard each other as intimates even before we have met. Intimacy is now a matter of keeping up the "telecocoon," the steady, ambient conversation that keeps individuals together regardless of how far apart they are."
kazysvarnelis  networks  networkedpublics  urban  urbanism  isolation  alienation  cities  mobility  connections  dispersion  ambient  ambientconversation  ambientintimacy  looseties  etiquette  internet  web  social  socialnetworking 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Blueprints for a Better ‘Burb - Opinionator Blog - NYTimes.com
"[The] prevailing vision contradicts the reality of suburbia today. There may be white picket fences & home owners associations in common, but beyond that, “suburb” has outlived its usefulness as a descriptive term — and as a model for future planning, at least in its current incarnation. Suburbs continue to be designed for homogeneity even though they’re no longer homogeneous at all, & in fact have become increasingly varied in type, density, infrastructure & demographics..."

[via: http://varnelis.net/blog/blueprints_for_a_better_burb ]
architecture  suburbia  suburbs  sustainability  transportation  traffic  urbanism  urban  planning  competitions  ecology  energy  environment  housing  systems  systemsthinking  kazysvarnelis  longisland 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Today We Collect Nothing | varnelis.net
"We will need at least a decade to absorb the excess housing currently in the market...Mobility will rise, but homes will become less the spaces of self-realization that they were...& more shells to be filled temporarily, with only a few, highly-intelligent objects in one's possession...Is this an end condition to architecture? Maybe. But when hasn't architecture been in an end condition?...But maybe there are other possibilities? It strikes me that architects are missing a major opportunity here. All of this is very similar to what the Eameses were up to when they moved away from construction to media. They built the best house of the century but architecture couldn't hold their attention. It was too slow. Instead, they turned to media. Today's media are more spatial than film ever could be. Hertzian space—and the interface to it—is the new frontier. Architects should be sure not miss out."
neo-nomads  nomads  mobility  modernism  eames  architecture  kazysvarnelis  housing  housingbubble  realestate  future  reynerbanham  stevejobs  postdisciplinary  design  glvo  cv  unschooling  deschooling  gamechanging  change  hertzianspace 
march 2010 by robertogreco
On Alan Curtis’s Century of the Self. This is the first... | varnelis.net
"...BBC documentary on rise of Freudian psychology, public relations, & conceptions of individual over last century. To what extent do psychology & public relations shape the self under network culture? This is crucial to understand. In part, I think the answer can be found in the disorders that afflict a culture. Neuresthenia & hysteria dominated psychology in the late 19th century, giving way to afflictions like psychosis & neurosis, and more recently to bipolar disorder and aspberger’s. This is a thumbnail sketch & I certainly need to elaborate it, but these afflictions could be seen as a map of the unresolved tensions within society. Moreover, popular remedies feedback on society, altering it. Thus, this WSJ article suggesting that Prozac impacted our way of thinking about the economy, exacerbating the bubble.
kazysvarnelis  bbc  thecenturyoftheself  alancurtis  self  psychology  publicrelations  networkculture  neuresthenia  hysteria  prozac  bubbles  psychosis  neurosis  bipolardisorder  aspergers  society  social  economics 
january 2010 by robertogreco
On the iPad and Networked Books | varnelis.net
"Not only that, I had hoped that iWork might be rewritten as a set of tools that would allow easy construction of media-rich books for the iPad, but that didn’t happen. So much for the Netlab’s next book being on the iPad (a crazy thought I had).
ipad  kazysvarnelis  networking  socialnetworks  closed  open  apple  coursesmart  extbooks  books  newmedia  future  iwork  contentcreation 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Complexity and Contradiction in Infrastructure | varnelis.net
"As societies mature, Tainter observes, they become more complex, especially in terms of communication. A highly advanced society is highly differentiated and highly linked. That means that just to manage my affairs, I have to wrangle a trillion bureaucratic agents such as university finance personnel, bank managers, insurance auditors, credit card representatives, accountants, real estate agents, Apple store "geniuses," airline agents, delivery services, outsourced script-reading hardware support personnel, and lawyers in combination with non-human actors like my iPhone, Mac OS 10.6, my car, the train, and so on."

