On New Year’s Day 2020, I noted that we are not living in a future with flying cars, much less floating cities patrolled by superheroes. As I said then, that’s the downside, but the upside is that we’re not living in this either…
How quickly reality likes to disabuse us of our quaint notions.
Ok, so it’s not exactly like the way the 80s envisioned 2020, but let’s look around us –
- Computer and communications networks linking nearly the entire world
- Global economy teetering on the brink of collapse
- People being socially ostracized for thinking outside the Officially Approved Narrative
[from the sourcebook NeoTribes, 1995]
- Corporations essentially ruling, or at least strongly influencing, the world
- Worldwide pandemic, with people wearing facemasks outside to avoid breathing the “bad air”
I’m sure you can think of more. The Cyberpunk book even mentions something called “Storm Technologies” coming to prominence into 2019 and 2020, which might amuse any Qanon fans out there.
But not William Gibson, not Rudy Rucker, not “The Mighty Bruces” Bethke and Sterling, not even Mike Pondsmith and the crew at R. Talsorian predicted this.
A prototype smart toilet that can identify you by your “analprint” and monitor your trip to the loo has been created by researchers at Stanford University. It’s equipped with cameras and sensors that collect information on your bodily waste, and it uses that data to look for any health issues you might have.
The “analprint” is the toilet’s primary way of identifying each user. Much to the authors’ dismay, it’s also the aspect of the toilet that’s gotten the most attention since the paper describing the proto-toilet was published in a press release and the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering on Monday.
“It’s a minor part of our system,” Seung-min Park, a senior research scientist at Stanford University and the paper’s lead author, told The Verge.
The article reports that the inspiration for “analprints” was Salvador Dali. Somehow not surprised.
It’s not a bad idea, in theory. It could help people discover health problems before they become serious. But of course, it can’t be that simple.
The article cites privacy concerns, which are well-founded in a bizarrely disturbing way – the government has always been up your ass, but this makes it literal. But the article also notes “due to the fixed camera angles of the GoPro, the smart toilet would film female genitalia in addition to the anal region, which is why the first study included an all-male participant pool.”
Imagine your toilet being hacked.* Not only are you at risk for identity-theft-by-ass-recognition, you might end up the star of the show on the internet somewhere. With your identity clearly known.
The forthcoming game Cyberpunk 2077, dark and oppressive as it is, might be looking a little too optimistic.
H/T to this Redstate article I found while researching , and to Ace of Spades HQ, your go-to source in all toilet-related concerns.
*Now there’s a phrase I never envisioned writing.
Storing and processing music in the cloud depends on vast data centers that use a tremendous amount of resources and energy.
Devine translated plastic productions and the electricity use to store and transmit digital audio files into greenhouse gas equivalents (GHGs). He then compared the GHGs from recorded music in the US in 1977, 1988, 2000 and 2016.
The findings are clear. The GHGs caused by recorded music are much higher today than in the past. In 1977 the GHGs from, recorded music were 140 million kg. By 2016, they were estimated to somewhere between 200 million kg and over 350 million kg.
“I am a bit surprised. The hidden environmental cost of music consumption is enormous,” Devine says.
Even worse than the “bovine methane emissions” aka cow farts. You can’t really blame the cows for cow-ing. But I guess if you’re gonna have a planet-scale brown note, it might as well be a D-major.
Let’s add to the worldwide suicide note (heh) with a song that gleans a bit of insight as to how progressives arrive at their conclusions (hint: it involves some atmospheric emissions of their own, and I’m not talkin’ the C02 kind), as performed by some young fellows who tragically died in a different kind bovine emission-related incident.
“Better keep it real –
– Steely Dan, “Pixeleen”
Steely Dan quit touring in 1974, saying they hated it. In 1993, they starting touring again, and now Donald Fagen is announcing a new tour at the age of 69. So, if they don’t like touring, why go back to Annandale, as it were? The Don tells the Wall Street Journal (behind a paywall, unfortunately) –
When the bottom fell out of the record business a bunch of years ago, it deprived me of the luxury of earning a living from records. I don’t sell enough albums to cover the cost of recording them the way I like to. For me, touring is the only way to make a living.
Turns out The Dan is not the only band touring to make some cash. Guns ‘n’ Roses is hitting the circuit to make some pay as well. The fact that the band hasn’t released a new album since 2008 is no obstacle. Proving that a band does not need to be creating new stuff to make money.
Or even alive. Ronnie James Dio is going on tour despite being currently dead. A hologram of Dio will perform with a live band.
No word on whether Jem will be the opening act.
One awaits the inevitable “Steely Dead” tour.
…I can’t even tell if this stuff is real anymore.
Now we just need a remixed Mickey Avalon song as the soundtrack. Yeah, that NSFW one.
The conceptual penis
Makes the Earth hot like Venus
It’s time we let the world know
Problematic economic capital
Patriarchial power dynamics
Beats tooling around in a Prius
H/T to New Real Peer Review
Watch this to make your brain hurt…
I’ve been looking at stuff like that for the past hour or two. I think I need to lie down for a while.
