>In 1959, in a short essay called “The Great Game to Come,” a little-known Dutch visual artist named Constant Nieuwenhuys described a new utopian city—one that he was soon to dub “New Babylon.” “The technical inventions that humanity has at its disposal today,” he presciently stated, “will play a major role in the construction of the ambiance-cities of the future.”
Like nearly every imagined future utopia, New Babylon was never built. It was manifested only in architectural drawings, sketches, maps, collages, and experimental films. Its creator, generally known as Constant, envisioned his city as a complex network where artificial and natural spaces would be linked together by communication infrastructures; “recourse to a computer” would be necessary to resolve such a complex organizational problem. But New Babylon was to be something even more radical: a place where new technologies would replace the drudgery of labor by automatic processes, enabling the city’s inhabitants to experience a “nomadic life of creative play.”
Today, Constant’s pronouncement seems prophetic. No doubt computers would also have been needed to achieve his visionary concept of an environment in which “each person can at any moment, in any place, alter the ambiance by adjusting the sound volume, the brightness of the light, the olfactive ambiance or the temperature.” Above all, electronic technologies would enable complete transformations of sound, light, and the organization of space in New Babylon. These transformations would be accomplished by what Constant called “the most sophisticated behind-the-scenes automation,” while electronics themselves “would be part of the visible scenery.” Spaces in New Babylon would somehow need to be “aware” of the activities taking place in them so that the environment could know when to change its appearance and behavior.
Constant was soon to achieve international renown as one of founding members of the Situationist International (1957–1972)—a group of artists, writers, and philosophers who aimed to apply Marxism to contemporary urban society. Like many of his SI compatriots, Constant viewed the post-WWII city as a site for both critique and intervention. He and a Situationist collaborator, the cultural critic Guy Debord, declared as much in setting forth a concept they dubbed “Unitary Urbanism,” which considered the city not as an agglomeration of faceless architecture and bureaucratic processes but as a set of creative social practices.
New Babylon took shape during the two-year period that Constant was a member of the SI. It was not so much an architectural planning project as it was “a way of thinking, of imagining, of looking on things and on life.” Although echoing other technology-charged 1960s utopian city visions such as Archigram’s “Walking City” or the performative “Villa Rosa–Pneumatic Living Unit” from the Austrian avant-garde collective Coop Himmelb(l)au, New Babylon began to gel in, of all places, the countryside. In 1959, the artist participated in an experimental-urbanism workshop in the Italian town of Alba at the base of the Piedmont Mountains. Sympathetic to the presence of nomadic Roma camped out by the Tamaro River, he began working on a concept to create a “permanent encampment” for the migrants “where under one roof, with the aid of moveable elements, a shared temporary, constantly remodeled living area is built.”
New Babylon would gestate in Constant’s mind for two decades. In his vision, land would be collectively owned, social systems would be hyper-connected, and automation would create a life of leisure for its citizens. To achieve a new “social organization of the city,” Constant imagined a vast hierarchy of local sites (what he called “sectors”) connected globally (“networks”). Groupings of interlinked platforms were envisioned as being completely transformable so as to create dynamic relations between inhabitants (“New Babylonians”) and their surroundings. With interwoven levels of transport networks and spaces all linked by communications infrastructure, New Babylon defied traditional cartography. Clearly the artist knew, however, that running such a complex, interconnected system would require help from the emerging technologies of computational management and control. Though he had neither the ability to construct New Babylon nor an interest in actually doing so, his concept seemed like an idea whose time would come.
Rise of the smart city
In 1974, the same year that Constant ceased working on New Babylon, a little-known report was published by the Los Angeles Community Analysis Bureau (CAB), titled “The State of the City: A Cluster Analysis of Los Angeles.” The report offered the typical stuff of urban research—statistical analysis, demographic data, and housing assessments. But what was not apparent was how the CAB had gathered the data.
While urban theorists somewhat
By: Chris Salter
Title: The smart city is a perpetually unrealized utopia
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/06/24/1053969/smart-city-unrealized-utopia/
Published Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2022 09:00:00 +0000
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LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.
This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.
The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.
“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México
Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.
The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000
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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.
Some new developments underway at EXMO:
Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.
EXMO’s new logo
The rationale for the re-brand:
“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding
The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000
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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country.
The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already.
Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.
The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines.
If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.
The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.
The case of Texas
The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.
One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more.
These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.
The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts. Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.
Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures
By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000
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