A consideration of how the Internet causes "samebrain", and some ways to break out of our digital ruts and buck our corporate recommendation engine overlords, including looking in unexpected places, consuming the media of other locations and times, and, um... just typing in random URLs.
More and more critical world events are documented by regular people with cell phones. I'm working to strengthen the verity of cell phone videos by augmenting them with corroborative data. [more inside]
Queer Honi: Cultural and Gender Marxxxism edition. Every year, the editorial collective of the student newspaper of the University of Sydney cede their position five times, for the autonomous Honi Soit editions: Wom*n's, Queer, Indigenous, Ethnocultural (ACAR) and Disability. I had the great privilege to be the primary editor for queer Honi this year. It's not something that I consider to be within my field of expertise, but I had a crack at it and people say it didn't turn out too badly. [more inside]
Inference is an online publication that claims to be an "independent quarterly review of the sciences." However, they have a long-standing habit of publishing junk science (e.g. articles attacking evolution and global warming) alongside articles covering genuine scientific subjects, with no differentiation between the two. I found this disturbing, so I did some digging, and discovered that Inference is secretly (and solely) funded by Peter Thiel, who has given them at least $1.7 million since 2014. [more inside]
A Firefox extension aimed at increasing human happiness by blocking social media sites. [more inside]
I finally finished the ceramic sculpture I've been working on for over two months! He's made of calico stonewear, exploded in the kiln and had to be painstakingly repaired, was raku fired with a white crackle glaze, and finally embellished with individually applied pyrite crystals (smashing pyrite with a hammer is VERY fun). I have named him Steven. He initially came into this world as two pinch pots, and I'm proud of the young man he's become! [more inside]
I co-wrote a paper looking at the future of public media and outlining where public media has stayed most true to its original mission.
In July of 2017 my mother died after a long time being sick. She and I always had a tremulous relationship, and since the late 90's I've been her care taker on and off. I had a lot of feelings about her passing, so I worked through them making art. [more inside]
Short comedy video series: Trent is a sort of Max Headroom for the social media era — but only sort of. He lives inside the matrix, telling you what's #TRENTing, in a brash style — mixing a Scandinavian accent with a Brooklyn attitude. In this episode, Trent weighs in on the Ghost in the Shell controversy, the Vice President's rule about dining alone with women, and your search history being up for sale. WARNING: "Mature" language. [more inside]
There's something cathartic about firing off a moany tweet or a frustrated status update, but who wants to be that person? The Void is a nocial media tool that spares your dignity while providing that lovely feeling of release. Before long your post will literally fade away without contributing to the net negativity of the universe. [more inside]
An update on what we've been up to at The Media Show, including an interview with the head of punk label Kill Rock Stars and arguing with a puppet version of Richard Stallman. [more inside]
I got a bit fed up of the lazy attack journalism on the recently elected Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. So I did what you should always do when you see something lazy and formulaic, I made a twitter bot. Made, and hosted by, Cheapbotsdonequick.com [more inside]
A short comic strip meditation connecting seemingly disparate events that occurred on trains this summer - refugees, heroism, racism etc. - and how they were widely portrayed in the media.
Annotated transcripts of presentations on media, art, and design, made freely available on the web. [more inside]
We've kicked off the latest season of our YouTube series on media and digital literacy with a spoof of "Tomorrow" from the movie Annie. (OK, so this particular episode isn't really about media literacy... aside from taking the piss out of yet another movie retread.) [more inside]
Surprised that Facebook has been experimenting on you, deliberately tampering with your emotions? Don't be. Our reliance on digital information in all aspects of our life -- from shopping, to reading the news, to interacting with our friends -- is having an unexpected consequence: we are increasingly dependent on information that's being manipulated by parties who are trying to get you to act against your own self-interest. Virtual Unreality is a book about how the digital revolution is blurring the distinction between what's true from what's fictional, what's genuine from what's fake, what's human from what's algorithmic -- what's real and what's virtual. [more inside]
I've been "working" on this for a few years. It was originally for a certain magazine, but it got to be too long. I didn't feel like cutting it down to meet the word limit requirements.
The Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls helped galvanize a response to the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian girls by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram in early May. Accompanying the hashtag are images that have been reposted thousands of times—by everyone from Chris Brown to the BBC. The only problem? These are pictures from Guinea-Bissau, three years ago, of girls that have never been kidnapped.
