Link List takeover: In anticipation of the upcoming (fourth) edition of IAM Weekend, Barcelona’s singular celebration of internet culture and techno-utopias, festival founders and future connoisseurs Andres Colmenares and Lucy Esperanza Rojas share five bookmarks that dial into our digital new normal—from the deeply delicious, to the deeply human, to the deeply fake.
- 1 On social media, #foodporn reigns supreme. In fact, the number of breakfast, lunch, and dinner snapshots beat #catsofinstagram two times over. But what if our obsession with sharing meals online has deeper cultural significance? For REALLIFE, an online magazine about living with technology, Linda Besner considers “the Internet as a metaphysical takeout window,” exploring the grammar of virtual food and different categories of meaning in which “watermelon Oreos, cake fails, and baconator samosas” find their truest expression. #yummy
- 2 How do you portray all of humanity in a single photo? Wikipedia editors grappled with that near impossible task ever since the entry “Human” was added in 2003. Over the years, the page’s contested lead image has featured anything from the Carl Sagan-designed Pioneer plaque (humanity’s ‘selfie’ affixed to the eponymous space probe in case it ever makes alien contact), to Albert Einstein, to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. WIRED tells the fascinating story of a prescient public dialogue around diversity and inclusiveness—and how a middle-aged couple from Thailand’s Akha community eventually came to represent us all.
- 3 “Think thumb keyboards and portable hard drives—not the overhyped notions of cell phone Web browsers and pen-based computing.” Technology forecasts rarely age well, but this 2002 MIT Technology Review report on the “Handhelds of Tomorrow” is a gem. Drafted in an era where cell phones, music players, cameras, and computers were still different things this speculation on future gizmos remains a telling read—particularly on a “cell phone Web browser”.
- 4 Nicolas Cage playing Indiana Jones (or Captain Picard), Alec Baldwin transforming into the real Donald Trump—thanks to a new AI-powered video-generating software, anybody can now map a face onto another. While still in its infancy, the technology behind these so-called Deepfakes has experts alarmed. FastCompany’s Mark Wilson takes a long hard look at the implications of ‘post-truth generators’ for what he calls “the war on what’s real.”
- 5 First it was the military. Then the venture capitalists. Now it’s insatiable global hedge funds with billions to spend. An unnerving piece in The Guardian reveals who is increasingly financing—and controlling—the tech industry, the governments they’re linked to, and why we, Europeans in particular, should care.
IAM Weekend 18 will take place at Barcelona’s Auditori AXA from April 27 to 29. To learn more about the event series, read our interview with founders Andres Colmenares and Lucy Esperanza Rojas here.
Hopefully you enjoyed the reads from this week’s Link List, but if you’ve still got an internet itch to scratch, you can find more here.