cybernetic megastructure

  The above picture is taken from the section ↑Mapping Cyberspace Using Geographic Metaphors of ↑An Atlas of Cyberspace. The image is a result of research analysing the geography of Internet address space by Martin Dodge and Narushige Shiode [↑Working papers by them]. It shows the geography of ownership of blocks of IP-addresses in the United Kingdom. When I saw the image for the first time it immediately reminded me of the following passages from Count Zero (↵ Gibson 1986):    They jacked.   She died almost immediately, in the first eight seconds.   He felt it, rode it out … Continue reading

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spooknik

On 4 October 1957 ↑Stephen King was at the cinema. Together with the other ten-year-olds clustered around him he watched the morning performance of ↑Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. Just as the flying saucers started their attack on Washington D.C. the movie was interrupted and the houselights went on. Pale and nervous the manager entered the auditorium. “‘I want to tell you’, he said in that trembly voice, ‘that the Russians have put a space satellite into orbit around the earth. They call it … Spootnik.’” (↵King 1993[1981]:21) For the assembled post-war kids a world crashed. The world of US-American … Continue reading

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the end

  Yesterday night Stephen Hawking—being on promotion tour for his new book—was guest at a late night show on German national TV. I watched some ten minutes of the show and the way Professor Hawking was presented decidedly reminded me of ↑Professor [Charles] X[avier], the founder / mentor / leader of the ↑X-Men. Then this morning I took my usual stroll to the tramway station. Close to the station there’s an array of newspaper vending boxes placed on the sidewalk, every box prominently displaying today’s frontpage. The frontpage of Germany’s largest tabloid “Bild” [Picture] today is filled with a blue-marble … Continue reading

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real life half life

There’s a lot said and written on immersion into alternative or even virtual worlds, on people getting lost in gamespace or the Internet’s interactive realms, and so on. In consequence thoughts about the questions arising with these ‘other realities’ fly into every direction. As the ‘cyberanthropologist online among the gamemodders’ I deem myself to be, I am especially interested in how the Cyberians themselves tackle this issues. The people I am affected to appropriate all kinds of related artefacts and then artistically slap the demarcations between meat- and cyberspace around with a large trout—big time. Aaron Rasmussen for example thought … Continue reading

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strong

  Since mid-August the ↑team of ↑Rogue-Ops has a ↑new member: Jason I. Choi aka ↑Crack 6K. In the community he is well known for his ↵machinima ↑Only The Strong Survive (OTSS) [download links & mirrors | .wmv & divX | diverse qualities | from 72MB to 224MB] Today morning I read a long interview Peter Bogdanovich recently has done with Clint Eastwood. Among many other things Eastwood related that one day an executive from the studio visited the set of “Dirty Harry” and watched a scene wherein the killer slides down some handrail, enters a car and drives away. … Continue reading

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collecting toilets

  Long before I encountered gamemodding I already had fallen in love with desktopmodding. The better part of which can more accordingly be called -tweaking, as most of this discipline’s alterations do not dig too deep. Instead they scratch the surface, sometimes very effectively, sometimes only on the level of cosmetic surgery. Above you can see the result of my very first attempt at customizing the looks and feel of the graphical interface—replacing the recycling bin by a big white telephone. I keep that toilet bowl since years, through time it migrated to every new machine of mine—though a lot … Continue reading

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lo tek nexus

For everybody harbouring a piece of cyberculture inside the depths of the mind getting connected to the Internet is vital. Obviously. This banality starts to get interesting when one is obsessed with questions like that one: What machine shall I connect to the Internet and via which path? Yesterday ↑KerLeone managed to connect an ancient Toshiba 1200XE laptop to the net via a cellular phone and published the ↑Retro Wireless Blogging Tutorial [in German] explaining the feat he pulled off. In my ↵project’s abstract I wrote that I will set my fieldwork-results into relation to the appropriate parts of the … Continue reading

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wargames reloaded

It is my innermost conviction—at least for now—that the metaphorical and symbolical web which we call ‘culture’ is constituted, built and rebuilt by ever-changing, interlocking feedback loops of the associative kind. Never will we be able to draw a complete picture of those, but sometimes the sociocultural anthropologist will have the chance to have an indepth glance on some of them loops. In respect to cyberculture, I guess I just stumbled over one. Does anybody remember the 1983 movie ↑Wargames—starring a then youthful ↑Matthew Broderick? The movie’s story was about some hacker-d00d (Broderick) who hacked himself beyond the firewall of … Continue reading

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parkour

There is a new sport coming from France which perfectly illustrates what I meant by playful ↵appropriation by mastership. It’s called ↑le Parkour. From the ↑tutorial we learn: It’s a melting pot of gymnastic, rock climbing, trekking, martial arts for the philosophy, snowboard for the fun, and athletism. […] Put your physical capacity on obstcales which are not made for it and where the movement is necessary this is the parkour. […] Be careful with the police. They are quite cool over here but we don’t know about your country […] Please respect the people and the city. Nevertheless the … Continue reading

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appropriation by mastership

When I visited my first ↵LAN-party, the ↑Gameparade back in 2002, the first thing that struck me was that all the common clichés of ‘the dedicated computergamer’ did not at all live up to empirical evidence. During the three days I only spotted two overweight pimpled ↵nerds among the 558 attendees. In consequence the rest of the pack consisted of ‘normal youths’ with an articulate tendency towards the sporty type. This in collusion with everybody’s main interest there—to play together—resulted in a ‘side-event’. The LAN-party was situated on a large school’s premises, the gym converted to something resembling mission control … Continue reading

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