Thursday, 29 May 2008
I couldn't resist as it relates to the iconography of this blog, it's mission statements concerning the ultimate dystopia merging a commodified bioculture and the military/industrial [entertainment] complex. It has to be said that it looks quite impressive (even though I admit I'm at least 3 months late with this), and this time, some serious development is under way. To get the full effect I recommend clicking on the images to enlarge them....
Saturday, 24 May 2008
Friday, 23 May 2008
'Rinri': An Incitement towards the Existence of Robots in Japanese Society
by Naho Kitano
abstract: Known as the "Robot Kingdom", Japan has launched, with granting outstanding governmental budgets, a new strategic plan in order to create new markets for the RT (Robot-Technology) Industry. Now that the social structure is greatly modernized and a high social functionality has been achieved, robots in the society are taking a popular role for Japanese people. The motivation for such great high-tech developments has to be researched in how human relations work, as well as in the customs and psychology of the Japanese. With examining the background of the Japanese affirmativeness toward Robots, this paper reveals the Animism and the Japanese ethics, "Rinri", that benefit the Japanese Robotics. First the introduction describes the Japanese social context which serves in order to illustrate the term "Rinri". The meaning of Japanese Animism is explained in order to understand why Rinri is to be considered as an incitement for Japanese social robotics.
pdf-fulltext (83 KB)
On the Anticipation of Ethical Conflicts between Humans and Robots in Japanese Mangas
by Stefan Krebs
abstract: The following contribution examines the influence of mangas and animes on the social perception and cultural understanding of robots in Japan. Part of it is the narrow interaction between pop culture and Japanese robotics: Some examples shall serve to illustrate spill-over effects between popular robot stories and the recent development of robot technologies in Japan. The example of the famous Astro boy comics will be used to help investigate the ethical conflicts between humans and robots thematised in Japanese mangas. With a view to ethical problems the stories shall be subsumed under different categorical aspects.
pdf-fulltext (74 KB)
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Historians, sociologists, philosophers and sometimes scientists themselves have begun to ask how the institution of science is structured and how it knows what it knows. David Cayley explores this new field of study in a special series for CBC Radio's Ideas.
Luminaries include Simon Schaffer (Leviathan and the Air Pump: Hobbes, Boyle and the Experimental Life); Lorraine Daston (Objectivity), director of the Max Planck Institute for the history of Science; Margaret Lock (Twice Dead: Organ Transplants and the Reinvention of Death); Ian Hacking (The Social Construction of What? ); Michael Gibbons and Peter Scott (Rethinking Science); Ruth Hubbard (Exploding the Gene Myth); Richard Lewontin (Biology as Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA); Peter Galison (Einstein's Clocks, Poincare's Maps: Empires of Time); Steven Shapin (Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life); Barbara Duden (Disembodying Women: Perspectives on Pregnancy and the Unborn) and Silya Samerski; Evelyn Fox Keller (Reflections on Gender and Science); James Lovelock (The Revenge of Gaia); Ulrich Beck (Risk Society); and Bruno Latour (We Have Never Been Modern).
CBC Radio Podcasts ~ Ideas: How to Think About Science
Now available for downloading is the first report of the European Union Sixth Framework Project on the Knowledge Politics of Nano-, Bio-, Info- and Cogno- Sciences and Technologies.
The report is entitled ‘Research trajectories and institutional settings of new converging technologies’. It is written by Steve Fuller and includes annexes from the European partners on the project who describe the state of play in their respective countries.
You may access the report here:
The debate next week at Warwick ‘There is no scientific basis to the concept of humanity’, will be videoed and there will be an accompanying podcast. Both will be available online a few days after the event.
More information about the debate is here:
Sunday, 11 May 2008
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Dystopia: The Culture Industry's Neutralization of Stephen King's the Running Man
In Part II, I examine the ways in which various iterations of The Running Man have thematically moved away from King's novel. First, King's celebrity prevented the work (originally published under a pseudonym) from being viewed fully as a dystopia. His status fixed The Running Man in a constellation of horror novels and movies. Second, the 1987 movie adaptation of The Running Man transformed a Vietnam-era protest novel into a Reagan-era star vehicle for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura. Finally, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon attempted, in 2001, to turn the material of The Running Man into the very thing that it predicted: a reality television show called "The Runner," which featured a nationwide manhunt and huge cash prizes. Thus, within thirty years of its writing and less than twenty from the date of its publication, The Running Man became--in the words of Syme--not only different from what it once was but actually contradictory".