After being annoyed with the sheer amount of misinformation being spread by news agencies and social media about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, myself and a journalist based in Kuala Lumpur have been working together on a blog that debunks some of the common myths, factchecks news sources, and answers reader questions. We work on getting as close to the original source as possible and generally try to stay away from "unnamed officials" or "unnamed sources" as much as we can. [more inside]
thinkContext is a web browser extension which adds contextually relevant, politically progressive information to your web browsing. It works by matching the URL of search engine results, sites you visit or text advertising against a database of progressive campaigns. If it finds a match it inserts unobtrusive icons into the browser. Currently it pulls information from a Union Hotel Guide, an Ethical Restaurant Guide, the Stop Rush Limbaugh advertiser database, The Green Pages, the Bechdel Test Movie database, and the B Corporation directory.
I made a site and I thought MeFi might find it interesting: It shows the most popular image on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Flickr in real time, as well as the most popular videos on YouTube each day: www.oublio.com. Now you can waste time on social media more efficiently!
Just thought I'd keep MeFites updated on the progress of The Media Show, my show on media literacy, as people seem to have been interested in past episodes. We recently posted an episode on health claims in advertisements, as well as a more thoughtful meditation on whether recent ads using the Muppets violated the spirit in which Jim Henson created them. Earlier this year we made two videos on what it means to be a hacker, one with TV-B-Gone inventor Mitch Altman and one with 2600 editor Emmanuel Goldstein. And we're also particularly proud of our episode on how important spelling is online -- titled Syntax Terror -- which is a riff on a the old Kermit The Frog Tee Shirt sketch from Sesame Street and features the vocal stylings of MeFi's Own Yoz. Enjoy, and let me know if you end up using any of these with your students!
The Harris Tweed Authority is the guardian of Harris Tweed, the only textile in the world protected by an Act of Parliament from Shearing To Stamping.(Vimeo film). [more inside]
with a mecha-spider marionette. [more inside]
My handle (PHINC) is short for Philosophy INC, a project I've been working on for probably around ten years. Mostly I've used it to promote local events and art projects. Now I've turned Philosophy INC into a media project selling altered images of places I've visited. Mostly I'm looking for input on how this might be improved.
Pablo Valencia is a writer and artist living in Los Angeles. Monstrouscreature.org is the place where he updates his different projects, including his correspondence project to his sister, collages and short film projects.
"Dear Mama, [...] We had a riot here about a week ago, the people ran out the Hindoos..." The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) aims to document, preserve and provide access to the history of the South Asian American community through a digital archive. [more inside]
365 Days of Print: Artists Remix the News is year long online kick-starter funded art project. Each month, 6-10 different artists around the world are provided with daily subscriptions to the printed version of a newspaper of their choice. During their month-long residencies they commit to read the paper every morning and then create work in response to their experience of the day's news. They then upload their daily results at either 10:00 a.m. or 10 p.m. EST. I've a little over a week left, but my work to date can be viewed here.
The MetaCooler is a simple message boards where mefites can stand around talking about television. Spoiler tags included! [more inside]
Dream of writing a novel but can’t find time to write? How about setting aside just 1 day? I gathered a team of authors to compose a novel collaboratively in a day (May 28th) and you can watch via the web as every word is composed in real-time. The cover art will be created that day too, which you can observe via live video stream. The collaboration culminates in a free Creative Commons licensed e-book available for download the following day. Wish us luck. We'll need it.
I'm a media writer for the Washington City Paper. Recently the storied Washington Times, which has burned through $3 billion in mysterious Unification Church-sourced funding over the past 28 years fighting what it saw as prevailing liberal news bias, shaping the landscape of the right wing media long before Rupert Murdoch even got here, and imparting a less-than-deserved sense of respectability upon the crazy Korean cult leader who founded it, was sold. This is an epic story of flower-selling, mass weddings, completely insane sex rituals, swashbuckling Cold Warriors, white supremacists and neo-segregationists, Barney Frank & Vince Foster, closeted gay Republicans and where the money goes when you order from a sushi restaurant…
My creative agency is looking to build a photo library of certain words printed out or otherwise manifested in the real world. So we're offering a cash bounty for photos of said words if they get posted on our FaceBook. I came up with the campaign, I hope it does well. I think it's a pretty cool way to crowd source this task. More details through the link. If it falls flat we'll probably send an intern around the city with a camera, but we're hoping this works. It would be much cooler. Let me know what you guys think!
In the depths of my year long unemployment, I've relaunched my blog. It's a personal blog, and since most of what I do is consume media, it's mostly going to be about media. The big attraction for anyone with interest in tabletop roleplaying games is that I'm going to be talking about and posting material from my ongoing Shadowrun campaign. [more inside]
We are founding the world's first global café in Tel Aviv, and you get all the glory! That's right. You're just a few clicks away from leaving the most unique mark in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel's vibrant center of culture, activism and love.