Here is some initial documentation for “Case Study”, a project that I’m working on with Pedro G. C. Oliveira.
“Case Study” is a briefcase that analyzes and produces visualizations of literary/philosophical texts using weaponized natural language processing software originally developed by the military. The parsing software, which finds and tags geopolitical events and world-historical actors in news articles, was originally intended to be a tool to help governments make predictions about global trends and material conflicts. In Case Study, we use that same tool on literary and philosophical texts rather than news articles, producing visualizations that frame literary and philosophical events in the language of geopolitics and the military.
This weekend, Amelia Winger-Bearskin and I organized our second Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon, a hackathon that asks participants to produce project that have no value whatsoever (PATENT PENDING). It was a resounding and unqualified success. Here is a small sample of the 100,000+ projects that people made over the course of the day. (If you made a project and want me to add it to this list, just get in touch.)
iPad On A Face
Kim Kardashian On A Newton
Perhaps a sister project to iPad On A Face, Kim Kardashian On A Newton is photo of Kim Kardashian on an Apple Newton. Apologies for the lack of credits on this one – I can’t remember who made it.
Golden Bitcoin Pasties
3D printed Bitcoin pasties, by Xuedi Chen and Pedro Galvao.
The Emoji Subtitle Creator
How to say Mitt Romney in different languages
Tweet Your Food
Needybot by Jessie Contour, Eric Bichan and Will Acheson is a robot that cries when you aren’t soothing it.
Drone Delivery with Drone Doulas
Drone Delivery with Drone Doulas by Amelia Winger-Bearksin. The future of babies.
Intellectual Babes Calendar
Intellectual Babes Calendar by Caitlin Weaver is a calendar of re-touched male intellectuals coming soon for the holiday calendar gifting season. The calendar will feature: Slavoj Žižek, Jorge Luis Borges, Roland Barthes (UNTOUCHED), Jean-Paul Sartre, Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, Walt Whitman, AND MANY, MANY MORE.
From the project’s creator: “It’s hard to care about the Western intellectual tradition when it was created by a bunch of old ugly white dudes. Why would you ever read some decrepit geezer’s book? The intellectual babes calendar streamlines and beautifies the men responsible for building the pillars of our culture – maybe not all the way to the point of 8 out of 10 / would fuck, but definitely lifting them out of the 10 below zero / def wouldn’t read category.”
Here are Italo Calvino (April) and Vladimir Nabokov (February):
Fletcher Bach and I recently discovered that there are reviews of prisons on Yelp. Some of these reviews are snarky one-liners -for example, one yelper describes Rikers Island as a “great island getaway right in my own backyard”. Other reviews appear to be honest first person accounts. Some people review what it’s like to visit the prison; others describe their experiences as inmates.
The reviews provide valuable first-hand insight into the workings of the prison system, but, we wondered, do prison administrators get the opportunity to read them? Do prison administrators even know their institutions are being reviewed on Yelp?
So, we came up with a helpful automated solution to ensure that prison administrators receive the feedback they may not know they are getting: a Yelp prison review faxbot. It’s a small python program that constantly monitors Yelp for reviews of prisons. Whenever the script finds a new review it automatically sends a fax to that prison with the Yelp star rating and content of the new review. Today we sent out 12 faxes, just to get things started.
At the moment we are monitoring the following prison reviews, these being the prisons we’ve found that have both Yelp reviews and fax numbers:
- Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn
- United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth
- Metropolitan Detention Center, Los Angeles
- Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago
- Sing Sing Correctional Facility
- Correctional Institution D Ray James
- Federal Correctional Facility. Dublin
- Fort Dix Federal Correctional Institution
- Honolulu Federal Detention Center
- Philadelphia Federal Detention Center
- Federal Correctional Institution Tallahassee
- Correctional Institution, Willacy County
We’ll be growing this list – feel free to get in touch if you find anything else to add in. We’re also thinking of switching to physical mail rather than fax.