[annotated by Bruce Sterling: http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2009/12/california-in-ruins-i-blame-the-dominant-ideology-of-the-whole-earth-catalog/ ]
architecture  urban  cities  space  transportation  losangeles  complexity  infrastructure  kazysvarnelis  california  history  future  stewartbrand  proposition13  jareddiamond  josephtainter  2009  reynerbanham  robertventuri  collapse  society  bureaucracy  education  universities  californianideology  economics 
december 2009 by robertogreco
It’s been over a year since Obama was elected and while its an immense relief to be rid of the... | varnelis.net
"...awful regime that laid waste to this country for eight years, the disappointment about the current administration is starting to set in. I’ve been cautious from day one since I remember just how stupid the Clinton administration really was and observed that during the election Obama never offered compelling policies to match his oratory.
larrysummers  barackobama  harbard  finance  policy  us  politics  government  presidency  kazysvarnelis  disappointment  2009 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Slow Infrastructure | varnelis.net
"In a bizarre misinterpretation of Michael Pollan’s advocacy of slow food, the Obama administration has decided to pursue slow infrastructure.
politics  barackobama  infrastructure  transportation  money  finance  healthcare  healthinsurance  influence  kazysvarnelis 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The Wrong Way Forward - Triple Canopy
"The collapse of complex societies, the benefits of foreclosure, and the end of technological advancement as we know it."
kazysvarnelis  design  politics  environment  architecture  infrastructure  cities  society  foreclosures  2009 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The Infrastructural City: Places: Design Observer
"argues convincingly that the layering of transportation, communications, hydrologic & power systems atop one another & atop a semi-arid terrain is giving rise to new hybridized or mutated social-environmental-technological dynamics that are unique & robust & deserving of serious critical reflection. Underlying this position is an unstated realization — that LA, only now, is mature enough to have developed these emergent, intrinsic & complex metropolitan ecologies...Varnelis suggests that the book might function best as a field manual for the metropolitan hacker, whose gateway may be one of a million local points on a myriad of overlaid continental & global networks of exchange that intersect at this sunny piece of land on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The collection’s various maps, diagrams & photographs underscore its potential for such covert operations, & perhaps for more mainstream & touristic agendas as well — itineraries for the 21st-century metropolitan flaneur."
infrastructure  networks  kazysvarnelis  books  losangeles  telecommunications 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Against Situationism | varnelis.net
"Deliberately obscure, Situationism was cool...perfect ideology for knowledge-work generation. What could be better to provoke conversation at local Starbucks or company cantina, especially once Marcus's, which traced dubious red thread between Debord & Malcolm McLaren, hit the presses? Rock & roll plus neoliberal politics masquerading as leftism: a perfect mix. For the generation that came of age with Situationism-via-Marcus & dot.com era, work at offices like Razorfish or Chiat/Day was highest form of play. Enough pop-tarts for middle of the night charettes & a bit of colorful design ensured that work & life had finally merged in dot.com workplace. Or so it was in theory. The reality was Office Space. Today, Situationism seems to be more popular than ever, serving as the latest justification for neoliberal city. Instead of a broader idea of a collective, Situationism advocates for the right not to work (but just how will we survive? will amazon make free shipments after revolution?)"
situationist  kazysvarnelis  art  culture  architecture  dotcomboom  education  mapping  vision  geography  utopia  urbanism  wandering  france  paris  urban  critique  politics  philosophy  history  now 
july 2009 by robertogreco
On 30 Years of Soundtracks to Life | varnelis.net
"Portable cassette players and boomboxes flourished in the 1970s & if the latter served as means of building impromptu communities, they were also consciously thought of as sonic assault devices, marking out territory & creating tension in urban spaces. The Walkman was a counter against this, turning music inward toward a solitary experience.... If the boombox represents the last moment of urban decay and street violence, the Walkman represents its re-colonization. This would be recapitulated in 2001 when the iPod turned out to be the first major consumer product introduced after 9/11. ... Technologies, such as the Walkman, that once seemed ubiquitous now have a run of less than a decade before disappearing or transforming utterly. And yet, historians & theorists use operative models largely developed within the days of the Walkman or—thinking of the continued popularity of the Situationists or Deleuze—in the days of the transistor radio."
kazysvarnelis  walkman  history  technology  situationist  music  deleuze  gillesdeleuze 
july 2009 by robertogreco
On the Death of the Suburbs | varnelis.net
"For all the talk about suburbs as "urban parasites," scholars have demonstrated that suburbs and city cores are now inextricably linked. If anything, such infrastructural collapse would lead to further growth in the distant suburbs and in exurbia (I, for one, would think about bugging out to Vermont before everyone else does). It's very much in the interest of urban and suburban leaders to work together to find solutions."
