The Other Simulation Hypothesis

This entry is part 13 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Tiago talks about Lisa Feldman Barrett’s constructivist theory of emotion and connects it to science fiction and the pleasure activism of adrienne maree brown to posit an “other” simulation hypothesis based on emotional experience. Also check out the post , Pleasure as an Organizing Principle, which Tiago wrote based on this.

The Galactic Numerology Collision

This entry is part 12 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, David Sneider, who made up the Galactic Tick Day tells the bizarre story of how the idea went viral and ended up getting entangled with conspiracy theory subcultures, and draws lessons from the experience.

Mediocratopia: 9

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Mediocratopia

We often conflate quality with excellence, to the point that the term quality mediocrity seems like an oxymoron, and mediocre quality seems like the same thing as poor quality. But quality and excellence are not the same thing, and mediocrity and quality are not mutually exclusive. Excellence is synonymous with quality only under behavioral regimes governed by an optimizing sensibility, operating on a closed and bounded notion of what the kids these days seem to be calling fitness-to-purpose. What does it map to when you’re mediocratizing rather than optimizing? I have an answer: fatness. Or for the kids, fitness-to-purposelessness.

Public domain fat cat caricature. From Trade Union Unity Magazine (September 1925)

Fatness is the systemic condition created by a mediocre response to abundance. In the opener for this blogchain, I linked to a bunch of my older writing about fat thinking, but I didn’t construct a notion of quality out of that attribute. Let’s do that now.

The short version: Fatness is embodied abundance. Or if you like clever lines: Fatness is future-fitness.

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AI And Human Digitization: When Seeing Is Not Believing?

This entry is part 11 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Hao Li, founder of Pinscreen talks about using AI to generate human avatars and how that shapes future realities.

Spatial Intelligence: Architecture as a Giant Computer

This entry is part 10 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Guvenc Ozel talks about the latest in architecture research in the use of VR to experience space in radically different ways.

From Pseudoevents to Pseudorealities

This entry is part 9 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

Next up, Renee DiResta talks about the dark side of reality construction, influencing and shaping consensus realities for political gains. This talk really pulls together Renee’s series of essays on ribbonfarm.

Domestic Cozy: 9

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Domestic Cozy

After a couple of more theoretical entries to this blogchain, time for a roundup of recent phenomenology. I have five exhibits to introduce into evidence.

Exhibit A, these schizophrenic shoes from Patara Shoes (ht Kyle Chayka). They appear to combine the comfort-oriented domestic-cozy appeal (and price point) of Allbirds with a bit of premium mediocre eco-signaling and public narrative construction (“globalist multicultural nomad” living dangerously on the edge of appropriation outrage potential). I’m seeing more and more examples of premium mediocre intersecting with domestic cozy (weighted blankets are a good paradigmatic example), mostly in incoherent ways, though analyzing the incoherence is above my trend-logger pay grade and is probably best done by somebody in Brooklyn.

Exhibit B. There’s a long article out in Buzzfeed News by Anne Helen Peterson that profiles a design firm called Pattern, and its first brand launch, Equal Parts, a cookware line. Take a moment to click through and check out the imagery and price positioning. Note the pastels, soft+rough textures, and sturdy, utilitarian designs. Note the comfy, cozy pictures of the team. This stuff is about the same price band as most things I tag premium mediocre, but the tradeoff seems to have shifted to delivering utilitarian value over signaling woke virtue. This stuff probably is more serviceable than it is instagrammable.

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Plannar — Co-Visioning with AR

This entry is part 8 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

Next up, Jessy Escobedo talks about Plannar, an experiment in co-designing reality, explicitly looking at political aspects of reality construction, using AR to explore speculative architectural futures with the people who will have to live in them.

The City as Weakly-Escaped Reality

This entry is part 7 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this talk, Drew Austin revisits the thesis he developed in his old ribbonfarm post The Holey Plane, looking in particular at the Los Angeles built environment, and arguing that the Philip K. Dick definition of reality as “that which does not go away when you stop believing in it” does not actually hold as strongly as you might think for physical realities. Also riffing on my post The Design of Escaped Realities along the way.

Introducing Xenoreaction

This entry is part 6 of 18 in the series Refactor Camp 2019

In this raucous talk, Anders and Moritz perform… something full of memes and gaming and schisms and stuff :)