2014 – And So it Began

Time was when I’d greet each New Year with predictions and whatnot… but not this year, because shit has simply got too scary, and I’m too paranoid and superstitious to tempt fate.

Anyway – too late now. The New Year started a 10 days ago. Nothing’s happened yet. Touch-wood. Looking up, as beginnings often do – though the courage to do so seems misplaced.

Another open-tab round-up. State of The Inflorescence 2014.

Here’s a bunch of things I’ve found interesting.

1) Robot Arm Unboxing

Which is interesting because it’s from http://ufactory.cc/ the Chinese company that’s specialising in being a link between Western inventors and Chinese production ability. Or something. That doesn’t quite describe it, but the market positioning is interesting I think. They’ve got a new web-site as well. I’ve gone on about these guys before.

2) Sea Orbiter


Which is interesting because it looks exactly like some sort of 1980s paleofuturistic fantasy out of The Venus Project – ie: some soon-to-be-ballardian utopianism which will NEVER EVER HAPPEN… except they look a bit more serious about this one:

(I – haven’t actually watched that video – any video that starts with the words “Imagine…” can instantly just fuck off. It’s creepy and manipulative)

They’re attempting to fund it via a French Kickstarter variant “Kisskissbankbank” (which isn’t what I would have called it)… they’re about 1/2 way… but the money they’re looking for is only about 1% of the total cost. So if they’re going to do it, they’re going to do it regardless.

I quite like this thing, because it absolutely reeks of 1%ism. It’s gothic high-tech. I hope they do it… if only for the fact that it will be an ideal venue for “the story of when it started to go wrong”… 10 years later, when it’s all started to go a bit Lord Of The Flies.

3) 3D Printed Food.


Catch the wave of eye-candy while you can. This will be all the rage, then go out of fashion with a crash.

The historical precedents to this are the “food-processing” fad of the 1970s, and the absolutely grotesque sugar sculptures of the 17th C. There are still shops in Austria with life-sized marzipan window-dummies. For reasons I can’t quite fathom, marzipan sculpture (google it and look at the pictures if you don’t believe me) does have a predilection for the grotesque. There’s something about ornate sculptures from the 17th/18th C that I have a mild phobia about. Not sure why. Have had for decades.

4) Speaking of phobias, here’s a video of the 3D printed fractal room

I also have a phobia about fractals, enclosed spaces, and this whole funereal-grotesque thing… which as far as I can see, is a distinct skein of Roman/Christian design. It’s like self-generating evil.


I think to an extent all art self-generates… it’s all generative (but unlike “generative art” people are part of the process)… but this has something sick at its core. I’ve gone on about this before.

There’s something about baroque art to me that looks like an hallucinatory fractal extrusion. And it phobes me the fuck out.

5) A moderately powerful laser, attached to a hexapod

Interesting because it appears that hexapods are now a fairly well estabished consumer product, though not living up to their initial promise by any stretch. I think the trouble with hexapods is they simply aren’t terribly good at walking. The joints don’t have enough degrees of freedom to mimic their organo-insectoid brethren.

That I quite like the idea of shooting, with a laser-beam. The trouble with killing flies with a laser-beam though is that pretty soon your house would be covered with laser-beam burn-marks.

6) The 3D Printed Metal Gun is now on sale for about $12k

Which is pretty fuckin expensive I suppose. I mean if you really wanted an untraceable gun, you could just make a zip-gun. That said, I bet they sell out.

7) Using sound-waves to hover stuff

8 ) Micro-muscles


Small, but extremely strong.

There was a bunch of stuff about artificial muscles from Auckland Uni a couple of years back

Which seemed quite optimistic at the time, but I doubt anything will come of it any time soon because “Intellectual Property”. It’s the mind-killer.

9) Solar powered low-orbit drone/satellites

Which I like the idea of, because low-orbit is a whole lot more resilient and democratic than high-orbit satellites. Possibly more prone to failure, but the cheapness and retrievability allows for redundancy.

10) Mesh Networkable Free Wifi Routers

Which I like the idea of, because “open” should be the default, rather than the anally-retentive, artificially scarce, secret-squirrel approach we have now. All of our towns and cities are already covered in mesh-networks, but we keep them switched off. It’s idiocy.

I don’t like the way the traffic goes through THEIR vpn – although making it going through a vpn is a good idea to tell those that would inflict carrier liability on the world to fucking fuck the fuck off and die. It’d be better if it went through the VPN of choice… or even had Tor baked in – especially if the add-generated income allowed Tor (which only needs a couple of million a year) to get free from US DOD funding. Which is what they specifically ask for, after-all.

Donate to Tor now.

I think I might need to redesign this site actually. It’s been a while.