kazysvarnelis  suburbs  urban  infrastructure  collapse  suburbia 
june 2009 by robertogreco
On The Great Big Third World | varnelis.net
"So if we're seeing 9.4% unemployment this month, you should probably double that to get a real picture of how many people aren't being employed in traditional fashion. What if this continues for a few years? And what if we get the high interest [and inflation] rates that I predicted, eviscerating home values? I think the result is a country that approaches "Third World" status with a cheap labor force that will take on contract work without any guarantee of continuing employment for low wages. ... The Third World didn't vanish in the worldwide economic "boom," it spread everywhere. That's what the last two decades have brought us. I knew that the Bush administration was alternately too stupid and too evil to point this out, but Obama had the opportunity to force Americans to face up to the crisis, as FDR did when he took over in 1933, but he took an easy way out. Now we'll all pay the price. Welcome to the new, improved, much larger Third World."
kazysvarnelis  crisis  thirdworld  us  policy  economics  housingbubble  labor  unemployment  georgewbush  barackobama  inflation  devaluation  dollar  markets  boom  greatrepression  recession 
june 2009 by robertogreco
The Big Nothing | varnelis.net
"As the economy tanks, there's no money for firms with questionable business models like Technorati and the server bills have to be paid before little things like functionality are addressed. ... In other words, I'm suggesting that what we are seeing is not so much the replacement of old media by new, but the annihilation of both. Marxists have long predicted that capital's contradictions would undo it and, although I'm hardly optimistic about the prospects of a Red future, it seems like we're getting a taste of this now."
kazysvarnelis  marxism  capitalism  recession  economics  technorati  business  internet  online  web  media  oldmedia  newmedia  collapse 
april 2009 by robertogreco
On Culture | varnelis.net
"The all-consuming desire of boom culture, so beholden to Ezra Pound’s fascist grunt “Make it new” (even if it forgot the author) obscured the need for slowness in culture. Perhaps now, for the first time in fifteen years, culture will take a breath and we will learn to think critically again. Maybe a new name is necessary instead of “criticism” but still, what a time to pause, reflect, write, and think again."
kazysvarnelis  boom  criticalthinking  slow  reflection  society  culture  criticism 
march 2009 by robertogreco
On Facebook Self-Portraits | varnelis.net
"So it was that in reading the first article, I felt that the author missed his friend Caroline's point when she told him "You can never be too cool for your past." As your images catch up to you in network culture, you have to become the consummate manipulator of your image, imagery from the past being less an indictment of present flaws and more an indicator of your ability to remake yourself."
kazysvarnelis  facebook  image  online  internet  web 
march 2009 by robertogreco
On Restructuring | varnelis.net
"Is there an easy solution to this? No. We have wasted the mad money of the last two decades on starchitecture and jet skis instead of a physical and social infrastructure that would allow us to deal with the realities of the city. It's going to be a long process of rebuilding and, given the bad politics of both parties (albeit especially the Republicans), the odds are against us."
kazysvarnelis  crisis  change  bubbles  starchitects  infrastructure  us  economics  politics  policy  2009 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Richard Sennett on Brittle and Open Cities | varnelis.net
"Starchitecture was the ultimate manifestation of the brittle city he describes. In breaking the rules formally, it produced the impression that cities were places of freedom when in fact they were getting more and more tightly controlled, more exclusive and more homogeneous. Who cares about a building by Herzog and de Meuron in Manhattan when you can't get a decent slice of pizza in most places anymore? Which is more valuable to a city, a Nouvel apartment building that testifies to the diversity of form or diversity of ethnicities and classes? " pdf here: http://www.urban-age.net/0_downloads/Berlin_Richard_Sennett_2006-The_Open_City.pdf
cities  diversity  starchitects  richardsennett  kazysvarnelis  opencities 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Architecture of Bling | varnelis.net
"Take a look at this table of 15 skyscrapers that are on hold due to the economic "crisis." Many of these are quite curvy, giving the impression that they are dancing or swaying in the wind. Now first of all, this conceit seems rather pathetic: skyscrapers don't dance and they don't sway in the wind, so why should they look like they do?
