Monday, July 13, 2009

Memories of the Space Age

Memories of the Space Age (by tim2ubh)
These are a few of a small set of slides that my parents bought in 1971 (when the Apollo 10 command module visited Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, Sheffield, as part of a travelling exhibition) showing key images from the Apollo 11 mission, the first landing on the moon, 40 years ago this week.
This is before my time, really - I was born just over a month before Apollo 17, the final manned mission to the moon, left the surface.

Memories of the Space Age 2 (by tim2ubh)

The slides, now somewhat aged, were digitally captured using a Canon EOS40D and 100mm macro lens, simply lit by a 430EX flash positioned directly behind the slide, and manipulated in Canon DPP.
The camera alone has more processing power than all the hardware used in the Apollo missions.

Memories of the Space Age 3 (by tim2ubh)

"What happened to the Space Age? Its once heroic vision of our planetary future now seems little more than a mirage, fading across the sandbars and concrete of Cape Kennedy like the ghost of a forgotten advertising campaign of last year's science-fiction blockbuster." - JG Ballard (1930-2009).

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rushkoff on economic disconnection

From Reality Sandwich, an entertaining interview with author Douglas Rushkoff about his new book Life Inc, a historical critique/polemic on the developing role of corporations in Western culture, touching on many topics of interest:

An over-arching theme I found in the book is how the common-sense stuff of our reality, the economy and money and shopping and working, is really science fiction; we don't live inside a "natural" economic structure -- we made it up.

It gets very much like Baudrillard in a way. We lived in a real world where we created value, and understood the value that we created as individuals and groups for one another. Then we systematically disconnected from the real world: from ourselves, from one another, and from the value we create, and reconnected to an artificial landscape of derivative value of working for corporations and false gods and all that. It is in some sense Baudrillard's three steps of life in the simulacra.

So by now, as Borges would say, we've mistaken the map for the territory. We've mistaken our jobs for work. We've mistaken our bank accounts for savings. We've mistaken our 401k investments for our future. We've mistaken our property for assets, and our assets for the world. We have these places where we live, then they become property that we own, then they become mortgages that we owe, then they become mortgage-backed loans that our pensions finance, then they become packages of debt, and so on and so on. We've been living in a world where the further up the chain of abstraction you operate, the wealthier you are.

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