Born Of An Atom Bomb

Image and thought dump for the various projects of Jared Axelrod

Author of The Battle of Blood & Ink and The Cockroach Strikes

Battle of Blood and Ink

#misc

“We have had a hard time thinking clearly about companies like Google and Facebook because we have never before had to deal with companies like Google and Facebook. They are something new in the world, and they don’t fit neatly into our existing legal and cultural templates. Because they operate at such unimaginable magnitude, carrying out millions of informational transactions every second, we’ve tended to think of them as vast, faceless, dispassionate computers — as information-processing machines that exist outside the realm of human intention and control. That’s a misperception, and a dangerous one.

Modern computers and computer networks enable human judgment to be automated, to be exercised on a vast scale and at a breathtaking pace. But it’s still human judgment. Algorithms are constructed by people, and they reflect the interests, biases, and flaws of their makers. As Google’s founders themselves pointed out many years ago, an information aggregator operated for commercial gain will inevitably be compromised and should always be treated with suspicion. That is certainly true of a search engine that mediates our intellectual explorations; it is even more true of a social network that mediates our personal associations and conversations.

Because algorithms impose on us the interests and biases of others, we have not only a right, but also an obligation to carefully examine and, when appropriate, judiciously regulate those algorithms. We have a right and an obligation to understand how we, and our information, are being manipulated. To ignore that responsibility, or to shirk it because it raises hard problems, is to grant a small group of people — the kind of people who carried out the Facebook and OKCupid experiments — the power to play with us at their whim.”

Nicholas Carr, Los Angeles Review of Books. The Manipulators: Facebook’s Social Engineering Project.

FJP: For more on tech, media and algorithms, check our Algorithms Tag.

(via futurejournalismproject)

medievalpoc:

prokopetz:

cleopatrasweave:

i drew a bunch of elves of color!!

This post reminds me of something that happened a few years back.

I once served as art director for a project where the illustration spec called for characters of a variety of races (in the real-world sense, not the Dungeons & Dragons sense - though the latter was involved as well).

We had one particular artist, tasked with drawing a series of elves, who didn’t quite seem to get what that meant. Their output was basically “white elf”, “another white elf”, “white elf with a tan”, “white elf looking a bit pale”, “yet another white elf”, etc.

When this was pointed out, they were like “oh, yeah, now I get it - I’ll totally fix that with my next piece”.

They proceeded to turn in a picture of a blue elf.

In the end, we had to provide specific quotas for specific levels of racial representation in order to get the point across. It all worked out in the end, but it’s stuck with me ever since that this artist examined the original spec, looked at our feedback, and came to the conclusion a blue elf was more plausible than a black one.

In conclusion: this is awesome.

Read that last paragraph as many times as you need to.

Black parenting is often too authoritative. White parenting is often too permissive. Both need to change.

In college, I once found myself on the D.C. metro with one of my favorite professors. As we were riding, a young white child began to climb on the seats and hang from the bars of the train. His mother never moved to restrain him. But I began to see the very familiar, strained looks of disdain and dismay on the countenances of the mostly black passengers. They exchanged eye contact with one another, dispositions tight with annoyance at the audacity of this white child, but mostly at the refusal of his mother to act as a disciplinarian. I, too, was appalled. I thought, if that were my child, I would snatch him down and tell him to sit his little behind in a seat immediately. My professor took the opportunity to teach: ‘Do you see how this child feels the prerogative to roam freely in this train, unhindered by rules or regulations or propriety?’

'Yes,' I nodded. “What kinds of messages do you think are being communicated to him right now about how he should move through the world?”

And I began to understand, quite starkly, in that moment, the freedom that white children have to see the world as a place that they can explore, a place in which they can sit, or stand, or climb at will. The world, they are learning, is theirs for the taking.

Then I thought about what it means to parent a black child, any black child, in similar circumstances. I think of the swiftness with which a black mother would have ushered her child into a seat, with firm looks and not a little a scolding, the implied if unspoken threat of either a grounding or a whupping, if her request were not immediately met with compliance. So much is wrapped up in that moment: a desire to demonstrate that one’s black child is well-behaved, non-threatening, well-trained. Disciplined. I think of the centuries of imminent fear that have shaped and contoured African-American working-class cultures of discipline, the sternness of our mothers’ and grandmothers’ looks, the firmness of the belts and switches applied to our hind parts, the rhythmic, loving, painful scoldings accompanying spankings as if the messages could be imprinted on our bodies with a sure and swift and repetitive show of force.

I think with fond memories of the big tree that grew in my grandmother’s yard, with branches that were the perfect size for switches. I hear her booming and shrill voice now, commanding, “Go and pick a switch.” I laugh when I remember that she cut that tree down once we were all past the age of switches.

And then I turn to Adrian Peterson. Not even a year ago, Peterson’s 2-year-old son, whom he did not know, was murdered by his son’s mother’s boyfriend. More recently, Adrian Peterson has been charged with negligent injury to a child, for hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch, in a disciplinary episode that left the child with bruises and open cuts on his hands, legs, buttocks and scrotum.

Brittney C Cooper, Ph.D., "The racial parenting divide: What Adrian Peterson reveals about black vs. white child-rearing" (via sonofbaldwin)

darksilenceinsuburbia:

Joana Choumali

Hââbre, the last generation

1. Ms. Djeneba : ” I used to like my scars; they were beautiful. We used to brag about them. But, now, in the city, it is definitely out of fashion.”

2. Mrs. Sinou : “I refuse to do it to my children. This will stay on my face only.”

3.Mr. Konabé : “Our parents did this not to get lost in life. When you went somewhere, you could not get lost.”

4. Mr. Lawal : “It is here in town that I am ‘nobody’. In the village, I am a noble; people bow down when they see my face! I am proud of that.”

5. Mr. Salbre : “ I do not want this for my children. We are the last generation “

6. Ms. Martine : “When I was 10 years, I asked for them. I wanted to be like my brothers and sisters, and to show that I am courageous. “ 

7. Mr. Guemi : “I already wear my identity card on my face. This is the reason why people did it : to recognize one another. But now, this is over. We can no more be recognized.”

Website

art-of-swords:

Combination Lefauchaux Pinfire Revolver and Sword

  • Dated: circa 1800
  • Measurements: overall length 26 3/4 inches; blade length 18 1/2 inches; barrel length 3 1/2 inch round

Manufactured in Paris, France, this weapon combines a short bladed sword with a six-shot pepperbox revolver. The blade has a short double fullers leading to single fullers which run the rest of the length, panels of etched scrollwork on each side.

There also an etched scene of a deer in the woods on the left ricasso and the inscription “ALFREDO HEROUARD/LIMA”, which is the mark of a Portuguese agent and importer. The latter can be found on the right ahead of the revolver barrel.

The barrel runs along the right side of the blade, signed “E Lefauchaux a Paris” on top, with the serial number and a swiveling ejector rod on the front, a hinged loading gate at the rear, smooth hooked trigger and a checkered hammer.

The silver guard and pommel cap are engraved with scroll designs, and the grips are checkered ebony with a silver finished escutcheon. Two identical swords, complete with Herouard retailer mark and sheaths, are pictured on page 194 of “The Pinfire System” by Smith & Curtis.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Rock Island Auctions