Category: Bookmarks

Who needs CGI?

Stan Draws Spaceships – Beautifully

This deceptively simple hand-drawn animation, created out of passion, has more beautiful scene framing, composition, perspective and cuts, all of which is sync’d beautifully with the narrative, bringing the subject alive.

Most of the heavy Computer generated graphics animations you typically see don’t even come close, relying more on graphic detail, than storytelling.

Goes to show that knowing how to use a tool – typewriter, paintbrush, graphics software – doesn’t make you a storyteller.

Blockchain cuts out the Middleman

The Internet decentralised information. The Blockchain will decentralise transactions.

“a 1% transaction fee may not seem like much, but down a 15-step supply chain, it adds up. […] The decentralization that blockchain provides would change that, which could have huge possible impacts for economies in the developing world”

Source: The Promise of Blockchain Is a World Without Middlemen

The Great Wall of India

Source: The Wall – Medium

 Speaking of silly walls across countries these days…this is one of the most delightfully absurd things I’ve read in a while.

Who knew that in the 1800’s the British built a 12 foot high wall (giant thorny hedge really) across India to stop the smuggling of salt, opium, cannabis, sugar and who knows what else and —  wait for it — made the Indians pay for it.
By 1872, the Line had a staff of 14,000 people taking care of it!
The Wikipedia page on this ‘Inland Customs line’ is breathtaking.
In another truth-is-stranger-than-fiction detail, the engineer behind it was AO Hume, who also helped in later years to found the INC (probably when he came to his senses.)

Six Crypto-Currencies Approved for the AppStore

I have only a laypersons understanding of Bitcoin etc, but it seems Apple has a list of 6 ‘approved’ Crypto Currencies that ios apps can connect to. Really mind-boggling how far we’ve come so fast. Wasnt Bitcoin invented a few years ago?

p.s. The cryptocurrency guys are complaining “only 6?”. I’m like: There are more? Theres like ‘Dogecoin’ in that list, and it started as a joke!

Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Ethereum,
the DAO and Ripple

Source: These Are the Six Crypto-Currencies Approved by Apple – Rumor

Bricks from bacteria, not coal fire

How amazing is that – a brick hardened by Coral-like growth, not by fire in an oven for three days.
Imagine no more brick klins belching heat, smoke and co2, consuming coal. This is going to market in 2017!

 “I really wanted to pursue a different approach to how materials were made,” she says. “It just didn’t seem right for us to essentially extract material from the ground and then fire it with quite a large amount of fossil fuel just to make a hard product.”
“Our goal is to impact. It’s a global goal,” says Dosier. “We wanted to do what had never been done before, to push the boundaries. And instead of being ‘less bad,’ we wanted to completely redo it–the hard way.”

BioMason is a North Carolina startup company that manufactures bricks without heat or clay. About 8% of global carbon emissions come from making bricks, accor…

Source: Huge Cuts In Brick CO2 Emissions Coming From Startup BioMason

Cognitive Capitalism is nothing like your grand-dads Capitalism

Source: The end of capitalism has begun | Books | The Guardian

A spectacular read – bristling with commentary over the last 600 years, connecting the dots to the next civilisational shift that will occur in our lifetimes.

Austerity is not eight years of spending cuts, as in the UK, or even the social catastrophe inflicted on Greece. It means driving the wages, social wages and living standards in the west down for decades until they meet those of the middle class in China and India on the way up. Meanwhile, flushed with free money, the 1% has got richer.

In the absence of any alternative model, the conditions for another crisis are being assembled.

Neoliberalism has presided over the demise of capitalism, even as Capitalism is backed into a corner by Information technology, and automation.

Neoliberalism, then, has morphed into a system programmed to inflict recurrent catastrophic failures. Worse than that, it has broken the 200-year pattern of industrial capitalism wherein an economic crisis spurs new forms of technological innovation that benefit everybody.

That is because neoliberalism was the first economic model in 200 years the upswing of which was premised on the suppression of wages and smashing the social power and resilience of the working class. If we review the take-off periods studied by long-cycle theorists – the 1850s in Europe, the 1900s and 1950s across the globe – it was the strength of organised labour that forced entrepreneurs and corporations to stop trying to revive outdated business models through wage cuts, and to innovate their way to a new form of capitalism.

The result is that, in each upswing, we find a synthesis of automation, higher wages and higher-value consumption. Today there is no pressure from the workforce, and the technology at the centre of this innovation wave does not demand the creation of higher-consumer spending, or the re‑employment of the old workforce in new jobs. Information is a machine for grinding the price of things lower and slashing the work time needed to support life on the planet.

A takeaway full of hidden implications, that stayed with me: That in the current age, ‘Information is physical, and software is a machine’