kazysvarnelis  architecture  design  bling  excess  green  crisis  boom  flash  skyscrapers 
march 2009 by robertogreco
In Defense of Architecture (Fiction) | varnelis.net
"Instead of being Utopian or imaginative, might it be possible for architecture to shape our experiences in such ways as to approximate the effects of films or fiction? Or better yet, video games? Please don't take this to mean that architects need to copy Doom or Quake (they've tried that already). But rather, could architecture fiction be something that re-shapes our subjectivity?" ... "if architects are such experts at shaping space, who is to say they always need to work with the building trades? The Eameses made furniture and films. If they were around today, I think they'd be out in the city, finding ways to shape the environment through existing forms of locative media." ... "Instead of writing novels on a cell phone, why shouldn't we be reading the city on our cell phones?"
kazysvarnelis  architecture  history  writing  theory  narrative  us  starchitects  archigram  builtenvironment  eames  cities  literature 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Tracking The Future
"The emerging infrastructure is different. Varnelis describes it as something multiple and shifting: “networked ecologies,” plural “infrastructures” that are “hypercomplex” and as likely to consist of legal mechanisms and barely visible cell-phone networks as the heavy stuff of tunnels and bridges. Inherently less apparent than the infrastructure that came before, they’re also as likely to be owned by corporations as by governments—meaning these networks can’t really be controlled, only “appropriated” according to their own logic. With traditional planning made impotent by capitalism and NIMBYism, rebuilding the city now requires a “new type of urbanist,” a designer Varnelis compares to a computer hacker who reimagines a new use for the underlying rules and codes. It’s a compelling vision, but it’s darkened by a Marxist conviction about the malevolence of the corporation. Infrastructure has always been a public initiative that complements private investment."
via:grahamje  urbanplanning  urban  urbanism  cities  kazysvarnelis  architecture  future  politics  infrastructure  networks  planning  subway  us  underground  barackobama  public  private 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Unpacking My Library | varnelis.net
"There is no question that I lose memories as I sell off my unwanted books, but there are other considerations. My father is proud of his collection—after all it is part of the Lithuanian National Museum now—but he is also melancholy. The amount of matter to haul around and preserve weighs heavily on the soul. Selling my books allows me to realize, if even partially, Superstudio's greatest dream: life without objects.

The global continuum of information and product flow that we live in means anything is available to anyone at any time. When that is possible, the need for permanent ownership ceases. Does life become a constant field of variation, our possessions an endlessly reconfigurable but minimal set of objects?"
books  ownership  possessions  kazysvarnelis  postmaterialism  simplicity  neo-nomads  nomads  libraries  amazon  web  internet  change  mobility  identity  memory 
february 2009 by robertogreco
infrastructure, the lives of things, and stimulus | varnelis.net
"In other words, we've created political ecologies that are going to stand in the way of moves to fund infrastructure.
infrastructure  politics  policy  crisis  stimulus  barackobama  cities  money  change  brokensystems  kazysvarnelis 
february 2009 by robertogreco
On the Reshaping of America | varnelis.net
"Hipsters have managed the illusion of living without any means of financial sustenance for a while. Now we get to see them do it for real."
hipsters  economics  richardflorida  creativeclass  collapse  crisis  wealth  employment  kazysvarnelis  culture  cities  capitalism  future  2009 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Network Culture | varnelis.net - "In this book I will argue that many of the key tenets of culture since the Enlightenment: the subject, the novel, the public sphere, are being radically reshaped."
From the introduction: "What unites these machines is their mobility and their interconnectivity, necessary to make them more ubiquitous companions in our lives and key interfaces to global telecommunications networks. In a prosaic sense, the Turing machine is already a reality, but it doesn’t take the form of one machine, it takes the form of many. With minor exceptions, the laptop, smart phone, cable TV set top box, game console, wireless router, iPod, iPhone, and Mars rover are the same device, but they become specific in their interfaces, their mechanisms for input and output, for sensing and acting upon the world. Instead of a universal machine, network culture seeks a universal, converged network, capable of distributing audio, video, Internet, voice, text chat, and any other conceivable networking task efficiently."
everyware  kazysvarnelis  ubicomp  network  networks  mobile  interconnectivity  uibiquitous  books  networkculture  change  society  information  ideology  economics  aesthetics  interconnected 
february 2009 by robertogreco
The Californian Candidate? | varnelis.net
"But I want to raise another issue here, this time about change.gov? Now on the one hand, after eight years of outright lies and deceit, I relish the promise of governmental transparency. On the other hand, I wonder about the promise of participation that the site holds out. It smacks of the Californian Ideology, the idea that new technologies will bring about a libertarian democratic techno-utopia. I'm not sure that change.gov really meshes with some of the choices that Obama's made in his Cabinet. Moreover, I worry about it being smoke and mirrors. Now I can't imagine anything being even half as bad as the last eight years, but the Cabinet is hardly a model for transparency..."
