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Night Rounds

Home from the wilds of England, and five days of doing things like standing in the middle of stone circles, drinking new and interesting whiskies, and peering very closely at Breughel the Younger paintings. Also, thinking a lot. And generally being Not Online, which is sometimes good for the processes.

I came home to a couple of wonderful surprises. Two packets of freshly-roasted organic coffee beans from the brilliant husband of brilliant novelist Cherie Priest, and an advance copy of a new compilation CD from Hyperdub, label of Kode9, home to Burial and Zomby among many others (and I’m listening to it right now, and I have to say Darkstar’s "Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer" is a bit of a revelation).

And here’s one for you: Diesel Sweeties are doing a back-to-school t-shirt sale: several shirts available cheap, including the classic:


Here’s a pretty picture from Matt Brooker:


So, anyway, I’m home now, and filling myself with coffee so I can spend a few hours clearing email and emptying a bit of FeedDemon.

Everything Everywhere: A proposal for an Augmented Reality Network system based on existing protocols and infrastructure.” Because the one thing AR doesn’t need is a browser war.

Great catch from Marc Weidenbaum: Grouper playing live down a phone line:

The recording moves steadily from feedback-laden irritants through soft elementary minimalism to its true sweet spot, a rough-hewn, moody shoegazer pop, thick with distorted chamber arrangements and haunting vocals.

New series of brilliant photographs by Dave Walsh, like this one:


Project Cybersyn — isn’t that just a wonderful name? — has been doing the rounds of the urban-design blogs while I’ve been gone, it seems. I tripped over it first at Eating Bark, who I guess tripped over it at the end of this piece from Adam Greenfield (with handy links at the bottom there), which cites this piece by Varnelis, but this is what you want:

In 1970, Dr. Salvador Allende was elected President of Chile… Allende was attracted to scientific methods and when Flores proposed a technocratic means of controlling the industry, he agreed, hiring on his recommendation British management guru/scientist/visionary Stafford Beer to create Project Cybersyn, a system with which to monitor the output of factories, the flow of materials, rates of absenteeism, and other indicators on a daily basis…



That right that? That’s my new office.

And, finally, Sara Gries has been making stuff again:


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  1. Interesting, I had just read about Allende in a book about the mercenary group Blackwater. The writer, Scahill seemed to laud him as some sort of caring socialist who was deposed by Nixon and company. I had no idea the guy was running what looks like some creepy experiment room from LOST.

    Go figure, who knows what the fuck went on in there.

  2. Whoa..Im kinda-sorta-famous.
    I better say something witty.

    Umm…I cant wait for the NEXT WAVE of AR?

  3. Cybersyn has been considered the first version of what could have become a “socialist internet”. When Allende’s government was ended by a military coup in 1973, the new government found the equipment, but didn’t understand what it was for, and they dumped it in a warehouse or something.

    Last year, “Synco”, a Chilean novel came out, in which the 1973 coup never happened, and Cybersyn could be fully developed, and in the process Chile became the first digital government on Earth, or something like that (I haven’t read the book, but apparently it’s an interesting ucronic sci fi tale. Its website is available at

  4. francisco varela francisco varela

    Yes, Chile could have been the first digital government on earth. Weird?, nothing was weird enough at that time, Allende was the first socialist president democratically elected of history, they were changing the world.

    More information: (english) (spanish)

  5. Yes, things tend to end badly when you try to change the world after getting elected with only 36,6% of the votes.

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