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Wonderful meeting

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Tamatar Personas Workshop


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MISSION ETERNITY at the ARS ELECTRONICA 2009

watch more of the great pictures: thanks to that last minute effort monorom and silvan especially,
who had to wait hours longer to get packed and ready! THANKS Tabea
watch more

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SARCOPHAGUS deep within switzerland

check snapshots for more marvellous shots - awesome zai,
that was worth the taxi ride ;-)
more of the sinking sarcophagus

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Ars09 / Human nature lecture by etoy.MAJA

 

Lecture on recent encounters with techno-scientific ideologies, art and the materiality of living and dead bodies by etoy.MAJA. Presented in the context of the human nature lectures during Ars Electronica 2009.

This and more videos can be found in the Ars09 podcast archive.

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Mathon soundscape for M∞ Sarcophagus

Mathon at etoy's Mission Eternity Sarcophagus
Pete Leuenberger and Roger Stucki from Mathon

The collaboration between Mathon and etoy for the soundscape of the Mission Eternity Sarcophagus continued intensively towards Ars Electronica 2009. What started with a small concept and yielded in an impressive first release for Heiligkreuz got refined again, and is currently mesmerizing the many visitors of the Sarcophagus on Ars Electronica's upperdeck.

Mathon's soundscape is an integral part of the Sarcophagus already. Voices and breathing of our Testpilots are woven together with minimal clicks on booming ambient layers. All floating - no beats and disturbing breaks, so that a visitor just feels like lying down on the orange pillows to enjoy the space.

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etoy.MAJA presenting at the human nature panel

etoy.MAJA presenting at the human natures panel

etoy.MAJA is pushing MISSION ETERNITY to new heights.

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M∞ Sarcophagus at Ars Electronica 2009

Mission Eternity Sarcophagus at Ars Electronica 2009
Mission Eternity Sarcophagus at Ars Electronica 2009

Maki, Haefliger, Maja and Monorom with visitors /
Kaoru and Sota from double negatives architecture

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ANGEL APPLICATION 0.4.5

angel-app
ANGEL APPLICATION version 0.4.5 is disengaged into the hands of Angels!

This is another technical blow with regard to performance and stability in the 0.4 series of releases. The previous improvements have additionally been refined. It can be said with certainty that this release is the fastest ever. However, not much has happened in terms of visibility for end-users.

It should be noted that these performance enhancements are serving an important purpose: the expected lifetime theta of the ARCANUM CAPSULES stored in the ANGEL network is directly connected with the time dt needed to replace a bad medium with a good one (and replicate the content to it) [1]. The formula to calculate the lifetime is:

lifetime formula

Previous versions of the ANGEL APPLICATION (< 0.4.3) took about 10 days (in practice) to replicate and validate the current dataset in the ANGEL network, giving a lifetime of 4.13e8 years, which is about 5% of the current estimated age of the universe. This, obviously, is not good enough!

The improvements in the new version (0.4.5) make this number jump back to a sane value, namely 1.43e18 years, a number with 10 more zeros than the old version, surpassing the estimated age of the universe by the range of 100 million times. etoy.CORPORATION is back in eternity business.

For the nerds, here is the technical changelog:

  • on Mac OS X, the main window can now be closed without quitting the application (just for you agent.MONOROM ;-) )
  • mounting missioneternity.org is not forced in a hidden way anymore. Instead, on GUI startup, a check is performed that asks the end-user if he wants to become an ANGEL by backing up missioneternity data. This only happens on fresh installations.
  • added menu Help->Version History
  • added angel_app.worker, which implements boiled down map/reduce functionality
  • html directory listing changed to be more independant of the missioneternity.org website (css) and made it look more like a "technical" listing as opposed to looking like being part of the website
  • when syncing a collection that already exists, only sync the metadata
  • error handling refinements
  • optimized resource inspection by parallelizing network requests
  • optimized broadcast: parallelize broadcasting, essentially scaling O(1) instead of O(n). This saves about 1 hour per tree traversal right now. Also, only broadcasts to reachable clones that don't have the local node.
  • stability fixes in DirectoryDeadPropertyStore (file transactions and broken metadata)
  • optimized PROPPATCH: do not pingBack() to self
  • optimized PROPPATCH: use byte range based validation instead of full validation
  • optimized clone DNS resolution: resolve IP of local nodename, resolve all clone hostnames and check for IP doubles
  • added new config option to enable/disable parallelization in network requests, default on (common.workerforking = bool)
  • added new config variable in section 'common': 'repository-tmp'. This variable holds absolute paths, is optional and only relevant if you put the repository on a different mount point than angelHome. Atomic file renames cannot be done cross-device.