kazysvarnelis  california  transparency  politics  us  barackobama  change  reform  pessimism  moreofthesame  californianideology  techno-utopia  technology  change.gov 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Last One Out Turn Out the Lights | varnelis.net
"Soon Dubai will abandoned to sink back into the sands. I think it'll be much more interesting that way, with feral animals running wild, Chernobyl-style, in the ruins. As for the Times, at a symposium last Saturday at Columbia someone said "What if the Times closed, they have dozens of reporters in the Baghdad bureau… How could bloggers replace them?" Yochai Benkler stated "But they are responsible for the war! Remember Judith Miller?" He is so right. What if our news from Baghdad came from actual Iraqs, people who understand the context and speak the language? Oh tired, old Grey Lady, maybe it's time to shut the doors on the Foster building and call it a day? The face-lift didn't work, it just made things worse. Your structural function as an enabler for the growth machine has been a non-stop embarrassment for all involved and now its time to pay the price."
kazysvarnelis  dubai  bubble  economics  growth  nytimes  cities  architecture  dept  finance  capitalism  journalism  collapse  oma  remkoolhaas  china  iraq  war  cheerleading  realestate  2009 
february 2009 by robertogreco
The Infrastructural City - Networked Ecologies in Los Angeles - we make money not art
"the one city on this planet i should be averse to. The first time i was there i saw creatures that freaked me out: Chupa-Chup ladies -heavy and round on top, super slim on the rest of the body- and all sort of people walking around with some rather stunning attributes that had been recently implanted. I could not accept that no one ever 'walks around the city center' to do some shopping, have a drink and sit down in a park. And where was the city center anyway? I realized i would never survive in L.A. without a driving license. The skyscrapers were tiny Lego structures thrown in a heap by the highway. And the river. Even that poor repudiated and alien river looked fake! I should never have liked LA. I tend to measure every city to a European one. I manage that tour de force almost everywhere but in LA the attempt is more preposterous than ever. That's what charmed me so much. That and many other things. Los Angeles is the only city in the USA where i would be tempted to live."
losangeles  urbanism  wmmna  infrastructure  architecture  books  kazysvarnelis  reviews  sprawl  urban 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Archinect : Views : Victory Gardens, or the Impact of the Financial Crisis on Architecture
"It will stop soon since cities are about to have their turn. Get ready for the great urban collapse of 2009-2010. Cities are massively overbuilt and, with the financial collapse, just as massively underfunded. ... I wager that architects will expand the discipline again by using their incredible synthetic knowledge to go into other fields. The Eameses’ venture into media design is a great illustration of this. Charles and Ray turned to media because it allowed them to get their concepts across to people much more rapidly and efficiently than architecture could. Or take Archinect for example. It’s vastly more important than any of the buildings made in the last decade. That’s why it’s no accident that I teach at Columbia: Dean Wigley’s has set out Columbia’s program as being to create “the expanded architect.” That’s exactly what we should be doing."
kazysvarnelis  architecture  future  recession  meltdown  infrastructure  design  collapse  2009  predictions  urban  urbanism  everyware  adamgreenfield  archinect  eames  unbuilt 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Vodafone | receiver » Simultaneous environments – social connection and new media - Kazys Varnelis
"The world of micro-publics can also threaten place as well. With access to more information than ever, we can find a community perfectly tailored to our political, social, and cultural interests. I confess that I am perfectly happy in my suburban town on the outskirts of the New York metropolitan region, where people like me live, seeking a very liberal suburban life. We all attend our July 4th parade but we give the most applause to the anti-Iraq-war marchers. Right-wingers are few and far between in these parts. There is a dark side to this. In The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of America is Tearing Us Apart, journalist Bill Bishop uncovered that Americans are increasingly sorting themselves into homogeneous communities. As people worldwide gravitate to the places where others most like themselves live, face-to-face debate and dissent evaporate."