And I thought April Fool’s Day was early (and insane) last year…
So I was scrolling through Ace of Spades HQ and discovered the following –
Only feminist sources should be trusted for researching businesses. Because business sources are lying patriarchy.
boys transgender “girls” unable to get dates with straight boys.
What makes it such a strong contender for the title is that it’s such a multi-layer cake of crazy:
1. British parents, schools, the medical profession are encouraging boys in their delusions rather than providing therapy.
2. The confused/mentally ill boys seem to be shocked at their lack of success with normal boys.
3. The BBC is actually making a series about all of this
4. …and portraying this festival of perversity as just another specie of teen angst. You know, like pimples, school pressures, or finding a prom date.
BONUS: You should use gender-neutral pronouns when talking to your pets. Because they could be transgender. I guess trans-species-ism hasn’t gotten glitzy enough for progressives to champion yet. Give it a week and they’ll be telling you that your cat identifies as a kangaroo.
Farting is a rape weapon –
…unless a woman farts. Then it’s a tool against oppression.
Not yet sure how teenage transgender Brits farting is to be correctly viewed.
A little too ironic? Yeah, I really do think…Nancy Pelosi states “American People Have Right to Know What’s in Healthcare Bill Before It Passes”
And taking the crazy cake, as it were…
Scientists are getting ethical permission from health watchdogs to resurrect dead people by using a combination of regeneration therapies. Starting this year, the groundbreaking Project Reanima will primarily use stem cells to stimulate the regrowth of neurons in clinically dead patients. Bioquark Inc., an American biotech company, is one of medical companies given the green light to conduct the trials on 20 brain dead patients from traumatic injuries.
Leading the team is Dr Himanshu Bansal, Indian specialist who works with Biotech companies Revita Life Sciences and Bioquark Inc,. The team will use a combination of therapies, which include injecting the brain with stem cells and a cocktail of peptides, as well as deploying lasers and nerve stimulation techniques.
Multi-layer cake of crazy, indeed.
I can’t tell if these are real or gags. Probably real, sadly.
Soundtrack for this post suggested by Nancy Pelosi, whom is was apparently written about –
Everyone knows Thomas Dolby’s classic song, “She Blinded Me With Science!” But he’s had quite a career since that song. A couple of his songs appeared in last weekend’s “No Static At All” post, “Radio Silence” and a live version of “Commercial Breakup.” Go give them a listen.
Before releasing his first album, The Golden Age Of Wireless, Dolby did synthesizer arrangements on Foreigner’s songs”Waiting for a Girl Like You” and “Urgent,” the latter also featuring saxophone by Junior Walker. Walker later recorded his own (Dolby-less)version of the song with his All-Stars, which can be heard here.
Kicking off this Studio proper is a 1983 “Live Wireless” concert in its entirety –
In 1985, he appeared onstage at the Grammy Awards with Units 1,2, and 4 in a synthesizer showdown –
“…the big surprise was I didn’t expect Thomas Dolby to come out in that amazing wig and tuxedo — which is so him, you know, and brilliant. And that tiny little keyboard!” – Howard Jones, who also explains why some of the performance was prerecorded.
A lot of it was prerecorded stuff that we’d already done in the studio because of the ambition of it, because it was using that amount of technology. I don’t think anybody would have been brave enough to play everything live! So we played some things over the top of it, and then the rest of it was pre-done in studio. I think that’s the only way to have achieved it for the Grammys. I think it would have been very risky otherwise!
Dig those keytars!
More recently, Dolby was involved with “The Toadlickers,” combining techno, bluegrass, and parkour –
He also worked on an online multiplayer game which coincided with his album of the same name, Map Of The Floating City, set in an alternate history. As he described it, “The Floating City is set against a dystopian vision of the 1940s that might have existed had WWII turned out a lot differently.”
Map of the Floating City playlist –
Finally, we finish with Dolby performing his signature song “She Blinded Me With Science!” at Moogfest in 2012, with some commentary about Magnus Pyke and the San Francisco Giants –
4 years since I started this thing in 2012. It’s changed a lot since then, and so have I. Not sure where to go from here – writing about leftism is kind of pointless now since it’s almost all beyond parody. Same with politics. Guess it’s mostly down to music and comics and such, with a few insights about life thrown in here and there.
And, of course, posts about strange future-tech stuff.
Because I always like to end on a classy note.
You’ve got to admit it
At this point in time that it’s clear
The future looks bright
On that train all graphite and glitter
Undersea by rail
Ninety minutes from New York to Paris
Well by seventy-six we’ll be A.O.K.
Donald Fagen, “I.G.Y. (What A Beautiful World)”*
2015 has been a crazy year, in the most literal sense of the word. Grab your spandex jacket and go have a great night.
* International Geophysical Year, July 1 1957 – December 31 1958