Semantic Infiltration

By Paul D. Miller | Notes from the Edge of Digital Culture

Sobering visualizations reveal how sea level rise could transform cities in your lifetime

Until recently, it seemed that we would be able to manage global warming-induced sea level rise through the end of the century. It would be problematic, of course, but manageable, particularly in industrialized nations like the U.S.<p>However, troubling indications from the Greenland and Antarctic Ice …

Climate Change

Living in the Trump Zone

Fans of old TV series may remember a classic “Twilight Zone” episode titled “It’s a Good Life.” It featured a small town terrorized by a 6-year-old who for some reason had monstrous superpowers, coupled with complete emotional immaturity. Everyone lived in constant fear, made worse by the need to …

Donald Trump

We just hit 410 ppm of CO2. Welcome to a whole new world

This is not normal: We’re on track to witness a climate unseen in 50 million years by mid-century.<p>In pre-industrial times, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere stood at 280 parts per million. And that number has been rising ever since, warming the planet by 1.8 degrees F (1 degree …

Global Warming

Hillary’s First 100 Days: An Alternate History

Bill Clinton on the loose, Booker on the Supreme Court and boring competence in the Oval Office.<p>On April 29, 2017, Hillary Clinton will complete her first 100 days in office as president of the United States. Or, at least that’s what would be happening right now if her campaign team could scrounge …

Hillary Clinton

What made North Korea so bizarre

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launching Wikitribune service to combat fake news

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, is launching a crowd-funded news service to help combat fake news.<p>The internet entrepreneur has created Wikitribune, a news initiative which says it will see professional journalists and community contributors produce "fact-checked, global news stories".<p>The …


Why does time pass?


<b>MAI</b> uses movement, visual art, music, and the power of words to inspire world changing dialogue around today’s most critical social issues. The short …


New Exhibit, “Art with Watson: Hidden Portraits” Spotlights How Cognitive Computing Inspires Creativity

IBM is sponsoring “Art with Watson,” a special exhibit at the Cadillac House gallery, 330 Hudson Street, in New York City’s SOHO neighborhood, from …


This Bot Generates a Fantasy World Every Hour

So you want to build a world? Here’s the recipe, at its most basic: Take some topography, then add water. That was Martin O’Leary’s approach when he …


We've Lost Sight Of The Most Important Rule In Debating Science

It was almost 100 years ago that the most famous debate in science history took place. The topic up for consideration was the nature of the spiral objects in the sky: were they proto-stars in the process of forming, or were they island Universes, similar to and far outside of our own galaxy? …


Ready for Anything: Disaster and Analytics

<b>Using data analytics, a humanitarian organization determines the most efficient ways to deliver aid to people affected by violence and natural</b> …


How Western civilisation could collapse

Some possible precipitating factors are already in place. How the West reacts to them will determine the world’s future, says Rachel Nuwer.<p>The political economist Benjamin Friedman once compared modern Western society to a stable bicycle whose wheels are kept spinning by economic growth. Should …



Project Overview<p>When I was young, I saw a little pretty bird on the mountain. The bird quickly flew away, leaving only sound behind. I looked up in …

Sound Design

Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters

The world’s oceans are littered with trillions of pieces of plastic — bottles, bags, toys, fishing nets and more, mostly in tiny particles — and now this seaborne junk is making its way into the Arctic.<p>In a study published Wednesday in Science Advances, a group of researchers from the University of …


The Media Bubble Is Worse Than You Think

We crunched the data on where journalists work and how fast it’s changing. The results should worry you.<p>May/June 2017<p><b>How did big media miss the Donald Trump swell?</b> News organizations old and new, large and small, print and online, broadcast and cable assigned phalanxes of reporters armed with the …


A Map Of The Typographic Universe, Drawn By AI

The visualization combines powerful algorithms and the wisdom of type designers.<p>The secrets of fonts–and the subtle differences between them that can make or break a project–have long belonged to type designers. But one designer at Ideo recently decided to use machine learning algorithms to …


Speech-imitating algorithm can steal your voice in 60 seconds

Machine learning algorithm can mimic other peoples' voices or create new ones from scratch.<p>A Canadian start-up has developed a voice imitation …

Machine Learning

A display of unbelievable ignorance: In a real country with a real president, Trump’s AP interview would destroy him

Our president thinks the Pentagon is a company, terrorism was a recent invention and 9/11 was a ratings coup<p>A new poll revealed that 98 percent of Donald Trump voters said they don’t regret their choice for president. It’s a number that’s simultaneously too difficult to believe and infuriating. By …

Donald Trump

Sustainable style: will Gen Z help the fashion industry clean up its act?

Four years after the Rana Plaza tragedy, a burgeoning collection of cool but ethical brands have launched to target the socially conscious young consumer. But there is still a long way to go<p>This week marks the fourth year since the Rana Plaza disaster, where 1,135 garment workers were killed, and …


Clean Energy Investments Could Halve Carbon Emissions By 2040: Energy Transitions Commission

If governments, investors and businesses around the world work together, starting immediately, to hasten the pace of transitioning to clean energy, …

Renewable Energy

Breitbart is not independent: It’s the communications arm of the Mercers’ empire

The conservative website shares staff with the Mercers' organizations and regularly promotes their work<p> serves as the communications arm of a web of nonprofit and for-profit entities owned or supported by hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. The conservative …

Donald Trump

How Google's featured answers can go terribly wrong

American Neocon Imperialism Leads the World Into Dante’s Vision of Hell

<i>The Gate of Hell by Gustave Doré for Dante’s “Inferno.” (Wikimedia)</i><p><i>Editor’s note: This article is the first part of a four-part series on Truthdig</i> …

Fake News

As Juicero gets publicly shamed, let us not forget that juice itself is a lie

This week, the internet had a hearty laugh after intrepid Bloomberg reporters discovered that the chopped fruit-and-vegetable packets sold by startup Juicero, intended for use with the company’s $400 wi-fi-equipped cold-press juicer, could just as easily be squeezed by hand. A Silicon Valley …

Silicon Valley

When Actors Mixed Politics and Comedy in Ancient Rome

Anti-Roman sentiment may have run rampant through Asculum, a city on the Roman Empire’s Adriatic coast, but it was still no laughing matter. Politics …

Ancient Rome

Recode Daily: Travis Kalanick’s limits-pushing life, and watching YouTube for a living

Plus, listen to the rise and fall of Friendster — the first social network — 15 years later.<p><b>Tim Cook, Mark Cuban and others talk</b> about how Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s personal drive to win has led to a pattern of risk-taking, from his early startups to Uber, that has at times put the ride-hailing …


The environmental cost of one day on Earth

For Earth Day 2017, our Econundrum series asks what is the environmental impact of 24 hours on Earth.