kazysvarnelis  place  space  communities  architecture  technology  communication  history  change  nonplaces  telecocoon  copresence  connectedness  continuouspartialattention  privacy  internet  mobile  phones  sms  society 
october 2008 by robertogreco
the network architecture lab
"Specifically, the Network Architecture Lab investigates the impact of computation and communications on architecture and urbanism. What opportunities do programming, telematics, and new media offer architecture? How does the network city affect the build
architecture  art  maps  mapping  urban  location  ubicomp  data  spimes  space  kazysvarnelis 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Adobe - Developer Center : The invisible city: Design in the age of intelligent maps
"In this condition of total urbanity, maps as navigational tools for the physical traversal of space are supplanted by intelligent maps for navigating a contemporary space in which the physical becomes a layer of data in a global informational space."
cartography  stamendesign  mapa  mapping  information  ubicomp  locative  location-based  geography  urbanism  trends  software  design  sociology  gps  gis  kazysvarnelis 
july 2008 by robertogreco
architecture for hertzian space | varnelis.net
"high-tech in architecture means new, unprecedented form. When considered in a broader perspective, however, this response seems almost perverse ... Apple turned toward a studied minimalism, to designs that harkened back more to the Ulm School minimalism of Dieter Rams instead of conjuring a vision of the future. Dispensing with the notion that design is primarily a question of unprecedented form, these devices simply get out of the way so that individuals could use them...the iPhone’s brilliance: it isn’t a phone as much as a magic object, a promise of a day to come in which more and more material objects will cease being dumb and instead become intelligent ... Soon, we imagine, people would become addicted to Windows on the World. Youths leave the security of their houses to rove around their city, hunting for new portals, all the while discovering not just the world, but their city."
architecture  art  ubicomp  space  hertzianspace  public  situationist  pervasive  geography  urbanism  classideas  kazysvarnelis  design  technology  interaction  apple 
july 2008 by robertogreco
posturban transformation | varnelis.net - "Urbanism as a Way of Life, had traditionally been places of difference, places in which individuals from rural backgrounds were deterritorialized (to use Deleuzean terms) to become new, urban beings...
"...But something strange has happened over the last two decades...As the global city becomes increasingly homogeneous, today's advocates of the creative city may seem as backwards to us as Corbusier did to Jane Jacobs."
cities  suburbs  trends  urban  via:regine  creativeclass  suburbia  urbanism  demographics  janejacobs  kazysvarnelis 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Design is Dead | varnelis.net
"Just as we seem to have more faith in design than ever, just as design seems to be exploding, we are also faced with a culture for which design (as conventionally practiced) is simply not appropriate anymore."
design  thinking  problemsolving  materialism  philippestarck  unproduct  culture  ethics  sustainability  green  designandtheelasticmind  moma  clayshirky  kazysvarnelis  networks  designer  diy  hacking  making  opensource  usergeneratedcontent  usergenerated  make  hertzianspace 
march 2008 by robertogreco
seven for 2007 | varnelis.net
"1. The Decline of the City, the Rise of the City 2. The End of Privacy 3. The Return of Big Computing 4. Systems not Sites 5. Goodbye, Bilbao 6. The Bust 7. The iPhone"
cities  trends  urban  urbanism  mobile  mobility  architecture  housingbubble  kazysvarnelis  suburbs  parkour  iphone  internet  network  future  forecasting  design  remkoolhaas  crisis 
january 2008 by robertogreco
new museum | varnelis.net
"Manhattan is following Paris into becoming a "classic city," full of money but void of potential? If Donald Judd, George Maciunas, or Gordon Matta-Clark were 25 today, they wouldn't live there."
architecture  art  gentrification  place  urbanism  nyc  cities  kazysvarnelis  via:adamgreenfield  matta-clark  gordonmatta-clark 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Goodbye Supermodernism | varnelis.net
"new architecture for the 21st century will be less concerned with sensation & affect, less obsessed with either box and blob, and more concerned with new kind of place-making, enabling us to dwell more creatively in both “real” & network space"
architecture  theory  urban  supermodernism  postmodernism  place  design  nonplaces  mobile  phones  presence  ambientintimacy  communication  thirdplaces  wireless  wifi  web  online  internet  kazysvarnelis 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Open Source Architecture | varnelis.net
"Caught up in a self-validating discourse that is increasingly irrelevant to network culture, design in the academy is falling behind innovators like Architecture for Humanity or Rocio Romero."
architecture  design  academia  education  discourse  prefab  rocioromero  kazysvarnelis  opensource  network  innovation  architectureforhumanity 
march 2007 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read