Listened Radical Sacrifice: Terry Eagleton and Daniel Soar | Events from London Review Bookshop
Professor Terry Eagleton’s more than 40 books have explored, in consistently invigorating ways, the many and surprising intersections and confluences of literature, culture, ideology and belief. His latest book *[Radical Sacrifice][2]* (Yale) draws on the Bible, the *Aeneid*, Hegel, Marx, Heidegger and Henry James in a brilliant meditation on the concept of sacrifice, fundamentally reconfiguring it as a radical force within modern life and thought. Professor Eagleton was in conversation about his latest work with Daniel Soar, senior editor at the London Review of Books.


Terry Eagleton talks about all things relating to sacrifice. It is an enthralling conversation that goes in many directions. One interesting idea that he discusses is Marx as prophet:

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Eagleton explains that Marx’s work was not about creating a Utopia, but rather about fixing the present, for the future is created with the language of today. This reminds me of Audrey Watters’ talk The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Issue a Press Release:

I am not a futurist. I don’t make predictions. But I can look at the past and at the present in order to dissect stories about the future.

Listened A by Jeremy Keith from adactio.com
The opening keynote from the inaugural HTML Special held before CSS Day 2016 in Amsterdam.


Jeremy Keith provides a different introduction to the #IndieWeb. He maps a path from the beginning of the web, discussing apophenia, anchors, archive, all, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, Atlantic, augmentation, ARPA, attribute, Adactio and authentication.

Keith invites people to the world of forking paths:

I would like us all to spend more time in the garden of forking paths. I would like us all to continue to grow this garden of forking paths. Add your own website to this garden of forking paths. Use it to make more links.

On your website, you can link to this thing over here and that thing over there, and in doing so create an entirely new forking path.

Listened Have we lost our sense of reality? from Radio National

Are the systems we’ve developed to enhance our lives now impairing our ability to distinguish between reality and falsity?

Guests

Dr Laura D’Olimpio – Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Notre Dame Australia

Andrew Potter – Associate Professor, Institute for the Study of Canada, McGill University; author of The Authenticity Hoax

Hany Farid – Professor of Computer Science, Dartmouth College, USA

Mark Pesce – Honorary Associate, Digital Cultures Programme, University of Sydney

Robert Thompson - Professor of Media and Culture, Syracuse University


This is an interesting episode in regards to augmented reality and fake news. One of the useful points was Hany Farid’s description of machine learning and deep fakes:

When you think about faking an image or faking a video you typically think of something like Adobe Photoshop, you think about somebody takes an image or the frames of a video and manually pastes somebody’s face into an image or removes something from an image or adds something to a video, that’s how we tend to think about digital fakery. And what Deep Fakes is, where that word comes from, by the way, is there has been this revolution in machine learning called deep learning which has to do with the structure of what are called neural networks that are used to learn patterns in data.

And what Deep Fakes are is a very simple idea. You hand this machine learning algorithm two things; a video, let’s say it’s a video of somebody speaking, and then a couple of hundred, maybe a couple of thousand images of a person’s face that you would like to superimpose onto the video. And then the machine learning algorithm takes over. On every frame of the input video it finds automatically the face. It estimates the position of the face; is it looking to the left, to the right, up, down, is the mouth open, is the mouth closed, are the eyes open, are the eyes closed, are they winking, whatever the facial expression is.

It then goes into the sea of images of this new person that you have provided, either finds a face with a similar pose and facial expression or synthesises one automatically, and then replaces the face with that new face. It does that frame after frame after frame for the whole video. And in that way I can take a video of, for example, me talking and superimpose another person’s face over it.

Listened An Indieweb Podcast – Episode 1: Leaving Facebook by David ShanskeDavid Shanske from David Shanske
This second episode was originally recorded in March, abruptly ended, and then was not completed until April due scheduling. In it, Chris and I discuss the hot topic of Facebook scandals and where you might go if you decide to leave Facebook. Show Notes The originating articles that kicked off the F...
Listened Cory Doctorow, Meet the Writers 123 - Radio from Monocle
The British-Canadian journalist and author – co-founder of ‘Boing Boing’, one of the most influential blogs in the world – talks about his vision for our digital world.


Cory Doctorow talks about his education, growing up with mainframes, the consumption of news and engaging with others,

Some interesting quotes:

On Succeeding in Technology

If you really want a good job in tech then you should have the good fortune of being born in 1971 … Anyone who is my age who made a living in technology just got lucky by when they were born.

Paying for the Product

They say if you are not paying for that you are the product, what we see in an era of unregulated monopolism is that people who are paying for it are still the product. You buy an iPhone or an Android Phone and it is loaded with survellieance technology … If you are a farmer and you drive your 1/2 million dollar John Deer tracker around your fields, it is gathering telemtery on your fields … Monsanto takes that data and sells it back to you in seed, while John Deer takes that data and sells it to the futures market.

People Are Free, not the Internet

The internet does not want to be free, people do.

Riding the Highs and Lows

It does not matter how delicious the punch is if there is a turd floating in the punch bowl

via Chris Aldrich

Listened Hey! Algorithms, leave them kids alone: Chips with Everything podcast by Jordan Erica Webber from the Guardian
Jordan Erica Webber looks into reports that YouTube Kids might create an algorithm-free platform


This is an interesting discussion of YT Kids and the role of algorithms. This is an issue that came to light through James Bridle’s post last year.

I must admit that I still use the YT Kids app sometimes. For example, the other day my daughter wanted to watch a song from Little Mermaid. I used the app and it was interesting what I found:

A response from the YT Kids algorithm

It made me think about how that result may have been produced. I listened to the song. It was fine. It was basically a song inspired by The Little Mermaid. I just wonder why horror was allowed through.

Listened Why Personal Learning by Stephen Downes from downes.ca
In this presentation I examine the difference between personal and personalized learning, show how this informs the design of the personal learning environment, and draw from that the reasons for preferring personal learning.


Stephen Downes provides an alternative take on ‘personal’ learning. This touches on the work of the Domain of Your Own project, as well as the #IndieWeb movement. Maybe Grsshopper is what Kin Lane meant by ‘peraonal API’.

via Doug Belshaw

Listened Bookclub - BBC Radio 4 from BBC
Led by James Naughtie, readers talk to acclaimed authors about their best-known novels
Here are a collection of quotes I came across in my Evernote as I was cleaning it out from old BBC Bookclub episodes.

Hilary Mantel

History is not something that is behind us, it is something that we move through

History is never cut or dry, because it happened that way, it doesn’t mean it had to happen that way

We have to think of [fiction] not as an addition to history or an alteration of history, we have to think of it as a parallel record, because fiction deals with that which by its nature never comes along to the historical record. The private life, the private thought, the private word, the unexpressed impulse, the thought repressed, the dream, the inner being, the workings of the psyche

Clive James

The problem with anyone who talks well is that they often talk too much

Eventually I achieved sharing as a moral imperative, but I never learnt it

Paul Auster

A book is made by two people – a writer and a reader

Will Self

You don’t really research fiction, except through life

John Banville

I know there are failures on every page and I am tormented by that. That is why I write another book, so that I can get it right.

Listened New insights about what happened at Pompeii from Radio National
How do you correctly interpret a site that was initially unearthed so long ago? Modern archaeology provides new tools to chip away at the secret.


Matt Smith speaks with Dr Estelle Lazer, Dr Eric Poehler, Dr Gillian Shepherd and Dr Steven Ellis about learning with and from Pompeii. With 250 years of archaeological work, we can now gain new insights about Pompeii by investigating the way in which early archeologists collected evidence. Technology is also providing a new way of preserving the past through the creation of a digital map.