On route from Turku to Helsinki the train hit a person. It was a loud sound and the train shook. There was only one impact which faded away accompanied by a series of crackling noises. I first thought it was caused by stones on the track. It’s too dark to see through the windows. The train is now waiting for security officials and paramedics. After they take control of the scene we will be allowed to continue. I can see someone walking a dog outside. When it happened I was looking at the Moog Drummer from Other Mother announcement. The police walked past the isle, accompanied by a conductor. I didn’t talk about the incident with the waiter serving coffee. It took 1h 50min to clean the tracks. People sat still on their seats in silence. When we reached Pasila the conductor apologise for being late and thanked everyone for the trip. The way he thanked sounded honest – He was grateful for the behaviour of the people on the train. It was a death train.
34C3 – Humans as software extensions a good presentation by Sebastian Schmieg. Notes on the presentation below (not actual quotes). He also has a solid video online at http://i-will-say-whatever-you-want-in-front-of-a-pizza.schloss-post.com
People extend computational systems by offering their, bodies, senses and cognition for them. This exchange takes place in the The Stack (as defined by Benjamin Bratton) a computational totality of planetary scale, which includes rare earth minerals, data centers, bots and people. In this computational totality even the smallest nodes (people) can be controlled and programmed. Factory workers were extending machines with their bodies, freelance workers have escaped the factory but they have to offer themselves as flexible extensions of the modern media assembly line. Schmieg argues that precious work conditions enforce “Forced Creativity”.
He believes that artificial intelligence will not replace people but it will be used to organize the labor force of people who are forced to work as software extensions. A concrete example are Google’s image recognition captchas (used to teach machine learning algorithms) which have transformed work into such a short tasks that it is and feels like nothing (This is how post work society should be understood). When you try to pass a “I’m not a robot” captcha you do involuntary work.
Schmieg believes that our position as software extensions grants us the possibility to effect how AI systems (etc.) make sense of the world. By feeding false or ideologically motivated material to the systems we can use them for our benefit. I agree and this is the reason I’ve actively added political vocabulary to the Google Docs spelling tools.
A short text remembering Finland’s Red Women (1918) Kristen R Ghodsee.
A 2016 study by a young historian, Marjo Liukkonen, uncovered evidence revealing that the Whites executed far more women and children in the infamous Hennala concentration camp than previously believed.
Afrosuomen historiaa etsimässä, V jakso: Katse tulevaisuuteen (2017) Ruskeat Tytöt. An episode about afrofuturism featuring an interview with Ima Iduozee. Towards the end the presenters recap how it felt like to make the series. It would be interesting to read a etnofuturisticly influenced afrofuturistic scifi story. A group of Afro-Finns fighting for the survival of Finno-ugric culture using magical Nokia technologies. More on etnofuturism and it’s problematic origins: Etnofuturismi suomalais-ugrilaista
identiteettiä rakentamassa (2005) Anne Hyvärinen.