A download is available at http://angelapp.missioneternity.org/index.py/Download.

[1] Technical Report, Eternal Storage in Social Networks: MISSION ETERNITYs Angel-Application

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Heidegger, mortality, and technology

Having failed at "Sein und Zeit" before, repeatedly and miserably, I'm most grateful to Dreyfus and Spinosa's essay on Heidegger, Borgmann and technology. Everyday life and our understanding of being embedded in a specific context allows us to make sense of our environment and act sensibly. In the authors' terminology, practices focus around things that exude their own ways of dealing with them, or with the situation, and remind us that we assume a specific behavior and sense a particular connection to the situation (a local identity) instead of all other options that we have in life. Our mortality reminds us that we could do things differently because time is scarce and we choose.

When he speaks of death, he does not mean demise or a medically defined death. He means an attribute of the way human practices work that causes mortals (later Heidegger's word for people who are inside a focal practice) to understand that they have no fixed identity and so must be ready to relinquish their current identity in order to assume the identity that their practices next call them into attunement with.

To understand oneself as mortal means to understand one's identity and world as fragile and temporary and requiring one's active engagement. In the case of the highway bridge, it means that, even while getting in tune with being a flexible resource, one does not understand oneself as being a resource all the time and everywhere. One does not always feel pressured, for instance, to optimize one's vacation possibilities by refusing to get stuck on back roads and sticking to the interstates. Rather, as one speeds along the overpass, one senses one's mortality, namely that one has other skills for bringing out other sorts of things, and therefore one is never wholly a resource. Hence, because one has in readiness other skills for dealing with other styles of things thinging, one can relate to the highway bridge not just as a transparent device but in its specificity as a way of bringing the technological ordering out in its ownmost. But that is to say that the highway bridge can be affirmed as a possible kind of focal thing that calls to us as mortals, only if there are other focal things around that preserve other styles in which things can thing.

Freeing us from having a total fixed identity so that we may experience ourselves as multiple identities disclosing multiple worlds is what Heidegger calls technology's saving power. (Dreyfus and Spinosa, 2003)

The disclosing activity is the essential entrepreneurial activity and it takes a "thorough contextual sensibility" (Steyaert, 2007: 462) to change practices that we experience. In other words, only if we experience a specific context can we be motivated to contribute to it in disclosing ways that carry the practice forward, create better quality, venture into new markets, challenge the rules, or abandon the practice altogether.

In the context of MISSION ETERNITY, this essay reminds us of two things: that to remember an individual requires capturing an extremely transient identity that only appears in time and in connection with a (local) practice. etoy's method of SCRAMBLING goes a long way towards capturing a moment and inscribing it into the global memory, indelibly and as an expression and disclosure of a mortal being at one particular moment in time.

Second, embracing technology is a valid and necessary strategy to characterize today's life and practices. Our dissolving and morphing identities that face the stand-by possibilities of access to infinite information make it ever more challenging to capture anything of our daily cyber-identities at all. Maybe, subversively, MISSION ETERNITY will end up bowing to the visionary and honest gesture of age-old burial cultures that reduce the memory of an individual to a time stamp simply because there is nothing more substantial of an identity that lasts.

War der Grabstein der Weisheit letzter Schluss?

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