Client: Arctic Perspective Initiative
Size: 100 sqm
Location: Arctic Circle
Detailed project description is under construction.
Delina and Diesendorf recommend the statutory creation of two new institutions in particular:
• A special Ministry for Transition to a Low-Carbon Future as the principal agency of rapid mitigation activities to conduct technical requirement studies, set and enforce production goals [for renewable energy technologies], institute efficient contracting procedures, cut through the inertia and ‘red tape’ inhibiting institutional changes, and serve as the coordinating agency for all transition activities.
• A separate institution, independent of the Executive and the above Ministry, reporting directly to Parliament/Congress and the community at large, to prepare a transition timeline specifying the period when executive control starts and ends; to conduct appropriate checks and balances; to scrutinise government/executive actions, especially those of the Ministry for Transition; and, through legal powers, to ensure that the government/executive sticks to its transition mandate.
So it’s your basic balance-of-powers set-up: a single coordinating agency and a watchdog to keep it honest. The delicate dance here is to hand over extraordinary power to the executive branch on the premise that it can and will be handed back after a set period of time.
Among the many dangers in this approach is that executives are not generally inclined to give up power once it’s been granted them. And it’s not like the climate situation will be any less dire in 10 years, or 20. Once you switch over to wartime government in the face of a foe that cannot surrender and never stops, how do you ever switch back? (The parallels to the “war on terrorism” should be obvious here.)
Delina and Diesendorf acknowledge that the WWII mobilization comparison is not perfect, because climate mobilization will be even more difficult and more complicated. (Whee!) It will also involve state and provincial governments, along with civic and private institutions. It will also, crucially, involve international coordination and enforcement. It will eventually have to go beyond particular economic sectors and address the larger issues of population and consumption. “Getting all these acts done in a coordinated and democratic/participatory manner,” Delina and Diesendorf write, “is definitely a huge challenge.”
The receiver (boiler) glows brilliantly during acceptance tests at Solar One in April, 1982.
Extraterrestriality thereby becomes a point of transvaluation through which this variation over time, understood as forcible mutation, can become a resource for speculation. It should be understood not so much as escapism, but rather as an identification with the potentiality of space and distance within the high-pressure zone of perpetual racial hostility.
It is not that black subjectivities are waiting for science-fiction authors to articulate their lifeworlds. Rather, it is the reverse. The conventions of science fiction, marginalized within literature yet central to modern thought, can function as allegories for the systemic experience of post-slavery black subjects in the twentieth century. Science fiction, as such, is recast in the light of Afrodiasporic history.
Afrofuturism therefore stages a series of enigmatic returns to the constitutive trauma of slavery in the light of science fiction. Isolating the enigmatic phrase “Apocalypse bin in effect” from the 1992 Public Enemy track “Welcome to the Terradome,” Mark Sinker’s 1992 essay “Loving the Alien” argued that this lyric could be interpreted to read that slavery functioned as an apocalypse experienced as equivalent to alien abduction: “The ships landed long ago: they already laid waste whole societies, abducted and genetically altered swathes of citizenry… . Africa and America—and so by extension Europe and Asia—are already in their various ways Alien Nation.”
“The crowded bazaar” is, Mr. Grau and Dr. Kipp of the Foreign Military Studies Office conclude, a recipe for “combat in hell.”
And thus it is that the U.S. military hires Afghan-American civilians to pretend to sell plastic bread and meat on the streets of a shipping container village in California, in order to prepare its forces to successfully navigate the urban inferno.
via Edible Geography
Isn’t it funny how all these attempts to make a better world turn out to be ways of making a more expedient workforce? What are Special Economic Zones and their Charter City children if not playgrounds for economic experimentation? What is the history of globalization if not the history of corporations setting up operations in territories that offer them unregulated freedom to innovate on their production practices? I hear they are doing wonderful cutting-edge work in Bangladesh around high density rapid-construction factory architecture, even if it is occasionally catastrophically buggy.
How come the innovations are all crushingly, depressingly the same? We’ve thoroughly innovated in the area of long hours, harsh work conditions, abridged employee rights, and poor safety standards. Maybe it’s time to try something else. Where are the SEZs that are collectivist utopias? Where are the SEZs that abolish paid work altogether? Why isn’t there a matriarchal SEZ?
If we’re going to have Farsight Reservations, surely we can do better.
— A Utopia of One’s Own - Medium
“DELIVERY workers tramp through tunnels under Gaza — carrying bags and buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The famous fast food has gone underground as Palestinians order the takeaways from Egypt.
Boxes and bags emblazoned with Colonel Sanders famous red and white logo move swiftly through the smuggling tunnels that run beneath the border.
The fried food has to make its subterranean journey across as there is no KFC restaurant in the Palestinian region.
Israeli restrictions on Gaza crossings make it difficult to open an international fast food branch in the area.”
The ISS crew wasn’t shy about explaining its reasons for switching. There are “dozens of laptops” on the space station, some of which are already running various versions of Linux, like RedHat and Scientific Linux. In recent years, every single one of those laptops that runs Windows has gotten a virus at one point or another.
— The International Space Station Is Abandoning Windows for Linux | Motherboard - Imagine a Stuxnet variant for the ISS (via iamdanw)
I thought about titling this post, “Google Glass: The Beginning of White Flight from Smartphones,” but instead I’m going to propose a new term, status flight, to describe what happens when elites abandon a status symbol that’s lost its signifying power after becoming too quotidian and ubiquitous. This isn’t to say there aren’t some real “white flight”-type elements here; accessing the Internet via mobile phone is more common for Black and Latina/o usersthan for white users, for instance, and it’s no coincidence that the first Glass-related Tumblr I saw was White Men Wearing Google Glass. (There’s now a Black Men Wearing Google GlassTumblr too, though as I write this, it features only one picture of one man; White Men Wearing Google Glass presently has 27 pictures, though Sergey Brin appears more than once.) At the same time, I worry about extending boyd’s “white flight” metaphor too far; I also want to capture the simultaneous race, gender, and class dynamics that feed into this phenomenon. While class dynamics are a part of what boyd describes in her paper, this seemed to be lost on some readers of my App.net piece—so though I’m ambivalent about using a new term, I thought I’d test this one out. Status flight therefore describes when people of higher status (in this case, privileged white technophile men) dissociate themselves from something that has become too closely associated with people of lower status (in this case, pretty much everyone else).
There are plenty of people out there, I’m sure, who will see the digirati’s enthusiasm for Google Glass as plain old Brand New Gadget Fetishization, nothing more. But technology isn’t neutral, and neither is its fetishization; Google Glass is no exception.