MonthJanuary 2015

Mutation Vectors: Best Vectors of 2014

A video posted by Mark Graves (@markwgraves) on

Above: time lapse video shot by my friend Mark of him, my wife and me putting down flooring in my new office.

Status Update

I had an eventful year. A few highlights:

Writing a cover story for Oregon Business magazine

Doing an art installation at the Weird Shift gallery, and giving a talk on tarot there as well.

And, of course, buying a house. We’ve only just hauled the last bits of stuff out of our old apartment into the new place today, which is why I decided to just do a best of 2014 post instead of a new post.

Browsing

gamergate-flag

The best article I read all year was, hands down, Betsy Haibel’s “The Fantasy and Abuse of the Manipulable User”, which manages to sum up exactly what’s wrong with the Silicon Valley mindset: a complete disregard for gaining users’ consent for practically anything, from data collection to whether to sign-up for email notifications.

My nine other favorites of the year, in no particular order:

Grooming Students for A Lifetime of Surveillance by Jessy Irwin.

A Mysterious Sound Is Driving People Insane — And Nobody Knows What’s Causing It by Jared Keller.

The Sexist Facebook Movement The Marine Corps Can’t Stop by Brian Adam Jones.

Dylan Matthews’s profile of BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti and the influence that Deleuze and Guattari had on him.

The Future Of The Culture Wars Is Here, And It’s Gamergate by Kyle Wagner.

Mark Dery’s interview with Mikita Brottman.

The New York Times’ profile of Dark Mountain founder Paul Kingsnorth.

The Mindfulness Racket by Evgeny Morozov.

Miya Tokumitsu’s article on how the “Do What You Love” mantra enables exploitation.

Data Doppelgängers and the Uncanny Valley of Personalization by Sara Watson.

Watching

true-detective

The best TV show I watched this year had to be True Detective. (Stephen Grasso’s take on the show is definitive).

The best new series I watched was The Knick which, as Matt Zoller Seitz put it, is doing some next level shit, despite something of a slow start.

I didn’t see many new movies this year, but I liked and Snow Piercer well enough. It didn’t come out last year, but I loved Electrick Children.

Reading

The Peripheral by Wlliam Gibson

I didn’t read any other novels that came out in 2014, so The Peripheral by William Gibson wins by default. But I have the feeling it probably would have been the best thing I read anyway.

My favorite books I read this year, overall, were Cat’s CradleThe Dispossed by Ursela K. le Guin.

Comics

Stray Bullets issue 3 "The Party" cover

I didn’t read many comics last year, and to be honest am feeling a bit disenchanted with the medium. But I enjoyed what I read of Zero, The Private Eye, and Prophet. But the big highlight of the year for me was Stray Bullets Uber Alles Edition. Reading that is keeping me from giving up on comics altogether.

Listening

It was sort of a disappointing year for music. My favorite release was probably White Lung’s Deep Fantasy. Runners up: the new Bruxa and Nolon Ashley albums.

Podcasts

Podcasts of the year (besides Mindful Cyborgs, of course): Gin and Innovation and Weird Shift Radio.

Playing

I’m not much of a gamer, and didn’t really play any other games this year, but I think A Dark Room deserves a mention, even though I think it was released in 2013.

I still haven’t played Technoccult the game (no relation to me or this blog), but thought it worthy of note as well.

Top Technoccult Posts of the Year

Grinding: Post magnet installation

In terms of pageviews, these were the top five hits of the year:

On Race and Sexual Violence in the Works of Alan Moore

New Age for Nihilists

The Baffler on Neoreactionaries

Why Google’s New Open Source Crypto Tool Might Not Be Such a Good Thing

Grinders: Tomorrow’s Cyberpunks are Here Today

Favorite Things I Wrote Elsewhere

pieter-levels

I think my favorite thing I wrote this year was this thing on bullshit jobs and Silicon Valley.

My top nine other favorite things I wrote this year, in chronological order:

Forget Mega-Corporations, Here’s The Mega-Network

This Farmbot Makes Growing Food as Easy as Playing Farmville

Raise Your Own Edible Insects With This Free Kit

How to Build a Kinder Web for the Transgender Community

Google Renews Battle With the NSA by Open Sourcing Email Encryption Tool

The Internet of Things Could Drown Our Environment in Gadgets

Online Security Is a Total Pain, But That May Soon Change

Why Everyone Is Obsessed With E-Mail Newsletters Right Now

College Hacker

Report: Solar Power Will Soon be as Cheap or Cheaper Than Conventional Electricity

Bloomberg on a Deutsche Bank report on solar energy prices:

Even if the tax credit drops to 10 percent, solar will soon reach price parity with conventional electricity in well over half the nation: 36 states. Gone are the days when solar panels were an exotic plaything of Earth-loving rich people. Solar is becoming mainstream, and prices will continue to drop as the technology improves and financing becomes more affordable, according to the report.

Full Story: Bloomberg: While You Were Getting Worked Up Over Oil Prices, This Just Happened to Solar

Given the current grid’s struggles to keep up with demand, this can’t happen soon enough.

Mindful Cyborgs: 2014 Year in Review

This week we look back at 2014, from Facebook’s manipulative experiments, to protesters crashing the Wisdom 2.0 conference, to the notion that all technology is assistive technology.

Happy new years everyone, see you all soon!

Download and Show Notes: Mindful Cyborgs: 2014 in Steamy Review

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